In This Issue
February 22, 2011
Staff EDITOR IN CHIEF Andrew Sheeler email@example.com (907) 474-5078 LAYOUT EDITOR Heather Bryant firstname.lastname@example.org (907) 474-6039
The Sun Star Volume XXX Number 19 February 22, 2011 The Sun Star’s mission is to provide a voice for the UAF campus and be a written record where news, people’s opinions, and events (whether extraordinary or ordinary) are expressed honestly and fairly. EDITORIAL OFFICES 101G Wood Center P.O. Box 756640 Fairbanks, AK 99775 Tel: (907) 474-6039 Ads Dept: (907) 474-7540 Fax: (907) 474-5508 www.uafsunstar.com
COPY EDITOR Rebecca Coleman MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Jeremy Smith email@example.com AD MANAGER Alex Kinn firstname.lastname@example.org (907) 474-7540 DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Daniel Thoman email@example.com ASSISTANT DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Ben Deering REPORTERS Kelsey Gobroski Elika Roohi Amber Sandlin Jeremia Schrock COLUMNISTS JR Ancheta Jamie Hazlett Jeremia Schrock PHOTOGRAPHERS JR Ancheta Dillon Ball ADVISOR Lynne Snifka
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This Week Politics Campus Life News Sports A&E Perspectives Editorial Two words you don’t often hear in a police blotter: Tesla coil. Also, the week’s news highlights.
Some in ASUAF have had it with getting senators on a plane, the world opens up to UAF, the Nookraker looks at rule by fiat and this week’s ASUAF senate recap.
Rep. Scott Kawasaki wants UAF to get a med school, and why you can get money for school just 6 by being healthy.
What student insurance does and doesn’t cover and why for many, it leaves much to be desired.
Nanooks hockey take on Michigan State and other UAF sports news of the week.
A review of Paper Scissors’ album and some entertainment highlights.
Weekend Wanderlust covers part two of Memorabilia Mishmash and Random Errors talks web hypochondria.
The non-discrimination amendment was a good 11 thing, but it still is not enough.
Cover illustration by Heather Bryant/ Sun Star
CORRECTION: In the Feb. 8 issue of the Sun Star, we incorrectly referred to a club as the Arctic Alpine Club. Their correct name is the Alaska Alpine Club. The Sun Star regrets this error.
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Elika is a first-year student at UAF who likes to freestyle and play ukulele. Sarah Richards is a journalism student studying in Scotland with her husband and child. You should read their blogs.
February 22, 2011
Compiled by Amber Sandlin Sun Star Reporter
IARC computer theft
In the early morning of Saturday, Feb. 12, Alaska state troopers passed by the Campus Corner Tesoro and witnessed a vehicle doing donuts in the parking lot. Although the driver was determined not to be driving under the influence, UAF police officers and the troopers discouraged the driver from continuing this activity.
On Tuesday, Feb. 8, suspicious activity was reported at the IARC building on West Ridge. Upon investigation, UAF police found multiple computers and related items had been stolen. The suspects have been identified and the investigation is ongoing.
All persons referred to in the blotter are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Stuck in the ditch
On Thursday, Feb. 10, a Wood Center employee noticed a “creepy” flyer posted on one of the notice poles. The flyer was searching for a Tesla coil to create an X-ray machine in order to “spy on unsuspecting women” with a $2.50 reward. The flyer was removed and the listed number was contacted by university administration.
While on patrol, an officer noticed a car stuck in the ditch. When the officer got out to check on the people in the car, the driver smelled of alcohol and admitted to drinking and driving. The 23-year-old woman was arrested and taken to Fairbanks Correctional Center where she was charged with Driving Under the Influence.
A physical fight broke out between two people in front of MBS during the Valentines dance, Feb. 12. As multiple people stepped in to try and break up the fight, police were called and no one was severely hurt. Although no charges were made, both brawlers were banned from all university property.
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Donna Patrick, ANP
Q: What is anorexia? A: People who have anorexia are obsessed with being thin. They don’t want to eat, and are afraid to gain weight. They c onstantly worry about how many calories they take in or how much fat is in their food. They may take diet pills, laxatives or water pills to lose weight. They may exercise too much. People who have anorexia usually think they’re fat even though they’re often very thin.
Q: What is bulimia? A: Bulimia is eating a lot of food at once (called bingeing), and then throwing up or using laxatives to remove the food from the body (called purging). After a binge, some bulimics fast (don’t eat) or overexercise to keep from gaining weight. People who have bulimia may also use water pills, laxatives or diet pills to “control” their weight. Those who have bulimia often try to hide their bingeing and purging. They may hide food. People who have bulimia are usually close to normal weight, but their weight may go up and down. More serious warning signs may be harder to notice because people who have an eating disorder try to keep it secret. Watch for these signs: • Throwing up after meals • Refusing to eat or lying about how much was eaten • Fainting • Overexercising • Not having periods • Increased anxiety about weight • Calluses or scars on the knuckle (from forced throwing up) • Denying that there is anything wrong
National Eating Disorders Association http://www.NationalEatingDisorders.org Sponsored by UAF Center for Health and Counseling For additional information, contact the Center for Health and Counseling at 474-7043 or visit our Web site at www.uaf.edu/chc Division of Student Services
Compiled by Amber Sandlin Sun Star Reporter
Parnell refuses to implement health care reform On Thursday, Feb. 17, Gov. Sean Parnell issued a statement refusing to accept federal dollars meant to fund a health care overhaul in Alaska. Parnell described the health care law, passed in the spring of 2010, as unconstitutional and cited the recent decision of a federal district judge in Florida as back-up for his position. According to the Anchorage Daily News, an estimated 14 percent of Alaskans are without health insurance yearround. -Anchorage Daily News
Protesters flood Wisconsin capitol Tens of thousands of protesters crowded Wisconsin’s capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 16, to object to a vote on the new governor’s budget proposal. Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan is to cut the state deficit by curbing state employee benefits and putting tight restrictions on their collective bargaining rights. Wisconsin’s deficit is projected at $30 million for the remainder of the current year; a far greater shortfall of $1.5 billion is expected next year, according to state figures. All 14 Democratic state senators have left the state to prevent the vote from taking place. Democrats say that Gov. Walker turned a projected surplus into a projected deficit by signing two very large tax breaks for businesses. -Washington Post
Three dead and 225 injured in Manama, Bahrain Security forces stormed an encampment of protestors in the middle of the night, killing three and injuring more than 200. Pearl Roundabout, a landmark city circle in the center of the capital Manama, was filled with peaceful protestors when police stormed in and used excessive force, firing pellets, rubber bullets, and tear gas to force protestors out of the square. One 15-year-old boy received pellet wounds to his arms and abdomen while sleeping when the police charged in. Authorities in Bahrain defended their handling of protestors by saying they used a minimum of force needed and that their forces had suffered casualties in confrontations with demonstrators. -CNN
February 22, 2011
ASUAF Weekly Update
Jeremia Schrock Sun Star Reporter
Jeremia Schrock Sun Star Reporter
Present: Ryan Duffy, John Netardus, Ean Pfeiffer, Tachit Chairat, Dillon Ball and James Brady. Absent (on senate business): Robert Kinnard III, Joshua Cooper, Jennifer Chambers, Arthur Martin and Sophia Grzeskowiak-Amezquita. Absent: Josh Banks, Mary Strehl and Jesse Cervin.
There’s a famous little adage that goes “Power corrupts.” While I doubt few would disagree with such a statement, it deserves an addendum. Power also breeds laziness. This slothfulness is evident in two separate instances: both of which have occurred within the University of Alaska system within the past several weeks.
ASUAF removes GPA requirement On Feb. 6, the ASUAF senate passed SB 176-005: Juneau Legislative Conference Spring 2011. Included in the bill was a clause to rescind the GPA requirement of 2.0 for individuals wishing to attend the conference in Juneau. Sen. Jesse Cervin made the motion to remove the GPA requirement citing a “low number of applicants.” It appears that desperate times do indeed call for desperate measures. Sen. Robert Kinnard III, who voted against the bill, felt that removing the GPA requirement was tantamount to circumventing the rules. “It’s a slick way to disregard criteria,” he said. All rules aside, what concerns me most is the message such a bill sends to not only members of the UA system, but also to legislators in the capitol. Is the quantity of students ASUAF sends to the capitol more important than the quality? While petitioning for university rights is important, what does it say to those we go to petition? We send you not the best and brightest, but those who simply showed up. However, and this is important, showing up is half the battle. You took the time to show up and that reflects better on your character then a GPA ever could.
Forgiveness > Permission On Jan. 31, UA president Patrick Gamble announced that Tom Case, (another) former general, would replace Fran Ulmer as the chancellor of UAA. According to John Petraitis, UAA faculty senate president, this announcement took him and many faculty members by surprise. In the past, faculty members have had the opportunity to review and interview a pool of candidates before making their recommendation to the president. Instead,
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after meeting with an advisory board to determine just how he, as president, should proceed, he went ahead and selected Case as new chancellor. Shortly thereafter, Gamble visited the UAA campus to apologize for his quick decision. But that was all. The issue at hand is not whether Case is the man for the job or not. By all accounts, he seems to be. The issue is whether the precedent set by Gamble is a good one. Gamble circumvented standard procedure in order to fill the position quickly. While one cannot fault him for a failure to act, the question that arises is: did he act too quickly? I believe he did. According to Petraitis, many people on the advisory council were already in favor of making the search for a new chancellor local. Indeed, Case was one of only two people that the president really had in mind. Regardless, allowing those who are about to be lead a chance to meet their potential leader is a cornerstone of what makes the UA system as good as it is. We like knowing we have a chancellor who is out there for us, someone who owes his or her job to us. For Gamble and his methods to be seen as a success, Case’s performance has to be nothing short of stellar. If Case proves to be the Hercules of UAA, Gamble will look like the greatest of talent scouts. If Case errs, there is a good chance that Gamble will look like a malevolent reactionary: an emperor naming his favorite horse to the position of consul. Jeremia gives his opinion on university, state and national issues in the Nookraker: a weekly political column which tackles issues relevant to Nanooks both at home and abroad.
Senate Chair Ryan Duffy reported that the DeathNet event in Hess Recreation Center was a success. He stated that over 60 people attended, but that the next event should focus on more on console games. Sen. John Netardus recommended that ASUAF advertise it better next time.
Spring Break bill tabled SB 176-007: The 2011 Alternative Spring Break Trip was tabled until the senate meeting next Sunday (Feb 27). Senator Ball made the motion to table due to concern that the bills fiscal impact ($1,750) warranted a more complete senate. Five senators are currently in Juneau petitioning the legislature on behalf of the UAF student body.
Juneau legislative trip
14 students are currently in Juneau on behalf of the student body. Those in attendance are as follows: Mari Freitag, Nicole Carvajal, Ben Molnia, Amy Hundertmark, Monika Kunat, Robert Kinnard III, Joshua Senator confirmed Cooper, Tom Hewitt, Jennifer Chambers, Chelsea Holt was confirmed as a sen- Hollie Seiler, Arthur Martin, Karl Holt, ator. Holt is a sophomore in political science Yuhzan Evanoff and Sophia Grzeskowiakwith a minor in history and was asked what Amezquita. she hoped to accomplish as a senator. Holt stated that her primary goal as a senator would be to increase student outreach on behalf of ASUAF.
February 22, 2011
ASUAF split over controversial senate bill Jeremia Schrock Sun Star Reporter
Sending student representatives to petition in Juneau is a longstanding tradition of ASUAF, the student government. Every spring semester, a group of students is dispatched to the state capitol to discuss student concerns with members of the state house and senate. This year, ASUAF allotted $6,000 for the effort and ultimately chose 14 students to make the trip. However, the road to Juneau has been paved with conflicting concerns, an executive veto and allegations of misappropriated funds. On Feb. 6, the ASUAF senate voted to approve SB 176-005: Juneau Legislative Conference Spring 2011, which would allow them to spend up to $10,000 dollars to send an advocacy team to Juneau. This legislation also included a list of those who would go. A week later, the senate passed SB 176009: Representation to Juneau 2011, which would have provided funding to send two additional students to Juneau: Sen. Josh Cooper and former-Sen. Monica Kunat. The bill passed the senate but was vetoed by President Nicole Carvajal. The senate needs at least two-thirds of its voting members to override a presidential veto. On Thursday, Feb. 17, the senate
held a special 9 p.m. session to vote on the override. Carvajal’s veto was overturned by a vote of 6-3, with Cooper casting the final vote. The same Cooper who is in the bill. “I’m disappointed he ended up voting,” Carvajal said. “He absolutely should not have done that.” There is nothing in ASUAF’s bylaws that prohibits a senator from voting on legislation that directly affects him or her. Carvajal confirmed as much, but believes that Sen. Jennifer Chambers “was bending the rules and interpreting them the way she wanted to” in order to send Carvajal a message. What’s the message? “A lot of senators think that I hold too much sway with the senate, I think that’s what this is about,” Carvajal said. “I think she’s wasting student money to do that.” Also of concern to Carvajal was the cost. Tickets were first purchased for $424.90. After the veto, Cooper’s and Kunat’s tickets were cancelled. However, after Carvajal’s veto was overturned, new tickets had to be purchased for $719.30. This is $38.60 more then the $1,400 they were allotted in SB 176009. Sen. Sophia Grzeskowiak-Amezquita did not attend the special session, but voted in favor of overturning the veto by proxy through Chambers. She missed the initial
Fair offers a passport to the world Heather Bryant Sun Star Reporter
The spring 2011 Study Abroad Fair will be held in the Wood Center Ballroom Feb. 23 and 24. The event will provide students with the opportunity to speak with advisors about enrolling in a study abroad program in a country they are interested in staying in. “The biggest advantage is having an academic experience in a different country,” said Donna Anger, Senior Associate Director of the Office of International Programs. “When [students] leave their comfort zone, they really are forced to learn and immerse themselves in the culture.” The first day of the fair will end with the 5th annual International Potluck sponsored by the department of foreign languages. “It’s our department’s annual open house event,” said Michelle Strickland, the department’s administrative assistant. The event serves as an opportunity to meet the professors and find out about the different languages available for study. There is also
a variety of food from around the world. “There’s no charge but we ask people bring a dish, preferably a recipe from another country,” said Strickland. According to Anger, the fair will have several affiliated providers offering a variety of locations and programs for students to choose from. Anger hints that the fair will also have a surprise regarding the new program, University of the Arctic north2north exchange program. The program will exchange students between countries within the circumpolar region. “More and more, UAF students are looking toward international internships as a way to diversify their resumes and gain experience abroad,” said Erica Keiko Iseri, Exchange and Study Abroad Advisor for the Office of International Programs. “We offer internships all over the world in a variety of fields, and most of them do not require previous language study.” Sarah Richards, 20, is a journalism major currently studying in Scotland with
vote for SB 176-009 and felt she had a “moral obligation” to overturn the veto. Chambers also cited ethical concerns stating, “There were significant issues with the selection process.” She did not comment further. Grzeskowiak-Amezquita also said that since the money had already been appropriated, there was no good reason to not send them. “I felt like [the veto] was a disservice to them.” One senator who voted against overturning the veto was Robert Kinnard III. Kinnard felt that ASUAF had enough representatives for the trip and that purchasing new tickets at a higher cost would be a misappropriation of funds. Not only that, but he felt Cooper and Kunat were in the bottom half of the candidate pool and that the Public Relations Committee “didn’t do the greatest job of sorting through candidates.” Kinnard added that he would never vote for legislation that he had a vested interest in, but said he approved of Cooper voting his conscience. “I don’t knock him for it, I’m glad he felt the need to vote.” “At the end of the day, it’s all about helping the students,” Kinnard said. “What’s done is done.”
her husband Keane, a political science major, and their 1-year-old daughter, Amelia. “We chose to go on international exchange for the adventure,” said Richards. “Keane and I have always wanted to explore the world, and as neither of us had ever traveled outside of the U.S., this seemed like a great place to start.” Both undergraduate and graduate students can study abroad. There are scholarships and advising available to help students throughout the process. Anger estimates that approximately 50 to 60 students from UAF study abroad each year. Anger said there wasn’t any one location or program that was really popular. “We’re really happy that they tend to go lots of different places,” Anger said. This helps keep students from staying with people they already know and instead immerse themselves in the local culture. The fair will take place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 23 and 24 in the Wood Center Ballroom.
Science Briefs Compiled by Kelsey Gobroski Sun Star Reporter
Scientists encrypt messages into bacteria Students at Chinese University in Hong Kong encrypt information in bacteria, winning a gold medal in the Michigan Institute of Technology’s iGEM competition. The method uses similar DNA removal and manipulation methods as genetically modified foods. The students encode a piece of a larger message into different E. coli cells. One gram of bacteria could hold 900,000 gigabytes of information. The bacteria are more secure storage devices than computers. This encryption also safeguards the data from mutations in the bacteria’s genetic code. The storage device could be used as a copyright label on genetically modified crops. Although E. coli can be a harmful bacterium, the organisms that might make it to market will be a form that can’t exist outside of their pteri dishes. - The Jakarta Globe
Computer wins Jeopardy! The IBM supercomputer Watson bested “Jeopardy!” champions in a three-day battle on the show. “Jeopardy!” is known for its puns, a concept that computers usually can’t grasp. The computer’s algorithms could ignore puns and focus on context, and doublecheck its answers before buzzing in an answer. Watson won with a cumulative score of $77,147, compared to the $24,000 and $21,600 of its human opponents. Watson’s software, DeepQA, allows it to deduce the answers to clues without connecting to the Internet. IBM also engineered Deep Blue, the computer that beat the chess world champion in 1997. - Information Week and Mashable
Cro-Magnons used skulls as cups Ancient Britons manufactured skulls into drinking cups, paleontologists discovered. Scientists found the skulls in a cave in England’s Somerset County. They could have been used in a ritual nearly 15,000 years ago. The skulls were carefully opened, so these Cro-Magnons couldn’t have just had a thirst for brains. The paper on the skull-cups was just published, but scientists excavated these skulls back in 1987. - BBC
February 22, 2011
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Your health can pay for college Elika Roohi Sun Star Reporter Your parents always told you to eat your fruits and vegetables. But did they tell you that eating right and exercising might help you pay for college? Living a healthy life provides a lot of benefits, and some of those benefits come in the form of college scholarships. There are scholarships offered to students who previously had cancer and are healthy now. The American Cancer Society
offers an annual scholarship to young cancer survivors. “Last year, the scholarship was awarded to 64 students across our 12 states,” said Lisa Bade, a spokeswoman for ACS. The amount awarded in scholarships last year was $205,000. The scholarship is open to students living in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming, and were diagnosed with cancer at a
young age. “It’s possible to win from $2,500 to $10,000” Bade said. UAF offers scholarships to student athletes and students pursing careers in health, according to Julie Parshall, the associate director in the financial aid office. There are also scholarships offered to students who just lead healthy lives. Stay Fit Ltd. offers a “Healthy Lifestyles Scholarship” of $5,000. The scholarship is open to high school seniors and college
freshman. Applicants must write a 1,000 word answer to the question “Why is a healthy lifestyle important in school,” and describe their career plans, goals, and personal ambitions in under 500 words, according to FastWeb, an online scholarship website. The application must be submitted by April 30, and the award will be given to the student that provides the most comprehensive answers to the essay questions.
State rep wants Alaska grown doctors Amber Sandlin Sun Star Reporter In January, Representative Scott Kawasaki introduced House Bill 38 to establish an Institute of Medicine at UAF and an Institute of Law at UAA. According to Kawasaki, if passed by next year, the institutes would be ready for enrollment in 2014 or 2015. Each program would cost approximately $20 million yearly. Alaska is one of a handful of states to have no medical school and the only state without a law school. With the cost of healthcare and legal services on the rise, Kawasaki is pushing this bill to be passed by 2012. “Alaska shouldn’t deny opportunity to the best and brightest,” Kawasaki said in his sponsor statement. Law and medical students are required to go out of state for at least part of their education. As many as 20 medical students have the option of graduating from UAF with a medical degree by using the program WWAMI. WWAMI is a partnership between the University of Washington School of Medicine and the states of Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. The UW School of Medicine has a Dean’s Office in each of the five states. These offices oversee clinical medical education for the School of Medicine within their regions and provide support services for the local clerkships. However, there is no option for law students to study in Alaska. The Alaska State Medical Association does not hold a position on starting a medical school in Alaska. “There needs to be a good, hard look at it to determine whether an Alaskabased medical school would be better than what we currently have,” Director Jim Jordan told the Anchorage Daily News. Scott Kawasaki, a 35-year-old
Fairbanks representative, is a UAF alum who graduated with a biochemistry degree, wanted to go to medical school and then law school but could not due to the lack of availability in Alaska. House finance co-chairman Bill Stoltze told the Anchorage Daily News he thinks Kawasaki is just looking for headlines. “I don’t think that there is any serious consideration,” he said. “We’re struggling to make sure we have nursing programs, struggling to do things like the Medicare clinic in Anchorage. We’re just trying to keep our heads above water.” Kawasaki estimates the initial cost of opening each school at around
Alaska shouldn’t deny opportunity to the best and brightest -Kawasaki
$50 million, but there is nothing in his bill stipulating or supporting that amount. Kawasaki said that Alaska has a shortage of doctors and that shortage is likely to worsen as the state’s population increases. If a medical school is available in Alaska, students will likely stay in the state, according to Kawasaki. Alaska has the potential to be a model state for rural healthcare, alternative medicine, and tribal and environmental law. Unsure if the bill will pass through the House, Kawasaki said, “We will start the movement.”
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED “An Act authorizing the establishment of institutes of medicine and law at the University of Alaska.” BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: * Section 1. AS 14.40 is amended by adding new sections to read: Sec. 14.40.082. Establishment of Institute of Medicine. The University of Alaska may establish an Institute of Medicine at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to provide a program of education and research in medicine and related fields. When established, the Institute of Medicine shall provide for the issuance of the degree of doctor of medicine according to generally accepted national accreditation standards, including clinical and internship opportunities. The powers, duties, and functions of the Board of Regents pertaining to the University of Alaska extend to the Institute of Medicine in the same manner as to other departments or institutes of the university. Sec. 14.40.083. Establishment of Institute of Law. The University of Alaska may establish an Institute of Law at the University of Alaska Anchorage to provide a program of education and research in law and related fields. When established, the Institute of Law shall provide for the issuance of the degree of juris doctor according to generally accepted national accreditation standards. The powers, duties, and functions of the Board of Regents pertaining to the University of Alaska extend to the Institute of Law in the same manner as to other departments or institutes of the university.
What’s your opinion? Should UAF receive a medical school? We’d love to hear from you! Write on our Facebook wall, comment on the web story or write us an email, 250 words or less, at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll publish your thoughts in next week’s issue. Be heard, UAF! www.uafsunstar.com
February 22, 2011
Student insurance leaves many without coverage Andrew Sheeler Sun Star Reporter Health insurance has dominated the national dialogue for years now. It was a major factor in the 2008 presidential election. In both 2009 and 2010, the health reform battle drew constant national headlines. The debate goes on and the future of health reform is unclear. Here’s what is clear about the health insurance situation now for students in Alaska.
A health mandate The Board of Regents gives each university chancellor the authority to require students to have health insurance. And each chancellor in the UA system has chosen to make health insurance compulsory. Students at the three major campuses are required to be insured through UnitedHealthcare unless they can demonstrate proof that they are covered elsewhere, such as through their parents or employer.
I really don’t want to be paying medical bills while I’m still paying student loans. -Heather Bryant
For Margaret Kellogg, insurance coordinator for the Center for Health and Counseling at UAF, the challenge is getting students to understand what their insurance does, and more important, what it doesn’t do. The student insurance plan is classified as supplemental, meaning the amount of coverage it provides is limited. This means that even though students with no other coverage are required to purchase the plan, it is not considered full insurance. The university doesn’t offer full insurance in order to keep the cost of the insurance affordable, according to Kellogg. The website for the health center says that the insurance is “not recommended for persons with chronic illnesses.” It doesn’t cover expensive medications for people with heart conditions, diabetes, epilepsy or other problems. It doesn’t cover preventative medicine, dental check-ups or eye exams. It is designed to cover major medical problems, Kellogg said, such as an
emergency room visit. But even there, the limits of their insurance coverage. It frusstudent insurance can fall critically short. trates Kellogg when UnitedHealthcare tries to dictate what is medically necessary and Catastrophic coverage, or lack what is not, or when they refuse to pay for a thereof brand name drug that may be more effective Take the case of Alison Banks. Banks than a generic equivalent. With students, is a graduate student working on her doc- Kellogg said perhaps the greatest challenge torate in marine biology at UAF. She knew is explaining what happens if there is a the student insurance plan was limited. For break in coverage. example, the nine-months pregnant Banks knew not to expect much for her routine pregnancy check-ups. “The one reason I kept it was because of [a possible] emergency,” Banks said. That emergency happened in July of 2010, when Banks was diagnosed with appendicitis. What is normally considered a routine -Alison Banks procedure, the surgery to remove Banks’ appendix was complicated by the fact that If a student’s coverage ends, Unitedshe was two months pregnant at the time. Healthcare considers their health history to She spent 24 hours in Fairbanks Memorial that point a pre-existing condition, someHospital (FMH). The total bill for her stay was $22,367. Her student insurance covered thing they refuse to pay for. This means that $5,871 of it, far less than Banks expected. students who purchase their insurance by “This is what I was paying for, this was an the semester, a much cheaper alternative to the annual insurance, are much more emergency!” Banks said. According to Banks, the student insur- likely to have their conditions diagnosed ance declined to cover more because her as pre-existing and therefore denied. It’s visit had been classified as outpatient care. not an easy choice. Annual coverage for An outpatient visit is any medical procedure the 2010/2011 academic year cost $1,073. that does not involve an extended hospital Coverage for the spring semester costs $389; stay. Wart removal, hernia repair and va- summer coverage costs $273. sectomies are all examples of outpatient procedures. While FMH classified Banks’ A pre-existing technicality When Heather Bryant, a senior jourvisit as “surgery with extended stay,” Unitnalism student and editor at the Sun Star, edHealthcare took that to mean outpatient. went on winter break, she thought she had UnitedHealthcare will pay 80 percent of her insurance coverage in place. Just be“usual and customary fees,” the statewide average cost of a procedure, but they limit fore the new year, Bryant checked in to the outpatient procedure coverage to $2,000. emergency room of FMH thinking her apBanks was left with the bill for the remaining pendix had ruptured. Instead, she underportion, which wiped out her bank account. went emergency surgery to remove a cyst Because she had no savings, Banks went on and spent four days in the hospital. The total the state’s Denali KidCare program to pay cost of her stay hasn’t been determined, but for her pregnancy expenses. Denali KidCare it currently stands at more than $20,000. is an offshoot of the state’s Medicaid pro- In early January, she received a letter from gram, designed to cover low-income preg- UnitedHealthcare saying they were investinant women and children. In the meantime, gating her claim to determine if it was preBanks is challenging the insurance com- existing. If her claim is classified as pre-expany’s claim and filing a grievance with the isting, she will be responsible for almost all state. Banks believes that UnitedHealthcare of her hospital stay. “That’s a lot of money to is an expert at gaming the system to their be paying for someone who’s still a student,” benefit. “These insurance companies really Bryant said. She has another cyst that may need to be removed, an expensive propoknow what they’re doing,” she said. The Health Center’s Margaret Kellogg sition if UnitedHealthcare doesn’t want to said there were many “heart-breaker” sto- pick up the tab. “I really don’t want to be ries of students finding out only too late the paying medical bills while I’m still paying student loans,” Bryant said.
This is what I was paying for, this was an emergency!
No way out For students who do purchase the yearlong insurance plan, which Kellogg recommends, there are still potential pitfalls. Graduate student Andy Baltensperger studies wildlife biology at UAF in pursuit of a doctorate. At the beginning of the school year, he purchased the annual health plan. When he learned that a research assistantship would pay for the more comprehensive graduate student insurance, he attempted to cancel the remainder of his student insurance and receive a refund. The business office told him that the money had already been paid, there would be no refund. Balternsperger eventually cancelled his graduate insurance and took the lesser coverage. “At least I’ll know not to buy insurance next year,” Baltensperger said. He believes the university isn’t doing enough to hold UnitedHealthcare accountable. “If you can’t tell the insurance company to let students get out of their policy, you got a bum deal.” Margaret Kellogg said students “need to do their homework” on their insurance policy. They need to know, for example, that the university no longer automatically adds health insurance to a student’s bill. The university considers it more cost effective to place responsibility for signing up for insurance on the students. “They owe it to themselves to make sure they’re paying for what they think they’re paying for,” Kellogg said.
What student insurance IS good for Despite numerous complaints from students about where the health insurance falls short, Kellogg said that overall she likes UnitedHealthcare. She said the ability to get somebody knowledgeable on the phone when needed was a driving factor in the selection of UnitedHealthcare. “We’ve had a very good relationship with this insurance company over the years,” Kellogg said. The university has kept the annual insurance coverage around $1,000 or less for 15 years now, no small feat Kellogg said. Then there are the perks: birth control and all visits to the health center are covered 100 percent by student insurance. Kellogg cited the birth control coverage as a major coup when it was added roughly a decade ago.
February 22, 2011
Sports Briefs Compiled by Rebecca Coleman Sun Star Reporter
Women skiers take first In Houghton, Mich., Alaska’s women’s ski team claimed the CCSA regional title against Northern Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 19. Junior Theresia Schnurr and sophomore Raphaela Sieber, whose consistent performances kept Alaska on top, led the Nanooks. The men came in second, and the Nanooks placed second overall. “It was a solid team effort today,” said head coach Scott Jerome. “It was really exciting to see some different people step up and have some good races.” Alaska now gets to play the waiting game, as they will find out who qualifies for next month’s NCAA Championships sometime this week. - www.alaskananooks.com
Swimmers splash to fourth place In Long Beach, Calif., Alaska’s swim team took fourth place at the Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Championships on Saturday, Feb. 19. The championships began Feb. 16, and with each passing day, the Nanooks swam stronger. On day one, Alaska earned a second-place finish in the 200 Medley Relay, the best in school history. On day two, the Nanooks swam their way to seventh place overall. On day three, Alaska moved up to sixth place, led by senior Mariya Pavlovskaya with a second-place finish in the 400 Yard IM. The Nanooks swam their best on day four to place fourth overall.
The Sun Star
Nanook hockey splits with Spartans to end conference play Rebecca Coleman Sun Star Reporter Feb. 18 and 19 marked the last CCHA hockey series of the season for the Nanooks. Alaska took on Michigan State, and both teams hit the ice ready to perform. “They’re a good team and it’s going to be a battle this weekend,” said freshman Michael Quinn. “Both teams want to go into playoffs on a good note.” The Nanooks split the series with the Spartans: Alaska won Friday’s game 4-1, and Michigan State won Saturday’s game 6-2. “We need a good first period,” said junior Ron Meyers before Friday’s game. “We need to get that first goal and keep pressing from there.” That’s exactly how the Nanooks played on Friday. Junior Carlo Finucci started the night with a goal in the first period. Former Spartan sophomore Adam Henderson was “a little nervous” about playing his old team, since he is still friends with some of his old teammates, but he showed no hesitations when he and junior Scott Enders provided assists to Finucci’s goal. Alaska dominated the period, keeping the puck in the offensive zone and outshooting Michigan State 13-4. In the second
period, the Spartans came out with a renewed energy, but the Nanook defense was unrelenting and kept the Spartans scoreless. The third period saw a power-play goal by sophomore Andy Taranto, followed by backto-back goals by Enders. His second goal came straight off of junior Justin Filzen’s faceoff draw. “It was a nice faceoff by Filzen,” Enders said. “I just put it on net and luckily, the goalie got screened… The puck had eyes.” Michigan State managed a lone goal with 1:32 left in the game, taking away a shutout opportunity for goalie Scott Greenham. “All the d-men stepped up today; we had a pretty good game defensively,” Enders said. “As a unit as a whole, we played pretty well.” Unfortunately, Saturday was a completely different game. The Spartans took control early, scoring their first goal 1:12 into the night. A few minutes later, Taranto brought the score to a tie. Before the first period was over, Henderson picked up a 2-minute penalty for hooking. Michigan State took advantage of the power play and picked up another goal. The Spartans added a third goal to their tally in the second period. In the final period, Michigan State’s Mike Merrifield had a breakaway and
slipped the puck past Greenham. Thirty seconds later, Taranto kept the Nanooks’ hopes afloat with his second goal of the night, but the Spartans would capture two more goals before the game was over. “They limited us in scoring chances,” said head coach Dallas Ferguson. “We couldn’t find anything to get our energy going. We left Greener [Greenham] out to dry a little bit.” “We knew they were going to play hard,” said captain senior Kevin Petovello. “You can sugarcoat it all you want, but we didn’t play our best.” Next up for the Nanooks is the Governor’s Cup series against the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves on Feb 25 and 26. Game one will be played at the Carlson Center here in Fairbanks, and game two will be at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Even though the Nanooks are having an “up and down” season, “when we’re on our up, we can beat anybody,” Meyers said.
Women’s basketball loses chance at playoffs After a 43-55 loss to Simon Fraser on Feb. 17, women’s basketball is officially out of playoff hopes. Freshman Ciara Patton led the team with 11 points, but it wasn’t enough to get the Nanooks a win. The Alaska women attempted to give Western Washington their first loss of the season on Feb. 19, but they were shot down in a 44-68 loss. Senior Nicole Bozek led in scoring with 11 points, but only shot 3-for-13. The Nanooks will take on Alaska Anchorage on the road on Feb. 24 for their last game of the season. - www.alaskananooks.com
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Arts & Entertainment
February 22, 2011
A & E Briefs
Paper Scissors will “Never Surrender” Jeremia Schrock Sun Star Reporter
(organ/synthesizers/bass/accordion/theremin). For any “Doctor Who” fans out there, the theremin is what gives the show’s theme song its unique sound. For those with a more eclectic and indie bend for music, Paper Scissors offers the best sounds of bands like Vampire Weekend, Portugal, The Man, Netherfriends and The Benevento/ Russo duo. Since the album is so good, I’m going to discuss a few of the songs that I really enjoyed.
Lost in the Crowd Craig Brookes’ voice is gorgeous: it’s deep, meaningful and tinged with longing. To really get an idea for his pipes, take a listen to this song. The “strong-man-aboutto-break” feel of his voice isn’t so much chilling as it is honest. When he sings, “How will I learn to live without you? Who’ll put me in my place? Who’ll gloat at my every disgrace?” you feel nothing but sympathy. You want to hug him.
“Never Surrender,” Paper Scissors’ newest album. Artwork courtesty of the Paper Scissors Myspace page.
Paper Scissors has been haunting Fairbanks with their mix of guitar- and synthesizer-based sounds for the better part of six years. The core of the band is composed of Craig Brookes (guitar/vocals), Ryan Schmidt (drums) and the multi-talented Isaac Paris
Houdini “Houdini” is pure mischief. It doesn’t hurt that it sounds like something out of an independent French film. Think “Le Grande Voyage” or “Monsieur Ibrahim.” This is one of those instrumental pieces where every
thing fits together perfectly. Paris’ accordion and piano are beautiful, and Brooke’s guitarsolo in the middle is, well, sick. If I were shooting a Wes Anderson-styled film, this song would be in it.
Fired all my friends This track reminds me a great deal of Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up,” famously heard in the trailer for “Where the Wild Things Are.” Both Arcade Fire’s and Paper Scissors’ songs are reminiscent of the unbound energy of childhood, the only difference being that “Fired all my friends” is slightly less frantic. Which is nice. Sure we were all children at one point, but that doesn’t mean we were always pinging off the walls. “Fired all my Friends” is not pingy. Overall, I have to give the band and the album both 4 out of 5 stars. They’re fantastic and have solidified their spot as one of the best musical groups in the city. I would feel no qualms saying Sweating Honey, the Good Daze and Paper Scissors together in one breadth. The sheer depth of their music, layering stringed instruments with electronic affects is sublime. The only disappointment I feel about their album is that I didn’t listen to it sooner.
Compiled by Elika Roohi Sun Star Reporter
A Surprising Grammy night This year was a surprising year at the Grammys. The strangest surprise might have been Lady Gaga showing up in an egg. But the biggest surprise seemed to be Esperanza Spalding, the 26-year-old bassist with cool hair, taking home the award for best new artist. The favorites in the category were Justin Bieber and Drake, not to mention Mumford and Sons and Florence + the Machines. “I’m not gonna lie – I was disappointed,” said Bieber to MTV after the awards. It’s okay Bieber, you’re still young. There’s always next year. -CNN
More Alaskan: Danskos or Xtra Tufs? In a competition for the most Alaskan shoe, would you pick Danskos or Xtra Tufs? Danskos are seen all over Fairbanks and Anchorage, but get out into rural Alaska and they’re nowhere to be found. Xtra Tuffs on the other hand are worn in winter and summer, in rain or shine, with jeans and skirts. They’re also seen almost everywhere in Alaska, from clam diggers near Homer to villagers motoring across the tundra on four-wheelers to hipster kids in downtown Anchorage. Xtra Tufs, I believe you win this round. -Alaska Dispatch
Ed Helms, banjo sensation
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Come to our ice cream social at Wood Center on Monday, Feb. 28th from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. We’re giving away free ice cream to celebrate
You might have seen a part of Ed Helms’ musical side in The Hangover when he sang the song about dreaming tigers, but what you might not know is that Helms plays banjo in a bluegrass band, The Lonesome Trio. Helms grew up in Atlanta, Ga., and used to spend his summers in the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, where he learned to play the banjo. Helms has been performing stand up comedy for 15 years, he’s been on “The Daily Show” and “The Office,” and he’s acted in several movies. But he still gets stage fright when he plays music in front of people. -NPR
February 22, 2011
The Sun Star
Weekend Wanderlust Memorabilia Mishmash Part II: Paperwork Pileup Jamie Hazlett Sun Star Columnist Admittedly, some trips are more likely to fill your luggage with papers than others. If you’re going someplace you’ve been before or to a destination with a specific purpose - like a ski resort - you probably won’t feel much of a need to squirrel away every free city map or lift ticket. When you take trips to places that are new or carry some special cultural, historical, or personal significance, though, you might be surprised by how many tree scraps you come home with. Once those papers are sitting in an untidy pile on your desk, your perspective of their value is likely to shift from what it was when you reverently folded it into your bag. As we discussed last week with photos, the first thing to do is to toss what doesn’t grab your attention or bring back a fond memory. Don’t allow the size of a paper memento to be your only guideline when deciding what should go and what should stay. Just because a map folds out to cover half the wall doesn’t mean it isn’t worth keeping. On the other end of the spectrum, your subway ticket might seem like perfect trash fodder. If you’ve got an underground transportation fetish like I do, though, that magnetized strip of construction paper might be the greatest thing you picked up on your trip. Examine each item closely. Is there part of it you want to keep, like a really great picture or design? Cut it out and toss the rest. If you don’t scrapbook or do some other form of art that the smaller pieces you keep will lend themselves to, that’s okay. You can still hang the menu from that trendy seaside bistro on your fridge. Many frame stores will be happy to work with you in creating something that combines several aspects of your trip, so take your favorite papers and a few photos with you and have them put under glass together as a visual montage of your vacation. Not only will this reduce your pile at home, but it also nets you a great piece of wall art. Larger items that you want to keep intact can be more of a challenge. What do people do with topo maps once the
journey’s over, anyway? The best way I’ve found to organize big items worthy of being kept but too unwieldy to be displayed is to purchase a binder and some protective sleeves. Most items folded along their original lines will fit comfortably into a standard sheet protector, and putting all the items you store this way into a single three-ring notebook makes it easy to pull out all of your Puerto Rico papers without a long search. You can store smaller items this way, too, or tuck a thumb drive with your vacation photos on it into one of the cover pockets. This method of storage is great if you don’t have the time and inclination to do anything more complicated.
Let’s face it: you wouldn’t have brought all those papers back so carefully if at least a few of them didn’t mean or represent something to you. Letting them mold in your attic after you went through the hassle of keeping them neatly folded during your vacation seems like a waste, and it is. It takes very little time, effort and money to do a basic organizing of your paper souvenirs, and in the long run you will be glad you did. Think of it as an investment. After all, who knows whether or not that delicious hole-in-the-wall place you had lunch at will end up as a four-star restaurant in 20 years? The menu you keep may let you afford to eat there again some day. Even if it turns out to have no monetary value at all, it will still mean something to you.
Jeremy Smith Sun Star Columnist
Web MD: Fueling our inner hypochondriac since 1999 A few months ago, I developed this odd little spasm in the corner of my left eye. It’s not noticeable to people looking at it, but it is incredibly annoying. I couldn’t think of what to tie the cause to: is it diet, an increase in stress or maybe my embryonic twin trying to establish dominance over our shared body? It’s not a twin… at least, not according to WebMD and MayoClinic.com. An optometrist friend of mine told me it was possibly myokymia so I looked it up on WebMD. From there I was directed to Neuromyotonia, and learned it is associated with four different childhood syndromes and is a “rare neuromuscular disorder characterized by abnormal nerve impulses from the peripheral nerves.” I’m not sure if this is better or worse than having a twin. The fact that this information is vetted by doctors and medical organizations and available for free online is something that the two founders of the company always had in mind. James H. Clark, a bit of an internet hot-shot what with his involvement in Netscape, wanted to create an internetbased system that would serve as a depository for medical and billing information. Jeffrey T. Arnold initially devised an idea for a web site that offered free healthcare information to consumers and subscription services to doctors. In 1999, the two merged and eventually became WebMD. According to 2010 web rankings, WebMD is the leading health-centric website with more than 20 million monthly visitors looking up ways to cure indigestion or check their flu symptoms. Of course, being the largest pill in the bottle brings with it a need to remain profitable. WebMD has been accused of
everything from being in bed with pharmaceutical companies to skewing posted information so that it will add fuel to any hypochondriac’s most vivid disease-dream. Flashing ads for Lipitor, Cymbalta and other drugs assault you on each page. They have even added an entire section that caters to pet health. I’m not saying that this is bad, but it does show a certain kind of agenda. This is where my favorite health website, the Mayo Clinic, comes in. It’s a nonprofit, anti-agenda health resource that realizes you and I don’t have a golden ticket when it comes to medical costs. Everything from in-depth information about migraine causes to how to effectively prepare for your next doctor’s appointment is covered in a calm and clear manner. After plugging in “myokymia” at MayoClinic.com, I learned that it is an involuntary spasm of the muscles around the eye, completely normal, and eventually goes away. A little less alarmist than WebMD I think, and what my optometrist friend meant for me to know all along. Considering how much of a quagmire the United States health insurance industry is in, many people, including myself, will turn to a web-based resource rather than risk the wrath of an insurance plan that doesn’t cover a visit to the doctor’s office. It’s important to remember where you are getting your information from and to remember to always seek a second opinion, especially online. I’m just wondering if my deductible covers embryonic twin removal. I hope so.
Jeremy talks and takes on technology at gpfault.org.
Letters to the Editor Have something to say? Say it here. The Sun Star welcomes reader commentary.
Great job, Sun Star Dear Editors, I have been reading the Sun Star for over a decade; in recent years, it has been little more than plebeian yellow journalism. This year, however, I have seen the paper turn around considerably. The layout and content have improved greatly in quality and pertinence, finally resembling a
polished university publication that is both entertaining and informative. Your hard work, creativity and dedication are appreciated-- well done! Trista Saunders Recruiting and Outreach Coordinator School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences University of Alaska Fairbanks
Letters to the editor should be no more than 250 words in length. Please include the author’s full name and contact information (phone number, e-mail or address). E-mail your letters (preferred) to email@example.com, fax them to 474-5508, or mail them to to PO Box 756640, Fairbanks, AK, 99775. All letters are subject to editing for brevity and grammar.
February 22, 2011
Mission (in)complete A heartfelt thank you is in order. Thank you, University President Gamble. Thank you ASUAF President Nikki Carvajal. Thank you to all the students, staff and faculty who fought to include sexual orientation in the university non-discrimination policy. I would especially like to thank the eight members of the Board of Regents who voted to amend the policy: Regents Jacobson, Martin, Wickersham, Brady, Compton, Hughes, Marrs and the two newest regents Heckman and Powers. There’s no doubt history was made in Anchorage during the February Board of Regents meeting. Carvajal, who was present in the room when the vote was made, said the room erupted in applause. “I am glad this decision was made,” Carvajal said. “It’s about time.” The final vote to amend was 8 to 2, and since no newspaper in Alaska will name names, I will. Regents Fisher and Cowell voted against protecting gay, lesbian and bisexual students, staff and faculty from discrimination on campus. According to Carvajal, Regent Fisher called the proposed change “unconstitutional” and unnecessary. Regent Cowell, who is chair of the board, did not articulate his reasons but simply voted no. History will judge them both poorly. To those who worked to make this amendment possible, I say again, thanks. Thanks, but it’s not enough. After decades of struggle, the university has taken a sizable step into the 21st century. The thing about progress is that it never stops. Protecting sexual orientation is important, but where does that leave the “T” in “LGBT?” Despite what certain closed-minded individuals may say, being transgender is not a sexual orientation, it is a gender identity. The current wording of the non-discrimination policy makes no mention of gender identity. This is not trivial stuff. Transgender people are much more likely to commit suicide. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center lists one study that found that more than 80 percent of transgender youth between 15 and 21 had suicidal thoughts and that more than 50 percent attempted suicide at least once. Transgender people are also disproportionately more likely to be the target of assault, rape or murder. This number stands out even compared to gays, lesbians and bisexuals who also face a higher chance of being assaulted. When President Gamble swung his support behind amending the non-discrimination policy, he cited Congress’ decision to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as part of what helped him make up his mind. It’s telling that like the non-discrimination policy, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” does nothing to protect transgender men and women in the armed services. It becomes outright tragedy that members of the transgender community are frequently vilified or forgotten when it was the transgender community that largely started the modern LGBT rights movement. The Stonewall Riots of 1969, heavily credited as the birthplace of gay pride, were inspired by, and largely made up of, transgender women and so-called “butch” lesbians fighting back against police oppression. Opponents of amending the non-discrimination policy, such as UAF Faculty Senate President Jon Dehn, said that if the policy is amended to include sexual orientation, it leaves the door open to further amendment. Doubtless, they will take my editorial as evidence of exactly that. Never mind that the slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy. When heavily scrutinized, that argument falls apart. There is documented evidence that transgender people are disproportionately the victims of violence and discrimination. That means they deserve to be protected, and that protection will be enshrined in the University of Alaska non-discrimination policy. A change in the policy will give transgender people at the university an avenue to address their grievances if they are targeted for discrimination. By giving transgender people a voice, the university could do its part to reduce the alienation that can contribute to suicidal thoughts. Voting to protect a particularly vulnerable minority should not be an inconvenience for the regents.
Andrew Sheeler Editor-in-Chief UAF Sun Star
Join us for the first ever, Seawolf feed and Governorâ€™s Cup broadcast. T F S E B OL W OS A E S AC N! T OW IN T
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Come for Dinner and the Game UAF Patty Center Saturday, Feb. 26, 6:15 p.m. $20 for adults, $10 for kids under 12 (Includes admission to the game)
Or just Come for the Game UAF Hockey vs. UAA 6:45 p.m. $5 per person
There will be concessions available during the game. Tickets on sale at all UAF sporting events or by calling the Alumni office at 474-7081. For more information contact the Patty Center Ticket Office at 474-5977.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution. UAF photos by Todd Paris. 02/2011