Archive for February, 2018

Rules of the road for dummies: Dangers of texting and driving

Monday, February 19th, 2018

By Emma Cox

Texting and driving, you are immediately classified as an idiot if you do this.

You must lack even the slightest ounce of common sense if you think it’s a good idea to pull out your cell phone and respond to a text or Snapchat while operating a moving vehicle. It just irritates me how stupid people can be to do this. Not only are you risking your own life, but you are also risking the lives of others. Do you really want to be responsible for causing a fatal accident and potentially going to jail for vehicular homicide?

It is not worth it. Put your phone down. They didn’t make a law to not text and drive for no reason.

I get it has been a huge controversy since smart phones came about, but people need to take it seriously and wait to get on their phone. If it is super important, then pull to the side of the road or in a parking lot. No text, Snapchat, phone call, or video chat is worth taking someone’s life.

Which brings me to the two almost-incidents that I have had where the other driver was too busy on their phone and not watching the road.

The first almost-wreck occurred when I was with my best friend, headed to her house. There is a dirt road by the country club that curves around really tight, and I kid you not, this girl coming from the opposite direction of us was obviously looking down at her phone and merged onto our side of the road.  If my friend didn’t blare her horn, we would have been hit head on.  I certainly hope that girl learned her lesson.

Another time was a Sunday morning when I was headed to work around 10 a.m. I was taking what we call a “back road,” because it is a straight path from my house to work. I am about two minutes away, and there is a spot on the side of the road on the left hand side where a truck was parked in the small drive they had made to feed cattle.  There was a girl driving the opposite of me once again and can you guess what she was doing?

That’s right, she was on her phone.

The road we were on has a small hill and because she wasn’t paying attention, and on her side of the road, she was coming down the hill and almost hit me head on. I slammed on my horn as soon as I saw her, and she quickly turned her wheel and threw her hands up at me as if I was in the wrong.

The people in the truck I had mentioned earlier looked over at the lady when I honked my horn and their jaws just dropped because they knew what could have potentially happened.
I hope she learned her lesson too.

So to that I say, put down your phone, you idiot!

HutchCC sees tuition increase for 18-19

Monday, February 19th, 2018

By Merissa Anderson
Collegian editor

The 2018-2019 school year at Hutchinson Community College will see an increase in tuition prices for all in-state, out-of-state, international and special classification students, as well as an increase in hourly fees for most technical career classes, as decided by the Board of Trustees on Feb. 8.

For legal residents in Kansas, tuition costs per credit hour are making a $2 increase from $87 to $89, while student fees per credit hour will increase from $19 to $21 for both regular and out-of-state students. This trend follows other students as well with the tuition-per-credit-hour cost for legal out-of-state residents increasing from $118 to $120 and, for international students, from $127 to $129.

Many technical career field classes are making price hops with increases in special course fees, many of which require special supplies or food for students. AC/DC Circuits is first on the list with an increase from $130 to $315 in order to fund a tool kit and bag required for wiring classes and labs. By adding this to the class cost, students will then have the tools required when they move into their career.

The course required in order to earn a Commercial Driver’s License will make a $150 increase from $625 last year to $775.

Many classes within the fire Sscience program will have increased costs due to an increased cost of materials, such as wrecked cars used during Fire Science Basic Vehicle Extrication, where the price is increasing from $40 to $60 per student per credit hour. Additional increases in other fire classes are due to various materials and to cover the cost of necessary consumables.

The nursing program will also see a slight increase in class costs, particularly in the Nursing A.D.N Transition Lab, in which the required IV supplies have dramatically increased in price.

“IV supplies have increased considerably,” according to the document provided from the meeting. “Mainly because of the disaster in Puerto Rico where the majority of the supplies are made.”

However, nursing students taking Health Maintenance Promotion and Restoration Practicum will see a $25 decrease in their course fee, due to their supplies being sourced from a different company.

The next program with the most increases in course cost is the welding program, also due to an increase in the cost of materials needed and how many materials are needed for welding, such as stainless steel, aluminum, gas, consumables and updating machinery and other equipment.

Most cost increases for welding are comparatively low with the largest increase being in welding courses raising from $20 to $50.

Students have opportunities at Career Fair

Monday, February 19th, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

Get your resumes polished and your work attire out, because on Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the third annual Career Connections Job Fair at the Sports Arena will be available to all Hutchison Community College students, faculty, alumni, Hutchinson High students and anyone of the community who needs to find a job.

Michelle Wortham, Administration Assistant to Vice President of Student Services and Christopher Lau, Coordinator of Advising, Career Dev. and Counseling are the main people behind this event. Michelle Wortham is excited about this year’s Job Fair.

“There will be 94 potential employers and nursing transfer schools all under one roof,” Worthman said. “These employers want to meet our students and to talk with them about what education and skills they can improve on now to help them achieve their ‘dream job’ later.”

According to Worthman, the event has grown every year.

The first year, there were about 50 employers, and about 200 people attending to find a job. Last year, there were 85 employers and over 400 job seekers listed. This year, 94 employers registered, making this the biggest Connections Fair sponsored by HutchCC yet.

When asked about the intentions of this event, Wortham said, “We encourage students that may already have a job or don’t plan on beginning down their career path right now to attend the Career Fair.”

Not only is this a great opportunity for current HutchCC students to find jobs and gain more information about their career, but there is also a chance of winning prizes as big as an Apple Watch Series 1 or Beats- X wires earbuds. There will be a survey to fill out at the end if you attend the event.

Prizes available at Career Fair:

·   Apple Watch Series 1

·   Airpods

·   Samsung Gear Sport Watch

·   Anker Power Cores (x2)

·   JBL Flip 4 Waterproof BluTooth Speaker and case

·   Beats – X wires earbuds

·   iPad Air

·   $50 Visa Gift Card

The Unfortunate Events of Brenna: My mouse experience

Friday, February 16th, 2018

To begin this unfortunate tail, (yes I did that on purpose), I must first admit that as a child, I was obsessed with “Dora the Explorer”. She was my idol as a kindergartner. I watched her show everyday after school, had themed birthday parties dedicated to her, and I wore the backpack while going on random adventures in our home-made forest. I even had short brown hair at one time, so technically I WAS Dora.

I had these fabulous Dora light-up Skechers that I wore all the time. One morning we were running late for the bus, my mother was the school bus driver and she had an early morning route, so we were hurrying to get ready to go.

As usual, I lost my shoes and swore that I looked high and low for them. I told my mom and she said, “If I find your shoes, you are in big trouble.” So of course I said that they were nowhere to be found, and she went upstairs to my room to find them.

Like moms do, she found my shoes within seconds and as I was standing at the bottom of the stairs she yelled, “They’re right here,” and threw them down the stairs.

When I looked up, it was too late, the shoes nailed me right in the nose. I had a horrible bloody nose and my mom felt terrible.

So where does the mouse come in you ask? Well, those same Dora Skechers were still my favorites and I started keeping them downstairs in the closet, so we couldn’t repeat the shoes-in-the-face fiasco.

We were almost late another time, and as mom and I were leaving the house, I grabbed my shoes and started shoving my feet in them. Something was inside the left shoe, keeping my foot from going in all the way. I told my mom who was already upset about being late. She took my foot and jammed it in all the way. I let out a small scream and she looked really concerned. As my foot hit the end of the shoe, it made a loud crunchy sound and a little squeal. I pulled my foot out of the shoe to find my sock covered in blood.

That’s right, I smashed a baby mouse with my bare foot. My mom was just as shocked as I was and took the mouse, chucking it into the bushes outside. After that horrifying event, I unfortunately had to throw out my Dora shoes. But at the same time, I never wanted to be reminded of that disgusting feeling of squishing a baby mouse ever again.

On the bright side, I always remember to check my shoes before I put my feet in them. It’s probably more of an instinct now since that happened so long ago. I haven’t had any other experiences with mice since then.


HutchCC student inspires many: After battling addiction since grade school, Jeff Brandon is loving father, successful student and shining example of how perseverance can change one’s life for the better

Friday, February 16th, 2018

By Merissa Anderson
Collegian Editor

At a small family farm just north of Hutchinson, a man – who as praised by the voice of the Kansas City Chiefs Mitch Holthus, “serves as an inspiration to everyone around him.” – lives with his young daughter

Jeff Brandon is a 43 year-old, first-year college student at Hutchinson Community College. He is single-handedly raising his 8-year-old daughter, KeilyJo.

“Life is good,” Brandon said. “I feel proud of myself.”

However, Brandon’s life hadn’t always been as picturesque as he finds it to be now. For more than 25 years, Brandon battled an addiction than began as a child.

“I’ve been through tons of crazy stuff,” Brandon said. “I don’t have a lot of memories of my childhood, but when I was young in grade school, I do remember that I was different. At an early age, I started drinking, and I, for the first time, I had friends that I never had all my life. For the first few years, it was good, but at some point it took control, and you never know when that point is going to be.”

Eventually, his alcohol addiction turned into a drug habit at the age of 19, and Brandon dropped out of high school.

“At that point, it was all over,” Brandon said.

Despite the darkness that Brandon faced during this period of his life, he made a decision after his daughter’s birth that would forever change his life, and the lives of those around him.

“I got sober when I was 36,” Brandon said. “Five months after my daughter was born – Sept. 26, 2010 is my clean day.”

Recovery is often a long, complicated road full of relapses for many recovering addicts, but for Brandon, his daughter made it the easiest thing in the world.

“I spent five months using after she was born, but then her mom left and took her away, and that was the most devastating pain I ever felt in my life,” Brandon said. “I haven’t struggled with staying clean. I lost all desire to use the day I stopped.”

Soon after, Brandon gained custody of his daughter, and his life has been a restoration process ever since.

“Looking back on all the years I lost, it just isn’t worth it,” Brandon said. “I have more fun now sober than I ever did, because when you’re under the influence, you’re consumed. You make irrational decisions, you don’t think straight and it’s just utter chaos and it gets to a point where you enjoy the chaos.”

After making the decision to earn his GED last winter, Brandon made the decision to major in psychology at HutchCC.

“I decided to change my life,” Brandon said. “I’ve been totally overwhelmed with the support from faculty and students. It’s been a great experience, and when I was applying for scholarships, I was getting letters from people and the words I received from others just made me bawl.”

Brandon has made many good relationships with peers and supervisors since he began at HutchCC last semester.

“I’m amazed with everything the school offers,” Brandon said. “You’re set up to succeed here, and if you apply yourself, there’s no reason to fail. I’m 43, a single parent, I work two jobs, and I still maintain decent grades.”

Brandon looks forward to attending HutchCC next year, and perhaps moving on to Wichita State after graduation. Most importantly though, Brandon wants to a good influence for his daughter.

“Despite everything (KeilyJo) has been through, she’s happy and I just try to be a positive role model in everything I do,” Brandon said. “I want her to be proud and I want her to see that anything is possible.”

After hearing from others that he inspires them, and after being used as an example of progress during Holthus’ speech, Brandon is beginning to realize the influence he can have on others.

“I’m just another person here in my mind,” Brandon said. “I’m no different and no better than anybody else, but to hear that I’m more than just a student makes me feel proud and gives me that sense of accomplishment.

“If I can go through life touching on person and changing one person’s life, it’ll have been worth it.

No matter what, don’t give up. Life isn’t always easy but like an old-timer once told me, you have to make the best of what you got and keep pushing forward and never give up.”

New season, new role for Blue Dragon sophomore

Friday, February 16th, 2018

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

As the postseason nears for the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team, veteran players will have to step up as leaders to help get the Blue Dragons in top form for the regional and, maybe, the national tournament in March.

One of those players is sophomore guard Tiylar Cotton.

Cotton was a member of last year’s team that went 35-2 en route to the NJCAA national championship. One year later, he hopes to return to the championship game as a much more experienced and well-rounded player.

Born and raised in Wichita, Cotton attended Wichita North High School, where he was a 2016 graduate. He is one of the two current players on the Blue Dragon roster who hail from Kansas.

Cotton decided to play at HutchCC because he felt they had a great coaching staff, and indeed they do. Since head coach Steve Eck’s arrival in 2009, the Blue Dragons had amassed a 231-46 record prior to this season.

Cotton played in almost every game his freshman year, only absent in five games. He  averaged 9.2 minutes per game, as he had to play behind Hutchinson all-time great guard Samajae Haynes-Jones, who now plays at Wichita State.

Throughout the year, Cotton posted solid totals for the amount of time he played. After his team won the national championship in 2017, Cotton listed it as one of his greatest accomplishments.

“Winning a national championship was an unreal feeling,” Cotton said. “We had been working all year for that, and when the time came, it seemed like a dream.”

This season is a bit different for Cotton. He now has doubled his minutes per game, and his role for the team has changed. The game against Pratt on Jan. 24 was his best game yet – he posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while also getting six assists.

With only four games left in the regular season, Cotton looks to stay focused

“My goals for the rest of the season are to just focus on winning the rest of our conference games,” Cotton said. “After that, then we can worry about regionals and nationals.”

The Blue Dragons are currently 21-4 (17-4 conf.) and ranked No. 14th in the country. They will next play Saturday at the Sports Arena against Cowley. It will also be the college’s annual Pink Out Night.

Athlete of the week

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Kayla Barber, women’s basketball

The week: Barber had a career night in a mid-week win against Neosho County. In that 91-50 win, Barber had a game-high 20 points. She added six rebounds, three steals, one assist and one blocked shot.

The season: Barber, a sophomore from DeSoto, Texas, has been a reliable presence for the young Blue Dragons. She’s averaging 6.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game for the Blue Dragons.

Blue Dragon men beat Garden City, women ice cold in rare home loss

Friday, February 9th, 2018

By The Collegian staff

The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team kept pace with first-place Barton Community College, as the Blue Dragons beat Garden City Community College 92-82 on Wednesday at the Sports Arena.

Sophomore J.J. Rhymes scored 21 points, leading the Blue Dragons, who remain one game behind Barton and tied with Coffeyville for second place.

Three Blue Dragons had 19 points each, including Devonte Bandoo, Curtis Hollis and James Rojas.

The win wrapped up Hutchinson’s 52nd 20-win season, as the Blue Dragons now are 20-4 overall and 16-4 in conference play.

The Blue Dragons will have another home game on Saturday, as they welcome rivals Butler to the Sports Arena.

Women ice cold in loss – The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team dug an early hole and never climbed out of it Wednesday, as the Blue Dragons suffered a 56-48 loss to Garden City Community College.

It was only the fifth time Garden City ever beat the Blue Dragons at the Sports Arena, and it was Garden City’s first win there since 2004.

Hutchinson scored just two first-quarter points and was behind 11-2. The Blue Dragons missed 12 of 13 shots in the first quarter.

Dejanae Roebuck led Hutch with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The loss dropped Hutchinson to 20-4 overall and 16-4 in the Jayhawk Conference. That puts the Blue Dragons in a three-way tie for second place with Cowley and Independence, and two games behind Seward County with six games remaining.

Janic will return to defend title

Friday, February 9th, 2018

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

For their third indoor meet of the season, the Hutchinson Community College track team traveled to Crete, Nebraska this past weekend.

Defending national champion, Adriana Janic, qualified for nationals, where she will be able to defend her title in the 60-meter hurdles. With a time of 9.06 seconds, she is the eighth fastest in the country at the moment, and is the fourth HutchCC athlete to qualify for nationals this season.
Sophomore Maggie Lambert finished third in the one-mile run with a time 5:41.6 and close behind her was Aileen Gomez who finished fifth with a time of 5:45.09. Freshman 1,000-meter runner, Sarah Patterson, set a personal record of 3:15.34 which is sixth in Blue Dragon history. Freshman Tatyana Hopkins placed third overall in the 60 with a time of 7.96. Caitlin Schlickau (2:35.01) and Hannah Schultz (2:37.36), a pair of freshman, also placed top five in the 800.

The men’s side was highlighted by freshman Richard Newman, who tied the school record in the high jump. He jumped 7 feet, one-half inch, en route to a victory in the event. Newman joins Tom Floyd, who jumped the same height in 1994, as the record’s co-owners. He is also the second-ranked high jumper in the country.

Freshman, Myles Hansen cleared 14-7 1/4 to place seventh in pole vault, and qualified as well  for nationals with that jump. Sophomore sprinter, Kadrin Williams also earned a ticket to nationals with a 22.37 in the 200. The 60 and 200 were dominated by the Blue Dragons as they placed in the top three spots in both events. The final of event of the night was won by the HutchCC 1,600 relay team consisting of Fred Gonsalvies, Donovan Whitmore, Denilson Whitmore and Elijah Smith. They will get to compete in nationals with their qualifying time of 3:21.66. The men’s team is currently ranked no. 15 in the nation.

This weekend’s meet will be in two different locations. Half of the team will travel to Pittsburg for the Gorilla Relays and the other half will go back to Highland to compete in the Highland Invitational.

Our view: Valentine’s Day or Hallmark holiday?

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Valentine’s Day – The day for couples to express/share their love in public and celebrate how long they have been together. It makes some people feel happy or blissful, while it makes others feel like they are alone or just supposed to go out to show people that they are doing something.

Surprisingly, Valentine’s Day wasn’t always about showing everyone up with the fanciest gifts and most expensive chocolates.

The whole tradition is a bit of a mystery, but started out with a priest named Valentine who died a martyr for love. The Catholic church recognized him as a saint, hence the original title of the holiday, St. Valentine’s Day.

There are several theories about what really happened to him. Some believe he saved a lot of Christians from being tortured and killed and fell in love with the daughter of a jailer. The daughter, apparently, visited him while he was imprisoned, so he sent letters to her signing with, “From your Valentine”, which is a traditional phrase that we still use today.

Others, according to, think Valentine was a priest who tried to overrule the king, who forced laws that men had to wait until they were a certain age to get married. Valentine thought that men should be allowed to marry young if they wanted to, so he helped marry young lovers against the law and was put to death because he disobeyed the king.

So from those perspectives, Valentine’s Day seems like a reasonable day to celebrate marriage and admiring a loved one, but why must people spend a fortune to prove their love to someone?

Hallmark makes a lot of money on Valentine’s Day because they are good at campaigning to all audiences, and can market their products through relationships. Couples are then influenced to buy their significant other a gift of some sort whether that be chocolate, flowers, or jewelry.