Environmental awareness fosters behavior changes

April is the month most associated with environmentalism and “green” efforts because of Arbor Day and Earth Day.

Arbor Day was established in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska, and resulted in nearly 1 million trees being planted. By 1920, each state in the U.S. had an Arbor Day date for their state. The national Arbor Day is the last Friday in April.

The Earth Day we now celebrate was established in 1970 by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as a national teach-in on issues concerning the environment, and marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement.

Environmentalism has been around since the Industrial Revolution, when pollution from the factories began to garner attention. In the 1970s, the “tree-hugger” movement was influenced by Gandhi, and was organized as a peaceful resistance to deforestation with people literally hugging trees. Environmentalists have begun to deal with new problems, and the new wave of opposition to them, on issues such as global warming and genetic engineering.

The global warming phenomenon is still highly debated, especially in the United States. Congress is highly polarized on this issue, with one end supporting energy efficiency efforts and the other focusing on energy that’s available now, despite the possible side effects.

The Environmental Protection Agency was established in 1970 by then-President Richard Nixon. Its duties are to enforce regulations based on laws passed in Congress concerning human and environmental health issues. Recent environmental problems are currently a cause for contention; the EPA is too often in the middle of a political tug-of-war concerning its regulations.

Arbor Day, Earth Day and other dates related to environmentalism, bring attention to the problems facing the Earth, such as pollution, destruction of the ozone and oceans, and of the loss of natural environments the world over. Eco Clubs are a great way to make a small dent in a large problem, and can be used to encourage the organization of a recycling drives, and buying organic foods as opposed to processed and buying second hand clothing.

RSC has its own eco club, the Go Green Club. It offers information on economical, ecological and social systems and they plan activities that encourage energy conservation and pollution reduction on campus.

By 15th Street News Posted in News, Raider Life Tagged arbor day, earth day, environmentalism, EPA, Gandhi, Nebraska, tree hugger

Spring brings b”boo-coo” banquets

Chelsea Ratterman,  Assistant Editor

Banquet season is here it seems. The Mass Communications Banquet and the Student Life banquet were both recently held, with the latter announcing the annual “Club of the Year” award, this year going to the Hispanic Student Association.

The Student Life banquet, held Monday, April 23 in the Main Dining Room, recognizes the clubs and organizations on campus, as well as the leadership scholarship recipients for their work for the college. “The Faculty and Regents are proud of you,” Dr. Terry Britton said,  “ You are able to excel in the classroom, and able to excel past the classroom as well.”

Outgoing Senate Executives announced the newly elected Senate Executives by their respective positions later in the ceremony. Jaeton Cary, the current Student Senate President, led the Senate recognitions, as well as receiving awards for the V.P. of Student Affairs Leadership Award and the Outstanding Student Senator award. The baseball and softball MVPs were revealed toward the end of the banquet. Coach Coty Cooper awarded the sophomore players with the award as a group, and Coach Nickie Williams gave the softball MVP to Randi Yousey. The event concluded with the announcement of the Club of the Year.

The Mass Communications banquet was held Friday, April 20 in the Training Center.  The theme was backpack journalism, the style of journalism where the reporter does it all: pictures, writing, video and the like. Displays were set up to showcase the Bob Wyatt entries, and the 32 recipients of the award were announced, with Rachel House’s “Red Dirt” taking first in the Advanced Category and Stephanie Wheeler’s “And On” taking first in the Beginner Category.

The Mass Communication Scholarship went to Abigail Forrest, a broadcast major. Other awards presented included Shaquile Burden received “Most Potential in Journalism,” and Keegan Meenagh received “Most Promise in Broadcast”. The graduates from the Mass Communication program were recognized, and Tori Beechum was awarded the “Top Journalism Graduate Award.” Also recognized was the staff of the 15th Street News and the awards they have won this year, from the Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma Press Services and the Oklahoma Collegiate Media Association.

Walking the path of recovery

By: Logan Pierce, Editor-in-Chief

NorthCare. The panel was there to field questions regarding issues pertaining to mental health from the nursing science program students in attendance.

The panel consisted of five individuals from NorthCare’s Unity House, a psychiatric Social Rehabilitation day program. Frank Young, Jacob Zelk, Lynn Ratliff, Tasha Austin and Peggy Blanton shared their stories of mental illness, from the symptoms and diagnosis to treatment and control.

By the numbers

The panel presented several statistics. While 25 percent of the U.S. population has some kind of mental illness, only 60 percent of that number actually seeks treatment. Organizations such as Unity House want those recovery numbers to rise.

This goal is accomplished through the Psychiatric Rehabilitation (PSR) program. Its purpose is to help individuals regain control of their lives.

Members of the panel shared their experiences. When Young was diagnosed with Organic Brain Syndrome (OBS), he had already felt the symptoms of agitation and confusion. After receiving treatment and graduating from Unity House, Young now owns his own apartment. He later graduated from a culinary school and currently teaches others.

“Recovery is possible,” Austin said, “If you try it, you can do it.”

Mental health musings

At this point, the panel fielded questions from the audience. Stafford asked, “What if I was new to Unity House?” “We’d show you around and even serve you lunch,” Young said, “The first two weeks you get pampered and treated like a star. Then after you’ve adjusted, you’re assigned to different areas where you can begin helping others.”

The panel was asked what they would do without Unity House. “If Unity House closed, I’d want to end my life,” Austin said.

The event concluded with advice for those who have been recently diagnosed with a mental illness. Emphasis was put on properly researching the specifics of one’s condition. “I had a friend who thought his condition was worse than what it actually was,” Young said, “This fear exacerbated his condition. Fortunately, he had friends able to help him feel better. He saw himself, not as a series of symptoms, but as a person.”

The need for support fits with the motto of Unity House, “In unity we walk the path of recovery.”

By 15th Street News Posted in News, Raider Life Tagged Joanne Stafford, mental illness, NorthCare, Organic Brain Syndrome, Psychiatric Rehabilitation, recently diagnosed, Unity House, walk the path of recovery

Everything Happens in Threes

Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

The 2011 awards season officially wrapped up with the 84th Annual Academy Awards. Coming out of it there were the obligatory best and worst dressed lists, accompanied by the “In Memoriam” to remember those that passed within the last year. Not all who died made the lists, but the more notable are more likely to be remembered at the shows during awards season.
The myth surrounding Hollywood’s elite is that they die in threes. It follows a common theme around the world that things occur in threes, but this myth is more likely to be perpetuated by those that believe in it. This was begun in 1962, the earliest time when people started to notice this trend with the Hollywood elite.
No official timetable exists for the limitations of this myth, but connections are bound to be made one week or one month apart in order to satisfy it.
In the 70s, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison died in quick succession of each other. In 2009, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson all died in a single week. Except for a few rare cases, public figures tend to die more spaced apart. Right before this awards season was over, Etta James, Don Cornelius and Whitney Houston died within three weeks of each other.
But why is three the magic number for everything? It is our instinct to make connections where we believe we see them. These connections allow us to create many reasons behind our automatic superstitious use of numbers. We have three phases of life: birth, life, and death. In religion, three is a revered number. Christianity has the triad of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Buddhism has two sets of three, the roots of evil (greed, hatred and delusion) as well as the three precious jewels (Buddha, Dharma- the teachings of Buddha and Sangha- the followers of Buddha).
Three is a number that resonates around the world for various meanings. It is popularized with myths concerning fascinating public figures, and by the small things in life that back up the theory that everything happens in threes.

By 15th Street News Posted in Entertainment Tagged awards season, deaths, jackson, threes

Personhood Bills take forefront in debates

Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

Social issues have always been a political ploy used by candidates running for office to avoid the real issues, but this year’s use of women’s rights has been, if anything, frightening. During the past year, bills have been introduced into state and national legislation that focus on birth control, abortion, and other means of women’s health care. While these topics are always controversial due to the opposition they face, it seems as if they have been far more in the forefront than usual. The organizations that provide controversial services to women are the focal point of many bills related to “personhood” bills that have been pushed for throughout the country.

Planned Parenthood breakdown of services: STI/STD testing- 38% Contraception- 33.5% Cancer Screening and Prevention- 14.5% Other Women’s Health Services (Prenatal Testing, Pregnancy tests)- 10.4% Abortion Services- 3%(does not use federal funding) Other Services (Family Planning, Adoption, Nutrition) – 0.6%

Planned Parenthood has faced funding losses for many years. Many candidates running for the Oval Office use this as a base, promising to defund it in order to sway the pro-life voters. This decision causes fear for an organization that provides far more than abortions to the public. They provide an annual breakdown of their services at the end of the following year, and in the 2010 annual report it showed that 3 percent of the services rendered were abortions (which cannot use federal funding), while 38 percent of their services supported STD testing on both women and men. The organization also provides birth control and vital cancer screenings. It provides so many beneficial things to the public, but has been a target since the 1970s for defunding.

Personhood bills are one of the largest threats to the female gender in years. It would ban some types of birth control, completely outlaw abortion, and would place doctors and lab technicians who provide in vitro fertilizations in vulnerable positions, should the embryo not survive.

According to Jewish law, one should respect the potential personhood of an unborn fetus, but it does not become a person until the head has emerged. Yet, modern Christianity defines it as the moment of conception. Where is it anyone’s place to define when life begins, except God, the being that so many refer to in defense of their radical actions? These bills and actions that affect women, their health, and their bodies should not be the focus of political action; instead we should be focusing on the true problems at hand, such as the economy and job market.

Health fair educates public

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor
For many, spring is a time of rejuvenation and animation. The air fills with warm scents as flowers bloom, and lawns are trimmed. It is also a time to get a check up and make sure the body stays healthy.

Offering the public awareness information

Midwest Regional Medical Center and RSC held their annual health fair April 11 to educate the public about health and wellness.

“We provide this service in conjunction with Rose State to give important health information to the community. We provide free blood work and cholesterol screening,” Marilyn Flinchum, marketing/special events coordinator of Midwest Regional Medical Center, said.

Kids and Senior Citizens can find something to do at Rose State too

Rose State offered participants information on wellness courses aimed at keeping people fit and healthy as well as providing information for the summer Kids College program.

“The most popular courses seem to be the 50 plus program. The water aerobics class seems to be the favorite course, as well the trips the group takes throughout Oklahoma,” Tiffany Farmer, work-study office aide, said.

The group visits Enid, Tulsa, and Stillwater. They get a chance to visit the local museums, gardens, and restaurants that help to make these areas popular.

Mark Doolen talks about sleeping disorders and how sleep apnea has affected his life

Another health issue that affects the public is sleep disorders.

“There are nearly 100 different sleep disorders that affect people throughout the world,” Mark Doolen, manager of the Midwest Regional Medical Sleep Diagnostics Center, said “What we do when people come in with a complaint of being tired is hook them up to a polysomnography and have the patient sleep through the night.”

The polysomnography test monitors the patient’s brain waves, muscle tension, eye movement, respiration, oxygen level in the blood and audio monitoring.

The first test at the sleep lab was done in 1999 on Doolen, who ended up having 58 events per hour with each event lasting for 15 seconds each. What this meant for Doolen was that for two hours during his eight-hour sleep cycle he was not breathing. Imagine not breathing for two hours each night while asleep.

“A person who suffers from sleep apnea (most common sleeping disorder) can sleep for 10 hours, however if they are having trouble breathing or having other issues during this time,” Doolen said, “they will be more tired when they wake up in the morning because their body is working harder to regulate itself.”

For more information on sleeping disorders call the Midwest Regional Medical Center, Sleep Diagnostics Center at 405-610-8039.

Other information provided to participants included how to quit smoking, rehabilitation, giving blood, community senior centers that help the elderly stay fit, and a variety of other health information. Central State Academy of Massage also provided free massages to participants.

By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged Central State Massage Academy, kids college, Mark Doolen, Midwest Regional Medical Center, Midwest Regional Medical Sleep Diagnostic Center, , Sleep Apnea, Water Aerobics

Loop holes create profits for unlawful individuals

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor
The truth of the matter
In the 1997 movie “Liar Liar” Jim Carrey stars as Fletcher Reede a fast track lawyer who cannot lie for 24 hours. In one scene Fletcher’s secretary asks if he thought it was right that her neighbor was sued because a robber had fallen through her skylight and onto a knife. Fletcher’s answer was “No, I could have gotten him more.”
Justine Winter a sad and tragic tale
In August 2010, a teen, Justine Winter, was arrested and charged with two counts of deliberate homicide after a car crash that killed Erin Thompson and her son Caden Odell. After the crash Winter was in critical condition and had to have multiple surgeries and procedures to save her life.

One side effect of her injuries was that she could not remember what happened clearly that night. Winter did not believe the accident was her fault and even went so far as to sue the Thompson family and three other companies for negligence. After a nine day trial a jury found Winter responsible for causing the crash and the judge dismissed the civil suit.

Jennings receives restitution from her sons attempted theft and the end of his life
Cletta A. Jennings filed and won a civil suit after her son, Antwun Parker, was shot and killed in a pharmacy in Oklahoma City. Parker and a friend, Jevontai Ingram, had been asked by two men to go into the pharmacy and ask for OxyContin. Ingram was given a gun but Parker was not. Ingram managed to get away, however, Parker was shot at least six times.

The first shot Parker received was to the head, then five more later on through out his body.

Jennings received a settlement from the pharmacies insurance company, and told interviewers she’s glad it’s over.

Crimes are committed everyday, people are hurt or die everyday. Does money equate the loss of life that occurs from these tragic occurrences or what if the victim of an attempted theft becomes a murderer, does the family of the deceased deserve restitution? Something to think about is how will money ease the grief a person endures when they lose a family member?

By 15th Street News Posted in Entertainment Tagged Antwun Parker, Caden Odell, Cletta A. Jennings, Erin Thompson, Jevontai Ingram, Jim Carrey, Justine Winter

Post 9/11 GI Bill poses challenges for vets

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Bureaucracy is often as annoying as finger nails scraping against a chalkboard.

Ideally the bureaucratic system is designed to prevent malicious laws from being created in a fastidious manner that would inhibit and limit an individual’s civil rights.

More often than not however, the bureaucratic system is used to prevent or circumvent a person’s interest in areas that are sensitive or to maintain a slow and fluid system of governing.

Veterans Affairs (VA) is one such bureaucratic system that works toward helping citizens, who were part of the Armed Forces of the United States, transition out of the military.
The VA offers many different programs to veterans, one is the GI Bill for veterans who wish to go to college or receive some form of technical training.

The most notorious of these bills, is the Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill. For most administrators this bill causes a miasma of grandiose headaches that leave them wondering at the reasoning behind such a complicated bill.

Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Hallberg’s military career ended when a roadside bomb exploded next to his HMMWV (Humvee) in Iraq. Now he battles the bureaucracy of the Pentagon to get the benefits he deserves.
Photo courtesy of mctcampus.com

The eligibility criteria for the bill, what they get while using the bill, and figuring out what the veteran owes if they should fail a course or courses creates a great deal of paperwork for an understaffed and underequipped bureaucracy.

Whose fault then is it when these governmental agencies are slow to respond to the people’s needs? The people would say it is the government’s fault, while others will blame their fellow citizens for being lazy and not wanting to work.

The fault lies in poor long-term planning.

Morris, a Russian man saves his rubles for twenty years to buy a new car. After choosing the model and options he wants, he’s not the least bit surprised or even concerned to learn that it will take two years for the new car to be delivered. He thanks the salesman and starts to leave, but as he reaches the door he pauses and turns back to the salesman “Do you know which week two years from now the new car will arrive?” he asks.
The salesman checks his notes and tells Morris that it will be two years to the exact week. The man thanks the salesman and starts out again, but upon reaching the door, he turns back again.
“Could you possibly tell me what day of the week two years from now the car will arrive?”
The salesman, mildly annoyed, checks his notes again and says that it will be exactly two years from this week, on Thursday.
Morris thanks the salesman and once again starts to leave. Halfway though the door, he hesitates, turns back, and walks up to the salesman.
“I’m sorry to be so much trouble, but do you know if that will be two years from now on Thursday in the morning, or in the afternoon?”
Visibly irritated, the salesman flips through his papers yet another time and says sharply that it will be in the afternoon, two years from now on Thursday.
“That’s a relief!” says Morris. “The plumber is coming that morning.”


By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial Tagged Bureaucracy, Chapter 33, HMMWV, Post 9/11 GI Bill, Staff Sergeant Ryan Hallberg, VA

Scientific knowledge exhibited at elementary science fair

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Children from Good Shepherd Lutheran School, Nicoma Park School, Pleasant Hill Elementary School, and Traub Elementary School participated in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) science fair held in the main dining hall.
Nicoma Park Intermediate took home the award for most awards with 15 students receiving an award for their projects.
A total of sixty-seven children’s displays covered the areas of physics, earth and space, botany, biochemistry, environmental science, zoology, consumer product comparison, medicine and health, microbiology, and behavioral and social science.

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Each child researched, experimented, and built displays to learn about the importance of scientific research and development. One student examined how caffeinated beverages and caffeine-free beverages affect plant growth. Another student used everyday trash to make a roller coaster to show the value of recycling old materials to make toys instead of buying and wasting money on new toys.

By 15th Street News Posted in News

Silent Hill rerelease revives survival horror

Luke Pierce, Volunteer Writer

The “Silent Hill” video game series, for the most part, has stayed vastly different from its survival horror peers. While most games like “Resident Evil” have left their survival horror roots and leaned more toward action games with horror aspects, “Silent Hill” has tried to remain true to what made it great. However, recent titles such as “Silent Hill: Homecoming” and “Silent Hill Downpour” prove not even this series is exempt from “Hack-and-Slash” survival clichés. True survival horror gameplay seems all but forgotten.

That is until Konami released the “Silent Hill HD Collection.”

I see that town…Silent Hill

The “Silent Hill HD Collection”(SHHDC) revisits the second and third installments in the “Silent Hill” series, taking the player back to the roots of psychological horror video games with a High Definition finish.

James Sunderland is the protagonist of “Silent Hill 2.” James heads to Silent Hill after receiving a letter from his late wife Mary, who says she is waiting for him there.

Players control Heather Mason in “Silent Hill 3,” which is a direct sequel to the first “Silent Hill” game, where her father, Harry Mason, was the protagonist. Heather returns to Silent Hill to discover why weird things keep happening and to learn more about her past.

What’s going on with that dialogue

Fans of the Silent Hill series will notice that dialogue for both games has been rerecorded. In Silent Hill 2, players have the option to listen to the original audio recordings from the Playstation 2 version, while the only option available for Silent Hill 3 is the new recorded lines.

While the original lines in both games are “B-Movie” quality at best, the sense of nostalgia is lost with Silent Hill 3 because of these changes.

The graphics, however, have been enhanced without losing the trademark creepy atmosphere. While most modern games nowadays deliver beautiful HD graphics that allow the player to see everything clearly, such would not work in Silent Hill’s favor.

While prior games used fog effects to hide graphic limitations, the original Silent Hill used fog to create an ominous atmosphere.

Creepy controls

The controls for both games haven’t really changed since their release, which can be either a good thing or a bad thing. The movements of James in Silent Hill 2 feel more like trying to maneuver a tank around the almost empty streets. Heather’s movements in Silent Hill 3 are a slight improvement from the last game, but not much. However, the controls are nothing to get too worked up over.

The most compelling aspect of both games is the atmosphere. A combination of excellent music composition and disturbing visuals gives the player a feeling of apprehension.  Be forewarned, SHHDC deals with darker themes and is rated “M” for mature audiences.

Nevertheless, SHHDC can appeal to a whole new group of players and allow them to experience the rich history locked within the town that takes all.

By 15th Street News Posted in Entertainment Tagged hack and slash, Heather Mason, James Sunderland, Konami, psychological horror, Resident Evil, Silent Hill