Praising poetic pioneers

By: Logan Pierce, Editor-in-Chief

In honor of Black History Month, a Spoken Word poetry recital was held in the Raider Room Tuesday, Feb. 21. The works of famous black poets were featured, including Langston Hughes and Rita Dove.

I, Too by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

Monique Bruner, professor of federal government, conducted the event. Students, faculty and staff took turns at the podium reciting their favorite poems or original compositions, and reflected on the sacrifices made in the lives of black poets.

Prolific poets past and present

Born James Langston Hughes in 1902, this prolific poet gained notoriety for his insightful portrayals of black life in America from the twenties through the sixties. In 1930 his first novel, “Not Without Laughter,” won the Harmon gold medal for literature.
In his later years, Hughes was deemed the “Poet Laureate of the Negro Race,” a title he encouraged. When Hughes died in 1967, he left behind a legacy of poetry. In addition to poems, he penned 11 plays and an acclaimed autobiography, “The Big Sea.”

Born in 1952, Rita Dove was the daughter of the first black research chemist who, in the 1950s, broke the race barrier in the tire industry.
In 1993 Dove was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, making her the youngest person, and the first black poet, to receive the highest official honor in American letters. Dove held this position for two years.
In 1994, she read her poem “Lady Freedom Among Us” at the ceremony commemorating the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Capitol and restoration of the capital dome.
In 1993, Dove joined the faculty of the University of Virginia, where she holds the chair of Commonwealth Professor of English.

Sharing a love of writing 

There were also local authors at the event that gave presentations on the required steps to become a published author. Derrick Sumral, a local author, spoke on the joys of self-expression, through the written word. In his book, “The Voyage of Cultivation,” Sumral presents an autobiography through poetry, exploring his emotions and feelings regarding a wide variety of everyday experiences as they affect him.

Derrick Sumral shares his experiences on the path to publication with students, faculty and staff at the second annual Black History Month spoken word poetry recital. Photo by Logan Pierce

Sumral talked about publishing, book selling and book signing. He listed several steps for success.
1. You need to be prepared in all aspects. You have to be prepared financially, so start saving now.
2. You have to be strategic. What are publishing companies offering you, and for how much? More often than not, you get what you pay for. Be cautious with contracts. It’s not good to give up the rights to your work. These are your words. Don’t give them up.
3. You need to network. One of the most effective practices is word of mouth.
4. Be free, personal and approachable. People are attracted to smiles and good attitudes. Don’t be stone-faced. If your body language includes folded arms that tells people you’re unapproachable.
5. Always be yourself. Don’t try to be anybody else.

Knowledge is rewarded

The event concluded with words of advice for aspiring writers. “Read a book every day,” Bruner said.

In addition to events throughout the month of February, a Black History Month quiz was posted on D2L. More than 375 students took the quiz, with 17 answering all questions correctly. The names of all those with perfect scores were put in a drawing for an Amazon Kindle, with Jeremiah Vaughn winning the prize.

By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged Derrick Sumral, Lady Freedom Among Us, Langston Hughes, Not Without Laughter, Raider Room, Rita Dove, The Big Sea, The Voyage of Cultivation, U.S. Capitol, University of Virginia

Leadership spotlight: Tinker

By: Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

Of the six available Leadership Scholarships, the one that provides money for military spouses and adults enrolling in college beyond the enrollment age for other scholarships is the Tinker Federal Civic Leaders Scholarship.

This is for military spouses (E1-E6) and adult civilians (24 or older). While there is a deadline applied to all Leadership Scholarships, military spouses who wish to apply are exempt from the deadline and Oklahoma residency requirements if the military member is stationed in Oklahoma.


The advisors for Tinker Federal Civic Leaders are Dr. Kent Lashley and Lisa Will.

This scholarship began in the 2008 Fall Semester, and was due to an annual commitment from the Tinker Federal Credit Union. This was the first program to offer scholarship opportunities to military spouses and adult civilian students, and requires its members to participate and complete a leadership project in conjunction with Tinker Air Force Base.


While in the scholarship program, the members are instructed in four leadership qualities that include character training, communication skills, teamwork and civic engagement.


Scholarships are an important resource during college. All Leadership scholarships provide a tuition waiver as well as money toward books and fees. The deadline to apply for these scholarships is March 5. Applications are online at, or pick up the Admissions Application and Leadership Scholarship Packet in the Student Welcome Center.

Awards represent the Academy’s opinion only

By:Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

This Sunday is the 84th Annual Academy Awards. It is a night to honor the best films of the year and a night forfashion at its best. But, how many of the Best Picture nominations have a majority of the public seen, or even heard of? Only a few of them were hyped enough to have been widely known, but not even that, or the nomination itself, helped their box office. “The Help” grossed barely $26 million in its opening weekend and that is one of the best hauls of the nominee pool.

Sometime over the last decade, the audience has become irrelevant in picking nominees. The movies that bring in the highest gross are no longer considered artistic enough to be considered for a nomination, possibly due to the fact that most of the movies with the highest box office are comic book movies or something similar. Popularity is no longer a factor in determining nominees, it seems.

When “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” won for Best Picture and pretty much cleaned up at the Oscars in 2003, it broke the idea that a bookend of a series could win anything in the Academy. This provided high hopes for “Harry Potter” fans that hoped that the multibillion dollar franchise that was beloved around the world could win an Oscar for its legions of fans. But the end of the series has come, and it was nominated for a few categories, but none as prestigious as a Best Picture nomination.

Why has the audience become irrelevant? Is it not the audience that makes or breaks the movie industry? Movie fans determine what fails or succeeds at the box office, yet their opinion does not matter when awarding the biggest awards available in the industry.

“Avatar” received a nomination in 2009, but lost out to “The Hurt Locker” in the final race to the win. ‘The Social Network” was nominated and won a few of its categories, but the “Best Picture” win eluded it when it lost out to “The King’s Speech.” The black horse of the 2012 awards season has been “The Artist.” Perhaps we can count on Uggie the dog to win the Academy over for a Best Picture win.

By 15th Street News Posted in Entertainment Tagged academy awards, audience, avatar, best picture, , harry potter, hurt locker, lord of the rings, Oscars

Obama’s education experiment

By: Logan Pierce, editor-in-chief

Community colleges play a pivotal role in President Obama’s plan to produce a new wave of highly skilled American workers.

Friends in high places

One of the most outspoken proponents for community colleges in the Obama White House is Dr. Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife. In 2007, Biden earned a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware. While newspapers generally use the honorific title of “Dr.” only for individual with a medical degree, Biden prefers to be addressed as “Dr. Jill Biden” in news releases and press announcements.

Biden’s connection to community colleges is her job as an educator. From 1993 to 2008, she was an English and writing instructor at Delaware Technical and Community College. Since 2009, she has been a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College.

Obama and Biden were both present for the first ever White House Summit on Community Colleges, held Oct. 5, 2010. An ambitious goal was promoted there, which would call for an additional 5 million graduates from community colleges by the year 2020.

Beyond the Pell

Since then, plans have been put in motion. $2 billion have already been spent on competitive grants to reform community colleges. Obama also doubled the available funding for Pell Grants in an attempt to make college more affordable.

Forty years ago, America had the world’s highest rate of college graduates. Today, the U.S. has fallen to 15th place, while the graduation rates of other nations continues to rise.

To the Obama White House, community colleges are more than an education issue; they’re also an economic issue. Jobs remain scarce with an 8.3 percent unemployment rate, which increases to more than 12 percent when including people who have stopped looking for work.

The U.S. economy would need an additional 20 million jobs before being able to provide full employment. In spite of job scarcity, Obama is focusing on increasing the number of community college graduates, citing that having a two-year degree is better than no degree at all.

Working with what you have

“We want to make it easier to connect students looking for jobs with businesses looking to hire,” Obama said at a White House event, “We want to help community colleges and employers create programs that match curricula in the classroom with the needs of the boardrooms.”

Providing means for fiscally strapped students is not a new trend for Obama. Part of the 2009 stimulus bill included $3.5 billion in Pell Grants aimed at helping deserving community college students, with an additional billion spent on workforce training programs at community colleges.

By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged , , Dr. Jill Biden, community college, University of Delaware, Delaware Technical and Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, Pell Grants, Pell Grants, unemployment rate, stimulus bill, stimulus bill

The quest for immortality

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

From statues to religious deities, humanity has sought to find ways in which to immortalize their deeds and civilizations.

Defining immortality

The deeds of single individuals in more ancient times immortalized their lives in writing by performing and accomplishing heroic deeds.  What is it that has been immortalized though? Is it a person’s name or the significance of an event or series of events?

In ancient Greece, an individual’s deeds determined one’s significance.  In Rome, a soldier’s loyalty and dedication to the people determined one’s station and renown.

“Brothers, what we do in life echoes in eternity.” – Maximus Decimus Meridius, 2000 film Gladiator .

The events of a person’s life can become immortalized by their impact on the civilization and era in which they live.  Christians immortalized Jesus of Nazareth for his sacrifice to save humanity from their sins.  Muslims have immortalized Muhammad through acceptance of his messages from Allah, which in turn signified him as the prophet of the Islamic peoples.

“An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Differentiating cultural standards

When death can fall like a stone from a mountain, having a life that is remembered long after death is the crux upon which people focus themselves to drive forward in their life.

In today’s modern world, with billions of people living in close approximation to each other, making a lasting impression becomes a rather daunting and unrealistic goal.

How then do people immortalize their life?

Quite simply, it has come down to reproduction.  A common belief has sprung up through the people in which the name of the parents becomes immortalized through their offspring.

In Asian countries, the conduct and deeds of the children reflect greatly on the parents.  Thus, children are taught discipline and how to conduct themselves so that the family, and those associated with the family are immortalized.

In contrast, parents in western cultures have diverse methods for raising their children. Western cultures put such an emphasis on independence and self will that the ensuing disarray of monetary worth and gain leaves one to seek immortalization through consumption and material possession.

Immortality comes in many forms.  Whether it is going to heaven, the longevity of a family name, or artifacts; all peoples through all times wish to be remembered lest their lives mean nothing, and their time on this planet be forgotten.

The quest for immortality is consistent and consumes the peace that is just off the path.  People get so wrapped up in pursuing their own material quest that the constant conflict of the individual undermines the life they wish to live.

Moving forward and learning from the past

Acceptance and understanding is the cure to this dilemma that has plagued humanity for the entirety of its existence.

“The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles.” – Mahatma Gandhi

By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged Asian Culture, Gladiator, Greece, Islamic people, Jesus of Nazareth, Mahatma Gandhi, Maximus Decimus Meridius, Muhammad, Rome, Western Culture

That’s Your Horoscope for this week, February 2012

By: Joshua Jordon, Dan Cunning 

Aquarius: Jan. 20 – Feb. 18
Once again this week the campus bully, aptly named “ham-fists”, will greet you with a meaty punch to the torso followed by an atomic wedgie. The good news, relatively speaking, is that while you are writhing in agony, “ham-fists” will admit that, out of all her students, you are the most fun to punch in the gut. Score!

Pisces: Feb. 19 – March 20
This week, you should brew a “magic” potion to boost your clairvoyance. Mix one locket of Bob Saget’s chest hair in a cup of Sunny D and sip leisurely while enjoying the latest smooth jazz collaboration between Tupac Shakur and Angela Lansbury. Then write your own horoscope.

Aries: March 21 – April 19
This week, instead of trying to be “that dude in class with the awesome beard,” perhaps you should set your sights on the more realistic goal of being “that dude in class that finally washed his hair.” That’s right Helmet-Hair McLacksInHygiene … you stink and everyone around you ‘nose’ it.

Taurus: April 20 – May 20
This week you will be struck by a nugget of wisdom that will leave you enlightened, joyous, and renewed. You will also be struck by a handbag-wielding grandmother. Shortly thereafter you will be struck by lightning. Then you will be struck by a pumpkin (thrown by an ape). This may seem like bad news, but you’ll be singing a different tune once you discover a pumpkin seed that slightly resembles Mick Jagger.

Gemini: May 21 – June 20
Your romance has fallen on rocky times. Don’t give up, friend. Focus on what you love about your most important relationship, and before you know it you will have made amends and you can continue your lives in utmost harmony. Besides maintaining your happiness, you’ll remain the coolest student on campus by repairing your bond with your life-size David Hasselhoff baseball card.

Cancer: June 21 – July 22
Your ill-advised plan to tattoo the full contents of the dollar menu on your back will turn out shockingly well this week. And by well I mean horribly. And by this week I mean forever.

Leo: July 23 – Aug. 22
Having that semi-formed 6th toe on your left foot will be the factor that changes this week from mediocre to splendid. This drastic change in fortune will occur when, while chewing on what appears to be a toe-nail spouting from that toe, you dislodge a popcorn kernel that has been stuck in your teeth for 3 years.

Virgo: Aug. 23 – Sept. 22
Your severe case of “French-sized cranial-magnus” gives you two legitimate shots at making it in this world. Either open up a big-and-tall hat store, or pioneer the almost certain next big thing: fake toupees.

Libra: Sept. 23 – Oct. 22
After years of agonizing, you will finally garner the courage to push the “Tweet” button this week. Baring your deepest desires, you will unveil your lifelong secret for your friends, family, and the entire world to scrutinize: “Michael Bolton, I kno U dont know me. But i luv you and ur funky trumpet solos. Marry me, plz. I’ll brade ur pony tail.” The bad news: MB will turn you down. You’ll face the gaping wounds of humiliation, criticism, shock. The good news: you didn’t have any followers anyway.

Scorpio: Oct. 23 – Nov. 21
This week while mining for golden nuggets in your left nostril, you’ll discover your long lost Barbie Doll. At the reunion party, Barbie will reveal a shocking secret: she’s not a real Barbie, but a cheap Chinese knock-off named Berbie! After the guests leave the party in disgust, sell her to some unsuspecting sap on eBay for $1,000 and purchase some glue-on dreadlocks for your cat. Cha-cha-cha-cha-cha-cha-cha-ching!

Sagittarius: Nov. 22 – Dec. 21
If luck were measured by the size of your foot, you would likely hit the lottery this week. Sadly, it isn’t. You are just another schmoe… only with awkwardly large clown feet.

Capricorn: Dec. 22 – Jan. 19
Your best friend, Stan-the-Ape, will reveal to you this week that he is in fact an 800 pound gorilla. He will choose to reveal this secret to you while jamming a banana into your right ear. Also, he will give you the most severe wedgie ever recorded. Also, he isn’t really your best friend.

Links for Del City WILD 5K and Fun Run

By: Katie Johnston, Feature Editor

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help available.
A few signs that might indicate someone is in an abusive relationship:
- They act different or quiet when their spouse or partner is around
- They’re not allowed access to money, phone, or vehicle.
- Wearing inappropriate clothing to hide bruises (i.e. a turtleneck sweater in the summer)
- Sudden withdrawal from social life unless their partner is around
What to do:
Talk to someone who can help. There are many people and services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If anyone is in immediate danger, call 911.

This is the first ever Del City WILD 5K and mile fun run, hosted by Del City High School.

The Del City WILD 5K and mile fun run was created to honor the memory of a Del City High School teacher, Katherine Lopez, who was killed in an apparent murder-suicide on September 1, 2011, after she filed for divorce. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Oklahoma Children’s Cancer Association, a favorite charity of Lopez.

Anyone may participate. Awards will be given to top three male and female finishers in standard USATF age groups. Top overall finishers will receive special awards.

Click here to find the Del City WILD 5K and mile fun run on Facebook.

Del City WILD 5K and mile fun run

Saturday, February 25, 2012
Mile Fun Run @ 8:30 a.m.
5K begins @ 9 a.m.
Race Day check in begins at 8:15 a.m.

To Register:

Cost: $25, registration fee includes race and T-shirt.

By 15th Street News Posted in News

Parking Wars spark controversy

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Handicap parking thieves take disabled parking spaces away from those with actual disabilities.

Betsy Sparks, sociology major, pulled into the Rose State parking lot looking for a place to park. What Sparks witnessed was someone pulling into a handicap parking space and running off into a building.

“When people without disabilities take up these places, it makes it hard for people with disabilities to get to their classes on time,” Sparks said.

Sparks disability requires her to use crutches to get from place to place around campus.

“I am going to be getting a wheelchair soon, and having to pull it out of the car from a regular space is going to be difficult,” Sparks said.

There are various techniques for getting in and out of a vehicle with a wheelchair.  Some people find it easier to get into the passenger side of the vehicle, then slide into the driver seat, and then pull in their wheel chair. This difficulty is compounded when attempting to do it within a regular, narrow parking space.

“When students with disabilities enroll into the college I think the school should put a handicap symbol on their parking hang tag or give them a sticker to put in the window,” Sparks said, “So that the campus police can distinguish between who really has a handicap and those who don’t.”

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
Parking spaces required to be accessible:
Accessible parking spaces serving a particular 
building shall be located on the shortest accessible
 route of travel from adjacent parking to an 
accessible entrance.

Accessible parking spaces shall be at
least 96 in (2440 mm) wide. 
Parking access aisles shall be part
 of an accessible route to the building or
facility entrance.

Parked vehicle overhangs shall not reduce
the clear width of an accessible route. 
Parking spaces and access aisles shall be level
 with surface slopes not exceeding 2% 
in all directions.

Accessible parking spaces shall be designated 
as reserved by a sign showing the symbol of 
accessibility. For vans a "Van-Accessible" mounted
 below the symbol of accessibility is required.

Excellence does not go unnoticed

The Classified Staff Association (CSA) works toward providing students and staff with ways in which to further their education and dealings with the school administrators.

Stephanie Rosillo and Ryan James Mitchell received the CSA Achievement Award on Feb. 2.

Along with the achievement award the duo each received a scholarship of $303.  This scholarship comes from the Rose State Foundation.

The foundation sends the CSA a list of students who have applied or been nominated for the award.  This year the foundations list consisted of 52 applicants.

To narrow down the applicants, CSA members are asked to volunteer for a committee to select individuals they believe should receive the Achievement Award.  The Rose State CSA has 188 members, of which six get to participate in the selection process.

The Purpose of the Classified Staff Association (CSA) shall be:
a) To cultivate a professional relationship between the classified staff and the college.
b) To provide opportunity for improvement of qualification of the members for the mutual benefit of the individual members and the institution.
c) To promote the welfare of classified staff members through suggestions to the college administration for improvements in working conditions and/or benefits.
d) To promote fellowship among staff members through enhanced social contact and service opportunities.

After the selection process starts, the six committee members each receive nine applicant files.  The committee for this year’s scholarship included Cindy Freeman, Cathy Ogle, Stephanie Spencer, Liliana Renteria, Crystal Myers, and Jerry Pursell.

The committee looks at a student’s GPA, their work ethic, and possible financial needs. Each of the six committee members choose a single student to present to the rest of the committee; giving their reasons for why they would like to choose that student for the award.

After everyone presents their picks, the committee votes on who receives the scholarships.

“Ryan’s extraordinary GPA jumped out at us not only because he’s an excellent student but also because he works multiple jobs,” Jerry Pursell, president CSA, said.

Next year, the CSA may be able to give more scholarships to students by donating $500 to the First National Bank Charity Golf Classic.  By giving $500, the foundation would receive an additional $1500 worth of scholarship money.  This could go toward giving five additional students help with their educational goals.

“This is a one time event however, as it may not be something we would want to do in the future,” Pursell said.

Scholarships are often the crutch that helps students get from point A to point B in their lives.  What the Rose State Foundation, and the CSA does is a worthwhile note in the fabric of what RSC represents for the community.

Students seek scholarship success

By: Logan Pierce, Editor-in-Chief

On Feb. 8, Kelli Kelnar, outreach specialist, Oklahoma College Assistance Program, held a Scholarship workshop in the Tinker Terrace room. 25 students attended the presentation.

Kelnar began by offering some general advice when applying for scholarships. “February through April is the peak time for scholarship application,” Kelnar said, “That’s free money to help pay for your education.”

Volunteers finish first

Applicants with several volunteer hours stand out amongst the competition. Maintaining a high GPA also ensures greater consideration from prospective employers.

Scholarships are offered to students from many different sources, including local organizations, churches and the YMCA. Knowing where to start looking can feel daunting. Kelnar cautioned against using websites that charge for scholarship help. The service they provide is available online for free. Libraries may also be able to provide further scholarship information.

When filling out scholarship application forms, make sure they’re complete for those who will see them. “Don’t rush. Read through all the information,” Kelnar said, “If one space is left blank, they’ll through it out.”

This spells disaster

In addition to blank space, spelling errors can make or break an application. The form should be free of grammatical errors. Kelnar said, “90 percent of scholarships are eliminated after the first review.”

Prior to submitting a scholarship form, applicants should make sure their social media accounts reflect a positive image. Facebook and Twitter accounts are checked and allow for the character of applicants to be assessed.

When a reply is received, the applicant should write a thank you letter. This shows a level of professionalism that conveys ones gratitude for being considered.

This spells disaster

On Mar. 1, the campus Foundation Scholarships will be made available. Applicants must maintain a 2.5 GPA, and be an Oklahoma resident enrolled in six credit hours.

Below are some of the scholarships available.

  • President’s Leadership Class – Only available to graduating high school or home school seniors.
  • Legacy Scholars – Only available to graduating high school or home school seniors.
  • Student Ambassadors – Available to all students.
  • Tinker Federal Civic Leaders – Military spouses (E1-E6) and adult civilians (ages 24 and older) may apply.
  • Frances White Hughes Scholars – Available to students major in one of the fine arts, arts management, or art librarian areas.
  •  Hudiburg Scholars – Available to all students.

For more information, go to Applicants may also contact Carla Robison at (Graphic courtesy of

By 15th Street News Posted in Raider Life Tagged , Foundation Scholarships, Frances White Hughes Scholars, GPA, Hudiburg Scholars, Legacy Scholars, Oklahoma College Assistance Program, President's Leadership Class, scholarship applications, Student Ambassadors, Tinker Federal Civic Leaders, , YMCA