Residence Life plans Halloween Extravaganza

Story by Jenna Blakely

Contributing writer

Preparations are underway for this year’s Safe Trick or Treat Halloween Extravaganza, an annual event sponsored by SE Residence Life and the Residence Hall Association for local children.

This year’s Safe Trick or Treat event will be 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28 at Shearer Hall and Suites.

“This event is always a huge success,” said RA Kristal Wharry. “It targets the children in our community and our SE faculty and staff kids to provide them an opportunity to be able to go out and trick or treat safely.”

Last year Safe Trick or Treat was a big success, and the Residence Life Department is hoping to make this year’s event just as successful. The children, escorted by their parents, will get the opportunity to walk throughout Shearer Hall to get candy and treats from the college students.

Many of the participating students will be setting outside of their dorm rooms, waiting for the little ghosts, goblins and princesses to walk by and say the famous words, “trick or treat,” before dropping a piece of candy in their bags.

This year activities include three floors of trick or treating for children 12 and under, a spooktacular haunted house suitable for younger children in North Hall and a carnival and Halloween crafts.

SE faculty and staff are invited to donate candy and prizes, and any resident students interested in participating should see their RAs for details. For more information on the event or to make a donation, contact John Swoboda at 745-2757.

The event is open to the public, so if you want a safe, fun and enjoyable place to bring your children this year to trick or treat, then check out the annual SE Residence Hall Safe Trick or Treat Halloween Extravaganza.

Application Deadline for Graduation Approaching

Story By: by Lauren Lowing

Contributing writer

Graduation day is quickly approaching for December Southeastern graduates. The application deadline for the fall graduation is Friday, Oct. 29, and applications can be found in the registrar’s office.

The graduation ceremony for the fall semester has been set for Dec. 11 at Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Students applying for graduation should have already completed a final graduation check, as well as received a clearance letter from their advisers stating that they are eligible for graduation.

If you plan to graduate in December and have not already done this, you need to speak with the Registrar’s Office and your adviser as soon as possible.

Another activity that has been scheduled is the graduation rehearsal, which has been set for Dec. 8 and will also be held in the Arena.

“The time of graduation and rehearsal is yet to be determined,” according to Jannista Wood, the administrative assistant to the vice president in the Office of Student Affairs. “The official times should be decided sometime during the upcoming week and this information will be made available to students.”

According to Wood, they are waiting to see how many applications they receive before making an official decision on the time and number of ceremonies that will need to be held.

“Anyone looking for an application for the December graduation ceremony should visit the Registrar’s Office on campus or the Southeastern website,” according to Sheila Gold, the assistant registrar for Southeastern.

On the website students can download the application for graduation and find additional information about upcoming deadlines. There is also information regarding setting up an appointment for a final graduation check, and what information will need to obtained before going to this appointment.

The Registrar’s Office begins doing final graduation checks at the beginning of the semester through the 10th week of class.

Lacie Lowing, a former graduate of Southeastern, said that “the process of applying for graduation seems scary at first, but there are so many people there to help guide you in the direction that you need to go, so it makes it less stressful for you.”

All of the information regarding graduation can be found on the Southeastern website under the Registrar’s Office link. If you have any further questions regarding the application for graduation or ceremony, please contact Gold in the Registrar’s Office at 745-2816.

Parking lots receive fresh paint over Fall Break

by Brandi Bunch
Managing editor
Students returning from Fall Break need to watch where they park. The Campus Police took advantage of last week’s empty campus to repaint some of the horseshoe’s fading lines, leaving some of the formerly acceptable parking areas illegal.
According to Campus Police Chief Jon Clouse, the crosswalks received the most attention, getting a fresh coat of paint.
The parking spaces on either side of the crosswalks were also removed to add a bit more visibility for drivers and increase the safety factor.
According to Clouse, the lot behind the Administration Building along Seventh Street also received some attention. The areas in which no parking is currently allowed had the warnings repainted so that they are more easily visible.
Much of the other work that was done involved giving a fresh coat of paint to areas that were particularly worn.
SE students are encouraged to double check the spaces before parking, just to ensure that no tickets are given as a result of the transition.

Parking lots closed for Investiture

Several parking lots on campus will be closed Wednesday, Oct. 27 to accommodate parking for President Larry Minks Investiture ceremony.
According to Jon Clouse, director of campus police and safety, the lots will be blocked off beginning Tuesday evening and will remain closed through Wednesday.
Lots that will be blocked off are the Administration Building lot behind the Magnolia House, the faculty and staff paid lot behind the Fine Arts Building, the Math Building lot and the loop (Fifth and Sixth streets).

Football star recovers from injury to reclaim the field

SE Football Player Welton Johnson runs for the Endzone

Welton Johnson runs for the endzone in the game against Henderson State on Aug. 27, 2009; SE claimed a victory of 54-38 in the game, adding to its 7-4 record.

Story By: Jenna Blakely

Staff writer

Everyone has something they have a deep passion for.

“I can’t even describe how much football means to me,” said SE senior Welton Johnson.

Johnson is a corner back and return kicker.

Football is part of his everyday life.

However, last season Johnson tore his labrum in his hip, which isn’t a very common injury.

He said he was out for about 7-8 months but was still able to play the big rival ECU.

“After the ECU game I was out until the end of June,” said Johnson.

His injury was caused by an awkward landing, when he jumped to break up a pass during a game. When he landed, he said it just happened.

“I’m used to being the guy that can play through anything,” said Johnson, “but this injury was totally different.”

This past summer, while most students were relaxing and taking it easy, Johnson concentrated on getting back out on the field.

“I was able to do upper body weight workouts over the summer but didn’t get released to start running until the last week of June,” said Johnson.

Even after surgery Johnson was on bed rest for almost two weeks and then on crutches for approximately six weeks, which he said “wasn’t any fun at all.”

He spent four months in physical therapy after his surgery.

According to Johnson, the doctors thought he might be able to play during the fall semester, but they didn’t promise anything.

Johnson said, “Because of all the physical therapy and swimming pool workouts I did over the summer, it really helped a lot,” said Johnson.

“Especially when I was able to run again, I was a few weeks ahead of schedule.”

For Johnson, the hardest part of the experience was not the physical therapy itself.

“Not being able to work out, run, play football and do the things that I was used to doing everyday was definitely the worst part of the whole thing,” said Johnson.

“I would say this was definitely one of the hardest things I have had to go through in my life.”

Although some people might have given up in this situation, Johnson kept working hard and pushed himself.

When asked how he made it through, Johnson said, “One of the things I pride myself on is setting an example for the younger guys and coming out and working hard every day. After all, that’s how I got to where I am now.”

Since this season will be Johnson’s last year playing at SE, he said his goal was to play the entire season, especially the opener.

“We started off the season with Henderson state in Arkansas,” said Johnson.

“I am originally from Arkansas, so it was great to be able to play a game at home my senior year.”

Now that the season has started, Johnson says he feels great.

“After not knowing if I would play this season or ever play football again, it was great just getting back on the field and being out there with my teammates,” he said.

“To be honest, I didn’t know if I would be the same player after the injury I had, but after playing two games I can definitely say that I feel better than I could have ever imagined and I think that I can have a better season than I did last year,” said Johnson.

Durant fails at being interesting

Story By Ashlyn Creasman

Contributing Writer

What is it that makes a college town a great college town?

It all comes down to what a particular community has to offer for its college students.

Some towns are completely built around and thrive upon the college community, while other towns and cities have their own pace of life with a college thrown in.

The latter describes Durant.

I’ve been living in Durant for a few years now and have been attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University. In this time, I’ve discovered that Durant just doesn’t really have that “college town” feel to it.

Having a university in a town is beneficial to the businesses around and could be even more beneficial if the town businesses started to support Southeastern and to work making Durant more of a college town.

Southeastern has great athletic teams, but what we don’t see much of is town support for those teams.  Small town colleges are usually the best college towns because they usually show great support for college athletic programs.

Not everyone is into sports or has time to attend every game, but even if the town members simply wore the school colors on a game day, that would show great support.

Another reason Durant isn’t much of a college town is because there is nothing for college kids to do.

At the heart of most college towns are tons of small businesses and hang outs where students are welcome and appreciated. Durant doesn’t really have either of those things.

As much as I would like to see Durant become more of a college town, I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

I don’t think the Durant community realizes how much more they would benefit if they were to show more support for the college and college students.

Cardinal Key recruiting

Cardinal Key National Honor Society will begin recruitment for the fall semester on Sunday, Sept. 26.

The organization has already sent out emails to the women on campus who qualify for recruitment this semester.

The organization recognizes achievement in extracurricular activities and strives to provide service in leadership training within the college community.

Cardinal Key is a service-oriented honor society. Members of the organization often are involved with many on campus events including candle lighting, commencement exercises for both fall and spring and Relay for Life.

Another big event that Cardinal Key participates in is Homecoming.

“We play a big role in homecoming each year by sponsoring Big Man on Campus,” said Historian Jenna Blakely. “All the proceeds go to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, which is our National Philanthropy.”

Each Cardinal Key recruit is chosen by junior standing and GPA minimal requirements as well as extracurricular involvement.

Once candidates have completed the recruitment process, they will be contacted if they accepted, said Blakely.

New members must then pay membership fees, which include chords at graduation.

“We as present members look forward to meeting any new potential Cardinal Key member during the social, fun and casual recruitment events,” said Blakely.

Student organizations suffer territory disputes

Story By: Terran Sherwood

Contributing Writer

What would college be without student groups? Greek fraternities and sororities, theatre and even gaming clubs make up the modern day college experience.

However, not all of these clubs live in harmony with one another. When given a closer examination, a lot of these clubs suffer from an ego trip and a superiority complex.

For example, last spring, the Original Upholders of the Gaming Arts (or OUGA for short) had been meeting up on the Student Union second floor for its weekly meetings. They had reserved that area through official channels and were approved to use it from 1-3 p.m.

However, one spring afternoon, another college group (who shall remained unnamed) decided to set up for their meeting, scheduled for 3 p.m., during OUGA’s time period. OUGA didn’t have a problem with this, until this other group started making a few demands.

Asking to set up during another group’s reserved time is one thing. Telling that group to keep it down and trying to kick them out an hour before their meeting is over is another.

This unnamed group had so little respect for another campus-sponsored group that OUGA just got up and left rather than deal with them.

So this raises the question, why the hostility among groups?

The best answer I can offer is that most groups by nature feel they are above the others. What Greek club is going to tell their pledges “We’re really only the fifth best club on campus”?

Every group is going to think that they are superior in some way. This also becomes a problem when the students feel like they have to pledge their loyalty to one particular group.

Why aren’t there more football players in the theater department? Why aren’t there more math majors working on the newspaper?

These divisions among the groups keep us from realizing what the full college experience really is. We start putting ourselves into these little boxes of groups, and we stay there under that one category. Why not branch out and do something different?

In the end, college is about experiences, experiencing new things so you know what you want to spend the rest of your life doing.

Oh, and to a certain leadership group, you owe my friends and I an hour of your meeting time to play Mario Kart. It seems only fair.

Student Government Association recruits voters

Students stationed at the voting table for SGA

Heather Hartline and Cody Chapman man the ‘Vote or Die’ booth for the Public and Civic Engagement Committee, bribing students with promises of Halo: Reach and intercollegiate “violence” in exchange for registering to vote. No one died.

Story By: Bret Moss

Staff Writer

This fall semester has now reached the quarter mark for Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and much has occurred since school resumed. For the Student Government Association, business is in full swing as well.

The SGA is the student body’s representation to the administration of the university and the voice of SE’s students on a statewide level.

After five meetings this semester, the SGA has been busy planning for a variety of events like Homecoming, as well as conducting two elections.

SGA meets at 6:30 p.m. each Thursday in the Frost Chambers of the Student Union, and these meetings are open to all students.

With Homecoming approaching, this event has been a major topic of discussion for SGA. The theme for the student body will be “Game On” this year. This theme will have the various student organizations take part in activities based

Student Registering to Vote for upcoming elections

SE student Lucas Perry, lured by Halo: Reach, is persuaded to register as a voter during Voter Registration Week.

on video games, board games and television game shows.

Homecoming events and sweeps will begin on Oct. 1 and continue until the parade on game day. Team packets are in, and teams are set for this year’s festivities. Homecoming Chair Matt Sitton said he and Vice Co-Chairs Jerrek McWilliams and Zac Pauls expect this year to be an exciting year.

SGA has also been busy with elections this semester. After two separate elections over the past few weeks, SGA added eight new members: Kalleigh Whitley, Alexis Canaday, Randy Dailey, Benjamin Fewell, Lyndsey Lamar, Nick McBrayer, Brenton Rucker and Kenzi Yarberry.

“I’m really happy to be a part of this,” said Lamar.

The first election took place Sept. 1-2 with 17 open seats for incoming senators. But due to low student participation, only four senators received enough votes for election. The SGA then called a special election which was held Sept. 8-9.

This year’s lineup of the Executive Student Senators include Matt Heggy as president, Paul Cabelus as vice-president, Demi Wilkerson as secretary, Zac Pauls and Ross Thomas as co-chairs of the Safety and Beautification Committee, and Matt Sitton and Heather Hartline as co- chairs of the Publicity and Civic Engagement committee.

Other senators who made up the pre-election senate included Cody Chapman, Jerreck McWilliams, Garret Shoemake.

One of the duties of SGA is to approve or decline student organizations’ applications for “recognized” status with the university. To maintain good standing, all organizations must demonstrate a benefit to the student body.

The following organizations have met that qualification: The Soccer Club, Native American Council, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, the American Chemical Society, Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Chorvettes StageWorks Company, Residence Hall Association, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Chi, Cardinal Key Honor Society, Black Student Association, Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, Alpha Sigma Tau Fraternity, SE Cheer, Flight Team, Alpha Eta Rho, American Society of Safety Engineers, Catholic Student Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Honors Advisory Council, Interfraternity Council, Math Club, Paintball Club and Sigma Tau Gamma.

The Publicity and Civic Engagement Committee recently held several activities to help raise voter registration awareness in response to National Constitution Day on Sept. 17.

To encourage voter registration, a booth was set up outside the Student Union cafeteria where students could complete voter registration forms.

Presentations were made to freshman government classes about voter registration, and SGA also sponsored a video game tournament called “Vote or Die” to help encourage students to register. In order to participate in the competition, students had to present a voter registration card.

According to Heggy, well over 100 students have registered in response to the efforts, which exceeds the goal SGA was hoping to reach.

SGA has also been working to improve the looks of the campus. The Safety and Beautification Committee has begun formulating plans for an Adopt a Plot program. No permanent decisions have been made, but Pauls said the concept is that student organizations will “adopt” a piece of the Southeastern landscape and improve it for the benefit of all.

That same committee is also considering ways to improve the looks of the fountain. During the discussion of the fountain, Vice President of Student Affairs Sharon Robinson told the senators that there is currently a fund set up to accumulate money for renovation. Robinson said no university money will be allocated to this endeavor due to other, more important issues, but fundraising is taking place.

There are currently architect drawings the show what the future fountain and front lawn area could look like. This project has no completion date and will only be worked on as money is raised, but it is a step towards campus beautification.

Photos by Jerreck McWilliams

SE Spanish students enjoy immersion opportunities: Conversation Group teaches practical Spanish

Story By: Brandi Bunch

Managing Editor

It is almost universally acknowledged that the most difficult part of learning a second language is finding a place in which it can be practically applied.

Fortunately, SE students who are choosing to learn Spanish have a way of overcoming this: Dr., or La Profesora, Caryn Witten’s Spanish Conversation Group.

Due to its structuring, the conversation group allows students to actively use Spanish in such a way that the language feels much more organic than it would in a classroom environment; the group allows only Spanish to be spoken while present.

While this may seem daunting to those who are newer to the language, Witten explains that it actually allows for increased comprehension of the words being spoken, even if the student chooses only to listen rather than speak.

It takes approximately 10,000 hours to master a second language, a fact with which Witten is familiar due to having specialized in second language acquisition, so this group serves as an invaluable tool for those students wanting to become more proficient in Spanish.

According to Witten, “An all-Spanish environment benefits students because they must find a way to express themselves using the language they know instead of translating from English. Translating doesn’t work well because a person’s first language is so much more sophisticated then their second language.”

She went on to say “However, with a little bit of second-language knowledge, we can express lots of ideas and concepts in a way that native speakers will understand us. Classroom learning provides the structure and form of a second language, but people need lots of opportunity to put this theory into practice. Attending the Conversation Group helps to develop fluency.”

Students who learn Spanish generally do so in order to be able to converse with native speakers of the language, so this conversational fluency is very beneficial. As Witten puts it, “The more you interact with a foreign language, the more you will learn.”

The Spanish Conversation Group takes place at 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoons, in room 304 of the Morrison Building, and all students learning or curious about Spanish are welcome.

Saltillo: A vacation wrapped in a learning experience

Five Southeastern students spent the last three weeks of July studying Spanish in Saltillo, Mexico as part of the Spanish department’s “Summer in Saltillo” immersion program.

Katie Allen, Brody Haddock, Randi McAtee, Jessica Miller and Martin Person attended classes at the Instituto Universario Valle de Santiago, where they spent their mornings studying advanced Spanish grammar and Mexican culture/history and honing their verbal skills in an intensive conversation class. All classes were taught in Spanish by Mexican educators.

Afternoons were spent doing arts and crafts and sightseeing with Mexican tutors/guides. Weekends were spent on excursions to the mountains and small villages surrounding Saltillo. They also lived with non-English-speaking host families.

Southeastern signed an articulation agreement with the Secretariat of Education of the Mexican state of Coahuila in 1998, thus creating an official immersion program for students of the Spanish language, according to Dr. Randy Prus, English, humanities and languages department chair.

Students earn three hours of Southeastern credit for the three-week program. Most participants are Spanish/Spanish education majors or Spanish minors, though Prus said the program is open to any interested student who has successfully completed a minimum of three semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent.

Through the years, Prus said this program has played a major role in helping students accelerate the language acquisition process by experiencing firsthand the language and culture of Mexico.

This year’s participants, like their counterparts in other years, enthusiastically endorse the program as a key factor in developing their Spanish skills and broadening their worldview, Prus said. Many participants of this program have maintained contact through the years with their Mexican friends and host families, and some have continued to visit Saltillo from time to time.

The department continues to promote and support the “Summer in Saltillo” program on a yearly basis.