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THE CAMPUS January 10, 2018 – Volume 111 Issue 12

Students share memories of deceased classmate Students are sharing memories of a classmate after his death during winter break. Vinnie Franco, pre-medical/guitar freshman, died Dec. 31 in Chicago. He was found unresponsive at 8 p.m., according to Chicago police. Franco was pronounced dead an hour later at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Information about funeral services was not available at presstime. Tomi Vetter, piano freshman, said she remembers meeting Franco at the beginning of Fall 2017 and developing a unique way of greeting each other. “We would shout ‘my friend’ and give each other the biggest hugs,” Vetter said. “Vinnie was one of the people that made OCU home for me, and he will always be in my heart. I miss him so dearly.” Originally from Brazil, the 19-year-old lived with a host family in Norman, Oklahoma. Franco discovered his love of travel after visiting his father in Africa, said Austin Keller, guitar freshman. That inspired him to find a program where he could live in a country for a year with a host family. “He wanted to come to America because he thought it was like the greatest country in the world,” Keller said. “Him and his host family connected so much that he ended up staying here and continued to live in their home.”

Franco worked in the Wanda L. Bass School of Music dean’s suite. He was a member of University Chorale and the OCU Guitar Studio. Keller described Franco as a great musician. “He was very humble about his playing, even though he was a really great guitarist,” he said. “His personality and his music were just the same. It seemed to come through his music.” Simón Gómez, music theater/composition Vinnie Franco freshman, met Franco through choir. Four times a week, they would sit next to each other during rehearsal. “We quickly became friends. He was someone who was always quick to crack a joke and make me laugh, but I could also tell he had a deep love for music,” Gómez said. “Whenever the choir came together to create a beautiful harmony, he would turn to me with the biggest smile on his face, which always made choir rehearsal better.” Gómez said he hopes Franco is at peace. “He was a bright and warm presence in people’s lives... the kind of person that could make your day better if you had a normal conversation with him. It’s going to be painful to go back to school and not see him sitting next to me in choir, and it’s going to take time for me to get used to that,” he said. Vetter said Franco was “beyond brilliant” with unmeasurable talent

and love in his heart. “Vinnie had a light that could brighten any darkened day, and he made sure that the people around him knew he cared. Vinnie was one of the best people I’ve met, and his light will never be forgotten,” she said. The Rev. Dr. Charles Neff, vice president for university-church relations and dean of the chapel, shared news of Franco’s death in a email to the campus community. He asked the campus community to pray for Franco’s friends and family. “Please know that university counseling and pastoral staff are available to assist students, faculty and staff experiencing grief,” he wrote. If students need assistance following Franco’s death, the university offers free counseling services. They will also offer a group therapy session at 4 p.m. Thursday in the University Counseling offices in the northwest wing of Walker Hall. For more information about counseling or to schedule an appointment, call 405-208-7901. Pastoral care also is available by calling 405-208-5060. By Photo Editor Elina Moon and Miguel Rios, editor-in-chief

Campus tech takes steps to improve Wi-Fi in residential areas Miguel Rios


Students might notice an improved Wi-Fi signal in residential areas. Except for Cokesbury Court Apartments, all residence halls were modified last semester to increase the wireless signal. Improvements in Oklahoma United Methodist Hall were completed last month. Gerr y Hunt, Campus Technology Services chief information officer, said it’s tricky to provide thorough wireless capabilities to dorms for various reasons, such as the construction of the buildings, interference from things like microwaves or personal routers or a high concentration of people connected to Wi-Fi at the same time in the same area. “We’re constantly investing in and researching how we can improve wireless on campus,” he said. “It’s an ongoing effort.” Improving Walker The Walker Hall dormitory renovations have been done since last summer. Before, there were at most three wireless antennas per floor across the seven stories. There are now nine antennas per floor. The project was part of the renovations housing officials made to Walker. “We not only added more antennas, we added new antennas,” Hunt said. “These are stronger. They can handle more capacity. It was not just adding more, it was adding better, so that building is basically glowing with wireless coverage right now.” Troy Freeman, music theater freshman, lives in Walker. He said in January the main issue is consistency. “Most of the time it doesn’t work at all, and, on several occasions, I’ve been forced

The system regularly boots students off when multiple of their systems are connected. The system is broken and makes studying difficult. Troy Freeman music theater freshman

to put off homework till the next morning in hopes that the routers would be active,” Freeman said. “The system regularly boots students off when multiple of their systems are connected. The system is broken and makes studying difficult.” Doing it right In Banning Hall dormitory, improvements to the wireless signal came only after a network cable was accidentally severed during construction. “That wasn’t the worst thing in the world because it really kind of allowed us to stop, say ‘okay let’s go back in there and do it right,’” Hunt said. “While Banning Hall doesn’t have nearly as many students, the students in there have been very positive in their feedback to us regarding the improved wireless in that dorm.” To improve the signal, campus tech employees ran new network lines that can handle higher speeds than before and doubled the number of antennas from five to 10. Connecting Methodist The toughest dorm to make wireless improvements to was Methodist Hall Dormitory, Hunt said. “It’s a massive complex, there’s lots of rooms tucked away in corners and, the way the building is designed, it’s not one that is easy to go into the rooms themselves and drop in antennas,” Hunt said. “The hallways are really the only areas we can

Talk Back:

put antennas where we want to put them because there’s dropped ceilings up there.” A dropped ceiling refers to a ceiling hung below the actual structural ceiling, meaning there is room between the two for mechanical, electrical or plumbing infrastructure. Methodist rooms have hard ceilings. Each floor in Methodist Hall had about 10 antennas before. Now they each have about 20. Even with all the work, Hunt said there could be pockets where the Wi-Fi still isn’t great. Onnika Hanson, acting junior, lives in Methodist and said Sunday that the Wi-Fi hardly worked for her last semester. “When you’re able to actually get it on your device, then it’s slow,” Hanson said. “But, most of the time, according to my computer, it doesn’t even exist. I don’t have unlimited data, so I’m constantly having to pay an overcharge, which is incredibly frustrating.” Cokes unimproved Cokesbury residents won’t see improvement to the Wi-Fi. Since the university doesn’t own the apartments, the responsibility to improve the signal falls on the third party that manages it, Hunt said. “The wireless that is out there is there kind of by our own good graces and just to provide something at all,” Hunt said. “We have taken our old wireless equipment and put it in some of the rooms to provide more

“Wi-Fi in our room is almost non-existent.”

Jordan Kilgore acting sophomore

Jordan Dorsey acting junior

Making an investment Hunt said there were two costs for each project: a cabling contract and buying new antennas. “The wireless antennas are around $600 per antenna. The cabling that we had done is about $7,000 or so,” he said. “It definitely was probably pushing $100,000, but that’s spread out across the fiscal year. “It’s an ongoing investment of time and money, but it’s something we understand is important.” Reporting issues To report an issue with Wi-Fi, submit a work order on or call campus tech at 405-208-5555. “Let us know when there’s an area that maybe is lacking in coverage,” Hunt said. “Even in Cokesbury, where maybe there is nothing we can do about it, at least if we know where the problems are we can pass that information along to the Cokesbury management group.” Reports should be as detailed as possible, including location, type of device and specifics about the connection issue. “We can do all the testing we can to see what the coverage looks like, but sometimes we can’t get to every last inch of this campus. We need the feedback of the students and people that are using wireless on this campus,” Hunt said.

Personal network devices interfere with Wi-Fi signal Students might inadvertently be negatively affecting the wireless signal on campus by trying to improve it. Gerry Hunt, Campus Technology Services chief information officer, said “rogue devices” can compete with the wireless signal. “When a student brings their wireless modem from home, plugs it into our network and starts broadcasting out a signal, it’s directly competing with the wireless signal we’re trying to provide,” he said. Things that can interfere with the wireless signal include: - modems or routers from home, - microwaves, - posters or signs with mirror or metallic backings, and - any device that broadcasts its own wireless signal, like certain printers. Students should turn off wireless capabilities for any device that broadcasts its own signal, Hunt said. “I’m not talking about ones that you can connect to wireless, those are okay. But there are some that have their own built-in antenna, so they’re broadcasting their own wireless network,” he said. Students are restricted from bringing their own network devices, according to the university’s computer usage policy. In situations where students have wall decor with mirror or metallic backs, campus tech workers could move the antenna closest to the dorm room a few feet or recommend that students move their decor to another wall, Hunt said. Students must contact campus tech or submit a work order first, though. Onnika Hanson, acting junior, said she switches from Wi-Fi to data if the wireless signal is not working. “If I don’t have any left, I usually end up just waiting until the Wi-Fi comes back up to do my work, which usually just results in me staying up very late to do my work,” Hanson said. Hanson said she has never submitted a work order or contacted campus tech because she knows people who have and doesn’t think much gets done. “We receive emails about how they’re going to fix it, but then nothing seems to change,” she said. Despite the additional antennas, Hunt said they are never done improving Wi-Fi on campus. “Wireless is not a convenience, it’s an expectation, just like running water and electricity,” he said. “We are going to constantly work to provide the best and safest wireless network that we can with the resources we have available.” By Miguel Rios, editor-in-chief

“What is the Wi-Fi like in your room?”

“Actually, in my room, it’s not that bad.”


coverage than they do have.” Hunt said campus tech officials have made recommendations to the owners of Cokesbury about ways they could improve the Wi-Fi. Students who live in Cokesbury should still report issues to campus tech.

“The Wi-Fi is spotty and crashes on the second floor in Meth.”

“It’s really slow. I quite often have to disconnect and use data.”

Jimmy Francis psychology/human performance senior

Jesse Beere music theater freshman

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opinion Talk Back

Keep up-to-date with politics as a New Year's resolution Most New Year’s resolutions involve eating healthy or saving money, but paying attention to politics also should be on your list in 2018. Midterm elections will take place Nov. 6 and will determine the political party that controls the House and the Senate until 2020. It might not be the presidential election, but these elections will impact your life at different levels. Whatever your political ideology might be, it’s important to keep up with politics and vote. It’s essential to be educated on political issues at times like these when people are more divided than ever. Divisions reached record levels during Barack Obama’s presidency, but “have grown even larger” in President Donald Trump’s first year, according to a report from the Pew Research Center. This means, for every side of an issue, there will be a different source of media influence calling for your attention and offering you their perspectives. If you don’t take in this infor-

mation consciously, you run the risk of having your opinion decided for you, something your democratic American rights are designed to protect you from. Find out the deadlines for voter registration and absentee ballots and mark them on your calendar. Read about the seats that are up for election and learn the candidates’ stances on issues that are important to you. If you’re having a hard time keeping track of how these elections affect you, is a great resource to find out what’s going on at the federal, state and local levels, as well as how to vote, depending on if you live in or out of the state in which you’re registered to vote. Following politicians and news outlets on social media might be the simplest way to keep up with politics in 2018. It’s not just Trump who takes to Twitter to talk politics. Most politicians now have social media accounts that they use to communicate directly with voters. It’s not ideal to derive

“What is your New Year’s resolution?”

your beliefs and opinions from Twitter, but it’s a good way to stay up-to-date on what’s going on politically. Make sure to look at a variety of news outlets, not just one. Getting your information from several places will help you look at all sides of an issue. Wire services like The Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg News are trustworthy places to get factual reports on politics and the economy. You also can follow these services on social media and download mobile apps. However you consume your news, it’s important to remain in touch with the world around you. One of the core goals of a liberal arts education is to give students the skills to think critically. Staying informed is crucial to this goal. On top of whatever resolution you might have, give priority to the affairs of the country that affect your life every day.

“To go to bed earlier”

“Make Kristen Cerelli happy every day this year”

Evelyn Wasson dance freshman

Adrianna DelPercio acting sophomore

“To be kinder to myself”

“Manage my time better”

Tessa Neeno music freshman

Nick Shironaka English junior

“While I'm at school, I'm trying to go vegan.”

“I want to make my bed every day. It's simple and measurable.”

Hannah Cozart acting freshman

Erin Epperly music education senior

“To laugh more”

“I think they're stupid, so I've never had one.”

Mckyla Kerr English and psychology freshman

Sarah Martin acting freshman

Columnist stresses importance of cherishing family I’m sure this was the first thing that your teachers said to you, but if they haven’t, let me be the first to say “Welcome back!” As we usher in 2018, we remember 2017, which was supposed to be the best year ever because everyone seemed to have such a tough time in 2016. Personally, 2017 was a better year for me, but I’m really hoping that this new year brings more good times and opportunities. I wrapped up 2017 in Las Vegas with my family for winter break. I consider

myself to be a family person. I’m incredibly close with both of my parents, their significant others, my brother, my sisters, and my cousins. One thing is always important to remember: when it comes to families, we all have our dysfunction. I found myself thinking that my family was crazy during the break. We all went out to eat at an Italian restaurant on Christmas. My first thought was: “Who goes out on Christmas instead of cooking a nice meal?” Almost everyone in our family was at this dinner—my

Harrison Langford is an acting junior from Las Vegas, Nevada, who loves golden retrievers and the New York Giants.

cousins, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents, my mom, and my brother. That meant many different conversations going on across the table. It also meant that we were the loudest people in the restaurant. I kept finding myself shrinking in my chair out of

embarrassment. People were staring, and I’m almost positive that people complained. After dinner, I got into the car with my mom and started complaining about how annoying our family is and how embarrassed I was by their dinner behavior. My

mom expressed disappointment in me. She reminded me that every family has its quirks and no family is perfect, but that’s what makes ours so special. After my mom told me this, I found some strange peace. I have always loved my family, but this reminded me why it’s important to love them in the first place. We may not always have good people in our lives, but we will always have our family to fall back on. No matter our family story, it’s important to love them and be there for them.

As our holiday season comes to a close and the school year continues, I encourage all of us to take a moment to reflect on why our families are important to us. I also encourage all of us to reach out to family members and remind them of a good memory that you have shared with them. It is my firm belief that families define us, and that knowing love and support is always there is important. Regardless of your family background, I hope everyone enjoyed their break.

Manson-themed claymation film falls flat, disappoints A man died in California State Prison on Nov. 19, 2017 who caused the murders of seven people throughout the 1960s and left a legacy of fear and trauma throughout the United States. The man was Charles Manson. A reminder of this person hardly feels necessary, but I thought it would be interesting to get a retrospective look at this bloody history through the 2006 stop motion musical film Live Freaky! Die Freaky! This film, directed by punk culture extraordinaire

John Roecker, is essentially a retelling of the Manson Family’s origins, killings and ultimate incarceration through claymation. The cast of the film seems to have been drawn straight from Roecker’s punk rock Rolodex, including names like Travis Barker of Blink182 and, starring as the mastermind himself, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. The animation style of this movie is about as unsettling as its subject matter, similarly uncanny as the work of David Firth, an animator famous for his dark imagery. Before that even

Chandler White is an English junior from Meeker, Oklahoma. He likes gothic horror and good hip-hop.

begins, though, the viewer is presented with a “not for the easily offended” warning. This may seem like a silly cliché or some boast of the movie’s shock value, but this caution is a massive understatement. I’m all for offensive art. I see no problem with a story, movie or painting intended

to make the viewer feel discomfort or even pain. Live Freaky! Die Freaky! accomplishes all of these things, but, at the end of it all, I couldn’t help staring at the screen and repeatedly asking “why?” The clay depictions of sex and gore in this movie are beyond imagination, clearly

making a point to disturb the viewer. But the reason for this aggression is not for artistic value—it’s for controversy, for attention, and it’s just so blatantly obvious that the movie comes off similar to Sausage Party— not actually offensive, just strangely arbitrary. From the beginning, “Sharon Hate” is portrayed as a dumb blond Hollywood socialite with no real redeeming qualities (all names in this movie were slightly falsified). Sure, it’s true that once someone is killed, especially as Sharon Tate was, society tends to glorify them

more than is accurate of their lives. But this point would’ve been clearer and funnier if Tate’s lines were not written and performed like a 14-year-old who accidentally left a microphone on while pouting. The visual style certainly is interesting, and the fact that the creators know precisely what they want the movie to be is admirable. But, other than a handful of comedic moments and a few conceptual lines, Live Freaky! Die Freaky! is just not as funny or as interesting as its premise would imply.

MONDAY Martin Luther King Jr. Day, university closed

Christian University at 6 p.m. in Abe Lemons Arena in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center

Campus Calendar Calendar items must be received in the Newsroom or by noon Friday for inclusion in the following Wednesday issue.

TODAY Student Activity Council's Swing Dance lessons from 6:30-7 p.m. in the atrium in Wanda L. Bass Music Center Student Activity Council's Swing Dance from 7-9:30 p.m. in the atrium in Wanda L. Bass Music Center

THURSDAY Chapel service from 1-2 p.m. in Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel Play Club meeting at 10:30 p.m. in the Honor's Lounge in the Gold Star Memorial Building FRIDAY Final day to add a class without

a professor's signature

Smith Chapel

Final day to make meal plan changes without a processing fee

OCU Takeover LIVE on the Plaza from 6-10 p.m. in the Plaza District, 1624 N. Blackwelder Ave.

Native American Societ y's Indian taco sale from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Watson Lounge in Bishop W. Angie

School of Visual Ar ts High School Film Festival at 6:30 p.m. at The Venue OKC, 1757 N.W. 16th St.

January 10, 2018, Volume 111, Number 12


Web Editor: Nicole Waltman Associate Web Editor: Emily Wollenberg Staff Writers: McAlyn Forbes, Rodney Smith Photographer: Hannah Rogers Columnist: Caroline Hawthorne Film Critic: Mary McLain Videographer: Emily Haan

TUESDAY Women's basketball vs. Central

Men's basketball vs. Central Christian University at 7:45 p.m. in Abe Lemons Arena in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center

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 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 Associate Community Manager: Harrison Langford

OCU jazz band concert at 8 p.m. in Petree Recital Hall in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center

The Student Publications staff welcomes unsolicited material and let-

Proofreader: Tyler Patton Circulation Director: Brianna Demuth Faculty Adviser: Kenna Griffin

ters to the editor. All letters must be signed and include the writer’s phone 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, emailed to stupub@ 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, 2018. All rights reserved.

January 10, 2018


Elina Moon Student Publications

Sharpen your craft Right: Austin Hogue, music education sophomore, rehearses a song on his trumpet Saturday in the practice rooms in Wanda L. Bass Music Center. Hogue was preparing for chair placement auditions Sunday. He will play in the first OCU Wind Philharmonic concert at 8 p.m. March 1 in Petree Recital Hall in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center. Above: Katelyn Jassoy, music theater junior, sings “She Used to be Mine” from Waitress while accompanying herself on piano Saturday in the practice rooms in Wanda L. Bass Music Center. The practice rooms opened for student use Jan. 3 when the university reopened after winter break. They are available for music students every night until midnight.

OCUStripped officials prepare for production about capitalism Nicole Waltman


OCUStripped’s production for this semester is Urinetown, a musical written by Greg Kotis. OCUStripped is a student-directed theater company that produces shows stripped-down from elaborate sets and props. Urinetown is a satirical comedy that pays homage to “hot” societal topics. It will be directed by Nicholas Haas, music theater senior, choreographed by Jackson Walker, music theater senior, and directed musically by Sarah Pool, second-year vocal coaching graduate. The show selection was announced in November and auditions were in December. “Choosing a show for Stripped can be a bit of a meticulous process,” Haas said. “Not only does the Stripped creative team need to be in agreement, but so do the deans, the voice faculty and our mainstage directors.” The story of Urinetown takes place in a small town that’s been plagued by a 20-year drought, making public restrooms unthinkable. In an attempt to fix this issue, a company called “Urine Good Company” takes over all public amenities, forcing all of its citizens to pay large taxes and fines to use said amenities. The

protagonist “Bobby Strong” tries to save the poor people of the town from having to pay fees they can’t afford. “Urinetown has a poignant narrative that many of us can relate to, especially in today’s political climate,” Haas said. Andrew Maguire, music theater sophomore, will play Strong. “Bobby Strong is a passionate and brave leader,” Maguire said. “He has the ability to move masses of people and rally them together for what he believes is right. I think it will be a challenge for me to portray, but I am ready to take on such an incredible role.” Maguire has been part of the last three OCUStripped productions. “There is so much freedom as a performer to try new things and become more comfortable to step out of the box, and with no sets or orchestra and very minimal costumes, there’s not much to hide behind,” Maguire said. “I hope I gain even more valuable experiences during this process.” Delanie Kinney, music theater/vocal performance freshman, will play his female counterpart “Hope Cladwell.” “While learning my lines and vocals over break, I have begun to realize how much I already connect with Hope’s character,” Kinney said. “She has a strong will to find the heart in everyone around her, and she sees the importance in understanding different viewpoints. I think that having the opportunity to play the role will continue

to encourage me to be open to perspectives that differ from how I was brought up.” Kinney said she hopes the student audience will be inspired to find impactful messages in Stripped’s future works. “I think that it is very important that the theater community continues to do shows that have a significant impact on their audience,” she said. “Urinetown incorporates humor while making statements about capitalism and the legal system, and there aren’t many shows that have successfully pulled this off as Urinetown has.” Haas said one of his favorite parts of theater is the community it creates. “This being my directorial debut, I realize now more than ever that this community is often set by the director him/herself. I hope that I can live up to my title and lead my cast with love, efficiency, eloquence, and confidence. That way, we can come together openly and truly collaborate,” Haas said. Urinetown will have performances at 8 p.m. Feb. 2-3 in Petree Recital Hall in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center. Admission is free.

Religious sisterhood looks to recruit new members Sage Tokach


Kappa Phi will host rush events to recruit new members this spring. Kappa Phi is a nationwide Christian sisterhood with values of service, worship, fellowship, and study. The group has about 35 active members who meet every Tuesday night. The group rushes every semester to allow new members to join. The theme of this semester’s recruitment is “Sugar Rush.” Camryn Sanders, biomedical science senior, said Kappa Phi welcomed 15 new members from their fall rush and will welcome any number of sisters this semester.

“Many girls enjoy having the fall semester to adjust to college before they make a commitment to join a sisterhood,” Sanders said. “Our group is made up of many varying majors, denominations and interests, which makes our sisterhood so diverse.” Kappa Phi members will host three rush events this month. The first event is a popcorn and pajamas information meeting where women can enjoy a popcorn bar while participating in a question and answer session with current members. The session will cover topics including service projects, the process of becoming a member, dues, and sisterhood activities, Sanders said.

It is such a blessing to have sisters who share the same values and beliefs as you as we try to navigate through this time in our lives. Camryn Sanders biomedical science senior

The event will be at 9 p.m. Jan. 17 in Watson Lounge in Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel. The second event is a devotional and game night hosted by Kappa Phi pledge moms at 8 p.m. Jan. 18 in Room 213 in Oklahoma United Methodist Hall. The final event, “Sugar High with Kappa Phi,” will feature

food, games and sisterhood activities. If they choose to, participants will have the opportunity to begin the process of becoming a member at the event, which begins at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 in Watson Lounge in Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel. Women can RSVP to rush events via the Facebook event page, “OKCU Kappa Phi

Spring Rush-Sugar Rush,” but reservations and attendance are not necessary to become a member. “Come join us at any event, anytime,” Sanders said. “We are happy to work around the schedules of those interested in joining to be sure they have the opportunity.” Those interested in joining Kappa Phi can email Sanders at or Rachel Ann Barrs, Kappa Phi recruitment co-chairwoman, at Sanders joined Kappa Phi her first semester at OCU and said it was one of the best decisions she made. “It is such a blessing to have sisters who share the same values and beliefs as you as we try to

navigate through this time in our lives,” she said. “The devotionals and sisterhood activities always give me the strength and motivation I need to get through the week. Kappa Phi is just a place that feels like home.” Callie Dewees, acting junior, said Kappa Phi brought her together with a great group of friends. “It’s provided me with a very loving group of girls who not only support me as a person, a performer, and a leader, but help encourage my relationship with Christ,” Dewees said.

Students to participate in Plaza District entertainment, film festival Zoe Travers


OCU students will take over LIVE! on the Plaza on Friday. LIVE! on the Plaza is hosted in the Plaza District on the second Friday of every month. It is an art walk with live entertainment, shopping, and other activities and events. Local businesses stay open late for the event. The event is from 6-10 p.m. in the Plaza District on Northwest 16th Street. There will be music and theater acts, a live science demonstration and other activities for people of all ages, said Cary Pirrong, director of alumni engagement. Pirrong is also the vice president of the Plaza District Association and will be the president next year. “I’d like to encourage students, faculty, staff and alumni to support the businesses in the Plaza,” Pirrong said. “Many of the businesses are alumni-owned.” Faculty from Petree College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Visual Arts, admissions, and athletics also will participate. OCU’s film department will host a high school film festival at 6:30 p.m. Friday at The Venue, 1757 N.W. 16th St., in the Plaza District. January 10, 2018

“It will be our first time hosting a high school film festival. We’re looking forward to seeing what kinds of work high schoolers are making,” said Bryan Cardinale-Powell, chairman of the film department. Cardinale-Powell said the films were selected by a jury of OCU alumni, and he expects the program to last 45 minutes to an hour. Top entries are given a $5,000 a year scholarship to OCU, and one winner will receive a $500 cash prize presented by Nathan Gardocki Films. Nathan Gardocki is an alumnus of OCU. Cardinale-Powell said he looks forward to connecting the film students with the rest of the school while increasing the presence of the programs to high school students in Oklahoma and surrounding states. “Being in the middle of the country, it’s easy to be overlooked as a destination for studying film, but I think we have a lot to offer,” he said. Cardinale-Powell said he encourages OCU students to attend while they’re participating in other things at the takeover. Film and art students are helping run the event. “It’s nice to know, as a student, that I can be involved in the creative process,” said Meredith Funkhouser, film production senior. “I never made anything like this in high school, so I love

the fact that we are setting up a showcase to see the talent the high schoolers have.” Interested students must be enrolled in ninth through 12th grades in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas. All genres were accepted, including narrative, documentary, animation, and experimental, but they were required to be less than 10 minutes. Out of more than 125 entries, officials narrowed it down to 15, which will all be screened at the festival. An awards ceremony will follow immediately after Friday night’s screening. To get involved with the OCU Plaza District takeover, student organizations can email Pirrong at or Marianne Hosler, coordinator of alumni relations, at mhosler@okcu. edu. Each organization should let them know what kind of activity they’d like to host after which they can be put on the schedule. For more information about LIVE! on the Plaza, visit Contributing: Web Editor Nicole Waltman


news Officials search for new head volleyball coach following resignation Zoe Travers


Officials are searching for a new volleyball coach after the resignation of former Head Coach Jason Muñoz. The team was alerted of Muñoz’s decision to resign shortly before winter break. “It was a complete surprise,” Athletic Director Jim Abbott said. Abbott is accepting applications for the new head coach. He said there have been more than 20 applicants so far, and the decision on a new coach likely will be made within the next week. Muñoz led the team as assistant coach for several years before accepting the position of head coach last academic year. “Most assistant coaches desire to be head coaches, but I think that once Jason really got a taste of the realities of being a head coach, he decided that wasn’t for him,” Abbott said. Abbott said he’s not aware of Muñoz’s plans moving forward, but reported he stepped down for “personal reasons.” Abbott added that Muñoz said he wanted to “focus on other things.” Within the year that Muñoz was head coach, the Stars took both the Sooner Athletic Conference season and tournament

I think that once Jason really got a taste of the realities of being a head coach, he decided that wasn't for him.

Jim Abbott athletic director

championships for the second consecutive year. Senior Middle Blocker Holly Randall said the team was surprised by Muñoz’s leaving. “OCU is a really cutthroat environment, but I think one year is still a really short amount of time to be head coach,” Randall said. Randall said she hopes the new coach is able to keep the team in national rankings and recruit quality team members. As of now, Abbott is overseeing meetings for the volleyball team, with the official season starting back up again in the fall.

Elina Moon Student Publications

Hit me with your best shot Senior Server Sanja Vojnovic serves the ball at the Sooner Athletic Conference in the championship game against Texas Wesleyan on Nov. 11 in Abe Lemons Arena in Henry J. Freede Wellness Center. The team won the game 3-0, earning their second consecutive SAC tournament championship. This was one of the last games under the direction of former head coach Jason Muñoz.

Music student appointed to state advisory board Sage Tokach


Gov. Mary Fallin appointed David Hall, sociology/music education senior, to a position on the state advisory board for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP). The board deals with the annual dispersal of federal money to fund programs in Oklahoma in compliance with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. As a member of the board, Hall will attend a retreat, training sessions and quarterly meetings where he will participate in discussions regarding new programs and the allocation of about $1 million from the federal government. Hall is one of about 12 members so far. Other members include Rep. Cyndi Munson (D-Okla.), Rep. John Paul Jordan (R-Okla.), a state Department of Human Services employee, and professors from Oklahoma schools. Because the full board has not yet been appointed, the January meeting was postponed to February. Hall was recommended to the position by board member Dr. Gregory Parks, psychology professor at Oklahoma City Community College. “Dr. Parks knew me from previous speaking engagements, and I apparently made enough of an impression for him to remember me a year and a half later,” Hall said. “I was lucky because one of the requirements is that a couple of the members have to be under 24, so I just had to fill out an application.” Hall said he was an attractive candidate because he was involved with law enforcement as a minor, went to juvenile custody multiple times himself and had experience in foster care. There is more freedom to implement ideas that will move the state forward because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently removed the rule that requires the board to only fund programs that have been tried before, Hall said. “Some committee members are already on board with an idea I have regarding young people in the OKC metro area who have been in foster care and age out while in juvenile custody,” Hall said. “They’re being looked at to move to adult jail because their sentence hasn’t been completed.”

Being able to be a part of this group is really great because I can make a difference for those who were put in my situation. David Hall music education senior

Moving aged out residents to jail is expensive and does not give them an opportunity to improve their lives, Hall said, so he devised a plan to create a holistic housing model for this group. Through partnerships with groups like Habitat for Humanity, Hall said he wants to create a healthy living situation that will give the young adults an opportunity to build a positive lifestyle at a reduced cost for them and the state. “It costs a minimum of $25,000 per year to keep someone in jail, but we could break a kid’s cycle immediately by giving them legit tools and reducing the cost of living, which would allow us to afford to have a mentorship in place,” Hall said. “I’ve already talked with different people that sat on a board for the county and worked out memorandums with facilities. It’s possible, we just need to do it.” All funding from the board must support the JJDP Act’s four core requirements: - deinstitutionalization of status offenders, - separation of juveniles from adults in secure facilities, - removal of juveniles from adult jails and lockups, and - reduction of disproportionate minority contact within the juvenile justice system. Hall hopes to address issues including the unfairly high likelihood of minority races to be stopped and frisked, the poor resources provided for delinquent minors and their caretakers, and the stigma children receive when they encounter trouble with the law or go to juvenile custody.

“Before I went into juvenile custody the first time in eighth grade, I reached my first breaking point,” Hall said. “When that happened, I had consecutive years of chronic stress, physical and mental abuse, as far back as I could remember. When I left juvy, I went right back to my abuser for six more years. They couldn’t take care of me because they didn’t have proper resources and didn’t think of themselves as an abuser.” At the time Hall went into juvenile custody the first time, he was in honors courses and became the only child in the district to receive a 100 percent score on the end-of-instruction algebra exam. “Because of multiple times being detained and arrested, I was considered a clinical bad kid, but I had my life together, I just couldn’t handle it psychologically,” Hall said. “I showed signs of PTSD [PostTraumatic Stress Disorder] through my freshman year of college, and, though he was kind enough to not say the reason, my roommate moved out because I’d have night terrors in my dorm room.” Hall will serve in the position while finishing his education degree, but the limit of his appointment is undetermined. He hopes to teach music, as well as government, history and sociology, attend grad school, and eventually run for a government position. Beatrize Martinez, second-year law graduate, said she wasn’t surprised about Hall’s appointment. “He’s been working on foster care advocacy ever since I met him as a freshman,” Martinez said. “He’s traveled and been a spokesperson for foster youth and has had immense passion every step of the way. I remember thinking, ‘most 18 year olds are thinking about what party they are going to, but here he is, unwavering and unrelenting in making sure positive changes are made for the foster youth of Oklahoma.'” Hall said he’s excited for the opportunity to help youth like himself. “People don’t just wake up one day as a 16-year-old and decide to get in trouble with the law-it starts early on,” he said. “Being able to be a part of this group is really great because I can make a difference for those who were put in my situation. It’s surprisingly easy to get involved with this stuff when you care about something.”

National Opera Association awards first to Dark Sisters Emily Wollenberg


Take the stage Sophia Macias, music theater alumna, ascends into heaven as Gavin Guthrie, music theater junior, and Gavin Drew, music theater sophomore, bid her goodbye in Dark Sisters, a Wanda L. Bass School of Music mainstage opera. The production followed the story of a polygamous family. Performances were Feb. 17-19 in Kirkpatrick Auditorium in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center. The opera won first place in Division III of the National Opera Association Opera Production Competition. Elina Moon Student Publications

January 10, 2018

The Wanda L. Bass School of Music placed first in their division in the National Opera Association’s (NOA) 2018 Production Competition Awards for their production of Dark Sisters. The award brings the school of music’s total NOA awards to six in the past five years. The opera featured composer Nico Muhly with direction by Dr. David Herendeen and musical direction by Dr. Matthew Mailman. Herendeen said the award was presented Saturday at the NOA convention in New Orleans. Herendeen said the process of submitting productions is a blind review, meaning the school and director are not revealed. To submit to the NOA, membership is required. One sends in a digital recording of the production along with a budget and his/her vision for the show. “It’s evaluated on a variety of things: the quality of production, the success, a lot of overall stuff. It also tries very hard to evaluate in the finances. Some schools are very, very wealthy and can rent, you know, the highest costumes and sets,” Herendeen said. The NOA “promotes excellence in opera education and pedagogy through its support of a diverse community of opera educators and professionals,” according to its website, Herendeen said the awards are

competitive because of the wide range of schools and professional companies competing. He also said some companies hire outside people to help with their productions. “We do a high-quality production aesthetically, but it’s all done in-house. It’s students and me and Dr. Mailman. We have student designers that are just phenomenal. That’s one thing I think is impressive,” he said. Karlye Whitt, vocal performance alumna, played “Eliza” in Dark Sisters. She said she is proud to have been part of such a vigorous process. “Everyone involved with Dark Sisters, whether on or off stage, worked incredibly hard to present Muhly’s opera, and it is very gratifying to see everyone’s work be recognized,” she said. PT Mahoney, music theater senior, played “the Prophet” in Dark Sisters and said he was excited because of the recognition OCU will receive. “I’m very proud of the work we put into the show. The material was difficult, and the show’s subject matter was heavy, but we were able to lean into each other as a cast and tell a story that got people to think. I hope that the rest of the shows I’m in throughout my life are as rewarding as Dark Sisters was,” Mahoney said. Brennan Martinez, vocal performance alumnus, played “Ruth” and said, because the opera is so new, the cast didn’t have many productions to reference when learning the music.

“We all learned it from scratch, which was well worth the challenge,” Martinez said. Martinez also said Dark Sisters is traditionally performed as a chamber opera, meaning the orchestra is typically smaller and the show is produced in a smaller setting than a grand opera. Herendeen decided to portray the show on a much larger scale. “It was so grand that Nico Muhly, the composer of this opera who came to work with us in the final weeks, even said this was the biggest production he had ever seen of his opera,” Martinez said. Martinez said she hopes the award will give OCU more recognition in the world of opera. “I hope this award catches the attention of aspiring young opera singers looking into undergraduate studies. OCU is a phenomenal school that challenges its music students, and I think it deserves more attention on a national scale, especially to classical singers,” she said. The school of music will continue producing newer works with the world premiere of The Vaudevillian at 8 p.m. Feb. 16-17 and 3 p.m. Feb. 18 in Kirkpatrick Auditorium in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center. “Being a part of this opera makes me proud to be an alumna of OCU and excited to see the contemporary opera they do in the future,” Whitt said.


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