OMSAR – An outlet for undergraduate Bobcats of color

The Office of Multicultural Student Access and Retention (OMSAR) is a sub-branch of the Office for Diversity & Inclusion. The Office for D&I is also home to the Women’s Center, Multicultural Center and Programs, and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center.

My video demonstrates why OMSAR is a premiere outlet for undergraduate OU persons of color, by focusing on the social programs, scholarships, academic and extracurricular opportunities the office provides.

OMSAR is mostly known for LINKS, a peer mentoring program for first-year minority students that helps ease the transition from high school into college, where often few students share similar ethnic identities. Therefore, I mainly focused on the LINKS program but included aspects of OMSAR that do not relate to LINKS.

I also investigated OMSAR’s work through other organizations, specifically the LGBT Center.  I tied my topics together by interviewing LGBT Center director delfin bautista, to learn about LINKS strengths and weaknesses from an outside source that has OMSAR knowledge.

There are a variety of pictures and descriptive texts in this video to allow viewers to gain a deeper understanding of OMSAR’s impact.

 

5 cruise hacks for first time cruisers

A picture of a beach at Paradise Island from the Atlantis Hotel | Wynston Wilcox

One of the most important things we as humans should do with our time on this earth is see the world. Since I was young, my family would go on yearly summer vacations. We’ve traveled (by car because there’s five of us) as far as Miami, Fl. and been to D.C., Pittsburgh, Myrtle Beach and plenty of other places.

One thing I have learned is that traveling is awesome, whether that be domestic or international. I flew out of the country for the first time over spring break last year to Argentina for a study abroad trip. It was an amazing experience and opened up a new window or me to continue my new love for traveling.

This past spring break I went on a four-day cruise to the Bahamas. Me and one fo my friends cruised Royal Caribbean for our first cruise. For all you other first time cruisers, here is a podcast about five cruise hacks I learned after my first cruise!

https://bumpers.fm/e/b3ufmrnb8sf0017hh100

How Athens Police Department keeps its Bobcats under control during fest season

Springtime in Athens has rolled around again. With it comes beautiful weather, graduation, and of course fest season.

Fest weekends tend to be much more disorderly than the average weekend in Athens. As a result, the city always sees a necessary increase in police presence. With such an increase in population and risky behavior, what steps do the authorities take to keep these young adults safe?

The number of officers patrolling increases dramatically during the spring fests. Officers play a variety of distinct roles during this time of year. There are authorities patrolling on foot, horses, and some in plain clothes as undercovers.

Athens Police Department’s Mounted Patrol are the most iconic role that police employ during fest season. They never fail to get attention from students.

Mounted police begin their journey at the Athens Fairgrounds and ride their way into town toward the fest attendees. They typically travel in packs of 3 to 12 officers.

“We use the horses because it gives our police force more of a presence. We think that the presence of the horses and the view we get from being up high helps us to defuse and control situations before they can get out of hand,” said Ohio University Police Officer Bryan Newvahner. Mounted patrol officers seem to get the attention and respect of fest-goers much more effectively than officers in patrol cars, riding bikes, or on foot.

The Athens Police Department does allow for students to pet the horses, they just request that the students ask for permission before touching the animals.

A group of officers that I spoke with were all in agreement that an officer on horseback is much more effective at stopping and preventing reckless behavior in addition to maintaining order opposed to officers on foot. Mounted officers in Athens have been used since 1996 and do not seem to be going away anytime soon. They have become a staple in the spring fest image and culture.

Police reinforcements come from around the state from locations including; Columbus, Medina, Dublin, and Summit to name a few. They come from all over Ohio to support the Athens Police Department during its busy fest season. The Athens Police Department shares a mutual aid agreement where each department assists the other during busy weekends. “We need reinforcements to accommodate for the huge jump in population and risky behavior,” said Newvahner.

“We typically make around 25 to 30 arrests on any given busy fest,” said Newvahner. “We want to let students have fun but prevent them from hurting themselves or anyone else around them.” The majority of the arrests that law enforcement make are for public urination, underage drinking, or public intoxication.

Some of the fest attendees were under the impression that the police specifically targeted their party while allowing others to continue. This left me wondering, why do officers shut down certain parties and not others?

The Athens Police Department clearly wants to prevent and stop the reckless and risky behavior that comes with fest season, but why do they choose to shut down one party and allow the others to continue? To an outsider, each party just appears to have loud music and many drunk college students.

The main criteria that officers take into consideration when shutting down house parties during fests is behavior. “More often than not when we shut down a certain address it is because they have had several repeated offenses over a period of time at the same location,” said Newvahner. The repeated offenses usually happen later in the day, after students have already been drinking for an extended period of time.

Police did not always shut down street fests as early as they do now. When Ohio University was on the quarter system only a few years ago, fests would go much later into the evening.

Police began shutting down parties much earlier on the semester system because the conflict between fest-goers and law enforcement was so high. Athens Police Department found that when they prevented the fests from going so late, the encounters they had with students decreased dramatically.

As is to be expected, some students are less than enthusiastic about their parties getting shut down by the police. One tenant of a Mill Street rental property, Stephanie Anthony said, “there were parties a lot louder and crazier than ours. I don’t know why they shut us down, it’s our property.”

Each student that I spoke with seemed to have a different opinion on the police presence during the fests. Some were appreciative of the presence that they had and thought that it made them feel safer in a hectic environment.

I spoke to Mark Taylor, a sophomore studying management information systems to get his take. “I feel safer knowing that there are police all around me when so many people are drinking. They pretty much let us do what we want and only get involved if it gets too crazy, plus I love petting all the horses.”

There are also students who find that the police are too intrusive on their festing. “The number of cops just seems unnecessary, we have gotten more and more every year for the last four years and they shut down the streets earlier and earlier every year too,” said Brett Webb, a senior studying geology.

Officer Newvahner said that there are a few steps students can take to stay safe and avoid conflict with law enforcement during fest weekends. “Drinking on the sidewalk is and always has been illegal, so do not do it,” said Newvahner and a few of his colleagues.

The officers also said that respect is very important when it comes to dealing with the police. They are there to maintain order and keep students safe, they are not out to get anyone or prevent students from having a good time.

He also said, “if it is your house, try to keep it under control.” Recurring violations, such as noise, public urination, littering, and intoxication can lead to a citation and the authorities asking students to leave if they do not live there.

After interviewing representatives from both sides, students and law enforcement, there seems to be a good balance of control and freedom for the students to have fun without harming themselves or others around them.

Students and law enforcement look to have another successful fest season in spring of 2018.

Bagelwiches by the bundle

 

If you ever feel overwhelmed with options off the extensive menu at Bagel Street Deli, you can always create your own sandwich.

Or you could go a step further and claim a spot on the menu for your bagelwich masterpiece. All it takes is just a few pickles.

On the second Friday in March, BSD host its annual Pickle Fest, centered around a pickle eating contest.

balls-deep
The ’08 Pickle Fest Champion, Balls Deep: meatballs, salami, banana peppers, mushrooms, provolone, lettuce, and Italian dressing. Photo by Eben George

Participants compete in heats of 10 eaters. Each heat last 10 minuets. When its all said and done, whoever eats and swallows the most pickles at the end of the competition wins the right to create and name their own BSD creation with an eternal spot on the chalkboard.

 

A major announcement from Court Street Stories

Greetings, Court Street Stories enthusiast! Welcome back to the website that brings you all your favorite quirks of Athens, Ohio from the minds of the future of journalism!

As we continue to explore the future mediums of journalism, we have noticed that we are under utilizing our resources in one of the dominant mediums in the field today: podcasts.

Podcasts are commonly known as audible feature stories. Media consumers have shown in recent years that they find hearing stories told audibly much more accessible than reading a daunting, 2,000 word feature.

Podcasts are also a useful analytical tool for complicated matters that require a lot of explanation. It’s easier to explain what you mean in a free form conversation than it is within the constraints of the written word, AP style etc.

Podcasts have been a prominent part of our sports staff’s repertoire for a few years now, but we are looking to expand our podcast network as well as improve the quality of our existing audio content. To lead us in our endeavor, we will be making the regular host and producer of our sports podcasts, James Watkins, the head of our podcast expansion efforts.

Watkins has been a hard-working contributor to our written content in his three years with the publication, but he came to our higher-ups with a vision of what our audio product could and should be, and we are going to give him a chance to make his visions a reality.

The exact details will be revealed when we release the detailed plan to our consumers, but in overarching terms, major changes will be as follows:

Expanded network: Essentially, sports has been the only staff consistently producing podcasts over the past few years. Even then, most of those podcasts have been related to interests unrelated to our product. We will touch on that below, but every staff is capable of producing a podcast.

There are tidbits that don’t make the final version of every story. New information comes to light that can add to a story from the previous day but doesn’t constitute writing a new story. Podcasts are a perfect medium to fill in the blanks and add further context to even the most basic stories.

You can dive into the process of how you wrote your 2,000 word Magnum Opus internship portfolio piece, hold a forum among friends about how to approach The Number Fest safely, interview a source about a pressing topic related to your beat, and everything in between.

Watkins comes from the sports angle, but he will not control everyone’s content. No one knows news better than news, culture better than culture, and so on and so forth. But, he understands how to approach a podcast, and he can help our staffers understand as well.

Improved current product: This is the primary motivation behind Watkins’ proposal. Between writing and podcasting about his beat, hosting and producing the leisurely podcasts on the side, and school work, he has spread himself too thin. He believes that with his energy focused solely on the audio product, our podcasts will be more frequent, more related to what we actually cover, and better researched and produced. The sum of all these things will make our audio product sound infinitely more professional, which could open other avenues for the medium in our future (sponsors, better guests, etc.)

Increase in hirability: This would be the product of all these changes. Journalism students are constantly being told how much they should be diversifying their skills in the industry to make themselves more attractive job candidates. Here at Court Street Stories, we see the writing, and we see the videography. Adding a podcast to every staff would only further raise the eyebrows of every employer who gets a resume from one of our staffers. It’s likely that at some point in our careers, we will be juggling multiple journalistic skills at the same time, and the best way to prepare is to practice.

Monday roundup: Today, tomorrow and yesterday around Athens

1. Parents Weekend
Week six of the semester brought the first special weekend of the semester, Parents Weekend. For many students, this weekend was the first opportunity they’ve had to lay eyes on their parents since they left home for OU six weeks ago. For soon-to-be graduates, it was their first “Last__weekend as a Bobcat” of the semester. Parents weekend brought many emotions and memories along with plenty of opportunities for Bobcats to show their parents a good time.

Outdoor pursuits gave students and parents plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors together with group ziplining and stargazing events throughout the weekend.

Other families opted to do what Bobcats traditionally do when a special weekend rolls around – hit the bars. Entrance queues for many bars were lengthy, leaving many patrons disgruntled. For those who could get in, throwback music could be heard coming out of speakers as opposed to the normal radio top 40 hits. Despite the crowds, many families found a way to entertain themselves with some opting to host controlled parties at off-campus housing.

2. Ohio Athletics
Ohio football and volleyball both held home matches this week to keep parents and students alike entertained. The football team played a very intense game against visiting FCS team Gardner-Webb and came out on top 37-21. The game was the first opportunity of the season for RS FR quarterback Quinton Maxwell to gain some playing time and he didn’t disappoint, throwing for 167 passing-yards and two touchdowns in his Ohio debut. The game was also coach Frank Solich’s 140th career win and the first home win of the season for Ohio.

Indoors, Ohio volleyball came out on top over Buffalo in a thrilling 3-0 win. The win put Ohio 2-0 in Mid-American Conference play for the season and featured Redshirt junior middle blocker Ali Lake lead Ohio with a match-high 13 kills. The match also saw sophomore setter Stephanie Olman distribute a match-high 39 assists for Ohio.

3. Campus Update
With another fun-filled Ohio University Parents Weekend behind us, students look forward to what’s coming up around campus this week.

  • Monday and Tuesday feature the Career and Internship fair in the Baker Center ballroom. The fair runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days. After Monday’s fair, there will be a “Night of Networking” event starting at 5 p.m. and running until 6:30 p.m.
  • Guest speaker and award winning author/writer Onyeka Nwelue will be in the Multicultural Center Multipurpose (Baker 219) to give a presentation on “What Young Africans Are Writing – An Africa Crossroads event”
  • The OU NAACP and Black Student Union organizations are organizing a plan of action to address what they feel is a lack of accountability when it comes to hate speech around campus following the Tuesday, Sept. 20 incident where the campus’ graffiti wall was defaced with disrespectful language and images.
  • Holzer opened a new clinic uptown last week. The clinic hopes to draw in university students along with anyone else in the area. The clinic is now the third Holzer location within Athens.

4. Feel the burn
This week offers several opportunities for students to get up, get out and get active – or at least watch other people sweat.

  • Ping Center will be hosting its final “Yoga on the Lawn” series on Thursday, Sept. 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The event is free to Ohio University students and those with a Ping membership.
  • Outdoor Pursuits is holding a bouldering clinic for students to come out and learn how to, well, boulder across rock formations on Tuesday, Sep 27 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Ping Center.
  • Bird Arena will be hosting open skate on Tuesday and Thursday. Rec skate is set to begin at 8:30 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m.
  • Ohio Soccer takes on Western Michigan on Friday, Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. at Chessa Field
  • Ohio Field Hockey takes on Central Michigan at 5 p.m. on Pruitt Field
  • Ohio Hockey takes on Kent State in Bird Arena on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:30.

(Daniel Kubus | Staff Photographer)

5. Tweet of the week

If you did something cool and didn’t tweet about it, did it really happen? Social media is everything nowadays and there’s no better use for it than to show off your friends. This week’s tweet of the week comes from Meryl Hadlock and features her friend Weidner doing something only slightly illegal.

 

Have a great week Bobcats!

Our parents may be hOUme but that doesn’t mean the parties will stop

Ohio University knows how to party so well parents don’t know if they should be mad or not. This weekend was filled with live music, dancing, and regrettable decisions for some.

  1. The Union sets the tone for this fun, music filled weekend.

Adam Remnant, Breakers, Smizmar

Friday, 23 September 2016 9:00 pm

@ The Union

Creator: The Union

 

Adam Remnant is a local folk artist on tour for his recently released EP, When I Was a Boy. He was the headline act for the show at The Union Bar & Grill. Breakers, and Smizmar shared the stage with Remnant Friday night. The show was an example of not only how good the music in Athens is, but also how there’s no typical “Athens band”.

2. Open Doors Casa Dance Party

The party is slayin' with DJ vampy kitty!!! @vampykitty @ouopendoors @casanuevaathens

A photo posted by Ohio University LGBT Center (@oulgbtcenter) on

Open Doors, an LGBT student group on campus hosted their first dance of the school year with a stoplight theme dance party. The dress code for the party was simple but interesting. Everyone was to wear stoplight colors but they each meant different things. If you wore green, you were single and ready to mingle for the night while red meant you were off the market or weren’t interested.

Saturday night was also DJ Vamptykitty’s first solo act.

3. Country Night Lights 

 

Hundreds of people gathered at The Venue of Athens this past weekend to enjoy two booze filled days of country music in their cowboy boots. Two days of up-and-coming musicians entertained this rowdy crowd. The bars weren’t going to pass up on an opportunity to offer a place to pregame before pregaming outside the venue.

4. Skeletonwitch returns to Athens

Athens, thank you for a killer, sold-out show last night. There is no better way to start a tour.

A photo posted by @skeletonwitch on

Skeletonwitch returns to Athens and play their show back at The Union Bar & Grill a year after it burned down. The Union was where former OU students began playing before gaining an international following in the metal scene. This show kicked off their five-week Curse of the Dead 2016 U.S. tour.

5. No matter what happened to you this weekend just be glad you didn’t end your weekend this way.

Everyone is told from day one to be very careful around the horse officers. After a night of drinking this man seems to have forgotten the sacred rule in Athens–always ask before petting a horse.

He took it a step further by actually mounting the horse when he saw there was no police around. Though no records have been found as of yet online his friends say he was arrested but is free and will have a trial on Monday.

 

You can be grateful you woke up this morning with just a simple headache.

How to have fun when you’re under 21

Curated by Elizabeth Backo and Kate Fickell

Although Ohio University has been dubbed a No. 1 party school, there is still much to do before turning 21. Athens is filled with a variety of music and art groups along with fitness centers and beautiful bikeways. Although fest season and HallOUween may seem like the ultimate party at OU, seeing a movie at the Athena Cinema or attending a football game at Peden stadium can be just as much of a buzz.

Here’s a guide for how to have fun when you’re under 21:

Performing Arts:

1. Instrumental music, located in Memorial Auditorium and the Glidden Hall (which is at the top and bottom of Jeff Hill)

Free music is abundant on campus. The School of Music hosts different events throughout the year including OctubaFest, an event dedicated to tuba playing, and the annual Jazz Festival. In addition, there are several organizations for music majors and non-majors to participate in, including symphonies and orchestras. Events and information can be found on the School of Music’s website

2. Athena, located near The Chop Shop and The Shack on Court Street

The Athena Cinema is placed among the oldest movie theaters in the nation. It has three screens and an art deco-style interior. The theater also offers popcorn and concessions. The films include documentary, independent, classics, foreign and local. Every year, the Athena Cinema hosts multiple events including Ohio University student screenings, environmental panels and the Athens International Film + Video Festival. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with what’s happening.

3.Improv/Comedy, located at Front Room, Donkey Coffee and Baker Theatre

Black Sheep Improv, an improvisational group on campus, takes over Front Room on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and on Thursdays in Baker Theatre at 9 p.m. The Improv troupe spends its time making jokes and trying to get the audience to crack a few smiles. Comedy groups can also be found around campus and uptown, such as the Blue Pencil Comedy stand-up group that frequently performs at Donkey Coffee and Espresso. “I think anyway of making new friends is something I would be interested in haha! I know no one.” Bethel Park High School in Pittsburgh, PA.

4. Art Barn, located down the road behind the Summit Apartments at Coates Run

The Dairy Barn Arts Center promotes artists and provides the community access to fine arts and crafts from outside the region. The program calendar that you can check out here includes international juried exhibitions, festivals, touring exhibits, programs of regional interest, live performances and activities for all ages. They have volunteer work and Kroger community awards.

5. Choirs, performing in Memorial Auditorium on College Green

The Choral Union is a large, mixed chorus of students, faculty and townspeople. The ensemble unites annually with the Ohio University Symphony to perform outstanding major choral works. Click here to check out their page and other singing and instrumental groups. “I hope to find a job and join the choir. I don’t need alcohol or partying to have fun. Yeah, those can be fun to do but also remembering things sober are much better than not remembering.” Harrison Central High School in Cadiz, OH.

Fitness:

1. Bike Path, behind South Green

When the weather is warm and sunny, the bike path located behind South Green is a go-to place for bikers, runners, skaters and walkers. The path is relatively flat with a few twists and turns. Anyone can enjoy a view of the Hocking River or witness the blooming Japanese Cherry Blossoms in the spring. It also can be used to take a trip to Wal-Mart.

2. Ping, behind Clippinger near South Green and the golf course

The Ping Center is 168,000 square feet spanning three floors with a 36 foot, double-sided climbing wall, five basketball/volleyball courts, two multipurpose gymnasiums, a four-lane indoor running track, seven racquetball courts and two fitness areas. Ping Center also provides free weights, aerobics, fitness, combative sports, dance, and meeting rooms. Follow Ping on Twitter to keep up! “I just want to take in as much as possible and find what interests me. I want to get the experience that comes with finally moving out of your parents’ house and be on your own. I love spending time in the gym.” Monroe Central High School in Woodsfield, OH.

3. Sport Fields, multiple locations described below

Peden stadium, located near the Convocation Center, has a seating capacity of 24,000 and hosts Bobcat football. Students attend football games in the fall to cheer on the Bobcats as well as collect free gear and food. The Marching 110 also plays a halftime performance that leaves the audience bouncing with excitement. The Intramural Fields are located between East Green and the Hocking River and offer individual, dual and team sports for men, women and coed teams in a variety of seasonal league and tournament formats. “I’m committed to the women’s soccer team so for fun I plan on hanging out with my future teammates.” Buckeye Valley High School in Delaware, OH.

4. Bird Arena, located near the bottom of Baker Center

Bird Arena is another outlet for people who would rather slide then run. The indoor arena provides a 190-by-85 foot surface for skaters of all ages. Bird Arena has open skate hours which can be found online and might change for the 2016-17 academic year. Skate rental fees are $3.50. Additionally, the arena offers different programs such as synchronized skating, club hockey and even beginner classes that can be taken for academic credit. You can find this icy rink at the bottom of Baker Center.

Media:

1. The Post, room 325 in Baker Center

The Post is one of several media outlets on campus. After more than 100 years of publishing, The Post is becoming a weekly tabloid with a daily digital product. The organization covers a range of topics from blog posts about pet Instagrams to political controversy on campus. The Post has several staffs that work daily to produce its product, which includes culture, sports, news, copy editing, digital, social media, design, multimedia and photography.

2. Backdrop, office located in Baker Center in room 309 or can be contacted here

Backdrop is a magazine on campus that publishes four times throughout the academic year. The magazine focuses on long-form content ranging from the history of fashion at OU to an in depth look into police officers’ K-9 sidekicks. “I also got into OSU but I chose OU over it. I am really looking forward to being involved with certain magazines on campus, especially the one dedicated to music because although I don’t play an instrument, I love all genres of music and talking about them.” Hilliard Davidson High School in Hilliard, OH.

3. The Athens News, located between Red Brick and Cats Eye on Court Street

Known for its in-depth local news reporting, The Athens News features news, entertainment and an advertising section. With Ohio University making up an important segment of the Athens County population, The Athens News newspaper is able to effectively reach both the university and community markets, according to its website. The publication has written about everything from Number Fest to the construction of uptown bars.

Tutus, tango and twelve hours of dancing: How Bobcats raised over $40,000 for charity

For a full 12 hours on Saturday Feb. 13, Baker Ballroom was transformed into a discotheque of giving, receiving and most importantly, fun.

The second annual BobcaThon was held on Saturday (2/13) to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio. Over 180 students gathered in Baker to dance the day away to raise money for the charity.

The orange team does a line dance at BobcaThon
The orange team does a line dance at BobcaThon

This year, BobcaThon raised over $40,000 for the Ronald McDonald house through year-long fundraising ending with a 12-hour dance marathon. Dancers sign up throughout the year and look to raise money. The year-long fundraiser ends with a day of dancing and stories from people who have stayed at the house. The majority of the money is raised by the dancers.

“It’s very empowering to be a dancer,” Meg Sanders, BobcaThon president, said. “It’s life-changing for a lot of people.”

The Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio, the largest of its kind in the world, is a charity that looks to give affordable housing to those whose children are in the Nationwide Children’s hospital for diseases and ailments. Without the charity, many families would not be able to stay close to their children while they are in the hospital. The house provides food, shelter and a supportive community to families who are affected by sickness.

Amber Fosler, a 2003 graduate of Ohio University, was the first to share her personal story about the Ronald McDonald House. Her son Elias was born without a bile duct. Because of this, his bile built up in his liver and caused deterioration of the liver. For months, Elias was in and out of the hospital with surgeries and illnesses related to his liver. For the majority of their overnight stays, the Fosler family stayed in the Ronald McDonald House.

The Fosler Family and their son Elias were residents of the Ronald McDonald House
The Fosler Family and their son Elias were residents of the Ronald McDonald House

“Other than having a clean and comfortable place to go, there was another benefit of having access to the Ronald McDonald House facilities,” Fosler said in a speech given to the BobcaThon participants. “Since birth, Elias has racked up more than $3 million dollars in insurance claims. We still had to pay out of pocket for our stay at the house. But, had we been forced to stay in a hotel, I have no idea how we would have been able to afford 60 nights. Because we had the house though, we had an amazingly affordable place to go.”

On average, it costs from $50-$100 per night for a family to stay at the house, according to Sanders. But families who stay are asked to make a donation up to $25 a night or do not have to pay at all.

“Not everyone can pay,” Fosler said. “But that’s ok; no one is ever turned down from Ronald McDonald house. And it’s only made possible by amazing people like all of you.”

With the exact amount raised being $40,473.01, families can spend over 400 nights at the Ronald McDonald house without having to pay. All thanks to the dancers and supporters of BobcaThon.

“We really all share one common goal: to put on the best dance marathon we can, and raise money for an amazing cause.” Sanders said.