Ethos magazine - May 2012

Page 1

an IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY student publication

THE EDUCATION ISSUE funded in part by students, and never tax payers.

Our Culture, Our Time

MAY 2012

table of






SENIOR EDITOR Taysha Murtaugh

EDITOR AT LARGE Matt Wettengel

COPY EDITOR Nicole Gustafson



SENIOR WRITER Kristine Ahlfield


Kristine Ahlfield, Liz Alley, Molly Bryant, Allison Butler, Dallas Daws, Luke Elzinga, Aryana Gathings, Elaine Godfrey, Nicole Gustafson, Rachel Hostetler, Kate Hurley, Cole Komma, Jody Korthaus, Emily Logan, Andrew Lopez, Katherine Marcheski, Katelynn McCollough, Kaitlyn McKinney, Taysha Murtaugh, Abbey Nekola, Devon O’Brien, Ashley Patton, Rachelle Rowe, Eleni Upah, Matt Wettengel

ONLINE EDITOR Allison Butler



Brady Rebhuhn, Matt Wettengel








Luke Elzinga, Corrin Hatala, Matt Wettengel, Yue Wu, Meriesa Elliott, Nguyet Bui, Kait McKinney, Kathyrn Moore, Allison Butler, Alicia Henry


Rachel Haukkala, Anna Nowokunski, Nicole Wiegand, Liz Zabel, Emily Harmon, David Smith




Jasmine Bassett, Brett Byriel, Jessica McGuire

FACULTY ADVISOR Dennis Chamberlin

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR It’s hard to examine or evaluate our education while confined within its years. Until a certain age, we all attend school. Most of us graduate high school. Some of us enroll at a college or university. But at what point, aside from a statutory angle, does our education transition from imperative to optional? That depends on an individual’s goals. More importantly, does our education value academic learning or the appropriate achievement of certain established benchmarks? While America’s educational system may be governed by official policies and curriculum, individual education differentiates those driven by societal norms from those driven by a more personal motivation. This year’s final issue of Ethos is devoted to education at Iowa State, in the broadest sense. We realize both the incredible diversity and the inherent likenesses within a student population of this magnitude by offering criticism, praise and analysis, with a bit of humor sprinkled in. As you enjoy the Iowa State adventure, pause for a moment to enjoy your own.

CORRIN HATALA Editor in Chief



technology Design DEVON O’BRIEN

it just



The use of clickers in classrooms has become a controversial topic among students and faculty at Iowa State. While some favor their quick convenience, others find them unnecessary and just another preventable cost contributing to student debt.

5-4-3-2-1. Hope you got your answer in on time. If you couldn’t connect to the correct channel, your clicker ran out of batteries or you just plain forgot it at home, you might be kicking yourself and mentally writing a letter to President Leath to outlaw these darn devices. “I actually really like the clickers. I think they’re efficient. I don’t have to wait for results,” says Jordin Robinson, sophomore in event management. The system can be directly connected to Blackboard so results can be instantly viewed.


Robinson says the quizzing system does have its downsides. “Clicker questions should be more about participation, not just getting it right.” Some professors use the clickers to quiz students over information from that day’s lecture, which doesn’t give students time to prepare. Some Iowa State faculty disagree with the use of clickers and this type of technology altogether. Michael Bugeja, director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication says he has never met a student that likes the additional requirement of buying clickers. However, he has

seen one student advantage. “Students told me they like it because they don’t have to attend class. They can have a friend attend the large class with their clicker and log in [for them].” At more than $37 a pop, the Iowa State University Bookstore rakes in thousands of dollars every year on sales of new Turning Point RF Clickers. In fall 2011, the bookstore sold 5,200 clickers and 1,350 in the spring of 2012. Though some of these are used clickers sold for $27.90, the sales do add up to a significant chunk of change out of the pockets of students.

“Yes, [clickers] may save time but what is it actually replacing? It’s replacing people raising their hands,” Bugeja says. “Clickers were a marketing tool to help text make the transition to the digital age … To me it’s a symbol of yet another expense that adds to student debt.” Amy Delashmutt, marketing manager at the Iowa State University Bookstore, says she sees the system as a growing trend that will continue to be pushed on our tech-savvy campus. During the 2010-2011 school year, 5,700 clickers were sold at the University Bookstore. In only one year, sales increased by 850 clickers and are expected to continue to grow, following rises in the student body and increasing class sizes.

While most Iowa State students find the clicker’s main purpose for classes, Delashmutt also reports sales for use in faculty meetings, Greek chapters and other groups for anonymous polling and voting. “It’s a unique piece of technology, and we will continue to find more value in the purchase,” she says. While one of the main reasons in choosing to use the TurningPoint system was having a unified polling system, Delashmutt says she has no doubt that there are students who have figured out how to get around having to buy an official clicker. “We have a very inventive and entrepreneurial campus,” she says. Delashmutt says she suspects students have made or bought

apps on smartphones and computers to make devices into a clicker. In fact, Turning Technologies does offer systems for students to turn an iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile or computer into response devices that can even be used outside the classroom for distance learning, potentially saving students money. Time will tell where Iowa State decides to go with the clickers. Until an alternative arises, hang onto your clicker. Delashmutt says she encourages students not to sell back their clickers throughout college to avoid having to buy another down the road.



peer review Design EMERALD KLAUER



Poli Sci: They think they know it all, but if you listen to what they’re saying you might think otherwise. If you bring up politics be prepared to hold your ground, they aren’t likely to back down from their superior views. Save all the pictures you have of them from weekends, they might come in handy in future elections.

...because this will never come back to haunt me...

Women’s Studies: This group can likely be found in the Sloss House, where they sometimes sell vagina-shaped sweets. When around these liberal ladies, watch out for their mind-bending tactics and don’t let any “That’s what she saids” slip, they definitely won’t let them slide.

Ag: You can spot one from a mile away by their cowboy boots, Carhart jackets and their red or green hats. The stereotypical corn-fed Iowans on campus, this crowd frequents Outlaws. Here they spend their time looking for others with a farm background so that they can have a family ready to go when they eventually take over their parents’ farm.


Engineering: Grades come before anything else for these inhabitants of the third floor of Parks. Most lack a social life with the prospects of a fifth year, but the bragging rights that will come with their six-figure salary make it worthwhile. Journalism: When their camera isn’t in your face they’re probably asking you 20 questions, but be wary of what you say around these grammar Nazis or it might end up in print. They’re always asking the tough questions, but if you’re looking to stump them have a math- or science-related problem ready.

Business: The major of choice for those who want to be back in bed by noon so as not to strain their mental abilities. Walk into Gerdin to see a crowd of Greeks sporting snap backs and Sperry’s. Waking up for that 8 a.m. class is difficult after a night of partying, which is why they have their own café.

You can tell this business student wil have a great BROkerage relationship with future clients.

Fashion: You won’t catch this trendy bunch of guys and gals wearing sweatpants. They are in constant competition to look their best and police the rest of the world on the latest fashions. Steer clear of their judgmental glares on your off-days.

Design: All-nighters are a staple for these glorified art majors. On any given day you might hear complaints about how they were up until 4 a.m. sketching, we all know how hard that must be. They are the epitome of hipster culture, drinking PBR at a dinosaur-themed party on Saturday nights.

Kinesiology: There’s a good chance they’ll be at the gym or teaching a fitness class throughout the day. This is the major for want-to-be athletes who wish they were in school on a scholarship. Their bodies might leave you in awe if they weren’t wearing Iowa State sweats every day.

He’s got over a dozen online friends, and a girlfriend named Siri.

Education: Guys are hard to come by amongst these cheerful ladies. Hopefully they aren’t hung over when they have to show up to class to read Dr. Seuss books or color in the lines. Don’t test their patience because they need it for the children.

Computer Science: They’ve definitely got the brain capacity, but they’re not usually programmed for social situations. It’s unusual to catch them in the light of day, but you’ll know when you see their pocket protectors or floodwater jeans.

Philosophy: Watch your words with these philosophical folk or you might find yourself hours later still conversing about the meaning of life. They’re always up for an argument regardless of the topic and can keep a conversation going for longer than you thought possible.

Theater: Makeup, gypsy dresses, dramatic Music: Constantly drum on things. Sing a lot. Something along these lines.

To be or not to be? You probably shouldn’t have been.




By DEVON O’ BRIEN Design and Illustration LUKE ELZINGA Photos KAIT Mc KI NNEY

College can be a big change from the high school routine, and students deal with stress every day. But at what point do the stresses of school and life become more than just daily struggles?

Every day, Heather Rennerfeldt would open her books to study. She would read a few lines, and instantly the panic would set in. Her heart would race and the sweating couldn’t be stopped, either. The only thing Heather could do to end it was shut her book and walk away. But it didn’t stop there. She looked like any other college student, and around her friends she would act like it, too, but this did no justice to the internal war going on in her head. Last fall, Heather, junior in chemical engineering, was diagnosed with severe anxiety and panic attacks. Panic attacks weren’t the only side effect of Heather’s anxiety. She also dealt with depersonalization, a psychological symptom involving a feeling of detachment from one’s body or mind. These episodes would usually occur after a panic attack and could last up to a week. Heather describes the experience as feeling outside of herself and not being able to be get in touch with reality. “I thought I was going crazy. I had no idea what was going on. I thought I was going to start developing schizophrenia. I was just really scared that I was going to develop some terrible mental disorder and never be normal again,” Heather says. What Heather didn’t know was that she was by no means alone. In fact, according to Director of Student Disability Services Steven Moats, 800 students at Iowa State have documented disabilities, of which almost 80 percent are mental illnesses or disorders.



The test is in session, and within the first 20 minutes, a student stands up and starts a pile on the podium at the front of the room. Brian Bendickson is still working on his test in the middle of the room. The hot sweats set in and his mind goes blank. He can’t remember any of the information he spent hours studying and begins to play “connect the dots” with his Scantron. Panicked thoughts start running through his head: “Oh no, I’m going to be the last one here. I have to go. I have to get out of here.” He begins moving filled-in bubbles around on the Scantron, erasing answers he knew were right just because they looked like they were in the wrong spot. This is a typical testing experience for Brian, senior in hospitality management, before he was diagnosed with memory disconnect, ADHD and test anxiety last fall. Brian knew he was different the day his third grade class started using flashcards. Because of Brian’s memory disconnect, he can’t transition short-term memory into long-term memory, so the use of flashcards or simply reading over notes doesn’t help him. “I can sit and read something fifty-zillion times and it will never switch over to long-term memory.” Beyond school, Brian’s memory disconnect also affects him socially, such as when trying to connect a name with a face. “I have that problem a lot where I go, ‘I know that person but I don’t remember their name.’ ... I had to set up a group with a girl whose name I couldn’t remember, I had to text my friend Natalie and ask her what the girl’s name was. It’s not that big of a hassle though, sometimes it’s very comical,” he says. Each day when the sun would rise, Alison Metzger felt no desire to get out of bed. In her mind, there was no point. She had no motivation to go to class, and she didn’t want to talk to people. Just the idea of having to converse with another person gave her so much anxiety. It was easier, safer even, to stay in bed. This is a common response found in people who are diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. Alison, junior in business, received this diagnosis last February. Although Alison is genetically predisposed to depression, a bad relationship, her struggles with school and unhappiness in her previous major, chemical engineering, pushed her into her depression. “I’ve always been a perfectionist, so this idea of failure really did not go well with me ... While some people can easily get over stuff like that, someone like me who has issues — it all piles on and makes it worse,” Alison says.




On the first day of every class of each semester, you are handed a syllabus. Somewhere on that syllabus it says that if you need to make disability accommodations, you should contact the professor. This is where Student Disability Resources comes into play. Student Disability Resources is a service offered on campus for students going through scenarios like Heather’s, Brian’s and Alison’s. Their offices are located in the Student Services building, and they are there to help students with all disabilities, mental or physical, and to make arrangements with students’ professors to make classroom life possible. “We are fortunate at Iowa State to have lots and lots of really good professors and instructors that are student-centered and have all students succeed, so they are willing to work with students when there are challenges,” Moats says. Heather only utilized Student Disability Resources when she was at “the lowest of lows.”

She showed up to the office for the first time shortly after her panic attacks had begun and she had an upcoming test in a chemical engineering class. In order to get full accommodations, you must file your diagnosis with the office, but the office was able to work with her professor to allow her to take the class in a separate room as a temporary accommodation. “After that I never went back to Student Disability Resources. I didn’t want to have special accommodations ... whenever this was happening I didn’t want to talk about it because I would freak myself out into a panic attack,” Heather says. After almost failing a semester of school, Brian realized he needed to find help. He reached out to Student Disability Resources and they were able to get him the tests he needed to receive his diagnosis. Now that his diagnosis is on file, Brian is able to go in each semester and make accommodations in each class by simply filling out a form. His accommodations include taking all of his classes in a separate room and using a special pen that records audio as he takes notes.

“Most of the teachers are very accommodating. They don’t treat me any differently. Most of the time they don’t realize you are using things like my pen,” Brian says. Alison remembers the day she hit rock bottom like it was yesterday. “I never had thoughts of killing myself, but all I wanted to do was run away by myself. I just wanted to go sit in a cave in some remote location, because I felt like I was such a burden on my family and my friends and everyone around me.” For Alison, admitting she had a problem and reaching out for help was not only the most important step to getting better, it was also the hardest one. “There is a stigma about depression and anxiety, and that was one of my biggest things. It wasn’t just that I was having this disorder but I was incredibly ashamed of having that disorder. I didn’t want to be one of those students that had to have help,” Alison says. Once she was able to admit her feelings and talk about them openly with her family, Alison was able to get the help she needed. After seeing a psychiatrist and receiving her diagnosis, she filed it with Student Disability Resources.

“I just wanted to go sit in a cave in some remote location, because I felt like I was such a burden on my family and my friends and everyone around me.”


“I was just really scared that I was going to develop some terrible mental disorder and never be normal again.”

They were able to help her withdraw from school for the semester so she could take the time to get better and not have the grades from her classes on her record. Heather, Brian and Alison are just three of the 800 Iowa State students who have documented disabilities. They’re also part of the 80 percent of that number who struggle with mental disorders. Moats says the organization sees at least one student each day who has never been diagnosed, and research shows that up to 20 percent of the general population has or will have a disability. “Most of the disabilities that we see are what I call ‘invisible disabilities,’ Moats says. “Those would be the ones that you can’t see with the naked eye, but includes mental illness, depression, high anxiety and others.” As Heather tried to figure out what was going on in her head, she felt alone. She recalls thinking that she was the only one and she was

RAISING AWARENESS “going to have to go to the loony bin.” If she had known about other students with mental conditions, Heather says she may have reached out for help more often and sooner. “What I needed was comfort and reassurance to know I was going to be okay ... I was desperate. I wanted to know what was going on with me,” Heather says. In Brian’s case, raising awareness for learning disabilities at a young age not only would have helped him, but also his parents, teachers and peers. As a child, Brian dealt with other children labeling him because he was in special classes. They just assumed he was different without ever understanding what was actually happening. Brian’s mom didn’t even understand, and as she tried to help him with his homework, she would get frustrated. There were times when she would yell at him for not doing things right, until she finally realized something was wrong.

“There is a lack of testing in schools K-12 that I think needs to be taken care of. I’m sure there are a lot of people who have disabilities and don’t know it and have just adjusted through their life,” Brian says. Until she went to Student Disability Resources, Alison says she also felt “completely alone in this.” Knowledge that her condition is actually fairly common among college students is what Alison says helped her the most. “I think that there could be more awareness of this ... I would consider depression and anxiety just as much as an illness as meningitis or mono. I think we spread the word about catching diseases, but I think there should also be something for telling students that anxiety and depression is common and ‘these are the steps you can do to avoid it’ or ‘these are the people you can talk to’ or just tell them they are not alone in this,” Alison says.

If you feel like you are experiencing symptoms similar to Heather, Brian or Alison or are struggling with a mental battle that gets in the way of your school work, Student Disability Resources may be able to help. Their offices are located in 1076 of the Student Services Building. You may also call 515-294-7220 or email with questions.


Will Work For An Education

Photos YUE WU Design and Photos matt wettengel

Jon athan P rosser, B en Den n is, Shea n Che e


$30,062 Average debt of 2010 Iowa State graduates

Sam anth a Faber, Oliv ia H ill, Ken Clay p ool


Ca m ie Devor, Ja red Phil l ips, Kari Nystul, B en Althoff, Sal ly Don l in


Cost analysis Projected student payments 24% 16% 28% 14% Personal dues Employment

Grants Loans



18%10 15% %


at er ates



-of Out




er ate s

Jeff Lu h r, Dav id S evcik, D yla n L ath ru m


TOP JOBS $ Student Job Board* on the

Undergraduate research assistant Sports/ recreation Housekeeping/ Custodial Delivery/Courier/ Transportation Food Service/ Restaurant Sales/Retail

11.00 10.20 10.02 9.35 9.34 9.34

* Average pay rates per hour

Ryan Wi lcke, Damian Garcia, Claire Kearney, Peng Zhang, Kelsey Barton


Find out what their jobs are online

Mol ly Scott, Ya ng Ya ng , C oady Sierra, Dan iel L ee, Kourt ney Sel f


The Dorm

Experience Last summer, freshmen and transfer students eagerly awaited their dorm assignments as they prepared for a fresh start at Iowa State. Because of the overflow of new students, however, nearly 200 students discovered that they were assigned not to traditional dorm rooms, as they expected, but to den spaces. The Department of Residence helped the den residents, including Will Ries, a junior in horticulture and landscape design and first-year transfer student, move into the dens. With the addition of window coverings and dorm furniture, the DOR had converted the dens, allowing the residents to have the privacy and benefits of a traditional dorm room. At first, Will Ries was pleased to call this considerably larger room his new home. One month into the semester, however, he and his


roommate were forced to relocate. Ries and the rest of the den residents were left on their own to compete with one another for the remaining traditional roWoms. Ries had not only been forced out of the den he had begun to call home, but also split from his roommate with whom he had formed a strong bond. The same department that put him into the dens was pushing him and several others out as quickly as they could, incurring fees on students who didn’t move out in time. “The way they made it sound [in letters], we would have an option if we wanted to move, and then we really didn’t,” Ries said. After the students chose their new rooms, they didn’t have much time to pack up and find a way to move everything across campus. “They told us on Friday that we had to be moved out by 6:00 Monday morning, and then we were charged $50 every day that we weren’t moved out.”

By Dallas Daws Design Merissa Elliott Photos David Derong

Leah Garrett, junior in kinesiology, also felt rushed out of the dens. On Access Plus, students are able to change their room assignments every semester when places open up. This year, students living in the dens were able to access this selection one day before the rest of the students in order to find new rooms, which opened for them at 6:00 a.m. Garret said, “I was up at 5:50 trying to get my computer open, and then everything went so fast. I just randomly clicked on [a room].” After realizing she wouldn’t be able to afford the place she picked along with a meal plan, Garrett had to back out of that spot and find a new one. The Department of Residence let the students pick where they wanted to live, but they said they felt like that put more pressure on them than if they would have been assigned new rooms. “I felt like it was, ‘here’s the bone, now pick through it,’” Garret said.

If we have student room furniture, or common room furniture that gets removed, we’re able to see when it went, [and] who it went with

While she was happy to get out of the dorms after living in them two years at Northwestern, her previous college, she did enjoy living in the dens because of the space and the community she grew to know. “I was on a coed floor, so I got to know a lot of girls and guys, and that helped because [Iowa State] is a lot bigger than where I’m from.

Student Life

This year, the Department of Residence (DOR) saw a greater number of students living in the dorms than they had seen since the 90’s. Next year, they expect to see a similar number, if not a little larger, and they say they will be better prepared this time. “We opened up all of the on-campus housing this year with 9,976 students in residence,” says Lisa Ludovico, assistant director of the Assignments and Communications department. “We did assign students to dens. We made the decision later than we would have liked to, but there were some institutional processes we needed to follow first to get approval.” While it may seem like the least desirable situation, especially for students new to this campus, the Department of Residence was surprised to see that students had adjusted well to living in the dens. “Ultimately, while there were concerns from people who were assigned into dens, the response we received from students who were assigned into the dens was generally very positive,” Ludovico says. “The students who lived there didn’t want to move.” The DOR currently has a higher number of contracts submitted than they normally would at this time of year. Ludovico does expect that number to level off more, but she and the rest of the department are doing what they can to prepare for a high number of student residents. “We have to prepare for the maximum number of contracts we have on hand, not necessarily the number of students that show up on the first day,” Englin says.

Ludovico says the DOR prepared about 260 den spaces last fall, which next year will serve as a cushion. “We’ve also looked at some permanent room locations where the past few years we’ve converted some triples to doubles, some doubles to singles and we’re reversing those in some circumstances,” Ludovico says. Most residence halls on campus have some rooms that were designed to be triples. Friley, Oak and Elm are among the buildings with the most triple-capacity rooms, along with Birch, Welch, and Roberts. A few buildings do not have triple rooms, such as Willow and Larch, and others have singles that will be converted back into doubles. Wallace and Wilson, two residence halls that had been used for super-single rooms, will mostly consist of double rooms next year, with one floor of each building remaining a super-single for returning students.

Where your money goes Aside from handling the unexpected increase in on-campus residents, the DOR has many other tasks and projects to juggle. The DOR is in charge of all aspects of student living, from contracting and assigning the residence halls, Frederiksen Court, and Schilletter University Village, to maintenance, upkeep, and renovations of all the above. They also handle the contracting for the Dining Center as well; but in all other aspects, the Dining Center and DOR are separate units. “As an auxiliary, we are entirely self-funded, and so we don’t use any general fund money of university funds,” Pete Englin, director of the Department of Residence, says. “We’re really stewards of the student rental money that they pay to live on campus.” This means that most of their funds come from the UBill that on-campus student residents pay twice a year. Englin also mentioned that they receive some revenue

from students living on campus taking summer classes as well as summer conferences held on campus. “We’re trying to be mindful about how we spend that money that helps them be more successful as students at Iowa State first and foremost,” Englin says. One way the DOR has been working to better serve the students on campus was by installing more security cameras. “If we have student room furniture, or common room furniture that gets removed, we’re able to see when it went, [and] who it went with,” Englin says. “The only time we would look at the tape is actually if there’s an incident of some sort. We’ve also put cameras in the elevators and that’s helped with either incidental damage or intentional vandalism.” While the security cameras may hinder the fun of those who enjoy jumping in the elevators and throwing chairs out the fifthfloor window, the majority of students can enjoy living in residence halls with less destruction. “We also need to maintain the facilities the best we can to provide good value [to the students],” Englin says. With a projected income for the 2011-2012 school year of $45 million, Lynn Larsen, the business manager of the DOR, was able to create a budget outlining their anticipated expenses for the year. That room and board section of the U-Bill students pay every year goes to pay general operating expenses such as utilities, insurance, maintenance and repair, and staff salaries and benefits. While that cost was expected to be around $25.7 million for this school year, that doesn’t mean that everything else is profit. “We have a work request system,” Englin says. “We do about 40,000 work orders a year, and our own staff goes in and complete those work orders. There’s around $1.7-1.8 million set aside that would pay for parts and other things to do repair kind of work.” This takes care of damages or issues that may need to be fixed in the residence halls.


The DOR is in the process of installing sprinklers throughout all of the dorms on campus. This is a higher level of prevention safety, which could also allow the department to install full kitchenettes in the future, something that Englin has been hearing students ask for. “It requires approval through the state fire marshal’s office, and the only way we’re going to get approval potentially is to have sprinklered buildings to start with,” he says. Wallace, Wilson, Larch and Friley halls have yet to install sprinklers, but Englin estimates that project could take at least four years. Willow hall has seen a facelift this past summer with new windows, temperature control, and newly water-proofed building. Larch hall


will be seeing the same changes this summer, which Englin says will cost around $3.2 million. The DOR salaries are included in the budget as well and take up the second major chunk in the overall budget layout. In order to run any sort of operation, the people working have to earn a living. Currently, the DOR has room in the budget for just under $9 million. This includes the salaries for not only the Department of Residence regular staff, but also for undergraduate and graduate students working in the department as well as all of the CA’s in the residence halls. The Department of Residence is also required to put a fixed percent of their revenue away as a surplus, should anything come up and to pay back loans they needed to build and renovate.

“The building that took place under my predecessor is essentially a mortgage payment that you would pay on your house,” Englin says. “We have a debt service payment of about $8 million a year that helped us build Frederiksen Court and renovate Maple and Buchanan halls, build the Union Drive Community Center, Larch and Eaton halls.” Ultimately, the DOR says its goal is to help students be successful here at Iowa State by providing them with a place to live that supports community, friendships and learning. Englin is fond of saying, “We are not selling a room; we sell an experience.”

“Iowa State is ranked third in the U.S. for highest debt rate”



By M I NDI PRICE Design NGUYET BUI Photos David D erong


On January 25, President Barack Obama presented the world with his State of the Union address, informing Americans what his national plans and priorities would be for the next four years. And once the topic turned to college affordability, he made a statement that piqued the interest of university students and faculty. “Let me put colleges and universities on notice: If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down,” Obama said. “Higher education can’t be a luxury – it is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.” Iowa State is ranked third in the U.S. for highest debt rate. “I don’t think there is a single school that could stop raising tuition,” says Roberta Johnson, director of Student Financial Aid. Johnson says when Obama spoke about “federal aid,” he could have meant a variety of things. “It could mean stripping financial aid, which would just exacerbate the problem. It could mean slashing research budgets to where education isn’t as valuable.” Johnson has worked with financial aid for 30 years, so she has adopted what she calls a “wait and see attitude”. Obama’s plan may or may not go through, but Johnson feels that Congress did not seem to be too conciliatory to get the job done.


Also watching the State of the Union Address was Michael Bugeja, director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, and his wife, Diane. When President Obama mentioned stripping federal aid, they both sat up in their chairs. “I think we really need to focus on lowering tuition in hopes to really streamline higher education,” Bugeja says.

“I think we really need to focus on lowering tuition in hopes to really streamline higher education.” When it comes to student debt, Bugeja says everyone from staff to regents should be doing something about it. Instead of arguing about legislators not funding higher education, administrators need to step up and show the quality of our education. “Loans are so prevalent that students are using them for Spring Break and cars,” Bugeja says. Joe Smith, a former junior in vocal performance, says he chose to leave Iowa State and follow a different career path because of the financial strain of college. “What I can teach myself is what I need. Education here is just putting me more in debt.” Smith said in an ideal “Joe’s world” he’d pay off debt from the past 3 years in the next 5-10 years, but realistically it will be 20-30. “I might live in a box, but I’ll embrace the box,” Smith jokes. According to Roberta Johnson, in the 1970’s, 70 percent of university funding came from the state of Iowa and now less than 50 percent of support comes from state appropriation.

“What I can teach myself is what I need. Education here is just putting me more in debt. “ -Joe Smith With this drastic drop of support, students are getting more involved with student loans, but before getting caught up in them, it is important to understand the different kinds of loans that are available. For example, Stafford loans are the most dispersed loan in the US. They have lower fixed interest rates, students do not have to make payments while in school, and acceptance is not based on credit. Private loans typically have a higher interest rate, but the repayment period can be as long as 25 years. As for the Federal Perkins Loan, there is no origination fee, it has a one-year repayment fee, and the interest rate is fixed at 5%. These are just a few of many components to the types of loans students can receive. Many students are in the dark about debt and the effects that student loans will ultimately have on their financial situation. Education about the available loans, and the possible consequences will help students gain a better understanding and potentially lower the ranking for the ISU debt rate. [TM1] As for Obama’s plan, stripping federal aid in hopes to lower tuition may or may not have a positive outcome, but student and administration understanding is crucial for a positive financial future at Iowa State.

In 2010, 69% of ISU graduates left with debt Average debt of students in 2010: $30,062 Iowa State is ranked 3rd in the US for highest debt rate Average percentage of students with debt: 72% 52% of private student loan borrowers in 2007-08 borrowed less than they could have in federal Stafford loans



getting ahead Stop crunching the numbers, no one cares anyway.

landing the internship getting the job By ABBY GI LMAN Design KAT Y MOORE What are your summer plans? Hanging out poolside with a nice cold one in hand and buds in ears won’t cut it anymore. Snagging an internship will increase your chances of landing a good post-graduate job. “When you’ve been with a company for an internship they already know if you can do the job,” Jewlie Williams, assistant internship coordinator for Anthropologie, says. “They want to see you succeed and they feel as though they’re taking less of a risk by hiring you because they know you.” Chandra Turner, executive editor of Parents magazine and founder and president of online internship encyclopedia Ed2010, encourages students to get an early jump on internships in order to land their final dream job. “It’s really hard to go from no internships to a good internship that’s going to land you that job,” Turner says. Turner suggests getting involved in your campus and working your way from regional internships to bigger metropolis internships and on up from there. Didn’t start early enough? Don’t worry, we’ve compiled a guide to landing the perfect stepping stone and bridging it into your dream job.

Those pictures from last weekend where your bra is hanging out and dude lost his shirt? Yeah, don’t post that. “I have looked up potential interns on Facebook to find pictures of debauchery and didn’t see the candidate as favorable,” Turner says. “Your reputation online should be what you’d present live in a job interview.” Moral of the story: keep your morals straight, online and off.


Hey you, with the calculator and transcript, give your punchy little fingers a break. Turner advises students to leave their GPA off of their resume because, frankly, no one cares. “I’m not hiring you based on your grades,” Turner says. “I care a lot more about your experiences and where you’ve worked and what publications you’ve been on the staff of.” Being a part of a student organization will take you much farther than that one quiz you forgot to take ever could. Engaging in campus activities will boost your resume and help you connect and network with people who share the same interests.

It’s not all about you We know you’re awesome and all, but companies want to hear about how they’re awesome, too. Instead of focusing your cover letter solely on yourself, throw in some references to the company’s recent work or awards they’ve received. They’ll eat that right up. Use your cover letter as space to explain your knowledge of the company and what you could do for them. “I can read your resume to see all the things you did,” Turner says. “I need to understand why you would be a good fit and how you really get my [company].” Williams agrees, adding that a passion and love for the brand is a necessity. “If you don’t know our customer and what we’re all about, if it doesn’t seep out of you or embody you, then you’re not cut out for our company.”

Date your boss “So you’re hanging out with a new guy and you find yourself kind of saying the same stories about your childhood or about whatever,” Turner says. “[Interviewing is] the same kind of thing. You have to have the same kind of good stories that you know are going to get you good responses when you go into an interview.” So maybe not in the Grey’s Anatomy sense, but being able to relate to the interviewer on a personal level and showing that you’re prepared will make you stand out. Turner recommends having a few good anecdotes on hand to share. Bonus if they somehow relate back to the company. Disclaimer: Ethos does not advocate dating your boss, unless he is McSteamy. mmmmMcSteamy.

Don’t hesitate to say hi The connections you make at internships can help you eventually land the perfect job. “I made the most important connections of my life [while interning],” Williams says. “It also introduced me to the stylist I now freelance under.” Stay in contact with overseers and colleagues by sending bimonthly updates about the new work you’ve done, but try to avoid asking for anything, Turner says. “Check in just like you would any other close contact,” Turner says. “And stay in contact with your colleagues too and the other interns you worked with.”


Your Way Through College


So you know that page of your class syllabus with the long, wordy paragraph about Academic Dishonesty? You know, the one you throw away because all you care about is the class schedule (and maybe not even that)? Let it be known that that piece of paper is taken very seriously in college. Cheating has become all too common and all too creative on campus. Students have devised ways to work around cheating safeguards that have been said to prevent such cheating practices. But journalism professor Joel Geske says, “If somebody really truly wants to cheat, they are going to find a way to do it.” Students in his online JLMC 477 course tipped him off about students cheating on the unit quizzes. “In this particular case, I was trying to be helpful to the students so that they could look at their answers and see what they had gotten wrong, and evidently there was someone sitting next to them with their laptop so that as the answers came up then they were recording theirs’ on their test.” Turns out trying to be helpful to the students ended up being a little too helpful, if you catch my drift. “I feel bad that you can’t give the honest students the full learning opportunity that they have,” Geske says. Students do not even need to get too creative. Video tutorials summarize the skills required to cheat. But some of these techniques are classics, like writing answers on your shoe or eraser. Some have even gone as far as hiring

other students to take their exams or write their papers. Nowadays, that seems to be a lucrative business. Speaking to only a handful of students revealed endless strategies, from taking an almost microscopic piece of paper with formulas into an exam to scanning a candy wrapper or chip bag and replacing ingredients with answers. “The bottom line is when [students are] cheating, they’re cheating themselves out of those skills that they were supposed to get, so that’s going to catch up with them in the business world,” Geske says. If you’re willing to put the time into scanning a Snickers wrapper, change the ingredient list to test answers (while making sure it all fits and still looks like the original wrapper), print it, repackage your already stale Snickers bar, and take it to class, seems like you might actually have time to study and learn what happened during the Peloponnesian War. But next time you see someone in lecture stretching a little too much into your personal bubble, they probably want to know the answer to question 20.

The classic copy: Friend does homework, you copy homework, you submit homework. Paper purchasing: Shopping around for a decent paper is like shopping for a new car. It takes the perfect combination of expertise and time to select the one. Preferred websites include, and Proceed with caution. Bathroom break: After all that pencil chewing, a bathroom break is needed. It is the perfect time to call or text a friend who already took the test to give you the answers. Who knew peeing could be so useful? Musical mischief: Tunes help students focus sometimes even during tests and quizzes. I wonder if Foster the People can come up with a song with calc answers? Foot frenzy: This one is just one form of signaling answers to each other across the room. A pair or even a group of students will devise a set of foot or pencil taps to signal the correct answer. For example, one tap means “A”, two means “B”, etc. *Note: this method only works for a single version exam. The water bottle method: Unwrap the label of a water bottle or other liquid vessel with a label. Write the formulas, vocab words or any other useful info on the label and re-glue it back on. Proceed to take the water bottle to the test and sneak a peek under the label. Maybe take a sip of water in between just in case all that work makes you parched.




relationships Design EMERALD KLAUER

Student Affairs By Katherine Marcheski Photos David derong

Lucy is your average college student. She goes to class, studies, works, and hangs with friends. She enjoys being active at her university with events and clubs, and making the most of her college experience. However, she also has had some experiences that are not so average. Lucy, a former Iowa State student, was romantically involved with a professor. Things started off normal, but took a turn down a road that most students never encounter. It all started when her professor asked her to grab lunch one day after class. “I thought it was just chill, and I had heard of other students doing it too,” Lucy says. “I know of friends who had teachers who were social with their students and would go to the bars and stuff, so I thought it was no big deal.” The attention from her professor began when she started doing poorly in class. Lucy had taken a similar class before, and slacked off because she knew the material already. But by not turning in her assignments, her grade started suffering. “I always screwed around in class, and then during the midterm everyone kept getting one question on the test wrong, and when I turned mine in, he asked me if I had got it right, and I said I didn’t know. He asked me if I would go out to pizza with him to talk about it, and I thought it was fine.” After the final exam he went out for drinks with her and her friends. “We were really drunk and he was telling me about his college days. I was joking around, saying how I really wanted to get rich quick and was thinking about making some dorm porn.” He told her that he tried something similar in college, that he really wanted to make a porno and that he used to have all the equipment.

“It started to get really weird between us, he would always suggest things. But he changed my grade from a C to an A and said as long as we would make a porno together, along with some other weird requests; my grade would stay that way. So I said okay, [not really meaning it],” Lucy says. The new semester started and the professor continued contacting her, convincing her to keep up her end of the bargain. She kept ignoring him because she wasn’t serious about actually making a porno, and he started freaking her out. “For one of my classes second semester at midterm he was the person proctoring one of my tests, and when I turned it in he said we needed to have a conversation, but was very vague since there were obviously a lot of people around,” Lucy says. “It was just weird, like he would want to trade stuff for favors, or in exchange for the midterm. He wanted to make the porno, and then he said he would give me the midterm if I would go on a date with his male friend who was another student. He wanted students to do favors for him.” Many people might be wondering how students get themselves in these situations, or better yet, what happens when a student finds themself in a situation like this? Kipp Van Dyke, program coordinator at the Dean of Students Office, says it’s the faculty member’s job to know better. “The student is always protected in situations like these. We want students to feel safe and comfortable, and if there is a faculty or staff member that is corrupting that atmosphere, then we always want [them] to report,” says Van Dyke. In the Iowa State University faculty handbook section entitled Consenting Relationships states, “Consenting relationships

that are of concern to Iowa State University are those intimate relationships to which both parties have consented, but where a reporting or evaluative relationship exists between the parties … it is the responsibility of each faculty member to take appropriate actions to avoid any conflict or apparent conflict of interest.” Kipp Van Dyke says, “What this means is that as long as the faculty member is not involved with a current student, then it is not technically against any rules, however ethics do come into play.” “It’s more like legal aspects versus ethical issues. Even if it is not your current student, or advisee, you still have to ask yourself if it’s a good idea. Will other students see this as preferential treatment and will that cause other issues? We expect faculty members to think these things through,” says Van Dyke. Van Dyke says students should always report if they ever feel harassed or coerced. “It’s important for students to know it’s not always the way you see it in the movies, it’s usually never like that. Sometimes situations arise, and when that happens we want to take care of them.” Lucy says her intent with the professor was to try it out, but if she knew that it would end up the way it did, she would have stayed away. “It was way more than just a student/teacher relationship, it kind of became like a business relationship. He had all the power, and I felt manipulated. I didn’t know the rules about it all, and I didn’t want to risk myself getting kicked out. The point of no return was when the grade was switched; after that there was no ending it or going back.” Lucy’s advice to other students is to just not get involved. “No matter what a great guy they can be, you will always be in the bottom position, with the power over you.”



the scoop Design ALICIA HENRY

The Final Word

Last spring less than 50% of

By Matt wettengel

courses used Class Climate

70% of course evaluations were done through Class Climate last fall

Response rates of online student evaluations were at 60% last fall


You may be shocked to see the same professor scheduled to teach the same course you took with them last semester. Obviously your analysis of them and their teaching wasn’t read, right? While there’s a slim chance this is true, it’s most likely not the case. Even though they’re still employed and that dreadful course is still offered, what you wrote at the end of the semester can have more influence on instructors and courses now than ever before. Perhaps you hated the class or couldn’t understand your professor. Maybe it was required and you were trapped – but did you do anything to ease the pain for those who naively registered for the same class next semester? No, a bad evaluation – or even a class-full of them – usually won’t be enough to drive a professor out of Iowa State; everyone has their off-semesters. What it does do is raise red flags for departments and instructors when things aren’t going as smoothly as they should. “If [departments] see that student evaluations aren’t where they should be, they pretty much demand and expect that faculty members seek to improve,” Associate Provost David Holger says. Each department in the university can act upon student evaluations in whatever way they decide is most effective. Bad reviews can impact instructors’ salaries, prevent them from being promoted or tenured or lead a professor to seek help through the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). CELT director Ann Marie VanDerZanden has done classroom observations for a number of faculty members through CELT, about 95 percent of which were the result of faculty reacting to student evaluations, she says. One challenge that can come from these evaluations is

personal attacks against a professor. “Professors are humans as well, and when you get these cutting comments that are personal attacks that have nothing to do with the quality of the teaching or the content of the course, that’s hard,” VanDerZanden says. “As a faculty member you have to decide what you can do something about and what you just have to let go.” Constructive criticism is the most valuable thing that students can provide at the end of a course. Just because you don’t see immediate repercussions from those critical words you may have written doesn’t mean they were for nothing. “It doesn’t always help you. It helps the people coming after you, but if you don’t help them nobody will,” Holger says. VanDerZanden notes that smaller changes are often made first, and then evaluated to see if they make a difference. In the last year, the university has adopted Class Climate, an online course evaluation system that can potentially transform how such assessments are used. Providing instant analysis and the ability to customize evaluations, the program can give professors more insight as to how they’re doing as often as they choose. Since this system has been in place, an analysis of evaluations suggests that students write more when online than on paper. Though the quality of this increased feedback hasn’t been determined, it has positive implications for the future of both student and faculty success at Iowa State. In the end it comes down to one simple fact: voicing honest, constructive opinions can help end vicious cycles of boring courses, ineffective professors and wasted tuition dollars.

Iowa State Facts Abraham Lincoln signed the

$ On average it costs $17 Farm House is the oldest

per class for

building on campus,

an in-state

built in 1860.


law that gave birth to the land-grant universities. Iowa State was among the first of these colleges, which were founded on three big ideas: Open higher education to all Teach practical classes Share knowledge far beyond the campus borders. According to the Academy

Muscle & Fitness magazine

of Management Journal,

ranks Iowa State’s student

Iowa State’s marketing

body the third most fit

department is ranked fourth

student body in the nation.

nationally for programs without a Ph.D. program.

The world’s first electronic computer was invented on

For the ninthstraight year,


the Iowa State

On average it costs $33 per

campus in the

class for an out-of-state

late 1930s.


US News & World Report

Iowa State’s central campus

notes ISU

was cited among the top


three of great sites in a


national landscape

among its

Hach Hall is

“Programs to

the newest

Look For.”

building on

More Iowa high school graduates and transfer students

campus, built

enroll at Iowa State than at any other higher education

in 2010

institution in Iowa.

architects’ centennial list.


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