The Post-Secondary

Getting Social via Media

People are talking about their time at GBD- Green Beer Day, that is. Check out #GBD for posts from Bobcats wearing green and drinking green.

Faculty and staff received an email about a big announcement today and some are using #OUAnnounce to speculate what it will be. Theories so far include President McDavis’ retirement and a slide down Jeff Hill.

@Pottermore revealed a part of ‘History of Magic in North America’ via Twitter.

 News-Worthy Topics

Students are back from spring break and welcoming “fest season” with open arms. Before the festivities officially kick off this weekend, students first celebrated Green Beer Day on Wednesday. Though St. Patrick’s Day is about a week away, students took to the bars on Court Street and consumed large amounts of green-colored beer in honor of the Irish holiday.

As the colored-alcohol activities came to an end, Athens welcomed Ohio University’s Board of Trustees to campus for its March meeting. The university’s main decision-making entity will discuss and likely approve a plan for the university’s infrastructure for the next decade, tuition increases for the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and future renovations for The Ridges.

OU officials are also in the midst of choosing a new Vice President for Student Affairs after Ryan Lombardi stepped down from the position and took a job at Cornell University in New York. There are currently two candidates vying for the position, which is temporarily being performed by Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones.

Let’s Talk Sports

The Ohio Women’s Basketball team will be attending The 2016 Mid-American Conference Tournament in Cleveland on Monday. The Bobcats will be playing 12 other teams in the MAC conference.

The Ohio Men’s Basketball team will also be attending The 2016 Mid-American Conference Tournament in Cleveland. After upsetting Miami last weekend, they will be playing tonight.

After 18 years in the NFL, Peyton Manning will be retiring from Pro Football. Peyton didn’t want his body to give out, but there is some speculation that he could be going into the business or broadcasting side of sports.

Current NBA MVP and Golden State Warriors Center Guard Stephen Curry is currently trying to help out other young athletes get into the NFL.

Lifestyle Fixes for any Bobcat

13 Versatile Ways to Get the Most Out of Your College Years

31 Money Saving Tricks for Students

11 Cheap Ways to Make Your College Apartment Look More Grown-up

25 Essential Dorm Room Cooking Hacks

101 Health and Wellness Tips for College Students

Breaking Down Higher Education

Graduate student teachers have a positive effect on undergraduates

A recent study has shown that graduate student instructors have a positive effect on the undergraduate students they teach, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Students who take their first class from a graduate student in a certain major are more likely to major in that subject than those who take their first class from a faculty member.

The study was conducted using undergraduate students at public universities in Ohio who first enrolled in college in fall of 1998 or 1999.

Rising tuition costs are the biggest problem facing higher education

The rising costs of higher education are making access to college more difficult for families, according to a story from the Washington Post.

“Across the country, the average price of a public four-year college in today’s dollars has increased by 13 percent since 2010, according to the College Board. That followed a 24 percent increase between 2005 and 2011.

The increase in tuition costs is occurring at the same time family incomes have decreased.

Growing endowments becoming a cause for concern at universities because of connection to hedge funds

Universities throughout the country have invested a larger portion of their endowments in hedge funds. This practice has led some to question if the practice it putting university funds at risk and the high fees charged by many hedge funds to participate, according to an article from The Nation.

“I was going to donate money to Yale. But maybe it makes more sense to mail a check directly to the hedge fund of my choice,” Malcolm Gladwell tweeted last summer, causing a commotion that landed him on NPR.

While the issue involves larger amounts of cash at larger schools with endowments of more than a billion dollars, public universities are also investing this way. Even Ohio University with an endowment of $553 million has some money invested in hedge funds.

 

Written by Gentry Bennett, Dina Berliner, Rahul Mukherjee, Burton Speakman and Megan Witmer.

Far away from the Real World on Court Street

It’s the namesake of this website as well as my favorite place in Athens. Maybe I am using the term “place” a bit generously here since I am referring to an entire street, but there is no doubt in my mind I will miss the atmosphere of Court Street upon graduation more so than any of the individual restaurants or bars inhabiting the beautifully bricked road – or anywhere else in Athens.

The scene on Court Street is always a spectacle. It can be enjoyed quietly during the day and makes for an awesome walk in the sun when the weather is warmer. However, the magic of Court Street comes out at night, when everyone is sharing a good time with their friends. The smiles, laughter, and memories made with friends on Court Street will be what draws me back to visit as an alumnus.

Photo of Court Street
A view of Court Street taken from an apartment balcony above Subway

They say that you don’t enter the “real world” until after you leave college and join the work force. I can’t think of anything further removed from the worries of the real world than an average night spent on Court Street. It’s perfectly tailored to college students and the biggest reason why Athens is regularly ranked among America’s best college towns. Most college students have little money, so it’s awesome how ridiculously cheap the drinks are at Athens’ bars. Drink specials for 50 cents, a dollar, etc are all sorely missed when I return home for break to my suburban NYC town.

Convenience and accessibility serve as a big reason of why I love Court Street. It’s within close walking distance of the majority of campus – strongly eliminating the possibility of drunk drivers (not entirely, however). No matter how late at night it is, I’ve never felt unsafe or threatened while on Court Street which I think speaks to the positive community that has been built by Bobcats.

I’ll be living in an apartment on Court Street next year, which is also the year I expect to graduate. I can’t think of anywhere else in Athens I would rather spend the majority of my time in my final semester than happily on Court Street, well outside the impending realm of the real world.

Converse to the Convo

by Matt Stephens

Baseline view of the Convocation Center

One location on the campus of Ohio University has a place in every students’ heart, the Convocation center.

It may seem like a stretch to some, but the Convo truly is the heart of Athens, Ohio.

The structure has various uses and purposes including dormitories, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, freshmen/graduation convocation and it is also the location of various athletic offices.

The Convo first opened in 1968 and has gone through various transitions throughout history. Ohio University’s athletic department describes the building as “a first-class look with the very latest in modern facilities, equipment and comfort.”

However, visitors do not have to be an athlete to enjoy the Convo. In 2014 men’s basketball attendance at the Convo was 85th of all NCAA division one teams. The structure holds 13,080 seats but 6,124 patrons attended games on average.

People enjoy countless memories in their time at the “roundhouse on Richland.” Athletic memories only account for some of that time.

Students first enter the Convo in their freshmen year for the first year convocation ceremony. Once they end their time in Athens they are back once more to pick up their degree.

Intentional or unintentional the Convocation Center is a landmark in the Athens community and in the hearts of Bobcats then, now and forever.

 

Buckeyes or Bobcats in Athens?

Ohio University is home to many Ohio residents that love sports. They share the same joys during Cavaliers, I mean basketball season, and they grieve together during football season. Or do they? On campus, a lot of Ohio University students identify with the defending national collegiate football champions in the Ohio State Buckeyes more than the Cleveland Browns or the Cincinnati Bengals. Even if Ohio State came to Ohio University to play our Ohio Bobcats, the love for Ohio State would have OU students cheering for the Buckeyes.

“They are my hometown team,” Mykus Hall explained. “I have always had a connection to them.”

Hall is from Columbus where the professional teams they have are the Crew and the Blue Jackets.

“I have never once cared about the MLS or hockey and I have never felt the connection with a professional football team,” Hall said. “They are terrible for the most part. I hate losing. And Ohio State is right there at home.”

My sports teams are the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Lakers, because these are the first two sports teams that I was exposed to. I cannot be upset at students cheering for the team they were exposed to as a child. A big chunk of Ohio University students have grown up loving the Buckeyes. They are not abandoning their team to cheer for a school that they gained a connection with between one and four years ago.

“My dad is an OSU fan and the rest of my family is,” OU student Joe Fracasso said. “So he just kind of steered me toward the team, and ever since then, I have become a bigger and bigger fan.”

For many students, Ohio State is their family as well. They feel like they are apart of Ohio State because they were born into that culture.

If a football game ever happened between Ohio State and Ohio University, it may not be a home game for OU anymore.

OU wrestling grapples with Claxton’s ineligibility

Just three days before its season began, Ohio got news that its loaded roster would be missing one of its most decorated competitors. Now, as the season enters its second weekend, it will continue to look to its bench to for last-minute relief

Two-time national qualifier Tywan Claxton’s appeal for a fifth year of NCAA eligibility was denied by the collegiate athletics governing body last week, ending his Ohio career. Claxton won 56 decisions in his last two seasons at Ohio.

Before the ruling was announced, Claxton was ranked inside the top 10 in the 149-pound class in Intermat’s preseason rankings. His vacant spot on the roster leaves some big shoes to fill, but Greenlee is confident in his replacement, redshirt sophomore Cullen Cummings.

Cummings went 2-1 in the season-opening Eastern Michigan duels.

“I really think Cullen Cummings is as good as Tywan,” coach Joel Greenlee said. “He’s a guy that we’ll really look toward to step into that role. I think for him, a little bit of it is just getting some matches under his belt and gaining confidence in what he does.”

Claxton filed his appeal to the NCAA eight months ago but was kept waiting on its decision while he went through preseason conditioning and workouts with the Bobcats.

“We heard from the NCAA the other day because they wanted some clarification and more documents,” Greenlee said before the season. “It’s definitely not under a pile of papers anywhere. I think they’re gathering information. We’re just asking for a fourth year.”

Then, just three days before Ohio was scheduled to venture to Ypsilanti, Michigan, for a season-opening quad meet, Claxton posted the news of the decision on his Twitter page.

Even before Tywan published his knowledge of the decision on his own account, teammates and other wrestling media figures were jumping to support him on social media with the #FreeTClax hashtag.

Claxton was appealing for a fifth year of eligibility after he wrestled in just two matches during the 2012-2013 season, the year he redshirted for Ohio. The 149-pound wrestler had previously competed at Division II King University, where he earned All-American honors in the 141-pound class.

In his first full season in green and white, Claxton posted a 27-9 record and finished fifth in the Mid-American Conference tournament. Afterward, he was awarded an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, where he advanced to day two of competition. Last season, Claxton was even better, winning three regular season tournaments and posting a 29-7 record overall, and ending his season by advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.

As for what the future holds for Claxton, he already has his sights set on a mixed martial arts career. He already fought his first amateur bout this summer and won the match in the first round. His next fight is scheduled for Nov. 25.

A breakdown of OU athletic spending

In a day and age where student loan debt has risen substantially, it’s important to know what your thousands of dollars are going towards in the university.

Dr. Steve Hays, an associate professor in the Classics & World Religions department here at OU, conducted research for a committee in faculty senate during the 2014-2015 school year. With a diverse set of opinions on the subject of athletic spending, they were given a task to bring pros and cons to the table. Hays took it upon himself to publish the findings on his own website, which is a breakdown of OU athletic spending.

In the chart below, the first column shows how much money Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) generates on its own. The second column is OU generated money that goes to ICA.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 6.34.11 PM

A portion of the general fee every student pays (approx. $628 per semester) in their tuition is for ICA Operations, which equaled $9.3 million. The indirect costs and scholarships are not in the general fee, but the university’s General Fund, which is tuition and state support of instruction revenue. To maintain the facilities that the athletics department uses (i.e. custodial services, facilities management, utilities, etc.) it is calculated that it cost the university $3.7 million over the period of a year. ICA does not make enough money to run its program, so $20.3 million of the $25 million in the span of a year comes directly from tuition and state sponsored funding. ICA’s $4.7 million revenue comes from ticket sales, NCAA payments, sponsorships, etc.

So what’s this all about? Why spend so much money with no profit? https://www.flickr.com/photos/pennstatelive/7909367630/in/photolist-d3Vzrq-f3wdtB-f3LnGN-f3wdCF-f3wdM8-f3Lq27-f3w8ZF-f3LqEs-f3w984-f3LqVj-f3w9zz-f3LkJq-f3wbAe-d3Vzcu-f3w4nB-f3w4fe-JkwBD-f3whLt-f3LuFw-f3whp2-f3w8Uz-f3LuRW-f3wgq4-f3Ljky-f3wi1e-f3w7wp-f3Lkjf-f3LuAN-f3w4zB-f3LkuL-f3LgpA-f3w9vp-f3Lke5-f3wcoZ-f3w8Dx-f3LjJs-oz4jPe-oziJgY-ohR7me-oxiEgQ-ohQgLS-ohQGes-oxikBf-oziHcU-oB5VCR-ohQArr-ozimJQ-oz4J8P-dByeL2-6DS9N7

The overall cost of the athletics program is 3% of the university’s budget. The budget in 2015 was $709.2 million.

OU athletics helps with advertising the university. When an OU football game is shown on ESPN, it is a way for the audience to become more acquainted with the university. Ultimately helping with grabbing potential future students.

Donors and alumni are a key element of fundraising. Athletics is also said to be a key element of fundraising. The discussion on this position is controversial, since the athletic donations from alumni and others are included in the $4.7 million revenue that ICA obtained in the 2014-2015 school year. Read more here for the various pros and cons discussion.

The ICA scholarships give students the chance to attend a university that due to financial reasons, they might not be able to attend without. The chart below breaks down scholarships for the school, athletic and non-athletic. Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 7.00.14 PM

There is a discussion on this topic as well. An average of almost $19,000 for each athletic scholarship is given to 357 students. An average of $3300 is given to 8,908 non-athletic students.

This has been a hot topic since the spending and focus has shifted more towards athletics, a New York Times article  gives a glimpse of what campuses around the country have been doing. The American Institutes for Research did an important study in 2013 comparing academic spending to athletic spending at universities.

Check out the OU Dialogue website to become more educated on the topic of university spending.

What do yOU think? Are OU sports worth the money we are giving them?

 

 

Dining hall grub: the better of two evils?

If you take a walk through east green around dinnertime, as you wind around majestic oaks and quaint, colonial dorms, you will most likely hear the grumblings of underclassmen about their “Shively shits.” Those of us who are past the days of meal plans can’t forget that peculiar gassy feeling that creeps up mid-stroll home following a campus-meal with your friends.

What really goes into the 3.8 million meals per year that OU Culinary Services feeds us?

photo-3

When I asked Culinary Services up-front if they used food preservatives or additives, they responded, “We do not use preservatives or texturizes in our products on campus.”

This, I had a hard time believing.

I asked Culinary Services for their ingredients, which they told me were on-line. Just for the record, the ingredients are not actually online.

This was their first lie.

I asked if I could come into the dining hall to snap a few pictures, also secretly hoping to check out some ingredient labels, but they denied my request, claiming that it would make students feel uncomfortable as “residential dining venues are a place for students to relax and refuel.”

So I decided to take matters into my own hands. I had an underclassman friend swipe me into Shively so I could have the full dining hall experience.

imagejpeg_2

Shively was just as homey as I remembered it – I loved feeling engulfed in the lazy atmosphere of a dining hall towards the end of a long school day. I let myself be lulled into the collegiate comfort of the warm room as  I watched the lazy strides of students whose hardest decision that evening was choosing between chicken tenders and grilled cheese. Then I sank into a cushiony, retro, crescent-shaped booth by Shively’s front entrance.

There was so much food that I didn’t have to cook, and I wouldn’t have to clean up after!

“Ahhhh,” the privileges of college dining.

I filled a freshly-washed white bowl with beef vegetable soup, grabbed some classic Shively garlic bread, and made a verry elaborateimagejpeg_0-6e salad.

Then for dessert. For Homecoming the dining halls served these cute football-shaped cookies, along with Shively’s impressive variety of ice-cream.

Once I had allowed myself to be wined and dined, I got down to business. I snapped photos of the ingredients tags of various dishes, including the beef – vegetable soup I enjoyed.

Here are my findings.

photo-2

According to the label, this Kosher and Halal-friendly soup contains disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate. Both are food additives, used as flavor enhancers, often times in conjunction with MSG. The soup also contains lactic acid, a preservative and curing agent used as a decontaminant during meat-processing.

This was Culinary Services’ second lie.

I don’t expect a dining hall to serve some bourgeois meal of organic beef, carefully raised on the pristine green pastures of New Zealand. Preservatives are arguably necessary when feeding students on such a large scale in order to keep food from spoiling.

But I don’t expect Culinary Services to lie to me about it, either.

ShivelyCourt_SaladBar
Photo courtesy of Ohio University Culinary Services

That being said, I don’t see Culinary Services as this evil branch of OU that’s out to torture students by giving them “the Shively shits.” In comparison with what most students eat once they escape the clutches of the meal plan, dining hall food is often times the better alternative. The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that at a midsize university in Oregon, 59% of students had experienced food insecurity within the past year. Students who are strapped for cash are more likely to go for calorie-rich foods like fast food and processed foods with a longer shelf-life. Jacqueline Duffy, a social-work student living off campus at OU, said, “I would buy healthy options if I had the money, but I have to buy in bulk and that kind of stuff (produce,) goes bad.”

Purchasing a meal plan helps a student allocate a certain amount of money each semester to their food budget – ensuring that he or she will have regular access to fresh food throughout the semester. And as less-than-perfect as some of the dining hall’s cooked dishes may be, the salad bars at OU are the bomb. Equipped with sunflower seeds, nuts, spinach, feta cheese, bell peppers, cucumbers, and sometimes even kale, dining halls have the resources to provide students with produce that’s replenished throughout the week; whereas a bag of spinach in your own fridge has to be eaten in a few days before it goes bad.

And while we’re on the subject of cooked meals, how many of us off-campus folk actually cook, at all? Most busy college students still choose take-out or an Easy Mac, out of convenience. Kelsey Gerard, also a student at OU, commented, “It’s easier to un-package something and eat it.” In regards to food additives, Easy Mac has just as many preservatives as that beef- vegetable soup that I broke down for you.

When all is said and done, dining hall food may not be as good as your Mom’s cooking, but is your cooking that much better?

 

The transition of Baker University Center

Over the years Ohio University’s Baker Student Center has always been the place for most student-centered activities.  It was named after the school’s fourteenth president, John Calhoun Baker, who assumed the position in 1945.

When he became president, OU grew tremendously in reputation and size, therefore there was the need for a new student center to accommodate the growing Bobcat population to replace what they had, called the Student Union.  It was located at the current site of School of Communications.

A committee headed by a psychology lecturer was set up to start the preliminary preparations for the project. In fall of 1947, student leadership initiated a campaign to facilitate the process.  Petitions were circulated and about 4,000 students appended their signatures to pay an extra five dollars toward the new construction.  They collected over $160,000.

State Legislature and a host of other groups donated toward the Baker dream.  It was to be the school’s largest building at the time, with six floors.

By 1948, plans were advanced to put up the $1,357,795 “unique” OU center.  The aim was to “give a well-rounded experience in university life.”

Source: Ohio University Archives
The $1,357,795 “unique” OU Center Source:

Bellman, Gillette and Richards of Toledo designed the building, which was an example of Georgian architecture.  This was because the University wanted to “keep with the architectural scheme of buildings.”

Several buildings around the area, including O’Bleness cottages, Faculty Club, Veteran-housing units were razed to give way to the ultramodern student center, which was to have a frontage stretch of 138 feet along the East Union Street facing College Green.

After demolishing the old Baker Center (Student Union), work commenced on the new edifice.  By summer of 1953, the building was ready for the celebration of the university’s sesquicentennial on February 18, 1954.  It as a dream come true for both students and faculty as the school lacked a place for entertainment and recreational purposes.

The floors:

Basement:

This had the game room for the students.  It had eight bowling lanes, 15 billiard tables, 3 table tennis tables, cards and football. It was also the location for campus lost and found.

One of the lounges of old Baker Center
One of the lounges of old Baker Center

Ground floor:

This area housed a café called The Frontier Room.  The café was opened to all university personnel up to midnight and beyond.  They served snacks and meals all day and into the night, including beer.

The Frontier Room was for relaxation and a feel of the open fire.

 

 

First floor:

This area was dedicated to the University Information Center, 1804 Lounge, 1954 Lounge, the University Club and a place called A Sculpture for scholarship trophies.

In the University Club, the dress code was dining room coats and ties for men and skirts for women.

Second floor:

This floor had offices of the Director of Baker, Auditor, Duplicating Services and secretary in charge of reservations. It also had meeting rooms, TV lounge, large ballroom and an art gallery.

Some of the lounges in Old Baker Center.
Some of the lounges in Old Baker Center.

Third and fourth floors:

These floors had offices for student organizations including student government, dean of student activities, International student lounge, Directors of Sorority and Fraternity Affairs and the center program board.

The New Baker Center:

In 2000, the idea for a high-tech university center was presented by the student senate partly because the old Baker was far north of campus.  They wanted a building quite centered on the campus for easier access from all parts of campus.

By February 2004, the Ohio University Board of Trustees approved the 60 million dollar project. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in March of 2004.  In January 2007, the current Baker Center was opened.  With the same Georgian design, the facility has won awards including two Golden Trowel awards from the International Masonry Institute. In 2008 Baker University Center was awarded the grand prize with honors from Learning by Design and Best Project in Ohio for its terrazzo floor art.

Photo credit: Ohio University Archives

Hang up the uniforms, the Marching 110 has a free weekend

Like other sports organizations, Ohio University’s Marching 110 gets a small2015-10-02 00.24.14 break every now and then during the season. Even though they can be seen rehearsing every day of the week and often times performing over the weekend, sometimes the members of the 110 are lucky enough to get some free time. This coming weekend is their first free one of the semester, so they have their uniforms hanging up and staying in their bags for this Ohio University extended weekend. What do they do with that free time?

 

  1. Rest: As an organization that practices a few hours a day every single day of the week, those kids need some time to relax. So of course, if they get a weekend that they don’t have to march, they rest.
  2. Study: Sure, that may not be everyone’s idea of what down-time looks like, but with this weekend off and the “reading day” for all OU students, some members of the 110 are indeed cracking open their books. It’s midterm season, and understandably so, it can be difficult to balance schoolwork and marching band. So while some of them might be taking this weekend just to relax, some of them are taking advantage of the time to crack down on some homework.
  3. Watch football: Although this may sound counter-productive, there are indeed 110 members who watch football if they get the time. Usually their Saturdays are filled with watching the Bobcats play, not that watching them isn’t exciting, but then they miss out on a lot of other big-deal college football games. This Saturday, they don’t have to miss out.
  4. Visit home: There are a lot of Bobcats going home for the extended weekend, even some marching Bobcats. This is especially significant for 110 members because they haven’t had a weekend free yet this semester in which they could go home, while other students at OU have. However, this weekend, all Bobcats get the chance to go back to their stomping grounds. Sophomore euphonium player Sarah Strinka said, “I’m spending time with my family and going to the high school football game.” She, like many other 110 marchers, is spending her time this weekend living it up back home.

Even though the Marching 110 won’t be seen out anywhere this weekend, they will be back in action very soon. Next weekend (October 9-11) is homecoming weekend at OU and the Bobcats will face the Redhawks of Miami University that Saturday, October 10, at 2 p.m. at Peden Stadium.

Reading Day: What are You up to?

Since Ohio University switched from quarters to semesters, administration have tried to bestow a fall break on Bobcats. Their idea of a “fall break” is Reading Day, a three day weekend that takes place around the first week of October. But do Bobcats really read on Reading Day?

Abbey Carnivale, a junior, is spending her Reading Day working with Ohio Athletics. “I’m shooting the MAC Ring ceremony on Saturday, where the baseball team is being honored with their MAC championship rings from the 2015 season.”

She’s one of the few students who is staying on campus this weekend. Out of the 10 people I spoke with, seven of them are going to their respective home towns, ranging from Cleveland to Cincinnati.

Senior Kaitlyn Marshall is going back to Cincinnati for the weekend. “I haven’t seen my family in about a month. May as well go home and spend some time with them.”

Even freshmen are heading home this weekend. Freshman Mark Lindskog headed back to his hometown of Ashland, OH on Thursday afternoon to try and get the most out of Reading Day weekend.

5th year senior Katie Fallon, however, is staying in Athens and couldn’t be happier that everyone is leaving. “This means the bars won’t be nearly as crowded. It will feel like summertime in Athens again.”

One thing’s for sure: the intended purpose of Reading Day isn’t what Bobcats are following.