Page 1



VOL. 91, NO. 10

FALL 2012

Thursday, Nov. 8

GET AMPED (SOON) Construction has started on the campus mall’s outdoor ampitheater in front of Davies Center. The venue will eventually host UAC and other campus events outdoors, but only after winter. >> NEWS page 3 ZACK KATZ / The Spectator THE VIEW FROM DAVIES: Before being delayed briefly by rain on Tuesday, construction was well underway on an outdoor venue space on the UW-Eau Claire campus mall. The space will provide an outdoor venue for campus events.






NOT SO UNITED? Student Senate is concerned about the actions of United Council

PAGES 10-11


MAKE THE CLIMB McPhee’s rock climbing wall is a unique exercise option

>> page 2

Blugold guys (and gals) do No Shave November no matter what others think

>> page 10

>> page 7

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PAGES 13-14

REPORTING ABROAD Our very own Taylor Kuether is in China covering Chancellor Bousquet’s delegation

>> page 14


THE BUSINESS OF BIKING Two Blugolds start their own bicycle-building business

>> page 15

Should hunters be able to hunt on state-owned land? LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD AT

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NEWS EDITORS: Martha Landry & Chris Reinoos



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Thursday, November 1


Recent legislation passed reveals Senate concerns with organization Chris Reinoos & Alex Zank NEWS EDITOR & CHIEF COPY EDITOR

The relationship between Student Senate and the United Council of UW Students has hit a bit of a rough patch this semester, but this is not a new topic. It all started well before this semester, with the referendum that took place in Oct. 2011 when students decided they wanted to stay in United Council. There was heated debate during the referendum, and it seems this issue has carried over to the new senate session. At the first senate meeting in September, a resolution passed that the United Council respond to what is often referred to as the ‘White Papers’, a document written over the summer by executive senate members. After several weeks of no formal response, another resolution was passed that demanded a response from the group. This is where the situation currently stands. The senate is waiting for a response addressing these concerns while the United Council has some issues of its own with the White Papers.

• A lack of UW-Eau Claire direct representation in United Council • The use of student dollars for illegal actions • United Council’s absence of tracking vote totals and outcomes for its elections • Partisan pictures and marketing materials • Problems with its overall government relations strategy “Seven weeks later there was no reply after repeated contact with the United Council,” he said. “So we decided that creating a formalized reply would maybe hold a little more weight.” The September resolution stated that students of Eau Claire pay the United Council $75,000 a year.


President of United Council Geoff Murray visited the Student Senate on Monday after receiving the newest resolution. Murray said he has looked at the White Papers and wanted to let the senate know that United Council has looked at the concerns, but writing a formal and thoughtful response will take some time. “I think a lot of the concerns are well thought out,” Murray said. “One main thing I would say is they’re rooted in the past that United Council was operating under previously. And I think a lot of the concerns have already been CONCERNS AND dealt with this year.” THE WHITE PAPERS Student Senate has requested a line-by-line review The source of all of the White Papers, of this is from student which Murray said concerns, Student Body can’t happen quickly. President Corydon “Doing a line-byFish said. line review in a board “The (White Papers) meeting, especially were written because teleconference, of a docwe received emails from ument that is 20 pages students concerned in length ... would be an about where their monunbelievably time-coney was going,” he said, suming process,” FISH adding these emails Murray said. come in every year. United Council “But what I think is a little meetings are often over conunusual ... attached (to the mesference calls, since the staffsages) wasn’t just a simple twoers live in different areas of line ‘give me my money back,’ the state. it was ‘I have issues in this The Senate wanted a ‘prompt’ organization.’” response to the White Papers. The conditions outlined in The definition of prompt does not the ‘Investment Review’ portion provide a solid time frame, but of the papers are: some senators think there has

been ample time. what they could do.” “Constituent serRector said the last vice should always be two years have been a priority for any govfilled with turmoil conernance body,” Chief of cerning the relationship Staff Tyrel Zich said. between United Council “When a student comes and Eau Claire. in and expresses con“Many of the accern about student sentions were made someate, we drop everything what in a partisan manwe are not constitutionner,” he said. RECTOR ally mandated to do at Rector used as an the time.” example a picture taken The United Council will in the past of now Senator Tameventually be able to do a linemy Baldwin in arms with staffers by-line review, Murray said, but of United Council. at the time they first received There were other past issues, the White Papers they were busy including a sit-in and ‘zombie with the elections. protest’ that some United Council There are some suggestions members participated in. that Murray said cannot be done. Murray agreed that these

“I think a lot of the concerns are well thought out. One main thing I would say is they’re rooted in the past that United Council was operating under previously. And I think a lot of the concerns have already been dealt with this year.” GEOFF MURRAY

President of United Council

One of these recommendations Murray pointed to as a “no go” is that United Council pay their Government Relations Director at least $80,000 a year. “It’s not in our organization’s culture to raise it to double what our Executive Director makes,” he said. “A boss making half what an employee makes just doesn’t make any sense to us.” Fish said this suggestion was made to make the position more desirable to a professional lobbyist who would have better connections in state government.

CURRENT SITUATION, FUTURE ACTIONS Intergovernmental Relations Director Jason Rector said that United Council has the potential to be vital to Eau Claire. “I think they can be a huge asset,” Rector said. “Their effectiveness recently leaves something to be desired ... but the potential to be effective, it’s endless

previous actions were regrettable, but he also said the issues of perceived partisanship are no longer an issue. Senator Stephen Kahlow said depending on the outcome of the White Papers and the United Council’s response, it is a possibility that there could be talks of Eau Claire no longer being involved with the group. “I think completely disengaging ourselves is a bad idea,” Kahlow said. “But at the same time if they’re not serving the functions we want them to serve … there’s really no other way of having that debate.” In order to remove membership from United Council, it would take another referendum from the student body, Kahlow said. The next step is to see what actions United Council takes. Murray said it would be ideal to wait until the staff is together in order to respond with as much thought and research as was put into the White Papers.

NEWS EDITORS: Martha Landry & Chris Reinoos



Thursday, November 8


Construction of a campus mall ampitheater is now under way Zack Katz

STAFF WRITER The Davies Student Center is nearing completion, but there are still several additions to be made around the building. In particular, construction has begun on an amphitheater outside of the Davies Center on the campus mall. As a part of the entire student center construction project, this amphitheater has been in the works for a long time. However, because of complications with the mall’s irrigation system, the project has been pushed to the back burners until now. University Activities Commission Concert Co-Chair Sam Roedger considers the outdoor event center something for students to be excited about. “I think the amphitheater will mean more quality events for the campus,” Roedger said. “Having a new venue of this nature will allow students to plan events according to their strengths without being limited by

their surroundings.” In the past, it has been difficult to host large-scale outdoor events on campus due to space limitations. The aim of opening the mall up was to create a more spacious environment ROEDGER for students. Roedger feels as if the project leaders are taking this into account. “From my understanding, the amphitheater has been designed to complement the campus mall green space.” Now, because of the size increase of the campus mall, the university will be able to facilitate anything student organizations plan to host outdoors in the future. Laura West, another member of the UAC, feels students will find this amphitheater as a more accessible source for outdoor entertainment than we’ve seen in the past. “The clock tower was one of my favorite areas on campus,” West said.


Th •

• •

NOV. 8

12 to 1 p.m. – Freedom Honor Flight Presentation, Ho-Chunk Room in Davies Center


NOV. 9


NOV. 10

4 p.m. –“The Bridge” - A Site-specific Contemporary Dance, main entrance of Haas Fine Arts Center 8 p.m. - The Cabin: Wisconsin Built, Davies Center


IN THE MAKING: That little spiral is the blueprint for the future outdoor ampitheater on the UW-Eau Claire campus mall.

“The amphitheater will provide an excellent equivalent to that for the concerts we will plan.” This project does seem to be inspired by the clock tower area that was constructed with the old Davies Center. However, the new amphitheater will provide a more open, inviting atmosphere. Similar to the Sounds Like Summer festival held at Phoenix Park, UAC predicts there will be music festivals hosted at the campus’ new amphitheater in the future. Roedger and West predict the outdoor event center will be an open option for any student organization, and in a similar fashion to ­­­rooms within the Davies Center, the amphitheater will be available for reservation openly. So, when can we expect to see the finished product? Director of Facilities Management Terry Classen said it’s tough to say. Completion of the proj-

ect is now incumbent on the installation of irrigation systems on the mall. “We’re playing with the weather in terms of what’s left,” Classen said. Classen said a number of additions to the landscape such as limestone blocks and grass are still to be set in place. “In terms of size, the amphitheater will begin at the circle already under construction and emanate out towards the sidewalk, as well as towards the south side of Schofield,” Classen said. After the technicalities are overcome, the weather will most likely prevent construction from continuing until the project can be completed in early spring. However, once the snow clears up students will be welcomed with a new outdoor center. Keep your eyes open for concerts and events hosted at our new amphitheater this spring.

RAIN TROUBLE: Rain delayed construction on the ampitheater Tuesday as workers lay the foundation for the outdoor venue. ZACK KATZ / The Spectator

• •

8 p.m. – The Cabin: The Frenettes, Davies Center


NOV. 11


NOV. 12


NOV. 13

6 p.m. – Politics and Journalism panel discussion with politifact speaker, Hibbard 102 7 p.m. – Reading and book signing: Chad Simposon, Ojibwe Room C in Davies Center

7:30 p.m. – The Forum: Nomi Prins, Schofield Auditorium

We •

NOV. 14

7:30 to 9 p.m. – Guest Artist Recital: Paul Desenne, cello, Gantner Music Hall in Haas Fine Arts Center

Foster Gallery “Redefining the Multiple: 13 Japanese Printmakers” The event is an exhibition that features contemporary Japanese artists with formal training in printmaking who have work that transcends across different media, but it is grounded in printmaking. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mon. - Fri. 6 to 8 p.m. Thu. 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sat. - Sun. Haas Fine Arts Center

campus news.

UAC Film:

community news.

Starring Ryan Gosling, this film centers around a Hollywood stuntman, mechanic and getaway driver who gets into trouble when he decides to help out his neighbor.

local music, arts, and culture.

7 p.m. Fri. - Sat. 2 p.m. Sat. - Sun. Higherground, Crest Wellness Center



NEWS EDITORS: Martha Landry & Chris Reinoos



Thursday, November 8








Graphic by TYLER TRONSON / The Spectator

Students, Wisconsin elect President Obama for second term Education, deficit common themes among voters David Heiling SPORTS EDITOR

President Barack Obama was announced the winner of the presidential election by news outlets around 11 p.m. Tuesday night, when many “swing states” such as Ohio, Virginia and Colorado swung in his favor. Another one of the states that helped him win the presidency was Wisconsin; giving its 10 electoral votes to Obama. At UW-Eau Claire, students who live on campus and people living in Ward 20 went to the Davies Center on campus to vote for the president, senator and other offices for this term. The polls opened at 7:00 a.m. to vote at the Davies Center as well as polling sites all over the state. Eau Claire City Council member and Election Deputy Dave Duax said he thought the turnout was higher than usual because Wis-

consin was considered a swing state in this election. “Wisconsin — for the first time in a while — is on the edge”, Duax said. “We’re getting a lot of national attention, and for the first time in a long time a vice presidential candidate is from Wisconsin. It brings the election more local.” Many issues were on the forefront of many students’ minds going into the election booth including education, the country’s deficit and the economy, amongst others. Freshmen business administration

factor,” Traun said. “It’s going to keep going up, and up and up ... either way I think we’re kind of screwed politically, but who has the better chance of making it better?” Some students, including sophomore education major Kyle Webster, who made the trek to the Davies Center to cast their vote for president and other offices said education was the issue they were most concerned with. “Being an education major, I find myself focusing on that issue more than anything else,” Webster said. “The future of my life kind of depends on where the education system goes.” Junior music education major Danielle Tully agrees with Webster and said she would vote for the candidate that supported educational growth and expansion along with an open mind to the field of music education. “Spending on education I think is very important. Not only am I a student here, but I am an education major as well,” Tully said. “I am in music … and that seems to be a field that gets cut a lot and we need to realize that different kinds of education can be valuable.” Issues were not the only reasons students came out to the polls on Tues-

“Wisconsin — for the first time in a while — is on the edge. We’re getting a lot of national attention, and for the first time in a long time a vice presidential candidate is from Wisconsin. It brings the election more local.” DAVE DUAX

Eau Claire City Council Member

major Celia Traun said the biggest issue for her personally during the presidential election was the issue of the where this country’s money is going. “I think the national debt is a huge


KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING: On campus students could vote during Tuesday’s election in Blugold Living Room in the Davies Center, with extra guidance from this helpful sign.

day, however. First time voters were having their voices heard by the United States for the first time and some explained that it was their civil duty to come cast their ballot. Sophomore English major Brian Roberts said by being an educated college student, he feels more informed and not voting would be a detriment to his right as a citizen. “For me to not come out and vote after I have been watching the news and preparing to vote for the last cou-


Editor in Chief

For an application or more information, contact Eric Christenson at

ple months seems foolish,” Roberts said. “Once you get into school you see different viewpoints and start forming your own ideas.” The next presidential election will not be for four more years, but first time voters have experienced the polls and their vote, along with votes around the country, will continue to be an essential part of this country’s foundation and a staple of democracy. Editor’s Note: Brian Roberts is a former employee of The Spectator.


NEWS EDITORS: Martha Landry & Chris Reinoos


Thursday, November 8



Resolution passed in support of Eau Claire’s NACURH bid, S.O.S. to focus on solar panels Alex Zank

CHIEF COPY EDITOR “A wise man once said let no great opportunity slip away.” Finance Commission Director Bryan Larson, who also may or may not have taken credit for being the “wise man,” said this of the resolution in support of Eau Claire’s bid to host an organization’s annual conference on Monday. In a meeting that included several independent events, this resolution was the sole piece of legislation looked at this week. The resolution called for Student Senate support for Eau Claire hosting the annual National Association of College and University Residence Halls conference in the year 2014. NACURH is an organization, as stated in the resolution, that aims to “develop leadership, promote diversity, recognize achievement, promote scholarships, and stimulate engagement and involvement among students living in residence halls.” Senator Zach Ahola, who both submitted the KAHLOW bill and was one of the speakers during a presentation of the bid prior to the introduction of the bill, said it would be a

“prestigious honor” to host the convention here in Eau Claire. The resolution passed by voice vote, and those that spoke during the discussion of it voiced avid support for the legislation. The speakers included Larson and senator Stephen Kahlow. “I have nothing but support for this (resolution),” Kahlow said. Organizations Director Frank Heaton did ask during a presentation of the resolution at the beginning of the meeting whether there would be any construction at the time that would interfere with the conference. Ahola in response said there would not be any major construction going on at the time, and that it was actually their only window of opportunity between projects to hold something like this. The resolution also requested that “an ad hoc committee comprised of three on-campus senators” draft a letter of support. This resolution is the first piece of legislation introduced by a senator not holding a directorship person in over a year. Student Office of Sustainability Director Ellen Sorenson also gave a presentation showing the preliminary SOS budget. Sorenson said that SOS always has one large project that gets the largest portion of the SOS budget, followed by several other smaller projects. This year, the project is planned to be the installation of solar panels on some university buildings. This took up $150,000 – over

half — of the SOS budget for the 2012-2013 academic year. Geoff Murray, president of United Council, also showed up at the meeting to speak at the open forum. Murray revisited the purpose of UC to the Student Senate and also answered questions and concerns from individual senators. The majority of the questions dealt with when the senate could expect a response from UC concerning the White Papers. The White Papers SORENSON was a document crafted by the executives of Student Senate addressing some student complaints about the organization. Murray said that he could not give a definite time that there would be a formal response, but he stressed that a speedy response over a thorough one would not be appropriate given the amount of care and effort given into crafting the White Papers. Asking UC to respond immediately to the White Papers is doing it a disservice, Murray said. See page 2 for more in-depth coverage of the current relationship between the United Council and Student Senate.

Compiled from University Police records Clear and out in the open Sunday, Nov. 4 Around 1 a.m., an officer patrolling Towers Circle observed a male student vomiting in front of Towers Hall. The police officer parked the car and called for another officer to assist him while making contact with the two males outside of the dorm. The vomiting male identified himself and when the officer asked why he was puking, he said that he had eaten something bad. The officer then saw that the puddle of vomit was a clear liquid and that both of them had bloodshot glassy eyes. He asked if they had been drinking, and both male students admitted that they had been, but that they had quit over an hour ago. When the officer asked what it was they had been drinking, they did not answer. They did agree to submit a preliminary breath test, in which both resulted as a .09. The officers radioed the communication center and found that neither had any previous violations. Both were written ordinances and notified of court appearance dates as well as their fines. Officers reported that both individuals were cooperative during the interaction and then cleared the scene.

Don’t end up in the Blotter! TAKE CARE AND BE SAFE.

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Thursday, November 8

MULTILISTING HEAT,WATER,GARBAGE & GROUNDS CARE are included in rent. 3 BEDROOMS: 415 W. Grand Ave; 415 1/2 W. Grand Ave; 810 Oxford Ave; 106 1/2 W. Grand Ave 4 BEDROOMS: 1011 2nd Ave; 1009 2nd Ave; 1007 2nd Ave; 923 2nd Ave 304 W. Grand Ave; 308 W. Grand Ave Parking, Laundry, Pets Considered. Call Diane 715-832-1881 ABC RENTALS STUDENT RENTALS 2013-2014 5 bedroom 808 and 128 Niagara St. 4 large bedrooms 920 6th Ave. 7-8 person: 7 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms 717 Menomonie St. 715-832-7548 JUNE 1ST 2013 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 BR houses. Some have all utilities paid. 704 Menomonie St. 912 Water St. 1519 Wilson St. 1232 Dewey St. 715-210-5569 AVAILABLE JUNE 2013 2-5 Bedroom homes available near university. 211 8th Ave. 429 Union. 626 Hudson. 726 Market. 112 East Grand. (715) 271-9909 or (715) 456-1967 AVAILABLE 6-1-2013 A nice 3 Br. side-by-side duplex. $275 Call for details (715) 835-0705 or (715) 410 -1789 WWW. DRBRENTALS. COM

MULTILISTING OFF CAMPUS HOUSING JUNE 2013 FREE internet FREE cable in all 3+ bedroom. FREE carpet cleaning. FREE lawn care (715) 839-6807 5 Bedroom: 528 Niagara $310 ea 4 Bedroom: 1245 S Dewey $275 ea; 1211 S Dewey $285 ea; 816 Niagara $310 ea; 510 Washington $295 ea 3 Bedroom: 1245 S Dewey $265 ea; 1922 First $270 ea; 716 Niagara $325 ea 2 Bedroom: 2412 Third $240 ea; 2030 First $275 ea; 833 Main $265 ea 1 Bedroom: 211 Fulton $395 ea GET $25 EACH OFF YOUR SECURITY DEPOSIT IF YOU SIGN LEASE BEFORE THANKSGIVING! 3-6 BEDROOM HOUSE ON WATER STREET Free laundry, off-street parking, hardwood floors, nice two story, large basement. Available now. 4-6 BEDROOM HOUSES BY UW $300/ person. Low utilities and free laundry. Extras. 2 bathrooms. Off-street parking. Large basement. Spacious nice bedrooms. June 1 HALF OFF RENT FIRST MONTH (715) 559-6215

MULTILISTING AVAILABLE JUNE 1, 2013 Some include utilities 2 BR: 136 Niagara; 136 1/2 Niagara; 233 1/2 Niagara 3 BR: 134 Niagara; 239 Chippewa (ENTIRE House) 4 BR: 247 Chippewa (ENTIRE House). All are 1-3 blocks from UWEC & have off-street parking FREE LAUNDRY (where available). FREE lawn mowing FREE carpet cleaning B&G Apartments. Call Gary at 715-533-0358 or 715-287-4660 for showings 1-4 BEDROOM APARTMENTS NICE PLACES. All available for June. Some including heat, free laundry, and off-street parking. Low utilities. 715-579-9007 or 715-825-6302

FOR SALE BOOK SALE The Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library will be holding a book sale on November 9-10 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day. The sale will be held in the lower level of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library. Special pricing will be available on Saturday.

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SPORTS EDITOR: David Heiling

Thursday, November 8


Football grounded by Warhawks Blugolds fall to fourth in conference after loss Steve Fruehauf COPY EDITOR

UW-Eau Claire suffered their sixth loss of the season after a tough 19-10 bout against the Warhawks in Whitewater last Saturday. An inability to put points on the board in the second half was the cause of their struggle. The first quarter ended with a field goal made by each team, a 28yard kick for UW-Whitewater and a 33-yarder made by Eau Claire. The Warhawks then made their second field goal along with a touchdown after a two yard rush in the second quarter. Eau Claire was also able to find the end zone, squeaking in a 23-yard touchdown pass with only seconds left in the half. While keeping it close at half, Blugolds head coach Todd Glaser said there was still room for improvement. He said that his team’s defense was bailing out the offense too much. “I thought all of the way through the game we executed well,” Glaser said. “The problem was a couple times we got down in the red zone and we didn’t come away with points. When you play good teams, you have to make sure to get points on the board.” The trend continued for the Blugolds in the second half. They attempted another field goal from 26 yards out near the end of the third quarter but were unsuccessful after the ball bounced off of the right upright. Whitewater added two more field goals before the end of the game. They made their first in the middle of the third from 25 yards out and their last from 39 yards in the fourth quarter. SLADE

While senior linebacker Nick Slade thought holding them to 19 was a positive, he said it’s about winning the game in the long run. “Holding them to 13 in the first half and then six in the second half ... it obviously wasn’t enough in the end but it’s something to build on,” Slade said. The Blugolds finished with 292 total yards of offense on the night compared to Whitewater’s 375. Eau Claire quarterback Austin Neu went 15 of 26 for 199 yards GOETSCH through the air along with a touchdown and an interception Running back Joel Sweeney added 67 yards on the ground on 22 carries. Whitewater sophomore quarterback Matt Behrendt threw 12 of 18 for 124 yards and two interceptions. Senior running back Desmin Ward ran for 135 yards off 27 carries. With the loss, the Blugolds fall to 3-6 on the season, now tied for fourth in the conference. They will play their final regular season game this coming Saturday at Carson Park against River Falls, who is currently fifth in the conference. Senior tight end Austin Goetsch said he thinks it’s going to be a very tough fought game. “We are really excited to get back at it and play UW-River Falls one last time at Carson Park for all of the seniors,” Goetsch said. “I know it’s my last game so it’s going to be pretty emotional and people are going to be coming out and playing like it’s literally their last game because it is. So it’s going to be pretty special.”

“I thought all of the way through the game we executed well. The problem was a couple times we got down in the red zone and we didn’t come away with points.” TODD GLASER

Men’s football head coach



Exercise options offered at McPhee reach beyond treadmills and classes Martha Landry NEWS EDITOR

“Butts and Guts” and “Hip Hop Hustle” are not the only exciting and free exercise options offered in the McPhee Physical Education Center. The indoor climbing wall is open to all students, faculty, staff and community members to practice their rock climbing skills with no experience necessary. The wall, located in gym 210A, is open from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday. To begin climbing, students must complete an orientation class to check belay skills and basic knot skills, said Dan Langlois, assistant director of programs at the Environmental Adventure Center. “It orientates you to safely climb,” Langlois said. “The belaying and proper knots are so you are doing your climb safely and using the wall safely.” The orientation class costs $10. Junior Kelly Ripp works for the EAC and said a semester of climbing costs $15 and a year of climbing is $25. Freshman Charlie Firer has been working at the EAC since the beginning of the semester. He said anyone on campus can be involved in rock climbing.

“There are different grades for the world. Langlois said more the routes so there is always someexperienced climbers have planned thing a person can get on and feel fall and spring trips to multiple placgood doing it,” Firer said. “We defies around Wisconsin and to the west. nitely welcome any newcomers. We’ll “There are just so many placmake them feel welcome.” es to climb in the world,” LanRipp said there is also the option glois said. “As a program we have for bouldering — climbing horizonclimbed as far west as Joshua Tree tally across the wall instead of verti(Cali.), but people rock climb all over cally, which doesn’t require belaying. the world.” “You can come by yourself,” Ripp Most climbers, Longlois said, said. “We have auto belays and it’s prefer climbing outdoors, but the a friendly group of great thing about people. If you want the sport is that it “ There are just so someone to belay can be continued you, people will belay many places to climb all winter. for you.” “We try to talk in the world. As a Rock climbing is about doing things a sport that doesn’t that are close by,” program we have have an end point in Longlois said, “To sight. Firer said he climbed as far west as provide a break and likes the different an outdoor expeJoshua Tree (Cali.), rience and taking directions you can take the sport and the on those activities level of difficulty can but people rock climb that you can do for always advance. all over the world.” a lifetime.” “It’s something Any climbthat you can always ers, at any level DAN LANGLOIS push yourself in,” of experience are Assistant director of programs Firer said. “There is welcome to visit at EAC no limit and it’s fun the climbing wall. and challenging at the same time.” Ripp said using equipment for one Ripp said rock climbing is a great day is $3, so not too big of a commitworkout because you use your whole ment if you decide rock climbing isn’t body and use muscles that are not for you. normally used when exercising. Also, “We’d love to have as many visishe said, it’s a great excuse to avoid tors as we can,” Longlois said, “And we homework and meet new people. hope that we can accommodate stuUnlike other university sports, dents and get them into the outdoors rock climbing can be done around and create a passion for climbing.”



Thursday, November 8

Lady Blugolds sting nationally-ranked conference opponent Eau Claire women’s hockey 1-1 vs. UW-Superior this past weekend



DEFENDING HOME ICE: Junior defender Emily Larson secures the puck and heads up ice Friday night at Hobbs Ice Center against UW-Superior.

“You don't know how big that win is.” Those were the words of UW-Eau Claire Women’s Hockey head coach Mike Collins after the team's upset victory over UW-Superior, the team that was ranked eighth in the nation prior to the weekend series. Sophomore forward Sam Knutson said that all the hard work has finally paid off. “It felt great. We've been working hard all season so far and it really boosted our confidence,” Knutson said. “We had a rough opening weekend and we all knew we had it in us and we just have to keep working. That's what we did. That's how it ended. We kept pushing it to the very end and we came out with the big win.” The score was KNUTSON tied at four in the

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final two minutes of the third period when Knutson gained possession of the puck in front of the net and scored. Working on connecting on plays in front of the net was something that the team worked on in the week prior, Collins said. Knutson attributes the win to that and a complete team effort in the game. “It felt great and it was really good to get that goal, but I wouldn't have done it without my team,” Knutson said. “I was the one who shot it, but without our team pushing it and playing hard, it would have never happened.” The momentum was building through the second as the Blugolds scored late in the period to bring the game to a one goal deficit. Collins said that during the second intermission he tried to make sure the team knew the game wasn't over yet. “It's all about momentum. You can't quit. One more shot makes it even and one more after that gets us ahead. We just try to simplify the game,” Collins said. “I'm not smart enough to complicate it, so

we just have to go with the simple approach and what I know best is continue to work and enjoy doing it. Winning is a lot more fun than the alternative.” Collins said he is going to continue to look at the season in a positive manner, esCOLLINS pecially after the upset against Superior. “We’ve got 20 girls who are happy and every time they get a win like that, they start to believe a little bit more and good things can happen,” Collins said. In the second game of the weekend series, however, Superior ended up winning 6-1. The Blugolds' lone goal came from senior forward Casey McMullen in the third period. The loss on Friday was enough for Superior to fall out of the eighth spot nationally as they were announced as the ninth- ranked team this week.

SPORTS EDITOR: David Heiling

Thursday, November 8

CONFERENCE CHAMPS UW-Eau Claire holds off UW-Stevens Point and UW-Whitewater to claim title Rita Fay

STAFF WRITER The Blugold women’s volleyball team will take little personal credit for the success of their season. Coach Kim Wudi said she has no problem saying it is because of all the hard work the girls have put in. “I think the success that we had this year is a credit to the fact that they decided in the spring that they were going to work hard in the off-season and they were going to come into this season ready to play,” Wudi said. “We have great juniors and seniors

who are great leaders on our team. I think the success of the season has been a credit to their leadership as well.” The Blugolds won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this past weekend for the first time in program history. This win earns the team an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship beginning Nov. 8. The Blugold women beat UW-Whitewater 3-1 on Friday and their success continued Saturday when they beat UW-Stevens Point 3-0. The match against Stevens Point was close for all three sets, but senior Amy Bomgren said that after winning on Friday the


WINNERS: The Blugold volleyball team defeated two WIAC opponents to claim conference champion honors and qualify for regional play in Stevens Point over the weekend. They will compete against eight difference opponents there, one of them being fellow WIAC team, Stevens Point.

THE MOUSETRAP THIS WEEK’S COMING ATTRACTIONS Thursday Nov. 8 Fossils (Milwaukee) Moro (Eau Claire)


team felt confident. “For some reason we had this feeling before the match,” Bomgren said. “We were really calm about it. Nothing really fazed us during the match. We just kept playing and we did our thing on our side of the net and we got it done”. The team had lost to both Stevens Point and KELLY SCHUH Whitewater earlier in the Junior volleyball player season but Wudi said that at this point in the season the girls had enough self-motivation to keep them playing hard. “I just tried to keep them focused on one point at a time. We needed to make sure that we’re scoring points, but we can’t get into a situation where we’re trying to force ourselves to score points,” Wudi said. “I was trying to keep them confident.” The Blugolds’ record is 22-11. Junior Kelly Schuh said that much of the season’s success can be attributed to the closeness of the team. All of the players wanted to win for each other, not for themselves. The Blugolds will play seven teams at the St. Thomas Regional (Minn.). The ladies are practicing and getting ready to play against the best teams in the region. Schuh says their whole season has been practice for the team. “We haven’t changed our game plan or anything,” Schuh said. “We are just working on what we do best to beat the people across the net from us.” The Blugolds will play Wartburg (Iowa), St. Benedict (Minn.), Dominican (Ill.), Northwestern College (Minn.), Stevens Point, Cornell College (Iowa) and St. Thomas (Minn.). Of the seven, the Blugolds have not played Wartburg or Dominican yet this season. Although they will be playing some talented teams, they have confidence in themselves and their team. “If we just play like we did this last weekend, I don’t think we’ll have a problem,” Bomgren said. If the Blugolds win this weekend, they will join the other eight regional winners from around the country and play at Hope College in the city of Holland (Mich.) for the final rounds.

“We are just working on what we do best to beat the people across the net from us.”

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Thursday, November 8


For No Shave November, UW-Eau Claire lets those beards loose for rewards, recreation Zack Katz

STAFF WRITER November marks an important month for many individuals in terms of expressing themselves, and in many cases, just letting loose. No Shave November is the tradition of going without shaving for the entire month — sometimes in support of a cause, but also as a way of putting those genetics to the test. Junior Michael Fiori is choosing to participate because he feels the competition is becoming an ingrained part of our culture. “For those of us who shave regularly, No Shave is a great way to break away from the social norm,” Fiori said. “It’s basically just a fun opportunity to give growing a beard a shot.” But, what about those who already have facial hair? Sophomore Karl Battin has been a bearded man for over two years, and doesn’t let festive competitions come in the way of that. However, Battin appreciates No Shave November for what it is. “I don’t really think of my beard as any more than a way to keep my face warm while deer hunting,” Battin said. “But it’s cool to see my friends do someBATTIN thing we can have in common.”

No Shave is not only for men, however. The university is home to many female participants, including freshman Becca Mortensen. “I usually shave every other day, so this is really a challenge for me,” Mortensen said. “It’s something I feel I can accomplish, why shouldn’t I try?” Mortensen doesn’t agree with attaching feminist stereotypes to No Shave November, but she does acknowledge the potential for criticism from peers. “I have a feeling people will be uncomfortable with my decision, but that’s definitely a part of the challenge.” However, No Shave November can be much more than a recreational challenge for men and women, however. On campus, a mustache and beard competition is being held by Eau Claire’s Pi Sigma Epsilon — Zeta Epsilon chapter in order to raise awareness for men’s health. Specifically, the competition aims to fight testicular and prostate cancer. Men, and some women, will compete in two categories — the greatest mustache and the greatest beard on campus. Entry fees are $2 to participate and $3 for a wristband which allows the participant to judge the results of the competition at 7 p.m. on Nov. 29. While not everyone is capable of growing facial hair worthy of a win, it is still easy to get involved and support those in need. Senior Chris Cull is volunteering and participating in the competition, which he feels is an important cause.

“It doesn’t matter if you haven’t shaved in six months or you’re just beginning now, raising awareness is what counts,” Cull said. Winners of the competition will receive a t-shirt and various other prizes will be up for grabs for runners up. Sign-up is taking place in the Davies Center. MORTENSEN Although it may be too late to begin the anti-shaving marathon officially, it is never too late to contribute to the cause. And, who’s to say anyone will notice if you begin now? Whether you’re male or female, No Shave could be worth giving a shot this November.


A minority within a minority

UW-Eau Trans*- Mission week of events focuses on transgenders, transsexuals Bridget Cooke STAFF WRITER

The transgendered population is being given more attention because of a week-long event organized by LGBTQ Coordinator Chris Jorgenson. “The trans community certainly suffers a lot of discrimination,” he said. “So far as the LGBTQ community is concerned, they would suffer the most. I think a lot of that is based on misinformation, it’s based on ignorance, it’s based on people making judgments about a community they know nothing about.” A documentary about one person’s transgender experience, “No Dumb Questions,” was shown in Woodland Theater at the Davies Center on Wednesday. Other events include speaker Ann Hoeppner, a lesbian transsexual who has been a part of the Eau Claire community for many years, Jessica Janiuk, a UW-Eau Claire alum who transitioned while attending college, and Alex Hall, a medical doctor specializing in not only general and women’s medicine, but also focuses on transgender medicine.

For six semesters she worked with graduate students at Eau Claire to achieve a woman’s voice, which she spoke about at the event. Hoeppner answered questions students and guests had about her process of transitioning from a life known as Art Hoeppner. This included speaking candidly about the relationship she has with her wife of 44 years. “I’m a lesbian,” she said. “But Jane is not. She loves the person. I’ve recently heard this new term, pansexual. It is when you love the person and not the gender.” As a result of the discrimination transgendered and transsexual people face, Jorgenson said he decided to put this event together in order to help others who may be curious but tentative in regard to learning more about

this particular group of people. “There’s a lot of misinformation, there’s a lot of cultural taboo about being trans,” Jorgenson said. “Each of the events will have components to it that will allow students or any attendees — students, faculty, staff, community members — to ask their questions anonymously if they’re too afraid. I think it would be very shocking if they got a question that they hadn’t heard before.” Hoeppner said that causes like Trans*- Mission week are important because transgender and transsexual individuals want to be seen as just people and not as a group of outsiders to the human experience. “Don’t judge us,” Hoeppner said. “Only one guy is going to judge me and hopefully I’ll meet him

“ The trans community suffers a lot of discrimination ... I think a lot of that is based on misinformation.” CHRIS JORGENSON LGBTQ Coordinator

one day.” She added that she is glad the main goal is to educate people about transsexuals and the issues they face. Hoeppner also spoke of her experiences with HOEPPNER family and how she felt before having sexual reassignment surgery, or what she prefers to call ‘corrective surgery.’ “I would have to say that now I am very happy,” Hoeppner said. “Before, I just got by. I felt like I had had a tumor removed.” Relaying that generally people do not understand the work that goes into transitioning, Hoeppner said that every expense was out-of-pocket and that no procedure is by any means cheap, citing some surgeries at as much as $50,000. Hall will speak on Friday in the Chancellor’s Room about the time that some surgeries take to be fully completed.

“SKYFALL” Holy moley everyone. The new James Bond movie comes to theatres this Friday. If there is a movie that you should go see this MONTH, this is it. “Skyfall” seems to be full of fighting, shooting, Bond girls, explosions and mystery. Everything you would hope for in the 23rd installment. I’m going to be really honest with you guys ... the only Bond movies that I’ve seen are the Daniel Craig ones but I’m completely obsessed with them. The coolest part (well ... from what I can tell from the trailer) is Craig gets a gun that only he can shoot! Handprint technology. I mean it’s no specialized bow and arrow (Hello! Hunger Games stealers!) but still pretty darn cool.

“TAKE ME HOME” by One Direction Okay — I know the new One Direction CD doesn’t come out until the 13th but I’m crazy, out-of-control excited. If it is ANYTHING like their two singles, Live While We’re Young and Little Things, it is going to be amazing. Oh another crazy One Direction fan ... blah blah blah ... but if you know anything about the 1D boys, you know that they aren’t just a stupid boy band. They became popular because of the UK version of “The X Factor.” They worked for it. Plus, their accents are amazing. Seriously though, their new songs have a wee bit more maturity to them, which is awesome because it makes their music relatable to people even our age. Another plus, Ed Sheeran is a contributing writer to a few of the songs. EXCITING.


Chief Copy Editor Alex Zank loves the movie, ‘Drive,” playing on campus this weekend. Read his review.



Thursday, November 8



SAVE THE LAST DANCE: Senior Jolene Mertens dances the evening away on the campus footbridge Wednesday night. Mertens performed a contemporary dance piece entitled “The Bridge” that day put on through the dance minor program at UW-Eau Claire. Their last performance will be held 4 p.m. on Friday.

For those without a dance bone in their body and those that love the art of dance, there is an opportunity to be part of a production presented by the dance minor program at UWEau Claire. While the first performance of the contemporary dance event took place Wednesday, there’s still a chance to catch the second performance at 4 p.m. on Nov. 9 beginning outside the front of Haas Fine Arts Center. The dance, called “The Bridge,” will be performed by seven students in the dance minor program. “For an audience, it brings dance out of the box and out of the typical traditional frame,” said Julie Fox, assistant professor of dance at Eau Claire. Fox choreographed the piece as a site-specific dance or a dance chosen in response to a specific site. She said the dance is a 45-minute piece that will take the audience to different parts of campus and it will end on

UW-Eau Claire students in dance minor program perform in “one-of-a-kind” contemporary event the campus walking bridge over the Chippewa River. “The audience is very much a part of the dance because they are -— in this particular work­­— traveling around, and just by the audience moving around, they become a part of the action too,” Fox said. Senior Jolene Mertens worked on the production of “The Bridge” as a media intern, rehearsal assistant and performer. She said the performance is different from most dance people usually see. “It’s a one-of-a-kind thing; you are not going to see a performance like this anywhere else,” Mertens said. “It’s unique to our campus, unique to this group of dancers and I think the university needs to be more exposed to the dance on campus.” Fox said an audition was held at the beginning of the semester for students to try out for the dance project. The group has been practicing for nine weeks and has already had a few spectators during their rehearsals. “I’m just dancing,” said Erica Hilbert, sophomore performer in “The Bridge,” when a passer-by

asked her whether or not she needed help while practicing for an upcoming performance on the UW-Eau Claire campus. Fox said people have walked past the performers during rehearsals with expressions of confusion, interest and some looking uncomfortable. Fox said she likes creating site-specific dances. “I really enjoy how it affects the movements that I make up, that I create because you are dealing with a different surface or texture in the air,” Fox said. Hilbert said there will be duets and solos in different locations on campus throughout the performance. She said it is a different experience other than just a studio dance. The audience will walk to different areas on campus with the final moments of the dance being on the campus bridge. The fall Opera Workshop course, under the direction of Mitra Sadeghpour and Mark Mowry, will also perform with live percussion and transcendent sounds by Terrence Karn.


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OP / ED EDITOR: Tyler Hart

POP What comes to mind when you say the word ‘pop’? Something fizzy and fun. What comes to mind with the word ‘soda’? I’m not sure. Maybe something that is in floor cleaning supplies? Or baking soda? The last time I checked, I don’t want to drink baking soda. Let’s face it. The soda vs. pop debate has been raging longer than the Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years’ War, and only slightly more bloody. Soda-tarians, it’s time to wave the white flag because you’ve already lost this war. According to, soda is most

SODA Something about the word ‘pop’ has never rubbed me the right way. Logically speaking, one would think ‘soda pop’ would be abbreviated to its first word ‘soda’ right? As a guy who’s new to the Midwest (from Texas originally), accents like ‘ruffs’ and ‘ruttbeer’ have never been an issue for me. After all, accents are a cool cultural identity thing. But pop? What happened there, Midwest? Scientifically speaking, soda is the naturally

superior term. Considering soda doubles pop in number of syllables, and trumps pop by an entire letter, it’s easy to see who takes the cake. Living in Wisconsin, it feels as though soda-sayers are the definitive minority. But, why should we think of ourselves that way? Give the term soda a try — after all, the underdog always wins in the movies, right? — Zack Katz

YES: 1 NO: 7 AB: 0 ing land, the difficulty of finding private land to hunt on and the positive effects of hunting on the economy to make the point that the new law may be a good thing. Hunters from surrounding states travel to Wisconsin just to hunt, so the new and improved hunting land would inject even more money into the state economy. The same speaker also made the point that land is a classless entity, and hunters should have a right to hunt on publicly owned land. Many people who attend state parks treat them more poorly than hunters would, so the speaker didn’t see any harm in the new law. Besides, the main hunting seasons occur during the cold portion of the year when state parks are less crowded and fewer people use them for recreation. Other speakers still agreed that the thought of hunting and trapping in state parks is an unsettling risk that does not need to be taken. They felt as if hunting shouldn’t take priority over wildlife preserves and native vegetation.


Alright, let’s clear something up here and now. It is a drinking fountain. We lean over and dispense water from it. There are no bubbles. This whole misconception that stems from the southeastern area of Wisconsin needs to stop this instant. I do not know where it began or why it’s still being used — once I was told that it comes from the Kohler company and its terminology — but regardless, the

thing is called a drinking fountain. You can not deny that. Ask anyone outside of that certain area and they will say the same thing. And for all of those that disagree with me, please Google a “bubbler” and see what images are provided. I guarantee a drinking fountain will not be what you find.

My argument is less why you should call it a bubbler and more why you should not be an asshole. I get that bubbler’s kind of a stupid word, but why does it matter? For me, I use the word bubbler because I am a Wisconsinite through and through. My dad is mostly Norwegian, my mom is mostly German. I belong here. Sure, I find a little entitlement in using local dialect; don’t you? So I swell with a little state pride. It’s who I

am. Should I be reduced to assimilating into the rest of the country in calling a drinking fountain by its formal, clunky name? No! Are you kidding? Of course not! It’s a dumb thing in a wall. The reason I like my cheese curds breadless, say ‘bag’ with a long ‘a’ and call it a damn bubbler is because I am empowered by my Wisconsinite blood from my heart to my head, and there’s no argument for dictating the words I choose to use, no matter how dumb they sound.

War of the Words

— Elizabeth Jackson

Should hunters be allowed to hunt on state-owned land?

The state of Wisconsin recently passed a law to allow hunting and trapping in state parks. A session held by the Natural Resources Board found skeptics of the new law, which is also known as Act 169. The Legislature formed the law due to declining hunter numbers and less access to hunting land. One speaker on the editorial board felt as if the new law goes against what state parks are all about. People go to state parks to enjoy the flora and fauna of the land, so allowing hunters to trap or kill the animals in them seems counterproductive. Another speaker, who is a frequent user of state parks, agreed that the idea of hunters in the parks is unsettling. The main issue discussed was the potential danger of hunting on protected land. Multiple speakers agreed that it is necessary to cull the deer population throughout the state, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of more dangerous parks. One speaker, a hunter, had a different take on the issue. The speaker cited the poor quality of public hunt-


Thursday, November 8

commonly said in the eastern United States, while pop reigns supreme in the Midwest. Since the majority of us are Wisconsinites, we know that this is the greatest state in the Union. They show a majority of Wisconsinites say pop. So by combining these two conclusions, pop is the only way to refer to your favorite soft drink. Also, why would you want to talk like a New Yorker and say soda? Yuck!

— Bridget Cooke


— Eric Christenson

Where did all the pictures go? The switch to an all-digital world is less personal Martha Landry NEWS EDITOR

This weekend I went home and noticed that my family’s fridge was covered in old family photos. We started a “Wall of Shame” over the summer — who has the ugliest and most hilarious photos as a kid (if anyone was wondering, my sister is winning). Going through all these old photos is really making me realize how few photos I have printed out ever since I bought my college laptop. Two and a half years of college and I maybe have a hundred pictures printed. In this time, I have traveled to 10 countries, had six new cousins added to my family and have gone to lots of college parties — not one photo printed. My parents are always giving me heat about how I need to save these memories and make them concrete because you never know what is going to happen. Yes, I have my computer backed up on

an external hard drive but it actually would be pretty easy to lose all my photos forever. What I am wondering — am I the only person missing

and saying, ‘Wow, that iPad was just the best way to fall asleep at night … looking at that glowing screen really put me to sleep.’ I think that progression is good

least two tries in case the first one didn’t look perfect. Tangent over. Some objects, like the CD and VHS (yes, the CD is being phased out as we know it) reach their peak and as a society we progress. But books and photos should be and can be saved! The new Macbook Pro doesn’t even have a CD drive! That is a pretty amazing step forward but nobody is inventing the next photograph. If it’s a money issue, a lot of the time you can get books cheaper from Amazon than you can buying them from your Kindle online store. Ordering photos on, you can get prints for as cheap as $.09 a photo. I’m not saying that everyone needs to forget this technology kick, but let’s make sure to remember that not everything that is old is worthless.

“Some objects, like the CD and VHS (yes, the CD is being phased out as we know it) reach their peak and as a society we progress. But books and photos should be and can be saved!” tangible items? I understand and completely support that we are in the digital age. Our generation is technologically based. Has anyone seen the YouTube video where the baby doesn’t know how to turn a magazine page because she is used to an iPad? I find that video incredibly sad and not one bit cute. Reading books was one of the best parts of my childhood. Now, kids are going to be looking back

but it doesn’t mean that we need to forget everything else. Photos are an amazing way to save and share memories, and flicking through them on the computer is just not the same. In addition to our new way of photo sharing on Facebook, how weird is it that we have this desire to take photos of EVERYTHING? Out to dinner with friends, instead of taking one photo of the group every person there needs to have a copy and at

Landry is a junior journalism major and News Editor of The Spectator.



Thursday, November 8

Taylor goes to China Managing Editor of The Spectator heads east with Chancellor Gilles Bousquet Taylor Kuether MANAGING EDITOR

While you’ll still see my byline in The Spectator over the next two weeks, you won’t find me in the Spectator office, the place on campus that I consider my second home. I’ll be sending those bylines from 7,523 miles away. I’m going to China for two weeks to work as a field reporter sending stories, photos, audio and interviews back to campus to cover Chancellor Gilles Bousquet’s recruitment excursion to China. We

will be meeting with UW-Eau Claire’s partner universities in China to strengthen those partnerships and build Chinese students’ interest in studying at Eau Claire. Faculty from the Center for International Education, the dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the interim associate dean of the College of Business are also a part of the delegation, aiming to strengthen ties and potentially

Kuether is a senior journalism major and Managing Editor of The Spectator.

“I’m grateful to this university for making this happen for me, for handing me an opportunity I’d never even dreamed of. We go to a pretty amazing university.

forge future opportunities for UWEC students. I found out about the trip exactly one month before I was scheduled to catch a flight to Hong Kong, during which time I spent every spare moment researching Chinese history, culture, traditions, etiquette and even language (ni hao, by the way!). But anyone who has ever traveled — and I’ve only done so minimally — knows that no amount of research will prepare you for what it’s like to immerse yourself in a culture opposite your own, where no one has curly hair like yours and there’s even a completely different alphabet from the one you learned in preschool. It’s going to be a challenge, and I couldn’t be more excited. Even right now as I write this, still in the middle of the Midwest I’ve known my whole life, it hasn’t quite hit me that I’ll be in a foreign

country for two weeks. It may not hit me until I’m at the airport boarding an international flight, or during my layover in Tokyo, or maybe it will finally hit me as I step off the plane and catch my first glimpse of Hong Kong ­— the first stop on our tour, which will hit Zhuhai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou before ending in Shanghai. The experience may not feel quite real yet, but what I do feel is gratitude. I’m grateful to this university for making this happen for me, for handing me an opportunity I’d never even dreamed of. We go to a pretty amazing university. This place makes things happen. I’m feeling a whole lot of love for Eau Claire right now, love that I can’t wait to share with China. Let the adventure begin. Kuether is a senior journalism major and Managing Editor of The Spectator.




Thursday, November 8

GETTING ROLLING ONE DAY AT A TIME Fifth-year seniors take chances and overcome challenges as they create their own bike brand Tyler Hart

OP/ED EDITOR A bike is a pretty amazing piece of technology. Years of competition and development have driven bike manufacturers forward in their constant search for lighter and faster bikes, and the competition is fierce. Fifth year seniors Jay Birkholz, an advertising major, and Philip Schommer, an accounting major, have learned this first hand while creating their own bike company here in Eau Claire called Tuxedo Bicycles. The duo is currently focused on a specific type of bike, which is different than your average commuter bike. “What we’re launching is a cyclocross bike which is essentially a road bike with knobby tires and cantilever brakes,” Birkholz said. Birkholz said the sport of cyclocross is gaining popularity quickly in America. Basically, it started in France and Belgium when people would race cross country on their bikes and jump over any fences they encountered along the way. The sport soon evolved into what it is today, an outdoor course with man-made obstacles along the way. “The equivalent would be cross country running, but on a bike,” Birkholz said. The idea for a bike company began

The name was chosen to illustrate the cleanliness and professionalism of the company and its owners.

when Birkholz, a sponsored second-tier professional in cyclocross, broke his collarbone two years ago in a race and had to find a way to keep himself occupied. He soon decided to make his own bikes, so he employed Schommer’s help to develop the brand and take care of the accounting side of things. The selling point of their bikes is the originality of the design itself. “We do unique, almost over-thetop paint jobs,” Birkholz said. So far they have released two paint schemes, neon and noir, which fall at each end of the color spectrum. Also, they are working on a glow-inthe-dark color scheme to add another element to their design. To fund the project, the two scrounged up all of the money they had and set to work. Schommer took a trip to Europe over the summer and attended Eurobike, the world’s largest bike convention. In that trip, he narrowed bike frame manufacturers down to three or four possibilities while Birkholz worked on the marketing side of things. The two soon chose a carbon fiber frame and set to work on their design. They had two frames shipped and painted to their strict specifications, all while deciding where they would get the rest of the necessary parts. To acquire things like brakes, handlebars etc., Birkholz and Schommer formed industry partnerships with large part manufacturers. They made sure to have multiple purchasing options for every piece of the bike so that they will never fall behind on orders. They strive to make each bike perfect for their customers. “With a lot of bigger companies, when you order a bike you get the bike out of the box. When you order a $6000 bike and don’t like the handlebars, you’re basically just throwing away a $300 set of handlebars,” Schommer said. “We want the bike that comes out of the box to be exactly what (the customer) rides.” Currently, the two are waiting

Price of a carbon fiber Tuxedo frame: Price of a standard Tuxedo cyclocross bike: for a review of one of their bikes to come out in Cyclocross Magazine, a nationwide publication dedicated entirely to the sport. In addition to the review, they’re running an ad in the publication to spread the word about their brand. “Our first three or five years we’re going to focus on establishing ourselves as a national brand,” Birkholz said. “We want to be a key player in the boutique market of bikes.”

$1,500 $3,000 Tuxedo Bicycles has already received three orders that they are working on filling. If the advertisement and review do well, they have a plan to fill as many orders as they need to. “If we become overwhelmed with orders, we do have a bank that is willing to lend us a line of credit in order to fill those orders,” Schommer said. Things are going relatively well for Birkholz and Schommer, but they see where they are right now as just the

beginning. Their long term goal is to establish Tuxedo Bicycles as an international brand. “We’re on step 1.5 right now, and we’ve thought it through step 10,” Schommer said. The benefits of the project aren’t just monetary for the duo. They’re learning a lot about the business world and about themselves in the process. “It’s something Phil and I can evolve, grow and learn from,” Birkholz said. He also said that they wouldn’t be where they are now without the things they learned and the connections they made at UW-Eau Claire. The amount of free knowledge and willingness to help around campus has been instrumental in their success so far. “We’ve got a toe in the water, and now we’re getting ready to cannonball here pretty soon.” Schommer said. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

The neon series of Tuxedo Bicycles is assembled in the shop. The other series, Noir, is black and yellow. Tuxedo has two professional mechanics assemble their bikes to assure quality.

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