Black History Month Showcase in Tyler a success

 

What better way to top off February as Black History Month than with a black history celebration and showcase of talent in the East Texas region, held at the Liberty Hall in downtown Tyler. This event brought in some big name celebrities, such as Marion H. “Pooch” Hall Jr., an American  television and film actor, model and rapper known for his role on the sitcom “The Game” on BET/ CW. He also starred in the feature film “Jumping the Broom” in 2011.

Black History
Photo by Sarah Redford/THE FLARE

Participants, speakers and artists competed for the $500 cash prize for the most influential performer. The City of Tyler hosted the first of what they hope to be “many black history celebrations,” said, Ray Ingram, the event founder.

This event was established to promote black history awareness and to celebrate black ancestry. It was not to alleviate  any other races but to elevate black excellence and their contribution to our history. This event allowed local and regional performers to showcase their talent and it also brought in speakers to encourage the black youth to chase their dreams.

Ingram said he wanted to do something different for the black community planning it during Black History month made it more significant.

“Tyler showed up and showed out and I wanted this be fun while still promoting black history awareness,” he said.

All of the money raised at this event is going back into the community, especially with the black youth. Ingram and Imperial Production are also hosting a fishing event with the funds raised at this event to teach children how to fish on March 11.

The Black History Celebration was a success for the community and for those who participated, Ingram and the City of Tyler look forward to making this an annual event for Black History Month.

 

 

Suffragettes pave way for modern feminism,the story of Harry Burn

 

During this past election, people took to Twitter and created the hashtag, #Repealthe19th. By this, the users meant they wanted the 19th Amendment, the amendment allowing women to vote, to be removed.

March is women’s month, and highlighting suffragettes should be mandatory.

For nearly 100 years, women fought for the right to vote. Not just by showing up at rallies and protests, but by actually fighting, boycotting and as a result, were abused by their husbands. For this period of time, rich white men ruled politics, and some might say they still do; however, thanks to the mother of young state representative, Harry Burn, American women were given the right to vote.

Screenshot from Twitter
Screenshot from Twitter

Red and white roses were secured to the lapels of men in Tennessee. White roses for the men who wanted to put the 19th Amendment in place and red for the ones opposed the movement.

Burn pinned his lapel with a red rose.

At this point in time, Tennessee was the deciding state on whether women would be able to vote in America or not. If the state was able to agree upon women voting, it would be the 36th state to ratify the possible amendment.

In the meeting, the vote was split evenly between legislators with Burn being the last to vote. With a red rose pinned to his shirt, it was almost inevitable which decision he would make; however, Phoebe Ensminger Burn, his mother, wrote him a letter.

According to History.com, the letter said, “Hurrah, and vote for suffrage! Don’t keep them in doubt. I notice some of the speeches against. They were bitter. I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet.” She ended the letter with a rousing endorsement of suffragist leader, Carrie Chapman Catt, imploring her son to “be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt put the ‘rat’ in ratification.”

Burn took that advice and voted for the 19th Amendment, causing Tennessee to become the 36th state to ratify the amendment, and eight days later the amendment was adopted by the country.

Thanks to Burn’s mother and other women like her, women have the right to vote in America. There are countless other stories about women like Phoebe Burn, some filled with violence, illegal actions and perseverance.

So for both men and women to take to Twitter wanting to #Repealthe19th is not just disrespectful, but back-tracking all of the work women of the past have accomplished for you.

This is not just an issue of sexism, but civil rights. So, before you decide what to believe, remember to “be a good boy,” or girl.

 

Refresh, give back some of yourself over Spring Break

Spring Break

Charity starts at home is an old phrase, but one that still holds a lot of truth. Our lives are made up of a series of choices and the decisions we make can either improve this world or keep it exactly the same. A small sacrifice of your time could mean the difference between an individual having the basic necessities of life, and having nothing. Even if your contribution doesn’t make a huge difference, it can still impact someone’s life and brighten their day.

Instead of spending your spring break partying or sleeping, consider volunteering for a local charity, joining an organization, or making donations to a cause. You could also offer to clean up an area of your community, visit nursing homes, or something as simple as paying a compliment.

One cause that you can donate to is the KC Food Pantry, which is low on supplies due to an increase in student use. Donations can be dropped off in Dr. Mike Jenkins’ office in the Devall Student Center. In particular, they are looking for: canned meals (Chef-Boy-R-Dee, Campbell’s and Spaghetti O’s); tuna and pasta meals (Zatarain’s, Knorr and Uncle Ben’s); breakfast items (pastries and cereal); and baking mixes.

Female students can also join the newly formed KC Golden Z Club, which is affiliated with Zonta International and The Zonta Club of Greater East Texas. The club advocates for women’s rights as well as protection against violence. Their meetings will be held in the Woodfin Center Conference Room at a time and date to be determined. For more info, call Charleen Worsham at 903-988-3700.

Helping a small group of people might not seem like much, but it is still a change which ultimately means progress and a difference in someone’s life or well-being.

Rangers break losing streak with needed win; Lady Ranger, Velez, sets new record

Photo by Tiffany Johnson/THE FLARE
Photo by Tiffany Johnson/THE FLARE

 

The Rangers got off their 8 game losing streak with an 83-65 win against Navarro College on Sophomore night. The Rangers needed to win this game to stay in the playoff race.

The first half was close throughout ending with the Rangers leading 40-37. The Rangers then pulled away outscoring Navarro 43-28 in the second half.

Cheikh Diallo, KC sophomore, lead the game in scoring with 19 points. Diallo went 5-9 from three-point range and dished out 5 assists his final home game as a Ranger. Jamar Sandifer, KC freshman and Ndene Gueye, KC sophomore both scored 18 points to contribute to the win. Gueye notched a double-double grabbing 10 rebounds and added 3 blocks to his dominate performance.

Davion Newton, KC freshman also scored in double figures with 11 points. The Rangers now move to 13-15 overall and 4-14 in conference. The Rangers final game will be 4 p.m. March 4 at Trinity Valley Community College.

The Lady Rangers turned in a strong 81-67 win against Angelina college. The win was headlined by a 33 -point scoring outburst by KC freshman Richelle Velez. Velez made an eye-opening 9 three pointers and grabbed 4 rebounds to break down an old school record of 8 three pointers set earlier in the semester. Lyrik Williams, KC sophomore also played a great game securing a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jade Thurmon, KC freshman also scored in double figures with 11 points and added 4 rebounds and assists. The Lady Rangers now push their record to 19-9 overall and 10-8 in conference. The Lady Rangers play their last game will be 2 p.m. March 4 against conference leader Trinity Valley.

 

Club News 3/3/2017

PTK 

  •  Next meeting is 1:45 p.m. on Monday, March 6 in the Communications/Automotive Building,  Room 104.
  • PTK is collecting a wide variety of school supplies to bring on March 9-11, to Texas Regional Convention in Corpus Christi. If you’d like to donate supplies or cash, please present items to an officer or bring to Michelle Daniels in the Communications/Automotive Building, Room 104.
  • The Spring Induction is set for March 31. To apply for the PTK Membership Scholarship, fill out the application on the KC website under Student Clubs.  Deadline is 2 p.m. March 22. Help is needed with setting up for the induction ceremony.  If you think you can help, please contact an officer or adviser.

 

Tri-C

March 9 – Free Meatballs, Gravy and Mashed Potato Lunch and Devotional at the Tri-C

BSM

During Spring Break, the BSM is taking any students who are interested in serving others on a Mission Arlington Metroplex trip. There is a planning meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 8 at the BSM. Students interested in going should join for the meeting or come to BSM to sign up. Departure is at noon on March 12; the participants will be back at 9 p.m. on March 16. The cost for the trip is $85 to cover food during the week. Students will need to bring money for travel food. To explore and find out more information about Mission Arlington, visit:  http://www.missionarlington.org/

KC Dancers perform at the ACDA

 

KC Industry Dance company will leave today with hopes of making the cut for the Gala performance in Plano at the American College Dance Association festival.

The conference brings together the south-central portion of the United States’ dance departments.  There are about 200 students included in the conference; 8 students from KC will  be attending.  There are 40 dance works that are adjudicated (viewed by adjudicators in an anonymous selection process). The adjudicators do not know what schools the participants are from. After watching all 40 entries, the adjudicators choose the top eight to ten dance works from the entire conference to perform at the Gala on Sunday.

“To be chosen would mean that your work was recognized for its performance, choreography, and artistry,” said Angela Aulds, KC dance instructor. “Our work is titled ‘Sonder,’ which means the realization that every passerby has a complex and vibrant life much like your own.”
In 1971, the ACDA began as a brainchild of a group of college and university dance educators who set out to create a national organization that would sponsor regional dance conferences at the college level, along with national dance festivals.  The aim of these events was to encourage excellence in performance and choreography in higher education.

Today, attendance at the regional conference and national festivals numbers between five thousand to six thousand, with over 300 schools participating annually. These festivals play an important role in the field of dance by reinforcing the connection between dance and higher education. It gives graduate and undergraduate dancers and choreographers exposure into the professional dance world and they have the opportunity to build lasting connections with dance educators and dance programs across the country.

 

Tri-C travels to OSU for Campus Encounter

 

The Christian Campus Center took 21 students to Oklahoma State University last weekend for Campus Encounter. The event is sponsored by Stillwater Church of Christ and welcomed 16 college ministers and 260 students to the campus for education, worship and fellowship.

Davis was one of the presenters of a class called, “Take Five.” The class looked at five issues people deal with in today’s society: poverty, racism, sexual immorality, the definition of marriage and personal freedoms.

Photo by Lonnie Ross/THE FLARE
Photo by Lonnie Ross/THE FLARE

KC students Steve Mena, Kilgore freshman, and Holden Silvery, Tyler sophomore, led two of the devotional times throughout the weekend.

On the drive back to Kilgore Sunday afternoon, the group stopped at the National Memorial Museum and Grounds in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This was the site of the April 19, 1995 bombing outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people and injured hundreds.

Since the bombing took place 22 years ago, some of the students were not old enough to know about it, so it was a learning experience.

“I didn’t know about it prior to coming here,” said Horace Bonner, Coppell freshman.

A guide gave the students a brief history about the Grounds, including the two gates with 9:01 and 9:03 etched in the wall and the reflection pool in between them. The first time represents the city prior to the bombing and the second time represents the city after the bombing. To the left of the pool, there are nine rows of chairs representing the nine floors of the building and the victims that died on each floor. The “Survivor Tree” is an American elm tree that survived the explosion and is located to the right of the pool. It symbolizes the resilience of the people of Oklahoma City.

Photo by Yosef Ibitayo/THE FLARE
Photo by Yosef Ibitayo/THE FLARE

As students gathered in the area around the Tree, Christian Delany, Gilmer sophomore, gave a devotional and Bobby Davis, an elder from the Chandler Street Church of Christ,  led the group in prayer. The enriching and fulfilling weekend ended as KC students returned to the bus for the long ride back to Kilgore.

 

 

 

ETPA appoints Reigstad as new deputy director

 

Dan Reigstad is the newly appointed deputy director of Kilgore College’s East Texas Police Academy. He became a full-time instructor at ETPA in 2015 after being a part-time instructor since 2002.

PoliceDirector_2017_byCheyenneHuntsman
Photo by Cheyenne Huntsman/THE FLARE

Reigstad was born and raised in the small town of DeForest, Wisconsin where he graduated from high school in 1983. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served from 1983 to 1992. During his time in the Army, he was stationed in South Korea and West Germany. After that, Reigstad took a difference path by leaving the Army and joining the Longview Police Department.

Reigstad joined the LPD in 1992 where he ended up working as a patrol officer, uniformed crime scene investigator, field training officer, telecommunications operator, senior latent print examiner and senior physical evidence detective over a span of 23 years. As a part-time instructor for ETPA in 2002, he taught Crime scene and Forensics classes. Reigstad has an extensive experience in crime scene processing, finger print processing and identification, forensic and night-time photograph, shooting reconstruction and bloodstain analysis. He is also a former chairman for the Latent Print Certification Committee of the Texas Division of the IAI and is a certified latent print examiner with the IAI.

He is an active member of various professional forensic associations. Reigstad also has numerous certificates which include TCOLE Master Peace Officer, advanced instructor, firearms instructor and he is a trained police emergency vehicle driving instructor through Texas A&M TEEX.

As a full-time instructor, Reigstad began teaching more classes including firearms and driving, forensic, crime scene and also basic police courses. Once Reigstad became full-time for the ETPA he retired from LPD after 25 years.

Reigstad said he is excited to be filling the position left vacant by his new boss Joe Cassin. “I love it,” he said. “It’s fun because you’re always teaching something different and you never get bored.’’

 

Court to Porch: Basketball player spends time singing at The Back Porch

 

Her heartbeat increases as the time ticks down to strum the first chord and sing the first note in harmony with her group. Every note must be perfect, the strike of each chord must be on point and the music must carry the crowd into a world unknown as they fall in love with the rhythm. The loud crowd and busy scenery quiets in her head, pulling her back to reality as it’s just a daydream of herself on stage. Inspiration fills her mind as she lays her pencil to paper to write the words expressing her true feelings and her troubles of the past.

backporchsinger-meaghanmorton
Photo by Meagan Morton/THE FLARE

Mariah Childress, Longview freshman, is not your typical freshman basketball player, she is also musically talented. She has been playing instruments for about eight years and has been singing since a young age. She doesn’t play one, two or even three instruments, she plays seven: the guitar, piano, saxophone, trumpet, drums, bass guitar, and the ukulele.

The first two instruments that Childress learned were the guitar and piano, because she wanted to learn how to play her two favorite songs at the time.

“I went on YouTube and looked up how to play the songs and then went from there, she said.” “I learned chords that way and eventually started making my own music.”

Mariah, as a child, was influenced by her older brother to learn and develop her skills on the piano because “her older brother was doing it, so why not.” Growing up she was surrounded by musically talented family members; both her mother and father can sing, her second oldest sister sings and plays the piano and her second oldest brother sings and can play pretty much any instrument he picks up due to his amazing ear for music.

Besides being in tune with music most of her life, on the flip side she has been playing sports for 13 years. She has involved herself in shaping her game in basketball which landed her a spot on the Lady Ranger’s basketball team, and with the support of her family and friends, she is pursuing a degree in hotel sales management.

The record continues to play as Mariah has been involved with 4 bands: a Christian band, and three Secular bands named Cross formed, Blues Alliance, Texas Stomp and the current group she is involved in are still working on a group name.

Mariah is now working on putting out her first album; this summer she plans to get into the recording studio and put out an extended play which is a musical recording that contains more tracks than singles. She also has a YouTube channel and Soundcloud page. She hasn’t posted any of her originals but she has music covers posted to view and leave feedback. Her YouTube channel is Mariah Elysse and her Soundcloud account is Mariah Childress; however, she doesn’t use Soundcloud as often.

Mariah has had performances around Kilgore, Longview and Tyler and has even performed at The Back Porch. Her next local performance will be May 3rd at TBP and all is welcome.

She has the dream that one day she will play at a sold out show at the Madison Square Garden, but for now she is playing shows on the side and hoping one day her music career will take off. Until then, she is focusing on her career of hotel sales management. “For anyone wanting to pursue music or any dream that they have, I’d say pick up that dream and try to achieve it, she said.” “Don’t give up and push yourself to get better at your craft each day because there is always something that you can improve on and always something new to learn.”

Board OKs tuition hike, Kays’ contract

 

Topics such as tuition increases, the evaluation of Dr. Brenda Kays, and concealed carry on campus were discussed on the second floor of the McLaurin Administration Building as it overflowed with students and community members on Monday night.

The meeting lasted about three hours as the Board of Trustees went into executive session for an hour and a half to discuss personnel issues dealing with Dr. Kays’ first year as KC president.

Kays’ contract was unanimously approved to run through Aug. 31, 2020 after the Board of Trustees performed their evaluation.

“We are publicly pleased by Dr. Kays’ performance and are looking forward to extending her contract,” said Larry Woodfin, KC Board president. “Dr. Kays, you are rehired.”

After the extension of her contract, Kays joked and said she guesses now she will be able to eat for the next three years.

“All kidding aside, it is an honor and a privilege to lead Kilgore College with talented administration, faculty and staff. I really appreciate the visionary leadership of our Board of Trustees,” Kays said. “I look forward to spending the length of my tenure with the institution making sure we are always striving for student success at the institution, that we are achieving our mission, our vision, our values and that we are living our strategic plan, because we all realize that without our students, there is no reason for us to be in existence.”

These students will pick up a little more of the responsibility as they foot the bill for increases in the Fall 2017 semester. Low contact hours and a drop in state funding were cited reasons, but KC is still the eighth lowest tuition in the state, trustees pointed out.

Heath Cariker, KC police chief, presented an update from his campus carry committee.

Included in the discussion were exclusion zones, areas on campus where concealed carry will not be permitted. The areas without concealed carry are where employee and student hearings are held, athletic events, K-12 events, open meetings, testing centers and in the various academy classes, such as police and fire. Three permanent and 14 temporary zones have been set up and will be posted next week.

Cariker took to the podium and made the audience aware of the precautions he and his campus carry committee have been making over the past months. The committee included faculty, staff and two students, Kami Pack and Josh Boffling.

The committee met in September 2016 to begin making a plan for KC and discuss what rules would be applied. Later that year, in November surveys were sent out to students; during this time, four town hall meetings were held. Two in Longview and two in Kilgore, one for students and one for teachers respectively.

Soon after, in December 2016, there were still not any exclusion zones established on campus. After attending a workshop in January in Austin to compare notes with other community colleges, the committee found they were ahead of other schools in their preparations. Next month the final draft of campus carry rules will be submitted to the board to make a vote.

For information concerning concealed carry, log on to kilgore.edu/concealedcarry.

Updates to facilities will be made over the next few months according to Jeff Williams, Environmental Safety and Construction and Facilities Manager. The Quads will be repaired and repainted. One quad will be fixed per month. Doors and trim will be repaired and will be followed with power washing, painting and re-leveling the ground in the area.

Williams commended the work on Nolen Hall over the past six weeks.

“We replaced the drainage lines and within four weeks had the second and fourth floor return to their dorms; after six weeks, the first floor was able to return,” he said.

In a new segment of the board meeting named, “Where Are They Now,” Maize Jamison, a KC alumni and former Rangerette, spoke about her time at KC as a Rangerette and a student.

“I simply cannot image my life without the Rangerettes,” she said.

Jamison attended KC from 1967 to 1969. She attended the University of Texas at Austin to receive her bachelors’ degree and Texas State University to receive her masters’. During her time as a Rangerette, she was under the direction of Gussie Nell Davis. While speaking, she told of her times meeting other Rangerettes outside of Kilgore.

“We’re everywhere,” Jamison said, “and I think the world is better for having us everywhere.”

The employee spotlight was presented by Becky Johnson, Dean of Liberal Arts. She introduced Charleen Worsham, Director of eLearning, and Doris Johnson, Coordinator of eLearning. The two women were nominated years ago by Becky Johnson for the transfer to BlackBoard from Moodle, an online learning system, but did not receive recognition until now. The two thanked the board.

The Student Spotlight, presented by Judy DeRouen, Support Specialist and Marketing and Facilities Rental, was Adan Aguinaga, Dallas sophomore.

Aguinaga discovered KC when he went to a college fair his school hosted. Prior to this, Aguinaga considered dropping out of high school in the 11th grade. He now has a GPA of 3.67 and has been involved with various KC clubs and activities, including the Ranger Ambassadors, Math Club, Latinos En Accion, Homecoming court nominee and many more.

“Kilgore College made me a better person,” he said.

He has plans to transfer to Miami University Ohio in the fall and major in Public Administration.

James Walker, Vice President of the Board, concluded the meeting with describing how the Ranger Softball team has been an asset to the community. The team has held two softball tournaments, hosting 14 teams, roughly estimated to around 300 people, not including fans who decided to travel. Around 125 motel rooms were rented and around 2,500 meals were eaten within the community, causing an economy boost.

The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Monday, April 10 on the second floor of the McLaurin Administration Building. For more information on the board, on to print out an agenda or a citizen comment form, go to Kilgore.edu/boardoftrustees.

Basketball Pink out; Lady Rangers support cancer research

Bball Women's vs. Paris
Photo by Tina Marie Reed/THE FLARE

The Kilgore College Lady Rangers hosted their annual “Cancer Awareness Game” Wednesday, Feb. 22, to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

The team raised $1,062 with money taken at the gate, including donations, and will be sent to support cancer research.

“We play for those who are fighting, have fought and who have lost,” said head coach Anna Nimz. “We all have our own ‘heroes’ who we fight for. Please help us make a difference.”

The women donned pink during this game and played with a pink basketball to visually show their support.

Before the game was a sophomore presentation, celebrating the women’s last home game of the season.

The halftime entertainment featured a performance by the Rangerette Swingsters and a 5-on-5 basketball game featuring members of the KC Dance Club.

SwingersHalftime2_Stuckey2
Photo by Timothy Stuckey/THE FLARE
Bball Women's Halftime Swingsters
Photo by Tina Marie Reed/THE FLARE

 

Lose your fake friends, find your real friends

 

One of the most challenging obstacles I had growing up was being able to distinguish genuine friendships from fake friendships. I’ve given too many people too many chances, and ended up being burned in the end.

Several of these circumstances could’ve been solved if I had simply stood up for myself. In 2017 I made a New Year’s resolution to be less docile. Passivity has been one of the biggest burdens in life, and I’m determined to put that to rest.

AllisonTaliaferroBW_byRichardNguyen
Photo by Richard Nguyen/THE FLARE

In this past year I have lost two friends, which has made me realize how toxic they really were in my life. We shared tears, laughs, and many great adventures throughout friendships, but the bonds I had built ended up being very much one-sided. I had one friend admit to not caring about me, she just enjoyed using me and one friend who completely shut me out because she was moving away to college and didn’t want to deal with me anymore; however, these friendships were not a waste of time. Having people like them in my life has made me grow and flourish as a person and be more aware of a person’s intentions. It also revealed to me the person I never wanted to become.

Listen to your parents when they question if your friend is genuine. Most of the time they are able to spot your fake friends before you are. Do not place your trust in everyone you meet. Believe it or not, not everyone is as loyal as you. Most of the time, the information you shared with said “friend,” won’t stay between the two of you. There are friends you can have a great time with, without revealing anything personal about yourself too.

Upon losing friends this past year, I’ve met some of the most genuine friends I’ve ever had. Having people in my life who showed me the true meaning of a friend was a bit of a culture shock. it was something I had never really had. The people in my life now go out of their way to help me and show me that they care and I do the same for them. If there was ever any sort of conflict, I know our trust in each other is strong enough to work through it. The friend

ships I have now are the ones I’m terrified of losing. I owe it to the two friends who decided I wasn’t good enough to keep around. If they wanted me to write kindly about them, they should’ve behaved accordingly.

Those two friends have since realized what they lost. The friend who completely shut me out because she was moving away to college and didn’t want to deal with me anymore, reached out to me a few weeks ago trying to take me out dinner. I accomplished the impossible. I stood up to the girl who had sent me an apology text message so long I had to click on it to expand, degrading my character and doubting my ability to be courageous. I told her I did not feel comfortable sitting across from someone who had such mean things to say about me.

The friend who admitted to not caring about me has been very quiet. We haven’t spoken since the day she tried to convince me she didn’t mean it when she said she “didn’t care about me,” but I’m not open-minded to having a friendship with someone who only needed me as someone to fall back on because her boyfriend was her only other friend at the time. It was evident especially after she started dating her boyfriend, that she really didn’t care about me.

I forgive them of course, and if they really needed me I’d be there for them, but my time without them has been so much more fulfilling than it was when I was friends with them.

They’ve missed out on the last eight months of my life, and I’ve missed out on the last eight months of theirs. I still care and think about them often, but I‘m forever grateful that these women have led me to true friendship. I’m not bitter and I wish them well, and I hope my compassion, empathy and the support I showed them throughout the duration of our friendship has helped them grow as people als0.

 

 

Price of college continues to take toll on students’ wallets

TextbookCostbyGrantWorley
Photo by Grant Worley/THE FLARE

 

It’s not news to anyone that college has become increasingly expensive over the years. According to the think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, tuition has gone up 559 percent in the last three decades and textbook prices have also risen by a staggering 812 percentage in the same period of time. What could possibly lead to such an incredible increase? Inflation? Publishing and shipping costs? Is the KC bookstore really a front for the Mafia? Ok that last one was a joke; the KC Bookstore has no bearing on the cost of our textbooks and are just as subject to the circumstances behind prices as the students. While publishing and shipping costs have also increased over time for all books, the cost for textbooks exceeds the cost for recreational books by a wide margin. The bottom line is that we may now be in the middle of an unsustainable “higher education bubble.”

In a financial bubble, assets like houses are sometimes purchased to be resold at a higher price, and this can produce rapidly escalating prices as people speculate on future pricing; eventually causing a spiral that can provoke abrupt selling of the assets and resulting in another abrupt collapse in price. Because the asset acquired through college attendance is a higher education and cannot be sold, there is no similar factor that would cause a collapse in the value of existing degrees.
However, much like the housing bubble in the last decade, the higher education bubble is a product of cheap credit coupled with popular expectations of increasing returns on investment. In the case of higher education, this means tuition prices increasing even as the supply of college graduates in many fields of study exceeds the demand for their skills. We also have to consider tuition and textbook price increases have exceeded  the cost of living increases and family income growth during the same period.
There is no federal or state standard that colleges have to abide by in terms of selecting books for specific classes. It is actually left to the discretion of each instructor to decide the books that students will need for their classes.
Many colleges, KC included, have found ways to help combat these factors with the campus allowing the students a choice in buying a textbook online as opposed to the bookstore or buying a used book at a decreased cost. Congress actually changed the law so that colleges must show the price difference of the textbooks their classes require between online and on campus stores as a way for students to have easier access to different options.

The KC Bookstore also allows for the student to return the book for a “buyback,” so long as the book is in an acceptable condition upon return.
These may be temporary fixes to the bigger issue; however, the prices for both tuition and textbooks show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

While many share and understand higher education is important, the costs of achieving that goal may soon exceed the means of the average person.

Cat Yoga

 

According to the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized. One organization in Longview has an idea: Cat Yoga.

For those with allergies to fur, cat yoga might be a bit of a stretch, but for those without, the Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center is hosting “Cat-urday” yoga from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 4.

Karen Bonds, instructor at Longview Yoga, will teach a free beginning yoga class surrounded by cats from the adoption center. “Our ultimate goal is for animals to get adopted,” said Jacquelyn Reynolds, Volunteer Coordinator.

The center is planning on making the event monthly and possibly allowing people to bring their animals and including dogs as well.

“We saw a lot of major cities doing it,” Reynolds said. “We are trying to think outside of the box and trying to end the stigma behind shelters. A lot of people think it is sad, but we really try to make it a positive atmosphere.”

Another event the LACAC has hosted was the “Home for the Holiday” dog house build. The Center called on craftsmen to build elaborate doghouses and sold raffle tickets to win them. The center earned around $13,000 on ticket sales.

The Center opened July 1, 2016 and has been accepting abandoned animals from Longview and other Gregg County areas since. It is a $50 fee to adopt one of the animals from the Center; the fee includes the animal being spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.

So, pack up your yoga mats and give cat yoga a chance, but if allergies do seem to be a problem, donations will be accepted to go toward the LACAC.

For more information, visit the center’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/friendsofLACAC/

 

International student inspired by African heroes

            

Black history month is a famous month celebrated here in America, but as an African who migrated from Zimbabwe, the cultural celebration has had a great impact on me. I have come to realize that even in Africa we tend to celebrate this time, just in a different form and fashion. There are so many influential people who made Africa what it is today. Some of the most celebrated heroes who inspired me to be who I am are Nelson Mandela and Desmond Mpilo Tutu.

Nelson Mandela was a former activist and president of South Africa. He sacrificed 27 years of his life to bring an end to apartheid and he is an icon also known for his advocacy on human rights. Just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mandela led a peaceful protest against the white minority. He stood up for his people when the whites tried to bribe him to stop his protest against the oppression, and that landed him behind bars for nearly 30 years.

During his incarceration, Mandela continued with his hope and faith by reading books, attending university by correspondence and teaching other fellow inmates. While he was confined, Nelson Mandela earned a bachelor’s of law degree from the University of London. His incarceration did not stop his influence on the outside world. While incarcerated, he also drafted his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom,” which was published five years after his release.

After 27 years, he was released from prison in 1994 and became the first black president of South Africa. Mandela has inspired so many people, including me, because he stood up for what he believed. He’s precious to the oppressed Africans who he led to freedom. As a president, Mandela introduced social and economic programs that helped improve the living standards of black South Africans who had lived under apartheid for so many years. He also brought people of all races together, ending the racial tension between blacks and whites in Africa.

Even after leaving office, Mandela continued his legacy; he began many organizations which include the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Elders Program that helps ease human suffering and advocates people to help the elderly. The AIDS pandemic was ignored for years in Africa. People used to ignore the severity of the disease but after Mandela saw this, he became a vocal advocate of AIDS awareness and treatment programs. Mandela died on Dec. 5 2013 after a battle with a respiratory infection. His legacy lives on as he has inspired so many people. This led to the production of the movie “Long Walk to Freedom.” The movie was so popular it made it to the cinema. Mandela is a hero and legend whose legacy will live forever.

Desmond Mpilo Tutu is another role model of mine. He is an African icon of endurance and perseverance. Tutu was born Oct. 7, 1931 in Kleksdorp, South Africa. Tutu grew up in South Africa under segregation and oppression, but that didn’t stop him from becoming one of the most inspiring and educated youth of his time. Growing up, he had a passion for reading novels. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from University of South Africa in 1954. After graduating he became an English and history teacher, teaching black schools and helping unfortunate kids restore their pride. Bishop Tutu worked tirelessly to restore the African pride that had been taken away by apartheid. In 1984, Tutu was awarded with a Nobel Peace Prize for his concerns with democracy, human dignity and fraternity. Him receiving the Nobel transformed the apartheid movement into an international issue and the whole world began sympathizing and helping to liberate South Africa.

In 1985 he became the first black bishop for South Africa; before this, in 1987 Tutu was named the president of all African conference churches. He used the word of God to liberate and enlighten the black majority on freedom.

After South Africa obtained its independence in 1994, newly elected president, Nelson Mandela appointed Desmond Tutu as the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Even today Tutu continues to advocate against inequality, social injustice and racial discrimination, also standing up for the fight against AIDS, an epidemic that has torn apart South Africa, a country with the highest per capita of AIDS victims in the world.

Desmond Tutu is now 85 years old and lives in South Africa where he continues his hard work on behalf of Africa.