Summer fun in the sun: lake safety

Lornna Bates               

Managing editor

   With summer in full swing, Lake Texoma is a popular attraction for Southeastern college students. Whether swimming, skiing, boating or even sun­bathing, Lake Texoma offers full enjoy­ment for everyone. However, there are precautions that should be taken to en­sure the safety of all involved.

   Sunscreen should be worn, no mat­ter the skin tone, to avoid serious skin damage, such as skin melanoma (can­cer), as well as sunburn.

   While boating, life preservers are always recommended. According to www.swt.usace.army.mil, for children under the age of twelve, life preservers are required, no exceptions. In the case of inclement weather, head to shelter, onshore. Always try to be aware of the water you are in, if you are unfamiliar, be extra cautious, as stumps and under­water trees and foliage are prevalent in many areas of Lake Texoma.

   According to The Guide to Lake Texo­ma Online Water Safety, when swim­ming, always have a swimming buddy. Keep close sight of all children in com­pany and avoid swimming in high boat traffic areas, such as boat ramps and docks. Never dive into the water if you are not aware of the depth and do not attempt to swim any longer distances, as they appear closer than they actually are, according to www.fs.fed.us.

   When skiing, it is essential to also be aware of the water conditions, below the surface and above, such as stumps as well as storms, according to www.laketexomaonline.com. Use a personal flotation device at all times and make sure that there is another person, be­sides the boat driver, to watch as you are skiing.

   And above all else, be aware that drinking and boating are not advised, nor allowed, said www.fs.fed.us. The penalties can be atrocious, similar to driving a road-bound vehicle under the influence. That is not to mention the possible accidents, injuries and fatali­ties that can occur.

   Observing lake safety is equivalent to saving lives, so take care.

Don’t let your safety go up in flames use fireworks safely no matter the location. This sign at Texoma Public Beach displays the rules to follow while using the swimming area.

OSF presents ‘summer of secrets’

Samantha Perera

Staff writer

   The Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival will present its 32nd season, “Summer of Secrets,” with six shows from June 17 – July 17.

   According to the website, OSF was established by Molly Risso in 1979 in Durant. Risso believed in the magic of theatre and as the artistic director of OSF built a strong theatre department at Southeastern.

   Today, Riley Coker, Risso’s daughter, keeps the dream alive as OSF’s producing director.

   OSF opened its doors for the first production, “An Evening with Josh Harris,” from June 17 -18 at 7.30 p.m. The show appeared at The Playhouse in the New Theatre Building, formerly the old Activity Center.

   The first show, “An Evening with Josh Harris,” was a cabaret of different songs that showcased Harris’s tal­ent, said Taylor Donaldson, the production stage man­ager for OSF.

   Harris will be moving to Charleston, SC as a resi­dent actor.

   Along with the songs there was a story line that went from the beginning stages of his career and how he got to where he is now, said Donaldson.

   Harris was followed by “Grease,” which was a teen and children’s theatre production. All perfor­mances were at the Montgomery Auditorium with the showtimes as follows:

   • Wednesday, June 22 at 7 p.m.

   • Thursday, June 23 at 7 p.m.

   • Friday, June 24 at 6.30 p.m.

   The third production for the summer season, Dis­ney’s “Mulan,” a children’s theatre production was presented at the Montgomery Auditorium.

   Coker directed the productions of “Grease” and “Mulan.” Tickets for these productions were only sold from the box office and showtimes were:

   • Friday, June 24 at 7.30 p.m.

   • Saturday, June 25 at 2 and 7 p.m.

   • Sunday, June 26 at 2 and 7 p.m.

   OSF also performed Neil Simon’s “Ru­mors” on July 9, 12 and 15 at 6.30 p.m. The produc­tion was a dinner theatre and held at the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

   Directed by Tracy Arnold, “Rumors” showcased the talents of a star cast consisting of Amber Taylor, Aar­on Adair, Coker, Dell McLain, Becky Walters, Aaron Rains, Dillon Heape, Sheridan Hill and Aleisha Stills.

   The season musical, “Oliver,” was directed by McLain and held in the Montgomery Auditorium.

Oliver Twist was played by Stephen Marcum and was joined by Austin Aguero, Adair, Taylor and Boomer Lowrie. The showtimes were as follows:

   • Sunday, July 10 at 2 p.m.

   • Wednesday, July 13 at 7.30 p.m.

   • Saturday, July 16 at 7.30 p.m.

   The last production for the season was William Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” The pro­duction was held at The Playhouse on July 8, 14 at 7.30 p.m. and July 17 at 2 p.m.

Riley Coker, the director, the cast of “Grease” rehearses the song “Summer Nights.”

Morrison, past to present

Brittani Young

Contributing Writer

   Most SE students have had at least one class in the Morrison Building, but the majority of SE students probably are not aware of the history behind the structure in the middle of our campus.

   The massive Morrison Building re­cently celebrated its 102nd birthday this past January.

L. David Norris’ book (1986) “A His­tory of Southeastern Oklahoma State University Since 1909” described the complete history of Southeastern Okla­homa State University, including the history of the creation of the Morrison Building.

   According to Norris’ book, there were many discussions, often heated, between Oklahoma legislators and residents in and around the Durant area. The discussions involved where the building should be located, prior to its construction.

   Southeastern started out as a state nor­mal school, the name given to a two-year higher learning school during the time period, and was created to specifi­cally train students to become public school teachers.

   E.D. Cameron, the Oklahoma state superintendent of public instruction, visited Dr. J.L Shuler’s peach orchard, a stretch of property lying just north of the Durant city limit, and it was there that he found a structure similar to what the Morrison Building would become.

   The model structure existed geo­graphically where the Russell Building lies today.

   It was this structure that made Cam­eron appreciate the property so greatly that he was inspired to set up a meeting with Shuler just an hour later.

   Schuler donated the stretch of land on which the Morrison Building now resides. Schuler officially gave up his warranty deed on May 15, 1909.

   Many Durant residents did not agree with the location of the land, as it was located outside the city limits of what was then Durant, according to Norris.

   According to Norris, there were sev­eral other properties available for the building, properties that Durant resi­dents deemed would be more appropri­ate for the location of their esteemed university.

   The State Board of Affairs immedi­ately employed an architectural firm to draft the blueprints for the Morrison Building and to get construction pro­cess moving in the right direction.

   Serious protests, again concerning the location of the building broke out in early June 1909, said Norris. This time, the residents had official backing.

   The State Normal Board of Regents, which is the equivalent to today’s Okla­homa State Regent’s for Higher Educa­tion, also did not think the current loca­tion of the building was the best place for it.

   John L. Mitch, the secretary of the Board of Regents, traveled to Durant from Oklahoma City in order to deter­mine the validity of the protest on be­half of the Board of Regents council.

   Luckily for the past, present and fu­ture SE students, faculty and staff, by June 4, 1909 Mitch resolved the prob­lem caused by the protests by deciding that the location was acceptable. Prepa­ration for construction was then contin­ued on the Morrison Building.

   The work was to start no later than September 1909, but it was not un­til November that the contract with Daugherty-Kirby Construction Com­pany was actually completed.

   Finally, the constuction work began in December 1909. The building was completed by January 1911.

   The building held administrative of­fices, classrooms, an auditorium and a gymnasium. As SE has grown as a campus, the offices and gymnasium have since been moved from Morrison to their current locations.

   On May 26, 1937, Dr. W.B (William Brown) Morrison became president of Southeastern. He was also the president of Oklahoma Presbyterian College for a period of time.

   Morrison also served as a history pro­fessor for Southeastern during a previ­ous timeframe, said Norris.

Although he only resided as president of Southeastern for one month, he has been attributed to strengthening the uni­versity when Mrs. Kate Galt Zaneis re­signed, along with several other faculty members, during a tumultuous era of work labor issues.

   In 1969, the building was named in memory of Morrison. The Morrison Building has a rich history indeed.

Summer enrollment is here

Katie Allen

Contributing writer

   With a successful spring semester completed, Southeastern transitioned into its summer term smoothly. Sum­mer 2011 classes began on June 6, and the summer semester will end on July 29.

   Summer classes are a popular choice for students because many are offered online and as block courses. Block courses are regular credit hour classes that are typically offered in one week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Summer classes are also popular because they are more flexible and allow students to balance other responsibilities like working more hours at a job.

   “Students choose summer courses for two reasons: they either want to get ahead or to catch up,” said Liz Mc­Craw, dean of enrollment management. She added that “some students choose to enroll in a summer course because it may lighten their course load in a fall or spring semester.”

   Still, others choose to enroll in a sum­mer course because they previously dropped a course and are trying to make up for those missed hours, said Mc­Craw.

   Some students choose to enroll in a summer course to finish up their educa­tion at Southeastern.

   According to Kristie Luke, associate dean of admissions and records/reg­istrar, 92 students applied for summer 2011 graduation.

   Most of the students who enroll in summer classes are current, returning students. McCraw indicated that less than 2 percent of summer students are first-time freshmen, and most of that percentage is made up of adult students.

   According to McCraw, SE’s five-year summer enrollment average is about 1,780 students.

   She also stated, “We (the enrollment management team) hope that our enroll­ment will be at or above our five-year average this summer and that’s really our goal.”

   Enrollment management is made up of six SE staff departments who work together and closely with both current and prospective students.

   It includes the offices of University Recruitment, Admissions, Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid, the Learning Center and the Academic Advising and Outreach Center.

   McCraw has been dean of enrollment management for two and a half years and has made some improvements for students and staff alike in that time. Im­provements have been made to student processes to make information more available to students. The resources SE staff use have also been improved.

   The technological improvements made benefit individual students and the university as a whole. “The appro­priate use of technology is essential,” said McCraw.

   “For example, if we are able to pull student information from one source as opposed to having students fill out the same forms over again, it saves the stu­dents and university time,” continued McCraw.

   “More importantly, it means that we are able to do a better job in getting the right resources and information to our students,” finished McCraw.

HB 1227 proposes AHEC to join SE

Lornna Bates

Managing Editor

   House Bill 1227 (HB 1227), a pro­posal authored and introduced by Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Ardmore, has cre­ated quite the commotion throughout southern Oklahoma.

   “HB 1227 will convert the Ardmore Higher Education Center into a branch campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University by 2014,” said co-au­thor Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-District 6, avid supporter of the measure.

   Rep. Pat Ownbey, R-Ardmore, in a post on patownbey.com, said the bill would create and support the process of conversion “while protecting all the historic partnerships and programming which have existed at the center.” Own­bey is a co-author of the measure as well as the House sponsor.

   Four universities currently provide courses at AHEC: Southeastern, East Central University, Murray State Col­lege and Oklahoma State University.

   According to Ownbey, “HB 1227 is a joint effort to accomplish one of the most significant goals for south central Oklahoma,” referring to the institution becoming a branch campus of South­eastern. Ownbey said, the Ardmore campus was the first institution of its kind created years ago in Oklahoma and is the only remaining campus that has not consolidated as a branch to a larger university.

   Brecheen said HB 1227 would al­low “Southeastern the ability to de­termine in the future” the continuance of educational opportunities offered at the AHEC. The continuance would mean the center would continue to offer courses from all participating institu­tions at the discretion of Southeastern.

   Southeastern would have more buy­ing power, or the final word, over the center, said Brecheen. However, the state and/or private colleges would all continue to share resources, staff and administrative costs.

   Ownbey, who is from Ardmore, said that Southeastern was chosen for the consolidation due to its convenient lo­cation to the Ardmore area.

   “The bill was approved by the House and Senate, but vetoed by Gov. Mary Fallin,” said Southeastern President Larry Minks.

   The decision to veto HB 1227 by the governor came after deliberations con­cerning whether long-term, sustain­able funding would be available for the branch campus without state appropria­tions being necessary to maintain the institution.

   Brecheen said he will “amend the bill in the Senate” to address the concern regarding availability and origination of funds for possible consolidation and ex­pansion of the campus and its buildings which, Brecheen said, “will not be paid by tax payers.” According to Brecheen, “The Ardmore community is commit­ted to making the needs met by private donations.”

   A proposal for an interim study during the summer has been issued to Fallin to indicate the Ardmore branch campus consolidation with Southeastern would “not have a fiscal impact on state mon­ey,” said Brecheen.

   Minks said, “Southeastern stands ready and able in continuing to meet the needs of the students in Ardmore. Whether our role is as a branch campus or otherwise was a decision of our state government.”

   According to Ben Hardcastle, director of communications for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, “The State Regents for Higher Edu­cation took no position on HB 1227, which was subsequently vetoed by Fal­lin. No further action on the issue is ex­pected this session.”

   Creators of the bill, including Own­bey, argue that Southeastern would not have to contribute much money to con­vert the AHEC into a branch campus, over a period of several years.

House Bill 1227 proposes to convert the Ardmore HIgher Education Center into a branch campus of SE.

Curry to perform at Kansas City Fringe Festival

Samantha Perera

Staff writer

Dustin Curry, a student at SE, will be performing at the Kansas City Fringe Festival in Missouri from July 21-31.

Curry, an acting/directing and the­atre management major will be perform­ing his new show, “Mister Gremory’s Cabinet of Curiosities,” at the festival.

According to Curry, a fringe festi­val is an arts festival geared toward pre­senting new art and is “specifically, but not limited to, performing arts.” Fringe festivals take place all over the world, said Curry, “the most famous being in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the first fringe festival was held.”

This will be the seventh annual Kansas City Fringe Festival (www.kc­fringe.org), which is geared to provid­ing “uncensored artistic expression, accessibility and community develop­ment,” he said.

The Kansas City Fringe Festival is the closest festival, said Curry, and is one of the most inexpensive for pro­ducers. Festivals such as the New York, Minnesota, or Chicago Fringe festivals, though very prestigious and interna­tional, have production costs that are higher, he said. “In this economy, get­ting myself and my crew to any of those places would be a heavy burden,” Curry said.

   “Mister Gremory’s Cabinet of Curi­osities” is “a dark comedy spook show based on the spook shows of the early 20th century, as well as the séances of the 1800s,” Curry said.

   Gremory is a museum curator “who has all of these weird objects in a cabi­net that he presents to the audience,” said Curry. Gremory does not have any powers or do any tricks; he’s just a tour guide “presenting these freaky objects,” which include voodoo dolls and Ouija boards, he added.

   “The name, ‘Cabinet of Curiosi­ties,’ comes from a practice that be­gan in the Renaissance, when nobles would collect objects whose categori­cal boundaries had yet to be defined, in a cabinet or closet of curiosities,” said Curry. “It’s a place for them to put all of the exotic items they brought back from their explorations,” he said.

   Curry will also perform a stunt as part of his comedy magic act called the “Human Blockhead.”

   “It’s a century old sideshow stunt where I literally shove a 4-inch nail into my nostril,” Curry said. It’s not magic, but a real stunt, he added. Curry per­forms his stunt to show his audience “there are real oddities and curiosities out there” and “not just fakes,” he said.

   Curry learned this stunt alone. “I was one of the stupid ones,” he said, “but I don’t suggest anyone try to learn any kind of sideshow stunt alone.” Curry took a lot of precautions and did hours of research before he even devel­oped the guts to put a small nail any­where near his face. It was just a matter of working up to bigger and bigger nails after that, Curry said.

   Curry has been performing from a very young age, though it was only recently he developed the “guts” to put together a show specifically for a fringe festival, he said.

   “I’ve been onstage doing comedy since elementary school talent shows,” Curry said, “but I’ve only been doing magic, clown and mime since around 2006.” It was in 2009 he began working professionally as a variety performer, he said.

   “I do a lot of street magic,” said Curry, “and was looking for outdoor festivals when my internet search brought up fringe festivals.” As the one in Kansas City was the most accessible for him, he began to look into it. At first he was merely interested in perform­ing in the streets around the festival. As there was no precedent for that at this particular festival, he decided to pro­duce his own show, said Curry.

   As a theatre major here at SE, Cur­ry’s main goal is to “be a working per­former,” he said. With three years left in college, Curry receives a lot of help from his professors in planning for his future. “I’m going to work to learn as much as I can about theatre and all the other weird performance techniques I can, and whatever serves me best in the end is what I’ll stick with,” said Curry.

   In May, Curry said he performed a preview of “Mister Gremory’s Cabi­net of Curiosities” on campus for some of the theatre majors to get feedback and to see how audiences would react. “The reactions were great,” he said, “people were literally scared of some of the stuff and had a lot of fun.”

   According to Curry he is consid­ering retooling the show after the KC Fringe Festival and might bring his show to the Durant area again. “As far as an on campus gig, that’s just up to the theatre administration,” said Curry.

Dustin Curry stands in front of his cabinet of curiosities, a prop he will use for his show at the Kansas City Fringe Festival.

 

Dustin Curry demonstrates his talents with the help of a nervous aundi¬ence member in his comedy magic show.

SE may add new grad programs

Lornna Bates

Managing editor

   Southeastern has two master’s pro­grams in the approval process. The pro­posed programs are Master of Science in sport studies and athletic adminis­tration and Master of Arts in teaching. There is no further information avail­able at this time regarding the Master of Arts in teaching degree, said Dr. Ger­rie Johnson, chair of the department of educational instruction and leadership, although there may be at a later date af­ter the approval phase is completed.

   According to Vicki Hudson, chair of the health, physical education and rec­reation department, the Master of Sci­ence in sport studies and athletic ad­ministration degree will be submitted to Southeastern’s Academic Council for approval. If approved the program proposal will then be submitted to the Regional University System of Oklaho­ma Board of Regents for consideration, said Hudson.

   “The program is designed to provide a strong foundation in research methodol­ogy, sports administration, management and finances,” said Hudson. “Graduates of this program will be able to move into positions in athletic administration, facilities management, sports event planning and coaching.”

   With fresh bachelor’s degree in hand, a graduate might think that they are ready to jump into the race for a position in the current economy where so many people are out of work and the available jobs have dwindled. Given this factor, consideration might be given to the op­portunity of attending graduate school.

   Chris Isidore, writer for CNNMoney stated, “The (national) unemployment rate worsened to 9.1 percent (in May) from 9 percent in April. Economists had predicted the rate would improve to 8.9 percent.”

   According to the Oklahoma Employ­ment Security Commission, Oklahoma has a 5.6 percent unemployment rate at the end of May which falls noticeably below the national unemployment av­erage of 9.1 percent. The outlook for employment in Oklahoma is then not as dreary a forecast as the nation as a whole.

   “In the coming years we will see that the baccalaureate is insufficient (as it al­ready is in many areas) and people will, out of necessity, have to seek graduate degrees,” said Jerry Polson, dean of the School of Graduate and University Studies, in an email.

   “One of the goals of higher education is to prepare people to be competitive in the marketplace,” said Polson. “We are living in a time when baccalaure­ate degrees are almost a necessity when searching for employment in busi­ness and industry and are demanded in professional fields, such as medicine, health care, science and engineering.”

   One benefit of attending graduate degree programs “is the acquisition of additional knowledge,” said Dr. Bryon Clark, assistant vice president for aca­demic affairs and instruction. Also, it is a requirement for students who will specialize in a particular field of exper­tise, or a more focused area of their re­spective fields, said Clark.

   “Some workplaces require graduate degrees for continued employment,” said Clark. Most notable, said Clark, are school districts with a policy requiring teachers to attend graduate programs to “continue growth and development.”

   Southeastern offers an array of mas­ter’s degree programs: behavioral sci­ences (community counseling and licensed professional counselor), busi­ness administration, education (el­ementary education including general elementary, reading specialist and spe­cial education, mathematics special­ist, school administration and school counseling), science (aerospace admin­istration and logistics and occupational safety and health) and technology (biol­ogy and information technology).

   The general enrollment fees and tu­ition for Southeastern’s graduate pro­grams have not varied within the last several years, said Carrie Williamson, administrative assistant to executive vice president and graduate dean. For resident applicants to the Southeastern graduate programs for the academic year of 2010-11, the average cost per hour with fees was calculated at $186.20 as compared to the resident rates of ap­proximately $151.70 per hour with fees in the undergraduate program.

   Non-resident rates were respectively $452.25 for graduate students per credit hour with fees and $375.95 per credit hour with fees for undergraduates. Spe­cial fees, such as science lab, electronic academic service and business enrich­ment fees, are the same for undergradu­ate and graduate programs.

Tushka strives to rise from rubble

Tiffany Logue

Staff writer

   On April 14, Tushka was hit by an EF3 tornado, which indicates a tornado with 136-165 mph wind gusts. The tor­nado warning began at approximately 6 p.m.

   A majority of residents questioned said did not heed the warnings because they thought it could never happen to Tushka.

   Little did they know that a tornado headed to their hometown would de­stroy much of the town and Tushka school, the heart of the community.

   “All of our cherished memories were taken away so quickly,” said Southeast­ern sociology major Jessica Sawyer. “And the place where those precious memories were made can never be re­placed.”

   This tornado killed two elderly sis­ters and injured 25 more. Tushka Public School was destroyed beyond repair. Houses were ruined everywhere. Vehi­cles were thrown everywhere, and trees that were hundreds of years old were uprooted.

   Local retired school teacher and Tush­ka graduate Loretta Cook lost much more than her home and school.

   Her husband, John, worked on their roof a month after the tornado to get the house into a more livable condition. While trying to fix the roof, John fell and broke every bone in his face.

   In an effort to save his life, the doctors in Oklahoma City performed surgery. John’s body was not able to recover from the surgery.

   Therefore, on top of losing her school and house, she was grieving the loss of her husband. Despite losing so much, Loretta Cook is still repairing her home and said she is getting stronger every day.

   Just like Cook, Tushka is in the re­building process. Homes everywhere are slowly getting their roofs put back on and are being occupied again.

   As for the heart of the community, the school is being rebuilt.

   While it is a slow process, the super­intendent, Billy Pingleton, expects the new school to be ready to open for stu­dents in two years. “I’m excited about getting new facilities and a fresh start,” stated Pingleton.

   While the new school’s plans have been put on paper, Pingleton said the administration is more concerned with getting the necessities for Tushka to continue school this fall.

   According to Pingleton, the students will be attending class in portable build­ings for the next year.

   There will be three portable buildings: two classrooms and a kitchen. They will be placed onto the land that Tushka school was on for almost 100 years.

   The rebuilding will take place on the west side of Boggy Depot (across U.S. Highway 69/75 from where the school was located before the tornado).

   The school will be built where two T-ball fields were located, so the new school can still be worked on during school hours.

   The plans show the new school’s structure to resemble a large square if you include parking spaces and the new road the administration is hoping to have built on the east side.

   Although Tushka looks much better, there is still damage from the tornado everywhere.

   It will take years for Tushka to fully recover. However, the school being re­built is a great hope to local residents. “The memories we had there will never be the same, but on a better note,we all know that the buildings were so old,” said psychology and sociology double major SE student Amanda Mandrell.    “Through the devastation, God has blessed us and our future generations with a newly built school and better buildings.”

What’s left of retired school teacher Loretta Cook’s home can be seen amidst the rubble of Tushka.

 

Bulldozers clear the rubble that was once the Tushka High School.

Prepare, be aware during tornado season

Tiffany Logue

Staff writer

   According to the National Oceanic and Atmospher­ic Administration’s National Weather Service, the deadliest tornado to hit Oklahoma occurred on April 9, 1947. It happened in Woodward, which is located near to the panhandle. Ranking as a number five on the Fujita Scale, used for categorizing tornadoes by intensity and damage, the Woodward tornado killed over 116 people. Of the deceased, three children were never identified.

   During the tornado that hit Woodward, there were at least six tornadoes that covered three states: Okla­homa, Texas and Kansas, according to NWS. The path of the Woodward tornado, which was the strongest of the six, was 220 miles long. Its speed was about 50 miles an hour and was 1.8 miles wide.

   Tornadoes, according to MSNBC, are formed when lower level warm air meets upper level cool air in the atmosphere causing a low level cloud. The different temperature air systems then start rotating under the low level cloud causing a mesocyclone. A mesocy­clone is a small cyclone that forms above the cloud and sometimes produces tornadoes. How mesocylon­es cause tornadoes is not completely understood.

   Warning signs for a tornado according to the Nor­man Storm Protection Center include:

● Strong rotation in the clouds

● Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base

● Hail or heavy rain followed by a dead calm or intense wind shift

● Day or night: loud roar sounding like a train

● Night: small and bright blue-green to white flash­es close the ground near a thunderstorm (the lights are from power lines being snapped by strong winds)

● Night: persistent lowering from a cloud base, il­luminated by lightning

   In April 1919, the Durant area was hit by a tornado. According to GenDisasters, this particular tornado killed 11 people and injured 30-40 more. According to the website, of those injured, several were in critical condition. This tornado hit Durant’s water plant caus­ing many people to be without water until it was fixed.

   Even though there have been no tornadoes to hit Durant recently, it would be beneficial to know how to protect yourself in case of one. You can do this by listening to a radio or watching news updates on tele­vision for tornado alerts.

   According to the SE website, the SE alert system, is designed to notify faculty, staff and students of emergencies that warrant immediate notification. The system uses SMS text messages, automated telephone calls, voice mails and also emails to send emergency alert messages to Southeastern’s faculty, staff and stu­dents.

   If a tornado warning has been issued or you spot one you can protect yourself in a variety of ways. The easiest is getting to a designated safe area.

   Safe areas on the SE campus and their capacities:

   ● Morrison’s basement area- 280 people

   ● New arena (dressing rooms on the far north on the first floor on the east and west sides under the seat­  ing area)- 324 people

   ● Fine Arts (little theatre)- 416 people

   ● Designated for dorm residents: Paul Laird Field (visitor’s locker room)- 535 people

   According to the Storm Protection Center, if you cannot reach a designated safe area:

   ● Take shelter in safest place you can find with no windows

   ● If in a multistory home, seek safety on the bottom level

   ● Crouch as low as possible to the floor and protect yourself by lying in a ball covering your head with your forehead to the floor

   ● If possible, use a sleeping bag or mattress to cover and protect yourself from falling debris (Know where the heavy items on higher floors are located and avoid taking shelter underneath them on the lower floor in case the top floors collapse.)

   ● Do not remain in vehicles (same goes for mobile homes or trailer houses). Park them and seek shelter in a safer area.

   ● If outside, get as far away from trees as possible, lay on the ground. Use your arms to protect your head.

   On May 3, 1999, the Oklahoma City area was hit by Oklahoma’s most recent F5 tornado. According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, this tornado killed 46 people, injured 800 and damaged or de­stroyed approximately 8,000 homes. The cost of the houses alone totaled up to $1.5 billion.

   The tornado covered a 38-mile path and was on the ground for an hour and a half. There were 74 torna­does that touched down on this day. They covered the Oklahoma-Kansas line.

   After the tornado:

   ● Wait for emergency personnel

   ● Carefully help the people you can who are injured

   ● Avoid power lines because they could still be ac­tive

   ● Do not go into buildings with much damage be­cause they could collapse

   ● Watch your step. There will be debris everywhere such as broken glass, metal, etc

   Woodward got hit without warning and received the most destruction. According to the National Weather Service Office in Norman, the strongest tornado of Woodward was categorized as an F5. It hit over 100 blocks in the west and north parts of the city.

   It could happen anywhere seeing as tornadoes are unpredictable. Knowing how to protect yourself is im­portant in case a tornado occurs in Durant. Due to the extreme magnitude of the May 3 tornado in Oklahoma City, the Fujita Scale was changed to the Enhanced Fujita Scale, thus showing that the scale for measur­ing tornadoes is subject to change and tornadoes are unpredictable in nature.

Destruction to the Tushka High School caused by the tornado that struck the town on May 14, 2011.

Well, that was awkward: Rapture predictor wrong yet again

Jessica Berger

Staff writer

   So Harold Camping was wrong, again. He told the world the Rapture would occur on May 12 of this year. With the deadline come and gone with no Rapture, it is no wonder he won’t show his face. This may be be­cause it’s the second time he has made a false Rapture proclamation.

   Yes, the 89 year-old evangelist has made this “mis­calculation” before. In 1994 Camping predicted the Rapture would come on Sept. 6 of that year.

   The difference in the two predictions is that in 1994 Camping said, “This could be the day when Christ re­turns,” in an interview with Michael Moore’s “TV Na­tion.” This time, “It’s going to happen,” he said. “We don’t say maybe. Judgment day is May 21, 2011 and that’s going to happen.”

   It is not Camping however that is paying the biggest price for the non-Rapture. It is the multitudes of fol­lowers that lost everything for their misguided beliefs. He lost respect and dignity but his followers lost that and more.

   Some people who believed his prophecy obviously didn’t think they were going to make it to heaven. There were several reports of suicides and suicide at­tempts. My question: how did they figure murder and suicide would fix anything?

   Many Christians believe suicide is the one unfor­givable sin. When you’re dead you can’t very well ask forgiveness. I guess they figured the end of days would be horrible but securing a place in hell wouldn’t be so bad.

   One California mother, Lyn Benedetto tried to take not only her life but the lives of her 11 and 14-year-old daughters. Benedetto said she didn’t want them to suf­fer through the end. Thankfully, she didn’t succeed.

   Well she obviously didn’t have much faith in her fam­ily’s stance with the Lord. Even if they weren’t saved there was time to be saved.

   Others set out to save this heathen infested world. Many of his followers had given everything they pos­sessed to promote his message. I bet they are kicking themselves now, sitting in their cardboard boxes.

   Robert Fitzpatrick, a retiree on Stanton Island gave his entire life savings, $140,000 to spread the word of the May 21 rapture. We can’t really blame Camping for their losses because he did not force anybody to act irrationally they chose to follow his influence.

   The topping to this multi-layered, I’m-scamming-you-and-you-still-don’t-see-it cake? Both Camping and the now penniless (so he hopes he is right) Fitz­patrick continue to claim they were not wrong this time.

   They have both said in separate interviews that May 21 began the Rapture but all of the predictions will happen on Oct. 21. That is when the worldwide earth­quake will occur, the dead will rise, and the world will end.

   OK, if I went on about all the inconsistencies with this newest prediction I would fill the entire newspa­per. Not to mention according to the Family Radio website I have no right to argue because I am not a biblical scholar. I do see their point, no I haven’t spent 50 years studying the Bible, but it is my right to argue anyway.

   You would think after reading over the same book for 50 years, Camping would not forget Scripture that I, an admitted lazy Christian, even caught onto. I mean aren’t the trials and tribulations supposed to come somewhere between the Rapture and world de­struction? I guess not. So please, everybody be pre­pared for the Rapture, earthquakes, zombies, trials and tribulations, and world destruction on Oct. 21… I mean third time’s a charm right?