Students walk for a cause...P2
Women’s golf team swings to success...P5
April 24, 2012 highlandernews.net
President to Graduate with Class of 2013 By April Dulsky, Morgan Harding, Editorial Staff University President Michael A. MacDowell announced his plans to retire effective June 30, 2013, and the search for a new president is on. The president spoke out about his plans to retire during a conference that was open to the community. “This is hardly an easy decision to make. Our time here has been the most enjoyable of our lives. The friends we have made, the work we have undertaken together and the success the university has enjoyed, are accomplishments about which we all should be proud,” said MacDowell at a Special Conversation with the President event April 19. With his contract expiring this year, the president knew that a decision must be made about his future at MU. “My contract actually ends at the end of this year on June 30 and the board wanted me to stay and I said I’ll do it one more year. That was our compromise,” said MacDowell. “It is tough decision to make but after what will be 15 years that’s a long time to be in college.” During MacDowell’s tenure as university president, he’s provided unparalleled leadership and challenged the board to do the same, according to John Metz, chairman of the Board of Trustees. MacDowell has encouraged growth and change over his 15 years on campus. Under his hand, MU evolved from college to univer-
sity and changed the appearance of the campus grounds. This growth would not have been possible if it had not been for MacDowell’s ability to raise money. The university’s endowment amounts to more than $23 million, up from $4 million in 1998, and the annual fund exceeds $1 million. In total, almost $39 million has been raised from private sources and $21 million has been granted in government resources since he assumed the presidency. With more than a year left until his departure, MacDowell plans to continue to raise between $6 and $7 million dollars to pay for the new buildings on campus and he looks
a way, he has been the face of our franchise. Replacing that is a process,” said Paul Krzywicki, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications. That process has already begun with the selection of a search firm. Board Chair John Metz has identified a professional consultant, Dr. Thomas Courtice of AGB Search. Courtice will lead the preliminary identification of potential candidates and then hold meetings n April 25 and April 26 during which he will talk with executive members of the board of trustees, vicepresidents, deans, faculty senate and staff council. “The important part is to get
“It is tough decision to make but after
what will be 15 years that’s a long time to be in college.” forward to seeing the start of the new physician’s assistant program, which will raise undergraduate enrollment to approximately 1800 students. “Anytime a president retires it’s a big deal. President MacDowell has been the face of Misericordia University for a long time now, 15 years, and has been very hands on in the process of revitalizing Misericordia in so many ways. He has helped us make academic progress, build our status from a college to a university and truly had so many different accomplishments. In
engagement from students, faculty and staff involved in the process,” said MacDowell. Open sessions, during which members of the campus community can voice the qualities they feel presidential candidates should possess, will be offered in the Huntzinger room of Insalaco Hall. The search firm will then create a complete profile of what the community is looking for in a new president. By fall, a search committee comprised of 10 to 12 students, staff, faculty, trustees and alumni will narrow the candidates down
to three finalists. The announcement of the new president will be made either before or immediately after winter break, according to MacDowell. “Misericordia is a very special place because people care deeply about it and because they have internalized its mission. These are institutional attributes that will serve Misericordia’s new president exceedingly well,” said MacDowell. The president has a lot ahead of him for his final year. In addition to the money he plans to raise, he will finish a report for the governor on the state and future of postsecondary education, finish administrative work and hopefully have a few parties to celebrate along the way. “We are also going to see the advent of the new physician’s assistance program where we will see a growth in the student body and we want to finish up the year by cheering for our new football team,” said MacDowell. The positivity and supportive nature of the president is what many students want to remember about MacDowell. Senior Gabi Trepper was shocked to see that he was stepping down from presidency. “I always thought that he was very welcoming to students. He always tries to help students as much as possible,” said Trepper. Many students hope that
Bernstein connects with students By April Dulsky, Web Editor
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Carl Bernstein encouraged students to read newspapers and become more active participants in U.S. politics. Bernstein, co-author of a series of investigative Washington Post articles that exposed the Watergate scandal, presented a master class called “The Cult and Culture of Washington: An American Problem that Must Be Solved.” Bernstein also opened the floor to their questions and concerns about politics and other hot-topic issues. “The class was designed to enable class leaders from the communications, English, and history departments to benefit from interacting with a prominent figure in journalism history,” said Melissa Sgroi, Communications department chair and professor. Bernstein provided expert, first-hand background on the Watergate Scandal and explained how he and journalist Robert Woodward worked with the Post to break the story about the crimes that would end the presidency of Richard Nixon. Bernstein called on sophomore Gia Mazur and asked to explain what Watergate is. “How do I define it to you?” said Mazur. “Someone was tapping the phone lines and President Nixon was doing something that he shouldn’t have been doing; I know that. People lost faith in their government because they couldn’t trust anybody.” Bernstein talked freely
about his feelings toward the current deeply divided partisan Congress and pointed out which branch of government he believes is behind the declining political standards. “Washington is a broken place. The system is broken, broken fundamentally I believe by the single branch of
itics is a subject they want to become more informed about. Sophomore Ellen Hoffman said she now understands the important relationship between politics and journalism. “After talking about politics and political processes I know I need to become more educated in that field. There is so
Bernstein also discussed the national debt, investigative journalism and raised the pressing issue of massive loan debt that college students are struggling to manage. Bernstein also urged students to take a step back from social media and look to other media platforms for their news. He
MARY BOVE/THE HIGHLANDER
Above, Carl Bernstein addresses selected students on the Watergate Scandal, issues in government and social media’s impact on society in a master class on April 17 in Mercy Hall. government, which is almost totally dysfunctional, is the legislative branch congress of the United States,” said Bernstein. Several students believe pol-
much out there that I realized I don’t know about and really should. It opened my eyes to just how important politics is and how it shapes our lives,” said Hoffman.
suggested reading newspapers either online or in print to receive the most reliable information. “Our generation is so focused on social media. I know Continued on page 6
Viewfinder: Relay for Life Look for photos of the nationwide event held annually in Anderson Sports and Health Center to help raise money and awareness around campus
Exclusively on highlandernews.net Students use blogs Collegiate bands to enhance work rock the campus and portfolios music scene
the new president will bring even more positive changes to the school and continue with the four charisms. “I hope that they will bring good changes to the school and more parking would be nice,” said MaryKate Smith, sophomore. Several students desire to
see an event to commemorate the president’s 15th year with the university, and to involve the entire campus community in the process of choosing a new president and celebrating the current president’s legacy.
SUPREMES WEIGH HEALTHCARE LAW By Alexa Cholewa, Reporter
The Supreme Court is deciding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by President Barack Obama in March 2010, requires those who are not covered by their employers’ insurance plan or other public insurance programs to purchase minimal health care coverage. The plan is an attempt to help provide a universal health care plan for all Americans. The United States is one of the few industrialized countries that do not offer a national health insurance plan. Hastings feels the Affordable Care Act is a necessary step help ensure coverage to millions of Americans who don’t have insurance, either because their employers do not offer the benefit or they cannot afford it. Nursing professor Todd Hastings supports the plan. “We need to be like other civilized countries that have a universal plan,” Hastings said. “I think the premise of an Affordable Care Act is important that we embrace as a country.” One of the key provisions of the Act allows children up to age 26 to stay on parent’s health insurance plans. The Act also imposes a ten percent tax on indoor tanning. Before the enactment of PPACA, individual insurance companies had the authority to deny anyone coverage for with a preexisting condition,
and drop members when they got sick . The PPACA will prohibit insurance companies from having the ability to determine individuals’ eligibility for coverage. Hastings is in favor of health care reform, but said the requirement to purchase health insurance is a controversial issue. He said some people feel they should be exempt from having an insurance plan because they are too young, or they consider themselves healthy enough to go without coverage. In response, Hastings points to Medicaid, a popular government-sponsored program that he feels works. “Medicaid, right now, is the state implemented version of public assistance,” Hastings said. “The expansion of Medicaid is an important component [to health care reform] because that has been the safety net for those who are considered lower income and also for some located within middle class.” Though the current reform was enacted under a Democratic White House, Hastings believes that health care is a basic right—of everyone, regardless of political affiliation. “Greater access for people, providing care for those who are uninsured and under insured to be able to meet their health care needs is not what we are doing in the country right now. I support the principle of the idea of a universal health care plan.”
Christine Marks Soars High Star basketball player attended nationally known camp in Denver, Colorado that is noted for professional recruitment
April 24, 2012
Construction beneficial to future sports, athletes Construction of the new field house and athletics field is expected to wrap in July, 2012, ready to use for the fall sports season. By Dominick Dellos, Reporter The construction of the athletics field house is moving along smoothly, and the positive impact of the $4.1 million project will be felt campus wide. Located in between Manglesdorf field and Tambur Field, officials say the stateof-the-art 12,000 square foot building will be a quality addition to the growing campus, including a football team set to kick off in fall 2012. The field house will feature locker rooms, which will be interchangeable for teams in the fall and spring seasons. The large football locker room will split into a baseball locker room and a men’s lacrosse locker room . There is also an additional men’s room for men’s soccer in the fall and track & field in the spring. There will be two women’s team rooms for women’s soccer and field hockey in the fall, and women’s lacrosse and track & field in the spring. The field house was long overdue, according to David Martin, Director of Athletics. “Football was the impetus, but not the only reason,” Martin said. “We’ve had a need for this for quite a long time. Football just jump started it. With the field house all field teams will benefit.” The building provides an upgrade to athletes and fans alike, featuring locker rooms of all sizes –and restrooms for the public. “It’s a major upgrade from the jonnies we use now,” Martin said with a laugh. “Before, we had no running water and restrooms were desperately
needed.” The new field house also solves the problem of athletes and officials having to change in Anderson locker rooms and then make the trek to Manglesdorf field. “It’s going to be convenient to be able to leave things in the locker room after practice,” said junior Nick Ferguson, a men’s soccer player. “I used to have to take things with me.” Adding an athlete-only weight room was important to Martin, which will benefit non-athletes who exercise in the current fitness center. “We don’t want to take anything away from general students,” Martin said. “It got crowded when teams would workout at once and with the field house we won’t monopolize it.” According to Martin, the field house will also include a laundry room and an athletic training room, along with two large meeting rooms where teams can participate in film sessions. The current laundry and training room facilities will still be used during winter sports. “It’s important to let people know that, yes, we’re adding football, but not at the cost of other sports,” Martin said. “Not many people know we’re one of only two schools in the MAC that offer every sport.” Misericordia is legitimizing its athletics program along with constructing a solid recruiting base by showing dedication and support to athletics. “When a student looks at a college, students ask
three things,” Martin said. “‘Where do I eat?’, ‘Where do I sleep?’, and ‘Where do I play?’. We addressed the question of ‘Where do I play?’, and with the improvements Residence Life has been making, along with the renovations in the den, we’re doing a good job competing with other schools.” With the growth in athletics, the campus is likewise forced to grow, and those changes benefit all students with brand new facilities. “It’s a snowball effect,” Martin said. “All additions benefit every single student on campus.” According to Martin, the field house project will be finished by July 15, 2012.
DAVE SMITH/THE HIGHLANDER
Above, construction continues behind Banks Student Life Center on the new field house and baseball field. The construction is set to be finished July 15, 2012 and ready for the 2012 fall sports season.
Students go barefoot for cause Students take off their shoes and take a step for those that go shoeless everyday. By Ellen Hoffman, Print Editor TOMS shoes help comfort the soles of children every day, and students supported the program by participating in a nationwide event, One Day Without Shoes, April 10. “One reason kids can’t get into schools is because they don’t own a pair of shoes, and the diseases they can pick up with not wearing shoes,” she said. “We basically just wanted to bring that issue to our campus and make people aware.” Senior Lisa Witkowski coordinated the event with others in Campus Ministry and Kristen Samuels, the head of Community Outreach, because they wanted to raise awareness of the TOMS program. After learning about One Day Without Shoes and discussing ideas, she started planning. Witkowski organized a number of activities to go along with the event. Organizers offered nail painting and gave out ankle bracelets to students and faculty as a reminder of how important shoes and socks are. “We basically just wanted to do it at Misericordia to show that you should be grateful for shoes and socks, because it’s something that you never think of as a privilege.” Junior Sean Vitale helped by creating a path of gravel, sand and mulch for people to walk across barefoot. Organizers wanted participants to
realize how lucky they are to own a single pair of shoes and understand that some children live without them. “It was only like two steps on each section but they instantly noticed how uncomfortable it was,” Witkowski said. “And we were, like, “Imagine if that was every day that you had to
Banks Student Life Center, but because of rain the activities were moved inside. Organizers also posted signs explaining why it was important to get involved. “It was freezing and then raining, and people were complaining. I was one of them, but we were kind of like, ‘It’s
LISA WITKOWSKI FOR THE HIGHLANDER
Above, senior Stephen Burnett participates in One Day Without Shoes and walks through a path created by junior Sean Vitale. walk like that.’” One thing Witkowski and the other organizers did not plan was poor weather. The event was scheduled to take place outside, in front of the
not like they only go barefoot when it’s nice out; [children] have to go barefoot no matter what the weather is like.” This was the first year students worked with TOMS
to coordinate an event. First year student Lelia Comerford helped because she is motivated by “social injustices like children in third world countries without shoes,” she said, and she encourages other students to get involved. “We are very privileged to have a lot of advances in our society. We use phones to communicate instantly but an instant message for two friends in, let’s say, Africa could involve miles and miles of walking in harsh conditions. It’s a way to give back with really only giving up two things—your shoes and your time.” To prepare, volunteers sold TOMS shoes in the Banks lobby a week prior to One Day Without Shoes. Retailers from Arch Comfort in Kingston attended as representatives. The shoes were so popular that they sold out that afternoon. “It was like a mob in Banks, which was kind of cool,” said Witkowski. Witkowski hopes that next year the retailer returns with more shoes and a greater selection for students. Organizers also hope to construct a longer trail of gravel and mulch to offer more steps for the walkers. Other activities may include feet painting. For more information visit the TOMS One Day Without Shoes website at www.onedaywithoutshoes.com.
NURSING HISTORY VISITS GALLERY The Pauly Friedman Art Gallery is set to host nursing exhibit.
By Aimee DiLucido, Gabrielle Gattuso, Grace Riker, Contributors Dr. Valanen’s Museum Studies class, in partnership with the Center for Nursing History, are putting the finishing touches on an exhibit in the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery May 6 through June 29. The exhibit, titled “The History and Impact of Nursing Education in Luzerne County, 1887 -2012,” will take its audience to the roots of the nursing profession in Luzerne County, and it’s a history that is widely untold. The Center for Nursing History, under the direction of Donna Snelson, took on the task of collecting this history at the center’s opening in 2005. At one point, Luzerne County alone had 13 different nursing schools, many of them affiliated with hospitals whose priority was to serve the needs of the mining community. The collection of artifacts is housed in the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library and is organized and maintained by archivist Jessica Reeder. When Reeder took on her role at the university, she became actively involved with the Center for Nursing History and plans for the exhibit. “It was a joint effort. Nothing had been done with it in the past couple of years so I met with Donna Snelson and she was interested in doing the exhibit. So I really wanted to
show case what we had for the collection,” said Reeder. Most of the objects displayed are donated by the alumni of the original diploma programs. There are over 10,000 photographs in the archives, as well as uniforms from the various nursing schools, and other key artifacts. Reeder hopes the exhibit will explain major changes that have taken place in the nursing profession since the 1950s and 1960s. One difference is the switch from the initial rule that nursing programs could only accept and employ an exclusively female staff. Women wore full dresses and small boots while attending to their patients, and they performed a lot of physical labor due to the lack of technology. Women’s rights played a significant role as the profession progressed. “Women were marginalized. Rights of students mimicked rights of women. Nursing students were not allowed to be pregnant. They were weighed every month to make sure they were not putting on baby weight, especially in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Before nursing there was really no profession for women,” said Reeder. The exhibit will also showcase present nursing curricula and Continued on page 3
INTEGRITY STAFF Katlin Bunton - Editor-in-Chief Ellen Hoffman - Print Editor April Dulsky - Web Editor Julia Truax - Content Manager Mary Bove - Photographer Morgan Harding - Web Master Audra Wehner - Business Manager Melissa Sgroi - Advisor
CONTRIBUTORS Alexa Cholewa Dominick Dellos Aimee DiLucido Michele Drago Jimmy Fisher Gabrielle Gattuso Brittany Hayes Misericordia University 301 Lake Street Dallas, PA 18612
Hilary Hoover Josh Horton Gabriella Lengyel Gia Mazur Grace Riker Dave Smith Lisa Witkowski
The Highlander works to produce up-to-date, clear, accurate reporting. If any information is inaccurate or not covered thoroughly, corrections and information will appear in this area. Opinions and views expressed in The Highlander in no way reflect those of Misericordia University or the Sisters of Mercy. The Highlander Staff welcomes students, faculty and reader response. The Highlander reserves the right to edit submissions for grammatical errors and length. All submissions must be signed. Letters to the Editor and/or materials for publication may be submitted by any reader. Items can be sent via e-mail.
The Highlander is a free, biweekly publication produced in conjunction with MU Communications Department. Any full-time student is encouraged to join the staff. We are a member of the American Scholastic Press Association, Associated Collegiate Press and the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.
Viewfinder: Relay for Life
Arts & Entertainment
April 24, 2012 3
Recipe for Disaster: A Collegiate
y r a n Culi
By Michele Drago Fashion Columnist
MARY BOVE/THE HIGHLANDER
Students, faculty, staff and visitors participate in Relay for Life April 13-14. The event ran from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in the Anderson Sports and Health Center. Participants walked the gym and competed in competitions while raising money for cancer.
Three years ago, I never really thought this moment would ever arrive – the moment Let’s Talk Fashion would be ending due to graduation as I start a new, exciting chapter in my life. I remember the exact day I thought up the brilliant idea of a fashion column inspired by how much I admired the Snapshot Series in Teen Vogue that featured young Fashionistas, their favorite designers and where they purchased the outfits they were wearing in their classic street style pose. Having a fashion column in The Highlander has been a dream come true. The main reason I had intended to write Let’s Talk Fashion was to be able to create a voice for the underlying fashion scene at Misericordia. I never really imagined that this column would lead me to amazing opportunities and a future career in fashion, teaching me that when you set your mind to something, have encouraging people that believe in you, and have a passion for what you’re doing you can accomplish anything. As I head off to continue my education at Parsons The New School for Design in Manhattan, live a hectic life in a shoebox of an apartment in New York City, and interview for a job at Saks Fifth Avenue, I wanted to use this final column to thank many of the people who helped me get to where I am today and to say my goodbyes. While fashion is a competitive industry to enter, there has been one person who has always encouraged me to follow my passion and do what I love. My fashion mascot, also known as my mom, Veronica Drago, has been my go-to person and my biggest fan. I cannot even think of the many times she stocked up on copies of The Highlander at her work office just to pass along my fashion column to her stylish friends. Whenever I needed someone to read over a column, she was that person. Even when I had desperately wanted to attend Fashion’s Night Out in Manhattan to get a glimpse of the city known for fashion on a night dedicated to style, she made it possible for me to go and even attended casual fashion parties at Theory and Marciano with me. My fashion column and my education at Misericordia wouldn’t be the same without newspaper advisor Melissa Sgroi. One thing I’ve learned from Sgroi as I applied for fashion school is that you have to reach for the stars. Throughout the years, she has taught me that having a career in fashion is possible, if you work as hard as you possibly can. She’s always supported my choices and encouraged me to write Let’s Talk Fashion my sophomore year of college. I believe its important to have someone like Sgroi in your life because she personally challenged me to take fashion world by storm, and without her revising my Parsons entry essay on designer Prabal Gurung, I maybe wouldn’t have the opportunity to say I’m attending in the fall. As a matter of fact, I made sure she was the first person I called when I got my acceptance letter. I think Let’s Talk Fashion was such a rewarding learning experience because as I continued it into my senior year, I was able to grow as a writer and learn from all of
the related writing internships I’ve had. One of my favorite aspects of my internships was that I always interned for strong, powerful women. They’ve all taught me different aspects of the industry from buying and event planning to photography and writing. The best thing I’ve ever done throughout my fashion column was to meet the owner of the local boutique, buka. Interning this semester for the small designer boutique, I learned more about the industry than I could have ever imagined and I’ve been given the opportunity to attend events like Coterie, one of the largest clothing trunk shows in the United States. Throughout my experience at buka, the owner Joanna has also become a mentor to me, always teaching me life lessons about the fashion industry. Let’s Talk Fashion has also lead to my internship with CollegeFashionista, the international fashion blog. I’ve always had an interest in street style (a term used to describe street fashion trends that determine designer pieces for the season ahead) and was able to quickly learn the ropes from CollegeFashionista. What I loved most about becoming a “Style Guru” for the site is that I was able to bring another channel of fashion to Misericordia and capture the street style trends of students on campus. What made it even more encouraging was that CollegeFashionista founder Amy Levin started the site at the very young age of 22 after she noticed Fashionistas/os at Indiana University who had an interest in college fashion. One of my favorite Let’s Talk Fashion moments was planning Misericordia’s first fashion and trunk show, The Stylista Strut. This event, sponsored by College Lifestyles and The Highlander, was the first of its kind on campus. The event was a huge challenge for me coordinating six local boutiques, over 20 student models and hosting more than 75 attendees who donated around 300 pieces of clothing for charity – but it was a success. Planning the fashion show was such an undertaking, considering I had no experience in event planning. I couldn’t have done any of it without my College Lifestyles founder, Shelly Marie Redmond, who told me I should work for Tiffany and Company because I’m a skilled planner – one of the coolest compliments I’ve ever gotten. Last but certainly not least, I have to thank my readers who have followed my through my fashion journalism journey reading my Let’s Talk Fashion column and keeping up with my weekly CollegeFashionista posts. One of the best things about going to MU and trying to find a voice for fashion on campus is all of the readers who encouraged me and provided the fabulous street styles I then wrote about. I’ll be continuing my studies in Fashion Marketing, working on my personal style site Downtown Elite and continuing my internship with CollegeFashionista. I’ve always wondered how I would end my column. I wanted to do it by saying something really crafty that only Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and The City would come up with. But I can’t think of the right words, so I’ll end it on a good note. It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later. Style On.
By Hilary Hoover Culinary Columnist
As the promise of hot sumof salt is measured by the mer days is threatened by the palm of your hand and you occasional snow flurry, we are can get a cup of water with an left in a cycle of dressing like unmarked jar. I go through Eskimos when we leave the the same process for whatever house at 7:00 a.m., dying of I am making. The amounts heat exhaustion around lunch, listed below are listed for your and then bundling back up reference to see the proporafter we get our large coffees tions, but don’t be afraid to before night class. This week’s add a little bit more of another recipe stems from warmer ingredient that you enjoy. days full of sunshine and Combine a quarter of a cup lighter spirits. A Shirley Temof peach juice, an eighth of ple embodies the lighthearted a cup of cherry juice, and a nature of cup of ice warm sumin your The Recipe: mer days. blender. Traditionally GE A jar/can of peaches in juice My made with Perjust ginger Cup Maraschino cherries in juice sonal ale and Blender cherry juice, works Ginger Ale I’ve switched great up the recipe for this, Ice a bit to put a which is bit of a twist one thing Lime on a classic. it actually During works Makes 2 drinks my time as well for. a banquet Rememwaitress, I played many roles ber the tofu cookies from last – one being bartender. I used semester? I’m still harping to like setting up for special on my lack of a KitchenAid events like a Sunday morning Mixer. brunch because you got the Pulse until you have everyopportunity to be indefinitely thing at slushie consistency. creative and wow small chilPour half of the mixture into dren when you pulled a straw each of the two glasses of your from your sleeve and garchoice. Add a quarter of a cup nished their kiddie cup soda of ginger ale to both and stir with a cherry. Making the until blended. Garnish with a non-alcoholic drinks definitely fresh squeeze of lime, a peach stretches your imagination slice, and a cherry. and skill, because you aren’t This colorful drink combines adding the many different flavors of warmer months that available flavors of liquors. seem like an eternity away How can I make a plain soda as we trudge toward final entertaining? Experimenting exams and graduation for our with different fruit juices and seniors. However, take a bit mixes in the White House of time in between essays to kitchen led me to this concocsit back, relax, and think of tion that everyone can enjoy. sandy beaches and hot sun. Measuring is a tedious proQuestions? Comments? Sugcess for me. I was raised into gestions? Email hooverh2@ a family where you cook with misericordia.edu your hands by feel. A teaspoon
Misericordia chapter of PRSSA
Nursing history, continued
Continued from page 2
the training of MU’s nursing students, several of whom have worked to prepare the exhibit. Vanlanen and her students have been volunteering their time working in the library’s archives. Students were intrigued and excited to work with the artifacts, she said, and Valanen, who is an instrumental part of the project’s preparation and operation. “I thought it would really exciting, especially since we have this collection here and we have the opportunity to actually create an exhibit on campus, that it would be
fun to bring that to students,” she said. The exhibit staff hopes to inspire current nursing students as they educate the community, and continue their efforts to develop their collection. “We’re hoping that it will encourage nurses to come out and tell their stories and one of the things that we would like to do in the future is start collecting oral histories,” said Valanen. The oral histories would involve recording verbal accounts of the lives and stories of the women who were part nursing history in the county.
Marks reaches new heights Star player Christine Marks ends her basketball career on a high note. By Dominick Dellos, Reporter
After the buzzer sounded on Christine Marks’ senior season, she was soon to learn that the final chapter was not finished. Marks was recently invited to Denver during the NCAA Women’s Final Four in early April to participate in a combine featuring collegiate standouts from across the country – and Marks was the only Division III player invited. Following a storied career that includes too many records to count, including the all-time career points record and leading the Cougars to the 2012 MAC Freedom Conference title, Marks seized the opportunity to fly out to the Mile High city. “I was really honored to be selected to participate in this showcase,” Marks said. “It was exciting and I just wanted to give it my best shot.” According to Marks, 30 women from throughout the country were invited, and about 30 other players paid their own way to be there. “I talked to some of the girls and they were from big schools like Michigan, Arizona, etc. so they had no idea where Misericordia was,” Marks said. “It was amazing representing MU, especially being the only Division III player invited. Because we’re so small we sometimes don’t get recognized, so this was definitely a very special experience.” Players completed individual workouts, combine testing, and played in games as a part of showing off their skills to scouts from across the country. “I learned that I can play with these girls and that was the main reason that I went in order to prove it to myself,” Marks said. “Also, so I wouldn’t regret not going in the future.” David Martin, Director of Athletics and head coach of the women’s basketball team, notes the importance of Marks’ success and its future impact on the program. “It’s a great opportunity for her to be seen,” Martin said. “Anytime anyone for your program receives recognition like this, you’re getting your
name out there, and others know you’re producing quality athletes.” Marks sees the experience as a confidence boost that can help her with future endeavors.
“Not many people get invited to these kinds of events, so it was really special to me,” Marks said. “I will always have that experience with me and will help me in my game.” Basketball has always been
MARY BOVE/THE HIGHLANDER
Above, Marks competes in games from the 2011-2012 basketball season. She was the only Division III player invited to the showcase in Denver, Colorado
a part of Marks’s life, and if the opportunity to continue playing professionally presents itself, she might consider playing again. “They put the individual workouts and games on a video and sent them to people all over, so we will see,” Marks said. “But if [the opportunity] did come up, I would consider them and weigh all the options.” Martin likes the idea of Marks competing at a high level. “Women’s basketball has come so far,” Martin said. “There are so many opportunities to play professionally and get a chance to see the world. It’s not a bad gig.” In addition to the combine, Marks didn’t miss the chance to attend the NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four at the Pepsi Center. “Being at the Final Four games in Denver was an awesome experience,” Marks said. “It was also cool to see the players that I usually watch on TV in person playing.” Marks’ was able to sit four rows from the court, proudly wearing an MU basketball shirt as she enjoyed being so close to the action. Notre Dame point guard Skylar Diggins impressed her the most. “The Notre Dame and UConn game was the most exciting,” Marks said of the overtime thriller. “[Diggins] really played great and kept [Notre Dame] in the game by making shots and plays when they needed them. I also admired her poise throughout the game.” Marks’s father joined her in the stands, and was quick to point out WNBA legend Lisa Leslie sitting two rows above them. Marks got a picture with Leslie and received some words of advice. “She said that if you work hard enough that you can accomplish anything,” Marks said. “Just keep working hard and you never know what might come up.” After four years of hard work in a Cougars basketball uniform, it truly did pay off for Marks. “It was the perfect way to end my career,” Marks said.
Athletes prepare for battle Collegiate athletes practice in the off season to keep in shape and prepared. By Jimmy Fisher, Reporter Sports like baseball, softball, lacrosse and golf are more than halfway through their seasons, but sports such as soccer, field hockey, and volleyball are going about practices as if it’s their season to play. They are in what the NCAA refers to as the nontraditional season. The non-traditional season is fall sports “light.” The teams are allowed a limited number of scheduled practices, three days a week, and teams play one game at the end of the season. Coaches say the non-traditional season is very important. “It allows us to maybe work on some of the things that didn’t allow us to do so well in the fall,” said Robin Stahovic, field hockey and women’s lacrosse coach. Stahovic will be entering her 12th season as the women’s field hockey coach, so she knows that the non-traditional season is a way to help her and her players maintain that focus to get them ready for the fall season. Stahovic continued by saying that the NCAA rule changes take place during the off season, so the spring is a time to help players get more familiar with the new rules. “This is our only opportunity to communicate with the team,” she said. “[We can] show them and explain to them the new rule modifications for the upcoming fall season.” Stahovic said the NCAA allows 16 contacts between the coaches and players, including practice times and game times. She explained that
coaching staff like to use those contact times to help players become more acclimated with the new rule changes for when the end of the spring season play day comes around. Another way coaches take advantage of the non-traditional spring season is it helps them see what game-time strategy formations they can use that helps their team the best. Head coach Chuck Edkins, now entering his 22nd season as head of the men’s soccer team, says the practices used in the spring time help him see what combinations of players work best out on the field. He said he uses the practices they have to simulate game time formations to help him reach a decision on what works best for his team. “We try to play as much as possible,” Edkins said. “We want to try different combinations to see what works best. We’ll play either scrimmagebased situations or controlbased situations.” According to Edkins the idea of play-time formations really helps the returning players begin to rebuild chemistry with each other. If seniors want to participate in the non-traditional season to get one last taste of Misericordia athletics, Edkins said that according to the NCAA the decision is entirely up to them. While the coaches have their ways to use the non-traditional spring season, the players have their ways to use it too. Terra Hall, sophomore, will be entering her second season on the women’s field hockey
team this fall. Terra said that the majority of the offseason workouts are up to the players themselves, due to the fact that they were only permitted to meet with their coaching staff a certain number of times. With the loss of seven senior girls to graduation after last season, Hall explained that the spring season really helps make the team stronger with new players. “We’re starting to build up a new team again and it’ll make us stronger as team, so working with each other and creating new goals and things to make us better for next year,” said Hall. With the hard work the women’s field hockey players are putting into this spring season, Hall is confident that all of it will carry over into the fall. “I think that the lifting and the conditioning we’re doing now will carry over into the next season,” Hall said. “I think that as a team we’ll be together as one and as a unity, and I think we’ll just play well together because we’re practicing more.” Sophomore David Stoner will be entering his third season on the men’s soccer team. He explained that the spring helps keep players fresh and moving. “Basically it helps keep the rust off,” said Stoner. “It helps us keep improving and let the coach and us see what exactly it is we should keep improving on.” The men’s soccer team finished last season with a 133-4 record and qualifying for
the NCAA D-3 tournament. Stoner explained that the nontraditional season last spring contributed the team’s success last fall. “Last year we had a really good spring season,” Stoner said. “Then we played really well because we had a good base and everything for the people that have been here. Hopefully it does the same effect this year.” Stoner said that the non-traditional season helps younger players coming off the bench and into the starting lineup for when the fall season rolls around. “It’s good for the freshman this year because they’ll know even more,” said Stoner. “[But] we won’t know any new players until the fall season starts because everyone’s been here.” The non-traditional season concludes April 22 as teams will play one game before they continue offseason workouts on their own before fall 2012 gets underway.
Current Spring Sports: Baseball Softball Golf Tennis Track & Field Men’s & Women’s Lacrosse For a full list of sports and season go to athletics.misericordia.edu
April 24, 2012
BOILING POINTS By Josh Horton Sports Columnist
I’m not sure how all of you feel, but to me this spring semester flew by. As of May 11, I will officially be a junior in college. It seems like just yesterday I parked my car in the back of McHale to be greeted by strangers dressed as sailors and willing to carry all of my belongings to my new home. So enough about my nostalgia of becoming a grown up and on to what has me ‘boiling’ this week. As I sat in front of my television watching the NHL playoff game between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, two things occurred to me. The first, obvious to those who know me, was I care way too much about the outcomes of games. The second reason I will save until later in this column. Trust me, you will want to keep reading. I definitely get worked up when watching games on television and it has been like this since I was able to talk. I was probably four years old when my mom felt it necessary to say, “Josh, stop screaming at the TV. They can’t hear you.” To this day I am still yelling at the television. I especially got worked up over this particular playoff game on April 15. I have a unique situation when it comes to professional hockey team allegiance. Contrary to most die-hard fans, I root for both the Flyers and the Penguins, as my dad is a Philadelphia fan but I also grew up going to local WilkesBarre/Scranton Baby Pens games. As I was watching the Flyers and Penguins face off, I was rooting for the Flyers. Why? Well I’m not exactly sure. However, at the end of the game I wasn’t rooting for either team. The final period was filled with cheap shots, fights, and flat out barbaric play by both teams. I won’t get into the details, because we like to keep
it “G” rated in The Highlander. Basically, there may have been more penalty minutes in this particular game than in any other game in playoff history. It was a disgusting display of unsportsmanlike conduct and in my opinion rather dangerous. In just 60 minutes of hockey the Flyers racked up a whopping 68 penalty minutes and if this number isn’t enough to make your eyes pop, try this next number: The Penguins finished the game with 89 penalty minutes. So between the two teams there were 128 penalty minutes, which is more than double the amount of minutes it took to play the game. It was absolutely incredible and I would be surprised if we ever see this happen again. For example, Sidney Crosby recently returned from yet another concussion and he was as physical as any player in the game. If he were to be injured his career would be in serious danger and this would not be good for the game. I hate to admit it but this game probably did more for the NHL than any other game since the NHL Lockout. Yes, I said it. A game with 38 total penalties between both teams is the best thing to happen to the NHL in years. So, the main question is, when is enough, enough? That game was more than enough for me. What happened on the ice at the Wells Fargo Center was not hockey; it was a massacre. But one thing is for sure, ticket prices just went way up for Game Four and the rest of the series. Oh, and finally the moment you have all been waiting for. After getting so worked up about the game and so angry with how both teams played I said to myself, “It’s just a game.” This is a phrase I have never said. But, on this particular Sunday afternoon, I made the exception.
Wilkes-Barre Scranton Night Out is THE premiere website for planning your evening out on the town in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Whether you want to hit the clubs, catch a concert, see a movie, or just chill at a bar: Check out WBSnighout.com for a full copy of entertainment listings! Don’t forget to browse our weekly contests! By entering our contests you have chances to win dinners, trips, concert and sport tickets and more! Coupons and promotions are also available! Also, check out the column, How to Survive College Life by Misericordia’s April Dulsky. The column features college tips and tricks that every college student would need to know!
New team swings toward instant success highlandernews.net
April 24, 2012 5
Women golfers have high expectations for the future of the team and the program. By Jimmy Fisher, Reporter The first women’s golf team in MU’s history started its first season in 2011. The results for the inaugural season were better than many would have expected as the women accomplished many goals, including taking first place in the Misericordia Invitational. This year the golfers are looking to improve upon last season’s accomplishments. The team is returning all players from last year, including junior Megan Delaney who earned First Team All-MAC honors last season. Delaney credit the victory to preparation and hard work. “Erin Kain and I both received this honor last season,” said Delaney. “It was a big accomplishment for the both of us. It was a reassurance that all the hard work we put in was worth it. We want to be back to that point again this season.”
Delaney has been golfing since the age of 14, and she is hopeful that she and her teammates will make more gains. “I personally think we did very well,” Delaney said. “We took first place at the Misericordia Invitational and really worked together as a team and supported each other.” Delaney said there are specific areas in which the team can improve. “[We need] to buckle down and focus on our swing dynamics,” said Delaney, “so that way we can keep up with the competition, because they are only getting better and better.” March was a kind month to the northeastern Pennsylvania area, with temperatures as high as 75 degrees, and Delaney said she took advantage of the spring weather to practice.
“I’ve just been trying to take advantage of the nice weather and get out on the course as often as possible.” Delaney said. “We have all been doing that and I think it will make a good impact on our season.” Returning one All-MAC golfer to the Misericordia women’s golf team would certainly give the Lady Cougars a great edge going into this season. Even better, they are returning two. Junior Erin Kain also earned first team All-MAC honors last season. She has been golfing since the age of seven and began to play it competitively once she reached high school. Kain said that earning first team AllMAC honors encouraged her to keep playing and try harder to improve. “Earning first team All-MAC honors is very encouraging and make some want to
Pups parade around campus
continue to improve,” Kain said. “Really, it just gives me the drive to try harder and spend more time perfecting my game.” Much like Delaney, Kain is encouraged by the success of last year’s inaugural season. “Every team member grew in her knowledge of the game and gained experience playing competitively. It can only serve to help us in the future,” said Kain. With still some time to go before the start of the women’s season, they are doing anything they can to keep that competitive fire burning. “We can learn from each other by having mini competitions with each other before the season starts,” Kain said. “[This season] should be easier because we’ve already been through everything once. It won’t be quite so new, and we can settle down and post
some low scores.” Kain is not shying away from making herself a better golfer. Having golfed almost her entire life, she knows the difference between competitive golf and golfing for fun, so she knows what it takes to keep her game at a high level. “Playing competitive golf is much different than casual golf,” said Kain. “Everything counts. There are no mulligans or gimmes. Add in the team competition element and you feel pressure, not only for your individual performance, but for how you will affect you team. It can put a lot of stress on your game during a round so I’m working on my mental game to keep focused and calm in tournaments. I’m also spending a lot of time around the putting game, improving my short game. It’s where I think I can eliminate the most strokes.”
The women’s season begins with the Misericordia Gold Invitational on April 16. “We have to continue to fight to get it right,” said Delaney. “We have the determination and motivation and hopefully our time spent practicing will prove to be successful come match time.” Kain on the other hand is feeling both nervous and excited as she looks to repeat last season’s success and improve as the season goes on. “As the season approaches I am mixed with feeling of nervousness and excitement,” Kain said. “It is my hope to repeat the success our team had last year and we have to have all the girls improve on their individual scores.”
To benefit Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge, Peer Advocates is hosting a playful event during spring weekend. By Alexa Cholewa, Reporter Peer Advocates is hosting its second annual Misericordia Underdogs’ Time to Shine Dog Show April 28 at 2 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Amphitheater. The M.U.T.T.S. Dog Show benefits Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge in Dallas. The show will raise money and collect supplies for animals in need. There will be a collection table in Banks Student Life Center during the week of April 16-20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where donors can drop off supplies for the refuge. Designed in the form of a pageant, there are specific categories in which each dog may be entered. All dog contestants will walk and perform with their owners in front of a panel of judges. Some of last year’s categories included Best Trick, Best Outfit and Best Looking. The judges will decide a win-
ner for each category, and the top three winners can receive prizes including pet store gift cards, toys and doggie treats. Peer Advocates members said they were thrilled with the amount of people who attended last year’s show. Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge was founded over 10 years ago to help animals that were being mistreated. Whether stray, abandoned, sick or abused, animals are placed into a safe environment. The refuge operates a no-kill shelter, and works to save houseless animals from the euthanasia that occurs at other animal shelters. The organization’s volunteers believe in the importance of teaching proper and responsible pet care. The refuge is always in need of donations—food, kitty litter, paper plates, garbage bags and monetary donations are
accepted, and the refuge also needs cleaning supplies such as bleach, mops and pails, and paper towels. Peer Advocates is a group led by students that work to advocate for different types of programs related to education, service and awareness both on campus and in the surrounding area. Registration will begin at 1 p.m. The entry fee for each dog is $10. There will be a reduced registration fee of $5 if contestants’ owners donate supplies. All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to register their dogs for this event. For information regarding the dog show or for a full list of needed supplies contact Andrea Carr, email@example.com or Becky Darling, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information regarding the Blue Chip Farms, visit www.bcfanimalrefuge.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SPRING WEEKEND AND SGA VISIT THE OFFICE LOCATED IN BANKS STUDENT LIFE CENTER. POSITIONS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THE 2012-2013 YEAR.
April 24, 2012
Bernstein connects with students, continued Continued from page 1
sometimes I forget that there are legitimate sources of news out there. I’m definitely going to start reading The New York Times and not completely relying on social media for news,” said Gabrielle Gattuso, senior. Some students believed that the question-and-answer session was helped to gain insight about issues that they wanted addressed. Bernstein answered several questions, but many felt that answers still remain. “I liked the question and answer session but I felt there was a lot of questions left unanswered, not that I expected Bernstein to have all the answers. I would have really liked him to give us some advice on how we as a generation can fix and avoid the problems of the generations before us,” said Noel Sidorek, senior. Others also believed that the master class could have provided more guidance and information about how the current generation can improve government and the political system in the future. “I really wish he could have provided the students with more specifics on the cult and culture of Washington, like the class was supposed to, and really provide us with some guidance as to how we can alleviate the problems in our government,” said Julia Truax, senior. The master class was an experience that brought students and professionals from their field of study together where that they could interact and receive valuable information. Truax said that bringing events to the campus provides students opportunities that they would otherwise not have the chance to see.
“I think it’s extremely necessary to interact with professionals who have done important things in this world and to have that transaction of knowledge passed on from one generation to the next,” said Truax. “I believe students react in a more real way when someone with a title or with tangible experience, comes to speak with us, so it would be extremely worthwhile for the university to continue pursuing these events.” Bernstein concluded the day with a free public lecture at Misericordia University about “His Holiness, John Paul II.”
Events preparing for Bernstein’s Tuesday night lecture included a presentation between Dr. Brian Carso and Dr. Joseph Curran who discuss the history of Watergate and its importance in modern day politics. Events continued on Monday, April 16 when various investigative reporters hosted a panel to discuss their fields and the need for investigative reporting. A showing of “All the President’s Men” was then held to prepare for Bernstein’s arrival. After the master class, Bernstein addressed the public about his work with Pope John Paul II and his experiences.
Top left, Dave Janoski from the Citizens’ Voice and Joe Holden from WBRE speak on a panel about investigative journalism on Monday, April 16. Middle left, Carl Bernstein presents to the audience with accounts of his work on Pope John Paul II in Lemmond Theater on Tuesday, April 17. Left, Bernstein signs Midori Yamanouchi’s copy of “His Holiness, John Paul II after his lecture in Lemmond Theater. Above, Dr. Joseph Curran debates with Dr. Brian Carso about politics and the Watergate Scandal on Thursday, April 12 in Insalaco Hall. MARY BOVE/THE HIGHLANDER
Future leader dreams big Senior Lauren Gorney’s work experiences are leading her toward the White House. By April Dulsky, Web Editor
When senior Lauren Gorney volunteered to run constituent services for State Senator John Yudichak’s office, she realized the impact it would have on her future career aspirations. The job entailed answering questions from the public and planning events for the senator, and it left her desiring a career in politics. During the flooding of September 2011, she and other members of the senator’s staff went out into the ravaged area of West Pittston in boots and boats to help people restore their houses. They also arranged FEMA assistance for people affected in the September flooding. “My experience working in the senator’s office is what confirmed that I wanted to go into politics,” said Gorney, a senior communications major. “I saw all of the initiatives the senator takes to make Northeast Pennsylvania a better place for people. I would not only want to work in an office, but I would ultimately like to run for an office.” Gorney’s first brush with politics was when she ran for Luzerne County committee woman when she was 19 years old. A local community member pushed her to pursue the opportunity after noticing her involvement with local township meetings and events. “I met Cassandra Coleman in college. She’s in her early 20s and is the current mayor of Exeter Borough. She suggested that I run for public office, and I did. I got my petition signed, I rallied support, went to the polls, and only lost by 50 votes, which isn’t too bad in the small township,” said Gorney. Gorney hopes to inspire young people to become more informed and engaged in local and national government to make a positive impact in their communities. Dr. Brian Carso, chair of Government, Law and National Security believes opportunities abound. “There are so many ways people can get involved with
politics right out of college, whether it’s working on someone’s staff, working for a government committee. Young adults should be thinking about running for office. It may seem like its difficult and too far removed, but it’s not,” said Carso. Carso recently met with several local representatives including Lisa Baker, Pennsylvania State Senator and Karen Boback, Pennsylvania State Representative, among
but when it comes to women it’s suddenly, ‘What are they wearing’ or ‘What hairstyle?’ That’s lamentable and we have got to get over that. Can Chris Christie, who is a very heavyset man, get elected president today or do we just want tall, thin people?” said Carso. Others believe that the mass media focuses on such fluffy issues—neglecting substantive issues that impact citizens’ lives.
GRACE RIKER/THE HIGHLANDER
Above, Gorney poses outside the White House on the Communications Department trip in March.
other local and national government officials during the symposium “Homeland Security: Where We Are, Ten Years Later” at MU. He explained that politics are beginning to become more inclusive of women. “More and more women are becoming interested and active in politics and I think that’s a good thing,” said Carso. “At one point we are going to have a woman in the president’s seat. It’s due, but when it’s going to happen it’s hard to tell. I think that it’s starting to become a more level playing field.” But not in terms of the old stereotypes that impose higher standards on women’s personal appearance. “Nobody talks about Mitt Romney’s or Gingrich’s hair,
“Something that I saw that really annoyed me on the cover of the New York Times was about how Rick Santorum was dressed. It said ‘Oh, he dresses more as a president now.’ I say, why is that front page news?” said Carissa Stonier, junior. Gorney believes mudslinging should be taken out of politics. Instead, she feels that candidates should show how they will make a positive contribution to people’s lives and interests. “I think it is important for candidates to be as real as they can and talk to people on a one-on-one basis - get back to the grass roots portion of elections instead of going big with the trash-talking and digging up people’s past,” said Gorney.
Even though Gorney has been actively involved with local political proceedings, many college students feel that they are removed from what is occurring on Capitol Hill. “I don’t actually pay a lot of attention to politics anymore. In high school I did, but I stopped. It doesn’t interest me anymore and I get tired of it,” said Stonier. “I think that candidates have to address the younger generation because they are not doing that at all.” Gorney’s passion for politics started at a very early age. She met a president when she was young and learned that she had a lot in common. “When I was a toddler I saw the future President Clinton at the Avoca airport. He called me a ‘cute baby.’ President Clinton and I share a birthday, so when I was a kid, I’d send him birthday cards. I got a card in return every year, and I still have them,” said Gorney. She does not know if the U.S. presidency is in her future plans but thinks about running the first female-led administration in the White House. “I daydream about what it would be like to be President of the United States, or as I like to call it, the leader of the free world. But I couldn’t bear the thought of walking around with a target on my back for the rest of my life,” said Gorney. Gorney hopes to continue working within a local government office and eventually move to Washington D.C. to pursue future political opportunities. She believes personal accountability and motivation are qualities that set her apart. “I love to talk, and I like to listen, but my favorite part is motivating people. Everyone is always talking about change, but so many people neglect the notion of personal accountability,” said Gorney. “I enjoy embracing people and letting them know that their voice, or vote, can make a difference.”
POLITICS TALK OF PA TOWNS
The Pennsylvania primaries will help decide the Republican candidate. By Brittany Hayes, Reporter
The Pennsylvania presidential primary election is April 24, and professors urge students to vote by either returning to their hometowns or by casting absentee ballots. History professor Allan Austin says the ballot box is where students exert their influence. “Students sometimes tell me that they don’t get involved in politics because politicians don’t talk about issues that matter to them or that politicians don’t even bother to talk to college-aged people at all. In many ways, that’s true, but politicians will continue to ignore students and issues that matter to them until 18-22 year olds start voting.” Government, law and national security professor Brian Carso lamented that too few young people vote. “It’s always important for college students to have their voices represented,” he said. “In fact, however, young adults usually have the lowest turnout numbers on election day, which makes no sense, since in many ways they have the most at stake.” Austin encouraged students to take hold of their civic duties and become part of the solution to problems students feel they face. “I would just urge Misericordia students, as I do whenever elections roll around, to vote. It doesn’t matter to me who people vote for, but if we don’t participate, we are part of the problem that we spend so much time complaining about,” he said Austin reminds students to consider sending in an absentee ballot if they are registered in a far-away county. “Way back when I was an undergraduate, I voted in my first presidential election with an absentee ballot. It was awfully easy to get one, and I can only imagine that it is even easier to get one today.” Young people—and all Americans—face important issues this election, including healthcare, unemployment, and the struggling economy,
they should inspire voters to carefully consider candidates’ platforms before they choose their government representatives, Carso and Austin said. “Circumstances change constantly, and so what seems at the top of everyone’s mind today might change tomorrow. In terms of issues, a foreign policy matter like Iran or Syria could turn our focus to international affairs, although right now the candidates are primarily concentrating on the economy,” he said. Austin’s interest in the election revolves not only in the outcomes, but its social and historical context. He particularly notes the changing dynamics within political parties. “I am particularly interested to see how the two major parties respond to and try to cope with an upsurge in grass-roots movements – the Tea Party and Occupy movements come to mind – over the past few years. Both seem to agree that politicians have become too disconnected from the masses, and it will be intriguing to see how much power grass-roots groups like this can really exert,” he said. Carso believes that the presidential election will ultimately come down to President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. “President Obama came into office with very little experience. But now, after four years, he can claim some on-the-job training. Governor Romney has an interesting mix of government and private sector experience that might be appealing to voters.” The election of 2008 marked the second largest turnout of youth voters, showing that young people can be motivated enough to cast their ballots. Carso and Austin said the political decisions made now will affect the lives of young people far into the future, but it remains a question whether America’s youth will turn out to vote this time.