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July 31st, 2021
L&T Opinions Page

rachel colemanSAINTS PERSPECTIVE, Rachel Coleman, SCCC Director of PR and Marketing

 

It’s an old joke, but most native Kansans love to talk about the ever-changing nature of our state’s climate. “Don’t like the weather?” we ask newcomers, and then add, “wait till tomorrow. It’ll be different.” 

This June on campus is sure living up to the fickle reputation of Kansas weather. Are we back to normal? Do we have to wear masks? Who is our college president? Why is it so humid? What’s up with the Kansas Promise Act? 

The column offers a lot of little answers, and one big concept. Plus, there’s entertainment at the end. Read on. 

Are we back to normal? In terms of academic schedules, yes. Summer classes are in session, and diligent algebra students can be seen filing into class at 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Many other subjects and courses are in session, and there’s another term that will begin in July. If you want to knock out a three-credit class without distraction, now is the time! 

No. The college no longer requires everyone to mask up, though we do ask folks to employ the honor system. Folks who are fully vaccinated can go mask-free. On the honor system, we request that unvaccinated employees and visitors please wear masks. 

Our college president through June 15 is Brad Bennett. We’re sad to see him go, though we wish him and his family the very best as he embarks on a new venture outside of higher education. Vice President of Finance and Operations Dennis Sander has graciously agreed to step in as Interim President while our Board of Trustees deliberates about the best approach to fill the position. 

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Humidity is just another kind of weather. Check back tomorrow. 

True to its name, the Kansas Promise Act shows a lot of promise. If you’re not familiar with the legislation, it aims to fully fund community college certificates and degrees for Kansas graduates in key study pathways. The overall vision is to bolster our workforce, help Kansas families, and provide a powerful incentive for our brightest and most hardworking high school graduates to stay in their home state and help it flourish. All that said, we are still waiting for details about how Kansas Promise will work, both in terms of students applying for the funding, and for us as we implement the logistics. 

 

Now is the time when we pause to express our most Kansas of attitudes, which is essentially the restating of our much-loved joke. You might not like the weather today. It will probably be different tomorrow. That applies to life goals, politics, workplace changes, relationships, and the cost of college. The good thing about weathering change? It helps us grow.

 

This summer, while we wait for the wheat fields to dry out and the swimming pool temperatures to rise, SCCC will take part in multiple opportunities to build our sense of community. The Bee Jays season opened at Brent Gould Field on June 5, and we are looking ahead to 19 more home games. The dates are June 11-13, 18-19, 29; and July 1-4, 9-11, 16-18, 23-24, and 28. All these begin at 7 p.m. Plan to catch at least one, maybe more. Summer would not feel like summer without some Bee Jays baseball, a hotdog or popcorn from the concession stand, and (mark your calendar) fireworks after the game on July 4. 

On June 26, the college is proud to sponsor “The Sandlot Comes to Liberal” at 7 p.m. at Light Park, introducing the younger generation to the much-loved classic movie about friendship, baseball, and neighborhood loyalty. Bring your kids or grandkids out for a fun evening with David Mickie Evans, the writer, director and narrator of the film, which will be shown outdoors free of charge. 

 

We promised entertainment, and that is exactly what will happen July 8-11 in the Showcase Theater here on the SCCC campus when the local theater group Rainbow Players presents a concert-style revival show. 

SCCC’s very own Madelyn Sander (marketing associate at the Saints Bookstore, LHS graduate, and adjunct theater instructor at SCCC) provided the details. A musical theater degree-holder, Sander shared the sorrow of artists and performers around the world over the past year. 

“I have so many dear friends who were unemployed for months on end during the pandemic,” she said "It’s beautiful to see the excitement in people who are ready to get out there and create, and we wanted to share in that sense of celebration here in Liberal.” 

Rainbow Players participants from the past 30 years will perform favorites and excerpts from previous productions in a concert-style show. The Showcase Theater will be limited to half-capacity — 150 audience members — but the four-day run means 600 fans can see the show. Ticket price is free-will donation, with a suggested $5 minimum. 

“Our hope is that it will be a positive, gentle step toward putting on full shows,” said Sander. “People can come and see it, be inspired, and maybe even say, ‘oh man, I wish I was up there,’ and that might just happen in another year when we stage another show.”

 

And that brings us to the end of this week’s Saints Voices column. Look for updates from more team members each Thursday. Keep an umbrella handy, keep smiling, and remember to wear green every week for Wednesdays with Louie. 

EDITOR’S NOTE — Rachel Coleman, a newspaper refugee and longtime Liberal resident, is the Executive Director of PR and Marketing at Seward County Community College. When she’s not on campus, she tends to an army of okra plants and tries to keep up with two lively grandsons. 

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