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FAFSA: Students face new GPA requirement for finanical aid

WV short film to hold open casting in Summersville and Beckley

Big 12 expansion: conference decides against adding new schools

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NEWS Caity Coyne Editor-In-Chief Jennifer Gardner Managing Editor Andrew Spellman Art Director Jamie Mason Web Director

Rhett Zillinger Associate City Editor Chris Jackson Sports Editor Jackson Montgomery Culture Editor Erin Drummond Associate Culture Editor Brandon Ridgely Opinion Editor

Abby Humphreys Blog Editor

Erika Baxa PR Consultant Leader

Rachel Teter Social Media Director


Joel Whetzel Photography Editor

Jackson Montgomery Ad Foreman

Emily Martin Layout Editor

Jiayao Tang Ad Foreman

Nayion Perkins Layout Editor

Lena Camilletti City Editor


Nick Rhoads Graphic Artist


Brendon Periard Driver Christopher Scheffler Driver

Abby Perez Media Consultant

Michael Scully Driver

Holly Nye Media Consultant

WVU Volleyball will travel to Manhattan, Kansas to face Kansas State at 7 p.m. at the Ahearn Field House. The Mountaineers are 11-10 in the season.

DISTRIBUTION Andreas Cepeda Driver

Billy Marty Media Consultant

Michael Farrar Media Consultant


SATURDAY Student Life Events is hosting the 5th Quarter at 6:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair. There will be food buffets, a haunted house, inflatable screens and couches, snacks, giveaways and more.


BUSINESS Lauren Black Business Office

The WVU Fall Choral Concert will be held at 2 p.m at the Creative Arts Center, with performances by WVU’s choral ensembles: Chamber Signers, Men’s Chorus, Women’s Choir and the Community Music Program’s West Virginia Choir. The WVU Young Mountaineer Choral Ensemble is also performing.


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The WVU Collegiate Recovery Program will hold an open house Saturday and Sunday at 357 Oakland Street. This program offers assistance and support for students recovering from alcohol, substance or other addictions. For more information, visit

Cover illustration by Nick Rhoads. West Virginia University apartments are at 65 percent occupancy according to statistics gathered in our Freedom of Information Act.

POLICIES The Daily Athenaeum is committed to accuracy. As a student-run organization, The DA is a learning laboratory where students are charged with the same responsibilities as professionals. We encourage our readers to let us know when we have fallen short. The DA will

promptly research and determine whether a correction or clarification is appropriate. If so, the correction will appear in the same media (print or online) the error occurred. Corrections will be appended to all archived content. To report an error, email the editor-in-chief at daeditor@mail. The email should include: 1) the name of the writ-

ten work, 2) its author, 3) the date of publication, 4) a hyperlink to the online version, 5) the factual error in question and 6) any supporting documents. The DA leadership will discuss the error with the staff member responsible for the content and make a determination within three publication days.


NEWS | 3


University real estate complicates housing market BY CAITY COYNE EDITORINCHIEF The term “student housing” at WVU has been redefined. The phrase now refers to more than standard, quiet dorm units like Towers and Summit Hall, and extends to University Apartments, like Vandalia, College Park, University Place and University Park—the latter two being the brightly lit residence/shopping complexes that sprouted up in Sunnyside and Evansdale over the past two years. These apartments combined hold 2,205 beds students can rent (not including the dorm units in University Park), but 35 percent of these remain unfilled as of Fall 2016, according to FOIA documents obtained by The DA. “Our occupancy rates currently stand strong, of course we would like to see an increase in numbers, but we were pretty happy to see that a lot of the students had become interested in University apartments,” said Corissa Greer, communications specialist for WVU real estate. The current occupancy rate (65 percent) is a bit worse than that of 2015, when 67 percent of the beds were filled. West Virginia University still stands as an outlier compared to colleges nationally, where the norm is a shortage of beds not a surplus, as can be seen in reports from Stanford, Miami University, San Francisco State University, the University of Arkansas and others.


At other schools, students are placed on wait lists and housed in overflow rooms as they wait for openings into these buildings, but at WVU, students are pursued by University leasing agents from their first semesters on campus so they are educated and aware of all the housing WVU can offer in post-dorm living. With University apartments an option for all students expect first-time freshman, WVU is now a direct competitor for independent, private real estate agencies in town, which target the same demographic. “This has been a good business in Morgantown for many years because the University has increased enrollment. (But) anytime you have

a good business, it always gets complex as time goes on,” said David Kelly, owner and operator of Kelly Rentals in Morgantown. “When I got into this business, (the University) promised to never house anyone other than freshmen, and they’ve broken that promise.” The biggest problem, Kelly said, is that with all the University operated apartments, corporate housing complexes (Campus Evolution, The Ridge, Copper Beech, etc) and private housing in Morgantown, there are more beds available throughout town than there are students to fill them. Because of this, the market must adapt, which can have unintended consequences as businesses try to remain rel-

evant on a playing field that Kelly believes has been tilted in the University’s favor since it opened College Park in 2015. Through public-private partnerships between the University and companies in Morgantown, WVU is able construct and operate all the University apartment buildings (except for Vandalia), without paying property taxes or other additional fees a private company would have to pay independently. The partnerships are meant to allow WVU to build without the hindrance of a debt due to the projects, since the private companies cover the fees in return for long-term revenue. For Kelly, waving these fees gives WVU an automatic leg

up since taxes and related charges are the “number one expense” for someone with a business like his. University apartments have many advantages for students—they’re fairly new, furnished for the most part, close to campus, managed by University staff, have hired security and up-to-date technology, to name a few, Greer said. But, what the private sector lacks in style, it makes up for in prices, which are consistently lower for monthly rent compared to University apartments. “A lot of people just can’t afford them,” Kelly said. Rental companies throughout Morgantown have had to stagnate their prices to stay competitive. Since raising rent

is not an option, Kelly said some companies cut corners in other places, like repainting walls, recarpeting floors, and the general maintenance necessary to keep a building presentable, and that feeds into a problem many in Morgantown are already aware of; the standards (or sometimes lack thereof) many off-campus residencies are held to. While the University currently has the potential to house just 26 percent of the student population—leaving 74 percent open to the private sector—Kelly is still agitated at the University’s role in Morgantown housing, and does not think the school will remain content with 35 percent of its available beds unrented. Inevitably in the future, Kelly said, sophomores are going to be pushed into University-mandated housing. This rumor has been whispered around the University, but it doesn’t seem to be founded in any truth at this time. Chris MacDonald, executive director of housing and residence, said a lot of planning, analysis and conversation would be necessary between the University, different boards around campus and students before anything was seriously considered “We don’t even currently have enough beds to do that if we wanted to,” Greer said. “We are happy with what we have and we’re looking to make those good environments for students.”

4 | NEWS


GPA requirement updated for students seeking financial aid BY ALANNA LONGNECKER CORRESPONDENT Financial aid requirements and FAFSA applications will be see some changes for the 2017-18 school year. For undergraduate students, financial aid will be denied to those who do not maintain a grade point average of 2.0 and above. The application is also available much earlier this year. “This change will help students remain on track with GPA requirements for graduation,” said Nicole Solomon, assistant director of Student Financial Support and Services. “Graduating on time means students are spending less over time on educational expenses.”

In previous years, the FAFSA was not available until the beginning of January. However, this upcoming school year’s FAFSA was available at the beginning of October, and is planned to remain available until it’s due. This also means a change in policy since income information will be collected from an earlier tax year. For example, if a student filled out their FAFSA in January of 2016, income tax information was collected from 2015. But now, if the FAFSA is submitted in October of 2016, tax income information will still have to be collected from 2015, which leaves several months unaccounted for. However, the WVU finan-

cial aid office’s website sees this as a good thing. There won’t be any questions as far as whether the income information put onto the FAFSA is entirely accurate or not. For a complete list of financial aid eligibility requirements, Solomon recommended students to visit the Financial Aid website and navigate to the “Satisfactory Academic Progress” page which is located under “Maintaining Your Aid.” “I definitely think it’s going to get rid of some bad eggs,” said Dakota Lanter, a pre secondary education/social studies student. “I think the GPA (requirement) is reasonable. If you don’t have a C average, how are you still passing your


classes?” To view a timeline of when requirements should be completed for the up-

coming FAFSA or to see what the new requirements are for satisfactory academic progress, visit Fi-

nancial Aid office’s website at http://financialaid.wvu. edu—it won’t let you forget to file your FAFSA now!

Local resident finds passion in teaching Zumba BY ADRIANNE UPHOLD CORRESPONDENT More than eight years ago, Dawn O’Dell worked at Wells Fargo in Morgantown. Fearing a financial crisis would soon hit her company, O’Dell resigned and began attending training courses to become a Zumba instructor. “For me, I just fell in love with it. It was a goal to learn the dance steps,” O’Dell said. “I’ll be 57—I don’t feel it; people tell me I don’t look it. They’re gaining strength no matter what age they are, they gain the strength and mobility.” Nearly a decade later, O’Dell is now a licensed trainer in 10 different


Dawn O’Dell offers 14 Zumba classes per week at Westwood Middle School. Zumba courses with 15 separate qualifications. Working with West Virginia Community Schools program,

she teaches 14 classes a week at Westwood Middle School. Zumba has become a life-

long activity for some, including Carolyn Chaisson, a woman diagnosed with breast cancer that attends

as many Zumba Family Fitness Classes as she can. “She’s going through chemotherapy now, it’s unbelievable that she’s there,” O’Dell said. “She had treatment on Tuesday, and came to class on Thursday.” Zumba kids, Zumba Gold and—O’Dell’s favorite— Zumba Toning, is adjusted for each participant. Developing strength in a safe way, clients are preforming push-ups on walls, squats in chairs and stretching on the floor. “I teach the way I do because I don’t have a regimented format. Instead I ask, ‘How are you feeling today?’ If someone has back issues or hip issues, I change it so it is safe for everyone,”

More important than the physical aspect of Zumba is that the classes make the participants a “family,” O’Dell said. Open to the public, bundles are available at a cheaper cost. The more classes you commit to, the more you save. Five dollars a class or less, depending on how many are attended. Both morning and evening classes are available. “Everyone is welcome; I want to let everyone see there is a fitness regimen out there for them that will adjust to their health needs,” O’Dell said. “I can squat you until you want to drop, but I’ll be there helping you along the way.”


NEWS | 5

Vigil held for A look at WV Attorney General Sean Guthrie candidates Reynolds, Morrisey BY DANIEL BLAIR STAFF WRITER

STAFF REPORTS West Virginia University and the Office of Greek Life held a vigil Monday night in celebration of Sean Guthrie. Hundreds of friends, family and classmates joined on the Mountainlair green, including his parents. “Sean is a son that every father, mother and sister wanted,” said Dan Guthrie, Sean’s father. “There wasn’t a day that went by that he didn’t make me proud.” Guthrie held multiple positions in the Greek community, including treasurer of KA and vice president of community relations for the Inter-Fraternity Council at WVU. While many met Guthrie through his involvement in Greek life and the Kappa Alpha fraternity, he was well known for his character and

personality, according to his fraternity brothers. “I can proudly say Sean Guthrie is my best friend and one of the greatest guys I’ve ever known in my life,” said Jake Saunders, president of WVU’s Kappa Alpha chapter. “The care and compassion he expressed for our fraternity is indescribable.” As of Tuesday at 11:55 p.m., more than $18,000 has been raised on GoFundMe for his funeral expenses. Guthrie was rushed to Ruby Memorial Hospital around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, where he was placed on life support following a fall from the Kappa Alpha House As of Tuesday at 3:00 p.m., Sean Guthrie remained in critical condition according to Ruby Memorial staff.

As the presidential and gubernatorial elections soak up headlines throughout the state, the race for state attorney general has begun to generate its own buzz. Featuring incumbent Republican nominee Patrick Morrisey against Democratic state delegate Doug Reynolds, the race has become one of the more expensive down-ballot statewide contests in the nation. Morrisey, a Brooklyn, NY native, grew up in New Jersey and received a law degree from Rutgers-Newark in 1992. Following a career in private practice, and a stint in Washington, D.C. as chief health counsel for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Morrisey made his first run for office in 2000, finishing fourth in a Republican primary for New Jersey’s 7th district. He moved to West Virginia in 2006, and challenged incumbent Democratic attorney general Darrell McGraw in 2012, winning with just above 51 percent of the vote. Reynolds, Morrisey’s challenger, was first elected to the state House of Delegates in 2006, following a failed run in 2004. He also served as the vice-chair of the House Finance Committee in 2013. The Huntington native is a graduate of Duke University and the West Virginia University College of Law. He is CEO of Energy



West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is shown Thursday, March 3, 2016, outside the state Capitol in Charleston, W.Va. Morrisey’s coal-dependent state is helping lead a lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s new clean-power rules. In February the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of the rules until legal challenges are resolved. Services of America, a pipeline company based in Huntington. He is also a managing partner of HD Media, which owns the Huntington Herald-Dispatch. Reynolds hit Morrisey for his connections to drug companies. A CBS News investigation published in June found that Morrisey had numerous ties to the pharmaceutical industry prior to his election as attorney gen-

eral, including being paid $250,000 to lobby for a pharmaceutical trade industry which included companies Morrisey later brought suit against. The investigation raised questions about Morrisey’s ability to combat opioid drug abuse in the state, a hot-button issue in the campaign. Reynolds created “,” describing his opponent on the

website as “pain pill Patrick,” in an attempt to advance the findings from the investigation. Morrisey, for his part, has attempted to tie Reynolds to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both unpopular in the state in large part because of their positions on the coal industry. “While Reynolds continues to lie and spend millions of dollars to try to buy the election, he also stands directly opposed to the best interests of hard working West Virginians,” said the Morrisey campaign, in response to a recent Reynolds ad. The ad, titled “Carpetbagger” has signaled an increasingly dark tone to the race in recent days, as Morrisey’s wife, Denise, blasted Reynolds on her Facebook page for the spot which claimed she continued to live in work in Northern Virginia. The post included a picture of her elderly father gripping a walker, as she goes on to claim the house in question is used to care for her widower father. The race has seen large amounts of money pouring in from a number of directions. Morrisey received $3.4 million worth of spending on his behalf by the Republican Attorneys General Association, while Reynolds contributed $1.5 million in personal direct contributions or loans since the end of June, according to financial disclosure reports filed with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.

6 | NEWS


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Should Fall Break stay gone? BY BRANDON RIDGELY OPINION EDITOR This week’s open topic from SGA asks students “how do you feel about Fall Break? Would you want the break to come back or should the schedule remain as is?” Are you kidding me? Asking us if we want to have a relaxing two days after midterms is essentially asking “Do you want


fries with that?” Of course we do, and we deserve it. Sure if you bothered to do the math that means that you’re paying $106 for two days off (assuming you’re paying in-state tuition.) Worth it to me! We promise to chill responsibly. Well, most of us. “I think it would be better for us to have those couple of days off to catch

up on some school work,” said Willow Kentzel, 19, of Pittsburgh. We don’t actually read the medical journals, but we understand how stress is a big killer. After the mind-numbing, anxiety-producing hell of midterms, we need to relax. Maybe even make it back for a home-cooked meal. Ramen isn’t brain food. These two wonderful days, the second Mon-

day and Tuesday of October, let students regroup. You could travel, you could visit home and you could even breathe for a second. Since we’re paying more tuition, this time, give us less. Two days less. Do you miss Fall break as much as we do? If you want to chime in on the topic, visit Hatfield’s at 7:30pm on Wednesday for the SGA question of the week.

Students Sound Off: Fall Break With 2016 being the first year of no fall break for students, it’s a new experience for all. We asked students around WVU what they think of the change.

“The students would have more time for themselves, seeing that we don’t have that many breaks as is.” -Michelle Soca Freshman Biology student West Babylon, NY

From the WVU School of Law

On behalf of OUTlaw at the WVU College of Law, we encourage everyone on the WVU campus to show their support for LGBTQ+ youth by participating in Spirit Day on October 20th to show support for LGBTQ+ youth and take a stand against bullying… To find the rest of this letter from Jill Gibson and the College of Law, visit



Searching for the best easy recipes on a budget? Ever wonder if those Buzzfeed recipes are really as tasty as they seem? Look no further: the DA Eats delivers the best new food-related content to WVU students every Monday and Friday.

“It was a good break to get away from everything, and it hit the reset button.” -Rhiannon Zeman Junior forensic science student Seatlle, WA

THE THE DA THE D DA A The Daily Athenaeum Abroad chronicles the lives of several West Virginia University students as they study abroad during the Fall 2016 semester.

The DA Sports is a digital extension of the Sports section of the Daily Athenaeum covering everything from football here at home to fútbol overseas.

“With Fall Break you can do a lot, you could travel or you could relax. It’s too bad they took it away.” -Ahmed Zainal Senior public relations student Manama, Bahrain





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Complete the grid so each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in bold borders) contains every digit, 1 to 9. For strategies on how to solve Sudoku, visit © 2016 The Mepham Group. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency. All rights reserved. Answers on page 14.

ACROSS 1 Unlike this clue, obviously 5 Driving force? 10 Bar regulars, and then some 14 Bible book before Romans 15 One-named singer with 10 Grammys 16 William of “Broadcast News” 17 Does well at the casino? 19 On 20 URL ending 21 Bridge call 22 Hang loosely 23 Star’s statuette 25 Cereal box factoid 28 Mushroom cloud makers 30 Pale 31 __ shadow 32 Tip to one side 33 Etiquette expert Baldrige who was Jackie Kennedy’s social secretary 37 Concert finale ... and what 17-, 25-, 50- and 60-Across have in common 41 Comes back with 42 Hardly scads 44 Beer choice, briefly 47 Part of un mes 48 Ready for the piano recital 50 Opera house level 54 “Ugh!” 55 Climbed aboard 56 Some Neruda poems 58 Hawaiian tuna 59 Snack since 1912 60 Bullied 63 Musée Marc Chagall city 64 Ancient Greek region 65 Conversation piece? 66 __ chair 67 Minute 68 Archer of myth

DOWN 1 Researcher’s garb 2 Puzzle with a quote 3 Recent medical research subject 4 Org. operating full-body scanners 5 Prepare, as avocados for guacamole

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TODAY IN WV HISTORY By Bruce Haight 6 Ancient theater 7 “Tradition” singer 8 “Bravo!” 9 “You eediot!” speaker of cartoons 10 Ventriloquist Lewis 11 Delighted state? 12 Prize in a case 13 Fla. city 18 Go-__ 22 Overalls material 24 Financier aboard the Titanic 26 Strong string 27 1960s dance 29 Add sneakily 34 China’s Zhou __ 35 “In Here, It’s Always Friday” letters 36 Diminish

10/19/16 38 Enterprise choice 39 Academic figure 40 Southwestern farm owner 43 Rear ends 44 “See ya!” 45 Everycity, USA 46 Tenochtitlán natives 49 Where to see IBM and JNJ 51 Deschanel of the musical duo She & Him 52 Whom to trust, in “The X-Files” 53 Astronomer Hubble 57 PayPal’s former parent 60 Morsel 61 Salmon eggs 62 More than impress Answers on page 14.

On Oct. 19, 1859, educator Byrd Prillerman, one of the founders of West Virginia Colored Institute, was born. The West Virginia Colored Institute was founded in 1891, and is now known as West Virginia State University. It is located in Institute, WV. PHOTO COURTESY OF HTTPS://EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/




Screenwriting student brings it home to West Virginia “ ” BY ERIN DRUMMOND AND JENNIFER GARDNER DAILY ATHENAEUM STAFF

Ursula Ellis grew up an Army brat, and though she spent time in Germany and lived all over the U.S., she always had a reason to visit West Virginia. She remembers summers and holidays visiting her family here, and how her grandparents drank from water bottles, not the sink. When the Elk River chemical spill of 2014 struck the area where her family lived, it hit home, and now she is telling the story. Ellis is the writer and director of the short film “Crick in the Holler,” set in southern West Virginia at the be-

ginning of the chemical spill. The movie will be filmed in early December but is hosting auditions this weekend in Summersville and Lewisburg, WV for those who are interested in taking part in the film. “I just really wanted to tell a story about West Virginia that was timely, relevant and modern,” Ellis said. “West Virginia isn’t represented in the media as much as it could be in kind of an authentic and genuine way, and I wanted to tell a story of that.” In the movie, a first-generation college student charged with the care of her rebellious younger sister becomes consumed with investigating an issue with their

West Virginia isn’t represented in the media as much as it could be in kind of an authentic and genuine way, and I wanted to tell a story of that. - Ursula Ellis, Screenwriter

water supply. When tragedy strikes at home due to her negligence, she learns a difficult lesson about the nature of crisis. The movie is a Columbia University graduate thesis film, and Alfred P. Sloan Grant recipient, and is being produced by Emerson Nosek, Ben Gojer, Kiera Lewis and Nadia Zoe. Auditions will be held 4-7 p.m. Friday at the Summersville Public Library in Summersville, and 2:30-3:30 p.m. at the Lewis Theatre in Lewisburg.

“I think that anyone interested, actors and non actors alike, or anyone who is interested in being a part of the film and would like to be a part of the process in some way should come,” Ellis said. Those auditioning will be given a scene to go over before the actual audition, which will be five to 10 minutes, according to Ellis. “It will be pretty easy and lowkey,” she said. “We have one pretty big scene that is a party scene of college-aged folks, so we are definitely looking for West Virginia col-


lege students.” Ellis said to wear “whatever makes you feel your best.” Those auditioning must be available for both days of filming (Dec. 17-18) in Mt. Nebo and Summersville. The roles are voluntary, however cast members will receive

credit and a copy of the completed film, and travel will be reimbursed and meals provided. Those interested in auditioning can submit contact information and a recent photograph to, with the subject line “WV Casting.”

New mobile app offers craigslist-style marketplace to students BY JEFFREY SCOTT CORRESPONDENT A new mobile app has taken advantage of the “broke college kid” stereotype by creating a marketplace exclusively and cheap for students. The free app, which offers a similar Craigslist-style, is restricted to university (.edu) email addresses. Since the app is exclusive to each campus, only WVU students can sell to WVU students and so on. This cuts out shipping costs and offers buyers and sellers felxibility

in pricing. “Students using the app should expect various amounts of desks, tables, chairs, household items and just about anything to make the college life easier,” said Dayna Kleinstein, WVU’s campus manager for the app and senior strategic communications student. “Tradeversity is safer because you meet with the person here on campus.” Buyers have the option to pay by debit or credit card, but most transactions are paid in cash, Kleinstein said, which also allows custom-

ers to see the actual product in person before making the purchase. Prices of items for sale are determined by the sellers, giving them free reign on how much they believe their item is worth. Textbooks are among some of the common items for sale on the “most popular” tab of the app. An “Organic Chemistry” book in “good condition” was priced at $50 Tuesday on Tradeversity, whereas Amazon had the same book priced at $55.11 for a used copy. In addition to books, clothes and furniture, sellers

may lease apartments and offer services like mowing or shoveling snow. For a specific item, the “looking for” section allows users to search and if the item is not available, the app will send a notification once it is. As of Tuesday, around 250 WVU students had signed up on the app. Tradeversity is available for free in both Apple and Android app stores.

For coverage on culture, and more, visit: http://TheDAOnline. com SUBMITTED PHOTO




rofessor rofile

While growing up, David Smith never worried about his family’s access to fresh, healthy food. Now, one of his classes is working on what he calls an “eye-opening” project about food insecurity. The class has partnered with students and faculty at Morgan State University and to examine food deserts in rural and urban areas. Smith spoke to Managing Editor Jennifer Gardner about his experience working on the project. Q. What does it mean to be food insecure? A. Basically that means: do people have in a community, whether it’s rural West Virginia or inner-city Baltimore, access to fresh foods and healthy foods in general and how do they access it? We are looking at food deserts, whether far away geographically or in places where fresh food is too expensive. We’re looking at common narratives and thinking about them and trying to approach them in a new way and mostly just try to question our own stereotypes and society’s stereotypes about food insecurity. Q. What do you believe has been the most eye-opening part of your interviews/research? A. We’ve been to Baltimore and we looked at a lot of urban farms that existed and people who were trying to get fresh foods to markets in the city where people could access it. In West Virginia we visited the Mountaineer Food Bank, which is the largest food bank in the state. To me, seeing the people who were actually there trying to ensure that everybody had access to food was really inspiring and pretty cool. We talked to this guy in Baltimore who runs an interface network of churches and they have farms, food pantries and a bunch of churches all working together to provide fresh food to people in their community. They’re doing this because they see people around them who are struggling and they’re trying to make a difference in their lives. They’re not necessarily getting money from the government to do this. Q. Why do you think a project which offers real-world experience is beneficial to students? A. It’s not academic and in a classroom. Personally I love to get out of the classroom and learn about things, experience things and do work in the field so I don’t feel like it takes a lot out of me. It energizes me. There’s a difference between learning in the classroom and learning in the field, when a student gets out and talks to

David Smith Lecturer, Multimedia Specialist Reed College of Media someone who is experiencing something firsthand and realize that they have the opportunity to do something that can enact change or at least shed light or tell someone’s story, you can tell that they are energized by it and that’s exciting to me to see that light go on in that student’s mind. Q. Do you feel as though you have personally connected with this project? A. I grew up in a nice, suburban neighborhood and my family wasn’t rich but we always had food. We never had problems with access to food and we never went on SNAP or anything like that, so I kind of feel like I was sheltered from this in a way. Some people have a more personal connection to this project and it has been eye-opening for me It’s not a subject that I’ve ever covered before so I’ve been learning a lot along with the students which I think is the coolest part of my job. I kind of feel like I’m lucky in that way. We’re not doing advocacy journalism, we’re just critically looking at the issue and questioning the common narrative. I think it is a journalist’s job to question the common narrative and think about the way stories are framed instead of repeating the same stories we’ve always known. So it’s not just to accept “this is the way things are” but actually looking at it and questioning it and saying “does it really have to be this way and are they other ways of looking at this outside of the way media has commonly framed the issue.” I feel like students now see the opportunity in journalism to make a difference and it’s exciting to them and it’s exciting to me. The project is run by Joel Beeson (WVU), Jackie Jones (MSU), Ron Taylor (MSU), Tricia Fulks Kelley (a freelance digital journalist), John Ketchum (member of the CNN social media team). and Joshua Lohnes (PhD student from the Geography department).




Big 12 makes questionable decision against expansion COLUMN BY CONNOR HICKS SPORTS WRITER In the midst of one of the most confusing presidential elections in our nation’s history, the Big 12 added to a curious time period. After months of speculating and drawing out a decision, the conference decided not to expand earlier this week. In choosing not to expand on Monday afternoon, the Big 12 made a statement. Unfortunately, that statement is not one that members of the conference (other than Texas and Oklahoma) should be happy with. The decision made it very clear that money reigns supreme over

conference prestige. The conference presidents and athletic directors met in Dallas on Monday in what was expected for months to be the meeting that would admit two to the conference to make the Big 12 Conference have, logically, 12 teams. Social media erupted when a picture of a Cincinnati banner embossed with the conference logo was posted. Both Cincinnati News and BYUtv, which were each among the top candidates towards Big 12 expansion, were live streaming the event and made it appear they would become the newest members. But following a meeting

of the presidents that ended nearly two hours ahead of schedule and saw multiple university presidents leave unhappy, news took a quick U-turn. Finally, at 6:30 p.m. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced the conference had not accepted any of the 11 candidates and would no longer be seeking expansion. BYU believed it deserved to become a member, releasing a statement following the conference’s decision. “Our national fan base and broadcast ratings, along with the many historical and recent successes of our teams, attest we certainly belong. We believe

that BYU can significantly contribute to the athletic and academic excellence of a (Power 5) conference.” While most details are being kept from the media, it appears that the decision was mainly influenced by money. According to reports from, ESPN didn’t want to pay the $20 million each for BYU and Cincinnati to keep their TV contracts with the Big 12. Instead, all signs indicated to ESPN persuading Texas and Oklahoma (the largest moneymakers of the conference) to cease expansion talk. Texas signed 20year, $248 million deal with ESPN to launch the Longhorn Network, but it has

since lost $48 million in just five years. Sure, BYU and Cincinnati aren’t the most prominent programs in the nation and probably wouldn’t have saved the conference from its struggling performance in football this year, but the conference needed to do something to gain attention. This wasn’t the type of attention they needed. The SEC and ACC are already out-recruiting the Big 12, combing for six teams in ESPN’s 2017 class recruiting rankings compared to the Big 12’s one. And as programs like Washington and Stanford lead the Pac 12 while the Big Ten does the same with Ohio State and Michigan, who gets left

out? It’s money actions like this that could leave the Big 12 in the same position as a non-Power 5 conference.

Harler lives out childhood dream, plays for WVU BY CHRIS JACKSON SPORTS EDITOR

MEN’S BASKETBALL It was a surreal moment for WVU freshman Chase Harler last week. The Moundsville, WV native saw his last name on the back of the West Virginia jersey for the first time. That’s when it hit him: he’s a member of the Mountaineers basketball program. “It was a pretty proud moment for myself. It was a dream come true,” Harler said.

Harler, a 6’3” guard hailing from the tradition rich Wheeling Central Catholic High School basketball program, has already shown what he’s capable of. He connected on 60 percent of his shots in Thursday’s Gold-Blue Debut, finishing with seven points. Except Harler said his shot hasn’t been falling recently and attributes it to playing too fast—something his teammates have pointed out—which is difficult for someone that plays in an up-tempo style similar to WVU’s.

“I keep saying the game gets faster, but at the same time you almost have to slow down to make sure you’re doing everything alright,” Harler said. What the Mountaineers do know is his presence on the defensive end is a critical piece in their relentless style. They pressure opponents on a consistent basis, forcing the second most turnovers in all of college basketball last season. “He’s played really hard. He picks things up quickly,” Huggins said. “I think defensively in the press he’s

going to be really good for us. I think he’s got to get more comfortable like they all do.” Harler learned all about playing hard at Wheeling Central Catholic, where success has found its way throughout the years. The program has seen Dino Gaudio coach there, who eventually landed head coaching gigs at Army and Wake Forest before settling at ESPN. Current San Jose State head coaching Dave Wojcik also walked through the halls there, developing a re-

lationship off the court with Harler and spending time with the youngster whenever both are in Wheeling. And what Harler stands out about the program is its dedication to putting in more time than opponents. “I think it’s just outworking everyone,” Harler said. “I got in there my freshman year. We conditioned six weeks before the season starts, working extremely hard…I think that’s really carried over to my work ethic down here. Coach Huggins always praises and preaches just to play

harder than everyone else and we’re already accustomed to that. I give a lot of credit to Wheeling Central for that.” But while Harler is donning the blue and gold and doing what he envisioned as a child, he understands there’s more work to be done. He’s only played one game in the uniform.Now he has to maintain the efforts that got him to accomplish this WVU dream. “I’m living it so I have to continue to work hard,” Harler said.



Big 12 moves forward following expansion decision BY DAVID STATMAN SPORTS WRITER

FOOTBALL After months of sound and fury, the prospect of Big 12 expansion died in a press conference in Dallas on Monday. Although it seemed probable at one point that the Big 12 would add a couple of new teams—with the rumored finalists including Houston, BYU and Cincinnati—the Big 12 will stand pat at 10 teams for the foreseeable future. That means a conference championship game will return to the Big 12 next season despite every team playing a full round-robin in conference play, a concept that re-

mains unfamiliar to West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen. “If you play a championship game, (having at least 12 teams) is the only way I’ve always known it,” Holgorsen said. “I know that they’ve tabled expansion, and if that’s the best thing for the league, then I’m all for it. I know our presidents and administrators, ADs, Commissioner (Bob) Bowlsby, they spent a lot of time on this subject. I haven’t. I worry about my team.” Holgorsen said in the Big 12 coaches’ teleconference Monday that he would have preferred to see a pair of teams added to the conference, shaking out into two di-

visions of six teams each. Most important to the Mountaineer coach is the return of a Big 12 championship game, which stopped being played after the conference dropped to 10 teams after the 2010 season. New legislation passed earlier this year allowed the Big 12 to reinstitute a conference title game despite having less than 12 teams. But while Holgorsen professes he paid minimal attention to the expansion proceedings, the expansion saga remained an object of some interest to West Virginia players, some of whom were hoping to see a new addition such as Cincinnati to provide a nearby partner to

the geographically isolated Mountaineers. “I hadn’t been paying too much attention, but it was kind of interesting to see what was going on and see what teams we were going to add,” said junior kicker Mike Molina. “I heard rumors about Cincinnati, and I thought that’d be pretty cool because they’re kind of close.” But for Holgorsen, travel wasn’t a factor, as a team closer in physical distance could mean an even more grueling travel schedule. “It took us two hours and 30 minutes to get to Lubbock,” Holgorsen said. “If it’s closer, it could be longer. If we play Cincinnati or some of these teams, we’d bus four or five


Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby addresses the media during July’s Big 12 Media Day in Dallas. hours. Travel doesn’t make any difference for us, it’s all about the TV screens and who brings the most to the table.” With Big 12 expansion tabled for the time being, conference commissioner Bob

Bowlsby announced he had empowered the athletic directors to make the final decision on moving to two fiveteam divisions, which could come as early as this week.

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ON THIS DAY IN SPORTS HISTORY The Cincinnati Reds defeat the Chicago White Sox five games to three to clinch the 1919 World Series. This series, known as the “Black Sox Scandal”, was allegedly fixed for Cincinnati to win. Eight White Sox players intentionally threw the series for Cincinnati. Those players would be acquitted in court, but received a lifetime ban from baseball. Photo: The 1919 Chicago White Sox pose for a team photo. PHOTO COURTESY OF HTTPS://EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG


Freshmen making an early impact for WVU Hockey BY PATRICK KOTNIK CORRESPONDENT

CLUB HOCKEY For any athlete competing at the collegiate level, earning playing time as a freshman and transitioning from high school to college is a difficult task. All 10 freshmen players for the WVU club hockey team have accomplished just that. T h e Mo u nt a i n e e r s have endured a tough and frustrating start to their season, only winning two of their first nine games and going winless on their home ice and in conference play heading into their second bye week. Despite the early season str uggles, WVU head coach AJ Sturges is pleased with the approach and attitude the freshmen have had early on and how they have embraced being a part of the program.

“These are a group of guys who certainly aren’t not looking around seeing what everybody is doing before they act,” Sturges said. “They’re ver y much involved. They’re very much a part of everything and I think that’s shown on the ice. A few freshmen in particular have made significant contributions on the ice and have been earning more playing time as the season progresses. Sebastian Thomas has racked up eight points this season, which is tied for a team-high along with sophomore forward JP Sawyer and junior forward/assistant captain Vince Fornes. Max Hedges has also been seeing valuable minutes as a defenseman, and Addison Collins has been earning more playing time at both forward and defense, but the early success of this freshman class hasn’t been limited to just few players. “Truthfully all of them

I think it’s a really good sign when you can get a young class a lot of experience. - AJ Sturges, Head Coach

have been impressive in their own regard,” Sturges said. “I’ve been actually really pleasantly surprised with all of them.” The early playing time along with the improvements by the freshmen have allowed them to get more comfortable on the ice and contribute to the team’s growth, according to Sturges. A key to this young group’s early success has been leadership from WVU’s upperclassmen. By mentoring the young group, the upperclassmen have been able to assist the freshmen in learning what’s helpful as newcomers in the program. With the Mountaineers losing very little next season and the freshmen gaining more experience on the ice, this group will

begin to take on the leadership roles in upcoming seasons now that they know what will be expected of them as they progress and move up in the program. “I think it’s really a good sign when you can get a young class a lot of experience,” Sturges said. “Eventually they’re going to be the ones helping out with the freshman class.” As the Mountaineers look for answers, the freshmen class will continue to play a pivotal role when it comes to depth, and their development will be key going forward in the team’s effort to turn their season around. “It’s a great group of guys,” Sturges said. “They do a lot for this program and for the team.”

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The DA 10-19-2016  

West Virginia University's independent student newspaper.

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