The Columns The Student News Site of Fairmont State University Fri, 02 Oct 2020 16:22:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fairmont State University’s Future SWE Chapter Fri, 02 Oct 2020 16:22:34 +0000 Being a woman in any field of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) can feel isolating at times since these fields are typically male-dominated.  Society of Women Engineers (SWE) combats this problem by giving women a unique voice and place within the engineering industry. There is not yet an officially recognized SWE chapter at Fairmont State, but there is a group of women at Fairmont State that want to create one. While this group is not officially recognized by the SWE as a chapter yet, the group still meets and has officers. Leann Rakes, the President of this future SWE chapter, says that their goal as a group is “to build a support system for women in STEM and to help them gain skills to better navigate working in a male-dominated field”. 

To build this support system, Leann says that members of the Fairmont SWE group make efforts to reach out to women in their engineering and STEM classes and notify them that their SWE chapter is there to support them. This support can come in the form of studying together or helping one another when someone is stuck on a tough problem or concept in class. Apart from building a support system, another one of SWE’s goals is to get young girls interested in the STEM field. Leann says that “creating an open dialogue of “Hey, this is how I ended up in the field, do you have any questions?” gets girls talking about and interested in the fields of STEM”. Often, young women do not even consider STEM fields as an option for a future career, and SWE looks to put the idea of this career path in their heads. This is why Fairmont State’s SWE chapter will be largely focused on-campus, but they plan to incorporate Fairmont’s surrounding high schools in their activities to show young women that a field of STEM may be the right course of study for them. 

While the meeting structure has not changed much for the group, it is difficult for the Fairmont State’s SWE group to recruit members during COVID. Recruiting new members through classes is difficult, as many are opting to stay online. Also, one of the biggest sources of possible new members, freshmen, is very hard to recruit as many are staying home as well. Fairmont State’s SWE group is largely focused on recruitment right now to try to combat the struggle of getting new members over their other goal of getting younger women interested in STEM. Leann says “For an SWE chapter, it typically would be both recruiting people and getting people interested in STEM but right now it’s primarily, ‘You’re already interested in STEM?’ Let’s grab you.” 

Having an SWE chapter at Fairmont State will provide a very valuable resource for all the women in STEM at Fairmont State. They will be able to have a built-in support system of women that not only share their common passion of engineering but they also have a set of people helping them reach and accomplish their future career goals in the engineering field. Leann says about her own experience with SWE “It’s been great to have other women help support me in things that I might not know how to do or know that I should do, and I get to watch other women who are years further in their career ask questions about the field that I never would have even thought to ask.” 

Rakes, Leann
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Reviving the Health and Human Performance Club Sat, 26 Sep 2020 19:44:06 +0000 A club that was once active 15 years ago, The Health and Human Performance Club, is being revived at Fairmont State. The main driving force behind its revival is Richard West, the Assistant Professor of Physical Education. About the club and its goals, he said, “The purpose of the club is to provide a professional, social, and academic network for students at Fairmont State University with an interest in the fields associated with Health and Human Performance.”   

Professor West wants the students in the club to be able to participate in as many activities in the field of Health and Human Performance as possible. Members may get to visit other campuses labs to get an idea of how different schools health programs are run. They can hear from speakers in the field, including Fairmont State alumni that are now employed as athletic trainers, coaches, or physical education teachers. There are opportunities to get experience in fundraising for items like lab equipment. The club provides a social network for those in the Health and Human Performance major, or anyone else within the club that is not part of the major. 

The club is open to anyone, not just those in the majors associated with the School of Education and Health and Human PerformanceThe club has not decided on the exact terms of membership within its bylaws, such as GPA requirements, but one thing for sure is that all are welcome. At the moment, the club is a standalone organization at Fairmont State, but there are plans to add an honorary called Phi Sigma Epsilon that would recognize those in the Health and Human Performance Dept.   

To become a club at Fairmont State, the Health and Human Performance Club needs four offices filled: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. The President is the head of the organization and ultimately responsible for the club’s decided goals. The Vice President is in charge of any committees created by the club, such as fundraising. The treasurer will manage the club funds, along with writing reports about the funds. The secretary’s main job is to record all of the minutes of the club meeting. To nominate oneself for an officer position, one must fill-out an officer nomination form, which includes information such as your year, major, a personal anecdote, and why you should hold the position in the club.  To obtain the form and submit this information, one can contact Richard West’s email, richard.west@fairmontstate.eduby Monday, October 12th at 5:00 P.M., the day before the next club meeting on Tuesday, October 13th at 12:30, to be in the running for a position. 

Right now, the main goal of The Health and Human Performance Club is to simply become a club. Apart from electing officers, this includes creating a constitution for the club that stipulates important club information such as how many terms officers serve and dues one must pay.  Now is the perfect time to join this club so one can be a part of the crucial steps that will make The Health and Human Performance Club thrive at Fairmont State. 

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Conspiracy Corner – Kinross Sat, 26 Sep 2020 19:36:34 +0000 Welcome back, Mavericks, to Conspiracy Corner. In the field of aviation, accidents happen. And when they do, lives are lost. Even the Air Force is not an exception. In 2018 alone, thirty-eight American pilots and crew were killed in accidents ranging from mechanical failure to training mishaps. The sad fact of life is that, unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for American pilots to die on the job because of some mischance. Yet, in 1953, two pilots went missing somewhere over the Great Lakes and were never discovered. And while it might be easy to write this off as one of countless accidents, the circumstances around the disappearance seem to imply that the answer is just not that simple. Join us as we take to skies, chasing after the truth of the Kinross Incident. 

The date was November 23rd, 1953. The place was Kinross Air Force Base, Michigan. An unknown object popped up on the radar, moving about five hundred miles per hour over Lake Superior. Given that the object was flying through a restricted area, command made the decision to send an interceptor out to investigate. An F-89C fighter jet, manned by pilot Lt. Felix Moncla and radar operator Lt. Robert L. Wilson, launched at 6:22 PM and followed the unidentified blip on the radar.  

As the jet gained on the unknown object, the two dots on radar drew closer. Until, at 6:55 PM, the two dots met. And vanished.  

To this day, the bodies of Felix Moncla and Robert L. Wilson, as well as the remains of their jet, are still missing. So, what happened? 

I know what you expect me to say. It’s what everyone expects me to say when discussing anything with the words “unidentified flying object” in it. Aliens. And from the look of things, they seem to be the prime suspect. An unknown object flying into a restricted area and suddenly vanishing right as it claims its victims? It looks like an open and shut case of alien abduction. But for once, I’m going to have to put on my skeptic hat because, really, I’m not convinced. 

Let us take a look at the explanation put forth by the Air Force itself: a case of mistaken identity.  Supposedly, the plane the F-89C was chasing was actually a Canadian Royal Air Force transport plane. It is believed that, as the jet drew closer, the pilot had to abruptly change direction to avoid crashing into it. The official statement was, as published in the Nov. 24th article of State Journal newspaper, “Their F-89C vanished suddenly from the radar screen as they approached the other plane, later identified as a Canadian C-47 transport 30 miles off its course.” The article goes on to say, “Col. Shoup said he believed Ltd. Moncla and Wilson must have suddenly overtaken the slower transport plane and ‘peeled off’ to avoid a collision. The jet perhaps stalled and went into a spin, crashing into the lake, he said.” 

Yet, it seems this explanation is not collaborated by the Canadian government. To the supposed presence of the C-47, the Chief of the Air Staff at the Department of National Defense stated in a 1961 letter, “A check of Royal Canadian Air Force files has revealed no report of an incident involving an RCAF aircraft in the Lake Superior area on the above date.” 

This seems to completely sink the explanation, but further investigation may salvage it. Thanks to some very impressive investigation on the part of UFO*BC – a non-profit organization stationed in British Columbia and dedicated to researching supposed UFOs, we may have been able to find the pilot of the supposed craft. By using the serial number mentioned in the Accident Report, the UFO*BC used personnel records to identify who could possibly be flying a Canadian C-47 that day. This eventually led him to one Gerald Fosberg, the elusive pilot.  

Fosberg commented that he was, indeed, out flying that night. In a reply letter to UFO*BC, he writes: 

I’m your man! I was at the time indeed serving with the 412 Sqn. At Rockcliffe, doing what I loved best – flying aeroplanes. At the time I was a Flight Lieutenant, married with our first of three children on the way. Served 28 years and retired in May 1974 as a major. Continued flying Corporate Jets for another twenty years. 

I remember the flight reasonably well and just checked my log books to confirm the date. It was a night flight. We were probably at 7,000 or 9,000 feet over a solid cloud deck below and absolutely clear sky above. 

Somewhere near Sault Ste. Marie, and north of Kinross AFB, I think a ground station (can’t remember whether it was American or Canadian) asked us if we had seen another aircraft’s lights in our area. I do think I recall them saying at that time that the USAF had scrambled an interceptor and they had lost contact with it. We replied that we had not seen anything. A few days later I received a phone call from somebody at Kinross who was carrying out an investigation on a missing aircraft. I could only tell them that we had seen nothing. That was the last I ever heard of the incident. 

Sorry! However, if the mystery is ever solved please, would you let me know the answer. 


There are few key things worth noting on there. The pilot claims to have not seen any interceptor. However, note that Fosberg places his plane somewhere between seven-thousand and nine-thousand feet. According to an article on the case by Mackinac Journal, the F89-C was flying at an altitude of thirty-thousand feet before descending to seven-thousand feet shortly before disappearing. If the F89-C was descending from above, it may have come upon the Canadian plane without being seen. 

But this doesn’t satisfy every question. For instance, even if the F-89C broke off quickly and dropped below radar range, that wouldn’t explain why the Canadian C-47 also dropped off radar at the exact moment of collision. Furthermore, this explanation only works if Fosberg’s reply is being truthful. At the end of the day, we can’t be sure who sent that email to UFO*BC. And even if the jet went into the lake, why has the wreckage remained undiscovered to this day? What became of the jet’s debris? 

Well, an answer seemed within reach in 2006. An organization by the name of the Great Lakes Dive Company claimed to have discovered the crash of Moncla and Wilson’s jet. An article from the time by UFO Digest states, “In the summer of 2005, The Great Lakes Dive company was testing some new equipment – wide trajectory side-scan sonar…” The article goes on to say, “They had just begun searching the area, using the new wide trajectory side-scan sonar, and on their first pass located an object on the bottom. It was a plane and the scans proved it was an F-89.” 

However, that’s not all they supposedly found down there. According to the Great Lakes Dive Company, there was a metallic disc not matching parts of any known aircraft. This discovery shocked many, believing that there was proof that the Kinross Incident was more than some freak accident. But then, suddenly, it all vanished. The Great Lakes Dive Company cut all contact with reporters. It was quickly discovered that the company never existed, being unheard of by local divers and lacking any official registration or license. This leads many to conclude it was all a hoax. Others still claim it to be part of an elaborate cover-up. 

Though I find myself on this rare occasion supporting the ‘official’ statement, I am still open to any possibility. Because, truly, we will never know what happened so long as the wreckage of the plane remains lost. But amidst all of the mystery and conspiracy, it is easy to lose sight of what happened that day: two families lost people they loved. We here at Conspiracy Corner extend our condolences to their loved ones and hope someday there may be a definitive answer to their fates. Until that day, however, keep an eye on the sky. You never know what you’ll see. 

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FSU Career Center Sat, 26 Sep 2020 19:26:20 +0000 The Career Center has an abundance of services, right at the fingertips of Fairmont State University students.  The University strongly believes in student success after graduation, and the Career Center follows these same values.  Executive Director of Academic Advising, Tutoring and Testing, and Career Services, Mr. John DeVault stated, “There are people here that want to help you, it’s their job to help you. I really encourage students to take advantage of every opportunity and all of the resources that they have here.”  The Career Center offers in-person help, which can be found on the second floor of the Turley Center, or via virtual meeting times.  

Many students struggle to find a major that they feel fits their personal interests.  The Career Center team reminds students that there are countless career options for their specific field.  They provide information on where former FSU students are today, based on their major.  This helps current students to visualize what the future may hold for them. 

The Career Center provides guidance on resume building for students.  Ms. Ja-Rhonda Staples in the Career Center works with these students to prepare for their future job application process.  Another focus for post-graduates are interviewing skills.  The Career Center holds mock interviews and gives students other various resources for help with interviewing strategies.  The team at the Career Center team also assists students in surveying graduate school options and completing the steps for the application process.  

A weekly program is available for students who want to see what it is like for Fairmont State University graduates in their careers today.  The presentations give students a realistic process of what to expect when finding a future job. 

The meetings are Tuesday from 12:30-1:15. The WebEx link is 

If students would like to join in-person to hear the presentations, they can head to the MMB of the Ruth Ann Musick Library for limited inperson seating.  

There are hopes for an in-person Career Fair during the 2020-21 school year.  If this is not possible, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Career Center team is already putting future virtual plans together. 



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Women’s and Gender Studies Colloquium Thu, 24 Sep 2020 22:52:13 +0000 The Women’s and Gender Studies Colloquium has been happening for over 20 years here at Fairmont State University.  “The idea of the class and program is to inform the public, in part, of the many ways that women’s and gender issues pervade a variety of disciplines.  They’re relevant to any field of study, said Dr. Elizabeth Savage, a co-director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, alongside Dr. Robin Payne.  This year’s topics that will be discussed will put an emphasis on women in the workplace and economics, but there are many other options that will be explored in the program.  

Everyone is welcome to attend the presentations, using the link in the Falcon flyer for the WebEx meeting.  Students can register for the Women’s and Gender Studies Colloquium, like any other class.  It’s a one-credit hour class, with 8-10 scheduled meetings, each semester.  After viewing each meeting, students must complete a response paper.  Dr. Savage stated, “I’ve had several students say over the years that they learned a lot about writing from the course, too.”  One benefit is additional practice with analytical writing.   

Dr. Savage expressed the value of the work and effort of the faculty and students participating in the presentations, “I love the opportunity to connect with other faculty members and getting to see how smart and committed my colleagues are.   She appreciates when students tell her how they have applied what theyve learned to their specific fields from the presentations.   

Last fall, Dr. Savage approached the Provost Office about allocating funds for The Women’s and Gender Studies Program.  Provost Rick Harvey decided to allow the Program to run with funds starting with the 2020-21 school year.  Interim Provost Rick Stephens decided to continue this idea of funding The Women’s and Gender Studies Colloquium.  The team for the Colloquium would like to give a special shoutout to the Provost Office for their work in continuing the growth of the program. 


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Interview with Alyssa Schwartz Fri, 18 Sep 2020 16:06:49 +0000 Dr. Alyssa Schwartz is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Flute and Musicology at Fairmont State University. Some of her accomplishments include debuting at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in November 2017 and returning for a second performance the same month as a result of winning 1st prize in the 2017 Golden Classical Music International Competition and 2nd Prize in the 2017 Concert Artists International Music Competition, She has also won the 2019 Florida Flute Association Orchestral Excerpts Masterclass Competition, and has been featured as a soloist in 2017 with the West Virginia University Wind Symphony and on several occasions with the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony. Alyssa has partnered with Polyphony Artist Management to produce two new albums of flute music featuring compositions by Dr. Daniel Baldwin. The first album will include the premiere recording of Dr. Baldwin’s new Flute Sonata and other works by other composers for solo flute that emphasize the beauty of the instrument. The second album will include the premiere recording of Dr. Baldwin’s new Flute Concerto. The DVD will include the live recording of the world premiere of the Concerto, along with interviews with Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Baldwin. 

What do you do at Fairmont state as the Professor of Flute and Musicology? 

“My primary duties here are teaching music major classes. I teach the flute students here, and I also teach flute lessons for anybody who might want to study the instrument or learn it as an elective. That is a big portion of my classes. Musicology is basically the history of music. This means I teach the music majors here how music has developed in our culture and why we hear things the way we do, which is super interesting. I teach some music appreciation classes too, and in them, it has become a life goal is to get non-musicians to be excited about music.” 

What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music and the arts? 

It’s such a silly story, but in middle school band, they would just give us random instruments to see if we could play them. I got the clarinet and thought it was fine, I didn’t love or hate it. Well, I had one of those best friends who I was also very competitive with and she picked the flute. One day we swapped instruments and she could not play my clarinet, but I got a really good sound out of her flute. I realized then that the flute was my instrument. I discovered that unlike some of the other instruments it suited me and it came to me quickly. I stuck with the flute long enough to realize that I found music itself really valuable in that it is so communicative and expressive. 

What moments in your career have you been particularly proud of? 

I have a couple of selfish ones that just make me feel good about myself, one being that I got to perform at Carnegie Hall twice. I had some successes with competitions five to seven years ago when I was the right age to do that, one of which allowed me to perform there. I got super hyped when I saw that if I won a competition I could perform at Carnegie Hall. I remember hearing about Carnegie Hall when I was about twelve and just thinking it was the most amazing, far-off, weird, wild thing. Getting to do that was my whole life goal. After my first performance there I thought “Okay, now what?”, 

Some less selfish career moments that have been really valuable are my students having success in music. Most of them are still pretty young, but, for example, I had one student get into a pretty prestigious middle school program at The Valley Forge Academy. I had another student who got into a gifted high school program that was focused on the arts. A couple of my students may end up having really good careers in music, which has been amazing to see. 

Do you prefer any particular type of music to perform over others? 

I pretty much love playing everything at this point. I guess if I had to pick a favorite it would be Romantic era music, which is the era that most people not familiar with classic music would know pieces from. It is the most popular of classical music, like Beethoven’s kind of stuff. It is my favorite because, generally speaking, it is the most emotional and expressive music to come from classical music. 

Do you play any instruments other than the flute? 

I do, but I am a little bit sucky at them. I can play piano moderately well, well enough to accompany students sometimes. I do actually also play saxophone, clarinet, bassoon, and cello, but I am not super good at those. I make a little bit of noise with those instruments. 

So your main method of teaching is by using the flute? 

Yeah, at least in my flute lessons. The other classes are straight-up lecture style, but as for the applied stuff, my best area is the flute. I am a little iffy in all the other categories. 

Do you prefer one-on-one lessons or the big lecture-type classes more to teach? 

I really, really love teaching the flute because I just enjoy playing it so much. So I do have a deep, personal satisfaction in getting to do that. A cool thing is that when working one-on-one with students you get so deep into what you’re doing. So, we get super intricate and we study all the different subtle nuances of the flute. It is very individualized and very specific work. The one-on-one flute lessons are really fun, and I get deep, personal fulfillment out of doing that. However, I almost love my music appreciation class the most because I am able to get some students to genuinely like music. Every semester I get at least a small handful of students who are like, “Oh, I’ve never listened to music this way before and now I think it’s really cool”. That just makes me so happy because it’s a really cool thing to think that I maybe have been able to introduce music to somebody who wasn’t familiar with it before. I really love that about the big lectures. So, both are my favorite but in different ways. 

Can you give me an overview of what is going to be on your new music commissions and debut solo album? 

This project has several different parts to it. There are going to be three total CDs released for this. The first is going to be with my professional flute quartet, the next two will be my solos pieces. In and among those releases come the world premieres and scheduling the concerts to give the pieces their first performances. So, probably this won’t all be done until the end of 2022. We’re trying to release one album of the year, which is pretty fast-paced when working with big ensembles. The Concerto piece is going to use a whole orchestra, so there are a lot of moving pieces. 

Can you explain to me what exactly has been the process of creating your album project?  

What I am doing is commissioning a composer, so I am paying him to write two new pieces for flute. He is going to write a Concerto and a Sonata, which are two really substantial works. He will be doing the writing of the pieces and I will be doing the world premieres and first recordings of them. 

What is your favorite part of the process of creating your albums? 

I am really excited to be able to do something that helps the creation of new music. I think today, in general, our culture doesn’t care a whole lot about creating new classical music. I understand because people don’t know it so they don’t want to listen to it, but to me, I find it super valuable. The idea that I can do something that’s going to help keep this tradition alive and help add a really big piece of flute music to classical music is amazing. 

Have any struggles you did not anticipate appear in making these albums due to the pandemic, particularly when collaborating with so many people? 

Not yet, but I expect that it could happen. Why it hasn’t happened yet is because the first album is the one with my flute quartet, so we don’t have to work with that many people. As a quartet, we need to figure out what we’re doing individually and then record it. Once it gets time to record and premiere the Concerto, which is the big piece that works with a full orchestra, I suspect that’s going to be challenging. Most symphony orchestras aren’t doing that much right now, and if they are, it is not with wind instrumentalists. We can’t wear masks while we play unless we want to get spit all over everybody. Part of the reason that we are trying to do the Concerto last is that we are hoping that things will be back to normal by the time it’s time to try and roll out the premiere. So far we haven’t had any issues, but I will not be shocked if something happens that delays the premiere or the recording. Things are going to have to be much different before we can all get together in the same space and play. 

Have you been able to perform yet, whether virtual or in-person during the pandemic? 

I have been able to perform virtually but not with a large ensemble. With my flute quartet, we did a performance virtually as part of a home concert series where we live-streamed the performance from my living room. We had people sign up and register for the event like an actual concert. 

Has quarantining and the whole struggle of COVID brought out any new sides of you as an artist that you did not anticipate? 

Actually, yes, and I wasn’t expecting it. When things first kind of hit the fan, I kind of took two weeks off where I just didn’t do anything music-related because I had nothing to do. I am still taking flute lessons with Alberto Almarza of Carnegie Mellon University, and he is brilliant. Back in April or March, I told him that I wasn’t really motivated since I didn’t have anything to do and he gave me a really brilliant pep talk. He said, “I get it and I know that you don’t have any performances coming up or deadlines to adhere to, but true musical growth happens on your own, by yourself in the practice room anyway.” He advised me to take advantage of this free time and explore pieces and concepts of music that I haven’t yet. When I tried this it was very helpful, as it helped me grow and be ready for when those deadlines come back. If I’m able to remember what he said and focus on that, I have been able to be better in my practice because it’s helped me refocus on what really matters. What really matters is my musical growth and practice, which are more important than competitions and deadlines. I feel like I have a better relationship with my practice now. It’s now more mature. I have also been trying to see the extra time as a gift. The situation sucks and isn’t ideal but I have been figuring out how to use it to my advantage. That has been a really nice perspective and I have my flute teacher to thank for that. 

Included is Alyssa’s home-made music video she created with the help of her husband, family, and friends, during quarantine (and about quarantine) this past Spring. The idea behind the video is that the images of people being straight-faced and in black and white gives way to images of them smiling in color because of the music, and the message is that we are all in this thing together.  

The link where people can learn more about Alyssa’s project and donate or purchase a CD pre-sale is: 





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Fitness and Wellness: Virtual Style Wed, 16 Sep 2020 19:37:34 +0000 The Fitness and Wellness team at the Falcon Center has been able to make the most out of the virtual opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  They have developed the Virtual Wellness Program which offers an atmosphere where students who have similar goals can work towards these goals together, all while being safe.  The Virtual Wellness Program focuses on each student’s sleep tracking, water tracking, step tracking, food journaling, and exercise logging.  This program isn’t taking the place of personal training or group fitness classes.  It is just another outlet for students to participate in the fitness and wellness programs at Fairmont State University. 

The time commitment for the program may vary from student to student based on their preferences.  Throughout the given week, students can work at their own pace, depending on how much time they can dedicate to the program.  A representative from the Fitness and Wellness team checks in on the student during the week to make sure that they are doing okay with the given tasks.  The group of participants also meet once a week on Sunday evenings for a Microsoft TEAMS webinar that gives helpful tips for these aspiring students, such as how to create your own workout, or how to set goals.  Although the 10-week program has already started, students can still sign up whenever they would like and will not miss out on much even if they join late.  The registration information can be found in the biweekly Falcon Flyer, on flyers posted throughout the bulletin boards in the Falcon Center, or by getting in contact with Spencer Flanagan, the Fitness and Wellness Coordinator, at (304) 367-4705 or 

The reward for the hard work that goes into the program is a participation-based prize system.  The more a student shows participation and growth, the more likely they are to win a prize. Some of the prizes that will be awarded to the students this year are a Fitbit, a yoga gift package, an Instant Pot, a Falcon Center duffle bag, and many more options.   

Spencer Flanagan stated, “We’re very blessed to be able to be on campus with our peers this semester, so take advantage of opportunities like working out at the Falcon Center gym, personal training, or the Virtual Wellness Program.  It’s also a great chance to socialize and learn more about fitness and wellness.”   

Photo Courtesy of the Falcon Flyer
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Advice From A Senior To A Freshman Wed, 16 Sep 2020 19:28:06 +0000 Seniors Graduating

A new school and environment can be hard, especially for those who don’t know anyone there. Tackling classwork, a job, social life, extra-curricular activities, and making sure you’re eating and sleeping enough is a lot for new students, whether living on campus, near campus, or staying home with their family. When Seniors were asked what advice, they’d give to a freshman I got a variety of answers. Some had a lot to say, others kept it simple and straight to the point. Here’s what they had to say: 

“Manage your stress levels, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not just like high school, there’s a lot more going on and to do.” -Logan Davis
 “Have a friend. It may seem overrated and overstated, but you need people in your life. You don’t have to be a social butterfly and talk to everyone but have at least one person. Someone from high school who happened to go to the same school as you, your best friend throughout life, or even a stranger you met because you awkwardly sat together at a welcome function. College is rough sometimes, and you ARE going to have bad days. Not all the time, but you will have them, and it’s important to have somebody there to rant to.” -Anthony Hardy 
“Get a classmate’s number. There are times you miss class, but college classes move quick a lot.” -Anthony Hardy
Stay on top of your assignments. Use an Agenda/Planner of some type to keep yourself organized. At bare minimum, complete your assignments the night before if you need too. Set your own personal due-dates to be at the latest, the night before the assignment is actually due.” -Logan Davis
Ask questions and ask for help when you need it. Professors and the rest of the staff on campus want students to succeed.” –Lars Lehmann
Find places to hang out. When you need a break or want to have a little fun it’s good to have a place to go to. Find the place that you feel the most relaxed and you will feel more at home but keep some backups just in case your place gets taken. The only way to know your options is to spend time exploring campus.” -Anthony Hardy
Go to every class and find a hobby to de-stress.” -Camden Cutlip 
To not be afraid to talk to their professors about any issues they’re having in class” -Caroline Pauley
Practice your writing skills. For some people, writing can be quite the chore. I’ve seen my fair share of people who have trouble typing up a five-page essay, and they get very stressed out. You don’t have to freak out about it, however. Find somebody who can help, maybe your friend is good at writing… If you are still struggling there is a writing center in The Library, there are people there throughout the day to help anyone who is struggling, or even just to revise a paper for you. It’s quite helpful!” -Anthony Hardy 
Don’t stick with something if it doesn’t feel right. If you need to change majors five times, then so be it. Don’t be afraid to try different majors or to step outside of your major. Don’t listen to the people who expect you to have life all figured out at eighteen, and don’t feel guilty because you don’t know what you want yet. It takes time and experience.” -Sean Lee
Be aware of the campus’s peak traffic times. This way you’ll know what areas to avoid due to COVID.” -Logan Davis 
“There is a tutoring center on the 2nd floor of the library, use this to your advantage. There are many people who tutor many different things, and if they can’t help there is a very high chance, they know who can.” -Anthony Hardy
“Stay hydrated, keep a decent sleep schedule, and eat regularly. You don’t want to burn yourself out while you’re on campus. If you need tech help, there is an IT on the first floor of the library.” -Anthony Hardy
“Establish a reasonable bedtime so that you don’t get headaches” -Logan Davis 
Go to some of the school functions. They have performances, shows, dances, and venues all over all the time, don’t be afraid to join in some of the action.” -Anthony Hardy
“I would probably say don’t overwork yourself with Homework and Studying and remember it is okay to take a break from all that, so you don’t get burned out right away” – Mason Malone
If you have an opinion speak your thoughts, everyone has valid opinions.” -Anthony Hardy

Don’t be afraid to ask an upperclassman for advice, more often than not they’d be willing to help you out. After all, they were once in your position as well.  


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COVID- 19 Campus Protocol. Wed, 16 Sep 2020 19:20:11 +0000 Protocol for what happens to students at Fairmont State who are caught, or catch others, gathering in large groups on or off campus is information that hopefully no one should need to know. On and off campus partying has forced colleges and universities across America to close their doors as they have spikes in cases due to these large gatherings. Parties, particularly ones held indoors, are super-spreaders of the virus. Just this week, West Virginia University announced that it would suspend in-person classes at its main campus due to concerns caused by a recent spike in coronavirus infections. Another reason for the closure, cited by WVU university officials, were several reports of parties held during the Labor Day Weekend when students should have been quarantining.   

While students should follow campus directives, the question still stands: what happens when students don’t? Fairmont State’s Emergency Directive for Student Infectious Disease Mitigation in the Student Code of Conduct that was issued on August 3, 2020, provides these guidelines. The Prohibited Student Conduct related to Infectious Disease Mitigation states “failing to follow any and all applicable federal, state, and/or local public health orders” is not allowed.    

In Governor Jim Justice’s executive order on July 14, 2020, he announced that the statewide social gathering limit is 25 people. As stated in Fairmont’s Student Code of Conduct “All on and off-campus gatherings, public or private, must comply with the most restrictive public health order in place.” Students found breaking these public health orders and University policies will be subject to sanctions up to and including expulsions. In Article 4: Possible Sanctions in the Student Code of Conduct one can find the consequences of attending or hosting these prohibited gatherings.   

The first of these sanctions is a Warning, which is described in the Student Code of Conduct as  “A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated Board of Governor’s policies, institutional rules, and regulations, or the Student Code of Conduct.” Next, is Probation I, where a student now has an official disciplinary status that is active for a specific amount of time. Any further misconduct with this disciplinary status may result in suspension.  Probation II is also an official disciplinary status enacted for a specific period in which a student is allowed to remain on campus given that they follow certain conditions set by the Campus Judicial Officer or Student Conduct Appeal Board. Failure to meet these conditions will result in suspension from the University. According to the Student Code of Conduct “The Campus Judicial Officers or his/her designee shall determine whether the conditions have been satisfied or violated.” 

Following the Warning and Probations is Interim Suspension, as a student’s presence on campus now presents a significant risk of harm to themselves, other individuals, or property. After Interim Suspensions is Suspensions, where a student is suspended from the University. The suspension will also be noted as a “disciplinary suspension” on student records, and once the student completes their suspensions they may reapply to the University. After their return to the university, the student will be placed on Disciplinary Probation II for a minimum of one academic year. 

The final possible sanction is Expulsion, which is a permanent ban from Fairmont State University, with no possible re-entry. student is not going to be immediately expelled from Fairmont State if they are caught at a party, but all possible sanctions are to be taken seriously.  

The Interim Director of Student Conduct, Jack Clayton, says they take these instances of students breaking the COVID protocols on a “case by case basis, but they use the same penalties for everyone to be fair, equitable, and consistent.” He hopes that the majority of students caught breaking the Student Code of Conduct will only have to be issued a formal warning before any other serious actions will be taken. Repeat offenses, though, such as refusing to wear a mask to class multiple times, may warrant more than a warning. This shows a student is not just forgetting protocol, but they do not want to participate in keeping the school safe. 

Students are able to appeal sanctions, and this starts with meeting with Jack Clayton over the phone or video chat. During this, the student can explain their actions and the rationale for what they have done. Jack Clayton says that students have also done reflection exercises, such as writing out what they have done and how it has affected their fellow students. One can also appeal Clayton’s decisions with an apparel to the Office of Student Services by filling out the required formsIn these appeals, a student can explain their justification, explain why they felt the punishment was too harsh, and present any further documentation or evidence they have for the opportunity to review their case. Their discipline could then be rescinded or nullified in some fashion. Clayton recognizes that there may be “circumstances beyond student control”, and he remembers this when giving and reviewing discipline. 

Students attending parties during the pandemic and breaking other University and state protocols present a serious risk to themselves and others by their actions. Fairmont has been able to remain open due to a low amount of positive cases. These numbers do not come from luck, but from students following the guidelines set by Fairmont State. Clayton says “to think about the community over your own wants and needs”, which describes the mindset all students at Fairmont State should have at this time. The most important goal for students should be to continue to have face to face classes and to have as much of a normal semester experience as possible. Clayton says “We hope the first goal of everyone here is to get an education above socialization.” If all students prioritize receiving an education over socialization, Fairmont may not end up in the same situation as other colleges that are currently shutting their doors. 

Sources for Additional Information: 






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Tour of the Library Wed, 16 Sep 2020 19:07:33 +0000 Have you ever been in the library and you weren’t sure where something was? You weren’t sure how to find something you were looking for? Wondered when the library was open or closed? Well, you could always try to figure it out on your own, ask a friend, or ask a librarian. If you can’t ask, here’s the basic rundown of the library for you from bottom to top, including the new library hours and new floor to floor guide of what you can find on each floor of the library.  

 Library Hours 

Monday – Thursday: 8am – 8pm 

Friday: 8am – 4pm 

Saturday: Closed 

Sunday: 12pm – 8pm 


The ground floor (first floor) of the library holds the smaller Starbucks on campus where you can grab a bag of chips, red bull, giant cookie, white chocolate hot chocolate, or a coffee. They may not have all the drinks that the Starbucks in the Falcon Center has, but when you’re on this side of campus or in the library for some study time, it’s your place to go.  

Starbucks Hours 

Monday – Thursday: 7am – 2pm 

Friday: 7am – 1pm 

Saturday & Sunday: Closed 


There are also holds multiple vending machines along the back wall and a computer area. This area is not technically considered to be a part of the library, but the librarians will still help you out if you need it. Due to the virus, the number of computers you can now use is less. Every other computer is marked with a sign stating that they are not to be used. Here you can also find the Fairmont State Tech Commons/IT Department where they can help you out with computer problems, network problems, Blackboard help, and more. Next to this is where you can find the Reference Help Desk. This is where you can get help from the librarians, whether with checking out books, the reserve collection, or miscellaneous help. If you were wondering what the reserve collection is, it contains class textbooks that you can check out to be used in the library for up to 3 hours at a time. This floor also includes: a digital sender, fax machine, courtesy telephone, mailbox, photocopy machine, a scanner, disability services equipment, 3 study rooms (that are currently closed), and your basic supplies like a stapler, tape, hole punch, paper cutter, rulers, scissors, markers, paper clips, etc. 

The second floor of the library features a large computer lab installed with internet access, MS Office, and course-related software. There is a Networked printer and photocopy machine here that connects with the computers on the floor. Because of the virus, you’ll find that less computers are accessible with signs on every other one stating that the workspace is closed. The Library’s homepage gives you access to more than 140 scholarly databases to help you with research.  You’ll also find the Tutoring Services here which now includes the writing center and the testing center.  Beside the tutoring center in the corner by the windows is a comfortable seating area and a large, popular DVD movie collection that separates seating from the tutoring center. Back by the elevator is where you will find the Librarians’ offices and the currently closed second floor study rooms.  

The third floor of the library holds the collections of books, print magazines, journals, newspapers, juvenile book collection, and young adult book collection. This floor is currently closed to students, but if you need something from that floor you can ask a librarian.  

To contact a Fairmont State University Librarian you can email, text 304-908-4289, call reference at 304-367-4121, call circulation at 304-367-4733, or fax the library at 304-367-4901. 

All information above can be found on the Fairmont State University Library Web-page at: 



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