Vantage wins a record 24 awards at KCM conference


Opinion Editor

On Monday, Editor-in-Chief Matt Riedl was awarded Journalist of the Year out of all 4-year universities in the state, both public and private.

“It literally wouldn’t have been possible without the staff. It’s not a one-man operation here. I may have won one award, but I’m more proud of the fact that our paper as a whole made such a marked improvement,” Riedl said.

EDITORS MAX PYLE, JOHN DENNY, KATI BUSH AND MATT RIEDL with some of their awards won at the 2014 KCM conference. Riedl was awarded the Collegiate Journalist of the Year, snapping a two-year win streak by Wichita State University.

EDITORS MAX PYLE, JOHN DENNY, KATI BUSH AND MATT RIEDL with some of their awards won at the 2014 KCM conference. Riedl was awarded the Collegiate Journalist of the Year, snapping a two-year win streak by Wichita State University.

Along with Riedl, the Vantage won a record 24 individual awards at the Kansas Collegiate Media Spring Conference, held on Sunday and Monday, including seven first-place awards, six second-place awards, and a silver medal for the overall paper.

The Vantage won 16 more awards this year than the previous year, and more than it has since the 1990s.

“It’s exciting to see our paper improve so much over the past year,” Managing Editor Kati Bush said. “Our editors, staff members and adviser have worked so hard this past semester to make the paper what it is today. I’m so proud to be part of this staff.”

Newman journalism was also in the spotlight last weekend at the Society of Professional Journalists’ “Gridiron” show at the Wichita Orpheum, at which Riedl and Bush both won $1,000 scholarships for their journalistic work this past year.

Following is a complete list of
awards and their corresponding content:

First place - News Writing – Matt Riedl for “DreamTrips: dream or scheme?”

First place – Column Writing – John Denny for “Capital punishment: Can you be both pro-life and pro-death?”

First place – Feature Writing – Matt Riedl for “Concussed students adjust to treatment”

First place – Sports Feature Writing – Matt Riedl for “On the Rebound” 

First place – Page Design – Kati Bush for “A&E Jan. 30, 2014”

First place – Special Section – Matt Riedl & Kati Bush for “The Vantage goes vintage”

First place – Series Writing – Matt Riedl for “Reduce, reuse, rethink” (Part 1, Part 2)

Second place – Headline Writing – Kati Bush for “Zombies to consume students’ brains”

Second place – Front Page Design – Matt Riedl & Kati Bush for “Jan. 30, 2014”

Second place – Copy Editing – Matt Riedl, in an on-site contest

Second place – Infographics – Matt Riedl & John Denny for “Scare-o-meter”

Second place – Review Writing – Emily Simon for “Novel hits on heavy topics with grace”

Second place – Series Writing – Kati Bush for “Home sweet dorm?”

Third place – Illustration – Brittany English for “Black Friday”

Third place – Sports News Writing – Matt Riedl for “A chilly end to a hot season”

Third place – Sports Photography – Max Pyle for “Volleyball celebrates win”

Third place – Audio Visual Multimedia – Matt Riedl, Joe Molina, Kati Bush & Max Pyle for “The Vantage Sessions: Kimberlyn Cook”

Third place – Column Writing – Jessica Sponsel for “University should not have class on Holy Days”

Third place – Page Design – Matt Riedl & Kati Bush for “The Blizzard of Oz”

Third place – Review Writing – C.L. Smet for “Forum’s ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ a British Delight”

Honorable Mention – Front Page Design – Matt Riedl, Kati Bush & John Denny for “Sept. 26, 2013”

Honorable Mention – Sports News Writing – Matt Riedl for “Men’s soccer hobbled by injuries”

Honorable Mention – Review Writing – Kati Bush for ‘The Maine’ attraction: Alt-rock band impresses”

Honorable Mention – Feature Writing – Kati Bush for “English professor revisits art roots, takes class”

This story first appeared in the
April 17, 2014 issue of The Vantage

Lack of Fugate toilet paper creates crappy situation



“26 days ‘till graduation… but how long will the TP last?” one Fugate Hall resident’s white board reads.

It’s a question that’s on many residents’ minds lately because of a recent decision by Residence Life to revoke toilet paper privileges for the hall.

The problem started when Fugate resident assistant Megan Hostick noticed residents were tearing down not only hers but other clubs’ posters in the elevator of the hall.

She posted a warning in the elevator, telling residents to stop tearing down the posters or else the complimentary toilet paper would cease to roll.

On April 11, Hostick sent an email to all Fugate residents saying that “clearly,” her message “was not received by some or one of you,” and ever since, Fugate residents have had to buy their own toilet paper.

Hostick declined comment, but interim Director of Residence Life Allison Werkmeister said Res Life decided to take away the toilet paper, because the poster vandalism was “upsetting.”

“It was negatively affecting many student groups and individuals,” Werkmeister said in an email to The Vantage. “The Fugate resident tore down CAB posters, Residence Life posters, Jets for Life posters, and advertisement for a student’s capstone presentation. Toilet paper is a privilege, and privileges are generally taken away when people are disrespectful. This is the case in Fugate.”

TOILET PAPER is at a premium in Fugate Hall now.  Matt Riedl, Editor-in-Chief

TOILET PAPER is at a premium in Fugate Hall now.
Matt Riedl, Editor-in-Chief

Both Werkmeister and Hostick said the toilet paper will be restored once the guilty parties come forward and apologize for their actions.

Some Fugate residents were baffled by the decision.

“I’m not upset, because you can buy toilet paper in Wal-Mart for 99 cents, but I think it’s the most ridiculous thing,” British exchange student Laura Morrissey said. “It was so drastic, so quickly. It’s a little bit daft.”

Morrissey said she felt the decision was unfair to first-floor residents like herself who don’t use the elevator.

“How do they even know it’s a Fugate resident that’s done it?” Morrissey said. “It could be someone else who’s coming in because they think it’s funny. It’s a laughing matter now.”

Third-floor resident Rusty Carbaugh said she felt Hostick was in the right to take the toilet paper away.

“I think it was fair of Megan to take action, but unfortunately it’s backfired on her, and I don’t know what she could have done differently,” Carbaugh said. “She got everyone’s attention, whether for positive or negative.”

SGA President and third-floor resident Pancho Fields said he is grateful that his roommate Ethan Menke now buys two-ply toilet paper for the whole room.

“We have to ration our toilet paper. It’s like an apocalypse in here,” Fields said. “Unfortunately it might run out before graduation.”

The rest of the posters in the elevator have been taken down but before Hostick’s note was removed, someone ripped it and wrote in ballpoint pen, “I ran out of TP, so I used these signs.”

Other Fugate residents called for an increased level of maturity in the hall. An anonymous note left in the elevator read, “Just think – one of these days, you’ll get to look back and tell your grandkids how ‘cool’ you were in college… grow up.”

The note has since been taken down.

Others among the 72 Fugate residents said they do not care either way.

“It doesn’t really affect me, because I always get my toilet paper from somewhere else when I really need it,” first-floor resident Lorenzo Serna said.

Toilet paper has been a hot topic this semester, as a student at SGA’s last Town Hall meeting brought up a concern that the residence halls were not receiving enough of the one-ply paper.

Werkmeister encouraged the poster ripper to come to swift justice.

“When someone comes forward admitting that they have torn down posters disrespectfully, the privilege of toilet paper will be restored to all Fugate residents,” she said in an email.

“We’re all still toileting – it’s no big deal,” Morrissey said. “It’s not like she took the toilet away.”

This story first appeared in the
April 17, 2014 issue of The Vantage

Women’s golf scraps to maintain regional place; Team to wrap up regular season with Heartland Conference tournament


Editor-in Chief

Newman’s women’s golf team is still in contention for regionals this year – but just barely.

“They take the top nine teams, and we’re currently No. 9,” Head Coach Don Farquhar said. “It’s do or die now.”

After tying for third place at the Sonoma State Invitational last week in Rohnert Park, Calif., the team needs to perform well at the Heartland Conference Championships this weekend to qualify for regionals, Farquhar said. Two of the teams in-conference – No. 1 St. Edward’s and No. 5 Dallas Baptist – are ranked ahead of the Lady Jets currently.

“It’s still feasible, but at the same time, there’s a lot of pressure there because they know they have to play well,” Farquhar said. “We have to play well to maintain our spot.”

Last week at the Sonoma tournament, team members were playing a bit of catch up after a sour first day left them in eighth place.

“We played well for 17 holes,” Farquhar said. On the 18th hole, the team “threw away probably nine shots on that one hole between the four players’ scores that counted,” he said.

The 18th hole – a “long” and “difficult” par 4, Farquhar said – was lined with water hazards to the east of the fairway and in front of the green. The “firm and fast” conditions of the fairway made even straight shots susceptible to rolling in the water, he said.

“I’d say we hit five balls in the water between the four of them that counted,” Farquhar said. “You do that, you get up on the green, you’re flustered, you don’t putt as well as you should – and you end up with a score that you don’t want to make. All day you play so well and put up a good score, and all of a sudden, in one hole, it’s gone.”

PUTTING AT HORSESHOE BAY,  sophomore Courtney Zietsman competes at the Dallas Baptist Spring Invitational earlier this season.  Courtesy of Courtney Zietsman

PUTTING AT HORSESHOE BAY, sophomore Courtney Zietsman competes at the Dallas Baptist Spring Invitational earlier this season.
Courtesy of Courtney Zietsman

On the second day, however, the team made a comeback behind the leadership of junior Kendall Anderson and sophomore Courtney Zietsman, who shot a personal best of 73, 1-over-par.

“I surprised myself the second day,” Zietsman said. “I could putt that day.”

For her performance at Sonoma, Zietsman was awarded the Heartland Conference Player of the Week title on April 9.

She said she hopes to continue performing at a high level in Marble Falls, Texas, where the conference tournament will be played.

“I’m just going to try and keep playing just like I have been,” Zietsman said. “My goal this season was to shoot two scores preferably in the low 70s, which I just did last tournament, which made me happy.”

Farquhar said the team needs to work on its putting before the tournament if it hopes to stay in the running for regionals.

“It’s always the same – the team that putts the best wins,” Farquhar said. “These girls can hit the ball as well as any of the other girls on any of the other teams, but what it boils down to every time is who putts the best and who manages their game best. They’ll be tough if they can just do that.”

The Lady Jets will return to Marble Falls’ Horseshoe Bay Resort for the second time this season, albeit at a different course. On Tuesday, the team was notified that the course had changed to one Newman has never played at before.

“It may actually be a little better, because it’ll be more of a neutral site,” Farquhar said. “The other teams have never played that golf course either. I really know nothing about it.”

“It’ll be like the conditions at my home course,” Zietsman said. “It’ll be warm, which is a plus.”

The Heartland Conference Championship will be played on Sunday and Monday. Farquhar said the team should know whether it qualified for regionals by the week after next.

This story first appeared in the
April 17, 2014 issue of The Vantage

Mysterious man under the Johnny Jet suit finally revealed


Staff Writer

When Joshua Prilliman first stepped into the Johnny Jet suit his junior year it was supposed to be for one day only. Little did he know from the next two years he would be the Newman mascot.

Now that he’s about to graduate, Prilliman has revealed himself as Newman’s `mascot, Johnny Jet.

His adventure as Johnny Jet all began with what he said was a “smart-ass comment” to his bowling coach, Billy Murphy, suggesting that Johnny make an appearance at the next bowling tournament.

Murphy took his suggestion, and as a result, Prilliman was put inside the Johnny suit at the team’s next tournament.

“I’m at the bowling tournament, I’m doing my bowling stuff throughout the morning and then finally it’s my turn, and it’s time to put my other shoes on,” Prilliman said. “I’m in the suit, mingling with people, taking photos and it’s just this fun little thing.”

Prior to Prilliman’s appearance as Johnny, a group of rotating students and occasionally the cheer coach, Tess Rohleder, undertook the mascot role.  After Prilliman’s appearance, however, Rohleder offered him a scholarship to take on the mascot role. Prilliman said from there he started attending athletic events, coming up with creative roles and began to learn how to adjust to the suit.

“It’s like taking a golf ball and putting it inside a basketball. That’s how much space there is in the suit, so everything just rattles,” Prilliman said. “You hear everything four times.”

NEWMAN’S MASCOT JOHNNY JET poses for a photo. Kati Bush, Managing Editor

NEWMAN’S MASCOT JOHNNY JET poses for a photo.
Kati Bush, Managing Editor

Although Prilliman may not be playing a sport, being the mascot means he has to be conscious of his diet.

“What is really weird about it is that I have to watch what I eat. I have to watch my weight because I sweat so much that I lose a lot of it and it’s a weird thing to think about  – that my calorie intake has to be more than what I’m losing,” he said. “The first three months I was in the suit I lost 15 pounds, and I wasn’t in the suit that much. I was just in it for a longer duration.”

Aside from the physical strains of the suit, Prilliman said learning how to convey messages was largely based on trial and error.

“Everything is so much bigger, which means if you want to convey an emotion or convey an idea, the motions have to be bigger,” Prilliman said. “If you want to be laughing, you can’t just make a small movement. You have to show it – being funny by laughing, making big, grand gestures. That’s a difficult thing to do for an hour and a half at a basketball game.”

Prilliman said he takes pride in his ability to build a character. He said his creative vision goes beyond just wearing the suit and attending athletic events. It’s about building unique characteristics that are identifiable to Johnny. Prilliman’s recent task has been to find a distinguishable theme song for Johnny.

“Being the mascot is being creative,” Prilliman said. “My goal this entire year has been to create something. To create a physical cutout of a character, that if someone says something about Johnny Jet, I want them to say, ‘Oh yeah, that’s this guy.’”

Athletic Director Vic Trilli said Prilliman’s enthusiasm and creative spirit have made Johnny into the character he is today.

“Josh has set the bar high with what he has been able to create, do with Johnny,” Trilli said. “It wasn’t just something he had to do; he was constantly running in here and constantly thinking about how to make Johnny’s presentation at events better – more friendly, more outgoing.”

Prilliman’s has made his mark at Newman through his enthusiasm for Johnny, Trilli said.

“He gave a life and personality without a doubt. Josh absolutely took it to another level,” Trilli said. ““He seemed to really embrace the opportunity and I think he did a great job of sharing our Newman spirit with everybody and anybody he came in touch with.”

Prilliman said being the mascot was worth it.

“It’s fun, it’s a blast, but it’s work,” Prilliman said. “If you aren’t prepared to do it, you’ll walk around for five minutes and you won’t want to do it. It’s just that much work. I would love to go back and do it all four years. Johnny has extended and become an alter ego of me. It’s awesome to know that I started it, but it’s weird knowing that’s it over. It’s a bittersweet feeling.”

“Somebody has big shoes to fill,” Trilli said. “It’s exciting, but at the same time it’s somewhat sad because Johnny Jet became what Josh made him. I’m really thankful for what Josh did and the dedication. He transformed a thing into a person like nobody has been able to do until then.”

This story first appeared in the
April 17, 2014 issue of The Vantage

Tennis teams to compete in Heartland championships


Staff Writer

The Newman University women’s tennis team is celebrating a record-breaking 19-3 record this week in the midst of preparing for the Heartland Conference Tournament next week in Austin.

The women’s tennis team wrapped up its conference play with a 4-2 record in-conference, while the men’s tennis team finished with a 2-4 record in-conference.

“This is the first time we have had such an amazing record,” junior Lisa Pleskan said.  “We’ve won against so many teams we had never won against before.”

For the first time this year, the conference tournament is limited to four qualifying teams, Pleskan said. In the past, all of the teams in the conference were invited to the tournament.

Both NU teams qualified for the conference tournament this year.

The women’s team is ranked third in the conference, in addition to sixth in the region. The men’s team will bring up the No. 4 seed, coming into the tournament ranked fourth.

The tennis team has been successful this semester because of an overall unity and chemistry among the players, Pleskan said.

“We are always really unified and we are always cheering for each other,” Pleskan said.

Senior Kirstie Symon was voted Heartland Conference Player of the Week for the third time this season this week.

Conference Players of the Week are selected when all the SIDs (sports information directors) in the conference get together each week to vote for the player that has had the best record at the end of the week or has beaten ranked players, Symon said.

Saturday will be the last home game for the women’s tennis team and will also be senior day, where all the senior players will be honored for their time at Newman.

The team will be playing Fort Hays State.

The men’s tennis team has already completed its schedule of home games.

“This semester has been the best semester we have ever had, in the sense of team chemistry,” Symon said.

This story first appeared in the
April 17, 2014 issue of The Vantage

Baseball takes series over weekend, sits with .500 record


Staff Writer

The Jets baseball team won its series against Texas A&M International last weekend 2-1.

The Jets played a close first game in the initial doubleheader but were unable to clinch the game, losing 0-1 on a base hit putting the Dustdevils up 2-1.

“We had a close game,” right-handed pitcher John Branum said. “We held strong, but we let them get runs and the second one beat us.”

In the second game, the Jets took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, bringing Mitchell Beaudreau and Andrew Standish home on a base hit.

Pitcher Cody Frederickson was a steady force for his seven-inning stretch, only allowing one runner in the eighth inning.

Putting an end to the ninth inning, Boudreaux hit a smash down centerfield, bringing in a run. Ricky Sanchez then scored fourth run.

Coach Zane Ehling had nothing but positive things to say about the team’s performance over the weekend.

“The boys may have lost by a close game the first time, but they came back and showed their skills during the second game,” Ehling said.

The team wrapped up the weekend with another game against Texas A&M International in Laredo, Texas, in which the team blew out the Dustdevils 13-4.

Ricky Sanchez helped score four runs and scored two runs himself. Garrett Thomas and Andrew Standish also assisted in three runs apiece.

The score was held in a 3-3 tie during the first five innings, but the Jets scored five straight runs in the seventh inning, creating a cushion between them and the Dustdevils.

Newman’s baseball team tacked on three more runs in the ninth inning, wrapping the game up with a final score of 13-4.

Pitcher Zak Mickens picked up his sixth win for the Jets on the season.

“We didn’t get any home runs, but like always, the boys helped each other get the runs they needed,” Ehling said.

The team now holds an 18-18 record on the season, 11-10 in-conference. It is currently in third place in conference, and has nine conference games left.

The baseball team will compete against St. Mary’s next weekend, followed by a game against Northwestern Oklahoma State on Tuesday.

This story first appeared in the
April 17, 2014 issue of The Vantage

Strange man seen in Beata Hall


Staff Writer

Residence Life staff are taking precautions in the residence halls, after a strange man was found in the Beata Hall laundry room on April 4.

“I originally saw him around 9 p.m. when I went to get my laundry,” sophomore Ashlee Lusch said. “He was just sitting in the laundry room eating a sandwich.”

After a few other students saw the man, Beata residents decided to call Campus Security to report the stranger.

When the Newman security officer arrived at the scene, he began to question the individual, Richard Oliverson, director of security, said.

“The security officer asked him to step outside and produce some identification,” Oliverson said.  “The individual became hostile and picked up a piece of wood, so the security officer drew his ASP (an expandable baton) and the individual threw his bag down and ran off.”

After several unsuccessful hours of searching with the help of the Wichita Police Department and search dogs from the Haysville Police Department, the suspect could not be located.

The unknown man, however, did show back up the next day to retrieve the bag he dropped before running off.

“The security officer that worked on Saturday knew what had happened,” Oliverson said.  “He called the police department and the man was arrested and charged with assault on the officer that was involved in the incident from Friday.”

Since the incident, many steps are being taken to prevent further incidents like this one.

“The RAs were contacted and given fliers to post around the dorms,” said Oliverson.  “Allison Werkmeister is also working on something too.”

A similar incident was reported a week prior to this one on the Friends campus.  Oliverson said the same man could possibly be responsible for both incidents.

This story first appeared in the
April 17, 2014 issue of The Vantage