Thursday, October 21, 2021

Yearly Archives: 2015

Winter weather brings challenges for students, faculty


By Aksinya Kichigina

Reporting Correspondent

Driving on campus can be challenging and hazardous in any season of the year. However, during the winter, driving can become more complicated and unsafe for some students, faculty or staff.

According to Officer Dan Robles, crime prevention officer, campus police provides students with a winter driving safety brochure, highlighting tips to promote safe winter driving. In addition, students will see information from the brochure on campus TV monitors throughout campus.

The pamphlet is available on the college’s website and in person, as Robles takes the winter driving safety booklet with him and makes it accessible on high-traffic pedestrian areas, where there are a lot of students, faculty and staff, or even visitors on campus.

Robles and campus police have hopes that with the winter driving tips, accidents on campus will decrease if they give the information that is needed to make driving safer for students. However, right now, even with no snow on the ground, the campus averages about three to four accidents per week.

The campus services and facility planning department are also responsible for safety on campus by plowing parking lots during heavy snowfall. Rex Hays, associate vice president, shared the information of how they prepare the campus for the various weather conditions.

“The grounds and maintenance department is responsible for plowing the parking lots during the winter season,” said Hays.  

In order to make the roads and parking lots on campus safe, the grounds and maintenance department uses the sand and salt mix to cover them up.

“We want to make the campus safe for everybody who uses it. So we come in ahead of time and we spread the salt and sand,” Hays said.

The campus services department makes a judgment call based on the weather conditions. Hays said they come in even at two in the morning based on the amount of snow and how long it’s going to take them to cover the roads.

For more information on winter safety, visit the crime prevention tips section of the college’s website.


J.T. Buchheit: Capital punishment needs to end


By J.T. Buchheit

News editor

For a little under five years, the United States was doing something right. From 1972 through 1976, the death penalty was suspended by the Supreme Court due to the case of Furman v. Georgia. But on July 2, 1976, after the decision of Gregg v. Georgia, the country took a giant step backward and has yet to recover.

Killing people who commit murder is an abhorrent act that does nothing to control the problem of senseless violence in America today. It’s extremely telling how misguided society is when the antiquated metaphor “an eye for an eye” is seen as the way to solve heinous criminal acts. Does murdering a person who murdered another person really solve anything? All the statistics say no.

There is no evidence that the death penalty deters crime; in fact, some criminologists, such as Northeastern University’s William Bowers, say it has the opposite effect in that the death penalty gives society a more violent appearance, leading to more murders being committed. Life imprisonment is a much better alternative. While there has not been any concrete evidence relating its deterrence to that of capital punishment, the general thought is that is at least as effective as the death penalty in that regard, as well as not having near the risks capital punishment possesses.

So far in 2015, six people previously sentenced to death have been exonerated. While innocent people have certainly been given life sentences, they can still be released if evidence suggesting their innocence shows up. This isn’t the case with the death penalty. One cannot simply be revived if new data casting doubt on their guilt is uncovered after the execution.

Another reason life imprisonment is a better solution is because of the punishment’s effects on both the offender and the family and friends of the deceased. While those close to the victim may feel vindicated for a short period of time when receiving news of and watching the execution, the fact is that when the offender is dead, they’re free of all the suffering they would have to endure in prison. If a family wants a killer to suffer, the person convicted should be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Another issue is the disproportionate application of the death penalty toward African-Americans. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, African-Americans have made up 43 percent of those executed since 1976 and 55 percent of those currently on death row, despite the fact that African-Americans make up only 13.2 percent of the U.S. population. The race of the victim also plays a crucial role in whether a person will be given the death penalty. Approximately 50 percent of murder victims are Caucasian, but in cases that led to a death sentence, 76 percent of the victims were Caucasian, as opposed to just 15 percent of the victims who were African-American.

With the recent execution of Marcus Ray Johnson in Georgia, the American death craze shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. If we want to progress as a society, we need to get past this barbaric punishment.  

Student seeks to help as Army Reservist

Student Colby Kilgore has enlisted as an Army Reservist, while working towards his degree at the college.

By Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter

Working while attending school isn’t unique. Your job becomes special when on a moment’s notice, it could uproot your life and send you to the most dangerous places in the world.

Colby Kilgore is a specialist in the United States Army Reserve and second-year student at the college studying to be an electrical engineer with plans to transfer to KU. Balancing the rigors of class with the specter of sudden deployment would seem to be cause for concern, but not for Kilgore.

Student Colby Kilgore has enlisted as an Army Reservist, while working towards his degree at the college.
Student Colby Kilgore has enlisted as an Army Reservist, while working towards his degree at the college.

“I wouldn’t say it weighs on me. It might for some people,” said Kilgore. “If you’re a thoughtful person when you’re enlisting, you should expect to be deployed, especially if you enlist during wartime. I wouldn’t say it weighs on me as much as something I fully expect.”

The U.S. Army Reserve enlistment lasts six years where soldiers serve one weekend per month and two weeks per year. A reservist can be called to full-time duty at any time during their six-year commitment.

“There’s no sense of dread. That’s when you can really do your job, when you’re called to service,” Kilgore said. “That’s when you can get some good work done for your country. I’d say I look forward to it.”

The sense of duty so common to members of the military extends to the community and classroom. Having a different set of experiences and expectations for the future has changed how Kilgore interacts with other students.

“I think the military has made me more supportive of my community and fellow classmates. So [with] regard to deployments, it’s not something I take into consideration. It’s not something I can control,” said Kilgore. “One way I would say it impacts me, or how it steers me, is how I interact with [others]. I try to have a more proactive and positive role in my environment and my classmates.”

In a world on high alert, there is no group keeping a closer eye on the situation than our servicemen and women. Knowing that events in the world can have a tangible effect on their lives means our military personnel view the world differently.

“For me being a military person, as a way to interact with the global climate, I always look for how I can help,” said Kilgore. “I think regardless of any situation, myself and anybody else I’ve met … it’s about trying to help people. That’s our primary driving factor.”

Social media profile may affect odds of securing job on campus


By Graciela Becerra

Reporting Correspondent

Social media has become a part of nearly everyone’s day-to-day lives. While most people use it to stay in touch with friends and family, a smaller pool of people will venture off into the profiles of those whom they’ve yet to meet, and amongst this pool of people are potential employers.

Many employers, including those at the college, are using social media to get to know their applicants before the first interview.

“The college uses it to look for student employees to get a better idea of what they’re like before [they] meet them,” said Erin Elmore, admissions recruiter at the college. “It’s kind of hard to base your opinion of people off of social media, but I feel like it’s a good way to gauge what the person is like.”

Although this is becoming a common practice among employers, most applicants don’t realize their social media accounts can be used in this way, and because of this, they fail to construct a presentable online profile and often miss out on a job opportunity.

Student Admissions Ambassador Kendra Wendte said “I understand how it could affect [the odds of getting a job]. If [employers] see something alarming, [they] might not want them in the workplace.”

More often than not, the things posted on social media are intended to be taken lightly, but with a job or potential career at stake, it may be worth it to be more cautious.

“I think you have to be conscious of the things you’re posting about yourself, because sometimes that is the only impression people have of you before they meet you,” said Elmore.

With a few adjustments, social media can be used as a tool to help students secure a job or benefit them in their job searches.

“I think people should … only post things that they feel portray them in the best way,” said Elmore. “Portraying the best image of yourself on social media can only help you and not harm you.”

Since most students are still learning how to use social media appropriately, getting a head start and cleaning up their profiles could give them a leg up on the competition.

If it came down to two candidates, both with wonderful interviews, but one of them with a bad profile, the individual without an inappropriate profile would get the job before the other, said Elmore.

Student Admissions Ambassador Lexi Starr wasn’t against social media affecting someone’s job opportunity.

“I think it’s a great idea because … people don’t portray themselves like they should on social media,” said Starr. “And if they knew that they couldn’t get an incredible job because of the way they act on social media, I feel like that could be the stop to a lot of things, like cyber bullying.”

Starr expressed how powerful she thought the idea could be.

“It can stop so many things that are wrong with social media today if people just reflected on how much it would affect them in the long run,” said Starr.

She shared her advice for students looking for jobs on campus next semester.

“Be cautious, especially with pictures … because even though you may not be doing whatever is in the picture, it can still affect you. You’re kind of guilty by association when it comes to pictures,” she said.

Something else to keep in mind is that privacy settings are adjustable. Students can decide whether they want their account to be entirely viewable, partially viewable or entirely private by someone who is not their friend on social media.

“I feel like your social media is your personal space and it shouldn’t be invaded by people who aren’t in your circle,” said Elmore. “Most of the time, you friend people that you’re okay with seeing your things, but I feel like if you’re going to post a lot of inappropriate things, then it’s kind of your own fault.”

Although some employers might be kind enough to give students the benefit of the doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry and get in the habit of acting appropriately on social media.

“Super Smash” superstar excels in tournaments nationwide

Student Robert Fraser is a super star in the world of Super Smash Bros. Competing in tournaments nationwide, Fraser has improved his skill and ability enough to place within prominent tournaments.

By J.T. Buchheit

News Editor

Many students find their calling in the fields of teaching, medicine or journalism. Student Robert Fraser, however, has found a different path. In the winter of 2011, Fraser picked up a video game cartridge and unknowingly began his trip to stardom.

Fraser started his “Super Smash Bros.” journey at a friend’s house. According to Fraser, his friend Mat had a copy of “Melee” in his basement and they began playing. Fraser was more skilled than his friend from the start, leading to a fierce rivalry with each of them working to be superior to the other.

Student Robert Fraser is a super star in the world of Super Smash Bros. Competing in tournaments nationwide, Fraser has improved his skill and ability enough to place within prominent tournaments.
Student Robert Fraser is a super star in the world of Super Smash Bros. Competing in tournaments nationwide, Fraser has improved his skill and ability enough to place within prominent tournaments.

“Eventually we got good enough that we were watching all these videos and were like ‘Competitive “Smash” is awesome. We should definitely do this,’” said Fraser.

Fraser and his friend were determined to play against more skillful opponents, but they encountered some obstacles along the way.

“We found a thread on this site called ‘Smashboards,’ and it’s like guys in their mid-to-late 20s and early 30s playing a game in this basement 15 minutes from Olathe, in northern Kansas City,” Fraser said. “I tried to tell my mom about it, and she was absolutely against it. She was like ‘Are you trying to go play video games with older men you met on the internet?’ It was absurd to her.”

Despite these concerns, Fraser and his friend were able to overcome their parents’ objections and sneak out to enjoy the game with the other nearby “Smash” fans.

“So one day, me and Mat said we were sleeping over at each other’s houses, and then we drove 15 minutes to Kansas City and played for a couple hours with the guy who owned the house and the people who showed up. They said the party usually gets jumping after 10 o’clock, so we stayed until eight, but we had to get home before our parents got suspicious. … Eventually our parents got on board with it.”

After playing “Smash” for a while and beating people he had never opposed, Fraser noticed his talent at the game and decided to begin participating in tournaments.

“The first time I felt like I could be a competitor was the first time I went to a tournament and won some money. To do that, you’ll have to beat people that you’ve never beaten before. So I got top three and got five bucks back, and I thought ‘Hey, maybe I can start doing something with this.’”

Fraser has participated in more than 50 tournaments over the past few years, and he makes sure he adequately prepares for each one with a regimen he uses.

“You can put together things that you need to practice in order to perform at the highest level,” said Fraser. “Just things that you need to be able to do mechanically, and make sure you’re really consistent. Consistency is a pretty big part of the game because of how fast some of the inputs need to be done.”

Fraser’s main claim to fame is the 2015 Big House 5 tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan on October 2–4. It held tournaments for both the “Melee” and “Brawl” versions. He placed 92nd out of approximately 1,300 people in the “Melee” tournament, and he came in second out of 117 people in the “Brawl” tournament.

“I outplaced some really prominent names in the project and the community, so that was really kind of a landmark tournament for me,” Fraser said.

Fraser’s favorite character to play as in “Smash” is Fox McCloud, who is often considered to be the best character in the game for those who make the effort because of his mechanical attributes.

“The technical ceiling on him is extremely high, so to actually be able to use these techniques, you have to be able to practice a lot and work on having a high mobile consistency. … He has a lot of options, but you have to be really good to be able to use all the options that are presented to you. If you don’t, you’ll just get destroyed.”

Fraser doesn’t have an end in sight for his “Smash” endeavors; however, at age 19, he knows his window of dominance could be closing soon, so he wants to enjoy playing the game at a high level for as long as he can.

“It’s tough, because the best players right now are actually my age,” he said. “21, 20, in that age range generally. The older players fall off a lot of the time. You might want to keep playing, but you probably won’t continue to do as well as in your prime. … The game is developing so quickly and players are improving so fast that if you’re not absolutely dedicated to the game, especially people who grow up and have things in their lives, like children and relationships, you’re going to lose track of how fast the game is improving on you, and you’re not going to be able to keep up, and you’ll have to retire at some point.”  

There is club on campus dedicated to “Super Smash Bros.” It meets every Friday in CC 234 and consists of friendly matches and tournaments for different “Smash Bros.” games. According to club president Adam Shafton, the club has grown from five members to over 40 people attending meetings. Everybody is welcome to attend, regardless of skill level.

Staff Editorial: Syrian refugees must be allowed into U.S.

The map above outlines current land ownerships in the Syrian Civil War.

Staff Editorial

President Obama has stated the United States will accept 10,000 refugees from Syria in the next year. Despite receiving massive pushback from governors from over half the states, the president is doing the right thing by calling for an open mind on accepting Syrian refugees into the country.

To put these refugees into perspective, over 12 million people have been displaced from Syria, with over 4.2 million registered Syrian refugees currently.

According to, of those 4.2 million refugees, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan have taken on a majority of the responsibility, taking in an estimated 3.6 million people between them, with several other countries also taking in thousands of people.

Now, recognizing that only registered refugees are likely to make it to the United States, the percentage of refugees proposed to come to the country amounts to a mere 0.002 percent of the registered refugees.

According to a recent article by CNN, 31 U.S. states have openly said Syrian refugees are not welcome in their state, 13 states have not committed to a stance and only six states are welcoming refugees openly.

Here in Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback stated “It is unfortunate that we must take this step to protect the safety of Kansans, but the federal government cannot guarantee that Syrian refugees coming to America would not be part of a terrorist organization seeking to harm our citizens.”

GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson has said bringing refugees here is a “suspension of intellect,” fellow candidate Donald Trump compared Syrian refugees  to a “trojan horse,” and candidate Ted Cruz has suggested the country block Muslim refugees, but allow in Christian refugees, stating they pose “no meaningful risk” of terrorism.

While a potential security threat must be acknowledged, there are a few statistics worth considering when discussing accepting refugees into this country.

According to the U.S. state department, 2,234 Syrian refugees have been admitted into the United States since Oct. 1, 2010. None of them have been arrested or removed due to terrorism.

In addition, contrary to information that has been floating around the internet, 70 percent of the Syrian refugees coming to the United States are not young single adult men. In fact, single men unattached to families make up less than two percent of all Syrian refugee admissions. Last fiscal year, of the 1,682 refugees admitted, roughly 77 percent of them were women and children.

The vetting process is as follows: After being screened by the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, all refugees must face the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI Terrorist Screening Center, the Department of State, Department of Defense and Homeland Security prior to relocation. Fingerprints and biographical information are collected and each refugee is interviewed by U.S. officials. Syrian refugees are also subject to additional screening to determine where they came from and why they’ve left their home.

The entire process typically takes about two years before a refugee is allowed admission into the country.

One has to imagine that if a terrorist organization really has any power, they can find a quicker way to sneak  into a country rather than biding their time for over two years masquerading as refugees.

Making us quiver in fear is only adding to a growing case of Islamophobia. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has actually suggested a society where we monitor refugees, mosques and potentially even an entire religion. It’s preposterous and off-putting.

Lost is the fact that these refugees are people. People that have faced dire circumstances.The current death toll in Syria is north of 250,000 people so far, with 30,000 of those being children.

It’s incredibly easy to make this a battle of politics here in the United States. However, as we debate and play armchair quarterback, the harsh reality is that thousands of people are dying in Syria.

This is not a political issue—this is a human issue. Is there a potential safety risk? Absolutely. Is it plausible that anyone who truly is a terrorist representing Daesh can manage to find a way into this country without the need for a two-year journey posing as a refugee? Unfortunately, yes.

The key is that we need to come together as human beings in this situation and not just as Americans. As much as Daesh wants us to fear for our safety and draw a line between Western countries and Muslims, we must show courage and embrace the chance to help even the 0.002 percent we’re proposing to take in.

America prides itself on being a nation of immigrants, welcoming those in search of a better life. One of our symbols of our nation, the Statue of Liberty, states:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Now is the time to embrace those displaced from their homes and share liberty with those truly in need.

InFocus: Students speak about Islam, Syrian refugees

An aerial view shows the Zaatari refugee camp, near the Jordanian city of Mafraq July 18, 2013. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spent about 40 minutes with half a dozen refugees who vented their frustration at the international community's failure to end Syria's more than two-year-old civil war, while visiting the camp that holds roughly 115,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan about 12 km (eight miles) from the Syrian border. REUTERS/Mandel Ngan/Pool (JORDAN - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTX11QHF

By Pete Schulte


Following attacks in Paris, the Syrian civil war and the fate of Syrian refugees has been the topic of discussion for much of the country. Students have been no exception, many of them discussing the implications of taking in Syrian refugees, the reactions of major political figures in the country and what action the United States should take regarding the Syrian civil war.

With over half of the country’s governors, including Kansas governor Sam Brownback, stating that due to safety risks, they’d be unwilling to accept Syrian refugees into the country, leaders in two student groups on campus share the opinion that refugees should be allowed into the United States.

Residents wait to receive food aid distributed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency at the besieged al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus on Jan. 31, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/UNRWA/HANDOUT via Reuters
Residents wait to receive food aid distributed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency at the besieged al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus on Jan. 31, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/UNRWA/HANDOUT via Reuters

“I support [President Obama’s] decision to allow refugees into the country. In fact, we probably ought to let more in,” Heather Meyer, president of the College Democrats club, said. “I think one of the things people get really confused about is the process of admitting individuals as refugees and think that is where a lot of the pushback comes from. Maybe people aren’t as educated about the [vetting] process and so they’re listening to a lot of talking heads and governors go on about how scary it’s going to be and how we’ll be letting terrorists into the country, when in all reality, that’s not at all what’s going to be occurring.”

Events coordinator for the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and former U.S. soldier Isaac Kaba echoed Meyer’s thoughts on refugees, and thinks the United States should actually put troops on the ground in Syria to counter the threat of ISIS.

“I don’t think we should do drone [strikes] because innocent people might die with that. We should put soldiers on the ground to try and stop ISIS completely,” Kaba said. “As far as refugees, I think we should make sure exactly who is coming into the country. We [should] know everything about them: their family, their history, what they’ve done, what they’re going to do here. I think we should question them to the point where we know them thoroughly and then let them in … For my opinion, it’d be nice if the president lets refugees in, but then make sure he does a lot of security clearance before he does that.”

State governors aren’t the only vocal people regarding the opposition of Syrian refugees, however. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has openly stated his belief that allowing Syrian refugees into the country would be like allowing a “Trojan horse” into the United States and has even gone as far to say the United States should consider monitoring mosques, refugees and potentially even Muslims themselves.

“I think [monitoring people] goes against everything that this country stands for. We are not a police state … It’s kind of scary to me. First it’s mosques and Muslims, but then what’s next? It’s very Orwellian and I don’t like it and I think it stinks … I’m very shocked that so many people are on board with this and support that kind of ideology,” Meyer said. “These are people. These are refugees. They’re fleeing a war zone. The photos that you see of all these children and families and the suffering that they’re going through, we can see how important this is.”

Fellow GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz has suggested we should only accept Christian refugees into the country, saying Muslim refugees pose a potential risk to the country. However, Kaba thinks it’s important to realize Islam is inherently a peaceful religion and that the ideals of ISIS do not represent the religion as a whole.

“Not only are [ISIS] not Muslims, I think they just call themselves Muslims, but they’re really not Muslims. Just because someone dresses up and has a beard and says ‘Allahu akbar’ doesn’t necessarily make them Muslim, you know?” Kaba said. “I think what [people] need to do is instead of looking at all Muslim communities the same, they just need to stop that group, period … Once that happens, they’ll know. A real, good Muslim would not even hurt a fly.”

Kaba’s colleague at the MSA, Rahif Turkmani, whose family is originally from Damascus, Syria, is the treasurer for the MSA and says the teachings of the Quran do not reflect what ISIS represents and that people are getting better at acknowledging this.  

“It’s frustrating that people tend to group all Muslims together and paint them with a broad brush, that all of them have the same beliefs as ISIS, but I believe some of the media is doing a decent job of denouncing that ISIS is not following the practice of Islam,” Turkmani said. “Clearly written in [the Quran] and through the sayings of the prophet Muhammad, ‘Killing another man is like killing all of humanity.’ He did not say killing another Muslim, killing another Christian. He just said killing another man, regardless of faith or any different attribute of him. It’s not up to us to take another man’s life. That’s the way people should look at Muslims and that’s what we’re taught. That’s the true belief of fundamentalists.”

Editor’s note: We reached out to the College Progressives and College Republicans as well, but as of press time, both groups were unavailable.

InFocus: a country in upheaval

The map above outlines current land ownerships in the Syrian Civil War.

By Cade Webb 

Managing Editor

The map above outlines current land ownerships in the Syrian Civil War.
The map above outlines current land ownerships in the Syrian Civil War. Colors show four different groups, which are shown below.

ISIS (Red): The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), commonly referred to as “ISIL” (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), or “Daesh,” is a jihadist extremist group seeking a caliphate. By establishing a caliphate, the group wants to create a singular Muslim movement and bring about a broad coalition by eliminating national boundaries. The group wants one Islamic state in the region and is beginning to create governing bodies in the land it has seized. Daesh brings in revenue by selling oil on the black market. It has been reported by CNN that Daesh brings in nearly $3 million per day in revenue from oil sales. Daesh has claimed responsibility for terror attacks across the globe, and is the only group involved in the war who has brought about attacks on countries not directly involved with the war.

Free Syrian Army (Yellow): The insurgency in the Syrian Civil War seeks to overthrow an oppressive regime led by the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad. The FSA was established on July 29, 2011, by seven government officers and soldiers. After killings of protesting civilians, the group established a goal to overthrow Assad. According to multiple reports, as of June 2015, the FSA has grown to at least 45,000 members. The FSA is essentially fighting for its cause by itself, with ISIS and the Syrian government both having challenged the FSA.

Syrian Armed Forces (Purple): The Syrian Armed Forces is the main force working on behalf of Assad. With an enlistment of nearly 12 million across all branches of the military, Syria has one of the strongest military forces in the Middle East. The Syrian military was at the forefront of the cause of the war when soldiers fired on protesters in Daraa on April 25, 2011. They have been criticized for the treatment of civilians in their own country as the regime was found to be using chemical weapons in the fight against the Free Syrian Army.

The Kurds (Green): The Kurds are a group of people inhabiting the mountains bordering Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran. They have been fighting for autonomy in Turkey for generations, and hope to establish a country for the Kurds to live. Inhabiting the northern part of Syria, they have encountered increasing attacks from Daesh who hope to take control of the land the Kurds currently inhabit. The majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslims, but live by a culture that is unique to the Kurds. Originally uninvolved with the uprising against the Assad regime, the Kurds were brought into the conflict by their continued efforts against Daesh.

Timeline of the Syrian Civil War: 

March 15, 2011: Over 41,000 protesters gather in Damascus to demand government reforms and an overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad after inhumane treatment of six teenage prisoners in Syria.

April 25, 2011: Six thousand soldiers deployed to the southern city of Daraa. Soldiers fire live ammunition on protesters and go house to house searching for protesters. Soldiers arrest hundreds found guilty of protesting. Tanks are deployed and snipers are brought into the city.

May 5, 2011: Protesters suppressed and troops withdraw from Daraa.

May 24, 2011: It is reported that over 1,000 were killed in the April uprisings, according to the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria.

July 29, 2011: Free Syrian Army is founded by seven government officers and soldiers. The goal of the FSA is to bring down the Assad regime. As of June 2015, the FSA has grown to 45,000–60,000.

Jan. 2012: Assad begins using large-scale artillery operations against the FSA. Bombings take place in cities throughout Syria.

Sept. 6, 2012: Twenty-one civilians killed by Syrian Army bombings in a Kurdish neighborhood in the city of Aleppo.

Dec. 3, 2012: The first allegation of chemical weapons used by the Assad regime on its citizens is reported. Seven people were killed in Homs by an “unknown poisonous gas.”

Sept. 8, 2013: ISIS captures FSA stronghold of Azaz, creating prolonged tension between the FSA and ISIS.

June 3, 2014: Bashar al-Assad wins presidential election with nearly 89 percent of the votes cast. The United States dismisses the election as illegitimate.

Sept. 23, 2014: The United States begins airstrike coalition with other countries against ISIS in Syria.

April 2015: It is reported that there have been over 310,000 casualties in Syria directly caused by the war.

July 2015: U.S. Special Forces raid compound housing the ISIS “chief financial officer.” The raid produced evidence of Turkish officials having dealt directly with high-ranking members of ISIS.

Nov. 24, 2015: Turkey brings down a Russian warplane that allegedly entered Turkish airspace.

Book buyback in session this week and next

Palmer Meeds (student) returns her books at the buyback lounge located on the first floor of the Commons building. Both buybacks and rental return services are available at this location.
Student Palmer Meeds (left) returns her books at the buyback lounge located on the first floor of the Commons building. Both buybacks and rental return services are available at this location. Photo by Lance Martin.

The fall semester is drawing to a close, and with it, the usual stresses of finals week. When you no longer have a need for those textbooks, don’t forget to sell them back to the college. You might not be refunded enough for a fine dinner on the Country Club Plaza, but perhaps you’ll have enough for a cup of coffee at Java Jazz — and a muffin, if you’re fortunate. You can sell your books back at the following campus locations:

Students take advantage of the short lines at the buyback lounge on the first floor of the Commons building Friday morning, Dec. 4. Buyback opportunities will still be available Monday through Friday finals week.
Students take advantage of the short lines at the buyback lounge on the first floor of the Commons building Friday morning, Dec. 4. Buyback opportunities will still be available Monday through Friday finals week. Photo by Lance Martin.
  • The book buyback lounge located on the first floor and is available for both rental returns and buyback opportunities.
  • There are two other kiosk locations on campus to return rentals: The second floor of the CLB, outside of ViBE, and near the coat closet in the Carlsen Center.
  • The buyback lounge will be the only location open Friday, Dec. 4; however, all three locations will be open the following week Monday through Friday during finals.

— Staff reports

InFocus: Syrian student tells of life in war-torn nation

Residents wait to receive food aid distributed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency at the besieged al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus on Jan. 31, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/UNRWA/HANDOUT via Reuters

By Sean Hull

Features Editor

Residents wait to receive food aid distributed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency at the besieged al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus on Jan. 31, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/UNRWA/HANDOUT via Reuters
Residents wait to receive food aid distributed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency at the besieged al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus on Jan. 31, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/UNRWA/HANDOUT via Reuters

On a dreary day of freezing rain in Kansas, Ismail, a Syrian student at the college who wished to use a pseudonym for safety reasons, sipped tentatively from a steaming cup of coffee. He settled into a plush leather chair and longingly began to tell of his life in Damascus, the capital of Syria, before conditions there forced him to come to Kansas City.

“Beautiful, beautiful … My country is more like a mother. It’s my everything. To me, really, everything in Syria is special,” said Ismail.

Now a 23-year-old student at the college, Ismail left Syria nearly four and a half years ago when the Arab Spring uprising was first reaching Damascus.

“When the conflict first started in Damascus, it was the end of May … We had problems in the suburbs of Damascus, but nothing in Damascus yet,” said Ismail.

Ismail is not a refugee. His father owns a paper processing plant in Damascus and could afford to send his son abroad before the conflict in the region flared to its full potential. His parents still reside in the capital, and the paper processing plant is still operating. He did not leave Syria because he doesn’t love his country or his people; he left because there was no hope. Forced conscription policies of Assad’s regime left young men in Syria with no options but to join the military, willingly or by force.

“Army is not an option in Syria. You have to serve, and serving at that time means that you are going, you don’t know when you’re coming back and you don’t know where you are going,” said Ismail. “People started to get drafted whether they were studying or working, so there is no excuses … Whoever they see, they draft. It started to be chaos.” Ismail has friends that were drafted in the army he hasn’t heard from in six years.

Before he was able to leave Syria, two incidents happened that convinced him he was making the only decision he could. One night he got a taxi to take him home. Because of the incredibly high tensions in the country at the time, taxi drivers no longer entered neighborhoods, fearing civilians were part of rebel groups. Civilians were suspicious of the taxi drivers as well, fearing they were working for the government. Ismail’s driver brought him as close as he was willing to go that night. Three men attempted to kidnap him as he walked the rest of the way home.

“I started walking to my house, and then three guys started to … [surround] me, and I ran … taking [the] shortcuts until I got home and I lost them,” said Ismail.

The second incident happened the day before his plane was scheduled to leave. As he was walking outside the mosque, smoke bombs were fired into the crowd by “very high forces” of the government. He passed out in the fray, but was carried to safety by a stranger.

Ismail considers himself to have suffered very little compared to those who remain in his homeland. Millions have been forced from their homes into neighboring Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, while hundreds of thousands more have embarked to Europe in hope of finding a better life.

Germany has been the Promised Land most of the refugees coming from Syria have sought to reach. This year Germany is expected to receive over 800,000 refugees from all countries. Earlier this year, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany opened the door to Syrians by removing the restrictions on people seeking asylum; however, she quickly reinstated those restrictions.

Those in Syria without money are unable to flee even if they wish to, leaving millions more trapped in a country torn by several factions: Assad’s regime, Daesh, The Free Syrian Army and other innumerable rebel faction groups. Life is dangerous in Syria, especially for those of the working class with no means to escape.

A driver for Ismail’s father’s paper processing plant worked to take care of his seven brothers after their parents passed. One night, all eight brothers were driving back to their home in the suburbs of Damascus when they reached a checkpoint. The men enforcing the checkpoint forced the eight of them to exit the vehicle and form a line. They separated the youngest of the siblings, then executed his seven brothers before his eyes. It has been two and a half years since that incident, and the boy has not spoken a word since.

The United States, the country Ismail and countless other Syrians call a second home, is divided by the debate of whether to take in more Syrian refugees. President Obama has proposed measures to resettle 10,000 Syrians in the country. After a passport was found among the destruction of the Paris attacks on Nov. 13, concerns over the security of the vetting process for refugees has led the House of Representatives to pass a measure that will temporarily halt the refugee program and instate additional security checks in the process.

Republican presidential candidates such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson have called for measures such as forcing Muslims to register in a national database, as well as surveillance of mosques.

Countries with populations many times smaller than America are taking in many times the refugees the United States is. Ismail believes that a country of the magnitude of the United States should do more to help those in need in Syria and around the world.

“Deciding to be, and people accepting that you are the strongest country in the world, it’s not your choice anymore to help or not. You are in a position where you are required to do the right thing, you are required to help. You want to be the strongest country in the world? Act like it,” said Ismail.

The most important thing to him, though, is that we begin to recognize the bond we all share in this world: We are all human.

“People, if they could just step outside from thinking about religion and politics, if you just want to be human, what would [you] do?” asked Ismail. “… You have blood flowing in your body, and I have blood flowing in my body. So at the end of the day, we are all human beings. We have emotions.”

Student arrested for breaking into famous singer’s home


MALIBU, California — Police arrested a man Wednesday after a construction worker discovered him camping out in singer Lana Del Rey’s home’s garage, according to E! News.

The suspect and JCCC student, Zachary Self, 19, fled the scene prior to police arriving. According to police, the “Summertime Sadness” singer was not confronted by Self, as her home is currently under construction and she was not on the premises. Self left a laptop at the scene, which police used to track him down.

Self was found and arrested for felony burglary at a Starbucks in Santa Monica, California. He allegedly had stolen property from Del Rey’s residence at the time. He is being held on a $150,000 bail.

Cavalier Sports Report: Athletic trainer Ben Edwinson


By Shawn Simpson

Host/Staff Reporter

Host Shawn Simpson sits down with head athletic trainer Ben Edwinson and discusses what Edwinson does on a daily basis.

Cavalier Sports Report: Hall of Fame inductee Lori Thomas


By Shawn Simpson

Host/Staff Reporter

Host Shawn Simpson sits down with Lori Thomas, a former two-sport athlete at the college and a Hall of Fame inductee. Thomas talks about her experiences at the college, her professional volleyball career and her time spent with the NAIA.

Cavalier Sports Report: Hall of Fame inductee Cindy Roach


By Shawn Simpson

Host/Staff Reporter

Host Shawn Simpson sits down with JCCC Hall of Fame inductee Cindy Roach. Roach was a three-sport athlete at the college from 1977–1979.

Cavaliers claim fifth at nationals

Michelle Tennant going up for a kill in the Cavs 3-0 sweep of Cowley in the fifth place match at nationals.

By James Howey

Sports Editor

Michelle Tennant going up for a kill in the Cavs 3-0 sweep of Cowley in the fifth place match at nationals.
Michelle Tennant going up for a kill in the Cavs 3-0 sweep of Cowley in the fifth place match at nationals.

The Cavaliers came into nationals looking like a team that had the potential to win it all. Unfortunately, the Cavs were unable to beat Lincoln Land in the second round of the tournament. The squad was able to pick themselves up and win their last two matches of the tournament. The Cavs beat rival Cowley for the third time this season in the fifth-place match of the tournament.

“Our team played the way we should have played all year, and I was very happy to see them collectively as a team doing it,” head volleyball coach Jennifer Ei said. “On top of that, to beat [our] rival Cowley made it even sweeter.”

During the Cavs’ beat-down of Cowley, they looked like a team that should have been playing later in the day for a championship. Cavs middle hitter Michelle Tennant played what may have been her best game of the season, having a season-high 15 kills that led the team.

“I’m proud of our team. We played really well to get that fifth place. That’s still something to be proud of,” Tennant said. “We wanted to be higher, but I mean, that’s how volleyball is. Anyone can be beat on any given day.”

The Cavaliers had swept Lincoln Land twice in the season, and with a third win the squad would have advanced to the final four. The Cavs would unfortunately lose to Lincoln Land 3–1. The Cavs had plenty of opportunities to take control and win the match, including being up 22–15 in the third set and losing 30–28.

Cavs libero Tori Kerr received all-tournament team honors at nationals. Kerr has been one of the standout libero in the nation all season. Even with a fifth-place finish, this season had the potential to be even greater. The Cavs were ranked as high as second in the nation at one point, fought through a number of injuries, played the eventual champion Parkland twice and gave them a challenge both times.

“It’s hard to look back and say ‘Well if Maren was 100 percent or if Anna wasn’t hurt, where would we be?’” Ei said. “It also has a lot to do with luck and timing, but I think this team was a very strong team all year.”

Despite the season falling just a bit short of something special, Ei will always look back at this team with fond memories.

“I think what I’ll remember most about this 2015 team is how much they are a team,” Ei said. “You don’t always get every year that everyone truly cares and likes each other.”

ECAV Radio promotes food drive through broadcast in Commons

Donations accepted in COM 260. Graphic by Heather Foley.

by J.T. Buchheit 

News Editor

ECAV Radio will be broadcasting in the Commons on Tuesday, Nov. 24 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Along with giving students the opportunity to listen to music during lunch, ECAV will also be promoting the Student News Center’s food drive. The drive runs until Nov. 30, and students can drop by the Student News Center to donate food items for a chance to win various prizes, including movie passes, Missouri Mavericks hockey tickets, Performing Arts Series passes, dining services gift cards and a selfie stick.  

Related: Campus food pantry provides aid for students in need

Marketing professionals provide students insight into industry


by Zach Nemechek

Staff Reporter

Students have the opportunity to hear from strategic communication professionals as they share tips for students heading into the field and provide real world experiences of their time in the industry this Tuesday.

The event is the People in Promotion panel, held in the Craig Community Auditorium (GEB 233) at 11 a.m., and is hosted by the Journalism and Media Communications department.

The event features professionals working in advertising, public relations, marketing and strategic communications about what it is like to work in their respective fields. Speakers include Kathryn Lorenzen, a recruiter and career coach at Landajob Marketing and Creative Talent; Patrick Padley, the senior social media strategist at DEG; Shawn Poloniak, president at Blacktop Inc.; and George Weyrauch, president at ROCK Creative Group.

Gretchen Thum, sponsor of the event and journalism/media communications professor, says the goal of the event is to give students real-life exposure to the field as they work to determine what type of career they want in life.

“Students always tell me how difficult it is to figure out what they want to major in, and ultimately what they want to do as a career. I make it a priority to make sure students have the opportunity to meet PR and advertising practitioners and hear what their day-to-day jobs are like,” said event sponsor and professor Gretchen Thum. ”It’s never too early to start networking. People in Promotion will provide that opportunity, bringing professionals to campus who are excited to meet JCCC students.”

Students are encouraged to ask questions at the panel, which concludes at 12:15 p.m. For more information, contact Gretchen Thum at

Muslim Student Association holds lecture on Islam


by Sean Hull

Features editor

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) will host a lecture tonight by prominent regional Muslim speaker Abdullah Bayazid.

According to Isaac Kaba, the events coordinator for the MSA, Bayazid is well respected throughout the Kansas City area as an important voice on Islam.

“He likes to spread the message of Islam. He likes to lecture people about it [and] share ideas that he has about Islam. He’s very credited throughout the Johnson County and Kansas City area, and a lot of people know him as a great speaker,” said Kaba.

The lecture will focus on Bayazid’s ideas on the events of Judgment Day, as well as the Islamic viewpoint of Jesus.

Anyone is free to attend the lecture tonight, and the MSA encourages people of different faiths to attend the event to learn more about Islam and the people of Islam.

“It’s basically like one of those situations where any student would be able to peek their head in, and anyone is more than welcome to attend the lecture. Islam teaches nothing but peace and love for God,” said Alex Blum, the president of the MSA.

Kaba is passionate about the need to educate non-Muslim students about Islam.

“I just want to put the message out there and let everyone know that Islam is not what people perceive it to be, it’s not what they think of it as and that we’re people just like anyone else,” said Kaba.

The event will be held tonight in the Craig Auditorium, GEB 233, from 6:30 to 8:30.

For more information about the event and the MSA, visit their Facebook page or attend a meeting held every other Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m.  

Administrators set to retire at end of 2015–16 year


by J.T. Buchheit

News Editor

The college’s Board of Trustees is expected to approve the retirements of four administrators tonight at the November board meeting, with retirement dates effective at the conclusion of the spring 2016 semester. Andy Anderson, vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer of instruction and operations; Karen Davis, manager of web and marketing communications; and Julie Haas, associate vice president of college and community relations, will be saying farewell to the college on June 30, 2016. Lin Knudson, dean of academic support of instruction and operations, will be retiring on May 31, 2016. The board will vote on these retirements at its 5 p.m. meeting in the Hugh Speer Board Room, GEB 137. 

Related: Reaping the nectar: Andy Anderson shares some stories

The Campus Ledger will not be live-tweeting this month’s meeting. Go to the JCCC video page to view the meeting in its entirety. The Ledger will profile these administrators and more throughout the fall and spring semesters.


Paris attacks raise concern about Study Abroad


By Sean Hull

Features Editor

Student safety when studying abroad is a major concern for the college and students themselves. The recent tragedies in Paris have shown that countries perceived safe for student travel can still be dangerous in rare events.

The world has been roused to an outpouring of emotional support for the French people, but still, concerns about safety in the popular tourist city, and the whole of Europe, are high. The college currently does not have any students studying in Paris, though there are two in Italy and one in England. The Study Abroad program has reached out to those students studying in Europe to ensure their safety, despite not being in France, but hasn’t heard back from them.

The college considers many factors when deciding what Study Abroad programs to offer, safety being one of the most important. The college vets every Study Abroad program through a safety panel, and no programs are offered anywhere the United States Department of State deems unsafe for travel. Students also attend a safety orientation before leaving, where general advice on how to stay safe is given. The college also buys international travel insurance at no cost to students. The insurance functions as health insurance abroad, but also covers the costs of evacuating students if necessary under any circumstance, including natural disasters and tragedy.

According to Janette Jasperson, a coordinator for international education at the college, there has only been one situation in which a student had to be evacuated.

“When the tsunami hit Japan, and then the nuclear site leaked down, we had a student in Tokyo … we ended up basically doing what our counterparts were doing. So when KU decided to call their students home, we called ours home,” said Jasperson.  

Student opinions diverge on whether recent events will affect their decision to study abroad. Student Dan Stilley said he hasn’t considered studying abroad before, but recent events will deter him from Study Abroad in the future.

“Considering that, I mean I know they didn’t target her for being a college student, but there was an American college student that was killed. It’s certainly scary to think about that. What if you were overseas and studying abroad, and something like that happens to you? I think the unknowns of being so far away from home in a time you don’t know what could happen are pretty scary,” said Stilley.

Student Martin Tomlinson, who plans to spend four weeks in Spain this summer, said events don’t affect his decision.

“I still feel relatively safe. I’m definitely scared but I don’t think I can let that shake my beliefs or how I want to live my life,” said Tomlinson.

Jasperson outlined some some basic safety advice for students traveling abroad:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Protect your passport.
  • Avoid carrying all of your belongings in one place.

For more information on the Study Abroad program, visit their page on the college’s website here.

Board of Trustees member receives prestigious award


By Cade Webb

Managing Editor

College Board of Trustee member Gerald (Lee) Cross Jr. was named one of the top 40 under the age of 40 civil litigation plaintiffs attorneys by The National Trial Lawyers.

Trustee Cross said of the award, “[I am] honored and thankful that a group of prestigious attorneys invited me to such a fellowship of justice. Hopefully, this helps foster awareness of what trial lawyers do to protect our constitutional rights to due process, an attorney and trial by jury. These rights were important to our founders, men and women, and remain necessary to secure safer products and services for all people.”

The National Trial Lawyers is exclusive to trial lawyers practicing civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law. Membership to the NTL is by invitation only. Selection is based on a multi-phase process that include peer nominations and third-party research.

“I am honored to be once again recognized by my peers for my contribution to our profession. Our justice system is the greatest in the world. I work each day to ensure that ordinary citizens receive the justice they deserve,” said Cross. “My success is due to a great public education and the many mentors in the Kansas City legal community.”

Cross was elected to the college Board of Trustees in 2013.

International students face unique concerns


Jeremy Anderson

Special to the Ledger

Moving to a new country and enrolling in classes at a new school is hard enough without having to worry about where you’re going to live or how you’re going to get to class. However, for some of the college’s estimated 2,000 international students, these are real concerns.

The college’s Homestay program connects students attending the college on F-1 student visas with host families in the area, but often lacks enough hosts to accommodate all of the students coming from abroad to study at the college.

“That is the biggest issue,” said Suzanne Maheu, coordinator of Homestay and community support services. “I do community outreach where I meet with different community groups to tell them about the program in an effort to recruit hosts. Hosts are paid a stipend … but usually the demand for Homestay outnumbers the amount of hosts that are available.”

For students who are unable to find host families, the college’s International and Immigrant Student Services department helps find other living arrangements. The department maintains an online listing of available rooms and roommates in the area.

“If they want to live in an apartment, we help them with identifying apartments in the area,” Maheu said. “Also, rental practices: explaining to them what a lease is, terminating a lease [and] what the commitments are when you do take a lease.”

Another challenge many international students face, Maheu said, is a lack of public transportation.

“Anybody who does a homestay typically within the first month needs to get a car,” Maheu said. “Because it’s an awful lot to ask for a host to drive a young adult back and forth to school every day, plus other activities.”

Due to the layout of the state, those without automobiles need to use an alternate method of transportation.

“It’s difficult in Kansas because everything’s so far apart,” said Ricardo Aristiguieta, student activities ambassador and member of the college’s International Club. For students without a car, the only other options are taking the bus or riding a bike.

Aristiguieta, who came to the college from Venezuela on an F-1 student visa, said the International and Immigrant Student Services department helped him not only to get his driver’s license, but also with his visa, the admissions process, finding a job at the college, acquiring health insurance through the college and getting involved in clubs on campus.

“Our main purpose is to help [international students] adjust to the culture and to have resources for them in the community in case they need something that we do not offer here at the college,” said Patricia Donaldson, coordinator of immigrant student regulatory advising and support services.

These additional resources include information about obtaining a social security card, opening a bank account, finding health and dental care, taking off-campus English language courses and more.

“We have students come back here after they transfer out to a four-year college,” Donaldson said. “They’ve got their bachelor’s degree, their master’s degree [and] they come here to say hi because they still remember how great their experience was here at JCCC.”

For more information about International and Immigrant Student Services, visit COM 306 or go to, or contact Jeremy Anderson at

Concealed carry may be allowed on campus


By Sean Hull

Features Editor

By 2017, nearly anyone may be allowed to carry a concealed weapon on Kansas institutions of higher education, including JCCC.

Two policies previously passed by the Kansas legislature make this possible. The first is a bill passed last legislative session removing the requirement of a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The second is a provision in the Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act that went into effect July 1, 2013, that made it illegal for any state or municipal building to prohibit an individual from carrying a concealed weapon on their premises.

Colleges were given the option in 2013 to apply for a four-year exemption, which the college did. That exemption will expire July 1, 2017, forcing the college to allow the possession of concealed weapons on campus or fund “adequate security measures” to properly enforce a no-gun policy.

Adequate security measures are defined in state statute 75-7c20 as “the use of electronic equipment and personnel at public entrances to detect and restrict the carrying of any weapons … including, but not limited to, metal detectors, metal detector wands or any other equipment used for similar purposes.” … With several public entrances per building on campus, the costs to enforce what the provision defines as “adequate security measures” would be extremely high.

“Whenever we opted out of the law … it was going to cost somewhere around $25 million, 20 to 30 million to provide the adequate security to opt out of the statute,” said Board of Trustees member Gerald Lee Cross. “If we have a budget of 140 to 150 million and the state is asking us to fund an additional 20 to 30 million, no sir, it’s just not affordable. It is, in my estimation, an unfunded mandate.”

The decision to opt out of the law was initially made by the president of the college, and the legal counsel. Chief of Police Gregory Russell recommended at the time that the college be exempt, citing his confidence in his police force.

Russell provided a statement that was initially released to all media that read “JCCC staffs a full-time armed police force of over 20 officers, and Johnson County Community College will continue to put the safety of the students and employees first.”

It is uncertain at this moment whether the law will change by 2017 to allow colleges to renew the exemption. Chris Gray, executive director of marketing communications, says the college cannot speculate on exemptions or modifications made by the state legislature.

The Kansas Board of Regents will meet later this month to discuss a new draft policy on weapons possession, which amends their current policy to comply with the state statute. Also, according to Irene Schmidt, an adjunct professor of Spanish at the college and an officer-at-large for the Faculty Senate, a “task force” has been created to gather information that may help prepare the college for the end of the exemption in 2017. Though administration’s policy has been to refrain from speculating on what action may be taken before 2017, concern is high amongst faculty and administration as the college moves closer to the possibility of a campus open to guns.

Campus food pantry provides aid for students in need

Canned goods in the food pantry, OCB 261Q. Photo by Pete Schulte.

The JCCC food pantry, located in OCB 261Q, was established in November 2011 to help students and their families obtain food and other essentials in times of need. Initially created by Students in Free Enterprise (now named Enactus), the program is now run by the college’s Model U.N.

Dr. Brian Wright, adviser to Model U.N., shares information how the pantry got its start and discusses the constant need of the pantry.


Related: No one should go hungry during the holidays: Student News Center sponsors Nov. food drive

The pantry operates on an anonymity policy, providing those in need the opportunity to get food during one of the most celebrated times of the year. Currently serving roughly 60 people per week, the food pantry is always in need of food to help sustain people on campus who are in need.

The Student News Center is hosting a food drive throughout November for non-perishable food items to benefit the college’s food pantry. For more information on the drive and to learn how to donate, click here.

Contributions from JCAV-TV: Heather Foley, executive producer, camera, editor; Pete Schulte, reporter, voice-over; Caleb Wayne, graphics. 

WATCH: Candice Millard visits JCCC


The author of “The Murder of a President” came to visit her old campus and discuss her book with students.

Contributions from JCAV-TV: Heather Foley, executive producer; Anthony Graham, reporter, camera, editor; Caleb Wayne, graphics; Rebecca Crockett, voice-over

Profanity inching its way into the classroom


by Ryan Tinder

Special to the Ledger

Most people have stubbed a toe and let out some form of profanity at a point in their life, but cursing in the classroom is not quite as commonplace. With the current generation of students and faculty, however, that may be changing.

Samantha Bell, associate professor of English, does not prohibit cursing in her class and is becoming more accustomed to it in the classroom. She believes context and intention are two major factors when students use the language and believes that it is acceptable when used in proper context.

“… If [students] feel they are making a point and they are emphasizing something, then occasionally someone will swear,” Bell said. “The climate of my classroom while I have taught has become more open as I keep teaching. Some people prefer not to see that sort of language in any form. For me, I am not offended by it. The intention of the language is maybe the power behind the swearing … the context for sure is important. If you are in an environment where it’s not a typical usage, it might have more weight.”

Cassie Nelson, a non-traditional student at the college, has yet to hear a professor use profanity and feels there is no need for them to unless they are quoting written work. She does feel swearing is more common with the current generation of students, however.

“Some students have [sworn in class] … not to the point of being belligerent or disrespectful though,” said Nelson. “It is often when someone doesn’t have the vocabulary to express their thoughts in the way that they want to.”

Student Luis Avela believes that instructors should mirror the current generation, whom he finds more accepting of profanity in a variety of contexts. “Teachers need to be more out-there and talk to you like a friend instead of someone who is getting paid to be there … they should be less monotone,” said Avela.  

While it is unlikely to to become a regular occurrence in the classroom, students and faculty do seem to recognize that hearing it in the modern classroom isn’t quite as taboo as it once was, and may even have the potential to help students drive a point home.


WATCH: Students talk about online dating


JCAV-TV talks to students about the benefits and drawbacks of online dating and why they think people are hopping online to find their significant others.

JCAV-TV Contributions by: Heather Foley, executive producer; Brandon Giraldo, camera editor; Caleb Wayne, graphics; Graciela Becerra, reporter. 

WATCH: Students discuss morning rituals


JCAV-TV talks with students about what they do to get ready for a long school day. For many students at the college, a normal day involves work and class, and these busy days involve various morning rituals for different students.


JCAV-TV contributions from Heather Foley, executive producer; Graciela Becerra, reporter; Brandon Giraldo, videographer/editor; Caleb Wayne, graphics; Sam Kombrink, voice-over.


Cavaliers volleyball team returns to nationals

The Cavalier's volleyball team celebrates their district title. The team heads to Phoenix the 19th-21st for Nationals.

By James Howey

Sports Editor

The Cavalier's volleyball team celebrates their district title. The team heads to Phoenix the 19th-21st for Nationals.
The Cavalier’s volleyball team celebrates their district title. The team heads to Phoenix the 19th-21st for Nationals.

Despite witnessing one of their key players in Anna Bell go down with a knee injury, and a furious comeback by Highland to make the score 25–24 Cavaliers in the third set, the Cavs defeated Highland 3–0, claiming the win and the District championship, earning them a trip to nationals in Phoenix, Arizona.

For head volleyball coach Jennifer Ei. this trip means a lot after a year’s absence from nationals.

“I think a lot of times, when you go a lot, you take it for granted,” Ei said. “I’m just really happy for this group and the effort they put in.”

At the beginning of the day, things were not looking as good for the Cavs as they found themselves in a dogfight with Neosho and down in the third set 24–18, staring a 2–1 uphill battle in the face.

“I felt like Neosho played really well and we were a little bit slow, but they played incredible,” Ei said. “The girls finally put it together and realized ‘Hey, this is to play in the district final. We need to step it up.’”

The squad came back and won the third set 27–25 and dominated the last set to defeat Neosho 3–1. Neosho proved the Cavs’ toughest opponent through the tournament, as they carried the momentum of their win into the final to defeat Highland 3–0 to close out districts. Ultimately, Coach Ei attributes the win to the depth and the shared effort of everyone on the team.

“I think they just wanted it, and it’s good to see this group wanting something,” Ei said. “I thought the setters did a great job of moving the ball around. A lot of people had attacks, kills and it wasn’t just one dominant hitter.”

Emotions ran high after the District victory; it was a goal the team had in mind all season.

“It was really emotional. I know we all started crying because it was what we worked for all season,” Cavaliers libero Tori Kerr said. “When it’s actually a for sure, you can’t kind of believe it.”

The Cavs were selected to be the number-three seed at nationals and will play 14-seeded Muskegon on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 11 a.m. The Cavs have seen and beaten a number of opponents in the tournament, so that should pay dividends should they run into one of those teams again. Unfortunately, the Cavs will be without middle Anna Bell for the tournament, but look for the Cavs to make up for the loss with the depth they have had all year.

This season marks the 10-year anniversary of the last volleyball national title here at the college, so another win would be quite the celebration for the Cavs.

“I know it’s something we’ve all dreamed of doing,” Kerr said. “I think it would mean more than any of us could really describe, honestly.”

The NJCAA Division II volleyball championship runs from Nov. 19–21 at the Phoenix College north gym in Phoenix, Arizona.  

JCCC debate team remains among best in U.S.


By J.T. Buchheit

News Editor

The debate team at the college has consistently been among the best in the nation for a number of years, routinely defeating universities around the country. In their most recent debate, on Oct. 17 and 18, the team traveled to two tournaments and won multiple awards. Debate coach Justin Stanley has received plenty of credit for the team’s success.

“[Stanley] is an incredible source of support and cohesion on the squad,” said student Daniel Plott, a member of the team. “He’s the most engaged and concerned educator I’ve ever had the privilege of working with, and just an all-around outstanding role model on how to be a good, hard-working person.”

Stanley, however, credits the team’s effort and desire to keep improving as the main reason for the team’s sustained success.

“We work very hard and spend a lot of time and effort constructing the best argument possible and working hard to improve our debate skills,” Stanley said. “Our assistant coach, Dan Stout, does a great job getting the team prepared each week. So it’s really a combination of hard work and the work of our assistant coach.”

There are two types of competitive debate formats the team participates in: the National Debate Tournament–Cross-Examination Debate Association (NDT-CEDA) program and the National Forensics Association–Lincoln-Douglas Debate (NFA-LD) program.

“[NDT-CEDA] is a two-person vs. two-person policy format,” Plott said. “So we have the same resolution the whole year, which is essentially the question that we debate. We also have an NFA-LD program, which is one person vs. one person. The NFA-LD is probably preferable to those who are newer to debate, who are just trying to get acclimated to the activity. … It’s our first year having that program, and so far that squad’s had a lot of success.”

This year, the resolution involves the withdrawal of troops from various parts of the world. There are multiple facets of this topic that can be subject to debate.

“A lot of it has to do with the benefits and drawbacks of troop withdrawal or reduction of military forces,” said Stanley. “We also debate political issues that surround that particular topic, a lot of philosophical issues that surround that topic, such as capitalism or feminism. So the resolution is really focused on reduction of military presence throughout the world, but embedded within that topic of discussion is a host of other smaller topics that students learn about and research.”

Any group that gets together for competitive activities should have a harmonious atmosphere, and Plott believes that is a strength for his team. He also thinks the team is a great way to make new friends and connect with others.

“As far as the team dynamic goes, there’s a good squad atmosphere,” said Plott. “Everyone gets along really well. I don’t think we have any type of tension on the squad or anything of that nature. And it’s really good for building relationships like networking further down the road, because you get to meet a lot of people, not only on your squad, but on other college campuses as well.”

Besides improving his debate skills, Plott has received many other valuable skills from his experience on the team.

“It’s certainly helped me with research skills, because you have to engage in research in order to build argumentation and lines of arguments that you will then deploy in the debate round,” he said. “[Also] critical thinking, because you have to make strategic decisions in the debate round to do the best you can to win it. That, and myself, I’m naturally an introvert, and it’s really good to find a way to utilize that more as an asset and figure out a way to still communicate interpersonally while maintaining your boundaries as a person.”

According to Stanley, to join the debate team, one must sign up for a debate class. Prior debate experience is not required in order to be part of the squad. Contact Stanley at for more information. 

Shawn Simpson: Silence is deafening


by Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter

An unfortunate fact of life is that awful things are going to be perpetrated by people for reasons that are equally awful. Our collective response, choosing to feed the tragic frenzy or focus on healing in the midst of crises, affects the cycle of repeated events.

Shawn Simpson, Staff Reporter. Photo by Lance Martin.
Shawn Simpson, Staff Reporter. Photo by Lance Martin.

My first reaction when I see someone being awful is to respond in kind. I’ll think to myself “You want to get nasty? Let’s get nasty!” I want to prove that I can be bigger and louder and that as long as I’m around, your actions won’t go unpunished.

Given that my name is in the byline of this article rather than in the headlines of national media for having been arrested a dozen times, it should be clear that my inner rage has stayed contained. Fighting these groups and/or individuals adds fuel to their fire and that not only brings them publicity, but in a way, validity to their protest.

I have had some exposure to a certain western Kansas hate group disguised as a “church,” to whom we’ll refer as “awful people” from here forward, seeing as that’s fitting.

One group was organized entirely to oppose the efforts of the awful people. This group takes their two-wheeled vehicles and American flags and stand sentry between families of soldiers and the unnamed scum. No confrontation. No shouting. No fighting. Just a wall of well-placed, upstanding citizens who happened to be out for a leisurely ride and stopped to pay their respects for a fallen soldier.

Another group, from my home state of Mississippi, took a more creative approach when the awful people came to town. Some town residents clearly needed hotel rooms and aren’t very good at parking and must’ve somehow blocked all of the awful people’s vehicles from leaving the parking lot. It was all sorted out after a few hours, but the awful people missed their scheduled protest in all the confusion. Shucks.

While I can’t help but pump my fist in triumph when I hear about events like this, the clear answer to the question of how to deal with these awful people is to ignore them. Like a fire, they feed on the air of attention that we provide them by lending any level of credibility to what they do. Depriving them of that air causes their raging inferno of hatred to dwindle to a smoldering little pile of pathetic matchsticks. We may never be able to choke out their fire completely, but at least we can make sure they’re only able to burn themselves if we don’t get too close.

Beyond the organized group of awfulness that has festered for decades is the more recent rash of mass killings we are seeing. Blinded by hatred and the potential of fame, even if post-mortem, the twisted mind of too many have led them down this road. The perpetrator invariably becomes something of a celebrity while the evils of their actions are parsed. The identities of the victims are guarded or withheld completely while the evildoer is set apart and given all of the attention that they desperately wanted.

The recent shootings at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, showed there is a trend toward not sensationalizing the evildoer. We barely heard his name mentioned, and when we did it was for being someone who did something awful rather than as a quasi-victim of circumstance, as some before have been cast.

Are we starting to see a change in the way these things will be handled? Is it possible if we quit treating those evildoers like celebrities to be understood by society, we could stifle the attraction of some to do evil things for the attention?

Smarter people than I have said, and I believe, that we are in the midst of a heart problem in this society. There are people whose heart tells them the way to deal with their problem is to scream hurtful things at funerals of people you don’t even know. There are those whose heart won’t see that murdering schoolchildren is universally a bad thing. We can see 140 characters on a screen and believe that we’ve seen enough of a story to start burning down our city, while another can see an internet meme to justify wholesale condemnation of those people. Maybe we can start promoting some better behavior and become a healthier society. If our hearts and news were filled with the good being done, there would be no room for the evil.
In the absence of the desired response, will the attention-seeking evildoer change his ways? Is the silence of our reaction deafening to their misguided motivations?

Students, faculty share creative writing with peers


by Jeremy Anderson

Special to the Ledger

For many students, public speaking is the stuff of nightmares, especially if it involves sharing writing of a personal nature. But not for the students and members of the English department faculty who gathered in the Carlsen Center on Wednesday, Oct. 28 to share their creative writing with one another.

It was the second of three readings of creative writing organized by the college’s English department this semester. The department has hosted readings since 2012, and Beth Gulley, English professor and coordinator of this semester’s readings, said Wednesday’s was one of the most well-attended so far.

The readings are “a chance for students to get feedback on their work,” Gulley said.

Twenty-five students and faculty members attended the second reading, forming a large circle in COM 319 and taking advantage of the free coffee and cookies. Several were creative writing students sharing work they’d done for class. Others shared work they’d done on their own time. In all, 13 students and two teachers, Gulley and creative writing instructor Greg Luthi, shared their writing, including poems, short stories and a letter.

“I think the goal of the readings is to give not just students but faculty and staff a forum for reading their own work,” Luthi said. “By reading at some of these readings that we have, you get a chance to have an audience, to get feedback, to get reactions and I think that’s the main purpose.”

Luthi shared two poems. Gulley, who said she has tried to write one poem every day this year, shared five. Student Angela Franklin, who writes and performs under the name “Flowing Goddess,” read a poem called “A Letter from Beauty,” and creative writing student Jonah O’Brien shared a piece titled “Imprecision.”

“I was nervous about reading it,” O’Brien said. “But I was proud of the work, and that’s why I got up and did it.”

O’Brien also attended the first reading of the semester, held in September, and said participating in the first helped him prepare for the second. He also said the feedback he received at the second reading helped him make changes to his work.

“I think it helps students improve with their writing,” he said. “Reading aloud in front of different sorts of groups and demographics, you can learn different things from the audiences’ reactions.”

All students and staff members are welcome to attend the readings, even if they don’t have writing of their own to share.

“I would encourage everyone to come and just see what it’s all about,” Luthi said. “You don’t have to read your own work. Just come and see what it’s all about. You might enjoy it.”

The third reading will take place between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, in COM 319. Director of International Education Tom Patterson will host.

For more information, contact Beth Gulley at

Students with disabilities receive accommodations from the college


by Sean Hull

Features Editor

College is stressful for many people, but some students at the college face additional challenges in class. Students with disabilities may require accommodations to ensure they receive equal access to education and opportunity.

The college ensures equal access through two methods. First is the Access Services program that guarantees equal access to courses and opportunities for students. The program assists roughly 500 to 600 students a semester according to an estimate by Holly Dressler, the faculty chair and access adviser for access services. Also, Rick Moehring, the dean of learner engagement and success, makes sure everything complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act by resolving any concerns that students may have about accessibility on campus.

Access Services provides students that may not be able to learn in the traditional manner with various accommodations facilitating them in class.

“[Students] will provide us with documentation showing that they have some kind of disability, and that it will limit them in some way in the classroom, so we talk to the students about what kind of accommodations will help them,” said Dressler.

Note-takers are one of the most common accommodations. They are students hired to take notes for those who may have difficulty keeping pace with class. Access Services makes testing more accessible by authorizing additional test time or providing a distraction-free environment.

A more specialized accommodation is interpreters for the deaf student body. Interpreters will accompany students in class and interpret the lecture in American Sign Language in real time. Gigi Doubrava, a deaf student in the federal work study program, works as an office aid in the Access Services department. She uses the interpreting services and occasionally note-takers in her classes. She said she was “absolutely” satisfied with the services she receives.

The college also addresses any physical accessibility needs low-mobility students may have. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that universities ensure equal physical access to classes. A wide range of accommodations are made for students, such as making more handicapped parking spots, so it’s easier for low-mobility students to make the trek from the parking lot to their class, or simply removing some desks from a room so that a student in a wheelchair can more easily navigate the class.

“We work on [physical access] a lot. Someone will get here and they’ll say ‘I don’t think there’s enough handicap spaces right by my class over in ATB.’ Well,  we’ll work it out. We’ll do our best,” said Moehring.

Rex Hays, the associate vice president of campus services and facility planning, works with Moehring to resolve accommodation requests, and also makes sure any new construction or remodeled facilities stay up to ADA standards.

“Anytime we do a renovation, we try to look at ADA issues and see if we need to bring an existing building up to code,” said Hays.

Currently the restrooms on the third floor of the OCB are being renovated and brought up to current ADA standards. Previously a stall had to be 3.5 feet wide, but that width was increased to 5 feet.

The college has long worked with students that have disabilities to ensure that they receive the accommodations they need to earn an equal education.

“Our college has always been so committed to serving students with disabilities that in 1972, we started providing services for students with disabilities. It was a year before there was any legislation in place that said we needed to,” said Dressler.

Access Services is located on the second floor of the Student Center.

Corrections made to this article from the print edition. In the print edition, a quote is attributed to “Mead.” The correction was made to correctly attribute the quote to Holly Dressler.

College alumna and NY Times best-selling author to visit campus to discuss book

Candice Millard. Photo courtesy of

by Cheyenne McGinnis

Special to the Ledger

The 2015–2016 Common Read at the college is anything but common, and when the novel is written by an alumna, it knocked the word “common” right out of the park.

Former student Candice Millard is the author of two award-winning novels, “River of Doubt” and “Destiny of the Republic.” Her novel “Destiny of the Republic” is the current Common Read.

The novel is a non-fiction about the assassination of President James A. Garfield and the medical lapses that actually killed him.

Video courtesy of Knopf Double Day Publishing Group

“[Millard is] the most illustrious alumna. One in a million,” Dr. Steve Gerson, professor of English and technical writing, said. He explained her writing as beautiful and that it “reads like music.”

Gerson had Millard as a student and remembered her having a good work ethic and explained that Millard is more of a historian than a writer and that researching is her passion.

“I remember the second I saw her. There was something special about her. She emitted radiance. I wanted to say she landed in my class,” Gerson said.

Dr. Katherine Karle, professor of English and co-chairman of the Common Read program, explained that Millard’s novel educates students about our history and involves students in current political climates, and that “‘Destiny’ is just flat-out well written. To us, the value of a book lies in its ability to encourage students to think about their lives and the nature of the world in which they live. ‘Destiny’ gives students the opportunity to compare the 21st century to the 19th century in many different areas,” Karle said.

According to Dr. Monica Hogan, chairman of the Common Read and professor of English, “In the case of Millard’s book, many within the English department are interested in her non-fiction narrative voice, her way of organizing and bringing the elements of the story together and her documentation practices.”

Millard struggled at the beginning of her career, but with patience and a leap of faith, she landed an Edgar Award and on the New York Times best-seller list.

Millard is scheduled to visit the college at Yardley Hall in the Carlsen Center on Nov. 12 from 9:30–10:30 a.m. Students and faculty may attend for free and have her sign their book. The English department will also be sponsoring an art contest, where the winners will be invited to a small luncheon with Millard in the afternoon on Nov. 12.

Cavalier Sports Report: Sports Information Director Tyler Cundith


By Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter/Sports Report Host

Sports Information Director Tyler Cundith sits down with host Shawn Simpson and talks about his responsibilities as SID, standout athletes during his time at the college and the successes of the college’s teams.

Canine companions provide service, love

Cele Fryer and her service dog, Maggie Rose, share a moment in between disc throws. Fryer and Maggie Rose frequently visit Loose Park for fun and exercise.

by J.T. Buchheit

News editor

Most students have to wait until they get home to experience the enthusiastic greetings of their dogs, but some people are allowed to have their dogs on campus. However, for these students, having their dog at school with them isn’t just a perk — it’s a necessity.

“A person that has a disability is the person that would have a service animal,” said Access Services Adviser Holly Dressler. “So that animal assists them with some kind of task that they need, [which] could be anything from getting a book out of a backpack, or it could be guiding a person. Usually the most common service animals you see are ones with a person that has some kind of vision impairment, so that would be assisting a person with their environment, getting from one place to another.”

Cele Fryer and her service dog, Maggie Rose, share a moment in between disc throws. Fryer and Maggie Rose frequently visit Loose Park for fun and exercise.
Cele Fryer and her service dog, Maggie Rose, share a moment in between disc throws. Fryer and Maggie Rose frequently visit Loose Park for fun and exercise.

 In addition to helping their owners with physical tasks that the person would have a difficult time doing own their own, service dogs can also be trained to assist those who struggle with certain medical conditions.

“We have other service animals that do some kind of other task,” said Dressler. “It could be alerting someone that they’re about to have a seizure, and I’ve known service animals that can sense when a person’s blood sugar gets a little off.”

Cele Fryer, a student at the college, has a service dog named Maggie Rose, a five-year-old labradoodle whom Fryer has had for about two-and-a-half years. Fryer is an epileptic, and Maggie Rose is able to detect when she is about to have a seizure.

“[When I’m about to have a seizure], she picks up a certain scent that I give off, and she starts barking and going crazy to alert me,” said Fryer. “Then she’ll actually lay down on top of me.”

Although dogs are by far the most widely used service animals, they aren’t the only ones that can be trained to perform such tasks.

“Small horses were allowed for a while,” Dressler said. “It used to be that a service animal could be a lot of different things, but in the [Americans with Disabilities] Amendments Act, they provided more clarification so that now it’s only a dog or a small pony.”

According to the ADA, service animals are not required to be professionally trained, but they need some sort of training in order to be able to do what a person needs of them. Thus, they must behave exceptionally well.

“When a service animal is working, they are really focused on the task at hand,” said Dressler. “I think the big difference [between them and normal dogs] is their temperament and the training that dog has gone through in order to perform that task.”  

Because these animals also live with their owners as well as help them outside of the home, many owners form very strong bonds with the animals they depend on.

“[Maggie Rose] has given me back my sense of independence and brought joy, love and friendship into my life,” said Fryer. “I don’t know where I’d be without her.”



Religion brings purpose to athletes

Every sporting season there is some sort of display of faith as a celebration for a goal, a run, or a basket. JCCC sports teams are no different.
Every sporting season there is some sort of display of faith as a celebration for a goal, a run, or a basket. JCCC sports teams are no different.
Every sporting season there is some sort of display of faith as a celebration for a goal, a run, or a basket. JCCC sports teams are no different.

by James Howey

Sports editor

In the hundreds of sporting events that take place in America, one of the most common sights is a player pointing up to the sky in celebration after a big shot, home run or touchdown. You also will see countless amounts of athletes thanking God for their success and the talent they have. This relationship has been prevalent with so many athletes, ranging from professional to high school. The athletes and coaches here at the college are no different.

“My faith has helped me throughout my entire career,” softball player Kaytlyn Briegge said. “I have had some setbacks from injuries, and knowing God had a specific plan for me is what really helped me through the struggle.”

Like so many other athletes, softball coach Aubree Brattin credits her success to her religious beliefs.

“I grew up in a Christian household and was taught to be a very humble athlete, even with all my successes that I had,” said Brattin. “That is due to the fact that I was taught and knew that it wasn’t through my own doing. I was talented the way I was because God gave me those talents and the tools and motivation to be a successful athlete.”

Head volleyball coach Jennifer Ei went to a Catholic high school, and still uses a lot of religious themes and stories in her successful coaching career.

“We’ll do some devotions sometimes. I have a Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ coach’s bible that at the end they have devotions for each day and it’s related more towards athletics,” Ei said. “I think that helps the athletes relate to some of the scripts but also some of the things they are going through.”

Former soccer and tennis player at the college Betsy Petre says her belief gives her an appreciation of the bigger picture beyond the game.

“For me personally, it’s always in the back of my mind, win or lose,” said Petre. “There’s a bigger story than just if you are going to win this game or lose this game. You still have that foundation you have built.”

Petre is also head of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the college and says the people that are involved in the club go beyond just being athletes.

“I think for a lot of our athletes, sports is one of their main focuses, but especially for our Christian athletes. I think for them, their faith is just as important,” Petre said. “So it’s kind of like an all-around thing, and they aren’t just focused on their sport. They’re also focused in the classroom and also, more importantly, being strong Christians and growing in their faith.”

Petre loves the diversity and says that anyone who wants to join will be more than welcome to join them on Monday nights.

“If you’re an athlete [or] if you’re not an athlete, we accept everyone. We want everyone to feel involved,” Petre said. “You see every sport and everyone getting along.”

The club will be two years old in January and has grown from having around 20 people attending to having, at times, 50–60 people in attendance this fall.

Finding players with good character is a goal that many coaches strive for, and for Brattin, she finds that often goes with their spiritual views.

“I recruit players with strong moral compasses, people who are humble athletes and respectful to the people around them, and for some reason that kind of goes hand in hand with their religion,” Brattin said. “I think that’s something that Christianity brings to the table. It teaches that respect, humbleness and glorifying God in the sport that you play.”

Motivation and purpose are traits that are essential for athletes to have to succeed. For many athletes, having a spiritual life provides that. Volleyball player Becca Henderson is one of those athletes.

“Trying to always be positive and it helps me think there is always something better to strive for and to be a better person,” Henderson said. “It gives me a greater purpose.”

With all the ups and downs that happen through sports, it’s important for an athlete or coach to have something to pull them through the stress.

“I’ve had lots of things as a coach that there is no way I could have ever gotten through if I wasn’t a religious person and I didn’t lean on prayer,” Brattin said.

Anthropology professor dies at 46


by Shawn Simpson

Staff reporter

Sandra Moran Pletcher died on Saturday at the age of 46. She was an award-winning author and adjunct professor of cultural anthropology at the college for 14 years, forging a reputation as an excellent educator and co-worker. The effect of her loss will be felt on campus beyond the classroom, according to William McFarlane, professor and chair of the anthropology department, as well as a close friend.

“She was one of the most loved professors that I’ve ever seen on campus, and her students just adored her,” McFarlane said. “She was a fantastic communicator. She loved anthropology and was able to articulate the way she saw the world in a way that her students could understand. She challenged her students to see the world through new eyes.”

Pletcher graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in newspaper journalism in 1992. She received her master’s degree in public administration in 2001 and anthropology/archeology in 2011, also from KU. Prior to becoming a professor, she worked as a newspaper reporter and political speech writer.

Her published works of fiction explore the roles of women in different time periods and various walks of life. “Letters Never Sent,” Pletcher’s telling of a small-town Kansas girl’s exploration of her late mother’s past, won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Historical Fiction and Best Lesbian Debut Novel. It was also a finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction in the 26th Annual Triangle Awards.

Pletcher is survived by her spouse, Cheryl, of Lenexa, as well as multiple family members, friends and readers. A memorial service is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, in the Regnier Center’s Capital Federal Auditorium on the college’s campus.

Her official obituary can be found at

Cavaliers volleyball team poised for districts


by James Howey

Sports editor

Cavalier volleyball will be playing to return to nationals tomorrow when they host district play. The number-one seeded squad will be playing Neosho County at 9 a.m., whom they beat 3–0 earlier in the season. With a win in that match, they will be playing the winner of Fort Scott and Highland at 11 a.m. The Cavs swept both Fort Scott and Highland in the regular season. Despite those results, Anna Bell, Cavs volleyball player, knows that anyone the Cavs play this weekend will be out to knock them off.

“Everyone’s out to get us. We’re that team that everyone wants to beat,” Bell said. “If we just come out strong and play like we’ve been playing all season, we should take it.”

Related: Cavalier Sports Report: Sitting down with Anna Bell, volleyball player

Highland and Fort Scott are both solid squads, and head coach Jennifer Ei thinks it will be a nice match to watch and will present a good challenge that the Cavs will be ready for.

“I think it’s going to be a battle,” Ei said. “It’s not like I have a favorite as to who I want to play. I think both of them will be a tad different in how we approach things.”

Related: Cavalier Sports Report: Volleyball coach Jennifer Ei

The squad went through a few weeks where they were off their game suffering with injuries and inconsistent play. The Cavs had a huge win that ended Cowley’s 76-game winning streak on their home court and won the conference. Bell thinks that stretch ended up helping the Cavs in the long run of the season.

“I think it helped us open our eyes to realize that we can be beat and sometimes we’ll play not to lose instead of to win,” Bell said.

Maren Mair, who has been dealing with an ankle injury the last half of the season, played one set in the squad’s scrimmage last night with Ottawa University and played well. Coach Ei is hopeful she will be ready to go tomorrow for the Cavs’ nationals shot.

“You might see her back on Saturday,” Ei said.

Bell was on the team two years ago when they took third at nationals, and left last year to go to school at Pittsburgh State. After a year off, she says that a trip back to nationals would be so special.

“It would mean so much more honestly,” Bell said. “I realized that you only get to play for so long, and if you have the chance to go somewhere, why not take every bit of it? And this team is so close to each other, and I love every one of them, and I think we deserve it.”

An unlikely champion for an unlikely city: Royals win World Series

The Kansas City Royals rush to relief pitcher Wade Davis to celebrate after defeating the New York Met 7-2 to win the World Series on Sunday, November 1, 2015 at Citi Field in New York. Photo courtesy of Jill Toyoshiba, Kansas City Star,

by Cade Webb

Managing Editor

An unseasonably warm autumn night in New York provided a comfortable setting for an unlikely champion to be crowned the champions of the baseball world. The Kansas City Royals, who were projected by many baseball analysts to finish in the middle of the pack in the American League Central, took the baseball world by storm for a second straight postseason.

After an AL Central title, the Royals were the favorites to come out of the American League and bring a World Series to Kansas City for the first time since 1985. This time around, the Royals were crowned World Series champions.

Related: PHOTO GALLERY: Royal Celebration

For Royals fans, a World Series title has been 30 years in the making. For the majority of students at the college, the Kansas City Royals had been the laughingstock of Major League Baseball for most of their lifetime, and a World Series had always seemed far out of reach, but fans never lost hope.

For Dain Ruis, a student at the college, winning a World Series was a dream come true.

“The fact that I wasn’t alive the first time we won it, and this was my first World Series, I’m just really excited about it … I think we are all so proud of them,” Ruis said. “I was speechless. I knew we were going to win the World Series this time, because we should’ve won it last time.”

A World Series championship, while full of storylines, means more for a city than one might initially think. For student Connor Berry, the fact that publicity was brought to his hometown was enough for him.

“The World Series means we are back in the game. It’s been 30 years since the last time the Royals won it, and it brings a lot of good publicity back to our city,” Berry said. “It brings a lot of hope to our sports teams, and brings publicity to Kansas City. The world’s attention was on us.”

Royals legend Frank White is a household name around Kansas City along with historians of the sport, and is known for his show-stopping plays as a second baseman. White is now a legislator for Jackson County, and believes that a World Series does good beyond just a baseball team.

“Winning at that level is good for everybody … It’s good for the economy, it’s good for the players. I think everyone benefits. It genuinely makes people feel good about themselves… The fans in Kansas City have been so supportive. They will remember this forever,” White said.

The Royals followed a narrative that carried over from last season’s magical playoff run, and this time the Royals found themselves on top of the baseball world. The team’s success was built on putting the baseball in play and placing stress on the defense, followed by a shutdown bullpen.

It did not take long for the Royals to make their prior successes known in this World Series. On the first pitch to the Royals in Game 1, Alcides Escobar hit the first inside-the-park home run in a World Series game since 1929 and set the tone for a Royals team that won seven games when they once had a win probability of less than 25 percent. Berry says the home run from Escobar is a play he will always remember.

“The inside-the-park home run from Alcides Escobar was awesome. I’ll remember that [for] a long time,” Berry said.

The World Series title brought not only a baseball team together, but also an entire city. Last postseason, the country got a glimpse of just how special this team, and city, could be. The Royals exemplify the culture of Kansas City, with a gritty, never-quit personality, and this year the entire country was shown what this city, and its baseball team, is truly about.

PHOTO GALLERY: Royal Celebration

According to KCTV 5, an estimated 500,000 Royals fans were in attendance at Union Station for the World Series parade on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Other media outlets reported estimates as high as 800,000. Photo by Lance Martin.

Photos by: Lance Martin, Photo Editor; Zach Nemechek, Staff Reporter; Pete Schulte, Editor-in-Chief

The college closed on Tuesday, Nov. 3, in light of the Royals World Series victory parade. Mayor Sly James reported an estimate of 800,000 Royals fans were in attendance for the parade, which concluded with a rally at Union Station.

Beloved dining supervisor retiring

"People deserve to be treated nicely," says retiring cafeteria worker Nancy Whedon. Whedon has been working in the cafeteria for 21 years. Photo by Lance Martin.

By J.T. Buchheit 

News Editor 

Cafeteria worker Nancy Whedon has been at the college since 1995, brightening countless students’ days in the process. Perhaps the most well-known person in the food court, Whedon has endeared herself to many students over the years with her ever-present smile and cheerful interactions with all who approach her.

"People deserve to be treated nicely," says retiring cafeteria worker Nancy Whedon. Whedon has been working in the cafeteria for 21 years. Photo by Lance Martin.
“People deserve to be treated nicely,” says retiring cafeteria worker Nancy Whedon. Whedon has been working in the cafeteria for 21 years. Photo by Lance Martin.

“I think people deserve to be treated nicely,” said Whedon. “I don’t think they need to come to school, come to work and be treated badly. We should all be cheerful. We wouldn’t have any wars that way.”

After 21 years at the college, however, Whedon has decided to retire, stating a desire to see her grandchildren and other family members more often. Whedon has no regrets about her time at the college.

“It’s been 21 of the best years of my life,” she said.

Whedon has led an extremely interesting life, doing activities such as participating in the rock band Stoned Circus. She saw an advertisement on a bulletin board saying a band needed a singer, so she applied and got the job.

“The band that we were with was a show band,” said Whedon. “So they were dressed in real fancy clothes. … We told them, ‘Let’s be the new thing that’s coming in, the hard rock.’ So we got T-shirts and bell-bottom jeans and sat around trying to decide what our name would be. I came up with the name ‘Stone Circus’ because I thought it would be really cool to have our first album cover be a circus made of stone. But when we got our first big marquee, the guy put a “D” at the end, which made it ‘Stoned Circus.’”

Whedon’s band was fairly successful when it began making music, recording an album and single, the latter of which sold quite well. The band recently experienced a resurge in popularity due to a stroke of luck.

“About seven, eight years ago, somebody rediscovered our music and bought the canister from Cavern Studios, where we were recording,” Whedon said. “They sold a whole bunch of them not knowing who we were other than Stoned Circus. My son found it online for sale on ‘Golden Oldies,’ so we got a hold of the man. … He introduced us to a man in Germany who took older bands and got them back together and had concerts. … We went over [to Germany] and we were playing with 10 groups in the festival that were like 18- and 20-year-olds, and we were in our 50s. And [the audience] loved us!”

After leaving the band, Whedon owned several restaurants, which directly led to her employment at the college.

“My husband and I owned two restaurants on our own,” she said. “One we lost in the flood of ’95, and then we had one down in the Ozarks. Then my husband got really sick and we had to move home, and it wasn’t a month I was here until a friend from the school called me and said they had an opening for a supervisor. I came in and interviewed, got the job and have been here 21 years.”

One fact about Whedon many students may not be aware of is that in addition to working in the cafeteria, she lets international students live with her and hires them to give them opportunities to work in the U.S.

“I’ve gotten lots of information on different countries from international students that I’ve worked with,” Whedon said. “I’ve had students from 11 different countries come live with me. … [Also], international students cannot legally work off campus. They must work on their campus no more than 20 hours per week. They still have to compete with everyone else in America for the jobs, but it does help them because they have no other means of making money to live by.”

Whedon will be departing from the college with many amazing memories and experiences. She feels she has been greatly impacted by the students and the school as a whole.
“Whenever any incidents happen, people help those people out,” she said. “It’s very incredible and selfless, and I like that kind of environment. … I think it keeps you young when you’re around a lot of young people. The energy you guys give me is good, and then I try to return that to you guys when you need help or just a smile or somebody to talk to.”

Whedon’s retirement is set for the end of the fall semester.

"People deserve to be treated nicely," says Whedon. Interacting with students is one of her favorite perks. Photo by Lance Martin
“People deserve to be treated nicely,” says Whedon. Interacting with students is one of her favorite perks. Photo by Lance Martin

Staff Editorial: No one should go hungry during the holidays – SNC sponsors Nov. food drive

Donations accepted in COM 260. Graphic by Heather Foley.

Staff Editorial

The holidays mark a time when friends and family spend time together giving thanks, exchanging gifts and enjoying a meal together. However, for some college students, buying a children’s gift or simply filling a gas tank can lead to a skipped meal and a holiday season spent hungry.

Canned goods in the food pantry, OCB 261Q. Photo by Pete Schulte.
Canned goods in the food pantry, OCB 261Q. Photo by Pete Schulte.

The JCCC food pantry, located in OCB 261Q, was established in November 2011 to help students and their families obtain food and other essentials in times of need. The pantry operates on an anonymity policy, providing those in need the opportunity to get food during one of the most celebrated times of the year.

The Campus Ledger, ECAV Radio and JCAV-TV are coming together to sponsor a food drive throughout the month of November to raise food and/or money for the food pantry on campus. Anyone can bring canned goods and/or receipt of donation to the Student News Center, located in COM 260, in exchange for raffle tickets which will enter them for a chance to win two free movie passes, two Missouri Mavericks hockey tickets and more. Participants will receive one raffle ticket in exchange for every five canned/personal care items donated or for every $5 donated (receipt required). Prize winners will be announced on Nov. 30.

The drive will run from Nov. 5 to Nov. 30. Coming together for the benefit of all is one of the best things about the holidays, and by donating to the pantry, we can come together and give back to this campus that has given us so much.

Below is a list of acceptable donation items  provided by the JCCC food pantry website. For more information, visit the food pantry’s website at For more information regarding the Student News Center food drive, visit COM 260 or call 913-469-8500 x3193.


  • protein canned items
  • Canned meats, tuna, chicken, and meat pasta sauces
  • peanut butter
  • canned fruit
  • chunky meat soups
  • protein or whole wheat pastas
  • whole-grain cereals
  • Personal care items and baby items, like diapers, are also welcome.
  • If possible, please no canned vegetable products, particularly canned corn and bean products (we have boxes and boxes). However, while we do have plenty in supply, donations are always welcomed. 

VIDEO: Students react to Royals World Series victory

Kansas City Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson held the World Series trophy up for fans to see after the Royals defeated the New York Mets 7–2 to win the World Series on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, at Citi Field in New York. Photo courtesy of the Kansas City Star, John Sleezer

Video by JCAV-TV 

After a 30 year drought, the Royals achieved their second ever World Series victory on Sunday. Students on campus shared their thoughts on the final games of the season and who they hope the Royals retain for next season.

Contributions from JCAV-TVHeather Foley, Executive Producer; Seth Elliott, Camera; Brandon Giraldo, Editor; Caleb Wayne; Graphics. Additional Contribution from The Campus Ledger: Shawn Simpson, Staff Reporter. 

Royals success brings Cavalier Baseball newfound popularity



Royals baseball has been a tradition in Kansas City for years and even more so in the past two years with the team’s newfound successes. The college’s baseball program holds a similar rich tradition.

The Kansas City Royals just finished their third straight season of winning at least 85 games. This season, the Royals achieved a record average attendance per game at Kauffman Stadium with 34,439, beating the previous record of 30,589 in 1989.

Johnson County is coming off back-to-back seasons of at least 40 victories and is two years removed from the school’s first-ever 50-win season. But with the Royals’ success, is the interest in the college’s baseball team growing?

“I have seen a growth in attendance during the Royals’ playoffs run,” said freshman pitcher and right fielder Chaz Burgess. “I’m not sure if it’s parents or students, but I have seen more people in the stands.”

While Burgess believes the Royals have a hand in the college’s baseball popularity, Tyler Cundith, College Information Editor, feels differently.

“I wouldn’t say it’s because of the Royals’ success but the tradition our sports programs have here,” said Cundith.

This semester the team played unofficial games for preseason experience and to bring in the new freshmen. Burgess cites the Royals being a bonding tool for the group, with the team getting together to watch the games.

“It’s been fun to watch all the games as a team. I think watching the games together and hanging out brought us closer,” said Burgess.

Around campus, Royals gear is everywhere. Many students enjoy baseball, but would they enjoy watching the college play since they have seen all the success of our local pro team in Kansas City?

“I enjoy all levels of baseball. It’s a fun sport to watch no matter what level you are there to watch,” said student Mia Richard.

The college has some history with the Kansas City Royals. Kit Pellow, who played here at the college in 1994, was drafted by the Royals and made his major league debut on August 14, 2002 against the New York Yankees. The Royals organization has drafted five former baseball players from the college and a total of 28 students have either been drafted or signed by professional teams.

The college’s baseball team just finished their fall semester season and won’t resume play until spring.


Cavalier Sports Report: women’s basketball player Erica Nelson


by Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter / Sports Report Host

Host Shawn Simpson chats with women’s basketball player Erica Nelson about the new season that lies ahead for her team.


Cavalier Sports Report: women’s basketball coach Ben Conrad


by Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter / Sports Report Host

Host Shawn Simpson chats with women’s basketball coach Ben Conrad about the challenges his team faces in defending their NJCAA title from last year.


SOCCER: JCCC vs. Allen playoff preview


by James Howey

Sports Editor

Johnson County Cavaliers (17-2-1) vs. Allen Flames (9-9)

Where: JCCC soccer field, Overland Park, Kansas

When: Noon

The Cavaliers will host the Flames in first-round playoff action Saturday. The Cavs look to rebound after a tough 5-0 defeat by Butler. Allen has beaten their last two opponents by a combined score of 30–0. The Cavs possess a high-powered offense with two of the top five scorers in the conference in Ashlynn Summar and Joanna Taylor.

Related: Cavalier Star Watch: Ashlynn Summar

Related: Cavalier Star Watch: Joanna Taylor

The Cavs beat Allen 6–0 earlier this month. Look for the Cavs to be able to overpower the Flames in this one in their mission to ultimately meet Butler again for a shot at nationals. Expect cloudy skies through all of the game with no rain.

Players to watch

Cavaliers:  Ashlynn Summar, Joanna Taylor, and Sydney Alexander

Flames: Rachel Nincehelser, Hailey Melin, and Emilee Mitchell

VIDEO: College hosts Halloween at Hogwarts

Students enjoy Halloween at Hogwarts in the Student Lounge, COM 322

by J.T. Buchheit 

News Editor

A few students at the college celebrated the day before Halloween with a tribute to Harry Potter with Halloween at Hogwarts in the student lounge, COM 322.

Video by JCAV-TV. Contributions by: Seth Elliott, Camera; Anthony Graham, Editor; Caleb Wayne, Graphics; ECAV Radio: Marisa Rosner, Voiceover. 

PODCAST: World Series Game 2 Recap, Game 3 Preview

Cavalier Sports Report

By Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter/Sports Report Host

Shawn Simpson and Cade Webb welcome Sam Kombrink, host of The Scoreboard on ECAV Radio, into the studio for another special edition of the Cavalier Sports Report, and we discuss the Royals 2-0 lead in the World Series. We talk about Johnny Cueto’s dominant Game 2 performance, the offensive production, and what to look for in Game 3.


Intro/Outro music contributed from Kevin Euston, friend of the show. 

Career Development Center guides students toward career paths


By Graciela Becerra 

Reporting Correspondent

The beginning of spring enrollment has students rushing to put their schedules together, but for students without a declared major, the task can be much more difficult.

Sherry Davidson, career information specialist in the Career Development Center, said 60 percent of students aren’t sure about what they want to study, and of the 40 percent that are, half end up changing their minds.

“Their interests are all over the place,” said Crystal Stokes, who is also a career information specialist in the Career Development Center. “It’s hard to narrow it down to what they have a passion for, what energizes them.”

Student Victoria Flickner is studying hospitality and tourism management but had a difficult time choosing.

“I found it really hard because there’s so many things I’d want to study,” said Flickner. “There’s so many options and a million different jobs out there. You really have to decide what you’re going to make most of your money from, and that can be really stressful.”

However, many students decide to take their general education classes before figuring out a career.

“The school offers so much to explore,” said Davidson, in terms of classes that might help someone decide.

Student Faith Ross has recently decided on pursuing a psychology degree after taking her general education classes.

“I always leaned towards psych but decided to take my gen eds because I was home-schooled and didn’t feel like I had experienced as much as I should have. It wasn’t until I took a psychology class that I affirmed what I already thought about myself,” said Ross.

Stokes offers alternatives because she said that while taking classes sometimes helps, students get to their destinations in different ways.

“It all comes down to self-exploration,” she said. “Figuring out what your interests are, figuring out your likes and dislikes as well as taking career assessments.”

Stokes advises that students do research on the careers they have in mind.

“Have perception,” she said. “Research the time commitment some jobs require as well as the pay and figure out what’s important to you.”

However, both Stokes and Davidson agree that visiting the Career Development Center can help students save time and money.

“We’re really at the beginning and tail of a student’s education,” said Davidson. “We help direct them in choosing a career and then help with résumés, cover letters and even mock interviews.”

The Career Development Center also offers multiple “Discover Your Strengths” workshops throughout the semester as well as a job shadowing program in which students will be paired with a professional in their field of interest.

“Students that find out about the Career Development Center are always so appreciative,” said Stokes.

Books, computers, pamphlets and career counselors are always available and eager to help.

Students interested can go directly to the Career Development Center on a walk-in basis. It is located on the second floor of the Student Center in room 252. For more information, visit their website.

Johnson County at Garden City playoff preview


Johnson County Cavaliers (9-6-2) vs Garden City Busters (11-4-1)

By James Howey

Sports Editor

Where: Garden City, Kansas

When: 3:00

The Cavaliers men’s soccer squad travels to Garden City today to begin the Region VI playoffs. Look for a close contest with these two teams, who played a tough game early in the season that was won by Garden City 2–1. Both clubs are playing well coming into the postseason by having success against tough competition. After losing to Dodge City, the Cavs have beaten Kansas City Kansas, Cowley and tied Cloud County. The Busters come fresh off a 4–3 win over Pratt, who is the number-one seed in the playoffs. The Cavs will have sophomore Trae Hunjak returning from a broken nose. The winner of the game will go on to play the winner of Northwest KS Tech at Pratt on Saturday.

Players to watch

Cavaliers: Trae Hunjak, Kyle Scott and Caleb Cothrin

Busters: Erik Renteria-Barragan, Misael Villarreal and Jordan Burton

VIDEO: Students discuss the scariest movies they’ve ever seen

Photo from the film The Conjuring, courtesy of Warner Bros.

by Pete Schulte


With Halloween only a few days away, students on campus tell us about the scariest movies they’ve ever seen.

Video by JCAV-TV: Heather Foley, Executive Producer; Brandon Giraldo, Camera, Editor; Caleb Wayne, Graphics.

VIDEO: College hosts second annual Star Wars day

Photo credit to 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures, and Lucasfilm.

The second annual Star Wars celebration was held in the Student Lounge. Two cosplayers from the Star Wars costuming group 501st Legion talk with us about their club and their costumes.

Video by JCAV-TV: Heather Foley, Executive Producer; Seth Elliott, Reporter, Camera, Editor; Steven Green, Camera; Caleb Wayne, Graphics. Contribution by ECAV Radio: Joshua Morrow, Voiceover. Photo and audio credit to 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures, and Lucasfilm. 

Johnson County at Cowley volleyball preview


Johnson County Cavaliers (29-5 8-0) vs Cowley Tigers (22-7 8-0)

By James Howey

Sports Editor

Where: Arkansas City, Kansas

When: 5:30

How to watch: Cowley College – Cowley Sports Network

The Cavaliers and Tigers will put another chapter in their storied rivalry tonight when they square off in a de facto conference championship game. The Cavs will be without their six-foot freshman Maren Mair, who has been a huge part of the squad’s success. The Cavs possess plenty of depth from top to bottom with a lot of players they can mix in against Cowley. Bizzy Chilcoat is moving to the middle, which she has played most of her volleyball career before joining the Cavs. Cowley will be sure to pack the house and pose a fiery environment with an “orange out” they have planned for the game. Aliya Higginbotham leads the Tigers in kills with 353 on the season, with three other players over 200 kills for the squad. The Cavs defeated the Tigers earlier in the season 3–0 in the Kirkwood tournament, but look for this to be a potential five-set match.

Players to watch:

Cavaliers: Bizzy Chilcoat, Michelle Tennant, Anna Bell, Jordan Morrison and Stevie Sherard

Tigers: Aliya Higginbotham, Olivia Powell, Kenna Hall and Logan Morrow

Coach Ei on the transition of moving the lineups around:

  • “Because we have versatile players, it’s been easier [to move the lineup around] than we thought.”
  • “I think they are kind of used to the changes now. I think they’ve also gotten in for a lot more individual work, and they are more confident in their positions.”

Coach Ei on Chilcoat moving to the middle:

  • “She’s very quick laterally, in the air, has a quick arm swing and she’s played middle half her volleyball career.”

PODCAST: World Series Game 1 Recap, Game 2 Preview

Cavalier Sports Report

By Shawn Simpson 

Staff Reporter/Sports Report Host

Cavalier Sports Report

Shawn Simpson and Cade Webb are back with another World Series edition of the Cavalier Sports Report. We discuss our thoughts on last night’s thriller, how the bullpen is affected by a 14-inning game, and more.

The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the World Series after a 5-4 win over the New York Mets in the longest Game 1 in World Series History. Eric Hosmer lifted the Royals with a sacrifice fly in the 14th inning to give the Royals the win.


Intro/Outro music contributed by Kevin Euston, friend of the show.


Nursing students help those in Mexico, Uganda

2013 JCCC nursing student, Carla Northington helps patients. Photo provided by Mary Smith, director of Service-Learning program.

By J.T. Buchheit

News Editor

If you’re not an exchange student, you probably won’t be traveling out of the country for a school activity. But nursing students in the Service-Learning program have an opportunity to embark on a journey few other students ever have the chance to do.

Every year, students and faculty in the program go to Las Pintas, Mexico, to help people in an impoverished area. They participate in many activities to improve the lives of the residents of the area, as well as gain exposure to another culture.

“We partner with El Centro Integral Comunitario, and their mission is to help empower the people in that community to have a better life,” said Mary Smith, the coordinator of the international program. “Whether it’s through education, health, helping them create opportunities to create an income [or] to sustain and improve the quality of their lives.”

Mexico isn’t the only country those in the program go to in order to help others. They also travel to Gulu, Uganda, to provide aid to the people there.

“Starting in 2012, we began taking nursing students and faculty to St. Mary’s Hospital in Gulu,” said Smith. … “That is a three-week cultural immersion experience where we are helping the nursing program with teaching, … and just kind of walking alongside [the Ugandans], finding out what it is they would like for us to help them with. But in the exchange of that, they help us to learn a lot more about culture, cultural sensitivity and awareness [and] how to utilize their skills with very limited resources. So we also benefit richly from that exchange.”

Smith sees helping those in need in other countries to be very important, and she believes it creates growth in the students, faculty and citizens of other nations.

“I see the world as a global world,” said Smith. “There’s needs here in our own backyard, and I’m very cognizant of that … but what’s also important, because we live in a global world, is to help students understand more about culture and more about getting along and spending time with people who are different from ourselves. And I think that’s the best way to build peace, it’s the best way to understand the world that we live in, that we need to develop and survive in.”

One of the nursing students, Becky Koop, recently went on this excursion for the first time. Koop traveled to both Mexico and Uganda in order to gain experience for her future career.

“When I first chose to go into nursing as a career, I always knew that I wanted to use it as a way of helping and serving others,” Koop said. “One of the ways I wanted to do that was through being able to travel to other countries and help people there. Also, I just really like experiencing other cultures and learning from them.”

The activities done in each nation are based around providing help to citizens there, although there are a few differences between the countries in what is done by the organizations and what they help with.

“In Las Pintas, we function as what we call a ‘health brigade,’” said Smith. “We work with volunteers in Las Pintas that volunteer their time and take us into their neighborhoods, and they get people to come, and we do health screenings. Many of them don’t have much access to medical care, primarily because it’s not affordable for them. … Many times we will help people realize that they’re diabetic … so we help them become aware of that and learn how to manage their disease so they can live a healthier life. … We also do a clinic for women’s health while we’re there. We teach women about self-breast exams, and we do cervical cancer screenings.”

While the main focus of the Service-Learning program in Mexico is identifying and treating health problems, the Uganda trip is centered on helping nurses and other medical personnel with treatments.

“We’re there working alongside their nursing faculty, teaching,” Smith said. “Our students are in the classrooms learning along with their students, and they also go into the hospital and share clinical time with them. So they’re really learning a lot about health care in Africa in a developing country. We also teach a program called ‘Helping Babies Breathe,’ which was developed by the World Health Organization to reduce infant mortality and maternal mortality, so we do a lot of teaching with recognizing, right at the moment of birth, what you need to do to help that baby survive.”

Koop found meeting and learning with the Ugandan students to be an enriching experience, and she still stays in contact with some of them.

“My favorite part was the relationships we were able to develop with the students there, because we each had mentors from the schools, so we went with them to the hospital and to class, and I learned a lot from having those mentors and was able to form friendships with them.”

Something Smith and Koop agreed on was the exceptional gratefulness and generosity of the people they helped, both in Mexico and Uganda.

“They would give you anything they have, whether it’s their time or the only chair that they have to offer you to sit on,” said Smith. “And they know who they are. They’re not distracted by material things in their lives, they’re not distracted by lots of technology, so when you’re with them, they’re fully present with you, and I think that’s been powerful with me.”
Although the trips are mainly for students in the nursing program, bilingual students are sometimes able to come as well to work as translators. More information can be found on the Service-Learning pages for Mexico and Uganda, or by contacting Mary Smith at


Julia Larberg: The month of the oversexualized breast


by Julia Larberg

Staff Photographer

I’d like to make it perfectly clear I’m not disputing the need for a month of awareness for breast cancer and breast cancer research. The National Cancer Institute reports that one in eight people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. This statistic doesn’t include all of the family and friends of the individual that struggles with breast cancer. October as Breast Cancer Awareness month is a needed reminder of the fact that there is still no cure for one of the most talked-about cancers.

I’m disputing the gross commercialized advertising and the appalling sexualization of women that happens during October for the sake of “awareness.” The growing trend of organizations like “Feel Your Boobies” and “Save the Ta-Tas” are a perfect example of this sexualization. Through using slang that is typically used in a juvenile, playful context, these organizations advertise themselves by playing off the sexual stigmatization of women’s bodies. In a society where female masturbation is looked down upon and pushed under the rug, the Feel Your Boobies campaign plays off of this disgust in favor of being able to say “Oh, wait! Feel your boobies for cancer! We didn’t mean it sexually! It’s for research!” It brings attention to the issue, but at the expense of further portraying breasts only as sexual organs and stigmatizing female sexuality.

The advertising language that is used by organizations such as these is meant to be funny and just controversial enough to garner attention. Instead, it emphasizes the fact that the United States has an extremely difficult time referring to female anatomy without it being sexualized. This doesn’t even touch on the fact that breast cancer isn’t exclusive to women. According to the National Cancer Institute, men make up less than one percent of all breast cancer cases, but men are still diagnosed and affected by breast cancer as well.

Yes, these organizations are technically charities. Yes, there are good things being done for breast cancer research in the month of October. My dilemma lies in the question of at what point is breast cancer awareness about the people that suffer from it and not just an excuse to “feel my boobies” for the sake of a trendy campaign that profits off of and stigmatizes female sexuality?

PODCAST: World Series Preview

Cavalier Sports Report

By Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter/Cavalier Sports Report Host 

Cavalier Sports Report
Cavalier Sports Report

The Kansas City Royals take on the New York Mets tonight in Game 1 of the World Series. Shawn Simpson and Cade Webb bring you a special World Series preview edition of the Cavalier Sports Report.

We take a look at the pitching matchups throughout the World Series, the key players for both teams and more.


Sports recruiting through the eyes of the coaches


by James Howey

Sports Editor

The college’s athletic success is no secret, and just like every college athletics program in America, that process starts with recruiting. Head coaches here at the college are of the opinion that recruiting here is a huge luxury.

Head women’s basketball coach Ben Conrad has recruited at almost every level in college basketball, and for him, this college is nothing short of top-notch.

“We had things we didn’t want recruits to see at other places I’ve been,” Conrad said. “We have nothing to apologize for here. This is first class all the way. We’re proud of everything we have here at Johnson County, and that’s pretty cool.”

The academic standard also plays a huge part in recruiting future Cavaliers.

“We really look for strong students because we’re top ten in the country academically and not like a lot of the schools in our conference. They’re going to struggle here if they are just average students,” head volleyball coach Jennifer Ei said. “A lot of the students that we are attracting have very high GPAs and they have a purpose. It’s not just about getting their school paid for — they actually want a good degree and a good education.”

Education background is important for the thorough investigation that the baseball program does for potential recruits.

“I’m concerned about their GPA, their attendance record and if they have shown that they can engage in other activities other than baseball,” head baseball coach Kent Shelley said.

Shelley expects nothing but the best out of the recruits the Cavs are bringing on the campus.

“We do as much up-front investigating as we can before we ever bring them on campus before an official visit,” Shelley said. “They have to be passionate about excelling in the classroom, on the baseball field and the game of life.”

Over the years, the big game-changer has been the evolution and growing of social media and text messaging. These are adaptations that nearly every athletic program has had to go through to get with the times.

“My assistant coaches have done an excellent job adapting to social media,” Shelley said. “These young kids today live on social media, so if you’re not in the game, you have no chance to get these kids.”

For softball head coach Aubree Brattin, phone calls are rare nowadays, and speaking to recruits will not happen right away.

“Kids don’t like to answer their phones. They want to text you and communicate behind a keyboard,” Brattin said. “The first conversation we’ll usually have is after a game at the ball field or when they are actually here on campus.”

Coach Conrad says he would be on the phone for hours when he started here at the college.

“When I started doing this, we were on the phone a ton. Even my first years here with a couple recruiting classes I would be out here on the phone three or four nights a week from 7:00 to 10:30 making calls and just grinding,” said Conrad. “It’s changed a ton in just five or six years.”

The year-round grind of recruiting is another aspect that is an eye-opener. For Conrad and the women’s basketball program, the work never stops.

“We go out and evaluate kids the spring and summer before their senior year. I spend August and September kind of deciding who we’re going to pursue, and then as we get into September and October, bringing kids on campus and making offers,” Conrad said. “When we get into the high school season, we’re going out evaluating more kids and then making some decisions on them too.”

For Brattin and softball, she doesn’t tend to go against four-years for recruits; rather, she provides them with a lot of the talent that comes out of the Jayhawk Conference.

“A lot of four-year [colleges] that like the junior college kids come to our program because they know we’re successful and we’re sending them kids that have been through everything that they are going to go through at a four-year school,” Brattin said. “So rather than compete with me for recruits, the four-years more so than other school in our conference come to me for players because of my philosophy.“

Brattin is confident that her program is the best at producing and preparing kids for a career at a four-year school.

“If you want to go on and continue to play somewhere, Johnson County is the way to go because I put in all the work to get these kids recruited to go on and play,” Brattin said. “There are so many schools in our conference that almost will turn kids away if they feel like they are going to have to do that. They just want kids who are wanting to play for two years and be done.”

The college is without a doubt the prime place for athletes in the metro area, and the experience the college provides for the students is unlike any other, even when compared to many four-years.

“I think what they get at Johnson County is a unique experience. They get a great education, establish so many individual and team types of bonding and friendships that last and they also enjoy a life outside of volleyball and school,” Ei said. “I hear it all the time from our kids that leave: ‘I wish Johnson County was a four-year.’ ”


VIDEO: JCCC’s used-book sale


On the second floor of the commons, Phi Theta Kappa and the science division held a used-book sale. Books, movies, CDs and much more were donated by both the school’s library and students. All proceeds go toward scholarships.


Contributions by JCAV TV: Heather Foley, executive producer; Anthony Graham, reporter, editor; Brandon Giraldo, camera, editor; Caleb Wayne, graphics; Sam Kombrink, voice-over

Pete Schulte: What do you want to be when you grow up?


by Pete Schulte


It’s a question that many of us were asked as children, as teenagers and again as we work our way through our college careers.

Editor-in-Chief, Pete Schulte
Editor-in-Chief, Pete Schulte

In childhood, we often aim for the dream: the astronaut, the racing driver, the pro sports player, etc. As we get older, we’re trained to believe that only the truly elite get to live that dream, and we can certainly make an effort to achieve it. Perhaps it will still happen for us. However, we should start thinking of something more reasonable just in case we don’t make it.

Now some people at this stage find their passion almost immediately and travel down a path to achieve their more accessible dream job. I have a friend who knew he wanted to be an engineer since he was a teenager. He went to engineering school, did excellent work, and had a job offer from a major engineering firm before he even finished with his degree. If you’re one of those people, kudos to you. I envy you.

The rest of us, however, tend to muddle our way through our college careers doing one of three things: talking ourselves out of pursuing our true passions in life, putting off that passion and focusing on the “safe” major and career choice or trying to find that thing that defines us.

As a 29-year-old non-traditional student who returned to campus life after a seven-year hiatus, I’ve gone down the “safe” path before. I majored in what I like to call “stuff and things” and got an associate degree in said “stuff and things.” With no passion or motivation behind the degree other than to get the piece of paper, it had no purpose for me. I had a steady sales job that paid reasonably well. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. Eventually, however, that sales job started to feel more like a job and less like the career I was hoping it would turn into.

While my experience by no means makes me an expert, I do think I can provide a weighted opinion on settling on the “decent” job versus pursuing something you’re passionate about: Pursue the passion every time.

According to a poll by Gallup, adults in the U.S. employed full-time work an average of 47 hours per week. If you factor in the recommended eight hours of sleep per night, that translates to 42 percent of our time awake is spent working. If you’re to spend nearly half of your life working, I’m of the opinion that you owe it to yourself to find your passion and pursue it. Find something you take pride in and get fulfillment from. Doing anything else is selling yourself short. Too many people settle for the easy road and major in “stuff and things” or prolong the suffering of a job we hate simply because the pay is decent.

It’s time for self-discovery. Really examine your selected major/career path and ask yourself why you’re on that path. Truly consider what it is you enjoy in life and what you’d like to be doing every day, and see how that lines up with the major/career path you’ve chosen.

If it doesn’t line up, don’t you think it’s time to make a change?

Cavalier Sports Report: men’s basketball coach Mike Jeffers


by Shawn Simpson

Sports Report Host / Staff Reporter

Host Shawn Simpson chats with JCCC Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Jeffers on how he is preparing for the upcoming season and what his hopes are for his new team.


Cavalier Sports Report: men’s basketball player Danzel Wright


By Shawn Simpson

Sports Report Host/Staff Reporter

Host Shawn Simpson chats with men’s basketball player Danzel Wright on what his future goals in basketball are and how he and his team are preparing for the upcoming season.


No apple? No problem. Apple products no longer available at college bookstore


by Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter

For more than five years, the college’s bookstore was one of a few Apple retailers in the area. Offering the full line of Macintosh, iPad and iPod devices, the bookstore was unique among community colleges.

A variety of non-Apple laptops are available in the bookstore. Photo by Lance Martin
A variety of non-Apple laptops are available in the bookstore. Photo by Lance Martin

“It was a really good opportunity at the time for the college,” said Ashawnte Thompson, technology floor leader and buyer for the JCCC Bookstore. “(We were) one of the only community colleges able to carry Apple products. (When we) became one, it was one of the only Apple stores in the area.”

Having the full line of products available at the bookstore allowed students some key benefits.

“People were able to use their financial aid to buy a computer, so if someone was eyeing up a Macbook Pro that started right at $1,000, taking that hit all at once … that’s a pretty heavy pill to swallow, especially for a college-aged student,” Thompson said. “So it was very important if they were interested in that product that they be able to come here to the bookstore and use their financial aid dollars.”

With this apparent benefit to students, why did the bookstore choose to stop carrying Apple products this semester? The answer is surprisingly simple and obvious: It wasn’t financially justified and no longer necessary.

“When we began selling Apple at the college, we were one of the few places that you could come and get that, and Apple allowed us to sell them at the educational discount. Over time, more and more places began to carry Apple products,” Thompson said. “The novelty of going to your local college bookstore and picking up an Apple computer began to fade. People had options to go other places and people could get their discount other places too.”

High-end computer retailers are often plagued with aging inventory that’s difficult to sell, especially when new equipment is constantly being released. In a small-quantity store, that can spell disaster. Contractual obligations require minimum unit purchases regardless of sales within the store.

“Over time we found that we had all this product and people weren’t buying as much. Not only that, but it became abundantly clear that not everyone wanted a high-end computer. There was a wide market of people who wanted a computer for $500 and under, and we wanted to make sure we made a decision that would please everyone.”

That decision was to focus the technology floor’s space and resources on other products that more closely matched what students needed. That decision has provided good results from Thompson’s perspective.

“What I’m enjoying seeing now with customers who come in is they have a set dollar amount to spend and they can get something that’s really nice that’s really affordable and that frees up money for them to get a bag for it or some accessory they need or more materials for their class. It gives them a lot more freedom to make a decision that’s best for them, and we’re seeing a lot more of that now,” Thompson said.

Losing the selection of Apple products does pose some minor hardships for one faculty member who has used the bookstore in the past.

“I haven’t purchased products in the bookstore, but I was able to test things that I was interested in,” said Jim Dice of the athletic department. “I was then able to go online and use the technology website that we had here on campus and purchase through the Apple store. My father-in-law has purchased iPads in the bookstore, though.”

The loss of Apple hasn’t slowed down Jason Workman, a student who recently purchased a Macbook Air through an outside retailer.

“I just bought this (Macbook Air) for school. I have a PC laptop, too, but that thing is huge. This one is much more streamlined.”

It’s important to note that even though the bookstore no longer sells Apple products, students are still able to purchase Apple products with the same discounts through any Apple retailer.

“Wherever Apple products are sold, you can get your student discount. The discount goes from $50 to $200 for laptops and desktops,” Thompson said. “All you’d have to do is go into any Apple retailer with your Johnson County Community College ID to get your discount.”

The bookstore is located on the first floor of the Student Center.

College hosts Autism Conference: Beyond the Diagnosis


by Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter

The college is hosting the eighth annual Autism Conference this weekend for anyone affected by the disorder. The day-and-a-half-long event, in conjunction with the University of Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training (K-CART), will be held in the Regnier Center featuring plenary sessions with leading researchers and numerous smaller presentations throughout the event.

“We have a great, diverse group who come to this event each year, people who have autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and the people who love and care for them,” said Christy McWard, director of marketing and event management for the college and co-chair of the Autism Conference. “We have two keynote speakers … in between are breakout sessions specialized to certain needs.”

The number of individuals with autism spectrum disorders have grown over the years, and the conference has worked to keep up with the most current research. Mary Jean Billingsley is another co-chair of the conference and has an adult son with Asperger’s Syndrome. She knows the importance of staying informed and engaged in the community.

“If I had access to this when my son was young or even in grade school or middle school, it would’ve been a tremendous help to me for many reasons,” Billingsley said. “One is finding out the most recent recommended assistance or support or programs that I could do to help him to connect and to learn at school, because social skills were a concern.”

This year’s conference is giving special attention to girls with ASD. “We will have special sessions regarding what it’s like to have this condition as a girl,” said Billingsley. “We will also have a sibling panel, which will include siblings of girls on the autism spectrum who will share their insights as to what they’ve done to help their sisters or to help a girl … to shed light on that is very appropriate because there’s not as much information.”

Emily McBride is receiving the Unsung Hero Award at the conference for her selfless support of her sister, Molly. Having been heralded in

Molly McBride (left) and sibling Emily McBride (right). Emily is receiving the Unsung Hero Award at the conference for her selfless support of her sister, Molly. Photo provided by Emily McBride.
Molly McBride (left) and sibling Emily McBride (right). Emily is receiving the Unsung Hero Award at the conference for her selfless support of her sister, Molly. Photo provided by Emily McBride.

her nomination for having “given her whole life to her sister” and that “her love for her sister is unconditional and obvious,” McBride points out more day-to-day challenges she faced with her sister.

“Sometimes [she] didn’t have a sense of possession. If I had a drink on the counter, I couldn’t just tell her it was mine. She might just come over and take it,” said McBride. “On the plus side, she laughed at all my jokes.”

For the caregivers of those with ASD, life can be a challenge, even if one that they embrace wholeheartedly. Conferences like this represent more than just a chance to get information on the latest trends in autism research.

“What I see every year … are the connections that form between the people who attend. There are people coming to this conference that don’t get a chance to get out and get this information because their whole lives are spent helping their son or daughter or a grandchild,” said Billingsley. “A day and a half to meet with other concerned people who are also concerned with helping their families be the best … they form these relationships. They come back to see each other! It’s a wonderful bond that forms and it’s amazing to see!”

The conference begins on Friday, Oct. 23 at 9 a.m. Registration is open at

PODCAST: The science behind feature film “The Martian”

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

by Pete Schulte


Left to right: Guest host Pete Schulte, Professor Doug Patterson, and Professor Lynne Beatty before the show.
Left to right: Guest host Pete Schulte, Professor Doug Patterson, and Professor Lynne Beatty before the show.

Listen to ECAV Radio special featuring Astronomy/Physics professor Doug Patterson, Geology professor Lynne Beatty and Campus Ledger Photo Editor Lance Martin as we discuss the science behind the feature film and NY Times best-selling novel “The Martian.” We discuss the dust storm that causes main character Mark Watney to be stranded, Watney growing potatoes on Mars and more.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:


Trailer courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Student excuses show poor time management


by Aksinya Kichigina 

Reporting Correspondent

Forgetfulness, parking struggles and illness, whether real or fabricated, are the most common excuses that faculty members hear from the students who are late, miss deadlines or are absent from the class. Jeffrey Couch, the program director for the Global English Institute, shared the most popular excuse that he has heard from students of his class.  

“I think the most common excuse is sickness. Whether somebody is telling me the truth or not, the fact is that they get six absences, which are equivalent to two weeks of class. And I think it is very generous and fair,” Couch said.

Couch feels sympathy during extreme circumstances. However, no matter what a student’s excuse is, Couch again reminds them about the fact of having six days of absence.  

However, there are some other interesting excuses that students make in order to avoid any penalties from the instructor. Adjunct Associate Professor of English Susan Peters shared a story about a student who found an excuse of not completing a test on time.  

“I had a student this morning who said that he went up there to a testing center but did not have his student ID, so they did not let him take the test,” said Peters. With Peters, if a student misses a test, the student has a week to get to the testing center and take the test. If they fail to do that, the student receives a zero.

Even students admit that sometimes, the reasoning they give professors may not always be truthful. Student Sam Moore has given fictional reasons to professors in the past.

“Usually I say that I forgot or I have a family member who is sick, like a cousin or nephew, and I have to take care of them,” Moore said. He also mentioned that the reasons he provides usually are not real, and that the reasons are convincing and typically won’t be questioned too deeply.

Excuses that students usually come up with also might relate to time-management skills. Some students are not familiar with the proper way of managing their time during the school year, and they might forget about their homework or become distracted with something else. Mariella Rainwater, adjunct assistant professor at the Academic Achievement Center, helps students plan and regulate their time during the week.

“It is important to manage your time so that you can complete everything you need to get completed — your homework, work, outside things that you are doing. All of these things take time, and if you don’t plan appropriately, you won’t be able to finish,” Rainwater said. “I believe that proper time management does lead to success. And if you don’t have enough time to manage work and how many hours you are taking, you won’t succeed.”

For more information regarding the Academic Achievement Center, visit their website or visit OCB 304.

VIDEO: Students and faculty on the Royals ALCS Game 5 and World Series hopes


With the Kansas City Royals facing off against the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, we ask students and faculty about the Royals’ opportunity to clinch the ALCS and whom they’d prefer to face if the Royals can make it to the World Series.

Contributions by: JCAV-TV: Heather Foley, Executive Producer; Caleb Wayne, Graphics. The Campus Ledger: Pete Schulte, Editor-in-Chief. 

Cavs look to get back on track versus Greyhounds


By James Howey

Sports Editor


After their worst tournament of the season at Kansas City Kansas Community College, the Cavs move forward with two tough conference opponents looming at the end of the season. The squad went a disappointing 2–2 over the weekend. The Cavs got swept by Iowa Western and lost to Coffeyville 3–1, whom they swept at the beginning of the year.

“[At the] beginning of the year we played fearless and with unforced errors,” head volleyball coach Jennifer Ei said. “Now we’re making stupid mistakes because we are holding on to our mistakes rather than letting them go.”

The Cavs were not at full strength through the tournament, with Maren Mair still dealing with an ankle injury, and Tori Kerr had an illness the day of the Coffeyville game. Ei says that the Cavs right now have not shown the same fire they displayed at the beginning of the season.

“I think at the beginning of the year, with the talent we have on this team, I believe that a lot of them were fighting for playing time and pushing each other,” Ei said. “I think now they have lost some of that fight because it’s like ‘OK, these people are starting and these people aren’t starting,’ and they have to get back to pushing each other.”

The team plays Fort Scott Community College at home today at 5:30 p.m., and they travel to Cowley Community College next week. The Cavs are 7–0 in conference, and if they win both games they will clinch home court for district play. Splitting will also give the Cavs home court, but losing both will most likely put the Cavs on the road. Fort Scott is a tough foe for the Cavs, with a record of 25–8 and a conference record of 5–2 on the season. Even with the tough competition, Ei says the Cavs doing what they can do is the biggest objective they need to focus on.

“We need to be able to play like we did in the beginning,” Ei said. “We need to be able to have that excitement and that fun.”

Part-time educators maintain full-time professionalism


By Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter

A professor’s role is to educate, inspire and create an environment for the free exchange of ideas. Before a class of students with varying levels of motivation, these education professionals ply their craft with a deft sense of balance for personal experience, black and white pedagogy and delicate relational posturing.

More shocking than the amount of work that goes into collegiate teaching is that nearly half of all classes taught at this college are by part-time professors hired on contract basis. Known collectively as “adjunct professors,” they come from a wide cross-section of demographics ranging from stay-at-home parents to aspiring full-time professors working their way through the ranks. The degrees and qualifications they hold are as solid as any you’ll see, but whether by choice or circumstance, they fill a role within the classrooms of colleges all over.

Emily Sewell is an adjunct professor of interpersonal communication and speech in her sixth year of teaching at the college. Her original plans in college were to pursue a doctorate in communications and be a university professor. Along the way, she’s worked in advertising and marketing analysis in the corporate world.

Professor Sewell’s focus changed over time. She taught as a graduate assistant at the University of Central Missouri while working on her master’s of communication, and that’s where she learned to be a teacher. She later got her second master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and now has her own counseling practice.

“I really enjoy teaching. I love being here. I just try to make it work around my life so I can do my other career as well as be here,” Sewell said.

Life and family have shaped her choices, and it’s proven to be a beneficial situation for the college, as well as the students. Having a highly credentialed professor with a deep and ongoing professional career provides an invaluable context in the classroom.

“I think interpersonal [communications class] can sometimes tend to be a therapy class where students are supporting one another. You’re really opening up. It’s always stirring up things that are happening in their personal lives,” said Sewell. “I feel like my role as a therapist has given me an opportunity to bring in that other education that I have and help my students to create some insight why it’s important to listen to your family member or romantic partner … This is how you can resolve conflict.”

The keen view of a professional is always valuable in the classroom, especially in the engineering and technology disciplines. Tiffany Moore, professor of construction management, has been at the college since 2013.

Professor Moore has 25 years of experience in construction management and currently runs her own consulting business with a list of clients that reads like the yellow pages of the design and construction industry. Two nights each week, she is in the classroom providing valuable context to a complex and demanding craft.

“I prefer to look at it more like content versus delivery. We teach to a particular process that’s very structured because that’s how it is in the real world,” said Moore. “It’s the delivery that I get to create myself. Am I using photos from the jobsite? Am I using stories? Am I using personal experiences? It’s my choice as to how that works.”

Having a successful and demanding career can be enough strain for a person. Professor Moore was introduced to formalized teaching through a professional organization. Finding some satisfaction, she’s continued to pursue the craft.

“I enjoy the classroom. I started doing it on a small scale for [Metropolitan Community College] for one of their affiliate partners and just caught the bug,” said Moore. “When I came over here, one of the advantages is that this is a more formalized program than what I had been teaching in. [I can] see students as they progress through the degree program. It’s a little more consistent, and I like that”

As much as the college and students are benefitting from the expertise of these part-time professors in the classroom, there are questions as to how they are used and whether they are exploited. Within the structure of a corporation exists limitations on the employment rigors that can rest on the shoulders of part-time employees. For adjunct professors, those same limitations may not extend into the world of academia.

Irene Schmidt is an adjunct professor of Spanish and advocate for the equal treatment of the part-time faculty. The list of potential grievances that deserve redress is extensive, not the least of which is compensated time.

“While the adjunct’s role is to teach only, and we’re really only compensated to teach, many adjuncts also help students outside of class keeping informal office hours,” said Schmidt. “We respond to countless emails, texts or phone calls.”

Since most students are unaware of whether a professor is full-time or adjunct, they are likely to go to the person to whom they feel the most connected.

“[Adjunct professors] provide unofficial academic advising. We write letters of recommendation for students who ask for them, we participate in assessment activities and we are constantly engaged in technology or professional training that usually goes unpaid. These are many of the services we provide and the roles that we play without costing students an extra dime [of tuition].”

As a campus with a diverse student population, having a highly trained professional team of professors benefits the college, the students and the community at large. Professors Sewell, Moore and Schmidt stressed individually that their primary goal is to provide an excellent educational experience to their students. Regardless of employment status, these professionals are an invaluable part of the college’s structure.


Cavalier Sports Report: head groundskeeper Dean Spaulding


by Shawn Simpson

Sports Report Host / Staff Reporter

Host Shawn Simpson chats with the college’s head groundskeeper, Dean Spaulding, on the work that goes into the campus grounds, specifically the sports fields.

Contributions by JCAV TV: Heather Foley, director; Seth Elliott, camera; T.J. Kimbrough-French, camera; Brandon Giraldo, camera; Anthony Graham, audio; Caleb Wayne, graphics

Cavalier Sports Report: college photographer Susan McSpadden


by Shawn Simpson

Sports Report Host / Staff Reporter

Host Shawn Simpson chats with administrative photographer Susan McSpadden on what her day generally looks like at the college and two of her award-winning sports pieces.

Contributions by JCAV TV: Heather Foley, director; Seth Elliott, camera; T.J. Kimbrough-French, camera; Brandon Giraldo, camera; Anthony Graham, audio; Caleb Wayne, graphics

Club gives seniors chances for fun, education


by J.T. Buchheit 

News Editor

While most clubs involved with the college are geared toward traditional students, there is one organization that bucks this trend. The Brown & Gold Club, which gets its name from the school colors when the club was created, is open to anybody aged 50 or above. Due to a managerial change, the club is not as connected to the college as it once was, but it still offers scholarship opportunities for classes here and offers multiple discounts for college events.

“The Brown & Gold Club is all about education enrichment and civic engagement,” said Cheryl Henderson, one of the managers of the club. “We sponsor day trips, we sponsor lectures, we have a newsletter that goes out quarterly … that has a feature called ‘Let’s Get to Know,’ and it allows Brown & Gold members to get to know each other by providing a profile of a particular member. … We also, if asked, will help market other activities in Johnson County for people 50 and older.”

The organization was started over two decades ago by Virginia Krebs, one of the pioneering members of the college and its first employee.

“[Krebs] was a strong supporter of Johnson County Community College,” Henderson said. “She was a lady in that age range of 50-plus, and she really saw a need of ‘how do you connect my age group to the college?’ Because lifelong learning is something my age group of 50 and older have been crazy about. That’s what keeps you connected and having an interest in life. You don’t want to lose your passion for learning. Mrs. Krebs saw that and wanted to figure out a way Johnson County could capitalize on this huge population of [seniors].”

One of the members of the club, Dwane Wills, has enjoyed all of his experiences with the club. Wills previously served in the U.S. Navy and now works as a Senior Outreach Volunteer at the Johnson County Library.

“Some of the things that we’ve done, we went to the Kansas City Ballet and saw performers practice,” said Wills. “We’ve had a rich and famous homes tour, which was Hollywood stars and people that passed through Kansas City or lived here at one time, which was very interesting. … We’ve gone to the new theater for every change in performances, and we just recently had a plaza walking tour for the architecture and arts down there, which was very enlightening. We had a Kansas City gangster tour. In fact, I’ve been on that three times.”

In addition to working as sponsors and volunteers and participating in recreational activities, the Brown & Gold Club also holds classes that involve various activities. One of these is the 50 Forward Saturday College for Midlife and Older Adults, which is held in the Johnson County Public Library system.

“The last class we had was in September, and it was a cell phone class,” said Henderson. “We’re finding that people 50 and older are really into technology, but they’re not quite up to speed on how to use it. So one of the things we try to do is offer classes that meet a need, so cell phones, Twitter … what’s the difference between an iPhone, an Android, a BlackBerry … Also, how to use your computer with downloading your photos and cataloguing them, and anything dealing with technology. So our Saturday class really focuses on that kind of thing, in addition to personal enrichment.”  

The club recently underwent a change in management, causing the organization to be downsized and less active for a period of time. After the change, the Shepherd’s Center, located in Kansas City, Missouri, took on a more prominent role with the club.

“There was all kinds of changes being made at the college,” said Wills. “And the Brown & Gold Club was like the phoenix, which had to arise from the ashes, because the people running it were only part-time, and one of them wanted to get into cosmetology. … We had a day-trip committee, and we had to let all those people go. So the Shepherd’s Center took us under their wing and have just performed miracles since they’ve taken over based on what had happened, since the Brown & Gold Club was dying on the vine.”

The club has rebounded somewhat since the adjustment, and is always looking for new members. For more information, visit the Brown & Gold page on the Shepherd’s Center’s website.

Business student by day, DJ by night

JCCC student and aspiring DJ Christian Romero poses for a portrait on September 25th. Romero is currently working on not only his own music, but also becoming a more versatile artist to deejay in clubs and for other events.

by Aksinya Kichigina

Reporting Correspondent

Does the future matter for students? A majority of them probably would say yes. However, some of them still have to make a choice between a bright, successful future, following a career path or proceeding to do what he or she likes as their passion for the rest of their lives.

That’s how student Christian Romero, who is majoring in business administration, decides what is really important for him right now and his aspirations for the future. Romero has a tough decision: become a financial analyst or become a popular disc jockey.

JCCC student and aspiring DJ Christian Romero poses for a portrait on September 25th. Romero is currently working on not only his own music, but also becoming a more versatile artist to deejay in clubs and for other events.
Student and aspiring DJ Christian Romero poses for a portrait on September 25. Romero is currently working on not only his own music, but also becoming a more versatile artist to DJ in clubs and for other events.

Romero puts all his efforts toward completing his bachelor’s degree in business and finance, but at the same time, he finds some time for his passion, which is playing, mixing and recording music.

“My major is business administration with an emphasis in finance. I chose this major because it fits my personality. And also I like communicating with people and being surrounded with a lot of people,” said Romero.

However, despite his desire to focus solely on this career path, Romero found a hobby that relates to a completely different field — music.

“I chose to DJ because I like the music that I play, which is electronic dance music and hip-hop. Therefore, I would want to show people my taste of music while [allowing] them to have a good time and enjoy the rhythm of music,” explained Romero.

Romero loves performing his music for his close friends and family members, even though he is still working on refining his skills. Nevertheless, while Romero enjoys what he is doing, he still has a hard time choosing what he would like to do with his future. Although Romero spends almost all of his free time perfecting his music, he still doesn’t forget that his future is mainly related to what he is studying and focusing on right now at school.

“I know right now, it’s difficult to pursue my DJ career just because I have many things going on in my life, which are school, work and my personal life,” said Romero. “But if I was really into pursuing DJ, I would have to make it as my full-time job. So hopefully in the future, I will make it to be like that and see if I can keep this passion as a job.”

For now, Romero mentioned that it is not the perfect time for him to follow a career as a musical artist, even though he has some thoughts about doing it; therefore, he strives to center and think carefully about the pros and cons of his future career path instead.  

“I know that playing music will satisfy me mentally, just because it gives me positive emotions and makes me happy because of the music that I play … Working as a financial analyst, I know for a fact that I will be well-off financially than if I work as a DJ,” said Romero.

JCCC student and aspiring DJ Christian Romero works on his own music for the Campus Ledger photo shoot. Romero produces mainly mixtapes and EDM, but is working on becoming a more versatile artist to deejay in clubs and for other events.
JCCC student and aspiring DJ Christian Romero works on his own music for the Campus Ledger photo shoot. Romero produces mainly mixtapes and EDM, but is working on becoming a more versatile artist to DJ in clubs and for other events.

On the other hand, he doesn’t give up on continuing to work on his DJ skills. While he is thinking of finding a job that relates to his business major in the future, Romero said he hopes he will still be able to be a DJ if everything goes smoothly.

“I would like, later on, to be able to perform my DJ skills, at least on small shows, but right now, it’s not the greatest time. Though in the future, it might be something that I consider to do,” explained Romero. “I will keep playing, even though I have a job, because it will be a great way for me when I want to get distracted and waste my time making myself happy by DJ-ing and making my own playlist.”

Romero spends most of his time doing homework, preparing for tests and working hard as a part-time student. However, because he loves his music, he always finds some free time in his busy schedule to create something new that he and others would love to listen to.  

“I have produced a couple of my own songs. But since I don’t know how to play any musical instruments, it’s a bit challenging to actually know what the song’s structure is. My few songs, I believe, have a good base, but still I need to improve and work on them. I’ll keep perfecting my production skills, and hopefully will be able to focus on EDM (Electronic Dance Music) music,” said Romero.

Romero said that his choice for now is to pursue his future career. He has struggled between choosing to pursue his passion or his business major, but Romero says that he needs to think maturely. By going to school, getting a degree and finding a job, he thinks will be better off than having a career as a DJ.

To listen to Romero’s work, visit

VIDEO: JCCC students reflect on Royals postseason

Student Ali Cowan shares her thoughts on the Royals postseason

Students talk about the Royals so far this postseason and talk about their hopes moving forward. They discuss Johnny Cueto’s ALDS performance and the upcoming battle with Toronto.

Contributions by JCAV-TV: Heather Foley, Executive Producer; Anthony Graham, Camera; Brandon Giraldo, Editor; Graphics, Caleb Wayne. The Campus Ledger: Sean Hull, Features Editor; Pete Schulte, Editor-in-Chief. 

History professor’s adventure leads to critically acclaimed books


by Graciela Becerra

Reporting Correspondent

Heart beating fast while he held his breath, Patrick Dobson stayed completely still as he waited for the bears to leave. He was lying flat on the floor of Yellowstone National Park while they sniffed up and down his body.

Dobson, a history professor at the college, walked for two and a half months from Kansas City to Helena, Montana, then canoed back on the Missouri river and published two books about the experience.

Dobson’s first book, published in 2009, is titled “Seldom Seen: A Journey into the Great Plainsand recounts his experience traveling to Montana on foot and meeting the seldom-seen people living in the small towns.

“I chose to walk because I’ve always been fascinated with the Great Plains. I think it’s beautiful,” Dobson said. “And to experience that space outside of a car, outside of a window … on the outer side of the glass, alone, on your feet, you can’t compare it. [It’s] a very humbling … very beautiful kind of experience.”

Although Dobson walked completely alone, he was often approached by generous strangers that offered him rides.

“People were stopping on the side of the road and offering me rides,” Dobson said. “So I made a rule that I would not take a ride more than 25 or 30 miles, which is a day’s walk.”

His most recent book, published this year, is titled “Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer.” The book describes his journey back to Kansas City by canoeing the Missouri River.

The idea was actually suggested to him by a six-year-old boy who was studying the Lewis and Clark expedition at the time.

“He basically said ‘well, if you’re going to walk all the way to Montana, you might as well come home through the Missouri River,’” Dobson said.

Coming home wasn’t exactly a smooth ride for Dobson.

“One time, I got windbound on Fort Peck Lake for about five days,” Dobson said. “It wasn’t that I was scared for my life — I just thought that I’d never get out of there … that it would take me months and months to get back home.”

His plan was initially met with mixed reaction from his friends and family.

“They thought I was selfish, because I did have a three-year-old daughter … They said it was foolish. They said it was dangerous. Other people said it was something they wish they could do,” Dobson said.

Despite the various reactions, Dobson felt that embarking on the five-month-long journey was something he had to do.

“Basically, I was stuck in my job, I seemed to be broke all the time. I was working harder and harder and not really getting anywhere,” Dobson said. “I was a single dad, very afraid of my role as a father, very unsure of myself.”

Dobson’s trip, and the people he met along the way, helped open his eyes to what was missing in his life.

“The people [were] some of the most generous people I’ve ever met. Some of them were troubled, many of them had happy lives and some of them were struggling,” Dobson said. “Yet, somehow, they all had something that I wanted for myself: a kind of confidence that I didn’t have.”

Dobson expressed just how significant the trip was for him.

“That trip still works in my life every day … taking the trip didn’t immediately change my life. It changed me — it did not change my conditions,” Dobson said. “And ultimately I had to be the one to change those conditions. No trip was going to do it for me, no person was going to do it for me. It was me that had to do those things.”

Dobson specified what the trip taught him about life and about himself.

“If I’m fearful of something, I just have to face it,” Dobson said. “Life, like any journey, is just one step at a time. I also learned, being a person with low self-esteem, that I had a certain kind of inner power that I didn’t know I had, fortitude. It was courage, not bravery.”

Dobson knows he’ll take a similar trip one day but isn’t entirely sure about specifics.

“I know I’ll probably take another walk someday … that I’ll canoe down the Missouri River again. I’ve thought of Europe many times. I would like to walk in Europe. I’d love to canoe there too.”

Dobson plans on waiting until his 13-year-old son graduates high school before embarking on another adventure.

“I’ll be 60 years old then, but I can still walk. I can still canoe,” Dobson said.

Dobson will be speaking about his most recent book at the college on Oct. 21 at 11 a.m. in Carlsen Center 212. For more information on Dobson, visit his website at

Student attends Justice or Else march in Washington, D.C.


By Ameenah Johnson

Special to the Ledger

Most people aren’t aware of the monumental event that took place this past weekend. The Justice or Else March took place on Oct. 10 in Washington, D.C. [The event] commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March that took place in 1995. The March marked one of the most life-changing experiences in the 21st century for all people of color. The original Million Man March was demanding rights for black men. This march changed the total dynamic of looking at one racial segment of society being discriminated against to looking at justice and equality for all races and ethnicities.

Upon attending this event, I was a little apprehensive, but not because I thought people attending this event would be disruptive. I was apprehensive because there were alleged threats from American extremists with a terroristic mindset to claim their country and take back what is theirs. However, when I arrived at the event, it was one of the most peaceful and beautiful sights I had ever seen in my life. There was such a diverse group of people that attended this event. I was in a living juxtaposition. It was a modern version of the civil rights events that took place during that era, except, it was full of fearless [adults] amongst the youth. I was standing next to [a wide variety of people], such as Native American tribes, Latinas and Latinos, Nuwapians, Moors, Nation of Islam, Asians, Indians, Africans, Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Sheiks, Hindus and Buddhists. This was an event that I wish everyone could have attended and one that will remain in my thoughts for many years to come.

All photos taken by Ameenah Johnson, Special to the Ledger


VIDEO: Poster vendor sets up shop at the college


If you were on campus today, odds are you saw the seemingly infinite number of posters for sale in the COM lobby. JCAV-TV caught up with Ross Robinson, who is on campus until Friday with his display of posters for sale.

Contributions from JCAV-TV: Heather Foley, Executive Producer; Anthony Graham, Reporter; Brandon Giraldo, Camera/Editor; Caleb Wayne, Graphics; Sam Kombrink, Voice Over.

Cavs slip up in Des Moines


By James Howey

Sports Editor

Going 3–1 in a tournament is a great weekend for most teams, but for the Cavaliers, the expectations are much higher. The Cavs moved to 25–3 on the season but suffered a disappointing defeat. Head coach Jennifer Ei was hoping that the team would perform better against Des Moines, whom the Cavs beat 3–1 at home, but this time, in Des Moines’ home floor, the Cavs lost 3–1.

“It gave us a nice wake-up call because we had been going through the motions thinking we were just going to beat everybody,” Ei said. “We had to refocus our attention and where we want to be.”

One of the squad’s big-time threats in Maren Mair sat out most of the weekend with an ankle injury.

“I thought Michelle did a great job in stepping up in her position, but her absence is definitely noted. People look to try to stop her,” Ei said. “Her absence makes a difference for our team, how we flow, how we put the ball down, and we may be in rallies a little longer, or losing them versus her putting the ball away.”

The Cavs hope to have Mair against Independence tomorrow night for senior night, and the weekend for a challenging Kansas City Kansas Community College tournament.

“She’s getting treatment with the trainers and seeing how it goes,” Ei said. “So I think it’s going to be a day-by-day thing and hopefully that’s not too intense and we’re going to have her out longer.”

Sophomore Anna Bell thinks that the team definitely needed a kick to get going down the stretch of the season.

“I think we needed it, honestly, to open our eyes and to come in and work harder every day,” Bell said. “In order to go to nationals and reach our goals.”

Cavalier Sports Report: Golden Girls coach Amy Sellers


By Shawn Simpson

Sports Report Host/Staff Reporter

Golden Girls coach Amy Sellers sits down with host Shawn Simpson and talks about her dance background and gives insight on what it takes to be a Golden Girl.


Cavalier Sports Report: Golden Girl Alyssa Boyce


By Shawn Simpson

Sports Report Host/Staff Reporter

Alyssa Boyce of the Golden Girls dance team talks about her background in dance, what it means to her to be a Golden Girl and what her plans are when her career as a Golden Girl is over.


Students transform talent into philanthropy

JCCC Students Michael Wilkerson and Broderick Jones use their music to start a charity. Any proceeds from their music purchased on itunes from October 1 to November 26, 2015 will go towards coats for kids in need.

by Cade Webb

Managing Editor

JCCC Students Michael Wilkerson and Broderick Jones use their music to start a charity. Wilkerson and Broderick have teamed up with The Salvation Army to get coats to less fortunate children.
JCCC Students Michael Wilkerson and Broderick Jones use their music to start a charity. Wilkerson and Broderick have teamed up with The Salvation Army to get coats to less fortunate children.

Two musicians at the college have expanded their talents into something far more than music. Broderick Jones and Mike Wilkerson have their sights set on not only creating original, quality music, but changing lives in the process as well.

Jones and Wilkerson have teamed up with the Salvation Army’s “Project Warmth” project, which provides winter coats for the less fortunate in the Kansas City area. The two have released a single, titled “Cuddle,” which is available on iTunes and Soundcloud. The proceeds brought in from the song are spent through their charity, Cuddle for Coats, towards getting a coat for kids.

“We wanted to make it more accessible for everyone. I contacted Salvation Army, and they were nice enough to let us work with Project Warmth through Cuddle for Coats,” Jones said.

Jones recalls an instance when he was younger in which he witnessed the power of charity. Jones was inspired by KSHB’s “Fill the Fridge” charity that matches the donations of food, and it has stuck with him to this day.

The duo had the idea to give back to the community after their days working at Goodwill, and they experienced first-hand what it is like not to have a coat in the dead of winter.

“We used to work at Goodwill, and sometimes we didn’t have coats. We worked the doors through the rain, sleet and snow. The doors also had no heaters … When I had a coat, I thought, ‘Man, it would [stink] to not have a coat,” Jones said.

The talented duo not only released a song on iTunes, but perform regularly in the Kansas City area. From homecomings to coffee shops, Jones and Wilkerson are actively promoting themselves, which works doubly well for their music and the charity.

While Cuddle for Coats means a lot to Jones and Wilkerson, Wilkerson hopes eventually to be able to expand their philanthropy into fighting the hunger epidemic.

JCCC Students Michael Wilkerson and Broderick Jones use their music to start a charity. Any proceeds from their music purchased on itunes from October 1 to November 26, 2015 will go towards coats for kids in need.
JCCC Students Michael Wilkerson and Broderick Jones use their music to start a charity. Any proceeds from their music purchased on itunes from October 1 to November 26, 2015 will go towards coats for kids in need.

“Something that I am particularly interested in is hunger. Feeding the needy is important. I’m very passionate about it, and I hope it is something we can do in the future,” Wilkerson said.

You can catch Jones and Wilkerson in concert at The Jewel in Tonganoxie on Nov. 20. You can also listen to “Cuddle” on Soundcloud. Donations are made after every purchase of the song on iTunes, which you can find by searching “Broderick Jones.”

Japan Festival provides glimpse of Japanese culture

Entry to Japan Fest. Photo by E.J. Wood.

by Sean Hull

Features Editor

The 18th annual Japan Festival took place in the Carlsen Center this past Saturday, October 3. People from all over the greater Kansas City area convened on the center for a day full of Japanese culture, ranging from mock oriental bazaars to samurai sword demonstrations.

The festival was originally held at UMKC, until renovations forced the Heart of America Japan-America Society to move the festival to JCCC.

Shopping, gaming rooms, Japanese candy shops and other wares filled the second and third floors of the CC, while various shows were performed in the concert halls on the ground floor. Anime culture was represented heavily at the festival and proved to be a major attraction, bringing many young people to the festival.

“Well, ever since I was little, I got into anime, so I loved the anime, the manga and all that. But I also love the traditions they have. They are really really cool, and really cool to study,” said Ashlynn Johnson, who said she goes by her cosplay name, Rye D’ammu. She has attended the Japan festival every year, beginning when she was eight years old.

The Japan Festival is entirely volunteer-driven. Volunteers come from all over the greater Kansas City area for an opportunity to get involved with the Japanese festival.

Annette Jardon, a student from the Japanese Student Association at the University of Kansas, volunteers to learn more about Japanese culture.

“I really enjoy the Japanese culture, and the Japanese language is really different from English and the American culture,” said Jardon. “So I feel like the more you learn about it, you’re learning Japanese culture of course, but it’s also reflecting back on American culture. It’s the differences. You can learn about both [cultures], which is really interesting.”

This year she volunteered at the Japanese Bazaar, where locals sold authentic Japanese wares.

“… We get to see a whole lot of people, which is always fun, and seeing people be like ‘I don’t know what this is for’ and trying to figure it out is always entertaining,” said Jardon.

In addition to the shows and shops that were available to the public, cultural side attractions were present. There was a table dedicated to the art of bonsai, pruning small trees grown in pots to prevent them from reaching their full size. Japanese exchange students walked the halls practicing omikuji, Japanese fortune-telling. For a dollar, you were allowed to shake a hexagonal box until a wooden stick with a number on it fell out. They would then receive a slip of paper with the corresponding number that had your fortune written on it.

The Japan Festival provides a look into Japanese culture and life to the community as well as an outlet for the local Japanese community to share their culture. It is sure to remain a facet of the college for many years to come.

For updates on the 2016 festival, visit the Greater Kansas City Japan Festival’s website.

Contributions by E.J. Wood, Staff Photographer; Pete Schulte, Editor-in-Chief; JCAV-TV: Heather Foley, Executive Producer; T.J. Kimbrough-French, Camera; Anthony Graham, Camera; Seth Elliott, Editor; Caleb Wayne, Graphics. 

JCCC provides services for Native Americans


by J.T. Buchheit 

News Editor

The Center for American Indian Studies is the college’s place for all things Native American. One of its primary purposes is to provide aid to Native American students in any obstacles they may face while enrolled at the college.

“A lot of [the difficulties] are financial,” said Sean Daley, director of the center and professor of anthropology. “… A lot of American Indians come from poor communities, communities where they may be the first person in their family to go to college, so a lot of them have never left their reservations or home communities before, so it’s a big step to be the first person in your family or community to go off to college. … Getting the tuition money and finding a place to live can be hard because money’s an issue on reservations.”

The center, established in 2010, can also be used by students and faculty members who are interested in getting more information about Native American culture or are teaching a lesson dealing with Native Americans. One Native American student, Aysia Gusman, decided to participate in the center due to her desire to learn more about her native culture.

“I’ve always been interested in American Indian studies,” said Gusman. “I took Sean’s class [about Native Americans] a few years ago, and he knew I wanted to study American Indian studies. … He said he had a job opening, so I thought it would be a good place to start to figure out if I wanted to pursue this as a career.”

In addition to providing assistance and education to students and professors, the center also holds two powwows every year.

“The biggest activity we do around here is the big powwow over at the Gym the first weekend of every May,” said Daley. “This will be our 10th year coming up. We had 2,000 people here last year for the weekend. We do a smaller powwow in November. That one’s usually out in Lawrence or one of the American Indian reservations here in Kansas. Next month it will be on the Potawatomi reservation.”

Although the powwows are the most notable activities, the center also hosts other events that take place at the college that are open for anyone to participate in.

“We do all kinds of films and film screenings,” Daley said. “Next month we’re having a small American Indian dance performance in the Carlsen Center. We coordinate activities for the students and sometimes for the faculty and staff.”

The center’s reach expands beyond the college, however; it’s also devoted to helping Native Americans throughout the U.S.

“There are several projects that we have going on,” said Gusman. “One thing been working on is mental health and suicide prevention. We’re working on ‘what does it mean to be Native American?’ to people all over the country. We have a program called ‘Green Nation,’ which is an environmental program where we try to evaluate people’s homes to find what we need to work on in the Native community to improve their lives.”

Gusman believes the organization has had a major effect on her and her contributions to society as a whole.

Located in CC 223, the Center for American Indian Studies advocates for American Indians and Alaska Natives while providing resources and education to the community about these cultures.
Located in CC 223, the Center for American Indian Studies advocates for American Indians and Alaska Natives while providing resources and education to the community about these cultures.

“It’s really impactful in everything we do,” she said. “All of these studies are impacting people on a daily basis, so I think it’s really important that we’re focusing on those issues.”

For more information regarding the Center for American Indian Studies, visit CC 223 or their website.

Cavs bound for Des Moines tournament


By James Howey

Sports Editor


The Cavaliers head back into the tournament scene traveling to Des Moines after receiving some push-back on the road against Highland on Wednesday. After winning the first set 25–19, the Cavs would only beat Highland by two the next sets, 27–25 and 28–26, to move to a 22–2 record.

“I thought Highland played well, which exposed us playing through the motions versus playing the game like we know how to play,” head volleyball coach Jennifer Ei said. “You can’t just go through the motions — you’ve got to respect every team.”

Ei does think that the long season may have a little bit of an effect on the squad.

“I do think it’s kind of that midterm where that stress level gets a little bit higher and it starts to drain on the athletes,” Ei said. “I think they’ll be fine. We had a good practice yesterday.”

The Cavs will meet three teams they have yet to play, and number-12 Des Moines, whom the Cavs beat 3-1 at the JCCC tournament. Despite that win, Ei knows the Cavs can be more dominant this time around.

“Hopefully this time we will play a little bit stronger,” Ei said. “I thought the last time we played them, we were coming off the loss to Parkland and I felt like we looked tired.”

The Cavs will look to start the home stretch of the season by having a good tournament district play about a month away.

“What we’re looking for this weekend is to get back to our game,” Ei said. “We’ve just been a little bit tired and I hope that with a weekend off we’ll get back in the swing of things.”

MULTIMEDIA: Highlights from Q&A with local radio DJs at the college

Left to right, back row: Aaron Monson, Kevin Ochoa, Brandon Parnes, Josh Morrow, Rebecca Crockett, Patrick Kershner. Front row: Ivani Bing, Danny Boi, Myron Fears, Jason Nivens. Photo by Lance Martin.

The college hosted the “People in the Media” event Oct. 8. Moderated by ECAV Radio, the event consisted of a Q&A session with DJs from four local radio stations. Ivani Bing from 95.7 the Vibe, Danny Boi from 96.5 the Buzz, Myron Fears from Hot 103 Jamz and Jason Nivens from 98.9 the Rock gave students insight on how they got into the radio industry, what the industry is actually like and provided tips to students on how to get into the radio industry.

Related: Popular radio DJs to attend Q&A at the college


Watch the highlights from the event here:

Contributions by JCAV-TV: Heather Foley, Executive Producer; Anthony Graham, Camera; Brandon Giraldo, Editor; Caleb Wayne, Graphics; and  eCAV Radio: Brandon Parnes, Voice-over. 

Local graffiti artist seeks to stimulate minds

Dillion Herd (JCCC student and Graffiti artist) shows his finished project. Herd domonstrated the process on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 at “Legal Alley” downtown Kansas City.

By Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter

Under the cover of night, an artist’s expression takes shape. The medium? Markers and spray paint. The canvas? Any surface he sees. Because he is a graffiti artist, and his compulsion, his addiction, is to be “bombing.”

Dillion Herd (JCCC student and Graffiti artist) shows his finished project. Herd domonstrated the process on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 at “Legal Alley” downtown Kansas City.
Dylan Herd (student and graffiti artist) shows his finished project. Herd demonstrated the process on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 at “Legal Alley” in downtown Kansas City. Photo by Lance Martin.

“It’s a form of graffiti where you’re tagging your name in a (script) or a handstyle, quick bubbly letters,” said Dylan Herd, a graffiti artist and student at the college. “You’re doing a fast piece, a big piece where you just throw it up there and get out of there. Yeah, I have been caught before.”

Graffiti is an art where you write on “anything that’s not yours.” Herd explained, he and other graffiti artists normally work at night because “you generally make people mad when you (illegally) do it because you’re writing on things that don’t belong to you and that (is) a crime.”

If caught in Kansas, a graffiti artist is most likely to be charged under chapter 21, article 58, section 13 of the state’s statutes for criminal damage to property. According to the law, “criminal damage to property is by means other than by fire or explosive: Knowingly damaging, destroying, defacing or substantially impairing the use of any property in which another has an interest without the consent of such other person.” The penalty, if convicted, could be up to six months in prison and fines of several thousand dollars.

While graffiti is used by gangs for marking territory and may be used with the intent of destroying property, Herd’s work under the street name “Noise” was well known and ultimately what got him busted. His motivations have less to do with destruction and are part of his artistic release.

“I think the whole purpose behind what I do is being seen without being seen. Something about visually stimulating the public and making them stop and question ‘Why? What is this? Why is this here? What was the reason for it? Who is the person who did it?’ That keeps me going and wanting more and more. That feeds my fire.”

Dillion Herd (Student and Graffiti artist) begins his creation by cutting in the main backdrop for his piece. Herd met up with The Campus Ledger staff on Saturday, Sept 26, 2015 to demonstrate the process.
Dillion Herd (Student and Graffiti artist) begins his creation by cutting in the main backdrop for his piece. Herd met up with The Campus Ledger staff on Saturday, Sept 26, 2015 to demonstrate the process. Photo by Lance Martin.

Herd’s art isn’t limited to graffiti. Stiff penalties and the looming potential of incarceration may stifle the artist’s freedom to be expressive in the street, but he’s still working to take his art to a new level.

“I got into graphic design (at the college) because I like to visually stimulate people’s minds, so what better place to go than graphic design? I don’t know where it’s (going to) take me — hopefully Google or Bic, or somewhere off the street. To a point where I don’t have to be there anymore.”
Herd’s street tag, Noise, has been retired, but you may still see it from time to time if you look around. Mostly you can see his work on display in Artist Alley just east of 18th and Oak in the Crossroads District. When asked if there is a new tag to watch out for, Herd had no comment.

Contributions from Pete Schulte, Editor-in-Chief; Cade Webb, Managing Editor; Heather Foley, Executive Director for JCAV-TV

Cavalier Sports Report: cross-country runner T.J. Kimbrough-French


by Shawn Simpson

Sports Report Host / Staff Reporter

Host Shawn Simpson chats with men’s cross-country runner T.J. Kimbrough-French about the challenges the team faces and how he got interested in running.


Cavalier Sports Report: cross-country runner Sierra Coen


By Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter/Sports Report Host

Host Shawn Simpson sits down with Sierra Coen of the women’s cross-country. Coen talks about her experiences in cross-country and how the season has gone for the team.

VIDEO: Vending machines on campus

Vending machines on campus.

Vending Services Supervisor Jon Bachert talks with JCAV-TV about his duties as supervisor, and shares his most interesting experiences.

Contributions from JCAV-TV: Heather Foley, Executive Producer; Seth Elliot, Camera/Editor; Shawn Simpson, Reporter; Caleb Wayne, Graphics; Patrick Kershner, Voice Over. 

VIDEO: College offers leadership development workshop

Keith Davenport, manager and instructor for the Student Leadership Development program teaches class.

JCAV-TV sits down with Keith Davenport, Manager and instructor for the Student Leadership Development program, to find out more about the workshop.

Contributions from JCAV-TV: Heather Foley, Executive Producer; Brandon Giraldo, Camera/Editor; Caleb Wayne, Graphics; Marisa Rosner, Voice Over. 

International student pursues passion in soccer


By Aksinya Kichigina

Reporting Correspondent

Jallan Flores is an international student at the college who came straight from Spain to pursue his passion in soccer. Aside from taking general classes, Flores plays for the college’s soccer team and is a strong leader on the team.. Flores’ experience of playing soccer did not start exactly the way he wanted. Luckily, his cousin introduced Flores to the soccer coach at college, and that is where his sports path began.

“I started playing soccer at JCCC when I first came here from Spain. It was like three years ago, which was July 2012,” said Flores. “When I came from Spain, I did not expect to play for college, because in Spain we play for clubs, and not for colleges. But I was excited, because it was a whole new experience and I was excited to see how it was to play for a college.”

Flores wanted to begin playing as soon as possible, and fortunately, he received the opportunity to demonstrate his soccer skills at the college.

Flores said that when he came from Spain, his cousin, who used to play for the college, told him that if he studies at the college, he can obtain a scholarship from school for playing soccer. Flores was confident that he would be able to play for the college, because he played soccer in Spain for such long time.

“My cousin brought me to school and showed to the coach. After that, I went to practice with them, and the coach liked me. Also, after the practice, the coach offered me an opportunity to be in the team,” said Flores.

The announcement that he made it on the team excited Flores. He knew that no matter what, he would still continue playing soccer, since it was one of his main priorities when he came to the United States.

As soon as Flores started playing as a freshman, he was glad to be in the “family.”

“I am really excited about my team. I like the way they treat me, and in general, they give me confidence. We are really unified, just like family, supporting and taking care of each other,” said Flores.

As a good friend and player, Flores has achieved a few things in his two years of playing for the college. In his first season, he started in every match, which was a unique step for the freshman. The team went to the championship final that year, and even though they lost, it was a good accomplishment for the team, and especially Flores.

In the current season, the team has already taken trips to Iowa and Texas.

“In Iowa, we won the first game against the team of number 18 in the nation, and then we tied the second game against the second team in the nation,” said Flores. “Also, we went to Texas, and I think it helped us a lot because the other team was really good. As a result, we were able to learn from the experience of being there to help us to work even harder.”

Flores feels blessed to be on the soccer team. He said that there is so much ahead to work on, because it is always important to make more effort to be better on the field.

Even though Flores thinks that he has to work even harder to accomplish better results in soccer, his coach, Fatai Ayoade, has already noticed that Flores has potential.

“Jallan is a very hard-working, dedicated player. He has passion for the game, and he would do anything for the game,” said Ayoade.

The coach also mentioned that Flores has showed leadership and has done a fantastic job this year. However, before Ayoade met Flores, he did not look at Flores as a serious player, because his height is below average.

“Soccer’s height is fatal and looking at Jallan for the first time, I thought that this kid was not going to make it here,” said Ayoade. “Firstly, I did judge him by the way he looked, which was his height, but then when he started playing, I saw a potential in him. He is a short player, but he plays big.”

Despite Flores’ achievements already, the coach still believes in him and expects him to continue to be a leader on the team and be able to go to another university to keep giving that passion that he has for the game.

McDonald’s begins serving breakfast all day


By Aksinya Kichigina 

Reporting Correspondent

After several years of customer demands and requests on social media to extend breakfast hours at McDonald’s, the company finally made a decision to start serving breakfast throughout the day, starting Oct. 6.

“It’s been the number-one requested thing from our customers for years,” said McDonald’s president Mike Andres in an interview with USA Today.

However, not all breakfast-seeking lunch-goers will be satisfied, as only a limited selection of breakfast items will be available all day. Fans of the McGriddle or the Big Breakfast will have to continue to show up before 10:30 a.m.

Manager of the College and Quivira McDonald’s located across the street from campus, Carmen Morulez, said that customers are happy with the new change.  

“People feel happier now because it is more convenient for them to come to get a breakfast meal for their lunch rather than a burger or french fries,” said Morulez. “I don’t think we are going to encounter any problems throughout a day just because we serve breakfast and lunch simultaneously.  We have a lot of new new machines, grills and people that help with this new change.”

College students were excited when they heard the news that they were able to get their favorite breakfast at any time of the day.

“I saw the commercial three days ago when McDonald’s announced the news about serving breakfast all day,” said student Carly Davis. “I am not the biggest fan of many other things that McDonald’s has, but usually I am the biggest fan of their breakfast. My favorite breakfast meal to get in McDonalds is the sausage egg and cheese bagel.”

As a matter of fact, most of the students cannot afford to buy an expensive meal for their breakfast or lunch. Now McDonald’s gives that opportunity for everybody to pay less and have a great meal at any time of the day.     

“We are college students, and I, personally, do not have much money,” said Davis. “So being able to buy breakfast in McDonald’s all day would be nice because I’ll be able to pay for my food easier and know that it’s something that I enjoy to eat.” Davis also added that most of their breakfast options are going to be healthier than getting a burger for lunch, for instance.

Student Edgar Renteria had a different opinion about a new system of serving in McDonalds.

“I feel pretty good about McDonald’s serving breakfast all day, but at the same time, I don’t think it should be done because breakfast should be served only at breakfast time,” said Renteria. “I know that a lot of people don’t eat breakfast in the morning, so they eat it in the afternoon, so they can get sick. But I am sure later they can catch up with this new system and their immune system will get used to it.”

However, Renteria thinks that eventually it’s going to be very profitable for the company because the breakfast served there is better than the lunch, so people might go to McDonald’s even more often.

Students react: JCCC Probs Part Two

Students react to JCCCProbs tweets.

JCAV-TV brings you the second installment of Students react: JCCC Probs.

Video by JCAV-TV. Contributors to this report: Reporter/Editor Brandon Giraldo; Executive Producer/Videographer Heather Foley.

Popular radio DJs to attend Q&A at the college


By Graciela Becerra 

Reporting Correspondent

The Journalism and Media Communications department along with the Student News Center are hosting a People in the Media panel on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Four Kansas City radio hosts have been invited to participate in the Q&A session with students and the public. Danny Boi from 96.5 the Buzz, Ivani Bing from 95.7 the Vibe, Jason Nivens from 98.9 the Rock,  Myron Fears from Hot 103 Jamz and two JCCC alums will be on the panel.  People-in-the-Media-flyer-2

Professor and Chairman of the Journalism and Media Communications department, Mark Raduziner, said “Everybody was on board right away. They loved the idea. I think people in the industry want to spread the word to other people about their jobs and what they do, and since they work in a public entity, they want to get out into the public and see the people who are their fans and also just spread the word about what a great industry and how much fun radio is.”

Students on campus are looking forward to the opportunity to learn more about the radio industry from the local professionals.

Student Danielle Harvey said “[The panel] is a good opportunity to get some insight on what [the media industry] is like. Students can gain confidence in knowing how good things are going for the professionals.”

According to Raduziner, the primary goal of the event is to expose students to a different side of the radio industry as well as get additional exposure for the college’s student-run radio station, ECAV Radio.  

“The students who come most likely listen to the radio, but they may not understand the radio as an industry, and so the students who might be interested in radio, they can learn a little bit more from people who work in the industry,” Raduziner said. “I just threw out the idea that I thought it’d be fun to bring some radio personalities on campus. I thought it would draw students other than our journalism students, and I also wanted to bring publicity, more of a presence, to ECAV Radio.”

Student Lavynder Padgett said “[Students] can find out the good and bad things [about the industry] and weigh the pros and cons to see if it’s what they’d like [in a career].”

Employees of ECAV Radio will be involved with moderating and hosting the event.

“I thought if we could have a couple of ECAV broadcast students moderating and have ECAV playing in the background, that we could sort of enhance the marketing and the presence of ECAV Radio and the great work our students do at the radio station,” Raduziner said. “I hope that [people] come. I think they’ll learn a whole lot about the radio industry and they’ll be able to meet and listen to people that they hear on the radio, and they’ll have a great time.”

The People in the Media panel will be held in the Craig Community Auditorium (GEB 233) from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Sean Hull: Pro-gun control: It is time to make a change


By Sean Hull

Features Editor

With the recent shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, the fiery debate over gun control has been rightfully reignited. With the newly rejuvenated debate comes all the usual Facebook flame wars and painfully accurate satirical articles, as well as pleas to President Obama not to politicize the tragedy out of respect for the people who’ve lost so much. This issue, however, is clearly a political one, as President Obama has reiterated in his speech following the UCC shooting.

Related: Opinion: Anti-Gun Control: The Only Attainable Gun Control is Unconstitutional

Features Editor, Sean Hull
Features Editor, Sean Hull

The similarities of UCC to our college are not to be overlooked. This shooting occurred at a college that serves the higher education and vocational training needs of a county in a state that has incredibly loose gun regulations. According to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action state profile of Oregon, a person does not need a permit to purchase shotguns, rifles or handguns; there is no mandatory registration of firearms purchased in Oregon; there is no licensing of owners; and, of course, concealed carry is permitted. This profile exactly mirrors that of Kansas.

In his speech President Obama spoke of the desensitization of the American people to these tragedies. His reaction, the media reaction and the citizens’ reactions to the shootings have all become routine. Our reactions have become a meaningless ritualistic outpouring of faux despair. It’s meaningless because every time this occurs, the same discussion is had and the same outcome is reached: zero change or even proposed changes to gun laws.

The United States has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world, with 89 guns per 100 residents, according to the Small Arms Survey 2011. Guns are undoubtedly pervasive in American culture, and it seems nowadays that mass shootings are as well. In recent research from Jaclyn Schildkraut of the State University of New York in Oswego and H. Jaymi Elsass of Texas University, it was found that 133 mass shootings in which four or more people died occurred in the United States from 2000–2014. This is compared to 23 mass shootings in 13 European nations and Russia over the same time period. The frequency with which mass shootings continue to occur in the United States can no longer be ignored, and we must take rational steps toward tighter regulation of guns in this country in the effort to make it more difficult to perform mass shootings.

The regulations proposed by President Obama in 2013 are a good step forward in keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people and culling the flood of mass shootings. I believe we need to go much further. Among the most important of Obama’s proposals is mandatory criminal background checks for all gun sales, limited ammunition magazine sizes of no more than 10 rounds and reinstating and strengthening the ban on assault rifles that was repealed in 2004. These are all logical steps toward safer gun regulations in this country. It is irrational to me that anyone could argue that we need more assault rifles in the hands of ordinary citizens or that magazine sizes exceeding 10 rounds are necessary for any application outside of sport shooting.

I propose we institute further regulations on the storage of guns and ammunition, modeling a system after those in place in Canada and many European nations. It is a common leisure activity in the United States to go to the shooting range. Sport shooting at the range is what drives many people to acquire larger, faster and more thrilling guns and is a major reason why many hobbyists oppose nearly any gun regulation.

On both sides of the debate, there are absolutists that either want to ban all guns in any form, or allow anyone to purchase any gun. A middle ground must be found to make any progress on the argument. I propose in addition to President Obama’s gun proposals, regulations that would restrict the types of guns that can be kept in the home and an alternative that accommodates sport shooting. For the purposes of hunting, manual rifles should be permitted to be kept in the home, as long as the gun is kept in one locked cabinet, and the ammunition in a separate locked cabinet. To accommodate people’s desires for guns beyond this stipulations, a program could be implemented requiring people to keep any semi-automatic rifles or handguns and their respective ammunition in a locker at their shooting range. The gun cannot be removed from the shooting range. This is fairly restrictive, but still accommodates people’s desires for thrilling guns, and allows only a very limited amount of guns in the streets.

The Second Amendment wasn’t created with the idea that guns would one day be mass-produced at an uncontrollable rate and marketed as family fun time with the kids. The Second Amendment was drafted in 1791 when America was a far more dangerous land than we live in today. It was drafted with the initial intent to allow the formation of militias so the largely unreachable rural members of American society would be able to defend themselves and their country. If you wanted to live in 1791, you were also required to hunt. Today guns are looked upon as toys, instead of the necessary tools required for self-protection and food procuration they were when the Second Amendment was drafted.
We have experienced far too many mass shootings in far too narrow of a time frame to continue pretending like gun regulations will do nothing to stop these events from taking place. The majority of Europe, along with Australia and Canada have all implemented stricter gun regulations that have effectively culled gun violence in those nations. We had our moment to take action on this issue in 2012, when 20 children and six faculty members were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary, and we failed. When no action was taken, we showed to the world that we only care in the media and not enough to pass legislation to prevent another shooting. As President Obama mentioned in his speech after this most recent shooting, our reaction has become routine and politically apathetic. A world in which mass murder is a simple fact of life is a terrifying one.

Cade Webb: Anti-gun control: The only attainable gun control is unconstitutional


By Cade Webb

Managing Editor

Managing Editor Cade Webb

There is a common argument that states “Criminals, one way or another, are going to get their hands on a gun because they are criminals.” This common statement gets conservative, anti-gun control activists a lot of grief. For what reason, I’m not sure. This statement is absolutely true. Criminals, by definition, are breaking the law. When these individuals decide that they are going to carry out a mass shooting, they are already content with breaking the law. 

Related: Pro-Gun Control: It is Time to Make a Change

There is a narrative in this country that insists on guns being the problem and the root of the mass shootings that seem to be taking place more frequently of late. I would argue that this country does not have a gun problem, but rather, a heart problem. Guns, like anything else, require an ill intent to be able to carry out a mass shooting like we saw in Oregon last week. People kill others with knives, rocks, baseball bats and cars, among other things. Are we going to outlaw those too because “anybody can get their hands on one”?

Common gun-control plans include smaller magazines and strict background-check enforcement. I do not think those are going to make a difference. The only thing that a background check does is notify arms dealers of a history of violent crimes on their record. Obviously, having a history of violent crimes is not a prerequisite to carrying out a mass shooting, as we saw last week. The shooter who carried out the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon had no history of violent crimes and purchased his weapons legally.  

Because this is the case, the only feasible answer to stopping gun violence in the country is to confiscate every individual’s weapons in this country. Could you imagine the blowback that the president and law enforcement would receive? According to, there are over 270 million legally owned firearms in the United States. The resources it would take to even carry out an operation to retrieve those weapons is incomprehensible.

The bottom line is that the current gun control theory is unattainable. The only way gun control could be achieved is by confiscation, and that would be violating the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Our founding fathers wrote the Constitution as a guideline that this country must follow, and to brush it aside is unconstitutional. As United States citizens, we have been granted the right to bear arms and to protect ourselves and our loved ones with these firearms. The day that the government attempts to take weapons back is the day that the United States takes the power away from the people, and isn’t power to the people what this country was built on?

What if it happened here?


By Shawn Simpson

Staff Reporter 

A community college not unlike JCCC was attacked by a gunman a few days ago. Nine people died and nine others were injured as a result of the events that have unfortunately become an all-too-common theme in the American story. But what if it happened here?

Just over a year ago, the campus was locked down due to a potential active shooter situation. That turned out to be a false alarm. We marked the occasion with a reminder of the campus’s A.L.I.C.E. procedure.

Columbine, Ft. Hood, Charleston, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Umpqua. Names of places of relative tranquility and peace until shots rang out and lives were lost. Events like these serve to bring emotions to a boil in every corner of society as we struggle to make sense of what happened and how to stop it from happening again.

“[I am] a little worried, especially being at a community college,” said student Savanah McGowen. “If it can happen there, it can happen here.” 

Student Savanah McGowen.
Student Savanah McGowen.

A feeling of anxiety following a nationally publicized tragedy can serve to heighten a person’s awareness of what is going on around them. “Eternal vigilance is the price we pay for liberty.” A well-known quote attributed to many people, including former president Thomas Jefferson, says a lot about the current state of campus life. Being aware of your surroundings can mean survival or not in the worst situation.

McGowen continued, “I don’t feel like there’s a bunch of crazy people waiting to shoot [up] the place, but I don’t know. Anything can happen. I sit here and draw people. Sometimes I will notice people … I haven’t really seen anybody doing anything sketchy.”

Another student, Brittney Jones, is a mother of two and tries to stay on alert when she’s in public.

“[It’s about] being aware. I have two kids, so being aware of the people around us [is important]. Sometimes people give off a stand-offish vibe,” Jones said. “They get tunnel vision when they’re thinking about what they’re going to do, not paying attention to what’s around them.” 

Brittany Jones
Student Brittany Jones

The issues surrounding what causes individuals to take up arms against their fellow human beings run far too deep for most civil conversations. Battle lines are drawn and teams are formed for an arduous fight over mental health and gun control in the United States. On the local level, it comes down to what we can do to help one another on any given day.

“I don’t go looking for things, but if I see something, I will say something,” said student Janelle Fries.

Fries’ statement says what we can all do: keep an eye out for things out of the ordinary and report them to the proper authorities if you feel like that’s warranted. Also, review the A.L.I.C.E. procedures and put the number for the campus police in your phone. The world will never be completely safe, but together we can make it better.

If you see something out of the ordinary, call campus police at 913-469-2500 or dial extension 4111 from any campus telephone.

All photography contributions by Staff Photographer Julia Larberg.

Cavalier Star Watch: Ashlynn Summar

Ashlynn Summar

By James Howey

Sports Editor


IMG_2233The college’s women’s soccer squad is coming down the home stretch of the season with all their goals in sight for them to seize. The Cavs are led by sophomore Ashlynn Summar, who, for the second straight year, has been a top scorer in the Division I Junior College league. Summar is tied with Joanna Taylor with 18 goals, which leads the conference, and is top-five in the nation. The game that looms large on the season is the away game at Butler Community College, who have stood in the way of a national birth for the Cavs three straight seasons. Summar hopes to help take the Cavs to the next level and make the trip to nationals.


James Howey: How has it been different this year as a sophomore taking more of a leadership role on the team?

Ashylynn Summar:  Well last year I really looked up to the sophomores and how they were leading the team. So this year I would like to emulate that, try to be there for the freshmen, and just show how the team works. Just be a role model for them.


JH: What are some personal goals you have had for yourself this season?

AS: Well last year I had a really good season personally, so I’m trying to at least get at that level or better than that level. I’m trying to be more confident on the ball, be a team player, get my stats up like they were last year and hopefully to get recruited to another college.


JH: What has it been like playing with freshman Joanna Taylor?

AS: I love working with Joanna. She is a really good player. I know if we really work together we can be unstoppable. She’s really confident and it’s good to have someone that’s on your level working and playing with you that helps you do well for the team.


JH: How far do you think you guys can go this season?

AS: I think we’re really good and better than last year. We have really good team chemistry, which obviously helps on and off the field. We have a lot of personal skill, and when we put that together it’s just really beautiful to see it on the field. We have a lot of motivation, which helped us beat Hutchison and can hopefully help us beat Butler. I just think if we keep our focus, are really motivated and determined, we can definitely beat Butler, and we can go along in nationals.


JH: What has it been like playing for Coach Jim Schwab?

AS: Schwab is a good coach. I love him as a coach. He definitely knows what he’s talking about. Yes, he can be really aggressive sometimes, but honestly he does that because he has confidence in us. It’s good to know that if he has confidence in us then you should have confidence in yourself. It does suck when he yells at you, but it’s only to motivate us. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to play for him.


JH: What has always helped to motivate you to do your best through your career of playing soccer?

AS: I do it for myself partly, and there are a lot of people in my life who have been good role models. My family has all played soccer, so I’ve grown up with soccer my whole life, so I’ve always loved it. I get motivated by my teammates and how well they do. I want be on their level and I just want to do the best that I can because it’s not going to last long. I’m almost done — I only have two or three more years of college soccer left. I want to do the best that I can and not regret anything.


JH: Do you plan on playing at a four-year college, and is there a specific one right now?

AS: I would love to play at Kansas State. I think that would be awesome—that’s one of my biggest dreams. I’ve been looking at Newman, Fort Hays State and Central Missouri. Schools that have some good competition and that would be a good fit for me.


JH: What is your favorite movie?

AS: I don’t know, that’s tough. A really good soccer movie I love is “Kicking and Screaming.” I just really like funny movies.


JH: What is your favorite food?

AS: I love Italian food. Spaghetti, lasagna and I like salads too.


JH: Who is your favorite music artist?

AS: I mean I love all music, but probably Carrie Underwood. She’s really good. I love her and all of her songs.


JH: Who is your favorite athlete?

AS: I love Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s really good. Basically the entire women’s soccer team. I’m working with one of the girls on the FC Kansas City teams, Mandy Laddish. So I love her too.


JH: What is your favorite book?

AS: “Thirteen Reasons Why.” It’s pretty intense. It’s basically about a girl who commits suicide and gives 13 reasons why she did it. I love it.


JH: What is your dream job?

AS: I would love to be a doctor. Especially working in the emergency room so you’d see a bunch of different things. So I’d love to be an emergency physician.