THE“CAMPUS August 30, 2017 – Volume 110 Issue 55
Students unite after Tropical Storm Harvey hits Texas Zoe Travers
Students from the Houston area are struggling to find answers and looking for support on campus after a recent storm. Tropical Storm Harvey was a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph when it landed Friday, according to an article in the New York Times. Hurricane Harvey made landfall northeast of Corpus Christi. Damage has continued through the week with severe flooding, devastation of homes and record-breaking rainfall. At least five people had died and more than a dozen were injured at Monday’s presstime. Experiencing disaster Callie Michaud, costume design and production senior, said she’s worried about her family during this disaster. “My family has been affected in various ways, with my grandparents having had a tornado touch down about two miles from their home in Katy, and my parents living two blocks south of the Addicks reservoir, which the city is preparing to drain over the next few days to prevent it from overflowing and flooding our neighborhood,” Michaud said. Michaud found out Monday morning that the chimney sprung a leak, resulting in some damage.
Michaud experienced this type of tragedy before, living through hurricanes Allison, Katrina and Ike, and said the experience can be life altering. “I guess personally the biggest effect the hurricane has had on me is just the scary realization that I can’t be with my family right now, and I can’t do anything to help them,” Michaud said. She said she wants her peers to realize the severity of the storm and be sympathetic as it continues. Hannah Descartin, acting senior, said the situation feels surreal. “I’m so worried about my city that I’m still in this delusional state of, ‘there is no way that this is actually happening,’” she said. Descartin found out Monday morning that most of her county was evacuated. Coming together “I think the biggest thing I need from other students and faculty right now is just awareness that the situation is really serious right now, even if it looks like it’s starting to turn upward,” Michaud said. “I don’t exactly appreciate all of the joke making from people who haven’t ever been through this sort of thing because it really is scary, especially when it’s the first time I’ve been away from my family during a time like this.” Several other students are in the same situation, which
I think the biggest thing I need from other students and faculty right now is just awareness that the situation is really serious right now, even if it looks like it’s starting to turn upward. Callie Michaud costume design and production senior
is why they formed a support group through Facebook Messenger. Michaud said the group tries to stay positive despite their anxieties. “It’s been really nice just knowing that there are others I can talk to who understand the gravity of the situation from a more personal perspective,” Michaud said. A support group Matt Tuley, acting junior, created the Facebook group, and, although his family is safe, he’s still concerned. On Monday morning, Tuley discovered his neighborhood had flooded. Rescue crews were using boats to rescue people from their homes. Students interested in joining the group can contact Tuley through Facebook. “I’ll admit the worst part for me has been the footage I’ve seen of the city I spent the first 18 years of my life in,” Tuley said. He decided to make the Facebook group for students who
wanted to share their concerns openly. “I’ve learned there is joy to be found in shared experience, even if the experience is like this one,” Tuley said. “The thought that we’re not alone in this makes the day a little bit easier.” Descartin said the group has helped her feel better. “I don’t know what I’d do if I was going through this alone, and, while this situation is truly devastating, it makes it a little better that we all have each other to talk through issues,” she said. Far from family Tuley said he urges students who are affected to talk about their concerns. He said the best thing unaffected students can do is reach out to those who are suffering. Descartin said her mom, who is a nurse, was stuck at the hospital where she works since the highways are flooded. “It hurts that there is basically nothing I can do but get updates from my family and wait for everything to
pass,” Descartin said. Suzy Newsom, university studies sophomore, is from Pearland, a Houston suburb. Her family also is safe and her house is undamaged, but her friends back home have seen some damage. “I have friends who have experienced the first floors of their houses flooding, which worries me as there is still more rain to come,” Newsom said Monday. “One of my friends even went kayaking in her driveway, the water was so high.” Bethany Stanley, religious education sophomore, is also from Pearland, and she said the storm has impacted her family’s income because her mother is unable to go to work. “I’m stressed,” Stanley said. “I’m so stressed and so irritated. I can’t be with my family and friends during this time, and it hurts.” She said she has found much support at OCU in the Facebook group and in her fellow students offering their thoughts, prayers and hugs. “I like hugs,” Stanley said. How to help Students interested in helping with Houston’s relief and repairs can donate to the Red Cross at redcross.org. The website allows students to help by donating money, food, supplies, and even blood for those who have been injured. Donations to the Red Cross
for those affected can be made on their website or by texting HARVEY to 90999. The Salvation Army is also accepting donations on their website, salvationarmyusa.org. The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund is taking $10 donations via texting HARVEY to 80100. The Rev. Dr. Charles Neff sent out an email Monday to the campus community, providing ways to help those who were displaced. “At this point in the recovery efforts, cash donations to relief organizations go the farthest in best assisting those in need. As opportunities for direct assistance become known, we will do our best to publicize those opportunities,” he wrote. University counseling is free to all students. Appointments can be scheduled by walking in, calling the center at 405-2087904 or by emailing Counseling Director Mindy Windholz at firstname.lastname@example.org. The center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located beside Walker Hall dormitory. Students are working to organize an on-campus drive to collect donations of clothes and food.
Governing bodies: SGA officers to begin academic year with new priorities, policies Zoe Travers
Student Government Association is starting off the school year with a new cabinet, and new marketing and budgeting. SGA oversees appropriations for student groups like Greek Life and works with Student Activities Council to plan events. The Student Senate and the Student Court are the fullest they’ve been in several years, SGA President Randy Gipson-Black said. SGA is interested in getting graduate students involved by filling the graduate/law at-large Senate seat. “We think the best way for SGA to represent OCU is to make graduates involved because they’re such a large portion of the student body,” Gipson-Black said. About 27% of the student body is made up of graduate and law students, according to enrollment numbers from last year. SGA’s first action of this year is building on some of last year’s ideas.
Last year, Gipson-Black approved HB 023, which requested recycling bins to be placed in Methodist Hall. SGA is in the process of purchasing those bins. “That’s something that we’re excited to see happen,” GipsonBlack said. The budget process for this academic year also has changed. Instead of having two budgets for the academic year-one for each semester-there will only be one. There is also more of an emphasis on public relations, including a new SGA newsletter managed by Lucas Freeman, political science/ history sophomore and secretary of public relations. The newsletter will include campus events and will focus on student organizations that don’t have high publicity, Gipson-Black said. Gipson-Black said he will focus on teaching new students about SGA and the rules behind it. “It can be fun, but it’s important too,” Gipson-Black said. Sen. Pierce Gordon (social sciences) said he hopes SGA is able to positively impact the campus community.
“That’s going to include fulfilling Randy’s campaign promises, expanding Blue Goes Green, helping individual constituencies, and having a good relationship with Chartwells,” Gordon said. Blue Goes Green is the university’s commitment to make campus more ecologically friendly. There have been no Blue Goes Green events or programs in the past two years. Chartwells is the university’s new food service provider.
Visit MediaOCU.com for more on SGA’s plans for the academic year.
SAC officers plan events for year, invite students to share ideas Sophia Babb
Student Activities Council is planning events for the remainder of the year. Monica Hiller, elementary education senior and vice president of SAC, said she’s already hard at work. “Our first event this semester was the Back to School Bash, which is always really exciting. This was the first year in a very long time that we’ve had the event on campus,” she said. Following back-to-school activities, Hiller said Free Movie Night is scheduled to begin in September. Free Movie Night happens each month at Harkins Theatres, 150 E. Reno. Students show their student IDs to get a
voucher for one free movie. Other events in the works include a holiday party, which was hinted by Hiller to involve a possible tree lighting ceremony at the school. Tradition is how many of the activities and events usually are planned, Hiller said. “What we’ve done in the past, which includes Free Movie Night and Back to School Bash, are usually what we’ll do in the future,” she said. “As far as what we do at those things, it comes down to whatever idea pops into our heads.” LaVetra Ray, assistant director of student life and student activities, has been helpful throughout the process and has a lot of ideas, Hiller said. “I have several people on the council that come up with ideas for the year,” Hiller said.
Free Movie Night is something I think every student should be excited about because it is practically a free outing for you and your friends. Madelynn Yoder SAC union commissioner
“My union commissioner is Madelynn Yoder, and she will be handling Stress Relief Week and Midnight Breakfast.” Stress Relief Week is a week near midterms and finals meant to relieve the anxiety students feel about tests. Midnight Breakfast is an event in which the caf is opened at midnight during midterms, serving exclusively breakfast foods.
Yoder, entertainment business junior, said she is most excited about Free Movie Nights and for Big Event, a campuswide end-of-the-year celebration. “Free Movie Night is something I think every student should be excited about because it is practically a free outing for you and your friends,” Yoder said.
Yoder said she couldn’t wait to see what adventures this year has in store for SAC. “Big Event is always our last hurrah, and, regardless of the weather, it is always so much fun to go and meet new people,” Yoder said. Hiller said it feels like work and play to plan the events. “It’s definitely a lot of hard work to juggle it all, but LaVetra has helped me so much to make sure it all gets done,” she said. “It’s hard, but it’s rewarding because what we plan affects so many people on campus. Ideally, it makes their college experience more memorable. That’s why I do it.” If any student has ideas for what they want to do or see on campus, Hiller said she would be happy to hear them. Additionally, anyone who wants to
join SAC is welcome. “We’re always looking for general members of the council to volunteer their time and share their ideas. I would love to have more members to delegate things to,” she said. Hiller also said SAC is a great way for freshmen to get involved in the campus community and set the tone for what the next four years will look like. If students are interested in joining or volunteering with SAC, they can email Monica Hiller at email@example.com. edu.
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opinion SGA encouraged to spend allocated funds wisely St u d e n t G ov e r n m e n t Association is starting off strong, which they need to continue throughout the whole year. Student Senate and Student Court are the fullest they’ve been in recent years, SGA President Randy Gipson-Black said. The Student Activities Council has planned events for the year and continues to come up with events, said Monica Hiller, vice president of SAC. And an SGA newsletter is being created to give the campus more information on events and student organizations. See Page 1 for more details on changes SGA will implement this year. Gipson-Black also is working to fulfill the recycling initiative started last semester by Alumnus Ken Williams.
The initiative aimed to have recycling bins in each room in Methodist Hall. Gipson-Black signed HB 023, which provided the money for a smaller number of bins to be placed in Methodist Hall. SGA is purchasing those bins. It’s great that SGA is starting the year off right, but students still need to pay attention to their representatives' actions. This year, SGA will create one budget for the whole academic year instead of developing one for each semester. This means all SGA officials and the student body should pay extra attention to what SGA is doing with their budget, which is made up of student fees. Without the ability to create another budget at the end of one semester, money should be spent in a more mindful manner than ever before.
Talk Back “What do you think of the new food provider so far?”
There shouldn’t be highcost expenses that will only benefit a few individuals, and there should be no conflicts of interest when allocating funds. The money SGA spends is students’ money. Most roles in SGA are elected, which means officers need to do what’s best for the student body. SGA is here to serve the students. The effects SGA has on OCU are important, whether they’re obvious or not, so students shouldn’t be complacent. Reach out to officials, ask about getting involved and keep your representatives accountable. For a list of SGA representatives, visit MediaOCU.com.
“They've done a good job keeping what people like from before and changing what they didn't.”
“My mom was surprised I wasn't eating ramen on the first night. I think they're doing great so far.”
Alanah Hosford cell and molecular biology senior
Bobby Trae Trousdale finance freshman
“I haven't gone in one day and been disappointed because the food is so good.”
“I do miss that they did away with the vegan bar, but, that's okay, they have a lot of healthy options.”
Austin Jones political science/philosophy freshman
Shaye Kerlin marketing junior
“They've been good so far. I did summer camps this past summer and was able to experience it then too.”
“It's a little difficult to know what allergies are in the food without the little signs like last year.”
Sarah Taylor dance pedagogy junior
Kristina Patterson film sophomore
Newest Cars movie addresses adult concepts in a fun way This summer, Disney Pixar released Cars 3, the third and best movie of the Cars film franchise. Directed by Brian Fee, the movie provides the thrills and heart Pixar fans have come to expect, while posing some of the most provocative questions in the Disney film canon. The movie follows “Lightning McQueen,” the charming albeit arrogant hero of the series, voiced by Owen Wilson. In his triumphant return to the sliver screen, McQueen faces his greatest challenge yet, proving him-
self as a viable opponent to the new crowd of rookies on the racing scene. The best of the rookies, “Jackson Storm,” voiced by Armie Hammer, leads the new generation of technologically-advanced racers, leaving McQueen and his buddies in the dust. In the final race of the season, McQueen suffers a nearly fatal crash, leaving him to recover in Radiator Springs and contemplate his future. Amidst pressure to retire and threats of being fired by his sponsors, McQueen decides to buckle down and embrace the latest technology
Mary McLain is a film production junior from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who loves sandwiches and social media.
to train for the new season. With the moral and emotional support from his neighbors in Radiator Springs, as well as his girlfriend and attorney “Sally Carrera” (Bonnie Hunt), McQueen makes his way to a fancy new training facility where the youthful and ener-
getic training staff will whip him into shape. At the stateof-the-art facility, McQueen meets “Sterling,” the owner, and “Cruz Ramirez”(Cristela Alonzo) who begin his training immediately. From the moment he arrives at the training center,
McQueen finds himself on a journey of self-discovery. He struggles to redefine himself as a racer and an individual, while facing his toughest opponents yet, and he and Cruz struggle to find a balanced and empathetic working relationship, then go on to face the upcoming season together. In classic Pixar form, the film tells a universal story: one of friendship, perseverance, self-acceptance, and love. But this particular movie goes a step further to challenge the audience with questions regarding death, legacy and
the futility of material goals in a fleeting and finite world. Lightning McQueen faces questions of mortality that even human movies shy away from for fear of a too-harsh reality. Among these existential challenges, the film raises questions about reproduction, about where in the body the soul resides and about the fair treatment of poor and handicapped citizens. Cars 3 entertains audiences of all ages while proving that Pixar stands firm as a source of provocative and galvanizing modern storytelling.
New food provider falls short of improved expectations After months of rumors, emails and shared Facebook articles involving Sodexo’s food rating, OCU’s dining service has changed. With that comes confusing meal plans, a Chick-fil-A, a redesigned caf, and a downscaled version of Alvin’s Cafe. Was this all really worth it? I’m suffering from a shortage of cheese bread from Alvin’s, and we don’t even get our Chick-filA on schedule. There is even a wall that was erected between Alvin’s and the former dining area where the Chick-fil-A will go. It is also my understanding that we are only allowed one Chick-fil-A purchase a day with our meal plan points. If we want a second visit, we have to spend our hard-earned cash. I guess we don’t spend enough
cash on meal plans as expensive as OCU’s. We have meal plans so that we don’t have to spend cash on food. I am on Meal Plan F, a confusing plan with refreshing meal allowances and enough points for 10,000 iced coffees. When this Chick-Fil-A does finally get here, they expect me to only go once a day? That’s just not a fair rule. That being said, the best part of my days will be rolling up and ordering a No. 1 with the Sriracha sweet and spicy sauce. Alvin’s is lacking in food–all of it, to be specific. The market only serves snacks and coffee at the moment. I guess the new idea for Alvin’s is to mix an airport gift shop with a Starbucks. That being said, the location looks nice, and it promotes a university feel. Market at Alvin’s
Harrison Langford is an acting junior from Las Vegas, Nevada, who loves golden retrievers and the New York Giants.
is just not the proper name. Where’s the market? I miss the days of buying a gallon of milk, getting a frapp and ordering cheese bread with a side of Fettuccine Alfredo. The caf also has gone through some cosmetic changes. They tried to theme the caf by renaming all of the food locations with clever names. But, the only theme I’m picking up on is “fire hazard.” It is impossible to navigate through the caf. If you’re not running into chairs or people,
you’re running into a table of desserts located directly in the center of the dining area. Parties of one also decide that sitting at a booth is acceptable. The only problem with that is that there are parties of six or more trying to eat, and it’s just cruel to take up that much space. The food also is different this year. The chicken is cooked, the potatoes are delicious and the biscuits are soft. If you haven’t tried the pizza, I recommend that most of all.
This new food company seems to present a bittersweet alternative to OCU students, and I’m not entirely sure if I’m okay with it yet. Sure, I enjoy the food being slightly more tolerable, but I still miss what we had. The saying “you don’t know what you have until its gone” hits me hard when I walk up to the caf and am confronted by a line that extends all the way down the hall in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center. The food is better, but we lost too much to make one small stride. I miss the old Alvin’s setup, the grill-“grille” as they call it now-being open at dinner time, the ability to navigate through the caf, and cheese bread. The pros just don’t outweigh the cons.
I’m sure that opinions will shift when the Chick-fil-A opens up, and when Market at Alvin’s starts to look and feel a little more like an actual market. The market should take advantage of its own name and go back to selling things like fruit, milk and maybe even some frozen food. Students enjoy making meals in their rooms from time to time, and this could be a great selling point with potential students. We have a long way to go until this year is up, and hopefully changes will continue to be made as far as dining at OCU goes. But I’m not too optimistic. They made it personal when they took away my cheese bread.
Campus Calendar Calendar items must be received in the Newsroom or email@example.com by noon Friday for inclusion in the following Wednesday issue.
TODAY Week at the museum special presentations from noon to 3 p.m. in Room 214 in DulaneyBrowne Library Fefu and Her Friends callbacks at 6:30 p.m. in Gold Star Memorial Building New Member 101 from 7-8 p.m. in the Great Hall in Tom
and Brenda McDaniel University Center Free film screening: I am Not Your Negro at 7:30 p.m. in Kerr-McGee Auditorium in Meinders School of Business THURSDAY Weekly chapel service from 1-2 p.m. in Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel
Pterodactlys callbacks at 6:30 p.m. in Gold Star Memorial Building Weekly Play Club meeting from 10:30 p.m. to midnight in the honor's lounge in Gold Star Memorial Building FRIDAY Final day to drop classes without a transcript record for the
Fall 2017 semester
Final day to receive 100 percent tuition adjustment for the Fall 2017 semester
MONDAY Labor Day, no classes
TUESDAY Week at the museum at 10 a.m. at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive
Evensong at 8 p.m. in Watson Lounge in Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel
Honor's concert recital at 8 p.m. in Petree Recital Hall in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center
Out of the Box/OCUEdge auditions at 10:30 p.m. in Clara E. Jones Administration Building
Out of the Box/OCUEdge auditions at 10:30 p.m. in Clara E. Jones Administration Building
Final day to register or add c l a s s e s f o r t h e Fa l l 2 0 1 7 semester Final day to select credit/no credit option for the Fall 2017
The Campus has served the Oklahoma City University community since 1907. It is published Wednesday during the academic year, with the exception of holidays and exam periods.
THE CAMPUS August 30, 2017, Volume 110, Number 55
Editor-in-chief: Miguel Rios Associate Editor: Sage Tokach Copy Editor: Chandler White News Editor: Zoe Travers Photo Editor: Elina Moon Community Manager: Lauren Berlingeri
Web Editor: Nicole Waltman Staff Writers: McAlyn Forbes, Harrison Langford, Emily Wollenberg, Sophia Babb, Grace Babb Columnist: Caroline Hawthorne Photographer: Karlye Price Film Critic: Mary McLain Videographer: Emily Haan
The Student Publications staff welcomes unsolicited material and letters to the editor. All letters must be signed and include the writer’s phone
Ad/Marketing Director: Madison Clark Circulation Director: Brianna Demuth Faculty Adviser: Kenna Griffin
number, address, major, and classification. The staff reserves the right to edit all letters. The staff also reserves the right to refuse letters without explanation. Letters can be sent online at mediaocu.com, emailed to stupub@ okcu.edu or dropped off at the Newsroom in Walker Center for Arts and Sciences. Submitted items may appear on MediaOCU and in the print edition.
The first issue of The Campus is free. Each additional issue costs 25 cents. Contents copyright, 2017. All rights reserved.
August 30, 2017
news Breaking bread Far left: Eric Capelle, vocal perfor-
mance senior, sings at the Jewish Stars’ summer camp Shabbat on Aug. 25. Capelle led the services, which were followed by a potluck. Left: Celia Tedde, music theater/ vocal performance junior, says the prayer over Challah on Aug. 25 at the Jewish Stars’ summer camp Shabbat. This was the Jewish Stars’ kickoff event for the academic year. Their next campuswide event is Pizza in the Hut on Oct. 5 to celebrate Sukkot. Elina Moon Student Publications
Fraternity Rush concludes, 24 men accept bids
Meinders School of Business offers new scholarships Harrison Langford
Fraternity Rush concluded Saturday with Bid Day, where 24 students accepted bids. The three fraternities on campus are Lambda Chi Alpha, Kappa Sigma and Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI). Rush was composed of two formal nights and Bid Day, although fraternities hosted other events during Stars Week. The two formal nights were Thursday and Friday in Kramer School of Nursing. They consisted of formal presentations by members and/or alumni from each fraternity to prospective members. Bid Day was in Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel. Prospective members sat in the chapel, waiting for their names to be called. Once called, they received a bid card from Interfraternity Council members, which they could accept or reject. Unlike sorority recruitment, men might receive bids from multiple organizations. They choose
Thirty days after Bid Day, we can do snap bids. They can extend a bid to any man that they would like, as long as they let IFC know.
Josh Hall student life, intramural sports and recreation assistant director
which fraternity to join if they receive more than one bid. Once every member either accepts or rejects a bid, all those who accepted run from the chapel to their fraternity house or a meeting location. After that, each fraternity has a brotherhood event to celebrate with their new brothers. Lambda Chi Alpha added the most new members with 14. Kappa Sigma gained seven new members, and FIJI gained three. Ben Patterson, Lambda Chi Alpha president, said their members had a lot of fun during Bid Day. “It was a great time for the brotherhood,” he said. There are also about five bids, which have neither been accepted or rejected yet.
Those bids belong to students who couldn’t be at Bid Day, said Josh Hall, assistant director of student life, intramural sports and recreation. “They have been emailed, and they have seven days to accept or decline their bid,” he said. The fraternities also have the ability to extend snap bids to other men. “Thirty days after Bid Day, we can do snap bids. They can extend a bid to any man that they would like, as long as they let IFC know,” Hall said. Me m b e r s f r o m K a p p a Sigma and FIJI did not respond Monday for comment.
New assistant coach joins the men’s basketball staff Nicole Waltman
Ryan Litzinger is the new assistant coach for the men’s basketball team. He will replace previous assistant coach Robbie Harman, who accepted a job as assistant basketball coach at Davenport University in Michigan, his home state. Litzinger came straight from an eight-year position as assistant coach for the University of West Georgia’s men’s basketball team. Litzinger was born and raised in Rogers, Arkansas, but spent the last eight years as an assistant coach at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia. “I played basketball my entire life,” Litzinger said. “Growing up during the University of Arkansas Razorbacks’ glory years in the 1990s, I never wanted to go to college anywhere else. “I ended up as student manager at the University of Arkansas, which led me into coaching at West Georgia and eventually here at OCU.” Litzinger arrived on campus two weeks before classes started, he said. “I am really enjoying it here, though,” Litzinger said. “The campus is beautiful and vibrant as everyone is returning for the fall semester.” Litzinger already has set some personal and team goals, which include helping August 30, 2017
I know they’re eager to get to work and start learning how to play with one another. I can already tell that this is a group that’s hungry for success.
Meinders School of Business received two donations from alumni during the summer that will help improve the operations of the school and provide scholarships to more students. The donations came from philanthropist and trustee Herman Meinders, who the school is named after, and oilman Ronnie K. Irani. The donations are to be used this fall for the new academic year. Meinders donated a multimillion, full-tuition scholarship intended for four-year students. The scholarship itself will be used for up to 18 students that will attend OCU this year and in the future.
Meinders, best known for his founding of the American Floral Services, donated the money to encourage students to attend Meinders School of Business who could not do so otherwise for financial reasons. Irani donated $1 million to the Economic Research and Policy Institute (ERPI), which helps business and finance majors learn about Monte Carlo analysis optimization, machine learning, forecasting, and special modeling. ERPI is a separate entity of Meinders that helps conduct research for private parties not involved with the school, such as businesses, governments and non-profit organizations. OCU students involved with ERPI do all of the research, and then
present their research to the separate parties that hire them. MaKenzi Fox, marketing sophomore, said any scholarship opportunities are great. “Education is definitely not the cheapest, and I know that the scholarships I was given helped me tremendously in being able to go to OCU,” she said. Shannon McKenrick, entertainment business senior, said she’s grateful for the donations. “I think it is amazing that alumni are donating,” McKenrick said. “Their gifts will allow more students the opportunity to attend OKCU, who may not have had the option otherwise.”
FRESH & FAST MEET
Ryan Litzinger assistant coach men’s basketball
Head Coach Vinay Patel as much as possible and getting the team back in shape before practice starts in October, he said. “Beyond that, I just want to help us get in a position to compete for a national championship,” Litzinger said. “I know that’s what this institution and department is all about, and OCU men’s basketball is due for another banner.” Some men on the team spent the summer on campus taking summer classes and working out with Coach Patel, while some of the international students just arrived on campus. “I know they’re eager to get to work and start learning how to play with one another,” Litzinger said. “I can already tell that this is a group that’s hungry for success.” Litzinger helped the Wolves win a Gulf South Conference regular season championship in 2015 and a GSC Tournament championship in 2016, according to OCUsports.com. He also led West Georgia
to three NCAA tournament appearances in the last five years during his tenure there. “I think Coach Litzinger will push us to become better basketball players and a better team,” Junior Forward Elijah Christman said. “I think he’ll take some of the weight off of our head coach, Coach Patel, and allow him to coach at an even higher level than he already does.” The team’s first game is at 3 p.m. Oct. 28 against Manhattan Christian at home in Abe Lemons Arena in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center. “I really appreciate the welcome I’ve received all around campus,” Litzinger said. “I’ve been getting a crash course on OCU and the lay of the land here, and everyone has been incredibly friendly and helpful. I can see the support for our basketball team is going to be phenomenal.”
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Elina Moon Student Publications
Bashing together Katelyn Jassoy, music theater/vocal performance junior, shoots a basketball into the portable hoop at the Back to School Bash at 5 p.m. Aug. 22 in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center. Officials originally planned the event to take place on the quad, but it was moved indoors due to weather. Above: Kaley McConnaughey and Brandon Dallmann, music theater freshmen, play giant Jenga at the Back to School Bash, a Student Activities Council event meant to welcome students back to campus and introduce freshmen to the other students. This year’s event featured various games, inflatables, a DJ, and Insomnia Cookies. Previous Back to School Bashes have been off campus, at Dave & Busters, in the Plaza District, and at other nearby locations.
Distinguished Speakers Series returns, receives funding Elina Moon
The Distinguished Speakers Series is making its return after being on hold for four years. The series, renamed the Martha Jean Lemons Distinguished Speakers Series, will feature Clive Thompson, technology writer and philosopher, as its first guest on Sept. 19 in Petree Recital Hall in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center. The idea for the original Distinguished Speakers Series came as a replacement for the mid-year institute, a required class where students had to attend a week of lectures during Christmas break. Dr. Robin Meyers, professor of rhetoric, came up with an alternative. At a 1999 faculty meeting, he pitched the Distinguished Speakers Series, which would bring nationally-known speakers to campus once every semester. The series was highly successful, Meyers said. During the next 15 years, they brought nationally renowned speakers to OCU, including Desmond Tutu, Robert Kennedy Jr., Jane Goodall, and Elie Wiesel. “I’m so proud of OCU for doing this,” Meyers said. “It was a run of amazing quality.” In addition to the lectures, there was almost always a “student experiential component” where students got to meet the speaker in a smaller group setting. Preferential treatment was usually given to students in a major relating to the topic of the speaker. The lectures brought people from the entire community to campus. There were usually between 2,000 and 4,000 people in attendance in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center. “It is what a university does—we bring nationally known people who are provocative and will stimulate the thinking of students— and it was a gift to the community because it was free and open to the public,” Meyers said.
connections between ideas and people and things,” Thompson said. “All these things that, for centuries, were essentially impossible for the average person to use—they had to be invented and they were too expensive—suddenly, they’re part of the everyday way that we can formulate and express ideas.” Thompson will speak at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 in Petree Recital Hall in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public. Clive Thompson Preceding the lecture, a small group of students will have the technology writer opportunity to meet with Thompson for a more private conversation philosopher at a 4 p.m. session in Room 151 in Walker Center. Students are to The cost of bringing the speakers to campus ranged anywhere from be prepared with good questions to ask, Meyers said. Meyers is working to choose the next speaker. The goal is to try $15,000 to $35,000. It was paid for in part by a $25 per semester fee for students. Due to the high cost of the series, it was discontinued to bring either Oprah Winfrey or former President Jimmy Carter to campus in Fall 2018. during the budget crisis four years ago. “Oprah would be amazing,” said Katelyn Jassoy, music theater “We really grieved the loss of it,” Meyers said. “I wasn’t surprised it went away because it was never an inexpensive thing, but I think and vocal performance junior. “She is a great public figure and would bring a lot of publicity to the campus.” it’s at the heart of what universities are supposed to do.” Meyers said he highly encourages faculty to encourage students The series was brought back by the help of the Lemon family, which is providing roughly half of the honorarium, Meyers said. to attend the event. “They don’t think someone they’re gonna hear is gonna really Because of the tighter budget, there will be only one speaker per year. Clive Thompson will give a lecture about his book, Smarter Than move them, but they don’t know,” he said. “That person really You Think, about how technology is changing our brains for the better. might make an impression on them. I think part of our responsi“I suppose it is a more optimistic look at the effect of technology bility as faculty is to do the best we can to put students in contact on our cognition,” Thompson said. “A lot of books on this are about with stimulating thinkers, and then really encourage our students how technology is making us stupid and idiotic and that we can’t pay to go and listen.” Meyers said he hopes, once the community learns the series is attention to anything. I wrote my book in part because I didn’t think back, it will rise to the same level as before. that was the complete story.” “The sky is the limit if we can just come up with the money and Thompson said he hopes students will gain a better understanding convince the university community to participate,” he said. of their use of technology. “What I’m going to try to point out in the talk are some of the unexpectedly interesting ways that modern technology has amplified our awareness of other people’s thoughts, and our ability to make
What I’m going to try to point out in the talk are some of the unexpectedly interesting ways that modern technology has amplified our awareness of other people’s thoughts.
FIRST program assists first-generation college students Emily Wollenberg
The FIRST program at OCU was created to help first-generation college students find a community and a support system throughout their time on campus until graduation. Levi Harrel, assistant director of student development, said the program is in its third year and focuses on helping first-year and first-generation students get adjusted at school. “What we realized from looking at our own institutional data was that less than 50 percent of our students who self-identified as first-generation college students were graduating,” he said. “We realized that we needed to support these students in more directed efforts.” Destini Carrington, psychology sophomore, said the program was beneficial to her. “FIRST gave me the opportunity to connect with a group of peers automatically when coming into my freshman year,” she said. She also said the program is wonderful because it gives stu-
dents the opportunity to have someone there for them when they don’t have someone to talk to about college. Kyle Hoyle, business administration and management sophomore, said the program helped him adjust to college and make new friends. “I’m not usually one to step out of my comfort zone, but this program has given me the confidence I needed to become my true self,” he said. Although the program has been around for a short time, 90 students participate. “Students who self-identify as first generation are automatically enrolled the program. They are automatically connected with a mentor, and, throughout the year, we have both social and educational programming that those students are invited to,” Harrel said. The bonds she made her freshman year are still existent, Carrington said. “Even now, the mentors still check in on us to see how we are holding up,” she said. Hoyle said he enjoyed the social events in Walker Hall because
they connected him to other first-year students and showed him that he was not alone in the college experience. “This program made me realize that OCU is truly my home, and my friends are now my family,” Hoyle said. Each semester, FIRST hosts an open house, a midterm study party and an end-of-the-year celebration. They also have an educational event led by Mary Benner, director of global engagement, on the importance of studying abroad and how students can get involved, as well as an event led by Career Services about resume building and internships. Harrel said the program is open to any student that thinks they could benefit from the program’s services. Carrington said the relationships they make can lead to even better connections and future recommendations. “The success of my first year stems from the contributions of this program,” Hoyle said. “It will serve as a catalyst for completing my degree.”
Trustee brings OCU talent into women’s religious lectures Sage Tokach
Jane Jayroe, OCU alumna, trustee and former Miss America, will utilize the talents of students and faculty in her lecture series for women of faith. The series, entitled Esther Women after the biblical character Queen Esther, is a monthly program where guest speakers lead religious discussions for women. The program started 14 years ago and has grown into an annual lineup of luncheon seminars attended by about 400 women of all religions. The Rev. Dr. Lisa Wolfe, professor of Hebrew Bible and endowed chair of religion, will speak in the first slot of this year’s season. It will be her second time presenting in the series, and she will discuss the book of Ruth, specifically how Naomi and Ruth relate to the unexpected gifts one finds in life, even in the midst of difficulties. “The book of Ruth doesn’t often get preached on, so I-hoping to open that up a bit and give people the chance to think in new ways that challenge them-I put on my pastor hat for these gatherings and aim it a bit more inspirational, rather than academic, but my professor motives are always at work,” Wolfe said. August 30, 2017
I love what the women stand for, and I think it’s important for women to share their faith with each other.
Ashleigh Robinson music theater junior
Jayroe chooses all of the seminar speakers, which vary from Olympic athletes to politicians, professors and performers. This season’s lineup also includes former Bishop Robert E. Hayes and Auntie Anne Beiler, the founder of Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzels. “There are women from all denominations of faith attending the sessions, so I try to choose speakers that will contribute to everyone’s spiritual growth,” Jayroe said. “Some speakers are more educational, while others bring powerful personal testimonies.” Most of the luncheons feature music provided by students, faculty and alumni. OCU music faculty have been helpful in recommending singers and musicians, Jayroe said.
Ashleigh Robinson, music theater junior, will perform at the first seminar from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 6 at St. Luke’s Methodist Church, 222 N.W. 15 St. “Jane has been a family friend and mentor of mine for a long time,” Robinson said. “I’ve attended one event that Esther Women has put on and loved it. I love what the women stand for, and I think it’s important for women to share their faith with each other.” Robinson will sing “Blessings” by Laura Story and participate in an interview about her family in relation to Naomi and Ruth. That particular scripture speaks to her because it emphasizes the importance of family, she said. The discussions are exclusively for women who obtain a season pass, which costs $180. This year’s passes are sold out, but new registration for next year’s season begins in July via stlukesokc.org. “Originally, I only planned for this to be a one-time event, but we’ve sold out every year,” Jayroe said. “Women come from outside of OKC and find something meaningful. It’s a blessing that I can provide something that is wanted and needed in the community.”