Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Josh Gooch gives input on recent football accusations

Friday, April 6th, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

Hutchinson Community College Athletic Director Josh Gooch said that he was aware of the recent news stories regarding accusations that football coach Rion Rhoades allegedly displayed racism towards black players, and Gooch said he met with some football players and coaches to discuss the allegations.

Gooch, in an email response, said he could not comment on the meeting because it was a “personnel-related matter.”

The Collegian has contacted some HutchCC football players about the accusations, but none have been willing to provide on-the-record comments.

The Collegian’s policy is not to use anonymous sources unless a person’s physical safety is at risk. The Collegian uses only named sources otherwise, for credible and ethical purposes.

“Hutchinson Community College will not tolerate any form of discrimination. We have a robust nondiscrimination environment,” Gooch said.

He also pointed out that there is a “Notice of Nondiscrimination” at the bottom of the college’s main web page, HutchCC.edu.

Rhoades has been the Blue Dragons’ coach since Dec. 2006. Gooch came with Rhoades as an assistant and left in 2010 to become the head football coach at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa. Gooch returned a year later as an assistant coach and became an AD on July 1, 2015.

Gooch was asked if anyone had lodged a formal complaint against Rhoades – or any football coach – regarding conduct toward players or assistants of any race. He said he could not comment again because it is a personnel-related matter.

Gooch said that if a player or athlete at HutchCC feels he or she has been subjected to racism by a coach or teammate, there are options to take.

“Jake Gunden is the College Equity and Compliance officer,” Gooch said. “Any individual who feels they have suffered discriminatory incidents should contact Mr. Gunden, and he will provide the appropriate guidance on how the individual should proceed and will be the college’s contact.”

A look at every current athletic roster at the college indicates that all 12 teams are multi-racial.

“Athletics enriches and enhances this diversity and our college community,” Gooch said. “This diversity was recently highlighted in a University Business article in which Hutchinson Community College was featured. Our coaches recruit, train, and mentor all of our athletes no matter their ethnicity, religion, or country of origin. HutchCC athletics adds depth and richness to the diversity tapestry of Hutchinson Community College.”

Tom Reilly, NJCAA host, helps Tournament run smoothly

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

With the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship having begun Monday, the Sports Arena has been jam-packed with junior college teams and fans from all over the country.

With that in mind, how does everything not get out of control?

There are behind-the-scene people who help run the NJCAA Tournament and manage possible chaos. One of these groups is the team hosts. Tom Reilly, a Topeka native and Hutchinson resident is Hutchinson Community College’s host for this year.

“Every team has a host, and there are 24 teams in the Tournament,” Reilly said. “The hosts don’t know who they have until the seeds are finalized. Once they are informed who they have, they reach out to the school and introduce themselves.”

Their job is mostly to help the team with time management, scheduling practices and supervise the locker rooms and on benches with the team they are hosting. They cater to the coaches’ needs.

Sometimes, hosts know their designated junior college team close enough to have friends or acquaintances within the community. For instance, Reilly knows some people in the Hutchinson community who can help him out and he knows Blue Dragons coach Steve Eck well.

Because of his connections with Trinity Catholic, Reilly got to schedule a Blue Dragon practice for Tuesday night in advance, if the Blue Dragons were to win that afternoon against Cape Fear. Since they did win, they got to go over plays in preparation for Wednesday night’s game against Florida SouthWestern.

Reilly mentioned that he hasn’t gotten to host HutchCC until this year, and he is excited he is on the Blue Dragons’ bench this season.

“I’ve worked as a host for about 13 years,” Reilly said.

He has been through this several times and said that he always looks forward to basketball season. That is how he got his job in the first place. He said that he was asked in 2006 if he would be willing to become a host since he was a well-known basketball fan.

Since then, he has enjoyed the experiences he has had with the teams he hosted so far.

What we’re doing about the allegations against football coach Rion Rhoades

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

A statement from Collegian advisor Brad Hallier: We are aware of the allegations surrounding the Hutchinson Community College football team and coach Rion Rhoades, and players not showing up for practice, from other media reports. After much discussion with students, we felt we should address how the student journalists are handling the situation.

We want to emphasize that we are not sweeping this story under the rug or hoping it goes away. However, the Collegian also has a policy of not using anonymous sources, unless there’s a perceived threat of physical safety, like in the case of a rape victim going public with a story. In that case, we would protect the victim’s identity.

This does not mean we think the story is false or incorrect. It means we want something concrete before we report it.

Another reason The Collegian has this policy is because of the lack of trust between the public and the media, which seems to be at an all-time high.

Student reporters have contacted football players, and so far, none has been willing to talk to us on the record. We respect that decision.

Many news outlets have policies regarding the use of anonymous sources. Our policy is not better than another’s, and it’s not worse. This is how we choose to handle anonymous sources.

We would like to encourage any football player, or any person who has first-hand knowledge of what was said and what happened to please call me at 620-665-3427, or email me at hallierb@hutchcc.edu.

Free pizza? Thank you, thank you Little Caesars!

Monday, March 19th, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

Hurry on over to Little Caesars on April 2, for free pizza, “Because crazy happened!”

A free lunch, valued at $5, will be served to anyone nationwide thanks to University of Maryland-Baltimore County’s basketball team.

Little Caesars announced on Thursday that they would provide free pizza to all if a 16 seed beat a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It had never happened before, until Friday when UMBC beat Virginia 73-53.

The offer is only available from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The lunch special includes four slice of deep-dish pizza and a 20-ounce drink.

Get the free lunch at one of the two Little Caesars locations in Hutchinson, at 921 East 4th Ave., and 428 East 30th Ave.

Men prepare to compete in their 21st NJCAA Tournament

Monday, March 19th, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

The NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship is coming to the Sports Arena again, starting Monday. Not only that, but Hutchinson Community College received one of the eight at-large-bids and has been seeded 11 in the tournament against Cape Fear, whic the Blue Dragons will play at noon Tuesday.

The Blue Dragons will now have been in the NJCAA Tournament 21 times.

Joe O’Sullivan, the Tournament Director, gave some information on the workings of being in the NJCAA Committee. There are other people with specific jobs such as team host, scorer’s table, press credentials and assignments, locker room and equipment, statisticians, entertainment, opening ceremonies, awards, public address, game officials (provided needs and security by committee), house committee, and others.

“They all do a great job without much involvement from me. My job is to manage all aspects of the tournament directly involving the games,” O’Sullivan said.

He also explained in further detail what he does.

“I coordinate the activities, making sure they are where they need to be when scheduled, communicate with coaches and game officials and NJCAA officials as necessary, provide solutions for problems should they arise, deal with inquiries and occasional complaints from fans, etc.,” O’Sullivan said.

Since HutchCC is now in the NJCAA Tournament, O’Sullivan said he presumes that there will be an increase in ticket sales and more enthusiasm from the Hutchinson community.

“Many of our fans have been coming for many years, and they can recite from memory the years in which Hutchinson won the tournament,” O’Sullivan said. “They are familiar with many of the teams who are returning, and the coaches and players from those schools who went on to four-year schools and to professional basketball.”

Even if the Blue Dragons hadn’t gotten into the Tournament, there still would’ve been a large audience.

“That has been proven over the 70 years the American Legion has sponsored this tournament in Hutchinson, even when HutchCC didn’t make it,” O’Sullivan said.

Since the American Legion hosts for all 24 teams, the Sports Arena has been appointed a “neutral court” so that there is no bias and no such thing as a “home-court advantage”. Therefore, committee members like O’Sullivan are impartial to certain teams, although O’Sullivan said that he is glad Hutchinson has made it to the Tournament.

 

HutchCC Child Care Center shares the love

Monday, March 19th, 2018

By Merissa Anderson
Collegian Editor

A few blocks north from main campus, next door to the Elland Hall dorms, sit the quaint building and playground area of the Hutchinson Community College Child Care Center.

Julie Wisbey, Child Care Center Coordinator, has spent the last 23 years of her time working at HutchCC caring for the young children of students, staff members and surrounding area teachers.

“We have children ages 3 and potty trained up to 6-years old,” Wisbey said. “We are open 7:30 to 5 Monday through Friday, and our main goal is to prepare children for their future. They need to learn to communicate with each other, they need the social skills, they need the introduction to the letters. It’s not as direct as a preschool but we do introduce them to the things they’ll need for kindergarten.”

For students with children, there are several scholarships available for possible financial help.

“I want campus to know that we’re here and that we’re here to support the staff and students that have children,” Wisbey said. “We want them to know that their child is in a safe and happy space while they’re working. I want even the people that don’t have children to know that so if they know someone who has a child, they’re comfortable recommending us to them.”

Although the center can care for up to 38 children at a time, with the help of three full time employees and several work study students, this year they have a smaller group with 17 kids.

The day’s activities for the children are always educational and fun for all involved.

“We have a lot of free play because a lot of learning happens when they’re playing,” Wisbey said. “We give them a breakfast snack in the morning, we have circle time with music and movement and we have stories that happen outside and a lot of discussion about the things they want to accomplish for the day. We have two groups where one group is outside and the other is inside and we switch them so they get to do both. Then we’ll all come in and do an activity of some sort, like painting. Then we have more free play and get ready for lunch.”

Just before lunch, some children leave early and load up on a bus so that they can attend a preschool of their parent’s choice for the second half of the day.

“There’s a lot of rules we have to follow but seeing the kids be successful and watching them grow up is a really great feeling,” Wisbey said. “To see them and to have them still remember me is amazing.”

As much as Wisbey and the other employees enjoy spending time with the kids, there are times that the young ones can pose challenges.

“Dynamics of personalities can be difficult,” Wisbey said. “Each child is different and they all have their own personality and what you can say to one child doesn’t work with the next child sometimes. And it can be a challenge to figure out how to address a certain issue with a certain child. It can be challenging but it’s rewarding.”

Wisbey make the Child Care Center mission statement online to be her goal when caring for the children of HutchCC students and staff.

“The HCC Child Care Center, located on HCC campus is dedicated to promoting a healthy self image and to developing social skills through interaction with others, enhancing language development and self expression through communication, strengthening motor skills and encouraging cognitive development through a variety of ‘learning by doing’ activities while continuing to grow at each child’s own developmental level,” The Child Care Center website states.

 

 

Campus Career Connections Job Fair rescheduled for April 12

Monday, March 19th, 2018

By Amanda Carney
Staff Writer

Hutchinson Community College’s Career Connections Job Fair that was originally supposed to take place Feb. 22 has been rescheduled for April 12.

April 12 is a Thursday. The fair will go from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The choice to postpone the fair and not school on Feb. 22, due to icy roads, was a difficult challenge. However, Christopher Lau, the fair’s director, made the call to not have anyone make the drive for the fair, especially as some people were to come in from Wichita.

“The fair wasn’t incredibly hard to reschedule,” Lau said. “It was more making sure the Sports Arena was available for the fair. Surrounding areas also had career events going, so we had to make sure we didn’t overlap with our career fair.”

The career fair is not only a chance for students to search for potential jobs, but it is also a great place for students to win prizes.

“The career fair is a great place for students to find a job, but also for students to practice handing out their resumes and practice job interviews,” Lau said.

The career fair has great opportunities for anyone who is finishing up with a technical degree from HutchCC, or anyone looking for a job. The career fair also gives students a chance to dress up, connect with potential employers and other students, and just give students practice for future job interviews.

Tuesday to include men’s game, baseball with freebies for HutchCC students

Friday, March 16th, 2018

By The Collegian staff

Tuesday will be a busy day for Hutchinson Community College athletics, and students are encouraged to take advantage.

The men’s basketball team will open the NJCAA Division 1 Men’s Championship at noon against Cape Fear, North Carolina. Student tickets will be available for $5, starting at 1 p.m. today at Parker Student Union and the dorms. Student ID must be presented, and students may buy just one ticket per ID. Cash will be the only form of payment accepted.

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, the HutchCC baseball team has a game against Cowley at Hobart-Detter Field. Free hot dogs will be available for students, and there will be about 100 Blue Dragon bucket hats handed out to students while supplies last.

CrossPoint Challenge warms hearts with coffee

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

For any student looking for a Monday morning pick-me-up, look no further than the CrossPoint Challenge booth set up in the Parker Student Union every Monday from 9 to 12.

Challenge, a local church youth group for college-aged students, has several volunteering individuals who reach out to the campus community with hot coffee, cocoa and snacks for all who would like some.

“It first started with asking to be able to give coffee or a snack to passing students,” Challenge leader, Porfirio Ramirez said. “Once we got Student Support Services’ permission to set up occasionally, it evolved to us being here weekly.”

Although the group always loves seeing new faces at their youth group on Monday nights, their main goal is to show others that they care whether or not they’re a part of Challenge.

“I just want them to know that we love them and we want to show that in a real life way,” Kara Muhs, HutchCC student said. “I started coming because it’s a community I could rely on and that could support me and build me up.”

Despite the large number of HutchCC students that attend weekly, Challenge welcomes people from anywhere and has a weekly average of over 80 attendees during their Monday night sessions.

“Our group in general has a very diverse makeup,” Ramirez said. “We have international and out-of-state students as well as many students from McPherson.”

In the future, the group would be interested in expanding their food selection and involvement on campus without overstaying their welcome.

“We would like to bring a day or an afternoon fair or carnival with popcorn and cotton candy and music,” Ramirez said. “maybe a little bit of art just to bring a little bit of life to campus.”

By the time they tear down their booth for the day, the most rewarding aspect of being able to serve the campus community is seeing the student reactions.

“I remember one time we had an ice cream punch drink and we had a lot of students say it was ‘lit’ or ‘fire’ and I love seeing the smiles on their faces,” Eric Pham, HutchCC student said.

“We want to be a service and encouragement,” Ramirez said. “We would love for people to join of course but we also realize that it may not be for everyone. But we do want to make efforts to let people know we care even if it’s a simple cup of coffee or popcorn. It’s great to see students and I love to be bringing some activity to campus as well. I like to think that not everyone has time for a snack and it’s a way we care for our community and everyone at Hutch.”

Merissa Anderson

Graduation fair to provide students with caps, gowns and video opportunity

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Paige Soellner, Hutchinson Community College Audit Specialist, makes sure students are eligible for graduation, and she gets everything organized for the graduation fair nd makes sure the students have their caps and gowns

The graduation fair takes place in Lockman Hall, across from online education, from March 15-16. It will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

“It’s definitely very busy, but it’s exciting knowing that you’re helping (students), you know they’re so close to graduation, and anything you can do to reward them for that accomplishment, it’s really rewarding in yourself,” Soellner said.

So what is the purpose of a grad fair?

“The grad fair is an event for our graduates,” Soellner said. “First, they can pick up their cap and gowns, so it gives them the opportunity to do that.
“It also gives them an opportunity to participate in a thank-you video that we actually display at graduation, so they can give appreciation, whether it’s teachers or parents,” Soellner said. “It’s also an opportunity to where different campus departments … I know our alumni association is going to be there, and they give tips or they go there to congratulate the students on graduating.”

Last semester, there was 500 students who had graduated.

Soellner is still getting applications in. She said HutchCC should expect the same number from last semester.

“We don’t have, I don’t have a number quite yet, I’m still getting grad applications. I know last year we had around about 500,” Soellner said. “So we are probably expecting around that number probably this year too.

“Fall semester typically don’t have as many graduates, and then 500 could include some summer and fall, because they walk in the spring.”

If there was an emergency, and a student isn’t able to make it to the graduation fair, Soellner gives details on how to approach that.

“They would have to contact me or Christina (Long), they would also contact their advisor. We ask that they have their application in to us by March 20, and that just ensures that they’re on the posters and fliers and stuff we hang out, so they can probably still give us the applications. We just can’t ensure they’ll be on the grad poster.”

“Soellner said, the cafeteria are cater some nachos but, other departments, might bring different snacks”

Pablo Sanchez