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Nicholls Worth The

Volume 59 Issue 27 June 19, 2014

Summer Days

Elizabeth Smart Speaks At Nicholls

Page 3

Off-Campus Drinking in College

Page 4

Mental Health Care Issues in VA

Page 7


Campus

Briefs

Nicholls CFO Announces Retirement

Nicholls Chief Financal Office Mike Naquin announced his retirement on Friday, June 6 after 35 years at the university. Naquin graduated from Nicholls in 1978 and began working at the university in 1979.

Lardarius Webb Annual Youth Camp Former Colonel and Baltimore Raven cornerback Lardarius Webb will be holding his annual youth football camp at John L. Guidry Stadium on June 21.

June 5

A student reported that her ex-boyfriend’s mother sent her a threatening text advising her to stay away from her son. Lt. Tullis reviewed the text and determined that the content of the text did not rise to the level of criminal charges. The student stated that she did not want her ex-boyfriend or his mother contacted and she only wanted to report the incident in case she received more texts from the mother. Lt. Tullis instructed the student to contact him immediately if she gets any additional texts from the mother. June 8

On The Cover:

Photo by: Alex Grezaffi

The first swimming lessons in JJ Ayo Pool during the Grand Opening of Crawfish Aquatics last June.

An unidentified motorist traveling on La 1 across from Elkins Hall struck multiple ducks leaving many dead in the roadway and on the right shoulder of the highway. Officers attempted to contact animal shelters, veternarians and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries to render aid and shelter to the injured ducks without negative results. Contact was made with one private shelter who stated they could not assist. June 10

The Nicholls Worth will run again on July 10

The director at FACS called about a suspicious vehicle in lot 12. The vehicle left before officers arrived. June 11

University police reported a minor accident in the recreation center parking lot. There were no injuries and both vehicles sustained minor damage.

www.thenichollsworth.com

June 13

Weekly Calendar Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

19 20 21 22 Lardarius Webb Annual Youth Camp at John L. Guidry Stadium. 9 am - 2 pm

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

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A student reported that his sunglasses were missing on June 11 after working out in the recreation center. On June 13, he reported that $50.00 was missing from his wallet and believes the money was taken by the same person who took his sunglasses. Lt. Tullis advised the student that he would review surveillance footage from inside the weight room and contact the student if he could identify the suspect June 16

A caller reported a man walking on Madewood Drive, stumbling in the middle of the road. Officer Trevigne responded to the area and made contact with the man who was a disabled veteran. Officer Trevigne determined that the man was not intoxicated and he appeared to stumble due to his disability. The man told Officer Trevigne he was walking to St. Thomas Aquinas.

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The

Nicholls Worth

News

Photo By Alex Grezaffi

Elizabeth Smart speaking about her experience with abduction and rape at the age of fourteen and how this empowered her as a woman. Smart was the key-note speaker at the closing ceremonies of the Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy on June 11.

Elizabeth Smart speaks at Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy Sydney Landry Staff Writer Elizabeth Smart, childabduction victim, activist, and nationally renowned speaker, spoke before an audience of high-school girls and members of the community in her keynote speech at the Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy closing ceremony at Nicholls State University on June 11.

“Whether it be family, health, or work-related, we all come across hard times,” Smart said. “The people who stand out most to me are the ones who do not let their problems define them.” “It is the people that made the choice to move forward that I have always been most awed by,” Smart said. In 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her Salt Lake

City home and held captive for nine months by Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee. No one had ever told Smart what to do if someone tried to take her from her bedroom in the middle of the night; no one mentioned that over 80 percent of children who fight back get away. “If you ever catch on fire, you stop drop and roll. I was told don’t talk to strangers, but I was never told what I

should do if someone tried to kidnap me or take me out of my bedroom,” Smart said. The only knowledge she had of kidnappings was that a body was usually always found along with evidence of extreme abuse. When she realized what was happening, she stopped climbing and asked the man to kill her there so that her parents would be able to find the body. Hidden away in the

mountains near her home, her mother said she would she endured what no child always love her, no matter should ever suffer. She was what. When she realized raped daily, and said that that her family would alshe “felt like there was no ways love her, she made the reason to continue.” decision to survive, a deciShe sometimes felt like sion that saw her through death would be better than the darkest moments of her living and being tortured, nine-month captivity. but the memories of her “The best punishment family and friends helped you could ever give him is her through that hard time. to be happy, to move forWhen she felt disgusting ward with your life, and to and thought no one would do exactly what you want want anything to do with See SMART Page 6 her, she remembered how The Nicholls Worth | 06.19.14| Page 3


Off-campus drinking hard for university to police Kirk Rousse Staff Writer Nicholls State University, like many other universities, struggles with offcampus drinking. Director of Student Life Tommy Ponson said in terms of off-campus drinking, a report is brought to Nicholls if the incident occurred off-campus and continued on campus. “If the incident is a violation of the code of student conduct, the report must be looked into regardless of the student’s age, but there is no way for Nicholls to know which students drink off campus,” Ponson said.

A study co-authored by Amelia M. Arria, director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, showed that onein-five college students admitted to drunk driving and that number rises dramatically once they reach the legal drinking age of 21. The authors founds that while male students were more likely to engage in risky behavior. Both male and femal students admitted to drunk driving. While the administration of Nicholls cannot monitor the lives of students off campus, there are guidelines that must be followed for events involving

organizations related to the university. Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Eugene Dial said, “For example if there is a fraternity or sorority party off campus, the alcohol must be provided by a third party vendor and the legal drinking age must be enforced.” There can be sanctions ranging from a warning to suspension if a student is caught in violation of the student code of conduct. If Nicholls administration is involved, the student will receive disciplinary actions that the administration sees fit. University officials have no say as to what happens unless the incident happens on campus. Nicholls

is a public state university, and what happens on campus is dealt with on campus. The Student Code of Conduct is followed for a violation that takes place on campus if it is drug or alcohol related or not. For the university to be involved in an off campus event there needs to be a valid reason. Examples may include an off-campus party or event and the student would deface school property as a result of his or her drinking. The university technically cannot be held responsible for the lives of its students because the students are adults and will be treated as such. If there is an alcohol related death off campus, the most

Nicholls can do is to send condolences to the family of the deceased, but as far as monitoring what goes on off campus, Nicholls cannot do anything until it affects the university directly. Student Government Association President Adam LeFort said a student’s drinking off-campus can only be dealt with an organization the student belongs to. “In terms of drinking on campus, there are resident advisors and University Police who monitor alcohol on campus.” LeFort said. “The perception of Nicholls off campus drinking varies because if it is from another student’s point of view, then it may seem like

nothing, but if the student is skipping class to drink, that is considered a potential problem.” College campuses all across Louisiana, as well as the United States have different policies for different things, but Nicholls cannot have much authority over what activities its students take part in off campus, be that a fraternity or sorority party or a family gathering. Nicholls can only interfere with the life of a student or faculty member if the violation occurred on campus. If a student is underage and is caught drinking in a bar, the city police are the ones who issue the ticket and the district attorney is who will decide to prosecute the student. .

Student Union

Open During The Summer! Student Union Summer Hours: Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday: 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday Like us on Facebook at Nicholls State University Student Union!

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Happy Birthday President Murphy From Student Publications

The Nicholls Worth | 06.19.14 | Page 5


SMART

Continued from Page 3

to do. By feeling sorry for yourself, you’re only allowing him to steal more of your life, and he does not deserve that, he does not deserve a single second more,” Smart said. She said that to many people she would always be the girl who was kidnapped, but she is happy because she has been able to help others through her foundation and through legislation. “Yes, I was kidnapped,” Smart said, “but I have also worked on legislation. I am no longer sorry for what happened to me.” In a press conference following her speech, Smart said she likes to think she is

getting better each and every day. Her advice to anyone who has gone through a similar experience would be to take the time they need to heal and find a new normal. The Elizabeth Smart Foundation, whose mission is to prevent and stop predatory crimes and to bring victims home. In addition to abduction prevention education, one of the foundation’s focuses is on Internet crime against children. Child pornography is becoming more prevalent and less than one percent of all child pornography cases are being investigated.

Smart said that besides calling lawmakers and local leaders, another way to raise awareness is by talking amongst each other. Even talking to children about what is and is not okay is a step in the right direction. Smart wrote about her experience in her New York Times best-selling novel, My Story. The Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy is sponsored by the Louisiana Center for Women in Government and Business housed at Nicholls. It is a four-day program, which aims to prepare high school girls for future leadership roles.

BAR

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The

Nicholls Worth

Editorial

Health care for veterans needs a dramatic overhaul Since the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States has seen a steady stream of service men and women returning home in need of health care, but problems in the Department of Veterans Affairs has made it difficult for these veterans to get the care they need. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 1.3 million veterans received specialized mental health treatment from VA for mental health-related issues. What the VA website fails to mention is the wait times veterans are given before they are able to get treatment. A recent story to hit the news was that of Nicholas D’Amico, a missiledefense specialist who served in the Army for four years in South Korea and Saudi Arabia. D’Amico’s mother said her son was withdrawn, moody and had been diagnosed with major depression. D’Amico would have to wait six months before he received a teleconference with a psychiatrist in Albuquerque. D’Amico lived in El Paso. That includes five canceled appointments with psychiatrists at VA hospital in El Paso. D’Amico committed suicide last September, two months before his scheduled teleconference appointment. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. An internal investigation showed that the wait time for new mental health patients at VA hospitals averaged over a month. Not one of the

141 medical systems examined in the investigation met the goal of getting all new patients an appointment within 14 days. At 30 facilities, the average wait topped 40 days. The El Paso VA had some of the nation’s worst wait times with new patients waiting on average 60 days for an appointment and 16 days for follow-up care. More soldiers are dying by taking their own lives than are dying in combat and this country is doing a poor job of righting this monstrous wrong. It is patriotic to put bumper stickers on your car and have ticker-tape parades for the units stationed in and around your hometown’s return home, but not enough is being done to support the veterans in returning to a sense of normalcy. After all they have given to protect us, we should be willing to do the same for them when they need someone to fight for them. This is not a time for partisan politics and the usual Democrat versus Republican mentality that is so often seen in our government, but unfortunately that it is what it will likely boil down to. Take a look back a few weeks ago when President Barack Obama spoke on the inefficiency in VA. There were no suggestions of solutions, only finger pointing. Calls for the resignation of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki came from both side of the aisles, but it was Republicans who blocked legislation last

January in the Senate that would have expanded access to health care for veterans. It would have been an expensive venture to open 27 new medical facilities, but a cost that was well worth it. It is time that we take a moment to take a stand for something that is much more important than what you think about the guy currently sitting in the Oval Office. To get the much needed help to those that cannot get it because of bureaucratic red tape or extremely long wait times. To get the much needed help to those who are deciding that it is not worth the wait. Once you peel away all the layers of donkeys, elephants and bureaucracy, there are solutions to these problems. Recession or not, there is money that can be redirected into the right avenues to get more physicians and psychiatrists into VA hospitals to accommodate the large number of veterans who are seeking health care. Health care, be it mental health care or physical health care, is not something that people can elect to go without. Health care is not something that people should be asked to go without. If it takes a bump in taxes or a redistribution of some budget then we all should be prepared to accept that change. Remember that as Americans, we are all entitled to the pursuit of happiness whatever that may be, especially those of us who are putting their lives on the line to protect those ideals.

The Nicholls Worth Staff Editor Sean Ellis Staff Writer Kirk Rousse Staff Writer Sydney Landry

Photo Editor Alex Grezaffi Advertising Manager Javier Davison Business Manager Rhonda Zeringue Adviser James Stewart

Opinion Policy

Editorials are based on the majority opinion of a seven-member board. Opinions expressed in letters and columns are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Nicholls Worth. Letters to the editor are encouraged and accepted at the discretion of the editor. Letters should be fewer than 300 words, typed and should include author’s name, classification, major and telephone number. Faculty and staff should include their title and department. Longer letters may be accepted as guest columns. Anonymous letters will not be printed. The Nicholls Worth reserves the right to edit all letters for grammar, obscenity, accuracy, and poor taste. Letters are due at 4 p.m. Monday, the week of publication. Letters can be delivered to the Student Publications building, emailed to nw@nicholls.edu, or sent to: The Nicholls Worth Editor, Student Publications, P.O. Box 2010, Thibodaux, LA, 70310

Mailing Information Nicholls Worth is published weekly for the Nicholls State University community, except between semesters and exams. The subscription rate is $15 per year. Periodical postage paid at Thibodaux, LA (USPS 390-460). One paper is free. Additional copies can be purchased for 50 cents. The newspaper office is located on Ardoyne Drive on the Nicholls State University campus. For more information call the Office of Student Publications at (985) 448-4529. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Nicholls Worth P.O. Box 2010 Thibodaux, LA 70310

Telephone Directory editor (985) 448-4258 managing editor (985) 448-4256 newsroom (985) 448-4266 advertising (985) 448-4257 adviser’s office (985) 448-4261 The Nicholls Worth | 06.19.14 | Page 7


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