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Penn State Beaver Roar

November 2011

November 2011

Special Report

Protecting our own Campus secured, suspect arrested after threats of violence Managing Editor

bjp5053@psu.edu

Former Penn State Beaver student Michael Mollett, who had been wanted on charges of making threats against the campus, surrendered to state police the evening of Sunday, Oct. 23. On Friday, Oct. 21, a day after threats referencing the Virginia Tech shootings were discovered on Mollett’s Twitter account, Mollett’s mother, Pamela Lawton, appeared on KDKA-TV to ask her son to turn himself into the police. Lawton and other family members accompanied Mollett, 21, of Pittsburgh, as he surrendered in front of news cameras at KDKA Sunday. Posts on Mollett’s Twitter account included “just watch for a all black nigga creepn tonight … so im have.vt day,” “some body might get shot tonight just for fun” and “who want to die.” Mollett, a former Penn State Beaver basketball player, is being held at the Allegheny County Jail facing charges of terroristic threats and harassment, as well as outstanding warrants for receiving stolen property, fleeing or attempting to elude police, driving without a license, and other traffic offenses, all previous offenses. In September, University Police charged Mollett with indecent assault after he inappropriately

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Special Report

“I can’t express how good it is that students were so diligent and so thoughtful to report these threats to campus police.”— keefer

Brandon Perino

Penn State Beaver Roar

Sign up for PSUTXT Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for Penn State’s free text alert system, PSUTXT. To sign up, visit www.live.psu.edu/ psutxt to create an account.

touched an unnamed female student in her Harmony Hall room. Police had been searching for Mollett since Thursday, Oct. 20, after several students read the threatening tweets and reported them to University Police. Penn State Beaver Chancellor Gary Keefer applauded those students. “I can’t express how good it is that students were so diligent and so thoughtful to report these threats to campus police.” Once the threats were reported around 6 p.m. Thursday, Penn State Beaver administrators contacted local and state police, the FBI and University Park police to begin an investigation. The campus also quickly sent out warnings around 7:30 p.m. Thursday through the Penn State text messaging system PSUTXT to warn students, faculty and staff about a “vague threat.” Though Keefer admitted the information was limited in scope, he said that the message was craftStudent turns himself in See Page 2

Student surrenders after 3-day search Continued from Page 1

ed under the direction of the police. Thursday evening, University Police went around campus to search all the buildings and to check on the evening classes still going on. Though there was no lockdown on campus, police locked the doors of all buildings they had checked. Early Friday another text went out announcing that classes and activities for Friday had been cancelled and, later, for Saturday as well. Some students and faculty, however, did not receive the message and were met at the entrances to campus by Penn State Beaver staff letting them know classes were cancelled. “This is why we want to emphasize signing up for the text messaging service to students and faculty,” Keefer said. By Sunday, administrators had already decided to reopen the campus, even before Mollett surrendered. The incident attracted exten-

sive media coverage, including all three major television stations in Pittsburgh as well as The Beaver County Times, Pittsburgh PostGazette and Pittsburgh TribuneReview. Photographers and reporters walked around campus interviewing students, while television newscasters reported live from campus via news vans with satellite links. Lawton, Mollett’s mother, told KDKA that the threats were not like her son. “I apologize for my baby. It was because of his mental state. I believe if he was in his right mind none of this would have happened,” she said, adding that she hopes her son will get psychiatric care. Director of Campus and Community Relations Amy Krebs told the Beaver County Times that in her recollection, the campus has never had to deal with an incident like this before. Krebs said she was pleased with how the campus responded to the threat. “We met our goal, and we did what we wanted in that we kept the students, faculty and staff safe.”

Person in the Bistro

How did you react to the recent threat of violence?

“I spent a lot of time with (Mike Mollett) last year. I’m really glad he turned himself in. It could have been detrimental to him. I’m just glad he’s OK.” Lawrence Council

Kaela Martin

sophomore

sophomore

“It was shocking to me.” Jules Bacon sophomore

What was Virginia Tech?

The Roar/ Dan Trzcianka

Penn State Beaver staff at the entrance of campus on Friday informing students and faculty of class and activities cancellations.

On April 16, 2007, students and faculty at Virginia Tech University began their day like any other. However, the events that would soon occur would forever change the lives of those on campus. On this day, Virginia Tech became the scene of one of the most horrific events in American university history. The tragic incident resulted in a double homicide in one of the residence halls followed by a mass murder, claiming the lives of 33 students and faculty, including the gunman whose name was Seung-Hui Cho.

Cho went into the residence hall with two handguns killing two people around 7:15 a.m. Then, more than two hours later, he entered another building across campus where he opened fire, killing 32 and injuring many others before taking his own life. Virginia Tech was harshly criticized for its lack of security and such a late response to the acts of violence. Specifically, the university was criticized for notifying the campus after the first two killings since the gunman had not been found. Sources: nytimes.com, msnbc. com, scholar.lib.vt.edu

“I had sat down with him for lunch before. (When I heard about it) I said, ‘Oh my God.’ I wanted to know what was happening in his head.”

“I commute, so it didn’t affect me much. The police did a good job, I thought.”

“I was surprised something like that could happen where I go to school.”

“I don’t think they did a good job. I had no idea what was going on. That scared me more.” Tory Ley freshman

“I was surprised because it’s a tiny campus. The PSU texts were helpful.”

Alan Kosan

Emily Young

freshman

freshman

“I was a little bit worried, but I figured security would take care of it,”

“There was a lack of information. I took it seriously, but not too seriously.”

Shawna Shelton

Cody Killmeyer

Alena Schaffer

sophomore

sophomore

sophomore


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November 2011

Penn State Beaver Roar

November 2011

Special Report

Special Report

PSUTXT alerts students

Student: ‘He was a good guy’

System put to the test after a former student posted threatening tweets Lydia Moon Staff Writer

ljm5207@psu.edu

It was an average Thursday evening Oct. 20. The Big Brothers Big Sisters program was wrapping up at its usual time, 7:30 p.m. That’s when students who signed up for the PSUTXT text alerts received a message informing them of a vague threat to the Beaver campus. “How can you say ‘vague threat’ and not tell us what the hell is going on?” sophomore Amanda Schiffner asked. A feeling of unrest filled students, but activities continued as planned. The 7 p.m. showing of “Captain America” continued. Around 8:30 p.m., a campus police car could be seen parked outside of Harmony Hall. As students left the movie, they were informed that the campus buildings were all locked and the Brodhead Bistro closed early. “I’m glad they’re taking it seriously and not a joke,” freshman Rachel Borrell said. “If it was real and they didn’t, we would be screwed.” Other students were upset about the buildings being locked and the lack of information. “It makes me feel vaguely irritated, vaguely inconvenienced, and vaguely confused,” sophomore Jessica Davis said Thursday night. Student Activities employees canceled the second showing of the movie after being informed that the threat made reference to Virginia Tech. “I feel it’s justified because we don’t know if he has a weapon or something,” sophomore Ahad Anjum said. The next morning, students received a text around 6:30 a.m. informing them that the campus was closed and classes were cancelled “until threat is resolved.” “My roommate woke me up to tell me that classes were cancelled.

Roar photo illustration

Mike Mollett tweeted throughout the day of Oct 20 and, after being alerted, caused the university to send out text messages to students warning them of a possible threat to the campus.

I wasn’t scared. I knew Mike. He’s a good guy. But he got into bad habits and got off track. He got lost in himself and didn’t know how to bring himself back.”

I was excited because I had an essay due,” freshman Angelique Matthews said. As students began to wake up, they saw signs posted on the bathroom doors and mirrors announcing that the campus was closed. The signs also said it was recommended that if students could go home, they should. The rush began as students packed clothes for the weekend

Greace Baez sophomore

and headed home. Another rush began outside as local media came to campus to report on the threat. “The cameras were annoying and more of a nuisance than the lockdown,” sophomore Justin Shearer said. “They kept trying to film us leaving.” Students who stopped to eat in the Bistro before leaving had the chance to watch the story unfold

on the news. As students left, they could see campus police posted at the entrance near the pond. The other entrance to the campus was closed. As some students left, others stayed because they had nowhere to go or because they weren’t scared. “There were four girls on my floor Friday night,” said sophomore Crystal Johnson, a thirdfloor resident assistant. “It was nice

because the hall was quiet. I didn’t even see anyone on the boys’ side.” The threat was made by former student Mike Mollett, who had lived in Harmony Hall last year. Some of the residents knew him. “I wasn’t scared. I knew Mike. He’s a good guy,” sophomore Greace Baez said. “But he got into bad habits and got off track. He got lost in himself and didn’t know how to bring himself back.” The Saturday activities planned for PSU Day were postponed, as was an Admissions Department open house. A campus police officer was posted in Harmony Hall lobby. Most students who remained at Harmony Hall stayed inside their rooms on Saturday. “I spent the day watching Bones on TV,” junior Ileana Muhlach said. A news van was parked at the main entrance to the campus on Saturday night. Students in the hall talked about the interviews they had seen on television throughout the weekend. “Some kid was talking about how they had their senior pictures taken at the Beaver campus. What does that have to do with anything?” sophomore Salewa Akintilo said. By Sunday afternoon, residents had begun to return to Harmony Hall. One campus policeman remained posted in the Harmony Hall lobby. Students received texts saying the campus was secure and classes would proceed as scheduled on Monday. “I only felt a little relieved when they said the campus was secure,” junior Michelle Beckman said. “I was still worried, because they didn’t know where he was and he hadn’t been arrested yet.” At about 8:30 Sunday night, a final PSUTXT message was sent, saying the “suspect is arrested.” Mollett turned himself into police in the lobby of KDKA News in downtown Pittsburgh.

Don Ware IV News Editor

dww5080@psu.edu

On Oct. 23, Mike Mollett, the former Penn State Beaver student whose threats via Twitter shut down the campus, turned himself over to a state police detective in the lobby of KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. Mollett’s arrest brought the three-day ordeal to a peaceful end. According to media reports, Mollett is from Homestead, southeast of Pittsburgh. Mollett first enrolled at Penn State Beaver in the fall 2010 semester, living in Harmony Hall his first year. He was a member of the men’s basketball team, a fact that Mollett proudly displays on his Facebook page and in pictures posted on Facebook. Mollett returned to Penn State Beaver this fall as a student, attending classes but no longer living in Harmony Hall.

He also was no longer listed on the basketball roster. Basketball Coach Marcess Williams refused to comment on Mollett. When contacted for comment, Mollett’s teammates said they were told by Williams not to speak to the media. Mollett is being held at the Allegheny County Jail facing charges of terroristic threats and harassment, as well as outstanding warrants for receiving stolen property, fleeing or attempting to elude police, driving without a license, and other traffic offenses, all previous offenses. In September, University Police charged Mollett with indecent assault after he inappropriately touched an unnamed female student in her Harmony Hall room. Junior Korey Freyermuth, who became friends with Mollett when the two lived in Harmony Hall last year,

said that Mollett has a girlfriend, Taejsha McBride, who is a student at Penn State Beaver. “So far she’s taking it really well,” Freyermuth said. McBride did not respond to an email request for an interview. Freyermuth said she was surprised to hear of the threats Mollett made via Twitter. “When he was here he was always nice to me,” she said. “I respected him because he was a good basketball player.” “I’m shocked, though,” Freyermuth added. “I thought he was a good guy.” For increased security, Penn State Beaver had a campus police officer in the lobby of Harmony Hall through the weekend. “I wasn’t scared,” Freyermuth said. “I went to a city school so I’m used to people making threats. I knew the campus was safe.”

Penn State Beaver Roar

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March of Dimes’s World Prematurity Day

November 17 Look out for activities on campus


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Penn State Beaver Roar

November 2011

November 2011

News

Penn State Beaver Roar

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News

Too hot to handle?

police beat

Four cited with underage drinking

Temperature an issue in GCB Joe Omogrosso Senior Staff Writer

jno5035@psu.edu

THE ROAR/Josie Sziminski

Freshman Emily Young orders her Starbucks from barista Coleen Mead. Her White Chocolate Mocha is one of the drinks offered by the campus Starbucks.

Starbucks delivers; students want more Tyler Warner Staff writer

tzw5069@psu.edu

The new Starbucks, located in the center of the bistro, has made quite an impact on campus. Student opinions of the new Starbucks are a mixed bag. Sophomore Will Renner says he enjoys the white hot chocolate that he typically indulges in once or twice a week. Junior Megan Loughran says she loves the Java Chip Frappuccino Grande but only buys it occasionally due to high costs and her personal views on Starbucks. “I like the select drinks they

have here, but they are certainly not my favorite place to get coffee,” said Loughran. “And I have conflicting views with some of the past actions of Starbucks, so I’d rather not support them as a company,” she added Additionally, many students would like to see a wider selection added to the menu. Junior Brittany Main said, “I like the Caramel Macchiato, “But,” she added, “I think they should expand their menu. I’d really like them to add Vanilla Bean Frappuccino.” According to Lori McMillen, a

Starbucks barista, special funding was provided in order to launch the major coffee corporation on campus. “We definitely think placement of the kiosk has made a strong visual impact with students and sales,” said McMillen. Starbucks has no immediate plans as far as revising the menu. However, they do  plan to add drinks to the menu in the future and possibly offer different monthly specials. McMillen said, “I’m optimistic that will improve our sales even higher and give students more of an incentive to buy.”

Kristen Olson moved her English 180 class early in September from room 108 to 106 in the General Classroom Building because of constant heat that made the temperature unbearable. “This seems to have been an anomaly that has been corrected, since I’ve noticed other classes in that room,” Olson said. “To be honest, I usually try to avoid GCB altogether in the fall semester since the air conditioning does not sufficiently cool the rooms, especially in the afternoon.” In fact, Olson said she prefers the cool basement rooms in 1 or 2 Michael Baker Building, even though that building has no air conditioning. “This year, however, I wanted a room with chairs arranged in a circle for discussion, and GCB 108, 105 and 106 are the only rooms in that configuration,” Olson said. The temperature conditions rarely seem to be comfortable for students attending class in the General Classroom Building. Some rooms are too cold, while others are too hot. “It’s normally too hot,” Instructor of Spanish Alex Pilotti said. “And the air conditioning is not very effective.” “Sometimes I just want to leave because it’s too hot,” junior Kimberly Villella said. “If they’d fix it, it would look good because we’re paying a lot of money to be here.” “You don’t want them putting in a new heating system and have them raise your tuition,” said Nick Salpietro, mathematics instructor. Mike George, political science instructor, said it’s very important for student attentiveness that the classrooms have the right temperature. “Students tire more easily and are less able to concentrate

when it’s uncomfortably warm and humid in a classroom.” Salpietro agreed. “Learning is difficult when it’s too warm.” Dave Hunt, physical plant supervisor, said there’s no actual humidity control in any building on campus. “While in the cooling season, air conditioning provides some humidity control. In the heating season, there is no air conditioning and subsequently, no humidity control,” Hunt said. The classrooms and offices are the only spaces in the GCB that are air-conditioned. Hunt said doors and windows should be kept closed to aid “in helping an inadequate system keep up with the heating and cooling demand.” George recommended that someone “periodically check the temperatures.” Hunt said a system is in place to manage the temperatures, including sensors in the rooms to determine which are occupied. “The most important step was to equip the classrooms with occupancy sensors,” Hunt said. “When someone enters the room the sensor activates the system and brings the space to the occupied set point (70 degrees - heating; 75 degrees cooling).” “When the room sits empty for 15 minutes, the system shuts off and returns to an unoccupied set point (60 degrees - heating; 80 degrees - cooling),” Hunt said. Salpietro said he’s been dealing with the temperature problems in the GCB for a long time, but he refused to blame the physical plant staff. “I’m going to give the guys running the place a break,” he said, “because we’re going through a change of weather and they always fix it when we notify them.”

A resident assistant reported four underage students drinking in 218 Harmony Hall on Saturday, Oct. 8 around 1:50 a.m. University Police cited Verushka Soto of Puerto Rico, Jaimes Coelho of New York, Mahmoud Helal of Egypt and Sergio Simmons of Virginia with underage drinking.

Students write names in cement

THE ROAR/Corey Wright

Rachael Butera, left, Murat Kaan Doruk and Mahmoud Helal, right, smoking next to the Bistro doors.

New gazebo to replace old ‘smoker’s table’ Lydia Moon Staff Writer

ljm5207@psu.edu

Residents in Harmony Hall will hopefully not smell smoke filtering into the building after the socalled smokers’ picnic table is soon replaced by a gazebo. Sophomore Jocilyn DePetro, who lives on the first floor of Harmony Hall, said she often goes to bed with her window open to let in fresh air. However, her room is located next to one of the building’s exits. “At night, people go outside and the smoke blows inside my room. I have to shut my window,” DePetro said. The smoking policy at Penn State Beaver dictates that smoking within 30 feet of buildings is prohibited. Those found violating this policy are subject to disciplinary action. DePetro says this policy is often

violated at Harmony Hall. “Most of them definitely don’t go out 30 feet to smoke.” Sophomore Ahad Anjum has also noticed smokers violating policy. “Half of the time when I’m in the lobby, I can smell the smoke,” Anjum said. “I don’t really have a problem with it, but I do notice it.” A picnic table set up outside the rear of Harmony Hall has been a haven for students to sit at while smoking. Sometimes referred to as the “smoking table,” it sits more than 50 feet away from any of Harmony Hall’s entrances. Even though it follows Penn State’s policy, sophomore Brittany Martin, a smoker, said the smoking table could still use improvement. “People leave their trash and cigarette butts out here. I think it’s disgusting.” Last semester, Martin tried to

get Penn State Beaver to put a trash can by the table. After taking the matter to the Residence Life Department and then the Housing and Food Services Department, Martin was told that the maintenance of an outdoor trash can was not feasible. Now, Housing and Food Services, Residence Life and the Student Government Association (SGA) have a project in the works outside Harmony Hall that smokers may be interested in. The three groups are sponsoring the construction of an outdoor gazebo, located near where the picnic table sits. “We saw how much the students use the picnic table outside of Harmony Hall and we wanted to create a space that students can use that would provide some shelter from the elements,” said Jeremy Lindner, director of Housing and Food Services.

The gazebo, which will have a trash can, will not be exclusively for smokers. “We know that students will use the space to smoke, but we hope that students will use the space for many uses,” Lindner said. “I think this would be a great addition to our campus because it adds another place for all students to hang out whether they are commuters or residents,” said SGA President Lawrence Council, a sophomore. However, the gazebo has been subjected to vandalism before completion. After the cement base was poured, several Harmony Hall residents wrote their names in the wet cement. “This is certainly an unfortunate situation,” Lindner said. “The structure is being built for student use so it is disheartening when damages like this occur.”

Associate Director of Student Affairs Amy Gartley contacted Campus Police on Oct. 19 after she found the concrete pad of the new student gazebo near Harmony Hall had been vandalized. According to the police report, students had written names in the fresh concrete. The report did not indicate how many names were written or whose names they were, and no charges have been filed.

Student in double trouble University Police cited Mia Smith of McKees Rocks Sept. 30 with multiple charges for disorderly conduct. Police said Smith had received repeated requests to stop loud noise in her Harmony Hall room. In a separate case, police reported that Smith failed to appear for a preliminary hearing at the Beaver County Courthouse on Oct. 24. Campus police charged Smith Sept. 9 with possession of marijuana. The hearing was continued to Nov. 28.

Student charged with trespassing University Police charged Kori Ford of McKees Rocks with trespassing after a resident assistant had reported Ford was in Harmony Hall Sept. 30 around 10:20 a.m. The police report said Ford was not permitted to be in Harmony Hall.


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Penn State Beaver Roar

November 2011

November 2011

News

Penn State Beaver Roar

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Viewpoint

Students faced with new financial aid regulations Monica M. Pitcher Staff Writer

mmp5317@psu.edu

Students who do not follow the new regulations regarding financial aid could lose their funding. New federal regulations on student financial aid have been in effect since summer 2011, but an alarming number of students are unaware of the changes. “I didn’t even know this existed,” said sophomore Valerie Stannard. The new federal regulations affect satisfactory academic progress standards, which determine whether a student can continue to receive financial aid. “The new regulations were set as the new standard for student financial aid because the government is always looking out for the investments of taxpayers. The new

New Rules

n  Students must be in degreeseeking status. n  Students can receive aid for up to 150 percent of the credits needed to complete their primary degree programs. n  Student must earn 67 percent of the total credits attempted in any semester.

criteria were put in place to ensure that the billions of tax dollars paid to support students are not being wasted,” Director of Enrollment Daniel Pinchot said. The regulations consist of monitoring students in three categories in order for students to remain eligible for student financial aid. The first requirement is that students must stay in degree-seeking

status. “Students must obtain a grade-point average of a C or better by the end of their second year of enrollment, or have academic standing consistent with the university’s requirements for graduation,” said Gail Gray, financial aid coordinator. As a result, students with poor grades who get dropped to nondegree status by the university are automatically ineligible to receive financial aid. The second regulation involves the amount of time it takes a student to earn a degree. Rather than having a maximum number of semesters that a student can receive financial aid, the new regulation limits students to receiving aid for up to 150 percent of the credits that are required for completing their degree. In other words, a student pursu-

ing a degree that requires 120 credits would be allowed to receive aid for up to 180 credits, Pinchot said. The third requirement — and the one getting the most attention — is completion rate of courses that students attempt. The new regulation says students must complete 67 percent of all credits attempted. Credits attempted are the courses students sign up for at the beginning of the semester. “If a student wishes to drop a class, it must be done during the drop-add period at the beginning of the semester. Be sure to add a class within a 24-hour time period in order to avoid being penalized,” Gray said. Despite the confusion, some students and faculty like the new rules. “I find it to be a good thing because it benefits the people who

really care about their college education,” said sophomore Amy Haggart. “I think the regulations help prepare students for a more realistic view of succeeding in their future careers,” said math instructor Angela Fishman. Pinchot said the new requirements are nothing for students to fear. The majority of students who are doing what they’re supposed to be doing will not be affected by the new regulations, he said. “I was nervous about it at first because I didn’t know how it was going to play out,” Pinchot said. “But I’ve seen many students, especially those at risk, benefit from this policy. In a way, it is more forgiving in a sense than past standards.” For more information, students can visit www.psu.edu/studentaid.

response to a crisis

Campus gets a B Managing Editor Brandon Perino bjp5053@psu.edu

art director Amy Green

aig5089@psu.edu

Business Manager Patrick Vaughan plv5009@psu.edu

NEWS Editor Donald Ware

dww5080@psu.edu

EDITORIAL Editor Julie Leeper

jal5624@psu.edu

Copy Editor Gary Miller

gwm5061@psu.edu

Page Designers Wendi Barnett

wkb5019@psu.edu

Josie Sziminski

jks5279@psu.edu

Dan Trzcianka

dvt5050@psu.edu

Corey Wright

cjw5372@psu.edu

Advisers Terrie Baumgardner tbm2@psu.edu

Cathy Benscoter cub15@psu.edu

Daniel Pinchot djp114@psu.edu

Michael Mollett’s alarming threats of violence, which referenced the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, struck an uneasy chord of fear at the typically serene Beaver campus. The unprecedented episode raises a critical question: How well did Penn State Beaver handle the threat? Overall, the grade the campus deserves is a B. Here’s the breakdown of The Roar’s assessment, starting with the actions that merit an A. From the start, safety was clearly the top priority. Once the threat was known late Thursday, buildings were locked and some people on campus were relocated to areas cleared as safe. PSUTXT, a free Penn State alert service, was immediately utilized to communicate with students, faculty and staff. Those who were signed up received a text message around 7:30 p.m. Thursday via their cell phones warning of a “vague threat.” Early Friday, another text alert was sent out informing subscribers that classes were cancelled. Also, the Penn State Beaver homepage was overlaid, at least for a short while, with an alert

stating the campus was closed and more information would follow. The campus made a smart decision by cancelling not only Friday’s classes, but also Saturday’s Penn State Day events and recruitment open house. Chancellor Gary Keefer urged students in Harmony Hall to go home over the weekend, if possible, to minimize the number of people remaining on campus. Throughout, all of the campus’s departments worked in sync to prioritize safety and resolve the threat. The media was also prudently informed of all developments, first by the campus and then by state police. But the campus earned a C grade in one crucial area: Direct communication with students. Students, naturally, are assessing the minimal information sharing as a shortcoming in the campus’s crisis communication. One common complaint is that many students found out about what was going on through the media rather than by direct communication from the campus. In many circumstances, this could have been a fatal flaw. However, it is important to point

out that little information was known. Up until Friday morning, everything the campus could share was communicated via PSUTXT. Once the state police took over the investigation, all information was ordered to go directly to them to facilitate a quick resolution to the threat. On the flip-side, minimal information may also be the reason panic did not ensue across campus. Details may not have been immediately released. But protecting the safety of everyone on campus and taking swift action trumped disseminating information that may have only complicated an already tense situation. So how did Penn State Beaver’s actions stack-up? A plus C equals a well-deserved B. Overall, kudos to the staff members who took calculatedyet-swift action to take control of the situation without spreading alarm. In the end, the crisis was averted. But a better plan of communication with the students is needed to ensure the oh-so-important element of peace of mind.

A tweet today can be a charge tomorrow Words are just words until they threaten a life. Former student Michael Mollet used Twitter to make violent threats. In his case, the tweets referenced a potential Virginia Tech-style shooting spree assumed to be targeted at Penn State Beaver. Posting on social media sites such as Twitter is unarguably popular today. Even if you don’t use Twitter, you may

use Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, Stumble Upon, Google+, Digg or a newly emerging outlet in the ever-evolving social media world. If so, here’s a hefty dose of reality: Mollett’s words landed him in jail facing multiple charges. Once a post is online, it’s essentially available to the world. Think about the interpretations of what you are posting and the potentially severe repercussions.

Sure, social media is a great mode of information sharing. But using it requires taking responsibility, too. Social media plus individual responsibility: It’s a package deal — period. Your words can be a powerful tool if you use them appropriately. However, use them sadistically against people, and you might want to get used to the idea of living in a cell.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Roar is published several times each semester. Letters to the Editor are encouraged and can be emailed to: roar-editor@ psu.edu by the 20th day of each month. Please include your full name, address, email address and cell phone number. Anonymous letters will not be published.

FREE ADS FOR CLUBS Because The Roar receives funding from the Student Activity Fee, free advertising space is offered to any university-recognized organization or club to promote upcoming events. The space is limited to one advertisement, one-eighth of a page in size, per organization or club per month. To reserve space, email The Roar business manager at: roarbusiness@psu. edu by the 20th of each month.


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Opinion

Features

Finding home away from home Interested

Campus takes initiative to spread domestic violence awareness

An international student reflects on his challenge to find himself I left my country, South Korea, at age 14, alone. I went to international schools in different parts of the world: Thailand, South Africa and Brazil. I am here in the U.S. now. When I left Korea, many of my relatives thought my parents were crazy for letting me go. Sending a 14-year-old son was not common in my culture. When I first asked my parents, they permitted my decision without hesitation. After 10 years of studying abroad, I asked my parents why they let me leave. They said they still do not know why. Frankly, studying abroad was a great time for me. Back in international schools, students were all from different countries, including some countries I had never heard of. I liked the small-sized classes, often just seven or eight students. It provided a great time for me to interact with all the international students and international teachers. In fact, when I was in Thailand, I rode the elephants to school a couple of times. I had to stop because it took so much time and it was disgusting to see the elephants urinating on the way to school. It looked like a waterfall. However, being an international student has some difficulties. Of course a language barrier is a huge

in my own words

Kyung Min “kim” kim problem. Also, some people have difficulties with foods and customs. These were not my problems. It was a great challenge to learn a new language, but I really liked to play with words in different languages. Teachers back in my schools spoke different styles of English: American English, British English, New Zealander English, Australian English, Indian English, Chinese English and so on. I spent much time imitating their accents. It was great fun. The problem I had was an identity-crisis. A few years after I left Korea, I kept asking myself, “Who am I? Where do I belong? Where am I going?” I appreciated all the experiences from these new cultures, but I did not want to lose my identity as a Korean. But, there was no one who could help me with that. In other words, I had to find my own way. After a long time of thinking, I thought Korean Literature would sustain a Korean mind in me or even strengthen it. I asked my parents to send me the Korean Clas-

sic series. Every month, I received them and read through them. In that way, I helped me to sustain my identity as Korean. But it didn’t solve the whole problem. I came to Penn State Beaver as a freshman in 2008. When I went back to Korea last year as a visiting student for a year, I felt strange. It was my native country, but I felt like it was a foreign country. Sometimes, I felt frightened with their words, their behaviors and their thoughts. Now I’m back in the states, back at Penn State Beaver, back to working on a degree in psychology. Maybe the greatest pleasure I have gotten here at Penn State was meeting Irene Wolf, a philosophy instructor, and David Todd, an art instructor. Wolf’s class was the first one I had when I arrived here. I vividly remember her charisma and insight. She was tough, but with a good heart. One time, she made cookies for me. It was heart-touching since it had been a long time since I had home-cooked foods. When it comes to Todd, I struggle with how to describe him. He does not only teach art. For me, I go to his class to give myself therapy. His class is therapeutic.

I do not mean he is easy. In fact, he is strict in some respects. He is humorous, but also very structured. He wants students to be skilled, but at the same time, he wants them to be inspiring in their art work. The last 10 years of studying in different countries have been quite demanding. My life fits in three suitcases, and I have always had to find somewhere to stay during vacations if I did not plan to visit my parents in Korea. Luckily, there were always some people who opened their homes for me. Spending holidays without family was sometimes very lonely, but Wolf, Todd and others like them are my new family here in the states. Deep in myself, I have always wondered that if the ability of human beings is limitless, then how far can I go? Keeping that question, I am still continuing my journey. Every time I have gone to a new country, I realized how little I knew, how little I learned and what a small cave I lived in. All together, I am learning what humbleness is. Kyung Min Kim is a columnist for The Roar. He can be reached at kik5129@psu.edu.

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N.L. Paoletti Staff Writer

nlp5099@psu.edu

If you looked up while walking through the Brodhead Bistro during the month of October, you would have noticed white umbrellas decorated with hand prints, pictures, words such as “Help stop sexual violence,” “Join the fight,” and other messages against violence. The umbrellas, part of a monthlong event called Voices Against Violence, are designed to draw attention to the plight of violence victims. The idea for the umbrella project came from Carol Shafer, associate professor of theater arts. “I saw photographs of decorated umbrellas from other college campuses on the RAINN web site.” RAINN.org, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the country. One umbrella, not decorated

.

THE ROAR / N.L. Paoletti

Students and faculty both participated in decorating umbrellas for the RAINN event on campus. with words or bright colors, was battered, ripped to shreds, and broken, representing victims of violence. Dante Massey, a sophomore who decorated one of the umbrellas, said the umbrella project took on personal meaning to him. “I

got involved with RAINN because the meaning of it hit home for me,” Massey said. “Growing up, my mother was abused by many guys and there were some instances where I intervened. I was around 10 when I started doing that.” Massey said his best friend’s

mother and sister were both extreme examples of domestic violence, and he dedicated his umbrella to them as well. “They were both murdered by the mother’s boyfriend. So I’m doing this as a tribute to my late mother and my best friend’s

mother and sister,” Massey said. “I’ve always been against any sort of man-on-man violence, so when this opportunity presented itself I could not help but jump on board.” Joann Chirico, senior instructor in sociology, encouraged her students to get involved in Voices Against Violence. “The umbrella project was to get students working together and talking about issues related to domestic violence and relationships,” she said. Voices Against Violence also included a panel of speakers during common hour Oct. 26 and 28 to speak out against domestic violence. The speakers included Lavar McBride, instructor in administration of justice; Ann Colella-Murray, education and training coordinator with the Women’s Center of Beaver County; Alison Martin, legal advocate with the Crisis Center North; and Mark Pudlowski, counselor with the Domestic Abuse Counseling Center in Pittsburgh.


Page 12

Penn State Beaver Roar

November 2011

November 2011

Penn State Beaver Roar

Page 13

Features

Features

Campus plans mini THON

Mass held by campus religious group

Lydia Moon Staff Writer

ljm5207@psu.edu

Penn State Beaver’s Thon committee will be hosting a mini-Thon dance marathon on Friday, Nov. 11 in the Student Union Building Lodge. The dance marathon will begin at 5 p.m. and last 12 hours. All proceeds of mini-Thon will go to the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, which benefits children with cancer. “If you want to experience what Thon weekend would be like, you should come to mini-Thon,” said sophomore Collin Carletti, a member of the Thon activity committee. Thon, a 46-hour dance marathon, is held every year in February at University Park. It begins on a Friday and ends on Sunday. Salewa Akintilo, chair of the Thon activity committee, said mini-Thon will be just like the real

If you want to experience what Thon weekend would be like, you should come to mini-Thon”

Senior Staff Writer

thh112@psu.edu

Collin Carletti Sophomore

thing. “We’ll have lots of stuff to do to keep people entertained. We’ll have games, music, and dancing, just like Thon weekend,” Akintilo said. “There’ll be special theme hours, like 80s hour and rave hour. I’m really excited.” Akintilo represented the Beaver campus last year as a dancer at Thon weekend. “You see these kids and their families who are benefiting from the money we’re raising. It just makes everything we do seem so rewarding,” Akintilo said.

THE ROAR/Amy Green

In February 2011, the world’s largest student run philanthropy, THON, raised over nine million dollars for kids.

‘The Thing’ has become only a thing ‘The Thing’

Allison Reed Roar Movie Critic

arr5308@psu.edu

Exactly how do you kill a 100,000 year-old man-eating alien? Well, if you don’t have a flamethrower, you’re simply out of luck. “The Thing” offers fans a prequel to John Carpenter’s 1982 film of the same title. With a bunch of scientists trapped in remote Antarctica with a vicious alien whose only weakness is fire, it’s not hard to tell this scenario will end badly. While “The Thing” may provide horror fiends with blood and guts, it fails to deliver the scary story we longed to see. Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a young paleontologist, is flown to Antarctica to examine a strange specimen discovered in the ice. Unfortunately to base before realizing it’s actually a shape-shifting, multi-mouthed alien with

n 2 out of 5 stars n Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen n Director: Matthijs van Heijningen n Rated: R

crazy claw tentacles. Plus, it’s capable of perfectly replicating a human host, meaning it could be disguised as anyone. All hell breaks loose as the team gets picked off one by one, leaving Kate the only sensible one left. In contrasting to Carpenter’s 1982 The Thing where setting played a minor role and the soundtrack propelled the movie forward, Director Matthijs van Heijningen chose to establish the surroundings and incorporate a near non-existent score in his adaptation. Long establishing shots depict

Tim Hardie

the vast blankness of Antarctica building up the feeling of isolation and sending shivers down your back from the very beginning. The lack of music makes way for spine-chilling sound effects to emphasize the special effects of the alien. Although the alien itself, visually fails to grasp the scariness of the horror genre, the sheer volume of the movie’s sound effects will do enough to make you jump. However, what the film has in special effects, it lacks in character development. If it wasn’t for Joel Edgerton’s performance alongside Ulrich Thomsen playing the cold-blooded Dr. Halvorson, the movie would lack absolutely any character development. Besides being pretty gross, the horror simply isn’t there. By tightly framing the characters, viewers are able to see the

It was a still Sunday evening at Penn State Beaver. Nobody was walking around outside, and the Bistro had been closed for an hour. Downstairs in the mostly closed Student Union Building; though, nearly a dozen people met for a small Catholic Mass. Students, faculty and the priest chatted and laughed together before beginning their time of worship.The whole meeting was appropriately reverent, but also invitingly casual and personal. “The priest was funny,” said sophomore Salewa Akintilo. “I love going to church because I love the environment, but most of my priests at home are boring.” “Everyone was welcoming,” added sophomore Alena Shaffer.

THE ROAR/Dan Pinchot

Students came together for Mass on Sunday, October 26. Students from all backgrounds are welcome to come participate in this casual gathering.

Akintilo and Shaffer were two of only a handful of students in attendance. “I expected more to go,” said Shaffer. In the midst of this slow response, campus Catholic Minister Gary Slifkey is working to cre-

ate a ministry that meets students where they are. “My goal is to connect to people, whatever that looks like,” he said. “The ministry is here to serve, wherever that is.” One place Slifkey is serving is

at this Mass he orchestrates once a month in the Student Union Building. In addition, he leads an intimate Bible study in his office every Tuesday from 12:15 until 1 p.m. At these Bible studies, Slifkey avoids lecturing, instead focusing on questions leading to discussion and personal reflection. “I don’t have an agenda,” he said. “I try to figure out how I can help you grow in your faith.” For students who are in clubs during the week and at home on the weekends, Slifkey holds three bigger events per semester. This past September, for one of these events, he took 10 students on a trip to Washington, D.C. This trip, which Slifkey compared to a college road trip, included an educational tour: mass at the National Shrine and six hours of

free time to simply hang out in the nation’s capital. Another event consisted of students meeting up to play video games. “We’re trying to find creative ways to support and help the students,” Slifkey said. Students who cannot make it to an event but still want to talk to someone are encouraged to stop by and talk to Slifkey at any time in his office in the Student Union Building. He is on campus on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, whenever his office door is open. Instead of creating just another club, Slifkey’s desire is to make an inclusive environment as inviting and uplifting as a good family gathering. “You can lose track of that with lots of religious words,” he said. Slifkey’s vision has not faded, even with the slow interest.

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Page 14

Penn State Beaver Roar

November 2011

November 2011

Penn State Beaver Roar

Page 15

Sports

Sports

Beavs return for third season

Men’s soccer wraps up season with a record of 2-16

Gary Miller

Jennifer Fannin

Senior Staff Writer gwm5061@psu.edu

Fall means hockey and the puck has dropped for the Penn State Beaver Fightin’ Beavs inline hockey team. The Fightin’ Beavs play in the Western Pennsylvania College Roller Hockey League. The games are played at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center on Neville Island. The team has a 0-2 record, but players believe the record does not reflect of the amount of talent the team possesses. The first loss was to the Community College of Allegheny County. The second loss to Carnegie Mellon University was a tough fought game until the very end when Carnegie Mellon scored the winning goal with three seconds remaining. The Fightin’ Beavs face stiff competition from The University

The ROAR/Dan Trzcianka

Junior Jake Szemanski moves into position as a defenseman at the opening game of the season.

of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University and Robert Morris. Next up is a 9:30 p.m. game Nov. 3 against Grove City College, followed by a

matchup against Geneva College at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 10. “We lost a lot of top players from last year,” said junior center-

man Dan Vish. Josh Carey, Taylor Pauls, Jake Szemanski, Cliff Bryant, J.T. Vorbach and Dan Vish are the six

returning players from the previous season. There is also a lot of new and freshman talent. Vish, Bryant and Carey all said they believe the freshmen have a lot of potential and, once the team finds cohesion and consistency, its record will improve. “Freshmen Shane Reger and Brady Sipe should be the two top scorers this season,” said sophomore forward Bryant. Vish and Carey said they believe the current team is overall better than last year’s team. “Last year we would feed a few top players the puck. This year we are more team-oriented,” Vish said. The team is also introducing its flashy new uniforms this season and urges fans to come and show support. Fans and students should be on the lookout for T-shirt sales and for the alumni game — both expected to be big hits.

Volleyball team loses in first-round playoffs Corey Wright Staff Writer

cjw5372@psu.edu

The Penn State Beaver women’s volleyball team ended its season Oct. 18 with a first-round playoff loss to Penn State Wilkes-Barre. The Lady Lions lost the first set 25-15. Freshmen Jenn Fannin and Rachel Grubbs tried to carry the team through, but it wasn’t enough. Beaver also dropped the second set 25-19. The Lady Lions came out strong in the third, with hope of forcing the game into a fourth set, but ended up losing to Wilkes-Barre 25-21. For the night, Fannin led the team with nine kills and seven digs. Grubbs had five kills and added 10 assists with sophomore Gina Richman adding two of her own. Sophomore Amanda Palombo added three digs.

The Lady Lions, 11-13 overall and 10-7 in the Penn State University Athletic Conference, had an up-and-down season this year and had trouble staying consistent, with great games one day and struggles on the floor the next. Beaver came into the season knowing it had a young team with eight freshman and only five returning players. With such a young squad, many freshman found themselves in key positions on the floor, making this year a bit of a learning experience for the team. However, the new players have worked themselves into the style of play that Coach Dan Smith wants for his team. The main weakness the team had was the defense and service reception. Smith said he was pleased with the tremendous improvement

made in these areas as the season progressed. Now, as Smith made clear, the team will continue to work on these areas as well as the attack part of its game throughout the off season. Another off-season point on Smith’s to-do list is to make his rounds to high schools to try to recruit players he believes will make the team better and help bring them more victories. Fannin is holding her head high. “Overall I think our team did a good job this season,” Fannin said. “We lost our playoff game but we still had an above .500 record in the PSUAC. “We improved continuously throughout the season and kept getting better,” Fannin added. “I saw the team improving and myself improve as well, making a huge difference as a whole.”

Staff Writer

jmf471@psu.edu

Despite early success, the Penn State Beaver men’s soccer team finished the season with only two wins ­— which means coaches and players now need to evaluate what went wrong and find solutions for next season. The Penn State Beaver men’s soccer team came off strong with two wins towards the beginning of the season. However their high hopes for the season deminished and the team couldn’t find another win after that. The team ended its season Oct. 15 with an overall record of 2-16. In its final home game, the team lost to Penn State WorthingtonScranton 3-1. Beaver was down by two at half time, but in the second half sophomore Desmond Amberetu scored Beaver’s only goal. Freshman DJ Kemerer led the team with eight shots. Amberetu and sophomore Jason Schachter had four shots each. Amberetu’s shot was assisted by senior Matt Doerr. “We started the season with high expectations and it was sad to see that they weren’t met,” sophomore

Courtesy of Penn State Beaver Athletics

Brad Prinkley performs a goal kick next to Cody Killmeyer on Saturday, October 15th, 2011.

Brad Prinkley said. Junior Peter Williams said more preseason practice may have improved the teamwork and brought the playing ability to a higher level, resulting in more

wins. “If we would have had a longer off-season, that would have better prepared our team in the regular season.” Coach Dan Grant thought that the team “could have, should have

and would have done better. We didn’t really lose any games. We just ran out of time.” Another reason Grant thinks the season was not more successful is of the conflict between academics and

athletics. “These students struggled with the concept that it was permissible to miss class for games and that they would be allowed to make up the work,” Grant said.

Lady Lions remain positive despite consecutive losing seasons Jennifer Fannin Staff Writer

jmf471@psu.edu

Courtesy of Penn State Beaver Athletics

Volleyball players huddle to strategize against Wilkes-Barre.

The Penn State Beaver women’s soccer team had another trying season and could not get a win this year. It’s the second consecutive year the team finished winless. The Lady Lions ended the season Oct. 19 with an overall record of 0-16, scoring six points the entire season. The team played D’Youville College in its final home game. The team scored in the first 27 seconds of the game but then lost 1-16.

The game ended with sophomore Kristen Sutton having 29 saves, sophomore Brittany Martin having two shots and one assist and junior Leah Martin having one shot and one goal. “It is always tough when you play on a field that is not on campus,” said Coach Dan Grant. Since Beaver does not have a soccer field on campus, players have to travel about 20 minutes to Green Valley Park in New Sewickley Township. This poses another problem of not having fans the added able to go to games as easily as if the team

played at Beaver, Grant said. Sophomore Nadia McGowan said the team needs to improve. “We need to work better as a team and that would better improve our game.” Freshman Mary Carew said despite the shutout this season, she’s looking forward to next year. “I had a fun time playing soccer with the girls this year, and hope to have the same experience next year.” Grant agreed. “Everyone on the team was excellent. You couldn’t ask for a group of athletes with better attitudes.”

Courtesy of Penn State Beaver Athletics

The Lady Lions battle for the ball against D’Youville College.


Page 16

Penn State Beaver Roar

November 2011

Sports

Coach Moore has changes Joe Omogrosso Senior Staff Writer

jno5035@psu.edu

The new Lady Lions basketball Coach Tim Moore is a familiar face and will be conducting the team in a similar style and manner as in previous years. Chris Rizzo, director of student affairs, and Athletic Director Andy Kirschner appointed Moore as interim coach to replace Bert DeSalvo who resigned after four years of leading the team. Moore said his coaching philosophy entails “up-tempo, full court defense” and an offense that “likes to push the ball.” “Even when DeSalvo was coach, “the defensive ideas came from him (Moore),” junior co-captain guard Brittany Tomaselli said. Tomaselli said that Moore has good relationships with the players and is fond of physical play on the basketball court. While his approach may be similar to DeSalvo’s, that doesn’t always mean the same. “Our coaching style is different,” Moore said. Junior co-captain guard/forward Brooke Mulneix agreed. “He runs the offense differently,” she said, adding that he employs a faster pace with more ball screens and he will press and run zone. The Lady Lions didn’t run zone that much last year, Mulneix said, “but we’re smaller this year so we have to.” Technically, the offense is a “high-ball screen offense,” Moore said. “And we want to get to the foul line 20 plus times a game.” What else makes Moore different? “I’m a little more outspoken,” he said. When Moore refers to himself as outspoken, he means “loud and encouraging.” Moore prides himself in being a “verbal leader” and he said that “girls take on the personality of the coach.” “He won’t scream in your face,” Mulneix said. “But he’ll let you know how to play.”

The Roar/Amy Green

Head coach Tim Moore explains the new offence to the current team captian, junior Brittany Tomaselli, during the November 19 practice.

I know the game well enough to keep the program at its high profile.”

The Roar/Amy Green

Tim Moore has spent the last eight years of his career coaching basketball. His team goal is bringing home the conference chamiponship.

Moore,33, stands athletic in stature. He spent the last eight years of his career coaching basketball. So why did Kirschner appoint Moore as the coach?

“He has the entire package,” Kirschner said. “He’s a qualified coach (and) he knows the girls and the program, so it was a smooth transition.”

Tim Moore Women’s basketball coach

“Coach DeSalvo did a great job building the program from the ground up,” Kirschner said. “And I’m certain Coach Moore will do a tremendous job not only sustaining the program, but continuing to build on past successes.” “I’ve been the assistant for three years,” Moore said. “And I know the game well enough to keep the program at its high profile.” Moore is a former standout athlete from Freedom Area High School and was a team captain for the Penn State Beaver men’s basketball team under former Coach Ken Fusina from 1996 to 1998. Moore’s coaching career began in 2002 at Freedom where he was the assistant coach for the boys’

varsity team. A year later, he became the assistant coach for the varsity girls’ basketball team at Monaca High School. In his three years as an assistant, the team made three WPIAL playoff appearances, one PIAA state playoff and a section title in 2006. Later, he became head coach for the Monaca girls, leading the team to two consecutive WPIAL appearances with an overall record of 18-27 and a section record of 15-9. “I consider myself very knowledgeable at the defensive end of the floor,” Moore said. “You can’t win games without playing successful defense.” Moore said that his biggest competition is Penn State Brandywine and Greater Allegheny. Brandywine beat Beaver in the conference title game last year and Moore says that it’s still fresh on their minds. The Lady Lions will kick off the season in the Chatham Tip-Off Tournament Nov. 18 at Carlow University.

November 2011 Roar  

The November 2011 Edition of Penn State Beaver's student newspaper, The Roar.