Students Can Make a Difference in City Affairs

My parents taught me the importance of keeping my word. When you make a promise and you can’t handle your responsibilities, you lose credibility and trust. Once trust is broken, yeah it can be fixed with work, but it is never the same. Three members of the Maryville City Council can no longer be trusted.

Three weeks ago, President of Northwest Missouri State University John Jasinski asked the council to put the brakes on two proposed alcohol ordinances. The extra time would allow city leaders to meet directly with the students and members of the community before voting.

An open forum was held, but that event just did even more to distance the council and law enforcement from the community. Mayor Jim Fall and councilwoman Renee Reidel showed up to speak with students. Ron Moss, Jeff Funston and Glenn Jonagan chose to stay home.

That’s a slap in the face to the community of students who live, work and pay taxes in Maryville. How can I trust an elected official when they don’t care about the opinions of those who elected them in the first place?

This isn’t the first time the council has shown that they don’t care about public opinion. When the bar age was voted on, not a single member of the audience spoke in favor of raising the entry age from 19-21. The council didn’t take into account anyone’s opinion.

Alcohol reform in Maryville certainly should be addressed. Underage drinking is an issue not exclusive to Maryville, but we can still do better than we have been. The issue here is how the council is trying to fix the problem. They don’t understand the reasons minors would want to drink in Maryville so they’re operating off their own assumptions and life experiences…from decades ago.

Showing up to the forum and actually having a dialog with those most effected by the ordinances could have resulted in a more productive ordinance for the community. Unfortunately, we will not have that opportunity because of the stubbornness and closed-minded nature of three of our council members.

Students and members of the Maryville community go out and vote. All three candidates running for the two open seats have committed to listening to their constituents and taking their thoughts into consideration when voting. Know that your vote in local elections makes a difference. 

Internships Are a Great Life Choice

I heard a student the other day talking about their plans for the summer. Anytime I hear the word ‘internship’, I’m always interested. Usually someone is looking for a great opportunity or is sharing their past experience with others. I’m obsessed with the search and I apply for a different job or internship every night. This time was different.

She was talking about how she doesn’t see the point in pursuing or even working an internship. I haven’t given someone my ‘you idiot’ look for over a year. The last time I did was because I was asked why I’m so involved in local media. I followed my look up by telling this person to let me know how pimping your obscure degree with no relevant or applicable work experience goes for him post grad. He’s now a bouncer living at home trying to pay off his student loans.

I feel like we as students look past the importance of networking because it can be intimidating. Internships give you the opportunity to learn about a profession as well as network with professionals.

The first day of my last internship was rough. I spilled my coffee on my shirt walking through the rotary door in front of the World Office of The Nature Conservancy. It was a slow motion thing. I saw my Seven- Eleven cup hit the silver bar on the door and coffee splash out the lid onto my freshly pressed white dress shirt. I felt like just turning around and walking right out the door. I thought to myself, how am I supposed to make even a decent impression on my first day in the office if I look like I don’t even have enough sense to wear a clean shirt?

Something good did come out of the situation. In the lobby after picking up my cup, I met VonGretchen Nelson. She thought my misfortune was funny. Luckily I came early so I still had time before I needed to be there. She gave me directions to a Marshalls a couple blocks away so I could buy a new shirt.

The next week, I ran into VonGretchen again. She works in Human Resources. She referred to me as the coffee guy. Everyone got a laugh out of the story… except for me.

I applied for another internship this summer with the company. I didn’t get it but she told me the person they choose over me was graduating from New York University with a master’s degree. Yeah. When that fell through, she told me about a temporary job opening up in the CEO’s office and arranged an interview for me.

The contacts you gain working an internship are immensely helpful when you’re looking for a full time job.  When given the opportunity to work an internship, take it.

Streets Aren’t a Concern for Maryville

Maryville is known for Northwest Missouri State University, bad water and horrible streets. If you live here, you probably know all too well how the last two have been consistently ignored and dismissed by the city council.

Our city council will finally shift its focus to streets this week. South Main has been a bottleneck and from three until five in the afternoon, forget about turning into Wal-Mart. Kawasaki employees dominate the roadway.

The problem is the plant is situated with really one access point to the community, which is Main Street. I’m not an engineer or infrastructure expert, but I feel like it doesn’t take one to see there would be this problem years ago when the plant was built.

 I’m sure the focus back then was all wrapped up in the excitement of adding hundreds of jobs the local economy but why didn’t anyone see this issue before?

 Cities pay consulting firms thousands of dollas to examine a project and let them know if they anticipate any potential issues. If that was done, the taxpayers want their money back.

 The Maryville City council will meet on Monday to discuss plans to fix this pressing issue. If Maryville wants to grow, Maryville needs to plan for growth when planning new projects.

Sustainability at Northwest

Most of the time, an editorial is used to raise attention to an issue. It’s not often a publication uses this space to applaud an organization for it’s efforts. Although we don’t always agree with the things an organization does, we aren’t stubborn enough to overlook the good.

Northwest Missouri State University Sustainability office has done great work for it’s efforts making the campus more green. We agree that conservation of our earth’s natural resources is important and we all have a responsibility to promote sustainability.

            Even before most people realized just how important sustainability is Northwest has always been a leader in being green with it’s actions and programs.

            In 2011, Northwest hired John Viau to head up sustainability efforts. His office has since reduced landfill waste by 10%. In the last year, recycling efforts generated 16 thousand dollars of revenue for the university.

            Of course not everything can be praise. Northwest can do better. Sustainability is out there, but student’s aren’t really being engaged and plugged into the cause. In the union, we see the composting and segmenting in the Bearcat Commons, but it’s never shown how these efforts help students. Anytime you need to convince someone to take action, you have to explain what’s in it for them.   

            Maybe the university should look into adding a sustainability or environmental responsibility element to their general education curriculum. Even a chapter on the effects of not being conscious and considerate of the environment would help increase understanding.

Professors regardless of their discipline can join in on the effort to go green. In our newsroom, we conduct most of our business digitally and when we must use paper, we make sure it is recycled.

Students, it is your responsibility to stand up and demand a better more rounded ‘green’ curriculum at Northwest Missouri State. If you can’t describe what the Keystone XL (not the tallboy) pipeline is, your education has failed you.