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BALL BEARINGS volume 4 // issue 4 // summer 2013

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athletes go pro page 12

the student debt crisis page 28

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BALL BEARINGS // SUMMER ISSUE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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THE GUIDE

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ENTERTAINMENT

SUMMER FESTIVAL SAMPLING Annual traditions that will add more fun to your vacation food

GENERIC versus BRAND NAME Products are more similar than you think. Don’t pay for the packaging. DON’T STOP THE POP Four refreshing frozen treats

MONEY MATTERS Students decide whether loans are their best option.

32

2013: POVERTY AWARENESS YEAR Delaware County needs you to make a difference

36

FUN CLASSES 101 Gain a new perspective by taking classes outside of your major.

SPORTS

PUTTING IT ALL ON THE LINE Student athletes find where their true focus lies MARCO, BIKE POLO A west coast sport comes to the heartland technology

LOVE LETTER BUZZ Campus gets steamier with BSU’s Secret Admirers’ Facebook page

insights

24

28

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL Follow a student’s journey through the SGA election process

ENRICH

39

CONSCIOUS CONSUMERISM Fair Trade movement fights for workers’ rights.

IN EVERY ISSUE

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editor’s note describe your style columNS: bethany and BRANDON Q&A: MALACHI RANDOLPH In Focus

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editor’s note //

BALL BEARINGS volume 4 // issue 4 // sUMMER 2013

print staff// editor-in-chief

photo editor

taylor ellis

stephanie tarrant

managing editor

assistant photo editor

lauren hardy

advertising director chris haygood

pr director

aaron kelly

leeann wood

michelle johnson

design editor

advisor

assistant editor

stephanie meredith

david sumner

assistant design editor

ball state university // muncie, inD. 47306 printed by ball state university printing services

assistant editor

joe ruley

assistant editor kaleigh sheahan

alex burton

online staff// managing editor of content

producer

design editor

hayli goode

aubrey smith

catherine greis

producer

video editor

lindsey riley

carolyn case

producer

advisor

lacey bursik

mary spillman

managing editor of presentation karina lozano

2 // BALL BEARINGS

Contributors BOBBY ELLIS Alexandra Holder Briee Eikenberry Gina Portolese Matt McKinney Krista Sanford Taylor Peterson Maria Strauss Savannah Smith Emily Theis Brandon Pope Sarah Ellis Victoria Davis Kati Jamison Lauren Dahlhauser Emma Kate Fittes Aiste Manfredini Maris Schiess Jen Prandato Sara Nahrwold Lemuel Young Dan Carpenter Ben Dehr Jessie Bradway Annie Gonzalez Bethany Guyer Brandon Newman Tiffany Watt

ou will never be able to fully prepare for some things in life. From what I’ve heard it’s getting married, having kids and entering the real world after graduation. But, I’d like to add one more thing to that list — becoming editor-in-chief of Ball Bearings. Last April when I found out that I got this position, I had a lengthy summer plan on how I would improve my skills so that I would be worthy of the prestigious opportunity I had just been given. Sometimes, I sat in deep thought and tried to come up with the perfect speech to give at the first editorial board meeting so that everyone would be convinced that I was the right woman for the job. My dramatic side often found its way into my dreams where I would suddenly become mute during these meetings or fall on my face as I entered the room. Luckily, none of those dreams came true, but I did make quite a few mistakes along the way. My biggest mistake was thinking that I was going to be able to please 30+ people who all have different personalities and a different vision of what Ball Bearings should be like. I quickly found out that being the leader that everyone thought I should be was nearly impossible. But, in these overwhelming moments, I reminded myself that I had been chosen for this job for a reason, and that I needed to be the best leader I could be — not the perfect version of a leader that everyone had in their mind. Sometimes in life, we are given opportunities that we aren’t prepared for and that we can’t possibly understand until we take a leap of faith and give them our best shot. This is why I think Vince Lombardi Jr. said, “Leaders aren’t born, they are made. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal which is worthwhile.” And that’s exactly how being editor-in-chief has been for me this year. I dove full-speed ahead into something new, and what I found was that sometimes we don’t have to make ourselves worthy, but instead we become worthy as we grow into our opportunities and challenges. It’s amazing what happens when we stop trying to be the person everyone else expects us to be, but instead offer ourselves and our unique gifts to the situation in front of us. No, I’m not the perfect leader that always has it together, but I’m Taylor Ellis, and that’s enough. I have unique life experiences and abilities that you may not have and vice versa. I may fail in areas where you succeed, and that’s perfectly OK because not all leaders are cut from the same mold. This year, when I’ve had a problem, someone else has had a solution. When someone was knocked down, I’ve been able to help pick them back up. This is why we all need to stop trying to be someone that we’re not and simply bring the best version of ourselves to the table. After all, if everyone on Ball Bearings staff were the same type of people, then nothing would get done because we all play an irreplaceable role in producing this publication. As you flip through the pages of this issue, you will see people who have confronted challenges and emerged as individuals who bring unique life experiences to the table. For Brandon Pope, it was learning how to overcome failure after the SGA elections (page 24). For Molly Flodder, it was coming up with a plan to tackle Delaware County’s poverty issues (page 32). And for David and Sara Ring, it was opening up the Downtown Farm Stand and joining the fair trade movement (page 39). These individuals didn’t let people’s expectations paralyze them, but instead took small steps forward to become the best leaders they could be. Next time you’re tempted to compare yourself to others or place unrealistic expectations on yourself, just remember that you’re enough, and that you’ve lived a life that no one else can emulate.

TAYLOR ELLIS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

contact us comments can be directed to ballbearingsmag@mail.com.

advertise with us for more information, contact us at ballbearings@mail.com.

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ballbearingsmag.com //

get more ball bearings Like what you see in the print issue? Head over to our website for more great content. From learning about campus’ comedy groups to discovering alternative classes, Ball Bearings Online offers a visual and interactive way to tell stories using multimedia. Here’s what you can find from this issue:

online exclusive:

pro football

After reading about a few students who are chasing their dreams of becoming pro athletes, read the story of one student who was drafted to the NFL, but had to turn down the offer for reasons beyond his control. See how this major turning point changed his life for the better.

alternative classes

Learn more about unique classes on campus. Check out a comic book class and a scuba diving course, which are both offered for students. Then, take a quiz to figure out what class is right for you.

4 // BALL BEARINGS

bike polo

Interested in seeing how bike polo actually works? Watch a game for yourself. And if you like what you see you can check out our clickable to learn the official rules for the game.

Watch out for “BSU Goes Viral:” a wrap-up of Ball State’s top moments of the year. THIS EXCLUSIVE FEATURES everything from David Letterman and Oprah on campus, to students camping out to see the band Fun. our online team has you covered to relive this year’s biggest moments on campus.

Festival

Fever Twelve events that beat bummin’ it at home this summer story // leeann wood illustrations // stephanie Meredith

Festivals provide a way for people to come together and celebrate, commemorate or honor something in the community. Whether it’s great food, music, workshops or rides, these Indiana summer and fall festivals offer something for everyone.

poverty awareness

Take a look at how the Muncie Mission is helping the impoverished locally and what other organizations are doing to help the community.

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THE GUIDE // entertainment

music All-American Country Hoedown // May 30-June 2, Campbellsburg If you’re a country music lover, this festival is for you. It will feature performances from several local country singers, a horseshoe tournament and parade. This year will mark the 19th annual All-American Country Hoedown.

Med Flory Jazz and Blues Festival // June 8, Logansport Named after Logansport’s jazz legend, this festival features blues, jazz, bebop and big band music. To go along with this theme, festival-goers are encouraged to dress in their favorite 1920s garb.

art Music Fest XVI // July 12-13, Fremont For classic rock, head to Fremont for its annual Music Fest. This festival highlights local talent, including the Fremont High School choir. If you attend this festival, you can also look forward to a car show, mud volleyball tournament and fireworks to end the night.

Broad Ripple Art Fair // May 18-19, Indianapolis Art Center Fundraiser turned major festival, the Broad Ripple Art Fair is the Indianapolis Art Center’s largest moneymaker, showcasing more than 200 artists from all over the country. While looking at the art, you can also enjoy live music in the festival’s beer and wine garden.

food South Bend Blues & Ribs Festival // June 22, South Bend This festival celebrates what South Bend considers to be the best blues and ribs in the area. The proceeds of this festival go to fund the development of Miracle Park, a special needs facility. So you can enjoy the music and barbecue while supporting a great cause.

6 // BALL BEARINGS

Frankfort Hot Dog Festival // Jul. 26-27, Frankfort The Frankfort Hot Dog Festival is all about, you guessed it, hotdogs. Along with a hotdog-eating contest, you can participate in the 5K Bun Walk/Run, watch Dachshund racing and live entertainment including karaoke and dancing in the streets.

Hoosier Hills Fiber Arts Festival // May 31-June 1, Franklin Ranging from “Spinning Beaded Yarn” and “Knitting Continental Style,” to “Beginning Basketry,” Hoosier Hills offers many classes to choose from. You can also expect shearing and weaving demonstrations, Civil War reenactors and jousting demonstrations.

Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival // August 1-4, Nappanee Located in Amish country, this festival showcases the art of more than 300 artists. The artwork is for sale, so it is a great place to find a new piece for your living room. Chosen by The American Bus Association as the “Top 100 Events in North America,” this festival will celebrate its 51st year.

just for fun Valparaiso Popcorn Festival // Sept. 7, Valparaiso Popcorn guru, Orville Redenbacher, was born and raised in Valparaiso, Ind., giving the town the perfect reason to celebrate this classic snack. The festival is packed full with popcorn-inspired events, such as Popcorn Panic 5K Walk /5M Run and the Orville Redenbacher Parade.

500 Festival // May 2-26, Indianapolis This almost month-long festival leads up to the Indianapolis 500 on May 26, 2013. The majority of the events are races, which ties into the Indy Car theme. It includes a 15K, 5K, Mini-Marathon and Rookie Run. The 5K has a post-race party as an incentive to finish. The festival ends with the iconic IPL 500 Festival Parade.

Angola Balloons Aloft // July 12-13, Angola This free festival is for the adventurous at heart. It is especially known for its hot air balloon competition, which includes balloons with unique shapes like Noah’s Arc, Betty Jean Butterfly and Oggy the Friendly Dragon. It also features a skydiving competition as well as hot air balloon, helicopter and airplane rides.

Circus City Festival // July 13-20, Peru See downtown Peru transform into an amusement park for this midsummer, week-long event. In addition to the circus performances, there are rides, games and other forms of local entertainment. Peru is famous for their Amateur Circus that performs in the Festival Parade, which also features circus wagons, clowns, floats and music.

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consume WITH CAUTION five harmful ingredients found in common foods

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Being a cheap college student has its setbacks, but when it comes to food, it’s OK to save some extra cash

eneric versus brand names. When two products seem identical, it can be difficult to know the true differences apart from the price tag. Does a cheaper price hint at a lower-quality product? To put it simply, here’s the main difference between the two options: one has a commercial, while the other does not. “The secret’s out, store brands are just as good,” Lisa Rider, the vice president of retail consulting solutions for Nielsen, a marketing information company tells Tulsa World. “Store-brand buyers are no longer seen as cheapskates, but as savvy shoppers.” Many labeled products use the same national namebrand manufacturers to produce a generic counterpart. For example, based on the product code, Muncie’s Meijer brand milk is actually bottled at the same place that bottles Dean’s Milk, in Rochester, Ind. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all manufacturers to have the same standards for its generic and branded products. They often use similar equipment, similar ingredients, undergo a similar testing and quality analysis and always abide by the same set of FDA regulations. As a result, a lot of what a consumer pays for is the packaging. Generic, or store brands, have come a long way from the bottom-shelved, drab packages of decades past. Better packaging design was the first successful step, but the im-

8 // BALL BEARINGS

What it is: A popular artificial sweetener

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Why it’s bad: Artificial food dyes were originally synthesized from coal tar; now they are derived from petroleum. The controversial dyes are one of the most widely used additives in food products today. Many dyes have been banned because of their adverse effects on laboratory animals. Studies have confirmed that nine dyes currently approved for use in the U.S. raise health concerns. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) study on food dyes, “The three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens. Another dye, Red 3, has been acknowledged for years by the FDA to be a carcinogen, yet it is still in the food supply.” CPSI further reports that these nine food dyes are linked to health issues ranging from cancer and hyperactivity to allergy-like reactions.

Where to find it: Diet beverages, chewing gum and flavored water

photos // stephanie tarrant

provement in product quality in recent years is what has made store brands a competitor to name brand products. According to Consumer Reports, store brands have come to represent better selection, value and savings for many shoppers and are the fastest growing and most popular items for sale today. The difference between the products lies within the brand tax, which consists of advertising and promotional costs incurred by national brand makers that are then passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. A store-brand manufacturer does not have these costs, but still buys the same high-quality ingredients and runs the same state of the art manufacturing line. Retailers are catching on to the advantages of manufacturing their own products, and the popularity of the loyalty among consumers to store brands. Most recently, Walgreens launched its own brand, Nice!, which feature items from regular drugstore products to dry food, like macaroni. Store brands such as Nice! help families buy essential household items for a fraction of the cost. A recent study from the Private Label Manufacturers Association found that consumers save an average of 33 percent on grocery bills by paying for store brands rather than name brands at the check out line. So there’s no reason to feel guilty for being cheap; generic products still give you quality for a fraction of the cost.

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Monosodium Glutamate What it is: Usually heard by the name MSG, this amino acid is used as a flavor enhancer in processed foods. It is one of the most common food additives. Why it’s bad: It’s a neurotoxic chemical additive shown to harm or overexcite nerve cells, sometimes to the point of death. Regularly consuming excitotoxins destroys brain cells and can lead to serious health problems, including neurological disorders. Where to find it: Campbell’s soup, frozen dinners, Hamburger Helper, Doritos and Pringles

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Sodium Nitrites/Nitrates What they are: Two closely-related chemicals used to preserve meat. They inhibit botulism-causing bacteria and allow processed meats to maintain their pink hues, which is why the FDA allows their use. Why they are bad: When added to meat and ingested, the nitrates fuse with amino acids and are converted to nitrosamines, powerful carcinogenic compounds, which are associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancers.

Artificial Food Coloring What it is: An additive that gives food a color different from its natural state

Why it’s bad: Aspartame is an excitotoxin. It also is believed to be carcinogenic, and produces neurotoxic effects such as headaches, dizziness, blurry vision and gastrointestinal disturbances. Aspartame is 10 percent methanol, which is shown to be broken down by the body into the toxic by-products formic acid and formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is considered to be a potent nerve toxin and carcinogen, which may explain why aspartame accounts for more reports to the FDA of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combine.

shop and save story // Alexandra Holder

Aspartame

Where to find it: Colored candy, Kool-Aid, Jell-O and boxed macaroni and cheese

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High-Fructose Corn Syrup What it is: A highly-refined sweetener in which corn starch is separated from the corn kernel. The corn starch is then converted into corn syrup through a process called acid hydrolysis. Why it’s bad: Nearly all HFCS is made from genetically-modified corn. It has been shown to contribute to weight gain and the development of diabetes. HFCS is also is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, arthritis, insulin resistance, and elevated triglycerides and raised LDL cholesterol. Where to find them: Barbecue sauce, salad dressing, bread and pastry products, and sweet and sugary cereals

Where to find them: Ham, salami, bologna and hot dogs

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THE GUIDE // food

brain freeze

CREAMY COCOA POPS

Ease the stressing effects of finals week with these warm-weather treats story // lauren hardy

PHOTOS // gina portolese

It’s late April, which means papers are piling up, study guides are blurring together and temperatures are rising. Cool off, and take a break with these fast popsicle recipes that’ll leave you feeling refreshed and recharged in no time. (Serving sizes will vary based on what popsicle molds you use.)

creamy cocoa pops ingredients

instructions

• 2 packets hot chocolate • 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips • 3 cups milk

In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium heat to simmer for about three minutes. Add the chocolate chips and hot chocolate packets and whisk until combined well. Remove saucepan from the stove and let cool completely. Pour into Popsicle molds and secure with Popsicle sticks. Freeze until solid.

fruity pebbles froyo bars ingredients

instructions

• 3 cups vanilla Greek yogurt • 1 1/2 cups milk • 1 tablespoon sugar • 1 1/2 cups Fruity Pebbles cereal

In a blender, combine yogurt, milk and sugar and blend until combined. With a spoon, stir in Fruity Pebbles. Pour or spoon the mixture into Popsicle molds and secure with Popsicle sticks. Freeze overnight or for a few hours until solid.

tropical berry pops

watermelon mint pops

ingredients

instructions

• 16 oz can crushed pineapple • 1/2 cup raspberries • 1 tablespoon sugar

In a blender, puree the pineapple until smooth. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Place the raspberries and sugar in the blender and puree until smooth. Fill Popsicle molds with pineapple mixture about 1/3 of the way. Pour raspberry mixture on top of it another 1/3 of the way. Fill the remainder of the mold with pineapple mixture and secure with popsicle sticks. Freeze overnight or for a few hours until solid.

ingredients

instructions

• 1 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon without the rind, dice into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups) • 2 tablespoons sugar • 1/4 cup mint leaves, minced • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

In a blender, puree the watermelon with the sugar until smooth. Stir in the mint, lemon zest and salt. Pour the puree into eight Popsicle molds or two standard ice cube trays (insert Popsicle sticks halfway through freezing) and freeze until solid, about three hours.

10 // BALL BEARINGS

FRUITY PEBBLES FRO-YO BARS

TROPICAL BERRY POPS

WATERMELON MINT POPS

11


travis freeman has been playing football

since age six. although he dropped out of college to pursue his childhood dream of playing in the nfl, getting his degree is still on the forefront of his mind.

going pro

A

Three Student Athletes Prove That pursuing a professional sporting career and Finishing Their Degree is Not a Catch-22. story // LAUREN HARDY

you have to take advantage of that … it should be an expectation, not an option.” Freeman compliments the Ball State football coaching staff because they’ve always encouraged players to have a plan B for when their playing days are over. “They instilled in us that football is not going to last forever,” he says. “You have to plan for a career. That’s why you come to school; that’s why you got a scholarship.” According to the Department of Education, only 3 percent of Ball State’s student body is a varsity athlete. Being in this minority has taught Freeman much more than how to be a good football player and student. The discipline, time management and self-motivation needed to compete at an NCAA level has given him a realistic perspective of life after college. Freeman admits this experience has been no easy task, but for him, going the extra mile is necessary for success. “Whether it’s class, or the fact you got an F on a test, or that you have to get up in the morning when everyone else is asleep, or that you’re down in a football game, you have to overcome the adversity in the end,” he says. “I think that’s the biggest thing about being a college athlete is that you’re not just a regular student; you’re obligated to do something extra, even when you’re tired and hurting.” According to the Cardinal Varsity Club, Ball State ranks first in the Mid-American Conference, fourth in the country among public universities and ties ninth in the nation overall for its student-athlete graduation rate of 75 percent.

PHOTOS // JONATHAN MIKSANEK, ALISON MERCADO & STEPHANIE TARRANT

s children, many of us played ball outside, long past lunchtime and into the late hours of the night. We’d grab our siblings or neighbors and play until our parents called us in, or the streetlights came on, signaling that it was time to call it quits. Some of us became athletes in high school, pushing our bodies to the limit outside of the classroom. Chances are, however — whether after high school graduation or a shift in focus — we’ve all had to give up competing in the sports we loved. Then there are those, like Ball State football player Travis Freeman, women’s soccer player Brigit Reder, and men’s volleyball player Kevin Owens, who kept playing in college, forcing them to pit their academic future against the possibility of becoming a professional athlete. Though the payoff can be great, they always face a tough decision: do they risk it all for going pro or finish their degree? Freeman, Reder and Owens are proving that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. From 2011-2012 the NCAA reported a record high for student-athlete

12 // BALL BEARINGS

participation, with 453,347 players. On average, only 1 percent of those athletes make it to the professional arena. And based on the NCAA’s most recent Division 1 Graduation Success Rate Report, only 82 percent receive their diploma in six years. As a result, after spending so much time in sports, many student athletes are not as prepared or motivated to enter the workforce as their academic peers. Travis Freeman says he’s ready for whatever life brings. Freeman was one semester away from graduating when he got a call from an agent, asking him to train for the March 20, 2013, NFL Pro Day event at Ball State. The linebacker and organizational communications major has always taken pride in his education, but when the chance came to pursue his childhood dream, he knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. For three months, Freeman trained around four hours a day with Speed Strength Systems in Cleveland, Ohio, putting his body to the test so he could perform his best for NFL scouts on pro day. Today, he waits for a call, hoping that someone will contact him for a tryout. Despite the outcome, Freeman says he will have no regrets. Even though he took a major risk leaving school, he unquestionably plans to complete his degree someday. As the first from his family to go to college, he wants to show others that obtaining a degree is possible, regardless of life’s situations. “Yeah, football is great; you get recognition and you build a bond with your teammates, but education is beyond football — it’s life,” he says. “College is for education. Period. It sets you up for a career, and

“YEAH, FOOTBALL IS GREAT; YOU GET RECOGNITION AND YOU BUILD A BOND WITH YOUR TEAMMATES, BUT EDUCATION IS BEYOND FOOTBALL. IT’S LIFE.” -Travis freeman

13


THE GUIDE // sports

IN APRIL, BRIGIT REDER SIGNED

A Contract with the seattle sounders. she will have to complete her degree in the off season.

excited about the call, Reder was also hesitant. In order to receive her special education degree, Reder must student teach two, 8-week sessions. She’s finished the first, but was one week into the second program when the Flash called her. If she accepted the invite, she would have to temporarily drop out of college while she tried out. Fortunately, the schools’ officials were supportive, actually telling her to go. “Don’t even question it. You go and keep trying,” they said. According to Reder, Ball State has helped her figure out the logistics of the situation, making it easier for her to pursue this new opportunity. Others close to Reder questioned her decision, accusing her of “giving up on her degree.” But Reder doesn’t see it that way. “To put [school] on hold is definitely a hard decision,” she says. “[But] that’s the reality. I can come back to it and finish. I’ll have the rest of my life, essentially, to stay in a classroom and to work.” Fellow student athlete Brigit Reder has a 3.94 GPA So Reder packed her bags and headed east. and a school record for 6,725 total minutes played in a For about four weeks, she trained with the Flash, career, which also reflects what a strong work ethic and including Olympic greats like Abby Wambach. Reder dose of self-motivation can do for a student athlete. But performed well in the training sessions, even winning she has also had to put her academic accomplishments team scrimmages with fellow rookies. However at the on hold. same time, she began questioning the path she chose. Until her junior year Reder, who is a special education She was unsure whether she could stay focused on major, had her doubts about pursuing a professional soccer while working another job to support herself career. in Buffalo, miles away from friends and family. And a “I kind of thought, ‘No disrespect to the MAC, but part of her still really wanted to finish her degree. we’re [in] the Mid-American Conference,” she says. When The Flash cut its roster down to 20 salary “I’m not in an ACC school, or Big Ten or SEC school … spots for the regular season, and Reder was given one Not that I was playing myself down, but I was trying to of the five, unsalaried practice player spots, she got have a realistic view of it all.” the answer she’d been looking for. Instead of signing Despite her initial thoughts, Reder was invited to a contract, she returned to Ball State to reevaluate her attend the combine for women’s soccer players in priorities. Sunrise, Fla., to show off her skills in February 2013. Over the next few months, Reder’s life was a roller After countless vertical jumps, 40-yard dashes and coaster of emotions as she battled between staying mock games, Reder impressed the assistant coaches focused on soccer and returning to school. Then, on for the Western New York Flash, a National Women’s April 8, 2013, Reder signed a contract with the Seattle Soccer League team. For the first time, Reder realized Sounders, postponing getting her degree for another that she had a shot at going pro. semester. A few days later, Reder went back to student “It’s nerve-wracking, and it’s a big decision to make, teaching at Carmel Middle School in Carmel, Ind., — but you have to have confidence in yourself,” Reder a requirement she must meet before she obtains her says. degree. During lunch one afternoon, she received a Reder will finish student teaching and get her degree, phone call from a Flash representative, offering Reder a but not until the Sounders’ off- season for the 2013 fall tryout at their Buffalo, N.Y., facility. Though she felt semester.

14 // BALL BEARINGS

Although popular sports like men’s football and basketball have increased their student-athlete graduation rates, the overall rate for NCAA athletes fell one percent between 2011 and 2012, according to the NCAA’s latest report. Men’s volleyball saw one of the biggest decreases: from 87 to 79 percent. You could say that Ball State middle blocker Kevin Owens is an exception. He doesn’t just plan to finish his actuarial science degree in four years; he plans to play professionally, too. “Playing volleyball professionally is pretty rare for guys,” Owens says. “So when I realized there were opportunities, I thought, ‘Why sit behind a desk when I could do something I love and get paid for it?’” Though most days start at 5 a.m. and end late for this junior, Owens is committed to staying on top of grades, maintaining a 3.5 GPA thus far. He hopes his determination will testify to his performance on

an international volleyball team. After graduation he plans to start out in a lower league and work his way up toward the big leagues, which are in Italy and Russia. Regardless of what happens, Owens, Reder and Freeman know their professional careers will not last forever. They have a realistic outlook on the path that lies ahead and know that even when their bodies tell them to stop, their passion for the sport will live on. Until then, they will keep moving forward. “There isn’t a deadline to when I’ll stop trying,” Freeman says. “It’s more of a mental state you get to, when you realize, ‘OK this is not working for me anymore, and I need to move on with my life.’ Whenever that is. I’ll be completely fine, whatever happens, because football has taken me more places than I could have ever imagined … it has paved the way for my education, and I’m blessed because of the game.”

kevin owens

hopes to travel the world playing professional volleyball after obtaining his degree.

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THE GUIDE // sports

SCRAP METAL SPORT A Group of Ball State Cyclists help develop a local Bike Polo League. story & photos // stephanie tarrant

illustration // krista sanford

The deindustrialized city of Munice, Ind., may not look like your typical trending hotspot. However, once you make it past Savage’s Ale House, around the potholes and over the Muncie trench that stretches the entire length of the abandoned lot, you’ll find a three-on-three crew of bike dudes swinging homemade mallets, while balancing on two wheels. The game they’re playing is called bike polo and it’s just another example of how Muncie is catching onto metropolitian trends of Midwestern cities from Bloomington to Chicago. And you won’t find these custom-built bikes riding down the streets. Their front wheels are covered with custom, neon paint jobs or political advertisement signs, the riders took from somebody’s yard to keep an oil-filled orange ball out of their spokes. Chad Copeland, a well-versed bike polo player, was riding in downtown Muncie a couple of years ago when he stumbled upon two guys attempting to play the sport haphazardly. The 26-yearold Valparaiso, Ind., native offered to join the two, bringing his know-how to the town and teaching others how to play.

16 // BALL BEARINGS

The skill required to play bike polo is more complicated than the game itself. With a shout of, “3.. 2.. 1.. polo,” players from each team joust to gain control of an oil-filled, street hockey ball in the center of the playing field, which can be any abandoned lot or court. Offensive objectives mimic those of street hockey: get the ball in the opponent’s net. Players cannot touch the ground with their feet and contact between players is limited to bike-to-bike, mallet-to-mallet and body-to-body. “The No. 1 rule of bike polo is ‘don’t be a dick,’” Copeland says. Bike polo dates back to 1891, but a group of cyclists in Seattle allegedly coined the hard court pastime in 2008, and it is now into its fifth year of holding a worldwide championship. Unfortunately for those playing in suburban cities, the sport hasn’t gained much popularity outside of the biking community. Members follow an anti-consumerist approach, which requires them to build everything themselves. You won’t find these guys sporting store-bought mallets, bikes or court equipment.

Tom Mast reaches for control of the orange, street hockey ball behind chad copeland.

Players use anything from ski sticks for mallets, to recycled parts for bike construction. A crucial part of the design is keeping the gear ratio low, around 1.2 to 1.7, so that the bike’s pick-up speed is quick. Although it won’t ever go faster than 15 mph playing the sport, riders must be able to accelerate quickly to the ball. “You can build a bike from anything. It’s a builder’s sport, and I love the fabrication,” Copeland says. Though it’s a non-traditional activity, cities like Indianapolis, Bloomington and West Lafayette, Ind., have a growing bike polo following. The Indianapolis parks department recently designated two courts at Arsenal Park for bike polo, and Lafayette held a tournament at the end of March where players from all over the state played. Last summer, a group of 10 guys hosted barbecue Friday in the empty lot on the southeast corner of Washington and High Street. And those interested in playing this summer should swing by the empty lot behind Savages around 5:30 p.m. to catch a glimpse of Muncie’s newest sport in the biking community. “I wouldn’t say it’s specific to Muncie. I’m interested in the community as a whole, going to different cities and playing against different teams and making friends. It’s the way that I’ve made some of my best friends,” Copeland says. “When it’s right, it’s a nice camaraderie.” Copeland has participated in several tournaments, but he hopes a solid Muncie team can compete together someday, after attracting more players.

Bike Breakdown One of the things about bike polo is creating your own bike. Here are some of the ways that bike polo bikes are different from regular bikes. Right handle: Straight, one-sided handlebars Nice tight geometry for the frame

As straight a fork as you can get

Low gear ratio

Wheel cover

17


THE GUIDE // fashion

“I would describe my style as boy meets girl. I have a very feminine body shape and I love contrasting that with menswear inspired pieces.”

MEET: Kayla Wiles year: senior Major: Apparel Design your style icon

Everyday women (and men). I take notice of what it is that I like about their style and then find a way to rework that idea to fit my own.

how would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as boy meets girl. I have a very feminine body shape, and I love contrasting that with menswear inspired pieces.

favorite place to shop

H&M has a lot of trendy styles and is the first place I go if I am looking for a wallet friendly version of a designer dress. If I am looking for something a little more unique, I get my thrift on at Goodwill or Rag-ORama.

go-to closet item

My pair of BDG boyfriend style jeans from Urban Outfitters

Dream clothing item

Dooney & Bourke python print bucket satchel

What makes your style unique Jacket: H&M Jeans: Urban Outfitters Top: H&M Necklace: UrbanOutfitters Shoes: TJ MAXX Bag: Target

I embrace my inner grandma. My idea of a sexy outfit usually involves a collared shirt, cardigan or a pair of mom jeans.

what fashion means to you

Fashion gives you the opportunity to continually reinvent yourself. You can change the way you and others perceive you, simply by the way you dress.

“I’ve built up my wardrobe to consist of classic pieces with modern interpretations.”

MEET: sun min lim year: junior major: public relations your style icon

I don’t have a specific style icon I look up to for what I wear, but I’m inspired by people that dress to extend who they are.

How would you describe your style?

I’ve built up my wardrobe to consist of classic pieces with modern interpretations. My hair is also a big part of my image.

Favorite place to shop

I love the thrift stores in Wicker Park in Chicago. They have durable, stylish, designer pieces for much cheaper prices.

go-to closet item

A denim jacket from Topman that I bought at Crossroads Trading Co. in Wicker Park. Whenever I wear it, it pulls my outfit together so well.

Dream clothing item/accessory

A Prada suit

What makes your style unique

I stick to staples and usually don’t follow trends. I mostly wear neutrals, but I’ll have a pop of color somewhere.

what fashion means to you

I loathe dressing down, because it is not who I am. Fashion doesn’t define anyone, but we should use clothing as a tool to help define ourselves.

Jacket: H&M Jeans: Urban Outfitters Top: H&M Necklace: UrbanOutfitters Shoes: TJ MAXX Bag: Target

story // TAYLOR PETERSON

18 // BALL BEARINGS

photos // MARIA STRAUSS

19


THE GUIDE // technology

OUR FAVORITE ADMIRERS

Dear Rachel Buck, Not only are you extremely beautiful but you are unimaginably smart. I would love to get to know you and listen to your views of the world over a cup of coffee sometime. From, A guy that sits across the room from you in your philosophy class

SeCrets, Secrets

Can Be Fun Ball State’s Secret Admirers’ Facebook page not only sparked curiosity ON CAMPUS, it also sparked love.

E

story // HAYLI GOODE ILLUSTRATION // EMILY THEIS

van Brown did not hesitate to click the webpage’s “submit” button after typing a paragraph that confessed his true feelings for a girl who was sitting across the room. The freshman psychology major was in his PHIL 100 class, listening to the sound of his professor’s voice, which was sounding more and more like Charlie Brown’s teacher. That’s when he made eye contact with a girl across the room. “She was really pretty and just all around good looking,” Brown says. I knew I wanted to talk to her, but didn’t really plan on it because I couldn’t just go up and approach her. I think this was my way of taking initiative.” Brown saw the Ball State Secret Admirers’ Facebook page as an opportunity to get his true feelings out and hoped the girl across the room would see the post.

20 // BALL BEARINGS

Her name was Rachel Buck and she was a freshman, zoology major with black and purple hair and red lipstick to match. “Honestly, in the class he posted the note, I was probably looking at the Facebook page,” Buck says. “When I first of heard of it, I thought it was really interesting and I quickly became addicted to it.” Buck continued to check the page, hoping to see her name in the address line. When she finally did, she was flattered by the sweet statement and excited about what it could bring. So she wrote her admirer back, inviting him to message her so they could meet. Buck and Brown are just two of the many students who have already connected through the Ball State Secret Admirers’ page, which was anonymously created by

two students on March 27, 2013. After seeing Indiana University’s secret admirers’ page, the students decided their own school needed one. The first day, the students were disappointed by the turnout. The next day, “the admins,” as they are referred to, were amazed by the amount of submissions they received. Overnight, the page had exploded. “At first we thought it would just be a fun thing, and it would provide some entertainment,” the admins say. “But now, we try to brighten people’s days and show just how much love exists on campus.” The anonymous students used to post everything that was submitted to the Google document, which is how the admirations are collected. However, since the page exploded to 6,115 “likes” within a week of its creation, the admins now censor what is published. “Originally, we posted everything we received, but we got some complaints about harassment, and we were threatened with expulsion if we did not take the page down,” the admins say. Ultimately, the page was taken down for about four hours and fans began to complain through social media. “We saw on Twitter and Facebook that people were upset it got taken down, so we decided to change a few things and bring it back,” the admins say. “[Now] we try to post the same general type of [uplifting] thing, and sometimes, funny

ones as well. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s all been worth it!” Anyone interested in expressing love towards Ball State or its students can submit his or her love notes to be published on the site. There is a link to the Google document near the top of the Facebook page where students can type their feelings, then hit submit. It is up to the admirer to decide exactly how anonymous he or she chooses to be, and how anonymous they choose to keep their admired. Because it goes into a Google document, the admins say even they don’t know who posts the notes. “We created the Google form using Google Drive, and once you create a form you can see the responses on a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet only shows a timestamp and the submission, so we only know when something was sent in, and not who sent it in,” the admins say. While Buck and Brown admit they are excited to meet, Brown says he will see where it goes after their first date. It could lead to one of the first relationships made possible by the page. The admins admit they had no intention of starting relationships or dates out of the site, but they’re grateful. “We really had no expectations for it at all, we weren’t thinking it would turn into something this big. So we are just so grateful every time we get a new submission or like, it truly is amazing to us!”

Dear Facebook civilians, Not to sound slutty or anything But feel free to use me whenever you’d like Love, grammar Dear admirers, We know you procrastinate by constantly refreshing this page, and we don’t blame you! It’s good stuff! But if you think you procrastinate by reading it, imagine how much time we spend procrastinating by running it! With that said, we have homework we must do, and will be leaving for the night! For future reference, we will usually stop posting around midnight every night. Once again, we post when we have free time, but we do have social lives as well, so keep that in mind! We thank you for your offers to help, but so far we are happy with the way this is working! Keep on spreading the love, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow! Sincerely, The Admins To everyone, Well after looking at this page I guess I realized that people actually pay a lot of attention to the people around them. Oh boy never wearing sweatpants again

21


insights

confessions of a font snob

bethany guyer Major: Telecommunications YEAR: Senior FUN FACT: all i want in life is to read stevie nicks’ diary Follow bethany @bethanyfarts

illustration // JENNIFER PRANDATO

22 // BALL BEARINGS

By the end of our time in college, we’ve become accustomed to lower fashion standards. We stroll into class with messy hair, sweatpants, and a face that says we’ve not yet left the REM cycle. We jot down notes as the smell of alcohol leaks from the pores of the person sitting next to us. Some straggle into class late, others never show. While this is a typical day in the life of a college student, soon we must arrive on time and in working order to a professional job with much higher standards. Perhaps the most important part of arriving to work is doing so on time, which becomes complicated when the workday begins at approximately 8 a.m. Semester after semester, that specific time of day is avoided by legions of college students. Personally, I’ve always made a conscious decision to steer clear of classes that begin before 11 a.m. Some call it laziness, but I like to think of it as smart planning. Why would anyone want to spend his or her college years waking up in the single digit hours when we have to report to work at an early hour for the rest of our lives? In addition to most professions requiring an early start time, a great deal of them also require us to make regular appearances. There’s the occasional sick day, maybe a few vacation days, and of course fleeting weekends. For the most part, though, we have to show up. This transition can be rough for college students since

we’ve become seasoned in the art of skipping class. We know which teachers don’t take attendance, when nothing is due, and when a quiz is unlikely. When any of these apply to a class we don’t want to attend, it seems obvious that the real lesson in that day’s class was realizing we should stay home. Few topics can strike fear into the hearts of college students like the mention of adulthood. Sure, we all want to graduate. But starting again from scratch? Building a career? Paying bills? That doesn’t sound like the fun and freedom of adulthood we imagined as children. Developing from a student to a full-fledged adult requires many adjustments, some more difficult than others to accept after years of the college way of life.

brandon newman pursuing master’s in: digital storytelling YEAR: graduate student FUN FACT: If i could have dinner with five people, dead or alive, they would be ellen degeneres, malcolm x, william shakespeare, kanye west and lena dunham. in that order. Follow brandon @irjerrell99

illustration // emma kate fittes

When I was younger, I was forced to make a transition. For some reason it stopped being acceptable to save Word documents on floppy discs, thanks to the newest software on the market, Microsoft Word 2001. During this troubling time, I found refuge in the font Comic Sans. Being an overtly masculine male, I often compare possessions of mine to women. Things I care for, like my car, often take on feminine pseudonyms. My favorite font is no exception. With that being said, Comic Sans MS is ‘Wifey’ as the cool kids say. She wasn’t my first, but when you’re young you’re supposed to make mistakes right? For example, the girl you swear you loved in 9th grade, but the only thing you two had in common was third period lunch. I tried seeing other fonts, but we never really connected. I fooled around with IMPACT for a while, but she was too intense. Then, I started messing around with Script MT Bold, but she was too fancy. I tried to get a serious commitment out of Jokerman, but she could never be taken seriously. There I was … an eleven-year-old excited for my first conversation on AOL IM with the cute girl from math class. XxxAshley_Nicole13xxX finally gave me her screen name during the monthly pizza party and I didn’t even have a font to set up my away message! I thought I’d never find a font, but then I saw her. Comic Sans MS is her full name but I call her Sandy. She sat there under Colonna MT looking relaxed yet ready for a challenge, whimsical but not obnoxious, strong without even clicking on the bold icon. She was perfect. Font preferences can reveal a lot about a person. I always knew about my font fondness, but didn’t realize other people thought about it too. That is until I got to college and experienced those god-awful email threads with classmates debating when and where to

meet up for the group presentation due next week. Each preferred font said something unique about the person using it. Like the girl using Garamond who was a perfectionist and only listened to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” Or the girl in the drama club whose email signature was in Broadway, as if the Helen Keller quote at the bottom of every email was meant to be sung aloud. Don’t forget the guy using Stencil whose backpack still has wheels because he swears it’s so much easier on his back. You’re in college, not Terminal C asking strangers if they think your duffle will fit in the overhead. For some reason, Comic Sans takes criticism in the world of academia. Sorry my thoughts just don’t look like MY thoughts when they’re in Times New Roman. If you don’t have a preferred font, find one and cherish it. Maybe one day you will be as happy with your font as I am with mine.

ns

growing up is hard to do

find the font that fits you

sa

you can handle the truth

s r m

o c .

c i m

23


insights

Brandon pope walks away from his sga experience with a new sense of leadership.

BEYOND the ballot

W

SGABASICS SGA is completely student run and operated. Much like our national government, the organization is comprised of three branches:

1

A STUDent’s journey through the student government elections story // Brandon pope PHOTOS // Briee Eikenberry & provided

hen I joined Cardinal United, an executive slate running for student government, I could have never imagined what would follow. In my head I envisioned talking to people, kissing a few babies, getting elected and then enacting changes on the Ball State campus. What I got was quite the opposite; a constant battle of time, my first true test of character and an experience that goes far beyond platform points. The Student Government Association at Ball State is the key agent for change at the student level. It’s completely student run. The president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and senators all work together with faculty and administration to advocate student concerns. My philosophy was simple: why lobby to SGA about issues when I could be a member of SGA and do something about it? So I looked into being a senator for the off-campus caucus. One of the initiatives I really wanted to push was the divide between off-campus and on-campus students. I also wanted to bridge divides between the Muncie community and Ball State students. With these goals in mind, I began rallying signatures, 50 to be exact, for a senator position. Every year brings a new SGA election and a new executive board of the organiza-

24 // BALL BEARINGS

tion. This includes the positions of president, the vice president who runs senate, the secretary and the treasurer. I was more in on this process than I usually would have been. People knew I was eyeing a senate seat, making them more willing to involve me in their conversations and dialogues. I had no interest in running on an SGA slate, nor did I have the time. Just the thought of running for an executive position seemed foreign to me. That was until I saw an old friend. Zeyne Guzeldereli approached me in the library with no ulterior motives. What started out as reminiscing on the horrors of morning physical conditioning class became a dialogue on policy, both nationally and here at Ball State. We ended up talking about where our university stands on issues like safety, engagement in Muncie, and the off-campus student divide. His eyes lit up. He asked me if I was joining SGA, and I told him yes, hopefully as a senator. A few months later, I found myself verbally committing to run for treasurer as a member of Cardinal United. The four of us were each assigned to come up with 20 well-researched points for the university to develop our platform. That process dominated my Christmas break. The week after winter break, we had

our first meeting as a group. In the weeks to come, we met every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night for about three hours. Debates ensued over which initiatives were most important; and individual passions collided, making some conversations heated. However, as a team, with all of our strengths coming together plus an exceptional staff of SGA veterans, we were fully equipped for an executive slate run. The first half of the campaign was the most fun. I had a blast talking with different organizations and students about their needs, concerns and what motivates them. But once the second half of campaigning kicked in, I discovered how dirty politics can get. There were a lot of emotions from supporters of all three slates. Those emotions were vocalized over Twitter and Facebook. It got nasty at times. Vitriol was especially eminent during debates. What would start out as a forum on university policy turned into personal attacks. Everything from a candidate’s appearance to the way they spoke became fodder for criticism. The emergence of “SGA Fact Check” Twitter accounts was the breaking point. These accounts claimed to fact check each slate, but in reality made unwarranted personal insults.

Then, when an SGA Fact Check account called a senator in SGA a “whore,” the elections board immediately handed down blame to Cardinal United. The reason why we were accused was never disclosed. I woke up to the news around 9 a.m. on a Wednesday. We were fined $519 and had to issue a public apology that day at senate or face elimination. The news hit me like a rock. I had never been a victim of corruption until then. I rolled back in my bed and cut off contact from the world. I have never felt lower. There was no question if we were innocent or not, I knew that we were. But in an instant, our reputations had been dragged through the mud. To be charged with these allegations without any proof or evidence, and to not have a chance to defend ourselves was an injustice. Seeing my friends take the heat for it was even worse. Suddenly, the future of Cardinal United’s campaign was the center of discussion. Was it worth staying in the race or not? After tears were shed and hugs were shared, we decided that it would be a disservice to our supporters to not keep pushing on. Somebody obviously wanted us out of this race. Dropping contention would give them their wish. We had started a transformative movement, and

2

3

EXECUTIVE It consists of the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and their appointed cabinet. This body serves as the face of the organization and a direct representation of its brand. In short, the president manages the organization. The vice president runs the senate. The secretary tracks attendance and takes minutes for the organization. The treasurer manages the organization’s extensive budget and decides where the money goes. The treasurer also handles the SGA event cosponsorship fund.

LEGISLATIVE It is comprised of senators who work together to draft legislation. The student senate has four caucases: Oncampus, Off-campus, At-Large, and Organizational. Each caucus has the task of voicing the concerns of their respective constituents. Each senator also serves on one of the six standing committees: Governmental Affairs and Student Awareness, Community and Environmental Affairs, Academic Affairs, Student Safety, Student Services and Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

JUDICIAL It enforces laws within the organization. It is comprised of a judicial court of 7 to 17 judges and three ex-officio non-voting members. Some members of this branch are appointed to the University Review Board, which reviews violations of the Code of Student Rights and Community standards.

25


insights

Malachi Randolph is a sophomore international business and Spanish major and fashion economics minor. He has recently been voted the Student Government Association president for the 20132014 school year.

What is a quote that you live by? Jeremiah 9:23-24

How do you want students to view you as SGA president? Not on a pedestal. I want them to interact with me. I don’t want to be the type of president that just goes and sits in his office all day. I want to be at their events and doing activities with them.

What is your overall goal for you and your SGA cabinet?

cardinal united

finished around 200 votes behind a spark forward in the 2013 sga election.

there was nothing that was going to bring it down as long as we had a say in it. After giving our statements to the senate, the originator of the Twitter account came forward, and our names were cleared. Going forward, we used our momentum to rally the vote. But many more challenges were presented to us. We grinded out long hours at night, hanging up posters and chalking streets off campus. One night we had to chase down people who were ripping down our campaign material and pouring water over our chalk promotion. Another night, we saw people placing their posters over ours. War had been waged. But we continued to keep it clean, honest and ethical. As the time to vote dwindled, I slowly felt that we were losing the fight. Our opposition had more people on their side, including the head of the elections board. On [February 26] … The call came in and confirmed that Cardinal United finished second, losing by a little more than 200 votes. Silence fell over

26 // BALL BEARINGS

the room. In that instant our hopes of being the next executive slate for SGA were over. The pain was immense, but the positives far outweighed the negatives of the loss. I can raise my glass to the fact that we had done everything we could. We even did things I never could have imagined, inspiring almost 2,000 people to vote. I could call the large majority of my opponents friends before the election. I can proudly say that is still the case – for the most part. Some ties have been severed because I was falsely brought up on charges of violating student code by two individuals. One is a current SGA member. The other is no longer a part of the organization, allegedly “retiring.” I was proven innocent and cleared of all charges. However, these people that dealt in the shadows have yet to be held accountable and apologize for their actions. Until they can step forward into the light, they will remain no friend of mine. Rather, they

will stand as mascots for corruption in one of the university’s most storied student programs. Going forward, I will continue to advocate for Ball State students. I don’t need a fancy executive title to make a difference on my campus. Now is no time for gridlock, rather it is a time for compromise and a time to be united. I am open to collaborating with SPARK, the winners of the 2013 SGA elections and their administration. This year’s election was historic, and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of it. Because of SGA, I received the chance to work and grow closer with truly remarkable people. We inspired a movement for tangible change and it is something I will never forget. Fortunately, I am at peace with everything that happened. There’s a silver lining in every situation, and mine is gleaming bright.

I want to see SGA brought to the middle of student organizations. Right now, I picture it as a circle and SGA is just one of those organizations in the circle. I want us to not be in full power, but for us to know what is going on. I want SGA to be something that everyone is aware of.

What qualities do you feel that all people in leadership roles should have?

You have to be approachable and personable. You can have all of the greatest leadership qualities, the beautiful look and everything, but if people can’t talk to you, you can’t lead because you can’t listen.

If you could have lunch with one world leader, who would it be and why?

TEN MINUTES WITH

malachi randolph STORY // victoria davis

5

TOP Five favorites 1. Politician Condoleezza Rice is my favorite politician because of her history of standing up for herself. Although not recognized, she was the first female and/or minority in several prominent roles, including that of Secretary of State, Stanford Provost and National Security Advisor.

2. things i can’t live without I can’t live without my toothbrush because teeth are my obsession. I can’t live without my phone because it’s my connection to all my favorite people around the world. And I can’t live without pizza because it’s my best friend when times are rough.

3. pump up song for sga “Coming Home” by Diddy

4. guilty pleasure Tic Tacs because they go with me wherever I go.

5. Dream job I would like to be a CEO of a fashion company. I basically want to be like Angela Ahrendts, the CEO of Burberry.

I would have lunch with Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, because his influence on the world is bigger than most people recognize.

What’s the worst red head joke you’ve ever heard? People throw me all types of jokes about my hair being on fire … Also, people think that you are a different race because you’re a red head.

Follow malachi on twitter @MalachiRandolph 27


FEATURES

avoiding at all costs 28 // BALL BEARINGS

As college tuition rises to an all-time high, students prove that being debt free isn’t as impossible as it seems. story // Michelle Johnson

PHOTOS // Lauren Dahlhauser

Last year’s buzz about national student loan debt hitting the $1 trillion mark left a lot of college students cringing and media moguls playing “whodunit.” “Everybody wants to point fingers at the other side,” says John McPherson, director of Scholarships and Financial Aid at Ball State. “The people on the financial aid side are saying, ‘Well, colleges are jacking up prices,’ and colleges are saying, ‘Well the aid hasn’t kept pace with the price.’ So everybody wants to point fingers, and I’m not sure who’s right and who’s wrong.” PINPOINTING THE PROBLEM Ball State has lost more than $77 million in state support in the past six years as lawmakers have shifted resources to faster-growing regional schools such as Ivy Tech and those emphasizing degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) areas. “But state financial aid funding has actually increased,” McPherson says. However, that increase has been outpaced by a growing number of students who qualify for aid. McPherson attributes a large part of the student debt situation not to a decrease in state funding, but to an influx of people applying to universities.

INFOGRAPHICS // EMMA KATE FITTES

The state issues what McPherson calls a “fixed pot of money” to be spread out among Indiana’s universities. The more students applying for funding, the less available for each student. McPherson says that in bad economic times, universities see an influx in applicants looking for retraining in technology fields after being laid off. “When you have a big explosion of people applying for financial aid like that, and most of them are eligible because they’re coming back to school because they’re unemployed, that huge explosion in the numbers is what drove down the amounts,” McPherson says. “It wasn’t a matter that the state cut funding, it was a matter that the demand was so high that they sort of had to level it out to spread across the broad numbers of people. “ McPherson also thinks students need to be more careful with their money. Many tend to dig a hole of debt for themselves by treating refund checks like paychecks. “A lot of students come in and they’ve been living with mom and dad and they have all the luxuries of home,” McPherson says. “And when they come to college, they think they have to have all of those things now. So you know at home I had my own room, I had a big screen TV, I had my cellphone, I had a car … And now I come to college and so I think I have to have all those things again.”

29


FEATURES

5

“I would tell people that any time they’re about to take out a student loan, take a breath and see if there’s an alternative way of doing it … The most adult decision you’re going to make in about a 10 year period, from the time you graduate high school... is the actual decision you make on college funding. Yet, we’re so excited about leaving home and doing those sorts of things, we’re not in the best position to make that great decision.” “Dropping out isn’t the solution, because then you’ve got debt that isn’t supported by a degree. I think it’s the most dangerous debt to have because you’ve got half a college degree and a bunch of loans. A better solution is to finish your education at a more affordable institution.” — Peter dunn

30 // BALL BEARINGS

in the United States for debt

63%

of students attending a public or private 4-year institution have student debt.

AvG. debt for different schools 30,000

$28,434 $25,667

$27,286

25,000

10,000 5,000

purdue Purdue Uuniversity niversity

15,000

$18,445

n ian Un ve

20,000

indiana I d a university i rsity

“No one wants to commute, let’s be honest, but you can decrease that cost of college by up to 50 percent by commuting from home.”

average student debt in Indiana

Indiana State Uni ersity

3 4

“When you go to college, you’re actually supposed to be broke. Don’t try to extend the lifestyle that you had here, in many instances, your parents are in the prime earning level of their career, so their habits of spending have nothing to do with the student’s lifestyle when they get to college.”

STUDENTS DITCH DEBT Dunn suggests two alternatives to digging a financial grave: A. be a commuter student or B. go to a less expensive school initially and then transfer to a school that would best support your future career. Ethan Hughes, a former Ball State student, went with option “B.” After attending Ball State for a year and borrowing about $3,000 from his parents for living expenses, Hughes was tired of not being able to support himself. He decided to leave Ball State and work until he had enough money to live on his own again. Now he works at Rascal’s Fun Zone, lives with his parents for free and hopes to continue his education at IUPUI or Franklin College in the fall. Although he misses college’s social environment, Hughes says he’s happy with his decision to take a hiatus from school and move back in with his parents. “It’s not as exciting of a life as my friends that are off at school are having, but it’s worth it,” Hughes says. “… Even though it’s going to take longer to get through school now, when I do finally finish, I’ll have a lot less money to pay back … I’ve heard stories from a lot of people that you can spend your whole life paying [loans] off. It would be one less thing to not have to worry about when life has struggles.” It took Liberty Margrett one semester at Ball State before she knew that enough was enough. After completing the Fall 2012 semester, 19-year-old Margrett sat down with her parents to total the cost of her future monthly loan repayments if she were to continue her education at a university away from home. “It was enough for a mortgage,” Margrett says. “That’s when a light bulb came on.” Margrett decided to discontinue her college career and work until she had enough money to start paying back the $10,751 she owes in loans. Most of her time is consumed by 70-hour workweeks at two part-time jobs. Although leaving school put her anxiety at ease, Margrett says that sacrificing a social life at college for a more sound financial future isn’t for everyone. “I think it’s best to find a balance you’re comfortable with,” says Margrett. “Some people are more comfortable taking risks than others. If you feel you can spend a substantial amount of money on school, then you shouldn’t feel guilty for the investment. But, if you feel that it’s too much of a gamble, you shouldn’t feel that you’re missing out.” According to the Project on Student Debt, two-thirds of college seniors who graduated in 2011 had student loan debt, with an average of $26,600 per borrower. The average Indiana graduate with college loan debt is just above this amount at $27,500 and Ball State graduates are just below the national average at $25,667.

rank: 11

$27,500

v indiana state university

1 2

“Get angry at your debt, you’ll get rid of it faster. The longer the debt drags on, the more interest you’re paying.”

Indiana debt

Ball State University

financial planner

Peter Dunn, a financial planner, radio host and author of “Avoid Student Debt” from Indianapolis, agreed that students aren’t putting proper planning into their college years. “Pete the Planner,” as he’s called on his WIBC FM radio show, strongly advises students to avoid loans at all costs, even if it means forgoing the traditional away-fromhome college experience. “I think the whole, ‘I want to go to college to find myself and figure out what I want to do,’ I think the luxury of that is kind of over,” Dunn says. “Yes, college is a four-year social experience, but at the same time, you truly, objectively cannot afford to go to hang out for a couple years until you know what you want to do.”

ball state university

Top Five tips from a

However, some find a way to do it for less. Erica Stevens graduated in three and a half years with no debt. The public relations major combined a Presidential Scholarship, grants, sacrificing a minor and working through school while getting minimal support from her parents. For Stevens, loans were never an option. Her parents warned of the dangers of debt, telling her that if she needed to take loans out for school, she should put a college education on hold. Stevens spent her summers working as a hostess and her semesters at Ball State at the Art and Journalism Building’s iLab, as a multicultural assistant for Housing and Residence Life and as a bartender at The Silo. Stevens says she struggled with money during college and her social life took a hit especially during the semester she was bartending, but that struggle is now paying off in her post-graduate years. As a fulltime paid intern for Fleishman-Hillard, a PR agency in St. Louis, Stevens isn’t experiencing the same financial stress that her friends are. “Being debt-free opens a lot of doors because I love my major but I need time to figure out exactly what I want to do,” Stevens says. “I don’t have this huge pressure to get a full-time job out of school. It allows me to move wherever I want and I’m not really worried about that financial burden.” THE BIGGER PICTURE Although $1 trillion sounds like a lot, McPherson and Dunn agree that the student debt crisis is just a small chunk of a larger national debt deficit.

source: projectonstudentdebt.org

“A trillion dollars in loan debt is one thing, but really we have a whole lot of national issues that I think our federal congressman should be focusing on,” McPherson says. Dunn thinks that taking control of finances early is the best way to avoid the slippery slope of student debt. But he says the real way to avoid student debt is to change how we look at it. “At some point in our American history, we stopped saying, ‘Can we afford it?’ and instead we just afford anything and then figure it out later,” Dunn says. “We do that with our consumer habits, with our mortgages, with our credit, but it starts when you’re 18, as a student.” For many students, the daunting nature of debt may leave them contemplating whether or not four years in higher education is worth the price tag, especially when their colleagues’ degrees are collecting dust while they work at minimum-wage barista jobs to survive after graduation. McPherson thinks it’s best to look at the long-term benefits of having a college degree, rather than the short-term financial struggles. “If people are borrowing at Ball State, you know what are they borrowing? $25,600 — that’s about the cost of a car,” McPherson says. “So, you can go out and buy a car, which is going to be dead in 10 years, or you can go out and spend that same money on an education, which is going to benefit you for a lifetime. I think that’s the perspective that people have to focus on, because yeah, it’s a lot of money to get an education, but look at the end result.”

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FEATURES

not just a

poor person’s

problem

L

Poverty awareness year is tackling economic issues by educating the community on how they can help the impoverished around them.

story // sara nahrwold

has a bachelor’s degree, but she’s also one of the 500 people who rely on the muncie harvest soup kitchen for food.

PHOTOS // Maris Schiess

ori Wright waits in line Thursday morning at the Harvest Soup Kitchen for a hot meal, never imagining she would be in this situation. She has been coming about twice a week since she lost her job in December. As a certified mental health technician, Wright is a rare sight at the soup kitchen. After working in Florida, she came back to Indiana, where she lived and worked for more than 20 years. But her career took an unforeseen turn. Suddenly, Wright found herself without a job, money or a home. Wright uses public transportation to get to the kitchen, but a one-day pass on the MITS bus costs $1 and being unemployed makes paying that fee all the more difficult. According to Wright, this loss of income even made groceries a questionable expense. “I’m at the mercy of soup kitchens and food pantries,” she says. She constantly worries if she was going to have enough to make it.

32 // BALL BEARINGS

lori wright

“I felt myself cutting back on a meal so I had enough for my next meal,” she says. “It can happen to anybody. It doesn’t matter your education level, how old you are … things happen.” Relying on soup kitchens to stretch that extra dollar for meals is a reality for the growing number of those living in poverty in Delaware County. Loretta Parson, director of Harvest Soup Kitchen, sees this reality firsthand nearly every day of the week. With employment scarce in the area, about 100 people a day, 400 to 500 people per week, walk through the doors of the kitchen on E. Charles St. in downtown Muncie, Ind. At the end of the month, during breaks and on holidays those numbers increase. “They feed themselves for a day or two, and it helps them maybe pay another bill,” Parson says. In 2000, 14.3 percent of Muncie families lived below the poverty line, according to an American Community Survey, which is done through the Census Bureau. In 2011, that number rose to 19.7 percent, with the

official poverty rate at 15 percent for the United States. There were 46.2 million people in poverty in 2011. Those in poverty are reminded every day of their need for basic necessities, but it’s the people who aren’t in poverty who are being targeted to participate in Delaware County’s 2013 nonprofit initiative, “Poverty Awareness Year,” to help those who are less fortunate. In March 2012, TEAMwork for Quality Living, a local organization aimed at empowering people in poverty toward self-sufficiency, created a poverty awareness week. Around 766 people participated in the 30 different events and activities offered during the week. Although these events were successful, Molly Flodder, TEAMwork’s executive director, wanted to expand the week into a year so they could include more events and get more people involved. These educational events are designed to help community members learn how to care for their impoverished neighbors. Though Muncie resident Mary Mordue does not live in poverty, she participates in the Poverty Awareness Year events. Mordue, a Delaware County resident of 13 years,

“AS THE PROBLEM OF POVERTY CONTINUES TO GROW IN COMMUNITIES, WE CAN’T PUT OFF THE NEED TO LOOK AT IT.” -MOLLY FLODDER

33


FEATURES

Poverty and Median Houshold Income bsu student KIYA DUES uses

her passion for nutrition to teach those in poverty how to cook on a budget.

2007

2010

2008

2011

Poverty Level 20.3%, MHI 29,952

Poverty Level 19.4%, MHI 29,041

Poverty Level 19.7%, MHI 29,881

Poverty Level19.7%, MHI 30,200

2009

Poverty Level 20.6%, MHI 28,662

has always seen poverty as a persistent problem in this community. And the numbers show that it has only grown in the last 5-10 years. “I think as the problem of poverty continues to grow in communities, we can’t put off the need to look at it,” Flodder says. “The sooner people who are in traditional community leadership roles wake up and realize the impact of poverty on the well-being of the community, the better.” Throughout 2013, poverty awareness events and workshops will continue, with each month having a specific theme. For example, March was “Poverty and Nutrition” month. Working off this theme, TEAMwork and other organizations teamed up to host Cook for a Cause, an event that focused on teaching others how to cook with just a few simple grocery store items, such as soup and beans. Participants also learned nutritional and food safety techniques. “To actually look out and see how unhealthy people are eating and to try and change that is something I’m

34 // BALL BEARINGS

interested in doing but didn’t really know how to get started,” says Mordue, who participated in the cooking workshop. “The best thing this program is going to do for me is give me a framework.” After attending Cook for a Cause, participants were encouraged to host their own cooking sessions, to teach those in poverty them how to make healthy, budget-friendly meals. Ball State freshman dietetics major, Kiya Dues, volunteered at the Cook for a Cause event to get plugged into the real issues behind poverty. She helped lead a handful of community cooking enthusiasts by making a simple meal, explaining food label percentages on a can of soup and suggesting different spices to add to the skillet meal. She hopes to take what she learned and apply it to her own cooking session out in the community this year. “I think it’s a really good opportunity to tell people in the poor community how to eat and what to eat

and cheap ways to get your food,” Dues says. While she has only been a Ball State student less than a year, Dues recognizes the poverty in the surrounding area. “I’ve heard about it, but Ball State is kind of a bubble,” she says. “This year I have been volunteering, and my eyes are getting opened up.” Flodder says that events like this are important because they help the community understand poverty and learn different ways to fight it. “They are a way to mobilize people who are typically not involved in these situations,” she says. “Poverty is something that will never end unless it becomes a priority for all of us.” Organizations like Second Harvest Food Bank are also aiding in the fight against poverty. Currently serving a poverty population of about 16,000, the food bank advocates for those in need and educates the local poverty issues. Tim Kean, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank, says that a short-

age of food in Delaware County is not the reason a growing number of people are hungry. Wright also encourages community members to take action against the problem growing in their backyards. “We thought of poverty as a third world nation problem but it’s not, it’s right here,” Wright says. “People need to pay attention, open their eyes and reach out a hand. Don’t be so greedy.” Despite living in poverty, she proudly says she has set goals for herself and won’t give up on them because of her situation. Eventually, she hopes to return to school and get a master’s degree. Dressed casually in blue jeans and a pullover sweatshirt, Wright finishes her coffee and is ready to be busy for the day to stay motivated. “I’m a survivor, I’m a fighter,” she says. “Things happen and I can get through this. It may take me awhile, but I’ll come out of it.”

35


FEATURES

HIGHER

EDUCATION with a

creative

TWIST Learn how to spice up your degree and graduate with an unforgettable experience story // Aiste Manfredini

36 // BALL BEARINGS

PHOTOS // Maris Schiess

I

n this fast-paced, go-getter society, completing the core curriculum is no longer enough for college students to make it in the real world. Employers look for college graduates who have not only succeeded academically, but have also contributed to activities outside the classroom. When we’re told to participate in extracurricular activities, we automatically think: student organizations or intramural sports. But there are also ways to enhance your college experience by taking classes outside your major. “The truest education is the kind you do on your own,” says Kathlyn Kenninson, Director of the E.B. and Bertha C. Ball Center. Taking a step outside of the traditional classroom setting and allowing yourself to enroll in a provoking, independent learning course at the Ball Center. It all started with Mr. Edmund Burke Ball – one of the five cordial brothers who founded what is now the Ball Corporation. Once E.B. Ball married Miss Bertha Crosley of Indianapolis, the couple built their home overlooking the White River between 1905 and 1907. That home is not the site of the Ball Center. In 1977, the Ball Center opened as an academic building at Ball State. The center’s mission is to provide stimulating, intellectual opportunities at Ball State and in East Central Indiana communities through programs, lectures, classes, seminars, workshops, etc., that are presented in an informal learning environment. Each non-credit course offered by the Ball Center is unique in its own way and provides knowledge that students will carry with them for the rest of their lives. You may think, “I don’t have time for courses that won’t

VISIT THE BALL CENTER: 3401 West University Muncie, IN 47304

count as credit,” but you have to go beyond that and see it as a rare educational opportunity that could make you stand out amongst your peers to potential employers. The Ball Center helps students get a more conceptual understanding of the content that they are learning in these non-traditional classes, as opposed to memorizing material for a test, when it could easily be forgotten in the years to come. “The highlight of a higher education is that you’re supposed to get a curious interest in the world,” Dr. Bohanon says. These classes will not only teach you a unique combination of skills, but most importantly, will build your analytical and communication abilities – which is exactly what employers are looking for in job seekers today.

“THE HIGHLIGHT OF HIGHER EDUCATION IS THAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO GET A CURIOUS INTEREST IN THE WORLD.” -DR. CeCIL BOHANON, BALL STATE PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS

37


FEATURES

check out these classes SUMMER SONGS

Instructor: Dale Basham Thursdays, May Starting Date to be Announced, 7-9 p.m.  Cost: $125

Ever wanted to have a moment in the spotlight? Basham will be joined by his singing partner of 25 years, Rebecca Bly. Together they will prepare their students for a premier performance at Vera Mae’s Bistro on July 4. A Taste of Calligraphy

Instructor: Paula Sullivan Friday, April 26, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Cost: $50 (includes lunch)

With a few tools and a bit of patient practice, you’ll be on your way to learning the basics of calligraphy lettering. This sophisticated art will teach you the foundation and knowledge using several letter styles such as Celtic and Old English. Writing Your Memoirs

Instructor: Paula Sullivan Friday, May 31, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Cost: $50 (includes lunch)

“What did I used to be, and how did I get there?” These are some questions to ask when leaving a permanent record of your life. Even if it’s heartfelt or just plain embarrassing, you will write a memoir in your own words creating a written heirloom for others to enjoy. Painting Plein-ly and Loving the Experience Instructor: Ann Johnson Friday, June 7, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Cost: $50 (includes lunch)

There is something about painting outside while looking at a spectacular landscape. Everything is alive and your painting will be also. Come learn how to paint not all of what you see, but also what it means to you. High Noon Critical Readers instructor: Nacy lindley cost: $12

Love to read but can’t make up your mind on what book to choose next? Join a book club! The Critical Readers meet monthly on the third Wednesday at 12 p.m. Books for discussion are: April 17 – Vessel of Sadness by William Woodruff May 15 – Flight of Passage by Rinker Buck

38 // BALL BEARINGS

These classes require no extra cost for students: AHS 290 - Asian Art (3 Credits) Explore the eye-opening and diverse world of art and architecture in Asia. From the prehistoric era to the advent of the industrial era, this class emphasizes characteristic forms, techniques, and art theory in the context of developments in society and religion. SUST 250 - Intro to Sustainable Development (3 Credits) Keep calm and think GREEN. Discover the values that frame decision making for maintaining systems elements for setting natural, human/social and economic sustainable development goals. Contact Professor Vann for more information at jvann@bsu.edu CANADIAN STUDIES (CANS) 150 Canada: Cultural Crossroads (3 Credits) Ever wonder what Canada’s all about? Discover the geography, history, government, economy, literature, art and music defining Canada’s individuality and international heritage. WGS 220 - International Women’s Issues (3 Credits) Are you an advocate for women’s rights? This course will focus on investigating women’s experiences in non-Western culture and help you better understand the importance of empowering women around the world. ANTH 451 - Witchcraft, Magic, and Religion (3 Credits) This may not be equivalent to your typical acceptance letter to Hogwarts, but it will certainly teach you about the human attempts to control life through supernatural beings, prayer, sacrifice, and techniques of magic and witchcraft.

Muncie Action Plan (MAP): Moving Beyond the Rust Belt Mentality Tuesday, May 7, 10-11:30 a.m. Presenter: Ginny Nilles free, Reservations Required

Listen to Ginny Nilles, director of the Muncie Public Library and co-chair of the MAP Board of Directors, discuss the effects of the Muncie Action Plan on the community. Magna Cum Murder Crime Writing Festival

October 25-27, 2013 Cost: $250 (for the full weekend); daily registration or single-event registrations available.

DANC 121 - Introduction to Modern Dance 2 (1 Credit) Freedom of expression is a powerful thing – especially while traveling the dance floor. Learn how to emphasize alignment, phrasing, body awareness through space, vocabulary, musicality and performance skills. Contact Sara Yanney-Chantanasombut at sryanneychan@bsu.edu for more information. PSYS 277 - Psychology of Sexual Behavior (3 Credits) If you have a curiosity for human sexual behavior, then this might be the class for you. Not only will it focus on the development of sexual identity and attitudes but it might help you better understand your significant other’s complex behavior.

Beginning Genealogy

FCFA 101 - Dimensions of Clothing (3 Credits) Creative? Have an eye for detail? Learn how to analyze style and adornment while emphasizing dimensions that affect the design and end uses of textiles and clothing.

Ever wonder where your family came from? Find your ancestry by taking this three-day course that will cover valuable resources and aid you in researching your family history.

CJC 312 - Victimology (3 Credits) Ever wonder what happened to the many forgotten victims of crime? Discover the criminological examination of victims including victims’ reactions and criminal justice reports.

Tuesdays, April 9, 16, 23; 10-11 a.m. Presenter: Jack Carmichael free for students – Reservations Required

the fair trade business model

If you’re a lover of crime writing or reading, come enjoy this year’s festival at the historic Columbia Club on Monument Circle, Indianapolis. Writers and readers from all over the U.S., and some abroad, will come together for a weekend of exciting panels and discussions.

aims to give every worker a fair wage for their labor.

UNEQUAL EXCHANGE Consumers play a large role in the global economy, but do they play a role in the modern slave trade? Story // Dan Carpenter rom coffee to sweatpants, bananas to shoes, chocolate to cosmetics, or jewelry to soccer balls, there is a person behind every price tag, and everything can be traced back to the hands that made it. Dollar signs aside, there is a growing disparity between global companies and their employees — an injustice otherwise known as the modern slave trade. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), more than 80 percent of the world’s countries identify as being affected by the modern slave trade. And the United Nations estimates that the slave trade brings in $31.6 billion of profit every year, with industrialized economies responsible for generating 49 percent of that income. From spending long hours on a farm to being trapped within claustrophobic textile mills, the men, women and children who are forced to work for little compensation make up the backbone of this mistreated labor force.

photos // fair trade usa & Ben Dehr The global economy is built upon misplaced value. Instead of placing value on the producer of a certain good and their well being, value is placed upon the result and the profit. If prices are low and demand is high, then the producer and the consumer is happy. But this need for fast, efficient and cheap products has only increased demand and continues to fuel the slave trade. Local companies like the Downtown Farm Stand are aligned with the international fair trade campaign and are fighting for a fairer wage, worldwide. Between lobbying, raising awareness and helping businesses adapt an alternative business model, fair trade “contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, disadvantaged producers and workers,” as defined by four European Fair Trade Organizations (FTOs).

39


ENRICH

comparing companies & their fair trade grades

visit the downtown farm stand: 125 E. Main St. muncie, in 47305

Dave Ring and his wife, Sara Ring are local, organic farmers and owners of the Downtown Farm Stand in downtown Muncie, use a fair trade model to run their business where they actually interact with each of their producers face-toface. However, if there are any fair trade products that they cannot get within the U.S. like coffee, tea, tropical fruit, and cocoa, Dave ensures that he purchases it from another fair trade certified producer. “We like fair trade products because it ensures there is a monitoring system in place. I can’t go down to Guatemala, but I know the producers are getting a fair wage,” Dave says. Although this kind of loyalty and personal commitment involves a great deal of work and communication, Dave says it is worth the extra effort to know that everyone involved in the process receives a wage they can live off of. “It puts more money in the producer’s pocket and ensures that they’re getting a fair wage, and in the end, builds the food system,” Dave says. A relationship built on the well-being of both the producer and consumer results in various forms of growth. With more money in their pockets, producers can sustain their business, provide for their family and develop the quality and efficiency of their operations. Fair trade is unique because it acts as an advocate for the producer, while also functioning as a tool for local and international community development. According to Parker Townley, the National Organizer for Fair Trade Colleges and Universities, Fair Trade USA and similar organizations have enabled fair trade certified farmers to earn $77 million in community development premiums since 1998. Over the years, that money has been used for community-elected development projects in areas such as healthcare, education, environment, business management and the improvement of quality and productivity. Despite the strides made by the fair trade movement in the last several years, the World Bank estimates that more than 2 billion people live on less than $2 a day. The fair trade effort to shrink that number is merely a drop in the bucket; there is

40 // BALL BEARINGS

still a significant amount of work ahead. Ultimately, collaboration among governments and corporations play a large role in ensuring that producers around the globe are treated fairly and the slave trade is abolished. But according to Grace Sharritt, a member of Free the Slaves and the Social Justice League on Ball State’s campus, change starts with the consumer. And for Sharritt, her passion for fair trade started when she was 17 years old. After listening to a speaker from the human rights organization, Stop the Traffic, she decided, “I am going to learn as much as I can about this.” After doing extensive research she quickly learned that buying fair trade chocolate was an impactful first step in ending slavery. Now she and fiancé Chris Kozak, along with Free the Slaves and IJM, are petitioning to get Ball State Dining to start selling fair trade chocolate on campus in order to raise awareness of conscious consumerism. They believe that with a global market that is dependent upon supply and demand, consumers are in a critical position to greatly alter supply chains and production. This is what fair trade also focuses on: developing a conscious consumer. “How I choose to spend my money as a consumer is a pretty powerful thing,” Sharritt says. Kozak, agrees. “It may not matter right now, but I’m going to start right now,” Kozak says. “Maybe twenty years down the road there’s going to be one million people, or five million people, or 100 million people who think the same way I do because a friend of mine saw me not shopping at Walmart and asked why.” Kozak, Sharritt and the Rings believe that taking small steps to enact change is effective. Simple steps may include consumers reevaluating their purchasing patterns, shopping at stores like the Farm Stand, getting involved with anti-trafficking groups on campus, learning to live with less and seeking to get informed about how they can make an impact. This year, World Fair Trade Day falls on May 11. For a full list of fair trade certified places and products, visit http:// www.fairtradeusa.org/products-partners.

The following grades measure the use of slave labor in the supply chains of major brand name companies. More specifically, each grade is based upon the evaluation of four categories within any given brand: Policies, Transparency and Traceability, Monitoring and Training and Workers’ Rights. For more detailed information on brand evaluation, visit www.free2work.org. Apparel h&M (b+) // express (D)

Jewelry American Eagle (B) // Jared (D-)

Chocolate Divine Chocolate (A) // Godiva (D-)

Shoes ADIDAS (b+) // Forever 21 (D-)

Electronics Kindle (D) // Leap Frog (D-)

Toys Lego (B) // My Pillow Pets (F)

by the numbers //

27,000,000

approximate number of people in modern-day slavery

14.2 million

people who are victims of forced labor exploitation in areas like agriculture, construction and

manufacturing

$32 billion

total annual profits generated by the slave trade

800,000

people trafficked across international borders every year

$13,000

amount generated on average by each forced laborer annually

61

countries affected by human trafficking and the slave trade

$30 price of a slave on average

source: polaris project

41


IN FOCUS

URBAN DECAY PHOTOS // ball bearings staff

clockwise from top:

A “Keep Out” sign is seen hanging haphazardly on the stoop of an abandoned house off of East Main Street. // BENJAMIN DEHR Broken glass and smashed paneling spontaneously spread throughout the depths of an old Elementary school on County Rd. 500 N. // briee eikenberry an abandoned automotive factory in michigan has been vandalized by locals. // gina portolese This vacant hospital is located in the heart of blackford county. it has been sitting empty for 10 years, since a new one was constructed.. // c. mead jackson

42 // BALL BEARINGS

43


News At Your

illustration // annie gonzalez

Fingertips


BALL BEARINGS volume 4 // issue 4 // summer 2013

ball state’s

athletes go pro the student debt crisis get your festival on

download ball bearings on the ipad.


Volume 4 >> Issue 4