Barometer The Daily
FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012 • OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY CORVALLIS, OREGON 97331
VOLUME CXV, NUMBER 137
8 – Baseball team in Pullman to face Cougars
SOFTBALL: Beavers begin postseason today.
4 – Yea to knowing what’s on 4
How banks make money off of credit cards
Getting jiggy with it
Banks, credit card companies charge fees, interest to make money from credit cards By Gabriella Morrongiello The Daily Barometer
Left, below John zhang, above Joce DeWitt
| THE DAILY BAROMETER
The Memorial Union Quad was a happening place yesterday. As part of a national day of action for student debt, students protested the $1 trillion now owed for student debt. In an unrelated event, the Hip Hop Student Association demonstrated its break dancing skills as well.
Dude, where can I park my car? n
Parking services looking at different options for improving parking on campus By Alex Hilborn
The Daily Barometer
Recently the university completed a routine transportation and parking survey that will help university entities to ensure improvements in the locomotion of people in and around campus. “We are working right now on a collaborative effort, the city and OSU, to manage a better flow of transportation to and from campus,” said Dawn Thomason, associate director of Administrative Services and Transit & Parking Services. “We just completed a parking survey. We
do one every year.” As part of the university and the city’s collaboration project, the neighborhood parking and traffic mitigation work group looks into ways to optimize transportation and parking within the community so that the expansion of OSU does not generate unwanted congestion. According to Thomason and Hank Kemper, operation supervisor of TAPS, the survey conducted on transportation and parking remains too fresh to reveal any concrete details that will come from the findings, but the two say plans to improve parking on campus have top priority. For some time the university has looked into ways to improve shuttle routes on campus to maximize
Photo illustration by Vinay Bikkina
| THE DAILY BAROMETER
For some, finding a spot on campus may be a difficult task, and will prove to be harder as spots in the middle of campus decrease.
efficiency, so that people parking further away from the campus core could still reach their classes without having to park within proximity. The university plans to eventually introduce a third shuttle route on campus, but the ideal path of travel for the shuttle still needs determining. Thomason said the university also hopes to improve route signage to make using the shuttle system easier for riders. Installing additional parking, in the form of a parking garage structure on the north side of campus, remains a possibility in the far off future, if parking needs at the university rise to a level that warrants the construction. This would put more parking closer to classrooms and offices to meet student and faculty demand. According to Kemper, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance gets full consideration in any plan the university undertakes and a fail safe exists in the university’s current development plan to indicate when structural changes should occur. “We are very aware campus is going to be growing and could very rapidly,” Kemper said. “We will be doing anything we can to help with the cultural shift.” As the university population blooms, OSU plans on looking into ways to encourage people to use more “green” alternatives to travel around the community. Measures to promote more people to walk, ride bikes or use public transportation could include aggregating student housing closer to campus and using incentive policies to get people to make these lifestyle changes. “I live a mile from campus. It’s cheaper, especially when gas is four
dollars a gallon,” said Travis Moore, a post baccalaureate student in food science, about how he always rides his bike to school. “Plus it’s more convenient than driving; I never have to look for parking. I can just pull right up to outside my classes.” For students who do not live close enough to campus to utilize alternative transportation, finding ideal parking can still cause problems. “I don’t have a parking pass and it takes lots of time to hunt for a space,” said Jayne Lack, a sophomore in graphic design. “I wish I had more options.” Lack indicated the cost of a parking permit as the reason she chooses not to buy one. Parking close to the core of campus will soon turn into more of a challenge for students who do not have a parking pass, because one of the biggest centers of metered parking, the Memorial Union parking lot, will soon disappear as the Student Experience Center gets constructed on the site this summer. Metered or limited-time parking will follow the Beaver Bookstore to its new location by the parking garage. Thomason and Kemper encourage students who have a hard time finding parking to try using the under utilized parking spaces found near Reser Stadium or in the parking garage. “I feel like it’s not an issue if you aren’t picky or don’t care,” said Hannah Raines, a senior in biochemistry/biophysics and Spanish. “I mean if you have problems just go to the parking garage. I’ve never seen it more than half full.” Alex Hilborn, reporter
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PART TWO OF TWO Credit cards remain a mystery to many individuals. While it is assumed by many that credit card companies earn revenue based solely on interest paid by consumers, truth be told there’s a lot more that brings companies such sizable benefits. Many know that Mastercard and Visa show up on banking cards from Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase, and that if not paid off one will then be charged an interest rate on the balance of their card. Often times an individual will come across hidden fees in their billing statement. But where does all this money go? Let’s look at Bank of America. Bank of America bears the risk that customers won’t pay their monthly balance, so they set interest rates and fees. If one doesn’t pay off the balance, then Bank of America begins to bring in the wealth. But what if you’re the responsible individual who sensibly pays off their card every month? Does that mean Bank of America fails to make any money off of you? Of course not. These companies will squeeze in revenue by charging fees, soliciting warranties and advocating additional identity theft protection packages. According to CreditCards.com, the nine largest credit card issuers earned a combined profit of about $3.85 billion in 2010 from a total of more than 1 billion issued cards. Evidently, the credit card industry is doing a fine job at making money, even through their most responsible customers. In order to really comprehend how credit card companies make money, one must first factor in all the players. There’s the credit card company (like Mastercard), the customer, the credit card issuer (Capital One), the merchant (say Qdoba for instance) and the merchant’s bank (Wells Fargo). You’re heading to Qdoba to pick up a late-night burrito with some friends and the total bill comes to $8. You hand over your Capital One Mastercard and the cashier swipes the card. In the blink of an eye Qdoba has their money and you have your stuff. But what just happened? In a matter of seconds, the card reader recognized who you were and contacted Capital One. Capital One sent $8 to Wells Fargo (Qdoba’s bank) and Wells Fargo added the $8 to Qdoba’s merchant account. Capital One then increased the balance of your credit card by $8. So it should be obvious how all of them made money, but what about Mastercard? Companies like Mastercard and Visa are “retail network managers”. Betty Riess, senior vice president of Bank of America in the San Francisco Bay Area, explained it like this, “If all the other participants are driving down the highway to make these transactions, Mastercard is the paved road. Like a toll road, you have to pay to play.” The way this works in the example is Wells Fargo won’t give Qdoba the full $8, they’ll subtract 20 cents and give Qdoba $7.80. In other words, for an $8 purchase Capital One charges your account $8, but only gives $7.80 to Qdoba via Wells Fargo. That See CREDIT CARDS | page 3
2• Friday, May 18, 2012
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Barometer Student Leadership Spotlight: Alyssa Hersh The Daily
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Throughout the process of interviewing candidates for the SLI Leadership Spotlight, I have heard many different interpretations for the definition of leadership. Alyssa Hersh’s stood out. “To me, leadership is striving to create positive change for an individual, community or culture,” said Hersh. Typically, individuals discuss the change that can be made for a community or the change they foster within themselves, but it is rare to hear about broader groups. “One person can only do so much,” Hersh said. “But if they can motivate a small group of individuals to act then those individuals will inspire others.” She’s dead-on there — she has seen it before. Hersh has
travelled internationally to Argentina and Mexico with plans to go to Ecuador this summer. She has seen a modest way of life outside of American culture and feels directly impacted by the solemn efforts of individuals whose concern is the ability to put food on the table. It is perhaps these experiences that have inspired her work at the Community Outreach Medical Clinic, a center for uninsured patients. Hersh has prepared patient work such as medical charts and translated for unilingual Hispanic patients for the better part of two years. Hersh wants to help people. She aspires to go to medical school and practice medicine. She is currently majoring in public health with minors in Spanish and
chemistry. She works hard to supplement her resume. Hersh participates in the Undergraduate Research Awards Program with Project Respect, a behavioral intervention for various sexually transmitted infections. She has also served as a Public Relations officer for both FACEAIDS and SCREEN, advocacy groups concerned with the spread of venereal disease and infection. Hersh must be intrinsically motivated, because her resume continues on in this fashion. Volunteer work for St. Vincent’s hospital and the OSU Blood Drive fits neatly alongside awards such as a 2012 Wellsgate Scholar Award and a 2011 Health and Human Sciences Scholarship. Hersh is also a member of two honors societies, Phi Kappa Phi and
OSU Mortar Board. Alyssa’s GPA, 3.78, demonstrates that she is somehow able to exceed academically despite these extracurricular achievements and investments. How she finds time to be an academic coach at the Academic Success Center is a curiosity; how she finds time to be the president of her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, is phenomenal. When asked about how she manages it all, Hersh said, “In any experience in life, you will get out of it what you put into it.” She is a leader of tremendous energy and the impact she has left upon those with whom she works is probably greater than she even imagines. Nate Bodie Student Leadership and Involvement
Voluntary Student Organization Spotlight:
ence back to OSU to further his skills by teaching others. One of the organization’s overarching goals is to educate the community about the realities of historical combat, and there is no better opportunity to learn about this historical art than through hands-on studying and practice. Aside from their weekly training sessions, the HFS has held a seminar on the role of sword fighting in medieval society with Dr. Lisa Sarasohn. They have the intentions of holding an additional seminar with a local sword master, if the club can get funding. HFS also hopes to arrange some demonstrations or performances to showcase western martial arts. Current meetings are held on Mondays at 8:30 p.m. at the backstop of the intramural field across from Dixon Recreational Center or if the weather does not permit, meeting locations will be in the Dixon
Not Track” will not require the government to compile a list, unlike the “Do Not Call Registry, which allows consumers to opt out of receiving telemarketing calls. The FTC has not voted yet on whether to fully support ‘Do Not Track.’ Despite not officially supporting the feature, the FTC was pleased with Twitter’s decision. “Twitter’s use of ‘Do Not Track’ in its new feature is good news for Twitter users and a meaningful step toward broader adoption of a strong ‘Do Not Track’ system that will give consumers simple, comprehensive control over online tracking,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “Hopefully other companies will follow suit.” Twitter was quick to praise the FTC’s comments. “We applaud the FTC’s leadership on ‘Do Not Track,’ and are excited to provide the benefits of ‘Do Not Track’,” Robert
Events Music Department, Noon, MU Lounge. Music å la Carte, featuring Toby Oft, principal trombone of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and OSU’s Jay Chen on trumpet. Free noontime concert open to all.
Saturday, May 19 Events Native American Student Association, 1-10pm, Gill Coliseum. 36th Annual OSU Klatowa Eena Powwow, Grand Entry 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Native American Student Association, 10am, Native American Longhouse, 311 SW 26th St. Jim Thorpe’s Dash for Diabetes 5k Fun Run. Free diabetes screening by Student Health Services.
Sunday, May 20 Events Native American Student Association, 1-5pm, Gill Coliseum. 36th Annual OSU Klatowa Eena Powwow, Grand Entry 1 p.m.
Tuesday, May 22 Meetings ASOSU Senate, 7pm, MU 109A. Convenes to discuss student issues. Students and student organization delegates are welcome to attend. Center for Leadership Development, 4:30-5pm, MU Council Room. Officer Transition Series: Join student leaders at OSU for workshops on officer transitions. ASOSU, 5-6:30pm, MU 109. ASOSU Town Hall: An open forum to come and get your opinions on ASOSU heard!
lobby. Meetings have the intentions of practicing the sword fighting techniques as well as learning the historical aspects of the archival combat. HFS welcomes all participants to their training sessions. Boston, as well as other members, is prepared to teach new members the basics of 13th – 18th century fencing. For more information or general questions regarding this organization, contact email@example.com, or visit their Facebook page Fencing at Oregon State. If you have a suggestion for a Voluntary Student Organization that should be spotlighted, let us know. Stop by the Student Events & Activities Center (MU 103) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Edward Pham
Peer Leadership Consultant Student Leadership and Involvement
Twitter joins ‘Do Not Track,’ gives users privacy option A Federal Trade Commission official announced that Twitter users will be able block personal data from being shared with third-party websites. The announcement came at an Internet privacy forum in New York, where FTC Chief Technology Officer Ed Felten announced the micro-blogging and social media service is participating in “Do Not Track,” the Internet privacy feature launched last year by Mozilla for users of its Firefox web browser. “Do Not Track” allows users to block third-party cookies, which are used to piece together Internet users’ personal information and online activity. To opt into the service on Twitter, users must select the “Do Not Track” feature within the Firefox browser. Other top web browsers, including Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, have similar features. According to the FTC, “Do
Friday, May 18
Historical Fencing Society Have you ever seen people wielding long weapons, moving so gracefully yet striking so lethally? What type of fighting encompasses such nimble and hardhitting techniques, you wonder? Well, for starters, you should know these techniques were used in Europe from the 13th through 18th century, where a special focus on sword fighting along with a vast collection of arms was used. This fighting style makes up historical fencing and here at Oregon State University, the Historical Fencing Society (HFS) allows members to study and practice these elegant fighting techniques. David Boston first got the idea to start this club after his opportunity to study abroad in Germany, where he was a part of a similar club. With his passion for fencing and sword fighting, he decided to bring his knowledge and experi-
Weeks, a Twitter spokesman, told CNN. The move comes at a pivotal time for Internet privacy rule-making. The Commerce Department and the White House have been working to determine what role federal regulations will play in protecting web users’ privacy. In February, White House and Commerce Department officials met with Internet industry leaders to discuss Washington’s role in protecting private data on the web. President Barack Obama said at the time, “American consumers can’t wait any longer for clear rules of the road that ensure their personal information is safe online.” Companies are increasingly facing scrutiny over how they protect personal information gathered online. Two companies feeling heat over their privacy policies have been Internet giants Facebook and Google.
Facebook depends on advertising revenue generated from games and other thirdparty apps running on the site. User activity is tracked to help Facebook pick targeted advertisers for the users. Google’s business model is similar. Both companies have recently faced a groundswell of anger when they announced major changes to their privacy policies. A Federal Trade Commission official announced that Twitter users will be able block personal data from being shared with third-party websites. The announcement came at an Internet privacy forum in New York, where FTC Chief Technology Officer Ed Felten announced the micro-blogging and social media service is participating in “Do Not Track,” the Internet privacy feature launched last year by Mozilla for users of its Firefox web browser. — CNN
Wednesday, May 23 Meetings ASOSU House of Representatives, 7pm, MU 211. Convenes to discuss student issues and concerns. Students and student organization delegates are welcome to attend. Vegans and Vegetarians at OSU, 5:30pm, 330 NW 23rd St. All are welcome to potluck-style meetings where we share recipes and have great conversation.
Events Latter-Day Saint Student Association, 7:30pm, MU Journey Room. Outreach: Presenting the movie “Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration” Women’s Center, Women’s Studies, Office of Equity & Inclusion, Memorial Union, 4pm, MU 109. “After the Silence”: a story of inspiration for anyone whose life has been touched by the horror of domestic or interpersonal violence. Peggie Reyna (with interpreter), the social worker on whom the film is based will answer questions. Representatives will be available from CARDV and CAPS.
Tuesday, May 29 Meetings ASOSU Senate, 7pm, MU 109A. Convenes to discuss student issues. Students and student organization delegates are welcome to attend.
Wednesday, May 30 Meetings ASOSU House of Representatives, 7pm, MU 211. Convenes to discuss student issues and concerns. Students and student organization delegates are welcome to attend.
Tuesday, June 5 Meetings ASOSU Senate, 7pm, MU 109A. Convenes to discuss student issues. Students and student organization delegates are welcome to attend.
Wednesday, June 6 Meetings ASOSU House of Representatives, 7pm, MU 211. Convenes to discuss student issues and concerns. Students and student organization delegates are welcome to attend.
Saturday, June 9 Meetings Vegans and Vegetarians at OSU, 5:30pm, 330 NW 23rd St. All are welcome to potluck-style meetings where we share recipes and have great conversation.
Give Blood The life you save may be your own The American Red Cross
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Friday, May 18, 2012 • 3
LGBT families try to lobby Congress Tommy Starling and Jeff Littlefield say they’ve slowly been changing minds of people in their community when it comes to what a family looks like. The gay couple from Pawleys Island, South Carolina, traveled to the nation’s capital with their 5-year-old daughter, Carrigan, to share their story and help members of Congress understand the issues they face. “Everything is a gradual process,” Starling said. “Now that we have Carrigan in our lives, people’s minds are changing. They see her; they see us in the PTA functions; they see us in the community, going to the school, so we have a different group of friends, and everybody’s hearts and minds are opening to seeing that we are a family just like theirs.” The family joined other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents and their children from across the country to lobby for marriage equality on Capitol Hill on Thursday and to discuss other issues of concern like safe schools, adoption and foster care. The families scheduled meetings at the offices of about 50 representatives and senators from their home states. The Family Equality Council’s trip to the capital was scheduled before
President Barack Obama’s historic announcement last week of his own support for same-sex marriage. Organizers said the goal of the meetings on Capitol Hill was both to thank members of Congress who support gay rights and try to encourage others to open their minds. The Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act law that denies same-sex couples recognition at the federal level, topped the agenda of issues the families planned to discuss with lawmakers. Zach Wahls, 20, whose emotional speech before Iowa lawmakers about LGBT families went viral last year, was among the group. “The fact is that not all people who are opposed to same-sex marriage are bigots or hateful or ignorant,” Wahls, who wrote a book titled “My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family,” told CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux. “Likewise, not all people who support marriage equality are godless, colonizing sodomites. So I think if we can move past some of these stereotypes on both sides, we’re able to have this real conversation and understand that at the end of the day, my family isn’t looking for some radical change to the law, we’re looking for due process
Super PAC’s anti-Obama ad sparks backlash Predictions of super PACfueled campaign ugliness seemed to come to reality on Thursday when reports broke of a potential conservative group’s ad campaign aimed at tying President Barack Obama to a controversy put to rest nearly four years ago. But conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts decided against a proposal from GOP strategists that would bring up once again Obama’s association with the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a super PAC director said. Wright, who once ran the church that Obama attended in Chicago, became a central figure in the 2008 election when videos emerged showing some of the pastor’s provocative statements involving race relations in the United States. Obama was eventually forced to distance himself from Wright to help spare his political image. The proposal to bring Wright
back into campaign dialogue, a plan first reported by the New York Times, quickly became the story of the day. After hours of backlash from both Republicans and Democrats, Ricketts, commissioner of the ad campaign and founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade — and whose family owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team — said the plan was merely one of several proposals his group was considering. Brian Baker, who heads the conservative super PAC supported by Ricketts, said Ricketts would not approve the scheme, as it “reflects an approach to politics that Mr. Ricketts rejects.” If the super PAC, Ending Spending Action Fund, had taken up the plan, it would have attempted to link the president with Wright’s philosophy, the Times reported. — CNN
and equal protection.” Wahls said he had several meetings scheduled with Iowa lawmakers, including Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Starling and Littlefield said that while they were pleased with the recent comments the president made in support of same-sex marriage, they want more. “I don’t think he went far enough,” Starling said. “I think we need to repeal DOMA, that it needs to be a federal issue. We’re legally married in California, but it’s not recognized in South Carolina. If we repeal DOMA, it can be recognized.” Littlefield joked about the fact that same-sex marriage is legal in the nation’s capital, saying, “We’re in Washington, D.C., today; we’re married again. When we go back home tomorrow, we’re not married.” Mason Marriott-Voss, a 13-year-old from Austin, Texas, said he wanted to make sure the lawmakers who represent him, his siblings and his parents know that these issues are important to families like his. He said he just wants his two mothers to have the same rights his friends’ parents do, and he doesn’t understand the opposition to same-sex marriage. “I don’t understand why
they are against it; people tell me ‘religion’; people tell me all sorts of things,” he said. “Aren’t we a free country?” His mother Sue Marriott said the couple wanted to bring their three children along to Washington to show them what it’s like to try to make a difference for social justice and fairness in the world. The meetings on Capitol Hill were part of a weekend of events during which LGBT families planned social gatherings and sightseeing tours. About 50 parents and children kicked off the weekend with a photo in front of the Capitol holding multicolored pinwheels. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-New York, who took part in the photo op, said the group reminded her of the work she was sent to Washington to do. “You give me confirmation that love has no boundaries,” she said. Jeffrey Richardson, who serves as LGBT liaison for D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, read a statement from the mayor proclaiming May 17, 2012, as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Family Equality Day in Washington, DC” and called upon all city residents to encourage equality and justice for all families. — CNN
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CREDIT CARDS n Continued from page 3 20 cents is given to Capital One who then splits it with Mastercard. Aside from the small fees that exist in every transaction with credit card use, many know that companies also charge interest rates. Tanisha Warner, an experienced financial counselor with Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Linn Benton, says that “the greatest benefit of issuing credit cards for companies and banks is the ability to collect interest revenue from cardholders. With so many people failing to make their monthly payments, the interest paid by millions of cardholders really adds up.” In addition to interest earnings, credit card issuers often collect additional income through fees from cardholders that are not associated with any type of expenditure, which allows banks to make a pure profit on these amounts. Retailer fees are the most common. Every business that accepts credit cards must pay a commission on the sale to the issuing bank. This fee is usually a compensation for the technological procedure necessary to process the charges from business customers. The benefits received by credit card companies and banks have outweighed the benefits to cardholders in recent years, so much that in 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act. This law is intended to favor cardholders by increasing the clarity of credit card terms and agreements and eliminating the ability of card issuers to make unannounced changes in interest rates and other conditions, while still encouraging greater responsibility on the part of cardholders.
Student Organization Leaders and Advisors! Information sessions regarding Senate Bill 242 and reporting. Sessions scheduled at a various times across campus info available at oregonstate.edu/sli/studentorgs/soag
Gabriella Morrongiello, reporter
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The Daily Barometer 4 •Friday, May 18, 2012
Yeas & Nays Y
ea to investigative reporting. Due to the outpouring of support for our idea of sending reporters and photographers to Shasta, we have decided to put up a slideshow and an accompanying video called “The Shasta Secrets” on our website. Everyone can look for the video and slideshow to go up around noon today. We will also be uploading photos on Facebook — feel free to tag yourselves. Yea to inspirational Facebook messages. The Barometer staff would like to say one now: Never stop believing in who you are, because the person you are today isn’t the person you were yesterday and might not be the person you are tomorrow. Because when you reach for the stars, sometimes you miss the clouds, and when you miss the clouds, you’ll miss the roses growing from the ground. In the end, clouds are white, and you, like the sun, are bright. Nay to confusion. If you thought that last yea made sense, you’re an idiot, just like the people who put up those annoying pretentious inspirational Facebook statuses. Deep philosopher, you are not. Nay to bad mixes. Dave Hurban, a New Jersey tattoo artist, surgically attached an iPod to his arm. A guy surgically attached an iPod into his arm. He coined this new device the “iDermal.” We coined it “iStupid.” Nay to improper education. Coming off the announcement of President Barack Obama’s support for same-sex marriage, Todd Starnes, a Fox News radio show host, tweeted that public school indoctrination is the reason for the rise in support for same-sex marriage. Yes, it’s those damn public schools indoctrinating students about equality — how dare they. Next, the schools might start discussing the evils of racism. Yea to Twitter. The perfect platform to demonstrate to everyone how clueless you truly are, and you can do it in 140 characters or less. Nay to students packing up and leaving the class with, oh, about 10 minutes left in a 50-minute class, causing the professor to just stop mid-sentence and sadly wish everyone a good weekend. Yea to primaries. The Oregon primaries were this week. Go democracy. Nay to the 99 percent of you who didn’t notice. To those saying they voted, name three people you voted for…don’t worry, we’ll wait…still no one? Right, because you probably are one of those people who lie about voting so you sound sophisticated. Yea to weekend polls. We took a poll in the office and we believe 56 percent of students will go out more than four times this weekend. Fifty-five percent will go out more than twice. Sixty-nine percent will end up at both Peacock and Impulse in one night. One percent of those will remember what happened that night. Seventy-nine percent will follow with love on Friday night and wake up the next morning sober and wondering what to do with their Saturday morning regret. These stats don’t make any sense? Neither do polls or most of the things we choose to do on the weekends. Go read a book. t Editorials serve as a means for Barometer editors to offer commentary and opinions on issues both global and local, grand in scale or diminutive. The views expressed here are a reflection of the editorial board’s majority.
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Video games continue to gain public acceptance I
t’s finally time to celebrate. Video games have broken free from their stigma. At this point, everyone has heard of the recent release of Blizzard’s “Diablo 3”; whether you’re the one playing it or not, you’ve at least heard of it and probably know what it is. Just in case you haven’t, “Diablo 3” is a computer game that allows you to hack away at thousands upon thousands of monsters in full-fledged weapon and spell glory. But this column isn’t about how great that game is. It’s about this game representing a landmark achievement: video games finally being accepted by society, at least for the most part. Obviously, there are still people that dislike them and groups that morally oppose them (especially games with demons that “worship satan”), but the majority of people have learned to accept them for what they are. So why do I see this as the point of acceptance? I’ll answer this question both inductively and deductively. I went to a midnight release of “Diablo 3” when it came out. These releases have had nicknames such as “nerdfest” and “geektopia,” since they are usually overrun by guys — “geeks”
The weekly rant - @RantsWeekly — that live in their mother’s basement. Even ignoring the stereotypes, I expected a large turnout of guys looking like they weren’t trying to impress anyone with their fashion. But lo and behold, I was wrong. Not only were there plenty of guys that clearly did care about their appearance, but I saw girls. And I don’t mean the kind of girls that you’d expect to be huge geeks, I mean girls of all types. I even saw a couple girls wearing their sorority letters. I saw people of all ages, all races, all genders (there were a few transgendered individuals) and all interests. If this was a release 10 years prior, this never would have occurred. It would have smelled like a locker room, been 99 percent guys and had people either silent or talking exclusively about their favorite games. In the case of this release, people were having conversations of a huge variety. There was a lot of talk about
memories of the game’s prequels, but there were many other topics of conversation to be heard. This experience really shows that gaming has reached all groups of people. It also shows that the concept of gaming itself has brought a lot of different niches together. When we zoom out from this event and look at general attitude, we can see a similar pattern. A decade and longer ago, if a guy told a girl he played video games, they would often be scoffed at as she flocked to the guy on the football team. Now girls pretty much expect that their prospective boyfriend plays video games on some level (which now includes said football player), even if it’s just with his friends every once in a while. In fact, video games have become a relationship pastime. A lot of couples find themselves gaming together, especially with the introduction and rise of Nintendo’s “Wii.” This was nearly unheard of until recently. I actually went on a first date with a girl where she was the first one to bring up video games and tell me how much she loved them. This baffled me, as usually it was my job to nonchalantly bring it up on date five or later.
Even the professional world has its gamers. With the growing popularity of Facebook, some employees can be found playing a Facebook game, or even their handheld systems they keep in their bag (on their breaks we hope). And it seems like every day a new “indie-developer” is having a go at making a mobile game. College parties used to be all about the alcohol. They still are, but now you’ll find people in front of a TV playing “Mario Kart” with their favorite bottle of booze. Many have even turned “Mario Kart” into a drinking game (though, remember, no drinking and driving!). All over the world we see arcades with patrons of every variety. It’s clear that video games have finally reached a point of general acceptance. It’s a huge success that many game lovers have wished for for a long time. I hope everyone rejoices in this success with me. To celebrate, I’m going to go play some “Mario Party” with my grandma and her bridge buddies. t Alexander Vervloet is a junior in communication. The opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff. Vervloet can be reached at forum@dailybarometer. com.
Society’s recycling efforts, procrastination and the response
efore recycling took off in the United States, we used to throw everything away. Plastic, glass, aluminum cans and even babies couldn’t escape the dumpsters. Then Americans started thinking that there had to be a better way than digging a giant hole in the ground and filling it with our trash. Why not recycle the items we no longer have use for? A novel idea that took off and now there are recycling bins in office buildings, schools and homes. We’ve made some pretty great strides in the recycling department, but we still have one major problem. The landfills that we already created and are still creating are causing some major problems for us. Granted there are a couple solutions, such as covering the landfill with dirt, then a layer of turf and calling it a soccer field. That’s not a joke either — near Seaside, Ore., there are a couple of soccer fields that used to be landfills. As great as the whole landfill into soccer idea is, there is still the massive problem of toxic chemicals polluting the earth and nearby water
Rebel without a pulse sources. Currently, we are trying to find ways to keep the air cleaner, but if the ground is rotted away, where are we going to stand to breathe in the clean air? As Americans, we have a longstanding tradition of passing responsibility of an issue on to someone else. We may have started the fire, but someone else can extinguish the flames. Luckily something has finally answered the call to solve our pollution problems. That’s right, Mother Earth has gotten so sick and tired of us mucking things up that she put the thinking cap on and solved the problem. I present you, with help of your imagination, an Amazonian mushroom that, I kid you not, eats plastic. Not just that, but it can live in a completely anaerobic environment like
the bottom of a landfill. Scientists are further researching the mushroom to see how the process works, the by-products and whatever sort of weird things that scientists research when new species are found. As to how scientists discovered this magnificent mushroom eats plastic, I have no idea, but talk about some guilt-free plastic trash. Once researchers start to utilize this mushroom for plastic removal through entirely biodegradable means, no longer will the plastic bag users of the world be blamed for harming the environment. This should be seen as a victory for procrastination as well. Instead of solving the problem immediately, we just waited until the Earth could no longer take it and solved the problem for us. Despite my remarks about how we can now use even more plastic than before because of this mushroom, it doesn’t mean we should. Part of the reason that we need this mushroom is because we pollute too much. If we were more responsible and environmentally friendly, this mushroom could continue to exist peacefully in the Amazon.
We can take more steps to reduce the amount of pollution we produce by making better choices. This mushroom should really only be used to remove the landfills that we have already created to undo the pollution that is only getting worse. As a delayed disclaimer, no college student can use this article or my opinion to justify that procrastination is a proper method for homework and studying. Your professor doesn’t care that procrastination is going to save the Earth from pollution; your assignment is still due at the time stated on your syllabus, unless your professor says otherwise. That being said, as much fun as procrastination can be, we can’t wait for every problem to solve itself. The longer we wait for problems like the environment, education and healthcare, the more lives will be at risk than if we act on it now. Have fun every now and then, but remember we have responsibilities that can’t always but put off until tomorrow. t
Robert Fix is a senior in business. The opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff. Fix can be reached at email@example.com.
Letters to the Editor OCA, ranchers and wildlife
A delicate balance for all The balance of humans and animals on this earth has been a delicate balance since the beginning of time. Civilization has required that we as humans not only build and establish our homes and our way to support ourselves but to also be stewards of the land that we call home. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the livestock industry and the ranches that provide beef to that industry. As ranchers work every day (and often many nights) to build and grow their business, care for their stock and preserve their land, they are also called upon to protect their investment, protect their families and to protect the natural resources and wildlife that reside along with them. It is indeed a delicate and often difficult responsibility.
As cattlemen, we are working to not only meet that responsibility but to educate ourselves on the best practices based in science and research that will allow conservation and management for wildlife and land. We take our role as stewards of the land and its inhabitants very seriously – and that is why we are proud to be a part of educational opportunities such as the Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Symposium, held on Saturday in Albany. Ranching in Oregon has a unique history of high social and economic values in our state. Our history and heritage has demonstrated that we, as citizens, will always be working not only to benefit self but also to benefit community and nature. Ranchers are no different and in fact have been working to improve socio-economic conditions for generation upon generation. Predator populations will always
be a challenge to anyone who is working with livestock, or perhaps has pets or other animals that also call their land home. But by working to educate ourselves, hear perspectives and practices from other parts of our nation on what has worked in the efforts to define a process with integrity to not only conserve but manage wildlife and lands, we can continue to preserve and protect the cattle industry’s positive economic impact and growth for our state – for this generation and the ones who come after us. Curtis Martin
The Barometer’s Tuesday editorial has obvious bias (“The most... fundamental rule...: A bicycle is no different than a car...”) and fails to cite the fact that bicycle-pedestrian accidents are much less common and much less deadly or harmful than bicycle-vehicle accidents. You suggest bicyclists are required to use bike lanes, despite the fact these bike lanes are simple stripes in the road and do not create any safety for the bicyclist. The fact is bicyclists have no place on many roads nor on sidewalks, and therefore we see bicyclists choosing to ride on both. President, Oregon Until bike lanes on the sidewalk Cattlemen’s Association (as in Berlin) or segregated/buffered sidewalks (as in Amsterdam) On bicycle-pedestrian accidents are common, I will weigh any tickRoad not safe for bicyclers ets or complaints for riding on the sidewalk against my own safety. Bicycling is great for transportaKalin Lee tion, fun and exercise, yet it is the black sheep of transportation. ECE Alumnus
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Friday, May 18, 2012 • 5
‘Draw Muhammed Day,’ attacking religion effectively M
ay 20 is officially known as “Draw Muhammad Day.” “Draw Muhammad Day” came about when the creators of “South Park,” Matt Stone and Trey Parker, created an episode where the prophet Muhammad was depicted wearing a massive, full-body bear costume. In the episode, a large black censor was placed over the Muhammad depiction and large segments of audio were completely bleeped out. Comedy Central pulled the show from the air soon after. In response, various artists and critics created “Draw Muhammad Day,” where numerous depictions of Muhammad were drawn as inanimate objects, such as a teacup, soap or towel, all saying “Will the real likeness of Muhammad please stand up?” The response to the event was rather mixed, some of course called it offensive, others as a triumphant celebration of free speech and many others called it petty and silly. I consider “Draw Muhammed Day” to be a cute, however, a rather insignificant, way to
combat religious extremism and discuss organized religion in general. Far more concerning to me is the small acts of religion that are not considered extreme, but actually mainstream and acceptable. For example, earlier this month yet another state decided to ban same-sex marriage: North Carolina. Since I am unaware of any secular, purely civil reason for why same-sex marriage would be banned, I have to conclude that religion, (specifically Christianity, mainly because of the high number of Christians in the United States) is the driving force behind the ban. The movement to stop marriage equality is not an extreme one by any measure. It dominated the entire news cycle for days when President Barack Obama was suddenly in the spotlight and he eventually came out in support of the civil rights. A Pew Research poll puts support for same-sex marriage at 50 percent, down a little bit from the highest support rating of 53 percent a few months ago, but still the majority.
The Daily Barometer Then why hasn’t this simple civil right — this “justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” type of liberty — become the law of the land? It’s not religious extremists, its religious moderates. I feel that these individuals do far more damage to our society in holding back the march of equality and reason than the firebrands of religious extremism do in trying to push these very ideas back. I am not saying that those who only go to church on Christmas and Easter, and end up voting for things such as banning gay marriage, abstinence only sex education for teenagers or “teach the controversy” in intelligent design in the classroom are the same as a Muslim extremist that threatens to murder those who insult Islam, or the Christian extremist who tries to bomb the Planned Parenthood clinics I volunteer at.
Their methods, reasons and goals are completely different, but I would say their outcomes are both frightening in their own separate ways. One group knocked down a few buildings with a great, and terrible, loss of life; but the other group has created institutionalized bigotry in 32 states. Because moderates and extremists just have differing interpretations of the same book or books, we cannot objectively say who is right or who is wrong. And the awkward silence put forth by moderates when asked about their support or lack of support for extreme methods allow these extreme ideas to fester and grow in the first
place. Religion, even when losing its claws and teeth, still has a tremendous roar. By this point many people would say that I am, at best, shoving religion down people’s throat and at worst, that I am deliberately being offensive, insulting and degrading. I disagree with both of these, and especially the latter. If there is something that I have said here that is morally wrong and someone points it out to me and their reasoning is sound, I will apologize. But what religion has to say about what is morally right or wrong is inconsequential. It may be able to answer that question in a pretty or poetic way, but it doesn’t address the
root of the matter. Saying that a drawing of Muhammad, or the marriage of two people who are in love, is wrong because a book says so is ultimately morally and intellectually bankrupt. You can keep your little sky god when it comes to the big unanswerable questions, but gay marriage and a silly drawing of some prophet is not one of those questions. Stop sitting on the fence on these issues, hiding behind religion or picking and choosing what you want from a holy book — think for yourself. t
Harrison Pride is a senior in microbiology. The opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff. Pride can be reached at email@example.com.
Laughter, still the first language W
e are a plethora of cultures and languages, but we have one language in common—laughter. They say that laughter is our hidden language, the common denominator that is universally understood; it doesn’t matter where you come from, you instinctually understand laughter. Currently, scientists are trying to pinpoint the part of the brain that generates laughter. Although most parts of the brain react when laughing — the left side of the cortex analyzes, the right side of the cortex responds and the frontal lobe, which reacts to social emotional responses, becomes active during laughter — we
A nontraditional view still don’t fully understand what makes us laugh. All we know is that laughter is triggered by thoughts and sensations that activate the nervous, circulatory and cardio-pulmonary systems within the body. Laughter really is the best medicine; scientists have discovered that laughter improves blood pressure, relieves stress by releasing endorphins, boosts the immune system by increasing infection-fighting antibod-
ies and protects the heart by increasing blood flow. Laughter is also an antidote against conflict, pain and anxiety. Laughing can also help you lose weight — seriously. Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., has discovered that daily laughter can burn up to five pounds of fat over a period of 365 days. Just think — a chuckle a day can keep thigh fat away. Laughter also has social aspects. Humor can shape perspectives by allowing a person to see a different point of view through playful communication. According to WebMD, one of the most important tools of a healthy relationship is shared See CAIL | page 6
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CAIL n Continued from page 5 laughter. By sharing laughter, couples create a bond of joy and resilience which helps keep the relationship fresh and exciting. Laughter is also a social equalizer. Class, race and cultural barriers are overcome when a group laughs together. Laughter sounds the same in every culture because of this. What makes laughter so interesting is that it is instinctual. It is not a learned behavior â€” even people born deaf and blind laugh. Infants laugh at a very early age, almost from birth. Researchers believe that this
instinctual laughter helped our ancestors create common bonds. Robert Provine, psychology and neuroscience professor at University of Maryland, states that in the evolutionary development of laughter, laughter existed before speech by perhaps a million years. It was a way of communicating long before the existence of words. Laughter really was our first language. We can see this today. Although children will laugh when they are alone, most adults rarely do. It usually takes a social group situation to inspire an adult to laugh. And as we all know, humor is a great way to attract a mate;
women tend to be more attracted to men who make them laugh. Although women laugh more than men, men inspire laughter more than women. But what about culturally â€” which country is touted as the most humor-laden? According to Reuters, Badoo. com, a social network and dating site, reported that in a poll taken with 30,000 people spanning 15 countries, the United States was rated number one as being the worldâ€™s funniest nation. Americans are the best when it comes to making people laugh; television shows and comedians have placed America as the â€œsuperpower
of comedy.â€? Even President Barack Obama was considered more humorous than European leaders. Dubious humor? Maybe so, but there are worse claims than being considered â€œfunny.â€? All in all, laughter shows us that there is no downside to going â€œha, ha.â€? There is nothing as energizing, dynamic or joyful as the sound of laughter. With its many advantages, both social and health wise, laughter seems to be the most beneficial of human traits, and itâ€™s most endearing. t
Angela Cail is a sophomore in new media communications. The opinions expressed in her columns do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff. Cail can be reached at email@example.com.
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BASEBALL n Continued from page 7 so we’re just going to keep throwing and doing what we do.” The other inconsistency for Oregon State has been its offense. The bottom of the order has been highly unpredictable all year, but came alive against Portland on Tuesday and will try to carry that momentum into this weekend’s series. The Beavers will get a lift in the return of junior right fielder Ryan Barnes, who sat out Tuesday’s game with a sore hamstring, and the improved hitting of sophomore first baseman Kavin Keyes. Keyes has experienced something of a sophomore slump after a brilliant freshman campaign, but seems to have found his stroke as of
SOFTBALL n Continued from page 7 The winner will go on to play Saturday against the winner of No. 4 Oklahoma versus Lehigh. In the double elimination regional bracket, getting past host team Oklahoma will prove to be a chore. OSU is the two-seed in the region, Tulsa the three-seed and Lehigh the four-seed. It would be easy to succumb to the postseason pressure, but head coach Kirk Walker, with nine years experience in the postseason, is encouraging the exact opposite. “The most important thing is trusting who we are. We don’t need to be special or different than who we are, but we want to feel the pressure and soak it in,” Walker said. “It’s that pressure that puts you on your toes and it shouldn’t be something we are afraid of. We want to be able to thrive in that environment.” Oregon State will not underwrite the Golden Hurricanes as an oppo-
Friday, May 18, 2012 • 7 late after a good series against Utah and a fourRBI game against the Pilots earlier this week. “It’s really nice to have my swing back and make some good contact again,” Keyes said. “I started off slow and I couldn’t tell you why. But now I’m feeling a little more comfortable in the box and I’m happy to be hitting well again.” It would seem easy for Oregon State to overlook WSU, considering the highly-ranked Ducks are on the horizon, but the Beavers are adamant that they’re overlooking no one. “I know our guys will be prepared,” Casey said. “Trust me when I say we overlook nobody, because we’re used to being overlooked. We have to play our best baseball to beat these guys.” Andrew Kilstrom, sports writer
nent. The Beavers’ underdog approach and classic control of the game has carried them this far in the season. In terms of momentum, Tulsa is fresh off a Conference USA championship, and comes into the tournament ranked No. 25 in the ESPN. com/USA Softball rankings, just behind Oregon State. “They have a good record and have played well in their conference. They have some good athletes in their programs and two good pitchers that have been very successful,” Walker said. “We are giving them a lot of respect for making the tournament and what they have done, but our big focus is on us and playing our game.” Although Tulsa only allows 1.87 earned runs per game, Oregon State is used to facing tough pitching. Regularly playing against such stiff competition usually gives Pac-12 teams the upper-hand in postseason play — after all, 10 of the last 11 national champions have come from the Pac-12. “We feel like we can compete with anybody. Competing against Arizona
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State and Cal was huge for us, and prepared us more for this postseason,” junior third baseman Desiree Beltran said. “We are still playing our underdog role, and not caring who is in the other dugout, being us and going out and supporting our pitchers.” The Beavers’ small ball identity has a tendency to go underrated by opponents — most big games are low scoring and only decided by a couple of runs. “Our team is very scrappy, a lot of teams may not see us as a threat, but once we get out there and show them what we got, we are going to fight every single game,” Kutz said. After giving some of the best pitchers in the nation — Jolene Henderson of Cal and Dallas Escobedo of ASU — a hard time, the Beavers are confident they can adjust to Lacey Middlebrooks, Tulsa’s ace. “It comes down to what we are doing,” Walker said. “If we are able to make adjustments to whatever she is doing, we’ll be fine.” Jacob Shannon, sports writer Twitter: @shannon_app email@example.com
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Beaver Tweet of the Day
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Norman Regional Oklahoma Record: 45-8 Regional seed: 1 (No. 4 National seed) Quick hitters: • Tournament’s No. 4 overall seed • Big-12 champs • Won 8 of last 9 • NCAA-best 1.17 team ERA • RPI: 6
Oregon State Record: 34-21 Regional seed: 2 Quick hitters: • First postseason appearance since ‘07 • Lost 5 of last 6 • 8-13 vs. top-25 this year • RPI: 24
Tulsa HANNAH GUSTIN
| THE DAILY BAROMETER
The Beavers earned a postseason invitation after a regular season which included eight wins over top-25 teams. OSU will begin its tournament run today against Tulsa in Norman, Okla.
Time to play their game OSU softball got to the postseason by grinding out wins, which it’ll look to continue to do today in Norman
rankings during the regular season reflects that. But the Oregon State softball team has proven it is good enough, finishing the regular season ranked No. 24 in the nation and garnering nine wins in the most competitive conference in the By Jacob Shannon country. The Daily Barometer The Beavers (34-21, 9-14 Pac-12) are back in the They don’t come in with the most impressive postseason for the first time since 2007, and will record or stats, and their lack of love in the RPI try to keep their magical season alive as they begin n
play today in Norman, Okla. In order to be successful, they’ll need to remember what has gotten them to this point. “Be who you are and that is good enough,” said junior catcher Ally Kutz. And that message is simplified for today’s regional matchup against the University of Tulsa (41-12, 19-5 C-USA) at 3 p.m. See sOFTBALL | page 7
Record: 38-12 Regional seed: 3 Quick hitters: • Conference USA champs • Won 10 of last 11 • 0-3 vs. top-25 this year • RPI: 32
Lehigh Record: 40-17 Regional seed: 4 Quick hitters: • Patriot League champs • Won 6 in a row • Have not played a ranked opponent • RPI: 126
Baseball team faces Washington State in its final away series n
The Beavers sit in sixth in the Pac-12 with six games to play, could jump to as high as third By Andrew Kilstrom The Daily Barometer
With only six games remaining in the regular season, and a three-game series with No. 6 Oregon looming in the distance, No. 23 Oregon State is in Pullman, Wash., for a big conference series with Washington State that begins today. The series is big not only because Oregon State (33-17, 13-10) can potentially move up to as high as third place in the Pac-12 — OSU is currently two games back of third and one game back of fourth — but because Washington State is currently in eighth place and could move ahead of the Beavers with a sweep. “This is a good opponent and a big series,” said head coach Pat Casey. “We’ve got to go up there and do things right. We have to pitch, we have to defend and obviously we need to put runs up on the board. I know our guys will be prepared for it and hopefully they will perform at a high level.” Maybe the biggest key to a series win for Oregon State is holding the offensive-minded Cougars in check at the plate. The top of the lineup for WSU (2524, 10-14) has been potent all year, with the first four hitters combining
OSU vs. Washington St.
Pullman, Wash. Today: 5:30 p.m. PT Saturday: 4:30 p.m. PT Sunday: Noon PT
for 123 RBIs and 20 homeruns, while all hitting above .300 on the year. “They’re good,” Casey said. “They score a lot of runs and steal a lot of bags. They’re going to be an offensive club and they’re going to be an extremely tough opponent.” While starting pitching for Oregon State has been tremendous all year, the bullpen has been inconsistent and an area of concern. But some good news for the Beavers is that the staff is coming off arguably its best performance of the year in a 12-4 win against Portland on Tuesday. The pen gave up no runs in 5 2/3 innings as sophomore right hander Scott Schultz allowed only one hit and no runs in 4 2/3 innings of action, and freshman flamethrower Dylan Davis allowed no runners on base in his inning of relief to close things out. “It was good to get some confidence going into the Washington State series,” said Schultz after Tuesday’s win. “I think we always have the potential to be more consistent. I have faith in our guys and our TAYLOR HAND | THE DAILY BAROMETER coaches have faith in our guys, Junior Joey Matthews makes a turn for third in a game against Stanford on May 5. The Beavers won that game 4-2, See BASEBALL | page 7 and have won four of six since.
Published on May 18, 2012
The Daily Barometer's daily paper on Friday of week seven Spring Term 2012. Check out the 'Yeas and Nays' I hear they are pretty funny.