Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

To all who’ve asked: This is where I’m from

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Rachel Lyons, Collegian columnist

At this point in the semester, I think it’s high time I address where I’m from.

Buckle your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen. It’s important that you know some basic facts first. I have lived my entire life in Newton. My diploma and letter jacket are marked with Goessel High School and some form of blue and white.

If anything in the whole process of trying figure out what to tell people when they ask “where are you from,” I’ve learned that no matter where you claim to be at home, where you went to high school or where you make your home after college – you will have people who mean the world to you. You will have people whom you can call on when you need help with a project or when you think you might burst because you need to tell someone your good news (or bad news).

It doesn’t matter what town you graduated from, lived in all your life, or what town you went to college in. It matters who you meet and what kind of impression that you make on them. Even if you sing your school’s alma mater with someone after every sporting event, you might not know them at all or you could become their best friend.

With that said – I claim Newton as ‘where I’m from’. I may have graduated a Goessel Bluebird, and become a Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragon – but I found my friends in the town that I lived in and a few surrounding towns. Most are or were Newton Railers, one a Canton-Galva Eagle, the other a Blue Valley Ram. There are a few in my high school graduating class that I have decided are close enough to keep in touch with – but for the most part my friends are in Newton.

I think I should re-introduce myself now, and so I will. Hello, my name is Rachel Lyons. I am a freshman business major here at HutchCC. I am from Newton and graduated in May 2018 from Goessel High School. In high school, I was a very active member of Family, Career, and Community Leaders (FCCLA) and Business Professionals of America (BPA). Hopefully that clears the confusion up.

Rachel Lyons is a Newton freshman who attended Goessel and is studying Business

The Women’s Corner: The word “feminist” is not an insult

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Tabitha Barr

If you have been reading my column long enough, you can probably tell that I associate myself as a feminist.

Now, my definition of a feminist is any person who is helping women be seen as equals in society. Where all women are treated fairly, and we get the same opportunities as men. And that’s what I thought was the known definition of feminism. But there are people in this world that took that and turned it into an insult.

I went to go look up the web’s definition, and came across a very different outcome. “Urban Dictionary” is a common source for today’s generation because any person can write their own definition based on their own experiences. These opinion based definitions show the most popular ways people think. And clearly, people have taken the word feminism and turned it into a vulgar word that now resembles an insult.

The second top definition is, “a sexist, male hating individual, solely concerned with female supremacy and the denigration of all males and boys . . . a male hater of the first degree.”

This just baffles me.

But what really got my anger stirred up was a comment saying, “the simple solution to stopping a feminist is to slap them stupid, order the bitch to get back to the kitchen and make you a … damn sandwich, followed by preventing her from leaving the kitchen, just as nature intended.”

This is not the 1940s, get your own dang sandwich you pig!

Feminism is not about male bashing at all. It is about women being seen as an equal to men in every form of life. I don’t hate men. I don’t think women are better than men. I believe, like any other feminist, that men and women are equal and should be treated as such. This is not a weighted scale, it is a level playing field.

I made this column to give a platform to women, because you don’t see those often. I write because there are topics that I want to discuss from a woman’s perspective. But never do I want readers to take my words and appoint that it is hateful towards men. That is not what this is for.

All of my columns this year are written because I felt a pull toward that topic, and I wanted to share it with my fellow peers. None of which are meant to degrade men or put women higher on the scale.

I don’t want people taking from my columns that I hate men or that all of them are terrible. Because they’re not. Like everything in this world, there is good and bad in all situations.

Feminism is a word that I proudly use to describe myself. It is not an insult, nor is it an adjective that says women are better than men. We are equals, and that’s what we want to be seen as. Someday, we will be equals in every aspect of our lives, and I hope that I have somehow contributed to that.

Tabitha Barr is a Nickerson freshman studying Media Communications and Production

Thanksgiving is the leftovers nobody acknowledges

Friday, November 9th, 2018

There are two kinds of people out there. There are ones who start celebrating Christmas on November 1, or even earlier, and then there are those who don’t put up their lights and Christmas tree until either the month of December or right after Thanksgiving.

The only time that Thanksgiving is truly acknowledged is on the day itself. Why is that?

There are very few Thanksgiving decorations in stores. Maybe a dish towel or rags with a turkey on it or themed plates and napkins. The only songs related to Thanksgiving are from “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” or are just so unknown that they are never played. All over, there are stores playing Christmas music already.

What holiday is more underrated than Thanksgiving? Even Valentine’s Day seems to receive more credit and that makes no sense.

At least there is the traditional Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to show some importance for the holiday. Not everyone may watch it, but most likely they turn the channel on for the background noise while making the Thanksgiving meal.

Family is a huge importance for a lot of people, and Thanksgiving is the time for everyone to come together despite differences and appreciate what you have.

There is also not as much hassle for anyone other than the person responsible for the turkey, but even then, there are other family members who step in and help. Another hassle you don’t have to worry about on Thanksgiving is giving gifts. Instead you give thanks, thus the name of the holiday.

Who doesn’t look forward to the holiday you can stuff your face and then take a nap right after with a football game on television?

If Halloween gets a whole month to itself and Christmas gets three, then why can’t Thanksgiving get more acknowledgement?

Hey Blue Dragon fans and Hutchinson residents – get your ass to Gowans Stadium on Saturday

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Hey Hutchinson residents and Blue Dragon fans – the game against Hutchinson Community College’s rival Garden City Community College will be on Saturday at noon, so be there or be square.

HutchCC is ranked No.4, and our team is full of amazing talent that barely gets seen. It’s just so sad to think that these guys work so hard to get to where they are and people don’t show up to watch them. If you played sports in high school or are currently playing a different sport, wouldn’t you want people cheering on your team and yelling words of encouragement? Looking into such a small crowd is discouraging for the team, and it probably makes them feel underappreciated.

School spirit has really diminished over the years. Is it due to not having loyalty to your school or because you still only root for your hometown high school team? I can assure you that you don’t have to only cheer for one team. Everyone has their favorite professional or NFL team they like, so why can’t you have a favorite junior college team?

Even if it’s cold out, that shouldn’t necessarily keep anyone from attending a game. You can bundle up, bring hot chocolate or coffee, and dress for the weather. Most football games tend to be chilly. That’s just how it is in the fall.

I know there are some valid reasons for not attending the game, if you work or have a family event/emergency, but if you are doing absolutely nothing on a Saturday and especially are in Hutchinson, you may as well make an experience out of the day and go to the game.

Not only does watching the game at Gowans Stadium give you a chance to socialize with family or friends, but also gives you a chance to get into the HutchCC and local spirit, and show some pride in the school. No one wants to go to a college football game that isn’t hyped up. Having a fun audience makes the whole game exciting.

What happened to student sections? What is a football game, or any game, for that matter without the heckling of the other team? It just isn’t fun at all. The best games are ones that crowds interact in the most.

Another fantastic reason to come to the game on Saturday is because any student or instructor at the college gets in free with their I.D. That should make everyone want to go. That way, you have some money for stadium food or a hot drink.

A big crowd makes coaches and players happy and fired up, so help them out and cheer them on. There should never be home games with a half-empty stadium. so fill in those seats, deck yourself out in blue and red, and show support for your school and the Blue Dragons.

Brenna Eller is a Little River sophomore studying journalism. She is the Collegian Editor in Chief.

Voting: It’s important and it matters

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

For those of you who do not pay attention to recent events or don’t get into politics, Nov. 6 is Election Day this year.

Voting is extremely important, because that is how we choose our leaders. Selecting a candidate isn’t just affiliating with your party. It is deciding who fits the bill the best.

You should take voting very serious and research the candidates without bias. That way, you can decide which person is the best to you. Don’t let your peers, family members or anyone else dictate who you choose. It is your vote and no one should change your mind.

Some people don’t vote just because they don’t believe that their candidate will win or that their vote doesn’t matter. That is far from the truth. Each individual vote counts.

Take the Kevin Costner movie “Swing Vote” for instance. He is a pretty crappy dad when he forgets his daughter at school to drink and he ends up missing the election. So his daughter decides to sneak in and vote for him and the computer malfunctions, making his vote unfinished. This ends up being the tie-breaking vote for the whole country.

Any way, the point is that every vote counts for your state and county. If you aren’t voting when you are legally able, don’t be upset with the candidate elected if you aren’t in favor of them because you didn’t do your part, or help the others who voted for the same candidate you would have.

According to fairvote.org, about 60 percent of Americans vote during the presidential election years and 40 percent of Americans vote during the midterm election years. The statistics are even lower for local elections. So go out, take American responsibility and vote.

The Women’s Corner: Their stories are being heard

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Tabitha Barr

For me, this edition of The Collegian is the most important one we will put out this year.

The topic of sexual assault is something that people hate talking about. Each story is somehow pushed under the rug because people want to avoid the topic. It makes people uncomfortable. But that is the exact reason why we are talking about it. The past two months have made the talk of sexual assault a major issue and I don’t want it to go away. I want the conversation to continue. This isn’t just some trending topic that disappears away in a week. This is a crucial subject that always needs to be talked about, and I hope this edition does exactly that.

I interviewed two women about their experiences with being sexually assaulted. Those interviews and those stories will stay with me forever. When I say that their struggles hit me, I mean it. These two women have gone through so much, and it kills me to hear them recount how someone took advantage of them. It makes me sick to even think about it.

The reason I think I’m connected to the stories is because I personally know these women. I’ve known both of them almost my whole life. I consider them my friends. And to hear what they had to endure, what they had to fight through, it sends my emotions into a whirl.

Hearing them say the details of their trauma sent two main emotions through my body. At first I become heartbroken. My heart hurts for them because I hate that they had to endure that pain. I just want to give them a hug and thank them for letting me have the honor of hearing their story. I am truly and utterly grateful.

But the second emotion that washed through me was pure anger. To the horrible human beings (if they can even be called that) who hurt these girls and put them through hell, I just want to throw a chair at them. It just makes me so mad that these men could be so selfish and horrible that they would hurt these two women without thinking twice. I’m getting so flustered that I can’t even write how angry I am.

These women have gone through so much but are overcoming it everyday. They are focusing on their futures and creating a life that they are proud to live. They seriously inspire me. I’m so proud to know these girls and I’m so happy that they have taken this horrendous situation, and made it their life goal to prove that it won’t stop them.

I hope that all of you readers read the stories and let them register. It’s a lot to take in and sometimes our own brains want to reject the messages, but don’t let it. Actually read and comprehend the stories, and understand their struggles. But then, take those stories and let them inspire you to keep going. Any person’s story that deals with sexual assault is important in every way.

Hear them, see them, feel them. These survivors are inspirations.

Tabitha Barr is a Nickerson freshman studying Media Communications and Production

Teacher Appreciation needs to be shared

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Rachel Lyons, Collegian columnist

I don’t know what it is about going back home for a football game, but it’s incredible how much they feel like home – even if I’m finally on the other side of the fence, or counter. I don’t know what it is, because lately I’ve found myself missing the self-induced stress of working concessions.

I miss the little moments when we hit a slow time and could spare a few minutes to laugh together. I miss being so tired after working a shift that I couldn’t see straight.

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a game and a half – and it’s the best thing I’ve done since I became an alumni of the Newton High School Business Professionals of America (BPA) chapter.

The first time I went back, I only made it in for half of the game – but I had the opportunity to surprise my friends and my advisor. The reaction is one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

I didn’t have the best experience at my alma mater, Goessel High School, but nothing that happened there seemed to matter when I was with BPA.

It didn’t matter how bad my day or week had been when I went to a BPA meeting or competition. I didn’t have to worry so much about making myself likable- because my fellow club members like, and still like me for who I am. I’m not perfect, but for them I don’t have to be.

I remember having a conversation with the teacher that I had for eighth-grade computer applications (he had taken a job at Newton High School starting my freshman year) before my first BPA regional competition. It means something to have teachers who are willing to maintain a relationship, even after they have you as a student.

I was given the opportunity to surprise my Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher at the beginning of the school year with a t-shirt to commemorate our first trip to National Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Conference. It felt good to know that I made her cry happy tears when she figured out what was going.

I suppose that shows how invested these teachers are in their students. No matter how much ‘trouble’ we give them. These are the kind of teachers who want to hear from students after graduation. They are the teachers who aren’t afraid to tell you that you need to work harder or put more effort into something, whether that something is a class, an assignment, or any type of relationship. These are the teachers that you write, or wish you could write a letter so that they could know that they really did have an impact on you.

This article is coming out exactly two weeks after World Teacher’s Day. I encourage you to take a moment after you read this article to email, text, Facebook message, or otherwise reconnect with a teacher you haven’t spoken to since graduation. I can almost guarantee that doing so will make their day that much better.

I chose not to name teachers mentioned in this article because I don’t need to. I know who these teachers are, and they likely do too. I don’t need names to prove that we all have at least one high school teacher that has impacted us as an individual.

The ball’s in your court now. I dare you to reach out to at least one teacher and tell them how you are doing. Even if you think you don’t know what to say. Saying something is better than saying nothing.

Rachel Lyons is a Newton freshman studying business administration

The Women’s Corner: Halloween is scary, but slut-shaming is even worse

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Tabitha Barr

Halloween is one of the top rated holidays of the year in the United States. It’s a night full of excitement, scares and more. A night where anyone can dress up like anything they want, however they want.

But for women, it’s just another chance for us to get slut-shamed.

There is this tweet that I was sent recently from Collegian Social Media Editor, Emily Fehrman, that said, “‘You’re using Halloween as an excuse to dress like a slut.’ First of all, I don’t need an excuse.” When I read this, the first thing that came to my head was “EXACTLY!”

Halloween is a night where women can dress like whoever and whatever they want and they should be able to do that without judgment from others. If a girl wants to dress sexy or show a little more skin than normal, let her go for it. I love seeing girls show their confidence through Halloween costumes.

Just because a girl is dressing a certain way, does not give you the right to judge her. I grew up being taught that it’s not right to judge because it’s not my place. But now that I’m older, I realize how much the people around me judge by first look. I think judging a person is somehow ingrained in our brains no matter how hard we try to ignore it.

When it comes to the way a girl dresses, whether it be just a regular day, or the night of Halloween, I encourage you to let her live her life without slut-shaming her or her outfit. If she wants to flaunt what she has in a way that for some reason makes you “uncomfortable”, look away. But her body should not make you uncomfortable because it isn’t your concern. She is dressing how she wants to dress, and if she feels confident, that is all that should matter.

Halloween has no rules, nor should it have any. It is a holiday that promotes dressing the way you want and that should be honored and loved. So empower the women around you this Halloween and have fun knowing that you’re letting her be who she wants to be.

Tabitha Barr is a Nickerson freshman studying media communications and production

Write down this number: 1-800-273-8255

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Last month was “Suicide Prevention Month”, and I would like to take the time to discuss that it is OK to reach out and get help.

Many students are afraid to get help because they don’t know were to start, but we all have to start from the beginning of something, find the root of the problem, and help that student or adult get through the difficulty that they are experiencing.

The No. 10 leading cause of death in American is suicide, for people ages between 15-85, and for those born between the years 2000 and 2016 have been increasing and this is due to several things.

Whether it’s depression, family issues or financial difficulties, I want everyone who is reading to message a loved one or a friend and check on them.

We have counselors here on Hutchinson Community College campus that will keep your information private and safe, so no one will know about what you are going through unless you tell anyone else about it.

I only recommend telling a close friend, or a family member, that you are close as well and see if they can help you. Your life matters, and I am not saying this for anyone who is struggling or is wanting to hear this, but I mean it – your life matters.

All the stresses that are happening right now may not end, but it is temporary and it will take some time to get past it. I believe in you, and I know you can do it. Giving up is not the answer, and I need you to get back up and over come this.

I know it’s not easy, but I believe in you and that you can get through it.

My major is psychology, and I have to ensure that my friends are OK, and that they don’t plan on doing anything to harm themselves. If they do, then I have to let their parent know so they can get the help they need.

If they refuse, then I would have to monitor them throughout the entire night to ensure that they will be OK.

The suicide number is 1-800-273-8255 and I urge anyone who is struggling to call this or talk with a loved one.

I am very happy that you are alive and push yourself everyday.

Pablo Sanchez is a Hutchinson freshman studying psychology

Spooky Legends: (Not so) spooky stuff be happenin’

Friday, October 19th, 2018

By Emily Fehrman
Social Media Editor

This last week, I went on two spooky ghost-hunting expeditions around Hutchinson. The first one was the Hutchinson Library with my Editor in Chief, Brenna Eller. The second was Reno Valley Middle School with our Opinion Page Editor, Tabitha Barr.

I’m sure you are reading this in hopes of hearing about some wildly bizarre ghost encounter, but I regret to inform you that nothing of the sort happened. While at the library, Brenna and I got a tour of all the supposedly spooky areas where the ghost of a past librarian named Ida has been known to be seen.

About the scariest thing that happened was after I made a (particularly morbid) joke and then some strange noises erupted from around the corner. Only to find out it was, in fact, the old elevator starting up. Oh and all the paper Mache puppets they keep in the basement? That was also sketchy at best.

While the two of us were investigating in the basement where Ida was said to have spent a big portion of her time, we rounded a corner and scared the living daylights out of ourselves with a mirror. I am still convinced they used the placement of said mirror to scare anyone who dare walk by while in dim lighting.

The second spooky expedition I went on was to a middle school, I think everyone already has a negative connotation about those awful years of their life. So going into a school where it is supposedly haunted by not only one but two ghosts?? No thank you, count this girl out. But I did it for all of you readers who don’t actually know who I am, but I write to you all as if you do. So basically, I indirectly did it for you – be grateful because this was creepy, but also required me to leave the comfort of my home.

While Tabitha and I were at the school, nothing particularly peculiar happened, but both of us got weird feelings at different times. Tabitha had said on multiple occasions throughout the evening it had felt as if someone had touched her. As in put their hand on her arm to grab her attention or something along those lines. I on the other hand just kept hearing weird noises.

We both experienced weird and dramatic shifts of temperature in rooms. Like, that is not odd enough. All the bathroom doors were open, and I guess that is really irregular. Naturally, I said we should check it out because that’s what we came there to do. While investigating, we came across a stall door that was closed.

Both of us thinking that it wasn’t locked or anything, I jokingly turned to Tabitha and told her she should check inside the stall. In the moment she decided to be brave, or as brave as possible. The moment she went to nudge it open with her foot and it did not budge? I can’t describe how fast I made it out that bathroom, leaving Tabitha to deal with the findings herself.

In the end we never did find out why that one lonely stall was locked. I made up some ridiculous story to freak Tabitha out about how the ghost of the janitor or kid were in there, but in reality, I’m sure some kid thought it would be funny to lock the door from the inside and crawl out.