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THE CAMPUS January 15, 2019 – Volume 113 Issue 14

Beloved professor dies of cancer Students, faculty share memories of his educational, personal impact MaKayla Baxter


Dr. John Starkey, religion professor, died of cancer Jan. 11 after receiving treatment for several months. Starkey served as an OCU faculty member for 21 years. He taught classes in the Wimberly School of Religion and the Honors Program. Students and faculty said he made a significant impact on the campus community and will be remembered. Kaylila Pasha, acting junior, said Starkey always went the extra mile to connect with his students. “He did so much more than teach,” Pasha said. “He always encouraged us and would stay in his office until late at night in case anyone needed help. He really wanted to build strong connections with the students and faculty.” Pasha said she has fond memories of Starkey, including a fun nickname he gave her. “There’s a character in Doctor Who called Leela, and he would come up to me outside of class and say ‘Hey Leela!’,” Pasha said. “I had no idea what he meant, but he would get all excited and say ‘She’s a character, you gotta look her up. She’s great.’ He was just kind and thoughtful like that, even about the smallest things.” Pasha said she was enrolled in his class the semester he was diagnosed with cancer. “He would do everything in his power not to let his diagnosis affect his teaching,” Pasha said. “For example, if he had to cancel a meeting with a student to attend a chemotherapy session, he would make sure to spend extra time with them outside of class to make sure they weren’t falling behind. I think that says a lot about his character and commitment to his students.” Pasha said she is grateful for Starkey’s impact on the OCU community. “The connection he had with students, faculty and staff made an incredible impact, not just on an academic level, but on a personal level,” Pasha said. President Martha Burger sent a campuswide email Jan. 11 informing the campus community about Starkey’s death. “Dr. Starkey was a beloved member of our faculty for 21 years and his impact on his students and colleagues is immeasurable,” she wrote in the email. Throughout his time at OCU, Starkey’s many awards include the Outstanding Faculty Award in 2006, the Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award in 2014-15, the Excellence in Teaching Award for Full-Time Faculty in 2009, and recognition as the Distinguished Honors Professor in 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2012. Liana Forss, music theater sophomore, said she remembers Starkey as one of her most influential professors. “He shaped my mind more than I thought possible in the honors courses he taught,” Forss said. Forss said she left Starkey’s class every day with the motivation to expand her mind and elevate her thoughts. “He taught so far above and beyond his course material, and as a result, each of his students can say that they are different humans because of him,” Forss said. Ivy Walker, acting freshman, said during her second class with Starkey, she became emotional while having difficulty trying to articulate her point, and Starkey was helpful, understanding and patient. “I was obviously really embarrassed, but not only did Dr. Starkey make sure I got tissues, he also told me he was a crier as well and helped me find the words to make my point,” she said. Walker said Starkey made a point to ensure students always had a voice in class. “Anytime after that that the subject of feminism came up, he




Emily Wollenberg Student Publications

Top left: Dr. John Starkey, religion professor, died Saturday of cancer. Starkey was a member of the OCU faculty for 21 years. Top right: Starkey taught classes in the Wimberly School of Religion and the Honors Program. He was recognized with many awards during his time at OCU. Bottom right: Students, faculty and staff arranged flowers and memorabilia outside Starkey’s office to celebrate his life and remember his legacy. Bottom left: Starkey poses in the Caf with students from Boston Avenue Methodist Church who were staying at OCU during a mission trip. “We made sure to see our favorite professor,” said Allie McMurry, religion sophomore, who submitted the picture.

made sure to ask if I had anything to say,” she said. “He made me feel so welcome at school and quickly became my favorite teacher even though I only knew him for one semester.” Students, faculty and friends of Starkey posted tributes to him on Facebook after news spread of his death. Lucas Freeman, history senior, posted on his Facebook page about Starkey’s impact on his life. “I accidentally wound up in two of Dr. Starkey’s classes my freshman year. Then intentionally two more after that,” Freeman wrote. “He pushed me in my writing, my thinking, and my humanity more than anyone I know. He was brilliant, extraordinarily kind, and a uniquely special presence here.” Elizabeth Horton-Ware, director of religious life, said Starkey was one of her professors when she attended OCU. Starkey was a very special person in her life, and she will always remember her conversations with him and how he inspired her to come back and work at OCU, she said. “He loved this place,” she said. “He loved these students.” Horton-Ware said Starkey lived a simple life, walking everywhere and owning few clothes. “We all knew his signature scarves,” she said.

She said Starkey found joy in the little things in life, and she has a funny memory of him when she was a student in 2002. “He wanted to watch the Olympics so bad that he went out and bought a TV, which he didn’t have before.” Starkey was a lifelong learner and called others to keep learning and loving, Horton-Ware said. “He was so supportive, and I think that’s the thing that I keep seeing over and over is how he built up so many different people: students, faculty, staff, community, here on this campus.” Horton-Ware said one of Starkey’s favorite hymns will be sung as the choir anthem during Chapel Service tomorrow. Additionally, there will be time set aside during the service to reflect. Starkey’s memorial service will be Sunday, Jan. 19 at 3 p.m. in Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel and is open to the public. If students need assistance or support during this time, they can utilize the university’s free counseling services. For more information on counseling services or to schedule an appointment, students can call (405) 208-7901. Contributing: Emily Wollenberg, editor-in-chief.

Students concerned with car break-ins on campus Hannah Prentice


Before students left for winter break, a string of car break-ins happened across campus. From Nov. 19 to Dec. 12, campus police reported five break-in cases. Most of the cars had little to nothing taken, with change being the most common stolen item, students said. Kevin Howery, music theater sophomore, found his car had been broken into while parked in the Cokesbury Court Apartment complex with the passenger side door unlocked but closed. “My car looked normal when I saw it, but then I noticed the passenger side door was unlocked, which seemed weird,” Howery said. “But I opened up the door, and that is when I saw all of the papers sitting in my front seat and realized the door was unlocked because someone broke into the car. The trunk was left untouched. Nothing was moved in there, but everything inside the car had been rummaged through.” Howery said he flagged down a police officer to report the break-in. Howery said he thinks there is a lack of safety with the Cokesbury gates always being open, but there is not much the police could have done in a situation like this. “The police do as much as they possibly can; they can show up and take your report and keep an eye out, but other than that, there is not much they can do once the crime has already occurred,” Howery said. “This has happened enough on campus though that the reason there was nothing valuable in my car is because I took it out after hearing that people’s cars were being broken into.”


This has happened enough on campus though that the reason there was nothing valuable in my car is because I took it out after hearing that people's cars were being broken into.

Kevin Howery music theater sophomore

Grace Keen, mass communications freshman, also had her car broken into. “I came out to my car, and all of my doors were wide open, so I knew something was up,” Keen said. “As I got closer, I saw that stuff had just been thrown around my car, and there was even stuff on the ground outside of the car, and I realized someone had broken in. Luckily, they didn’t take anything because I don’t leave anything valuable in the car.” Keen said she did not report the incident to the police since she believed her car was unlocked and nothing of value was taken. With this specific string of break-ins, Sergeant Mark LaHue said he believes the perpetrator has been found and apprehended by the Oklahoma City Police Department. “We had on video a slender, what looked like a woman to us, over in Cokesbury, and she had entered a vehicle, which was one of the reports that we took, and the same description was given by a female student’s boyfriend who was on campus one night

and his vehicle was broken into, and he found the suspect in his car,” said LaHue said. “He told us there was an African American woman that he caught in his vehicle, and she took off running. That description is the same description that the Oklahoma City Police Department put out in this area that was the same person breaking into vehicles around campus. They actually found out who she was and they issued a warrant for her.” LaHue also said it is important for students to always report incidents like this, even if nothing is taken, because it can provide police with helpful information and showcase more accurate statistics for the department. William Citty, interim director of campus police, also emphasized reporting these incidents. “It also helps us make a decision as to whether or not we need to put something out campuswide,” Citty said. “If you have one break-in, especially if nothing is taken, it doesn’t seem as important to alarm people versus if you have 10 break-ins or more, then one: you have a better chance of getting a description of the person, and two: it becomes more of an issue with us, and we can put out information to the campus community.” Students can report incidents by calling campus police at (405) 208-5001, emailing campus police at or LaHue at or coming into the station to report it in person.

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Students encouraged to remember, appreciate professors On Jan. 11, the Oklahoma City University community lost a significant and beloved professor and mentor. Dr. John Starkey was an OCU faculty member for 21 years, teaching classes in the Wimberly School of Religion and the Honors Program. Students have been very open with how this loss has impacted them. See Page 1 for more on Starkey. Despite the feeling of loss this brings to OCU’s campus, the outpouring of love for the professor that has been shared is inspiring for the future of teacher appreciation. The OCU Facebook page’s original post about Starkey’s death has been shared 156 times at presstime, each with unique comments about the professor’s impact and how he will be missed. When the news of Starkey’s illness was shared, there was an immediate outpouring of support from the student body and faculty. It is evident that this professor’s impact on students

goes beyond the classroom. In light of this difficult time, it is important for students to remember their professors of the past and present and to continue to show appreciation for the work they do. Professors create and foster a safe environment on campus, and without them, OCU would not be the place it is today. If a portion of the love being shown to Starkey after his death could be shown to the educators on OCU’s campus each day, a sense of appreciation for what we have could be spread, creating a more positive environment for learning and living. Many professors work long hours, act as advisors for clubs or organizations and provide advice and counsel for students outside of office hours. Many do not do so with additional pay, but out of the kindess of their hearts. It is evident from protests and movements in the past few years regarding teacher pay that teachers and professors across Oklahoma are not compen-

Talk Back "What are you looking forward to this semester?"

sated as well as they should be. Most professors do not get into academia for the paycheck, but because of their love for teaching and helping students to learn and grow. Remember to thank professors for their work at OCU and commitment to the campus community. Reach out to professors who have impacted this university. Write a handwritten note to a staff member who goes the extra mile for students. There are so many people on campus who make OCU run that don’t always get recognized with awards or Facebook posts but still deserve recognition for the work they do. This semester, take one step toward ensuring the OCU faculty and staff feel appreciated by the campus community.

“Working on my final show”

“Doing the lighting design for Trojan Women”

Nicholas Vilemarette design and production senior

Clara Wiebe design and production junior

“The School of Music’s shows and the School of Theatre’s shows”

“Making a lasting impact my last semester at OCU!”

Chris Richie music theater sophomore

Destini Carrington psychology senior

“I'm excited to get back to my friends and routine.”

“I'm just excited to be back!”

Sadie Koopman music theater/vocal performance freshman

Christian Parr dance freshman

“Cats” branded “frightening,” but with strong choregraphy This week, I wish to discuss an artwork of utmost intrigue and controversy. This particular movie was released over a month ago, and, although many would like to block the event from their minds, we can’t pretend it didn’t happen. It is important to talk about uncomfortable situations so we can make sense of them and move forward. For this reason, we must address the jellicle in the room. “Cats” is a frightening film adaptation of the 1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical of the same name and, unfortunately, the same story. The lyrics were clawed from T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” a 1939 poetry book written about the species to amuse his godchildren. I waited to see “Cats” two

weeks after its release because I needed to make sure I was mentally prepared for such a tail. Having never seen the stage musical, I truly went in as blind as a newborn kitten. The adaptation begins when a woman throws a sack onto a street that happens to be the “jellicle cats’” territory. A cat named “Victoria,” played beautifully by Francesca Hayworth, emerges from the bag and is subjected to five minutes of mansplaining about what jellicle cats are. Like most cases of mans-planation, the reasoning is insufficient, leaving Victoria confused. It was at this point the toddler next to me shouted, “Mommy! Those aren’t real cats!” Well, I was just as surprised! More surprised, however, was I at the irresponsible parenting that deemed it appropriate to

Francesca Iacovacci is a music theater junior from Clearwater, Florida. She loves zoodles, Jeopardy! and a good poop joke.

expose a toddler to such questionable content. As I was coming to terms with the fact that I was watching grown humans lick their hands, I was forced to address the computer-generated imagery. Once I got over the initial shock of the digital skin-tight fur suits and the disturbing humanfeline face hybrids, the editing proved inconsistent throughout the film. If anything, the CGI made me jealous of the moon; I’d like to lose my memory too after seeing it.

The plot progresses toward the Jellicle Ball, a talent show judged by “Old Deuteronomy” (Judi Dench), where the winner earns another life and ascends to the “Heaviside Layer.” Leading contestants include the leisurely “Jennyanydots” (Rebel Wilson) and the overindulgent “Bustofer Jones” (James Corden). Trouble appears by the name of the infamous “Macavity” (Idris Elba), and his sidekick “Bombularina” (Taylor Swift, who, thankfully, didn’t have to dance), as they sabotage his competitors and

Old Deuteronomy to make him the last cat standing. When hope seems lost, the magical “Mr. Mistoffelees” (Laurie Davidson) conjures Old Deuteronomy back on his fourth try with the encouragement of his fellow jellicles. The jellicle choice turns out to be the outcasted underdog (or should I say, undercat), “Grisabella” (Jennifer Hudson), who sings a gut-wrenching ballad called “Memory.” The best part of the musical was the choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler. Hayworth of the Royal Ballet in London and Robbie Fairchild of the New York City Ballet make the ultimate power duo. The movement of the ensemble was great, but there was a lack of still filming moments. The camera frequently cut to different angles

and shots instead of letting the dance speak for itself. We miss out on the sustained view of the choreography we usually get when seeing a live musical. As for all the performers involved, they truly did the best they could. Is “Cats” a joke that might one day reach a similar fate as “Rocky Horror?” Quite possibly, but the performers did a great job and somehow managed to take it seriously nonetheless. As a matter of fact, I think “Cats” would be a great choice for OCU’s fall spotlight musical; it’s the only show I can think of that could live up to the shock-value of “The Zombies of Penzance.” Overall, “Cats” truly was the movie of the year (either the best or worst…I can’t decide).

Film critic reviews several of his favorite, must-watch movies of 2019 Happy New Year! It is finally 2020 and not 2019! We made it another year, and with another year comes more movies. I have not seen any movies that have come out this year yet, so I decided to do little reviews over my favorite movies of 2019. “Knives Out” “Knives Out” is a mystery written and directed by Rian Johnson. It is formatted and advertised like a classic whodunnit story, but with a lot of twists and subversions that will leave first time viewers confused but intrigued. The entire ensemble cast of this movie is amazing, but there are two standouts that outshine the rest. Daniel Craig plays the private investigator “Benoit Blanc,” and anyone used to him in other movies, such as his “James Bond”

movies, will be a little shocked when he starts to talk in a goofy southern accent. Ana de Armas plays “Marta Cabrera,” and she absolutely steals the show as a kind protagonist with a big heart. This movie may still be in theaters, so go check it out. “The Two Popes” “The Two Popes” is a biographical drama written by Anthony McCarten and directed by Fernando Meirelles. The movie is based on an interaction between Joseph Ratzinger, who at the time was Pope Benedict XVI and played by Anthony Hopkins, and Jorge Bergoglio, who is now Pope Francis and played by Jonathan Pryce. This movie is an excellent depiction of the struggle between traditionalist and reformist ideologies within the Catholic Church. It is shot like a documentary, which

Paul Dower is a film production sophomore from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He likes squishy toys, hoodies and Stanley Kubrick.

adds to the grounded realism of the story. The impact that conversations like these have are important in reaching compromise or change within any institution. This movie is on Netflix, so check it out if you wish. “The Irishman” “The Irishman” is a mob epic written by Steven Zaillian and directed by Martin Scorsese that stars Robert De Niro as “Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran,” Joe Pesci as “Russell Bufalino,” and Al Pacino as “Jimmy Hoffa.” I went into

this movie wanting to hate it because of the three and a half hour runtime, but the movie immediately gripped me and did not let go until the end. Scorsese crafts a well-paced and somber look into mortality and asks its audience what kind of legacy you want to leave after you die. The performances of all the actors above are perfect, especially De Niro, who is in about every scene of this three and a half hour movie. The movie is also on Netflix. It is a long movie, but it is worth it to stick it through to the end.

You will not regret watching it. “Parasite” “Parasite” is a movie written and directed by Bong Joon Ho and focuses on a poor family of con artists in South Korea as they slowly manipulate, lie and sabotage to become a rich family’s workers. This movie is a genre-defying masterpiece. The movie focuses on themes of social and economic class and family and examines just how far someone will go for their family or just to survive. If you get the chance, please, please PLEASE check this one out. Subtitles are not hard to read and not a reason to avoid a movie. “The Lighthouse” “The Lighthouse” is an A24 psychological horror written and directed by Robert Eggers. It stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as two light-

house keepers alone on an island as they slowly lose their minds from social isolation. This movie is excellent and it dives into themes of isolation, power, belief, sexuality, and much more. The movie is shot in the style of that era (late 19th to early 20th century), making the aspect ratio 1:1.19, which adds to the tension within the film. The performances by the two actors in this movie are nothing short of amazing, with Pattinson acting as a worker with a chip on his shoulder and Dafoe pulling off a stereotypical sailor accent with a thousand phrases for every occasion. If you get the chance to watch this movie, please do. Those are my favorite movies of 2019! I just hope that this year will be just as good.

MONDAY Martin Luther King Jr. Day - no classes, university closed

the Caf in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center

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

TODAY Game Design & Animation Group Visit Day at 8:45 a.m. in Ann Lacy Visitor Center THURSDAY Chapel at 1 p.m. in Bishop W.

Angie Smith Chapel Men’s basketball vs. Bacone College at 7:45 p.m. in Abe Lemons Arena in Henry J. Freede Activity and Wellness Center

Women’s basketball vs. Bacone at 6 p.m. in Abe Lemons Arena in Henry J. Freede Activity and Wellness Center FRIDAY Esports Management Group

Visit Day from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Ann Lacy Visitor Center DIY Series - Poutine from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Caf in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center

Jan. 15, 2020, Volume 113, Issue 14


Staff Writers: MaKayla Baxter, Josh Eliot, Troy Freeman, Erik Hamilton, Francesca Iacovacci, Cecily Lavery, Maxwell McIntire, Shelby O’Brien, Hannah Prentice Columnists: Paul Dower, Francesca Iacovacci, Hope Melton

Southern Winter Blues from 5 - 8 p.m. in the Caf in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University 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: Emily Wollenberg Copy Editor: Paul Dower Photo Editor: Clara Foster Community Manager: Jessica Vanek Web Editor: Luke Barrett Ad Director: Maddie Bowes Graphic Designer: Melissa Campbell

TUESDAY Teaching Kitchen - Overnight Oats from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in

Photographers: Hannah Campbell, Clara Foster, Stephen Jackson, Hope Melton

The Student Publications staff welcomes unsolicited material and letters 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, 2019. All rights reserved.

January 15, 2020


Career Services plans events for graduating seniors Francesca Iacovacci


As students begin the spring semester, some return to the university for their last time as students. Seniors and graduate students are preparing for life after college in careers spanning performance, nursing, criminal justice, and more. Kanika Brown, director of Career Services, said Career Services can help students with professional development. “The first way students can prepare for their career is figuring out what path they want to take, whether it’s graduate school, a gap year or straight into their career,” Brown said. Brown also said Career Services can assist students with personal statements, cover letters, resumes, job searches, interview preparation, and career advisements. “I want people to know we’re here to get you ready for your professional career,” Brown said. “That can start as early as freshman year, the sooner the better.” Tanner Loveless, criminal justice senior, said the resources at Career Services helped prepare him for job interviews. “I went to career services my sophomore year and they helped me with my resume,” Loveless said. “They gave me an initial template format that I still use.” All of the resources and assistance from Career Services are available to students at no cost, with the exception of the Strong Interest Inventory Assessment, which costs $20. Brown, who is certified in the assessment, said it is as much a personality test as it is a career test.

I want people to know we're here to get you ready for your professional career.

Kanika Brown

career services director

“It doesn’t tell you if you should be a doctor or a lawyer, but it gives you an idea of different things you’d like to do, what types of environments you like to work in and what types of places fit you best with your skill set,” Brown said. Another resource available to students is the Handshake database, available to both current students and alumni. “Handshake is our career platform, and it’s great because a lot of employers know about it and post job opportunities and internships,” Brown said. “We also post all of our Career Services events on Handshake.” Career Services’ All Majors Career and Internship Fair will take place from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 11 in the Great Hall in the Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center. Brown said a list of the employers who will attend the career fair can be found on Handshake. In addition to moving on from college, some students plan on

moving to new cities as well. Loveless said he plans on moving near Dallas to work as a patrol officer, with the goal to eventually become a homicide detective. Besides not having homework anymore, Loveless said he is most looking forward to being on his own, though he will miss his friends. “I encourage students to really take time to reflect on your friendships,” Loveless said. “The friends I made at this school in four years have made a great impact on me.” Other students, like Sara Shomgard, dance senior, plan to pursue a career in the performance industry and aren’t sure what the future holds. “As a performer, we can’t really say we have anything lined up, but it’s exciting because there are so many options,” Shomgard said. “I’m going to take advantage of all the audition opportunities I can. I’d be happy performing anywhere.” Like Loveless, Shomgard said she is excited to graduate but will miss her friends. “It’s a bittersweet excitement because I will miss OCU and all of the friends and faculty I’ve built relationships with, but it’s also a good feeling to know I feel confident in everything I’ve learned,” she said. “I look back on the last four years and know my time at OCU has been worth it and that I’ve learned so much that will help me with post-graduate employment.” For any questions about Career Services and professional development resources, contact Brown at

SGA starts 2020 with new resolutions, event planning Shelby O’Brien


St u d e n t G ov e r n m e n t Association has new goals and initiatives planned for the beginning of this semester. Trae Trousdale, SGA president, said they are working on event planning for the semester. The community building program that typically oversees such events should be releasing information soon, he said. Abigail Banks, vice president of SGA, said there are some upcoming resolutions for the new semester. “I know that a senator is writing a resolution about a

free dental health day,” Banks said. The senator wrote the resolution at the state government conference and wants to further it at OCU, she said. “Another senator is writing a resolution about religious life on campus,” Banks said. Banks said little information has been released about either resolution yet because of the timing, but more information will be coming on both soon. “There has also been talk of a women’s day event, on the executive cabinet side, sometime in late January,” Banks said. Banks said SGA as a whole has a goal of trying to represent

A personal goal I have for SGA is to be in better touch with senators and the needs of students. Abigail Banks SGA vice president

OCU’s student body correctly and fairly. “We want to do our best to represent the students as well as the entire campus body,” Banks said. She also said she hopes to improve connections between SGA and the student body. “A personal goal I have for

SGA is to be in better touch with senators and the needs of students, as well as representing the student body well,” Banks said. Victoria Mayhall, chief of staff, said more information about upcoming events will be released after SGA’s first executive council meeting and

regroup of the new semester. “I think our biggest thing as an organization is making sure that our initiatives, such as the pad and tampon idea from the fall, is continued and we create initiatives that are sustainable,” Mayhall said. Mayhall said her position is in charge of overseeing the ambassador program. “The ambassador program basically takes representatives from different schools on campus and ensures that student voices are heard,” Mayhall said. Mayhall said Trousdale created the ambassador program. “Personally, I hope the program continues on as it has been so far,” Mayhall said.

For more information on SGA’s upcoming events and resolutions, students can visit SGA’s social media pages, on Instagram at the handle @ocusga and on Facebook at OCU Student Government Association, and reach out to the senators with any questions or concerns. The next senate meeting will be on Jan. 30. Banks said she hopes students will attend. “We love when students come,” she said. “They are more than encouraged to take an active part in their student government.”

School of Theatre to produce first mainstage, “The Laramie Project” Josh Eliot


OCU’s first mainstage production of 2020 will be “The Laramie Project.” “The Laramie Project,” written by Moisés Kaufman and the members of the Tectonic Theater Project, tells the true story of the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was beaten and murdered in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming. “This story is verbatim theatre, all collected from interviews that the authors did when they traveled to Laramie, Wyoming,” said cast member Eli Mansfield, acting/psychology senior. Verbatim theatre is a style in which all the words in a play come from transcribed stories people have told. “There are 12 of us, and everyone plays six or seven characters,” said cast member Cameron Law, acting junior. “It was originally four men and four women, but they upped

it to 12 for our production to allow for a couple more students to be in our production,” Law said. While the show is about a significant event for the LGBTQ+ community, Mansfield said they don’t think it’s the best choice School of Theatre officials could have made. “I don’t know if it’s necessarily what I would’ve picked as a show to represent the LGBTQ community, mainly because it is about a hate crime and Matthew Shepard doesn’t really have a voice in this play, which I think is kind of sad. I don’t think there were any LGBT people on the board that picked it. I think they should have consulted before they picked a show that they wanted to be inclusive,” Mansfield said. Abby Bryan, acting senior and dramaturg for OCU’s production of “The Laramie Project,” said the story is important for the campus to hear. “This is always going to be an important story to tell as long as we continue to have hate and prejudice amongst any minority

in our country in the world,” Bryan said. Law said the events are still relevant. “It was just the 20th anniversary of it happening, in 2018, and Matthew Shepard’s ashes were just interred in a cathedral in Washington,” Law said. Bryan said there are offensive parts of the show, but she said she ultimately believes the show presents a positive message. “I think the show is for everyone. In the end, what we get out of it is a promotion of hope and hopefully a bit more empathy,” Bryan said. “The Laramie Project” will be performed Feb. 6-9 in the Burg Theater of the Wanda L. Bass Music Center. Tickets can be purchased in the Performing Arts Ticket Office in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Center.

Volleyball team ends season with national accolades, awards Maxwell McIntire


The volleyball team competed in the NAIA 40th Annual Women’s Volleyball National Championship in early December, making it to the first round and the top 16 teams. The championship was hosted from Dec. 3-7 at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, and concluded the NAIA 2019 Season. Kristen Coventon, head coach for OCU Women’s Volleyball Team, arrived at the championship with the team. The championship began with three days of “pool play,” in which pools of four teams play against each other, with the top two teams continuing to the first round of the bracket. OCU played in Pool A, along with teams Providence, Morningside and Park. “We won our first match against Providence, then dropped our second to Morningside,” Coventon said. “Our third game against Park, the No. 1 school, we lost three.” At the end of the third day of scheduled pool play, Pool A had a three-way tie for second place in the grouping, meaning January 15, 2020

another set of matches needed to be played to determine which of the teams would advance to the first round. Among these teams was OCU. At the end of the matches, OCU secured the second spot in their pool and advanced to the first round. “We came back and had challenge rounds, early at 12 o’clock, and then we kept winning them; we got to go forward and play the first round,” said Catelyn Vargas, middle hitter. Coventon said the ability of the team to come out with two victories so late in the day was one of the highlights of the tournament. “The girls found a way that early to come out on top. It was a lot of fun to see that,” Coventon said. Coventon also said she believes part of their struggle the next day came from a lack of rest from the matches the night before. With their next game against Northwestern scheduled at 1:30 p.m. the next day, Coventon said the team had little time to sleep and prepare for the first round. After the first match, the team was defeated and did not advance to the quarterfinal round.

Despite the defeat, the team had success throughout the season. The team went undefeated, 20-0, at the conference tournament during the fall, and their season record prior to the championship was 34-1. Sophia Salak, sophomore setter, collected a second-team NAIA all-American accolade at the end of the season, while Marijana Bjelobrk received an honorable-mention. Salak was also named NAIA South Central Region player of the year, Isabel Harwell, defensive specialist/ libero sophomore, was named defender of the year, and Coventon was named coach of the year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Coventon said she already has plans for the off-season, and Vargas said she and the rest of the team plan to work to improve for the 2020 season. “We are definitely going to work hard during off-season and come out stronger than ever to hopefully be able to win the National Championship next year,” Vargas said.

Clara Foster Student Publications

Kickstart the new year Above: Mary Margaret Dutcher, dance management senior and Cokesbury Court Apartments resident assistant, leaves the Cokesbury residents a message to welcome them back to campus. Below: Julia Lyall, dance pedagogy senior, works in the bookstore to help distribute textbooks to the students for their classes this semester.

Clara Foster Student Publications


lifestyles SHINING STAR Baseball senior returns to school in cancer remission Caleb Davis, business finance senior, has dealt with a lot more than the average college senior. Davis, a player on the OCU baseball team, is returning to school this semester after being diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2019. Davis said he has been playing baseball since he was five years old. “I played all the sports,” Davis said. “I wrestled, played football, track, basketball, but then I realized when I was around 11 that baseball was what I wanted to pursue. It was my favorite, and it was what I was best at.” Davis played baseball at Yukon High School, where he was recruited by Keith Lytle, assistant coach of OCU baseball. Denney Crabaugh, head coach of OCU baseball, said Davis is a great player. “He’s got a great attitude,” Crabaugh said. “He’s also got a great work ethic. He was a starter for us last year and a part-time starter his first two years. He’s a good, solid player, and he was second or third on the team for home runs last year in 2018.” Right before the fall semester of 2019, Davis went to the doctor and discovered he had testicular cancer. When he went in for a follow up, the doctors discovered he had developed stage three lung cancer. Davis underwent chemotherapy starting that fall and received his last round of treatments on Nov. 15. Crabaugh said Davis would visit the team when he could. “That’s one thing about it. He’s had a great attitude through all of this,” Crabaugh said. “He was positive about being able to come back and that he was going to beat it.” Crabaugh said Davis’s teammates have shown a lot of support through the treatment. “Right before he started chemo, we had a little team get together at his house,” he said. “We have these wristbands that say ‘Caleb strong’ on them that the guys wear, and we have some guys who have gone and sat with him while he did chemo.”


Caleb Davis, business finance senior, plays for the OCU baseball team. Davis was diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and took a break from OCU, but he is returning this semester to complete a degree in business finance.

Crabaugh said the team also has T-shirts and sweatshirts that say “OCU Baseball, we are family” on them, along with the number 14, which is Davis’s number. Davis said he has felt the encouragement from his teammates, especially when he knew he was going to lose his hair. “The night before I started chemo, all of my teammates came over to my house in Yukon and shaved their heads with me so they all looked like me,” Davis said. “I’ve had teammates calling

me and texting me because I wasn’t able to be at practice, just asking how I was doing.” Davis said he appreciates the closeness of his team. “I’ve seen baseball teams on the bigger levels where everyone is just for themselves,” he said. “My team is a lot more close-knit than other teams, and that’s why we’ve had a lot of success.” Davis recently discovered that his cancer has gone into remission, and he will be returning to complete his degree in business finance. Crabaugh said Davis will redshirt this semester in baseball and get stronger. “We are just hoping he gets his strength back and jumps back into our lineup next year,” Crabaugh said. Davis will graduate in the fall and plans on getting his masters in finance. Davis said his baseball coaches have been inspiring, as well as Jack Pugh, the OCU strength and conditioning coach, and Lynette Martin, director of student success for the Meinders School of Business. Davis said he would like to thank Kolin Marley, sports science senior, and Jake Patterson, business administration junior, for sitting with him through chemotherapy. He also thanked his girlfriend Sam Posey, dance pedagogy senior. Davis said Posey was supportive during his treatment. “She was a trooper even while dealing with her full, busy school schedule at OCU as well,” Davis said. Posey said Davis has been selfless through the entire endeavor. “Whenever times would get tough for him, he would never stop fighting,” Posey said. “He always made it a priority to make sure his loved ones were okay even through his really tough days. His mindset throughout this trial has been such an inspiration because he never chose to give in or let what he was going through bring him down.” By Community Manager Jessica Vanek

Video of professor dancing goes viral on social media Troy Freeman


A video of an OCU professor went viral after a student posted a clip of her dancing to their Twitter account. During a play analysis class, Courtney DiBello, assistant professor of Stage Management, gave the class a breather by leading a jam session to Sir Mix-a-Lot’s 1992 smash hit, “Baby Got Back.” DiBello said many of her students rapped the lyrics, while others danced along. “Baby Got Back” came into discussion during a lecture on the play “M. Butterfly.” “My School of Theatre design and production students and I were discussing the play ‘M. Butterfly’ and the concept of art begetting art. I used the analogy of Nicki Minaj sampling ‘Baby Got Back’ by Sir Mix-A-Lot in her song ‘Anaconda.’ This was my ‘cool’ professor attempt at using a more modern example of art of the past inspiring art of the present.” DiBello said. DiBello said she never planned on playing the song in class, but the lecture was diverted after a student expressed confusion at her reference. “Graham Darnell was confused by my example and asked for clarification. It was then revealed that he had never been introduced to the Mr. A-Lot classic. The rest of my class was appalled by his lack of pop culture prowess and requested that I introduce Graham to the piece. As we were in the middle of my lecture and class discussion, I denied them their petition. But in a fortuitous turn of events, my plans for the day’s topic were completed prior to class dismissal. With the remaining time, the Apple TV in the classroom and Spotify was utilized. And since I got the music in me, and also apparently it is in my students, we ‘raved.’” DiBello said. Meanwhile, from the back of the class, Hayden Wampler, design and production freshman, said he pulled out his phone and recorded a video featuring DiBello performing the first verse and Hunter Lane, design and production freshman, twerking to the left. Wampler said he then posted the clip to his Twitter account with the caption “High School: your college professors will expect the upmost professionalism and respect from you; My Professor: *video.*” Wampler said he was using the video to capture the irony in the juxtaposed relationship between high school and college. “Throughout high school, I was always told that college would be extremely hard, there would be a ton of work and that

Shooting for glory

This was my ‘cool’ professor attempt at using a more modern example of art of the past inspiring art of the present. Courtney DiBello assistant professor stage management

professors would not take anything for an excuse. Now that I’m in college, I’ve realized just how much fun it actually is. Yes, there’s a lot of work, and it is challenging, but along with that comes good relationships with friends and professors and the understanding that we go to college because we love what we do. High school portrays college as hard, but I find it exciting and fun.” Wampler said. DiBello said she believes her approach is an important part of her process as a professor. “Teachers are teachers. I have been told in a peer review once that my teaching style seems to be ‘overly casual.’ And I understand the description. I only disagree with ‘overly.’ I teach the arts. I need my classroom to be a very safe environment. I work very hard at reprogramming my students from years of regurgitation teaching and ask them to create and dream. And after they dream, be brave enough to vocalize those dreams and support them with research and intellectual thought.” DiBello said. Shortly after posting, the clip began building traction on Twitter. “The video gained slow attention at first but then began to pick up and gained most of its traction in less than 48 hours,” Wampler said. By the end of that 48-hour period, the video had over 17 thousand views, 940 likes and 168 retweets. “I had hoped it would get some attention but not nearly as much as it did,” Wampler said. DiBello, not being on Twitter, said she discovered the video after being notified by Lindsey Marcus, OCU web services coordinator. “Lindsey was wanting to confirm the professor in the video was indeed me. I found the video hilarious. The caption was also amusing.” DiBello said. DiBello said Twitter was just the beginning because the video was picked up days later by viral video Instagram account @bitch, which garnered the clip over one million views and 1,400

comments. “It wasn’t until the video was retweeted by a reported influencer that I followed its progress. I’d also get texts from my students giving me updates as the video hit certain benchmark views. I had family seeing the video completely on their own.” DiBello said. Wampler said, as far as he knows, he was credited in every repost. “Most accounts had tagged me and given me credit along with Hunter’s dance skills, but as of now I don’t know if anyone claimed that they own the video.” Wampler said. Many of the students at OCU showed enthusiasm towards the video going viral, such as Maddie Reese, acting junior, who said she was excited to let her friends back home know who the star of the video was. “It was fun sending the video to my friends who don't go to OCU, and being like, ‘this is literally my teacher’ because I saw people from my hometown liking it who didn’t know her personally. I'm taking her stage management class next semester, and I was pretty nervous about it, but after seeing this clip, it’s nice to know that she brings out her silly side in the classroom on occasion. It helped me know I’ll be comfortable there.” Reese said. Most of the feedback on the Instagram post was positive, with users complimenting Lane’s dance skills and DiBello’s approach to the classroom. “If there were more teachers like this, I bet that kids would actually enjoy school more and kid’s stress would go down. lmao it looks so fun in there” said @kenzzz_282 in a comment on the Instagram repost. Wampler said he was happy to see positivity directed toward his professor on such a large scale. “She deserves the attention. She is absolutely amazing and caters to the needs of her students. She deserves to be appreciated.” Wampler said. DiBello said she was tickled by the experience, despite her apathy toward viral videos as a whole. “I have no opinion on viral videos. I’m old, and I honestly don’t get the whole thing. I’m just happy to be a part of one and glad to see my student having such a positive response.” DiBello said. The video can be found on Wampler’s Twitter account @haydenwamplerr.

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Above: Rashaun Coleman, business junior, passes the ball at the Jan. 11 men's basketball game against Southwestern Assemblies of God University. The next game is tomorrow against Bacone College at 7:45 p.m. in Abe Lemons Arena in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center. Right: Abby Selzer, criminal justice sophomore, shoots at the Jan. 9 women's basketball game against Texas Wesleyan University. The Stars won the game 83-66. The next game is tomorrow against Bacone College at 6 p.m. in Abe Lemons Arena in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center.

January 15, 2020


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