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February 20, 2014 | Volume 2, Issue 2 | Los Angeles, CA

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HOME: WHERE THE HEART IS? PAGE 8

DRINKING IN REGULATION page 3 CONDOM DISPENSERS INSTALLED AT 8 WVU FRATERNITIES page 6 The ladies of Alpha Delta Pi check in during their spring semester abroad together in Spain. Credit: facebook.com/pages/USC-Alpha-Delta-Pi


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greek life traditions

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GREEK OF THE WEEK What is your favorite thing about being Greek? “My favorite thing about being Greek is meeting people I would have otherwise never known had I not gone Greek.”

DAVID KARLSBERG Delta Tau Delta

David is a sophomore studying communication. You may contact him at epiphone504@gmail.com.

What makes you happy? “I enjoy playing guitar and the piano, running, and cooking good food.” Do you participating in other organizations or have other jobs on campus? “I currently work for the Los Angeles World Airports’ Business Outreach and Job Resources Center at the LAX offices.” Photo courtesy of John Caton. Meet John Caton! He has always been there when I need advice. He’s a great example of how to keep a level head in a stressful college environment. Whenever I’m left with a last-minute problem, he’s always willing to help me out. Year: Junior Major: Policy, Planning and Development Hometown: Fullerton, CA Fraternity: Delta Tau Delta Fun Fact: Transferred from Texas Christian University and Loyola Marymount University to finally get to USC. Proud to be a Trojan. Favorite Quote: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor E. Frankl What are you passionate about? “I really like learning about World Affairs and listening to Global News.” What are your dreams? “I hope to leave a lasting and meaningful change in whatever line of work I decide to work in.” What is your inspiration? “I get inspired by studying different world views, philosophies and religions from a humanist perspective.” How would you explain your basic life philosophy? “Keeping in mind other world views, my personal philosophy tends to fall in line with Deism.” What should everyone know about you? “I love to travel. I’ve been to many different parts of the country and hope to continue to see the world.”

THE ODYSSEY AT USC CREATIVE TEAM Editor in Chief David Karlsberg Delta Tau Delta Writers Olivia Choi, Delta Gamma Jay Juster, Phi Sigma Kappa Kristen Garrett, Alpha Gamma Delta

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We want a representative from every house! To apply for a writing, photography or sales position, TheOdysseyOnline.com/creative © 2012 Olympia Media Group, LLC All Rights Reserved. The Odyssey is a private entity not associated or governed by The University of Southern California or USC Greek life office. The views and opinions shared in The Odyssey are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Odyssey and Olympia Media Group.


feature story

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DRINKING IN REGULATION When you finally arrived at your first frat of the night (a minimum of thirty minutes late), you most likely walked into the house to find an amount of party goes that is almost certainly near or over capacity crammed together all extremely hot and dehydrated. In a state of panic, you immediately proceed to the bar in fear that there wasn’t enough prestige to go around for all those people. Once the nearest handle has been spotted, it was likely chugged in effort to save time to party (after all, you pre-game drunk won’t last all night). After some dancing and you realizing that your bladder can’t contain all the liquid you just consumed, you probably stumbled off to the bathroom, took care of your business, looked yourself in the eye through the mirror, realized

By Alyssa Poteet, Pi Beta Phi It’s no secret that the row’s social restrictions have been the small-talk hot topic among Greeks this year. After months of the termination of weeknight parties and unregistered events all together, USC has agreed to allow four registered frat parties at a time, open until midnight on Thursday nights and

by your appearance how drunk you are, and thought “Thank God USC has made these changes to keep me safe”… that is until you open the door of the bathroom to see one of your peers taken out on a stretcher, adding to the highest list of transports in a weekend The University of California has ever seen.

1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. After having record numbers of alcohol

Now certainly most of you reading this didn’t actually have this experience,

related transports early on first semester, it seems appropriate to have some

but fact of the matter is unfortunately a story like this isn’t foreign to our ears.

restrictions set in place -- you know, for our safety. I’m sure members of the

Sarcasm aside, USC truly does have student’s health and best interests in mind;

Greek community thank their lucky star that they’re lucky enough to attend a

however, the causation for our high level of hospitalizations transcends amount

University that puts in the initiative to make them safer.

of parties available or shut down time. College could be the time for beer pong,

In fact, I’m sure most felt this new found sense of security when going out the first weekend of these new rules. While funneling booze down your throat as fast as humanly possible due to the fact that an early party end time equates to less pre-gaming time if you plan on actually making it to the party (and there’s no way in hell you’re showing up sober), you probably thought to yourself how grateful you are to go to a school that has your best interest in mind and after doing so picked out your costume (again big shout out to SC for making the choice of which theme to dress for that much easier from lack of selection) and left for West 28th St.

shots and mixed drinks, but it appears as if what our social culture deems as acceptable party behavior has crossed the line of what is safe. While the university is doing what it thinks is best to correct this problem, the restrictions are just creating an environment for the nature of our partying to be more and more risky. Our work hard, play ten times harder way of life is what started this mess, and though there is no clear and simple solution to reconstruct the dynamic of how we go out, trying to merely regulate it is clearly not a viable option.


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campus connections

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GAMMA PHI BETA HOSTS ‘HAVE A HEART’

On February 13th, USC’s Gamma Phi Beta hosted their annual Have a Heart philanthropy.

JAY JUSTER Phi Sigma Kappa

From 5:30 to 7:30p.m., Jay is a junior studying the sorority served a $5 psychology. You may contact all you can eat buffet in him at Juster@usc.edu. their dining room. You could choose from a Mexican smorgasbord of taquitos, burritos, rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream, chips, and salsa. And, best of all, there was an entire table dedicated to dessert. Actually best of all was the abundance of gorgeous women in Gamma Phi Beta throughout dinner. They took the extra effort to dress up, elaborately decorate the dining room (decked out with strainers and balloons in the shape of hearts), and even placed a giant cut-out of their letters specifically to advertise for the event. Beyond the actual meal, the background of Gamma Phi Beta’s Have a Heart philanthropy is extremely interesting. Although the sorority had traditionally donated all of the philanthropy’s proceeds to Troy Camp, for the past two years they have equally shared the proceeds with The Amanda McPherson Foundation. The primary reason for this shift was Krista McPherson joining the sorority two years ago. The story of The Amanda McPherson Foundation is that in December of 2003, Krista’s little sister, Amanda, passed away at the age of 8. Amanda was born with Velo-Cardio Facial Syndrome. The disorder typically creates

learning disabilities, skin conditions, and speaking problems, but Amanda’s case was so severe that she needed a heart transplant at birth. As a result, her heart was permanently weak. When she was 8, this vulnerability lead to her passing away when a virus affected her heart. Amazingly, when Krista’s and Amanda’s parents decided to start a foundation to help other children suffering from the same disorder, there was an overwhelming amount of support. The Foundation’s first project not only created a brochure explaining the symptoms of Velo-Cardio Facial Syndrome, but distributed these brochures worldwide, also. The influence of The Amanda McPherson Foundation can be felt in every “Amanda’s Corner” spread through the Ventura counties. This Corner provides a place for educators to submit grant proposals for the special needs of the kids in their care. They are provided a centralized resource for the funding they need to properly guide these otherwise underserved children. Two outstanding projects the Foundation completed were a $300,000 facility for a girl’s softball league and a baseball field with a rubberized infield for special needs kids. In other words, the Foundation coated all the parts of a baseball field that are normally dirt with a layer of flat rubber to serve the kids in wheel chairs. Last year, Gamma Phi Beta’s Have a Heart Philanthropy raised $1,000 for the Foundation and another $1,000 for Troy Camp. The sorority’s philanthropic efforts are contributing to the empowerment of special needs kids everywhere, which is an unfortunately rare but very valuable and important contribution to make.


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debate & discuss

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CONDOM DISPENSERS INSTALLED AT 8 WVU FRATERNITIES Third, why stop at fraternities?

In an effort to fight a recent spread of STDs, West Virginia University is installing condom dispensers in eight fraternity houses. According to the WELLWVU report, the dispensers will be covered in “facts about safe sex to prevent students from contracting STIs.” Bear with me. I’m confused on multiple levels. First, how did WELLWVU even know there was a spread in STDs? Are they tracking the number of people who get STD check-ups at the health center or something? Second, I don’t know whether to feel offended by or take pride in the fact that WELLWVU decided that fraternity houses were the best places to put condoms in order to fight this spread. I guess they figure that frat castles are the only, or most common, places where people have sex.

Condom dispensers should be placed in libraries, dormitories, and the student union. I mean, why allow everyone else BESIDES the fraternity guys to continue contracting and spreading STDs? Apparently, everyone else doesn’t matter to WELLWVU.

JAY JUSTER Phi Sigma Kappa

Jay is a junior studying psychology. You may contact him at Juster@usc.edu.

Come to think of it, this policy will more than likely ensure that those eight fraternities will have the most sex ever. In a girl’s mind, these are the guys on campus who are constantly prepared and can help avoid any risk of the fantastical STD storm of 2014. In fact, I’m betting that the entire WELLWVU announcement was a ploy to freak people out. STDs aren’t spreading, but now fraternities have condoms and other guys might not. The option of which guy to have sex with is clear, as if it wasn’t already. Good job, WVU IFC.

CAN I PLEASE BE YOUR FOOT SLAVE? BY JAY JUSTER The Chi Omega sorority at the University of Pittsburgh received an interesting message recently from a man only identified as “Sam.” 30-year-old Sam’s unprompted e-mail contained a strange request to perform the functions of a foot slave for these ladies once a week. Here is the message in all its creepy glory and the comments that I can’t help but write down: “Subject: To the Women of Chi Omega Dear (name redacted) and fellow members of Chi Omega, My name is Sam, I am a 30 year old male who lives and and works in Pittsburgh. I have a house, a job, a car – pretty much a normal life. Bold move starting off with a typo in the first sentence, Sam. Oh, and congratulations on your house, job, car, and normal life. I heard normal and uninteresting are exactly what women crave in a man. The reason I’m writing is because I have always wanted to be a foot slave or houseboy for a sorority or group of girls. Well, THAT escalated quickly. No beating around the bush for 30-year old normal Sam. What is a footslave anyway? Better yet, who aspires to be one for their whole life? And why, God why, would he just announce this intention in his first e-mail to the chapter? There is nothing sexual at all with this. Honestly, now I’m even more concerned. He doesn’t even want to get sexual with these girls! He genuinely loves being a slave! Or he’s lying to get his foot in the door (epic pun)... Sneaky Sam.

I’d like to come over once a week and paint toes of some of your members, do laundry, or basically whatever chores or things you’d like me to do for a few hours a week. Once a week?! You’re a half-assed houseboy! Even a sorority of 30 girls would need you working almost full time to do everything you are asking to do. I know this is weird. Weird is an understatement. But I promise you I’m a safe, sane person with a college degree. That’s an outstanding resumé! Safe, sane, and college educated! But, unless your college degree is in foot slavery or something related to beauty, I don’t see how that helps you in this situation. Especially since you are doing something where you feel the need to reassure people that you are safe and sane. Again – I only want to serve you guys. Added to really emphasize that he is either asexual, gay, or blatantly lying. If you or any of your members are interested I’d love to hear back. I’m happy to answer any and all questions that you have. Regards, Sam” Here’s my pressing question, Sam... Did you really think that would work? (Wait, if it actually did work, let’s start a foot slave business. We can call it Amazing Slaves!)


8 HOME: WHERE THE HEART IS? debate & discuss

As I was growing up, I was lucky enough to have a concrete knowledge of home—it was with my family, in my house, in Chicago. So when I left for the

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Daniel Rashid, a junior, told me: “When I think of home, I think of, like, senses and

KRISTEN GARRETT

images of like a living room, and all—my entire family members in my family room

Kristen is a freshman studying theatre. You may contact her at garrettk@usc. edu.

I think of snow.”

Alpha Gamma Delta

University of Southern California, I viewed my move as leaving my home. For a while, my perception of home remained the same: yes, I lived in Los Angeles, but I wasn’t at home in L.A. It was like I was at a postlapsarian summer camp, where knowledge and sin ran temptingly abundant—but it wasn’t home. As more time passed, my daily calls to my mom became weekly calls, and I began to wonder (and by wonder, I mean panic): where was home now? If I spent more time in L.A. than I did with my family in Chicago, how could I call the latter my home? But conversely, how could I rightly call a city in which I’ve lived a total of five months so far my home either? It was like I was walking a tightrope splitting my two residences, afraid to fall to either side. And I’m not alone in this. When most people go to college, their idea of home starts to change as well. Familial obligation gives way to self-government, just as finding comfort in your childhood home gives way to finding comfort in your 10x15 foot dorm room with stucco walls and Christmas lights. So, I decided to explore the universality of these emotions by asking various people at USC about their experience of home, and, unsurprisingly, they differ greatly. For many people, home is inextricably linked to where they grew up. Luke Holthouse, a freshman at USC, defines home as “the place where you’ve grown up, developed the most memories, made relationships with the most people and usually has some connection to your nuclear family.” For him, then, he considers his home to be Los Angeles; as that’s where he grew up as well as where he currently lives. I see the merit in a geographic definition of home— when I think of home, I think of walking along Lake Michigan in the summertime, of driving down Lake Shore Drive at 1:00 a.m., of walking my dog while leaves fall on my shady street in Chicago. Others agree with this locale-centered idea.

on the couch, you know? The feeling of my dog rubbing against my leg… When I think of home I think of my parents and my brother and my dog. And in the winter


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debate & discuss

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So that’s one way to view home: a combination of the people you grew up with, and

Alison brings up an interesting point: is going home a physical action, or is it a

the place where you spent your childhood. But there’s another definition that some

feeling—a sort of “hippie-dippie” sensation you get in your chest? I tend to find the

other students that I talked to had—the idea of home as a more fluid concept. Freshman

feeling of going home is more poignant than the actual action of going home, and the

Taylor DuPont feels that home is “the place where I live and thrive. Right now home

longer I’ve been at USC, the more often I feel that domestic affection. When I call my

is college. Home is being with my friends, and boyfriend, dorm room and passions

sister, that’s home to me. When I go out to dinner with my best friend, that’s home to

(classes + clubs). When I go to New Canaan that is my home, but when I come to USC

me. When I order my Starbucks with Tapingo every morning, that’s home to me. So

this is my home. Home is where the heart is after all!”

maybe home isn’t necessarily a place or a group of people, but a feeling that you get

This speaks to an interesting idea—can a person have two homes? If they can, how many more homes can they have? Could they have three or four or five? Daniel Rashid believes you can have an infinite amount of homes. While he pictures home as his house and family back in Chicago, he, “like[s] to think that I find home wherever I am… I think home is, home is—I mean it sounds cliché but I think home really is where your heart is. I find home wherever I end up being.” Using this theory of home, home is less of a physical destination than it is a state of mind. Freshman Alison Chang agrees: “I think home is wherever you feel the most comfortable… when you are able to be your most comfortable around people, and like fart in front of them, that’s home. I consider USC like my second home, I think. Just to hang out with people that I recognize, to see a familiar face on campus is like kind of the same feeling as going home.”

in your soul: a feeling that whispers, “It’s okay, relax. You’re home.” As junior Alden Derck phrases it, “Home shifted from a physical place to a feeling, or a sort of community; now it’s less about a place that I call home and more about a feeling that I call home.” Isn’t that what college is about? I mean besides the education, isn’t it truly about the journey to finding that feeling of home? And that feeling can be found anywhere— Greek life, dorms, classes, relationships, good books—but I truly have come to believe that the point of college is about transitioning from the idea of a physical home to the idea of an emotional one. And when you feel at home could be at a certain place or with certain people, but it could also be a completely solitary experience. So what I hope for all of you is that, regardless of when or where or why or with whom, you have that feeling—the feeling of being home.


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campus connections

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USG AND GREEK INVOLVEMENT By Christi Cameron, Pi Beta Phi Beginning on Monday, February 10th and lasting until Thursday, February 13th, the Undergraduate Student Government elections took place. They created lots of excitement not only on USC’s campus but also on USC’s Greek Row. With incentive such as Jamba Juice, In-N-Out, Sprinkles Cupcakes and Amaze Bowls, a total of four different categories were voted on by USC’s undergraduate students. A number of the candidates running for office are also very involved in Greek life, as they each belong to their respective fraternities and sororities. In fact, all three of the president/vice president tickets include at least one candidate who is a member of the Greek community.

Andrew Menard and Rini Sampath, James White and Brigid Kelly, and Logan Heley and AJ Pinto are on this year’s ballot for the presidency and vice presidency. Menard, Kelly, and Heley are all active members in the Greek community with Menard being a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, Kelly being a member of Delta Gamma sorority, and Heley being a member of Sigma Nu fraternity.

medical emergencies from receiving punishments through a written amnesty policy and update alcohol awareness education with more focused and practical strategies.” The White/Kelly platform includes ideas such as “promoting sustainability on campus by providing on campus discounts for reusable bottles, cups, and food containers, advancing the student connectedness with the surrounding community through USG sponsored service activities and wellness fairs, and ensuring academic respect for students on campus in relation to class registration, finals schedule, and study spaces.” Finally, Heley and Pinto say they plan to “encourage the renovation of Leavey Library to make it a more student friendly study space, make on-campus food healthier and more affordable, and organize the first annual campus-wide philanthropy project.”

The Greek community as a whole has

been strongly supporting their preferred candidates, and some sororities and fraternities have gone as far as to officially endorse them .

The Greek community as a whole has been strongly supporting their preferred candidates, and some sororities and fraternities have gone as far as to officially endorse them . Menard and Rini have been endorsed by Phi Gamma Delta, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Delta Delta Delta, Lambda Chi Alpha, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Beta Theta Pi, Phi Kappa Psi, and Kappa Sigma. Heley and Pinto have been officially endorsed by Alpha Phi, Zeta Beta Tau, Alpha Tau Omega, Sigma Delta Tau, Phi Delta Theta, Delta Tau Delta, Sigma Nu, Pi Kappa Phi, and Pi Kappa Alpha. Freshman Harrison Jung, a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, says, “I think having a Greek affiliated president who understands Greek life and culture will be able to address problems such as alcohol consumption and consent to make a lasting impact not only on the Greek system but also on our student body as a whole.” Whichever candidate takes office will be stepping into power during a very interesting and complicated time for the Greek Community. Although what became known as “The Row Shut-Down” is considered over, The Row continues to be scrutinized. With new by-laws in place such as limiting the number of parties each night and enforcing the hour until which they are allowed to last, some speculate that The Row is not being restricted but instead slowly but surely easing its way back into its historical traditions and liveliness. Freshman Kristen Lago, a very involved member of her sorority, says, “I hope that our new USG President will place an importance on considering changes to the social policy because if it is not addressed, Greek life will slip back into its dangerous ways. If it is not a priority and kept under control, we will be right back where we started.” However, each ticket’s platform also includes a number of points that those voting will consider. The Menard/Rini ticket plants to “bring back the ‘Trojan Tram’ to LA Live, completely free for students on weekends, diversify food options at USC by pushing for healthier alternatives throughout campus, and insulate students who report crimes or

Along with voting for the next president and vice president of Undergraduate Student Government, voters will also cast a ballot for their choice of Greek Senator. The candidates are Providence Ilisevich, Devon Chiapello, and Logan Burkhead. Ilisevich is a member of Delta Gamma sorority, Chiapello is a member of Alpha Phi sorority, and Burkhead is a member of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. Ilosevich’s platform includes ideas such as “Encouraging the Row to ‘Go Green’ and making sure that the administration’s new social policies meet the social needs of the students on the Row.”

If elected, Chiapello plans to “create an ‘Uber-like’ phone application for Campus Cruiser (no more speaking on the phone with representatives, estimated wait time, even rating drivers) and increase the number of campus cruiser vehicles and foster a better relationship between students and DPS; create a forum where students feel comfortable coming to DPS with issues, ideas, and concerns, create a student EMT service to help with issues related to drinking, allowing students to use other knowledgeable students to help make decisions about safety and health.” Finally, Burkhead’s platform includes points such as “increasing funding to improve existing athletic recreational facilities, establishing a Fall-Semester Break, and continuing expansion of University Social Policy to include more flexibility and weekday programming.” Between the issues that occur both on campus and on The Row, the newly elected President, Vice President, and Greek Senator will have their hands full. As new policies continue to be both questioned and enforced, many Greek students on The Row will be looking to their new leaders in USG for support and information. Jordan Fowler, a member of both USG and Greek Life says, “I feel that the newly elected President and Vice President will have a huge job to undertake regarding the new social policy conversation with administration. While current officers on USG are working on new policies regarding alcohol consumption and social life, it will be imperative for the new officers to transition smoothly and help oversee these changes.” The results of the election will officially be announced on Wednesday, February 26th.


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special occasion

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DANNY’S HEART BEATS ON

Editor’s Note: We’re publishing this piece by Ashley Swindell from the University of Arkansas in recognition of National Donor’s Day, which was February 14th. Danny was the brother of my best friend, Emily Rankin. I had met Emily during my sophomore year of high school and towards the end of that year, I was introduced to Danny. At that point in time, none of us knew the life-changing events that were ahead, and I never expected Danny to play such an incredible role in my life and in the lives of people he would never even meet. Sharing his story is incredibly important to me. The first thing to know about Danny is that his looks alone could leave any girl swooning. Once a football player, he was a huge guy with an athletic build. His towering stature paired with wonderful genes from a beautiful family meant that he could turn any girl’s head. Despite the fact he was nearly eight years my senior, I found that he could even make my heart speed up a little bit. Danny was also incredibly intelligent. As a member of Mensa, Danny didn’t have a need to advertise his intelligence. Instead, it revealed itself in daily conversations. He was also hilarious, as if the guy wasn’t already “the total package.” After graduating from UNLV in 2008, he worked with autistic children and also his graduate education. It was around this time that I first met Danny. The first time I saw him and Emily together, I was mesmerized by how close and almost identical the two were. He seemed to possess the same glowing and unique personality that Emily had -- a personality that I absolutely loved. It was like watching one person. They were just like a reflection of each other. He loved her as much as you could possibly love someone, something that was clear in just watching them together. I was fortunate enough to get to spend time with Danny and learn more about him. Danny had an incredible capacity to care for other people. Sadly, I began to learn that sometimes he needed to focus on himself instead. He had struggled with addiction and after hard work and a lot of love from family and friends, he had found a life of recovery, immersing himself in his Christian faith and time with loved ones. I was learning his history during an interesting time in my life. I was entering treatment for an eating disorder while I was getting to know him. Once he told me about his past, I told him about my present. He

offered me advice, love and prayers. I learned that Danny had such an incredible capacity to show love to everyone. From children to fellow friends, Danny seemed to always show love by helping other people fight their battles, despite the fact he had his own to fight. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who could match Danny’s incredible capacity to show love. After a few years, I went to college. Danny and I spoke from time to time either through Facebook or on the phone. He would check on me and be there if I just needed someone to talk to. I was not an old buddy or a best friend. He was not expected or required to show me any kind of consideration. I was his sister’s friend. Yet he always managed to keep me in his thoughts and prayers. Emily and I remained best friends despite the fact we were in different cities. While I no longer got to see her and Danny very often, we managed to remain in touch despite the distance. In September of 2012, everything changed. I was leaving class one afternoon when I received a phone call from Emily. Between sobs, the only words I could make out were, “something happened.” She told me she was on her way home to Little Rock and wasn’t sure what was going on but that she knew something happened with Danny. I was in Little Rock by the next morning. In the ICU, the magnitude of the situation really came to light. Emily greeted me, red and watery-eyed, and we immediately fell into an embrace that resulted in a flood of tears and emotions. I learned that after an accidental overdose, Danny was in a coma. Someone who should have been a care giver and medical provider for Danny had irresponsibly given him the tools to relapse. For over a week, family and friends gathered in the waiting room and filled the Rankin home with dinners, pies, cards and flowers. I remember sitting in a circle, crying, sharing stories, watching a family trying to survive this unfathomable tragedy. On September 29, 2012 at 1:35 A.M., after many prayers and tears, Daniel Paul Rankin VI passed away. His death was followed by even more sorrow and tears. Following his passing, the news was shared with Danny’s friends and family that for a moment seemed to relieve a small amount of the pain. Danny, who was an organ donor, had saved and changed


special occasion

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over 50 lives. While this wonderful realization could never provide full understanding or relief for those who Delta Delta Delta loved Danny, it did Ashley is a sophomore studying give them something English. You may contact her at aswindel@email.uark.edu. incredibly precious to think about. Danny, one of the most loving and selfless people to touch lives, seemed to use his decision to be an organ donor as a final act of love and selflessness.

ASHLEY SWINDELL

As the one-year anniversary of Danny’s death approached, the Rankins were contacted by the recipient of his heart. The Rankins learned about his life and family. The decision was made for the two families to meet. I was fortunate enough to be asked to be a part of the experience. At the end of the summer months, I sat at a kitchen table next to Emily and the man with the heart that had previously shown so many people so much love. Dan’s loving nature and everything he stood for was represented in his gift of life. So, with the house was full of friends and relatives of Danny, we exchanged stories and reconstructed the life of the man who had touched so many lives. When I learned that National Donor Day was on Valentine’s Day, I immediately felt my eyes fill with tears. Danny was a flirt and a ladies man, making Valentine’s Day a very appropriate day to remember him. More importantly, he had shown so much love to people during his life through reaching out to them and even his decision to be an organ donor.

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When I learned that it was also Donor Day, I knew that it was time for Danny’s story to be written. It seemed like today encapsulated everything Danny stood for. While there is not anything could compensate for the loss of Danny, knowing his best attribute, showing love to anyone he came into contact with, is living on certainly provides a little bit of comfort. I have seen a family broken by loss, find strength from each other and regain a little bit of joy from seeing how Danny’s legacy and love will live on. Losing a loved one is never easy. I have watched how loss can tear apart all feelings of security and hope. What I can testify to is that Danny’s decision to be an organ donor not only saved the life of a father and wonderful man, but also gave a small glimmer of joy back to his own family. That final act of love and charity didn’t just touch the life of the man it saved, it gave the rest of us that were left behind something to hang on to and a daily reminder of his love. Danny reached out to other people to help them fight their battles, even when he was struggling with his own. I think the fact that Donor Day and Valentine’s Day are on the same day is one of the most beautiful things that I have heard. From what I have seen, there is no greater act of love than giving a piece of oneself to help another, something that Danny lived out in his life and even in his passing. I ask that today, everyone take some time to think about how to live out acts of love in your daily life. Take some time to appreciate your loved ones, appreciate those who have been donors, and seek to make the same kind of impact with love that Danny has made. Take some time to look past the boxes of chocolates and bouquets of roses and remember that this day is really about showing love and putting others first, something Danny stood for. I have seen a resilient family grow through tragedy. Today I ask that you keep them and the families of other donors in your thoughts. Happy Valentine’s and Donor Day to everyone, especially the incredible and beautiful Rankin family.

EVENT PREVIEW: DANCE MARATHON BY DAVID KARLSBERG The USC Trojan Dance Marathon will be held on Saturday, March 1st in the Tutor Campus Center Ballroom. The Trojan Dance Marathon is a fundraising event involving a 12-hour “dance party”, where USC students sign up to attend with their organizations and attempt to get donations for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). This year will mark USC’s seventh year of the dance marathon. This year, the Trojan Dance Marathon has seen more Greek participation than ever before. Eight of the top 10 fundraising teams at the present time are Greek organization. Several houses have raised over a thousand dollars and become official sponsors themselves. These official sponsors include Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Sigma Delta Tau, Pi Beta Phi, and Phi Delta Theta. The goal of Dance Marathon for this year is to raise $96,000 -- $1 for every patient of the CHLA.


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laugh out loud

www.theodysseyonline.com

@rileyWarwick- “what kind of seeds are popcorn seeds? Like if you plant a popcorn seed what grows?”

weather and seeing -9. Yeah right I’m going to the gym.

@pattyziccarelli- Ive been really off my eyebrow game the last few days.

@cdawes95- Walked up 4 flights of stairs and only cried once. Pretty solid leg day.

@LM_Dance- Why is it days I want to diet… I ended up eating twice the amount of junk I usually do.

@nicknailey- If I had super power it would probably be drunk texting.

Subconscious mind hatred at its best. #skinnyfat

@tor_roberts- Did I just twerk on the Berlin Wall? Absolutely.

@schuergerdaddy- Sex and Egg Rolls could totally be the name of a band.

@TheTony_Scott- Just found a Capri sun in my backpack. This day just got a lot better.

@tweetsbyjack- Auntie Anne is definitely not a looker but I’d still wife it just to steal the recipe.

@allison_buene- I named my flappy bird Sarah cause she’s a temperamental little bit** and so was

@Things4WhitePpl Making a beak out of Pringles

@samJoTan- when all else fails, eat cereal for dinner. @Ellaryrae- I miss you like a fat kid on the biggest loser misses cake. @Alirittman- I was at my breaking point through this class, mostly due to boredom and weird body odors… and then a kid in front started flossing. @The_CosbyShow- There is nothing better than thinking, “Going to the gym.” Then checking the

Sarah the 3-horn in land before time. @annasooch- I love being in a group of cars that are all speeding, it’s like we’re all in this together, dis my crew.

@PoorLilTinkk- Thank you iphone for once again randomly face timing people I don’t talk to and making my life even more awkward than it already is. @thebig_samie- So beware, my mom dances when she’s drunk and pinches boys on the ass when they step on her feet.

@sorrynotsorryy i am pretty much 3% human and 97% stress @schreibette Can someone drive me to a shamrock shake?


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