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Change at Northeast: Present Tense (Part 2 of 3)

The crowd roars for the Northeast Hawks

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The crowd roars for the Northeast Hawks

Ryan Forth, Assistant EIC

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The snow that once clung to the ground is now gone, and in its place spring has risen to take charge in April. A student can walk into the student center and see the postings for various club activities, including Extreme Bowling from the Student Activities Council, Intramural Sports, Christian Student Fellowship meetings, and much more than they can ever do to fill up all of their time. They can take a seat in Hawk’s Landing, relishing the plush booth seats’ feel after classes. They can smell the faint scent of feed wafting over from the grill not ten paces away and think, this is a great place to just relax. Northeast Community College is changing, and rapidly as it has been for years, and it is what its own history has made it: Northeast Community College, build upon hopes and dreams with a little luck and a lot of hard work thrown in. Taking that in leaves one question: what else is Northeast about and how has it become what it is today?

One might say that Northeast is its student body, as without a student body, there is no college. This year, the student body has more than proven its existence here on campus, especially on the basketball court, showing a great deal more enthusiasm for the Hawks than in the last few years, possibly combined.

“I think that the whole year was great for the Hawks,” said Brady Neilan, a first year Secondary Education of Science major and student leader of the student spirit section at Northeast. “From what I’ve heard, this year has been so much better than the last couple, and that’s from the players that I’ve talked to. They said that this year they played the game of their lives, and really enjoyed every minute of this season.”

Other than basketball games, the students have even been calming down and becoming a little more serious, observed Brian Attema, co-owner of First Choice Food Service.

“There really haven’t been any big changes from here, other than more nursing students the last couple of years. One important thing though, is that it seems like the students have really calmed down in the last couple of years. There haven’t been any problems in the cafeteria.”

Outside of the student center and the games, this year has also shown many new records and things that haven’t occurred before. Homecoming for example, has shown record numbers of attendees to the various events held on campus, according to Student Activities Council records. For example, the Mr. NECC Pageant had over 200 people attend, and the other events that went on during Homecoming week approached numbers nearing those of previous years.

Other organizations across Northeast have been seeing record numbers of participants and members. The local chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, for one, has seen a tremendous influx of new members this year from years past. Normally, the numbers of members are around 70 for a Spring induction term, and around 45 for a Fall induction. This year those numbers skyrocked up to 90 for Spring and 56 for Fall..

“We are very excited about the new members,” English Instructor and Phi Theta Kappa Advisor Julie Ptacek-Wilkey said. “We are as active as the student would like to be, and is seems like every year there are more members than the last.”

Even the dormitories are different this year from other years. The students have a very efficient way of checking students both in and out of their rooms and getting them settled in, and the RA/SA team is even lobbying for a change in the overnight guest policies, which will allow overnight guests of opposite genders, a monumental undertaking for a relatively conservative college.

One of the biggest differences in the past couple of years, however, is social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. These websites have created both a good and a bad influence on the student body of the campus.

“Its all about trying to keep the students in the loop,” Director of Student and Residence Life Pete Rizzo said. “That’s probably the biggest change with students. With Facebook and online gaming and everything else, its a challenge to get students to come to our  floor events. That’s why we had to make an RA/SA Facebook page. A lot more student are working through college too in the last couple of years. I think that the economy is a big factor in their lives, and its why so much is different.”The buildings at Northeast have changed a lot this year as well, in that there are a few new ones. that’s not only calling in the new College of Nursing Building. It also includes the new Welcome Center at the South Sioux Campus, as well as all of the other buildings that have come to Northeast in the past couple of years.

“There are a lot of new buildings,” Student Activities Council Advisor Carissa Kollath said. “They are probably the best sign of change here. They are certainly the first thing that everyone notices. The events are very different as well. Spooktacular, for example only had 400 the first year we did it. Now it has 1100-1200. There are a lot more clubs too.”

Walk through the Cox activities Center and into the gym on a random night and see as many as 30 people trying to beat each other in basketball. View the drama department working on their latest play, “A Matter of Life and Death.”

To read the first installment of this story, see here

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The official student newspaper of Northeast Community College.
Change at Northeast: Present Tense (Part 2 of 3)