Bobcat Blackout ups the ante with giveaways

In September, students from the sports administration graduate school program have been in Baker Center selling this year’s Bobcat Blackout t-shirt for the the all-black-themed Western Michigan v. Ohio football game on Oct. 17.

But what students didn’t expect in purchasing these t-shirts for $20 is that it comes with two giveaways: a free night stay for any date at the Baymont Inn & Suites and a free round of golf at the Ohio University Golf Course.

Some students are getting creative with the use of their free-night stay.

Dalton Yost, a junior studying specialized studies in business, entrepreneurship, and communication, said his entire fraternity of 50 brothers purchased the t-shirts in hopes of simultaneously using their free night stay at the hotel.

“We all bought it because we figured that if we all get the hotel stay whenever we do our date party event, we could get a free hotel stay as well,” Yost said. “We could use that as a date party incentive, which could be pretty cool. It’s a way to get a low-budget date party.”

In addition to the free night stay and free round of golf, those who purchase the shirt can receive a coupon for Kiser’s Barbeque, a chance to win a signed jersey from Columbus Blue Jackets’ goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, and coupons for the up and coming #14Fest.

The program gave away an autographed picture of Cleveland Browns quarterback, Johnny Manziel, last week.

Kyle Kashuck, a first-year graduate student studying sports administration, said all of these free perks are because of the Bobcat Blackout sponsorship committee and the program’s partnerships with alumni across the state.  

“The further out you go, the more programs know us,” Kashuck said. “This is for graduate school funding. It started in 2012 and was just kind of a way for our program to come up with funds, make money and it’s progressing every year.”

The program ordered 3,500 shirts this year that are fully loaded with a fresh logo and are made of dri-fit material.

“I prefer the dri-fit shirts. It’s definitely a lot better than the normal cotton shirts,” Yost said. “I feel like with the dri-fit, it shows that we actually give a shit. Plus, they put a design on the front that is awesome looking. It seemed like a quality shirt.”

Kashuck said the hotel has been the main sell for students to buy the shirts and that the branding has been taken to a new level this year. Eric Mayer, a graduate student in sports and fitness administration and management designed the logo with a bobcat’s face taking the shape of the state of Ohio.

The football game won’t be the only chance to wear the blackout shirts, Kashuck said. There will be a field hockey game, a soccer game, and a volleyball game dubbed a blackout for attendees that same weekend.  

Yost said he is considering having his parents use the hotel for when they come down so they have a free night stay.

“Normally a hotel stay could be like $80 to $100 a night,” he said. “So that seemed like a good deal to me.”

Yost said he plans on attending the Bobcat Blackout football game as well and might even consider giving away the free round of golf to someone more keen to the sport.

“We’re just encouraging everyone to blackout by everybody wearing black shirts,” Kashuck said. “Our shirt is just kind of a way to promote that. It’s a way to get everybody to the events and show that school spirit.”

 

Bluetique Athens offers a positive experience to shoppers and employees

What once was an independently-owned photography shop on West State St. in Athens, is now a trendy and student-friendly boutique where fashion meets fun. Known as Bluetique, the shop opened this August and is a sight for sore eyes when it comes to the shopping market in small town Athens, Ohio.

Exposed brick and antiqued display tables mimic a New York stationed Urban Outfitters, but the Ohio University bobcat green still holds a place on the floor. After the loss of Kismet, a beloved local fashion boutique to last year’s Union St. fire, Bluetique offers Athens fashion enthusiasts a breath of fresh air with a variety of styles to explore.

Bluetique's chic atmosphere is unlike any other Athens fashion boutique.
Bluetique’s chic atmosphere is unlike any other Athens fashion boutique.

After having opened multiple other locations in college towns like Oxford, Ohio and Bowling Green, Kentucky, the owners decided it was time for Athens to become a part of the Bluetique family. “They thought Athens was a neat little town, they really liked it and they wanted to put a business here,” said Athens Bluetique Store Manager Marissa Whaley. According to Whaley, the couple of owners scoped out the perfect location in Athens for a few years before deciding to land the new store next to O’Betty’s Red Hot on West State St.

In the short time that it has been open, Athens Bluetique set itself apart from other shops around town. “It’s the perfect mix, you see every one of all ages come in,” said Jodie Gipson, Bluetique employee and OU student.  While working, Gipson has witnessed middle-aged women shopping for sweaters, and has also helped a 5-year-old pick out jewelry. Other Athens fashion boutiques are smaller in size, which tend to limit their ability to offer a variety of options. “I think we offer more of a selection,” said Gipson. “We have everything from preppy business clothes to fringy boho jackets.” Bluetique can also personalize just about anything with monogramed initials or a bobcat paw print, which is another element that makes the store unique.

Each Bluetique location is set up and run a little differently. According to Manager Whaley, based on her knowledge of the other stores, Athens Bluetique is different from the others in that it is more accessible to students. “You have to drive,” said Whaley, referring to the Lexington, Kentucky store.

It’s safe to say that all of Whaley’s employees are college students, some of whom are pursuing degrees in Retail Merchandising and Fashion Product Development. Both Whaley and Gipson agreed that working for Bluetique will help student employees in their future careers. Gipson is a fashion student herself, and made it clear that the workers aren’t there to solely fold clothes and operate cash registers. They are asked to collaborate with all branches of management for Bluetique as a whole. Authority figures from multiple locations within the company visit Athens on a regular basis to check on the store’s progress and talk with the Bluetique girls. “It gives them an aspect of what we do,” said Whaley.

As someone who has worked for many different retail companies including Express and Justice, Gipson made it clear that Bluetique is a great company to work for. “Everyone’s so connected,” said the OU senior, referring to the owners and their relationship with each individual Bluetique location.

Bluetique keeps up with the college students by interacting with them via social media. The company is well established on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and also has created separate Instagram and Twitter accounts for its different locations. The accounts keep followers informed of sales and provide fashion inspiration, all in hopes to shape some avid Bluetique shoppers.

Every customer who stops into Bluetique has the chance to leave appearing more glamorous than before visiting. A free pair of pearls is offered to every customer who stops by, along with free customized bottles of water to keep a serious shopper hydrated, and impressively sized candy jars for the occasional sweet tooth while snatching up a sale. Without a doubt, Athens Bluetique has something enjoyable for everyone.

 

*All photographs used in this article are property of Court Street Stories.

Buckeyes in Athens: Ohio University students show their support for OSU

When Ohio University President Roderick McDavis welcomed this year’s freshmen at their 2015 convocation ceremony, he said they are not only “Bobcats today, but Bobcats forever.”

However, some Bobcats like to call themselves something else: Buckeyes.

Ohio State fans can be found everywhere at OU, from students, to faculty, to everyday Athens residents. While they all live in a college town with a full Division 1 Athletics program, many choose to cheer on the team from Columbus.

Take a few steps into one of Athen’s more popular book stores — College Book Store — and you’ll notice OSU gear in plain sight amidst the mass of OU items.

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For OSU fans coming to OU for the first time as students, remaining loyal to the Buckeyes in Athens can be challenging.

“It’s kinda tough being a Buckeye fan here in Athens,” OU student Megan Henry said. “I kinda feel like I have to hide that fact, especially at orientation when some of the administrators gave a funny talking to about how we go to OU not OSU.”

Henry said she’s been a Buckeyes fan since she was a kid, but left her OSU gear at home when she moved to Athens last year.

“I try to watch as many games as possible while I’m here in Athens,” she said. “It’s hard because I don’t always get the channel the Buckeyes are playing on or I’ll be busy.”

Henry said she did get to enjoy watching OSU’s national championship win last January.

It was so much fun watching the Bucks win the championship in my friend’s dorm,” she said. “I like being an OSU fan because it’s fun being a Buckeye fan. Our teams do exceptionally well. We have so many world-class athletes and Heisman Trophy winners.”

Another Buckeye in Athens, Liam Niemeyer, said he’s been a fan of Ohio State since he first moved to Columbus when he was six.

“Just living in Central Ohio indoctrinates you into the OSU fanbase,” Niemeyer said. “Everyone on Saturdays throws an OSU block party.”

However, he said coming to Athens changed his priorities. While he still is an OSU fan at heart, being a Bobcat takes precedence.

 “You would think there would be some inner-conflict of allegiances duking it out, but not really,” Niemeyer said. “I still cheer on the Buckeyes in football, but I know where my true home is now — it’s here in Athens”

Niemeyer said he still watches OSU games in Athens.

Whenever I watch them now on TV, I still get just as excited cheering them on as I would at home,” he said. “But if the Bobcats are on also, then OSU’s going in the dumpster of unworthy sports teams.”

Plenty of Bobcats have had their fair share to say about the OSU-OU debate on social media as well:

While Ohio University has a large following in Athens, its clear that Ohio State University still has fans of its own.

3 competitive sides to OU’s Marching 110

When thinking about college organizations that compete, the marching band isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind, but at OU that’s a little different. The Marching 110 of Ohio University has a long history of performing seemingly unforgettable shows, which makes sense considering they are the “most exciting band in the land.” With the level of talent and attention the 110 gets, competitions in various forms are inevitable. Here are a few glimpses into them.

  1. Between fellow band members: The name Marching 110 is a little deceiving because there actually are 250 members of the band. The “110” comes from how many members are on the field. But in the stands, all 250 members blast their horns and beat their drums. How do they narrow it down to 110? They compete. According to sophomore euphonium player Sarah Strinka, “We have to compete for our spots on the field for each show based on a marching and music score.”  Placing only the best members on the field ensures the band lives up to its reputation.
  2. Marching 110 logoWith other bands: The 110 has a unique style. This puts pressure on them to consistently perform at a high level.  This also presents another way the band competes — the Marching 110 is not the only notable band around. First off there is OSU’s band, and then there are the bands from the other schools in the MAC conference (the conference of OU). For example, at the OU vs. Marshall game a few weeks ago (Saturday, Sept. 12), Marshall’s band came to Athens. There is a little competition there already with two bands playing in the stands, but it escalated when, at halftime, OU and Marshall both performed songs by Bruno Mars. To compete with these other bands, especially Marshall at that game, the 110 sticks to its unique style.
  3. Offseason competing: Marching bands are in action during the fall football season. So what do members do when it’s not marching season? Some join other music groups around campus, some play music on their own, and some join a competitive marching band for the summer. There is something called DCI (Drum Corps International), appropriately called “marching music’s major league.” In a sense, DCI is like a professional marching band. What does this have to do with the 110? There are quite a few members of the 110 who, when they aren’t marching as a Bobcat, are marching professionally over the summer as a member of a DCI group. Drum Corps International is a competition-based league. Corps from around the world travel to a new place almost every week to compete. They do this until they all come together in early August at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN to compete in the DCI World Championships World Class Finals.

The marching 110 may not be the first Bobcat organization that comes to mind when thinking about competition, but they definitely compete. The marching 110 will be in action again at the Jackson Apple Festival in Jackson, Ohio, this Saturday, Sept. 26 and will be back home at Peden Stadium at OU for the homecoming game against the Miami University on Oct. 10.


The marching 110 during halftime of the OU vs. Marshall football game.

Top 5 famous Ohio University alumni

Since Ohio University was established more than two hundred years ago, millions of students have roamed the streets of Athens. The bricks that make up these streets echo the footsteps of all those students – but some of these footsteps are more recognizable than others. These are just a few of the more famous Ohio University alumni who have come before us.

Thom BrennamanThom Brennaman

Son of Marty Brennaman, the famous Cincinnati Reds radio sportscaster, Thom attended Ohio University after graduating from Anderson High School in Cincinnati. As a Bobcat, he was president of Beta Kappa and worked for a local radio station. After graduating, he took a cue from his father by becoming the voice of the Reds on television.

 

Matt LauerMatt Lauer

A native New Yorker, Matt actually dropped out of the School of Telecommunications in 1979. He returned to OU to attain his degree when he was 39 years old. He is now famously known as the host of The Today Show. He has also previously worked for ESPN, HBO Entertainment News, and NBC News. One of his most beloved segments on The Today Show is Where in the World is Matt Lauer? This, of course, is modeled after the game show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? You may also recognize Matt from his cameos in the movies Sharknado and Sharknado 2 or his prank wars with Ellen DeGeneres earlier this year.

 

Nancy CartwrightNancy Cartwright

The voice of Bart Simpson from The Simpsons grew up in Kettering, Ohio, where she attended Fairmont West High School. She was active in public speaking competitions throughout her high school years and later during her college years at OU as well. She only attended OU for one year, after which she transferred to the University of California in Los Angeles and obtained a degree in theater. Along with Bart Simpson, she has also created the voices of Chuckie Finster (Rugrats), Mindy (Animaniacs), and Rufus the Naked Mole-Rat (Kim Possible). In 2012, Nancy returned to the hills of Athens to give the undergraduate commencement address.

 

Ed O'NeillEd O’Neill

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Ed attended OU for history on a football scholarship. He was also a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Because of his less-than-stellar studying habits and his arguments with his football coach, he returned to his hometown after his sophomore year to attend Youngstown State University. He later had a brief stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers before being cut. He is most well known for portraying Al Bundy on the show Married… with Children and more recently for playing Jay Pritchett on Modern Family.

 

Piper PeraboPiper Perabo

Unlike O’Neill and Cartwright, Piper not only completed her degree at OU, she graduated summa cum laude from the Honors Tutorial College with a degree in theater. She is best known for her roles in the movies Coyote Ugly, Cheaper by the Dozen and its sequel (as the oldest Baker child), The Prestige (alongside Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman), and the television show Go On (with Friends alum Matthew Perry). She was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her work on the television show Covert Affairs in 2010. She is also close friends with Lena Headey, better known as Cersei Lannister on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones.

Athens lands in the top 10 campuses for recruit visits

While it may still be the off-season for Ohio’s basketball teams, Athens still found a way to make it into a recent top 10 article by ESPN, albeit for something other than legendary parties.

In a nice twist to the typical “Top 10 colleges for recruits to visit,” ESPN blogger Dana O’Neil determines how much college campuses, instead of the programs themselves, influence college recruits. One of Ohio’s biggest strengths and talking points is the location and the campus. When OU is talked about, it is usually related to two things, parties and a beautiful campus. Fall in Athens produces some of the most picturesque landscapes of what a college town should look like. If I was a recruit who didn’t mind the status of my program, it would be hard to turn away.

O’Neil had this to say about Ohio,

“The school’s spring celebrations known as Fests, are so popular they have their own Twitter handle…plus Court Street, which includes 20-plus bars,” O’Neil wrote, “the folks of Athens, Ohio have this fun thing down.”

That is something everyone can agree on. Athens knows how to have a good time, even if it is mostly fueled by our 20-plus bars.

O’Neil also had some comments about our Bobcats, which accurately reflect the current status of our men on the hardwood,

“The Bobcats are a lot like their campus-sort of an under-the-radar gem…but with one good coach begetting the next (Saul Phillips is the latest) they have the potential to gear up for another Cinderella season at any time,” O’Neil said.

While a couple of key losses from last year’s team may get in the way of any Bobcat runs for the time being, coach Saul Phillips will continue to rebuild this team and return it to the NCAA tournament in the spring.

What makes the OU experience YOUnique?

As you write your college essays and ask your teachers for college recommendations, you picture what your life will be like. You picture your classes, your new friend group and your living arrangements. Once you pick where you want to go to school you have this crazy idea of what it is going to be like. You watch college movies and dream of your first semester, but you really have no idea what is actually ahead of you.

So enter that daily thou mayest grow in knowledge wisdom and love.” At Ohio University, this quote can be found on College Gate as you walk into College Green. This quote explains our college experience in one sentence. We grow with this university every day. Whether it is gaining knowledge through our classes, wisdom through our experiences or love through our relationships, we are growing every day. We are not the same people the first day of our freshman year as we are the last day of our senior year. Ohio University changes us, but is it really Ohio University that changes us or is it just the time period in our lives?

Every year a new group of students joins in to experience the madness, the wonder and the beauty that is Ohio University. However, what these students don’t know is that they are about to be taken on the wildest ride of their life. Just as the seasons change, every semester brings something new. But how does Ohio University change us? Is it just “the college experience” or is it something bigger than that?

Theresa Ianni, a strategic communication major and 2014 graduate of Ohio University, thought she was going to get involved, go to every football game and join a sorority when she went away to college. However, unlike many other OU students, Ianni was not in love with OU before coming here.

“It wasn’t my top choice, but it was the best choice since I got accepted to Scripps,” said Ianni. “I wanted to attend Ohio State University. I went to an all girls high school, so the idea of a Big Ten school (football games, tailgating, etc.) was really appealing. However, I was extremely excited to start college and stayed optimistic because I had tons of alumni and current students telling me how amazing OU actually is.”

As soon as Ianni started school at OU she fell in love with the campus and knew she was in the right place. She didn’t go to every football game and didn’t join a sorority, but she was right in her assumption that she would get involved. Coming to OU alone, she didn’t realize how easy it would be to make friends. Within her first quarter of attending OU, she knew that she was going to have a busy, eventful and exciting four years.

Since her freshman year she has grown immensely, both personally and professionally. “I remember being terrified to public speak freshman year of college, and now I’m presenting at companywide meetings and leading my superiors in different groups,” said Ianni. “Socially, I see myself adapting to situations easier than I used to be able to. I’ve grown fond of putting myself in situations where I don’t know anyone. Freshman year, I never went anywhere without a friend.”

You can now find Ianni working as a media relations specialist at Walker Sands in Chicago. She was hired in September 2014 after completing a post-grad internship with Walker Sands over the summer. The biggest change for her was “going out” during the week. “Weekends are the same. I don’t go out as much as I did on weekdays, but yeah I still have no money and no dignity at the end of the weekend.”

During Ianni’s four years at Ohio University OU did nothing but improve as a university, she said. “The website, marketing strategies, and even a bit of the vision evolved and I think that’s great. OU demonstrated throughout my four years that students were the priority,” said Ianni. “I don’t know if that changed over my four years, but it was very evident. Court Street was perfect all four years, but I definitely feel like it changed. More food establishments moved in and really showed that the college town has room to grow. The bars got both less and more classy but all in all it’s still the amazing street it always was.”

Mark Wilcox, a 1984 graduate of Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication, said his time at OU bridged the years between his childhood and adulthood. “I discovered real academics, learned to interact with people from different backgrounds, made great friends learned how to manage time and during those four years grew into an adult.” Wilcox reminisced about his years at OU and said that he used to go jogging with the men in his fraternity (Delta Tau Delta) and they would end with Jeff Hill. Although he said he could never do this now, he thought it built character and really kept him in shape.

Some things that changed at OU were that Jeff Hall used to be a freshman all-girls dorm and that the drinking age was 18 when he was in school. Wilcox stated that the bars were crazy back then because everyone could be there legally. He has so many great memories, including Halloween, uptown bar parties at The Phase (now Pawpurrs) and CI, homecoming parades, football games, Stroud’s Run and hitting golf balls off the back porch of the Delt house (now the Athletes in Action house next to Alpha Gamma Delta) over Jeff Hall. Wilcox is now a retired Navy commander and currently an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton.

Mark Kuhar graduated from Ohio University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a specialization in creative writing. He is the editor of Rock Products and Cement Americas magazine. When asked how his experience at OU shaped where he is now, Kuhar said, “At OU, I was exposed to wide variety of different people from all over the world, which was a far cry from the narrow demographic I grew up around in the rural Hinckley, Ohio, of the 1970s. I made it a point to get a well-rounded education, so every class I took offered me something new, something memorable and some experience I was able to tuck away for future reference. All of this has served me well in a career in business journalism that often requires critical thinking, open-mindedness and personal interaction with people from all walks of life.”

Without Ohio University, Nicole Spears thinks she would be a different person. “OU pushed me to be a more tolerant, more open-minded person while also helping me break out of my shell. I left knowing how to appreciate the little things in life, and learning how important it could be to cherish the daily happenings and ritual you grow accustomed to,” said Spears. “Academically, I learned the importance of a holistic approach and gained the confidence that my unique career path had to offer me.” Spears graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor of science in journalism and a major in strategic communication in 2014. She is currently working at Launch Squad in New York City as an account associate with tech startups and a Brit + Co. freelance editor.

Ianni agreed with Spears and said being a Bobcat makes you humble, yet proud, passionate and determined. She thinks part of this is due to the people she was surrounded by. “These people were unlike any other university. They motivated me to be the best I could be in all aspects. Whether it was PR, being on the executive board of organizations, or even drinking!”

Ianni said that her biggest motivator was her boss at Ohio University Intramural Sports, Nick Brigati. “He always challenged me to think one step ahead of my plans, and helped me step out of my comfort zone with new opportunities,” said Ianni. “For example, he made me attend flag football’s officiating workshop. I’ve never done anything like that before, so it was terrifying. But the workshop taught me a lot about managing others and poise.”

“I feel like sometimes OU is so underrated as far as education goes, and that’s not fair. I know people who have done amazing things, and I know I got a great education. It’s all about what you make of it,” said Ianni. “I want to say that coming back for homecoming this year, it felt like nothing changed. I still felt at home, and I think I was will at OU. That’s the magic of Athens.”

Even though Ohio University may be changing physically and culturally, it is all about what you make it. The magic of Athens is the people and the experiences you have. No other school has the students Ohio University has and that is special. However, this is also what makes other universities unique too. To be honest your college experience at Ohio University won’t be that unique. Where you tell people you went to drink and the places that you went will be unique, but the overall experience of college isn’t. Every university’s purpose is to develop their students professionally and socially and to give them an excellent education. While not every university student may be as passionate about their school as Ohio University students are, we all have the same experiences. By making Ohio University your hOUme, you allow yourself to be opened up to new experiences and to let yourself change. Finding the person that will be your mentor and finding your group of friends is important no matter where you go. Cherish your experiences and remember that OU is unique for its location, its students and its specific memories.

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Marisa FioreMarisa Fiore is a junior majoring in strategic communication with a focus in public relations, minoring in business administration and is obtaining a global leadership certificate and a social media certificate at Ohio University. Her passions include travel, competitive Irish dance and writing. Visit www.marisafiore.com or follow her on Twitter @MarisaFiore1 to connect with Marisa.