QU on High Alert after Recent School Shootings

By Ashlynn Worley

Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.

This has been the motto many schools and universities across the nation are taking seriously surrounding the increase in mass school shootings.

Quincy University has an emergency alert notification system. This is the only way the university can contact students in a crisis situation.

When activated, the system can quickly send out mass e-mails, text messages, and phone calls to notify everyone who opted in.

1,145 students call Quincy University their home away from home. However, a total of 206 students do not receive any emergency notifications. Of those students, 135 either ignored the e-mail or missed the deadline, while 71 students completely chose to opt out.

“Usually one of my friends already knows something I don’t, so I really have to rely on them instead of already opting in, which I should have now that I think about it,” freshman Chris Avery said.

The majority of students who chose to opt out of the alert system are freshman and seniors. The large portion of students who do not receive alerts are unaccounted for.



By choosing not to receive the emergency notifications, students like Avery are putting their safety in someone else’s hands.

Megan Jaboor, a sophomore nursing student, said she opted to receive all three forms of emergency alerts.

“Let’s say you’re in class and there’s an active shooter like what happened in Florida, then you will get that alert,” Jaboor said.

Many students feel safe, but unprepared, for a crisis situation on campus. For commuter students like Kristina Wolfe, the emergency alert system is beneficial.

“I think it is important as a commuter [to opt in]. If we have an active shooter obviously I’m not going to come to campus,” Wolfe said. “I feel like QU should have a rundown course or go through some drills so we know what to do.”

QU Director of Safety and Security Sam Lathrop urges students to remember three things: run, hide and fight.

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“If we all attack in mass then we can prevail and you can survive a shooting, just because you’re hit doesn’t mean that you always die. At that point in time, you don’t have anything to lose, so if it’s me I’m going down swinging. Run, hide, fight in that order,” Lathrop said.

In the event of an active shooter on campus, students need to have a plan and know alternative routes to exit classrooms and buildings.

The professional staff at QU have been trained by Lathrop in several courses ranging from a tornado drill to an active shooter lockdown.

Donna Holtmeyer has worked as an academic success coach and certified counselor at QU for 10 years and counting. Holtmeyer said she feels safe on campus and in the community, but she encourages anyone who sees something, to say something.

“I think what is most important is that we take the time to just make sure we’re thinking about it [active shooter] because just putting our head in the sand and saying oh, it won’t happen to us, can’t be our response,” Holtmeyer said. “We need to continue to train our faculty and staff so that we’re heightened to those things, and even our students, just so we’re all aware.”

Professor Harry Cramer, a retired police officer, commends QU for having an emergency alert system set in place and said it is “absolutely essential.”

If you want to take control of your safety on campus or check to ensure you have opted-in to receive emergency notifications, consult the Dean of Students before it is too late.

“Of course you’re going to know how to run, hide, stay put, and fight back, but you don’t actually know what it’s like until you actually experience it,” Jaboor said.

QU Security, along with the criminal justice students, will be partnering with the Quincy Police Department in April to hold a campus-wide active shooter training course you will not want to miss.


Graduate Studies Program Grows at QU

By Ashlynn Worley

The question used to be, what do you want to do when you grow up?

Now college students face the question of, what are you going to do now that you are all grown up?

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, employed adults who pursed higher education after undergraduate school reported they are happiest with their jobs and find their work more interesting.


Quincy University offers three graduate study programs for students looking to further their education.

Alyssa Vitale, a senior majoring in psychology, said she always knew graduate school would be in her future and she is currently in the process of applying.

“I love QU. I’ve been here for four years and it’s something that I’m comfortable with. I just really enjoy QU and I think I would love to be here for the graduate program as well,” Vitale said.

Prospective graduate students are required to meet certain qualifications such as previously earning a bachelor’s degree in order to be accepted in one of the three programs.

The programs at QU attempt to fit the diversity of all applicants whether they are recent undergraduates or full-time working adults from surrounding areas.

Kevin Buckert, a graduate studies student from Hamilton, is pursuing his Master of Science in Education in Counseling degree.

“I’ll be finishing in the fall of 2020. I was hoping to be done a little sooner but it’s based on when they [QU] can offer classes,” Buckert said.

Applicants have a choice of online or face-to-face classes that tailor to the needs of the students and staff depending on the specific program.

The new Graduate Studies Coordinator Allison Ramsey has only been a part of the QU family for about a month but said she already feels right at home.

“QU is a unique atmosphere and welcoming environment. So far, I’ve had the opportunity to work with most of the faculty in these programs and they are very personable and attentive to students,” Ramsey said. “[The faculty] truly care about our student learning and that’s something you’re not going to get at another university.”

The Office of Graduate Studies held its first informal event in the Health and Fitness Center’s Hall of Fame room for anyone interested in learning more about the programs.

The graduate studies night was an opportunity for students to meet Ramsey, talk with the directors from each graduate program, ask questions, and find out how to avoid the application fee when you apply online.

QU’s Master of Science in Education in Counseling program recently received CACREP accreditation for its quality curriculum.

“I have heard great things about this program because I have a friend who is currently in it and she always has positive things to say. QU is familiar and I know there are great teachers here,” Vitale said.

One day Vitale hopes to become a counselor and possibly even continue her education to earn a Ph.D. in order to diagnose people with mental illnesses.

The Office of Graduate Studies, located in Francis Hall room 121, can assist students looking for graduate programs in other majors as well, in addition to the three programs offered at QU.

QU’s CEO club Sponsors Speaker Series

By Ashlynn Worley

When you think of the word entrepreneur, perhaps you imagine a local, small business owner. Or maybe you picture a famous CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Instead, imagine someone like yourself.

Four years ago, Samuel Deleon, senior history major, joined the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, also known as CEO club, a national organization. From a young age, Deleon said he always dreamed of starting a small business one day.

“The world is more interconnected than you think and so if you don’t think it [entrepreneurship] applies to you, it could apply to you in any aspect,” Deleon said. “Maybe when you don’t get the job you want or maybe you come up with an idea, you can always start your own business and build around it.”

Dr. Cynthia Haliemun, director of Quincy University’s CEO club, partnered with Score, a nationwide, nonprofit association, to host the Entrepreneurship Speaker Series that is held at the Student Success Center.

The most recent event in the semester-long series focused on entrepreneurship in a global organization.

Deepak Balaji, the special guest speaker, is a native of Zambia and India. However, he started right here in the Midwest region as a plant engineer. He works with one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, Archer Daniels Midland.

Balaji’s intent for his presentation was to teach students a different perspective of what it means to be an entrepreneur. He also discussed the myths and realities of the business world.

“I wouldn’t say by definition, I’m an entrepreneur. But it’s about thinking entrepreneurially,” Balaji said. “Be involved in as many things as you can, network, just try as many things as you can in college. Don’t be scared of failing because it’s almost like trial and error. Don’t feel shy and try anything new, anything out of your comfort zone.”

Comprised of mostly QU business majors, CEO club members, and a few community members, the recent entrepreneurship event drew a small crowd. Balaji informed his audience the average age of a first-time entrepreneur is 39 years old.

Among the few students in attendance was Landon Ruzicka, a freshman business management major.

“Events like this gives you that real-worldoutside the classroom experience,” Ruzicka said.

Community members and students of all majors are invited to the next entrepreneurship speaker series. The CEO club will announce more information about upcoming events in the next few weeks.

“This event was not necessarily entrepreneurial, it was more like life lessons. It teaches you to immerse yourself in different areas that you wouldn’t necessarily be in and have an entrepreneurial mindset. That mindset is indispensable, you can take it and apply it to other areas in your life,” Deleon, senior and CEO club member, said.

For anyone interested in learning more about CEO and its events, QU’s CEO club meets every Monday at 9:30 p.m. in Francis Hall room 207.

In addition to the entrepreneurship series, QUEST/Career Services are also hosting different events throughout the semester. Events held in both series’ relate to one another and can prove beneficial to those who attend.



Quincy Student Discounts Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

By Ashlynn Worley

Valentine’s Day comes only once a year, so just how much are you willing to spend?

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend on average $144 this Valentine’s Day. When it comes to showering our loved ones with jewelry, romantic dinners, and roses, Americans clearly spare no expense.


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However, spending over one hundred dollars for a night out on the town may not fit in to the budget of a college student. Not to worry, because there are plenty of alternative ways to show your affection without breaking the bank.

In the Quincy, Illinois area alone, over 25 businesses offer some type of college student discount. Among these businesses are Dunkin’ Donuts, Fatback’s Smokin’ Racks, Hampton Inn, Designer’s Edge Day Spa Salon and many more establishments.

“Actually, we [Dunkin’ Donuts] get tons of students. I think most of the area and most of the people that actually do come in are mostly students,” Kristin Taber, assistant manager at Dunkin’ Donuts said.

A QU couple recently celebrated their one-year anniversary in December. Scott Prsha, senior, and Marissa Gonzalez, junior, said they may consider changing their Valentine’s Day plans after learning of the local student discounts.

“I don’t think there is a limit as too how much you can spend on Valentine’s Day. I mean, we do not usually go over the top with anything because we are college students, and we don’t have a lot of money to begin with to be spending on extravagant things,” Gonzalez said.

Along with Quincy University, other colleges and trade schools with students on a budget in the local area include John Wood Community College, Gem City College and Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences.

With proof of a valid student ID, anyone enrolled in college can take advantage of the local discounts all year-round.

The QU couple also mentioned the rarity of a date night between their busy schedules so Valentine’s Day is something to celebrate.

“I definitely think it’s the time you spend together that really means the most when it really comes down to it. You cannot really put a price tag on it because it’s the memories that you make rather than the price of the clothes or the gifts,” Prsha said.

Besides local business discounts, college students can browse through the Dealhack Student Discount Guide; a compiled list of stores featuring hundreds of discounted items just for students. The survey is conducted on a quarterly basis and updated every three months.

In total, Americans are projected to spend a jaw-dropping $19.6 billion this year, a close second to the survey’s record-breaking amount in 2016.




Typically, college students live on a ramen noodle budget. QU sophomore Cameron King believes splurging once or twice a year on his long-distance girlfriend is worth it.

“I’ve been with this girl for like two years so you always want to do something bigger and better every year. I just kind of have to wait it out, go with the flow, and use what ever money I have to piece something together and I’m sure she’ll love it,” King said.

Save money this holiday season and give back to your Quincy community by utilizing local student discounts.