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Archive for August, 2008

There is no easy way to begin a story such as this, as it is more like a chapter in a series of epic literature. This story is the kind that involves a single game, and a single winner. It is what we, as participants, players, and onlookers ourselves love to hate and hate to love.

I was one of over 66,000 people to attend the Missouri vs. Illinois football game tonight. I was with a group of Mizzou fans, yet sat in the Illinois section.  I received these tickets from my uncle, an Illinois alum. The division of fans in the stadium was obvious from the sea of gold and black countering an ocean of navy and orange – we were obviously not in the right place.

The game began long before the clock started on the field. In order to reach the entrance, we found ourselves swimming through endless crowds chanting “M-I-Z!” and subsequently ending by the opposing team’s fans, “I-N-I!”. There were ambulances and stretchers lining the streets of downtown St. Louis aiding victims of too much tailgating and other endless situations.

As the pages turn, I once again found a familiar place as I jumped, cheered, scowled, and put my head in my hands play after play. Although surrounded by people that consistently had the opposite reaction to mine, I found myself loving every sparkling moment of suspense. This was because I knew this was, once again, the start of something big. It was the start of another season of Mizzou football.

As we cheered, we were pelted with peanuts from angry fans from the opposing team. But as we jumped to our feet in ecstasy, we saw a monumental statement that the sea of gold across from us was celebrating. The roars resembled those of only true tiger fans, and the message that they were saying seemed to declare, “Keep playing, Tigers. We’ll keep cheering, and you keep playing.” A recipe for success.

This deal between the MU fans and the Mizzou football team was sealed in the last few moments of the game, as the final score was 52 to 42…you guessed it, Mizzou.

If this story is any indication of what the rest of the Mizzou football season will look like, I can’t wait to see the creation of the next chapter in the series.

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Today marked the start of a fresh school year for thousands of MU students, but this first day of classes has been unlike any other in terms of record-breaking enrollment numbers.

The number of first-time freshmen rose 15.6 percent this year, with a record high of 5,812 students, according to a news release issued by the university. Overall student enrollment reached 29,761, a 6-percent increase from last year and the seventh year in a row that the university has broken this record.

MU Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Ann Korschgen said the increase in freshman enrollment was largely responsible for this year’s increase in total student enrollment. She mentioned that several factors contributed to the enrollment of 785 more freshmen this year than in 2007.

“High freshman enrollment numbers are the result of enhanced recruiting efforts by the university, including visits to more high schools, more mailings of university literature and increased out-of-state recruiting,” Korschgen said. “I think the increase is also a reflection of our great new facilities, the campus landscape, the success of our football team and the reputation of our academic programs and faculty.”

Also included in the university’s first-day enrollment figures:

  • Graduate student enrollment increased by 7.1 percent, bringing the number of graduate students to a record-breaking 5,811.
  • Freshman African-American enrollment increased by 27.5 percent, placing it at the highest level in MU history.
  • Freshman Hispanic enrollment rose 29.7 percent, another record-breaking number.
  • The university’s retention rate, or the percentage of freshmen that return to MU their sophomore year, increased by 0.5 percent. This year’s 85.2 percent is the highest the rate has ever been.
  • The number of students receiving Curators Scholars Awards increased by 8.8 percent, making this year’s 481 students the highest in eight years.
  • The freshman class’ mean ACT score of 25.5 remained unchanged from last year.

According to Korschgen, these first-day enrollment numbers are not official figures, but those will be available after the 20th day of classes.

 

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When MU received a grant in June to recruit student to work at polling places this fall, Boone County clerk Wendy Noren hoped for about 60 students, and just a few to help out in a test run in Tuesday’s primary.

But after a couple months of recruitment, 320 students responded with interest in the program, said David Valentine, the associate director for public service at the Truman School of Public Affairs. Wendy Noren said she is obviously excited so many students are interested, and that getting their training out of the way this summer should really help come this fall.

So if you’re going to vote tomorrow, look out for an increased number of students at the polls — helping out with computers and performing the regular duties of an election judge. Also, I’ll have a complete story on this matter out Wednesday.

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