Freedom of Speech: Why is it so important?

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  “Freedom of speech doesn’t always mean you’ll walk away with a smile,” Criminal Justice Professor Nicklaus Goff explained at the educational presentation given on Constitution Day to spread awareness on the importance of freedom of speech. Goff and History Professor Cassandra Pritts gave the presentation in Church Mckee Arts Center. 

  Goff touched upon some controversial topics that our First Amendment does protect us from. These topics included things like the disputed football player kneeling during the national anthem, the Charlottesville Nazi protesters, and the burning of an American flag. 

 Pritts gave a brief explanation of the history of the First Amendment and Founding Fathers. “History is rich in importance.  By studying history, we understand how we have been shaped by the past and how to apply historical knowledge and analysis to the issues facing us in the present,” Pritts stated.   

  After the history introduction, Goff gave an elaborate clarification of how the First Amendment protects our freedom rights.

  Goff then went into further detail telling each audience member what that First Amendment protects and doesn’t protect. Goff was highly involved with the listeners by asking them questions and allowing them to answer with the microphone. When mentioning the controversial issues, the crowd stirred and expressed their disdain for disrespecting symbols like the American flag or kneeling during the national anthem.

  Goff explained that every member of the audience had the right to feel the way they did, but they couldn’t stop an American citizen from kneeling, burning a flag or other acts that may seem disrespectful. Thanks to the First Amendment.

  However, in his final points, Goff encouraged the audience to also exercise their right to freedom of speech. If they disagreed with someone it is their responsibility to go out and make their voices heard.  “Patriotism is exercising your rights,” he explained.

Upton’s Mantra: Breathe Deep, Seek Peace


Ruth Upton, cancer survivor. Photo by Aaron Smith


Ruth Upton has many titles. She is an education professor, a wife, a mother and a grandmother to name a few. However, the most inspiring title is cancer survivor.

In the spring semester of 2015, Upton was diagnosed with breast cancer. She started her chemotherapy treatment in the summer, after her spring classes ended. Upton said she would not have been able to teach her classes during chemotherapy treatments because the side effects from chemo were rough.

She received her radiation treatments during the fall semester of 2015. Her appointments were early in the morning, so she could still teach her afternoon classes.

Upton said she is uncertain if facing cancer changed her outlook on life as much as it reinforced the lesson she learned throughout her life: you should live for today and never take anything for granted.

Upton’s husband Frank was a big help. When she got the diagnosis, he said, “We will get through this.” Frank took her to all of her appointments (except two), always stayed positive and cared for both Upton and their household. Upton said, “I don’t think I could have had anyone better to be there with me. He was always strong.”

She had radiation at the same time as a friend and said that it was nice to have someone there with her who completely understood what was going on. Upton also had support from her students. After her diagnosis, students in her classes helped teach lessons for the remainder of the semester. The students had different assignments and worked together as a team to get things accomplished.

She is much more understanding now of students who have health issues. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the number one human need is to take care of yourself. Ruth said she reminds her students of this often. Upton said, “You can’t take care of your business and get your work done if you don’t take care of yourself first.”

When asked how she managed her daily life tasks, Ruth said, “You just do what you have to do, and help others along the way.”

Upton serves as advisor for PSC Serves You club. The club completes community service projects in Keyser and the surrounding areas. Upton also participates in Relay for Life.

Upton’s advice to anyone with cancer is, “Don’t be devastated by a diagnosis of cancer because it is amazing how far they have come with treatment and making you as comfortable as they can during treatment. The folks who do the care for the patients are amazingly kind and thoughtful folks.”

Potomac State Catamounts Boys’ Basketball Ends With A 17-7 Record

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Written by Aleeya Mayo

The Potomac State Catamounts boys’ basketball team ended their 2016-2017 regular season with a 17-7 record. With a total of 24 games, the team put up an impressive number of 1,592points this season, averaging about 66 points per game. At home, they won 9 games and only lost 1; the Catamounts definitely fed off their home court advantage. They won 8 games away, but they unfortunately lost 5, bringing in the end of their season with a clear sweep of more wins than losses.

The high point holder of the season, Justin Milstead, finished with a whopping 291 points.

“I feel as though we did a pretty good job this year, especially us being mostly all freshman on the team,” Milstaed said. The Catamounts highest point game this season was at The Community College of Beaver, where they put up 117 points.

The Catamounts will enter a tournament during spring break.


Opinion: Student Argues that Student Parents Need Resources on Campus

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   Students with children face many obstacles that traditional students do not. Sick children and public school delays or cancellations are just some of the things that student parents face. Potomac State College could address this issue with on-campus daycare.

   With the stress of college, being a student is even harder for parents. A student parent often does not get two straight hours of study time or the chance to join study groups. Children get sick and need their parents; parents can’t tell their children to wait until after a test to get sick! Though wonderful, children are demanding.

   PSC can justify the expense of having a daycare facility on campus by allowing child development and elementary education majors to work in the daycare for work study or as a part of an internship. Both opportunities allow students in these fields to boost their resumes, offering them a college experience that will make a difference in finding a job easier post-graduation.

   Students and employees with children could receive an affordable rate. PSC could offer to work around students’ and faculty’s schedules to allow these parents to have a reliable daycare when they need it.

   According to, less than two percent of young parents will get a college degree.

    The Institute for Women’s Policy Research states: “Over a quarter (26 percent) of all undergraduate students, or 4.8 million students, are raising dependent children…Students with children are especially unlikely to complete a certificate or degree within six years of enrollment, with only 33 percent attaining a degree or certificate in that time.” If PSC made it easier for students with children, more people could beat the statistic of being a college dropout due to parenthood.

   West Virginia University has a daycare on campus, child care assistance, parent education and many more services for WVU students who are also parents. WVU offers these resources to an estimated 4,760 student parents. They also offer activities that students can bring their children to. 

   PSC’s slogan is “Realize What’s Possible”. By adding an on campus daycare and resources for student parents, a whole new set of demographics could indeed realize what’s possible.

“I think there is great potential for PSC to be a place for everyone equally, whether you’re a traditional or nontraditional student,” said PSC student mom Holly Wegman.

Study Tips For A Better Exam Experience

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Did you ever have one of those wild and crazy nights trying to prepare for an exam that must be taken the next day?

You are always thinking that there will be plenty of time to jam-pack all that information into your brain.

You finally find time to sit down to study when Murphy’s Law decides to show up, meaning anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

First, you notice that notes are lost or not as complete as you thought, so you think you will just grab the textbook to finish the notes. Then you remember that you lent the book out and have not gotten it back.

Finally, you get the book only to realize that time has run out for any possible studying.

Most of us have had an incident like this, and we promised ourselves that it will never happen again.

Try a few of these helpful hints that can help you have a more positive exam experience.

Sleep is very important for the mind, body and soul. Getting a full night’s sleep will play a major role in the outcome of your exam.

  • Give yourself enough time to study.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Some students love the cramming, but this is not the best way to get ready for an exam. Take a few minutes to study every day. Don’t wait until the last minute to try and catch up on all your reading.

  • Organize your study space.

Make sure there is enough space to spread out your books and notes. Try and get rid of all distractions and possible interruptions.

Get comfortable so the ability to focus will be better achieved. For some people, this means silence; for others, background music helps.

Some individuals need everything to be neat and organized to concentrate, while others do better in a more chaotic setting.

  • Organize study groups with friends.

Studying with friends can create a more relaxed atmosphere.

Keep your body and brain fueled by choosing foods that help with memory and the ability to focus such as nuts, berries and yogurt.

Sugar may seem tempting, but it won’t help in an hour or so.

You may be surprised to know that “A” students get tutoring!  Don’t be shy to get help.

PSC Professor Eric Slivoskey Hikes Across Spain

By Molly Browning, staff writer

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Potomac State College professor Eric Slivoskey hiked for four weeks across Spain, impacting him mentally, physically and spiritually.

His journey was from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Slivoskey hiked 1,104,513 steps over a period of 27 days, which equated to 776.2 miles.

Slivoskey had originally heard about the famous trail from a colleague in 2010, and over the past five years he thought about hiking the trail.

The trail is famous and is known around the world as a religious experience.

At the end of the 2015/2016 school year, Slivoskey decided he should take the free time during the summer to go. After receiving his wife’s, blessing he was on his way.

Slivoskey prepared by watching YouTube videos, reading online blogs and posts, and studying specific guidebooks about the trail.

He also spoke with the friend who had traveled on the trail before to find out what necessities to pack and what to expect.

He stated he was nervous about not being trained enough and not having the proper gear.

“You always kind of wonder what you’re going to encounter; you just hope that you’re prepared for whatever you face,” said Slivoskey.

When he started his journey, he tried not have too many expectations and “let it be what it’s going to be.”

The trip impacted him more  than he had anticipated.  He said that when he returned home he felt as if “everything was enriched.”

He told a story of how he spoke to a Syrian refugee at a café. The refugee told Slivoskey about his family and how he didn’t know if his family was alive.

The man had been traveling by foot for almost two years.

Slivoskey said this experience changed his perspective. From that point on, if he saw someone in need he did what he could to help.

Slivoskey said one of the greatest takeaways from his experience was the realization that human beings across the world are more alike than they are different.

“People by and large are mostly the same,” said Slivoskey, “and they want the same things out of life: health, family, a dream, goals.”

Slivoskey also said that he was surprised at how far he could push himself mentally even when his body was physically exhausted.

Slivoskey pointed out that we lose sight of how much mental power we have.

Slivoskey said that if he could change anything he would have slowed down. He felt that he missed a lot of little things because he was on a time schedule.

For those who wish to embark on a journey of this size, Slivoskey gives this advice: plan ahead, train yourself, research your route, know what you need and do not need, and most importantly “just do it.”

“Don’t look for the reasons not to do it, because they are always there. I think if you go out and you get started, you will be glad you did,” Slivoskey said.

For more information on Slivoskey’s journey, visit his blog where he posted daily entries on the trip.

He will also be speaking on Potomac State campus in January 2017 about his experience.

SGA Raising Money for Security Cameras

The Potomac State College Student Government Association is currently raising funds to support the installation of security cameras on the quad and surrounding areas.

“I think we should have more eyes on campus. Theft and accidents in the parking lots are our main concern,” said SGA President Nick Imes.

“More eyes” is what the campus needed this time last year. Richard A Smith aka “Champ,” a retiree of PSC was robbed in the underground of the student union. Cases like this could have been discouraged if cameras were present.

Some people on campus do not believe cameras provide security. Jahvon Tolbert, a PSC student athlete, is uneasy with the decision. “It makes me feel like I am being watched,” said Tolbert, “I think campus police do a fine job keeping campus crime-free and safe.”

“Crime-free” is not an all-inclusive description of the quad. Students have complained of the smell and smoke of cannabis.

“We hope security cameras will discourage PSC residents from openly smoking cannabis on campus,” said Imes.

For better or worse, it appears security cameras could eventually make their way onto the quad and surrounding areas.  To support the SGA’s installation of security cameras or to express concerns, attend the SGA’s open meeting Dec. 16 from 5 to 6 p.m.

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