Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

The Women’s Corner: The “Fat tax” shames plus-size women, and it needs to stop

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Tabitha Barr

Since becoming an “adult” I am now in charge of my own spending. I am now more aware of what things cost – why do things cost so much? – and how often I need to buy them.

Now, shopping for clothes is something I have a love-hate relationship with. I have to be in the mood and looking cute to actually find clothes I like. And I have noticed something that at first confused me, then just angered me.

Being a plus-size girl, I have to buy plus-size clothes. I mainly shop at local retailers, but I also shop around in Wichita too.

But as I go around looking for clothes I like, I find that the sizes that I need are more expensive than those who are meant for someone skinnier.

Why is it that I have to pay more for the exact same thing? Am I being punished for being plus sized?

Women’s clothing already fits smaller and sucks into the body because, for some awful reason, people thought this was a good idea.

But now you’re telling me that I have to pay more for something that should already be sized better in the first place?

I did some research over this, and the biggest contender to my argument is that plus-size clothes have more fabric and that is why they cost more.

This is just a claim full of BS. If this was a valid argument, then size-fours would cost less than size-sixes because a six is “more fabric”.

Unless we start basing cost off of a scale on size, plus-size clothing should not cost more than normal sizes.

It is just another trick that companies pull to get more money from shaming people in society.

I feel like trash when I know that because of my body, I am having to spend more money to cover it.

Even The New York Times did a story over the “fat tax”, and it’s incredibly upsetting. The article talks about how the “fat tax” is basically punishing people for being bigger than those around them and that “it’s cruel and unfair to single out one body type.”

Stores’ higher prices for these clothes are putting those who wear them down into the dirt. It feels like a slight nudge you might get from your family at a get together like “Oh, is that your third slice?”

Because why should it matter Aunt Carol? It is my body and it’s none of your business.

The fashion stores are becoming more condescending by each passing day and it’s sickening.

At the end of the day, companies that hike up the price for plus-size clothing are really just shaming their customers who are “bigger”.

I find it absolutely ridiculous that I have to pay more for clothing because I don’t have the definition of a “normal” sized body.

I find it frustrating and repulsive that companies around the world are stooping to an all-time low.

If they are trying to target plus-sized women, shouldn’t they accommodate to their needs instead of taking advantage of them?

I am not an object. I am a human.

Do not try to shame me for being bigger than what society can handle.

Tabitha Barr is a Nickerson freshman studying Media Communications and Production

My Christmas break goals for you

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Rachel Lyons, Collegian columnist

It’s hard to believe that this is the last story I’ll write for the Collegian this semester. No worries – I’m planning to return in the spring.

As we prepare to enter the abyss that is finals week, I want to look back on eight things I’ve learned in 2018. I asked on Twitter last week what one thing that made you a better person physically, mentally or spiritually in 2018 – here are my answers.

1. Reaching out to those you haven’t spoken to in a while can be a good thing.

A speaker at an event that I went to who happened to be a retired school administrator, encouraged those of us attending his session to reach out to someone we hadn’t spoken to in a year. I promise, even if it’s the most nerve-racking thing you do sometime soon, you have a chance to grow your relationship with that person. I know personally that the person I reached out to had been through a lot since we last had a real conversation, more than just ‘Hi, how are you’, but knowing that the person was receptive to helping with an English project was possibly one of the best moments of my first semester.

2. Stand tall and show that you know what you are doing.

I had an instructor who appeared to doubt my abilities this semester. This week I had my chance to show him that I really do know what I’m doing. It could be as simple as dressing professionally for a presentation. The comments on the rubric I received back made feeling incredibly stiff worth it.

3. Celebrate those around you and enjoy their presence.

You never know when you will lose someone who means the world to you. The more time you spend with them, the more you have to remember them by.

4.  Be proud of your faith, if you choose to have one.

Before I dive into this, I am in no way telling you how to believe – just that you should be proud of what you believe in. If you have a faith, take pride in having those beliefs and traditions. Some choose to not have a faith, and that is their choice. Having pride does not mean that you should hate someone else for what they believe in, just that you shouldn’t have to fear what others will think about your faith.

5.  Find your friends and hold them close.

There’s a saying that “you find out who your friends are,” and I find it to be entirely true. Find people who are have the same interests and are going to complement your personality. Some of my closest friends are a year or two younger than me in age and grade, but they have personalities that work so well with mine that they have become some of my closest friends. My best friend is almost the exact opposite of me- short, redhead, different tastes in music and clothing but we get along super well.

6. I love writing in a journalistic style.

Although I do love a good research paper, it’s refreshing to write informally every so often, or once a week. Because of this, I decided to take up writing my own blog. We’ll see how long that lasts but how bad could it really go?

7. Passion and working to a higher standard may mean that you aren’t understood.

I was blessed with some amazing opportunities in high school, but often I find that people don’t realize that I have experience in being professional and working on projects, like a professional. Although my club advisors might be a tad frustrated that I struggled to get my projects in on time. Tad might be an understatement, but I’ll take an understatement to an overstatement. My apologies to them, but I think – I hope – I’ve learned my lesson by now.

8. The power of saying “Thank You”

Never underestimate the power of not only keeping in touch with those teachers you connected with during high school, but also thanking them. They often leave work without a ‘proper’ thank you. If they truly impacted, you TELL THEM. You won’t regret it. It may also be a worth while occasion to take screenshots of their reaction (if they email you).

Hopefully, something in this list made an impact on you as a reader today. If you want to share something you learned in 2018 feel free to join the conversation by tagging me on Twitter! Have a great Winter Break, I’ll see you back here sometime in 2019! Until next semester friends.

Rachel Lyons is a Newton freshman studying Business. 

The Women’s Corner: The ‘fat tax’ shames plus-size women, and it needs to stop

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Tabitha Barr

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the term “ghosting”, it is when one person blocks another on social media, and completely shuts them out of their life without giving a reason why, or what they did wrong to deserve to get blocked in the first place.

Family and friends who end up getting blocked by someone they see as a loved one will most likely never speak to that person again, because they were perceived as toxic and unkind. Or, it could be that they are scared of dealing with the fact that the person doing the ghosting has to tell the truth and wants to protect the other person’s feelings.

Two Hutchinson Community College students, a professor, and a counselor gave some thought on why they think ghosting occurs.

Mariah Buck, a sophomore at HutchCC, said why the ghoster might act the way he or she does.

“Because they don’t want to talk to the other person, and is done with them. they got what they wanted out of them,” Buck said.

Freshman student Paje Roberts has a similar opinion on why people get ghosted.

“I think the main reason people tend to ghost others is because face-to-face communication has become a tedious and menial task to many” she said. “At some point, the entire idea of any communication whatsoever becomes too tedious. Due to their own laziness, people neglect to be considerate enough to take the time to be emotionally and personally responsible”.

HutchCC psychology instructor Brian Nuest, who holds a doctorate degree, said a person’s personality can cause them to ghost.

“However, I can imagine that one reason people ghost could be because they are passive rather than assertive,” Nuest said. “They simply want to avoid confrontation. Also, perhaps the would-be ghost feels that telling the other party the truth might actually be more hurtful to them than fading away.”

Christopher Lau, Coordinator of Advising, Career Development and Counseling at HutchCC, gives his explanation on why students tend to ghost others.
“I have very limited experience with students and/or professionals ‘ghosting’ each other in relationships,” Lau said in an email. “However, I can make assumptions about why this is done and the potential impact it might have on the person who is ghosted. First, I would assume the person ghosting is doing so because it is easier to do this than face the awkwardness that is sometimes present in difficult conversations (such as) breaking up with someone.”

Lau said the emotional damage that comes with ignoring or ghosting someone can last.

“This behavior seems to me, to be incredibly rude, disrespectful, and inappropriate. In some ways, it may be easier for a person to deal with the death of a partner than to be ghosted by one. Death is a natural end to life whereas with ghosting there is an abrupt, unnatural, unexplained end to a relationship,” Lau said.

Tabitha Barr is a Nickerson freshman studying Media Communication and Production

Editorial: A farewell to Stan Lee

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

For a lot of people, the world of Marvel became an escape from reality. Superheroes and existed and gave people a sense of hope that good is in this world.

Stan Lee gave the world many universes full of inspiring people doing amazing things. Sadly, the legend himself passed away Monday and the hearts of many have shattered.

Lee was the co-creator of so many heroes in the Marvel universe and gave people from all over a new world to live in.

His passing was a shock to many and sent waves of hurt through fans everywhere.

Stan started his business in 1939 and started creating many characters that have become favorites in today’s society. Some of these characters include Hulk, Black Panther, Iron Man and Spiderman.

He brought a whole new life to comics by not only focusing on the super aspect, but on the human behind the mask.

That’s what made his characters so loving because they portrayed their human side to the public and showed that superhumans have regular problems too.

His works have given life to so many jobs in the industry through comic books and the movies.

People have gained so much by just having Lee in their lives. His creations made people fascinated about the fight between good and evil.

We will miss him greatly and honor him by watching and reading his works and remembering how great of a man he was.

Rest in peace Stan Lee. Your legacy will live on forever.

‘Home Improvement” needed a remodel

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Tabitha Barr

Have you ever been to someone’s home and they only have the basic 30 channels? This becomes boring because you can either watch old shows or sit there and twiddle your thumbs. I just so happened to be in that situation and I tuned into the TV instead of being bored out of my mind. I flip through channel after channel but settle on “Home Improvement”.

My family used to watch that show all the time. I just remember it being one of those TV shows that made people laugh. But after rewatching it with an adult brain, I realized “Home Improvement” is actually extremely sexist.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Tim Allen. He’s very funny and voices a beloved Disney character. However, that show is the voice of every manly man’s ego. If you’re not familiar with the show, it pretty much follows the life of Tim and his family. Tim is the stereotypical American male in that he’s very passionate about his tools, his handy work, and especially his ego. He is very adamant about showing off his manhood and taking care of everything a man should.

Every episode, and I mean every single one, Tim is doing things that belittle women, especially his wife. According to Complex Media, the first episode has Tim mocking his wife for wanting them to go the opera, dismisses her attempts to help him build a birdhouse, and claims that women shouldn’t be working on cars because men don’t work on washing machines.

What kind of humor is this?

You can definitely tell that the target audience for this show was middle aged white men who like to show that they are truly men. It’s actually atrocious and disgusting.

Each episode’s plot line is like a plea from every man saying, “I’m a man, you better believe it.” The male characters have to have a tool in their hand at least once a day and they have to make some comment about how they do man’s work while their wives are off taking care of the house and children.

This is not the olden days. This was only written in the 90’s. Women were oppressed in TV shows even just years ago. And of course, it’s still happening, but due to female activists, these kinds of shows are being put to a stop.

It’s insane to think that the humor of degrading women and putting men on a pedestal was seen as normal. And to think that I kind of grew up on that show disgusts me. But thanks to the changing world where women are charging towards equality, I know that this show is not worth my time, nor my laughs.

And to those who say it’s just comedy and that I just don’t understand the humor, you are proving my point exactly. If the world gives that sexist humor a platform, it will become a norm and be seen as acceptable.

But it’s not. Degrading females for being women is wrong in every way and it shouldn’t be made into a joke. A man can show of their manliness by doing what makes them happy, but in that process, they don’t need to put women down.

We can all live in a world where women can do the handy work and men can do the dishes and everyone’s ego can still be intact.

Tabitha Barr is a Nickerson freshman studying Media Communications and Production.

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, 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.