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PO ST

Spring 2011

Life Af te r Cl ass

Gaming

py o r h t n Phila

Travel

Pongin’

Music

Knit!


Meet the production staff Sara Krimm

Kayla Paine

“Every ordinary person in the world has a story that makes them extraordinary. I want to know yours.”

“Free speech, what a wonderful thing! There’s nothing like the hunt for a story that brings things buried deep to the surface.”

Nashville, Tenn. - News/Editorial

Samuel G. Smith

Siloam Springs, Ark. - News/Editorial

Kelsey Cherry

West Memphis, Ark. - Photojournalism

Manila, Ark. - Photojournalism

“I’m passionate about conveying useful information to others, whether through design, photography or the written word.”

“Music, photography and fashion are my passions! I wish to travel the whole world telling one person’s story at a time.”

Tamitha Wynn

Krystin Phillips

“I am holding tight to my seat. A friend to humanity.”

“While a single snapshot may tell a thousand-word story, the trick is to get that story right.” - Jared Keller, The Atlantic

San Diego, Ca. - Photojournalism

Jonesboro, Ark. - Photojournalism

Welcome to P O S T This magazine is the class project of the Spring 2011 News Design class in the Department of Journalism at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark. It was our goal to capture the life and culture of the modern college student by highlighting the things that define our generation: unique hobbies, games, events, activities and pastimes. As journalists we work to share the here and now as it happens. We hope this magazine has captured the essence of today’s college life after class. On the cover: Grant Cagle, a junior biology major from Bernie, Mo. Photograph and design by Kayla Paine.


Table of

Contents 3 Knit! Not Your Grandma’s Knitting Needles 5 Philanthropy A Civic Generation 7 Music What’s Your Jam? 9 Pongin’ Sport of the American College Student 11 Gaming The Game13 Travel A Time To Travel


not your grandmother’s crafts story and photos by Samuel G. Smith

Just as the vinyl record is coming back, so is foregoing the mass-produced in favor of doing it on your own.

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nitting makes “Our grandparents’ most of us generation is probably the think of first generations to stop grandmothers making learning how to knit when cheesy sweaters. they’re kids,” Biancamano Think again. Crafts said. “I think it’s cool for such as knitting and younger people to learn crochet are making because it’s a really good a comeback with way to be connected to the today’s college-age past.” generation. Just ask Strother said she has Maria Biancamano, a crochet supplies her junior political science grandmother had. major at Arkansas State “I think it’s cool that University. She started I have her old crochet knitting three years ago. STITCH BY STITCH: Angelyn Imler, a graduate student studying English at Arkansas State Univer- hooks,” she said. “I have a Since then, she’s made sity, crochets at an “old lady night.” lot of her old stuff.” scarves, socks, homemade blankets called afghans and even Just as the vinyl record is coming back, so is foregoing the stuffed animals. mass-produced in favor of doing it on your own. For college “It’s nice to have something you do during the day that you students and other young people, crafting is just one of many hold in your hands. It’s a solid representation,” she said. “A lot do-it-yourself throwback activities such as canning and fromof work that contemporary Americans do is not solid, physical scratch cooking that are catching on again. work.” “I think there’s a huge movement toward doing things from Amber Strother, a graduate student studying English at scratch,” Strother said. “There’s this Bohemian movement ASU, started crocheting two years ago. toward doing things the way they used to be done. It’s hip to “I was unemployed and bored. It was a cheap, easy thing to sell your own clothes now. It’s hip to make your own stuff.” get into,” she said. “I find it very relaxing.” For these neocrafters, the Internet has played a big role in Last year she started holding “old lady nights” — small the crafts’ resurgence. Hobbyists can find patterns, shop for get-togethers where fellow knitters, crocheters and other yarn and other supplies and connect with like-minded people crafters are invited to socialize, eat, drink and share patterns online. Sites like Ravelry.com allow users to interact with and projects. fellow crafters, share patterns and even organize supplies.

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“The Internet is a huge tool,” Biancamano said. “I know a lot of knitters RAVELRY.COM through their patterns and their blogs and their Facebook of the craft world. Search for patterns, ask for help in forums and share updates on Ravelry.” projects with friends, local or global. It’s also changed how ETSY.COM people learn the crafts. Buy and sell hand-crafted items and patterns. Biancamano said she LIONBRAND.COM learned to knit watching Tons of free patterns for all levels of experience. instructional videos on YOUTUBE.COM YouTube. Strother had a Everyone’s favorite video website also happens to be a great place for the beginning similar experience. crafter. Watch complex stitches and processes in natural motion — and for free. “When I got into some of the more complicated VOGUEKNITTING.COM stitches I would just The quarterly magazine for the fashion knitter. YouTube a video and watch someone do it,” she said. “It would make it easier for me to understand.” And with modern crafters come modern crafts — (mostly) gone are the lacy doilies and unfashionable sweaters. Young people are making everything from whimsical crocheted hamburgers just for fun to high-fashion clothing for actual wear. Vogue Knitting, a quarterly published magazine for the fashion knitter, was founded in 1982. Since then it’s been named one of the top 50 magazines in the country by the Chicago Tribune and can be found in magazine stands worldwide. “I think it’s evolving,” Strother said. “I think the boring things that people think about when they think about crochet are changing to fit the fashion.” And changed it has. Indie yarn shops spring up across the country to cater to younger customers as crafters congregate in neighborhoods and coffee shops. Crafters continue to push the limits of their craft. Take the phenomenon of yarn bombing for example. In a yarn bomb, groups of knitters and crocheters get together and “bomb” an urban landscape with handmade graffiti, covering lamp posts, signs and other structures with brightly colored fabrics. It’s just one of many fingerprints modern crafters have left on the age-old traditions they enjoy. I LIKE YOUR SOCKS: Maria Biancamano, a political science student at ASU, Modern-day crafting has grown into a unique culture of its knitted the socks she’s wearing using four straight knitting needles in a process called in-the-round knitting. own. And where it’s going ain’t up to your grandma.

Web Resources

It’s nice to have something you do during the day that you hold in your hands. It’s a solid representation. A lot of work that contemporary Americans do is not solid, physical work. - Maria Biancamano

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A CIVIC ONE I “ am ecstatic to see (the) great initiative our generation has taken on this cause, as well as others that have come up throughout the years.

Story and photos by Tamitha Wynn

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he spirit of volunteering seems to be flowing in the veins of college students and continually rising. Some suggest a civic generation has manifested in our nation. As you look around campus, students seem eager to be part of the nation’s recovery and renewal by designating a portion of their lives to volunteer work at home and abroad. Arkansas State University provides ample opportunities for students to volunteer through campus organizations such as Helping Hands Food Pantry, Project Lovemore and Keep a Child Alive, dedicated to provide treatment, care and support services to children affected by HIV/AIDS. Project Lovemore is an organization that president Kristen Dorsey started her freshman year in spring 2009. She and a good friend, Megan Corbet, began sponsoring a boy from Zimbawbwe through World Vision. His name is Lovemore. Dorsey said at the beginning of the sponsorship, it was a constant reminder to love more in everything. “We are loved by God, and in return he calls us to love. After sponsoring Lovemore for a few months, I started wondering how we could make a bigger impact,” Dorsey said. “If me and Megan could help a boy’s life for just $35 a month,

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what could a group of people do?” The women set out to raise $25,000 to get a health-care center in Rwanda. That’s when project Lovemore took off. The women are focusing on putting a health-care center in Rwanda. So far they have raised $16,900 by selling T-shirts and fundraiser nights at Tropical Smoothie, garage sales, benefit shows, races and more. “We try to make it a personal goal in our lives to love more in everything we do. The vision has changed slightly since the beginning,” Dorsey said. “We are realizing more and more how people’s views on Christianity is not shown by people loving, but possibly even judgment. We desire to tear down this view by living lives of love and trying to live as Christ did.” Right now they have about 10 students committed to Project Lovemore, but about 30 who they can call for any kind of help. “The growth in college volunteering has primarily been generated by youth who attended high school or were first year college students during the terrorist attacks of 9/11,” according to a nationalservice.gov press release. Colleges and universities provide students with opportunities to render valuable services to communities across the country and overseas.


Many charities spring out of student organizations at ASU. The Japanese student organization (JSO) has raised $3,817 for earthquake victims in Japan, simply by setting up areas in the library and Student Union for students to donate. All the money was collected over the course of four days. During a 10-minute period at least five students took out their wallets and added to the collection jars that sat next to the devastating visuals of Japan. President of JSO, Tonae Mitsuhashi of Yokkaichi-shi Mie, Japan, said she was overwhelmed by the flood of student donations and support. “I am so happy to see how many people really care about Japan. We had a student drop a $100 dollar bill in the jar. It is so important for students to volunteer,” the sophomore theatre major said. The organization held a meeting in the Student Union on March 17 to encourage Japanese students at ASU to volunteer. The executive summary by the Corporation for National and Community Service also reads that 39.2 percent of black college student volunteers engage in mentoring activities, compared to 22.3 percent of white college student volunteers. On March 1, the Student Activities Board and the Leadership Center held the annual Volunteer Fair. Local nonprofits attended the fair to help raise awareness for various causes and to recruit student volunteers. Some of the non-profits present included Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, Arkansas Outreach/Helpline, City Youth Ministries and Hispanic Community Services. On April 9, the Student Activities Board hosted the annual Day of Service. Several of the above mentioned nonprofits have came to work on a project for the day at ASU. The purpose of the office of volunteer opportunities is to provide students and organizations within the ASU community a place to volunteer, learn and make a difference. In 2009, the Obamas set out to push the issue of civic service across the nation. Since then, the message to all young people is to restore America’s standing. “We’ll reach out to other nations to engage their young people in similar programs, so that we work side by side to take on the common challenges that confront all humanity,”

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Obama said. The fact is, more students are getting involved in their communities and abroad. Kristen Richmond of Etowah, Ark. and the Social Work Organization Relay for Life team captain, said this generation makes it a part of their daily lives to be a part of this growing movement of volunteering. The Social Work Organization Relay Team is working hard to raise funds before Relay for Life on April 8 - 9. It is one of 13 college teams at ASU to participate in the annual event. “I applaud everyone who is working so vigorously at this time for the Relay for Life,” Richmond said. “I am ecstatic to see (the) great initiative our generation has taken on this cause, as well as others that have come up throughout the years.”

Local organizations that take part in Arkansas State University’s Volunteer Fair • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Abilities Unlimited Girls Scouts Hispanic Community Services Community Fellowship Church Craighead Nursing Center Center on Aging Community Emergency Services Center Women’s Crisis Center Food Bank of NEA United Way of NEA Special Olympics Arkansas Outreach/Helpline Jonesboro Human Development Center Paces, Inc. Better Life Counseling Boy Scouts YMCA Habitat for Humanity The Jonesboro Jaycees The Learning Center City Youth Ministries Humane Society Women’s Discovery Center Preganancy Resource Center

Skillcare Nursing Center

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MUSIC

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Your Jam?

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by Kelsey Cherry

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WHAT’S

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At a music festival we see each other at our cores, we’re dirty, un-showered, and wearing yesterday’s dirt... - Anastasia Griffin

corching hot temperatures, no showers, nature and loud music is what so many college students long for each summer. Many college students experience sweating in a crowd of fans that they have nothing in common with other than a passion for music, screaming along to their favorite band or artist for a weekend. Everything about college culture comes together in music festivals. Not only does it focus on music but also on everything that is important to young people. The arts, going green, non-profit work, fashion and anything else young people can do to make a difference or let their voice be heard. “What I’m most excited about is spending time with my friends and dancing and laughing and forgetting about the pressures of the outside world, or really reality,” said junior philosophy major Anastasia Griffin, a native of Memphis, Tenn. “It’s a chance for us all to escape and do things that make us happiest and we get to share that experience together.” The first American music festival was Woodstock, held in White Lake, New York in 1969. This festival started the idea of bringing all genres of music together to make “three days of peace and music.” To this day there are festivals all over the country that attract many different groups of people and musicians. “At a music festival we see each other at our cores,” Griffin said. “We’re dirty, un-showered, and wearing yesterday’s dirt, but we also see each other letting go of all those things that don’t matter and just having a good time.” When students are thinking about which music festival to attend, their first thought after they see how wonderful the line-up of artists are is the price of the fest and how far away it is. Music festivals can be free or be as costly as $400 for a mere three days. Festival attendees also have to include the cost of food, sometimes a rental car or a plane ticket and merchandise at the show. Jacob Walls, a sophomore education major of Jonesboro, Ark., attends the Austin City Limits Festival every year. He describes the event as “Havin’ the time of your life… for three days... in Austin’s backyard.” Even though this festival is $200, he said it was the best money he ever spent. Walls recommends ACL to college students because of the wide variety of music and the quality of the bands. Last year’s line-up included The Strokes, The Eagles and Dave Matthews Band. If students enjoy a car ride, they could take an eight-hour trip from Jonesboro to Chicago’s Lollapalooza. It integrates many different types of music and styles along with arts and entertainment. Even though Lollapalooza can be a trek, for some it’s still an ideal and considerably affordable festival with tickets starting at $215. It’s a way to end summer on an exciting note. “The combination of awe-inspiring music and art along with Chicago’s historic atmosphere serves as an open canvas to make long-lasting memories with your best friends,” said Julian Sanchez, an ASU student from Jonesboro, Ark. While ACL and Lollapalooza are quite the distance from Jonesboro, Arkansan music lovers must remember many festivals closer to home often have a similar line-up. The King Biscuit Blues and Heritage Festival is held during the second weekend of October. It is located in Helena, Ark. and completely free. It is a large street festival with a BBQ contest, multiple stages and vendors from all over the world. Last year B.B. King performed at the festival.


Another nearby music fest occurs on May 27-29. Riverfest takes place in Little Rock, Ark. It is $15 in advance and about $30 at the door the day the fest starts. “Riverfest is a great time to see what’s going on with the local music scene, run into people you haven’t seen in a while and rock out to some great well-known bands,” said Seth Speer, senior computer information technology major of North Little Rock, Ark. And don’t forget about all of the South’s favorites, including Beale Street Music Festival also known as Memphis in May. This music fest is well-known at ASU because it is an hour away. It begins April 29 and ends May 1. The ticket price is $77 for a weekend pass and then the fun begins. Remember, Memphis is where rock and blues all began! This May, the headliners at the festival are John Mellencamp, The Flaming Lips, Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers, Ludacris, Cee Lo Green, Buckcherry and many others. Celebrating its 10th birthday this summer, perhaps one of the biggest festivals in the country is Bonnaroo, located on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn. This fest is $250 and runs from June 9 to June 12. The New York Times said it has “revolutionized the modern rock festival.” “Bonnaroo is a gigantically unique combo of worlds; the outdoorsy, muddy camping experience meets the fairground-style concert phenomenon,” said Evan Barber, sophomore English major from Jonesboro. “It’s the meshing of these two worlds that makes Bonnaroo unforgettable.” Bonnaroo has a diverse selection of music that originated with a focus on jam bands but has recently branched into styles from indie rock, jazz, country, bluegrass, folk, hip hop and alternative. Not only does Bonnaroo offer an array of different music, but it also includes a 100-acre entertainment village that has a comedy club, a beer festival, on-site cinemas, silent disco and theater performers. As the summer and fall months approach, students who have been saving money and planning trips for what might seem like ages will soon be reaping the harvest of what they’ve been sowing for months — a few fun-filled days of foot stomping, sun burning, dirt-covered hell of a good time.

Festivals that may interest you New Orleans Jazzfest New Orleans, LA April 29th - May 8th Coachella Indio, CA April 15th - 17th Pitchfork Chicago, IL July 15th - 16th CMA Nashville, Tenn. June 9th - 12th R&B of America Birmingham, AL June 6th Hang Out Gulf Shores, AL May 20th - 22nd Essence New Orleans, LA July 1st - 3rd Warped Tour St Louis, MO August 3rd

Photo Credit: Camden Rains Coachella Music Festival locted in Indio, CA on April 15th-17th

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Photo Credit: Camden Rains Bamboozle Music Festival East Rutherford, NJ April 29th-May1st

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BEER PONG OFFICIAL SPORT OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENT by Sara Krimm

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hether Greek, geek, athlete, artist or anything in between, beer pong has become a favorite pastime for college students across America. The game is played with six or 10 cups set up in a pyramid formation, much like bowling pins. Most commonly played in teams of two, the object is to eliminate cups by tossing a pingpong ball into them. When a cup is eliminated, a member of that team must drink the contents of the cup before the game can go on to the next turn. The cycle continues until all cups are gone, and the losers must also drink the contents of the remaining cups on the winners’ side of the table. While some sources say the game originated in Britain, it’s become an American tradition among college students and young adults. ASU students who have studied abroad say it is known worldwide as an

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American game. “When I studied abroad in Europe all of the students expected me to be great at beer pong just because I was American,” a former Arkansas State University student recalled. “I guess I let them down when I was terrible at it.” According to beer-universe.com, the most likely American originators, or at least popularizers of the game, were the brothers of Theta Delta Chi fraternity at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn., in 1983 before most of today’s avid beer pong-ers were even born. Beer-universe.com suggests that the brothers were “surprisingly foreign policy-wary” and the original name Beirut came from the terrorist suicide bombing of an American military outpost in Beirut that resulted in 241 Marines being killed. Beer-universe quotes the 1985 Theta Delta Chi

Everyone works their way through the bracket, carving their path to victory. -Patrick Thomas


Basic Rules of the Game

Cup Formation: 1. 10 cups per team 2. Starting formation is a “tight triangle” formation (rims touching), pointing towards the opposing side. 3. The 10-cup triangle must be centered on the table and the back row of cups must be within 1 in. of the edge of the table. 4. Cups must not be tilted or leaned against the surrounding cups. Shooting: 1. The team with first possession will get one shot. Each team will get two shots for each turn thereafter, one shot per team member, subject to any other rules below. 2. The ball in play may be grabbed, however ONLY after it has already made contact with a cup, but not while the ball is in the cup. 3. In the event of player interference prior to the ball making contact with a cup, a one-cup penalty will be imposed for the interference. 4. Bounce Shots: Players ARE allowed to let their shots bounce off of the table before making it to the cup. Bounce shots may not be interfered with until they have made contact with a cup. It should be noted that bounce-shots do NOT count for two cups. -For complete Rulebook visit bpong.com-

president Duane Kotsen saying the naming of the game was based on “an analogy between the ping pong balls flying across the table and landing on the opponents side as an idea that the U.S. should bomb Beirut as a result of the casualties in that area.” Perhaps it’s not so strange that beer pong-ers today sometimes sing the national anthem before playing the sport — it is, in fact, a tribute to fallen soldiers. Sport? Yes, sport. The game that’s traditionally been played in college dorm rooms, fraternity house basements and the occasional pub has become a nationally recognized sporting event. Visit the self-proclaimed “center of the beer pong universe,” bpong.com, and see that some players of the game take it so seriously that they travel to Las Vegas every year to enter the World Series of Beer Pong, where the grand prize is $50,000. Bpong.com also has the official rules, beer pong blogs and chat forums and a store where official World Series of Beer Pong tables, cups, balls and other merchandise can be purchased. Though played in other parts of the world and believed to have originated in Britain, beer pong is widely known even in other parts of the world as an American beer-drinking tradition among young people. Beer pong is not just popular among the beer guzzling, hard partying population of college students. Non-alcoholic versions of the game are also played. A group of ASU students has made a tradition of having a chocolate milk pong tournament at their church retreat every year. Patrick Thomas from Malvern, Ark. said even

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though beer pong has gotten a bad reputation over the years among non-partyers, it isn’t all that bad. The chocolate milk pong tournament is a much-anticipated event every year for him. “We are able to enjoy all the competition of pong and we get to remember who won,” he said. “Everyone works their way through the bracket, carving their path to victory while leaving chocolatey destruction in their wake.” Thomas said the intensity of the tournament over the last few years has made preparation a key element — and not to be taken lightly to those who are fierce competitors. “You have to form a strategy based around your team’s strengths. For example, I throw line drives at the cups to keep people from blowing the ball out when it goes in — 187 mph laser beams,” he said. Whether it’s preparation for the annual chocolate milk pong tournament at your church retreat or for the World Series of Beer Pong, training for this sport that continues to rise in popularity is no joke. Many have been known to practice by playing “water pong” — the same game, just with water in the cups. In fact, ASU resident assistant Austin Avery hosted a water pong tournament for his residents in Arkansas Hall last year. It’s intense, it’s a game of strategy and skill, and it’s not just for the beer drinking college fraternity brother. Beer pong is the game of our generation, and America shouldn’t be surprised if it sees the World Series of Beer Pong broadcasted on ESPN in the future — College Gameday crew and all.

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e comes back from class, goes to the room in his on-campus apartment at Arkansas State University and closes the door. The TV is on, but it’s to the laptop our hero goes. Background noise fills the sparsely decorated room. The agenda for the week dictates what will appear on the computer’s screen. A test in a few days can allow some hours of gameplay; a test tomorrow will not. The computer boots up as he sits in front of it, earpiece and microphone against his face and maybe a smile hiding at the corner of his mouth. He logs into a fantasy world. Kevin Watson, a 22-year-old ASU student of Lonoke, Ark., has enjoyed video games since childhood. Being homeschooled through most of grade school and all of his high school years granted him a lot of time to try his hand at different kinds of games. His current favorite is League of Legends, a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for the PC. “It’s like WoW but not WoW,” he said, comparing League to World of Warcraft, another MMORPG. “I was getting tired of the monthly plan, and I wasn’t playing (WoW). There I pay for what I want to play but not have to if I don’t want to,” he said. Unlike WoW, which costs about $15 a month, League of

Who plays?

Brandon Robinson poses in front of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on his TV while playing an online match in his ASU dorm.

You can be someone else you’re not, you can escape reality in video games. - Brandon Robinson

A survey conducted online shows the TV usage patterns for American adults. On average, black adults spend 16 minutes a day using a TV, ranking higher than whites, Hispanics and Asians. Gaming accounted for 4 percent of the 5 hours and 11 minutes Americans averaged using a TV. Updated April 4, 2011. Source: http://www.konsolekingz.com/blog/

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Legends is free to play. Gamers may purchase boosts to the character’s performance and other things to excel in the game. Watson said he pays $20 at a time for the boosts. The senior technology major is one of 3 million players subscribed to League, according to an article comparing its first season to another MMORPG. Watson said he easily balances recreational and study time and gaming has yet to interfere with his education; he has maintained a 3.9 cumulative grade point average since he began his student career at ASU. The student plays video games 1-2 hours a day and 4-6


story and photos by Krystin Phillips

hours studying, especially when he has a test that week, he said. Though Watson has a good balance between recreation and school, many college students find it hard to maintain their grades while obsessing over the latest games. Sarah “Weezle” Ellis, a senior ASU English major, said she used to play video games to the extent that it interfered with her academic studies. When she bought Dragon Age, a role-playing game, she said she skipped her classes for almost two weeks and was nearly dropped from them. “I missed a good portion of notes and could very well have done better but instead barely pulled a C in some of the classes,” she said. “I’ll be halfway through studying and be like, ‘Ugh…I’m gonna go play,’” she said. “My brain will wander over to the game, like if I didn’t complete a certain mission I’ll start thinking about that instead of studying and end up playing that so I can think about studying.

There should be a healthy balance. I define a healthy as neither activity becoming more overpowering of the other. - Ariel Nations

Ariel Nations, an ASU freshman, said she also enjoys RPG games that involve leveling up and agreed that they can become addictive. In the summer of 2010 she said she did not eat or sleep for three days because of a game. “I was bad addicted to WoW before I quit, but it didn’t really affect my school. I still drew a line between games and school. With video games and school, you have to draw a line, like, ‘Oh here’s some game time. Oh, game time has to be over. Oh, I need to go do homework now, yay!’” the psychology major said. “There should be a healthy balance. I define a healthy balance as neither activity becoming more overpowering of the other.” Though it used to cause her to suffer academically, Ellis said she is now in good academic standing, as rated by the university. “So long as you keep a balance, you should be a pretty good gamer. I know a lot of people who have trouble balancing,” Ellis said. The 26-year-old said her favorite kinds of games are RPGs which tend to have more customization and a deeper story line than other types of games. Ellis is currently working on two RPG games: Fable III and Dragon Age II. The Searcy, Ark. native said that she bought these games

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because she owns and played the ones preceding them and wanted to complete the collections. Before buying a game, she said she often plays prospective purchases at a friend’s house, looks it up online or asks the cashiers at Game Stop about it. Brandon Robinson, 25, also researches games before making a purchase, though he goes to different sources for information. “I used to be subscribed to a magazine, Game Informer. (But) it’s mostly just from my peers, or the media. I’ll see a commercial about a game Sarah Ellis plays Dragon Age II at her ASU dorm. and sometimes try it out,” he said. Robinson added that Xbox Live allows patrons to download free demonstrations of games. Game Informer has been in circulation for 19 years and is based in Minneapolis, Minn. It is now the seventh largest consumer publication in the world, as stated on the magazine’s website www.gameinformer.com. The publication covers a variety of games on several consoles. “Off the hype, I bought Black Ops, and it turned out to not be quite as great as everyone hyped it up to be,” Robinson said. “Then I bought Residents of Fate, never heard of it before, but it looked pretty cool. It turned out to be pretty good.” The soft-spoken psychology major from Wynne, Ark. said he has trouble choosing a favorite video game, but his latest favorite is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for the Xbox 360. Unlike Ellis, Robinson said he can enjoy video games with no story line, such as hack-and-slash games like Devil May Cry and God of War. “I like Xbox Live. A lot of people say PlayStation’s better because it’s free, but I like the games on 360 better. Plus most of my friends play Xbox,” he said. Robinson, like Ellis, is in good academic standing. He said video gameplay rarely affects how much time he spends on school work. Robinson also said he was able to make friends at ASU by attending a Halo tournament sponsored by one of the university’s clubs. “I still enjoy going out and playing sports,” he said. “But you can be someone else you’re not, you can escape reality in video games.”

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A TIME TO TRAVEL Story & Design by Kayla Paine

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xperimenting with the new found freedom college students have can result in a pricey addiction: traveling. Before reaching college, many young people have only been stuffed into minivans with their whole family embarking on “vacations.” With no parental supervision, students are free to do whatever and go wherever with whomever. Students have many different motives for traveling. Some find opportunities with their university. Others attend concerts, while some travel just to travel. Traveling can be a costly hobby, and the lack of funds can hinder the wanderlust of students who want to explore the world. An increasing trend among college students during the past decade is to study abroad. In fact, the number of students who choose to partake in studying abroad at Arkansas State University has steadily risen over the past four years. “I always knew that I would make my way to Europe one day, and once I heard about this opportunity, I just had to jump on it,” said Valerie Seefeld, a freshman criminology major from Conway, Ark., who is studying in France. Harry White is a junior international business major from San Bernadino, Calif., studying in Spain. Traveling is something White is taking advantage of in Western Europe to destinations such as Lisbon, Paris, London and Rome.

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WHERE ARE WE?: Mark Vining, a senior english major from Hot Springs, Ark. and Glen Cole, a sophomore business major from Jonesboro, Ark., sightsee in London at the Tower Bridge. Photo provided by Mark Vining.


EXPERIENCE CHICAGO: Abdul Alsahafi, a freshman human resources management major from Saudi Arabia, traveled to Chicago over Thanksgiving break. Photo provided by Abdul Alsahafi.

White traveled to the southern coast of Spain for five days with people he didn’t know at all prior to the trip. Throughout the duration of the trip he experienced Eastern European food prepared by his travel companions and gained valuable relationships that he values to this day. One student emphasized without study abroad, he didn’t know if he was ever going to be able to travel. “I figured that I wouldn’t really be able to travel after college, so I took the opportunity to do so while I was still in college,” said Mark Vining, a senior English major from Hot Springs, Ark., studying in England. Traveling around England and Europe and experiencing new culture has been “so rewarding” said Vining. Studying abroad is one of the more popular ways to travel, but not the only avenue. Spring break is notorious for college students heading to the beach to get some sun. Many students from ASU head to Panama City Beach or other beaches for fun. Isiah Tatum, a senior business management major from Little Rock, Ark., decided to take his spring break trip up a level. He and six of his friends went on a cruise to the Bahamas in 2011. Tatum is not new to traveling in college though. During his freshman year he was able to go to London and Johannesburg, South Africa. He also had been selected to be in the ASU Global Student Leader program and traveled to Sydney, Australia nine days for free. “I did get the travel bug, I always had a dream to travel and see things,” Tatum said. “Even when I was young my family said that if a car was going, I was in it.” Several international students attend ASU and a majority of them came to the United States expecting to travel and see many cities. The students who come to ASU for a semester or two have difficulty seeing popular U.S. destinations. Halima Burhan, a senior business and finance major from Sweden studying at ASU in spring 2011, has only had the opportunity to travel to Chicago for a weekend. “I didn’t realize that there are not any trains or buses for transportation,” Burhan said. Abdul Alsahafi, a freshman human resources management major from Saudi Arabia, didn’t let anything hold him back. His passion for traveling started in his youth. Before coming to ASU,

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Alsahafi had traveled to about 15 other countries. In his first academic year at ASU, he has taken major trips on breaks to Chicago, New York City and Tampa. He also makes it a point not to waste his longer weekends and travels to smaller cities. Traveling safely, cheaply and with good company are important factors in Alsahafi’s opinion. He believes that going on trips with people really reveals who that person is and that traveling is more about the people someone chooses to travel with, rather than the destination. “We have a saying in Arabic, ‘Traveling is a piece of help.’ In travel you may think it can be torture, but it can reveal a lot about people and allow you to gain a lot of knowledge,” Alsahafi said.

Tips for Traveling on a college student budget

Where can I stay? •

Hostels: They’re a cheap alternative to hotels, but with fewer commodities. Go to www.hostelbookers. com or www.hostelworld.com. Couch Surf: Create an account at www.couchsurfers.com and begin looking for possible couches to sleep on. The site has a three point verification system to lower the risk of creepers, but always be cautious. House Sit: Go to www.housecarers.com or www. mindmyhouse.com. This option can be risky if you do not know the person, personally.

How can I get there? •

Carpool or Hitchhike: Driving alone to destinations can be costly and not very exciting. Go to www.erideshare.com or www.compartir.org to find people to split the cost with. Flying doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg: Instead of flying Lufthansa or any other big name in the sky, go with Wizz Air, Ryanair, Pegasus or easyJet. Take note that these airlines are notorious for their high baggage fees.

Can I keep my bank account from running dry? •

Arrange to take a break in your trip and work: Go to www.aupair.com or www.greataupair.com. If you’re in Australia check out www.goworkabout.com. Try to get free rooming: Many hostel workers are in fact travelers stopping to earn a little extra cash while having a place to stay. WWOOF (World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms): Go to www.wwoof.org and find listings all over the world to do some hands-on labor in exchange for room and board. Crew a yacht: By being a crew member, you get paid to sail to cool places! Go to www.crewseekers. net, but a paid membership is required. Information from Verge Magazine

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