Thursday, October 21, 2021

Yearly Archives: 2015

A look into the senate


Student senate goes more in-depth about what they do

By J.T. Buchheit

The student senate is one of the most important organizations in the college. They play a vital role, but there are many people who don’t know what the senate actu­ally does.

“The student senate is here to be the voice of the student,” said adviser Min­dy Kinnaman. “To be that liaison be­tween students and administration here on campus. So when the college admin­istrators need feedback, they go to the student senate to get input. Student sen­ate also reports regularly to the Board of Trustees about things that are going on around campus.”

One upcoming event that is displayed around the college are the elections. Many students are unaware of how they work and the voting process, however.

“Each JCCC student will receive an email with a link to vote online,” said Kinnaman. “Student senate will also set up a table in the Commons on April 14 to 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and in the Carlsen Center lobby from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. encouraging people to vote.”

Even if students know how to vote, some may refrain from it because they are unaware of how it will affect them.

“Voting in the student senate elec­tions gives students a chance to increase their awareness of the senate and the impact it can have on campus, whether they are taking the lead by joining the senate or knowing who they should turn to in order to share their thoughts,” said Kinnaman.

With many people puzzled about what it is that the student senate actually does, it makes sense that there may not be a large number of voters.

“Voter turnout has varied from se­mester to semester, anywhere from around 100 to close to 800, which is such a low number compared to the number of students enrolled at JCCC,” said Kin­naman. “After last spring’s election, we decided we need to do something to help increase those numbers. … In the fall of 2014, we moved from hosting our elections through an internal site to us­ing Survey Monkey, which allows us to email each student a unique ballot, and we’ve found that it has helped increase our turnout.”

Many people in the student senate want to run for president and oversee the actions taken by the group. One such person is student John Rives.

“Being in the senate for the last se­mester has been a lot of fun for me,” said Rives. “I think [being the president] will be a good personal development going into the future. I also want to get more involved with the students on campus.”

The president of the student senate has many duties to fulfill, and students running for president know that they will have their hands full, but the privi­leges awarded are numerous.

“My personal duties are to oversee the general assembly, so I basically dic­tate and organize and take motions and requests,” said President Jeffrey Red­mond. “… I begin and end the meeting and motion when it’s someone’s turn to speak or not to speak. I have the power to stop someone from speaking or remove them from the assembly. I also have to oversee the executive board committee, so I make sure that each of the positions all have committees of their own.”

In addition to helping students and faculty within the college, the student senate reaches out to the community as well.

“In the fall we have Trick-or-Treat for Kids, photos with Santa and the JCCC Gives program,” said Redmond. “Those three are community-based programs. In the spring we obviously host more of our fundraising type of events. We have our concession stands, we try to sell T-shirts. We have the Campus Kickoff, Campus Craze, Clubs and Organiza­tions Day. Basically, that’s just a rear­rangement of our organization for the following year.”

The senate and the administration often operate hand-in-hand, acting as a link between the students and adminis­trators.

“[The senate] serves on hiring com­mittees for administrators such as the new vice president of student success and engagement, giving their opinions on who would be the best fit for JCCC,” said Kinnaman. “The administration seeks out opinions from the senate. An example would be when the Board of Trustees adopted an amendment to the smoking policy.”

The student senate is a mysterious or­ganization for many members of the col­lege, but it plays an extremely important role in the shaping of the campus.


Police Briefs


Theft from vehicle

An officer was dispatched to the police de­partment lobby on Tuesday, March 10 after a report of a theft from a vehicle. The victim said her vehicle was broken into while it was in the parking lot. She reported that her purse re­mained in the vehicle, but her debit card, credit card and cash were stolen. A bank employee told her that her debit card had been used for multiple purchases. The case is ongoing.

Wallet stolen

Campus police were dispatched to the Cos­metology building on Wednesday, March 11. The victim stated her wallet was stolen from her purse when she arrived at her office, but she was unaware that it was missing until she returned home. She subsequently canceled her credit cards. The police are investigating the incident.

Intercourse in parking lot

Sexual activity was witnessed by a police of­ficer in the parking lot on Sunday, March 22. The officer told both people to stop copulat­ing, and they were given a court summons and asked to leave the campus. A report was given to the campus detective.

Compiled by J.T. Buchheit, copy editor,

News Briefs


School board election results

One new trustee was elected on April 7, along with two incumbents. David Lind­strom and Greg Musil are returning to the board, along with newcomer Nancy In­gram, with 25 percent, 23 percent and 20 percent of the votes, respectively. Those who came up short include Patricia Light­ner, who garnered 19 percent of the votes; Mark Read, with eight percent; and Larry Fotovich, who received five percent of the ballots cast.

Campus Ledger to go digital


College newspaper to undergo largest change in publication history

By J.T. Buchheit

Enjoy that newspaper you’re holding, because there won’t be nearly as many next year. The Campus Ledger is shifting its fo­cus from paper to digital media in the coming semester, posting most of its ar­ticles online rather than in print.

“The primary reason this is happening is that this is a trend that many student publications are following, the trend of going digital first,” said Campus Ledger adviser Corbin Crable. … “So Campus Ledger employees are going to be posting primarily news to our website and saving some feature stories for the print edition, which will now be published the first Thursday of every month.”

Another reason for this change was due to school-wide budget cuts, making it much harder to churn out an issue ev­ery other week without significant finan­cial repercussions.

“We knew this was going to happen,” said Crable. “We’re lucky to have very supportive administrators that we work for, so to me, this is going to be a pretty easy transition, knowing how familiar and comfortable these employees are with digital media.”

Not everybody is as optimistic as Crable that it will be a smooth transition, however. Some believe that there will be some bumps in the road along the way.

“I think the first semester we do it, there will be some obstacles,” said Editor-in-Chief Mike Abell. “Adjusting to dead­lines, setting deadlines for people. It’s go­ing to be kind of tricky the first semester, but I think once we get over that, we’ll be able to run things a lot more efficiently.”

Although budget cuts were one of the reasons the news will now be primarily digital, there are certainly some benefits to shifting to online news.

“We can always have a constant news flow,” said Abell. “Instead of uploading the whole issue that we do every two weeks and having all of the stories hit the website all at once, we can always have a flow of new content coming in.”

Although Crable is confident in the staff’s ability to adapt to the changes, he feels it may be bit harder getting the read­ers to get used to them as well.

“We’re going to be going from printing twice a month to once a month, and that’s probably going to be the biggest change we’re going to have to adapt to,” said Crable. “So it will be very important in the next few months that we market this change aggressively.”

One of the people on the staff in charge of getting the word out for this change is Managing Editor Valerie Velikaya.

“We’ll be putting up posters around campus, created by our very own, while advertising our website in our publica­tion,” said Velikaya. “Mike, the designers and myself are still deciding on our ap­proach.”

Although the actual content will re­quire little change going from paper to online, there will need to be some modifi­cations to the design aspect of it.

“We’re hoping to modernize it a bit and make it more appealing to the eye,” said Velikaya. “Our design is good, but not great. I’d like to clean it up a bit and make it easier for users to navigate.”

This major shift to digital will take some time in getting used to for both staff members and readers alike, but the digi­tal age is upon us, and the Campus Ledger will make that vital transition.

To see video interviews with the Campus Ledger staff, click on the following link >>>

The rise of a four-stringed melody


Ukulele has found its way back into the spotlight

By Tucker Swiastyn

Photo illustration by Mike Abell

Photo illustration by Mike Abell

It is more than just a melody for the islands. The four strings ring loud in the hands of young and old individu­als across the country. The ukulele has gradually made its way out of basements and into the headphones of millions.

Electric guitars, bass guitars, drums and keys are not the only instruments present on stage anymore. The ukulele has grown in popularity and made its way to the stage, where it’s used in a vari­ety of bands and genres.

“There are a couple reasons I believe people are drawn to this instrument,” said Mike Johnson, student. “The main reason being the pick-up-and-play fac­tor. It is pretty easy to get the hang of and there is quite a lot you can do with it. The other aspect is portability. You can take it wherever you go.”

Johnson has been playing the ukulele for four years and has grown to see the draw to the instrument.

“One of the main reasons I was drawn to the ukulele was the portability factor,” Johnson said. “The sound produced by a ukulele is also one I closely relate to sim­plistic joy, which is a pretty good reason to play an instrument.”

Harvey Fitzer, music professor, be­lieves the ukulele is not just a fad for the young. There are groups of older in­dividuals who meet around the Kansas City area simply to play the ukulele on a monthly basis.

“A lot of older ladies actually like to play the ukulele,” Fitzer said. “They like the old kind of music and the ukulele fits well with that. So it’s not just a young thing — everyone likes it.”

The portability along with the easy-to-play aspect makes the ukulele a relatively economical compact instrument that has never lost popularity.

“I don’t believe the instrument ever fell in popularity. [It] just stagnated,” said Johnson. “It has, however, recently gath­ered quite a lot of attention.”

The use of the ukulele in TV shows and pop songs, along with its quirkiness has brought attention to it in recent years. However, like many different fads, instru­ments can go in and out of popularity.

“I think a lot of performers have started using [the ukulele],” Fitzer said. “There was a performer that my daughter liked. The name of the group was Never Shout Never. He played the ukulele, and that’s when I first realized it was becom­ing popular again, and that’s why my daughter wanted one.”

From the sounds of the tropics to rock­ing out onstage, the ukulele has made it into the hands of various ages and vari­ous genres over the past few decades. The instrument’s unique sound continues to carry it on from generation to generation.

A mime and minister


Timothy Hoare mixes performance and passion in his teachings

By Forest Lassman

Timothy Hoare has pursued a va­riety of his passions and incorpo­rates them in his classes.

Early in life, Hoare fell in love with religion and become an ordained Presby­terian minister. Hoare also loves to mime and has studied it at a professional level.

“It’s not all just white face and making walls and walking in the wind. There is a lot of old classical clowning traditions,” Hoare said.

While teaching others to mime, Hoare discovered his love of teaching and uses his performance history to help improve his teaching.

“It’s fun to be able to bring that back­ground into the class,” Hoare said. “If any professor told you that there wasn’t a performer buried inside of them that wants to get out, they’re lying to you. … Maybe not everybody, but I think most do. The good teachers are the ones who really do have a good presence in front of the classroom.”

Teaching has also provided Hoare with an opportunity to learn. While get­ting his master’s degree, Hoare had to focus on a small issue, but by teaching more general classes, Hoare has the op­portunity to find out more.

“I’ve learned more about my field af­ter I started teaching than I ever learned getting ready … because I had to go and pick up all these other things and learn in the field as it were, of all the things I was not an expert in. I just had to pick them all up, and it’s been a fascinating journey. I’ve learned so many things in … a very, very wide spectrum that I didn’t get to do when I was focusing on my specializa­tion.”

Hoare has also taken a great interest in Asian cultures and religion. By learn­ing about these different religions, Hoare feels like he understands more about his own culture.

“The older I get, the more universal I become. There are so many truths and principles in [different religions] that just fascinate me,” Hoare said. “The best way to learn about your own traditions is to study those of other people. It’s a reflex­ive thing, and you see your own in com­parison. … You learn more about yourself and any inter-cultural thing by learning the things of other people.”

Thailand in particular has grabbed Hoare’s attention. His wife has family in the country, and Hoare plans to retire there. From singing Thai rock and roll to golfing, Hoare has fallen in love with the culture and wants to spend even more time with it later in life.

Hoare has explored so many different paths in life and has been able to use them together to explore more and more. Even after decades of teaching, Hoare is still excited for the future.

“I just turned 60, and I sometimes feel like I’m just getting started.”

Staying Stress-Free


By Cade Webb

Photo illustration by Julia Larberg
Photo illustration by Julia Larberg

Think back to final exam week. Many students probably remember how stressed out they were with trying to carve out time to study for their trigonometry exam or 15-page term paper. On top of that, imagine trying to balance five final exams and 20 hours of work outside of school. That’s the reality that many college students deal with in today’s world.

Since 1992, April has been recognized as National Stress Awareness Month. During this month, health officials and experts pro­mote awareness to the general public about the dangers of stress. As college students, a lot of the focus is on students. The key, they say, is to find ways to carve out some time for yourself and take your mind off of whatever it is that is getting to you.

Levi Lanzrath, a freshman at the college, talked about ways he deals with stress. “I spend a lot of time on Reddit, on my phone and being outdoors. I love nature, so riding my bike is something that helps me.”

Lanzrath is currently taking 13 credit hours while working 20 hours on the side at Best Buy.

Stress brings about many issues, social and physical. According to the American Institute of Stress, 40 percent of those af­fected by stress lose sleep every night. Lan­zrath says that the most important thing he can do to cope with stress is to get a good night’s sleep.

“It’s important for me to get at least seven hours of sleep a night. That way I’m well-rested and being tired during the day isn’t an issue.”

Another way that students at the college have dealt with stress is finding new study­ing techniques. Whether it be high-tech apps or the tried-and-true flashcards, students still feel it is necessary to use a technique that is efficient and easy to use.

One resource Lanzrath uses is Quizlet, an app available for Android and iPhone. The app allows users to create virtual flash­cards and have the program read them back to them. It eliminates the need for you to pull your friends or family away from their day to quiz you.

“It’s really nice to be able to study so quickly. It comes in handy with terms and vocabulary,” Lanzrath said.
Organization is obviously an easy way to cut down on unneeded stress. Alli Stout, a sophomore, uses the old-fashioned agenda.

“I just try to organize my time and think ahead by using a planner. It makes it easy to write out what I have to do and when I have to do it by.”

Stout also said that during finals week last year, she took an entire week off of work just to have time to study for exams.

Whatever the stress management tech­nique may be, it’s important to find some­thing that suits your lifestyle. If you are a busy student who works full time on top of 12 credit hours, an efficient, fast way to study is highly necessary.

The college also offers a meditation room, which can be used as a domain to just get away and unwind. Located in COM 309, every student at the college has access to the facility. It is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The effects of stress on your body

The human body responds physically to emotional problems.

Stress brings about many health issues, both emotional and physical.

*According to the American Institute of Technology, stress affects key areas of the body. *

    • Nervous system: In more stressful situations, the human body kicks into “fight or flight” mode. This releases adrenaline and cortisol from the adrenal glands into the bloodstream.


    • Cardiovascular system: Acute stress leads to increased heart rates, and stronger contractions of the heart. Excess episodes of acute stress can eventually lead to heart attacks


    • Gastrointestinal system: A common coping mechanism for dealing with stress is excess eating. This can lead to acid reflux, obesity, and heart disease.


  • Respiratory system: When faced with stressful situations, heavy breathing can follow – sometimes to the point of hyperventilation.

Compiled by Cade Webb


Staff Editorial: Ledger to take more online focus in autumn

The Campus Ledger has been the bi-week­ly student-run publication of the college for a little over 36 years now. However, the Ledger will be switching to monthly next autumn.

This can be viewed as both a good and bad idea, depending on the person you ask. We have received feedback from readers expressing their displeasure. Rest assured, while there will be a monthly copy, we will constantly be releasing our online edition.

A lot of publications are heading in this direction, and student publications in par­ticular are embracing it. This allows the Ledger to grow as an entity. The monthly printed edition will mainly be focusing on the visuals along with feature stories and human interest pieces.

Additionally, it’s our belief that some staff members have already taken strides toward covering breaking news on and off campus. An increased online presence will allow us to bring your news to you faster.

Along with the online issues, we will be expanding our social media reach as well. With this, breaking news that you need to know can be relayed to you faster.

A semester to remember: Ledger editor reflected upon successful award season

Wow, what a year it’s been! All sports teams have their respec­tive postseasons to shine and stand out. Student journalism is a little different, but quite similar. As student-journalist, we have award season, which always falls in mid- to late April.

I had a hunch the Campus Ledger would win quite a few individual awards because we have had a lot of talented staff members this year and the last one. Regardless, I was going to be proud of everyone either way.

However, I had no idea the Ledger would win All-Kansas, which is the highest honor for any student media outlet in Kansas. It’s the equivalent to winning state for a sports team. The Ledger hasn’t won All-Kansas in at least six years. It’s such a remarkable achievement.

I couldn’t be any more proud. I’m so honored to be a part of this amazing staff. It’s incredible that a group of random in­dividuals can come together in a few short weeks and create something special. It’s a very exciting time to be a part of this publication.

The judges looked mainly at issues from this past fall and a few from last year. This All-Kansas award really belongs to the staffers from this year and the last.

In addition, I was awarded Journalist of the Year. I can’t thank my staff enough. Ev­erything I do wouldn’t be possible without their help. I also want thank Corbin Crable, my current adviser who saw my potential and believed in me this whole time.

I also want to thank my former Heri­tage yearbook staff members along with my previous adviser, Julie Fales. Yearbook instilled the importance of deadlines. It also taught me how fun journalism is.

Kirby O’Neal was my first editor-in-chief, and he taught me how to be a leader in the newsroom. He was the editor-in-chief during my first year in journalism, when were awarded All-Kansas during my junior year.

I wanted to repeat ever since, but from a leadership role. The Campus Ledger achieved it. It’s remarkable. I faced quite a bit of adversity moving into the editor-in-chief role from photo editor, but like everything in life, if you work hard enough, anything is possible.

However, as journalists, our work is never over. The Ledger will take a new shape next year, and that’s so exciting. I know this newspaper will continue its tra­dition of excellence.

For me, this semester has been one of the most eye-opening and rewarding experi­ences of my life. I have learned more about myself and managing others then I ever thought I could. Thank you to everyone on staff and our faithful readers.

Cavalier Star Watch: Anthony Miller

By James Howey

This season, Cavaliers first basemen Anthony Miller hasn’t just been a standout on the college’s base­ball team and the Jayhawk conference —Miller is also one of the top players in the nation. Miller is second in the nation in home runs with 20 and fourth in the nation in RBIs with 65. Miller has been chosen as KJCCC player of the week four times this season. Miller leads the Cavs in batting average, hits and slugging per­centage. Miller and the loaded Cavs of­fense are looking to repeat as regional champions and advance to nationals to pursue a national title.

James Howey:
How have you been able to have such a successful season as an individual?

Anthony Miller: I think that any success that I have had or the team has had is all due to practice every day and the drills that Horner, Canary and Shelley have put together for us and the time they spent making sure we are at our best when we leave the ballpark every day.

JH: What do you guys as a team really need to focus on down the stretch with the goal of repeating as regional champs?

AM: I think that all we need to do is continue to grow as a team and get closer and form that family-style bond, because with that, everything clicks and we all know what we have to do, and we go out and do it to the best of our ability.

JH: Talk about the play of two of your teammates, Ben Calvano and L.J. Hatch, two guys who are also having a great season and are right next to you in the lineup. What it is like playing with those guys?

AM: Both L.J. and Ben are just freaks on the field. Both of them have plus power, plus speed, with very good arms. It is very good to know that they are beside me in the lineup, and it’s a blast playing with them. They play hard, fast and set a good example to everyone on how the game is supposed to be played. They are two of the best all-around players I’ve ever played with.

JH: How has Coach Shelley helped you your two years here at Johnson County on and off the field?

AM: Coach Shelley has played a huge role in my life on and off the field, especially with helping me in my game and helping me make sure that I stay on top of my grades. He has taught me a lot about the game of baseball and has taught us all valuable life lessons. He’s a very successful head coach, and you can tell that each and every one of us means the world to him with the effort he puts in.

JH: What made you choose New Mexico State as the place you wanted to play at next year?

AM: New Mexico State was my choice because of the coaches and the school itself. It’s in a place with beautiful baseball weather, and the philosophy that the hitting coach has is something very similar to what ours is with coach Canary, and he has had a lot of success with what he teaches.

JH: Who is your favorite athlete?

AM: Carlos Beltran

JH: What is your favorite food?

AM: Grilled tilapia

JH: What is your favorite movie?

AM: Anything with Matt Damon

JH: Who is your favorite artist?

AM: Kings of Leon

JH: What is your dream job?

AM: Owning a baseball facility that offers anything a baseball player could

Sports Briefs



The Cavaliers are continuing their roll down the stretch of the season with regionals in their sight. The Cavaliers have a potent offense and solid pitching that they hope will prove enough to repeat as regional champs. L.J. Hatch, Ben Calvano and Anthony Miller are the leading hitters for the Cavs. All three have a .350 batting average and 60 hits. Miller and Calvano are in the top three in the nation in home runs. Derek Hurt recorded a team-best 13 strikeouts against Labette Community College on April 9. Hurt is 5-0 on the season, Matthew McHugh is 4-1, Austin Stroschein is 6-2 and Jacob Patzner leads the team in wins with a 7-0 record.


The college’s track team has gotten off to a blazing start this season, with many athletes already qualifying for nationals. Areka Hanson, Brooklynn Meinke, Emily Meyers and Donatta Young qualified for the women’s 4×400 meter team. Daniel Mahurin, Rachard Young, Aaron Thacker and Dajuan Washington-Box qualified for the men’s 4×400 meter. Tess Augustyn qualified for the women’s hammer, Kayla McDougald qualified in the women’s javelin and Alexander Gutierrez and Josh Washington qualified in the men’s high jump.


Softball had a solid regular season and are all done with conference. The squad now looks to where they faltered last season in the regional playoffs. Hailey Cope, Samantha Kreissler, Taylor Brunson and Carly Campbell are the leading hitters for the Cavs this season. Sydney Koch is the leading pitcher for the team with a 16-2 record. Aldyn Wildey is 9-6 on the season. Check on The Campus Ledger’s website or my Twitter page @How_eyseesit for the results of the critical last conference game at Labette.

Compiled by James Howey, sports editor,

The noise of a great college


As construction continues around campus, Rex Hays explains its importance

By Tucker Swiastyn

Photo by Anya Ivantseva
Photo by Anya Ivantseva

It might be hard to ignore the orange fences and construction signs around the college. The blunt sounds of machinery cutting through bricks and loud beeps fill the classroom walls. To students, con­struction around campus might be noth­ing more than loud noises and disrup­tion, but men and women are continually working hard to keep the college campus in its prime.

The most recent work being done are masonry repairs. These repairs are intended to replace cracked bricks and cracked mortar.

Much like doing an inspection on a house, an inspection is done on the col­lege buildings to assess what work needs to be done. This inspection is known as a building envelope.

“We have a plan in place,” said Rex Hays, assistant vice president of Campus Services. “We get a budget and we work towards that budget to make as many re­pairs as we can.”

The CSB, GEB and the COM buildings were all part of the now finished masonry project. The next buildings to get mason­ry repairs will be the north side of the sci­ence building, CLB and OCB.

Based on the repairs needed — ma­sonry, caulking, mortar and angle modi­fications on the bricks — the cost on the next three buildings will be $247,000. This kind of work on bricks is vital because the structure’s integrity can be compromised by water damage.

“The most important thing about maintaining a facility is really all about keeping the water out,” Hays said. “You definitely don’t want water running into a building, because then you can run into mold issues, and that’s really costly to mediate.”

One of the biggest challenges in the construction around campus is the com­plaints from students and professors. Cutting bricks is not a quiet procedure, but it has to be done. However, Hays goes to great measures to make the students and teachers as comfortable as possible.

“I try to determine what the scope of work is,” Hays said. “Then I try to find out the schedules those particular class­rooms run at. I will coordinate with the class scheduler and ask to relocate classes if there is a lot of noise. I’ll have the work­ers do work outside of those hours that those classes are occupied.”

Whether it’s raining or snowing, night or day, men and women are at work ev­ery day to maintain this nationally re­nowned college in Johnson County.


Police Briefs


Credit card theft in the southwest parking lot

Campus police were dispatched to the Carlsen Center on Monday, March 9 after a victim reported of missing credit cards, cash and other materials from her purse, which she had placed in the trunk of her vehicle in the southwest parking lot. Af­ter filing the report, the bank notified the victim that several transactions had been made at various retail establishments. The victim has since canceled her credit cards, and the investigation remains on­going.

Missing supplies near the first-floor reference desk

Police were sent to the Carlsen Cen­ter on Thursday, March 5 in response to a theft outside of the Billington Library. After stepping outside of the library to make a phone call, the victim returned to his table near the first-floor reference desk to discover his shoulder bag and two textbooks missing. He asked nearby patrons if they had seen his property, but to no avail, and subsequently filed a re­port about the incident. The campus po­lice detective is investigating the matter.

Cleaning crew employee’s credit card stolen

The police were dispatched to the Carlsen Center on Thursday, March 5 re­garding the stolen credit card of a clean­ing crew employee. The victim reported that she had dropped her credit card outside of the Child Development Cen­ter on Tuesday, March 3 during the eve­ning hours. The victim noticed her credit card missing when she returned home, and contacted her bank the next day. The victim was notified that there had been two separate transactions on Wednesday, March 4 and immediately contacted cam­pus police. The campus police detective is investigating the report
Compiled by Valerie Velikaya, managing editor,

News Briefs


Upcoming election: Board of Trustees

Voters will cast their ballots for the spring 2015 general election, including the selection of three members of the college’s Board of Trustees. Each trustee will serve the county for an at-large four-year term. The candidates are as follows: Larry Fotovich, Nancy L. Ingram, Patricia Lightner, David A. Lindstrom, Greg Mu­sil and Mark Read. The election will take place on Tuesday, April 7.
Visit the Johnson County Election Office website at

Student Senate

The election for Student Senate will be held in COM 2.0 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14, Wednesday, April 15 and Thursday, April 16. Voters may cast in their votes through an online ballot by entering their college username and password at the time of the election.
For more information about the Student Senate follow this link >>>
To access the online application materials, click this link >>>

Compiled by Valerie Velikaya, managing editor,

Third annual naturalization ceremony held at the college

By Valerie Velikaya
President Joe Sopcich congratulating JCCC student Hassan Fikri on becoming an American citizen. Photo by Anya Ivantseva.

President Joe Sopcich congratulating JCCC student Hassan Fikri on becoming an American citizen.
Photo by Anya Ivantseva.

More than 900 individuals flooded Yardley Hall with their presence, smiles and emotions as 250 people took the oath of citizenship at the college.

Immigrants from 65 countries and backgrounds, including four of the college’s students, took their first steps as an American as the Honorable Judge Julie A. Robinson, a local US district court magistrate judge, led the ceremony.

Many who took the oath of citizenship arrived to America to escape the oppression of their country; tears of joy filled the auditorium as individu­als raised their right hand, holding the American flag as they took part in this life-changing experience.

President Joe Sopcich joined the lineup, discussing his family background. The ceremony was followed by a sing-along of the national anthem.

The commemoration took place on Wednesday, March 18 in Yardley Hall in the Carlsen Center.


Night at the Nelson


Students get the opportunity to hear their professors speak on art pieces at the Museum

By Tucker Swiastyn

Michael Robertson addresses a gathering of students as he talks about an art piece on display at the Nelson Atkins Muesum.Photo courtesy of the college

Michael Robertson addresses a gathering of students as he talks about an art piece on display at the Nelson Atkins Muesum.
Photo courtesy of the college

Youthful eyes glare and glaze over as the teacher tries to make the lesson plans come to life. Some students’ eyes are opened by the teacher’s knowledge, and others use the time to daydream. Night at the Nelson is a chance for students to see their professors in a different light. The myth that professors never leave the classroom will be busted.

For the past 18 years, on the third Fri­day of every April, the college hosts an event at the Nelson Atkins Art Museum, where professors speak on pieces of art they are passionate about. Humanities professor Michael Robertson has partici­pated at the event since the beginning.

“As a professor of art histories and humanities … you hope you light a fire in some of them [students],” Robertson said. “For a knowledge and appreciation for the arts that is transformative, that it becomes part of the students’ everyday experience.”

In many cases, students have never been to the Nelson. If students have, there is a chance that they have not been since an elementary school field trip. Night at the Nelson gives students the opportu­nity to learn outside of the classroom.

“It allows students to experience edu­cation in the point of view that the world is an opportunity to learn,” Julie Hutchi­son, art history department, said. “Not just in the confines of school. You can learn things everywhere and it will make your life richer.”

Timothy Hoare, humanities professor, has been part of the event for the past 16 years. Asian art is his specialty. This year he will be speaking on a Japanese screen painting that contains unique features not found in most Asian art. The art piece is titled Spring and Autumn With Children Playing at the Seashore.

“It is my favorite event of the spring semester,” Hoare said. “Any professor who told you that there was not a per­former buried inside of them would be lying. I just really enjoy doing it; it’s fun and I get to talk about something I know about. And I get to dress to the nines.”

Being a local museum, The Nelson At­kins’ world-renowned pieces can be over­looked or underappreciated.

“The Nelson is truly one of the great art collections in the United States,” said Allison Smith, associate professor chair of art history. “It truly has one of the most significant encyclopedic art collections in the US.”
There are no requirements for atten­dance to the event. Every professor par­ticipating in the event will have tickets to hand out to students. While the event it­self is free, anyone planning on attending will need a ticket.

The Night at the Nelson will start at 6 p.m. on April 17. Students are encour­aged to show up around 5 p.m. for free and distance-friendly parking.


College fights hunger one can at a time


Campus food pantry helps students in desperate need of food

By Kayla McDowell

Special to The Ledger

You close your eyes as you try to fo­cus your attention on the next question of the exam. You’ve studied all night for this, but you still can’t remember a single thing. All you can think about is how long you might have to go before you can get your next meal.

For some students, this situation hits very close to home. Currently, the college is taking steps to help those students.

Aurya Tekleab, a student at the col­lege, said the food pantry has helped her when she has been desperate for food. She said that the pantry’s arrangement of soups, canned goods and pasta fulfilled her needs when she was without a job.

“I didn’t go hungry that night,” Tekleab said.

The college regularly serves students like this with the food pantry, which provides nonperishable items to those in need.

“What we started doing right away was trying to provide opportunities so that students get by,” said Brian Wright, the adviser for Model United Nations.

According to Wright, the pantry be­gan as an event through Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), along with a Camp­bell’s program. Although SIFE is no lon­ger on campus, the food pantry lives on with the help of the Model UN.

“It gave Model UN an opportunity to be a little bit more visible on campus,” Wright said.

From what he can tell, Wright be­lieves about 60 people take advantage of the pantry on a regular basis based on who signs in. The number could very well be higher because there is no moni­tor system for the pantry. Students are allowed to simply enter and take what they need.

“The whole idea is to try and keep it anonymous,” Wright said.

According to Wright, the food pan­try partners up with other departments to make the experience for the attend­ees more helpful. Currently, the pantry works with the Nutrition Club as well as service-learning.

According to Mary Smith, service-learning counselor, the service-learn­ing‘s contribution to the food pantry be­gan in fall 2014.

“The pantry did not have enough items consistently, and it was an op­portunity to involve the entire [college] community,” Smith said.

The service-learning’s helping hand to the food pantry includes creating awareness for the need for food as well as a system to publicize that need in or­der to receive donations.

With the help of the Nutrition Club, the pantry offers recipes based on the food that is available in the pantry, help­ing students create meals with the re­sources they are provided.

Despite the main goal for the pantry being sustainability, all of the efforts rely on the donations the pantry receives. Once having a budget to buy food, the pantry now depends on the food and money donations of the college’s facul­ty and students. That can easily pose a problem: Students can’t be fed if there is no food to give out.

“We try to keep it as full as possible, but we’re just limited by our donations,” Wright said. “If we’re empty, and people come in here and it’s empty, then they’d probably lose interest real quick.”

Food pantry drives begin in Novem­ber, but the donations tend to fly off the shelves. The spring semester generally experiences an immense need for more donations.

The pantry is located in OCB 272 and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are bins set up around campus, including the Student Center and the hallway in front of pantry for donations. Nonper­ishable protein items are always in the greatest need. For more information, visit Model UN’s website or email Brian Wright at


Stargazing, space missions at upcoming college event


Astronomy department continues its traditional Evening with the Stars

By Pete Schulte


Special to The Ledger

Dwarf planets like Ceres and Pluto, current space missions and observations of the night sky will all be topics of dis­cussion at the college’s upcoming Evening with the Stars event.

The first of two semiannual events hosted by the college’s astronomy depart­ment is scheduled for Saturday, April 25. The event, which has operated for over 30 years, is free and open to the public. Guests are treated to a short commentary on a range of astronomical topics, fol­lowed by a viewing session that consists of utilizing the telescopes at the Paul Teb­be Observatory. Topics in the past have ranged from asteroids, doomsday, saving civilization, black holes and the end of the world.

This semester’s event will be led by Doug Patterson, professor of astronomy, and will highlight NASA’s upcoming New Horizons mission as well as its cur­rent Dawn Spacecraft Mission. Dawn recently made history by becoming the first spacecraft to achieve an orbit around dwarf planet Ceres.

“I still find it really impressive, really humbling, about how much our own so­lar system and nearby things continue to surprise us. Every time we go to an object, even if we’ve been there before, we find things that blow our mind … [things] we had no idea we’d ever see,” Patterson said.

The concept of a dwarf planet and Pat­terson’s thoughts on the meaning will be discussed, as well as Dawn’s discoveries while observing Ceres and what NASA’s upcoming New Horizons mission looks to achieve.

Patterson has been a physics profes­sor at the college since 1993 and has been teaching astronomy since 2000, and one of his favorite reasons for teaching the field is because it’s constantly changing and the fact that he can bring new discoveries and new activity, such as Dawn’s mission, into the classroom.

“This isn’t dead stuff that we’re study­ing out of some dusty textbook. This is something that is very alive and is chang­ing at the moment,” Patterson said.

In addition to the presentation, view­ers can expect to become participants by having a guided look at constellations, deep-sky objects and our closest neighbor, the moon, through telescopes found at the observatory.

Rick Henderson, president of the As­tronomical Society of Kansas City, hopes that viewers will make it out to the event. He may even make an appearance him­self. “Space is an extension of our natural world. Getting out in the night sky … it’s just beautiful. It’s amazing how many people have not seen the Milky Way gal­axy, which is our closest neighbor. You can approach [the space observation] from the pure beauty of it.”

The event begins at 7 p.m. in GEB 233, followed by the observation at the Paul Tebbe Observatory atop the CLB. For more information, contact Professor Pat­terson at or Professor Koch at


Shot heard across campus

By James Howey

Photo by Mike Abell
Photo by Mike Abell

The game was tied and the clock winding down.

Alexis Brown had the ball and the dreams of a team in her hands. Brown stepped back and put up a shot that will forever live in the pantheon of the athletic history of the college. Brown made the shot, and the Cavaliers won the women’s NJCAA national championship in true Hollywood style, on their home court.

“Lexi’s Legacy” is what longtime team sup­porter Brody Fuentes nicknamed the shot. Immediately after the thrilling ending to the game, the Cavs’ massive student section erupt­ed and stormed the court in utter bedlam.

“I actually wasn’t thinking anything,” Brown said. “I was just too happy to even think.”

For Brown, this triumph goes beyond just basketball. Brown lost her father at a very young age, and since then has always been motivated by him to do her best.

“This means everything to me,” Brown said. “I basically did it for my daddy, my momma and my little brother.”

Cavaliers head coach Ben Conrad had tremendous confidence in Brown having the ball with everything on the line.

“It was an impressive shot, and she’s a special player,” Conrad said. “The biggest thing with her is that she’s afraid of nothing, and she likes the big stage”

Prior to the tournament, Brown did suffer a shoulder injury and just wasn’t herself of­fensively for most of the tournament.

“She really struggled throughout the tour­nament,” Conrad said. “I just kept thinking she’d have a great night.”

Nieka Wheeler was a part of a team last year that could have easily been in the same position, and knows that in a way this cham­pionship was bigger than just this team this season.

“I felt like this team was the one that could do it for all the other teams that didn’t make it, and for Conrad,” Wheeler said.

The Cavs have maintained the mentality of one game at a time this whole season, but even Wheeler admitted that they knew what their goal was all along.

“I always thought it would be awesome to get that ring and be part of a team to win a national title,” Wheeler said. “We played it game by game, but in everyone’s mind we were thinking we could get to the national championship and be the team to win it.”

After the Cavs’ win over KCK in region­als to the advance to national tournament, Wheeler saw that this team was capable to do great things and use everything their coach had instilled in them during the season.

“I felt like after the regional championship that we could do anything,” Wheeler said. “Conrad trained us, coached us into being the best team we could be, and I knew we could be the best.”

Not only was the championship a classic, but most of the tournament games went down to the final min­utes. This tournament featured one of the most stacked in recent memory.

“This tournament field was as good a [Division II] field I’ve seen in all the years we’ve been coming here, and when I was recruiting here at a four-year school,” Conrad said.

The Cavaliers also had three play­ers who were voted onto the all-tour­nament team. Wheeler, Erica Nelson and Brown were the three Cavs to receive that honor. Wheeler averaged 19.5 points and eight rebounds in the tournament and was voted tourna­ment MVP. Conrad won his first-ever national title, his 300th career game and was named coach of the tourna­ment. Sophomores Wheeler, Kelsey Barret and Braile Fields are the win­ningest sophomore class at the college with 64 wins the past two years. Even with the monumental win, Conrad always knew, win or lose, the process is always the most important thing for this program.

“I’ve always told our players to not get too hung up on the way it ends and whether we won or lost this game. How we approach things every day is what really matters,” Conrad said. “That being said, getting over this hump, winning a national champion­ship is pretty special, and it means a lot to the program.”
For post game interviews with players Nieka Wheeler, Alexis Brown and coach Ben Conrad click this link >>>

The state needs to invest in its schools


Budget cuts hurt future of education

By Forest Lassman

Schools are a vital part of any society. They allow for people to learn more and grow, which is why it is baffling that the state seems to be doing as little as it can.

In 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that funding was so low it was uncon­stitutional. This moment should have been the wake-up call to the local government to focus more on education, but it hasn’t.

Last month, the state passed a new school funding system that changes how funding is distributed and causes $51 mil­lion in aid to be lost.

Many school districts that are already strapped for cash will be forced to make even more cuts, further decreasing the qual­ity of education.

This is the exact opposite of what the state should be doing. We should be in­vesting in our future by making sure our children and our children’s children live a life where they are better educated than we ever were. By cutting funding, we are limiting their opportunities.

A strong school system creates a strong base across the state of well-educated people who will be able to perform at a higher quality. It should be of supreme importance, not something we give the bare minimum to support.

I am a product of the state’s educational system, and as good as it was to me, it did have major problems, and I want it to become even better.

I had lots of ultra-supportive teachers in my school experiences. I was pushed to always try and do better and was con­stantly challenged to think better and more critically by almost every instructor I had. As hard as these teachers worked, I could clearly see the limitations they faced. A lot of them had to bring in a lot of extra content from free sources due to the textbooks be­ing outdated and not as in-depth as they needed to be.

As hard as my educators tried, they couldn’t do everything they wanted to, no matter how creative they were. For every student like me they inspired, there was another they couldn’t reach. I saw a lot of students I was friends with drop out due to lack of interest. Most of these students regretted the decision and had to work hard to try and get a GED later in life.

Instead of trying to cut back, we should be making a larger effort than ever to make the state’s education the best it can be. If we invest more into schools, we can help motivate more to do more with their lives, which will help the entire economy in the long term. Even though the economy was hit hard by the recession and worsened by a bad state governmental response, educa­tion should never pay the price. We should always be working as hard as we can to make the future the best it can be.


Staff Editorial: Voting for Board of Trustee members is an imperative action

The elections for the Board of Trustee and other school board members will take place on Tuesday, April 7. There are three out of seven board spots being voted on. Trustees Greg Musil and David A. Lind­strom will run again. Jon Stewart will not run again. Regardless, we’re getting at least one new board member.

It’s normal for people to encourage their peers to vote; you might hear it all the time and not think much of it. How­ever, voting on board members is prob­ably more relevant than ever.

Most people have their regular bud­gets, which is determined by their sal­ary. The college’s budget is determined by what this group of elected officials votes on.

Additionally, state funding for the college’s budget has only been getting smaller and smaller over the years.

The Ledger urges you all to be informed of our board members. All of their current résumés can be found online. We won’t tell you who to vote for, although we want you to be informed of what you’re voting on.
Take this time to elect an educational leader, and not someone who has never set foot inside a classroom.

Vote for a candidate who puts education before business. As Faculty Association Presi­dent Deb Williams said at a past board meeting, “This isn’t a bank,” and we as students shouldn’t sit aside and let it become a bank.


A magical game, a magical season

By James Howey
Tournament MVP Nieka Wheeler holds up a piece of the winning game net. Wheeler is currently undecided on where she will play basketball next year, but she plans on going on to Division I. Photo by Julia Larberg

Tournament MVP Nieka Wheeler
holds up a piece of the winning
game net. Wheeler is currently
undecided on where she will play
basketball next year, but she plans
on going on to Division I.
Photo by Julia Larberg

After Alexis Brown shot the ball in the waning seconds of the Cava­liers’ championship victory, I thought one thing in my mind: no way. No way that this team is going to win on a last-second buzzer-beater at home in front of a packed crowd to win a national title. That just doesn’t happen.

But of course, that did happen. A dream became a beautiful reality and the Cavs were crowned champions 66-64 over Parkland Community College.

Being able to cover this team and wit­ness this historic season is the most hon­ored I have ever been to be sports jour­nalist. The championship game was by far the best game I have ever covered in person and will be an event that will for­ever hold a special place in my heart, no matter where my career takes me.

Seeing a loud and full student section at a sporting event here is pretty much like seeing the Loch Ness Monster, so seeing so many students united in Cava­lier pride at the championship game was special, and hopefully that carries over to next season.

The game was an absolute twelve-round brawl. When one team would make a great play, the other would re­spond with a play to match. All through the game, everyone watching could see this would go right down to the wire.

Sometimes a championship game doesn’t always live up to the hype; well, this one far exceeded the hype. The game was a reminder of why people love sports.

Both teams were fighting, scratching and doing everything they could to come out on top. Being able to win a champi­onship in that fashion on your own home court is something most teams or players never get to do.

The night of the championship is truly one of those nights you wish you could relive over and over again, almost like a movie. I’ve jokingly thought a couple times in past few weeks, “So when is ESPN getting here to do interviews for the 30 for 30 about the championship game?”

This Cavalier team is the perfect ex­ample of team who grew up during the season. The squad faced suspensions, the loss of a starter midway through the year and losing two games in a row for the first time since 2010.

It became clear around mid-February this team was getting mentally tough­er and stronger. This is a credit to their coach, Ben Conrad, who preaches tough­ness day in and day out.

The championship helps validate the legacy of one of the top programs in the junior college landscape. Winning a championship takes luck, guts and a lot of hustle.

All three of those traits were shown by the Cavs in the last month of the season, and that paid off with a night that will live forever in the lore of Johnson County and this college.


Sports Briefs



The Cavaliers are looking to get back on track after getting swept in their big­gest series of the season. The squad fell to Highland Community College 9-4 and 12-3. The Cavs sit at 22-8 on the year and 11-3 in conference. Despite the sweep, the Cavs are still in second place in the Jay­hawk and regionals. The squad has criti­cal matchups with Neosho and Labette left in the season, which will help decide the upper seeding for regionals. The Cav­aliers do have improved hitting from last year, three solid pitchers and are still very capable of reaching the lofty goals they have. The experience they have from last year’s squad will be very key in the home stretch of the season.


After a huge series sweep of Coffeyville Community College, the Cavaliers have firmly placed themselves in the second-place position of the Jayhawk. The Cavs are 27-8 and 14-6 in the Jayhawk. The squad will look to maintain success in the closing of the season facing teams whom they should beat. The Cavaliers possess both tremendous depth at pitching and power at the plate. Anthony Miller con­tinues his great campaign with confer­ence team-leading 15 home runs. Ben Calvano has 10 home runs and is tied with L.J. Hatch with the team lead in hits. Jacob Patzner leads the team in wins with a 6-0 record.

Compiled by James Howey, sports editor,

Cavalier Star Watch: Ben Conrad

By James Howey
Coach Ben Conrad holds up the winning net from the Saturday, March 21 national championship victory. The game marked Conrad’s 300th career win. Photo by Julia Larberg

Coach Ben Conrad holds up the winning
net from the Saturday, March 21
national championship victory. The game
marked Conrad’s 300th career win.
Photo by Julia Larberg

Since getting to the college seven years ago, head coach Ben Conrad has turned the women’s basketball program into a perennial power. Conrad is 207-32 here at the college with a .866 winning percentage. This championship season marked his sixth straight 30-win campaign at the college. Conrad was grad assistant at Northern Iowa Univer­sity and served three years as head coach at Des Moines Area Community College and Upper Iowa University. Those six seasons he improved both of those pro­grams by miles. This championship was Conrad’s first as head coach, and don’t be surprised if it isn’t his last.

James Howey: Why did you want the ball in Alexis Brown’s hands when the game was on the line?

Ben Conrad: She’s a very good one-on-one player. She can make plays and improvise against solid defense. She also was hot late in that game, including three free-throw makes when she was fouled shooting a three. After some deep thought, I felt like that was our best chance.

JH: Have you ever been a part of an atmosphere like the college had in the championship game, and how exciting was it to coach in that environment?

BC: We’ve had a few really cool nights here over the years, but nothing like that. Our crowd was unreal. They worked awfully hard that night to help get us over the hump.

JH: Considering some of the heartbreak you guys have had in the last few years with losing in regionals, how much sweeter does that make winning this championship?

BC: I think the valleys are what make the peaks so special. I’ve spent plenty of nights in this business in some dark places emotionally. That night makes all those nights more than worth it. Trust me when I tell you I thought about our group in 2013 that got beat on a buzzer-beater in Wichita. We’ve been on the other end of this for sure.

JH: This team went through a lot of adversity and some struggles through the season. When did you finally start to think this team is getting it and has what it takes to do special things?

BC: It was clear the last couple weeks. We were starting to play right. We really handled two very good teams to close out the regular season. I had a feeling we could make a run with this group.

JH: You guys use the motto “Process over product.” What does that mean to you personally, and how have you and your coaching staff tried to instill that in your teams over the years?

BC: It’s just keeping a laser-like focus on the process we follow to get our group playing right and approaching your daily work the right way. It’s about work ethic and just grinding. I always tell our kids not to get too high or too low during the year after wins or losses. Just keep your eyes on winning every day in the weight room, film room or practice.

JH: What made you want to get into coaching and why basketball?

BC: Education is the family business. We’ve got high school teachers, coaches, college coaches, college presidents all in our family tree. I always knew I’d coach. One of my uncles was a college football coach, and I remember as a really young boy watching him lead his team onto the field one Saturday, like a general leading his troops. I just remember thinking that was pretty special. Basketball was always my passion. I had another uncle who was a college hoops coach, and I’ve just always loved the game. It’s the ultimate team game.

JH: Seven years ago, what made you choose Johnson County as the school you wanted to coach at?

BC: It was a family decision, honestly. We loved the idea of living in this community and raising our family here. Professionally, I felt like we could build something really special here. As a coach, you just want to be where you can attract good players and have a chance to compete for championships and work with good people. JCCC has all that.

JH: What is your favorite movie?

BC: I love movies and prefer a top 10. But if you pressed me on one or two, I’d have to say “Goodwill Hunting” or “Shawshank Redemption.”

JH: Who is your favorite athlete?

BC: You can’t beat Michael Jordan’s competitiveness, toughness and work ethic. But probably for another week or two, I’m going to go with Alexis Brown.

JH: What is your favorite food?

BC: Unfortunately, all food is my favorite.

JH: Who is your favorite artist or band?

BC: I love all music, but you can’t beat Kenny Chesney in concert.


Take 5 takes off


Students, faculty prepare to partake in yearly film festival

By J.T. Buchheit, copy editor,

Students who think they have what it takes to produce a superb film are getting an opportunity to show their stuff at the annual Take 5 Film Fest on Thursday, April 2.

“What the [festival] is all about is students being able to exhibit the works that they’ve worked on in classes around the area, from high schools and here from the college as well,” said event organizer and journalism professor Joe Petrie.

Students will be able to enter films in any of five genres: Sci-Fi, Documentary, Narrative, Animation and original music video. The video must not be more than five minutes long, and a student may submit a maximum of five entries.

“I’m going to enter a music video,” said student Branden “Fozzie” Davidson. “It’s an original piece written by my brother. It’s a rap video with a comedic twist to it, and I edited it and shot it and directed the film itself.”

The festival has recently become more than just showing students’ films, however; there are also opportunities for students to learn more about making videos.

“The Take 5 Film Festival used to be the Cavalier Film Festival, which was where we showed a number of works from students in video production,” said Petrie. “We would give out awards for four different categories. But we didn’t get as much participation as we would’ve liked and not a great turnout in the evening, so we decided to move it to the daytime and make it more of a full learning experience for students.”

There are five workshop sessions that students can go to in order to gain more knowledge from experts about producing films. The workshops are movie makeup, shooting high-speed action, DSLR shooting, lighting, FX editing as well as preproduction scripting, storyboarding and line producing. One person interested in the workshop sessions is journalism instructor and first-time event organizer Adam Stephenson.

“I want to see how the students react to the workshops,” said Stephenson. “Watching them take in the information that these professionals have and just hearing the questions that they have to ask, because a lot of times, these kinds of events inspire the students to actually make a career out of it.”

Although Stephenson has never been involved in the Take 5 Film Festival before, he has been interested in the field for quite a while.

“I’ve always loved going to film festivals, especially when I was a student,” said Stephenson. “In fact, one of my wife and I’s favorite things to do every year is go to the Silent Film Festival in Topeka. So I’ve gone to film festivals before, but this is my first time actually being involved with the nitty-gritty, behind-the-scenes part of a film festival.”

Students and organizers alike are excited for the festival to take place, and many of the students are eager to show off the films they made and learn more about their potential careers.

Cavaliers capture championship


By James Howey, sports edtior,

The Cavaliers achieved the ultimate team goal in true Hollywood style Saturday night. The squad won the NJCAA National championship over Parkland Community College, 66-64 on Alexis Brown’s game winning buzzer beater shot in front of a packed house. “Lexis Legacy” is what long time team supporter Brody Fuentes nicked named the shot. When that shot happened, the Cavs massive student section erupted and stormed the court in utter bedlam.

The game was an absolute twelve round brawl. When one team would make a great play the other would respond with a play to match. All through the game everyone watching could see this would go right down to the wire. Sometimes a championship game doesn’t always live up to the hype; well this one far exceeded the hype. The game was a reminder of why people love sports. Both teams were fighting, scratching, and doing everything they could to come out on top. Being able to win a championship in that fashion on your own home court is something most teams or players never get to do.

The Cavaliers also had three players who were voted onto the all-tournament team. Nieka Wheeler, Erica Nelson, and Brown were the three Cavs to receive that honor. Wheeler was also voted tournament MVP. Wheeler averaged 19.5 points and eight rebounds in the tournament. Cavs head coach Ben Conrad won his first ever National title, his 300th career game, and was named coach of the tournament.

This instant classic will forever live in the lore of Johnson County and this college. The championship helps validate the legacy of one of the top programs in the junior college landscape. Winning a championship takes luck, guts, and, a lot of hustle. All three of those traits were shown by the Cavs in the last month of the season, and that paid off with a dream becoming reality on Saturday night

Staff Picks: The staff shares their favorite places to go around Kansas City



“I’m a big vinyl collector, so I frequent various record stores, particularly in the Westport area. Mills Record Company has a good selection, as well as Vinyl Renaissance on 39th street. It’s nice to get away from digital music and listen to something more tangible, and both record shops have an array of music to choose from.”

Vinyl Renaissance & Audio Kansas City:
1415 W 39th St
Kansas City, MO 64111
(816) 756-0014



“If you like coffee, Kansas City is the place for you. Second Best Coffee is located at 85th and Wornall in KCMO. They provide some of the tastiest of coffees with a great laid-back atmosphere. Definitely one of the coolest-looking shops I’ve been in. PT’s Coffee is located in the Crossroads district, 310 Southwest Blvd. in KCMO. This shop will whip you up some of the best lattes you’ve ever had. Both of these shops have Slayer espresso machines, so you will be getting some of the best shots of espresso out there. “


“In a state known for its barbecue, not many places measure up to Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que. The barbecue joint has been a keystone in the food selections of Overland Park for years. With delicious sauces, a terrific selection of sandwiches and ribs, Joe’s Kansas City is a must for anyone visiting the Overland Park area.”


“Papa Keno’s has amazing pizza. They are famous for serving massive slices as big as your face, and the food tastes great. Besides pizza, they also serve sandwiches and salads for very reasonable prices. “

7901 Santa Fe Dr, Overland Park.
Best Pizza Papa Keno’s


For more staff picks follow this link >>>

Gallery: Student fashion show


All photos by Julia Larberg

Cavaliers advance to nationals

By James Howey
Alexis Brown shoots from beyond the arc against Kansas City Kansas at the regional championship. The Cavs would go on to win and advance to nationals 70-51.  Photo by James Howey

Alexis Brown shoots from beyond the arc against Kansas City Kansas at the regional championship. The Cavs would go on to win and advance to nationals 70-51.
Photo by James Howey

Nieka Wheeler just couldn’t let go of the trophy.

“I think I really didn’t understand what we were playing for last year,” Wheeler said. “This year I understood how important it was to win.”

The women’s basketball squad defeat­ed the Kansas City Kansas Community College Blue Devils in Wichita 70-51. Fol­lowing the win, Wheeler was practically glued to the regional championship tro­phy. After experiencing heartbreak in the same place the previous two years, the Cavs were filled with jubilation knowing they will not only be going to nationals, but also knowing nationals will be right in their own backyard.

“I think it’s an advantage because we are going to be more comfortable and more familiar with our surroundings,” Wheeler said. “I think it’s going to take a lot of focus, just being tied in and commit­ted to what we are trying to do to win this tournament.”

Despite the final score, the game was a battle through most of the contest. After a technical foul by the Devils that gave the Cavs a 42-40 lead, the floodgates opened. The Cavs dominated the last 10 minutes of the game and emerged with a historic win.

“We basically imploded in January in our first game against KCK,” Cava­liers head coach Ben Conrad said. “Our team has grown up and really improved, which we expect our teams to do.”
According to Conrad, even with the benefit of being at home, the squad will have plenty of obstacles to go through in the tournament.

“The urgency everyone will play with in that tournament will cancel out some of it,” Conrad said. “It definitely is nice to be in our own beds, in our normal rou­tine. No matter what, we’ll have to play some very good basketball to be success­ful.”

Conrad said the Cavs will stick with the mentality they have had all year: Do things right and success will follow suit.

“Our focus will be like it always is, with process before product,” Conrad said. “We will prepare the right way, do things the right way, control what we can control. Then we’ll feel good about the re­sult we get.”

The Cavaliers will look to achieve one of the most satisfying and rare things in sports: winning a national title on their own court.

“I like our team a great deal,” Conrad said. “They play with a unique swagger, and I wouldn’t want to play against our players right now.”

To watch The Cavalier Sports Report with Tyler Cundith, Sports information director, as he talks about the NJCAA tournament click This link >>>

The third eye: Kansas begins the process of equipping police officers with body cameras

By Tucker Swiastyn

Kansas has taken a step in the pro­posed bill stating that all police officers would be required to wear a body camera while on duty. Both Wichita and Lenexa have started using the devices, and the college is now in the process of deciding whether to implement them as well.

While it is not yet a law requiring po­lice officers to do so, President Barack Obama has started a fund to push the is­sue at hand.

“My view is that body cameras pro­vide transparency in the law enforcement process and, in the overwhelming num­ber of cases, demonstrate that a profes­sional officer acted appropriately,” said board of trustee member Greg Musil.

The body camera’s main purpose is to allow all the officers’ interactions in the field to be recorded and stored in a data­base controlled by that police force. Dan Robles, Crime Prevention Officer at the college, has been an officer for 22 years and has experienced all the technological advances in the police force.

“[The body camera] is an idea that, when you look at the different instances that have happened around the United States with law enforcement, it would be another tool to help discern how inci­dents happen,” said Robles.

Robles believes the expense of the cameras is the largest issue at hand.

Each body camera will cost between $2,000 and $5,000 per officer. Because of the expense, not everyone in law enforce­ment will be wearing a body camera. The lifespan on any one camera is two to three years.

According to Molly Baumgardner, Journalism and Media Communications Coordinator and Kansas senator of the 37th district, the Kansas Senate bill states that the victim, the attorney and the par­ents of a minor will be the only individu­als with access to the recorded footage. As of now, footage would not be protected and would be up to the individual agen­cies to have policies protecting the foot­age.

If the House passes the bill that the Senate has already approved, then the bill will go to the governor for signature. Following this action, the above viewer regulation will be put into act for the state of Kansas.

“I think the camera is good protection for the citizen and the police at the same time,” said Robles. “Conversation and ac­tion are both being recorded, and if you think about it, film and video don’t lie.”

Officers will be required to turn the camera on following the exit of the police car. A handful of vendors are in the pro­cess of making a wide variety of cameras, including cameras that will mount on of­ficers’ eyewear.

“I caution everyone, though, that there are no magic answers in high-pressure, life-and-death split-second decision-making for law enforcement officers, however well trained they may be,” said Musil. “Cameras are typically more en­lightening and accurate than eyewitness accounts. but even with video, any inci­dent deserves careful and patient review without everyone taking sides.”

News Briefs


Citizenship oath

Over 200 people from various coun­tries will take the US citizenship oath at the college on Wednesday, March 18. This is the third year in a row the college has been chosen to host it. The ceremony will be led by Judge Julie A. Robinson and will be livestreamed.

Speech on Chinese transportation

On Tuesday, March 23, Associate Pro­fessor Yizhao Yang from the University of Oregon will be speaking in the Hudson Auditorium about transportation in ur­ban China. She will discuss the problems with current Chinese transportation and the potential solutions. It will take place at 6 p.m. in the Regnier Center.

Compiled by J.T. Buchheit, copy editor,

Police Briefs



Parking lot theft

A theft was reported on Thursday, Feb. 19. After returning to her car, the victim heard a loud noise from the underside of her vehicle. After a tow truck arrived, it was found that the catalytic converter had been stolen from the vehicle. There are no suspects or witnesses. Investigation is on­going.

Camera heist

Campus police were dispatched to the Nerman Museum on Tuesday, Feb. 24 af­ter receiving the news that someone stole a camera out of a desk drawer in room 213. The reporting party did not suspect anybody, and there were no witnesses. Police are looking into the matter.

Conflict in library

Police were sent to the Billington Li­brary on Wednesday, Feb. 18 after a re­port of a disturbance. The victim said her boyfriend had stolen her car keys while talking to her and refused to return them. The victim then said her boyfriend re­turned the keys immediately before the officers arrived. The campus police detec­tive will investigate the incident.

Compiled by J.T. Buchheit, copy editor,

Active Minds promotes mental health education


Group works to remove the stigma of mental disorders

By Forest Lassman

For many, mental heath is something that isn’t talked about. Active Minds is a group on campus that wants to change that.

Founded in 2003, Active Minds is a nationwide organization, Michael Jones, president of the college’s chapter, said.

“It was started by a woman whose old­er brother had taken his life towards the middle of her college education. She had started it under the pretense that a lot of people who have gone through life deal­ing with mental health issues, and that a lot of people who have had treatment for mental health issues were going to start seeing [the effects] expressed differently as they’re going through their college education because it’s kind of a new en­vironment for them. It’s not something they’re necessarily used to dealing with in that environment,” Jones said. “Active Minds nationally and locally is interested in really just providing resources for stu­dents and for the community for those interested in having good mental health and being able to maintain good mental health. We are [also] interested in pro­moting a health dialogue and a progres­sive dialogue on mental health issues, particularly in making sure that mental health resources are accessible to those who need them, and that treatment is ac­cessible for those that need treatment.”

Student Jordan Gobely has found the group very helpful.

“To me it’s been a positive experience, because you get to hear other people’s stories [and] because it is raising aware­ness about mental disorders, and most of us can share our own experiences of things that we’ve struggled with over the past,” Gobely said. “We’re trying to open up the conversation with other people as well to where they’re more comfortable talking. It has been very good because pretty much everyone in this group has a different [problem] than I do.”

The group works hard to spread awareness. It talks over specific illnesses in a welcoming atmosphere and creates resource kits for those who want to learn more.

While organizations like Active Minds have worked to spread awareness, Jones still feels that many people who have mental health problems still face a stigma.

“I would actually say that [the stigma has] probably gotten a little worse, or at least changed … In the past, the idea that somebody was suffering from mental health issues could mean something as far as them not being able to be employed or them not being able to find good treat­ment

Now [with] the amount of social stig­ma that’s surrounding it, it’s almost really hard for people … to experience just being a citizen without feeling like there’s some sort of social pressure against whatever they’re dealing with, and that makes it hard for them to find treatment.”

Active Minds meets once every week, and the national website can be found at:

A new purpose for fashion


Fashion design students repurpose garments from a thrift store

By Tucker Swiastyn

Students perform in the fashion show in Yardley Hall. The garments were either created by students or repurposed by students. Photos by Julia Larberg

Students perform in the fashion show in Yardley Hall. The garments were either created by students or repurposed by students.
Photos by Julia Larberg

The heat of the lights beat down while each individual bared the weight of sponsoring the fabrics worn on their backs. Never-before-seen clothes were shown on the stage at this year’s fashion show.

While past fashion shows sponsored retail items, this year’s product develop­ment students were challenged to recre­ate secondhand items from a local thrift store. Thirteen designers selected pieces of clothing that stood out to them based on a budget given. The students then pulled those items apart and created a whole new ensemble.

“The students within the product de­velopment class were offered the oppor­tunity to take garments from them [City Union Mission] and recreate using them as their inspiration to make a new gar­ment,” said Joan McCrillis, Chair Fashion Merchandising and Design professor. “The creativity and the variants of the garments that were created is extreme, so it will make it very interesting.”

The restyle theme is a collaboration with City Union Mission to promote re­cycling used clothing while educating the audience about City Union Mission.

Joy Rhodes, Professor of Fashion Mer­chandising and Design, requires all of the designers that participated in the event to construct a dress for Little Dresses For Uganda.

This program allows designers to cre­ate special dresses for children in Uganda in a partnership with the nursing pro­gram who will take the dresses to orphan­ages.

Proceeds from the show go to scholarship foundations, which are awarded after the night show by outside judges. The top three to five designers benefit from the proceeds. Scholarship judges consisted of industry profession­als from Nordstrom, Lee James and Gear for Sports.

“[The judges] love doing it. They love coming and seeing what the kids are do­ing,” Rhodes said. “They’re stuck in their cubicle world working on denim or work­ing on collegiate gear … Some of the col­lections are a little bit out there and very creative, so they enjoy it.”

In the past, shows were held at the Pol­sky Theatre. This year it was held, for the first time, in Yardley Hall, allowing more seating for viewers. The setting also cre­ated a more theatrical feel with the show taking place on a stage instead of a run­way.

One hundred and fifty high school students from local schools were able to tour the fashion departments and attend the afternoon show to get a feel for what the college’s fashion program has to offer.

Life through a lens: Former student receives recognition from Time Magazine

By Mike Abell

Barrett Emke is an experienced free­lance photographer. One of his recent photographs of the Ferguson protests was listed in Time Magazine’s Top 100 Photos of 2014.

The protests in Ferguson started hap­pening back in August, and that’s when Emke first went there. He wasn’t working for any publication at the time and was only there for a few days, although he went back twice, once in September and then in November when the court’s deci­sion was announced.

The first time Emke traveled to Fergu­son, he felt slightly nervous, though not scared. He felt compelled to be there and cover what was going on for a multitude of reasons.

“On one hand, it felt like an oppor­tunity to go document something that would matter historically. I didn’t want to miss that. Whatever was happening felt like it was going to be significant for years to come,” he said. “I just sort of felt this urge like I needed to be there in some aspect. I just felt like a drive to go there.”

For the first two trips, Emke traveled to Ferguson for his own documentation purposes. However, in November he covered the protests as a hired freelance photographer for Time Magazine and Es­quire.

“The third time I went, [the commu­nity] seemed very weary by this con­stant media presence in their city. It just seemed to really wear down on people. It’s an interesting thing. I don’t necessar­ily know what the situation would be or is,” he said.

Additionally, Emke talked about what it felt like to have his work recognized by Time Magazine.
“It was a super big honor for me. It definitely felt like a milestone. What I had shot for him specifically was the night after the announcement, and that photo was from the weekend before, [which was] a protest leading up to that.”

Going into Ferguson, Emke already had prior knowledge documenting events and people through his photogra­phy. He graduated from KU in 2011 with his degree in photography.

However, Emke enrolled in a large-format photography class with Adjunct Instructor Philip Heying to further his knowledge during spring 2014. Large-format photography is an older form of photography that is rather “strenuous,” according to Emke, and requires the pho­tographer to load each negative after ev­ery shot. However, Emke knew Heying through previous networking.

“He is a friend of mine. I actually met him when I was at KU. He came to visit one of my classes and talked about his own work. One of my instructors invited him to come talk to us about his career,” he said. “I shared my work with him and he gave me a lot of good advice when I was still in school.”

Emke said that sometimes he will slow down and think about his photograph beforehand, just as if he were working with a large-format camera again. How­ever, sometimes in photojournalism, he doesn’t always have the chance to slow down and think about the photo.

“I have realized that you can work and sort of take that large-format aesthetic or mindset even when you’re shooting a subject that might be very news ori­ented,” he said. “It really helped me to re-train or further train my eye to get the shot you really want.”

Actions speak louder than words: Class takes on special meaning for deaf instructor

By Valerie Velikaya
Symansky instructs his class through a visual approach, which consists of acting out lessons or drawing. Photo illustration by Anya Ivantseva

Symansky instructs his class through a visual approach, which consists of acting out lessons or drawing.
Photo by Anya Ivantseva

Ron Symansky discovered his passion through his impairment.

Symansky was born prelingually deaf. His English is incoherent and his inability to read lips has made life a tumultuous journey.

“I ended up becoming deaf because of a recessive gene,” said Symansky. “Peo­ple will ask me, ‘Can I read lips?’ That’s not something I can do very well. I prefer to write.”

Before becoming a high school instruc­tor, Symansky experienced rejection from various careers.

“There were some jobs that did turn me down as a result of my hearing loss — so, for example, working in landscaping. I was told no because of communication.”

However, Symansky landed a job as a high school teacher, eventually guid­ing him to a highly regarded position as a sign language instructor at the college.

Sixteen years later, he continues to in­spire students through sign.

Kelly Claussen, student, said, “[Sy­mansky] is a great teacher and I’m learn­ing a lot … thinking about doing a minor in sign language.”

Since Symansky doesn’t instruct through spoken word, he uses a visual approach to interact with his pupils.
“[T]o be able to communicate with my students, it’s much easier to visualize the language and see the signs, gestures — that type of thing,” said Symansky. “Sometimes I’ll draw pictures or I might have to act things out.”

Throughout his period of instruct­ing, Symansky has gained plenty of fond memories.

“The interpreting program really has a wonderful team. I have a great team of colleagues that I work with and we’ve made a lot of changes and improvements over the years.”

For the most part, it’s the students that inspire Symansky to continue instructing.

“As far as the students are concerned, it really gives me a sense of pride when they come back to me afterwards and say thank you … that I was able to be a part of their success.”

For a deeper look into the ASL/English Interpreter Preparation program, visit the college’s website.

For a visual profile, click the following youtube link >>>

Strategizing your way into the video game industry


Tips for working as a video game designer

By J.T. Buchheit

Far Cry 4 is one of the many titles that Megan Hobby has worked on. The poster above is signed by the animation team who worked on the game.  Photo courtesy of Megan Hobby.

Far Cry 4 is one of the many titles that Megan Hobby has worked
on. The poster above is signed by the animation team who worked on
the game.
Photo courtesy of Megan Hobby.

Students aspiring to land jobs in the gaming industry gathered in the Reg­nier Center to listen to Megan Hobby, an animator for RedStorm, which is a UbiSoft Entertainment company. Hobby appeared on Skype from her conference room in North Carolina on Monday, March 9, speaking about different facets of video game animation.

“I think it’s really important for stu­dents to be able to talk to professionals in the industry,” said event coordinator Aaron Garrison, a professor in the anima­tion department. “It’s also important to get an idea what work culture is like in the career path they’re choosing and to be able to ask technical questions that might not be able to be asked directly in a class­room.”

One piece of advice given by Hobby was that in order to be hired in the gam­ing design profession, it helps if one is connected to somebody presently work­ing in the industry; thus, networking is considered extremely beneficial.

“Me and Megan both went to the same college,” said Garrison. “We worked on the same projects together and were in a lot of the same classes, and we’ve stayed in touch since then.”

Due to the enormous amount of peo­ple looking for a job in the gaming indus­try, being hired is notoriously difficult. Hobby gave a few pieces of advice that Garrison passed on to increase the likeli­hood of being hired for a job.

“I think the number-one thing that stood out to me is the way that her portfo­lios and showreels are visually presented to potential employers,” said Garrison. “She mentioned that to keep it short, sim­ple and to the point was very important. I think defining the way of a work culture is also very important … You have to make sure you have those intrapersonal skills as well.”

Hobby told students quite a few inter­esting facts about video game animation, and many of the viewers hope to take advantage of what she said and use it to help further their career paths.

A wake-up call to the world: The movement for gender equality


It seems like feminism is everywhere today: on televisions, through radio, social media, the Oscars — the con­cept of gender equality has captivated society for those who advocate the subject but molds itself into a night stalker for hostile individuals.
Feminism didn’t resurrect itself only recently. It’s just been collecting dust for a while.

Rather, gender equality has emerged in distinct waves over the last century.

The term originated in the mid-1800s, defining female attributes. In 1892, during the First International Women’s Confer­ence in Paris, the term was described as the “advocacy of equal rights for women based on the idea of the equality of sexes,” as noted by Sally Haslanger, professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy and co-author of “Topics in Feminism.”

First-wave feminism occurred with an emphasis on voting rights and the passage of the 19th Amendment. This would begin the winding road toward gender equality.

In the 1950s, Simone de Beauvoir sparked an interest in the movement through her writings. In her book “The Second Sex,” she elaborated on the objectification of women, who were regarded as “the sex” — merely an object of pleasure. In the 1960s, Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” served as a voice for the mundane lives of ‘60s housewives, and it was the cherry on top of what soon became a fight for the legal rights of women.

After decades of hibernation, feminism has re-emerged.

This generation is part of the third wave of feminism, which embraces women of all colors, sexes, religions and so on.

“It means having the same opportuni­ties presented to you no matter what your gender,” said Michaela Renee Hines Fatino, student.

Feminism is not about “man-hating,” as Emma Watson had stated at the U.N. Women’s HeForShe event. Feminism, now popularly being used as “gender equality,” objects to the patriarchal world.

Women shouldn’t dwell on being the homemaker whereas men don’t have to be the breadwinners.

“It means having an equal economic and political value,” said Jon Parton, editor in chief of The Collegian.

The virtues of volunteering


Helping others can help you

By Forest Lassman

March is Red Cross Month. It’s a time when we thank those who help others, whether it comes in the form of giving blood to people in hospitals or helping people rebuild after a natural disaster. It’s also a time where we should think about what we can do to make the world a bet­ter place.

The American Red Cross was founded in 1881, and for over 130 years has worked to help those in need. It has worked toward these goals in a variety of ways. The Red Cross supplies around 40 percent of the blood and helps with over 70,000 natural disasters. To honor the hard work of the Red Cross, Franklin D. Roosevelt created Red Cross Month, which is still in place.

As Red Cross Month starts, it is the per­fect time to start thinking about what you can do to help people. The best way is to volunteer and/or donate to those in need.

If you’re in a position where you can donate, the Red Cross is a great option. In 2013, 90 percent of all money the Red Cross received went to programs they ran. The Red Cross also has a local chapter, which means the money will go to those in the community.

With that said, a lot of people attending the college might not have the financial ability to help. If that is the case, volunteer a few hours at a soup kitchen or donate blood. The time commitment for these activities are minimal, and you can help someone who desperately needs it. If you still can’t find the time today or this month, plan something out.

Volunteering should be a strong part of our college. We go to a community college, so it makes sense to do these things to help improve the community. The reason we are all here at the college is because the community decided to create this college to help people learn.

We attend here because want to live a better life, whether that comes in the form of getting a better job or learning more skills. By volunteering, you can create a better life for everyone you help.

You might think that you won’t be able to help, but the small things matter. Every­thing you do has effects, and by making positive actions, you can cause positive effects. One good deed can inspire others and set in action a chain of good deeds.

And most of all, you should volunteer because it’s a good thing to do. Humans should help other humans, and by vol­unteering your time or money to a good cause, you are making someone else’s life a little bit better.

For more information, visit

Dropping the Big F-Bomb (Feminism)

By Julia Larberg
Photo illustration by Julia Larberg
Photo illustration by Julia Larberg

The year of 2014 is when feminism came back. It’s now being talked about on new shows (Parks and Rec, Bob’s Burger’s), celebrities are declaring themselves as feminists (Taylor Swift and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and I bought two new t-shirts with feminist text on them. It’s been a good year, in my opinion. Some may not agree with me because of various reasons. One main reason I find is that people that disagree don’t really know or understand what feminism means.

Going into 2015, the term “gender equality” has been introduced as a syn­onym for feminism. It’s very much true. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” Male and female are two of many genders. Equal rights and opportunities constitute equality. So why would people be against that?

I firmly believe that the anti-feminist/anti-gender equality population is made up of those who don’t understand how it breaks down. Feminism is for equal rights and opportunities. So that covers not only legalizing abortion but also the ability to represent the pro-choice support fairly in our government, with well-informed leg­islators on how the female body functions. I’m talking about Idaho Rep. Vito Barbieri asking if one can swallow a camera to see a fetus in an abortion debate. Feminism is in support of making informed abortion leg­islature, and Rep. Barbieri does not qualify.

Equal opportunity means equal pay for equal work in any sort of business place. Equal opportunity means that female stu­dents should be able to attend a university and not have to worry about becoming a rape statistic. Equal opportunity extends into other countries through addressing the issue of rampant sex trafficking around the world, the issue of child brides in India and the lack of education given to wom­en in other cultures. Equal opportunity means breaking down gender roles that are harmful to all genders. The fact that we equate “manly” with strong and tough and emotionless and “feminine” with weak and vulnerable and emotional are not only limiting individual potential, but reducing it as well. Feminism encourages that indi­vidual potential, regardless if you’re a man or a woman or anywhere in between or no gender at all. Feminism works on recogniz­ing a person for what they contribute to society, not what they’re labeled as.

Feminism does not mean in any way, shape or form that women are superior to men. Feminism calls attention to the fact that as a whole, the society that we have formed as a people is tailored to the suc­cess of the middle-aged white male. This does not mean being a white male is bad. That’s great if you’re a white male or male at all! Feminism encourages the acknowl­edgement of the advantage given to white males and then calls attention to the women that are suffering because of that initial disadvantage specifically based on gender.

I wish there was a simple diagram to give those who are confused about femi­nism, but it’s not that simple. It’s a mish-mash of combating racism, sexism and classism. There are many different facets of feminism, but there’s one goal: equality.

Sports Briefs



The college’s baseball squad is 14-4 on the season and sits at fourth in the Jay­hawk with a 5-3 record. The Cavs will have the next two weeks to jump to the front of the conference. The squad will have series against Neosho, Coffeyville and Cowley in these coming weeks, which are all the teams that are in front of them. Anthony Miller was named KJCCC player of the week three times in his dominating February. Miller continues to lead the team in every major hitting category on the season. Shortstop L.J. Hatch is also having a good start to the season for the Cavs. He is second on the team in hits and batting average. Jacob Patzner has the team’s lowest ERA at 0.75 and is 3-0 on the season.


The Cavs have won six in a row since going 5-5 in Texas to start the season and are now 11-5. The Cavs beat Fort Scott in their first conference series 4-0 and 10-2. Tara Hicks hit a three-run walk-off home run for an 8-5 win to complete a sweep of North Iowa Area Community College. The Cavs also dominated in a sweep of Mineral Area College, scoring double-digit runs in both games. Pitcher Sydney Koch has recorded three shutouts on the season. Heidi Prockish leads the team with three home runs on the season. The squad will travel to Coffeyville today and will see many more critical conference matchups as they head into the meat of their season.
Compiled by James Howey, sports editor,

Cavalier Star Watch:   Sydney Koch

By James Howey
Photo by Mike Abell
Photo by Mike Abell

The college’s softball team looks to defend their conference title this year, win a regional championship and make a trip to nationals, a trip they were unable to make last year. One of the most crucial parts of the team in accom­plishing those goals is Cavs sophomore pitcher Sydney Koch. She had the lowest ERA on the team last year and currently has the lowest this year. Koch has three shutouts so far this season, and she’s com­mitted to play shortstop at Florida South­ern College next year and will look to help lead the Cavs to great heights this season.

James Howey: How would you assess the team’s play so far this year?

Sydney Koch: We played very well in Texas. We just had some minor things we had to get together. We easily could have gone 10-0 in Texas. I was extremely happy with how well we opened up our season at home. Our defense played great and really had my back, which helped me to start off the season with two no-hitters. Our hitting also was great. We have really been scoring a lot of runs, and that’s what we have to do to win games. There are not many games we can win with scoring only four runs.

JH: How tight-knit would you say you guys are as a team, and what makes you that way?

SK: Well, last year it was kind of easy to get along because there weren’t a lot of sophomores. This year was kind of the same but our sophomore group … we hang out on the daily and we hang out on weekends so it was kind of hard to adjust to new players, but you don’t really have a choice because you’re with your team every single day for the majority of the time. You really start to learn about everyone, and I think we get along great. We don’t have any drama, and it has to be like that. We are basically a family.

JH: How has your pitcher-catcher relationship with Sam Kreissler developed over the last two years?

SK: Oh, I love Sam. Actually, the first time I came up here and pitched, she actually caught me. For the majority of the time she caught me all freshman year and obviously does now. We have really grown to get to know each other and she is really dedicated as a catcher to always kind of think about me. A lot of people call pitchers princesses or divas, and that is kind of true. Even if Sam’s having a bad game, she kind of has to get over it to help me through it. She calls my games this year … everything that I want to throw, so she’s gotten to know my pitches very well.

JH: What kind of goals have you set for yourself this season?

SK: Well, teamwise, I want to win conference again and make it past regionals and go to nationals. Personally, I would like to be All-American. I think that’s doable. Zoe [Price] set a nice standard and I’d like to reach that as well.

JH: What made you choose Florida Southern College as where you wanted to attend next year?

SK: My whole life I’ve wanted to play at Florida. My family has always wanted to live there, but there’s never a right time to move there. My mom and dad have done everything they could to make it happen, and it was just the right match with coaches. It’s kind of hard traveling 18 hours [with] a coach not really knowing you. For them to give me the opportunity, to want me on their team and be happy I was there, that made the decision very easy because it’s always nice as an athlete to feel wanted.

JH: What has always motivated you to push yourself to succeed on the field?

SK: Honestly, I have to thank my parents for that because of the way they raised me. I’ve always worked hard at everything I do on and off the field. After a while, it’s not just my parents making me — it’s myself. I’m very competitive. I don’t like losing and like being the best at everything I do, so it’s not hard for me to push myself to want to beat others.

JH: Who is your favorite athlete?

SK: It’s hard to say. I don’t really have one but I guess I would say Jenny Finch. I mean, how could you not? She’s an amazing pitcher. I’m a pitcher so got to choose that.

JH: What is your dream job?

SK: To work for a professional baseball team or a minor league team, do the management stuff and travel. My major right now is sports management, so I would like to get an internship with a team and work my way up and get a job.

JH: What is your favorite food?

SK: I love Chinese food. Crab Rangoons are my stuff.

JH: What is your favorite movie?

SK: ”How to Train Your Dragon,” one and two. I love animated movies. I love all movies, but I just adore those movies.

JH: Who is you favorite artist?

SK: I like a lot of music. I listen to alternative and I listen to a lot of the neighborhood, alt-J and bands like that.

NJCAA Madness

By James Howey

Obviously, the biggest story heading into the national tournament is that the college’s team will be participating, which it should be. What shouldn’t be over­looked are the 15 other teams descending on the college to seek that coveted junior college national title. This year’s field, as always, has a lot of different stories with underdogs and familiar powers who are usual players in this tournament. Num­ber-one seed Parkland was in the tourna­ment last year and has a long tradition of success in their program. They have five returning players with experience from last year in the tournament.

“I feel that is part of the reason we were able to get out of our region,” Park­land head coach Mike Lindemann said. “The girls knew what it was like to be at nationals and wanted to get back.”

Six seed Guilford Tech will be making their first-ever trip to nationals at the Di­vision II level. The squad lost in the re­gional championship last year, and this year that was much of what drove them to get to nationals.

“The sophomore class did not forget what last year’s loss felt like,” Guilford head coach Bobby Allison said. “We re­ally did not handle the pressure of the moment well last year.”

Allison said that his kids lack no ef­fort and put work in not matched by any teams he has ever coached.

“They are a great group and they are self-motivated,” coach Allison said. “I have had three teams play in the national championship game, and I can honestly say that none of them worked harder than this team.”

Tech’s opponent in the first round, Schoolcraft is a team that has had a six-year absence from the national spotlight. Their head coach has been looking for­ward to this chance for a while.

“This has been a goal of mine to get the women’s basketball program back to nationals and top of the league,” head coach Kara Kinzer said. “We have had some heartbreakers, but never once did our players come to practice not ready to get better and learn from their mistakes.”

The tournament is not short on Cin­derella stories. Fifteen-seeded Union County head coach Cheryl Bell was an assistant for the last team that went to nationals in 1997, so for her, this opportu­nity is something she’s thought about her whole coaching career.

Not often will you see a team eight games under .500 on the season in a na­tional tournament, but this is the case with the 16-seeded Phoenix College.

“We are the Cinderella story if you look at our season and the journey we have had,” head coach Kristi Kincaid said. “Our record doesn’t indicate all the lessons learned this year.”

Phoenix beat both the number-one and two seeds in their region, including defending national champion Mesa Com­munity College. The team has had lot of change through the season, starting the season with 16 players and now only hav­ing nine.

“I really believe the team that is in place now gets it,” Kincaid said. “Once we entered the playoff race, we never looked back.”

For coach Lindemann, the college has a big advantage in pursuing the champi­onship with being able to play at home next week.

“I think Johnson County would have the edge, being able to play at home and bringing in a great crowd,” he said.

Coach Allison has a very unique, op­timistic look at his team’s chances next week.

“It will take a few good bounces and some timely good luck,” Allison said. “I am Irish and the tournament starts on St. Patrick’s Day, so why not us?”

Gallery: Basketball Highlights


Administration discusses state funding cuts


Controversial budget cuts on the horizon

By Valerie Velikaya

Gov. Sam Brownback’s controversial budget cuts for higher education paint a grim fiscal picture for the college in the near future.

The two percent allotment decrease on the state’s higher education institutions was created to help improve the current budget deficit. The proposal, which went into effect this month, will result in a loss of $437,399 in state support.

Kate Allen, associate vice president of institutional advancement and govern­ment affairs, said that last month’s tax receipts were “down approximately $47 million from the state’s budget.”

It’s likely that additional allotment reductions will continue in the coming months.

On Thursday, Feb. 19, the Board of Trustees reviewed the school’s upcoming cuts.

College Lobbyist Dick Carter began his report with limp prospects.

“There is a number of things that have to move forward for this year’s budget to work,” said Carter.

Carter proceeded by quoting the state’s Budget Director Shawn Sullivan, who said, “There is no way to cut out of the budget hole that we’re in.”

As a result, revenue will need to be generated in order to offset the state’s budget deficit. Otherwise, additional al­lotments will be placed.

While last month’s numbers remained weak, this month’s have yet to be seen; however, according to Carter, they’re not expected to raise hopes on halting the budget deficit.

Brownback’s proposal includes a tax increase on liquor and tobacco and the slowing down of existing tax cuts.

When Chairman Jerry Cook asked Carter if there were any “helpful thoughts” regarding the two-year bud­get plan, Carter said, “I wish I had some thoughts that were helpful. I think the only saving grace is that the two-year budget process certainly gives you a glimpse, or it creates a planning scenario that wasn’t there before when the legisla­ture was only looking at things one fiscal year at a time. It certainly gives you a goal to look forward to and obviously it would create the need for adjustments when ei­ther revenues are not there or they ex­ceed,” he said.

State funding has decreased 15 percent over the past three to four years, which “puts pressure on the local effort and our budget,” said Cook. “That troubles me because what that forces the state to do is give us the unfunded mandate by cutting our support,” said trustee Musil. “We end up asking more from local tax­payers, which another form of unfunded mandate …”

The school is looking into install­ing body cameras, a hefty budget that will amount to $23,000, including $6,000 worth of storage per month (view p. 11 for more information about body cam­eras).

“… [T]he impact of these cuts to [col­lege] students … I believe that continues to be determined,” said Allen.
To watch video of the Board of Trustee’s meeting, click on this link >>>

College’s website undergoes design


College keeps up with increasing changes by revamping its website

By Valerie Velikaya

As many students may have noticed, the college’s website has undergone a transformation.

The current website, unveiled on Mon­day, Feb. 23, was met with bigger, bolder headlines, better imagery as well as a re­sponsive design.

“Instead of having a separate website for desktop computer and a separate one for mobile device,” said Vincent Miller, Director of the Educational Technol­ogy Center. “They just have one design, which will work across any size screen.”

The content was inventoried and the amount of webpages was decreased, con­densing information to a simpler, easy-to-find format.

“I think that the most noticeable fea­ture is the bold photos and imagery and it ties so cleanly to the [college] identity. Our brand — the fresh liveliness of our campus,” said Interim Executive Director Christy McWard. “I think that the new style of the website just reflects who we are as a college.”

The website greets the viewer with programs, events and students.

“When we went about redoing the website, our focus was really on making it focus on what the students wanted to see and to make it easy for them to navi­gate,” said Karen Davis, manager of com­munication.

After the idea was first proposed ap­proximately two years ago by Julie Haas, the associate vice president of marketing communications, numerous tests have been conducted, using various groups of students to identify flaws and strengths of the old website and applying it to the newer version.

One of these strengths includes clean­er navigation. The Mega Menu is one of the key features, which allows a user to select content from a drop-down menu containing the main topic with subtopics underneath.

“An example is if you scan across the admissions area, you will see that there’s where you get information to apply, to enroll, to do the testing, to get financial, aid [and] pay tuition,” said Davis. “It’s all kind of there for you to easily see how to get to the steps that you might be looking for.”

The design was a compilation effort, and the final cut was created by a con­sultation company who brought forth recommendations, as well as the college’s staff and the college’s IT developer.

“This has just been an enormous effort that has taken, like we said, just under two years, but it’s been a great example of collaboration across our campus, be­tween many departments … it’s just been a great collaborative effort on the part of many staff here at [the college],” said Mc­Ward.

Erasing the pages: MyMathLab eliminates need for physical homework

By Tucker Swiastyn

Behind the chaos of numbers is a system, a system made of browsers and buttons that are constantly correcting and approv­ing students. MyMathLab (MML) is an online homework program at the college that brings the physical pages of math prob­lems out of the books and into the world of technology.

In comparison to a textbook, MML is able to give the student feedback on a problem as soon as they answer it. This immediate feedback gives the student an opportunity to work on that problem right away instead of waiting until next class to realize they have the wrong answer.

“The obvious benefit is the instant feed­back,” said Justin Dunham, math professor at JCCC. “As professors we don’t have time to go through every student’s homework and look through every single math prob­lem … The program does that for us.”

There is no obligation for professors to use the program; some math courses do not even offer MML with the curriculum used. However, there has been controversy with the program when comparing it to the classic paper-and-pencil style of schooling.

“Students complain a little bit about ‘Man, why can’t I just do it in pencil and paper?’ and my response is always, ‘If it’s wrong, do you know why it’s wrong?’ The program will tell you why it’s wrong and show you the steps. If you rely on me, you might not see me for three days,” Dunham said.

According to student Ricky Ingles- Nguyen, the program offers features, such as allowing all quizzes, homework and tests to be in one place, making it easier than a book.

Student Anna Frontaura likes the pro­gram but notices the downsides.

“The internet isn’t always around,” Frontaura said. “The deadlines are not al­ways clear and it can sometimes be slow.”

In the professor’s view, a downside to the program is the extraneous setup pro­cess. The more a professor specializes in his/her class, the more time it takes to set up the course to the preferred style and content for students.

“There are probably some [professors] that just don’t want to take the time to learn it,” Dunham said.
“Teachers who have been here for a while and teach from the book just keep doing it because that’s whats easy.”

One of the features MML provides is the option to email the course’s professor on each individual question. This creates a way for each student to ask his/her professor a specific question without being in direct contact with them.

“I think one of the biggest difficulties is not so much for students adjusting from doing pencil and paper to MML but from doing one online program to another,” Dunham said.

Like books, students purchase access to MML by code. This creates a completely digital way of studying, book-free. In re­gards to cost, the program will set students back more than a used rental would cost, but not as much as a new book.

With the continual advancement in tech­nology, the MML program is just one of many programs that could eventually erase textbooks from universities.

Police Briefs


Bookstore theft

On Tuesday, Jan. 27, a theft was re­ported in the campus bookstore. An employee said that she saw a text­book that was neither wrapped nor sealed, with the book’s insert miss­ing. No other thefts were reported. The case is ongoing.

Stolen credit cards

Campus police were dispatched to the Carlsen Center after a report of a theft on Saturday, Jan. 31. The victim stated that his wallet fell out of his pocket, and when he went to retrieve it, it was gone. The vic­tim said that two purchases were record­ed on his credit card after he checked his bank statement. Police are looking into the matter.

Assault in the parking lot

A case of aggravated assault was re­ported on Wednesday, Feb. 4. The victim reported that his car was deliberately struck while he was attempting to park his vehicle. When the victim exited his vehicle, he saw the other driver holding a metal night stick. The victim reported the suspect and his vehicle to the officers, who located it and obtained the name of the suspect, who was arrested. The case is still being investigated.

Compiled by J.T. Buchheit, Circulation Assistant,

Desire2Learn: Pass or Fail?


Students and faculty review the new learning system

By J.T. Buchheit

2014 signified the beginning of a new era for the college, as D2L took the place of ANGEL, which served as the college’s online learning system from about 2008 to 2013.

“ANGEL was a product that had been purchased by Blackboard and is no lon­ger being supported by Blackboard,” said Vincent Miller, Director of the Educational Technology Center. “So they were letting it just slowly die. All the ANGEL custom­ers were moving off ANGEL eventually.”

When ANGEL was removed, the fac­ulty looked at multiple options for online learning systems before settling on D2L as the system that appeared to contain the features they were looking for.

“Each of the systems have pluses and minuses,” said Ed Lovitt, Director of Dis­tance Learning. “When the faculty evalu­ated the products, they were looking for migration of content; if they built some­thing in ANGEL, will it come across into the new system? That was one of the strong points D2L provided.”

A good amount of teachers like D2L and the features it provides, but some admit that it might take awhile in getting used to.

“Whenever you start a new program, like a learning management system, there are some complicated things that you have to figure out,” said History professor Vin­cent Clark. “D2L has a bunch of those, but I’ve managed to figure out how to handle it.”

Some students have given positive reviews to D2L as well, often citing its organization and helpfulness regarding assignments.

“I like how teachers have all their infor­mation on there, so if you want, you can work ahead,” said student Harley Ludwig. “It also helps you organize a study plan for the semester.”

Not everything is hunky-dory with D2L, however. People have admitted that they have found some things that could be worked out, specifically in the email department.

“I wish it would give your teachers’ emails next to their name so you wouldn’t have to go to the main website and search the faculty,” said Ludwig.

It isn’t just the students that have found the email to be a hindrance; some faculty members have made note of it as well.

“All of the email from all of the classes comes to the same place,” said Clark. “So … it could be from all sorts of different classes. And in order to see what the stu­dents are talking about or to figure out if you have something to fix for them, you have to keep going back to all the different classes each time.”

There are even some faculty members who despise D2L to such lengths that they chose to no longer use it in their classes.

“D2L did not work the way I wanted it to work,” said English professor Matthew Schmeer. “It was incredibly difficult to set up. If you wanted to make one change in the gradebook and add a new assignment, you had to go through way too many steps. … I think the biggest problem is that ANGEL used a folder format. D2L is structured more like a book; like a table of contents. And while you can create folders and modules, the overall design behind it is a website. So it really isn’t designed for the sort of interactive courses or hosting of material that students would download and read. … It’s really useful for online teaching, but there isn’t a lot of student/ faculty interaction in D2L itself.”

D2L is not expected to go anywhere in the near future, as it is currently in year two of a five-year contract.

“We could break [the contract] if the product doesn’t provide the services that we need, but that would require a lot of legal work from the college,” said Lovitt. “The college likes to purchase systems like D2L for a long period of time. If we change, we would need to have two systems run­ning and pay for both of them.”

The reviews for D2L have been largely mixed, but since teachers always have the option not to use it, it seems like it will be able to aptly fulfill its purpose until the end of the contract.

The active radio: ECAV broadcasts to students around the world

By Forest Lassman

From a small sound booth in the college, students are able to reach across the world with the radio station ECAV.

From classic rock to house, ECAV allows their DJs to make the shows they want. Michaela Fatino, station manager, loves that aspect of ECAV.

“Probably my favorite part about [ECAV] is just the variety. I’m one of those people who don’t like to sit still, and I don’t like doing the same thing every day,” Fa­tino said. “The thing about broadcasting is that it’s always different. There’s always something something new that you’re do­ing, and you never do the same thing twice because there’s always new information or new stories or new equipment or programs to use. It’s always new and there’s always something fresh that you can learn.”

Each week, ECAV has lots of freedom to create the shows they want.

“We have some structure with the shows. We have to have four 11-minute segments and we have breaks in between, so there’s a structure of how people have to do shows, but they really have freedom about what they want to talk about,” Fatino said. “Every show is completely different. They get to decide what content goes into their show, and I don’t have any control over that. We still follow FCC guidelines, but other than that, they kind of get free reign, and I think that does help ECAV because it gives them the freedom to talk about things that are interesting and the things that people will actually listen to.”

Fatino fell in love with this medium while studying at the college.

“I actually was not interested in radio at all when I first started at JCCC,” Fatino said. “I was just taking general education classes [and] trying to figure out what I wanted to do because I had no clue. I joined Corbin Crable’s Mass Media and Society class … I did really well in the broadcasting section and I thought it was a lot of fun, so Corbin advised me to take a broadcasting class … I took Intro to Broadcasting, and I just kind of fell in love with it.”

This love motivated Fatino to join ECAV. She loves working for the station, and it has given her a new appreciation for radio.

Branden Davidson, who hosts The Fozzie Show, loves the experience of cre­ating a show.

“It’s been a great outlet. Amongst my friends and everybody, I was the one al­ways putting together the mix tapes and the mix CDs and stuff like that. Being able to have another platform like a radio station or radio show to just share my era of music with people is just awesome.”

ECAV is available online for free at

ECAV members are featured on a poster that is shown around campus. Photo courtesy of Michaela Hines and the ECAV Radio Station
ECAV members are featured on a poster that is shown around campus.
Photo courtesy of Michaela Hines and the ECAV Radio Station


The pursuit of the crown: Student wins Miss Kansas pageant

By Paul McPheeters
Photo courtesy of Laurel Austin Studio
Photo courtesy of Laurel Austin Studio

Special to The Ledger

If you were looking to meet a deter­mined, motivated, sassy young woman with a no-quit attitude and a zeal for life, you would need look no further than the newly crowned Miss Kansas USA 2015, Alexis Railsback. Born in Overland Park, Alexis grew up in Shawnee with her mother, father, twin sister and younger brother.

As the reigning Miss Kansas USA, Railsback is also a freshman at the college and a 2014 graduate of Shawnee Mission Northwest High School.

For as long as she can remember, Rails­back has dreamt of representing the state of Kansas at the Miss USA pageant and bringing the crown back home to Kansas. She began her pageant career almost two years ago. In December of 2012, she com­peted in her first pageant, Miss Kansas Teen USA 2013, placing fourth runner-up. The following year, she placed in the top fifteen at Miss Kansas Teen USA 2014. Having aged out of the teen division, Railsback set her sights on her next goal: Miss Kansas USA.

Around the week of Thanksgiving last year, Railsback traveled to Wichita to compete against 34 other women in the 2015 Miss Kansas USA Pageant. She competed in Swimsuit, Evening Gown, private one-on-one interview with five judges and on-stage question. She also won the special achievement “Best in Evening Gown” Award. After two days of interviews and stage presentations, and 12 months of preparation, Railsback received her due reward on Nov. 30, 2014, obtaining the prestigious title of Miss Kansas USA 2015 and the oppor­tunity to represent Kansas at Miss USA 2015. She was awarded over $57,000 in scholarships, as well as wardrobe, jewel­ry, hair and cosmetics prize packages and services.

Over the next year, she will be making various appearances in the state of Kansas and working with multiple charity organizations while also working with her sponsors and coaches for Miss USA.

Having just won Miss Kansas USA, Railsback now prepares herself for the Miss USA pageant. Miss USA falls under the Miss Universe Organization, which is owned and operated by Donald Trump and will air live on NBC in the summer.

At age 19, Railsback will likely be one of the youngest competitors. But Rails­back is not one to shy away from a chal­lenge. It doesn’t take long after spending any amount of time with her for one to realize that Railsback is a focused, driven and strong-willed competitor.

Railsback has poured countless hours preparing her mind and body for the Miss USA pageant, while also dedicating time to her studies and working part-time. But anyone who knows Railsback knows that the most important things in her life are her connection to her family and her rela­tionship with religion.

Leading up to the pageant, Railsback prepares to present the best version of herslf at nationals and to walk away from the competition with no regrets, no matter the outcome. When asked about how she handles obstacles in life, she answered, “I believe that everything happens in God’s perfect timing and that everything hap­pens for a reason.”

Regardless of how she places in the 2015 Miss USA Pageant, Railsback will emerge triumphant. Every step that she takes along the path toward the stage dis­plays an achievement in and of itself. She is preparing herself to the best of her abil­ity, and no one can ever take away from her the victories attained in her pursuit of the crown.

By Paul McPheeters
Special to The Ledger

The effects of cyberbullying


Negative comments can hurt everyone

By Forest Lassman

Photo illustration by Anya Ivantseva

Photo illustration by
Anya Ivantseva

A single hurtful comment or picture posted on Facebook can ruin a life. What may seem like an inauspicious line can cause untold stress on the person on the receiving end.

Cyberbullying affects millions of peo­ple across the world. According to the Health & Human Services, cyberbullying can lead to a variety of problems for the recipients, from anxiety and depression to a decrease in academics. Cyberbully­ing can cause increases in alcohol or drug abuse.

One thing that makes cyberbullying different than regular bullying is the me­dium. The internet can bring out very dif­ferent responses than talking in person, according to Jim Pettitt, associate profes­sor of psychology.

“[The internet is] more autonomous. Even if the person knows who that per­son is, they’re not confronting them face -to-face, so they can’t react,” Pettitt said. “They can’t get mad at you or hit you back or punch you in the face. You don’t really see them react until what you hear about later on, so it’s kind of a displaced type of interaction that happens over a period of time rather than an immediate interaction that happens between two people.”

Pettitt also feels that this is part of a larger trend.

“One of the things I think we’re los­ing the abilty to do is being able to read the person’s nonverbal responses,” Pet­titt said. “How they look, how their face changes [or] how their eyes change … you don’t see that on cyberbullying, so you can’t read it. You might not even be aware of the fact that what you said hurt them as bad as it did because you can’t see them and you can’t see their reaction.”

Student Kalcert Crager agrees that dis­tance is one of the causes.

“[People perform cyberbullying] be­cause of the distance between each other; they don’t have to face any real repercus­sions, so they feel like they can just get away with it more online than in real life.”

Student Lauren Baer feels that these problems are an effect of the freedom we have.

“[Cyberbullies] take advantage of the first amendment I think. They take ad­vantage of the freedom they have, and it sucks,” Baer said.

While almost anyone can be the victim of cyberbullying, some are more at risk. Those that are viewed as being weak, de­pressed or different in any other way are more likely to be bullied. Those with low self-esteem are are more likely to be af­fected, the HHS said.

If you suffer from cyberbullying or want to find out more about the effects and how to stop it, visit the HHS website at

Studying beyond the books


The college offers students to economically study abroad

By Tucker Swiastyn

Photo by Anya Ivantseva
Photo by Anya Ivantseva

Students have the power to make it possible for themselves. Determination and commitment create a possibility to become a reality. The thought of studying abroad may seem out of reach for many, but the college provided and continues to provide ways for students to experience different worlds.

The study abroad program at the col­lege allows students to study in 27 dif­ferent countries through programs such as Central College, IPSL and CCIS. This gives students a choice to study on almost every continent.

Money is the issue at heart. The cost of programs has scared many away from the chance to experience different cultures.

At this time, China is the most cost-effective study abroad trip at the college. . With a price of $4,000 a semester, the average tuition cost here at the college, a student could study abroad in China. However, traveling will always have a cost.

“If it is something you want, then isn’t it worth working for? Just like col­lege, you have to show up every day, you have to pay every semester, you have to do the work,” said Administrative Assis­tant of International Education Barbara Williams. “If you can make college hap­pen and you want to study abroad bad enough, then you can get a job and save your money to make it happen.”

Four-week sessions are available for students who might not have the funds for a one-semester or two-semester trip. Also, if a student is a Pell Grant recipient here at the college, they are eligible to ap­ply for the Gilman scholarship.

The Gilman Program distinguishes itself from other programs by awarding over 2,000 scholarships up to $5,000.

From helping and working with countless students who have studied abroad, Williams has seen students make the money for themselves, go to the coun­try of their choice, experience the culture and return.

“Students learn more about them­selves, who they are, their inner strengths, what they’re made of. You learn a lot about your own culture,” Williams said. “You have grown up in this country and have almost absorbed everything through osmosis. You are culturalized as a child.”

What the unique experience study­ing abroad has in contrast with traveling abroad is tourism. Studying abroad takes away the tourist experience and creates a way for students to live and be immersed in the culture.

“If you go to study in a different coun­try, you realize your whole life you’ve grown up looking at this map of the world,” Williams said. “And you know in your mind all these people that live in these countries, but when you go there and you live there and you study there and learn about that country and culture, it opens your mind more to the reality of opportunity. It brings you back more hungry to learn more.”

The study abroad program is open to all students who are hungry for the expe­rience that it has to offer. It has brought many students to a place beyond what they have imagined was possible.

Death before Decaf: My experience as a barista


By Tucker Swiastyn

Photos by Julia Larberg

Photos by Julia Larberg

There are few awkward moments that top the feeling of walking into a local coffee shop.

Rarely do you walk into one of these shops without seeing thick-rimmed glasses, a pair of vans and a Kansas City ballcap. If you aren’t part of the coffee culture, the regulars’ glares will remind you of that fact.

I remember walking into a local KC cof­fee shop a couple years ago finding myself very uneducated in the world of coffee. I was taught at a young age not to put cream in my coffee. This trait ended up being my best friend. I will let my readers in on a se­cret that will gain you respect in the coffee world: Don’t ask for cream in your coffee.

I have been a barista at Blackdog Coffee­house for almost two years now and have loved every second of it. I have met amaz­ing people, crazy people, smart people and stupid people, all of which make my job behind the bar a grand adventure. Regulars who come in the shop are a mixed bag. I have noticed that the individuals who drink decaf are ever so crazier than the rest.

There is one regular in particular that comes to the shop who I will refer to as “old man.” This old man never fails to order his decaf americano with a bag of chips 365 days a year. My favorite trait about old man is his ability to talk my ear off regardless of my efforts to blatantly ignore him.


Now, understand, this is the nicest man anyone could meet, but I have lattes to pour. However, no matter how frustrated I get, I will always smile when I see the persistent old man walk in while I prepare myself for his endless talking of the cosmos and the smell of his breath that could only have originated from a stockyard.

In that past couple years, I have learned a few tips that I would like to leave with my readers. A human being was not designed to consume 20 ounces of hot milk. So if you decide to order a gallon of steamed milk, prepare your body for a long night. Never ask a barista what the best drink is. We will answer, but we will lie.

Chances are slim that the average per­son enjoys knocking back a double shot of straight espresso, which so happens to be most baristas’ top choice. Lastly, there is a rule all baristas live by. It is our motto, our song and an indisputable truth that should define all coffee consumers: Death before decaf.



Letter to the editor


Student comments on profanity around campus

I am writing about an issue that has gotten worse on the JCCC campus over the past couple years that I have been a student. That issue is the use of vulgar and profane language by students while they are in a common area (such as the cafeteria, benches outside of classrooms, etc.). In order to illustrate exactly what I am referring to, I will give a couple encounters I have had.

One incident occurred while I was sit­ting at a table near the entrance of the caf­eteria while I was waiting to meet a friend. As I was waiting for my lunch guest to ar­rive, I could not help but overhear a group of male students’ conversation (because they were speaking very loudly), which consisted of a slew of obscenities. They were using words like “s#@t, M.F., G.D., the “N” word, and bi#@h!” I could not believe what I was hearing for a couple reasons: 1) College is supposed to be a place of learning, not a street corner. 2) The cafeteria is a common area with females, elderly students/employees, and possibly children present.

Another incident happened just this afternoon at a lounge area on the second floor of OCB. I was sitting on a bench read­ing a book about twenty feet away from a bank of chairs where two young men were sitting. My reading was rudely interrupted by many “bi#@hes, s#@t’s, G.D.’s” and so on. Again, I was shocked by how freely these vulgar words were being spewed from the mouths of fellow JCCC students. I tried to bite my tongue as best as I could, but again, there were many females walk­ing by these individuals as they spouted their profanity, so I decided to approach the male students. I politely let them know that their language was not appreciated and that they needed to be aware of their surroundings, as they were using the B-word excessively with many females within earshot. The two males looked at me as if I were the rude person in the scenario, but at least they stopped their profanity.

I truly believe this issue needs to be addressed, because every single student is a representative of JCCC, and first im­pressions are lasting. I know that I do not want those kind of students representing me or my college, and I am sure that JCCC President Dr. Sopcich and the JCCC Board of Trustees also do not want to be repre­sented by foul-mouthed individuals.

Thank you for your time and please let me know if you have any questions/ comments concerning this matter.
Joshua S. Gillihan-Young


Staff Editorial: Our thoughts on body cameras for police officers

As potential (and obligated) financial burdens pile up from the state legislator, the funding is only decreasing. College Lobbyist Dick Carter mentioned a bill that is being talked about in Topeka at the Feb. 17 Board of Trustees meeting. The bill would require all police officers across Kansas to wear a body camera. That bill would include the Campus Po­lice Department.

The installation cost of these cameras at the college would be around $23,000. However, the storage for the footage could be up to $6,000 a month. State funding was recently cut by two percent. One percent is approximately $437,000.

The board didn’t necessarily state if they were for body cameras or not. Their main concern was the cost. Trustee Greg Musil pointed out the obvious during the meeting: State funding is dropping, but the financial obstacles are potentially rising.

California adopted police cameras in 2012. The Wall Street Journal has since reported that complaints against police officers who wore a camera dropped sig­nificantly.

The idea of body cameras on police officers took off after the killing of Mi­chael Brown. It’s terrible that it’s come to this. Look, not all cops abuse their power, and probably not a lot of them do. However, enough cops have abused their power in such a way that a new form of monitoring has to be considered.

Body cameras are certainly an inter­esting idea. Perhaps they’re not a bad one. But in a time of budgetary crisis, they don’t seem like the most logical thing.

Even if cops are supposed to wear body cameras, that doesn’t mean they al­ways will. Additionally, there have been reports of some officers disabling the au­dio or simply turning the camera off.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a country where justice is always served. Almost everyone in the workforce is held accountable by a respective boss. Why should police officers be exempt from that?


Sports Briefs



Go online to see the results of both the men’s and women’s Kansas City Kansas Community College games and find out whom both the men and women will play in regional action.

Indoor track

The college’s indoor track squad is gearing up for Nationals in Albuquer­que, New Mexico. The Cavs had a solid showing in regionals with many standout performances. Tess Augustyn and Kendyl McDougald both advanced to nationals in shot put. The Women’s 4×800-meter relay with Colleen Russell, Katie Nelson, Paige Miller and Donatta Young were regional champions. Emily Meyers was fourth in the long jump. Alex Gutierrez was third in the high jump. Russell was third in the mile and Miller was fourth.

Young was the regionals champion of the 600-meter. Augustyn punched anoth­er ticket to nationals in the weight throw. Russell placed third in the 3000-meter. Max Bullard will be going to nationals for shot put. Josh Washington will be attend­ing nationals in the long jump, and Bryant will be going in the pole vault.

Rebekah Gurka will go in the long jump. Malik Jefferson will be going in the pole vault.


The Cavs opened the season playing in the Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, Tex­as. The squad had mixed results, finishing with a record of 5-5. The Cavs started 5-2 but fell off, losing the last three games.

Catcher Sam Kreissler leads the Cavs in every major hitting category with 16 hits and a .421 batting average. Hailey Cope, Shayna Weers and Jennifer Long are second with 10 hits. Sydney Koch, who the Cavs will lean on a lot in pitch­ing this year, is 3-1 on the season, has a 4.20 ERA and had a shutout in her first game of the season. The Cavs’ campaign to defend their Jayhawk conference title will get started with a trip to play Cof­feyville Tuesday.


The college’s baseball has gotten off to a blazing-hot start. The squad is 9-0. The Cavs’ offensive production has been elec­tric in this season so far. Anthony Miller leads the Cavs in hits, RBIs, home runs and slugging percentage on the year. Miller was selected as KJCCC baseball from Feb. 9–15.

Veterans L.J. Hatch, Alec Alvarez and Ben Calvano have also had a hot start to the season. As expected, the Cavs’ pitch­ing has been great from top to bottom. The top six pitchers for the Cavs all have ERAs well below 2.00. The Cavaliers trounced Fort Scott in their first two con­ference games 14-3 and 16-4. The Cavs’ next big series will be against rival Kansas City Kansas Community College Thurs­day and Saturday March 7.

Watch the Cavalier Sports Report with women’s basketball coach Conrad by clicking this link >>>
Compiled by James Howey, sports editor,

News Briefs


Board of Trustees candidates

There will be three Board of Trustee positions voted on later this spring. Trustee Greg Musil and trustee David Lindstrom will be up for reelection. Trustee Jon Stewart will not be running again. A list of all six candidates can be found on our website at

Vice President/Chief Information Officer position to be filled

Applicants for Vice President/CIO will be inter­viewed on Monday, March 2; Wednes­day, March 4; and Friday, March 13. Denise Moore previously held the position before her recent retirement. Each of the interviews will be at 3 p.m. in the Hudson Auditorium. Be sure to look for our online coverage following each interview.

(Note: It was previously incorrectly reported that Julie Haas held the VP/CIO position. The Ledger regrets the error.) 

Compiled by Mike Abell, Editor-in-chief, <a href=””

Cavs fall on the road

Donnell Bronson struggles for a rebound on the road against Kansas City Kansas Community College. The Cavs would lose the game 67-49
Donnell Bronson struggles for a rebound on the road against Kansas City Kansas Community College. The Cavs  lost 67-49. Photo by James Howey


By James Howey, sports editor,

The men’s basketball team was faced with an almost meaningless game Wednesday night at Kansas City Kansas Community College. No matter what the outcome of the game was the Cavs would be on the road at Brown Mackie College Saturday for the first round of regional play.

“It’s one of those things where you want to play good but not much is on the line,” head coach Ryan Morley said. “So we didn’t play some guys as much as we usually would and tried to get some other guys reps.”

The game was a close contest up until the last ten minutes. With the Cavs trailing 42-40, the devils closed the game on a 25-9 run and won 67-49. Danzel Wright led the team with sixteen points and Reshard Young was second with ten. The Cavs will be traveling to Brown Mackie, which surprisingly might benefit them. The Cavs beat Brown Mackie on the road and lost at home in their previous two meetings.

“For some reason, we play a lot better on the road,” Morley said. “Our guys are ready to go and they have confidents they go in there in beat them.”

Cavs grab top seed in regionals

Nieka Wheeler hits a jumper on the road against Kansas City Kansas City Kansas Community College. The Cavs won the game 64-52 and sealed up the number one seed in regionals and a bye.
Nieka Wheeler hits a jumper on the road against Kansas City Kansas City Kansas Community College. The Cavs won the game 64-52 and sealed up the number one seed in regionals and a bye. Photo by James Howey


By James Howey, sports editor,

The Cavaliers are entering to post season blazing hot. The women’s basketball team went on the road at Kansas City Kansas Community College and played an absolutely dominating first half.

“I feel like we wanted it more than them,” Nieka Wheeler said. “I think we came out harder and more focused then we’ve been all season.”

The Cavs made eight three pointer’s in the first half. Three of those came from Brook Vaughn, who gave the Cavs a huge spark in the first half and finished with nine points in the game. The second half was a sloppy performance by both teams. But the Cavs hung on to win 64-52. Wheeler led the Cavs with 15 points and 11 rebounds in the game. Head coach Ben Conrad says his team is really hitting its stride right now

“I feel like we are playing our most consistent basketball that we’ve played all year,” Conrad said. “It’s really exciting to be playing your best late.”

The Cavs did need to have a touch of luck after their big win. Both of the clubs regional records were 11-1 after the game. The tie breaker was a “Friday Night Lights” style coin toss. The club would emerge on the right side of the toss, claimed the number one seed in regionals, and a bye.

“It’s big because we don’t have to play Highland in the first round,” Conrad said. “We would rather see KCK or Highland in Wichita as opposed to seeing them the first round.”

Wheeler is very encouraged by the effort the team is playing with right now and says this team is ready to meet the challenges in the playoffs.

“We have so much chemistry right now from trying to be better all year,” Wheeler said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that we can do great things.”

Conrad feels that after a long season the Cavs look like they may be getting something special going.

“I think our kids are starting to figure this thing out,” Conrad said. “Maybe this team is hitting their peak, who knows.”

Sports Briefs


Women’s Basketball

The Cavaliers were handed their first con­secutive losses since 2005 recently. After a tough, hard-fought win at Highland, the Cavs dropped two straight to Kansas City Kansas and Coffeyville. The Cavs were up by double digits on KCK before relinquishing the lead and losing 73-64. The Cavs then went on the road and lost a defensive battle to Coffeyville 55-53 in the closing seconds. The Cavs did rebound against Brown Mackie 98-72. In the win, Nieka Wheeler recorded a season-high 25 points. The team is now behind both Cof­feyville and KCK in the line to win the Jay­hawk conference with a conference record of 6-2 and an overall 23-2 record. The Cavs will close the season at home against Highland and on the road at KCK. Both games will be huge in the regional standings for postseason.

Men’s Basketball

After coming off a hot streak of four straight wins and improving to two games over .500, the Cavs have now lost three straight games and are 12-13 on the year with a record of 4-3 in the Jayhawk. The squad lost to both Brown Mackie and Kansas City Kansas by three points in the final seconds after tying the games. The team has now lost an amazing seven games by four points or less this season. The Cavs will look to get back on track and im­prove their standings regionally with games against Highland and KCK, who sit at 4-4 in regional standings like the Cavs.

Indoor Track

The college’s indoor track team had a suc­cessful showing in the Cavalier Night Relays. Kendyl McDougald continued her success in throwing, winning the weight throw with a throw of 13.16 meters. McDougald was also second in the shot put with an 11.95-meter throw. Emily Meyers won the long jump with a jump of 5.13 meters. Colleen Russell won the 1-mile with a time of 5:40.05. Donatta Young won the 600-meter with a run of 1:41.21. Areka Hanson was third in the 400-meter dash with a run of 1:03.22. Jawad Tiemser was third in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:43.27. Josh Washington won the long jump with a jump of 2.00 meters. Matt Mayeske was second in the 60-meter hurdles with a 8.60 time. Bryant Chase won the pole vault with a 4.36-meter finish. Max Bullard was first in the shot put with a throw of 14.92 meters.

Golden Girls

The college’s dance had their 30th an­niversary on Sunday, Jan. 31. Over 30 past dancers showed up to dance at halftime of the women’s game. The girls performed in front of a large home crowd to Bruno Mars’ new hit, “Uptown Funk.”

“It’s awesome to see because dance is the one thing that brought us together in the first place,” former coach and alumni Erin Fine said. “Over the years the team has taken on more and more on to their plate just to become more involved in all aspects of the school.”

Fine danced at the college through 2001–03, then was the head coach of the team through 2006–10 after dancing at Kansas State. Now head coach Amy Sellers hopes that the team has and continues to help with the atmosphere at games.

“We just hope to provide that entertainment and add a little excitement to the games,” Sell­ers said. “We’re trying to branch out and get in­volved in the communi­ty as well, so hopefully we’ve made a good im­pact on everyone who’s been around us.”

Calendar and Briefs compiled by James Howey, sports editor,

Cavaliers aim to build on success

By James Howey

After winning the Jayhawk and with a very young squad, the softball team looks to continue excellence in 2015. The Cavs return eight sophomores who all had valuable playing experience from last year.

“We have a lot of good leadership,” Cavaliers head coach Aubree Brattin said. “They know what it takes to win a conference championship. They’ve played under the pressure, and they can kind of teach those freshmen not only what I expect, but what it’s going to take to defend that title.”

The Cavs opened up ranked 13th nationally but behind both Cowley and Highland, two teams the Cavs swept last year. You add that with the Cavs unable to advance to nationals last year in regional play, and this team is extremely motivated.

“I’d say we have a huge chip on our shoulder,” pitcher Sydney Koch said. “The ranking kind of aggravated us and makes us work a little bit harder, but also because of the target we have on our back and had even since last year.”

Koch expects teams to give the Cavs all they can handle simply out of dislike for this Cavaliers team and program.

“I think as always with this program, all the teams kind of hate us,” Koch said. “We did not get along with a few teams last year.”

Despite the Cavs not breaking through in the postseason, coach Brattin is very pleased and satisfied with what the squad was able to accomplish last year.

“In my mind it’s a lot tougher to be consistent and play through the entire season and win a conference championship than it is to win two games and get in that national tournament,” Brattin said. “Obviously that’s something we need to overcome, and we’re working towards that.”

The Cavs’ biggest loss of the offseason was unoubtedly All-American pitcher Zoe Price. Price pitched a majority of the squad’s innings last year, but the team does have solid pitching returning.

“It’s very hard to replace a pitcher like that,” Brattin said. “The freshmen from last year, Sydney Koch and Aldyn Wildey, are more than willing to step up and do the job that Zoe did last year.”

Koch has committed to play at Florida Southern College next year and will be the ace for the Cavs this year.

“I would very much expect Sydney to follow in Zoe’s footsteps,” Brattin said. “She has the potential to be an All-American pitcher this year.”

The Cavs had to retool their coaching staff with coach Brattin being the only coach back from last year. Cassandra Hernandez and Tara Wolf are both new to the staff and hope to maintain the club’s success. Koch and the Cavs are pretty determined to prove that they can indeed win the Jayhawk again and go even further than last year.

“I think we all are looking forward to getting out there and showing them who really deserves to be ranked number one in the conference and prove everyone wrong,” Koch said.

Great expectations for the Cavaliers

By James Howey

2014 was arguably the most successful season ever for the college’s baseball team. The squad recorded their first 50-win season and played in the NJCAA World Series for only the second time in the program’s history. The Cavs opened up the season ranked 7th in the nation and were the consensus pick to win the Jayhawk conference.

“Preseason polls mean absolutely nothing,” head coach Kent Shelley said. “Those preseason polls just simply say there are people out there in the baseball world that think we have a chance to be a pretty good club.”

Shelley says this year is just like any other for this Cavs program that is a traditional power.

“Our expectations are always for conference championships, go to the Junior College World Series and compete for a national championship,” Shelley said. “This year is not different from any other year, because that’s just what we’ve come to expect in this program.”

The squad will greatly benefit from being able to bring back a massive amount of experience from last year’s impressive campaign.

“We have a lot of good players at every position,” shortstop L.J. Hatch said. “We have backups that could start at any other team in the conference.”

One aspect the Cavs do lack a little experience is in frontline pitching. The Cavs lost most of their best pitching with the departure of last year’s sophomore class. Justin Wyant is the lone frontline starter. Look for returners Derek Hurt, Dalton Gulick and Jacob Patzner to be key in pitching roles. The Cavs do have plenty of arms coming back in the bullpen, which is always critical through the season. The Cavs will also use Hatch in the closer position.

“We feel extremely confident with our weekend conference starters, and I feel very comfortable with the depth of our bullpen,” Shelley said. “If we stay healthy there, we certainly have the ability to be very competitive this year.”

The Cavaliers saw a record 17 sophomores sign to schools, and 12 of those signed to Division I schools.
“It’s absolutely off-the-charts the talent we have in this sophomore class,” Shelley said. “They’ve done a great job on the class, the baseball field and now they are reaping the rewards from that hard work.”

The Cavs head coach does see the potential for this team to do special things this year and be what many have hyped them up to be.

“I think at some point in time this year, we will develop into a very strong and competitive club that will have an opportunity to defend our championships,” Shelley said. “We must continue to work very hard, concentrate on the task at hand, make sure when we leave the ballpark every day, we’re better players. But most importantly, we’re a better club. “

Even with all the anticipation for this season, the Cavs are just focused on playing hard and staying on the task at hand of winning one day at a time.

“We just try to have fun every day,” Hatch said. “We know we have a big target on our backs and everyone wants to beat us, but we just stay focused on winning every inning.”

Cavalier Star Watch: Alexis Brown

By James Howey
Photo by Julia Larberg
Photo by Julia Larberg

The college’s basketball squad is continuing its run as a national power this year. The team is 23-2 and looks to close out the season strong after falling off a little. The Cavs have great depth, and freshman guard Alexis Brown is one of the key players who contributes to the depth of the Cavs. Brown is the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 12.8 points per game. Brown and the Cavs look to maintain their success and advance to nationals later this year, which will be hosted by the college again this season.

James Howey: What has made this team so strong this season?

Alexis Brown: The very supportiveness we have on the team. We all act together on the court and there are not many selfish people. So we all play together as a team.

JH: What has it been like for you coming into this very successful program?

AB: It’s actually been good. From the coaches to the team, they’ve been very supportive and very helpful if you need anything.

JH: How have you been able to have so much success this season with it being your first season?

AB: A lot of individual work, as in like shooting in the gym, and extra help from the coaching staff has been very helpful.

JH: How high do you think this team’s ceiling is, and how far do you think this team can go?

AB: I think it’s very high; I think we can go to nationals and probably win it if we just stick together and play as a team on the court.

JH: What can you guys improve on down the stretch of the season?

AB: Playing together more and less drama off the court. As long as we’re playing together on the court and not being selfish as an individual, then we’ll go far.

JH: What would you say has always and continues to motivate you to do your best on the court?

AB: My dad. He got me where I am now. He’s not alive right now, but he just motivates me to keep going.

JH: Who is your favorite athlete?

AB: LeBron James.

JH: What is your favorite food?

AB: Hot wings.

JH: What is your favorite movie?

AB: Love and Basketball.

JH: Who is your favorite music artist?

AB: Lil Wayne.

JH: What is your dream job?

AB: Definitely to be in the WNBA, but if not that, then I’d like to be a physical therapist.

Letter to the editor: Student rebukes previous staff editorial

The January 29, 2015 edition of the Campus Ledger contained an editorial praising Barack Obama’s idea for free community college tuition for two years. I wholeheartedly disagree. If this idea were put in place, it would be a complete game-changer, and not in a good way.

Four-year institutions would see their enrollment drop by half. Why should I pay for two years at KU if I can go to JCCC for “free”? The larger schools may be able to absorb the losses in student bodies, and in federal or state aid that most post-secondary schools receive. But some smaller schools could not and would be forced to close their doors permanently.

The various vocational and technical schools would also be hurt, largely for the same reasons as stated above. Why should I enroll in a vo-tech program if Obama is paying for community college? Forget that a Pell grant might pay for my enrollment in that program. And forget that I wanted to drive a Kenworth before the word “free” convinced me to enroll at JCCC.

I see this as pure hell for all commu­nity colleges, not just JCCC. Thousands more freshmen will suddenly descend on our campus. Enrollment, online and on campus, could double overnight. It would be more bodies and more tuition revenue. But could JCCC’s current facili­ties handle the extra load? A freshman-level class at KU may have 500 students and be held in a large auditorium. Those having trouble would speak with a graduate assistant, not the professor. Most classes at JCCC have less than 30 students. Those having a problem are encouraged to contact the instructor directly. It’s a much better situation that could disappear because of “free” tuition.

Some of those students would go to another institution if JCCC wasn’t sud­denly “free.” For engineering students, JCCC may need to hire another higher-math instructor. Others in that group may barely graduate high school and would not be ready for the next level. To accommodate them, JCCC may have to establish, for example, remedial English classes for those who do not have the reading or writing skills necessary for English Comp I.

If JCCC and other community col­leges were suddenly “free,” I’d like to ask who would be paying for it. It would be you and me. It would be our par­ents, extended family, friends, basically every taxpayer in this country, in the form of still another tax increase. That alone makes me question the wisdom of Obama’s idea, since a tax hike on a slowly recovering economy will only slow the economy down again.

There are parts of this economy that are broken. The community college sys­tem is not one of them. It does not need fixing.

Thank you,

Todd Brandenburg

part-time student


Black History Month: On the right track to equality


Student shares his thoughts on progess of equality

By Mike Abell

Photo by Anya Ivantseva
Photo by Anya Ivantseva

In recent months there have been numer­ous civil rights issues that have come up across the country. Organization of Black Collegians president Ronny “Juninho” Ismaldo-Alzume believes America has made strides to overcome racism, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

Ismaldo-Alzume is originally from Portugal, where he said segregation has never occurred. He highlighted a lot of landmarks while also talking about some current issues regarding rac­ism in America.

“We’ve made long strides to breaking the barriers for civil rights of all people,” he said. “We still have a long way to go, though. Racism still exists, even if it is a little subtle. I myself have experienced racism since living here in Overland Park …”

Ismaldo-Alzume had the chance to visit the courtroom where Brown v. Board of Educa­tion was fought. For him it was really special, although he said that the state still has a ways to go.

“Here in our own metro area, there is still a financial divide. Johnson County is one of the richest counties in the country, while in Kansas City, we still have very high rates of unemploy­ment,” he said. “I hate to say this, but spread the wealth. Put some of that money towards helping disadvantages.”

Ismaldo-Alzume thinks that spreading awareness could prove to be one the most help­ful methods to end racism on a national level. By awareness, he means making people more aware of social issues and actually researching them before deciding on a viewpoint.

“After what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, everyone thinks that was a white cop who was prejudiced. As a matter fact, he wasn’t preju­diced at all. By now, people probably think that Ferguson, Missouri is pretty much how all blacks behave. That’s not true,” he said. “We need to break down social barriers and really let people know how things really are.”

He admitted that one of the biggest problems is something that most citizens can’t change, which is economic barriers. However, another problem is social barriers, which he said anyone can help with.

“When you speak of equality for everyone, this is a country that’s having many issues with equality for everyone. Just look at same-sex marriage; that is still a big issue. Decades ago, we had to be more open-minded to blacks going to school with whites. For equality, we need to be more open-minded.”

Brian Zirkle, adjunct sociology instructor, commented on how America can take the steps toward equality for everyone.

“We have to recognize that racial inequality is the result of how our social systems function, not the result of racist individuals. We have to understand that we all perpetuate these sys­tems, and therefore we all are part of the solu­tion. This isn’t an African-American issue—it’s an American issue. We’re all part of it. We all have to be part of the conversation and we can’t keep saying things like, ‘I’m tired of hearing about race,’ or ‘I’m tired of talking about it.’ ”

Eight important civil rights events

  • Dec. 1, 1955 – Montgomery Bus Boycott:The boycott started on Dec. 1, 1955, after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man, initiating one of the largest demonstrations against segregation. The boycott lasted until Dec. 20, 1956, after a federal ruling was released declaring segregated buses unconstitutional.
  • Sept. 4, 1957 – Little Rock Nine:Nine African-American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School. The first day of school on Sept. 4, 1957 created a crisis after Governor Orval Fabaus ordered the National Guard not to allow them entry. However, former president Dwight Eisenhower federalized the National Guard and had members of the 101st airborne escort the students into school on Sept. 25, 1957.
  • May 17, 1954 – Brown v. Board of education:It was ruled by the Supreme Court that having segregated schools was unconstitutional due to the 14th Amendment.
  • May 4, 1961 – The Freedom Riders:The Freedom Riders was a group of 13 civil rights activists who boarded a bus on May 4, 1961 and made a series of bus trips through the South to protest segregated interstate bus terminals.
  • Aug. 28, 1963 – March on Washington:Approximately 250,000 people marched to the Lincoln memorial. Multiple people spoke, and near the end, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
  • January 1964 – 24th Amendment passed:The 24th Amendment was passed, which outlawed the poll tax that African-Americans were forced to pay before voting. African-American voter registration immediately increased.
  • Aug. 6, 1965 – Voting Rights Act approvedThe Voting Rights Act eliminated the literacy test which African-Americans were required to take before voting.
  • March 1965 – Selma to Montgomery March:Martin Luther King Jr. led a 54-mile march despite multiple violent interventions from the police. The march was meant to support registration for black voters.


LGBT students face troubles preparing for Valentine’s Day


Holiday celebrations adjusting to 21st-century romance

By Forest Lassman

While Valentine’s Day is a celebration of romance, for some in the LGBT com­munity, it can serve as a reminder how parts of their relationships can still feel taboo.

A majority of the promotions and products for the holiday focus on het­erosexual couples, which can lead some in the LGBT community to feel left out. While many might not notice, this can make the simple task of picking out a card a difficult one.

“It definitely can feel awkward at times,” said Jacob Fischer, president of the college’s Gender and Sexuality Alli­ance. “My partner … is transgendered and agender, and so when I go shopping for Valentine’s Day cards, they’re not re­ally an option … Whatever I pick would be wrong.”

Even with things like this, Jared Mnich, secretary of the organization, thinks that society is learning to be more open. There have been some moves to­ward making the holiday more inclusive, with companies like Hallmark featuring a lesbian couple in a recent commercial. This advertisement is part of an overall move toward a more accepting society, Mnich feels.

“I appreciate that society, for the most part, is making somewhat of the right strides in the right direction,” Mnich said.

Sam Huntington, a student at the col­lege, also finds these changes promising.

“People have been less likely to use offensive words like ‘tranny,’ but I don’t know if they really knew they were offen­sive in the first place … I think people are being more open-minded. Not so much as accepting yet, but I think they’re at least [trying] to learn about us … [and] what our identity really is.”

Even though these strives for sexual equality have been made, Mnich still feels some societal stigma directed at those with different sexual orientations.

“We’re moving in the right direction, but it’s still awkward because it’s still not comfortable to go out and hold your same-sex significant other’s hand or kiss in public without somebody chastising you for it or telling you that you’re wrong or making a huge ordeal out of nothing,” said Mnich.

Overall, many in the LGBT commu­nity just want to be better accepted. It shouldn’t feel special when an advertise­ment features someone who is gay; it should just feel like a regular part of life.

“I think some of the changes I’d like to see happen is I’d like to just see it be more acceptable for things to be outside of the hetero-normative viewpoint that culture has,” said Fischer. “There are obviously gay people, there are lesbians, there are transgendered people. We don’t have to pretend like everyone is heterosexual, and it shouldn’t be a big deal if you see two guys holding hands or two girls giv­ing each other a goodbye kiss.”

Benefit of sabbaticals up for question


Board of Trustees ask how sabbaticals benefit the college

By Mike Abell

During the December Board of Trust­ees meeting, the process of sabbaticals and the overall benefit to the college came under question.

Trustee Jon Stewart asked about the selection process and how sabbaticals specifically benefit the college. Later in the meeting, Trustee Chair Jerry Cook agreed with Stewart that the process of sabbaticals should be reviewed by the board.

Every six years, full-time faculty mem­bers become eligible to apply for a sab­batical. A sabbatical is a paid semester off at the expense of the college. Although some sabbaticals can be a year long. In ad­dition, the college pays for the substitute. Sabbaticals are meant to offer recipients time to partake in a project, study or fur­ther their knowledge.

Years ago, each sabbatical recipient was required to report to the board about how their time away benefited them and the college. As of now, no such report to the board is required. That could change as early as next year.

Trustee Stewart, along with other board members, have stated that they support sabbaticals. However, according to Stewart, the information retained from sabbaticals recipients should be relayed to the board differently.

“I am not sure why reports to the board were discontinued. Yes, I feel that some reporting to the board should oc­cur,” said Stewart. “Sabbaticals are a sig­nificant cost to the college and the board is required to approve them. Board ap­proval on a consent agenda is not a good policy. A basic understanding of what is being approved by the committee is not an unreasonable request by the board.”

Sabbatical applicants must fill out ex­tensive paperwork, get approval from their department chair and then be inter­viewed and voted on by the Faculty Sab­batical Committee.

However, the committee only recom­mends candidates; it’s the board that approves them during its monthly meet­ings.

During the January board meeting, Stewart mentioned that he was concerned about the competitiveness of the selection progress, as some of the names were re­peats from the last six to seven years. Ad­ditionally, he mentioned that the board doesn’t have a lot of time for questions.

Current and former Chair of the Fac­ulty Sabbatical Committee, Adam Spool­stra and Nathan Jones, respectively, met with the Learning Quality Committee two weeks ago and discussed ways to be more transparent with the administration with sabbatical reports.

“So the issue was there wasn’t as many opportunities to to ask questions at the board level,” Spoolstra said. “They were provided information about each of the sabbaticals, but the thought instead is that it should first go to the learning qual­ity committee. There are a couple trustees on that committee, a couple administra­tors that sit on that committee. So the the thought was that it would give them more time to ask questions, while it wouldn’t necessarily be a full-blown presentation.”

As it stands, the current cost of one sabbatical is half a million dollars to the college. The current Faculty Association contract between the faculty and admin­istration states that 18 employees may re­ceive a sabbatical each year.

Stewart wanted to know what the re­turn was on the investment of sabbaticals to the college. During the January board meeting, Deb Williams, faculty associa­tion president, said that the most impor­tant element that sabbaticals offer is time to be innovative.

“It’s a large monetary cost. I mean it’s a half a million dollars,” she said. “So they want to know what the return on their investment is, and fair enough. So we are trying to educate him and others. As I stated, it’s buying time for the oppor­tunity to do these things that we can’t or that we don’t have time to do.”

Police Briefs


Headphones stolen

A student reported that she left her headphones in a classroom in the CLB on Friday, Dec. 5. Upon returning to retrieve them, they were gone. The student could not identify any specific suspects. The po­lice are currently investigating.

Suspicious behavior in the parking lot

On Monday, Jan. 5, police reported suspicious behavior of a person near a vehicle in the southwest campus parking lot. Upon investigation, the subject drove north off campus and would not stop when ordered to pull over. It was revealed that the suspicious person had stolen a catalytic converter from a vehicle. Police are looking into the matter.

Cell phone theft

A theft of a cell phone was reported on Wednesday, Jan. 21. The victim reported that the phone was taken out of his pants pocket while he was taking a shower in the gym locker room. Nothing else was reported to be stolen. The investigation is ongoing.

Compiled by J.T. Buchheit, circulation assis­tant,

News Briefs


New, more efficient website to launch

The college’s current website will be re­placed with a cleaner, modernized version. The new website will be released on Mon­day, Feb. 23 and is expected to facilitate to the user’s needs before focusing on their educational path. In addition to catering to a mobile audience, the site will contain big­ger headlines, photos and other features. For more information, read the next issue of The Ledger.

ECAV begins each week on a light note with Music Mondays

ECAV is hosting a dance-a-thon every Monday during the spring semester. At the start of each week, a range of musical num­bers will be played throughout the cafeteria as members of the radio station coerce oth­ers to dance along. The event will take place from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Message ECAV on Facebook or Twitter for song requests.
Compiled by Valerie Velikaya, managing editor,

A system that does not expire


Students team up to create a more sustainable environment at the college

By Tucker Swiastyn

A team of four students at the college have been chosen to be part of an inter­national sustainability competition. The Eco-Representative team is preparing a project to promote sustainability. This competition is sponsored by the Univer­sity of Kansas Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian studies and by the Center for Transboundary Coopera­tion (CTC) based in St. Petersburg, Rus­sia.

KU and the CTC are working together to promote sustainability. They have cre­ated a competition for anyone who wish­es, on the Russian side and U.S. side, to educate their community about sustain­ability.

The college’s Eco program members are Emily Reno, Kendyl McDougald, Me­gan Gladbach and Kait Bridges.

“[Sustainability] is the idea that you are creating a system that doesn’t expire,” said Reno. “It’s using your resources in a way that does not deplete what you have,” said Reno.

The goal is to get individuals in the lo­cal area interested in whatever project is being promoted. Right now, the Eco team at the college is working on a project to promote sustainability that they will sub­mit to the CTC.

“We are creating an interactive brochure that features that majority of all the sustain­able features on campus,” she said.
Galileo’s Pavilion, the storm water management system and charging sta­tions for electric vehicles are all sustain­ability features on campus. All these lo­cations will be put on a map which will allow students to correlate symbols with the locations of the sustainability features.
The brochure will include quick tips on saving money at the college and many unknown sustainability opportunities.

“I’m hoping [the students] will look at their campus in a new light and realize that this school is a lot more progressive about things than they might realize,” said Reno. “I hope they take advantage of all the information that they have in ways that are really helpful for them.”

When this project is submitted, it will be graded by CTC judges in Russia who will be looking for the results and impact the projects have had in the team’s vari­ous communities. The top teams in both Russia and the U.S. will get to go to a con­ference in the other team’s country.

“We would like to leave the project with the Center of Sustainability and the Student Sustainability Committee as a beginning of something much larger that they can add on to,” said Reno. “It is sup­posed to be designed to add on to what we have already started.”

The ECO project results will be sub­mitted by Saturday, Feb. 28.

Take the sustainability survey by following this link >>>.

Cavs punish Hounds on the road


By James Howey, sports editor,

The Cavs returned to their dominating ways on the road at Fort Scott Community College Wednesday night. With an offensive attack that had been absent from the Cavaliers as of late, they clobbered the Greyhounds 95-36. The squad got back to what had them undefeated through most of the season. The Cavs shot over 50 percent from the field, nailed 10 three’s, and committed only eight turnovers.

“We moved the ball better, executed our stuff better, and we got better shots,” Cavaliers head coach Ben Conrad said. “Sometimes you can’t control that though.”

Conrad just wants the Cavs to focus on doing things that they can influence.

“We try to really get our kids to buy into to control the things you can control,” Conrad said. “That’s playing defense, rebounding, taking care of the ball, and Shot making kind of takes care of itself.”

Alexis Brown led the Cavs with 22 points and five three’s. Shelby Dahl was second with 14 points and Erica Nelson was third with 10. The Cavs are now 24-2 on the season and 7-2 in conference. For Brown she and the team as a whole were able to perform at a high level.

“I was able to step up, hit some big shots, and play better with the team,” Brown said. “We played real hard together and everyone contributed.”

Conrad claims this Impressive win was very much needed for a team who hadn’t put their best foot forward recently.

‘“I think we needed to play well and hard for forty minutes,” Conrad said. “Our kids were a little down after those two tough losses.”

Next up for the Cavs is Labette Community College at home this Saturday. Labette is just 13-13 on the season, but is coming off a big upset win over Highland Community College at home 70-67. The Cavs are entering the home stretch of this season and still have a lot of ambitions they have their sights on.

“Our thing with our group is just consistently playing hard for forty minutes and playing together for forty minutes,” Conrad said. “The season is far from over and I do think this game could be a springboard into some big things.”

Cavs knocked down by Ravens


By James Howey, sports editor,

The Cavaliers found themselves in an all-out dog fight Wednesday night on the road. The college’s women’s basketball squad was aiming to get back on track after their first loss of the season. Unfortunately, Coffeyville is not the easiest place to get back on track.

Neither team led by more than six in this tight affair. The Cavs did go on a 12-2 run to close the half and were up 33-27. The Ravens answered right back to open the half. Coffeyville went on a 10-0 run to be up 37-33. The Cavs fought back to tie the game at 44 with 9:45 left. The game continued to go back and forth. With the game tied with a few seconds left, the Cavs botched their attempt to win the game and the Ravens nailed theirs.

“It’s just one of those nights, down the stretch we didn’t make a big shot and things didn’t go our way,” Cavaliers head coach Ben Conrad said.

The Ravens leading scorer Devin Cooper hit the game winning jumper to give the Ravens the win 55-53. Cooper was the game’s leading scorer with 21. Nieka Wheeler led the Cavs with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Chastity Franklin was second on the team with 12 points. The inability to make shots continues to plague the Cavs in this recent stretch.

“We just couldn’t shoot,” Conrad said. “You’re not going to win games if you can’t shoot and we had opportunities and didn’t capitalize.”

Even with the disappointing defeat, the Cavs defense remains strong. “We defended well enough to win this game and we really did everything well enough won to win,” Conrad said. “We just didn’t make shots and we turned it over a ton.”

With a second conference loss, the Cavs fall to third in the Jayhawk conference behind Coffeyville and Kansas City Kansas. The team is now 22-2 on the season and 6-2 in conference. The Ravens improve to 17-8 on the season and 7-1 in conference. The Cavs will look to rebound from their first pair of consecutive losses in five years. Their next game will be  Saturday at home against Brown Mackie College. The Cavs will need to cut down on turnovers if things are going improve.

“We still got kids who are soft with the ball and simple fundamentals that have never lost us games in the past are costing us now,” Conrad said. “You have 21 turnovers and you’re not going to win a road game.”

Contact James Howey

Enrollment: a major focus for the college


College gaining new students in innovative ways

By Forest Lassman

People join and leave the college ev­ery semester, but it is the college’s goal to grow in numbers.

Dean of Student Services and Success Paul Kyle thinks the college has been do­ing a better job at improving those num­bers.

“I think one of the reasons that we’ve seen an increase [in the number of stu­dents] is our extra efforts as far as recruit­ment is concerned. What we’ve done is basically try to put ourselves in a position that we can compete with other schools.”

The college has reached this goal in a multitude of ways. In 2007, one person worked as a recruiter for the college, but today there are four. These recruiters’ jobs are to go to different towns and cities to spread the word about the college. A call team has also been set in place, where students call potential students to try and encourage them to attend the college.

Another form of outreach the col­lege has been focusing on is the internet, where the college now spends more mon­ey on advertising. If a prospective student uses sites like Spotify, they will have like­ly heard ads talking about attending the college. Internet advertising is partly to compete with online schools, which have marketed heavily in these places.

“The times have changed. Our com­petition is huge. You’ve got all kinds of online schools… and that’s who we’re competing with. We can’t just assume [students] know that we have online classes, and that we have small classes and affordable classes. We have to con­tinually tell them,” Kyle said.

The college has also been reaching out to former students to remind them about coming back if they need any further edu­cation. Kyle thinks that students are not gone once they leave the college.

“They might need to take a summer class while they’re at KU or K-State. They might need to take a class here or there after they get their degree. So we’ve got to think differently,” Kyle said .

These efforts do seem to be effective.

“It appears at this point in time to be doing a little bit better than last spring.” said MargE Shelley, assistant dean of en­rollment management.

Another cause for this potential rise is the later start date. Spring 2014 start­ed Tuesday, Jan. 13, while this semester started the 20th. Kyle thinks this could have an effect.

“One thing that is different this spring is that we are starting a week than we did last spring, and I think that’s helpful … I think that extra week is helpful for them to kind of get past the holidays and past the new year and then think about com­ing back to school. It also puts us in line with starting when KU and K-State start,” Kyle said.

While the numbers seem positive right now, The Campus Ledger won’t know for a few weeks. Due to students dropping and enrolling in late-start classes, the official numbers will not be calculated until Mon­day Feb. 16.

Be sure to check back at for update information.

Obama visits the University of Kansas


Thousands come to see the President of the United States

By Forest Lassman

Photo by Julia Larberg
Photo by Julia Larberg

As Barack Obama walks onstage, a crowd of thousands greeted him.

These people had been waiting for this moment for years. Obama planned to come to Lawrence in 2013, but the Boston bombings forced him to cancel.

When the announcement was made that Obama would finally be coming to town earlier this month, excitement spread rapidly. While Kansas is overall very Republican, Lawrence is one of the major Democrat strongholds.

Tickets were given out Tuesday the 20th, and lines stretched for blocks. Tick­ets started being handed out to the public at 5 p.m. near the Lawrence fairgrounds, and took almost two hours to finish. Peo­ple came from hundreds of miles away and waited nervously, wondering if they came early enough to get one of the tick­ets. When the line was cut off near the door, those who didn’t make it stood in disbelief, tired and sad.

Those that did get tickets then had to wake up early on the 22nd to get inside the pavilion Obama spoke in. The line was long, the temperature was low and the wait was long. A majority of the 7,000- plus people waited over four hours that morning, first to get inside and then for the speech to start. The crowd consisted of every type of person imaginable, from college students and kids to a 100-year-old woman.

Inside, people stood shoulder to shoul­der on the indoor football field, ready for the president to arrive. To kill the time, conversations were struck up, games were played and phones were surfed.

After an hour or two, Bernadette Gray- Little, the chancellor of KU, came onto the stage to address the anxious crowd. After explaining the history of the college, the speech came to a close. In her final sen­tence, Gray-Little built and then crushed the spirits of those in the room.

“It’s my pleasure to say the president of the United States of America … will be here in a few minutes,” she said.

Groans filled the pavilion at the words. After hours of waiting, people were ready and had become tired. Some became an­gry, but after a few more minutes, it was finally time.

After being introduced by a student, Obama ran up to the podium. Hundreds of phones and cameras flew up from the crowd, ready to get a photo, and the roar of the crowd filled the whole pavilion with deafening cheers.

“Hello Kansas. Rock Chalk.” Obama said. “Jayhawk,” the crowd said back.

As Obama went though his 30 minute speech, the audience was captivated.

“I liked his speech. He had a lot of good points. I liked him talking about bipartisanship,” Joana Kozak, who at­tended the event, said.

As the speech ended and people slow­ly moved out of the filled room, many were still in awe of what they called a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.

For more information on this story see follow this link to the Campus Ledger web exclusive  link >>>

Police Briefs


Cell phone stolen from Math Resource Center

Campus Police responded to a report after a victim accidentally left his phone in the Math Resource Center, and upon returning to re­trieve it, noticed it gone. The case is ongoing.

Flash drive theft

A student reported a missing flash drive to Campus Police in the Culinary Academy conference room. The student placed the flash drive on the table, and as she turned to interact with another classmate, she heard a noise and looked back to notice the flash drive was gone. There are currently no suspects and the case is under review with the college detective.

Prescription drugs reported missing from purse

Prescription drugs went missing after a vic­tim left her purse unattended twice while on campus. The first time she left her purse was on the first floor of the Regnier Center bathroom, and the second was in the Carlsen Center. Later that day, she noticed the absence of prescrip­tion drugs. The case is ongoing.

Compiled by Valerie Velikaya, managing editor,

News Briefs


President Obama addresses the state of middle-class economics

President Obama made an appearance at KU to discuss the improvement of middle-class, gender equality and minimum wage. For more information, visit this Campus Ledger web exclusive  link >>>

Former trustee attended January board of trustees meeting

Former trustee Melody Rayl was present for the Board of Trustees meeting and invited to at­tend the executive session by the board. During this convergence, held on Wednesday, Jan. 14, Vice Chair Trustee Greg Musil said Rayl’s at­tendance was to assist in renegotiating the con­tract between the administration and faculty association, which will expire in April. Upon further examination, The Campus Ledger discov­ered the law firm which Rayl works for, Fisher & Phillips LLP, was contractually hired by the college. A copy of that contract can be viewed here  link >>>

Compiled by Mike Abell, editor-in-chief,

Trustees to set budget foundations


Trustees retreat to allow further budget plans for next fiscal year

By Mike Abell

Photo by Mike Abell
Photo by Mike Abell

The monthly Board of Trustee meet­ings allow for the board and administra­tion to recap what was talked about dur­ing their subcommittee meetings earlier in the month.

However, the board will annually have a budget workshop or retreat early in the spring semester to lay the foundation for their next bud­get even though it won’t take effect for many months. This year, the retreat will take place on Saturday, Feb. 7.

Additionally, the board will be joined by President Joe Sopcich and Barbara Larson,executive vice president and administrative services. These work­shops and retreats allow the board and administration time to focus on certain points of the budget. Molly Baumgard­ner, former trustee, described how these retreats differ from regular month-to-month board meetings.

“The purpose of these retreats is re­ally to gather more in-depth information about issues that will be coming up dur­ing the next budget year,” said Baum­gardner. “The monthly Board of Trustee meetings are totally run following Rob­erts’ rule of order. A Board of Trustees meeting is designed to vote on and to take action based on proposals given by the administration.”

This year, the board will vote on the budget with Sopcich’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI) in mind along with the Strategic Planning Process.In addition, Baumgardner mentioned how the KPI will affect these early foundations for the budget.

“Because we are now bound with these KPI, the board needs to be in­formed of ‘Here is the Performance In­dicator, now how will that translate into some of the things that we’re thinking about spending money on?’ she said. “I mean, it’s interesting. We have our per­sonal budgets, which is usually dictated by what our income is, where the college as an institution. Its budget is dictated by what this group of elected officials are going to vote on.”

Vice Chair Trustee Musil also talked about those KPI and the role they will play in establishing a new budget.

“We’re going to talk about the KPI and Strategic Plan maybe as a whole other topic. One of the things we want to do is make the budget fit that plan and move the needle, if you will, on those KPI,” Musil said. “We’re trying to figure out now if we focus on those measures and budget resources to them then we think we’ll be better off as a school.”

Overall, Musil said that this retreat was meant for the board and admin­istration to lay the foundation for the next fiscal year. Like the monthly board meetings, the retreat will be open to the public.

“We’re trying to really get everyone aimed at the same goal and this to learn and get the best education you can for the most affordable price and take it on to what you want to do.”


New vice president of student success marks the start of a new chapter


Involvement helps inform local and state politics

By Valerie Velikaya

Randy Weber will take the place of Dennis Day as the vice president of student success and engagement. Photo courtesy of Randy Weber
Randy Weber will take the place of Dennis Day as the vice president of student success and engagement.
Photo courtesy of Randy Weber

After three decades of the student suc­cess and engagement being led by Dennis Day, the college will experience a transi­tion with a new leader.

Randy Weber will oversee the counsel­ing department as he utilizes his previous experiences of attending and working at community colleges.

Weber, 37, attended a small rural high school in Kansas before transitioning to a community college. After completing his time there, Weber went to KU before working for various community colleges, including Pikes Peak Community Col­lege in Colorado Springs, Co., where he served as the vice president for enroll­ment services.

His experiences of working in a com­munity college environment has spanned over a decade, intertwining with his shared vision of progressing the commu­nity.

A few reasons that intrigued Weber to work at the college included its emphasis on leadership, educational excellence and innovation.

Alicia Bredehoeft, faculty chair for the counseling center, said her first percep­tion of Weber was his awareness of com­munity college issues.

During his interview, “He didn’t an­swer the question on a surface level. He gave really good content to the under­standing of the needs of community col­lege students,” said Bredehoeft. “I think he has high level of energy. He’s very committed to this position at this insti­tution and that’s very refreshing when somebody wants the job and wants to be here.”

Weber has established several objec­tives, which include maintaining a strong model of student success. Weber will be­gin his career at the college on Monday, Feb. 16.

“The college has already identified some key initiatives and strategies that they want to work on and the current strategic plans. I definitely want to work with the individuals in place on those ini­tiatives to make sure that we can deliver on what we’ve promised,” said Weber. “I would say, overall, it’s just to build a stu­dent success model that the college and the community can be proud of.”

Bredehoeft sees a new face at the col­lege as a welcome change.

“I think the historical piece is we have a lot of longevity at the institution,” said Bredehoeft. “I think that’s probably one of the things that drew people to Dr. Weber is that he is coming in without any history or baggage … it’s a blank canvas, really.”


Obama proposes free community college


Plan would allow students to attend first two years for free

By Forest Lassman

President Barack Obama has proposed a plan to make the first two years of com­munity colleges free.

The plan, which Obama announced on Thursday, Jan. 8th, will make the two years “free for everybody willing to work for it.” According to the White House, students would have to keep a GPA above 2.5 and “steady progress toward complet­ing their program” in order to qualify for the program.

When college president Joe Sopcich first heard the news, he was excited.

“The initial reaction is, ‘That’s great that community colleges are being looked at in such a positive way. That commu­nity colleges can make such an impact in the nation’s economy, in the local economy, and that the president wants to recognize that and is trying to figure out ways to increase accessibility,” Sop­cich said.

“The flip side is that it’s not that easy. And if you’ve done any research … there is all kinds of things that make it a little bit more complicated. It’s not just ‘Here you go, here’s $3,800.’ There’s some things you need to do.”

If the plan does go into action, it would give many students the chance to attend the college, and Michael Ralph, a teacher at Olathe East High School, thinks such an initiative is a good idea.

“I absolutely think [free community college] would help,” Ralph said. “Espe­cially with students I see in my classrooms who can’t afford to go to — especially the four-year colleges — but even paying for the first few years of community college is a significant barrier for some kids who otherwise would be great candidates for higher education.”

Ralph also thinks that the plan will help make the overall economy stronger

“If we publicly pay for the first two years of CC, we will greatly improve the skills of the available workforce, which I think is going to make us more competi­tive in the international job market in the next 10 years,” he said.

One problem with this prospect is dealing with the increase in students. While it would cause a lot more students to attend, Sopcich thinks the college would be able to handle the increase.

“A couple of years ago, we had a 10 percent spike in enrollment. That’s a lot of students, and to do that, we had to make some accommodations, and that was hap­pening over the country,” Sopcich said. “Some schools actually had classes 24 hours … Everybody figures out a way to accommodate the situation, and it would be the same thing with [free community college].”

While this idea is exciting, the college right now has not started to prepare.

“We’ll see what happens, but it’s pretty exciting, and it’s just good to have people talking about the value of community col­lege,” Sopcich said.

Beyond ink: Student believes tattoos are no longer a taboo in the workplace

Student and aspiring artist Jacob Lewis is familiar with a tattoo needle. The tattoo on his right hand is a memorial for his brother, Mitchell, who passed away in 2013. The other depicts flames and the words “No regrets,” representing his confidence in his decision to join the Air Force. Photo by Julia Larberg

By Mike Abell

Photo by Julia Larberg
Photo by Julia Larberg

Student Jacob Lewis, now 24, got his first tattoo on his left forearm shortly after he enlisted in the Air Force under active-duty in 2010. For him, tattoos in the workplace haven’t been too much of an issue.

He always wanted a tattoo, despite the fact his parents never really approved of them. His first tattoo simply spelled out “no regret,” and it signified his free spirit. In the Air Force he was allowed to have tattoos as long as they were a certain size. Although Lewis is now part of the National Guard and faces more chal­lenges than he used to.

“I still experience some of it. Now I have a half-sleeve and I have to have it covered up whenever I’m in uniform.”

Lewis is now a server at Olive Gar­den. He said that the tattoo policy has become less and less strict, although he did say that he gets mixed reactions from customers when they notice his tattoos.

“When I originally started at Olive Garden, the policy was ‘no tattoos,’ so you had to cover them up. Since I’ve been in, it’s actually changed. You can just roll your sleeves up now as long as [the tattoo] isn’t offensive. So I work with my sleeves rolled up now,” said Lewis. “But I’m constantly badgered about my tattoos by the customers. They’re brought up all the time when I’m serving.”

However, not all of the feedback has been negative. Lewis said that custom­ers will often ask about his tattoos out of interest or curiosity.

Student and aspiring artist Jacob Lewis is familiar with a tattoo needle. The tattoo on his right hand is a memorial for his brother, Mitchell, who passed away in 2013. The other depicts flames and the words “No regrets,” representing his confidence in his decision to join the Air Force. Photo by Julia Larberg
Student and aspiring artist Jacob Lewis is familiar with a tattoo needle. The tattoo on his right hand is a memorial for his brother, Mitchell, who passed away in 2013. The other depicts flames and the words “No regrets,” representing his confidence in his decision to join the Air Force.
Photo by Julia Larberg

“Sometimes they might ask me who I got them done by. Plenty of it’s negative and plenty of it’s positive.”

One of his more recent tattoos is a small memorial of sorts for his older brother on his right forearm. His brother passed away in 2013 from muscular dystrophy. The tattoo is a portrait of his brothers favorite fictional characters.

Lewis said that he believed tattoos are becoming more culturally accepted than ever.

“Yeah, like I said, you know when I joined the military they sort of eased up on their policy — same with Olive Gar­den. They used to be more strict; their policy has changed a lot over time.”

Although tattoos are just now becom­ing more relevant in the United States, they’ve always been relevant in some non-western cultures.

“There is a tremendous difference between the use of tattoos in non-west­ern societies as opposed to how we see them used here in the US,” said Sandra Moran, adjunct anthropology professor.

Additionally, Moran explained the relevance and history of tattoos in indig­enous societies.

“In most indigenous societies, tattoo­ing is part of their culture and deeply rooted in tradition. Often, it’s an identi­fier – a way of illustrating an individu­al’s lineage, your status or rank, or what rites of passage you’ve endured. The word itself stems from the Samoan word ‘tatau,’ which means “to mark,” she said.

Furthermore, tattoos have become even more accepted as time has gone on, according to Moran.

“In many ways, Western society has appropriated this practice. Prior to the Y-Generation, tattoos were seen only in certain instances and often on certain people. They often had a connotation of a person who had rebelled against society,” she said. “But beginning with the Y Generation, we’ve seen a change in which tattooing has become almost mainstream. The last statistics of which I am aware of indicated that in the US, 40 percent of the people in this generation have at least one tattoo.”

Gallery: People with tattoos in the workplace

Photos by Anya Ivansteva

Senate starts journey toward community


The Student Senate sets goals to create increased involvement

By Tucker Swiastyn

Photo by Mike Abell
This is Jeffrey Remond’s second semester
being student senate president. He was previously
the vice president. Photo by Mike Abell

So many students in constant movement, hurrying from place to place. Some known, others unknown, but all are part of the same student body here at the college. The Student Senate’s main goal here at the college is to bring these students together.

“The idea is to cultivate a communal culture. That is the whole purpose,” said Jeffery Redmond, president of the senate.

Clubs and organizations are filled with the opportunity to create more of a community at the college; areas that the Student Senate have been trying to implement for the student body.

“… Once [the students] get involved in with these organizations, you see each other in the hall and it just breeds that community,” Redmond said.“Bringing that to the table causes people to join and get involved, and that’s the purpose.”

Last semester, the Student Senate headed the Campus Kickoff, dunk tank, and Trick or Treat for Kids while inviting all the other campus clubs at the college for a more communal effort.

With so many various clubs hosting different events, this can sometimes create a competitive barrier between organizations that does not need to be there.

“You want to team up with other clubs,” Redmond said. “What if another club is hosting an event you want to be a part of? Instead of doing an event separate from that, why not just go help them?”

Moving forward, the biggest task for the Senate, followed by all the organizations, is membership. Growing numbers in groups create a bigger community which allows more accomplishment through one another.

“We [the Senate] are all here doing this together,” Redmond said. “When you are elected, you are working with other people who are choosing to be here; you want to team up with other people and clubs.”

Redmond’s main goal at the college is to make connections with people, which have only happened through being part of the Senate and these organizations.

“You walk into these problems that you didn’t create, but now you are responsible for, you take it in stride, you do what you can while you’re here,” Redmond said.

“I hear people say, ‘Well I’m only here for one semester or I’m only here for two semesters.’ Why would you limit the amount of impact your life could have when and wherever you are? That creates a habitual nature to keep putting off what you could be doing.”

There is a driving force that continually pushes the Senate to keep creating opportunities for students — a resilience to fear.

“Everyone stays quiet for like four weeks, nobody knows each others names.” Redmond said. “they are focused on the class and what everyone else thinks of them. Sometimes fear gets in the way. It’s keeping you from the contact with people you enjoy.” It is a group effort. The Senate is not just one individual but a group of students dedicated in creating this sense of community. “Nine out of 10 times, someone is excited to meet you just like you are excited to meet them, and they are just as nervous,” Redmond said.

“The only reason they forget your name right away is because they were worried about what they sound like when they tell you their name.”

Reaching for those connections comes with gain and loss, rejection and acceptance.

“Everyone is living for the first time, so no one is really an expert.”

Membership, participation and community are three goals this semester that the Senate are working to apply in the students lives here at the college.

Staff Editorial: Our thoughts on free community college

Free community college has the chance to change the way we view education. It could create an atmosphere where getting education past the high school level is ever more common, and one where the skills of everyone become more developed. With more students receiving higher education, better jobs would be more accessible. Free community college would also allow students more time to discover what fields they want to go into, and experiment more to see what they like. Many can’t afford even the low cost of community college, and by making it easy to access, this opportunity is more obtainable.

The money saved by students could also go towards future education. Having two years free is a great incentive for students to attend a 4-year college. Student debt is a major detraction for most potential students, and two less years of debt would make the costs much more easy to stomach. This plan could even force these 4-year colleges to lower prices to compete and bring in freshmen and sophomores.

Even with all these great upsides, the devils are always in the details. The plan sounds great, but there are a many different ways it could be badly or ineffectively enacted. An influx of students will cause strain on most colleges, and finding a way to adapt to these problems isn’t as simple as jump hiring on more faculty. The education these future students get need to be at the high quality we get here at the college.

Even with these potential problems, this plan could be great. A more educated society is a better society, and free community college is a gigantic step towards this better America.

The Super Bowl after Deflate-Gate

By James Howey

It’s not often that the Super Bowl feels like it’s been upstaged by something. Unfortunately, that is kind of the case with Super Bowl XLIX. With last week’s infamous Deflate-Gate, the New England Patriots’ character and integrity is once again in question in the public’s eye. Both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have denied that they know anything about the deflation of the footballs. Most of the public doesn’t seem to believe them, and even many former players refuse to believe that either of them was oblivious to the situation.

I, like many people, don’t believe that the deflation of the footballs made any difference in the result of the AFC Championship, but because of the Patriots’ history, this becomes a big deal. I do think the league should come down hard on the Patriots and Belichick because of their track record. Roger Goodell has stated before that ignorance is not an excuse for teams in this kind of situation. So for the sake of league’s image, I’d be surprised if the Patriots didn’t receive a pretty stiff punishment.

What seems to have been forgotten is the Super Bowl game itself and the great matchup we will have on Super Bowl Sunday. Both the Seahawks defense and Tom Brady are making bids to increase their legacies. If the Seahawks win, they will have beaten two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in back-to-back Super Bowls and would be looked at as maybe the greatest defense ever. If the Patriots win, Brady will have gone 4-2 in Super Bowls and would match the great Joe Montana in Super Bowl wins. The game features what may be the two best defenses in the league. The game also features two of the best defensive minds in the NFL in Belichick and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. I expect this game to be an old-fashioned defensive slugfest.

The running game will be key for both teams come Sunday. Marshawn Lynch is the straw that stirs the drink for the Seahawks offense. Seattle doesn’t want all the pressure to be on Russell Wilson to make plays. The Patriots do not want to be one-dimensional against the Seahawks defense. As seen in last year’s Super Bowl, just throwing the ball against Seattle could be disastrous. As always in the Super Bowl, this game could truly go either way. I’ll go with the Patriots because of Belichick’s coaching and how well the Patriots have played in the trenches, especially on the offensive side. New England 17, Seattle 13.

Sports Briefs


Women’s basketball

The Cavs continue to dominate the Jayhawk conference with a 21-0 and won all five of their conference games by dou­ble digits. The squad is ranked number in the nation. The team has rival Kansas City Kansas Community College coming to town Saturday for a huge conference showdown. The Cavaliers have one of the deepest teams in recent memories at the college and consistently have three or four players score in double figures in a game. Alexis Brown leads the Cavs in scoring with 13.3 per game, Nieka Wheel­er is second with 12.1, and Braile Fields is third with 9.6.

Men’s basketball

The college’s basketball team has been on a little bit of a hot streak as of late. The squad has won three in a row to improve to 11-10 on the year. The Cavs are 3-1 in the conference. The Cavaliers unfortu­nately lost Jaron Rollins for the rest of the season to a torn labrum. Rollins was a key contributor before his season ended. The Cavaliers had a spectacular last second 62-60 win against Cowley Community College with Zach Nelson making the game winning layup. Freshman Danzel Wright is having an outstanding season for the squad, averaging 20.7 a game, which is fourth among players in the Jay­hawk. The Cavs have critical conference games coming up against Kansas City Kansas Community College and Cof­feyville Community College. Both games will go a long way in deciding the winner of the Jayhawk.

Indoor track

The college’s indoor track squads for the men and women are off to a prom­ising start to the season. The squad has had a number of standout players in their first meet this season. Matt Mayeske and Samuel McReynolds were the top two in the 60-meter race: Mayeske recorded an 8.67 and McReynolds had an 8.73. Max Bullard won the shot put with a throw of 13.88 Meters. Caleb Denman won the 200 meter with a 23.33. Aaron Thacker won the 300 meter with a 35.87. Daniel Ma­hurin won the 500 meter with a 1:07.79. Areka Hanson and Ryan Beard had solid showings in the 60 meter with an 8.13 for Hanson and an 8.25 for Beard. Brya Greene won the 300 meter with a 44.94. Brooklyn Meinke won the 400 meter with a 1:05.01. Donatta Young won the 500 meter with a 1:20.2. Colleen Russell and Paige Miller got second and third in 1000 meter. Russell recorded a 3:26.67 and Miller had a 3:28.97. Kendyl McDou­gald won the shot put with a 12.37 meter throw. The Cavs also won a dual meet with Cowley. The men won 59-43 and the women won 47-40.

Briefs and calendar compiled by James Howey, sports editor,

Cavs win a slugfest over Scots


By James Howey,

The college’s women’s basketball squad faced maybe their toughest challenge yet Wednesday night. The Cavs were on the road to face the Highland Community College Scotties. As always, the game was a grinder. With some energy from the crowd and four threes from Daijane Dillard, the Scotties would have the advantage at the half 31-29.

“At first we were a little bit uncomfortable because we started down in the first half,” Nieka Wheeler said. “I think it clicked in the second half that this is the kind of game we’ve been ready to playing up to this year.”

Wheeler was once again a workhorse as she has been this whole year. Wheeler recorded her fourth double-double this season with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Through most of the second half, points were scarce for both teams. The game was tied at 44-all with six minutes left when the Cavs broke away. With great defense and crucial rebounding, the team went on to a 58-49 win to stay perfect at 22-0 this year. Alexis Brown was second in scoring for the squad with 14, and Braile Fields was third with 10.

“Well, any time you go on the road in the league, it’s going to be tough,” Cavaliers head coach Ben Conrad said. “We certainly came in and guarded, we attacked them pretty good offensively and we were able to get to the line.”

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Cavs. They will host the Kansas City Kansas Community College Blue Devils Saturday at 2 p.m. for the lead of the Jayhawk conference. The Devils are 6-1 in conference and 20-2 overall.

“We have to forget about this tomorrow and get to work, and we’ll have a plan in place for KCK,” Conrad said. “I think what I’m most excited about is I think we got better tonight.”

Proposed contract for Fisher & Phillips law firm


Posted by Mike Abell

Former Trustee Melody Rayl attended the January Board of Trustees meeting. Additionally, she was invited into executive session by the board. Upon further research, it was discovered that her the law firm which she works for, Fisher & Phillips, is being hired by the college to help renegotiate the faculty association contract. The current faculty association will expire in late March.

The content posted below is the proposed contract for Fisher & Phillips.


Fisher & Phillips Contract


Gallery: President Barack Obama speaks at KU


Obama Speaks at KU: President comes to Lawrence and addresses college

By Forest Lassman 

Photo by Julia Larberg: President Barack Obama spoke at KU about middle class economics on Jan. 22. Speaking about the present economic situation, the President said, “We have put ourselves in a position in which the economy could, potentially, grow not just next year or the year after that, but over the next decade and generate the jobs that all of you will fill. So the verdict is this: middle class economics works. Equal opportunity for everybody works. […] And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don’t get in the way!”

President Barack Obama addressed a crowd of thousands at the KU on Thursday, Jan. 22.Over 7,000 people crowded into the Anschutz Sports Pavilion for the speech, which began at 11:30 a.m.

Before the speech, Alyssa Cole, a senior at the college, told her story. As a mother of three, she expressed the struggles of trying to find good and affordable child care.

“There were times where I spend my entire paycheck paying for one week of daycare,” Cole said. “In the United States, we should have the opportunity to pursue a career and an education while at the same time building quality lives for ourselves and for our children.”

Obama spent much of his speech addressing his plan of making child care more available. This plan included a tax cut of up to $3,000 per child annually to help pay for child care.

“[Child care is] the best investment we can make. It’s the right thing to do. We can do more to help families make end meet,” said Obama.

Additionally, Obama pushed for creating gender pay equality.

“Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work,” said Obama. “I mean, come on now, it’s 2015. This should be sort of a no-brainer.”

Obama spoke of his intention to raise the minimum wage amount.

“If there are members of Congress that really believe that they can work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, they should try it,” said Obama. “And if not, they should vote to give millions of hard-working people across America the raise they deserve.”

Obama then discussed his “deep roots” in Kansas, mentioning his family that lived in the state. He also talked about the college’s basketball team, and joked about he had failed to win Kansas in either of his elections.

“I’m a Kansas guy. That helped me in the caucus in 2008. It didn’t help me as much in the general election,” said Obama. “Coach Self won 10 straight, I lost two straight here.”

Obama ended the 30-minute speech by asking for more bipartisanship.

“We’re going to disagree on politics sometimes, but we don’t have to be so viciously divided as a people. We all know what God and grandma taught us to do. Whoever we are, Republican, Democrat, male, female, young, old, black, white, gay, straight; we all share a common vision for our future. We want a better country for your generation and for your kid’s generation,” said Obama. “I want that country to be one that shows the world I know is still to be true: that we are still not a collection of just red states and blue states, we are still the United States of America.”