THE CAMPUS February 14, 2018 – Volume 111 Issue 17
Elina Moon Student Publications
Do the Kou Kou
Artist Ayinde Hurrey gives a thumbs up to students at the Cultural Art Series: African Movement and Music on Feb. 8 in Burg Theatre in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center. Hurrey performed African dances and music, and gave a quick dance lesson to students as part of Black History Month. February is Black History Month and students and officials have planned several events to celebrate. Visit MediaOCU.com for more event information. Dancers from Hurrey-UP, a production company focusing on multicultural themes and performances, teach the Kou Kou dance to students at the Cultural Art Series: African Movement and Music on Feb. 8. The next Black History Month event is the screening of the documentary 13th at 7 p.m. Monday in the Oklahoma United Methodist Hall theater.
Black students misidentified by professors, classmates Miguel Rios
Black students on campus have expressed frustration about getting mistaken for one another. Brandon Stalling, acting junior, posted on Facebook that he’s saddened some faculty are calling black students the wrong names. Stalling has been mistaken for Taylor Blackman, acting senior, and alumnus Valentino Valentine. Blackman said he’s been called the wrong name since he was a freshman, primarily by professors. “It’s just funny how our professors can memorize a thousand different ‘Carries,’ but can’t memorize ‘Taylor’ and ‘Valentino’ and ‘Brandon,’” he said. “It’s kind of just at this point where I’m starting to call people out. I don’t want this for future generations.” Blackman said he feels minimized when called the wrong name. “You don’t know us, you just know black and you’re throwing out names,” he said. “Do you even care? Because Lance Marsh knows every single one of our names, and he’s the head of theater, and
he knows a thousand different kids.” Blackman said he laughed it off initially because he felt uncomfortable, but is now trying to educate people about their mistakes. “That’s obviously hard to do because you don’t want to be seen as rude or disrespectful ever,” he said. “You have to say something, because if you don’t say something, you can’t complain about it. It may be scary to say something because you are scared of reprimand or getting on somebody’s bad side, but I would rather somebody be given information and be taught than just ignoring the conversation.” Blackman said people don’t do it out of spite, but ignorance. “It keeps happening, and I don’t know whether it’s just if they’re not paying attention,” he said. “It’s like they don’t see us, like they don’t know who we are.” Blackman also said the issue can be minimized if professors and students ask people their names and get to know them. “Learn your students’ names, and, if you don’t know them, be quiet until you do,” he said. “There’s no harm in asking what my name is. I’d rather you ask
It's like they don't see us, like they don't know who we are.
Taylor Blackman acting senior
that than get me mixed up with somebody.” Ashley Arnold, music theater junior, said she was praised several times for being in The Bluest Eye, a show with an all-black cast, which she was not a part of. “I was sitting in the caf with some friends, and a professor came up to me and was like, ‘Oh, you were in The Bluest Eye, right?’ and I just remember being so confused because this is a professor who is part of the theater school who went to go see the show,” Arnold said. “He saw the show and saw all the characters, like had the program and everything, and yet he still was unable to tell me apart from the people who were actually in the show.” Arnold made a Facebook post announcing she was not in the show and said she still was congratulated for being in it.
The Bluest Eye is based on Toni Morrison’s book of the same name. It centers around a girl who’s constantly called ugly because of her dark skin. She wishes to have blue eyes, which she’s learned to equate with whiteness and beauty. Courtney DiBello, assistant professor of stage management, directed the show and had to encourage students of color to audition because the casting pool was smaller than expected. “I did not feel at a disadvantage,” DiBello said. “The actors who did audition were incredibly gifted and kind to share their gifts with me, and I would not change the casting at all, even if a hundred students had come. I had exactly the right people playing the right roles.” Blackman said the turnout for the show was good, but he didn’t think it was as good as it
has been for other mainstage productions. He said it didn’t seem like people made as much of an effort to find time to watch the show. “I think it was because it was a ‘people of color show’ that didn’t represent white people and they didn’t feel the need to see it,” he said. Arnold said professors should spend more time getting to know their students so they’re not all considered the same. “They just don’t take the time to really get to know their black students, which is confusing to me because there’s so few of us compared to all the Caucasian kids that are in the school of theater and the school of music,” she said. Arnold also said black students should get cast in more shows simply as characters and not black characters. “They can cast us in shows that don’t require black people,” she said. “There’s no reason why we have to play a servant or be in an all-black show. We don’t have to do black shows to get students in shows.” DiBello said the school of theater’s mission statement encourages colorblind casting. “It even alludes to the attempt to use non-traditional
casting whenever appropriate so that we have as many opportunities for all students,” she said. “Not because of the color of their skin, but because they are the right student, the right actor, to convey a certain role. That I do believe we do. Can we do that in all shows? No, we can’t.” Certain shows require some or all of the cast to be a certain race or look a certain way as part of the story, DiBello said. “The way actors are cast in a show has to be subservient to telling the story. The story that is intended to be told. I personally feel like we do a pretty good job at that,” she said. DiBello also said she wishes more plays were written for predominantly black casts. “I wish there were more plays that were written that would allow us the opportunity to showcase these brilliant actors more in addition to showcasing them into colorblind casting,” she said.
Students get leadership opportunities through new committees Sage Tokach
Student affairs officials started the hiring process for new student leadership positions. Two students will lead new campus committees-the Student Civic Engagement Committee and the OKCU Dance Marathon Committee. Engaging with students The Student Civic Engagement Committee works with student affairs officials and outside organization members to give students more control of volunteer opportunities. The group plans to revive campus events like the voter registration drives, and services for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veteran’s Day and other days of observance. They also will bring in distinguished speakers and organize two campus volunteer opportunities per month, one on campus and one off campus. Maridith Grimsley, entertainment business junior, said she heard about the committee at a meeting. “The director would work with a student committee and be responsible for on-and off-campus civic opportunities,” Grimsley said. “Anyone can apply.” Levi Harrel, associate director of student development, is in charge of selecting the director and members of the committee. “The director will meet with me to plan and coordinate the events,” Harrel said. “I’m looking for someone who is outgoing, dynamic, hardworking, and has some initiative.” The director of the Student Civic Engagement Committee is a student professional position and will be paid five hours per week. The selected student will start this semester and stay in the posi-
tion through Spring 2019. After three trial semesters, the director will become a one-year position, Harrel said. Harrel said he received multiple applications and has begun interviews, but it is not too late to apply. “I’m hoping to make an offer in the next couple weeks, but there is no deadline to apply until the position is full,” he said. “Everyone who applies will be offered a spot on the committee, even if they don’t get the director position.” If Harrel wants to fill more spaces on the committee, he will send an application to students via email, he said. Giving back Students have been chosen for the executive team of the OKCU Dance Marathon. They are: - director: Edyn Rolls, philosophy junior, - publicity and promotions: Maridith Grimsley, entertainment business junior, - finance and sponsorship: Camryn Sanders, biomedical science senior, - event operations: Ethan Zambrano, dance pedagogy junior, - hospital relations: Brooke Winegardner, dance management sophomore, and - dancer relations: Ally Zahringer, theater and performance sophomore. Dance Marathon is a nationwide event that allows participants to dance for six consecutive hours to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization that helps fund children’s hospitals and medical research. “I am very excited to be the first ever director of the dance marathon,” Rolls said. “It is such an honor to have the responsibility of creating a position that will hopefully be one of esteem for
many years to come.” Rolls will oversee the council and fill empty positions. She said the council will serve through April 2019. They plan to host a small event this year, but next year will be the first official dance marathon. “It is a really special opportunity because the council and I get to determine what kind of event this will be in years to come,” she said. She said she’s hoping students and organizations will participate in the event, which will replace Relay For Life. The committee will determine how teams and Greek organizations will be incorporated into the event, but everyone on campus will have an opportunity to participate, Harrel said. The campus community used to participate in Relay For Life annually until the event was discontinued after last year’s event due to insufficient resources from The American Cancer Society. See Page 4 for more about Relay’s cancellation. “The American Cancer Society no longer has the ability to provide staff support, so we can’t host Relay For Life anymore,” Harrel said. “Dance Marathon is a great opportunity to use our school’s commitment and drive for a very similar event with a very similar vibe and structure.” “It’s a great opportunity to get the campus engaged in philanthropy and giving back to the OKC community,” he said. “CMNH is just three miles down the road, so it’s nice to do things for those in need so close to us.” Students may email Harrel at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply or learn more about the committees.
Be the first
Follow us on Twitter @MediaOCU
Celebrate Valentine's Day
Like us on Facebook at MediaOCU
View pictures from the world premiere of The Vaudevillian Read an interview about a student's dating history and advice
Promote Healthy Relationships
Check out photos from Alpha Chi Omega's philanthropy week
Follow us on Instagram @media_ocu
Avoid discriminating students by paying more attention Minority students are being mistaken for each other because of their skin color. This is not okay. Students have taken to social media to express their frustrations with other students and, especially, professors who call them by another student’s name. See Page 1 for more on students being misidentified. Students might laugh it off, but it’s no laughing matter. Things like this make students feel like they’re not really seen and make it obvious that some professors group students together because of their skin color. While it’s more obviously happening with black students, other minorities face this issue on campus too, especially when it comes to production castings. Students of color should get the same opportunities as white students. They shouldn’t
be minimized to playing characters who are black, Asian or Hispanic. There is no rule saying traditionally white characters can’t be portrayed as people of color. Everyone deserves the opportunity to play a variety of roles without being stuck in a cycle of caricatures that stereotype their race. OCU is known for being a small campus where students know their professors on a deeper level than at public universities. Our professors’ attitudes need to reflect that as well. Professors should know their students in a more meaningful way than just being their instructors. The only reason people are getting called the wrong name is because some professors are not taking the time to talk to and get to know their minority students. The student to faculty ratio on campus is 11-to-1, according to okcu.edu. Not to mention
Talk Back “What celebrity would you pick to be your Valentine?”
the fact that about 60 percent of the students are white, according to Dr. Kelly Williams, director for institutional research. There is no excuse for professors to mistake their five students of color for one another. Most mistakes don’t typically come from a place of malice, but they make people seem ignorant. Take extra time to learn about students and peers. If you don’t know their name, don’t guess—ask and get to know them. If you get called the wrong name, tell the person. Inform him or her that they are thinking of someone else. Be patient and educate people. Don’t make them feel bad for making a mistake.
“Leslie Knope, because she would give me the best presents.”
Libby White music business junior
Tyler Pedersen film senior
Bekah Small religion freshman
Nayely Vargas-Ramos music education junior
“I would spend Valentine's Day in Chris Pine's eyes. I love that man.”
Kendall Procaccino theater and performance freshman
Madelyn Parker English junior
Before I Wake fails to impress due to 'lack of substance' Relativity Media, a motion picture company, went defunct in late 2017 and was bought by other businesses. They released movies like Pineapple Express, Bridesmaids and The House at the End of the Street. After the company went under, one of their films, Before I Wake, was left an orphan. Netflix purchased worldwide rights to the film last year. About a month ago, I started seeing it advertised as a Netflix original, almost two full years after its original release date. But, if so much trouble was endured just to salvage the life of this horror flick, I figured I might as well give it a go.
The film centers on “Cody Morgan,” the 8-year-old foster child of “Jessie and Mark Hobson.” The Hobsons take in Morgan as an obvious attempt to replace their late son “Sean,” who died at the same age. However, the Hobsons are shocked to find that Morgan’s dreams literally come true. The second the child falls asleep, it could mean either a swarm of gorgeous butterflies appears in the living room from nowhere, or it could mean the god-awful “Canker Man,” a pale white monster from Morgan’s subconscious, emerges to scare, kill, and devour, a la Nightmare on Elm Street. The first punch Before I Wake throws is Morgan’s
Chandler White is an English junior from Meeker, Oklahoma. He likes gothic horror and good hip-hop.
appearance-the child is the image of childhood innocence. He’s precocious, kind and probably lower maintenance than you were at 8. This positive image, as is often the case with horror, is just waiting for a negative kick to invert its pleasant effect into an unsettling one. This comes easily with Morgan’s eerie stories and warnings about the Canker Man. It all combines
nicely with dark, murky cinematography that practically forces the viewer to search the shadows for monsters, a bit reminiscent of The Woman in Black. At the heart of this is a worthy and developed concept, but, when it comes to execution, especially near the climax, Before I Wake ultimately falls back into its Hollywood roots. The Hobsons’
supposed paternal love doesn’t translate well through an inappropriately understated performance. When the dreams come into reality, their beauty or grotesqueness, depending on the moment, is tragically squandered by some pretty trashy CGI, and the Canker Man, as dreadful and compelling as he was in conversation, is every bit as cheap in his actual appearance. This is perhaps the most tragic thing about Before I Wake. It’s weakest when it’s throwing jump scares or trying to impress you with special effects, but its strongest moments are its least emphasized ones, when its visuals come together in uncanny
spectacles and what you’re watching is actually scary. Scenes where the content alone is enough to unsettle the viewer get brushed aside for the ones that overcompensate for their own lack of substance. This makes the movie feel like a halfway point between a thorough, worthy concept and the rigorous doctrines of Hollywood filmmaking. No matter how good of a foster home Netflix may be, Before I Wake would better fit Relativity Media’s original intention—hitting the Hollywood scene, grossing millions worldwide and catching the attention of way more people than it deserves.
Celebrate differences with discussion, not opinion shaming We live in an opinionated world. You don’t have to try hard to find an opinion seemingly everywhere you look. Every time we watch TV or even YouTube, we are forced to watch opinionated ads about what products we should use. Every time we log into social media, we’re exposed to opinions from friends. If you know me personally, you know that I tend to be an opinionated person. That’s especially relevant if you keep up with me each week. In fact, my articles can be found on MediaOCU.com under the
“opinion” section. The editors title this page of the paper “opinion.” I’ve never been afraid to express an opinion, and I thought I never would be-until now. Yes, it is true, practically everything we do is based off of opinions, but it seems everyone is getting overzealous with them. When Philadelphia won the Super Bowl-take that, Tom Brady-I posted about how I was impressed with Justin Timberlake’s performance. I made a joke about artists who have used lip-syncing in the past,
Harrison Langford is an acting junior from Las Vegas who loves golden retrievers and the New York Giants.
but made no allusion that he was the best performance at a Super Bowl to date. Yet, everyone had to comment on the post and react with mad faces. Really? Something as trivial and frivolous as a Super Bowl performance is worth the risk of burning bridges? I under-
stand that we all like to have our opinions, but it seemed to me that this was excessive. I get frustrated when I’m on social media. People like snide comments on my posts, but not the posts themselves. People reply to my tweets with snarky comebacks. Don’t get
me wrong, I love a good selfdemeaning joke every now and again. It’s healthy and keeps me in touch with myself. Yet, coming after me for my opinions? That frustrates me. This is where my human imperfection shines, though. I am guilty of opinion shaming. I’ll argue that I unintentionally diminish peoples’ opinions every day, but why should I? An opinion is just that, an opinion. While fact can often be involved, it still comes down to different peoples’ beliefs. We all have different opinions, and we should celebrate our differences
rather than highlight them. We like to be defined by our compassion and understanding, especially as college students. We are inheriting a hurting world when we graduate. As I go forward, I’m going to do my best to respect others’ opinions and only debate facts. That keeps things less hostile between me and others, and hopefully will lead me to be happier as I finish each day. Being a student is exhausting enough. The last thing I need is additional stress!
Campus Calendar Calendar items must be received in the Newsroom or email@example.com by noon Friday for inclusion in the following Wednesday issue.
TODAY Voting opens for The Campus Best of at bit.ly/ocubest
a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Campus Store in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center
Bae -goals with Alpha Chi Omega from 8-10 a.m. outside the caf in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center
Neustadt Lectures: Merle Field at 1 p.m. in Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel
Gateway to Graduation from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Campus Store in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center THURSDAY Gateway to Graduation from 10
Life After College workshop at 2 p.m. in Room 214 in DulaneyBrowne Library N e u d s t a d t Le c t u re s : H o l y Moments Every Day at 7 p.m. at Temple B’nai Israel, 4901 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
Women's basketball vs. Southwestern Christian at 6 p.m. in Abe Lemons Arena in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center Men's basketball vs. Southwestern Christian at 7:45 p.m. in Abe Lemons Arena in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center FRIDAY Deadline to apply for May 2018 commencement in Clara E. Jones Administration Building Baseball vs. Mount Mercy at 3
p.m. at Jim Wade Stadium Chinese New Year Festival at 5:30 p.m. in the Great Hall in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center Bass School of Music presents: The Vaudevillian at 8 p.m. in Kirkpatrick Auditorium in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center Donut Let Love Hurt from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Alpha Chi Omega House in Nelly R. Melton Panhellenic Quadrangle.
February 14, 2018, Volume 111, Number 17
Associate Community Manager: Harrison Langford Web Editor: Nicole Waltman Associate Web Editor: Emily Wollenberg Staff Writers: Rodney Smith, Callie Dewees
SATURDAY Men's wrestling for Sooner Athletic Conference Championships at 9 a.m. in Abe Lemons Arena in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center Baseball vs. Mount Mercy at 10 a.m. at Jim Wade Stadium Baseball vs. Hastings at 3 p.m. at
Jim Wade Stadium Bass School of Music presents: The Vaudevillian at 8 p.m. in Kirkpatrick Auditorium in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center Out of the Box presents: War of the Worlds at 10:30 p.m. in Clara E. Jones Administration Building SUNDAY Bass School of Music presents: The Vaudevillian at 3 p.m. in Kirkpatrick Auditorium in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts 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
Out of the Box presents: War of the Worlds at 10:30 p.m. in Clara E. Jones Administration Building
The Student Publications staff welcomes unsolicited material and let-
Photographer: Hannah Rogers Columnist: Caroline Hawthorne Videographer: Emily Haan Proofreader: Tyler Patton Circulation Director: Kalen Castor 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 mediaocu.com, emailed to stupub@ okcu.edu or dropped off at the Newsroom in Walker Center for Arts and Sciences. Submitted items may appear on MediaOCU and in the print edition.
The first issue of The Campus is free. Each additional issue costs 25 cents. Contents copyright, 2018. All rights reserved.
February 14, 2018
Student windshield broken, paid for by university Miguel Rios
University officials paid $400 to fix a student’s broken windshield. Austin Hogue, music education sophomore, parked by Jim Wade Stadium on Feb. 2 because the parking lot at Cokesbury Court Apartments was full. The next morning he found his back windshield broken. “I walk out and immediately see a hole in my windshield,” Hogue said. “I called campus PD, and, while I was waiting for them to get there, I talked to one of the guys running the concession stand.” Freshman Pitcher Caleb Evans was running the concession stand at the time. He told Hogue what happened. “A dude hit a foul ball, and the ball hit the back of the windshield and broke it,” Evans said. “Per standard procedure, the other team went and got the ball and put it back into play.” Hogue said he was upset because nobody let him know that his car was damaged. Evans said this is to be expected. “If you park next to a baseball field during a baseball game, you’re probably going to get hit by a foul ball,” Evans said. “In fact, there’s a sign at the entrance of the parking lot he was parked in that says
‘Beware of foul balls,’ so I don’t have much sympathy.” Coach Denney Crabaugh said he doesn’t encourage players to contact campus police. He encourages students whose car is damaged to contact campus police themselves to file a report. When a police officer arrived, he asked Hogue questions and took pictures. “We went to that location and took a damage to private property report so that if he needed to file a claim on his insurance, that would help him to do that,” Police Chief Jennifer Rodgers said. The police officer also gave Risk Manager Lee Brown’s number to Hogue. “I contacted, him and he kind of gave me the ‘well, you should’ve seen the signs,’” Hogue said. “The issue I had with it is there is one (sign) for the lot across the street, and the only other sign is over by a dumpster and someone can park in front of it.” The car’s insurance was through Hogue’s mother, so she called Brown a few days later and questioned him about the situation. “It wasn’t until his mother called that we understood that he had some grand concerns regarding the replacement of his back glass,” Brown said. Hogue’s mother also emailed Brown a list of concerns, which
I feel like they made a mistake, and now they’re like, ‘alright, we’ll pay for your windshield, but next time it happens, now we have signs.’
Austin Hogue, music education sophomore, had his back windshield broken by a foul baseball Feb. 2 in the parking lot outside Jim Wade Stadium. University officials paid $400 for the repairs and will put up more warn-
music education sophomore
he forwarded to the school’s counsel. “She brought some valid points to our attention that we’re absolutely going to address,” Brown said. “In the meantime, we’ve also addressed his back glass.” Hogue said his windshield was tinted and had a defroster so it cost $400, a higher cost than the average replacement. Hogue’s concerns included lack of signage, little notification of baseball season, lack of concern by players, lack of effort to contact campus police, and the fact that someone reached into their car to get the ball. “A lot of people were telling me that was breaking and entering,” Hogue said. “I consider it that, but I’m not going to chase someone down for it.” Evans said stray baseballs always are retrieved. “The pitchers have extra running if we can’t find the ball, so the ball pretty much always
gets found one way or another,” he said. Entering another person’s property is never okay, Brown said. He said officials have addressed the issue with athletics officials. “That’s one thing that we’re absolutely upset with,” he said. “It looks as though someone entered his vehicle either through the door or through the glass itself.” Brown said they will put up more signage around the parking lot where Hogue was parked and the lot west of Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center. “I feel like they made a mistake, and now they’re like, ‘alright, we’ll pay for your windshield, but next time it happens, now we have signs,’” Hogue said. “They solved it to where it was fixed by liability, not by student safety or student property concerns.” Officials discussed steps to take in case this happens again
with athletics officials, Brown said. “Notify your coach,” he said. “Then notify the police department so they can come out, take a report and identify the owner of the vehicle. The baseball is lost until we can retrieve it from the owner of the vehicle because its basically the owner’s property now that you’ve put it there.” Chief Rodgers said police officers are always willing to help students in this situation, and she’s open to being part of a protocol for situations like this. “There apparently is a need for them to call us,” she said. “We certainly would be glad to look up the number and locate the student and see if we can help them with the situation at the time.” Hogue said he encourages students not to park by the baseball field. “It’s just too much of a liability, especially when most students don’t know when baseball games
are going to happen,” he said. “They just need to get more netting up.” Hogue said officials told him new netting would cost too much money. Coach Crabaugh said more netting wouldn’t solve the issue. “There’s no way you can 100 percent guarantee that a car cannot be hit by a baseball unless we build a big dome where it’s all inside,” he said. “That’s not going to happen.” Crabaugh also said he encourages students to park elsewhere. “It’s unfortunate that it happened, and I wish there was some way we can ensure that it won’t ever happen, but we can’t,” he said. “Students parking in parking lots by the baseball field need to be aware of that. That is a potential risk. I say park as far away as you can.”
Relay For Life fundraising event replaced with Dance Marathon Sage Tokach
Students will no longer host Relay For Life on campus. Relay For Life is the official fundraiser of the American Cancer Society run by volunteers across the U.S. and 26 other countries. Each event lasts six to 24 hours. Participants sign up to be on teams and set up themed campsites at the event, where they collect donations in exchange for food, goods, games, or activities. At least one member of each team is supposed to walk on a track at all times to signify that “cancer never sleeps.” Levi Harrel, associate director of student development, said student affairs officals decided to start OKCU Dance Marathon because the American Cancer Society could not provide staff support or resources to sponsor a Relay event at OCU anymore. Emily Diaz, acting senior and former Relay For Life event leader, said the event was canceled due to transitions in the Oklahoma City office of the
American Cancer Society. “During transitions, we had a lack of communication with them and did not hear back in a timely manner that allowed us to attempt to put on an event this year,” Diaz said. “Relay takes all year to truly plan and make successful, although some may feel like it gets thrown together.” American Cancer Society officials are looking to merge smaller Relay events into fewer, larger ones, to make a bigger impact, according to an article in the Stillwater News Press. Dr. Gordy Klatt, a surgeon in Tacoma, Washington, started Relay For Life. He wanted to raise money for his local American Cancer Society office, so he circled a track for 24 hours, raising $33,000 as others began donating to walk with him, according to cancer.org. The event caught on, so the American Cancer Society expanded it to other parts of the country and beyond. OCU officials began hosting the event in 2007 after former President Tom McDaniel was diagnosed with prostate cancer. McDaniel wore a “survivor”
Student Publications a�chives Students and community members gather around the quad to celebrate survivors as they walk the first lap, kicking off Relay For Life on April 8, 2016.
ribbon and walked around the quad alongside students. Alumni Jeff Riles and Ann Michele King coordinated Relay in its first year on campus. “The first year was really challenging just in terms of getting everyone excited about it, but we had such a phenomenal turnout,” Riles said. The campus community raised $45,000 during the first event, according to Student Publications archives. “We definitely exceeded our fundraising goals well within the first year,” Riles said. “I think the feedback from everyone on campus was just a desire to be a part of it.”
Officials hosted the event annually since 2007. The 2017 Relay committee set a goal to raise $24,000 but fell short, raising about $19,000, according to Student Publications archives. Alumna Ali Wonderly, former Relay For Life event leader, said Monday that she was not shocked to hear about the event’s end. “I’m pretty sad about it because I know Relay meant a lot to the OCU community, but I know our participation numbers and fundraising totals were continuously dropping,” she said. Wonderly joined the Relay
committee her freshman year in honor of her extended family members and friends affected by cancer. “After my aunt passed away from cancer last January, I stood outside of the hospital hugging my dad, and he said to me, ‘this is why Relay is so important,’” she said. “It honestly didn’t matter how many people attended or how much we fundraised. As long as a small difference was made, it was worth it.” The event has been replaced by Dance Marathon, a nationwide event that allows participants to dance for six hours to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Alumnus Zack Travers, former Relay chairman and partner development officer for the Children’s Hospital Foundation, said he loved Relay but is excited to see OCU host Dance Marathon. “Relay is close to my heart and has been for a while, so a part of me is sad to see it go, but the important thing is that the philanthropic power of the campus is being harnessed in a way that everyone can get behind
and fight for a healthier tomorrow,” Travers said. Diaz said she is heartbroken to see Relay go but knows Dance Marathon will be a great replacement. “I know that our event lead and planning committee would have done an amazing job this year and taken our numbers to a new height, but, sadly, we will not have the opportunity,” she said. “Although the money may not be going to ACS anymore, it is still going toward a great cause and an incredible organization. I think Dance Marathon will be a fresh new event that will bring the campus together, just like Relay did.” There will still be a Relay event in Oklahoma City this year, though details have not been released. Students may follow the event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Editor’s Note: Zack Travers is the brother of News Editor Zoe Travers. She did not participate in the writing of this story.
Ramp added to Cokesbury Court Clubhouse, officials discuss card reader access on gates Emily Wollenberg
ASSOCIATE WEB EDITOR
Tiffany Kashala Student Publications
Embracing culture Anthony Crawford (known professionally as “ProVerb”), local poet and public speaker, performs a poem at the Black History Month Celebration on Feb. 9 in Burg Theatre in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center. The event featured a variety of black performers showcasing poems, dance pieces and musical peformances.
February 14, 2018
Cokesbury Court Apartments have undergone changes in the past few weeks. A ramp was added last week outside Cokesbury Clubhouse to make it more accessible. Officials wanted it to be more accessible for people in wheelchairs, people on crutches and mail deliveries, said Elizabeth Harney, associate director of housing and residence life. Before the ramp was added, parents with infants experienced difficulties entering the Clubhouse, said Devon Murphy, administrative assistant for housing and residence life. “Families with babies who need to be pushed in strollers would have to come up here, and they could either pick everything up and come up the two steps here or go all the way around to the other side, so it was just something that needed to be done,” Murphy said.
The new ramp is a positive change to the Cokesbury Clubhouse, said Elsa Moen, acting junior and Cokesbury resident. “At first I didn’t know what the ramp was going to be, I was just like, ‘wow, there’s a lot of construction over here, okay,’ but when I was going to get a package, I saw it and I was like, ‘oh this is so cool, it’s going make people who have wheelchairs or, you know, elderly citizens, it’s going to give people easier access to the doors,” Moen said. The gates are an ongoing process, and updating the card readers is a possibility in the future, Harney said. “We’re always trying to ensure the safety of our students,” she said. “We’re always on the lookout for where else we need card readers, maybe updating the software and things like that, so in theory, you can say that there’s always something being worked on, and it’s just a matter of funding and how
quickly the projects can actually get done.” If officials decide to put working card readers in place, it will make the apartments safer, but could cause more problems, Moen said. “What if you forget your card and you can’t get out or you can’t get in, then what are you supposed to do? I think that will make it difficult,” she said. All construction and maintenance at Cokesbury is controlled by an outside party, Campus Living Villages. Cokesbury officials meet with Campus Living Villages officials several times a year to determine what projects to put in place. Jackie Hughes, director of national operations for Campus Living Villages, said officials are considering what to do about card readers and Wi-Fi. “We are currently obtaining bids and reviewing the options available to us for the complex doors. We also understand the importance of Wi-Fi to our
students, and we have discussed options for providing Wi-Fi at Cokesbury Court, but we have not decided on a specific date,” she said. Hughes said Campus Living Villages is self-sustaining, meaning that its expenses are paid through its profits. “The cost of the ramp was approximately $11,600,” she said. “Money for projects is allotted during the yearly village budget creation.” Harney said construction or maintenance concerns must first come through her office before being discussed with Campus Living Villages officials. “We’re the contact between the students and the company, so if students express things that are issues or express concerns, then we work with them on that, but again, it’s a process,” she said.
lifestyles SHINING STAR Acting senior auditions for theater work after graduation
bigail Lafont, acting senior, balances auditions and submissions for theatrical work with classes and rehearsal for five OCU productions during her last semester. Lafont came to OCU from New Orleans to pursue an acting degree, eventually hoping to start a career in Chicago. Her experiences at OCU shifted her focus from realistic acting to movement work. “I’m definitely more movement-based than my peers,” Lafont said. “I want a movement and physical theater career, while I see my peers going more toward traditional theater or realism.” Lafont founded Motus Operandi, OCU’s first physical theater and movement company. She also has directed movement work in multiple OCU shows and currently is movementdirecting War of the Worlds, the first Out of the Box production of the semester. Intimacy choreography is another area of theater that caught Lafont’s interest. Intimacy directors choreograph moments of sexual violence or intimacy onstage to ensure actor safety and comfort. Lafont will serve as intimacy director for Elevator Girl, an OCUEdge staged reading, and Anton in Show Business, an Out of the Box production. Lafont also is involved in two Stage II shows this semester. She assistant directed Music from a Sparkling Planet and will play “Kattrin” in Mother Courage and Her Children. “None of my projects have interfered with my schoolwork, and everyone is really supportive,” Lafont said. “I’ve had to miss some Friday classes for auditions, but my teachers have been very understanding because they’re for my career.” Lafont attended weekend auditions at the Institute of Outdoor Theatre (IOT) in North Carolina, Ozark, Actors Theatre
in Missouri and Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky in the hopes of meeting more directors and receiving offers for acting roles after graduation. “I truly think Greg [DeCandia], my audition techniques professor, prepared us for auditions of all kinds because I feel comfortable walking into a room, assessing it and performing my pieces,” Lafont said. “The big cattle call audition at IOTs was a bit jarring because it was so fast-paced, and the accompanist didn’t give me a starting note. It was a good experience, though.” Lafont said she plans to focus on Chicago showcase and video submissions, since she has finished her traveling auditions for the semester. “If I start getting offers, this sounds cheesy, but it’ll be a gut feeling,” she said. “I’ll probably pray about my options and see where that takes me.” If Lafont does not accept an offer for summer work, she will move to Chicago for a month immediately after graduation. Then, she will return to Oklahoma City to teach camps at Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, across from OCU, before moving back to Chicago in the fall. She said she wants to go to graduate school in England or Scotland and eventually teach in a university setting while acting. Lafont said the semester is pulling her in many different directions, but she will miss OCU when she leaves. “OCU annoys all of us at times, but this school has transformed us from tiny baby freshmen into prepared adults,” she said. “I’m enjoying meeting the underclassmen and appreciating what OCU has done for me during my time here.” Gage Rancich, acting senior, worked with Lafont in directing Music from a Sparkling Planet . “More than anybody I know, Abigail is ready to go at the
Submitted Abigail Lafont, acting senior, has attended auditions for work outside of OCU this semester. Lafont specializes in movement work and intimacy choreography, and she plans to live in Chicago and eventually teach at a university.
drop of a hat,” Rancich said. “Coffee? There. Lunch? There. An audition five hours away? Just say when.” Alex Speight, acting senior, said she worked with Lafont as director/movement director in last year’s Stage II All This Intimacy. “She is exceptional at incorporating both what the director imagines and the actor’s impulses into a cohesive piece that tells a story and helps the action of the play,” Speight said. Speight said she’s looking forward to three movement pieces in the upcoming War of the Worlds. “I always picture things in my head, and she makes them better than I ever could have thought possible,” she said. By Associate Editor Sage Tokach
English fraternity members seek entries for publication Caroline Hawthorne
Sigma Tau Delta’s literary publication, The Scarab, is accepting submissions of prose, poetry, script, and visual art. Sigma Tau Delta is an international English fraternity. The organization will accept submissions until March 2. The Scarab will be sold at - Commonplace Books, 1325 N. Walker Ave. #138, - Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expy, and - The Campus Store. Pre-orders will cost $7, while in-store purchases will cost $10. Students who are published will get a free copy. “The Scarab has been done for 30 years and is an official publication of OCU,” said Madelyn Parker, English junior and editor-in-chief of The Scarab. “We want it to be understood that The Scarab is a high-caliber publication.” Sigma Tau Delta’s online publication, The Amulet, is retired in the spring to put more emphasis on The Scarab. “Submit as many works as you have,” Parker said. “We uphold the best of the best writers on campus. It’s also good to put on your resume.” Many students said they love the creative escape The Scarab offers. “I absolutely love that we are expanding, and I love that we are giving students the opportunity to share their love of writing with this campus,” said Jordan Tarter, English junior and editor for The Scarab. “The Scarab is a great avenue for non-English majors to share their creativity.” Sigma Tau Delta will host a Scarab release party March 29 at Commonplace Books. To submit to The Scarab or pre-order a copy, email email@example.com. Editor’s Note: Copy Editor Chandler White is a member of Sigma Tau Delta. He did not participate in the writing of this story.
Elina Moon Student Publications
Read it and weep
Billy Speed, music theater senior; Zach Prall, acting freshman, and Joe Bonfiglio, acting sophomore, sift through a scrapbook in Music from a Sparkling Planet on Feb. 7 in the Black Box Theater in Wanda L. Bass Music Center. The students played “Hoagie,” “Wags” and “Miller,” three friends on a quest to find their childhood television idol, “Tamara Tomorrow” and discover their own identities along the way. The show was part of TheatreOCU’s Stage II season and ran Feb. 8-11. The next Stage II production is Mother Courage and Her Children, which runs Feb. 22-25.
Project 21 members prepare music for three new concerts Emily Wollenberg
ASSOCIATE WEB EDITOR
Project 21 officials plans to collaborate with other schools and universities for upcoming concerts. The group has three concerts left: Feb. 23, March 23 and April 13 in the Medium Rehearsal Hall in Wanda L. Bass Music Center. Project 21 is a student music composition organization led by Dr. Edward Knight, composition director, and Ryan Robinson, instrumental music assistant professor and Project 21 president. The group has about 14 members, according to their website, project21composers.com. Simón Gómez, music composition/music theater freshman, said he hopes to perform two original works at the March concert. “If everything goes to plan, it will be voice, cello and possibly electric guitar, and the other one is just going to be a reprise of a piece I premiered last semester but I turned into a duet,” Gómez said. The group enables members to perform music in any way, like when a student played the guitar with a cello bow at a concert, February 14, 2018
Gómez said. “The really cool thing about the program here at OCU is the fact that you can do literally anything with your music,” he said. “It’s important to get the opportunity to play your music, it’s really the opportunity to do whatever you want and share that.” Project 21 members hope to do special events for each performance in future concerts, Gómez said. “We are playing around with the idea of putting up an art piece, like a painting, and then having different composers go up and improvise based on what they feel from that painting,” he said. The April concert will feature the work of Hannah Helbig, composition senior. Helbig attended the 2018 Great Britain/Great Plains Composers’ Exchange Competition, a composition competition in London. There will also be five other composers and six grand pianos played simultaneously. Clint Williams, music composition graduate and Project 21 organizational liaison, said members of the organization also are interested in collaborating with other schools like Edge
Hill University in Lancashire, England. They also will host a competition where high school composers from across the country submit their work for someone to perform at the March 23 concert. “We have a reputation for being not just a group of composers, but a group of committed composers,” Williams said. “We enjoy what we do, and it’s something that we can work with anybody on campus.” Williams said he’s excited the group can collaborate with other schools on campus. “I think it’s very exciting that we are in the position where we can have special concerts every semester, all throughout the semester, and I think it’s a very promising future,” he said. Project 21 is open to any student at OCU. Students can join by contacting Knight and attending a composition forum at noon every Friday in Wimberly Recital Hall in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center. Contributing: Copy Editor Chandler White
Published on Feb 16, 2018