Community involvement focus for campus

Joplin and Missouri Southern are rumored to have a disconnect. It has been said that the city doesn’t support the University and that the University doesn’t get involved with the community.

Director of University Relations and Marketing, Cassie Mathes and Director of Athletic Marketing and Corporate Sales Randon Coffey both feel that this is a misconception that is far from the truth.

Coffey said, “We understand that we have a perception problem. A lot of people, when they look at our school compared to Pitt State, they see a very big distinction.”

Both Mathes and Coffey plan a number of events to reach out to the community. Coffey, for example, mentioned teaming up with Mathes to distribute Missouri Southern window decals to close to 100 businesses in the Joplin area.

Southern is often compared to Pittsburg State University in a lot of areas, due to the proximity and rivalry between the two schools. Pittsburg has an atmosphere that radiates school spirit whereas Joplin is more of a business community.

“Without Pitt State, Pittsburg doesn’t have a lot to stand on,” said Coffey. “Joplin was a very formidable city before Southern was built.”

Coffey also explained that PSU is the number one brand in all of Division II.

“You’re comparing a very good school with the best school in DII,” said Coffey.

Another interesting fact that Coffey brought up was that Southern had the 13th highest attendance in all of DII football in week one. There are 148 teams who compete in DII football.

The University marketing and relations department is hosting its second annual “Paint the Town Green & Gold.” This is a competition Southern holds where area businesses decorate their storefronts with Southern themed decorations.

Mathes mentioned that she has received endless positive feedback from local businesses about how great Third Thursday is.

“We partner with a lot of businesses and host many, many things throughout the year,” said Mathes. “I honestly feel like the community is backing Southern like never before.”