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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

“Columbian” to cease publication indefinitely

by Sonya Swanson Carney, advisor

Photo by Amanda Noel.
Following publication of this issue of “The Columbian,” the college newspaper will suspend production indefinitely after this semester. “The Columbian,” which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2009, has suffered declining enrollment in recent years. As a result, the Newspaper Production course has been canceled for the spring semester, closing the door on further publication.

College administration cited enrollment trends as a primary factor behind the paper’s suspension. “There was not a critical mass of students who were willing to do the work involved in taking the course and producing the paper,” said Dr. Terry Smith, executive vice president and dean for Academic Affairs.

Several students who served as reporters and editors for “The Columbian” also believe declining student interest was a factor in the paper’s demise. Mandy Noel, a senior and former reporter and editor for The Columbian, said lack of interest could be attributed to the general decline in newspaper readership globally. Noel also said that students lack an incentive to participate on “The Columbian” because the course is not connected with a degree program. “Most students are not going to deviate from their degree tracks to put the time in that it takes to serve on a student newspaper,” she said.

Colette Battagler, junior and former reporter, agrees with Noel. “I think students are too busy with their required classes to put the essential time and effort into ‘The Columbian’,” Battagler said. “Since the journalism class does not really go toward anything degree-wise, students do not want to put their time into it.”

Smith said students are probably right when they suggest that connecting the journalism course and The Columbian to a degree program might improve enrollment. “However, no academic department stepped up to do this because it would have been a stretch to attach it to an existing program,” Smith said.

Journalism instruction began at the college in 1902, and with it came the first student newspaper, “The Rag-Time Gazette,” according to Allean Lemmon Hale’s book “Petticoat Pioneer: The Story of Christian College.” Although journalism courses were suspended for several years, students continued the newspaper by publishing “The Campus Coverall” in 1926. In 1929, the college newspaper became the “Christian College Microphone.” The paper dropped “Christian College” from its title in 1970 when the college became co-educational and was renamed Columbia College. In 1979, the “Microphone” was renamed “The Columbian.”

Despite its long history of journalism instruction, the college cannot compete with the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, said Caitlin Jenkins Campbell, a 2010 alumna and former reporter and editor for “The Columbian.” “I feel that those who are most interested in journalism will flock to MU because of the program’s reputation,” said Campbell.

In response to declining enrollment and student readership, “The Columbian” began publishing online during the 2009-2010 academic year and suspended its print version this semester. College administration backed this experiment, Smith said. Even with the administration’s support, Noel said the latest attempt to revive “The Columbian” proved to be unsuccessful. Battagler expressed disappointment about the failure of the online publication. “I thought having it online would help boost the number of readers and give the staff the ability to write and publish more articles,” she said. “It’s too bad that didn’t happen.”

College administration considered several alternatives to continue production of “The Columbian.” Smith said it would not be feasible to shift “The Columbian” to a student-run club because of lack of oversight and professionalism. He also said producing the paper through the Public Relations Department is not workable because of duplication in publications as well as lack of student ownership. He said that operating “The Columbian” in conjunction with a course is the only way the paper would work at Columbia College.

Smith said the Newspaper Production course was strong because it provided a rigorous academic experience and instruction with high academic and professional standards. “A college paper is a valuable source of student news, opinion and creativity – if students want and support it,” Smith said.

Noel said that college newspapers are a resource that allows students to express issues that are of importance to them. They provide a mechanism for faculty and staff to relate to students and to address students’ concerns, she said. Tiffani Guese, former reporter and 2010 alumna, said college newspapers are important because they provide students with information about local happenings and “keep them engaged in something besides classes.” She said they help students connect with the larger world around them.

Although her two years as reporter and editor of “The Columbian” did not contribute directly to her degree, Noel said the experience of serving on the paper paid off for her. “Not only do you gain valuable writing skills, but also interviewing, designing and time management skills,” Noel said. “Putting a paper together takes a lot of time and effort and can be very stressful, but being the microphone for your student body and getting your work published as an undergrad is a phenomenal feeling.” She said the skills she gained with “The Columbian” have given her an edge above the competition in employment. She uses her writing and designing skills for publications at her internship with Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

Campbell said she appreciated her time on “The Columbian” because of the friendships she made and the power she had to write about interesting topics. “I was able to use the title of ‘journalist’ to gain access and trust of those in the community,” she said.

While the latest incarnation of the college’s newspaper is coming to a close, Campbell is optimistic about possibilities for the future. “I’m sad to see the newspaper die out; however, I see this as an opportunity to revamp the system,” she said. “I hope that it will one day rise again, new and improved.”

Smith said, “We’ll know when it is time to resurrect ‘The Columbian’.” The end of “The Columbian” represents the loss of a traditional medium at the college, he said. “It remains to be seen how it will be missed.”

Historical research conducted by Mandy Noel contributed to this story.
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Commencement at Columbia College

By HyunJi Lee

Anton Lukyanov, senior
December commencement is just around the corner. The commencement ceremony is at noon Dec. 18 and will be held in the Southwell Complex. The commencement speaker will be Bob McDavid, mayor of Columbia.

According to Angie Myers, coordinator of records management, 406 graduating students will participate in December commencement, including 43 Day Campus students, 129 Evening Campus students, 92 Online Campus students and 142 students from the Nationwide campuses. Students representing the Nationwide Campuses will arrive from four states: Georgia, Illinois, Missouri and Texas.

 Graduating seniors are getting prepared for the event. Anton Lukyanov said he is looking forward to the ceremony and is ready to graduate. “I got OPT (Optional Practical Training), and I want to get a full-time job with good pay,” he said.

After degree candidates enter the Southwell Complex, Nollie Moore, instructor of music and director of the Jane Froman Singers, will sing the National Anthem. Next, President Gerald Brouder will introduce the commencement speaker. After the commencement address, students will file across the stage to receive their diplomas.

Students will be recognized on stage by their name and major. According to Kelly Sharp, assistant director of Evaluations, students’ minors are not announced, but students’ distinctions can be. For example, if students attended the honors program or earned teacher certification, these will be announced. Students who earn a baccalaureate degree with honors should have at least 60 hours in residence at Columbia College with a G.P.A. of 3.50 or higher. The President’s Award is a special honor given to students who have completed all their coursework at Columbia College and have earned a 4.0 G.P.A.

Sharp said Columbia College has 700 to 900 graduates every eight weeks on average, which represents about 3,500 students per year. Sharp said that graduation is special for her office because the Evaluation Department begins taking care of students when they start their college life. “It is great to see them get what they are working hard for,” she said. “The graduation ceremony is students’ last impression of Columbia College. I want to make sure that it is a good one for them.”

Graduates of the nursing program also will participate in the pinning ceremony at 10 a.m. in Launer Auditorium. The ceremony is a symbolic event at the college.

After the commencement ceremony, locations are available in the Student Commons for photographs. The bookstore and the Cougar Café also will be open that day.

For more information about the commencement ceremony, call Sharp in the Evaluations Department at (800) 231-2391.
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New parking lot for Columbia College students

by Christina Delgman

Plans are in the works for a new parking lot for Columbia College students that should be done by next summer. 

With growth at the college, the need for more space is inevitable. At present, 50 parking spots are available in Banks Hall lot. With the new parking lot, a total of 150 parking spots will be available, said Bob Hutton, executive director of Administrative Services. The benefit of the new addition is that it will be close and more convenient for the students, Hutton said.

The new parking lot will be an extension to the Banks Hall lot and extend down Eighth Street. Hutton said the college is looking into the lot being gated for residential use. It has not been decided whether the lot will be residential or non-residential.
Melissa Grindstaff

Melissa Grindstaff, a human services major and Evening Campus student, said she has a hard time finding a parking spot on campus. Grindstaff said she would like to see one of the older residential lots be converted to off-campus student parking after the new lot is built. Grindstaff also said, “The parking lot across from the circle drive is really the only close parking, but it is so small there are not many parking spaces.” She said she usually has to park far away from her classroom building, which is a hassle, especially during cold weather. 
Katie Smith, a biology/chemistry major and Day Campus student said, “We do not need another parking lot for the residents.” Smith said the residents have plenty of parking; the Evening Campus students are the ones who need the parking lot.

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Holiday Lighting ceremony brightens the season

by HyunJi Lee

St. Clair Hall
“Ten, nine, eight … three, two, one, zero!” Thousands of brilliant lights illuminated the Columbia College buildings Dec. 3, kicking off the holiday season. Columbia College faculty, staff, students and their guests gathered on Bass Commons to count down the 14th-annual Holiday Lighting.

In his address to the a crowd, President Gerald Brouder acknowledged the role of Bonnie Brouder, first lady, in initiating the Holiday Lighting, which has become a tradition at the college.

For Kayla Dunnavant, freshman, it was her first Holiday Lighting. She said traditions like this are good because they bring people together.

Dorsey Hall
Following the lighting, the attendees moved to Dulany Hall for a reception, where they enjoyed traditional carols performed by Judith Shaw, piano instructor. Children decorated cookies at a station in the cafeteria and ate their creations. Santa Claus greeted the children and visited with them to hear their Christmas lists. The Jane Froman Singers graced the occasion by singing Christmas carols, including “Ding, Dong! Merrily on High” and “Conventry Carol.”

Sara Loveless attended the event with several generations of her family, including her mother, Connie Loveless, administrative assistant in Student Records. “We have been part of this ceremony for three years now,” Sara Loveless said. “So, it sort of marks the beginning of the holiday season.” She said that the events such as taking pictures with Santa and decorating cookies at the reception are a highlight for her children every year.

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Where does our Styrofoam go?

By HyunJi Lee
Styrofoam is a trademark of the plastic called expanded polystyrene. Widely used for decades, it does not absorb water easily, get damage from bacteria or mold and is lightweight. However, Styrofoam has become an environmental issue because it is impossible to recycle.

Columbia College’s students use hundreds of disposable products each day in the form of Styrofoam to-go boxes. After students use the Styrofoam boxes, they go into the trash bin. Although the boxes may seem convenient for students who have class during meal times, it is important to understand how harmful Styrofoam is for the environment.

In Dulany Cafeteria, where most students eat every day, to-go boxes are always available at the entrance. According to Mark Althaus, director of Dulany Cafeteria, students use approximately 150 Styrofoam boxes every day. Each of these students might use just one to-go box. But with 150 students using a Styrofoam box each day, the amount of Styrofoam waste quickly multiplies to 1,000 boxes in a week and 4,000 in a month.

If people use Styrofoam to-go boxes without any thought of their impact on the environment, they will be living with massive amounts of waste. People need to know about the seriousness of the environmental problems caused by Styrofoam use. The Styrofoam boxes take 500 years to decompose under the soil. Cynthia Mitchell, superintendent of Columbia landfill and recovery, said that the Styrofoam goes into the ground because it cannot be recycled.

Photo of to-go boxes courtesy of
The management at the Columbia College cafeteria recognizes this problem and has made an effort to reduce the amount of disposable products on campus by not providing Styrofoam cups since last semester. According to Althaus, the school cafeteria also has removed Styrofoam cups from the Cougar Café. However, Althaus says the most eco-friendly choice is to eat in the dining hall instead of taking to-go boxes.

Although to-go boxes are convenient for students, there are ways to reduce waste that can’t be recycled. Two options are eating meals in the cafeteria and bringing your own recyclable or reusable lunch box to take food to your dorm. It is time to make efforts to save our earth.
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Bullying on the rise

by Christina Delgman 
Google Images

“Bullying is the most common form of violence in our society; between 15 and 30 percent of students are bullies or victims,” according to the National Association of School Psychologists. According to The Trevor Project, “Suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses,” (CDC, 2008). The results of bullying can be fatal.

The NASP defines a bully as "someone who directs physical, verbal or psychological aggression or harassment toward others, with the goal of gaining power over or dominating another individual.” A prime example was reported in The New York Times: Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers University, “jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River in an apparent suicide.” Clementi ended his life after being cyberbullied for his sexual orientation. The New York Times also reported that a 15-year-old girl took her life after being bullied by other high school students. “Bullying is often a factor in school related deaths,” said the NASP.

While bullying is on the rise, Julie Starkey, associate dean for Campus Life, said she has not observed much bullying at Columbia College. She said most of the bullying she sees is on Facebook, and most problems seem to be issues between friends. Technology has contributed, Starkey said. If anyone sees or experiences bullying, it should be reported. Starkey said the Columbia College code of student conduct and having the courage to get help could control the problem on this campus.

Some students at Columbia College have experienced bullying first hand. Austin Miller, a senior math major and psychology minor, says he has been bullied. In high school, Miller said he was bullied for his sexual orientation and mannerisms. Since graduating from high school, Miller said he hasn’t noticed as much bullying. While observing high schools, Miller said he has noticed more bullying, with body image as the main subject.

There are ways to prevent bullying in schools. The NASP says that policies of  zero tolerance (severe consequences for any behavior defined as dangerous, such as bullying or carrying a weapon) rely on exclusionary measures (suspension and expulsion) that have negative effects.” Instead, school-wide prevention programs that promote a positive school and community climate would work best, the NASP said. These programs would require participation and commitment by everyone, they said.

For more information on bullying prevention and interventions as well as signs of suicidal risk, visit:
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by Christina Delgman

"Secretariat" is a heart-warming, family friendly movie starring Diane Lane, John Malkovich and Dylan Walsh. This true story about Penny Chenery and her horse, Secretariat, takes place in 1973.

Chenery (played by Lane) faces many obstacles. The movie begins as Chenery, a housewife, deals with the death of her mother. In the process, she finds out her parents’ horse farm is failing and they might lose it. Cheney’s goal is to revive her father’s business by raising and training a horse named Secretariat to win the Triple Crown. Though the odds are against Chenery and her horse, they keep on trying. The time period of the film reflects a male-dominated world, so everyone is astonished when Chenery steps away from her housewife role. With her determination and will to win, she beats the odds and proves everyone wrong.

Courtesy of Google Images
“Secretariat” was filmed in Kentucky and Louisiana in locations with great scenery. Filming in the home of horse racing added to the quality of the film and made it more realistic. The cinematography of the movie was amazing. The close shots on the track make it seem like you are right there with the horses.

The three strongest performances were those of Lane, Malkovich and Margo Martindale. Lane was able to get into character and portray a ‘70s housewife. In her films, Lane is always able to display believable emotions. Her costuming was perfect for the time period. Hair and makeup were well done and realistic.

Malkovich, who played Lucien Laurin Cheney’s horse trainer, was outstanding in his performance. He was the comedian in the movie and added humor to the tense scenes. Malkovich had a unique wardrobe to go with his humor.

Martindale, as Miss Ham, did a great job as a supporting actor. She was Chenery’s friend and sidekick. Martindale kept Malkovich’s character on his toes and kept up with his sarcastic humor.

"Secretariat" is a movie that will tug at your heart strings and keep you at the edge of your seat. It gets an A.
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Cougar Connection: What are your plans for winter break?

Ellen Wilson, sophomore, human services and elementary education major:

“My plans are to spend time with my family and boyfriend and make some money babysitting.”

Go Eun Kim, sophomore, undeclared major:

“I am going to stay in Columbia. I really want to work out during the break. I want to be healthier and live a well-regulated life.”

Meena Swaminathan, freshman, forensic science major:

“I am going to New York for two weeks. I will go see the Statue of Liberty, UN Building, Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building.”

Juliet Lee, sophomore, environmental science major:

“Staying on campus, will go skiing and I am going to Florida for a few days in January.”

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