A semester in review

A look back at some of the top Stater stories, from hacking attacks to the passing of a teacher

Joseph Lovercheck and Kadra Sommersted

Many events have gone on at WSC this semester so far. There are too many to mention so here are the top stories from each week of the Stater. If you would like to read more than just the summaries, you can find each issue, and more, on our website, thewaynestater.com.

January 17

Hackers attack campus emails.

Students and staff alike fell victim to phishing attempts. These emails convinced many people that something bad will happen if the receiver doesn’t give their personal and private information.

John Dunning, chief information officer, said these phishing attempts were more problematic than attempts in the past, because they infiltrated a campus email and sent the phishing request from a campus email. Although not aware of the exact number or people who answered the email, Dunning said that there were over 300 password resets during the scam.

January 31

College bookstore gets a facelift

The on campus bookstore (some of the student here don’t know of the off-campus bookstore) received its first facelift since 1995. The new style has a more updated and urban look. Some of the renovations were to get rid of the island in the middle of the bookstore. The textbook section was also replaced with movable bookshelves. What is offered in the bookstore is almost the same as what was offered before.

Blizzard hits Wayne and leaves more than 13 inches, forcing campus to close.

Wayne State College had a rare snow day. The campus was closed for one and a half days (including the morning the Wayne Stater was supposed to be put together.) Jay Collier, director of College Relations, said the main concern for the college is the safety of students and staff.

Along with the more than a foot of snow came high winds, gusting as high as 50 mph. This was a contributing factor that ultimately led to the campus taking a day and a half off.

February 7

Andria Cooper passes after cancer battle

On February 6, WSC members received news that Dr. Andria Cooper had died. She had been battling cancer that she was diagnosed with last summer. Cooper was in the Department of Criminal Justice and was the main force behind WSC’s Criminal Justice Crime Scene Investigation Facility, which is currently under construction.

Cooper’s background as an attorney aided her in her ability to teach and engage students. Her experiences before joining WSC gave her invaluable experience, Jason Karsky said.

NSCS faces 2% budget cut for this year; 4% next year

The Nebraska State College system is facing budget cuts, throughout all of the three member schools. Along with the budget cuts, Chancellor Stan Carpenter said that there were enrollment declines, causing a loss in tuition revenue.

The two ways the college gets money are from state appropriations and tuition money. With both of those numbers declining, WSC as well as the other state colleges need to find ways to save money. Capital expenditures—big expenditures—are not happening right now, according to President Marysz Rames. Travel expenses as well as other endeavors are evaluated on a case by case basis, to see if they are necessary.

February 13

WSC responds to errors found during review

A Nebraska state auditor’s examination reviewing the records for 2016-17 at Chadron, Peru and Wayne State colleges presented many discrepancies with an overall error rate of 77 percent. Adjustments needed to be made on 74 of 96 line items.

WSC had some negative light shed on them because of a discrepancy within the records. Collier said that he believes that audit findings will always be something that are a part of the process. The errors were found within the athletic department records, regarding errors in WSC gate admission revenue.

Future teachers could see help from Praxis changes

Wayne State College is known as the teacher’s college, and it’s show in its students. The Praxis tests are used to measure the teaching candidates’ knowledge and skills to determine how able they are to teach and earn the degree and certification.

The Praxis is two tests: Praxis I and II. Praxis I focuses of three exams that focus on reading, writing and mathematics. It’s usually taken early in college. Those who take the test must score high enough (156 in reading, 162 in writing and 150 in mathematics) in order to be admitted further into teacher education and to apply for teacher certification. Praxis II is similar to Praxis I, but covers a higher variety of topics beyond mathematics, reading and writing.

According to the Omaha World Herald website, the changes coming to the Praxis tests are in favor of students, as they are choosing to use composite scores rather than the requirement of scoring high enough in each category of the test. The total composite score needed to pass the test will be 468.

February 21

Former student dies at age 25

Wayne State College graduate Stephanie D. Westerhaus, age 25, was found dead in her home in O’Neill, Nebraska, on Feb. 8.

Westerhaus received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education at WSC and was teaching choir at O’Neill Junior-Senior High School and O’Neill St. Mary’s.

Her death was ruled accidental and an autopsy was ordered.

Casino Night comes back to Wayne State College

Hosted by Student Senate, Casino Night is an annual event at which students can gamble tickets to win prizes. There were 18 blackjack tables, two craps tables, two roulette tables, plinko, and mini golf staffed by Student Senators and faculty members. On top of the games, there was a mechanical bull for students to ride.

“Casino Night is a fun way to get involved, and if you get to walk out with a TV, that’s even cooler,” said Student Senate President Matt Mullins. “There is no other night (during the) year where you can win so many prizes so easily.”

February 28

Career fair success

The semi-annual WSC career fair jumped to success with over 400 students attending last Wednesday in the Student Center.

In addition to a strong student attendance, the career fair hosted 80 employers and their booths. The career fair lasted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Students who chose to attend the fair were able to have their resumes looked over by career services ahead of time to be prepared for future employers.

Reinhardt said the career fair was a success and that she saw a lot of students dressed up nice for employers.

Construction, everywhere

Wayne State College has had a number of facilities under construction since the beginning of the school year including a new football press box, a Center for Applied Technology (CAT) building and a Criminal Justice Crime Scene Investigation Facility. WSC has raised the right amount of money for both of these to begin and start the renovation.

Altwine said there will be further advanced technology in the new CAT building and the press box will be more updated than the one that has been there for 40 years.