Spirit of freedom shines through with reading of challenged and banned books

Dennis Gosnell

Assignment Editor

Students, faculty, and staff assembled outside of the LRC Oct. 1 to participate in a banned books readout.

“Freedom to read” is the motto of Banned Books Week, a week in which individuals nationwide gather and participate in events that celebrate the First Amendment.

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Books that were read during the Readout and why they are challenged:

  • “The White Mans Bible by Ben Klassen” – “There are only 19 copies worldwide,” Brad Robison said.  Book talks about the eventual ascension of the supreme race, and the origination of the Church of Creation.
  • “A wrinkle in time” by Madeleine L’Engle- Accused of containing offensive language, and that it undermines religious beliefs and challenges individual’s idea of God.
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee– For it’s depiction of racist content, and other inappropriate imagery.
  • “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank – Contains passages that were considered “sexually offensive,” as well as for the tragic nature of the book, which some felt might be “depressing” for young readers.
  • “The Giver” by Lois Lowry – Some of the most common objections were over violent and sexual scenes, infanticide, euthanasia, and “sexual awakening.”
  • “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss – For being an allegorical political commentary. Specifically, it was banned in the Laytonville, California School District on grounds that this book “criminalizes the forestry industry.”
  • “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl – Banned for being too scary for the targeted age group, mysticism, sexual inferences, profanity, racism, references to tobacco and alcohol, and claims that it promotes disobedience, drugs, and communism.
  • “Bridge to Terabitha” by Katherine Paterson – Challenged because children build an imaginary kingdom, promotes secular humanism and New Age religion.
  • “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson – Content promotes homosexuality.
  • “A Light in the Attic” by Shel Silverstein – “How Not To Have To Dry The Dishes” encourages kids to break the dishes so that they don’t have to wash them. “Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony” was considered too morbid for children since it discusses death. And was criticized for mentioning supernatural themes, including demons, devils, and ghosts.
  • “Oh, The Places You Go” by Dr. Seuss – Inappropriate content for age group.

There will be another readout 12 p.m. Oct. 2 in front of the LRC, and it is another chance for students, faculty, and staff to participate in keeping the “Freedom to Read” alive.

By 15th Street News Posted in Raider Life Tagged , , read out, , , A wrinkle in Time, White mans Bible, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Diary Of A Young Girl, , The Lorax, James and the Giant Peach, Bridge To Terabitha, And a Tango Makes Three, A Light in the attic, Oh, The Places you go, Ben Klassen, Madeleine L''Engle, Harper Lee, Anne Frank, , Ronald Dahl, Katherine Paterson, Peter Parnell, Shel Silverstien, Dr. Seuss
Graphic by Melissa Bednarek

Banned Books Week features read-outs, professor panel

Chelsea Ratterman

Editor In Chief 

The LRC will be hosting student read-outs during Banned Books week from Oct. 2-5. Oct. 1 is the first read-out at 10:30 a.m. in front of the LRC and the second one is at noon on Oct. 2 also in front of the LRC. These read-outs feature students reading excerpts from their favorite challenged book in a circle of peers, as well as faculty and staff participants.  Each day features different books and readers.

Throughout the week, a display of banned books in the RSC library will be up in the LRC on the first floor.

For more info on Banned Books Week, visit the American Library Association website.

Graphic by Melissa Bednarek

One of the events for the Banned Books week occurring from Oct. 1-5 is a professor panel discussion.

Held Oct. 3 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in LRC Room 109/110, the panel will feature different points of view on the topic of banning books.

The panel features three RSC faculty members, Dr. John Wood, Dr. Jim Hochtritt and Michael Grady, and is moderated by Ben Fenwick.

This event is free to the public.

Professor Michael Grady

Prof. Grady will be on the pro-side of banning books for the Banned Books Panel. He is playing the devil’s advocate for the sake of the panel, alongside Dr. Hochtritt.

“I am taking a side for which I am not truly behind, but when asked, I thought it would be a good challenge, and I plan to come out on the winning side,” said Grady.

Grady is an adjunct professor and teaches Fundamentals of English, Comp I and II.

He holds a B.A in speech and in religion from Baylor University, Master’s of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Masters of English, traditional studies from UCO.

Grady is in his sixth year as a professor at RSC.

Dr. James Hochtritt

Dr. Hochtritt will be taking the pro-banning side on the Banned Books Panel. He is playing the devil’s advocate, alongside Prof. Grady, for the sake of the panel.

Dr. Hochtritt earned a B.A. in American Studies, a B.A. in History from California State University Chico and an M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from the University of Oklahoma. He is a cultural and social historian whose main area of focus is ethnicity and race in the 20th century American West.

He is in his 12th year at RSC and is a tenured, full-time faculty member.

Dr. John Wood

Dr. Wood is taking the anti-banning stance on the Banned Books Panel. He has expressed that book burning is symbolic and pure censorship, leading toward extremism. In an example given by Dr. Wood, the radical views of Christian Johann Heinrich Heine led to German authorities banning many of his works and forcing him to live in Paris for 25 years as an expatriate. He once said, “Where books are burned, people will next be burned.”

Dr. Wood is currently in his eighth year as an RSC professor and is the faculty adviser for VOICE/OIL, Go Green Club, and the Veteran’s Club.

Dr. Wood holds a B.S. in Journalism, an M.A. in Political Science and a Ph.D. in environmental policy and conflict management all from OSU.

By 15th Street News Posted in Entertainment, Multimedia, Raider Life Tagged ala, anti, banned book, devils advocate, dr. wood, grady, hochtritt, panel, pro, read out
Rose State Higher One Debit/ MasterCard smoothes refunds for colleges and students.
Photo By Michele Penix

College debit cards risk for students

Dennis Gosnell

Assistant Editor

Rose State Higher One Debit/ MasterCard smoothes refunds for colleges and students.
Photo By Michele Penix


In recent years banks have partnered with colleges to provide students with debit cards. These debit cards allow colleges to ensure easy and smooth transactions with students. However, students might find that the transaction fees are little more than they would choose to pay.

On Sept. 18, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, PIRG for short, held a national student news teleconference to share its findings from a report that examined whether students got a fair deal when banks partnered with colleges to give students debit cards.

Three presenters’ Rich Williams, Higher Education Advocate with U.S. PIRG, Anne Johnson, Director of Campus Progress, and Rohit Chopra, Private Student Loan Ombudsman with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gave reporters a breakdown of the sort of problems found when colleges partnered with banks.

“Nine-million students are potentially at risk for increased educational debt due to bank-affiliated campus debit cards that come with high fees, insufficient consumer protection and few options,” Williams said.

According to PIRG there are 900 campuses nation wide “grafting bank products onto student IDs and other campus cards” to ensure banks receive a healthy profit.

RSC is partnered with Higher One financial services, and according to the F.A.Q. handout available in SSB room 200, three college students started the company in 2000 to provide students with a better way to receive and manage money. The card allows the college to give students refunds.

Williams also referred to colleges as a gateway for financial savvy banks to take advantage of the younger generation by giving students cards issued by colleges.

“Students think they are getting a fair deal and unbiased advice when they see a college logo on these cards, when in reality colleges are getting financial perks while students are getting stuck with high bank fees,” Williams said.

According, the U.S. PIRG report there are currently 32 of the 50 largest public 4-year universities, 26 of the largest 50 community colleges, and 6 of the largest 20 private not-for-profit schools have debit or prepaid card contracts with a bank or a financial firm.

Eighty percent of Higher Ones revenue is made through siphoning fees from student aid disbursement cards.  Based off of SEC filings that is a total of $142.5 million of its $176.3 million total revenues.

In part two of this article there will be tips on how to avoid what U.S. PIRG calls the “The Campus Debit Card Trap”. 

By 15th Street News Posted in News, Raider Life Tagged , , , Debit, Banks, PIRG, Finance, Higher Education, Fees, Consumer, Debt, Higher One, campus cards

Wesley Fellowship brings Lifetree Café to RSC, Oklahoma


Amber Stafford

Assignment Editor

David Hanigar (left) and Brittney Arnold (right) talk to students about communication and faith.
Photo by – Dennis Gosnell



The Wesley Fellowship will be hosting the first Lifetree Café in Oklahoma Oct. 2 from 11:30-1:30 p.m. in LRC Room 110. A free lunch is provided to all who attend.


The Lifetree Café is coffee-shop-style discussion over current and relevant topics from a faith perspective.  The first trial run will be featuring the episode “Follow Your Dreams,” which highlights a singer who lost her hearing and her perseverance through the difficult time in her life.


“The Wesley [Fellowship] is a way for me to help [create] a sense of community for the people that don’t have that at Rose yet,” said President of Wesley Fellowship Brittney Arnold.


Lifetree Café is an hour-long experience in a casual environment for people to gather weekly to experience meeting new people and old ones too. Everyone is welcome no matter what their belief is. Each week there will be new episode of real life stories from fascinating people, and open discussion on the topic of the week.


The Wesley Fellowship is a combination of Wickline and St. Matthew United Methodist churches in Midwest City. For more information on the Wesley Fellowship or on Lifetree Café, contact David Hanigar from Wickline United Methodist Church at 732-0356 ext. 106.

Dream Act is hot topic at HSA event

Narges Taghavi

Feature Editor

Immigration attorney Giovanni Perry speaks to students during the HSA event. Photo Courtesy of Erica Alvarez

The Hispanic Student Association hosted their annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, Sept. 27 in the Campus Mall. The event consisted of a taco bar, music from Alegria Real and a salsa cook-off, as well as a panel of those affected by the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act who discussed how it affected other’s lives.

The panel is made up of Giovanni Perry, an immigration attorney, Stephanie Peña, Judith Veronica Huerta-Morfin, a graduate from UCO and Fredy Valenica.

This year’s event focused on the DREAM Act, which offers conditional permanent residency to some undocumented residents based on four requirements consisting of good moral character, graduation from a U.S. high school, entrance to the U.S. before the age of 16 and five years of continued presence.

Contrary to popular belief, the DREAM Act has not been passed. President Obama announced, “deferred action” on June 15, 2012. Deferred action allows those benefitting from the act to remain in the country without threat of deportation, for the time being.

Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America”, HispanicHeritageMonth.gov.“

Photo courtesy of Erica Alvarez

Don’t let the stress of math let you feel discouraged

Amber Stafford

Assignment Editor

Graphic Courtesy of MCTCampus.com



Professors of Mathematics Jack Moeller and Andrea Xeriland held a workshop on Sept. 20 to give students tips on how to avoid math anxiety.

The professors began the workshop with a “math quiz” made up of two questions. Students had to list the best adjective to describe math and brief an explanation of why they chose that particular adjective.

“Math anxiety needs to be talked about, given students overall common problems, and overtime give students a desire to deal with it,” said Professor Moeller.

Over forty people attended the workshop, filling the room past capacity. With such high attendance, many students are recognizing that math anxiety is common, and come to these kinds of workshops.

“The workshop was one the best turnouts since school started,” said the Director of Student Success and Retention Initiatives, Melissa Leon Guerrero.

Some of the key points in the presentation were math myths and a discussion about the math gene. The fact is, there is no “math gene”. Math takes practice and training just like any other skill.

“There is no math gene, it is a skill you have to learn,” said Professor Xeriland.

A few steps for overcoming math anxiety, is to acknowledge and understand your anxiety, learn the language of mathematics, learn from your mistakes, stay on top of your homework, and go to class every day. Lastly, the most important step is to be positive!

The next Student Success workshop will be Note Taking. It will take place 3-4 p.m. on Oct. 3 in Student Center, Tinker Terrace room


What’s your level of math anxiety? Not sure? Try this test.

Students experience impaired driving, courtesy of OHP

Amber Stafford

Assignment Editor

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol offered the Simulated Impaired Driving Experience to students on Wed. Sept. 25 in the Wellness Center parking lot.

SIDNE’s is a special battery-powered, remote controlled vehicle that provides an actual experience with normal versus impaired driving. The vehicle has special features that delay the reaction of the brakes and gas pedals.  Drivers were given instructions on how to operate and drive through the pre-set course. After drivers got the feel for the course, SIDNE then is switched on to impaired mode. The drivers were given goggles to wear to impair their vision, just like driving under the influence.

“It was good, but with goggles on it was like driving [with] 3-D things coming at you,” Skylie Hurt, Pre-Medicine major, said.

The combined consensus of students said that driving normally was fine, but with the simulator the students felt that the experience of driving while the impaired was very dangerous and would not recommend it.

SIDNE is provided through Innocorp, Ltd. and is being used for demonstrations in the fight against drunk driving throughout Oklahoma.

By 15th Street News Posted in Raider Life Tagged Driving, Impaired, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, , SIDNE,

Student Leaders build insight and connections

Dennis Gosnell

Assistant Editor 

Students toss a question ball around during an ice breaker session at the senate and club retreat.
Photo by Kenneth Beachler

Every year clubs gather with participants of the elected student body to learn the process of requesting funding and permission to hold events.


During this year’s Senate and Club Retreat, club leaders and student senate representatives sat around in a giant circle getting to know each other.  To break the ice everyone had to introduce themselves and the club they represent. Next, everyone got to throw around a ball on which was written numerous questions meant to allow everyone a good laugh and help everyone gain insight into each other.


When all had caught and answered a question, the group moved on to listening to an explanation of how clubs can request money, club travel, club events, and receive club points.


Laser tag and Chelino’s

After the criteria info session for the clubs, the group went to Chelino’s for lunch. The last event of the day was a trip to Laser Quest laser tag and team building activities. In the dark arena of laser tag everyone was against everyone, with a determined winner each session. The last game was played as a team game and the nearly 40 participants were split up into two groups.


Winners of each round received a prize and a lottery pool of player names gave a lucky winner two complimentary games of laser tag.


Student Senate

Following the events on Friday, the Student Senate went to the UCO Bickham Ropes Course for practice in team support and facing challenges. Each senator went through the course to the cheers of their fellow senators.


Important club forms

The forms clubs need to use for requests are found on the Student Senate page on the Rose website.

Clubs must submit the “Application for Club Event” form 10 days prior to an event, and must be submitted before purchase requests can be processed.

There is a $500 limit per semester per club request.  Requests must be submitted to the Senate Treasurer using the “Student Senate Funding Request” form, and must include a detailed description of what the funds will be used for.

Clubs must submit the “Purchase Request Form” 10 days prior to purchase/event, and vendor must be set up in PeopleSoft prior to purchase request, which may add a minimum of 5 days prior notification.

The “Request for Cash Advance” form is for students’ food or cash requirements such as luggage fees. Travel must first be approved.

Clubs must submit “Application for Club Travel” request forms 30 days prior to in-state travel, and at least 45 days prior to out-of-state travel. See the application for needed documentation to include approved advisor travel, which can be obtained through club advisors division.

Clubs must re-charter each year by using the “Club Re-charter/Charter Form.” If the re-charter has not been completed, the club may not conduct any club business and the club must have at least one member.

These forms can also be obtained in the Student Activities office in the Student Center.

STEM programs crucial to the future

Jennifer Byrd

Volunteer Writer 

Logan Brown shows off this physics project concerning electro-magnetic energy. Photo by Dennis Gosnell


Cell phones, computers, automobiles, and the energy that powers them are just a few of the products that are produced that require Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) knowledge.

STEM fields are crucial in our rapidly advancing technological world. Without the students, educators and employees that work in these areas, we would not have any of the luxuries we have today.

The problem currently being addressed by educators and politicians is the rapid decline in the U.S., standing as a STEM leader. According to the World Economic Forum, the U.S. is currently 52nd in the world for quality of Science and Math Education, and a declining seventh in overall global competiveness. In stark contrast, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects STEM jobs to grow 17 percent between 2011 and 2021, with seven of the ten fastest growing occupations being STEM related.

To combat this issue, RSC Science and Engineering Dean, Dr. Wayne Jones, along with advisor Nick Bastani, have become active in creating STEM awareness in Oklahoma. According to Jones, to resume our role as technological leaders society as a whole needs a background in STEM.

Some of the ways RSC is involved with such an initiative include the 19 degrees in STEM related fields, on campus workshops, and reaching out to the younger generation that will one day become STEM leaders.

Some past projects include Teacher Workshops, the First Annual Central Oklahoma Science and Engineering Festival, and the annual summer event, Kids College. This summer over 1,600 students attended 135 classes, with many of those classes being STEM related.

It is crucial to get the future leaders of America interested in STEM at a young age. Many children love their video games, but not as many understand the technology that makes them function. To help spark their interest, RSC holds a Science Fair every year during the Spring semester for grades K-12. Jones and Bastani, also serve on the Boards at Northeast Academy for Health Sciences and Engineering, working closely with a group of young people that are about to enter college in STEM programs.

The coming decade appears to be a make or break it time for the U.S. in reference to our global impact in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It is up to every single American to become active and encourage the youth around them to participate in these subjects.

Mr. Bastani realizes the importance of each individual in making a difference.

“As a nation we can no longer afford to be just an end user,” Bastani said.

By 15th Street News Posted in Raider Life Tagged Central Oklahoma Science And Engineering Festival, Engineering, global competiveness, kids college, , , , STEM,