Carson’s Catering clears the plate

Dennis Gosnell

Assistant Editor

Carson’s Catering clears the plate

Students, faculty, and staff have at one time or another entered the Student Center, gotten in the cafeteria line, and sat down in the dining area to eat. Carson’s Catering and Food Concepts (CCFC) has had the opportunity the last couple of years to integrate into the Rose State family, by feeding it. However, like any family there are sometimes disagreements.

 

Carson’s Catering and Food Concepts provides pastries, Starbucks and lunches to students and faculty in the Java Rose.
Photo by Josi Weaver

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Unlocking creativity through Magic

By: Logan Pierce, Editor-in-Chief
Why does the collectible card game (CCG) Magic: the Gathering appeal to some students? Unlike the Pokémon or Yu-Gi-Oh CCGs, there’s no video game or anime to help promote sales of Magic. Its popularity is the result of the game itself.

Shuffle and cut

In 1993, when Richard Garfield created the first set of Magic cards, overtly named Alpha, he could not have foreseen the staying power the game would have nearly 20 years later. Released by the Washington-based company Wizards of the Coast (WotC), Magic was the first trading card game of its kind and has continued to grow since its inception.Pictured left to right: Mason Meyer, Steve Wolbert and Jimmy Barnes pit their play skills and deck building creativity against each other in a game of Magic: The Gathering.  Photo by Logan Pierce
Mason Meyer, cyber security major, has played Magic for 18 years. In between classes, Meyer and other Magic players meet in the Student Center to play and socialize. “I like Magic because it’s a way for people who don’t fit in normal society to fit in and play games,” Meyer said.

Ever expanding universe

More than 12,000 unique Magic cards have been printed, with a few new expansions released each year. That can seem overwhelming for those just starting out.
Jimmy Barnes, business major, started playing Magic last semester. “I like the strategy of Magic,” Barnes said, “I like the idea of assembling an army and outwitting my opponent.”
Steve Wolbert, English major, also picked up Magic last semester. “My favorite kind are tribal decks, like my zombie or elf tribal,” Wolbert said. Tribal decks are constructed around iconic fantasy races, such as elves, goblins and zombies.
Magic is not a cheap hobby. Significant sums of money are spent on these pieces of cardboard. One of the most expensive cards is the iconic Black Lotus, which sells for $3,000 on average
“I spent between $500 and $1,000 on Magic in two semesters,” Wolbert said, “Boys don’t grow up; their toys just get more expensive.”

Future Sight

According to Hasbro, WotC’s parent company, the volume of printed Magic cards has doubled since 2008, as the player base for the game has increased by more than 80 percent since then.
John Frascotti, Hasbro Chief Marketing Officer, does not see the Magic trend ending anytime soon. “For the more than 12 million players around the world, Magic is more than just a product and more than just a game, it’s a lifestyle,” Frascotti said.

By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged Black Lotus, cyber security, Hasbro, Magic: the Gathering, Richard Garfield, , , Wizards of the Coast, WotC, Yu-Gi-Oh

U.S. Rep. Cole sees 20112 presidential election as a referendum on Obama

By: Logan Pierce, Editor-in-Chief

On March 13, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole met with members of the Student Senate to field questions relating to the political season and government policy.

Cole talked about the President’s tax plan. “People will be waiting on the election,” Cole said, “The winner will determine the course for this country.”

No one wants to make any sweeping changes in Washington, until after the election, resulting in what is known as a “lame duck” Congress.

“The lame duck session is sort of like the Mayan calendar,” Cole said, “Everything’s coming to a head in 2012.” The Bush tax cuts are among the policies ending this year.

Slashing spending across the board

The reduction of spending has been a focus of Congress in recent years. Their goal was to cut $2.2 trillion in spending by the end of 2011. Having succeeded in cutting only $1 trillion, the remaining amount will be cut from all departments.

“If you care about the military, these cuts will be enormous,” Cole said. Between cuts this year and last year, the military will have sustained $1 trillion in reduced spending. These cuts are an attempt to reduce the impact of the stimulus package passed in 2009.

Political Predictions

Cole talked about the political season, with Obama being the de facto Democratic nomination, and the Republicans deciding between Romney, Gingrich or Santorum.

“It’s going to be a very close presidential election,” Cole said, “People forget that it was also close last time with 46 percent of the vote going to McCain.” As it is with most elections, it all comes down to the swing states.

The presidential election is not the only hotly contested race. “The Senate’s going to be close,” Cole said, “Control will be split 51/49 percent either way.” Cole felt more confident about the Republicans retaining control of the House. “It’s unlikely the House will shift control,” Cole said.

In this presidential election, Cole acknowledges an edge for the incumbent. “I would make President Obama the favorite,” Cole said, “The election will be close, but favor Obama.”

Cole emphasized what was at stake this year. “This is probably the most important election in America since 1980,” Cole said,” I really think it will be that important.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole addresses RSC students in an open forum format. Photo by Logan Pierce

Questions from the Senate
Following these remarks, Cole took questions from the Student Senate and guests.
Maryann Scroggins, student senator, asked, “Who would you like to see be the Republican nominee?” “All the guys who didn’t run,” Cole said, eliciting laughter from the crowd, “I didn’t endorse anyone, but Romney has the edge.”

Win or lose, the outcome of the 2012 election will be a referendum on Obama. “If America thinks the president has done a good job, he’ll get reelected,” Cole said.

One question Cole answered pertained to Ugandan guerrilla leader Joseph Kony, with students wanting to know if Washington planned to step in.

Cole said that America is doing things to help, but can always do more. Broadening the topic to foreign aid in general, Cole discussed U.S. relations with the Middle East. “We give money to places like Egypt and Israel to prevent war,” Cole said. As high as gas prices are now, unrest in the Middle East will only continue to drive the price up.

Not holding Obama’s energy policies in high esteem, Cole cites that the administration is hostile toward oil and natural gas production. “When you’ve got energy secretary Chu saying ‘higher gas prices are a good thing,’ the opposition remembers comments like that,” Cole said.

When asked which of today’s issues will have the biggest impact on future generations, Cole replied excessive long-term spending. “We’re going to spend you guys into bankruptcy unless we come to grips with this.” The Student Senate meets Tuesdays at 2 p.m. in SC 123.

By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged Bush tax cuts, Egypt, energy secretary Chu, Gingrich, Israel, Joseph Kony, lame duck, Mayan calendar, McCain, , President Obama, , Santorum, stimulus package, , , Tom Cole

Student Services promotes PLATO

By: Logan Pierce, editor-in-chief

Students in need of academic assistance have various services available to them on campus. Some are less well known than others.

While virtually all computer labs on campus offer the same programs and features, only two of those computers have a unique study package known as PLATO Learning.

PLATO is available for all students, but is designed to help those struggling with remedial, zero-level courses. It uses structured lesson plans to help students raise academic scores. While not associated with the Compass test, PLATO is available to help students increase their understanding of the material in order to improve their Compass test scores.

Secrets of success

Phillip Troutman, Student Services academic advisor, has directed many students to take advantage of PLATO. In one recent example, Jennifer Brock, a social sciences major, had taken the Compass test. She made a 35 on the English portion of the test and was placed in a remedial English class.

Prior to the start of the semester, Brock studied PLATO’s English courses for two weeks. “She spent a total of 11 hours on the program, then retook the Compass test,” Troutman said, “She raised her score from a 35 to an 89 and was able to go straight into English Comp 1.”

Something for everyone

“It’s a great program,” Brock said, “I saved myself two semesters worth of classes thanks to PLATO.”

In addition to English, PLATO offers courses for many different fields, including but not limited to, reading, writing, geography, biology, American history, and the most requested field, algebra.

“I was impressed by all the courses this program offers beyond reading, writing and algebra,” Troutman said, “PLATO is here to help prevent students from having to take zero-level courses. Those are the only courses we don’t want you to enroll in, because it’s like repeating what you learned in high school.”

Recently, prospective nursing students have been using PLATO to study pre-algebra. “The nursing program has a competitive enrollment process,” Troutman said, “They’re using PLATO to help improve their Compass test scores.”

Getting the word out

In spite of nursing students utilizing PLATO, the computers are unoccupied most of the time. “I want to see this change,” Troutman said, “I would like to see it be made available in the Learning Resources Lab.”

The time required for course completion varies by subject; it depends on how quickly the work is done. The lessons follow a sequential path with structured activities. Students are free to move at their own pace, and can revisit previously studied lessons. Completion certificates are available at the end of each course.

The PLATO Learning study package is free for student use and is located in the Student Success Center, Room 111. Two PLATO-enabled computers are available. Call Student Success at 733-7334 to reserve a study session.