Coronavirus creates panic buying, shortage of goods

Feds relax limits on daily hours for truck drivers, Wal-Mart changes hours

Deli meat section at a Franklin County, Mo. Wal-Mart. March 15, 2020. (Photo by Will Sites)

BY Clarion staff reports

JEFFERSON CITY – Life with the coronavirus is keeping many students and workers at home, while others will be spending more time on the road. For the first time in American transportation history, the Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued an exemption to truck drivers moving goods important to the war on the virus. Drivers hauling such things as food, medical supplies, and cleaning agents may now drive beyond the maximum time allowed behind the wheel.

On Sunday, Wal-Mart began closing its 24-hour Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets, limiting hours of operation from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and closing for cleaning and stocking. Recent instances of hoarding and panic-buying have wiped shelves of toilet paper, bread, meats, and other goods at retailers nationwide.

Millions of students will be home as schools nationwide shut the doors for periods ranging from two weeks to the end of spring. In Missouri, many universities have extended spring break periods and moved to online-only instruction. So far, Lincoln University is currently operating on an extended spring break, providing enough time for staff and faculty to prepare online-only coursework – if needed.

For more information on coronavirus in Missouri, click here.

The bread aisle at a Wal-Mart store near St. Louis. March 15, 2020. (Photo by Will Sites)

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COVID-19 Update: Spring break extended one week

The COVID-19 virus. (Courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

By Clarion Staff

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – LU Provost Dr. Alphonso Sanders has issued a notice that spring break will be extended one week (through March 20) due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. All campus events (tours, etc.) will remain closed until further notice. Residence halls will remain closed during the extension.

Faculty and staff will report Monday, March 16 for training and necessary business, including plans for the possibility of moving coursework to an online format. The situation remains fluid – please read campus emails on a daily basis and stay informed.

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Black History Month: Debating Reparations

Dr. Darius Watson (photo by Kelsey Bias)

By Tai-Rece Basey

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – As part of Black History Month, LU political science professor Dr. Darius Watson presented “Debating Reparations” in Page Library. The presentation opened with the history behind the idea of “40 acres and a mule,” explaining the events that occurred up to present day.

The professor explained that the “40 acres and a mule” concept was presented by Gen. William T. Sherman after the Civil War. Watson argued that lack of legal representation, more specifically government approval, is one of the reasons why the idea lasted a short 24 months.

Today, the discussion of reparations is still the subject of debate. The lecture dissected the causes, reasons, and challenges of reparations. The effects of slavery, such as racism, colorism, and the inequality of the justice system, have kept reparations relevant. Watson encouraged attendees to debate the potential solutions for the ongoing issue.

Many professors and students voiced strong opinions on the subject and referred to past paid reparations to Japanese-Americans and Native Americans. While Watson agreed with repayment for black suffering, his exhibition explained why it’s not logically possible.

Financially, the total repayment of reparations would be extremely difficult to execute, as he noted it would cost about $15 trillion. He also explained the difficulty in determining “who” gets “what.” Many suggested investing money into predominantly black areas, but then there was the argument of the inclusion of blacks not inhabiting those areas.

Every component of reparations is complex, he said, so attempting the process 155 years later will only complicate things. This is a significant part of black history, he said, and it has carried into present day.

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Missouri bill seeks to ban certain adult-themed novels

Laurie Anderson’s fictional young adult novel, “Speak,” is often the target of censorship due to its graphic nature. (Photo by Marche Boggess/Page Library/March 2020)

By Mar’Che Boggess

JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Rep. Ben Baker (R-Neosho) has proposed HR 2044, a bill that intends to bar libraries from keeping books with “age-inappropriate” material in stock. Under the bill, panels of elected parents would evaluate whether a book is appropriate for children or not.

Once the panel discusses the book, public hearings would be held for libraries about potentially inappropriate content. Libraries failure to comply with stipulations may result in fines or imprisonment of library directors for up to a year.

Baker recently voiced his reasoning to KOAM News, saying “I want to be able to take my kids to a library and make sure they’re in a safe environment and that they’re not gonna be exposed to something that is objectionable material.”

A few books that have come under fire by parents due to objectionable material include Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Sheman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak.

The Missouri Library Association opposes Baker’s bill because it “will always stand against censorship and for the freedom to read.” James Tager, PEN America’s deputy director of free expression and research echoed the sentiments of the association saying “The fact that a librarian could actually be imprisoned for following his or her conscience and refusing to block minors from access to a book, that tells you all you need to know about the suitability of this act within a democratic society.”

Tager went on to say that Baker’s proposed bill is a “shockingly transparent attempt to legalize book banning in the state of Missouri.”

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Black History Month: “The Faces of Reconciliation”

Lynne M. Jackson, great-great granddaughter of Dred Scott, with LU’s Dr. Darius Watson. Feb. 26, 2020. (Photo by Jasmine Ray)

By Keishera Lately

As part of Black History Month, Lincoln University hosted an evening with Lynne M. Jackson, the great-great granddaughter of Dred Scott, with her presentation, “The Faces of Reconciliation.”

Her family’s famous abolitionist case began in 1847 in a St. Louis federal courthouse, when Dred Scott unsuccessfully argued for his freedom from slavery. The Dred Scott legal saga would eventually land in the U.S. Supreme Court as Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857).

Scott lost his legal fight, but was ultimately freed just months before dying in St. Louis in 1858. Although Scott was unsuccessful in the courts, his legal battles rallied the abolitionists and helped carve a path to the U.S. Civil War, ultimately ending slavery in America.

Jackson is the president and founder of the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation. The foundation’s goal is to “Promote the commemoration,education,and reconciliation of our histories with an eye towards helping to heal the wounds of the past.” Through the foundation she has been able to spread her knowledge of her grandfather and the history of the landmark case.

“Them taking the case federal makes it important; they had courage when they didn’t have to,” Jackson told the audience Tuesday evening in LU’s Richardson Auditorium.

Jackson was in Jefferson City to receive special recognition from the General Assembly at the Missouri Capitol.

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Lucile Bluford gets her day

Her fight for equality led to big changes, and a journalism program at LU

By Isis McCully

Lucille Bluford photographed on in 1984 during a visit to the campus of the University of Missouri, Columbia. In the early 1940s, she filed a lawsuit against the school after it refused to admit her. (Photo courtesy Missouri State Archives)

JEFFERSON CITY – The woman who changed journalism for African-Americans has her own day of celebration. Lucile H. Bluford was a famous journalist who fought for equal rights in America’s education system. In 2016, to honor her career and her leadership in civil rights, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill designating July 1 as “Lucile Bluford Day.”

Although in 1939 Bluford was denied entry into the journalism graduate program at the University of Missouri – Columbia, she had a huge impact on Lincoln University. After being denied entry into Mizzou, she filed a lawsuit. The Missouri Supreme Court suggested Bluford attend nearby Lincoln University, but Lincoln didn’t have a journalism program. Ultimately, the court ordered Mizzou to let Bluford into the graduate school. In response, the university closed their graduate school.

Bluford never attended the University of Missouri. However, Lincoln began offering journalism courses and today is considered to have the oldest journalism program of all the HBCU schools in the U.S.

Will Sites, assistant professor of journalism at Lincoln University, was asked about Missouri’s Lucile Bluford Day .

“I think it’s way overdue because if it wasn’t for the struggles that Miss Bluford went through, I’m not sure we would be where we are today with journalism at LU,” said Sites from his MLK Hall campus office. “Maybe late is better than never, but let’s honor her and her day from here forward and what she means not only for Lincoln University, but for African-American journalism.”

Though Bluford ended her legal battle with the University of Missouri, she kept fighting. She became a leading voice for the civil rights movement and a publisher/editor at the Kansas City Call newspaper, where she retired after a long, successful career.

Mark Schleer, Page Library archivist and GE 101 university seminar instructor, was asked what he would tell students who don’t know about Lucile Bluford.

“Well, her best attributes are probably persistence, a sense of justice and somebody who has a vision and a goal, not just for themselves but for other people,” said Schleer. “I’d like to thank her for her sacrifice, her effort, and her goal of having education for everyone.”

For more about Lucile Bluford, click here.

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Here comes spring break – and midterms!

A few study tips for the procrastinators and disorganized

Mark Schleer, Lincoln University’s archivist and GE 101 instructor, is interviewed by Clarion News reporter Isis McCully inside Page Library. March 2, 2018. (Clarion News photo)

By Isis McCully

(Reposted from original Feb. 15, 2019 Clarion post)

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Spring break and midterm exams are just around the corner.  For many students, the important halfway-through-the-semester tests may define the difficulty of the path to graduation or summer break. Although we often develop our own strategies for reaching high scores, there are some strategies that might help. Just ask the campus experts.

Mark Schleer, Page Library archivist and GE 101 university seminar instructor, has some good advice on surviving the upcoming midterm season.

Schleer says that students should get organized early and not wait until the last minute to study. In other words, quit procrastinating!  If an exam covers a plethora of pages and reams of notes, don’t rely on coffee and racing the clock to get it done. If you have bad study habits, use the resources available in the library – such as SI and tutoring services.

“Make sure to talk with your instructors,” Schleer says. “They know the material better than anyone and can provide guidance for the exam.” Schleer says that students don’t need to fear approaching their professors, especially at Lincoln. Some professors say they encourage students to ask questions and make appointments for additional help, if needed.

“I want my students to feel that I’m approachable and always available for help,” says Will Sites, assistant professor of journalism. “I wish more students would use the resources we have on campus, especially tutoring.” Sites says he puts test review material online and is always looking for ways to reach students.

Schleer says that teachers remember being in undergrad. “They had the same questions, fears, hopes and dreams,” Schleer says. “They can relate and they’re not the enemy or out to get you.” If talking with the professors isn’t part of a student’s strategy, there are plenty of options to help increase grades.

“Get acquainted with fellow classmates and get involved in study groups,” Schleer says. He says studying with others tends to improve academic success and it’s a fun way to study. Too many students, he says, get in a panic and don’t perform at their highest level. To begin with, students should learn good note-taking methods.

There are two good methods for taking notes. One, Schleer says, is the Cornell method, which is when students divide the paper into two columns. The note-taking column is on the right and the question/key-word column is on the left. The other method involves using an outline. Some instructors post outlines on Canvas, which allows students to print it out and bring to class, making note taking much easier and efficient. 

Studying for and doing well on midterms begins with getting organized early, using campus study resources, meeting with professors/joining study groups, and utilizing a note-taking strategy that is efficient and effective.

For tutoring info, please click here.

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