Entire freshman class to take a trip to Topeka

By Emily Larkin, Managing and Online Editor

The freshman class will be taking a trip on Nov. 8 to the state capital as a part of the Traditions and Transitions class. There are expected to be around 200 students in attendance.

Freshmen and T&T facilitators and faculty will load four buses at 7:15 a.m. to head to Topeka.

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Rosemary Niedens said the idea for the trip came from the topic of the Kansas Underground Railroad that was presented in the freshman read.

The freshman read, “The Immortal Ten,” tells the story of a group of abolitionists who worked to free Dr. John Doy who was imprisoned for freeing slaves through the Underground Railroad.

Niedens said the university has been hoping for an opportunity like this for a while, but this year the pieces fell into place.

“For many years, we’ve wanted to do a big event for T&T and everything just kind of came together. Gary Jenkins who wrote ‘The Immortal Ten’ lives in Kansas City and was a lot less expensive of a speaker,” she said. “So, with the financial help from the Gerber Institute, I was able to use the money I would have used on a high- dollar speaker for this trip.”

Freshman Delaney Cundiff said she thinks the trip will bring her class together.

“I’m glad that we get to go with our class because we’re really close now, and it’ll be a good bonding experience,” she said.

Niedens said there will be three primary locations that the students will visit. In the morning, they’re going to the Historic Ritchie House, which is a preserved Underground Railroad house, and the Brown vs. the Board of Education Historic Site.

In the afternoon, they are going to the Capitol. Students will have the option of going on the historic tour or the dome tour, which is a 296-stair climb to the top of the building’s dome.

Sophomore T&T facilitator Karen Do said she looks forward to seeing the historical element behind the freshman read.

“I’m really excited about traveling as a class to Topeka to visit some historical places that correlate with the freshmen reading,” she said. “It will be eye-opening to see a house that once helped slaves gain freedom.”

Niedens said that she would not have been able to build this trip alone.

“I wanted to give a special thanks to the athletics department for cooperating and not having any problems with the students going,” she said, “and to the Gerber Institute for making it all possible.”