Attitude is everything for fall 2017 Calumet


Imagine a high school marching band in uniform. Stiff shoulder pads. Swaying helmet plumes. A tight circle surrounds the director. Silence falls as he speaks. It’s the pep talk.

How are your heels? “Together!”

Stomach? “In!”

Chest? “Out!”

Shoulders? “Back and relaxed!”

Chin? “Up!”

How are your eyes? “With pride!”

I can’t hear you! “With pride!”

What’s our motto? “Attitude is everything!”

I’ve said it so many times, but it’s so true – attitude really is everything, or at least a great deal of it.

I used to play trumpet in the marching band. Now I play a different role as your Calumet editor in chief this semester, continuing a tradition since 1951 of a student run newspaper on campus.

As we start another year at MCC, we are going to get busy. We’ll have homework, papers to write, labs to attend, and notes to take. Everyone hopes to finds a group, a club or an organization to join and become a part of. We’ll lose sleep and cry about grades, we’ll succeed, and fall short.

But as I reflect and prepare for this start of term, I am reminded of those high school marching band pep talks: keep your shoulders back, your chins up, eyes bright and full of pride, because in the end, our attitude is everything.

I am excited to be your Calumet editor in chief this semester. The paper’s motto is “Student run since 1951.” We have a great group of talented writers, photographers, and idealists this semester, and our team keeps growing. We’ve got new ideas, edges and stories to cover.

We have you, our readers. We want to involve you. We want to hear from you and find out what you’re up to, see your art, your writing, and your input. We want your voice in the Calumet.

It’s not our newspaper. It’s your newspaper.

Whether it’s a feature story of your club’s activities, your personal submission, your opinion about what’s happening in the world around us, or how to get to know the campus staff, we want to hear about it.

We’re in it together, to transfer, to graduate, to build each other up and to move on together. Wherever MCC takes you, from career paths and new schools to further education or service opportunities take us with you. Help us tell your story.

For questions, submissions, comments, concerns, feel free to talk with any of our Calumet staff, drop a note in any of our tip boxes around campus, or email me directly at

We’d love to hear from you. As always, stay tuned.

Q: What do readers want in their newspaper?

Calumet reporters asked. Here’s what students and staff said


A: Healthy alternatives and recycle

Phi Theta Kappa president Samantha Williams is used to school settings. But she wants to see new things in the school paper. Stories about recycling and a better, more efficient way to get recyclables from the dorms to the school for pick up. Williams also said she’d be really interested in reading about healthy snacks that can help with energy or focus “that don’t bog you down with sugars and fats.”


A: Mobilize it

Bethany Owens is the Test Proctor for the Testing Center located in the Student Center. What does she want to see in the Calumet? “As long as it’s on my phone, I really don’t care,” she laughed. When Owens attended MCC as a student, she was on the Calumet staff. She said she understands the struggle that, “your classmates read it and that’s about it.” She feels a mobile Calumet option would make it easier to read and keep up with whatever goes in the Calumet.


A: Increase my sphere of awareness

For Edwin Amigon, it’s his sphere of awareness in life over newspaper content that drives him to either pick up or pass on the Calumet. “I’ve read it once, two years ago,” he said. It’s been awhile since he picked the Calumet up, but Amigon said that has more to do with his lack of interest in the things around him. After taking a philosophy class at MCC, he said “I regained interest in the world around me. It helped me look at life differently.” Amigon said he doesn’t know if he’ll read the newspaper much because of all the destruction and depressive news that fills media outlets, but there is “always room for entertainment.” He would also be interested in knowing what clubs on campus are doing, their updates, and a feeling of “it’s never too late to join.”


A: New club coverage

“The only thing I got going on [besides the film to lit ‘Harry Potter’ class and Quidditch] is the Young Democratic Socialist of America,” said Jim Compton. He not only teaches Comp and Lit classes, but also takes huge roles in the annual Harry Potter festival with the many classes he instructs there, as well as advising for the Calumet in the past. Compton took a break from club participation for awhile, but he said he got back into the club game after being involved with Quidditch last year. He also said he would be interested in seeing the choir students explore options to help their choir peers not be in class during the social hour of 12:30-1:30. That could be through a letter to the MCC administration or finding alternatives for meeting times that don’t always coincide with social hour or other required classes. Compton said that choir students are some of the more active students on campus, and almost forcing them to miss a lot of what is going on because they’re involved with one extracurricular class doesn’t seem fair. “It’s like they’re relegated to a second class citizen,” Compton said. He knows the Calumet has some power and influence and feels that would be interesting to see the Calumet take that on.


A: I like jokes

First year student Nathaniel Devore is getting his gen-eds at Muscatine Community College. Devore would really love to see some jokes in the Calumet this semester. He suggested the idea of daily jokes but jokes every publication would be the same thing. He has not yet had the chance to pick up a Calumet off the stands because Devore did not know it even existed. He said he would be interested in picking up a Calumet now that he knows more about it. Devore said “I’m probably gonna look at ‘er now.”


A: Fashion and politics

MCC student Meghan Keeney is living on campus to experience what it’s like before going to Iowa State University. Keeney plans on majoring in fashion design and theatre. She would love to see more content dealing with fashion trends and political issues in the Calumet. Keeney says she hasn’t picked up a Calumet yet, but she would pick it up more often if those things were involved in the paper.


A: Not just the man at the bookstore

Danny Coombes works behind the MCC bookstore counter and has some pretty good ideas. He has read every issue of the Calumet that he has ever seen and would enjoy seeing some new stories in the paper. Coombes wants to see what Tracey Graves, the president of student senate, does for the community and school. He said he wouldn’t change anything about the paper and likes that it is student run. Coombes said he would enjoy the paper with the stories on Tracey.


A: Immigration and puzzles

Sophomore Joel Martinez, 19, works full time at Hon while attending MCC full time to get a degree in nursing.

“Perseverance is a big part of it,” he says. “It’s tiring sometimes, but getting it done is important to me.”

“I’ve never read the Calumet, I don’t even know what that is,” Martinez said.

Martinez would like to see stories about the DACA immigration situation, and would like to see more puzzles in the paper.

“The puzzles are fun to do in between classes when I have nothing to do,” he says.


A: Include Issues

Sophomore Allie Davis works at Yacky Shack part time, as well as working at MCC as a Student Ambassador. She is a full-time student, hoping to complete her AA and graduate in the spring, then transfer to Iowa State University next fall.

“I tried to read every issue last year but there were weird amounts of time between each issue,” she says. “It felt like the timing was weird.”

“It would be easier to read the paper if I saw more color. It helps me concentrate.” She said.

“I wanna see you write about city issues. The mayor is… questionable, in my opinion. It would be cool to see students cover that.”