Story & Photos by Emily Siddiqui
Dozens of Rose State students, faculty and guests gathered to enjoy a special night of verse and conversation at the 30th annual Poetry at Rose, held at 7 p.m. Friday, March 30 at the H.B. Atkinson Theatre.
The school’s 38th annual poetry, art and photography publication, “Pegasus,” was also officially unveiled during the event. The 115-page book, designed by Mass Communication students in the Layout and Graphic Design course, boasted a matte black finish with rose gold lettering on the cover. This year’s edition was dedicated to Claudia Buckmaster, Dean of the Humanities Division.
Attendees were treated to hors d’oeuvres preceding the reading, which began with introductory speaker and Professor of English and Humanities Trixie Walther, herself also a poet. Three poets whose work is featured in the 2018 “Pegasus,” Cathy Miller, Michael Lane and Kathy Merkx, then took turns reciting a few of their favorite pieces. Next, excerpts of original works were delivered by Kristin Hahn, Lacey Veazey-Daniel, R.J. Woods, Trixie Walther and Carl Sennhenn.
Poem content ranged from stories of loss and hopelessness to those of bliss and reminiscence; from complex relationships to personal dreams. Some were lengthy and descriptive, others were short but powerful. A few poets offered an explanation of their work, while others left the meaning up to their listeners.
“Interpret as you will,” Lane commented, just before he read his poem titled “RE.”
The theater lights were dimmed; the atmosphere, serene. Throughout each reading, audience members remained quiet, except perhaps when a particular line inspired interruptive—yet welcomed—applause. A few even snapped their fingers in approval.
After sharing a handful of her poems, Hahn announced that the Axley Award for Fiction and Poetry had been officially endowed. The award was established in 1994 to honor the late Dr. James Axley, a Rose State faculty member who served as the editor for “Pegasus” for more than a decade. Rose students with 3.0 GPA or higher and who have completed at least 12 credit hours are eligible to enter the contest for $500 in cash. The deadline for submissions, either three poems or two short stories, is Monday, April 30.
Sennhenn explained he participated in Poetry at Rose when it first began 30 years ago. He mentioned several names of people who were also involved from the very start.
“They all would be delighted … that we are still doing this,” he said.
Following a brief intermission held in the lobby, author and East Central University professor Ken Hada took the stage as the featured speaker to share just portions of his large original poetry collection.
The night concluded with Hada delivering his poem about a conversation he had with his son. All Poetry at Rose guests were offered a free copy of “Pegasus” as they left, and were able to purchase additional copies if they desired. The book can now be purchased in the Humanities division office for $3, as long as supplies last.
For information about publishing original work in next year’s “Pegasus,” contact Walther at email@example.com or 733-7513. For information regarding the Axley Award for Fiction and Poetry, email Hahn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 733-7519.
Story & Photo Illustration by JaNae Williams
When Oklahomans go to the polls June 26, State Question 788 will give voters the opportunity to decide whether Oklahoma will join the 29 states and District of Columbia, which currently allows their residents to use marijuana medically.
The legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational use has been debated for years. First steps toward legalization in Oklahoma began with the passing of Katie’s Law in 2015, allowing for the use of Cannabidiol products in children with seizures. CBD products including oils, salves and edibles are manufactured from hemp rather than marijuana to limit the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive molecule found in high concentrations of marijuana.
In 2016, Gov. Mary Fallin signed an additional law into effect amending the state definition of marijuana so that CBD substances containing less than the three-tenths of one percent level for THC are not included. From there, the use of CBD products expanded to help those with other ailments.
SQ 788 intends to legalize the licensed use, sale and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma for medicinal purposes. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, doctors and business owners all have their ideas about if and how legalization for medical use should occur in Oklahoma. Supporters of the ballot measure have already overcome one hurdle, winning a case in the Oklahoma Supreme Court regarding its wording. The ballot measure was challenged and rewritten by former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.
“[Pruitt] went through under his powers as attorney general and tried to rewrite the ballot measure in a way that would frame the argument in a pretty negative light,” said Democratic Rep. Scott Inman.
Inman added that Pruitt, an opponent of both medical and recreational use, selected wording to help get the bill defeated and therefore made the measure seem as though it was legalizing the use of marijuana for everything. In March 2017, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled against Pruitt’s rewritten version of the ballot measure.
Still some believe that SQ 788 in its current form does not provide for adequate regulation of the drug, or sets Oklahoma up for legalization in a way that is not solely medical.
“The reason [SQ 788] might have a negative effect is because even though it’s titled medical marijuana, if you read the state question, there’s portions of it that really cover recreational marijuana,” said Republican Rep. Roger Ford.
Ford thinks marijuana does have medical benefits and Oklahomans should be able to vote on a bill regarding medical or recreational marijuana, as long as they know exactly what that bill includes.
When it comes to medical legalization, opponents often point to what they deem as a lack of scientific research to back the assertions of the healing and restorative effects claimed by advocates. But those currently running Oklahoma’s legal cannabis dispensaries see things differently.
“Any doctor who says he doesn’t know enough to recommend this, then his higher education stopped when he crossed that stage and got his diploma,” said Hector Najar, who co-owns Herban Mother with his wife Mary.
Najar further explained there are simply too many peer-reviewed studies published in scientific journals or available online for people to continue to deny the effects. The Najars became educated on some of the effects of cannabis during their time working with a medical marijuana dispensary in San Jose, California. They watched participants in a Stanford University clinical trial for cancer patients and knew they would someday start a dispensary in Oklahoma.
Herban Mother was founded from the desire for the Najars to improve their own health. From humble beginnings selling organic produce through their distribution company Herban Gardens, a turn toward natural medicine, including the extraction of essential oils, occurred. When the pair met Ryan Early, CEO of OKC-based Can-Tek Labs, the only FDA-licensed manufacturer of CBD in the state, a great partnership was formed.
“We were able to take the production that we did and, [through] letting Ryan and Can-Tek Labs ... become the mixologists and add the CBD, [make] it just an incredibly high quality, strong anti-inflammatory [and] pain reducer,” said Mary Najar.
The Najars believe in their products and can recount story after story of lives changed through the use of CBD, including their own.
“Look what I can do,” said Najar, while turning his head and body quickly from side to side. “I couldn’t do this in October. I was a cripple.”
Prior to his use of CBD, Najar found himself unable to function normally in daily life because of his chronic neck and back pain. Even the simplest of tasks were painful or even dangerous. He needed help to dress and was unable to turn his head from side to side when driving. Bending over sometimes meant his wife finding him on the floor, too overcome with pain to move.
“I’ve been to the point to where I wanted to commit suicide, I hurt so bad,” Najar said as he and his wife fought back tears at the memory.
Doctors had given him a prescription of pharmaceuticals and surgery to manage his pain for the rest of his life. Now Najar speaks joyfully of the day he walked into the orthopedic surgeon’s office able to turn down medication and say, “I don’t need you.”
While some lawmakers feel that SQ 788’s current wording is masking some of its true intent, others believe this historical bill has the potential for a number of positive impacts on the state.
“We’ve not had a legalization question for marijuana make it on a statewide ballot in state history,” Inman said. “Once medicinal use is legalized here, that it will sort of destigmatize the use of marijuana.”
Inman thinks much of the negative backlash others may perceive will be minimal pointing to the success seen, in multiple areas, by other states who have legalized the drug. Colorado, where marijuana use is legal both medically and recreationally, boasted a tax revenue of $198.5 million in 2016. If it were possible to sustain them, revenue numbers like this could have the potential to eliminate Oklahoma’s budget shortfalls.
Inman also pointed out the broader benefits in terms of healthcare, specifically for citizens with chronic neurological diseases. Inman’s father suffers from Parkinson’s disease, one of many neurological disorders for which medical marijuana is studied as a treatment.
“[Legalization] might have a long-term benefit to those folks who are suffering with diseases that could benefit from it, and then obviously the ancillary benefit of their family members who care for those people,” Inman said.
The debate will continue until voters take to the polls in June. For both Inman and the Najars, the hope is that voters will take the time to educate themselves on the matter.
“If people would realize it’s very, very safe, CBD, and be open to it. It won’t kill you. Tylenol, Ibuprofen can kill you this could change the world,” said Mary Najar, “It could absolutely change the world.”
To read SQ788 in full, visit the link.
Click here for more information on voting and voter registration.
Story by Haley Humphrey
Photo courtesy of Jackson Slayter
Summer will be here in a heartbeat. One of the most common activities many people enjoy during this time is swimming. However, water can be dangerous. If water safety is not practiced, drowning can occur in any body of water. For the first time in three years, the Wee Water Wahoo event the Rose State Aquatic Center holds was cancelled April 4 due to the teacher walkouts. Since schools are not open, the students do not have a means of transportation to arrive at the event location.
“Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death to children 2-14 in Oklahoma,” according to the Safe Kids Oklahoma organization. This group, along with others like Healthy Schools for Oklahoma, U.S. Army Corps of Engineer, Junior League of OKC and the Oklahoma City Fire Department had collaborated with the Rose State Aquatic Center to put on the Wee Water Wahoo event for more than 500 kindergarteners throughout the Oklahoma City area. The event, which was to occur from 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. April 6, teaches hands-on water safety to children.
Kim Queri, Aquatic Coordinator and professor of Social Sciences, was enthusiastic to share the significant process of the event that has dedicated partnerships and helpful volunteers.
“It was geared toward schools that are involved with healthy lifestyles,” Queri said.
The organizations assisting in the Wee Water Wahoo event aided in administering schools with the educational materials teachers need to instruct students throughout the year. Once the month of April is reached, students can be brought to a facility to reemphasize water safety education. Queri discussed how there are four sessions the children rotate through.
The children divide into groups of 75-120. Throughout the event, they listen to a lecture, watch a video and then experience the water in the Rose State pool with the volunteers’ observation and interaction.
“It looks like organized chaos,” Queri said.
The event brings joyful fun to an important lesson all students should be informed about.
“I’m not sure who is having more fun, the volunteers in the water playing with the kids, or the kids in the water,” Queri noted.
Water safety is essential to life. Without the organizations and volunteer efforts from the Rose State Men’s Soccer team, lifeguards and many more, the annual event would have ended a long time ago.
“It was fun to play with the kids,” Jackson Slayter, Rose State Soccer player, said. “My favorite part [was] knowing it was their first time being in the water and seeing their reaction.”
The acknowledgment of the need for more children’s aquatic programs was heard years ago when Brett Wood, a previous aquatic coordinator, orchestrated more youth community programming that could be held at the Rose State Aquatic Center.
Queri stated that the complex’s previous mission was directed toward the adult community. Now, because of Wood’s and Queri’s consistent efforts, Rose State Aquatic Center has expanded its focus in creating student-oriented clubs, teams and special events. It is home to the Mid-Del school swim teams (Carl Albert, Del-City and Midwest City) to practice and host meets.
Rose State’s swim club, which also uses the facility, travels and competes. Queri knew the members wanted an organization at the collegiate level where they could further their swimming careers. They started with six students, but the club has now progressed to more than 20.
Expansion is always on the horizon. With support from Rose State President Jeanie Webb and the renovation projects the Aquatic Center has gone through, Rose State will continue to be a strong advocate of water safety and event growth.
If interested in learning more about the water safety events taking place at the Aquatic Center or signing up to volunteer for next year’s Wee Water Wahoo event, contact Queri at email@example.com.
Story by Payton Hayes
Photo courtesy of Rose State
Dr. Frances Hendrix, former vice president of Academic Affairs, was an inspirational pillar at Rose State for 37 years. She played a pivotal role in many of the major changes that took place during her time on campus. Hendrix made the decision to retire this year, and her final day on campus was March 9.
Hendrix began her work with Rose State in August 1981 and retired this year, after helping the college complete its visit with the Higher Learning Commission. Dr. Jeanie Webb, President of Rose State, described Hendrix’s hard work, as well as her persevering and positive attitude during her time on campus.
“She has provided policies and procedures that continue to improve the quality of the education and experience of the students at Rose State College. She has seen and experienced both good and difficult times at the college and has remained positive throughout it all,” Webb said.
Hendrix may be humble and short in stature, but the Rose State community should not confuse this with her long list of accomplishments.
“She is dedicated, ethical and hardworking,” Webb said. “Dr. Hendrix truly cares about Rose State, not only from an academic perspective, but also an institutional and community perspective. She has implemented many new academic programs.”
By following her everyday routine and putting her extensive higher education and institutional knowledge to work, Hendrix impacted thousands of students’ futures over the past 37 years.
“She has the ability, with her higher education and institutional knowledge, to sift through information and get right to the heart of the matter,” said Humanities Academic Adviser Jeff Conkin. “She deals compassionately and directly with conflict so that issues are resolved quickly.”
Conkin worked with her as a part of the Enterprise Development-Reach Higher program and as the Humanities adviser with the programs in that division.
“My office was close to hers, and she was always there to answer questions and be supportive and listen to me and give me information, just with her great experience not only at Rose State, but also her statewide higher education experience,” Conkin said.
Hendrix played an influential role during her time at Rose State, working through changes and embracing staff and students alike to positively impact their lives.
“She has been a strong advocate in bringing new programs to the campus, such as Cyber Security, Developmental Education, STEM and STEAM, Emergency Management and many more,” Webb said.
Hendrix stands as an inspiration to students and faculty alike.
“Students can look to [Hendrix] as a role model for making a difference and for working however long it takes to complete the task,” Webb said. “Dr. Frances Hendrix will be forever remembered at Rose State College,” Webb said.
Conkin explained that he thinks inspiration can be found in her devotion to Rose and her community. He added that devoting yourself, not only to learning as much as you can about whatever your job is, but to how your job can fit into the bigger picture and help other people, is equally important.
“I’ve learned a lot from Dr. Hendrix, as she is a good mentor,” said Isabelle Billen, associate vice president for Academic Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness. “She’s a planner, and she teaches you how to plan ahead, think and back up before you react.”
Billen added that Hendrix is a pillar that stands to represent and inspire all women looking to further their education and make a difference in their communities.
“Frances brings loyalty, ethics, trust, dedication and knowledge to our institution,” Webb said. “We have been so privileged to have someone who cares deeply about our campus.”
While Hendrix was notably quiet about her personal life, she was friendly and kind.
“Dr. Hendrix has always had a friendly greeting and a listening ear,” Conkin said. “She has been very supportive of faculty and staff in areas of professional enrichment, and a great leader when it comes to developmental education at the college. She will be missed and treasured for both her personal connections and overall legacy.”
Hendrix admitted that she has not made any immediate plans for the foreseeable future; however, after so many years of hard work and planning, it might be a nice change of pace to keep her options open.
“The college has been fortunate to have such an extraordinary leader, and it is my hope she will continue to be active on our campus with future endeavors,” Webb said.
To view a campus tribute video for Hendrix, visit 15thstreetnews.org.
Annual trip provides cultural experience
Story by Courtney Burleigh
Rose State’s annual excursion to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, held Saturday, April 28 will be an opportunity for people who enjoy architecture, sightseeing and road trips.
The trip is organized by Humanities Professors Sherri Mussatto and Lori Morrow; the annual trip to the Crystal Bridges is for anyone wanting to learn about and experience American history through art, architecture and more.
Crystal Bridges is located in Bentonville, Arkansas. According to Professor Sherri Mussatto, the museum “has a wonderful collection of American art and beautiful grounds to explore.”
Attendees have the option to explore the museum independently or follow behind the guided tour provided by the museum docents.
Those attending this tour will earn Passport Points for Rose State’s Passport Program. Mussatto explained that non-Rose State students are invited as well.
“Of course, the benefit to everyone is enjoying a very nice day of exploring American art and learning more about it,” Mussatto said. “It’s so much better than simply viewing these works of art in a textbook.”
The bus trip to Crystal Bridges is a tradition, and despite being held for several years in a row, Mussatto said she and her students enjoy their adventures each and every time.
“Professor Morrow and I look forward to the day when we can be with our students as many of them experience an art museum for the first time,” Mussatto said. “Even if they have been to an art museum before, they might not have been to one as large as the Crystal Bridges museum. It’s so exciting to hear their reactions to some of the pieces of art … Usually, the reality of the experience surpasses their expectations. Many times, students are not sure what to expect, but the events of the day are fun, and it’s just nice to get out of town and see new sights.”
To sign up for the trip, students must take their student ID and a copy of their class schedule to the Community Learning Center. The trip costs $40 for students and $60 for non-students. Attendees will depart at 7:45 a.m. April 28 at the Community Learning Center. There will be a stop for dinner on the way back, and the bus will arrive at Rose State by 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
“Students have a reduced rate, but family members, friends, and people from the community are all welcome to come along,” Mussato said.
For more information about the trip to Crystal Bridges, contact Mussatto at firstname.lastname@example.org or 733-7503, or Morrow at email@example.com or 733-7507.
The geosciences students at Rose State are teaming up with the 15th Street News and The 6420 to provide weekly forecasts on the publications’ websites, 15thStreetNews.org and the6420.com. In addition, they will provide some insight into weather phenomena in our summer magazine, which will be on stands in May.
Visit Weather for the forecast.
Story by Bailey Walker
This school year has brought an explosion of political activism to campus. Four different politically-oriented groups have established themselves in the 2017-2018 school year. In order of funding, they are: Democratic Socialists of America, Rose State Political Science Club (formerly Civox), the College Republicans, and Turning Point USA. Notably, this list leans to the right as Rose is home to one left group, one non-partisan group and two right-wing groups. The two conservative groups offer students different options.
The College Republicans was founded by Josey Meyers, a criminal justice major, and is sponsored by Social Sciences Professor Joetta Gatliff. Meyers seeks to change the narrative surrounding the Republican Party, wanting to dispel accusations of hate, bigotry and racism. College Republicans plan to conduct canvassing campaigns for Republican candidates, and at meetings students can find conservatives talking about current events in the U.S.
Rose State’s Turning Point USA chapter has close ties to the College Republicans. Founded by the College Republican’s Vice President of Public Relations Sean Roemer, a business major, TPUSA kicked off in late February. Advised by Social Sciences Professor James Davenport, Turning Point’s key platform is anti-socialist and pro-capitalist, associating with figures such as Tomi Lahren, Milo Yiannopoulos and former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro. TPUSA seeks to promote free market policy, reduce the scope of government, and promote conservative ideals on college campuses.
“I want to show there is another side to campus,” Roemer said. “Furthermore, I looked at how socialism has been implemented throughout the years and it has always failed. Just look at Social Security in the United States. It is on the verge of being bankrupt and will not allow people to get what they agreed to. This is because America began to trust the government too much.”
While some groups blame the lack of funding for Social Security on over-trust of government officials, political groups differ on the cause. Jean Folger and Tim Worstall from Investopedia and Forbes, respectively, attribute the shortfalls of Social Security to tax policy not keeping pace with demographic shifts, as the elderly population of the U.S. is on track to double in only 40 years.
The national organization TPUSA and subsequently local chapters who benefit from national funding are different from the College Republicans, notably in their affiliate groups. TPUSA National lists the David Horowitz Freedom Center as a partner organization, which has been labeled as an extremist anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim hate group by the hate group indexer and civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center. Additionally, according to tax data analyzed by the IB Times, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is a TPUSA donor, has been labeled an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the SPLC.
Whatever your flavor of conservatism, whether your tendencies leads you to the bottom right of the political chart—anarcho-capitalist or the moderate right—Rose State has the club for you.
The College Republicans meet at 2:30 p.m. every other Tuesday in Social Sciences, Room 135. This semester’s meeting dates are April 10, 24 and May 8.
Turning Point USA meets at 4 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday in Social Sciences, Room 230/231.
Story by Katie Duer
Image courtesy of Rose State
Non-traditional students at Rose State may have several different barriers and obstacles to overcome when deciding to further their education. For students with children of their own, securing a degree can be even more difficult.
There are several programs available at Rose State that cater specifically to students with particularly challenging circumstances. The mission of the SMART program at Rose State is to link single-parent students to campus and community resources for academic and life success. SMART is an acronym that stands for Single Mothers Academic Resource Team, but the program is a resource available to all single parents. The SMART grant is from the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma. This is the third year for Rose State to receive the $5,000 award.
DeAvian Wright is a single father of a 7-month-old son and member of the SMART program. He recently began his second semester at Rose State.
“Everyone in the program has been so welcoming and I knew when I started that this was exactly where I was meant to be,” Wright said.
“The goal of the SMART program is to provide support services for single parents,” said Monique Bruner, director of degree completion and Student Retention and SMART program coordinator at Rose State.
Wright said the SMART program has given him a steady foundation.
“I am really looking forward to taking advantage of all of the resources that are available,” Wright said. “It has made it so much easier to focus on my school work so that when I get home I can spend time with my little boy.”
The benefits of the SMART program have made a difference by increasing the number of single parents who are graduating college.
“Each year, we consult with a small group of single parents and learn what they specifically need to be successful,” Brunner said. “In the last three years, we have sponsored workshops on study skills, how to communicate with faculty, understanding college processes and demystifying financial aid.”
Regarding the workshops from last year, Bruner said, “We have also asked several community leaders to present: Ryan Blair International Dream Print, Makeup Artist Michael Harris, community activist Paula McDade and numerous others,” Bruner said. “We have noticed an increase of single moms who graduate since our initial support interventions. It’s obvious that support helps students get over the obstacles that may stop them from graduating.”
The SMART program offers benefits and allows for single parents to be part of a community on campus. Some of these benefits include:
For more information about the SMART programs, visit rose.edu.
Story by Yesenia Gonzalez
Photo by JaNae Williams
Every 98 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted, according to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. Domestic abuse and sexual assault can happen to anyone, male or female. There are resources available for students who may be experiencing abuse, sexual harassment or other forms of mistreatment.
Websites and apps offer information, while licensed counselors and human resource department personnel can offer emotional and legal guidance, respectively. Rose State offers free, confidential counseling services for currently enrolled students, faculty and staff. Students, including concurrent students and college personnel can also file a report with the Human Resources office if an incident is related to Rose State.
There are often warning signs that precede abuse. Possessiveness, over-controlling behaviors and wanting to keep a person to themselves may seem flattering in the beginning but eventually become isolating, according to Director of Special Services Dr. Joanne Stafford. Potentially abusive partners may also exhibit jealousy toward others, check personal messages, manipulate a partner into doing uncomfortable things and make a partner feel guilty when partaking in unapproved activities.
“Sometimes people work to ignore; ‘oh, he really didn’t mean to say that; it wasn’t so bad, he was angry.’ Just because someone is angry doesn’t give them the right to physically or verbally abuse you,” Stafford said.
Title IX is part of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination on campuses that receive federal funding. There are Title IX coordinators on campus who handle sexual misconduct allegations. Bertie Nutter is the senior director of Human Resources and there are two deputy Title IX coordinators on campus: Erin Logan, the student conduct officer, and Alyssa Loveless, the director for residence life. All other college employees and staff members are required to report incidents of which they become aware. Concurrent students on Rose State’s campus are also covered by Rose State policies. While the Human Resources office offers privacy when handling reports of alleged sexual misconduct, only a licensed counselor, such as Stafford, can offer confidentiality if a student wants emotional support without pursuing legal action.
“We don’t require immediate [reporting],” Nutter said. “Our policy does say we want that complaint within 180 days. After that, witnesses, evidence, information that we would need to conduct a proper investigation starts drying up.”
A student can still file a report with local police after the 180-day deadline to report an incident that occurred on campus or with another Rose State student or staff member.
“Standard of evidence [requirement] for Title IX to determine that someone is responsible for sexual misconduct is preponderance of the evidence, so we review all of the information that’s available and we have to determine and qualify it,” Nutter said. “[A] certified investigator has to look at all of that and determine, ‘is it more or less likely that the behavior occurred?’ and it can be 50/50 with just one side [more compelling] ... So [local law enforcement] has a higher standard of evidence that they have to adhere to.”
Careful analysis of evidence secures that anyone being victimized is protected. A thorough investigation ensures that there are no false or misleading accusations. False police reports can be charged as felonies or misdemeanors, depending on which jurisdiction the report was filed in. According to Stafford, students should have a plan of action if they choose to move forward with reporting an incident. One of the first steps a student should take to ensure their safety is to find a place to live that is away from the perpetrator. Then, a person can file a victim’s protective order with local law enforcement. The VPO makes it illegal for the offender to be in the same area as the victim. There may be some clauses in the order which vary on a case-by-case basis.
There are multiple resources on campus and in the community to guide students experiencing sexual misconduct or domestic abuse. An extensive list of resources can be found under community resources at rose.edu. Any institution receiving federal funding, including public elementary and high schools, provides a way to file reports.
Story by Madi Zick
Photo courtesy of Rose State
Students huddled together. Calling and texting loved ones to inform them about what’s going on. Silence throughout the halls. These actions occur when there is a lockdown in schools today. With recent events in the media, people are wondering: What is the next step?
At Rose State, many precautions are being taken to make sure that everyone is prepared for a school shooting.
“Rose State College takes safety and security of the students, faculty and staff as a number [one] priority,” Tamara Pratt, vice president of external affairs and marketing.
Pratt discussed the presence of Rose State security and how they are available 24/7, along with contracts with the Midwest City Police Department, to have officers on campus.
Pratt explained how there is a designated individual for the coordination of safety and security. That designated individual is Joedon Hughes. Hughes is the new safety, security and risk manager at Rose State. Previously he was a commander in the military, served for nine years and has a certification through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, with more than 300 hours of training. Hughes’ plan for Rose State is to have one unified safety plan to guarantee that everyone is on the same page.
“A huge priority right now is the emergency response plan; the program that we have in place right now is under heavy review,” Hughes said. “I would like to see more feedback and training available to faculty, staff and students.”
One of the many opportunities that Rose State has provided for the students and staff to participate in was the discussion panel for school safety held earlier this semester.
At the panel they discussed “the opportunity for all schools in Oklahoma to invite the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, School Security Institute to visit their campus and provide an in-depth review of policies, procedures, plans, team-building and a facility assessment,” according to Jackie Wright, professor of Emergency Management.
Wright said the question of “Run, Hide, Fight” or “Detect, Deter, Defend” arose at the panel. If a dangerous situation presents itself, people must choose one of the options discussed as their initial response. The first response people should have if in danger is to run away. If there is no way to run away and escape, the next option is to hide. Then, if neither of those options is available, the next thing to do is to fight. The time for questions from the audience eased some parents from the burden of worrying.
Rose State is ensuring everyone is prepared in case of an emergency, and will be “providing a series of training programs that deal with such issues as a campus shooter, fire emergencies, hazardous weather drills and training on a variety of safety and security-related scenarios,” Pratt said.
Rose State will hold a live shooter demonstration during the morning of April 12, along with other training programs.
However, in a true active shooter situation, Rose State students can be notified with Raider Alerts from the college by signing up through the Raider RAVE alert system. Students can access this online and through Raider social media accounts to receive emergency updates on campus. This helps to ensure that everyone is informed and ready in case a disaster strikes.