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Men’s Basketball Attendance Taking a Hit

Year removed from 1,000 increase per game, attendance drops by the same figure

Attendance for men’s basketball games has dropped considerably from the SHAC’s inaugural season.

Thomas Evanella Staff Writer

If you have attended a Bison men’s basketball game this year and last year, you have probably noticed considerably more green around, and it is not because NDSU fans are favoring the color over yellow. It’s the result of a palpable drop in attendance and a greater number of unoccupied seats. Yes, the padded green seats brandishing embroidered Bison logos inside the Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex (SHAC) have been noticeably emptier in the 2017-18 campaign. Quantifiably so, as a matter of fact. Last season, the inaugural season for the glistening SHAC, the Bison recorded the 11th greatest increase in average attendance in the nation, adding 1,054 more fans per game than they did a season prior. The Bison Sports Arena had a sparkling new replacement, and the future looked bright for NDSU.

Students could once again walk to basketball games on campus, having previously needed to schlep over seven miles south to the Scheels Arena. Locals in the largely residential area surrounding campus had the same luxury. Boom times appeared to be on the horizon. Except, it hasn’t quite played out that way. The average attendance for the Bison’s 10 Division I home games this season has been 2,983. That figure represents a greater drop in average attendance than was gained in 2016-17. To make matters worse, the previous season drew five crowds over 4,000 and three over 5,000. By comparison, this year has only seen one audience eclipse 4,000, on Tuesday, Jan. 16 against North Dakota. The product on the court has not done NDSU any favors with respect to putting fans in the stands. The Bison have played to a 7-5 record on the Fargo hardwood, their worst mark since head coach Dave Richman took the helm in 2014. The departures of Carlin

Dupree, Khy Kabellis and Dexter Werner can hardly account for the drop of quality on the court and the number of fans passing through the doors. The seniors Dupree and Werner were longtime stars of the program who represented NDSU in March Madness play. The duo played, if not free of drama, compelling basketball during their time on campus, generating a great deal of interest in Bison hoops and shedding NDSU’s reputation as solely a football school. Still, their absence has been filled by Paul Miller, who is assaulting the record books, scoring 20 plus points in nine consecutive games and ranking No. 9 in scoring in school history with 1,586 points. Kabellis’ role as emerging talent has been played this season by Cameron Hunter, who has started in the past 13 games and has displayed flashes of brilliance. All in all, while it has not always been winning basketball, the Bison’s play this year does not lack for


entertainment value. Yet the historic performances and young talent cannot seem to draw as large of a crowd as last year. Other factors have contributed to the dip in attendance as well. The scheduling for this season has been fairly unpredictable and inconsistent. The Summit League has Indiana Universty-Purdue University Indianapolis to thank for that. IUPUI bolted for the Horizon League on June 28 of last year, blindsiding the conference and narrowing the field to eight schools. The conundrum IUPUI created could eventually result in Fort Wayne defecting, but that is a separate issue. In the immediate aftermath, the Bison and their seven opponents all found their schedules suddenly in flux. NDSU only had one stretch of three straight home games this season, against Denver, Oral Roberts and North Dakota. While the same was true last year, the schedule lost its consistency and predictability.

Making matters worse is the fact that the Bison’s marquee conference home game against South Dakota State came on Jan. 3, a Wednesday over winter break. The attendance was NDSU’s fifth best of the season at 3,182, but it paled in comparison to the 4,805 who watched the Bison top the Jackrabbits 82-65 last year. A win over SDSU on the home court could have given the Bison a serious lift in attendance for the conference schedule. Alas, the students were missing and Bison Nation was collectively making the drive down to Frisco at that point. Student attendance has been particularly poor this season as well. The student body at NDSU is often a fickle bunch when it comes to their support of Bison athletics. Consistently leaving football games at halftime illustrates that the students can hardly be considered “the strength of the Herd.” Jeff Kolpack, sports reporter for the Forum,

took note of this on Twitter during the Bison’s Jan. 27 win over Western Illinois. “NDSU students have been pretty much a no-show at men’s basketball games this season. It’s ‘free’ to get in, right?,” Kolpack demurred. Kolpack’s observation is one other attendees must be sharing as well. The section of seats devoted to NDSU’s students has by and large been barren all season long. The exact reasons for this season’s drop in attendance are up for speculation, be it the product on the court, a confusing calendar or an absence of fan engagement. It has become evident though, that fans seem to be checked out on the Bison men’s basketball team this year. One more meaningful game remains, Feb. 17 against Fort Wayne. It will be senior day, giving fans an opportunity to catch Jacobson and Miller playing live one last time. The attendance on that Saturday ought to be telling and may signal to the athletic department that changes need to be made.

Darwin Day Approaches As Darwin Day gets closer, the students involved want people to know the truth Phoebe Ellis

Head News Editor

“Evolution should not be disputed,” Rahul Singh, a graduate student in the biological sciences department, said. Darwin Day is an event in February here at North Dakota State that strives for two things — to celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday and to educate youth and adults alike. Charles Darwin was a scientist who gave birth to the scientific notion of evolution. He is also known for his theory of natural selection. This year’s Darwin Day is set to put on something like a science fair that is open to the public, will feature a keynote address


by Lee Dugatkin, professor and university scholar in the University of Louisville biology department, a discussion on how taming and domesticating dogs has forced them to evolve into something they weren’t originally. Additionally, there will be middle school students attending an educational portion of the festivities to learn about evolution. The 300 children attending will receive passports to check off locations they’ve visited and facts about evolution they’ve learned. They will also have the opportunity to see a bunch of cool reptiles and creatures. The kids’ experience will be visiting focus tables and participating in activities.


Some forms of evolution the kids may learn about include antibiotic resistance, some evolutionary properties that were caused by climate change, how people are evolving to not have wisdom teeth and other evolutionary things that have happened. Darwin Day is selling T-shirts to support their cause for $10. You can also purchase last year’s Darwin Day shirt for $5. All the money collected goes to the biological sciences department. One message that the department wants students to take away from the event is to learn about evolution and that it is real, and that acknowledging it can lead to a deeper understanding of the world around us.

Student’s thesis project brings awareness to Harriet Tubman’s life


Charles Darwin, famous for his scientific discoveries and theories.


Local bands pay tribute to Tom Petty in sold out show


Notable NDSU alumni making an impact who weren’t football players





The Spectrum

Sen. Heitkamp Introduces Railroad Safety Bill Heitkamp’s new bill requires two-person crews to operate trains Dan Ukkelberg Co-News Editor

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) proposed a bill that would require two-person crews on freight trains in hopes of improving railroad safety. Heitkamp said her proposed bill is supported by SMART Transportation and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, as well as first responders around the state of North Dakota. There was a train that derailed in 2013 near Casselton, North Dakota that had a two-person crew. Although trains can operate with one-person crews, Heitkamp stated that having two people allowed them to act quickly and stop the fire from spreading any further. In Casselton, there was a miscommunication because

two trains were not on the same radio frequency. One train was carrying grain and the other train was carrying oil. The grain train declared an emergency, but the staff on the oil train had no way of hearing it. The oil cars ended up colliding with the overturned grain cars at 42 mph.

our ability to respond in the future,” Heitkamp said. “After the Casselton derailment, it was clear that having two crew members on board the train made all the difference to prevent the fire from escalating and threatening those living nearby.” Casselton Fire Chief

“Protect our communities and support first responders” - Casselton Fire Chief Tim McLean The Casselton train incident caused the evacuation of more than 1,400 people. It was believed to be caused by an axle. “When a disaster like the Casselton derailment sends shockwaves through our communities, we must do everything we can to prevent accidents and improve

Tim McLean supports the proposed bill and said it is the latest in a series of efforts that Heitkamp The Casselton train had a two-person crew. has made to “protect our communities and support facility in Pueblo, Colorado her RESPONSE Act. This so first responders know how act gives responders the first responders.” and resources One previous effort of to handle hazmat incidents training to handle incidents with Heitkamp’s was when she on the railroad. Also, in 2016, Heitkamp hazardous materials, helped get $5 million in federal funding to a training proposed and helped pass including materials spilled


or leaking from derailed trains. There will be a report evaluating the effectiveness of the training later this year.

NDSU Will Host 29th Annual Powwow Woodlands and High Plains Powwow to take place in Bentson-Bunker Fieldhouse Ryan Nix

Staff Writer

North Dakota State will host the 29th annual Woodlands and High Plains Powwow in the BentsonBunker Fieldhouse. The powwow will be from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 12, and includes a meal at 5 p.m. Two grand entrances will take place at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The powwow rotates each year between NDSU, Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia

College. The event is free to students from all three universities. Jered Pigeon, the event’s committee chair, explained that “this traditional powwow is a time where family members, dancers and singers come together and produce and create community.” The traditional “grand entry” of the powwow is described by Pigeon as the “time where all dancers will be coming out.” The start of the grand entry is marked, according to Pigeon, by the

Honor Guard who will bring with them Tribal Flags, the American flag and POW flags. The grand entry then proceeds with dancers, followed by “elder women” and then “elder men.” After this, the “Royalty” will come out; these are people who have won “various contest(s), or they have been nominated for something special in their area,” Pigeon said. “Then after that you’re gonna have your youth,” according to Pigeon.

Pigeon said that during and after the grand entrance the audience will “get a chance to see all the beautiful colors, the beautiful regalia.” Regalia is the proper term for the traditional clothing worn at powwows. The powwow will also feature a “hand game” tournament, which, according to Pigeon, is an “original American Indian game.” Certain specials and dances will take place as well. This powwow will honor the missing murdered

indigenous women and girls. “We want to bring awareness to this because that’s destroying the families,” Pigeon said. “The indigenous women and girls are murdered and kidnapped and abused at rates that are disproportionately higher than the other ethnicities,” Pigeon explained. Pigeon also said they are bringing awareness to this issue through #MMIWG on twitter. The theme for this year’s powwow, “Celebrating

Life. Creating Our future,” is based on the MMIWG. Pigeon explained that, “We’re celebrating our life. Don’t murder, don’t kill our American Indian women. Allow them to be mothers, sisters, grandmothers and we’re going to continue to build our future.” Pigeon encouraged students to go to the powwow. “Its an opportunity for students to go see and be a part of something that’s right on their campus that’s almost impossible to replicate.”

The Nuclear Question Sen. Heitkamp supports stronger nuclear base Skylar Berthold Staff Writer

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has officially announced her statement in regard to the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. As of Feb. 2, 2018, Sen. Heitkamp has released her official statement regarding the Nuclear Posture Review for 2018. The review examines current nuclear defense capabilities and sets the administration’s priorities for future U.S. nuclear strategy. The statement follows Heitkamp’s bipartisan group meeting regarding

implementation of new engines on B-52s, particularly those situated at the Minot Air Force Base. Here is what took place:

Where the senator stands

Sen. Heitkamp declared that the Nuclear Posture Review that was released Feb. 2, 2018, demonstrates the current administration’s commitment to modernizing our nuclear missions and maintains the mutual decision that a secure and effective nuclear force should remain one of the most important national security priorities. “As long as our

adversaries continue to build and maintain nuclear weapons in large numbers, a nuclear arsenal will remain an essential component of defending our nation and deterring rivals from attacking us or our closest allies,” the senator said in a press release. Heitkamp added that the United States possesses one of the strongest nuclear arsenals and that the arsenal is one of our most significant tools against national enemies. Additionally, Heitkamp continues to discuss that the airmen and women at the airbase in Minot, North

Dakota will continue to play a crucial role in the mission.

What measures has Heitkamp taken?

Sen. Heitkamp has displayed much interest in North Dakota’s nuclear air base. She has recently led a bipartisan group of senators in calling for new and upgraded engines on the Air Force Base’s B-52s. In order to complete this project, Heitkamp brought together a group of Republican and Democratic senators who called the Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney to include in the White House budget funding for all

B-52 Stratofortress bomber modernization efforts. The budget includes at least $65 million for new engine development. The Air Force has indicated that the B-52 will continue to be a significant component of the bomber force beyond the year 2050. Additionally, Heitkamp has advocated for the Minot Air Force Base’s role in underpinning U.S. nuclear deterrence. In 2017, she played a large role in passing the defense authorization bill signed into law in 2017. This law included support for modernizing the nation’s B-52s and intercontinental

ballistic missiles and paid particular interest for nuclear officers in Minot. Finally, in September 2017, Heitkamp warmly welcomed U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis to Minot to support servicemembers at the Minot Air Force Base and reassert the administration’s commitment to a modernized arsenal. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review reflects key recommendations and accommodations in a report that Heitkamp and other members released in December 2016.

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In A Nutshell Amanda Johnson Staff Writer

Little International livestock show

Saturday, Feb. 10, North Dakota State’s Saddle and Sirloin Club will host the livestock show at 8 a.m. at Shepperd Arena. “Show finals begin at 5:30 p.m. at the arena. After the show, attendees are welcome to the dance beginning at 10 p.m. at the garden pavilion,” the Forum reported. The show features beef, dairy, sheep and swine showing along with ham curing and public speaking contests. Over 300 students are participating in the event.

Two arrested after highspeed chase

“Two people are in custody following a chase that led officers across parts of North Dakota and Minnesota,” Valley News Live reported. Moorhead Police were called Monday morning to help North Dakota State Patrol with an erratic driver. Two people inside the car took off on foot after stopping in a residential neighborhood. Clay County deputies,

Dilworth Police and Minnesota State Patrol set up a perimeter near Moorhead High School. Officers tracked footprints in the snow and received calls from citizens about two people running through the neighborhood. A male and female from Grand Forks received misdemeanors and the male is being held at Clay County Jail.

Another dry season

It’s projected that North Dakota will be hit with drought conditions again this year. “According to the latest information from the US Drought Monitor, 96 percent of the state is covered in at least ‘abnormally dry’ conditions, and it’s only expected to get worse,” WDAY reported. Last year’s drought left no moisture in the soil, and the soil will remain extremely dry heading into spring. WDAY reported, “The concern with this drought is the similarity between 2006, the first time a D4 drought happened in North Dakota, which is the most severe category.”

Eagles fan takes stadium seat

“Capacity at U.S. Bank Stadium is down to 66,654

after someone removed a seat following the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory on Sunday,” Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is investigating the theft after pictures of the missing seat were posted on social media. Barstool Sports tweeted a photo of the back of the U.S. Bank Stadium seat at a coat check. The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported, “The seatswiping phenomenon is not new to Minneapolis. Fans ripped out a number of seats after the final Vikings game at the Metrodome in 2013.”

Bitcoin drops

The value of Bitcoin value fallen below $6,000, the lowest it’s been priced at since November 2017. “Bitcoin reached its peak in November, when it hit $19,000, and then began to fall steadily from midDecember,” BBC News reported. Several major banks banned customers from purchasing digital currency with credit cards. BBC News reported, “China and South Korea have already banned digital currencies, while Japan and Australia have taken steps to tighten Bitcoin regulations.”

Salt Raises Concern Maintenance agencies address environmental concerns over salt in Minnesota and North Dakota Quinn Garrick Staff Writer

There is a growing environmental concern in areas of the country where salt is used to melt snow and ice on roads and sidewalks. Maintenance supervisors for roadways recognize the results from using salt and the problems they cause, and in recent years, have adopted methods to reduce salt runoff and ensure maintainable operating costs. Including Minnesota, in which 50 lakes have been listed as impaired due to the chloride, a byproduct of salt runoff when it dilutes. Most of the impaired waters in Minnesota are located in the Twin Cities area. Due to the higher traffic volumes and expansive network of roads, the seven-county Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) district requires a higher use of salt. Brooke Asleson, salt prevention program coordinator for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, claims that although most of the impairments are in the Twin Cities area, there are some impairments in Greater Minnesota in a couple of northern and southern areas of the state. She notes that the problem

is not as significant due to lower traffic volumes and lower density of roads. Although salt is the most cost-effective substance for melting snow and ice, it’s expensive. Many maintenance supervisors for streets and highways work to minimize the use or apply a sand-salt mix. Kohl Skalin, a road maintenance supervisor for MNDOT out of the MNDOT Detroit Lakes district, said, “We’re trying to reduce salt usage on a continual basis.” According to Asleson, salt is toxic to marine life and once it gets into the water through the storm system, the chloride becomes permanent and there isn’t any way of removing the pollutant. In North Dakota, state agencies have not detected high levels of chloride beyond the water quality standards. The North Dakota Department of Health, which oversees the state’s water monitoring program and water quality observance, notes that sulfate is a more significant problem than chloride. Sulfate is a naturally occurring salt found in the soil in places like northeast North Dakota and makes its way into water systems through seepage and natural

runoff. Chloride from road salt, however, has not yet become a problem for the state’s waterways. New technology has helped to reduce the amount of salt used and limit the amount of runoff, including automatic spreaders used by maintenance crews and public works agencies in Minnesota, North Dakota and the city of Fargo. Sanding trucks in the city of Fargo are equipped with automatic spreaders that are calibrated to release 200 pounds of salt per lane-mile. The city also uses a sand-salt mix to prevent sand from clumping and chloride pollution, dispensing this mixture at 800 pounds per lane-mile. According to Fargo Public Works, the city works to prevent sand and salt runoff, noting that the biggest problem is that salt doesn’t dilute until it gets warmer and sand needs to be swept up or runoff through the storm system. The city also does what it can to under apply salt or the sand-salt mixture, making sure their practices are economically feasible and eco-friendly.


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The Spectrum is a student-run publication at North Dakota State University in print since 1896. New issues are published Mondays and Thursdays during the academic year, except during holidays, vacations and exam periods. Each enrolled student is entitled to one copy. Additional copies are available for $1 by prior arrangement with the Business Manager.

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A Different Perspective Meet Alexa Allen Studying abroad brought more independence than a childhood of constant moving Emily Wotzka

Contributing Writer

Born in Germany and now a proud Nebraskan, Alexa Allen is a military brat, socialite, “Downton Abbey” enthusiast and fierce friend. Although Allen is only 21 years old, she has already lived an adventurous life, living in three different countries across the world. Allen now resides as a communications major at Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska. Upon our meeting and within the first few days of living in England, Allen revealed her infectious and envious socialite abilities, something she attributes to moving around the country as a military brat. Emily Wotzka (EW): You’ve had quite an interesting life so far. Tell me about being born in Germany and your childhood as a military brat. Alexa Allen (AA): Right, military life. Well, you have just asked me about my favorite topic ever, so good for you. So within the military, there are the Army, the Navy, the Marines and the Air Force branches, and my dad was in the Army. So growing up I lived in five different places. First, it was Germany, then Wisconsin, Colorado,

Georgia, Kansas and then I moved to Nebraska to go to school. For the military, that’s actually not a lot of moving around. Usually, people move around a lot more. That was mainly because my dad had a lot of deployments, and, although this was sad, it was good because we didn’t have to move as much. EW: How did it feel having to move around every few years? AA: It was definitely rough. Every year we had new neighbors. Everyone was new at school. Practically every year, everyone would rotate. In a way, it was really great because it forced me to become really social and helped me to make a lot of friends really fast. But now looking at it, I’m definitely not good at keeping longterm relationships because I’m so used to having a friend, thinking they’re going to be around for two years and then I’m going to move and probably never talk to them again. And that’s just how I grew up. EW: Did the constant moving around inspire you to move abroad during college? AA: It’s definitely made me not afraid to go to new places. When I came to college it was not a big deal, but it was just another move. I chose to study abroad because I had always done moves with my family,

and I just needed to just do something on my own and just be my own person in a way. I did it more to find my independence. Coming to college, I was never homesick, never depressed or sad; you know, the stages that people normally go through. I never had that. Looking at it now, I really needed study abroad to be homesick and be sad, because I think everyone needs that. EW: Did you experience culture shock both going to England and coming back to America? AA: Going there, yes. For the first three weeks, I was really fine. I definitely had that honeymoon phase, and I was just wowed by everything. And then after that, the culture shock set in and it took me a long time to get out of it. It was very tough at times. I think it had a lot to do with my personality. I realized that I’m a homebody, and I just like to have my own space. That’s what makes me feel content. I just felt like I didn’t have a home; I was in this tiny little room. Coming back, I didn’t feel any reverse culture shock at all. EW: Did you have any out of body experiences during your time abroad? AA: Yes. When my mom came to visit we got to go to Highclere Castle where they filmed “Downton Abbey,”


Alexa Allen continues her adventurous life at her young age by studying abroad in Europe. and that was honestly the best day of my life. Every time I talk about it, I just want to cry. I cannot express to you how

incredible it was to be there and get a full tour of the castle. No matter how hard this trip (study abroad) was, this

day made the entire study abroad experience worth it.

Student Brings Awareness to Harriet Tubman’s Life A thesis project turned into a larger presentation and experience for Emma Novak Miranda Stambler Features Editor

As a continuation of an undergraduate thesis project, Emma Novak presented “The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman” at the Comstock House on February 1. Emma Novak is a graduate student at NDSU majoring in history, specifically the 19th century. She graduated in 2017 from the University of North Dakota with a degree in history, secondary

assumed the Comstock House wanted to bring in more awareness to Harriet Tubman for Black History Month. Novak started her research at the beginning of the fall semester but had periodically studied Tubman from her junior year in her undergraduate program. When Tubman died she didn’t leave many primary sources of information, but through memoirs of others, researchers are able to learn more about her journey. For research, Novak started with the book “Bound

“Understanding a lot of her life experiences makes her as a historical hero a lot more enlightening” – Emma Novak, NDSU Student education. “I studied her in terms of involvement in abolitionism and her relationship to white abolitionists and how there was some form of equality there and how — that relationship meant a lot in terms of why white Americans got involved in the abolitionist movement,” Novak explained. One of Novak’s fears is public speaking so with about a dozen of people watching it was not too overwhelming to present, but it still felt intimidating in a sense for Novak. She presented this because she

for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero” written by historian Kate Clifford Larson and did most of her research through this written work. Novak shared her enjoyment of history and explained that she likes to look beyond the textbooks we are taught. “I kind of like to see what is beyond — what we know, kind of the parts of their lives that haven’t been discovered yet,” Novak shared. Novak being interested in feminism, because her undergraduate sorority,

Alpha Chi Omega, focused a lot on awareness to domestic violence, made studying Harriet Tubman even better because Tubman was a feminist herself. “She’s a lot more multiphasic than I realized; she was involved in a lot of different things beyond abolitionist,” Novak shared. When looking through history Novak explained that many do not focus on the fact Tubman was the “first speaker at the national Federal Recreation of Afro-American Women’s conference in 1896, I thought that was very fitting,” said Novak. This was also the first conference for this movement within the women’s suffrage movement. Although many do not focus on that part of Tubman’s life, a favorite fact of Novak’s was, “Tubman was buried with semi-military honors which I thought was kind of interesting since she did serve in the military, as a spy, nurse, and cook, especially for an African American woman.” Novak explained that there are many assumptions of Tubman and myths that surround her memory, such as Tubman being the creator of the Underground Railroad when in reality it was established before Tubman got out of slavery herself. Another misconception is that Tubman saved more slaves than she actually did.


Emma Novak presented her thesis project for awareness to Harriet Tubman’s life. Although her rescue was and children’s literature that opening experience by still an accomplishment, she the number of slaves that learning more into the life saved less than what people she rescued was up to 300 of Harriet Tubman. She are taught in their history but in actuality, it was only plans to continue to research classes. up to 70,” Novak confirmed. Tubman periodically, but to “She returned Tubman also directed move onto other topics for approximately 13 times around 50 more slaves after her graduate studies as well. to rescue about 70 former that making her rescue of Novak described this slaves so there’s kind of slaves to be around 120. experience of research as some conflation with this in Through this thesis enlightening, monumental, a lot of modern history books project, Novak had an eye- and hopeful.



The Decoding of Coding’s Importance Students and professors explain the growth of programming Emma Schreifels Contributing Writer

Throughout the years, there are people that have established a quintessential coder stereotype, which consists of being like an over exaggerated Emily Dickinson type of introvert that wears Jeffrey Dahmer glasses and camps out in their mother’s dark basement guzzling Mountain Dew while speaking in tongues of ones and zeroes. Other than the comedic collection of far-fetched mental images we can conjure up about what we think a programmer is, a host of misconceptions also exist when it comes to programming, such as these according to • Programming is boring. • Programming isn’t creative. • Programming is too difficult. • Programming requires a full college education. Currently, though, our world is composed vastly of the fruit of coding, and by a simple analysis of our surroundings, the debunking of these myths commences. Coding provides limitless opportunities and plays a lead role in the creation of marvelous things, such as Instagram, drones, Spotify and space exploration, to name just a few. Anything but boring with these endless possibilities,

coding embodies creativity in terms of both problem solving and design. “Coding provides an outlet for creative activities that were relatively unheard of 20 years ago,” says Otto Borchert, a faculty member of the North Dakota State computer science department. “I can’t draw or paint or sculpt, but the computer programs I can build are equally impressive to me.” Despite these enticing attributes of coding, the assumed difficulty of programming is often a deterrent for individuals. However, the emergence of welcoming how-to sites like Code Academy, Treehouse and Codewars can alleviate any daunting thoughts, especially if paired with free online coding community resources. Zach O’Brien, a senior computer engineering major, claimed, “Learning how is 100 percent jumping in. It’s important because computers are now an integral part of our lives.” Knowing how to code is becoming increasingly important for everyone in the era of technology and is a skill that is accompanied by a milieu of benefits. The Muse career site states a few skills: • Increased self-sufficiency •Improved communication and collaboration skills • Better problem-solving strategies • More career potential

Coding is a fun, cheap and highly rewarding hobby. NDSU students, Sam Ingersoll, senior majoring in computer science, and Jordyn Brainard, junior majoring in computer science, agree with the Muse career site. “Having computers skills, like being able to code, makes you a hot commodity in today’s world,” Ingersoll said. “Coding increases your

problem-solving skills while giving you real-world experience,” Brainard added. Computer science (CS) is indeed a spectacular field to pursue with its top-notch job outlook and diverse experiences offered. “Even if you don’t decide to be a computer science major, having a little background knowledge can go a long way,” Borchert said.


“In today’s world, combining CS with any other major is a strength many employers are looking for.” Learning how to code is for everyone; it is a careerbooster, creative outlet and weaver of dreams. If you want to get started, these are five quick tips to kick-start your tech trek: 1. Learn by doing — practice makes perfect.

2. Be patient — it won’t be a “Eureka” moment overnight. 3. Ask for help when needed — the web, peers or experts. 4. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes — you’ll learn the most from these. 5.Continuously explore new possibilities — find what you love.

J.K. Rowling Causes an LGBT Controversy Students give their input on the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ series’ representation of sexuality Amanda Wagar Contributing Writer

For many students at NDSU, they can point to Harry Potter as being the biggest influence in their early — inspiring them to embrace themselves as who they are. J.K. Rowling, the creator of the wizarding world for the Harry Potter generation, has often been proclaimed as an ally to the LGBT community. Especially after Rowling’s announcement that Dumbledore was gay after the release of the final book of the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” and the subsequent response to a fan in which she tweeted: “Gay people are people.” However, among the recent revelation from director David Yates that Dumbledore will not be portrayed as gay in the upcoming installment of Fantastic Beasts,” many fans have been left wondering if Rowling is queerbaiting, which is hinting toward a character being gay but then avoiding portraying that character in that light, her LGBT fans. With a seven-book series and nine movies filled to the brim with straight characters

on page or onscreen, it’s not difficult to see why fans are disappointed with Rowling. She had assured her fans there would be gay representation for Dumbledore within the “Fantastic Beasts” series. Rowling’s response on Twitter has been to start muting tweets from fans looking for answers about the situation. This has sparked mixed responses from fans. When asked about her thoughts on the situation, NDSU student Lindsey Pouliot, discussed how she had not been aware of the lack of diversity in the Harry Potter series as a child until she started attending college. She noted in particular that all of the characters were both “white and straight” both on the page and onscreen. Pouliot added that the only time she felt that Rowling directly addressed the lack of diversity in the books was through claims online that there were diverse characters that were not explicitly shown in the story. It would seem, according to some students, that diverse characters and their identities — including Dumbledore’s sexuality — have only ever been revealed


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to us through J.K. Rowling’s tweets and subsequent interviews. It has led many to wonder if these claims of diversity on Rowling’s part are simply a way to counter fans who have pointed out the lack of diverse characters in her books. However, another NDSU student, Alex Hopping, stated in her response to the current controversy, “Saying (there is) representation and then not backing it up is not real representation.” Hopping has a similar opinion of others who believe that a character’s sexuality should not have to be plot relevant in order to have representation on the page and onscreen. This is something that the LGBT community, among other marginalized groups, has been clamoring for in the media. Unfortunately, most students believe that “Fantastic Beasts” is doomed to go the route of films such as “Beauty and the Beast” with “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” PIXABAY | PHOTO COURTESY representation that is overhyped and disappointing in Fans are concerned about the lack of gay representation for Dumbledore in the upcoming film. the end. Although most student only time can tell with the said and done, “Fantastic Rowling accountable for her responses point toward newest movie addition to the Beasts” is set to be a five- promises. movie series and fans will queerbaiting on Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise. When everything is have plenty of time to keep part, others have noted that


Arts & Entertainment T S


he pectrum

‘I Won’t Back Down’ Tribute to Tom Petty a Huge Success Local bands pay tribute to late, great musician during sold out show at Sanctuary Events Center Feb. 2 Laura Ellen Brandjord A&E Editor

Jade Presents enlisted the help of six local bands to pay tribute to Tom Petty in the gorgeous Sanctuary Events Center Feb. 2. To say Tom Petty was one of my favorite artists would be an understatement. When I found my very own vinyl copy of “Damn the Torpedoes,” I went running and joyfully screaming through the record store (much to the horror of my family and understanding of the shop owner). My sister shares a similar affection for the late rock icon. Her Instagram bio cries, “Still mourning the death of my lord and savior Tom Petty.” It’s pretty accurate in my opinion. Apparently my sister and I are not the only ones. Between the great lineup of bands, reasonable ticket prices and great artist as the tribute’s focus, the show was a sold out success. The founder of Jade Presents, Jade Nielson, made it clear that the tribute was very personal. In the event information on the Facebook event page, the following quote was included, “I had the privilege of working with Tom Petty in 2003 on the ‘Lost Cities Tour’ when we produced shows in Bismarck, Duluth, Mankato, Cedar Rapids, Sioux Falls and Rapid City. As hard as I tried, I could not work in a Fargo show on that tour and unfortunately, I didn’t get another opportunity. This


All six bands shared the stage to lead the audience in the Petty hit ‘I Won’t Back Down.’ is our chance to celebrate the songs live with some of FM’s best artists.” Tom Peckskamp, of local blues act The Moody River Band, served as the emcee for the event. “I remember my mom introducing his songs to me, and then me discovering songs later on and sharing them with her. His music is something that spans generations,” Peckskamp began. He went on to thank everyone for coming and Jade Presents for putting the event

together. He then presented the first song of the evening, an acoustic version of “Into the Great Wide Open.” Thus signaling the start of the evening, with each band performing a three song set. Next up was local rock band Stovepipes, who kicked off their set with “Walls” from the “She’s the One” soundtrack. As the follow up, the band went for a deep cut from the same album with their aching rendition of “Hope You Never.” Duo Big and Hungry

proved Petty’s songs to be compatible with the electric fiddle as the second performance of the evening. Mike Holtz (vocals, guitar) told the audience the impact Petty’s “Full Moon Fever” album and the song “Stranger in the Crowd” had on him as a kid. Holtz also made a plea to those suffering from drug addiction to seek help, after it came to light that opioids were the cause of Petty’s death. Los Angeles transplants XPLOR had the audience on

their feet with their energetic performances of Petty hits such as “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” The Human Element took the stage, exciting the crowd with the Stevie NicksPetty duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” and swaggering “Honey Bee.” from “Wildflowers.” Local ska group The Wicked Bees added island flavor to Petty hits with the addition of a horns section and unique vocals. Pat Lenertz Band finished

off the amazing event, bringing all of the previous bands on stage to lead the audience in “I Won’t Back Down,” an emotional ending to an amazing night. All those in attendance were connected with the bands in grief and celebration. For a life well lived and music well loved, Tom Petty will live on in the hearts of area fans for years to come. Rest easy Tom, Fargo-Moorhead and the world miss you dearly.

Justin Timberlake Paints the Town Purple Minneapolis goes purple for Prince during Super Bowl Halftime performance


There’s nothing more Minnesotan than Prince and the color purple.

Brittany Hofmann Staff Writer

Minneapolis had the opportunity to host Super Bowl LII this past Sunday. If you had absolutely no interest in either team playing this year, like me, you were maybe watching just for the ever-anticipated Super Bowl Halftime Show. This year, Justin Timberlake was selected to perform between halves. Though, if Prince was still gracing this Earth, I would have hoped he would have been the entertainment of the night. You couldn’t get more Minnesota than that, unless of course,

the Minnesota Vikings were playing. In my opinion, the halftime show was OK. It wasn’t anything special, certainly nothing worth talking about for years after like Timberlake’s infamous first Super Bowl appearance in which Janet Jackson suffered a wardrobe malfunction. Timberlake incorporated some of his classics into the evening, including “Cry Me a River,” “SexyBack,” “Rock Your Body” and “My Love” which had every ‘90s baby in the crowd singing along. Mixed in with his original hits was his charttopping single, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” and “Filthy”

from his new album, “Man of the Woods.”

To hologram or not to hologram

The controversy revolving around Timberlake’s proposed Prince tribute sparked with the idea of integrating a hologram of the music legend. It may not have been known to many, but Prince didn’t think too highly of the NSYNC star, commenting on his hit “SexyBack” that “sexy never left.” Prince advocates took to social media to voice the wishes of the late prince of pop since he wasn’t able to protect himself. In a previ-

ous interview with “Guitar World” in 1998, Prince blatantly spoke on his disdain for digitally resurrecting deceased artists for the sake of a tribute, commenting, “That’s the most demonic thing imaginable ... that’ll never happen to me. To prevent that kind of thing from happening is another reason why I want artistic control.” The night before the big day, Prince’s long-time friend, Sheila E. tweeted that she had met with Timberlake and confirmed there would be no hologram of Minnesota’s beloved. The news came to the relief of many long-time fans.


JT opened up the halftime show with his most recent release, “Filthy,” in a makeshift underground nightclub and emerged onto the field where he moved on to “Rock Your Body” and “Señorita.” The Renaissance man transitioned effortlessly through hit after hit including, “SexyBack,” “My Love,” “Cry Me a River,” “Suit & Tie” and “Until the End of Time” before moving onto the much-anticipated tribute to the late Prince. Sitting at a grand piano bathed in purple light in front of a projection of

Prince on a curtain hanging from the ceiling of U.S. Bank Stadium, JT paid homage to the Purple One by simultaneously singing along to a video of him performing, “I Would Die 4 U.” Timberlake’s performance paled in comparison to a performance to the late legend, and the projection was a little too close to the unwanted hologram for comfort. But when the entire city of Minneapolis became awash in purple in the formation of Prince’s iconic Love Symbol, I had the chills. Prince and his love for Minneapolis would have been proud.



Review: ‘Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare’ KK Game Studio releases promising sandbox/small squad tactics gaming experience Feb. 1 Nathan Wetrosky Staff Writer

We open at a hospital. Two games are seen rushing inside. Both are screaming that the baby is coming. Doctors and nurses rush around, scrambling to find a spare delivery room so the baby can be born safely. Father “Mount and Blade” and mother “Arma” have conceived a child. They get a room, and after many months of labor, Dr. KK Game Studio reveals the child to the couple and asks them what the name on the birth certificate will be. Mr. “Mount and Blade” and Mrs. “Arma” look at each other with joyful smiles and say in unison, “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare.” The game, developed and produced by KK Game Studio, was released Feb. 1. I was one of the first people to buy and download the game from the Steam Store Early Access page. I know this because I was literally on my computer with the game in my cart counting down until it was out. If you do not know, the “Mount and Blade” series is known for its massive sandbox map and epic medieval battles and brawls. “Arma” is all about small squad tactics and teamwork. The combination of these two games has produced an intense and fun piece of media. The main goal, as of right now, in “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare” is to capture and hold 12 towns scattered around the game map. You do this by gathering up an army of rebellious militia and volunteers who have had it with the government’s

lack of control in their country. You must lead your army against terrorist organizations, bandits and other rebelling factions whose goals compete with your own. Grabbing up an extra squad of troops is a relatively easy and painless process. You walk into one of the scattered towns and go to the recruit menu and pick a squad. If you have the cash, you can pick whomever you want. It is more economical to grab the basic armed volunteers, but you could always splurge on a machine gun squad if you feel you want that extra bang not necessarily for your buck. You cannot hire anyone unless you have money, however, and there are a couple ways you can fund your military ventures. The first and only way you will be able to get money at the start of the game is by attacking groups of looters and marauding bandits. ‘Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare’ is discounted on the Steam Store until today, Feb. 8. You start out the game with numbers prevail. game released, an update out which looks cool. a single squad of armed Sieges happen when you came out that made it so The sound design is not volunteers who will be very attack a town. Attacking a you could get your troops to too special either, especially useful in attaining loot and town pits your troops against follow you wherever. the music for the sandbox more cash. Be careful that the security forces stationed I like that in this game map. The sounds do still add you don’t get your squad there. These are a little more of gun-toting militias and to the atmosphere during a killed or you will be all alone interesting than pitched terrorists the combat is battle. Like the sounds of and outnumbered much of battles because in a pitched realistic. After being shot at, gunfire around you or as you the time. At one point when I you can see where your your troops will immediately run like a little coward while was playing, I had to sell all troops are because of the try to find cover and return bullets ping off the boulder my food and grenades to buy mostly flat maps. Fighting fire. Another thing that or tree you’re hiding behind. a squad. I was dirt broke, but in a town is more intense makes “Freeman: Guerrilla So far there have been I plowed onward, and now because you cannot see your Warfare” stand out is that a couple updates that have I have a completely badass troops unless you are on the the spaces are so wide open come out since the release mercenary sniper squad that tactical map. that firefights end up with of the game, and I hope for has so far been worth every The tactical map is a you aiming at flashes of more. “Freeman: Guerrilla cent. very nice tool and is how enemy gunfire. These are Warfare” is an infantry only The two types of battles you control your separate both real things that happen game and it does that well. If that I am aware of (I’m not squads of soldiers. By going in modern warfare. I could choose one thing to sure there are any more to the map, you can make This game is nothing add to the game besides bug possible) are pitched battles your troops move slowly too exciting in the realm of patches, it would be a greater and sieges. and cautiously or fire at will, graphics, but it does all right. variety of units. I also think Pitched battles are your as well as a bunch of other The trees and rocks look real it would be so cool be able basic army versus army commands. enough, and when a soldier to have vehicles. Nothing scenarios where better A couple days after the is shot, a fine red mist spurts as big as a tank or artillery, tactics and troops/troop


but a variety of civilian vehicles with different heavy weapons mounted on their roofs. Overall, “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare” is a fun game and I have enjoyed most of what it has to offer. For the first time in a while of me buying early access games, I have not had a single crash. Good on you, KK Game Studio. If you are interested in buying “Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare” you can find it on the Steam Store for a discount. The problem with this discount is it ends at noon today, Feb. 8. Hurry up and buy a copy now if you want to save a few bucks.

I, Tonya, You, Tonya, We All Tonya A review of a truly dark humored tragedy Erik Jonasson II Opinion Editor

It is amazing how much a single person’s actions can screw over someone who is innocent. Or at least that is what Tonya Harding’s side of the story is portraying. Tonya Harding, a disgraced figure skater from the 1990s, gained national attention first for her figure skating prowess but was later known as the other skater in the Nancy Kerrigan assault, which was carried out by people associated with Harding. “I, Tonya” seeks to tell Harding’s side of the story. With amazing performances from Margot Robbie ‘I, Tonya’ reveals Tonya Harding’s side of one of the most controversial sports moments. (Tonya), Allison Janney (Tonya’s mother LaVona) sporting stories in a vivid actresses experience the the legacy that Harding carried out by her bodyguard, and Sebastian Stan (Tonya’s and, at times, extremely dark wrath of LaVona, who left behind is perspective. Shawn Eric Eckardt (played ex-husband Jeff Gillooly), tone. There are graphic fight this whole time you are On one side, there is the by Paul Walter Hauser) who “I, Tonya” paints a dark and scenes between Harding questioning whether to hate adoration that Kerrigan took these actions without depressing story that makes and Gillooly, including or not. Sure, she is beating garnered for her bravery to Harding’s knowledge. her kid, but damn she makes skate weeks after the attack. Mix that with rampant me laugh with her unabashed On the other completely abuse and a parrot on bitchiness. “I, Tonya” paints one of the most controversial “I, Tonya” breaks the fourth a ton and it On the other completely possible, impossible to sporting stories in a vivid and, at times, extremely makes wall it seem that much confirm hand, we have Harding’s tale of betrayal. dark tone. cheekier. The characters are sassy, such as when Robbie’s Tonya tells a panel of judges to, “Suck my dick” — which you feel like there is hope, punching, slapping and even didn’t happen in real life — possible, impossible to LaVona’s shoulder and you although Harding did say confirm hand, we have have Harding’s side of the even though you know how a scene with a gun. These scenes don’t seem she wishes she would have Harding’s tale of betrayal. story. A story of how Eckardt it ends. According to “I, Tonya,” and Gillooly ruined the “I, Tonya” paints one out of place, considering said that. The main difference which doesn’t hide from the career of Harding without of the most controversial that the whole movie is full of them. Even younger between “I, Tonya” and controversy, the attack was any regard for Harding


and without Harding’s knowledge. Another thing great about this movie: the soundtrack is fire. Featuring classics like, Heart, Supertramp, Bad Company, Cliff Richard and Fleetwood Mac, if you don’t like the skating scenes you will at least like the music accompanying them. Overall, I have found an appreciation for her side of the story. Empowering, dark and overall a tragedy, “I, Tonya” is worth a watch. Make sure to go on a Tuesday or a Thursday or illegally stream it; I know you are all on a budget.




The Spectrum

Should America Have a Black History Month? America’s racially fueled holiday is not necessary Ezra Gray

Contributing Writer

As I’m sure many of you are aware, the month of February has been arbitrarily deemed “Black History Month” since its inception in 1976. The holiday was originally started by author and historian Carter G. Woodson in order to preserve and celebrate the black race and its history — a history he believed was in danger of being erased. On this topic, Carter G. Woodson said this: “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated. The American Indian left no continuous record. He did not appreciate the value of tradition; and where is he today? The Hebrew keenly appreciated the value of tradition, as is attested by the Bible itself. In spite of worldwide persecution, therefore, he is a great factor in our civilization.” But the preservation of a race’s culture does not exactly require an

entire national holiday. The black race was never even in danger of being exterminated by America in the first place. They were

amongst Americans. Despite the fact that the father of Black History Month created the holiday in order to preserve his race’s

“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated. The American Indian left no continuous record. He did not appreciate the value of tradition; and where is he today? The Hebrew keenly appreciated the value of tradition, as is attested by the Bible itself. In spite of worldwide persecution, therefore, he is a great factor in our civilization.” – Carter G. Woodson undoubtedly oppressed, but never in danger of being wiped out. Why exactly does America need to turn an entire month into a reminder that there are black people who have contributed greatly to the advancement of civilization? Black History Month seems like a holiday that doesn’t need to exist and only causes more racial division

traditions and culture, many people today argue that the month is about racial equality. But if equality is the goal of Black History Month, why don’t all the races get their own months? Why isn’t there an Asian History Month? After all, Chinese immigrants were treated terribly while working on the railroads of the West.

How about a White History Month? Out of all the races, whites rival Asians for the most important innovations of humankind. Why isn’t March or April made into a month-long holiday to celebrate white geniuses such as Nikola Tesla or Albert Einstein? Or what about a Hispanic History Month? Or a Native American History Month? What about the Jews? Or the Arabs? Muslim philosophers from the House of Wisdom were the ones who ensured that the writings of ancient Greek philosophers were preserved and translated. Isn’t it a tad discriminatory that only blacks get to celebrate their culture while all these other ethnicities are left without their own holiday? If one would like to argue that black Americans need their own month because they’ve suffered oppression while these other races haven’t, then you’ve obviously never studied history. Every race has at one point been mistreated and preyed on by another. White Gauls were massacred and enslaved by the Roman Empire during the reign of

Caesar. Native Americans were treated terribly by French and English colonists throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The Kingdom of Egypt enslaved thousands of Jews for decades. European sailors were routinely enslaved and mistreated by Northern Africans during the Barbary Slave Trade. Every ethnicity has been mistreated

has seen a worrying racial division growing amongst her people. Protests like the one in Charlottesville last year have become more and more commonplace in American society. Constant use of identity politics by government officials and the copious coverage of cases such as Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin by the

Seeing as how blacks in the United States are not in danger of any mass extinction event, the holiday’s goal is meaningless. by others, so arguing that blacks have some sort of massive monopoly on racism and abuse is asinine and historically inaccurate. Seeing as how blacks in the United States are not in danger of any mass extinction event, the holiday’s goal is meaningless. Both of these arguments in favor of Black History Month are not only illogical, but also create harmful racial tensions in the United States. I don’t think anyone could argue that America

mainstream media have only stoked the proverbial flames in America’s psyche. Instead, why don’t we solve these racial issues by simply ignoring racial differences? As Morgan Freeman said, we can solve racism by simply not talking about. Let it fade from people’s minds and stop causing more division by celebrating one particular race while ignoring the others.

Alumni from NDSU Who Weren’t Football Players You don’t need to play sports at NDSU to make an impact afterward Mark Simonson Staff Writer

A lot of people come in and out of the hallways of the North Dakota State campus. Some people who have attended NDSU go on to become professional football players. Others have become lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, businessmen and a number of other things. Some make a big impact in the NDSU community, and others, not so much. Some move on to bigger and better things. Some fade into obscurity. When it comes to remembering who went here in prior years, a few big names that to come to mind for many people are athletes who played in recent years. Names like Carson Wentz, Brock Jensen, Marcus Williams and Kyle Emanuel are the big four that spring to mind. But does anybody remember the names of football players like Phil Hansen, Tyrone Braxton, Lamar Gordon or Joe

Mays? Hanson was an accomplished defensive lineman for the Buffalo Bills and played in the Super Bowl for them.

Chris Tuchsherer

I’d like to list a few names of those who may surprise you by having been NDSU students. One example is Chris Tuchsherer. Tuchsherer is an accomplished mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who had a few fights in the UFC. While three of his four UFC fights did not go well for him, he did have a professional record of 20 wins and one loss before stepping inside the UFC octagon. Born in Rugby, North Dakota, Tuchsherer was a successful wrestler at his high school before going on to wrestle for NDSU. However, he did transfer to the heretic school known as Minnesota State University Moorhead. Since his last UFC fight in February 2011, Tuchsherer has started his own MMA promotion, Crowbar MMA. Crowbar MMA has held five events


in Fargo as well as Grand Forks.

Alumni in business and politics

Another NDSU alumnus is politician Rick Berg. Berg’s grandfather immigrated to the United States from Norway, and his father was a veterinarian and his mother a writer. Berg started his college career on a wrestling scholarship to the North Dakota State College of Science before transferring to NDSU after one year. Upon graduation, Berg has over the years become a very successful businessman in the field of real estate. In 1982, he cofounded what is now known as GOLDMARK Property Management. After some time, he also co-founded what is now known as GOLDMARK Commercial Real Estate. At one point in the last few years, he helped a friend of mine get into investing in real estate. Doug Burgum, the current governor of North Dakota, is also an NDSU

alumnus. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1978 from NDSU before getting an MBA at Stanford. Burgum became the president of Great Plains Software in 1984. After the advent of the internet, Burgum grew the company beyond North Dakota’s borders.

Surprising alumni

Bob Backlund is an alumnus whose name is not easily recognizable. Backlund received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from NDSU. He was an accomplished amateur wrestler who won the NCAA Division II championship in the 190-pound weight class in 1971. The next year, Backlund moved up to the heavyweight division and placed fifth at the NCAA Division II finals. A few years after graduating from NDSU, Backlund joined the WWE in 1977. Back then, it was known as the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). In 1978, he defeated “Superstar” Billy Graham for the WWWF

championship and held on to the title for five years before losing it to The Iron Sheik in 1983. Another surprising alumnus of NDSU is Alf Clausen. Not too many people recognize the name, but just about everybody knows about “The Simpsons.” Clausen was the show’s original music composer and has scored many of its episodes for over 27 years. He attended NDSU back in the ‘60s. He initially studied mechanical engineering, but later switched his major to musical theory. Also, Clausen has taken a correspondence course in jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Last but not least

Perhaps one of the biggest names that has come out of NDSU is Mancur Olson. His nephew, Frayne Olson, is a professor in NDSU’s department of agribusiness and applied economics. Last fall, NDSU’s Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise started a reading group dubbed the

Mancur Olson Scholars. Mancur Olson received his bachelor’s degree from NDSU back in the ‘50s. He proceeded to complete his master’s degree from the University of Oxford before completing his doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 1963. Olson was an expert in the field of collective action. After receiving his doctorate from Harvard, he began his academic career as an assistant professor of economics at Princeton University. After a little while, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in Washington, D.C. In 1969, after two years in D.C., he left that position to join the economics faculty at the University of Maryland, College Park. He remained in that position until he died in 1998 at the age of 66. A professor of mine said that if he was still alive, he would have had a very good shot of receiving a Nobel Prize in his work in economics.



Tales of a Second-Grade Mentor A second-grader’s life is different than what I remembered Erik Jonasson II Opinion Editor

Over the past few weeks, I have found the single greatest form of entertainment — secondgraders. They are sweet and say just about anything on their minds like a friend who has had one too many. Through North Dakota State’s engineering department, I will be mentoring second-graders in math for the remainder of the semester. I have a bet that I can teach them calculus, so I have to keep you all updated on that adventure. So far, I haven’t made much progress teaching them limits. Given this opportunity, it would only be appropriate to report on how second grade is nowadays. A lot has changed since we were in second grade. For most of us in college now, second grade was before cell phones were

everywhere and our favorite activity when we got home wasn’t an iPad, but rather going outside and eating

her if you are from the Fargo area. This past week, there was a verbal disagreement

“Are you a girl? Because you look like a girl.” It was because I have long hair, and having to hold the tears back was life changing. yogurt from a plastic tube. As for the class of 2028, that isn’t so much the case. Life is very different now. They ‘dab’ in class now.

By golly, by golly, they know the F-word

“When I was their age I thought the F-word was fart.” -Teacher of the classroom. The teacher who leads this class has been teaching for over 20 years. That would mean that she has been working long enough for some of you to have had

at the school between a girl and a boy; I think it may have been over a coloring assignment. Well, one thing led to another before this was spoken, “Shut the f--- up.” I was taken aback, surprised by the diction and shocked by the delivery. Not even trying to hide it, no, very loud and it just peppered the room with a strange feeling. Hearing an 8-year-old drop the F-bomb gives me a mixed feeling. Kind of like mixing beer and Sprite — it

just shouldn’t be done.

They talk about everything under the sun

The main thing that is different about secondgraders and college students is that they have absolutely no filter. They will tell you just about anything. I was told the following: “Are you a girl? Because you look like a girl.” It was because I have long hair, and having to hold the tears back was life changing. I was also asked by another boy how long it took me to grow my hair because he thought it was cool to have long hair. Obviously, I am a trendsetter. They also tell me things about their home life, including when their moms and dads get home at night for dinner and what their favorite meme is.

They are sincere

For most people, asking someone for help isn’t the

easiest thing to do. Raising your hand and asking a professor for clarification is something that scares the ever-living daylights out of me. Not these kids. They love help. They even sometimes get more than help. The best scene to see is when a second-grader is attempting to be sneaky and

numbers. I can’t imagine not knowing how to tell time or how to count my stacks of cash from writing for you people. One student was very interested in my help. He walked all the way across the room to grab me by the hand and lead me to his chair to read him his favorite book.

“When I was their age I thought the F-word was fart.” – Teacher of the classroom cheat on an assignment. How are you supposed to stop 20 or so 8-year-olds? Mad respect to all elementary education majors out there. It is even better when they report on others cheating, even after they openly cheated. There is no justice with these kids. While they might cheat, they also want help with

Through the first few weeks, I have garnered a decent amount of talking material for my grandmother, who, bless her heart, was a special education instructor. I have also gained a new respect for the Minions movies following several intense conversations with a couple of the students.

Transgender Regret You Know What It Is With societal acceptance, trans activists face a new challenge Calvin Benson

Contributing Writer

The last five years have seen a distinct rise in the rate of people identifying as trans or nonbinary, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With a 490 percent increase in non-normal self-sexual identification, we have seen a historic rise in the request for gender transitioning hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgery. This rise is explained by members of the LGBTQ community with the claim that as more people deem non-traditional sexuality as acceptable more people find the courage to “come out” as their “true self.” With this new acceptance of trans persons, a new problem has arisen — transgender regret. Transgender regret is the phenomena of persons identifying with non-traditional gender identities reverting back to the identity in accordance with their biological sex. According to Dr. Djordjevic, the world leading researcher on sexual identity renormalization, requests to attempt to reverse gen-

der reassignment surgery has grown in the last few months. With an 800 percent increase in requests to his clinic so far in 2018, in comparison to 2017, Dr. Djordjevic fears that the new culture around sexual identity is creating long-term harm for individuals that have gender identity crisis. While more people are claiming trans status, the commitment to that lifestyle has lessened to the point of near irrelevance. This stems from an over exuberance toward “selfidentification” as well as a shrinking respect for the drastic changes that a transgender lifestyle has. According to doctors at the NIH, 82.4 percent of persons who currently identify with non-traditional gender roles will revert back to their traditional gender role within 10 years. The reason that this statistic is so dangerous is that the area of gender reversion is never mentioned. The current pro-trans culture has branded it a “Hate Crime.” The branding has gone so far that Bath Spa University in the U.K., a prestigious medical research institution, was attacked and had administrators threatened by trans

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activists after it was leaked that the university would be conducting research on the long-term viability of transgender person’s sexual identity. The question has now become, “How do we deal with this growing problem?” Luckily, there is a simple answer. If you think you are trans, there’s an 82.4 percent chance that your not. College is a time of trial and tribulation. Confusion often sets in as you discover yourself and your place in this world, and for many that can be a crisis of identity. But do not mistake a crisis of identity for a crisis in your sexual identity. If you are really questioning yourself, or if you do know what you are, I personally recommend counseling. Finding out who you are is hard; having a trained professional aid you along the way can make a world of difference. Don’t rush into a life-altering process based on how you feel; get professional help and wait. Don’t try to make a life-altering choice, especially one that has an 82.4 percent chance of backfiring.

Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 10 a.m. | A. Glenn Hill Center Atrium

We’ve all seen it

You get in the car and drive, and you’re getting progressively more annoyed

Grant Gloe Staff Writer

Oh, come on. You know exactly what this article is about. You wake up, you comb your teeth and you brush your hair. You’re tired, irritable and if you don’t have coffee within the hour you’re gonna have a bass drum in your head. The last thing you want to do is the only thing you need to: wake up. On top of all this, here comes the millimeter precision to find a comfortable shower temperature. And just as you think you’re coming up on that sweet pocket of happiness. You get cleaned up and get out of the shower to dress. You act like you’re choosing a shirt, but, Jesus Christ, you haven’t done laundry in forever and pickings are slim. You take whatever doesn’t smell like fast food and effort. You pack your bag and get ready for the day. You grab your lunch and take out the note from your mom so the other guys don’t tease you. You slip the note in your wallet. Just when you’re ready to leave, you happen to walk past the mirror and wouldn’t you know it. There’s a stain on your shirt so you change real quick.

if you can’t get a spot here you’ll probably be late for class. You finally see a spot,

Just when you’re ready to leave you happen to walk past the mirror and wouldn’t you know it... at the radio. There isn’t a single good station. The only one that’s passable has just enough static you can’t convince yourself it’s worth it. Brake lights. You slam on your brakes. This guy just cuts you off. Not only that, but he’s going 10 under the speed limit. You can’t pass because the cars in the other

but as you’re coming up on it this SUV turns the corner right next to it. He sees you. He sees the spot. You both know what’s gonna happen next, but it still hurts to see. He gives you the spot. It really sucks for him, but you were there first and he might not fit anyway. You walk into class and the professor

You can barely believe when not even a minute later you look up... lane are driving like sane human beings: 50 in a 30. And you can barely believe when not even a minute later you look up. They turned off. You relax and go on your merry way. You arrive at school safe and sound. Oh my God, there isn’t a single parking spot. This is the third lot you’ve checked. You’re getting a little nervous because

wearing a vest like a dad in a ‘90s sitcom imitating a dad in an ‘80s sitcom. His shoes don’t go with his pants, and you’re really not where gold cuff links fit with the look. You notice something else about his clothes though. Something that stands out above everything else. They’re immaculate. It’s a Tide ad.



NDSU Darwin Day Sponsored by the Departments of Biological Sciences, Geosciences, and Animal Sciences, the College of Science and Mathematics, and Cooperative Sponsorship at NDSU.

It's a good idea.





The Spectrum

W in ter Ol ym p ic s G e t U n d e rway i n So ut h K o r ea Top events to look for from PyeongChang Taylor Schloemer Sports Editor

For the second time in history, South Korea will open an Olympic Games in the early hours on Friday. For 16 day, the eyes of the world will turn to the Games as the world’s best athletes compete. Due to the time difference, Americans will get nearly 24 hours a day of coverage, but will also face tape delays for primetime events. Here are some of the top events in the opening week of events.

Opening CeremonyFriday, Feb. 9, Live 5 a.m, primetime 7 p.m.

For the early risers, or those that have been turned off by the TODAY show’s host attempting to sport in the past will have things to cheer about. The live event will be streaming on the NBC Sports App and the NBC Olympic website. The stream will not be accompanied by host commentary. The primetime broadcast will be on NBC and hosted by Katie Couric and Mike

Tirico. As usual, the IOC has kept the contents of the ceremony under wraps, which makes the most interesting topic involving the hosts and their neighbors. South Korea will compete under a unified flag with the North Koreans, and how the world reacts to the Korean team remains in question.

Women’s HockeySunday, Feb. 11, 1:40 am/ 6:00 am

The North Americans teams get into action on Sunday morning. The Americans hit the ice against Finland in search for a gold medal that has eluded the nation since Nagano in 1998. Four time defending champions Canada take on the Olympic Athletes from Russia the same day. Both games are in Group A, where all teams will advance into the knockout rounds. The top two get byes straight into the semifinals.

Snowboarding HalfpipeMonday Feb. 12, 7:00 p.m./ Tuesday Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m.

For the women’s and

men’s halfpipe, Americans will see two excellent athletes at opposite end of their careers. Chloe Kim has been the women to beat in the pipe for a number of years now, but the 17 finally gets her chance to shine at the Olympics. For the men, it is the ageless Shaun White who looks for his third gold medal. White skipped the Winter X Games to prepare for the Olympics. That event was fiercely contested in Aspen, and all four competitors that scored over 90 are in the Olympics. This includes Japan’s Ayumu Hirano, who scored a 99 for gold at the X Games.

Men’s HockeyWednesday, Feb. 14, 6:10 a.m.

The United States has not won the Olympic gold medal WIKICOMMONS | PHOTO COURTESY since Lake Placid in 1980. That was a team of misfit PyeongChang opens the Winter Olympics on Friday morning with the Opening Ceremony. amateurs that came together and pulled one of the biggest the Games in response to that the U.S. squad is a a 15-year veteran of the the IOC’s ban of Russian patchwork group of college NHL that last suited up for upsets in Olympic history. This year, with no NHL athletes for doping. Most kids, including Moorhead, the U.S. in 2006 in Torino. players involved, the field teams feature KHL players, MN native Will Borgen, The U.S. open play league players, against Slovenia, and are in a is pretty wide open, and and they comprise all of the minor still in flux. There is still the Russian team, who enter European based players, and group that includes Slovakia Brian Gionta. Gionta is the and Olympic Athletes from possibility that the Russian among the favorites. The NHL boycott means elder statesman of the team, Russia. league, the KHL, boycott




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Post-Super Bowl Hot Takes The extras couldn’t keep pace with the on-field action Taylor Schloemer Sports Editor

The circus has moved on. Minnesota has done its job in hosting the Super Bowl, and now the keys have been handed to Atlanta. Now that it is all said and done, it is only right to look back at all that happened on a crazy Sunday evening in Minneapolis.

The NFL got the calls right

In such an offensive game, there were hardly any flags to be seen. In fact, there were just seven accepted penalties in the game for just 40 yards. There were no real questionable calls, just a number of obvious false starts, offsides and holds. Even better was the real lack of video review. A pair

of touchdowns for the Eagles came with controversy, but upon review, the calls stood. Those calls were correct. Zach Ertz clearly transitioned into a runner when he took four steps to the goal line, seeing as a football move is considered two steps. Corey Clement’s catch had the ball move, but the movement was still within his possession. Patriots fans can cry foul, but maybe it was time for a call not to break their way.

The Philly Special was really special

Somewhere in Philadelphia, there must be a sandwich shop offering up the Philly Special. Boy, that was a play. Facing fourth-and-goal from the one. The Eagles sent quarterback Nick Foles from the shotgun up

to the line to communicate with the offensive line. The snap went directly to Corey Clement, who ran left and pitched back to tight end Trey Burton. The former Florida Gator, who attempted 17 passes in college, hit Foles for the score. It was a gutsy call to say the least, and the timing could not have been better. There was less than a minute left in the half and the Eagles were up three. Fail, and Tom Brady has one timeout and 35 seconds to get into field goal range to tie the game. Crazier things have happened.

These Eagles are going to be around for a while

The rest of the NFC needs to be put on notice — the Philadelphia Eagles are good and not going

anywhere. Even with the possibility of a quarterback controversy brewing, a solid foundation has been laid in Philadelphia. Both Foles and Wentz remain under contract, as does Zach Ertz, Fletcher Cox, Jay Ajayi, Alshon Jeffery, Malcolm Jenkins, Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce and Jason Peters through at least 2019. That is a scary group of players in for the long run, and it will take something special to knock off this team.

The commercials were middle of the road

If you were a person that just watches the Super Bowl for the commercials, it was a hard day. A good portion of the commercials were not memorable. However, the ones that were memorable were very good.

The New York Giants finally had something to cheer about with Eli Manning and Odell Beckham’s rendition of “Dirty Dancing.” Amazon was funny, and Budweiser hit all the right notes. The one thing to remember about all of these ads is that they are actually Tide ads.

The stadium was the real star of halftime

When Justin Timberlake was announced as the halftime entertainment, I was middle of the road on it. While his performance was high in energy, the most important part of a Super Bowl halftime show, there were no really standalone moments, bar Prince. The thing about the Prince cameo, it is just projecting a movie onto a

sheet in your bedroom, just blown up a bit. Cool, but not spectacular. That said, using the stadium’s abilities to the maximum was the most impressive part of the show. U.S. Bank Stadium is proud of the LED lights both in and outside of the stadium, and the lighting changes where sharp inside the stadium. The best part of the show was the Prince logo appearing outside the stadium. Another key feature of the stadium is how close the seats are to the field and the field level clubs. Starting the show in one of those clubrooms made it feel like a smaller concert, something that is nearly impossible to do at a Super Bowl.

What is a Catch? Maybe Just Look at It The difference between a catch and incomplete pass Cody Tusler Staff Writer

The Google search definition of a catch is, “intercept and hold (something that has been thrown, propelled or dropped).” The NFL rules say that a player going to the ground while attempting to make a catch must have control of the ball throughout the process before hitting the ground. That means if you are going to the ground in the act of catching the ball, and you hit the ground and the ball comes out, it is incomplete. Or if the ball hits the ground and moves, whether or not it fully comes out, it is incomplete. Another rule of a catch is to have both feet in bounds and maintain control of the ball. The ground rule comes in to play if the player is going to the ground. So if you can catch it with both feet in, get hit and fall out of bounds and drop the ball as you hit the ground, it is ruled incomplete. Hang on to the ball, complete. NBC color commentator Cris Collinsworth’s definition of a catch: nothing is a catch anymore. There were two plays that Collinsworth was baffled by and kept coming back to throughout the game. The first play was the Corey Clement touchdown catch in the back of the end zone. Clement did have two feet in and on the third step, the front of his foot did step out. The ruling was called a touchdown and the play went under review. The reply did show Clement catch the ball with a little bit of a juggle, but he did have control, or at least enough control before his foot stepped out. To me, it was a catch and the play did stand, as there was not enough video evidence to overturn the call. See, I said stand, not confirmed. The second play, and the one that has everyone buzzing, is the Zach Ertz touchdown. It is a play that was quickly connected to a pair of infamous plays from recent history. Collinsworth, Skip Bayless, Le’Veon Bell and Ryan Shazier all commented how the catch was similar to Dez Bryant’s and Jesse James’ catches that were ruled incomplete. Bell and Shazier, both teammates with James for the Steelers, both came out on Twitter with their thoughts. Bell, “it’s crazy cuz that’s the same thing Jesse did and it got called incomplete ... lol I guess IDK what a catch is anymore.” Shazier, “is that a catch?? Then what was Jesse @JJames18_ Catch ???”

The calls were right by the NFL definition. The Dez Bryant play: He went up and as he was coming down, you can see the ball in his arms hit the ground, and the ball popped out. He has to complete the catch through the ground. Now if he was able to gain balance for a little longer and dove, that would be a catch because he made would have been established as a runner. The Jesse James play: If you watch the play, Ben Roethlisberger throws the ball behind James and he reaches back, and the momentum has him fall to the ground as he is catching the ball, thus never making him a runner. The ball did hit the ground and move; therefore, it was incomplete. Now if the ball hit the ground and didn’t move, or if the ball never touched the ground and did move but James was able to maintain control, it would have been ruled a catch and a touchdown. Similar to Bryant’s situation. The Zach Ertz play: Ertz caught the ball and became the runner. You can see him turn upfield with control of the ball and dive for the end zone. If you watch the play, he takes three steps, four if you count his toe dragging as he dove over the Patriots defender. He crossed the goal line for the touchdown. Once he broke the goal line, it was a touchdown. He clearly landed in the end zone, so before the ball came out, and the ground cannot cause a fumble. Even if he started to lose control before he crossed the line, which it didn’t look like he did, he grabbed the ball. No matter how you look at it, Ertz caught it and it was a touchdown. Completely different from the Jesse James play. There is no debate on if Ertz made the catch. Clement’s was more debatable, but to me, it was called correctly as well. Ertz’ play and James’ play were two completely different plays. Ertz caught it and became a runner and dove over the line. James caught it and fell to the ground, never having his feet planted during the catch and fell in the end zone and lost control. The NFL needs to take a look at the catch rule and clarify it. A novel idea may be to try to insert some common sense. If you use common sense you can determine what a catch is. Mainly look at if he became a runner and if he held on through contact, either with a player or ground through the act of catching the ball. Maybe just get a group of 50 fans together and watch the video reviews quickly and have them vote to uphold the call or overturn it. WIKICOMMONS | PHOTO COURTESY

Dez Bryant’s catch against Green Bay in 2014 brought up the conversation about catches, and it still rages today.




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NDSU SPECTRUM | February 8 2018  
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