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Life & Arts Reporter

After more than a year of social distancing and zoom meetings, inperson events at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have finally returned. From fashion to football, there is no shortage of events for the UC community to enjoy this fall. For many more events, join UC’s CampusLink and check back at for our weekly “Get out and do something.” Events are subject to change due to pandemic protocol.

Sept. 4: UC Football vs. Miami The Bearcats will return to Nippert Stadium for their first game of the season to take on Miami University of Ohio in the Battle for the Victory Bell. Due to last year’s social distancing guidelines, this will be the first time since the 2019-2020 season that all 40,000 seats in Nippert will be filled. This season, a limited number of free student tickets will become available on a first come, first served basis the Monday before each home game. Once they are sold out, tickets may become available for $15. $15, 3:30 p.m., Nippert Stadium, Tickets at

Sept. 16: UC Volleyball vs. Xavier UC women’s volleyball will return to Fifth Third Arena for their second home game of the season against crosstown rival, Xavier University. No ticket is required. Free, 6:30 p.m., Fifth Third Arena.

Sept. 23: L(OVV)E Amplified Fashion Show Ohio Valley Voices (OVV) will once again partner with UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) to put on the L(OVV)E Amplified Fashion Show. The program will raise money for organizations that aid deaf and hard-

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of-hearing children learning how to speak. Designs by DAAP students will be modeled by OVV students, staff and community members. In addition to the fashion show, there will be a silent auction and raffles. Prices vary, 5 p.m., Fowling Warehouse, Tickets at

Oct. 8 – 10: Family Weekend Bearcat families will once again gather on campus this October for UC’s annual Family Weekend. On Oct. 8, families can watch UC football take on Temple University at Nippert Stadium. On Oct. 9, the university will have an array of events for families to attend, including Doughnuts with the Dean, where families can meet the dean of students. Prices, locations and times vary. Enter promo code “UCFAMILY2021” for discounted UC vs. Temple tickets at

Nov. 1 – 6: Homecoming Week After many of last year’s events had to be canceled, Homecoming Weekend will be back again this October. The university will host events for students to participate in throughout the week, starting on Nov. 1. The week will close on Nov. 6 with the Homecoming Parade before the Bearcats take on the University of Tulsa. The Homecoming King and Queen will be announced during halftime. $15, Nippert Stadium, Tickets at

Dec. 11: UC Basketball vs. Xavier The 89th annual Crosstown Shootout will take place once again at Xavier University's Cintas Center. This will be the first Crosstown Shootout with UC men’s basketball’s new head coach, Wes Miller. Time to be determined, Cintas Center, tickets at

ABOUT THE GUIDE Stories in the fall Welcome Back Guide were produced by staff at The News Record – the independent student news organization at the University of Cincinnati. Editor-in-Chief: David Rees Editors and Reporters: Emma Balcom, Quinlan Bentley, Joí Dean, Joseph Frye, Kathleen Hornstra, Katy McAfee and Owen Racer. Cover Photo: Stephanie Scarbrough Design: Madelyn Holman Advisor: Robert Jonason 8/16/21 9:48 AM




Features Editor

On March 5, President April Gable and Vice President Taylor Allgood were elected to the University of Cincinnati’s (UC) Undergraduate Student Government (SG). Gable is a fourth year, studying communications and interdisciplinary studies. Allgood is a third year, studying international affairs and political science, with minors in French and women, gender and sexuality studies. The pair broke barriers as an all-female slate and promises to lead a platform centered around diversity and inclusion, sustainability, school spirit, mental health and accessibility. The News Record (TNR): How can students benefit from SG and what resources does SG have to offer? Gable: Within our SG we have so many different types of positions. We have directors that are in charge of specific areas of our campus [such as] veteran affairs, sustainability, campus services, and so on and so forth that students can reach out to ask [questions] or say, ‘hey I have this really great idea.’ I realized that we wanted to make SG more accessible for students to actually use the resource, so we included the, ‘your campus, your voice’ request form on our website. Allgood: A common thing that a lot of students don't know is that we are given a rather large budget every year to implement different initiatives, projects and events that benefit the students. I think it's truly a disservice when not as many students know about these resources, because we're constantly having programming and different things throughout the year that [are] solely meant to give back to the students. TNR: How can you encourage more students to use the resources available to them? Allgood: The first thing that I think of is being more approachable as an organization. I think oftentimes there's this big idea that SG [is like a] siloed entity. In other words, you have to be in it to feel like you're a part of it. But April and I really want to change that this year and more than anything, be a friend so that students feel comfortable asking for those resources and don't feel like they

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need to be a member to ask for help. TNR: One of your initiatives is a ‘UC Re-Envisioned’ plan, which includes implementing a spirit rock on campus. Can you tell me about that? Gable: That is my passion project. I have been wanting the spirit rock since I started my campaign for senator-atlarge, and it's been a tough battle, not going to lie. We are currently working with PNC to see if the rock is available to be placed on campus. From what we found with our platform, some initiatives will be completed by the end of the 2022 school year and others will be completed by our graduation in 2023. The spirit rock sadly is looking like that will be with the 2023 initiatives. Our goal is to have a spirit rock because it is in our alma mater. It says, ‘a fountain of eternal youth, a tower of strength, a rock of truth.’ Allgood: It's so easy to meet with different offices and promise to implement [initiatives] as long as it's feasible, but, once you get sworn in, there are so many different meetings and little obstacles that you have to go through to make sure that it can really be sustainable and last on campus. TNR: Beyond your roles in SG, what do you want the UC community to know about you? Gable: I came into UC wanting to go into political science. I said, ‘I'm going to run for president in 2052, and that is what my life is going to be about.’ And then I sat in some of my policy classes, and I realized that that is not the career path for me. But, my true passion has always been higher education and working with schools, so I want to pursue a master's or a PhD in higher education when I'm done with my undergraduate studies, just because I feel like that's my place to be. Outside of school, I'm a baton twirler. I absolutely, absolutely love baton twirling. I've been twirling since I was about six years old and my biggest goal, probably of my life for the longest time was to become a feature twirler. I wanted to become a soloist, I wanted to become a member of Team USA. Allgood: I'm very passionate about international politics. I know with today's political climate it’s very much

Fourth-year April Gable (left) and third-year Taylor Allgood (right) were elected as student body president and vice president this past March. Stephanie Scarbrough | Photo Director important to be involved in domestic politics as well, but I really love learning about different cultures and learning different languages. I'm more of an external person, I love that aspect of getting to work with other countries and traveling. Career wise, I would love to work for the United Nations (UN) in New York, particularly UN Women. I'm very passionate about gender politics. Outside of school, I'm a very avid writer and poet. Not many people know that, but I love to write, I’m very much an English lover. Gable: Also, we’re really open to anybody; we want to have an open-door policy and we're trying to have snacks in the office as much as possible to invite people in and have a comforting space. Everything that we hold highly and that our goals are for the betterment of students because at the end of the day, we are students, so we get it, we want to be there. Read the entire interview at newsrecord. org.

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News Director

Starting salaries for top administrators at the University of Cincinnati (UC) are rising, and some faculty worry it’s part of an ongoing cycle of competition that isn’t in the university’s best interest. Valerio Ferme, former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, was promoted to chief academic officer in June and officially began his new role on Aug. 3 with a starting salary of $485,000. On paper, his salary is more than that of his predecessor, Kristi Nelson, whose starting pay in 2017 was $480,000. However, adjusting for inflation shows Ferme is making roughly 9% less than Nelson was during her first year as provost. Still, provost salary growth over the past nine years has far exceeded the rate of inflation. Pay for provosts at UC has surged in the past decade. Since 2012, the position’s starting salary – adjusted for inflation – has increased by 105%, according to public records and data collected by the Buckeye Institute, a conservative think tank based in Columbus, Ohio. “UC salaries are benchmarked against peer institutions, and this compensation falls in line with the approximately 130 national peers that are also recognized as Research I Universities by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education,” university spokesperson M.B. Reilly said in an emailed response to a question about the university’s justification for the increase. While it is often argued that the university needs to offer competitive pay to attract the best candidates for administrative roles, that same argument is not used for other employee groups, Faculty Senate Chair Greg Loving said. “And so, it comes off as a bit disingenuous when you only apply it to the people making, by far, more than anyone else at the university,” he said. The university could’ve saved as much as $1.2 million in 2020 – a year in which UC’s financial stability was in doubt due to the COVID-19 pandemic – if salaries of just 11 high-ranking central administrators had grown with inflation instead of outpacing it, according to a joint budget report by the UC chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and Faculty Senate. Median salaries for managerial employees from 2013 to 2020 grew at a rate that far outpaced both inflation and the salary growth of any other employee

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group, according to the report. And from 2012 to 2020, total base salaries for employees with presidential or provost titles grew by 73% and total base salaries for those with dean titles grew by 26%. In comparison, faculty salaries only just kept up with inflation while salaries for adjuncts and many office staff lagged behind the inflation rate. Provost base salaries, adjusted for inflation, have increased by 105% It’s worth noting, however, since 2012. that the university spends Quinlan Bentley | News Director the most money in total on instructional salaries. But that makes at UC for decades, Reeves said, adding sense considering post-secondary those making decisions to cut resources teachers made up 39% of UC’s workforce will often not be around to see the longin fall 2020, according to university data. term impacts. “… We just want to be able to do our jobs the best we can,” she said. Spending on central administration salaries rose due to higher pay and an Loving also likened the model increased number of administrative governing academic administration at employees, the budget report found, UC to corporate America, adding that adding the rise in college-level approach is unsustainable, especially administration salary spending was when it comes to salaries. driven solely by higher pay. “You can't just keep paying the new “One of the things that causes the person more than the last one made increase in spending … is not necessarily forever,” he said. “There has to be some individual salaries, but the number of logic as to why they're getting the money people who have those kinds of jobs,” they are based on the experience that said Phoebe Reeves, vice president of the they have.” UC chapter of the AAUP. “Although the individual salaries are also much higher The increase in spending on than what most teaching faculty make.” administrative salaries is just one piece of an ongoing discussion about the And this issue isn’t unique to UC. The university’s priorities. Faculty have number of administrators as well as complained that permanent budget spending on administrative salaries rose cuts, the long-flawed budget model and “considerably” over the past decade, the the athletics deficit are detracting from national chapter of the AAUP found in a the university’s core academic mission. report released in July. Overall, spending on administrative salaries per full-time Loving said administrators are listening equivalent student increased by 24% at to faculty concerns but they feel trapped public colleges and universities. in a “bubble of competition,” which translates into prioritizing spending on “Everybody’s struggling with this,” Reeves things like athletic facilities and lavish said. “And it’s been an ongoing issue for a amenities. couple of decades.” While she has never worked closely with Both Reeves and Loving said the rise Ferme, Reeves said she is optimistic in administrative salaries is due in about his tenure as provost. part to a “arms race mentality” among decisionmakers in higher education. “It's really great that we have an internal hire who already knows a lot about the “And it's compounded by the fact that university and what students and faculty more and more people seem to see value,” she said. “I actually really am upper administration as more like hopeful that he's going to really do the corporate, CEO type jobs,” she said. “In work that will benefit our students.” other words, it's about their upward career path, rather than staying long Though it is unlikely issues faculty have term with an institution and building raised regarding spending and the relationships.” university’s priorities will be resolved any time soon. “It's hard to create Frequent turnover within the institutional change quickly,” Reeves administration has created frustration said. “It's like turning around a very big among some faculty who have worked boat.”

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News Director

A multimillion-dollar renovation of the University of Cincinnati’s (UC) Calhoun Hall is underway. Construction on the 14-story, high-rise residence hall’s renovation was 4% complete as of June 22, according to a capital projects report obtained by The News Record. Messer Construction, the construction manager contracted by the university, “mobilized on-site” and began the demolition of hardscape and the building’s interior, the report states. Interior demolition started at the top of the 173,000-square-foot building proceeding downward. “Calhoun Hall will be completely gutted and renovated, similar to the recently completed renovations of Scioto and Morgens Halls,” the report reads. “The renovation will include wholesale upgrades of the dorm rooms, public spaces, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, as well as the building façade and enhancements to the immediate site.” Those upgrades include a new common lounge, study, laundry and kitchen space, as well as suite-style dorms

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and private restrooms. Students will have access to social collaboration nodes on each floor, in addition to private team huddle rooms and collaborative community space in the residence hall’s A rendering of the finished renovation of Calhoun Hall. Construction is expected to lobby. Once be completed December 2022. it is complete, Provided | University of Cincinnati Calhoun Hall will replacement reserves and the issuance house a total of of long-term debt. 822 beds, six more than it did previously, on same-gender floors. UC officials had previously speculated about the need to renovate the aging In August 2020, UC’s Board of Trustees structure, but there was no confirmation approved the allocation of $80.4 million that a project was in the works until toward the renovation of Calhoun last year. Construction on the project Hall. The dorm has not undergone any began in May. The university plans to significant renovations since it opened move students from Siddall Hall into the in 1967, UC’s Senior Vice President newly renovated building by the end of for Administration and Finance Bob December 2022, allowing the renovation Ambach told the board last year. of Siddall Hall to start a year earlier than Ambach said at the time that the money planned. will come from a mix of repair and

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In recent decades, environmental advocacy has evolved, becoming more widespread and allowing for college students across the nation to mobilize around climate change. At the University of Cincinnati (UC), student-led organizations like Restore Our Mother Earth (ROME) and Clean Up Cincy use their platforms to empower students to become environmental activists. For students returning to campus this fall, the director of UC's Office of Sustainability, Daniel Hart, advises students to take full advantage of the organizations and many resources the university has to offer. A primary resource is UC Sustainability's Bike Kitchen, a service center where any student, staff or faculty member can learn about bike repair and maintenance. "The Bike Kitchen's mission is to encourage sustainable transportation choices that foster community and build healthy lifestyles," said Hart. "Bicycling is a healthy and sustainable choice to get around and it's not using fossil fuel energy." Individuals in the UC community can bring their bikes with any sort of issue – flat tire, skewed derailleur, broken pedals – and one of the bike mechanics will fix the problem and advise on how to solve it in the future. The Kitchen is also home to the Bearcat Bike Share system. The system is a fleet of 25 bikes that can be checked out for up to one week at a time, at no cost, to anyone with a UC Bearcat Card. "We're really trying to give people the opportunity to make more sustainable behavioral choices," said Hart. Beyond The Kitchen, UC Sustainability has a variety of

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UC Sustainability’s Bike Kitchen, located underneath Dabney Hall. Tony Castrucci | TNR File Art

events and programs scheduled throughout fall semester. The events are free, open to all students and include sustainability lectures, films, tours, workshops and the President's Advisory Council on Environment and Sustainability (PACES) meetings. PACES meetings are monthly alluniversity meetings where students, staff and faculty members share updates on environmental projects and network with others interested in climate change sustainability. "We try to put on [events] for different topics, whether it's energy, food, social justice, decolonization – all of these different topics that are related to sustainability we put together in a co-curricular format for students to pick and choose and engage with," said Hart. The office also offers a free environmental literacy certificate that allows UC students to develop a foundational understanding of sustainability, systems thinking and ecological principles. Students register for free on CampusLink and complete the certificate by

attending four UC Sustainability lecture presentations, four handson experiences, four engagement experiences and completing reflective papers. Hart hopes UC students realize the power they have to create the world they want to see and invites them to reflect on that vision with UC Sustainability. "Students, as individuals, have so much opportunity to make positive change happen in the world, and a lot of that starts with the way that they live their own lives, the way they interact with others and make personal behavioral choices," said Hart. Follow UC Sustainability on Instagram and Facebook @ucsustainability, and on Twitter @ucsustainable. Bike Kitchen 101 West Daniels St. [Underneath Dabney Hall] Monday – Wednesday: 3 to 6 p.m. Closed Thursday. Friday: 9 a.m. to noon.

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Sports Editor

“It is okay to ask for help if you need it,” said Sofia Gritzali, a native of Greece who does more than dribble a basketball for the University of Cincinnati (UC) women’s basketball team. Gritzali and teammate Jillian Hayes, a sophomore guard, are just two of the countless studentathletes bearing the mental toll of two full-time jobs. With the COVID-19 pandemic opening doors for athletes to begin talking about mental health, athletes like Gritzali and Hayes hope these conversations can lead to real change regarding mental wellness in sports. “The more we normalize mental health, the less stigma there will be,” said UC’s University Health Service’s senior staff psychologist, Dr. Christine Muller-Held. Historically, mental health has not had a large platform in sports. Especially of late, athletes bear unique mental health challenges due to the unrealistic expectations they are held to. While Hayes completed her first year at UC as a division one studentathlete during the pandemic, she says she is entering her sophomore year with a positive outlook and will continue prioritizing her mental health. “Knowing you have a whole university and administration behind you helped,” said Hayes. Most recently seen at the Tokyo Olympic Games, athletes like Simone Biles use their platform to show that it is normal to not always be okay. For Gritzali, she says the game is 80% mental and 20% physical and says tennis player Naomi Osaka’s decision to step away from press conferences and tournaments earlier this year was admirable. “I admire athletes that choose

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to talk about [mental health] because it is their choice to share something like that, they have a lot of stories to tell, and them choosing mental health, I admire,” said Gritzali. Muller-Held says the Yerkes Dodson Law – a bell-shaped curve model that demonstrates the relationship between pressure and performance – is the ideal depiction of the balancing act that weighs on student athletes. The model shows that certain pressure is advantageous to student athletes, but too much pressure can cause damaging UC’s Women’s basketball guards, Sofia Gritzali (right) and Jillian Hayes (left). mental strain. Provided | Sofia Gritzali and Jillian Hayes

“Athletes have their peak performance at an optimal level of stress,” said MullerHeld. Forced pressure leaves athletes on the downward slope of the model’s curve, which leads to an intense mental burden, says Muller-Held. Athlete or not, every student is on a journey with balancing responsibilities, and Gritzali says to embrace the process, be yourself and accept help. Further, mental and physical health are equally important factors for success, says Muller-Held. “If people treated mental health the way they do physical, we wouldn’t have the

stigma we have,” said Muller-Held. “If we don’t have these conversations, we [will] never break down the stigma.” Muller-Held advises that a campus environment that welcomes vulnerability and conversations around mental wellness are essential to change. Students need to think to themselves, “How will I implement [mental health] into the sphere of influence I have?” said Muller-Held. “Mental health care is health care,” said Muller-Held. “People listening have to be willing to speak out too. It has to go both ways to really make an impact.”

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Life & Arts Editor

After persevering through a challenging school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, three University of Cincinnati (UC) upperclassmen have advice on succeeding this fall semester. Utilize your resources Fourth-year human development and community engagement student Olivia Kentner believes that it is crucial to research what resources you will need to prepare yourself for an accomplished semester. There is an abundance of resources available for all UC students for no additional costs, like the Learning Commons. “If you need to use the Learning Commons for tutoring, an academic coach or the math center, that is a great way for you to set up for success,” said Kentner. “Especially for taking hard classes like calculus.” Aside from academic resources, UC also provides centers for student life and getting involved on campus. A few of these resources include the African American Cultural Resource Center (AACRC), the Women’s Center, the Office of Equity and Inclusion and the UC Student Alumni Council (SAC). Keep a balanced schedule McKenna Johnson, a fifth-year

Provided | Olivia Kentner

economics and finance student, has always found a way to be part of numerous student organizations. Throughout her time at UC, she has been a member of the SAC, Chi Omega sorority and student government. As UC’s former homecoming queen, Johnson has mastered organizing her daily schedule. When Johnson was a first-year student, she took on a full 18 credit hours and had many meetings to attend daily. While Johnson enjoyed taking on the hard work, she believes pairing a full academic schedule with too many extracurriculars was not the best combination. She says it is important to get involved, but it is also crucial to pace yourself. “You don’t need to be in

something every night of the week,” said Johnson. “I would say maybe pick two to three nights a week and cap it at that.” Prioritize self-care A third-year business economics student, Sofia Gritzali believes that prioritizing your mental and physical health is a crucial factor for fulfilling everyday responsibilities. As an international student from Greece on UC’s women’s basketball team, Gritzali has found a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. “I like to wake up with a positive mindset that the day is gonna be a great day and that we have in us whatever we need to make it through the day and be successful,” said Gritzali. She recommends starting the day with something that will bring you joy. After putting herself in a positive mindset, she prays, listens to worship music, communicates with her family overseas or talks to one of her teammates. When she is not on the court or in the classroom, she can be found taking a break on one of her rest days as a student athlete. “Being a student athlete can be challenging but being a student athlete at UC is truly a blessing,” Gritzali said.

Provided | McKenna Johnson

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Sports Editor

One of the most anticipated seasons in program history is just days away for the University of Cincinnati (UC) Bearcats' football team, and it has been a long time coming. The Bearcats are ranked No. 8 overall heading into the fall, and as most successful teams operate, there is a backbone to the operation. For the Bearcats, one prominent pillar is recruitment. When head coach Luke Fickell took the reins of Bearcats' football in 2016, the team's recruiting class was ranked 74th nationally and sixth in the American Athletic Conference (AAC). Since then, the Bearcats' recruiting class has topped the AAC four times, with the 2022 class currently sitting at 33rd nationally. Fickell's first year at the helm resulted in a 4-8 season, quickly followed by back-to-back 11-win seasons and a 9-1 2020 season. "It takes a special kid to play here," said UC football's current director of on-campus recruiting, Pat Lambert.

Lambert and UC football do not recruit just any talented athlete. Rather, they foster relationships with athletes who fit the "Cliftonstyle" mentality that produces success on and off the field. The Bearcats do not have to look too far, as 28% of their current 129-player roster is filled with athletes from Cincinnati. Leading the defense for the "Blackcats" is a squadron of hometown heroes, including linebacker Darrian Beavers, defensive lineman Malik Vann and safeties Bryan Cook and Ja'von Hicks. The Bearcats also have their share of talent born and raised in the 513 on the offense, including junior tight end Josh Whyle and Evan Prater, the Bearcat's future slinger under center. Lambert said the process of recruiting locally is about "Getting them to fall in love with the city and wanting to be a hometown hero." The athletes that choose to forgo a move away from home reap the benefits of sticking to their roots

and trusting their exposure to the city. "[I] really [want] them to be that household name and play for something more than their program, to play for the city they grew up in and play in front of their family," said Lambert. Lambert was part of the Bearcat team that claimed three Big East Conference titles from 2008 to 2012. The Bearcats are coming off their best-recruiting class in school history and are not showing signs of slowing down. Topping recruiting charts is the new expectation of being a Top 10 program, not just a Top 10 team. "We want to be the best ever," said Lambert. If a move to a bigger conference is on Cincinnati's radar, their time is now to prove themselves as the spotlight has never been bigger. Although the size and reputation of power five conference schools play to the disadvantage of Cincinnati recruiting, Lambert admits that recruiting truly never stops.He says that the team's overall success of late has helped balance the difficulties the pandemic proposed on getting recruits around campus. "It's finding the right player at the end of the day," said Lambert.

Provided | Pat Lambert

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Profile for The News Record

TNR Welcome Back Guide Fall 2021  

TNR Welcome Back Guide Fall 2021  


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