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11 Sep 2013

Author: dlemle | Filed under: BGSU

By: Simone Jackson

Tolulope Olaonipekun, 17, moved to America in January to receive what she considered to be the best education possible.

Olaonipekun, who prefers to be called Tolu, is from western Nigeria and is studying journalism at Bowling Green State University.

“Studying in the U.S. will give me better knowledge of what journalism is. Nigeria is very corrupt, and many do not believe journalists,” Tolu said. 

BGSU has 756 international students from 91 countries. Most students come from China, Saudi Arabia and India, said Paul Hofmann, director of the Center for International Programs at BGSU, in an email.

According to a report by the Institute of International Education, a private nonprofit organization, the number of international students in the U.S. reached a record high of 723,277 in 2010 to 2011, a 32 percent increase since 2000 to 2001. Ohio is numbered eighth in the country for hosting international students according to the report.

The increase in international student enrollment has heightened the need for international students to speak English clearly.  According to the report, intensive English language is one of the top fields of study for international students.  In 2010 to 2011, more than 30,000 students chose English as their main field of study, a 24 percent increase since 2009 to 2010 and the highest percent change of all the fields included in the report. 

Source: Institute of International Education

Many of these increases have to do with globalization and competition between the U.S. and other countries,said Amanda Sipes, a graduate assistant at  the Center for International Programs at BGSU. In most countries, if someone knows English and has studied in the U.S it strengthens their credibility, she said.

At BGSU, several international students said that the most challenging part is learning the culture and communicating with Americans.

Though English is Tolu’s first language, the reaction she gets from Americans when she speaks has made her uncomfortable.

“It is especially difficult to communicate with Whites and people laugh at my accent. For a while, I just stopped talking.” Tolu said. “I was lonely and depressed,” she said.

Fahad Alruweili, a guest student at BGSU from Saudi Arabia said that international students are at a disadvantage with their peers and professors because of the language and cultural differences.

 “I can’t think like an American because I am not one,” Alruwelli said.

Sipes said she has noticed that students from African and Asian cultures tend to be more reserved than students from other countries.

“Some cultures are stricter than ours and it may not be acceptable to ask the teacher questions.  On top of worrying about their English, students have to get used to the cultural differences,” Sipes said in a phone interview.

After an entire semester at BGSU, Tolu is beginning to adapt to the American culture.

“I am starting to pick up on communication both from students and professors. I have improved,” Tolu said.

Mohssen Alathmi, a native of Saudi Arabia and an engineering technology student at BGSU, moved to America four years ago. Alathmi had been exposed to English since he was 11, but he did not start taking the subject seriously until high school. When he arrived at BGSU, he could not speak any English, and he only understood a few English words.

Alathmi enrolled in Bowling Green’s branch of The Language Company, a private organization that offers intensive English programs to international students through its 10 locations across the country. The Language Company is based in Edmond, Okla.

The majority of The Language Company’s 550 students come from Saudi Arabia, China and South Korea, said Daniel Escobar, Director of Marketing Research at The Language Company’s main location.  

“It was hard, but if you want to learn to speak, you have to practice,” said Alathmi who would purposely start conversations with Americans to become more comfortable with the English language.  

The Language Company in Bowling Green  has about 80 students.  The company works closely with BGSU’s International Programs office, but is not directly affiliated with the university. The Language Company at Bowling Green has an all English all the time policy.

“We have students with a variety of goals. Some students have bachelor’s degrees in their home countries and some students plan on graduating from Bowling Green State University,” said Christina Stefanik, Director of the Language Company in Bowling Green.

Each year, approximately 50 graduates of The Language Company in Bowling Green go on to become BGSU students, Hofmann said in an email.

Stefanik said that a significant challenge for students studying English at The Language Company in Bowling Green is that it takes students a while to learn the difference between spoken American English and written academic English.

“The challenge is communicating in practical day to day matters.  They know exactly what they want to say, but they do not always have the sentence structure to do so,” Stefanik said.

Alruweili said that the international programs at BGSU could be improved.

“The people are not qualified. Most of them have never studied abroad, so there are things they would never understand. We came here to be immersed in the American culture and certain programs have played a weak role in making that happen,” Alruweili said.

The Center for International Programs introduces international students to every office on campus and provides many resources during orientation, but our office is understaffed , Sipes said.

The International Programs office at BGSU has plans to expand.

 The goal is to increase the enrollment of international students at BGSU to 1000 and to send 1000 BGSU students abroad, said Hoffman.

 “English is an international language, and for many students, being able to speak it is a necessity to reach their personal and professional goals,” Stefanik said.

By Chevon Anderson

The Stroh Center is the shinny new facility that sits off Wooster Street welcoming everyone that exits the interstate to Bowling Green State University. Although this building is a beautiful addition to the campus, students have begun to question whether the Stroh Center was a beneficial asset to the university and to their pockets.

The new facility comes with the sticker price of $36 million dollars. In 29 years when the building is paid off, students would have paid for more than 61 percent of the cost.

Chart showing how the Stroh Center was funded

Chief Financial Officer Sheri Stoll explained in an email that $14 million of the total project came from private donations and the remaining $22 million came from issuing bonds (similar to a loan). These bonds will get repaid through student fees.

This debt was approved by USG and then re-approved through a student referendum in 2009, which received over 60 percent of students support.

“Of course students would agree to the idea of paying a fee three years ago, they won’t be here when it’s time to pay,” said Kristi Ketchum, a senior film production major.

Associate Athletic Director of Internal Affairs Jim Elsasser explained that for the next 29 years until the building is paid off, students would be charged a $50 fee each semester.

This means that an average student would spend approximately $400 on fees for the Stroh Center.

USA Today reported on the issue of universities nation-wide spending millions of dollars on new sports facilities and leaving the burden of the debt for students to pay, making this a national issue.

The investigators of 10 News reported that the University of Southern Florida athletic department receives 36 percent of their funding through

Percentage of how much donors contributed

subsidized student fees. In addition to this, USF is preparing to build a new football stadium having students support a percentage of the cost through additional fees.

University of California Berkeley is discussing changing the university from a division two school to a division one.  The Wall Street Journal reported that there are certain criterions that a facility must meet in order to meet division one standards. The renovations are estimated to start at $321 million and the university was only able to secure $31 million in cash. Students at UC Berkeley are questioning where the rest of the funding will come from.

The difference between Bowling Green and other universities is that Bowling Green asked the student of their opinion prior to charging them.

Elsasser explained that it was important that the university understood that the students supported the idea of the Stroh and supported funding the building, since the building is for them.  There is no mistaking the great difference in the amount it would cost to construct a basketball facility in comparison to a football stadium, however the fact remains that universities around the nation are placing the burden of these new facilities on the students.

Sports Management Assistant Professor Brian McCullough said that it is extremely difficult to receive donations with the economy fluctuating the way it is and it takes a level of creativity to figure out how to fund a large project like the Stroh.

In looking for a replacement for Anderson Arena, Assistant Vice President of Capital Planning Bob Waddle said that the idea to renovate or expand Anderson proved to be very costly, so the decision to build an entirely new facility was made since it would be more cost effective.

All the money that the facility makes of ticket sales of games, concerts and family shows stays within the Stroh to maintain the building. Essentially the Stroh pays for itself, which helps save the university money.

The $36 million athletic facility offers amenities that Anderson Arena did not. Stroh offers more comfortable seating for guests, a practice gym, a training room, a team lounge, state-of-the-art equipment for players to train with, and three separate locker rooms for the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the women’s volleyball team.

A’uston Calhoun, junior power forward for the men’s basketball, said his favorite thing about the Stroh is having everything you need in one place.

The Stroh Center was built with the intent to benefit not only the university and its students but reach out to the community.

“The goal of this space was to offer a convocation center that would reach out not only to the students of BG but engage the community as well,” said Ben Spence, the general manager of the Stroh Center.

The new addition to campus is also the first and only building on campus that has received LEED Gold Certification Waddle said.

“Early on we knew that we wanted the building to be recognized for this (its sustainable features), so we hired the proper contractors and Lead firm to help us take all necessary steps to get certification,” Waddle said.

Although students may not be the happiest about their money is going, there is a no denying that since the facility is here, student really enjoy attending events.

“I am obsessed with the Stroh Center,” Abby Brumme, Junior, Public Relations and Journalism Major. “I’ve attend basketball games, Stroh Clean-Up for dance marathon and few other events.”

26 Apr 2012

Minority rates lower than the overall BGSU graduation rates

Author: Justina Bucceri | Filed under: Enterprise Story

Bowling Green State University’s students of color graduation rates are dramatically lower than the overall rate. First time, full time students in the summer and fall are grouped into a cohort and that group determines the ratio of students graduating after four, five or six years at the university.

The student of color four-year graduation rate from 2006 to 2010 is less than 8.2 percent compared to the overall rate according to the BGSU Office of Institutional Research.

African Americans, Hispanics, Asian and Pacific Islander and American Indian make up the students of color grouping.

According to the Office of Institutional Research at BGSU, the overall four-year graduation rate from 2006 to 2010 is 36 percent, whereas the student of color graduation rate is 27.8 percent. The overall five- year graduation rate from 2005 to 2010 is 54.8 percent, and the student of color rate is 45.4 percent. In addition, the overall six-year graduation rate from 2004 to 2010 is 60.5 percent and the student of color is 48.6 percent.

The student of color graduation rate is lower than overall because of economic and financial reasons, said Gary Swegan, vice president for enrollment management and director of admissions.

Swegan said there is a lot of economic disadvantage of why students struggle to graduate.

“The lower rate is tied to economics,” Swegan said. “It is true that a larger percentage of families of color are first generation of college students now.”

He said the 2007 cohort will be interesting to see because the race based scholarship has not happened since 2006. The student of color graduation rates will be lower because several students rely on scholarships, Swegan said.

“It could go down because the students of color are not being supported from loans and scholarship,” Swegan said.

Conrad McRoberts, senior research associate at the BGSU Institutional Research Office, agrees that the lower minority graduation rates are from economic reasons. He said that there are fewer resources for students of color in the Bowling Green community.

“I suspect there is more than one factor that causes students of color to not graduate on time- or leave Bowling Green,” McRoberts said. “Students of color might not find the Bowling Green community as a whole as something that meets their needs.”

He said overall the graduation rates are good but that does not mean the university can do better.

The TRIO Programs is one curriculum that is designed to motivate and assist students to enter and succeed in higher education. It is for first-generation students who come from families with limited income.

Sidney Childs, executive director of the TRIO Programs said the program is about 60 percent of color students and the other 40 percent is Caucasian students.

“Higher rate of first year and lower income students do not have the proper resources,” said Childs. “They do not have the experiences and set of expectations to be successful in college.”

He said these students are impacted from fully engaging in the institution because they do not have the appropriate tools. Students thrive when they see an institution that is supportive and the faculty reflects the student body.

“Institutions must provide academic services to help students,” Childs said. “Students of color who run into academic difficulty must seek out help and not be stigmatized.”

Senior Alex Davis, who is half white and half black, is graduating this spring, after four-years at BGSU. Davis said he has been successful in college because his parents graduated from college and they raised him to excel and stay in school.

He received a historically underrepresented scholarship, which he said it was a factor of him going to BGSU but not staying here.

“I surround myself with a positive crowd in college,” Davis said. “With a positive crowd, students get that drive and personally grow.”

Ray Schuck, instructor in the department of communications is an alumnus of BGSU. He said the campus was very white when he went here in the early 1990’s but the university makes a conscious effort to bring in students of color since former President Sidney Ribeau.

He is apart of the multicultural overnight program where high school students of color that have been accepted to BGSU stay a night, get to know students that are similar to them and do educational activities.
Schuck did a mock classroom activity of his communication, race and power class and the students of color responded well because they want to learn issues that relate to them.

“Often look at students of color graduation and retention rates from a negative approach instead of what makes them successful,” said Childs. “To be able to survive and thrive in the university, students need to make a connection with the faculty and find a purpose and meaning from being at BGSU.”

26 Apr 2012

What Depression Really Is

Author: Meghan Coburn | Filed under: Enterprise Story, Spring 2012

By Meghan Coburn

Many people do not understand what depression really is. Some people confuse it with being upset or grieving over certain things. When they do not get to enjoy nice weather, they become upset. Depression is more than just feeling upset, it is a disability.

Depression is a mental illness that some individuals suffer from. There are different types of depression such as: reactive depression, endogenous, postnatal, depression with psychotic features, and bipolar. Individuals who experience depression may be a result of disturbances that occur in the brain chemistry, seasonal influences and negative life events. There are several different things that could trigger one to be diagnosed with this mental disability.

Photo taken from the story, "See a Grey World" CREDIT: stockxpert

Individuals can suffer from depression at several different moments in their life. For example, college students deal with stress on a daily basis between a routinely Monday through Friday busy agenda. For someone who has depression, this can trigger it to worsen or if you have not been diagnosed yet, this could be a way of finding out that you suffer from depression.

Garrett Gilmer, associate director at the Bowling Green State University Counseling Center said a lot of individuals suffer from depression and a lot of them get diagnosed in college with this disorder due to the high-stress and busy schedules. Depression also affects nearly 14 million Americans per year.

In addition to school work playing a factor for worsening this mental disability, people with depression suffer from being social and lack energy to go out.

Kathleen Quinn a freshman at BGSU and an education major understands people who have depression.

“I know quite a few people who I worked with that suffer from depression. They were very quiet and never wanted to do anything. Even though they think they are being outgoing you can tell they somewhat shelter themselves.” Quinn said.

Depression is not just feeling sad. Being sad is a natural emotion. To cry or grieve is a natural human emotion.

“It is sometimes hard to distinguish between someone who actually has this disability or if the person is just upset about something that happened,” Gilmer said.

In a survey from 2008, results showed that 45 percent of women and 36 percent of men have been struggling or dealing with depression. They say women have a tendency to be more depressed due to hormonal issues according to American College Health Association.

Psychologist Dr. Andrew Martin from Bowling Green State University said trying to overcome depression may be difficult but you have to start small.
Medications can help alleviate some of the issues that an individual may be dealing with and counseling centers may help.

“Depression is inherited, unfortunately. The most common form of depression that is a genetic disorder is bipolar,” said Dryw Dworsky director of the Counseling Center at BGSU. “If someone is dealing with any type of depression they need to seek professional help.”

The diagnostics for depression or any type of mental disability are done through psychological history and evaluation. If a person experiences a loss of interest in the things they once enjoyed and start feeling sad and in the dumps for at least two weeks, they may have major depression according to American Psychiatric Association.

“I am not going to consider myself to be majorly depressed because my symptoms are not that bad, but when you start feeling the way you do during depression and do not have a reason as to why, is very upsetting,” said sophomore and business major Lizzie Hoyle.

By starting small and writing down goals or things you are grateful for are steps to improving yourself.

“If you take the correct steps to getting better by seeking help, doing the small things, and taking medication then you are on the right track. You never want to make yourself be more miserable than you already are.” Dworsky said.

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26 Apr 2012

Tuition Increase

Author: Mykel Lindsay | Filed under: BGSU, BGSU Board of Trustees, Enterprise Story, Spring 2012

By: Mykel Lindsay
Tuition Increase

Tuition could be expected to increase again for college campuses nationwide.

The Board of Trustees meets to discuss rates for this year and have concluded a 3.5 percent increase on tuition due to the lack of state funding.

“In 2011 state funding decreased $11 million,” Sheri Stoll, chief financial officer and vice president for finance and administration, said. “For this reason, to balance income a proposal to raise tuition comes into effect.

With the new building additions to BGSU’s campus tuition could be raised again, reflecting on the past tuition increases.

2011-2012 Tuition Cost Break Down for BGSU

Ohio Residents Non Ohio-Residence
Tuition and Fees $10,044 Tuition and Fees $10,044
Total $10,044 Nonresident Fee $7,308
  Total $17,352

Not including other costs such as room and board for on-campus residence, meal plans, etc. the expenses are as listed without the tuition increase.

“I feel like tuition increase is unfair because we as college students are already struggling with personal expenses like outside bills so raising tuition just complicates our lives in more ways than one,” said Destiny Beddinghaus, 22, apparel merchandising major from Cincinnati, Ohio. “If we have to get another job or find more money to pay the increase it takes away time we could be spending on our academics.”

Following the trend of tuition increase at BGSU, in 2002, there was a 6 percent tuition increase.

In 2006 to 2009 the tuition rates remained the same due to reliable state funds.
In 2010 there was a 3.5 percent increase in tuition, resulting in a $159 increase per semester.

According to, from 1999-2010, prices at public undergraduate institutions have increased by 37 percent.

Without the distribution of funding and calculating costs of campus donation, the increase in tuition is a result of lack of resources in funding.

According to Geofrey Tracy, director of budgeting and resource planning, before an increase in tuition the review of costs are taken into account such as utilities and state wages.

“State funding has decreased 70 percent in recent years.” Tracy said.
With state funds being reduced, college institutions are usually in demand to raise the cost of tuition to continue the flow of income.

While the demand for tuition increases, students are still seeking to continue an education at college institutions.

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26 Apr 2012

Students Prepare for Student Loan Stress

Author: Collin Sims | Filed under: BGSU, Enterprise Story

By Collin Sims

Video by Collin Sims

 May is fast approaching, and with it comes excitement for the event college students at Bowling Green State University have worked four years or longer for: graduation.

            In a job market where the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports current unemployment rate is 8.2 percent as of March 2012, those feelings of joy and accomplishment may end up short lived.

            Between the difficulties of finding work, costs of attendance at college institutions and the growing student loan debt, college students may find themselves more stressed and anxious than they can handle.

            According to Bowling Green State University’s website, the current cost of attendance range from $17,738 for Ohio students to $25,046 for non-Ohio residents depending on factors like housing, meal plan and tuition.

  , a site that does primary research on colleges to help students determine which college is best for them, said of the current tuition rate, 75 percent of students have their cost of attendance covered by financial aid with 86 percent of freshmen receiving financial aid.

            Default rates on student loans rose to 8.8 percent last September according to the Department of Education, up 7 percent from 2008.

            Heather Wilson, a financial educator at BGSU’s Student Money Management Services, said student loan debt is not generally considered a bad debt in terms of credit, though the debt does hurt students if they are late on payments.

            “Budget as if you are already paying it back. That way, it does not sneak up on you,” Wilson said.

            To prepare for repayments on the money they owe, Wilson said saving is the easiest thing to do since there is a six month grace period on most loans. Wilson said students can prepare by making a budget and planning in case of uncertainty.

            “Budget as if you are already paying it back. That way, it does not sneak up on you,” Wilson said.

            Wilson said saving is extremely important as everyone should have a safety net up to 3-6 months’ worth in case of emergencies, and to get a regular savings depending on the frequency of your pay.

            “Don’t cut your budget so tight you hurt yourself,” Wilson said. “Don’t pinch pennies, live comfortably and within your means.”

            For students about to graduate, like early childhood education major Angela Harrison, thinking about money can make them nervous.

            “The job market right now really scares me to think about, but I know it’s something I have to think about,” Harrison said in an email.

            Harrison said she will be staying in Bowling Green for graduate school following graduation, putting her loan repayments off for another year. In spite of this, Harrison said she will have to be careful about her spending for a while.

            ”I will have to work really hard and maybe have a second job until I can get a good chunk of my loans taken care of,” Harrison said.

            Having accumulated $15,000 in student loans, Harrison said she was fortunate enough to have scholarships and a job that helps pay the cost.

            “I have seen people with a lot more in loans be able to repay them without too much stress, so I try to just tell myself that if I work hard, I’ll be able to pay them without stressing myself out,” Harrison said.

            These stressful factors related to student loan debt are of serious concern, Justine Ray, a graduate student in clinical psychiatry at the BGSU Counseling Center, said in an email.

            Financial strain on a person can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, as well as affecting a person’s overall mental health Ray said.

            “I think the best way to deal with stress is to learn what coping skills work in any given situation,” Ray said. “Since every individual is different in how they deal with stress, it’s important for everyone to have a few healthy coping skills to use when he or she feels particularly stressed.”

            This stress can affect people physically like headaches, stomachaches and muscle tension as well as cause strain on their social relationships and other obligations.

            Because people cope and deal with stress in different ways, Ray said it is difficult to make generalizations regarding stress.

            “The key is for each person to try out new things and find ways to deal with stress that work,” Ray said.

            Alex Gundy, an alumnus of Bowling Green State University that graduated in August 2011, said when graduation came he was a little anxious towards finding a job or a method of supporting himself.

            Gundy said he started looking for work two months before graduation, and after eight months consisting of much time and effort found a job with a marketing management training program.

            Currently living in Charleston, Va. with Sherwin-Williams, Wilson said he borrowed money from his parents to the total of $15,000 instead of taking out loans, and is in the midst of repayment.

            Heather Jarvis, student loan expert and creator of, said it is always important to figure out what kind of loans you have and the status of those loans.

            Her website offers tools, links and blog articles regarding student loans as well as a forum for Jarvis to answer questions regarding the topic such as a five-step method of repaying federal loans.

“The job market is different now than it was before the recession but unemployment rates for college graduates are half what they are for those without a degree,” Jarvis said in an email.

For students preparing to graduate with the repayments on their loans impending, Gundy said students should not lose hope or give up, and that students should set up a budget, and try to follow it.

            “You have to take your future in your own hands, don’t expect help,” Gundy said. “It takes a lot of time, and a lot of times things will fall through.”

            For students with federal student loans, and are uncertain of the amount they currently owe the government, it is possible to determine your federal amount of loan debt by looking on the National Student Loan Data system, and by contacting private lenders regarding your amount currently incurred.

26 Apr 2012

University strives for diversity

Author: Danae King | Filed under: BGSU, Enterprise Story, Spring 2012, Student Contributor

By Danae King

The level of student diversity at Bowling Green State University is rising.

During the past three years, the percent of new students of color enrolled in the fall rose from 17.2 percent in 2009, to 20.7 percent in 2010 and to 22 percent in 2011, according to the Office of Admissions Fall 2011 New Student Summary.

Chart made by Danae King, information from the BGSU Fall 2011 New Student Summary.

The university has been working toward the goal of a more diverse student body for several years.

“As long as I’ve been here, the goal always seems to be more,” said Gary Swegan, director of admissions, who has worked at the university for 23 years.

The university wants to improve the level of diversity to help students, Swegan said.

“It’s so students have the opportunity to learn in an environment that is reflective of the environment when you get out,” Swegan said.

Fahad Alruweili, an international student, said he has noticed an increased level of diversity.

“I can see a lot of colors here, there are people from everywhere,” Alruweili said.

He said he doesn’t think the diversity at the university is representative of the diversity in the outside world, he said he thinks the university is more diverse than other places.

The university continues to strive for more diversity. In order to achieve the goal, the university has a “diversity initiative” and several staff members who work to better the level of diversity. In addition, BGSU offers many programs to encourage diverse students to attend, educate students about diversity and make more diverse students feel at home, said Emily Monago, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The BGSU Office of Admissions is the first step for prospective students of all races and ethnicities. Race and ethnicity are the two aspects of diversity that are tracked, Swegan said. Included in the admissions staff of 40 are four staff members who work specifically to recruit “students of color,” Swegan said.

“Students of color” refers to the following ethnicities: American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, African American and Hispanic, according to admissions’ Fall 2011 New Student Summary.

Recruiting includes coordinating programs such as traveling to urban areas to recruit minority students, hosting programs and going to college fairs, Swegan said.

Multicultural information sessions and overnight visits are offered to minority students when they visit the university.

“We try to highlight those areas that are of greatest interest to those students,” Swegan said.

Minority student recruitment team members host admitted students who choose to visit overnight, he said.

The university doesn’t strive to only recruit minority students, but to retain them as well, Swegan said.

Students who attend the university have the opportunity to enroll in classes about multicultural issues.

The multicultural development program course, offered by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, focuses on helping diverse students be successful academically, Monago said.

The course might also help students who haven’t been exposed to diversity.

“Their community may not see types of representation and diversity at the university,” Monago said. “The class can help them develop cultural competency skills.”

These “competency skills” can help students become familiar with the level of diversity at BGSU, she said.

“I think our university is definitely moving in the right direction,” Monago said.

Despite the statistics, as a student, senior Cori Mesenbring hasn’t noticed a change in diversity during her time at the university.

“I think it has stayed pretty much the same,” Mesenbring said.

The level of diversity has been rising and is high compared to other Ohio universities.

At Ohio University, the new students of color enrolled in the fall semester in 2010 was 9.7 percent of total first-year students, according to the university’s website.

At Ohio State University, the new students of color enrolled in the fall semester in 2011 was 17.6 percent of total first-year students, according to the university’s website.

While the level of diversity at universities is important, it doesn’t solve every problem, said Donna Kauffman, lecturer in the sociology department at BGSU.

“There seems to be this general assumption that if we have a diverse population we’ve solved all of our problems,” Kauffman said. “We’ve never really dealt with the deeper issues.”

Racist thinking is a “deeper issue” because it doesn’t just go away when diverse people are put together, Kauffman said.

Mesenbring said she thinks that diversity can begin to solve racism.

“I definitely think it would help eliminate ignorance,” Mesenbring said. “Once you get to know people from different parts of the world and different backgrounds, it’s easier to understand why people are different from you.”

While people benefit from being exposed to people who are different, the benefits of diversity are only individual, Kauffman said.

Diversity is a good first step, but there needs to be follow up in the form of a safe environment where issues of race and racism can be discussed and challenged, she said.

“I don’t think we create this environment,” Kauffman said. “We just throw people together and assume the problems will solve themselves and they don’t.”

The university is the one place this kind of environment could be possible, Kauffman said, but only if the university creates it.

By Alex Alusheff

Ohio once prided itself in its metal manufacturing, but now the state finds itself on the opposite end of the spectrum.

With nearly 2,400 metal theft claims between 2009 and 2011, according to a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a non-profit organization that works with law enforcement agencies to combat insurance fraud and crime, Ohio tops the charts in illegal scrapping in the country. Texas follows with 2,023 claims.

Out of all the metal thefts in the country, copper accounts for 96 percent, followed by aluminum with 3 percent. Brass and bronze account for less than 1 percent each. Chart made by Alex Alusheff.

Copper thefts in Ohio have been on the rise ever since the price more than quadrupled six years ago. Nationally, copper accounts for 96 percent of all metal theft claims with aluminum trailing in second, with a little more than 3 percent, according to the NICB report.

With these numbers, it’s no surprise the region has fallen victim to multiple metal thefts in the last few weeks.

In early April, approximately 50 street signs throughout northern Wood County were swiped from their posts, causing more than $1,000 in damage total, said county sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn.

On March 24, 1,000 feet of copper wire was reported stolen from a fence surrounding Frontier Communications in Bowling Green, according to police.

Sergeant Alan Carsey of the Bowling Green Police Division said the perpetrators cut the wire from the fence, entered the property and stole another copper coil device worth $500.

The overall estimated value for the stolen material is $2,500, not including cost to repair the fence, Carsey said.

Mike Valentine, general manager of Toledo Shredding LLC, a scrap metal recycling yard, said copper sells for $3 a pound compared to aluminum at 40 to 50 cents a pound.

However, the price of copper wasn’t always that high.

According to the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, an informational non-profit organization dealing with improving police efficiency, copper fell to a 65 cent low in 2002 before spiking up to $4 in 2006 due to new construction projects in the U.S. and China. China increased its demand in order to host the Olympics while the U.S. fueled its war effort in the Middle East.

This factor, along with economic recessions, led to the rise in illegal scrapping.

And when it comes to security, local businesses find themselves without many preventive options.

Tom Girten of Frontier Communications said while the fence has been fixed, there are no extra security measures that can be taken.

“We have lights and a fence, but you can’t stop somebody if they have wire cutters,” Girten said.
Copper wire has been stolen from the business in the past, he said.

On March 24, thieves broke into Frontier's lot, stealing 1,000 feet of copper fence wire as well as copper cable. The material above is a commonly sought after for scrapping. Photo by Alex Alusheff.

While stolen copper reports happen every now and then, Carsey said they are unusual.

Usually, the police get reports of people rummaging through dumpsters in search of aluminum cans, he said.

While illegal scrapping is typically moderate in cities like Bowling Green, incidents increase in bigger municipalities like Toledo and Columbus.

Stolen scrap metal gets reported every day, said Sergeant Richard Curry of the Columbus Division of Police.

Sergeant Joe Heffernan, public information officer of the Toledo Police Department said an estimated two to three scrapping thefts get reported a day in the city.

Both sergeants said old neighborhoods and abandoned houses are common targets for metal theft. Newer houses are made with PVC piping instead of copper, Heffernan said.

“You can go to work one day with your house intact, then someone can come in, and when you come home, there’s $20,000 in damage done,” he said.

In Columbus, homeless people commonly move into abandoned houses only to cannibalize it and move on to the next one for whatever money they can get, Curry said.

However, metal theft can do more than just damage property, it can endanger lives.

On March 26, thieves stole copper piping from an abandoned house causing a natural gas leak, which led to an explosion.

No one was injured in the blast, but that’s not the first time metal theft resulted in an explosion, Curry said.

A few years ago, thieves were in the process of stealing pipe when they cut into a gas line, blowing up a whole apartment complex, he said.

Illegal scrapping has resulted in a number of electrocution deaths in the past because scrappers try to steal from telephone wires or electric substations, the sergeants said.

“It shows that people are desperate and they will do anything for any money,” Curry said.

Toledo and Columbus experienced a rapid increase in illegal scrapping in the early 2000s, prompting the cities to create ordinances through city council or amend the Ohio Revised Code in the last decade in order to further deter crime.

Police also work with area scrap yards to catch illegal scrappers, Curry said.

“Scrap yards are an important piece to the puzzle,” Heffernan said.

Columbus area scrap yards are required to make a copy of a seller’s identification, collect a thumb print and update an online police report, Curry said.

Toledo police send area scrap yards an email alert or call to notify them of stolen items, which has led to arrests, Heffernan said.

Two weeks ago, Toledo Shredding received an email from the police regarding stolen steel. Later that day, someone showed up trying to sell steel that fit the police description. Valentine said the company was able to call the police and have the man arrested.

In the case of the 50 stolen street signs, Wasylyshyn said the surrounding scrap yards know not to take the signs.

Wasylyshyn said it’s unlikely that the signs were stolen to scrap and that it’s more so a prank.

According to Ohio Revised Code, illegal scrapping can result in a misdemeanor of the first, second, or fourth degree. Because of the overall cost of the street signs, the crime falls into the range of felony, he said.

View Scrapping: Yards and Incidents in a larger map

Map by Alex Alusheff.

By Ugomma Ihejirika

Graffiti has become a problem for the city of Bowling Green and business owners in the downtown area.

There has been an increase of graffiti in the last 10 years and members of the city are taking measures to curb the problem.

“The graffiti problem is cyclic,” said Lt. Bradley Biller of the Bowling Green Police Division, referring to the rise and fall of the graffiti problem.

Recently, graffiti appeared on the walls of Becketts, located at 146 N. Main St., Panera Bread, located at 163 S. Main St., 181 S. Main St., and also the Bowling Green City Park. The police cannot give a specific number of how many graffiti cases there have been, because it is categorized under criminal /malicious mischief and disorderly conduct.

Some of the graffiti can be seen on downtown private and city properties. According to a police report, graffiti was found at the Wood County Courthouse Complex, a garage in the 700 block of Sixth Street, and businesses in the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of South Main Street.

Graffitists are now spreading their “work” from the downtown area to the university’s campus. In the stairway of Offenhauer and the Olscamp building, graffiti is making an appearance and even trash bins outside campus buildings have become their canvas.

Graffiti has always been a problem in the community, said John Fawcett, municipal administrator. The criminals are getting more acrobatic because their works are showing up higher on buildings.

“You have to give them credit for figuring out a way to put graffiti high up on buildings, but it is still a crime,” Fawcett said.

The police office warned business owners to be watchful of their buildings and remove any graffiti as soon as it is noticed.

“Graffiti is kind of like weeds, you remove one and others pop up somewhere else,” Fawcett said.

The increase in graffiti devalues both public and private property and tarnishes the appearance of the community. This could prevent new business owners from coming into the community, said Barbara Ruland, director of Downtown Bowling Green.

Removing or covering of graffiti could cost a business from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the size of the graffiti. In a place

like downtown Bowling Green that is filled with historic buildings, it is harder and more expensive.

The city is making some effort to stop or reduce the spread of this crime, such as asking the public to report information and assigning police officers to do more walking in the downtown area in addition to driving their cruisers. The cameras downtown are used to monitor places that have been targets for graffiti such as North Street, South Street, East Wooster and North Wooster.

A group called the Downtown Bowling Green Association, made up of business and property owners in the downtown area, has put out posters to inform people of the crime and what can happen if they are caught. They also provide solvent to remove paint, to victims of the crime.

“It is one thing to express yourself and another to destroy private property,” Ruland said.

The police department encourages Bowling Green merchants to remove graffiti as soon as they notice that it has been tagged. This is because graffiti causes discontent in the community and people do not feel as safe.

“If you take care of the little problems, you are going to prevent the big things from popping up,” Biller said.

The police department puts a lot of research and energy towards investigation and identifying the criminals to get them charged. This involves interviews with suspects and members of the community and also surveillance with physical systems and physical surveillance, Biller said.

The graffitists are spreading their "work" to the campus. This graffiti can be found in the Olscamp stairway. Photo taken by Ugomma Ihejirika

There is also a reward of up to $1,000 if information received from an informant(s) leads to a prosecution and the informant can remain anonymous if he or she wants.

The history of graffiti can be traced back to gangs marking their territories against other gangs, said Eric Dubow, a psychology instructor at Bowling Green State University.

Fawcett and Biller said that the local graffiti do not seem to be gang related “It is just people expressing themselves, and this is the way they choose to do that.”

Various factors lead a person to commit a crime, Dubow said. These factors include the sort of family the child was raised into, whom the individual associates with and how the individual interacts with his or her surroundings. For example, how well does the individual bond with school? The level of his or her intelligence and impulsiveness, is he or she being accepted by others in the community?

“I think graffiti is an index to other anti-social behaviors,” Dubow said.

Graffiti is not considered a very serious crime, said Matthew VanEseltine, a criminology instructor at BGSU. It is somewhat synonymous to stealing $5 but there are different perspectives on the issue.

The Graffiti culture has really grown to be recognizable and respected and artists such as Banksy, have become names that are known all over the world. Some graffitists such as Banksy, Ray Noland and Alexander Brener use their work as a form of communication or a way to make a statement.

On the other hand, there are some graffiti artists who are also trying to make a statement or express themselves but going about it the wrong way. Such as the publicized Trayvon Martin’s case where a Florida neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, was charged with second-degree murder for shooting an unarmed teenager.

On the wall of Ohio State University’s black cultural center, the words “Long Live Zimmerman” were spray-painted.

“From the point of view of the offender, it is some sort of art that they take pride in,” VanEseltine said. “It is wrong to see it as an act of just boredom because there is a creative aspect to it, even though on the other hand it is vandalism.”

So far this year, just one suspect has been caught, Biller said. Brent E. Williams, a former student of BGSU was arrested in December 2011 and charged with Criminal Mischief with a bond of $5,000 for some graffiti writing about the Occupy BG.

The Occupy BG was a protest that was held last year against economic inequality and wealth distribution in the U.S.  According to court records, his next court date is scheduled on June 6, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.

Charges depend on the amount of damage and may include vandalism, criminal mischief or criminal damaging.

While the community may see graffiti as a crime, some students see it as a way to express themselves.

“I got into art through graffiti,” said Karlye Golub, an art major at BGSU. “We tagged trains in Cleveland with a group of my friends.”

Golub, who is now a glass art major but previously majored in painting, sees graffiti as an awesome way to express one’s self and has no problem with the graffiti and tagging going on.

“Not one process is going to work,” said Fawcett. “It is going to require all of us to work together. Every citizen needs to be part of the solution and it starts with everyone accepting the fact that graffiti is not art, it is a criminal action.”

26 Apr 2012

Leaders are Seeking Safety Policies for Wood County Schools

Author: Teddie Livingston | Filed under: Enterprise Story, Spring 2012

Eastwood High School students leaving school. Photo by Teddie Livingston

By Teddie Livingston

With recent school shooting at Chardon and Armin Jahr Elementary School, Wood County school officials and law enforcements are partnering up to seek new safety policies to ensure that school shooting does not happen in Wood County. Wood County has not experienced a school shooting and plans to keep it that way.

Schools locally and nationally have safety policies and drills for the safety of the students in the schools. At Eastwood, school officials are seeking new safety policies and procedures to prevent school shootings. On March 1st, Eastwood High School Principal Jeff Hill attended training at the Wood County Educational Service Center in Bowling Green, which was organized by FEMA in cooperation with Homeland Security. Hill gained knowledge on unusual behaviors from students, actions to take when confronted, prevention methods and ways to prepare for an active shooter incident. “I try to keep my eyes and ears open for signs,” Hill said.

At Eastwood High School, one weapon was confiscated from the high school about three years ago, according to Hill. The principal received information from a student about a weapon in the school through a text message. At a bus stop, the assistant principal found a knife and brass knuckles in the book bag of a student. The boy was expelled for carrying a weapon in a school zone. The Gun-Free Schools Act (GFSA) requires each state or outlying areas to expel and report any students who are found bringing a firearm to school. The school went into lockdown to check lockers in case of other possible weapons such as a firearm.

Maria Melanathy, a senior at Eastwood High School has attended two high schools in Florida and has experienced two school threats before attending Eastwood. The school went into lockdown; windows were locked and covered and students hid under the desk. “Threats are overlooked a lot but should be worried about,” she said.

At Eastwood High School Melanathy does not feel any danger. “The school is very small and extremely sheltered,” she said, “My friends from Florida always laugh at me for going to such a small, sheltered, deserted school but I like it.”

During 2006-2007 school year, 2,695 students were reported for expulsion within 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and American Samoa, according to Report on the Implementation of the Gun-Free Schools Act in the States and Outlying Areas. Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia had 100 or more expulsions in each state. The expulsions were for firearms; more than half were reported at the high school level with 59 percent, the elementary school level had 35 percent and junior high level had 27 percent. 53 percent involved handguns, 10 percent involved rifles or shotguns and the remaining 37 percent involved other types of firearm such as bombs, grenades and starter pistols. In Ohio, 162 students were expelled for bringing a firearm in school. At elementary school level, 11 incidents have occurred, 60 at junior high and 91 at high school level; 137 were handguns, according to the report.

“Students tell us if anything occurs on Facebook or text messages,” Hill said. “We listen to tips, but 98 percent of the cases have been proven to be wrong.” If a school official receives information from a source that a possible firearm may be in the school, the student will be brought into the principal’s office. The principal will talk to the parents and then find ways to act proactively, according to Hill.

Next year, Wood County plans to become a part of a sheriff supported safety policy called “Alice,” according to Hill. Alice which stands for Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate advocates training methods for staff and students to challenge active shooters. “Do what you have to do to survive,” he said. The new training program will allow students and staff members the opportunity to run and get away, flight or fight. Instead of staying in the same area as the shooters, “challenge the shooters,” he said.

This theory trains children to try to “distract” and “confuse” the shooters by throwing items and attacking. There are seven certified Alice instructors in the Bowling Green Police Department, according to Lieutenant Brad Biller with Bowling Green Police Division. City police and the sheriff’s office are working to permanently establish this safety protocol.

Biller encourages working with Alice and other school safety security planning. “The best defense is a good offensive.” He said that students should attack and throw stuff rather than hide and hangout because lockdowns can increase the shooter target statistics.

Students usually get a firearm from someone they know but do not know how to use it or think about the consequence, according to Biller. He believes most school shootings occur to seek revenge from bullying.

“The elementary and middle school staff does a good job with approaching bullying situations,” said Donna Schuessler, Eastwood High School guidance counselor. On the first day of school only freshmen come into the building to see the new school without any pressure from upper classmates. During the fall and spring, 12 freshman and 12 sophomores are chosen to be a part of a leadership program called the Carpe Diem Retreat. The retreat teaches students how to become leaders and create a positive atmosphere to reduce bullying and prevent violence in schools, she said.

To reduce violent incidents occurring, Schuessler says she has “open door policy,” which welcomes students into her office. “At Eastwood there is good communication with staff and students,” she said. She believes proactive programs will reduce the chances of students bringing a firearm into a school zone.

There is no profile for school shooters, according to Jo Ann Webb, U.S Department of Education. “Shooters come in all sizes and shapes, both sexes, all nationalities,” she said in an email. There is no accurate profile of what a shooter looks like, she said. They come from every region of the country and get good grades and poor ones.

“Instead, you need to explore behaviors,” she said. Is this person on a pathway to violent behaviors? Does the shooter have intentions to engage in violent behaviors and does the shooter have a drawn up plan? These are the questions that need to ask, Webb said.

A student goes through four stages when a school shooting occurs, Hill said. First is the dreaming stage, which is when the student visualizes the act occurring. The preparation stage involves gathering the items needed to commit the act. The rehearsal stage is to act it out. Lastly, the act committed at the implementation stage.

Melanathy believes it will not be an easy task for Alice to become a safety policy in schools. “Kids won’t take it serious,” she said, “I don’t think kids will know how to apply it.” If a school shooting was to occur she would listen to the teachers, hide and be as quiet as possible, she said.

Once a year at Eastwood, the school practices a lock-down and a modified lock-down. A lock-down is when the school is completely locked-down for an intruder or a school shooting. During a modified lock-down, teachers must lock their doors and continue teaching as police searches through lockers for drugs or weapons.

If Eastwood is seeking new safety policies hopefully other surrounding schools will do the same. “I’m happy I can come to Eastwood and feel safe,” Melanathy said.

By Dan Lemle

Lance Kruse, a math education major at Bowling Green State University, does his best to lead a “green” lifestyle.

“I think there’s a huge importance in taking action on a daily basis to help the Earth,” Kruse said.

On campus, Kruse takes his bike instead of a bus, eats all that he puts on his plate at the dining facilities, and recycles paper, plastic and cardboard. But unfortunately, he cannot always recycle glass.

At BGSU, recycling stations are found in most of the residence halls, but glass recycling is not widespread throughout campus and hasn’t been since 2009, although, residents of Bowling Green can recycle glass at the city’s recycling center.

“Three years ago, glass recycling was found everywhere as a commodity. It was done away with for a number of reasons,” said Nick Hennessy, sustainability coordinator for the university.

The main reason that glass recycling is not found throughout all of campus is cost-related. In addition to this, it is dangerous for the workers who have to sort through the glass and it also causes a lot of wear on the recycling equipment.

“From what I understand, the market where they would take the glass dried up,” Hennessy said. “No one would buy it.”

According to Hennessy, glass recycling has two benefits. First, all types of glass can be melted down and turned into other products. Secondly, money can be made from companies purchasing the collected glass.

“It’s a money-making venture. We recycle and sell it to a buyer on a per pound basis,” Hennessy said.

According to Brooke Mason, BGSU student and chief sustainability chair for the student group Net Impact, students have been working to bring glass recycling back to all of campus since 2011.

“We’ve been talking to Owens Illinois because they use glass in their manufacturing process. Currently, we are at a standstill because Owens Illinois keeps canceling our meeting with them for the past few weeks,” Mason said. “It looks like if we do get it back, it’ll eventually branch out to academic buildings over time.”

In addition to this, Net Impact and the Office of Sustainability host trash audits where students can see how wasteful they’ve been, a program that enables students to utilize bikes instead of the campus buses, and a light bulb exchange which helps educate about saving energy, just to name a few.

According to Ken Rieman, director of the Wood County Solid Waste District, at one time glass would sell for $50-$70 per pound. Nowadays, a maximum of $40 per pound is available, and that’s only for certain types of glass. Then, other costs, such as a shipping fee, are taken off.

“If it had the market value of gold, you would collect it. It costs more to ship the material than it’s worth,” Rieman said.

Due to the lack of opportunity to make money, the only areas on campus where glass recycling is found are in the residence halls, excluding Harshman. According to Hennessy, in these buildings, resident advisor staffs and hall councils initiate the collection and transfer the glass to Bowling Green’s Recycling Center, across from Poe Road. Glass that is collected at the center is then shipped to a processing plant in Dayton, Ohio.

Curbside glass recycling was available to the residents of Bowling Green from 1998 until 2008, until the city did away with it due to rising costs.

“We need to get money back to support it. It isn’t paying for itself,” Rieman said.

According to a resource recovery facilities report conducted by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Wood County recycled a total of 4,595 tons of recyclable materials in 2009. The Bowling Green Recycling Center collects 6.5 million pounds or recyclable products a year.

“When you start putting all the negatives together, it doesn’t make sense. We can only hope the glass market will develop,” Rieman said.

A recycling station on BGSU's campus. Taken by Dan Lemle.


View Bowling Green Recycling Center in a larger map

By: Nate Dudzik

During the course of a college football season, many players will go through their fair share of injuries. However, there is one injury in particular that has grasped national attention both on the collegiate and professional level.

Dwayne Woods, suffered a concussion last season. Photo used by permission.

For football players like Dwayne Woods and Adrien Spencer here at Bowling Green State University, they have each experienced their own number of injuries, but their incidences involving concussions were much more serious.

Recently on the professional level, former NFL players that have suffered concussions during their careers are suing the NFL for post-concussion symptoms and effects.

The BGSU football program is doing its best to follow policies to treat concussions properly and avoid any repercussions that the NFL is currently facing.

According to a study from the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, 34 percent of college football players have sustained at least one concussion, and 20 percent have had multiple occurrences. The effects of concussions are not to be taken lightly. Since 1984, 26 deaths are a direct result from concussions in football.

Dr. Donald Cameron, a neurologist in Ohio, recently gave a presentation at Wood County hospital on sport-related head injuries. He commented on the long-term effects of concussions and second-impact syndrome.

“Concussions disrupt functions, memory, general processing and complex functioning,” Cameron stated. “If you had one concussion, you’re more at risk for another. SIS is a series of repeated head traumas that can lead to serious cerebral problems or death.”

Here at BGSU, Falcons head coach Dave Clawson commented on the occurrences of concussions during a season.

“If I had to say a number, I’d say there would be one concussion every 4-5 weeks,” Clawson said.

Woods, the starting linebacker for the Falcons defense, missed an entire week with a concussion after a helmet-to-helmet hit.

“I didn’t practice except for light drills during the week,” Woods said. “I couldn’t watch movies or do heavy amounts of homework. I would have headaches, chills and nauseous feelings.”

With the current lawsuits hitting the desks of NFL representatives, college programs and conferences are doing their best to prevent concussion-related tragedies. Stephanie Dyer, an assistant athletic trainer with BGSU, discussed the requirements that all schools in the Mid-American Conference must meet.

“Every school in the MAC has to meet certain guidelines when it comes to concussions,” Dyer said. “All athletes and staff here at BG are educated about concussions and the guidelines they have to follow.”

Spencer, a senior defensive back, had to go through a series of tests following his concussion.

“I had to take tests every two days with the trainers and team doctor,” Spencer stated. “The tests were similar, but done separately.”

Concussions are also handled differently because not every occurrence will have the same result. A sprained ankle is usually handled the same way every time, but a concussion is always a new case.

“Every concussion is different,” Dyer stated. “One kid has a headache and the next one can have short-term memory loss. Regardless of severity, our players must pass the necessary tests before they step out onto the field.”

Conferences like the Mid-American Conference set up policies on concussions to avoid complications that the NFL is experiencing now, however, it’s ultimately up to the universities to follow these policies and guidelines.

“Even though we’d want our player back for the next game, we can’t make that call,” Clawson said. “We’d have a daily meeting with the trainers and they’d tell us the status of the player. Once they’re symptom free and 100 percent, they’re cleared for us to play them.”

“Yea I would say they’re doing enough here,” Woods stated. “They gave me medication, ran their tests and continued to check on me during the next game. Even though it was a game against Toledo, they didn’t force me to come back and gave me the okay once all my symptoms were gone.”

“Since my concussion happened in spring training, they just had me sit out the rest of the time,” Spencer said. “I feel they are doing what’s required, they do what they have to do.”

Despite the knowledge of the long-term effects of concussions, players like Woods and Spencer said they would continue to play despite the danger.

“I’m not worried about another concussion,” Spencer said. “I’d still play even if I got another one.”

“I don’t want to slow myself down,” Woods stated. “I’m doing what I love to do.”

26 Apr 2012

Disadvantages of AYCE Meal Plan

Author: Blythe | Filed under: BGSU, Enterprise Story, Spring 2012

By Blythe Suppes

Bowling Green State University has had two new dining halls and an All-You-Care-to-Eat meal plan option since last fall. These changes have caused issues with waste and student dissatisfaction.

Chartwells runs the dining services at BGSU and a wide variety of other colleges and schools. Chartwells has incorporated the AYCE meal plan at schools before, so the issue of food waste was to be expected, said Nicholas Hennessy, sustainability coordinator.

Students serve themselves behind the non-disposable plates. Photo by Blythe Suppes

At the Oaks and Carillon Place, students pay ahead and then fill up their plates in a way that Hennessy said is like “a kid in a candy store.”

Since the AYCE meal plan option is new this school year, students still need to learn how to take only the amount of food that they will eat. This increase in food waste is part of the “typical learning curve of food waste,” Hennessy said.

Some other schools, such as Ohio University, that have the AYCE meal plan also have compost programs for organic materials, said Hennessy, but BGSU does not.

Rather than having a compost program, BGSU is trying to educate students on food waste through the Project Clean Plate program. This involves table tents, signs and fliers with tips for students to read on how to waste less food, Hennessy said.

These signs are in the Oaks dining hall. Photo by Blythe Suppes

Also to reduce waste, the new dining halls operate without trays or disposable plates and eating utensils, there are fountain beverages rather than bottled beverages and students have the option to sample the food before they put it on their plate.

Dining Services Director Michael Paulus said Project Clean Plate is very successful at raising students’ awareness about food waste.

Jessica Williams, a sophomore clinical psychology major at BGSU, said that she does read the Project Clean Plate signs, but those signs are not effective in getting students to reduce their waste. Williams said that in order to reduce food waste, the Oaks and Carillon Place should have samples sitting out because students are not likely to ask for samples.

Seanice Reynolds, a freshman business major at BGSU, said the Project Clean Plate signs do not help students waste less food. Reynolds also said that samples should be put out so that students do not take too much food.

Both Williams and Reynolds said they tried the meal plans involving swipes last semester but were unsatisfied with it, so they switched back to the retail plans this semester and are much more satisfied now.

Last semester, Williams tried one of the custom meal plans, which includes both falcon dollars and swipes, and said that “it doesn’t work at all,” because she struggled with running out of falcon dollars. Williams said she does not recommend the custom meal plan to students unless they really like the Oaks and Carillon Place.

Cassandra Scenters, a senior liberal studies major at BGSU, said she noticed many students running out of falcon dollars when they tried the custom meal plan. Scenters also said that while there are benefits to having a meal plan, she wishes there were more commuter meal plan options.

The three commuter meal plans only include swipes at different amounts with the option to add falcon dollars, according to the campus dining website.

The purpose of the AYCE and custom meal plan options is to create variety and customization and increase value and health, Paulus said.

BGSU went from having three basic meal plans to having nine meal plan options this school year with no price increase. This is the first time in 22 years that the meal plan prices have not increased, Paulus said.

Paulus also said that there are now more meal plan options because “one size does not always fit all” and the needs of a freshman are very different from the needs of a senior.

26 Apr 2012

Ohio to strengthen sex trafficking laws

Author: Matthew Thacker | Filed under: Enterprise Story, Spring 2012

By Matthew Thacker

State legislators in Ohio are attempting to strengthen state laws in an effort to end sex trafficking in the state.

Ohio state representative Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) has proposed new legislation in the Ohio General Assembly that would help distinguish victims of sex trafficking from those arrested for prostitution of their own free will.

Fedor’s Safe Harbor Act would also set provisions for sex trafficking awareness education, as well as making rehabilitative services more readily available to sex trafficking survivors.

Toledo, Ohio, is fourth in the nation for arrests for trafficking of youths for sex, and on March 29, Gov. John Kasich announced the creation of a 90-day task force to investigate the size and scope of the problem statewide.

Sex trafficking (as defined by the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000) occurs any time a sex act for pay is induced by force, fraud, or coercion. It also applies automatically if the person who performs the sex act is under the age of 18.

Since 2005, Fedor has been leading the charge for tougher sex trafficking laws in Ohio, and in 2010 her first anti-trafficking bill made sex trafficking a stand-alone felony in Ohio—the first such law in the state.

Fedor said that she initially became aware of the scope of the sex trafficking problem in Northwest Ohio after a 2005 bust of a sex trafficking ring in Harrisburg, Pa, identified 151 sex trafficking victims, almost half of which were from Toledo.

“That broke my heart,” Fedor said. She said that is when she decided that Ohio’s trafficking laws needed to be tougher.

“Most people think that prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. No, it’s the oldest oppression in the world,” Fedor said. “I am going to do everything in my power to end this.”

University of Toledo professor Celia Williamson is a leading expert in the study of prostitution and sex trafficking and founder of the Toledo-based victim help group Second Chance.

Williamson said that people have the misconception that underage girls are abducted into trafficking, but that that accounts for only 5 percent of sex trafficking cases. Williamson explained that in most cases the victims are blackmailed, extorted or otherwise intimidated into victimization.

Williamson said that in some cases teenage girls are “baited” by boys their own age. This may happen when a teenage girl goes on a seemingly innocent date with a boy only to be slipped a date-rape drug.

The boy then photographs the unconscious girl in compromising poses and later uses the pictures to extort her. She is told to sell sex for him, or risk having the pictures posted online and sent to loved ones.

Once a girl has been blackmailed into sexual slavery it is very hard for her to regain her freedom, Williamson said.

“They are afraid that this [trafficker] is going to beat them or go to their family’s home and burn it down, or that they’re going to go kidnap her sister and force her to do what she refuses to do,” Williamson said.

Sex trafficking is the most prevalent form of trafficking in Northwest Ohio, but it is still only a part of the overall international human trafficking pandemic.     Internationally, many times, human trafficking is not for the purpose of sex but for manual labor.

University of Toledo School of Law Assistant Professor Shelley Cavalieri worked with human trafficking victims in Italy. She said that international trafficking often begins as indentured servitude.

Cavalieri recently gave an informal lecture at the law school about how international traffickers often buy their victims’ way out of debt in severely impoverished regions, then transport them to foreign countries where they are forced to work for several years to pay off their debt.

Celia Williamson said that traffickers use these methods because of the higher risk associated with abducting girls outright. “Often, it’s more that they engage in a long process of manipulation,” Williamson said.

That’s what happened to Holly Austin Smith in the summer of 1992.

At age 14, Smith exchanged telephone numbers with a guy at a local mall that she said appeared to be in in his early 20s. The two began talking on the phone every night. Smith said that she realizes now that he was only trying to earn her trust.

“He said he knew rich and famous people, and traveled around the country going to clubs,” Smith said. “He gave me the impression that if I ran away with him, he could help me attain all the dreams that I had, like becoming rich and famous, to become a songwriter, and being in a band.”

Smith agreed to run away with him and met him at the same mall where they had met two weeks earlier. Smith said that the man seemed different than he had been on the phone—and it turned out that he was.

Sex trafficking survivor Holly Austin Smith. Photo used by permission.

Smith said she found out last year, when she received the police reports of her case, that the man she had been speaking with on the phone was actually a different person, who was more skilled at verbal coercion, than the one she had met in person.

Smith was taken from her hometown in New Jersey to a motel in Atlantic City and turned over to a woman, which helped her dress and dyed her hair.

“They didn’t ask me how I felt about anything. They didn’t ask me if I was willing to do this. They just told me what I was going to do,” Smith said. “And they never said the word ‘prostitution,’ but from what they were saying, I figured out that that was what they were expecting me to do.”

Smith said that night she was forced to have sex for money for her captors. Her first client was an older man who told Smith that she reminded him of his granddaughter.

After working through the night, Smith was awoken the next day by her trafficker raping her. She said that she begged him to stop and he said that he had to test her out.

Smith was arrested the next night because a police officer suspected her of being underage. Though she was a minor, Smith said she was not initially treated as a victim of sex trafficking, but rather as an underage prostitute.

She recalled that when the police returned her to her parents, she was still wearing the clothes that her traffickers had forced her to wear.

Smith said that her trafficker, who had raped her and forced her into underage prostitution, served 365 days in jail for his crimes. Another trafficker in Smith’s case fled from arrest and is still a fugitive in the state of New Jersey today.

After returning home, Smith said she felt victimized a second time as her parents blamed her for running away into the arms of her tormentor.

Rumors spread around her school that she was a prostitute, and she was sent away to live with an aunt and attend a school for troubled kids, Smith said.

In her adult life, Smith has become an advocate for trafficking survivors, and has given written testimony about human trafficking to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

Smith said laws like the one proposed by Fedor in Ohio are essential to getting victims the services they need.

“Safe Harbor Laws are crucial in every state if we are to protect our children from further trauma,” Smith said. “Child victims of sex trafficking need not to be arrested; They need safe housing and specialized counseling to address the myriad of complicated issues surrounding victimization by sex trafficking.”

Pete Swartz has seen those complicated issues firsthand. Detective Swartz is a 20-year veteran of the Toledo Police Department, and now works with the FBI’s Innocence Lost task force, which works specifically on sex trafficking cases.

Swartz said that in his five years on the taskforce, they have come across over 90 minors involved in sex trafficking.

Swartz explained that, if possible, the task force will try to get the sex traffickers prosecuted in the federal court system, where the minimum mandatory sentence for sex trafficking is 15 years, as opposed to the state’s 10-year minimum.

Swartz, however, expressed some concerns that Rep. Fedor’s Safe Harbor law may, in some instances, hinder the police’s ability to arrest underage prostitutes, which are working of their own free will, without a pimp.

“Some of the victims we deal with are sad stories,” Swartz said. “They’re bad, really bad. But other times, you have a victim who has been trafficked once, and then you come across her again with another pimp.”

Swartz said that every sex trafficking case is unique, and that is what makes sex traffickers, as well as victims, hard to generalize into one broad category.

But Teresa Fedor has said that sex trafficking laws in Ohio must be strengthened because trafficking has become an epidemic in the state.

“It’s time we start listening to victims, and imprison those who exploit, use and profit from human slavery,” Fedor said. “I believe it is the human rights issue of our time.”

Total Number of Ohio Youths Estimated to be At-Risk and Trafficked


Number of Ohio Youths

% of Total Ohio Youths

Total Number of Ohio Youth Ages 12-17



Estimate of the Total At-Risk Youths in Ohio



Estimate of Total Youth Who Will Be Trafficked in Ohio



*Data from the “Ohio Trafficking in Persons Study Commission Research and Analysis Sub-Committee

Report on the Prevalence of Human Trafficking in Ohio” (2009)


By Hannah Hilyard

Bowling Green State University alum Gina Bauer, 22, was raised in Fort Recovery, Ohio, a small town in west central Ohio that has a strong Catholic following.

Bauer grew up going to church every Sunday with her family because that is what everyone did. But by her senior year of high school, she started questioning God’s existence.

When she came to BGSU, Bauer did some searching and found that the Catholic Church had the best answers to her questions. But now she feels her religious views and freedom have come under attack.

Bauer and other members of the Catholic Church across the nation and in the Bowling Green community have voiced their anger against the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act introduced by the U.S. Department of Human Health and Services. They believe the new act is a violation of their freedom of religion.

The federal government will soon require birth control to be covered by health insurance through the ACA. It will require employers, regardless of religious affiliation, to provide contraception to women, even though it may be against their religious beliefs.

The idea of contraception coverage was introduced by The Institute of Medicine in a report titled “Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gaps.” The report recommended that the federal government include contraceptive methods for all women in their new health care bill.

The church sees the ACA as a violation of one of their First Amendment rights.

Catholics do not believe in any form of contraception. Peter Feldmeier, professor of catholic studies at the University of Toledo, said the church believes intercourse has two purposes. They are to bring a man and a woman closer together in marriage and to procreate.

“The procreative is that sex itself is for procreation and that artificially bringing into the act something that undermines this is unnatural,” he said in an email.

Photo by Hannah Hilyard

BGSU student Mitch Kaiser, 20, of Coldwater, Ohio, is the current president of Veritas, a Catholic organization on campus. He says the church is worried about their freedom of religion because the ACA would force them to go against their beliefs about contraception.

“The biggest thing to us is not being forced to do anything against our conscience, against our religious views,” Kaiser said.

He believes people who follow these beliefs are being forced to support contraception.

Bauer, now the St. Paul Outreach Mission leader at St. Thomas More University Parish, agrees with Kaiser and the Catholic Church’s argument. She focuses on women ministry at the church, but that does not change her view on contraception.

“I talked to a lot of women, and I found that it strengthens what I think about it,” she said. Many women share the same beliefs as the church, she said.

The church needs a strong and well-informed woman to “stand up and act on our beliefs,” Bauer said.

To fight the bill, the members of the Catholic community in Bowling Green have called their representatives and have informed themselves on the issue, Kaiser said.

“Whether it is somebody a part of Veritas or St. Thomas More or it is anybody here of Bowling Green, it is very important just to be educated and well-informed on the issue so that way when we go to whether we want to support it or not, we can make sure we are making the right decisions,” he said.

BGSU students concerned about the HHS mandate have also written to the BGNews to get their voices heard. Congressman Bob Latta even held an informational breakfast on the new bill, Bauer said.

Back in February, President Barack Obama tried to defuse the heated controversy about the violation of the freedom of religion. The employers at the religious corporations will no longer have to provide the preventive services. The employee can now get the services directly from the health insurance, but the church believes this compromise does not go far enough.

“It is still being forced upon people, it just changes on who is responsible for distributing that. And so that does not change the fact that there will be Christians and Catholics alike who will still have to supply for that contraception against their religious view,” Kaiser said.

Feldmeier believes, as of right now, the government did reach a compromise, but another possibility would be to suspend the mandate completely.

Suspending the mandate would mean women who are on birth control or use a form of contraception will still have to pay out-of-pocket, which can be a burden for many women.

BGSU student Monet Whirl, 20, of Lima, Ohio, has tried different methods of contraception over the years. She tried out the NuvaRing, which she loved, but had to discontinue because she could not afford it, she said.

She now has an intrauterine device that costs $900 every three years. That comes to $25 a month, she said.

Photo by Hannah Hilyard

Whirl does believe the new ACA bill should cover contraception, but she also does not have a religious background.

Whirl is not the only woman who has to face this problem when it comes to birth control and its cost. Money is a problem for many. Barbara Hoffman, associate director of clinical services at the Health Center, said the out-of-pocket cost all depends on the type of insurance a patient has.

“If they were paying and not using a prescription card, the cheapest would be around $17 a cycle, but then depending upon if they are paying with insurance and depending what their company may dictate what they can have, it could be as low as $17 or as high as $85,” Hoffman said.

Preventing unplanned pregnancy is not the only reason women use birth control. It can regulate women’s periods, reduce pain and help control acne, she said.

The health care controversy is much more than just the contraception issue. The Supreme Court is in the process of deciding on whether the federal government can constitutionally force citizens to buy health care. If it is found unconstitutional, the birth control portion could be scrapped completely.

By Austin J. Hunt

Students from all over the country are graduating this spring and are looking forward to starting a new chapter in their life, but there’s one problem; many of those students will be out of work before they even start.

According to the 2011 Current Population Survey, one out of every two new college graduates are jobless or underemployed. Stephen Auchmuty graduated from Bowling Green State University in December of 2011 with a degree in Geography. After five years of college, Auchmuty has accumulated a student loan debt upwards of $40,000.

According to the BGSU Student Financial Aid department, the average graduate is walking away from Bowling Green with approximately $35,000 in debt, putting Auchmuty above the campus average.

“When I started college (August 2006) I didn’t really think about what would happen after, the loans were like fake money at the time,” said Auchmuty.

The Bowling Green McDonald's where Auchmuty has spent the last few years working. (Photo Credit: Austin J. Hunt)

For him, the great post-graduate job never came. He has been left working in the same McDonalds uniform he was fitted for in high school eight years ago. Although he has worked his way up the fast-food ladder from cashier to department manager, it’s hardly what Auchmuty envisioned he’d be doing at this time.

“I thought I would go for four years, get a degree and then find a good job afterwards,” said Auchmuty.

Since his graduation, he has sent in numerous applications and resumes to anywhere that is willing to give them a look, including CSX, Ohio Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency and Nationwide Insurance. Even with an impressive internship with the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, he has yet to lock in that solid, post-college career that so many students depend upon after graduation.

Even though many students nowadays are facing a tough life after college, some are able to land that well-paying career that will lead to success down the road.

“I’m very fortunate to be in the position I am in,” said Robert Bassett III, an internal auditor for JPMorgan Chase & Co.

After seven years of college, a bachelor’s degree from BGSU, a brief stint in law school and an MBA from BGSU, Bassett finished school with approximately $80,000 in student debt. Fortunately for him, he was able to land that well-paying job to help pay off his debt. Although he was in the same boat as many when it came to insurmountable debt, he believes people need to understand what they are getting themselves into.

“You have to be smart and get a degree with some equity,” said Bassett in a phone interview. “A college degree isn’t a golden ticket anymore, it’s just a ticket.”

Although many students don’t realize that college isn’t the “golden ticket,” a select few understand that careers aren’t just being handed out.

Sean Kennedy, a Geography major at BGSU, understands that his degree isn’t one that looks great on a resume, but he has found certain ways to separate himself from the rest of the field.

“Geography is such a broad category, but I chose it because I could do almost anything with it,” said Kennedy. “I wanted to be well rounded.”

Kennedy has traveled all over the world, including Turkey, Greece, India, Canada and Mexico. He believes that his in-depth knowledge and understanding of foreign cultures will help him chase his dreams of being a successful entrepreneur and someday be on the cover of Forbes.

“I like to pick up in areas that I am lacking, and traveling has definitely helped me with that.” said Kennedy. “I’ve learned different ideas from traveling that I would have never learned inside a classroom.”

Bowling Green State University (Photo Credit: Austin J. Hunt)

Even as well rounded and cultured as Kennedy is, he is still not guaranteed the job that every college graduate dreams of having. There is one thing that he is guaranteed; Kennedy will walk away with student loan debt, regardless of whether or not he finds a job.

Is it our responsibility as a society to fix this problem? If so, how do we fix it?

Dr. Mary Ellen Benedict, Distinguished Teaching Professor and head of the Economics Department at BGSU, believes that students should be educated about their financial future much sooner than their senior year of high school.

“It starts with simple concepts at a young age, which will then evolve into harder concepts, such as savings and loans,” said Dr. Benedict. “So many students don’t even understand the value of a dollar.”

Dr. Benedict stated that Ohio has recently mandated that new curriculum be introduced and taught in social studies classes.

Along with educating younger students about financial management, Dr. Benedict believes that it ultimately comes down to one thing: Why do so many students believe they need a college degree in the first place?

“Don’t get me wrong, I believe in a college education, but on the other hand, if you get out of school and can’t find a job, that loan isn’t going to go away,” said Dr. Benedict. “I’ve seen a lot of smart kids make bad choices and now they are stuck with thousands of dollars worth of loans and nothing to show for it.”

Comments Off on Adults go back to school for many reasons

Why do adults go back to school?  Think about it — the classes, the homework, and the exams.
On top of that, adults have responsibilities at work and at home.  They may have to run errands here, take children there, and so on.  Now try adding college classes to that schedule.

Percentages of nontraditional students in the U.S., Ohio and BGSU in 2009. Graph made by Amanda Flowers

The most recent survey, taken in 2009, showed that an average of 7 percent of college students in the United States were nontraditional, according to The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.  The survey also found that Ohio had 6.4 percent of nontraditional students enrolled in colleges.

Percentages of nontraditional students at BGSU years 2007 to 2010. Graph made by Amanda Flowers

At Bowling Green State University in 2009, around 7 percent of the students were nontraditional, which grew to almost 8 percent in 2010, according to institutional research done on the campus.

On the Bowling Green State University campus today, there are about 1100-1200 nontraditional students, according Barbara Henry, Ph. D., assistant vice president for non-traditional and transfer student services. There has been an increase of nontraditional students due to the
economy, personal goals, and love of learning.

At BGSU, a nontraditional student can be defined as a person 24 years and older.  They can also be defined as military, veterans, students who are parents or are parenting, and students who are taking care of ill parents or grandparents, Henry said in an email.

Nontraditional students have also had many different reasons to go back to school.

The job market is tight, and they are unable to find a decent-paying job.  Adults are going back to school to obtain a new degree or they want a career change because they want to do something new, said Janet Hammersmith, records manager in the undergraduate student services office within the college of education and human development, who has seen many students, traditional and nontraditional, graduate from BGSU.

After losing her job of 15 years to cutbacks, Gwyn Hager made a choice to return to school.
“After not finding a job in my field for over a year, I decided to go back to school for more options in my career search,” said Hager, 44, a nontraditional student who is getting her masters degree in criminal justice.

Nontraditional student Gwyn Hager keeps herself busy with school and work. Photo by Amanda Flowers

While going to school might be easy for most students enrolled in college courses, it can be a challenge for nontraditional students.  Nontraditional students are working at least 35 hours a week, managing a household, in addition to taking classes at BGSU or distance learning classes according to many documents.

Distance learning classes allow nontraditional students to work on their degree at their own pace while managing a career and family, said Leslie Lipper, 38, a nontraditional student majoring in advanced technological education, who went back to school to learn more in her field of study.  She takes most of her classes online because she can work them in with her family schedule.  It’s convenient and affords flexibility which allows her to complete school work late in the evenings.

While managing classes, work, and family life, nontraditional students have to remember what their number one priority is in life and that usually means family first, said Adam Holcombe, 33, a nontraditional student majoring as an intervention specialist.

They also must have support from family and friends who encourages them to continue their
education.  Being able to manage work, family, and school at the same time can be difficult.   “Thank God I had a husband to help out,” said Suzanne Barrett, 39, a nontraditional student.

Balancing work, classes, and family is a necessity for nontraditional students.   They work hard to see to it that one doesn’t affect the other.

“If I had to sacrifice one of these this instant, school is first to go,” Holcombe said.  “I have taken a break before from my degree work, and I can always return.   There might be a little more hurdles to jump, but it is not impossible.”

Nontraditional students are able to help and guide younger students because they know what the real world encompasses.

“Do not think of your time here as a time to party and a time to get away from Mom and Dad,” said Holcombe, who has advice for younger students.  “Education is important and will affect your life decisions. Get your education first so you can afford that party, big house, expensive car, traveling, and most importantly, a family.”

By: Rachel Ausperk

In a matter of 11 days, three wrong-way drivers on Toledo area freeways have gained the attention of the Bowling Green community causing people to wonder if we are doing everything we can to prevent them.  After tragedies like the accident that killed three Bowling Green State University students, people usually blame something or someone to explain why they happen.

The first crash occurred on I-75, just south of Toledo, which claimed the lives of the wrong-way driver and three BGSU sorority sisters on March 2, 2012.  Two other students were seriously injured.  The following crash took the lives of the driver and his passenger while going the wrong way on I-75, near Monroe, after colliding with a semitrailer.  On March 7, 2012, the third incident occurred when a woman entered I-475 headed the wrong way towards Perrysburg and was later charged with drunken driving.

Despite the recent occurrences, law enforcement says wrong-way crashes are rare.

Lt. Dean Laubacher, post commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said that there has not been a rise in the number of wrong-way accidents, but that the public has been more aware of it because of a tragedy.

“When we arrest people for driving the wrong way and there’s no crash, there’s no publicity to it.  Unfortunately, we had a very highly publicized event occur that brought attention to wrong-way drivers,” Laubacher said.

Theresa Pollick, Public Information Officer at the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), stated in an e-mail that wrong-way crashes are relatively infrequent, but they are more likely to produce serious injuries and fatalities as compared to other types of freeway crashes.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s 2009 report indicates that driving the wrong way in one-way traffic or wrong side of road factored into 3.1 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S, pollick stated in an e-mail.

This graph was provided by Michael Stormer, ODOT District Two Planning Engineer


Pollick said that there are trends regarding wrong-way accidents on the interstate.

Between 50 and 75 percent involve an impaired wrong-way driver who had been drinking or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and crashes are more prevalent during non-daylight hours, particularly the early morning hours following midnight, Pollick said in an e-mail.

“Statistically, usually the drivers of these accidents fall into two categories,” Laubacher said.  “Age comes into factor, as well as some sort of medical or physical condition.  The other reason might be suicidal.”

A medical condition the driver could be in is an epileptic state where they become in a trance and all they do is just continue to go straight until they come out of that epileptic state.  Diabetic shock is another condition where they know what they’re doing, but they don’t know what they’re doing, Laubacher said.

According to Laubacher, it is very difficult for the Ohio State Highway Patrol to prove suicide because the driver must leave a note.

Laubacher said that the areas they can address are the impaired drivers in regards to drugs and alcohol.

“It’s on our shoulder’s and law enforcement’s shoulders to arrest people for being impaired, and try and arrest them before they’re getting on or going the wrong way on the interstate,” Laubacher said.

Pollick said in an e-mail that driving the wrong way on freeways has been a nagging traffic safety problem since the advent of the interstate highway system in the 1950s.  Despite over half a century of highway design, marking and signing improvements at freeway interchanges, the problem (and too often the deadly consequences) of wrong-way driving persists.

“Does it bother us? Yes.  The highway patrol’s mission is to reduce the number of crashes that occur.  Not just crashes, but crashes that involve serious injuries and fatalities.  We know we can’t prevent crashes from occurring.  The four people that lost their lives—how could we have prevented that? That’s what we look at,” Laubacher said.

“I think it’s a shame that nothing has been done to prevent wrong way accidents. The city of Toledo should have done something to prevent this problem after the first accident,” said Kali Casale, 20, BGSU Alpha Xi Delta Sorority member.

Michael Stormer, ODOT District Two Planning Engineer, said in an e-mail that ODOT is reviewing a number of countermeasures including additional paint, illuminated signs or reflective raised pavement markers.  They are also exploring new technologies.

Laubacher said that medically and physically impaired drivers’ eyes focus about 3 feet up off the roadway, so ODOT looks to see if they should put wrong-way driver signs lower.

ODOT complies with the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) with the placement wrong way signage, one-way signage, pavement markings etc, Pollick said in an email.  According the manual:

The MUTCD contains the national standards governing all traffic control devices. All public agencies and owners of private roads open to public travel across the nation rely on the MUTCD to bring uniformity to the roadway. The MUTCD plays a critical role in improving safety and mobility of all road users.

According to a study conducted by The Texas Department of Transportation on countermeasures for wrong way crashes, one common suggestion to prevent wrong-way drivers is to place spikes strip devices normally seen at the exits for paid parking lots on freeway exit ramps.

The study states that there are 10 reasons why spike strip devices are not recommended for use by the highway system due to significant risk the installation of such a device would create for drivers traveling the correct direction on ramps.  Some of the major reasons include:

  • During testing, the spikes did not cause the tires to deflate quickly enough to prevent a vehicle from entering the freeway.
  • During testing, under high-volume and high-speed traffic conditions, the spikes broke, leaving stubs that damaged the tires of right-way vehicles.
  • Even when functioning properly, the devices would pose an immediate hazard to motorcycles and small cars exiting in the correct direction.

Laubacher said that they could put spike strips out there to deflate tires, but there are too many other variables.  For example, who is going to pay for tires if somebody inadvertently gets their tires flattened?

With the three recent wrong-way driver incidents, citizens have looked to law enforcement agencies to prevent future incidents of crashes from happening.

It is evident that there are major limitations to the amount of safety controls that authorities can use on the highways, and they are doing what they can to prevent wrong-way drivers as much as possible.

Safety is a priority at ODOT.  We take each highway fatality, weather its rural accident or interstate wrong-way crash seriously, Stormer said in an e-mail.

“The accident hit me extremely hard as well as my entire sorority.  We were all extremely close to the three girls, and we all miss them so much. Nothing has been the same without them,” Casale said.

By: Caitlin Flack

Every woman in Bowling Green participates in a daily beauty pageant, whether she wants to or not.

Many women say they feel the pressure to participate in beauty routines and makeup trends to feel good about themselves.

However, there are groups across the country like Girls on the Run, The Naked Face Project, Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign and TEDX speaker Molly Barker who supports the idea of natural beauty.

The Naked Face Project is one of these groups, whose goal ultimately is to challenge women to ask themselves why they wear makeup and dare them to face the challenge of going two months without makeup, primping and shaving.

“It is predictable that The Naked Face Project will be uncomfortable for some women because it takes a lot to get used to a naked face, but in the end it is so worth it,” said Sara Ruese, a participant in The Naked Face Project and student at Bowling Green.

Erika Stratton without and with makeup. Photo by Caitlin Flack.

Students at Bowling Green State University question themselves on whether or not they could go a few days without their usual beauty routines. For some students they feel self-conscious without makeup, while others say that they feel uncomfortable and not themselves with it on.

“I wear very little makeup as it is, but I do not think I would feel comfortable going two months without shaving or ever doing my hair,” said sophomore Erika Stratton, a business major.

All women know that there is more to them outside of their appearance; they just need to believe it.

“Society tells us that to be a woman you have to present yourself in a certain way, so there are a lot of pressures that you’re supposed to look a certain way. You’re suppose to wear makeup, do your hair, wear your hair a certain way and wear certain clothes, but all of that takes effort,” said Vikki Krane, director of women’s studies and sport’s psychology.

There are some students on campus who try not to get caught up in societies’ “suppose to’s” and instead focus on what they feel more comfortable doing.

Sports management major Jennifer Kelley is one of these students who attempts to not be like everyone else on campus.

Jennifer Kelley without and with makeup. Photo by Caitlin Flack.

“I feel more comfortable about myself when I’m in sweats with my hair up and no makeup on,” Kelley said.

Since society has put these beauty pressures on women, it is expected that women will wear makeup and do their hair a certain way.

Some women are starting the trend of not wearing makeup and not doing their hair because they don’t want to be part of that societal norm, Krane said.

There are women on Bowling Green’s campus who do not know what The Naked Face Project is, but in reality they are a part of it without even knowing.

Becca Cragin, assistant professor in popular culture, said makeup has long been a norm for women in American society.

“In very many and perhaps even most environments, it’s an unstated expectation that women wear at least some makeup when they go out in public,” Cragin said.

Many women raise the question on whether or not makeup is healthy for the skin.

A Revlon’s spokeswoman said that their makeup is healthy because, “As a global company, all ingredients used by Revlon and products manufactured and sold by us are in compliance with both U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Union regulations.”

For some women, their main concern is their overall appearance and not how the makeup is affecting their skin.

“I couldn’t go two months without makeup because I feel like I would have to make a good impression at some point in those two months and without any makeup on I don’t think I could do that,” said freshman Shana Flanary, an exercise science major.

Many women say makeup is not only about looking good but also feeling good at the same time.

Early childhood education major Jamie Kertes said that she could not go without any makeup on because she thinks it makes her look good.

“Makeup helps me hide things that I don’t want others to see that I have and it also helps me enhance features that I do have and it makes me feel good about myself,” Kertes said.

However, many will say that no makeup is healthier for your skin and your wallet.

Several college students say they know the feeling of having a tight spending budget, but for some women that budget must include their beauty essentials.

“Every month I find myself spending at least $100 on beauty products,” Flanary said.

A Young Women’s Christian Association report says that one full year of tuition and fees at an instate public college is equivalent to almost five years of spending $100 a month on cosmetics and beauty products.

“I would be rich if I didn’t spend as much of my money on makeup as I do,” Kertes said.

According to the Economist, beauty spending on make-up, cosmetic surgery, hair products, skin care, diet and exercise and fragrances adds up to $160 billion a year worldwide.

Whether wearing makeup out of habit or to hide insecurities, many women find it beneficial to get rid of their cosmetics crutch and embrace the natural look.

“Real confidence comes from within,” Krane said.


A few of the beauty products I use. Photo by Caitlin Flack

The Never Naked Face

By: Caitlin Flack

It takes me at least forty-five minutes to get ready in the morning, and that’s not including time to eat breakfast.

It takes me that long to feel somewhat satisfied with myself before leaving my dorm room. This all includes showering, putting in my contacts, applying lotions and deodorant, picking out which sweats I’m going to wear, putting on makeup and doing my hair. Let’s not forget the time it takes me to change outfits three times until I finally decide on one.

Don’t get me wrong, I take less time than some girls, and then I take more time than others due to the fact that going to class with no makeup and bed head is not an option I’m willing to take.

Myself without and with makeup on. Photo by Caitlin Flack.

Without hesitation I can say I could not go a day without makeup, let alone other beauty essentials. I’m self-conscious about the way my skin looks without any makeup. There have been days where I don’t want to go out because I’m that self-conscious and think I look that bad.

I was the middle-school girl who used to secretly take her mom’s makeup to hide a few zits on my face and begged my parents for Proactiv because I thought everyone could see the two zits on my forehead. I was the high-schooler who shaved my legs and arms everyday in fear that others would think I was weird and gross if I didn’t. Now I’ve learned that people think I’m weird because I shave my arms, but to me it’s a way of making myself feel good and looking good.

After asking others how much they spend on beauty products a month I decided to add up my own. I found that I spend anywhere from $75 to $125 a month on beauty products. That is a lot of money that I could be spending on something else like gas money, food or saving up for a new car.

The number however will not stop me from wearing makeup. If I were ever told that I could only take five things with me to an island, one of those items would be my makeup.

My makeup only changes my appearance it doesn’t change who I am on the inside, but to those who don’t wear makeup, I commend you for your confidence.