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Morning Sun
  • PSU hosts Fall festival, local debates

  • Pittsburg State University students, faculty and community members gathered at the university’s Lindburg Plaza Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the coming of fall and learn about local political candidates.

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  • Pittsburg State University students, faculty and community members gathered at the university’s Lindburg Plaza Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the coming of fall and learn about local political candidates.
    The theme for the first annual Fall Festival was “Think Globally, Act Locally,” and the Student Government Association brought in music from Hi, Society and The Dulings, hosted a pumpkin carving contest and debates between Kansas Senate candidates Jake LaTurner and Gene Garmin and congressional candidates Michelle Hucke and Julie Menghini, and helped students register to vote. The event led up to the Pitt State Hunger Games, which took place at 7 p.m. on The Oval, and was part of a fund-raising effort for the Hunger Games food packaging event later in the semester.
    “The goal is to educate the students about local representatives,” said SGA vice president Sydney Ward. “Not all of the students are from Crawford County, but they do live here and go to school at PSU. They need to know about the positions the representatives take and the decisions they make, because they do affect Crawford County and PSU.”
    Ward said she was impressed with the turnout, especially for a first time event.
    “We hope to continue hosting it, especially during election years,” Ward said, adding that SGA had been planning the event since April.
    Christian Cruz, legislative affairs chair for the SGA, said the decision to host the event outside was easy to make.
    “We thought it would be a good idea to come outside and be multi-tasking and learn about the government,” Cruz said. “They’ll be better able to do their duty as citizens.”
    Paul Zerkel, an instructor in the School of Construction, heard about the festival and brought his wife, Julie, and daughter, Katy, 7, to the pumpkin carving contest.
    “The best part of my job is when they come to see me,” he said.
    Stephanie Adams, a freshman in elementary education from Carl Junction, Mo., who is voting for the first time, said she wants to exercise her right as a citizen to vote.
    “I get to voice my opinion with my vote and make a difference,” Adams said.
    Adams’ friend, Ryan Lechien, a freshman in secondary education from Pittsburg, said he’s voting because it’s his duty as a citizen.
    “We all have grandpas and uncles and relatives who fought for our right to express ourselves as individuals,” he said, adding that he also didn’t care much for either candidate. “But I have to vote for somebody. There’s no point in fighting if we’re not going to exercise our rights.”
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