Review takes a look at top five stories of the semester

Arson in the LLC The sound of a fire alarm drove residents in the Living Learning Center out in the cold early morning hours of Oct. 18. Initially, the damage to both elevators was estimated at $1 million and officials offered a reward of $5,500. The damage figure dropped to around $200,000 – $300,000 but the reward was upped to $12,500. As of press time, the investigation was ongoing. Web keyword: arson.

Scuffle in the Senate The Whitney Philippi and Amy Billinger Washburn Student Government Association administration withstood some rough waters during the fall semester dealing with issues like the outdoor stage and the resignation of Special Events director, Charity Hockman. Hockman said she felt that the Philippi/Billinger administration was not serving students “wholeheartedly.” During a heated WSGA meeting, student government factions aggressively disagreed about the administration’s policy’s and the future of the outdoor stage. Ultimately, the student Senate will proceed next semester with three new executive staff members. Web keyword: scuffle. For all coverage about WSGA, Web keyword: WSGA.

Budget cuts and drop in credit hours. Washburn University announced a 5 percent drop in credit hours for the 2008 fall semester. However, Jerry Farley, Washburn University president announced that freshman enrollment was up. Because of the economic situation and the drop in credit hours, Washburn was also forced to cut millions from its budget. Farley said that programs like the Transformational Experience would remain intact, but that the University was going to have to tighten its economic belt in other ways. Web keywords: enrollment declines, budget cuts.

Mass Alert System. In the wake of tragedies like the shooting at Virgina Tech on April 16, 2007, many universities have begun a text messaging alert system. This semester, Washburn University implemented its own system, iAlert. Participation is voluntary and those who sign up will be notified of events ranging from inclement weather to life threatening situations. Voice messages and text messages will be sent to wireless numbers and voice messages will be sent to land line numbers. Web keyword: alert system.

Greg Mortenson visits WU. The iRead book for this year is “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time” by philanthropist Greg Mortenson. Mortenson visited Washburn on Nov. 20 and addressed a packed White Concert Hall. Before his speech, he visited the Day of Transformation to learn about what Washburn students had done for their Transformational Experiences. He was impressed that Washburn students were taking advantage of such an opportunity. His speech was well received and he stayed to sign books well into the evening afterward. Web keyword: Mortenson.