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b WINTER 2012

backdrop magazine






b It’sSECTIONAllHEADAbout Location & Lifestyle

at American Collegiate Communities

Floor plans, photos, and more info at

28 North College Street 15 person occupancy. Incredible central uptown Athens location. Perfect for Greek organization, parking included.

19 Herrold Avenue

30 Blick Avenue BRAND NEW 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bath townhouse featuring open and bright floor plan, on site parking with garage, deck and much more! Close to path, O.U., O’Bleness Hospital. Easy access to all major highways.


Riverpark Towers RIver’s Edge Athens Apartments

Office Located on South Green at: 36 N. McKinley Ave. Suite 106 740-593-7783 Hours: M-F 9 am to 5 pm Sat and Sun 11 am to 4 pm

2 Bedroom Suites with 2½ baths, on-site parking with garage, deck, spacious open floor plan, close to bike path

67 Stewart Street Apts. A, B, & C. 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, central air, offstreet parking for all tenants. Very nice townhouse style apartments. June–June lease.

375 Richland Avenue Apts. A & B 3 Bedrooms, Air conditioned, parking on site, open kitchen-dining-living June–June lease

77 North Congress Front porch, on-site parking, 5 person occupancy, air-conditioned, great location, 4 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, washer/dryer. June–June lease

providing quality residential rental properties to the Athens Community for over 25 years!

80 Mill Street Apts. 1, 2 & 3, Four Bedrooms, Air conditioning, on-site parking included, private patio, close to everything June–June lease

Contact Alecia Moquin 740.592.5262 or 740.591.6498


backdrop magazine


Alec Bojalad




Silenced FEATURES » 20 From to Survivor

In 2010, 12 accounts of sexual assault were reported in Athens, with eight in 2009 and nine in 2008. Learn about one woman’s story of surviving sexual assault, feeling silence and turning her life around afterward.

Douglas Bair


Raise your glass, turn on the strobe lights and turn up the dubstep (or any other music that doesn’t suck) – it’s our birthday! This winter marks Backdrop’s five-year anniversary. The little magazine that could released its first issue back in 2007 after a lengthy production process.

Alex Lubetkin


Gina Edwards & Kim Amedro JUNIOR ASSOCIATE


Daniella Limoli

This quarter, we plan to celebrate by delivering our most versatile issue yet. We’ve balanced serious stories including the narrative of students overcoming the silencing terror of sexual assault (page 20), and accounts of inconsistencies in the judiciary process (page 28) with more light-hearted, kinetic fare about clashing swords (page 18) and speeding paintballs (page 24).


We’ve partnered with Flare Code again this quarter to provide you with extra mobile content for certain stories. You know the drill: just take out your smart phone, and use a QR Code scanner on any code you see to enjoy more pictures, video and other content from the issue.


More importantly, we’re launching a contest for those who comment on our Flare Code page. Anybody who posts the correct answers to our crossword puzzle on our comments page will be entered into a drawing to win a fabulous prize! I don’t want to tell you what the prize is…oh fine - it’s a beautiful postersized photo of the winter issue cover. With that, I am happy to share the Winter 2012 issue of Backdrop with you.


24 Paint the Nation

After OU paintball took second place in 2009, the team is now aiming for first place at the National Collegiate Paintball Association (NCPA) Championships this year in the midst of major financial struggles.


Kelsi Bowes



Rohan Kusre


Skye Gould

b WINTER 2012


DESIGN TEAM Morgan Decker, Emilee Kraus, Alexander Martinez, Chelsea O’Donnell, Olivia Reaney, Staci Resler, Stephanie Rumph, Cassandra Sharpe

backdrop magazine














Amanda Puckett

Alec Bojalad


backdrop | winter 2012


CONTRIBUTORS Nick Harley, Katie Mefferd, Melissa Thompson, Hannah Croft, Morgan Decker, Alex Lubetkin, Gina Edwards, Kelsi Bowes, Margaret McKinley, Kerry Crump, Stephanie Stark, Sara Portwood, Lauren McGrath, Shannon Miranda


Cover photo by Loren Cellentani Cover design by Brittany Thomas

DOT Fun fact goes here Fun fact goes here Fun fact goes here

Check us out online at



backdrop magazine


You Are Senate. We Are Senate.


Alexander Menrisky BUSINESS DIRECTOR

Katie Mefferd

Wednesdays 7:15 PM Walter 235


Molly Schneider


Adrienne Krueger


Brenda Evans & Lauren McGrath EVENTS DIRECTOR

Hannah Croft

Show your OHIO pride & speak out at Student Speakout!


Bethany Cook

MARKETING TEAM Kelsi Bowes, Ashley Ferrell, Angela Ignasky, Anna Chiodi, Shannon Miranda ,Cameron Scheetz, Molly Schneider, Rose Troyer



Shannon Miranda & Sandie Young WEB COPY EDITOR

Tasha Webber



Kyrstin Ratliff VIDEO EDITOR

Cynthia Robinson

Interested in working with us? fact goes here Fun fact goes here Fun fact goes here backdrop | winter 2012 48 expanded New menu featuring locallyFunproduced items! 592-9686

Stop by one of our weekly meetings, Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in Scripps Hall 111




of South Beach 18 Swords For the Shire of Dernehealde, South

Backdrop found two professors that could easily be mistaken for celebrities. Are these Athenians red carpet material?

Green is their beloved battleground.

Jeopardy 28 Double For some students, getting caught by OUPD for trespassing or underage drinking not only means trouble with the police—it also means getting caught in OU’s judicial system as well.


12 Sticking Around

Bobcat-born business on the bricks. Several Ohio graduates eschewed bigger cities for the rolling, green hills of Athens.

H4T » Has Anyone Ever Told You That You Look Like...?


Cribs » Private Pubs


Recipes » Cocktails

Walking to the bars can be a hassle. Several thrifty Bobcats beat the system, offering brews and booze from the comfort of their own personal bars.

Backdrop is mixing up the brightest cocktails on campus at a cheap price to spice up your winter quarter. Drink up!

ENTERTAINMENT » 16 Press Record

While being OU’s only female undergrad Music Composition major, Kaitrin McCoy is also working toward producing her first LP with local record label, Brick City Records.


42 Drunk,

On 34 Marching When it’s all said and done, junior point guard D.J. Cooper will be remembered as one of Ohio University’s all-time greats. What’s next?

SEX & HEALTH » than Just a Headache 30 More Migraines are one of the few diseases that affect women more than men. If you are a college student suffering from this destructive disease, your day can be quickly ruined by the attack.

or Athens?

This quarter, Stephanie Stark brings her well-known online blog, Drunk, or Athens?, to print. Is Perk’s wrong-way tally drunk— or is it simply Athens?


Exhibit A


RR&R » Growing Pains

Backdrop’s very own art gallery.

Being short is definitely not always fun.


b HOT4TEACH Has Anyone Ever Told You that


We tracked down two OU profs with celebrity doppelgangers and asked what it’s like to pass as one of the rich and famous. Darren Simmons Math Department Teaching Assistant “Jonah Hill” If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?


And why would you say that?

Well, it is really hard to describe an entire human being’s life in one word.

Have you ever been mistaken as a celebrity? No, I have not.

If you were a super hero, what would your powers be?

As strange as this is going to sound, I would go with Sylar’s ability to instantly understand how anything works just by looking at it, because if you have that ability then you have every ability, although the going crazy probably wouldn’t be much fun.

If you had a bag of lemons, what would you do with them?

I don’t know, the standard reply would be to make lemonade but I don’t think I would do that, I would probably end up getting citric acid in my eye.

What is your favorite part of Athens?

That’s a good question, I have never really thought about that. Court Street. Pretty much anything you could want or need, you can find there.


Jena Seiler Art Professor “Molly Ringwald” If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Curious. I think that no matter how much I’ve learned, it becomes apparent that there’s more to know.

Have you ever been mistaken as a celebrity?

Yes. The first day of class when my student said, “Hey have you ever been told you look like Molly Ringwald?” and I just had to say yes.

Nick Minaj has Roman and Prince has Jamie Starr, if you had an alter ego, what would you name it? Geno. He’s a gay sailor.

If you had a bag of lemons, what would you do with them?

Probably put them back on the tree. Maybe put them in a smoothie.

What ranks number one on your Bucket List?










Make a bucket list.


Name a fact that only a handful of people know about you. I was homeschooled through ninth grade.



What kind of cookie person are you? I guess I would say gingerbread…even though I wouldn’t want them all the time.

Information on non-traditional locations will be available.



What is your favorite quote?



backdrop | winter 2012

“L’enfer, c’est les autres”- Sartre “Hell is other people.” That is the translation that you usually hear. The reason that I like this quote is probably because it is always misconstrued. What it really means is that if you allow other people to define your life then you are in existential hell. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t like other people. The left lung is smaller than the right lung so there is enough room for the heart.


JENAJENA SEILER SEILER The higher your I.Q, the more you dream.

3-5PM BAKER 240 740-593-4583




We found two OU students who decided to bring the bar home with them. BY MELISSA THOMPSON PHOTOS BY PAT DUNN


alk into Zach’s apartment, and the first thing you notice is the handmade mahogany bar immediately to the right. Next, your eye catches the bartender’s “stash.” Displayed are many-an unopened bottle for your drinking pleasure. Options range from Jameson Irish Whiskey to a Jackie O’s handle. If you look closely at the shelf you will see two old-school beer bongs. Step behind the bar, and you will find the apartment’s home-brewed beer along with a “kegrigerator,” a refrigerator that can fit an entire keg inside. Zach designed the “kegrigerator” to hook up to his homemade tap, which is drafted out of wood with a nice lever and an old wooden Rufus Christmas ornament. Right behind the tap on the wall, a sign reads: “Always on tap, cold beer.” Facing the three bar stools, a plastic OHIO sign hangs centered in between wooden panels. Nearby sits home-brewed beers and a shelf to place your bottle caps. The brick wall backdrop completes the bar experience—all within a college apartment.



UNIVERSITY COMMONS Kevin has perfected the portable bar. KISS paraphernalia decorates the countertop. Placed underneath the resin tabletop are four solo artist album covers surrounded by KISS trading cards. Using wooden panels and tubing, the bar can quickly and easily come apart, allowing it to travel to various parties and store easily in a closet. The most exciting part of the traveling bar is Bar2D2. Bar2D2 is a computer program Kevin invented. Through the system, he can type in any drink name and find the recipe. A random drink search option allows variety at parties. The program will only suggest a drink that Kevin has the ingredients to make. Currently, he has 51 unique types of alcohol that could be used in one of the random drink suggestions. If the user has a specific alcohol preference, Bar2D2 can provide mixture suggestions. All 51 alcohol choices have a nozzle for proper measurement precautions. In addition, the counter sports 45 shot glasses, multiple martini glasses and two shakers. The first is a three-piece shaker, most commonly used for cocktails. The other is a Boston shaker, a more advanced shaker, difficult for its separate mixing glass and metal tumbler. Practice makes perfect when it comes to using the Boston, but with a set-up like his, Kevin has nearly achieved supremacy. Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.



“The students can have fun when they want to but it’s still a quiet small town atmosphere.”


Richard Zippert, Cat’s Eye Saloon



ost students complete their four-year sabbatical at Ohio University and are then forced to trade in the Athens lifestyle for the real world – their diplomas for the 9 to 5 grind and a paycheck. For others, however, parting

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with our seemingly quaint college town post-graduation just wasn’t part of the plan. Rather than trading it in, a few OU alumni have made the Athens lifestyle not only permanent, but profitable as well.

A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s heart.

Known by friends and customers as “Zip,” the soft-spoken owner of the Cat’s Eye Saloon is also an Ohio University alumnus. Originally from Cleveland, Zip came to OU as an underclassman to wrestle. He was a five-year redshirt member on the OU wrestling team and studied environmental zoology. Before he graduated in 1987, Zip also worked as a bartender at the Cat’s Eye. He bought the bar in 1991 from Joe Limoli, another OU alumnus who now owns Abrio’s on East State Street.

“I still spend a lot of time in the woods,” Zip says. “I could see myself living out in the middle of nowhere like Montana or Wyoming or something, but this has been fine.” Aside from a few new booths and different stools, the bar is much the same as when he started working here as a student. Years later, Zip still appreciates not only his job, but his small town as well. “I like going to Cleveland for the weekend but I like coming back home,” Zip says light heartedly. “I like being down here.” Although the younger kids can wear on you, Zip says, it doesn’t take away from the Athens he knows and loves. “In general, they’re good kids,” he says. “The students can have fun when they want to but it’s still a quiet small town atmosphere.” In addition to owning the bar, Zip also exercises his alumnus status. He was an assistant coach for the OU wrestling team and he refereed for 15 years. Today, he attends all of the OU matches and volunteers with Athens High School’s wrestling program.

In Athens, Greece, it is possible to lose your driver’s license for being “poorly dressed” or “unbathed.”




“I was 25 years old, married, and owned my own business on Court Street. It was pretty cool.” Josh Thomas, Brenen’s Cafe Owner



hio University alumnus Josh Thomas never walked at his college graduation ceremony. Instead, he was working his first shift as manager at Brenen’s Coffee Café. Fifteen years later, Thomas not only manages Brenen’s, but he owns it as well. Thomas, a native of Zanesville, studied food service management at OU and began working at Brenen’s late in his senior year. He married his college girlfriend, Jessica, an OU alumnus, in 1998 and they purchased the business together in the year 2000. “I was 25 years old, married and owned my own business on Court Street,” Thomas says. “It was pretty cool.” Today, Thomas still thinks his life in Athens is pretty cool. He, Jessica and their seven-year-old son Zach support OU as much as they can by attending football games and various plays and concerts at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. In addition to the college town atmosphere, the Thomas’ enjoy their work. “We both say it keeps us young,” Thomas says. “As long as the


backdrop | winter 2012

business is prosperous and we’re still enjoying what we’re doing, we want to be here.” Originally, Brenen’s housed deli sandwiches, coffee and frozen yogurt. When the Thomas’ purchased the establishment in 2000, however, they got rid of the frozen yogurt in order to emphasize the coffee shop and the deli side of their business. They also added a bakery. Jessica, known for her homemade scones and biscotti, makes everything from scratch. Her most recent delicacy, a sugar cookie with buttercream icing, has also become popular. “She just enjoys looking up recipes, experimenting with recipes, making things, seeing if she likes them,” Thomas says of his wife. “It’s gone really well for her.” While the Thomas’ admit staying in Athens is a fun idea, it’s also a lot of work. “I work everyday, I’m here everyday,” Thomas says. “You have to put in the work and ya have to able to put in the time and be organized and really work hard. If you do, you can get what you want.”

The first thing Thomas Edison filmed with his movie camera was a person sneezing.

o get through school, some people take out loans or pick up extra shifts at work. OU alumnus Mike Carson took a different approach: he sold hot dogs. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night Carson managed his own buggy cart on Court Street where he sold hot dogs and cans of pop to late night street dwellers. Today, Carson, owner of Mike’s Dog Shack, has turned that business into a full time career. “This isn’t what I wanted to do when I was grown up,” Carson says. “But I’ve started a pretty good niche here. It’s working out.” Carson, a native of Columbus, studied economics at OU. Originally, he wanted to become a teacher and coach high school basketball. The success of his business, however, can be accredited to the culture of Athens, he says. “We’re a party school so people are out and about late night,” Carson says. “The cart just kind of appealed to itself and it just had people coming in, there’s not much else to do around here.” Carson says a big reason he does so well is because he knows the town. “Just knowing the trends and knowing the patterns around here has helped my business a lot more probably than someone just coming in blind,” Carson says. Mike’s Dog Shack stays open until 3 a.m., later than most other Court Street establishments. Carson is also on a first name basis with many of his customers. “It’s kind of fun, I don’t have to necessarily feel like I’m ever working,” he says. “The young environment and the people are probably the best thing.” Although Carson doesn’t regret his decision to stay in Athens, in the future he is looking to franchise and expand his business to other college campuses in the area.

Dreams last about 2-3 seconds.

“Just knowing the trends and knowing the patterns around here has helped my business a lot more.” Mike Carson, Mike’s Dog Shack Owner







aitrin McCoy drums on her desk – she’s searching for a beat in her head while discussing her new drummer. “He has a very tribal-esque style,” she says before her eyes widen and her voice becomes excited. “Which is like, exactly what I’m going for!” She taps out the planned rhythm, and Adam Rich, sitting leisurely across from her in electric-blue pants, tries to put the supposed style in a context he understands. “Just like, a real basic thing?” he asks. “Kind of,” Kaitrin responds, still pounding away. Next to her, Dave Polster sits quietly, his eyes transfixed on the computer. He’s desperately scouring his iTunes library trying to decide his five favorite records.


backdrop | winter 2012

In the DIY Athens music scene, sometimes you can’t do it all on your own. Sometimes you need a little help from your friends. That’s exactly why singer-songwriter Kaitrin sought Adam and Dave, who run the student-operated record label, Brick City Records, to help her create a debut full-length album. The average Brick City Record meeting is more than a little hectic, where you’ll find several members of Brick City, clad in band t-shirts and leather jackets, bombarding one man with questions. This man, Brick City Record President, Adam Rich, wears a Princess Bride t-shirt while answering manically delivered questions calmly and with a smile. “Last week we made a recording—more like a jam session— we were in the studio with a semi-full band, just to say, ‘Hey,

Plants can suffer from jet lag.

In the DIY Athens music scene, sometimes you can’t do it all on your own. Sometimes you need a little help from your friends.

this is a microphone!’ ... [and] get them excited about what they’re going to be doing later on,” Adam says. “We like to deal with the normal label part, but we also realize we’re a student organization, and we’re here for educational purposes,” says Dave, vice president of A&R. Together, he and Adam make a great duo: one a spark plug of energy, the other subdued and precise. Both audio production majors, the two are an integral part of this student organization founded in 2003. Its founding purpose was to be a record label for student musicians and a teaching organization for the oncampus music industry. “We find local artists by word-of-mouth, people coming to us, and Brick City general members going to shows; there isn’t just one way, and we sign them and we make a record,” Adam says. As conversation steers toward the business side, it is clear Adam and Dave’s knowledge on the subject is vast. This wasn’t always the case though. Adam claims musical ignorance for the first 12 years of his life. A self-proclaimed “PBS kid,” his formative years were pretty bland. “All I had was basic TV—no cable, no Internet, no computer. I lived in the boonies. I didn’t know what music was until we got satellite TV when I was about 12. As soon as I turned on the TV, American Idiot was there.” Green Day’s rock opera inspired Adam to make music of his own. While Adam was merely uninformed about music during his childhood, Dave detested it. “I hated music for the first 10 years of my life. My parents’ music taste was abysmal,” he says, stone faced. Dave was force fed Christian rock and worship music as a child. Luckily, Dave stumbled onto some of his father’s old records—bands like The Who and The Beatles—in addition to making friends whom he fondly remembers, “had pretty good taste in music.” Adam and Dave had different journeys to becoming operators of Brick City. “I was always in bands and stuff, I was always on that side,” Adam says.” “I was the artist, I wasn’t the recorder. Now I’m learning about all this stuff. It’s a very exciting time in my life.” Dave’s path? The opposite. “I’ve been recording people on varying levels of professionalism since ninth grade,” Dave says, stifling a laugh on “professionalism.” The level of professionalism now is significantly higher. “We have a student producer,” Dave proudly says. “He’s doing a project as his independent study, basically getting the keys to the studio and them saying ‘Have at it.’” At this point, he turns his head to where Kaitrin is sitting. “You’re that project.” Kaitrin’s music is piano-driven indie-pop. Her work is not altogether dissimilar from the cute attitude of Kate Nash, the pop-heavy stylings of Ingrid Michelson, and the witty, genreHippo milk is pink.

defying Regina Spektor; a comparison that Kaitrin embraces. “If I could be the poor-man’s Regina Spektor, then I would be fine with that for the rest of my life,” Kaitrin says. Kaitrin is searching for time to record and release a full-length effort, but her status as a double major in journalism and music composition complicates things. With two very different majors, both containing a strenuous amount of degree requirements, classes pile up fast. While being a female singer-songwriter in the Athens coffee shop scene isn’t uncommon, being a female composer is a different story. “I’m very rare,” Kaitrin reveals. “I’m actually the only female undergrad music composition student at this school, which can be scary because I want to fit into that circle, but sometimes do feel like an outsider.” That added discomfort doesn’t do anything to help relieve the stress of her day-to-day. “I am a student and I do music,” Kaitrin says, “and it’s hectic.” Though production has yet begun, the group inches toward creating Kaitrin’s full-length and are plotting plans for its subsequent release. “Right now what I’m trying to focus on is practicing, not just my current material, but I’m working on new songs,” Kaitrin says. She is planning on a 12 to 13 track effort, reworking older songs and adding more layers to her music. “I want to have multiple instruments, so it’s just finding people and practicing with them. And scheduling is just a nightmare. I’m hoping once everyone is partied out a little bit, I can get people.” Dave and Adam don’t foresee a problem in finding musicians though. “The thing about Brick City, in general, we’re kind of in a unique position, where like, we know a lot of musicians around. So if like, you need someone specific to play some instrument, chances are, between the people in the group, we’ll find someone,” Dave says with confidence. For the release, Adam and Dave plan on keeping things strictly digital, with hopes for old technology as well. “How badass would it be to say, ‘We’re a student-run record label and we press our own vinyl?’” Rich asks. As Kaitrin continues to write for the album, the search for musicians and a proper recording schedule continues. The long and often rigorous procedure of making a record can take its toll, but with the help of Brick City Records, OU’s resident indie songstress, Kaitrin McCoy, will come out the other end just as strong, with a quality LP under her belt. Possibly on vinyl.



Swords of

SOUTH BEACH On Sunday when members of the Ohio University Medieval Society suit up, South Green becomes a shire.




backdrop | winter 2012

Intense battling rages and swords clash while Celeste Taylor, Ohio University alumnus, sits under a tree conversing with a local Athens family. Her long, brown hair is pulled back into a loose ponytail so she can focus on constructing PBC pipe with foam and duct tape until it starts to resemble a weapon. As she stands up to demonstrate proper fighting techniques to two young boys, her armor made of skillfully placed plastics and metals clicks together. The sounds mesh with the clashing plastic from the sword fight happening behind her as two men in their own unique makeshift armor battle on a not-so-peaceful Sunday on South Beach. As the Seneschal of the Shire of Dernehealde (pronounced “Dernheld”), or the top leader of the division stationed at Ohio University, Celeste heads this group affiliated with the Ohio University Medieval Society (OUMS). The other members come to her for everything from injuries while fighting to information about the national Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA) events the upcoming weekend that the Shire of Dernehealde might participate in.

“It’s my job to say ‘How do you guys feel about this, what times work best for everyone? All right, so you get the job done.’ I’m the designator in charge,” she says. Many students are under the impression that the city of Athens is driven by the university and wouldn’t be able to thrive without it. The members of the Shire of Dernehealde challenge that ideology. Tim Smoot, president of the OUMS, is one of the few members of the society who is enrolled at Ohio University, and is a full-time engineering student. “Two of us are upperclassmen that are full time. Two more, I’m not sure if they’re full time, but they are students at the least,” Tim says. With a 1-to-3 ratio of students to non-students, members also include Athens and Nelsonville families, Hocking College students and OU alumni. Whether they’re students or Athenians, the Shire strengthens their bonds by traveling to tournaments all around their kingdom. This includes other universities such as Bowling Green and Ohio State, and other shires in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Some events focus their re-creation of the medieval

You are more likely to be attacked by a cow than a shark.

There are people that I wouldn’t have ran into any place other than this society, and I greet them with a hug, smile, pat on the back Celeste Taylor OUMS Member time period on a specific aspect, such as combat or arts and sciences. The Red Dragon, held near the OSU campus in Columbus, and the West Virginia Black Stone are two of the popular events for the Shire of Dernehealde due to their proximity. But Celeste and the Shire are always ready to travel any distance for monumental events in the kingdom, which extends into the nearby states. “The Crown Tourney and Coronation are [events] that, no matter how far away they are, they’re a big deal in the kingdom. It’s when the new king is decided and when he steps up,” says Celeste. To get to these events the group carpools, making sure that all members that want to attend a tournament have the opportunity to do so. The Shire of Dernehealde works together with the SCA to host their events in the spring. The Regional Arts and Sciences Competition and the Baronial Championship were both organized by Celeste and Tim’s shire, and held at a camping site in Northern West Virginia. “Having two events was nice because we got a lot of both art and combat. It made it a lot of fun, but also a lot of work,” Celeste says. Holding an official SCA event is quite a swordfight in its own right. “The bid has to include all of the financial information. There’s actually a full Excel spreadsheet that breaks down…every little thing,” Celeste says. This includes obvious expenditures such as food and entry fees, along with the unordinary such as hay bales, portable toilets and awards. Included in this breakdown is the

delegation of duties, showing how this event is going to fall together or, “How the madness begins,” as Celeste words it. “You have to have someone in charge of feasts, if you’re having one; lunch, if you’re having one; fighting, if you’re having it; arts and sciences, if you’re having it; youth combat, if you’re having it,” chatters Celeste before going onto the next item on her list of preparations. “You also have to have a Goon Squad, which are your movers or the brute squad. They’re our people to lift, carry, move, cart hay bales, set up, tear down and do all of the heavy stuff.” When it comes to profits, the SCA isn’t in it for the gain. “The event has to be shown to approximately breakeven cost-wise. We’re nonprofit, so we don’t have to worry about ‘Well, it’s not going to make $1,200, so you can’t do it,’ but we try to break even,” Celeste says. In the past, the Shire has experienced both financial gains and losses from their events. Although the OUMS and SCA are united as an organization, the connections felt between the members of the Shire of Dernehealde go deeper into the roots of Athens than many of the other extracurricular groups can say. As previously mentioned, a majority of the members are not enrolled at OU, giving the few students involved a unique tie to the community. “I’m thinking, I’m an out-of-state student from the suburbs of DC, I don’t know much about Southeast Ohio. It’s just been a very interesting learning experience about the mindset of the people here, the culture here, how the general vibe of the Athens community is outside of the university,” Tim says while taking a break from a Sunday fight practice after a night out with some of his Shire members. Celeste feels that the Shire has become more of a family to her than anything else. “There are people that I wouldn’t have ran into any place other than this society, and I greet them with a hug, smile, pat on the back, and we know everything about each other,” says Celeste. “And if I had found out that one of my Shire members had a problem, I would bend over backward to make it better.” While driving to the Coronation

Spain means “Land of Rabbits.”

event in Bowling Green, the group also displayed their big hearts when the brake lines blew out on one of the Shire members’ cars. “I was giving my Knight a ride to the event, we pulled over and we were out there in full armor under their car trying to figure out how to fix it,” Celeste says. “Out in front of a Starbucks too. We got some funny looks.” Needless to say, the bond held by this group is stronger than anyone can see while walking past a fight practice on Ohio University’s South Beach. It stretches throughout the university, the town of Athens, and surges into the lives, homes and hearts of the people that proudly call themselves members of the Shire of Dernehealde. Celeste Taylor graduated this past spring, and is a prime example of this bond. “This is a family. It’s definitely hard to say what I would do without the society, especially now that I’ve graduated,” Celeste says. “There’s been a lot of changes now that I’m not in school, but I’m still, and always will be, a member of this shire.”






SURVIVOR Sexual assault is one of the most horrifying traumas imaginable. But with tremendous personal strength and the help of on-campus resources, victims can transform into survivors. BY GINA EDWARDS AND KELSI BOWES PHOTO BY LOREN CELLENTANI

What began as an average night on the town with friends became a horrific event that Maria Behnke would never forget—one that would change her life, irrevocably. While walking home after the night’s festivities, Maria and her friend had been followed by a stranger. Upon arriving to the apartment, the man attacked and assaulted her—first in her bedroom while her friend was elsewhere in the apartment. Afterward, the attacker kidnapped Maria and took her back to his home. For the next 16-18 hours he held her captive. There he raped her multiple times. Determined to be in complete control, he talked to Maria and became violent when he felt like she did not want to be with him. He made her food and offered it to her, but she did not have an appetite. Her refusal upset him. He wanted her to like him, to stay with him. But Maria just wanted to get away from him and go home. “Am I ever going to make it home?” Maria thought. “Am I ever going to see my family again? Am I ever going to see my friends again?”


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Back at the apartment, Maria’s conspicuous absence concerned her friend. She called Maria’s mom and said, “I can’t find Maria.” “What do you mean you can’t find Maria?” her mom said. “Her cell phone and her keys are in the apartment. It is like she just vanished.” Maria’s mom told her friend to call the police. The police then contacted Maria’s professors and her friends. But no one had seen her and she had not attended class that day. Meanwhile, Maria looked for ways to survive using whatever logic she could to persuade her captor to let her go. She knew that her survival hinged on not inciting his explosive temper. She told her captor that people would be looking for her and if he didn’t let her go, someone was going to find her. Eventually, Maria convinced him to release her. She found her way back to somewhere familiar and eventually reunited with her family. “At the time, I didn’t know if I wanted to file a police report. I was rather scared of the individual,” Maria said. “…After having spent so much time with [him], he knew where I

By the time you say 3,000 puppies, 3,000 puppies are born in the United States.

lived; he knew personal information about me.” She also felt shell-shocked. “No, that did not just happen to me,” she thought. “I knew there was no physical evidence. I had been forced to shower, and some other things,” Maria explained. And with a background in criminal science and knowledge of how trials and investigations proceed, she recognized the necessity of physical evidence for conviction. In the end, she chose not to file a police report but years later, she still thinks about it. Not reporting left her feeling silenced.

SEXUAL ASSAULT ON CAMPUS Sitting in his stark white office on a wintry afternoon in Athens, Andrew Powers, OUPD chief of police, emanates collected, stoic focus; his weathered exterior speaks to his experience with many painstaking cases similar to Maria’s. He describes the sexual assault problem on campus, including OUPD’s role in informing students of potential threats to their safety using e-mail crime alerts. To comply with the Clery Act, a federal mandate, universities must issue notifications when a crime occurs affecting university persons or property. OUPD looks at each incident as it arises, often evaluating off-campus incidents and notifying them if they pose a potential ongoing threat to Ohio University students. “We don’t necessarily have to issue a crime alert for something that happened on Mill Street,” Powers says. “But because it’s so close to campus and it’s a predominantly student neighborhood we’ve decided to issue an email crime alert in those kinds of situations.” In 2010, the most recent year for which OU has statistics, 12 accounts of sexual assault were reported, with eight in 2009 and nine in 2008. However, Powers warns that sometimes numbers can be misleading. Even though the number of sexual assaults went up, the number of reported rapes actually decreased. He also stresses that the “stranger in an alley with a knife” type of reports, similar to Maria’s case are actually the least common type of

sexual assaults he deals with; on OU’s campus, a much larger phenomenon of “acquaintance rape” occurs. “This is somebody that the victim trusts and it probably happens in the victim’s own room or the perpetrator’s room,” he says. And unfortunately, these cases prove the most difficult to prosecute and can leave victims feeling unsupported by the system, Powers adds. Also, students typically do not receive crime alerts regarding acquaintance rapes because OUPD knows who the assailant is and determines that he or she is not an ongoing threat to the campus community. Students received one raperelated crime alerts in 2009, three in 2010 and three in 2011. To raise awareness and provide education about acquaintance rape, OUPD has worked in conjunction with the Office of Health Promotions on campus. Powers believes that this growing awareness has allowed people have become more comfortable coming forward to the police in the last few years. To him, this explains the increase in number of reported sexual assaults as opposed to the occurrence of more incidents. He credits the Survivor Advocacy Program, a service on campus, for helping to cultivate a more survivorfriendly environment. “They have someone to talk through and process it with and that increases the chances that they’re going to find that reporting and prosecuting is part of the healing process for them as a survivor,” he says. Since its inception in Fall 2010, the Survivor Advocacy Program has served campus community members who have undergone sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and stalking. Former SAP coordinator, Lindsey Daniels, has worked in the field of sexual assault and related violence for about a decade, and discusses the matter with an obvious passion for helping survivors overcome the aftermath of their traumas. After an incident has occurred, victims can come to the center to find help. Once there, the survivor advocates talk with each person, and figures out what the right next steps to take are, if any at all. Daniels emphasizes that they do not try to make decisions for people, but serve as confidential sounding boards and resources to help survivors find clarity and encourage them to take any

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DID YOU KNOW? Legally speaking, in the state of Ohio you must get consent before impairment. Both parties must be sober to not be in sexual violation. -Terry Koons, Office of Health Promotions

You can use the Survivor Advocacy Program services even if the assault, relationship violence or stalking behaviors occurred before coming to college, while at home or while abroad. -Lindsey Daniels, Survivor Advocacy Program

If you are sexually assaulted and choose to have a medical evidentiary exam, you will not have to pay for it and it will not show up on your insurance. The Ohio Attorney General’s office pays for the exam. -Lindsey Daniels, Survivor Advocacy Program

If you have been engaging in illegal activity (such as underage drinking or drug use) when the assault occurs, it is highly unlikely that OUPD will actually investigate or bring any charges against you. -Chief Andrew Powers, OUPD


60% 73% 43% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.

of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.

of rapes occur between 6:00pm . . and midnight.

1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

and 1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. There is an average of


victims (age 12 or older) of rape & sexual assault each year. |

action they deem necessary. “‘Encourage’ is a very different word than making a decision for somebody or even swaying somebody down that path… maybe reporting to the police is not the right option for them,” Daniels says. In their conversations with survivors, the advocates provide helpful information and services that they may not have known about that can help make the recovery process easier. For example, the Ohio Attorney General’s office will pay for the medical evidentiary exam so that it will not show up on the survivor’s insurance. Also, if the survivor is in an uncomfortable housing situation, they can facilitate a move to make them feel more at ease. Or if a student has a class with the perpetrator


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or one with upsetting subject matter, the advocates can assist them in making arrangements. “Some people have barriers or they think they have barriers to accessing different services, and if you can talk to them about why they feel there’s a barrier, maybe you can overcome that,” Daniels says. Because the program offers its services to anyone who has dealt with these things regardless of when they happened, in the mere year and a half that the program has existed, it has served 60 survivors. According to SAP’s website, 60 percent of sexual assaults go unreported, and approximately 73 percent of rape victims know their assailant.

(740) 593-1911

88 University Terrace Athens, Ohio 45701

The brain is the one part of the body that does not feel pain.



After the incident, Maria tried to continue on as though nothing had happened. “It happened in the middle of the week. I had a test a few days later, got the highest grade in the class,” she said. “Continued on with a 4.0 that quarter and continued on with my classes and graduated.” Her high grades masked Maria’s emotional turmoil. She attended therapy, receiving a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One symptom of PTSD is the repression of traumatic events—something Maria had done by throwing herself into academics. To Maria, her school life felt like the one thing she could manage. “I felt like every other aspect of my life was outside of my control,” she said. “And I felt very powerless after it happened.” After the assault, Maria had recurring nightmares and didn’t want to be alone; even though she had survived, she still feared that he would come after her again. But he didn’t. When Maria eventually began to process what happened to her, she had difficulty reconciling the fact that she had been raped by a total stranger and held captive for nearly 24 hours. Despite these emotional hardships, she eventually moved forward. Now, Maria is the Women’s Affairs Commissioner for Graduate Student Senate and a graduate student in the Philosophy department of Ohio University. As the Women’s Affairs Commissioner, she seeks to create a safe and healthy environment for women on campus, primarily focusing on graduate students. She took part in “Take Back the Night” and “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” this fall quarter. Maria’s commission also raised over $500 for the Survivor Advocacy Program so that it could bring in Alex Leslie of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, to host a “Men Can Stop Rape” event. And in a recent letter-to-the-editor in the Post, Maria found a way to get her voice back. She wrote in to raise awareness about the programs such as “Walk a Mile in her Shoes,” hoping to turn her traumatic experience into something positive. “Writing the letter, it felt good because my voice…I had felt very silenced. My power had been taken from me,” she said. But writing the letter gave her back her voice and her power.

Other organizations on campus have also made fighting the sexual assault issue a main priority through prevention. Terry Koons, Associate Director of Health Promotions at OU, is the main man behind the ever-familiar “Beyond the Buzz” and “Don’t be that guy” posters. The images and slogans on the signs seek to inform students about the consequences that can arise from high-risk behaviors like binge-drinking. “They’re kind of exaggerated. And people might look at them and they might laugh at them but the idea is that people can see themselves in the picture,” Koons says. He adds that their audience surveys about the posters indicate that 80 percent of people who read them believe the message. The overriding message that they attempt to send is that friends should look out for one another and try to prevent sexual assaults from occurring. “We would rather focus on how do we stop it from happening rather than waiting until it happens and then dealing with the consequences,” he says. Koons adds that the posters and other promotions also tie together alcohol use and sexual assault since many students use alcohol to engage in sexual activity. That puts both parties at risk for sexual assault since, legally, consent must be obtained before impairment. This has lead Koons toward the idea for the next poster campaign, which plans to have the slogan “Hook up, Then have fun,” meaning that students should engage in sexual activity before consuming alcohol. Other student-based preventive measures also exist on campus. OUPD offers Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training at Ping and the SAFE-T patrol, a service which provides walking escorts for those walking to and from different points on campus. According to statistics from OUPD, the service was used 383 times in the 2010-2011 school year—271 in 20092010 and 185 in 2008-2009.

SURVIVOR ADVOCACY PROGRAM It is illegal to throw a snake at anyone in Toledo.

HELPING OTHERS Through what happened to her, Maria strives to promote education and advocacy on Ohio University’s campus. And through her letter-to-the-editor, she hoped to create a catalyst to empower others to do the same. She also wants to give hope to other victims of sexual assault that becoming a survivor, although it may be difficult, is possible. “I was victimized at the time, but by no means do I consider myself a victim anymore. I’m a survivor,” said Maria. “…even though it’s a struggle. That success and happiness, getting your life back, is entirely possible.”


44 University Terrace Athens, Ohio 45701




aptain ready?� A masked figure nods and the field becomes still. Eric Gibbs stands with four other men in a tight cluster, their nerves locked and eyes fixed on the cold earth. Three, two, one. A shrill horn pierces the air, shattering the silence that has settled over the field. The five combatants burst into life, each sprinting to huge inflated shapes of thick plastic called bunkers. Eric runs and slides across the grass to his bunker, the Snake. The entire paintball field is peppered with these bunkers, each twisting into a unique shape to be used as cover.



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More than 10 people a year are killed by vending machines.



“It’s so hard just finding time for practice among twenty guys. It’s even harder finding a certain set of hours for everyone to volunteer.” Alex Amerio | Paintball Team President


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Eric lays flat behind his bunker, avoiding the blur of neon yellow paintballs streaming just past his head. His position is cunning, making it easy for him to pick off players from almost any part of the field. But while facedown in the dirt, Eric can’t see anything. He patiently waits for his only support on the field to act as his eyes. The support comes from a coach standing behind a thickly woven net just outside of the field. His task is to shout out positions of opposing players on the field to Eric as he waits for his opportunity to shoot. Long minutes stretch by as Eric and his teammates pick off players of the rival team one by one to claim another victory. The Ohio University Paintball Team is no stranger to obstacles. They spend hours of their time practicing and conditioning their skills to stand out in competition. However, they face mounting financial problems. They now have to pay for their own expensive gear after letting go of their former sponsor, Eclipse, one of the leading companies for paintball equipment. In addition, they are pushing themselves past the limit and trying for a first place title at the National Collegiate Paintball Association (NCPA) Championships this year. The team has a lot to accomplish, but senior information telecommunication systems major and president of the team, Alex Amerio, believes they have the determination to get through these challenges. In 2009, they took second place behind Purdue University. “That was probably one of my favorite moments in paintball,” Alex says. “Hopefully, this year, when we come in first, will be my new top moment.” The National Championships in spring demands the best from players, so every week, OU team members pile into cars around 10 p.m. and make the one-anda-half hour drive out to the Xcape paint field in Columbus. Once there, the team suits up, buys paint and

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pressurizes their guns before warming up. The team then stretches and prepares to take on other college teams at the field such as those from Ohio State, Miami or Akron, who are also there to practice. Players practice drill after drill to get their reflexes into shape. They run between bunkers and try to stay as clean as possible from the barrage of paint coming at them from every direction of the field. They practice “snap shooting,” which are quick bursts of aiming and shooting from one position. But these drills are already second nature for most players. “Most members of the team have been playing paintball for over eight years. I’ve been playing since eighth grade,” Alex says. In past years, practice was much more convenient with their old field being only 20 minutes away. Ohio Paintball made all of its money through the paintball team bringing in fraternities, sororities and other clubs to play. “We would bring in at least 20 or 30 people to come play there,” Alex says. However, there were many problems in keeping the field: bad weather, frequent financial problems, and communication issues between the team and the owner of field hurt business. “Last year for spring quarter, it was always raining,” Alex recalls. “The field was always flooded and we could never get any people to go out there.” With such a loss in business, the field could not remain in operation and is currently closed. The core of the facility still stands, but will remain unused until someone can purchase the land the field is on. The team even struggles to pay for its own equipment. Sophomore criminology major, Eric Gibbs, claims that a good gun ranges from $900-$1,500. Paint per game costs between $10, for very cheap, to $30 for a good quality that will not ruin your gun. It may seem like a lot of paint for each purchase, a cheap bag of 500 balls for $10, but that paint is used up fast. Another factor that aggravates their financial situation is that they are in the “white tier” of club sports. Where a team falls in the different tiers of

the OU Club Sports determines how much funding it receive. And a team’s tier status is determined by how well it fulfills its tier assignments that include meeting attendance, paperwork and community service. “It’s so hard just finding time for practice among 20 guys. It’s even harder finding a certain set of hours for everyone to volunteer,” Alex explains. Although the financial problems of the team have been building, Alex doesn’t feel the need to search for another sponsor just yet. With all of the challenges the team has faced, players still have a positive outlook for the end of the season. They have taken everything that they have learned and trained to become one of the top teams in the nation. Alex has made plans to thoroughly prepare for the fast-approaching National Championships happening from April 12-15 in Lakeland, Florida. Their goal is to try for the top spot at Nationals and make up for their ninth place finish last year. He has contacted friends from Akron University and Kent State University to meet at Warzone Paintgames in Toledo for some indoor practices. At a later date, sometime in early March, they will return to Warzone and hold tryouts. “We have a Class A team and AA team for XBall. Usually I will play, then watch the tryouts with another officer or two to look for the people that have improved enough to be on the ‘above’ team they were on last year,” Alex says. He and his officers will decide who is chosen for the more competitive Class A team for XBall at Nationals and the Class AA team, which is a more flexible 5-man competition. Eric Gibbs recalls his old Valley View High School football coach from Germantown, Ohio, when he responds to all of the challenges they have had to overcome. “He used to tell us, that ‘It wasn’t how well a team does. It’s how well a team overcomes adversity.’”

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OU students can get punished for the same crime twice… depending on who catches them. Compared to other schools, Bobcats must walk a straighter line, taking care not to stumble. BY HANNAH CROFT | PHOTOS BY LOREN CELLENTANI For Don Super, getting caught by OUPD inside The Ridges’ old tuberculosis ward at the beginning of his freshman year led to a $200 fine through the state and a $50 fine through the university. The junior Business MIS major also received a six-month university-mandated probation, and he had to keep his record clean through the state for a year in order to expunge his record. Where did he go wrong? Aside from being in an off-limits abandoned building, he got arrested by the police as opposed to a university official (like a Resident Assistant or Resi-


backdrop | winter 2012

dent Director). Christopher Harris, director of the office of community standards and student responsibility at Ohio University, says when a police officer makes an arrest, whether an OUPD or an Athens police officer, that arrest is automatically entered into the state system and that student will have to go through a court process completely separate from what is done in his office. Because OUPD caught Don and formally arrested him, he faced entering the court process, and because it was OUPD who

arrested him, they notified judiciaries, who also dealt out a sanction. According to Pat McGee, managing attorney at the Center for Student Legal Services, a student recently received sanctions when he arrived at OU at the beginning of his freshman year for an indiscretion that happened before he was even formally admitted into the university. So, at what point is a student responsible for upholding the student code of conduct? McGee says as soon as a student applies to OU, it is at OU’s discretion when to decide he/she is admitted

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and consequently subject to sanctions from the university. Students often already receive repercussions through the state and then are also subject to punishment through the university, which sounds a lot like double jeopardy (getting punished twice for the same action) — something our constitutional rights ban. “The university will come back and say, well, you’re not being ‘punished’ for a criminal sanction, which double jeopardy is all about,” McGee says. “Instead you’re being disciplined for a violation of the code of conduct which you agreed to in our contract when you decided to come to OU.” For an OU senior studying Communications, Lauren Conover, being caught drinking in the dorms her sophomore year by an R.A. led to much less severe sanctions because she was caught by the “right” person. Because the R.A. did not deem it necessary to include the police, Lauren’s infraction stayed within OU’s system. Lauren had to pay $100 for her AlcoholEdu class fee and was put on probation for six months. She did not have to deal with a court process. Even sanctions that stay within OU’s limits have increased. Jen Atkins, Director of Students Defending Students says the fines have increased to put them on a more even playing field. According to her research, many schools with a similar environment and student body size have fines anywhere from $200 to $500, where OU simply had a class fee of $100. Because students such as Don Super and Lauren Conover decided to pursue higher education they are now potentially subject to double penalties. This seems to be the standard among most major universities, Harris says, who has worked at the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and Pennsylvania State University. However, there are some such as The Ohio State University that employ a different policy. Ohio State handles off-campus indiscretions much differently than OU. Director of Student Conduct at OSU, Andrea Goldblum says, “It

depends. We have some off campus jurisdiction but it’s not everything. It’s those things that would tend to be the more serious, that might implicate the safety or security of campus.” Goldblum is talking about crimes of violence such as assault or arson. Under OSU’s format, many OU students would be off the hook as far as university sanctions go because most students are arrested for public intoxication, underage or possession, none of which apply to OSU’s Student Conduct system if they occur off campus. In the end, off-campus behavior that might negatively affect OU’s image and therefore affect enrollment rates and job placement must be held accountable through the university. And it is much easier to be held accountable in OU than it is through the court process. Atkins says that students frequently visit her saying their attorneys are getting them off in court, how can this still hold up in the university? And it often does, because the university employs an entirely different process. Since the school operates essentially on a breach of contract, the case becomes a civil case as opposed to a criminal one. Criminal cases operate on the innocent-until-provenguilty premise while civil cases operate on a preponderance of evidence. Basically, is it more likely than not that a student may have done this? Although a student may get off in court, it’s doubtful that they will at the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility. McGee offers another example of a student who was recently arrested for possession of marijuana, paraphernalia and underage. Through the court process he owed up to $1,000 in fines and court fees, and that’s not even including whatever OU decides to dole out. One party leads to one large price. McGee puts it into perspective by saying, “They did used to send people to prison for that, so you know, are we making progress? Yeah, but are we making enough progress? No, I don’t think so.”

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“Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct on and off campus from the time he/she sends in his/her application until a degree has been administered” - BGSU Student Code of Conduct


“The university may pursue disciplinary action on and off campus even if criminal charges are incomplete, reduced or dismissed” - OESCR General Info Brochure


COMPLETE OFF CAMPUS JURISDICTION “The Code of Student Conduct applies to all undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Akron for both on and off campus behaviors” - UoA Student Code of Conduct


COMPLETE OFF CAMPUS JURISDICTION “The code also applies to the off-campus conduct of students and registered student organizations in direct connection with ... any activity in which a police report has been filed, a summons or indictment has been issued, or an arrest has occurred for a crime of violence.” -OSU Student Code of Conduct





According to the Migraine Research Foundation, American employers lose more than $13 billion each year as a result of 113 million lost work days due to migraine-- and this is no different for college students.


or Amy Brown, a 2011 graduate from OU, her migraines started right after her freshman year of college. To her, the onset of her sudden migraines was very scary—and painful.

• • • • • • •


“[My migraines] come right across my forehead, just above my eyebrows. It kind of feels like my skull is caving in on itself,” Brown explains. “They also make me nauseous, to the point that I frequently vomit when I have a migraine. It honestly feels like I might actually die.” To cope with her attacks, Brown moved into a single during her sophomore year. “I knew I would need lots of dark and quiet when I got a migraine and I wasn’t sure I could find a roommate who would understand that,” she says. In addition, she started taking a prescription medication called Topamax, which is an anti-convulsant commonly used to treat epilepsy. The medication had the effect of giving Brown a hangover even if she simply drank two beers, so the college lifestyle that most students live, could no longer exist for Brown. However, giving up alcohol was a Hormonal changes in women small sacrifice, because Stress avoiding migraines was Certain foods the most important goal. Changes in sleep-wake patterns As for classes, Brown found that she would often Changes in environment have to skip. Medication “[I] generally never told Intense physical exertion professors the real problem. I found that often people acted


backdrop | winter 2012

like missing out on anything ‘just because of a headache’ was an overreaction or something,” Brown reflects. “I would definitely view having regular migraines as a disorder. I never used to worry about headaches interfering with my life before. Now it’s a genuine fear, because it’s hard to really function with a migraine.” The term migraine derives from the Greek word “hemi,” meaning half, and the other from the Greek word for head. This fits perfectly for two reasons. One, when a person suffers from a migraine, the pain is more than likely only occurring on half of the head, one side or the other. But two, and more detrimental, is the fact that people who suffer from migraines often feel as if they are living with half of their brain on days when migraines onset.

29 91 24 MILLION



? ? ?

PRODROME This phase is charachterized by irritability, mood swings, stiff muscles, food cravings and even depression.

Sensitivity to heat/cold

Flashing dots

Loss of appetite


Sensitivity to light

> >

POSTDROME This phase is like a migraine hangover. Symptoms include impaired cognitive abilities and mood swings.


of migraine sufferers are women.

Nausea and vomiting


of American households have a member who sufffers PERCENT from migraines



Miss work during an attack.

According to a U.K. study, women are better at parking a car than men.

PAIN At its fiercest, the pain phase can be paralyzing. The effects can last up to 72 hours.


Americans suffer from migraines.

Go to the emergency room due to PERCENT an attack.

AURA The aura phase preceeds the actual migrane and causes vision problems.


Poor eyesight (myopia) is associated with higher I.Q.

of sufferers visit a physician.



of sufferers can’t function during an attack.



drink the


Chicks Dig It 1 ½ oz Vodka 1 oz Triple Sec ¾ oz Peach Schnapps Half fill Cranberry Juice Fill Ginger Ale Stir ingredients, pour over ice filled glass and enjoy!

Liquor is in season, and Backdrop is mixing the ripest cocktails on Court Street. These fruity drinks are sure to quench your thirst without having to empty your wallet at the bar. Plus, the splash of color will help take your mind off the winter grey around you. We can guarantee you’ll be sipping more than one, so stock up on your juices and schnapps next time you hit up the grocery. Here’s what you’ll need:

Absolut Summertime 1 ½ oz Absolut Citron ¾ Sweet and Sour ½ oz sprite or 7-up 3 oz soda water 1 slice lemon

Add all ingredients except lemon to shaker filled with ice. Cover and shake. Strain into a glass with ice and add lemon to the side.

Electric Popsicle

Blue Sunset 1 oz Tequila 1 oz Blue curacao ¼ part 7-up ¼ part sour mix ½ part orange juice

2 oz Midori Melon Liqueur 2 oz Blue Curacao Liqueur 7 up 1 slice Lime Pour both liqueurs in glass. Fill with 7-up. Garnish with a slice of lime and serve.

Mix over ice and serve.




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backdrop | winter 2012

There is a town in Pennsylvania named Intercourse.

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Before his name became synonymous with Bobcat basketball, point guard D.J. Cooper played on the Meanstreets of Chicago—his AAU team that is. From his high school days and now OU’s record books, Cooper has left a mark on the court. With all the attention in Athens and talks of the next step, he keeps his eyes only on the next game. BY ALEXANDER LUBETKIN | PHOTOS BY JOEL HAWKSLEY Ohio University is but a chapter in D.J. Cooper’s life. Before it’s all said and done – that last shot, that final home game, that final time putting on his number 5 jersey – he will have broken OU’s all-time assists record, cementing himself as one of the Bobcat’s best floor generals. By the time Backdrop is published, he could have already broken Dennis Whitaker’s school record of 651 career assists. For as much success as he has found in that hunter greenand-white jersey, the clock is ticking. Nothing about his future is certain, his crystal ball is a basketball, but the when and where is still up in the air. Hailing from Chicago’s south side neighborhood of Hazel Crest, Cooper was born into a working class family. Both of his parents have full-time careers, earning enough to ensure a comfortable upbringing for Cooper and his younger sister. It was his father who sparked his interest in basketball. “First time [I played] was in the backyard with my father. He used to play ball just for recreation, and he got me into playing it too,” Cooper says. Cooper’s first experience playing organized ball came at age 12, while playing for his sixth grade team. He participated in various recreational leagues until high school when he enlisted in the competitive Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball circuit as a sophomore. “The main team I played for was called the Chicago Meanstreets,” Cooper says. The Meanstreets is a program consistently ranked among the nation’s elite AAU programs. He also found success in both of his high schools: Hales Franciscan and Seton Academy. The decision to transfer from Hales to Seton was largely academic, as he wanted to feel better prepared for college. His stellar game caught the eye of many Division I programs, in-


backdrop | winter 2012

cluding OU. “Coach [John] Groce, he was a new coach, coming from Ohio State,” Cooper says. “He saw me play over a July period, [before I was] a senior in high school, and he had interest with me. And I just kind of built a great relationship with him and his assistants since then.” Groce’s recruitment brought Cooper to Athens in 2009. Since then, Cooper, now a junior, has made his mark on OU basketball. A playmaking point guard capable of doing a little bit of everything, Cooper finished his freshman year in the team’s starting backcourt, capturing the imagination of Bobcat fans with his poised on-court persona. The stuffed stat sheets that he left in his wake indicated that, as an 18-year-old freshman, he was already the team’s most complete player. Then proving that uncertainty reigns over college basketball, the Bobcats defeated Georgetown University in the tournament’s first round. Armon Bassett led the game with 32 points, but Cooper’s steady hands contributed to the Bobcats’ victory. He finished the game with 23 points and eight assists. The win shocked Bobcat fans, who slowly trickled onto Court Street to revel in their team’s sudden relevance. Not a school known for its athletic prowess, now OU fans could see highlights of their team on ESPN. The Bobcats would lose in the next round of the tournament, but the fans didn’t care; 2009-10 would go down as one of the more successful seasons in Bobcat history. The 2010-11 season saw Cooper progress, his evolution punctuated by a game against St. Bonaventure that featured a stat line of 43 points, 13 assists, eight rebounds and eight steals. He finished the season as the team’s leader in scoring,

assists and steals. His junior season he saw recognition on a national level when the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame recognized Cooper as one of 20 finalists in contention for the Bob Cousy Award, granted to the nation’s top point guard. “Any player playing college ball, I assume, you know, would love to make it to the next level, to make it to the NBA,” Cooper says when asked about his future. “Most definitely. I would love to play in the NBA.” D.J. Cooper finds himself between a rock and a hard place. His success at the college level can’t be questioned. But every measure of success will come with a grain of salt. Facts are facts, and Cooper is an undersized player at a midmajor school. As much as he means to the Athens community, NBA scouts aren’t likely to fall in love with a 5’11” point guard shooting below .400% for his career. OU senior Justin Williams, a freelance writer whose work has been published in Dime Magazine, an American basketball magazine, can see Cooper playing professionally, he just isn’t sure where. “I think that he’s definitely going to have a future in basketball as a profession, but in terms of the NBA, I wouldn’t put [his chances] at higher than 25, 30 percent.” Still, Justin acknowledges that Cooper has genuine talent, possessing the kind of point guard skills that make a

a look at bobcat basketball point guard

D.J. 4.1




2.8 turnovers

The U.S. has more bagpipe bands than Scotland does.

team better. “He’s a really good passer. He sees things on the court that not many other players see … I would say he’s quick, especially with his hands, [which leads to solid defense].” Others give a slightly higher appraisal of Cooper’s NBA potential. “I believe that he has the natural talent of an NBA player” says Rodger Bohn, staff writer for SLAM Magazine, adding that Cooper “can create a play out of nothing, whether it be for himself or his teammates” and that what “he offers is that he’s already running a lot of pick and roll basketball, which is the basis of the NBA offense.” Still, Bohn acknowledges that hard work has to be done. “He just needs to improve upon his decision making and gain maturity as a point guard. I don’t see him as a guy who will be eating DP Dough and playing in an NBA jersey within the same six months. I  do, however, believe that he is that type of player who, after gaining a few years of experience playing professionally in Europe or the NBA D-League, could see himself on a roster.” Former Bobcat sharpshooter Tommy Freeman, a 2011 graduate now playing for the British Basketball League’s Worcester Wolves, knows about the challenge that is going professional. Although he didn’t make it to the NBA, he exhibits little regret about playing across the pond. “My experience over here has been



wonderful so far … I had little idea of what to expect but have enjoyed playing abroad and being able to play the game I love and experience a different country and see new things.” Freeman echoes Justin’s sentiments, pointing out that although “D.J. has the skills to run a team and will have a long professional career,” the NBA might be a tall order. “D.J. is definitely a professional prospect for somewhere overseas. I am not sure what DJ’s chances are at making an NBA team.” If life after college weighs on Cooper’s mind, he does a good job at hiding it. “You know, I’m really not worried about that right now,” he says with laid-back conviction. “I have two years left here. I’m just trying to win a MAC title.” Still, for as many factors that contribute to the next chapter in D.J. Cooper’s life, he has some control over his own destiny. If Ohio continues to win (they have been vying for the MAC’s top record all season), and his play continues to improve, scouts will have to pay attention. NBA scouts have already attended a handful of OU basketball games, including a January 18 victory over Kent State, according to Justin. D.J. Cooper embraces the uncertainty. Of course he’ll meet doubt along the way; it goes hand-in-hand with being a collegiate athlete. Not the type to thump his chest and boast to the world, he’ll let his play do all the talking.

7 6 5


4 3 2





Hometown: Chicago, IL Player Number: 5 Year: Junior Weight: 165 lbs. Height: 5’ 10”

Three Point Percentage (3P%)




Field Goal Percentage (FG%)





n Tuesday, October 18, Terry Thompson let 49 exotic and dangerous animals out of their cages in his wild animal preserve in Zainesville, Ohio then killed himself. Within minutes Southeast Ohio was turned into a horrifying and violent circus that while the authorities hunted down and killed the animals before they could anyone. It was a national spectacle that called into question, Ohio’s relatively lax laws regarding the ownership of exotic animals into question. But just seven months previously, photographer Susannah Kay visited retired veterinarian Jim Galvin’s 125-acre sanctuary for big cats in New Marshfield, Ohio to see the safer and happier side of exotic animal ownership. Galvin loves and cares for his two fullgrown tigers, Boomer and Dudley, but understands that an errant paw swipe from one of the playful cats can cause him considerable harm. But with Dudley and Boomer safely behind Susannah’s camera lens, enjoy this peek into the life into two of Ohio’s biggest kitties.


Fun fact goes here Fun fact goes here Fun fact goes here

Boomer, a year-old Siberian tiger, looks up in his pen on Dr. Jim Galvin’s property in New Marshfield, Ohio, on January 6, 2012.

COUNTERCLOCKWISE, starting below Boomer paws at the top of his cage in Galvin’s garage in New Marshfield, Ohio. Galvin’s property is shown during the winter. He owns 125 acres, consisting of open, grassy fields, ponds, and woods, resembling the habitat a tiger would typically have in the wild. Galvin’s property is shown during the spring.

Galvin interacts with Boomer through the cage on his property in New Marshfield, Ohio. “I had always thought I would have like to work with the big cats. I’ve always had a passion for the tigers especially,” he says.

A blueprint of Galvin’s plans for his sanctuary, Midwest Big Cat Care. He hopes to eventually have over 30 cats, each having their own one to two acre outdoor pen.


backdrop | winter 2012


If there are really 1000 big cats here in Ohio, there’s got to be an awful lot of them out in the wild nobody knows about. I’d really like to leave something to have made an impact on more than just a few cats.” - Jim Galvin

TOP: Dr. Jim Galvin and his full-time farmhand and assistant Nathan Hale give attention to Dudley and Boomer on Galvin’s property. “Being bonded to such a powerful animal is an amazing experience,” Nathan says. “With any animal, dogs, big cats, horses, it’s about spending time with them. If you want a good animal you’ve got to put in the time.” BOTTOM: Boomer and Dudley stare out of their temporary cages in Galvin’s garage. Jim is currently in the process of building outdoor cages on his property for the cats to stay in permanently.


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TOP LEFT: Dudley puts his nose up to the fence of his pen in Galvin’s garage. While many private owners go in with their cats, Jim’s philosophy keeps him on the other side of the wire. “You are not in control if you don’t have them in a cage, I’m sorry, that’s just the way I feel about it,” he says. TOP RIGHT: Boomer, a year old Siberian tiger, puts his paw up to the fence of his pen in Galvin’s garage. BOTTOM: Boomer stares out of his cage in Jim’s garage in New Marshfield, Ohio. Galvin takes extra caution when dealing with his cats, using two locks per gate along with two layers of thick, wire fencing.






All answers to the clues can be found in this issue’s stories.




This is an article from’s blog Drunk. or Athens? DoA is an ongoing recording- in quote, blurb or clip form- of those instances that make this city what it is: Drunk, or Athens? Sometimes this happens because of the abundance of drunkards, and sometimes it’s just the product of our beloved town. For more Drunk, or Athens? declarations, visit

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ounted on a wall in Perk’s coffee shop is a running tally of cars that drive the wrong direction down the one-way road in the busiest part of uptown: where Union crosses Court. Perk’s, which is actually labeled Whit’s outside and Perk’s inside, but is curiously only known as Perk’s, is surrounded in giant windows perfect for people-watching on Court. Perk’s is situated at the crossroads of Court and Union, a pivotal point where OU’s campus blends with the City of Athens. Witnessing employees at Perk’s started the tally years ago, they said, and pages upon pages of tallies are evidence of that. It happens so frequently that they begin a new tally each quarter-- at time of publication this Winter Quarter, the tally was up to 17. Drunk, or Athens? The case for drunk: This epidemic could be caused by Athenian students and Athenians alike drunk driving to Jackie O’s or The Union. However, the ability to walk to the dozens of uptown bars keeps Athens’ ratio of drunk-to-drunk-driver fortunately low.


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According to, the number of recorded fatalities caused by drunk drivers in Athens is consistently below Ohio’s average. The number of fatalities caused by drunk drivers in Athens has gone above Ohio’s average in only three of the past 20 years. The case for Athens: There is no allowance to go directly from East Union, that stretch of road that encompasses Jeff Hill and College Green that nobody actually calls East Union, across Court to West Union. At that intersection, the bricks are just a little extra broken and cars consistently compete for dominance when clearly pedestrians are more plentiful. And, the City of Athens never bothered to specify that a car going straight would be going the wrong way down a one-way street. Like the rest of its infamous structural deficiencies such as potholes and boil orders, the lack of sign at this busy intersection is typically Athens.

Fortune cookies were actually invented in America, in 1918, by Charles Jung.


1 The shire of __________ 4 Don Super was fined for visiting

1 The tiger’s names are Boomer & ________

this OU landmark

3 The governing body of

5 Kevin’s bartending computer

collegiate paintball

program is called _______



2 8 7













2 3 9




2 4


4 7 2


Our Speciality!

7 The second phase of a

Open days a week!


8 DJ Copper played for the Mean Streaks in ________


9 Jonah Hill’s look-alike


6 2


Parties & Weddings

6 Richard Zippert’s nickname is ________


Italian Cuisine




A toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans.

859 E. State Street






Center for





Today Car would not start walking to work Thunderstorm sneaks up Surprise Scuba diving in jeans and a hoodie I am a walking leaking basement Reeking of wet dogged mildew A car clips me 35 in a 25 Hail red and white cab To an over priced hotel Miss a whole weeks pay

Sitting in the quiet I often wonder what ripples on water feel like What kind of tingle they cause Imagine it drip up my arm and flow down my chest creating pools at my feet  that splash, no flirt, at my cheeks and caress my back… Next thing I know I’m being swept away.




Life is fair I am an asshole by trade

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backdrop | winter 2012

40% of women have hurled footwear at a man.

Approximately $25 million is spent each year on lap dances in Las Vegas.





Call her short, call her vertically challenged, just don’t expect to step over her. BY LAUREN MCGRATH | ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA REANEY


un-size and mini: names associated with chocolate candies, not people. At 5-foot-2 and 22 years of age, I am short. However, people act as if I have never seen myself in a mirror. Yes, I know I’m short, so I don’t need you to relentlessly remind me. I simply stopped growing while everyone around me shot up like Jack’s bean stalk. If you look at my baby book, you’ll see I have not grown since I was about 10. That’s a long time ago. My brother towers well over six feet tall and my sister is not far behind. So what happened to me? Don’t get me wrong—I love my height, but there are certainly times when I wonder if life would be greener on the taller side. I’m not alone with this issue, either. I know plenty of young women who are short like me, if not shorter. Our height creates a lot of unusual problems, such as sitting on bar stools and salon chairs. Frankly, our feet don’t always touch the ground. And people with big trucks, how the hell do you expect us to get in? Get a running start and hope for the best? Clearly, some people struggle to coexist with a short girl. For example, you can’t take long strides because we’ll have to sprint to keep up, so walk at a leisurely pace. You also can’t put everything on high shelves, unless you want to purchase a step stool for us, so think about where you store items throughout the house. Shopping for clothes is a battle few short people win. Jeans with a shorter hem were a genius idea. However, “short” is just not short enough. The “short” jeans I’ve been buying for years need to be rolled a solid three inches to prevent them from dragging on the ground. Basically, any top is too long in the torso and jackets have sleeves that extend past our fingers. However, we can get away with shopping in the children’s department. Hello, cheaper prices and more proportionate styles. This feat at least puts short people on the scoreboard in the game of life. I already look young, so when you factor in my height, it’s as if I cut a few more years off my age. Hands down, the most frustrating part of this problem is dealing with cashiers and bouncers. Trips to the liquor store include the cashier looking at my license, looking at me and looking back at my license. This is usually followed by him shaking his head and mumbling some-


backdrop | winter 2012

thing about how I “just look so young.” Bouncers are the worst of all, though. Not everyone going out has a legitimate license, which is fine with me. But, I’ll let you guess which ID the bouncer looks at longer; it’s not my friend with the fake. Am I the only one who is baffled by this? How can you spend more time looking at a real state-issued license than someone’s who is apparently from Kentucky and looks nothing like the person in the photo? Beats me. And this doesn’t just happen in Athens, either. Over winter break, the bouncer at a bar in downtown Willoughby spent more than twice the time looking at my ID than the fake ID my friend’s cousin used to get in. Not fair. My friends had already ordered drinks by the time I caught up with them. The combination of my vertically challenged height and young appearance isn’t easy, but there are some positives. My boyfriend doesn’t have to worry about me being taller than him when I strap on a pair of heels. And in 20 years, I’m sure I’ll appreciate being carded every time I order a drink. Until then, I’ll go on getting my pants tailored and arriving early so I can actually see the bands performing at a concert. I doubt I’m going to experience a sudden growth spurt 12 years from now, so I’ll keep rocking comfy flats and continue finding the humor closer to the ground. Take your height and divide by eight. That’s how tall your head is!

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Fun fact goes here Fun fact goes here Fun fact goes here




Winter 2012 (Vol. 5 Issue 2)  

OU's paintball club trains for national recognition. Learn about the campus's problems and resources for sexual assault.