Dear New York Times, This is the Real Mizzou

Dear New York Times, This is the Real Mizzou

A response to the article that did not tell the whole truth about a great university

On July 9th 2017, The New York Times released an article discussing how students are shunning the University of Missouri due to the events that transpired here in November of 2015.

This article discussed how enrollment has spiraled downward by 35% in the past two years, university employees are losing their jobs, and budget cuts are being made. The hardest hitting part of this article was the deep-seated notion that students are avoiding coming to Mizzou in fear of being targets of racism and bigotry.

I am here to tell you firsthand why choosing Mizzou is one of the best choices I have made and to shine light on the other side of the story: the side of actual student life at a great university.

The protests at Mizzou happened my senior year of high school. I had not yet chosen a university to attend, but Mizzou was one of my top choices. Watching the news, I was never concerned that Mizzou might not be the right choice for me but I can understand why it would factor into the decisions of others. Did it concern me that a portion of the student body was involved in such a negative and distasteful riot? Of course. But ultimately, I chose to attend due to the fantastic journalism school that Mizzou is known for and I have never regretted my decision.

I had many classmates in high school ask if the events that had happened at Mizzou factored into my decision to attend. Honestly, they did not. Writing off an entire university due to an unfortunate event that happened there is much like choosing a book based on its cover. You are only seeing a small portion of a large entity. If every student chose not to go to a university due to a negative incident that occurred there, every university would be in trouble. While Mizzou got a lot of media attention during these events, we often forget that the media preys on negative news because it sells (trust me, I'm a J-School student!). All around the country, the media tends to report on Greek life deaths from drinking or sports team scandals, but rarely the achievements of the student body that represent the greatest portion of a university. You don't often hear of the amazing things that go on here so I will be that voice.

My first week at Mizzou was an experience I will never forget. There were so many activities and seminars I had to attend, one of which was solely based on the events of November 2015. This seminar emphasized that Mizzou is one big inclusive family and after attending for a year, I can truly say that is correct. Not once did I witness racism firsthand or hear from anyone who encountered it. In fact, I felt more open to approaching my classmates with different backgrounds than myself and truly enjoyed making friends with those of different ethnic groups. While I myself am not a minority and do not want to speak for those who are, to me, Mizzou feels like the perfect place to build relationships with people of every color, background, sex, gender, etc. Mizzou tries hard to ensure that every student feels safe and like they have a place at this university.

The events of November 2015 are also not something that we consider taboo on our campus. I had many professors encourage discussions and debates based on these events and there never seemed to be any palpable tension during them. Students seemed genuinely concerned for each other's feelings of belonging and wellbeing at Mizzou. Why? Because we are all here for one reason: to get a good education from a great university. And Mizzou definitely does not disappoint in that aspect.

While this article in the Times does not put Mizzou in a positive light, it gives us the opportunity to fix ourselves for the future and prove that our campus is a safe and inviting place to get an education and build friendships. So, if you are considering coming to the best college in the Show Me state, let us SHOW YOU that we are a family that all take pride in being Tigers and we are determined to prove that our university is more than its past mistakes.


Cover Image Credit: Mizzou News

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Professors change students' outlook on learning

Which professor you get DOES matter.

The professor makes the class.

This statement could not be more true, in my opinion. Students can take courses on the most riveting topics, but not learn or understand due to a bad professor. Luckily, most of the professors I have encountered have been engaging and have opened my mind to learning new things.

I am currently studying journalism, which is a subject I already love. However, my professor Dr. B is so incredibly passionate about the field. Every class she shares stories and anecdotes about her time as a journalist for a major Canadian newspaper, and her enthusiasm is contagious. As a student journalist, it is exciting to hear stories from someone who has had vast experience in the field. Her excitement inspires me to be just as passionate about my future career.

I am also studying political science, and I am enrolled in the African Politics course. Prior to the class, I had no knowledge of African Politics. I took the course because I wanted to learn a new subject, and I knew that Dr. Ziemke would have endless experiences to share. Because I had previously taken her for International Relations, I knew that she had worked in Africa as a volunteer on the Peace Corps, and she had a deep connection to Africa. Her passion, humor, and stories are what make a three-hour long class bearable.

Passionate professors create passionate students who are prepared and excited to improve their fields of study. These professors shape and mold students, give students encouragement and support, challenge students, and help students reach their potential. Professors have so much power to influence the future through their students.

It is important to understand how much a professor can truly affect how invested students are in a topic. When students have subpar professors, they tune out and do what they need to do in order to pass. When presented with a passionate, engaging professor, students take a deeper interest in the material. They put forth more effort because they understand the value of the topic being studied and want to tackle any issues in that field.

I truly believe that professors have the power to make or break a class.

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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I Changed My Major, And So Can You

​One of the hardest parts of college is choosing what you want to get out of college.

One of the hardest parts of college is choosing what you want to get out of college. There’s a lot to think about when you choose where you want to go. Do you want a big or small school, in or out of state, weather, the full college experience, etc.

A decision that is left to be made once you’ve already committed to a school is what you’re going to do after graduation. Your major often reflects this decision. Some know exactly what they want to do and others take a little more time to figure it out.

(AKA me)

I did running start in high school and graduated with my associate’s. Then I came to WSU to pursue a degree in public relations. I was sure working in PR for a non-profit was what I wanted to do but turns out, it’s not.

I am now pursuing a double major in Speech and Hearing Sciences and I plan to be a speech therapist after school. My plans changed quite a bit in the two years I was at WSU.

For anyone else who’s still thinking about what you want your major to be or maybe changing your major, here’s some advice from my experience with trying to figure out my life all at once.

1. Cut yourself some slack

It’s okay to change your mind or not know what you want to do yet. Don’t let people fool you, most of us don’t have it all figured out.

2. Talk to people in the careers you’re interested in

Going out and talking to people in the field you’re interested in is more helpful than talking to an advisor or your professor. When I was thinking about speech therapy, the advisors at WSU didn't know much about it and I learned more from talking to real speech therapists.

3. Take the baby steps

It’s overwhelming if you need to change your major or you start thinking too far into the future. It’s important to slow down and think about what needs to be done now and worrying about the rest when it’s time. When I decided to double major I started thinking about how I would need to apply for more loans, get an apartment, take the GRE but the only thing I needed to do at the time was email my advisor. I could figure out the rest later.

4. What’s important to you?

I’ve always wanted to work with kids and have a job that helps people. It’s also important for me to have a job that is flexible for when I have a family. After talking to family friends and looking into speech therapy, it sounded like the perfect career to me. I could work in the school district and have the same breaks as my future kids.

5. Will you be able to find a job?

Most people go to college to get a job. This is something to consider when choosing a major because some career fields are more competitive than others. If I'm going to pay for graduate school, I want to be able to find a job right away. Speech pathology is a growing field and I shouldn't have a problem finding a job.

Cover Image Credit: StockSnap

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