Page 1

Investing In Excellence Written by: Courtney Edmonds In 1997, the smallest student body in BC’s history roamed the campus of Benedictine College. Since then student enrollment has seen an 85% increase. BC has grown from a body of 704 students to a body of 1292 in just ten years, an average of 60 new students per year! In the past 10 years BC has been an establishment with its arms wide open to new students. Although Benedictine hospitality can still be felt across campus, the administration has acknowledged that the resources it takes to provide that hospitality are being stretched thin as numbers all across the board increase. Accompanying the growing excitement of Benedictine College are the adverse effects of that growth. Benedictine College is a tuition-based college, which means that it uses its tuition fees to finance its educational and general expenditures. In 2006, the college spent over 15 million dollars on basic needs such as these. While the growing student body has provided more general income for the college by way of tuition, more people means more wear and tear on existing resources. “We’re in a pinch,” is how Kelly Vowels best put it. “BC is experiencing some growing pains as a result of growing so quickly,” said Vowels. “In the recent past, we’ve had to be reactive instead of proactive” said Linda Henry, Dean of Students. In 2007, BC’s Residential pillar was challenged when over 400 students were placed in non-residential hall housing, “So many people want to be a part of this school, and we want them to have the full Raven experience,” said Henry. “We never anticipated that we would have to move so many students off campus, we hated to have to do it.” In 2008, Benedictine College upheld its commitment to its mission when it began construction on a new residence hall, the third hall built in the past 10 years. The new hall, which will house close to 200 students, is only one of the many investments the school is making in an attempt to enhance the Benedictine community. Despite growing pains, Benedictine College has managed to uphold its mission and has adopted a solution for future potential growth. The “Investing in Excellence” campaign is the college’s attempt to bring Benedictine College, the place, up to par with its people. In 2006, in an attempt to be proactive, the administration devised a controlled growth matrix, a chart that laid out potential enrollment for each year leading up to 2014. In light of those numbers, a plan concerning personnel additions and facility occupancy was formed. In addition the numbers presented, led administrators to anticipate that Benedictine would outgrow its academic classroom capacity by the year 2008. From there, a 50 million dollar campaign that would supply the school with the money to build a new Academic building and allow renovations to Westerman Hall was established. The Mabee Foundation has challenged Benedictine to complete the funding for the new academic center by January 2009. If everything goes as hoped, by 2010, students will enjoy 340 additional classroom seats which will remove the need for nonacademic classrooms.

A Raven  Football  Game:    A  Battle  from  Start  to  Finish   Written  by:    Courtney  Edmonds   “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” That’s the last thing in the world the 2008 Benedictine football team wants to hear. For this year’s BC football team, a good game is just not enough. If playoff berths were given to programs that give teams the best ‘run for their money’, BC would be in a different situation today as far as conference rankings go. The fact is, winning does matter, and BC’s squad is frustrated with its tendency to come up ‘just short’. That is exactly what happened on Saturday afternoon when the Ravens faced the Lindenwood Lions of St. Charles, MO. With 34 seconds left in regulation, the Raven’s had four downs to make an 80 yard charge down the field to reclaim the point advantage, but the team’s hopes were dashed when Lindenwood linebacker, Tim Thomas broke through the Raven’s offensive line. The game ended on a fumble by Jr. Quarterback, Ryan Kelly. “We’ve got to finish for once, we haven’t really finished a game in 2 years,” said Sr. offensive lineman, Alex Saporita in the post game team huddle. Head Coach Larry Wilcox followed Saporita’s comment by saying, “we can’t criticize and blame...we’ll get it done…you have to believe.” The Raven’s are more than capable of making big plays on both sides of the ball but on Saturday, Lindenwood had more of them. “We ran a few specialty plays today and we executed them well, but time became our enemy in the end,” said Wilcox. One of those specialty plays came in the second quarter with the Raven’s trailing the Lions 3-14. The snapped football was lateralled by QB Ryan Kelly to Jr. wide receiver Chris Langley, Langley then connected with Sr. WR, Conor Walsh for a 45 yard touchdown completion. Kelly who came off a 274 yard passing effort last week in the win against CulverStockton, connected for 217 yards against the Lions. 145 of those yards came at the hands of Jr. WR, John Weitlich. “We had a lot of big plays today, but we need to capitalize…we forced turnovers and we had the chance to take them out of their game,” said Saporita. “It comes down to the little things, it’s a 60 minute game and all those little mistakes add up.” Byline: On this past Saturday at Larry Wilcox Stadium, the Ravens battled against the Lindenwood Lions from start to finish. At the end of regulation, the final score was 3633 in favor of the Lions.

Title IX   Written  by:    Courtney  Edmonds   How are private schools including Benedictine College able to maintain equal sex enrollment when public schools around them are not? They seek out athletes to boost enrollment numbers. Unlike public schools, private schools don’t have to abide by federal government policies like Title IX. In other words, it’s legal for private schools to give more scholarships to men than women. Of the 453 athletes on BC’s campus, 301 are men, and 152 are women. Before 1972, all public funding set aside for athletics went straight into the hands of those programs that had the most fans and made the most money. These programs were predominantly male programs. With no funding, women’s collegiate athletics in America was limited to intramurals and city leagues. Title IX made the awarding of athletic scholarship a civil rights issue. It’s stated in Section 86.37 of the Title IX Policy that a “financial comparison is to be made to determine whether proportionately equal amounts of financial assistance (scholarship aid) are available to men's and women's athletic programs.” Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, intercollegiate athletics in the United States has become an endeavor stretching across gender lines. At Kansas University, extra women’s sports are added to meet equality standards. Because there is no equivalent female sport opposite football, scholarships are given across many sports so that numbers will equal out. At KU, you’ll find a women’s swim team, rowing team, and soccer team, but don’t expect to watch a man in a Jayhawks jersey playing one of these sports. What many may not know is that private schools are not required to follow this standard. Since the federal government does not fund private institutions, they are not bound by precepts such as Title IX. However, it would be false to say that Title IX has not impacted private school sports. Although not directly influenced by the policy, Benedictine College has made adjustments to provide equal opportunities to women in sports. Not much is said about gender inequality around campus, that’s because it’s not an issue here. In fact, BC prides itself on having a 50/50 male-female enrollment ratio, a feat that today, is rarely accomplished in America’s colleges, according to BC Athletic Director, Richard Konzem. There is a trend in American higher education that has left its mark on the college population. Today, 56 percent of college students are women. Konzem, contributes this difference to the rising demand for the service-oriented industry. “People aren’t as selfsufficient as they have been in the past and they require more assistance,” he said. Instead of going to college, men are seeking technical training after high school, which enables them to start a career sooner. A chance to play a sport you love provides additional encouragement for students thinking about college. In fact, some students will accept minimal scholarships just for the opportunity to play on a college team. At a school like Benedictine, where the price of attending exceeds $20,000, a minimal scholarship results in more money for the college. “Athletes drive enrollment in private schools, if Title 9 were applied, our female to male ratio would lose its balance,” Konzem said. “Athletics attracts men who may never attend college otherwise.”

Title IX   Written  by:    Courtney  Edmonds   With 160 players, football Coach Larry Wilcox boasts the largest team on campus. Compare that with volleyball, a sport with only women participants, and we see that male athletes out-number female athletes, 8:1. A football team requires 11 men for offense and 11 men for defense. That means that Benedictine has over 14 times the players the game requires on its squad. With numbers that high, it’s certain that not all players are going to get playing time in a given year. In fact, some players don’t even see playing time after wearing a Ravens jersey for 4 years. “No one ever told me realistically that I probably wouldn’t get to play” said a former BC football player. “I ended up quitting the team, if I wouldn’t have gotten to keep my scholarship, I would have been out of here faster than I could snap my fingers.” Unfortunately, a lot of athletes who don’t receive the playing time they expect, end up leaving in search of better opportunities, which impacts the colleges retention rate and overall credibility.

Dr. Vern Ostdiek Written by: Courtney Edmonds Dr. Vern Ostdiek's attendance in Dr. Adam Buhman-Wiggs' Health Psychology class exemplifies his dedication to the learning of Benedictine students. Ostdiek who was diagnosed with cancer this past summer, hasn't let his illness keep him from sharing his experiences with BC students. With good spirits, he spoke on life as a 'double crainy' and gave the psychology students a taste of 'second personality Vern'. Ostdiek, alumni of Benedictine, has been employed with the college for over 20 years and has made grand contributions to its math and physics departments. Dr. Brothers of the Physics Department characterizes Ostdiek as a "busy guy who is very versatile." In addition to the development of multiple courses at BC, Ostdiek wrote a textbook entitled, "Inquiry into Physics". Now in its sixth edition, the textbook is the second best selling liberal arts physics text in the world. In September of 2006, Ostdiek applied for sabbatical leave. The leave provides professors with a chance to sharpen their own learning by taking a break from teaching, to do research and pursue other academic endeavors. If the opportunity was granted to him, Ostdiek planned to extend his learning through helping reduce weather satellite data. Ostdiek was in fact granted the sabbatical, but his plans for what he would do during it, changed in July of 2007. It was when he couldn't tie his ponytail anymore that he knew something was wrong. He had been uncoordinated the last few days, but now this, what could it be? Just a couple weeks earlier, he was hanggliding across France. Now he was struggling to stay on his feet. Dr. Ruth Krusemark of the Music Department, and best friend of Ostdiek, was the one to accompany him to the hospital. The diagnosis given by the doctors was a shock. The culprit of his strange symptoms was brain cancer. It's only been a couple of months since doctors removed the baseball size tumor from Ostdiek's brain. Today, Ostdiek is in the midst of chemotherapy and radiation therapies given to him by 11 doctors and 20 some nurses across three states. Although it may be in a different way, Ostdiek continues to contribute to others, by giving of himself. Today he offers himself as an "experimental guinea pig" so that his disease may be better understood. Ostdiek is just one of several hundred people across the U.S. that have agreed to participate in a clinical protocol that will assess various outcome variables for chemotherapy treatments. On November 14, Ostdiek visited Buhman-Wiggs' Health Psychology class and shared with them his experience with brain cancer. "The students were very grateful. We had one student come to the class just so she could sit in on the talk and speak with him afterwards," Buhman-Wiggs said. Many students noted Ostdiek's good spirits. "He was cracking jokes the whole time, he was really outgoing and funny, before he was always so solemn and serious," said Sr. Alena Cooney. One can only imagine the effect of news like this on a person's attitude and perspective. Ostdiek seems to be handling his situation with hope. "He has an amazing attitude, he's rationalized it," said Brothers.


Writing Sample Binder  

Writing samples in feature, sports and technical genres.