Cue the lights & sound

Hair Duex 022017_04
Patrik (McGlaun) gets upset after realizing that it was his fault the bride
went to a different shop to get a haircut. Professor Bob Peterson’s play was performed at Butler in February. photo by Nadine Armstrong

Professor’s play performed in a black box setting

by Nadine Armstrong

For the first time in 15 years, the Butler Theatre Department put on a show in a Black Box Theatre. Showings of “Hair Deux” were performed in Room 766 of the Fine Arts building from Tuesday, Feb. 21, through Saturday, Feb. 25.

In a Black Box Theatre setting, the audience is in a circle and the actors perform in the center.

Lights were added to the dance room in 2002 when Larry Patton, Dean Emeritus of Humanities and Fine Arts, had the idea that the studio could also function as a performance space. The studio is equipped with a light board and sound equipment and theatrical lighting.

“Hair Deux” is the second act from “Barbershop Quartet,” written by Butler professor Bob Peterson in 1996.

“There were several stories running in my head and I realized they were connected,” Peterson says.

He remembered a play by Neil Simon and thought it would be neat to put the four stories together.

The play was first performed in Los Angeles for a stage reading. Then in Wichita for the

Center for the Arts. And, most recently, it was performed by the Butler Theatre Department.

This was the first time the show was performed in a Black Box Theatre, and Peterson enjoyed it in a Black Box setting.

“It was an unique way of staging the play. It was an intimate way for intimate stories,” Peterson says.

The two acts are titled “Buzz Cut” and “Spit Curls.”

In “Buzz Cut,” two brothers, Tom Carlson (Chandler Moore) and Gary Carlson (Jacob Martinez), are packing up their boyhood home outside of Topeka. Tom moved to California and hadn’t been home in quite a long time. The two brothers have a strained relationship, which they work to mend.

In “Spit Curls,” groom Jon Alexander (Chandler Moore) is looking for his phone in the chapel of the Presbyterian Church in Shawnee Mission. He runs into the hairstylist of his bride to be, Patrik Dotter (Max McGlaun). Patrik is upset and creates a conflict with Jon.

Peterson says working with his students on the show was wonderful.

“They worked very hard and investigated their roles,” Peterson says. “It was a really satisfying experience.”


Sexual misconduct on campus: what students should know

Police Car

by Emily Beckman

When flipping through recent Annual Security Reports, it is noticeable that the majority of criminal offenses at Butler are marked with a zero. This is what makes the numbers on reported sexual misconduct and harassment cases stand out.

Each semester, all new students receive a Title IX training regarding sexual misconduct. In addition, Butler recently conducted its first Campus Climate Survey for Title IX, which was sent to all students. The survey is set to be conducted every two years. Both the training and the survey are sent through Canvas.

According to Sherri Conard, Butler’s Title IX coordinator, the recent Campus Climate Survey was sent to 6,938 students. Of these, 2,735 students completed the survey and another 752 started the survey but did not complete it.

“The Climate Survey gathers information about the scope and nature of sexual assault and misconduct among our college students, gives data pertaining to attitudes among students about the campus atmosphere regarding sexual assault and misconduct and provides data on where there may be gaps of knowledge so that we can provide appropriate educational programming for our students,” Conard says.

Since taking over as Title IX coordinator in July 2015, 12 incidents of sexual misconduct have been reported, according to Conard.

“Fortunately, we have minimal incidents reported at Butler compared to other colleges that you hear in the media,” Conard says. “However, I’m certain that there are incidents that go unreported, which is why we provide training to our students. We want students who feel that they may be a victim of sexual misconduct to know how to report incidents.”

While Bill Rinkenbaugh, vice president of student services, notes that Butler’s numbers are “significantly less than other colleges and universities across the country,” he says that “12 incidents are 12 incidents too many.”

“All individuals need to understand that they  have the right to work and live in a positive educational environment that is free from sexual harassment and violence,” Rinkenbaugh says in an email interview.

‘Two separate arenas’

The Department of Public Services (DPS), which includes 11 officers, has jurisdiction over all Butler campuses. There is at least one officer on duty during operating hours at Butler of Andover, and there is always at least one officer on duty at Butler of El Dorado. However, the department takes calls at all campuses.

“The same rules and laws and expectations are applicable across the campus footprint,” Police Chief James T. Bryan says.

When it comes to handling cases of sexual  misconduct, there is somewhat of a “disconnect” between the college and DPS, according to Bryan.

“We [DPS] only have control of these incidents as they occur from a police perspective on college property; things we own, operate, manage or are in attendance at,” he says.

For instance, Bryan explains, an incident that occurs at The Villas would not be investigated by DPS, but could be investigated by the Title IX team, since it would probably include Butler students.

DPS does not handle all cases of sexual misconduct and the Title IX investigators are not obligated to refer all cases to the department.

“It’s inherently designed to be two separate arenas,” Bryan says.

One of Bryan’s jobs is to prepare the college’s Annual Security Report.

“In that annual security report I not only report those crimes that are mandated to be reported, I also include in free narrative form the quantity of cases that the Title IX team has managed. Just for full disclosure,” he says.

According to the 2016 report, there were 11 administratively investigated harassment cases on all Butler properties in 2015. Of these, there were two cases of gender based complaint, five cases of sexual harassment and four other or unknown classification harassment complaints. Four of these cases were determined to be unfounded.

Additionally, there were two cases of dating violence, two cases of domestic violence and two cases of stalking reported in 2015.

While this is the most recent official report, Bryan says that through a “quick count” of last year’s reports, DPS investigated eight cases that could be construed as sexual misconduct in 2016.

“That would include forcible and person  on person sex crimes as well as those ‘simple harassment’ matters that reached our desk,” he says.

Bryan describes sexual misconduct cases as time-consuming, emotional and “taxing on the officer, the investigator and the victim.”

“But we’ll continue doing them; we’ll keep learning,” Bryan says.

“We want people to have fun. We want people to have relationships that are healthy and positive, but we also want students to be protected.”

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Butler’s 90th birthday

Cookies help celebrate 90 years of Butler. Photo by Nadine

A number of events have taken place in celebration of Butler’s 90 years

by Jaycie Wunder

Butler’s 90th year of being an institution is well underway.

Butler made its debut as a college institution in 1927 with the alternative name of El Dorado Junior College.

The school is making exciting changes at this moment, including utilization of Guided Pathways, the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) and the move out of Andover High School which will take place a couple years down the road, according to President Kim Krull.

Guided Pathways are being implemented to assist in raising the number of graduates Butler produces. Certain classes are put in place to help students succeed and raise completion rates.

ALP enables students to take concurrent English classes, one they are placed in by their testing levels and then the next course in line for their level. This stimulates the learning process and helps keep students in moving forward with their peers academically.

“The continued focus on students and student’s success with Guided Pathways is going to take a huge part with everyone to make it happen,” Krull says.

The festivities began on January 27 at the Fine Arts Open House and the Reception of the Faculty Biennial art exhibit. Activities will continue to take place throughout the end of the 2017 spring semester and continue into the 2017 fall semester, according to Krull.

Kelly Snedden, Director of College Relations and Marketing, discussed events that will take place throughout the end of this semester.

“It isn’t a full-blown celebration because in 10 years we will be 100,” Snedden says.

The L.W. Nixon Library hosted a free speech presentation on March 30. Stephen Wolgast, a professor of journalism and digital media at Kansas State University, discussed First Amendment rights in present day society.

“The initiative seeks to illuminate the impact of journalism and the humanities on American life today, to imagine the future, and to inspire new generations to consider the values represented by the body of the Pulitzer Prize-winning work,” a press release on Butler’s website says.

The 14th Annual Oyster Feed put on by Grizzly Athletics took place on March 31. Butler commemorated its 90 years at the event by serving cookies to attendees.

Don’t waste our future

TREEDonald  Rommelfanger shares details about Butler’s recyling habits

by Tatum Sturdivant

Imagine this: five trash dumpsters full of half eaten food, notes from last week’s math class and partially used notebooks are emptied five days a week, and occasionally on Saturday. The trash taken from these dumpsters is emptied into the landfill where the waste sits there, waiting to be burned.

While many do not think about how quickly their trash adds up, this is just in one week at Butler alone. Something people do not take into consideration is how easy it would be for them to recycle, which also helps save the planet.

“One thing humans are good at is creating waste,” says Donald Rommelfanger, Supervisor of Roads and Grounds. “If we can provide a way to reuse the products we use every day and keep those products out of the landfills, the better off our environment will be.”

Throughout campus there are strategically placed totes that can hold up to 200 pounds of paper each. There are also a few recycling stations for plastic bottles and aluminum cans, and three small dumpsters specifically for cardboard. On a weekly basis, facilities management picks up four to six totes, as well as disposing of three to four large trash bags from the recycling stations, while the city empties the dumpsters.

“Butler can do things to be better at recycling, but some of those things add cost to our daily expenses,” Rommelfanger says. “Most of the expenses now include persons to complete the weekly job of picking up and disposing of the waste, along with the equipment.”

Although money is an issue when trying to encourage recycling on campus, one way that Butler can

increase the amount of recycling that is done is by making sure to properly dispose of products.

“I feel very strongly about being good stewards to our planet,” Rommelfanger says. “If we could lower our waste to four dumpsters a day, or even three dumpsters a day, think how much we would keep out of our landfills.”

The Art of Responsibly Sharing Information

Stephen Wolgast, Director of the Collegian Media Group at Kansas State University, presents information regarding free speech on March 30. The presentation was entitled “Fake News: Free Speech in Times of Crisis.” photo by Jaycie Wunder

Butler brings in an outside source to help differentiate between news and false information

by Jaycie Wunder

On March 30, light was shed on the issue of “fake news.”

Butler hosted a presentation by Stephen Wolgast, Director of the Collegian Media Group at Kansas State University, in the L.W. Nixon Library. The presentation is ‘Fake News: Free Speech in Times of Crisis.’

Wolgast gave attendees a look into how to do their own research and get to the bottom of sources used by news organizations. With information being spread at all times through technology, it has become a predominant issue that has caught a lot of attention in the past year. The issues of free speech and reporting responsibly as a citizen are important to properly inform peers.

Wolgast discusses how, with social media, everyone has the ability to become a journalist to some extent. News can be shared with one click and spread like wildfire. To determine  whether or not a source can be credible, Wolgast demonstrated how to locate sources within stories and utilize the Internet to simply go back to the original source or information.

Both staff and students were in attendance at the presentation. Some professors encouraged participation by offering extra credit to students who attended. Freshman Meghan Heywood was present for the event.

“It was very informative,” Heywood says. “It’s great that Butler offers opportunities like this to learn outside the classroom.”

It was encouraged to fact check information and backtrack on sources to ensure reliability, especially for deciding to click the share button and spreading false information to peers. Sharing responsibly would cut down on the amount of distorted, frivolous or downright dishonest information being circulated.