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Fort Lewis College News Magazine

Issue 50

es! u s s I 0 5 g n i t Celebra



October 2013 FREE

Stacye Heaton

Haley Pruitt




Lindsey Fuller Livia Hooson Ciarra Krening Megan Prins Cover photo by Hana Mohsin

VISIT US on the web for breaking news, daily campus and community updates, sports, and much more!


Aimee Gardere

Chloe Eckerman

Emily Fagerberg


Deanna Atkins Madi Bates Bob Brockley Alexa Chance Taylor Ferraro Meghan Olson Julia Volzke


Emily Griffin

Hana Mohsin






Rise Fujita Livia Hooson Christian Bachrodt Anthony Martin

Allie Hutto

Graeme Johnston


Makenzie Rennick Shannon Roe Jaimee Souder


Andrew Mangiona





Trevor Ogborn

Editors & Staff



Campus News Where Are They Now?

To our readers,


Story by Madi Bates

Community News

Buzzkill in 2014? Buzz Bus Service Slated to be Cut in City’s Budget Proposal Story by Bob Brockley






Halloween in Durango Story by Deanna Atkins

Cheated Hearts Story by Meghan Olson


Munchin’ on Mercury: Amalgam Fillings and Their Risks Story by Julia Volzke


Andrew Mangiona Visual Editor




Horoscopes, Crossword, Recipe, and Indy on the Street

Also, this semester the Independent has started a new project that I am proud to introduce to our readers. We have created a new video news broadcast segment called Fort Fuel. Each week, we interview new and interesting people from our campus, from faculty to student athletes. While the project is still new, it is our hope that you, our faithful readers, will tune in and help us improve over the coming months. You can find our videos on our Facebook page, as well as our website, “”. Thank you for reading, and enjoy the magazine!


Indy by the Numbers: The Golden Edition Story by Taylor Ferraro

This has been a big year for me. As the new Visual Editor for the Independent, it fell on me to oversee the magazine’s visual appearance, both in print and on the web. It has been my task to take all of the incredible work put forth by those who have come before me, and attempt to improve upon the foundation they set. Thankfully, I have been fortunate to have a staff of incredibly talented designers and photographers to help me this semester, and they have been instrumental in bringing our design vision to you this semester. I hope that you enjoy our work, and that it improves your Indy experience.


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Connect with us!



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From the Editor’s Desk



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Campus News

Where Are They Now? Story by Madi Bates

Graphics by Graeme Johnston

Photo courtesy of Dustin Bradford

FLC alumn Dustin Bradford, 3rd from right, works as a sports photographer.


hough Fort Lewis College may be a smaller institution, the achievements of numerous graduates are not. FLC has nearly 22,000 alumni around the world, and 10,000 are located in the four corners area, said Dave Kerns, the director of alumni relations. Many graduates are now prominent members of the community, making great strides in their chosen career while looking back at their experiences at FLC and even maintaining a relationship with the college. One hundred and eight FLC graduates are currently employed on campus, Kerns said. Many organizations, like the Program for Academic Advancement and the Office of Financial Aid, are almost entirely composed of graduates, he said. Kerns, himself a 2003 FLC graduate, was the office manager


for Sodexo after graduating, he said. When an opportunity came eight months ago to be the director of alumni relations, Kerns was thrilled to take the job, he said. “I saw the opportunity, and I jumped at it,” Kerns said. “It is pretty awesome to be working for your alma mater.” Additionally, two members of the Board of Trustees are graduates. Matthew Wassam and John Wells, who serve together on the Board of Trustees, were both business administration majors. Wassam, who graduated in 1998, works with SAK Construction, a company with a vision for eco-friendly construction. “We have developed a technology for rebuilding pipelines using robotic equipment and liquid plastic resin systems,” Wassam said. “The carbon footprint using this technology is dramatically reduced compared to conventional replacement methods.”

Using these plastic components, the carbon footprint is reduced by 80 percent, Wassam said. Wassam and his team have been working on this project for eight years, he said. They have rebuilt pipelines all over the country, including a 21,000 foot pipeline in Montgomery, Alabama. It was the combination of technology and contracting that interested Wassam in the project, he said. “There is a tremendous need in the market for rebuilding failing infrastructure,” Wassam said. Wassam credits his experiences at FLC with helping him to take risks in his career. “The youthful, fun, active experience really translates to you being adventurous in your career,” Wassam said. Wassam and Wells give much credit to the liberal arts education they received from FLC. “Fort Lewis creates a big, broad foundation for success,” Wells said. “I took a lot of different classes outside of business.” Many alumni find their experiences in classes at FLC have even helped to sculpt and shape their careers. After taking a sculpture class at FLC that changed his life, Greg Kelsey discovered how well he dealt with the medium, he said. “I had an epiphany that was what I wanted to do, as soon as I stuck my hands in that clay,” Kelsey said. “Every day I am impacted, because I found my career there.” Kelsey has always been around art, and grew up with a mother that was an art teacher, he said. Many of Kelsey’s bronze sculptures and paintings can be found at Sorrel Sky Gallery, located at 828 Main Avenue. Kelsey, who attended FLC for art education from 1994 to 1995, said his art is representative of his lifestyle. “Immerse yourself in something you enjoy,” Kelsey said. His work is largely about the western lifestyle, current and past, Kelsey said. It also draws on the historical aspects of the Four Corners area. Kelsey moved to the area before he went to FLC and has loved it ever since, he said. “There is a lot to offer in your community, but it is not always seen if you stay up on the hill,” Kelsey said. “You have got to get out there.” Another alumni who has stayed in the area is John Wells. In 1985, Wells started The Wells Group Real Estate and Brokerage with some partners – an opportunity that presents great benefits and great challenges, he said. Wells continues to give back to the school and the Durango community by serving on various boards around town, he said. While working at a local restaurant, The Ore House, Wells graduated in 1978 and decided to stay in Durango, he said. Since graduating, Wells has been committed to giving back to

the community, he said. “The community, just like the college, gave me a lot of experience and skill sets,” Wells said. “A lot of students have a lot of different majors,” Wells said. “The key is to understand the challenges, to have a good attitude about it and to be persistent in pursuing your dreams.” Wells is pleased to see that enrollment at FLC is up, he said. Funding for higher education has been greatly reduced since the recession, but FLC does a better job than any other school in the state at making college affordable, Wells said. Like at any college, a student may benefit from the connections he or she makes while at FLC, said Dustin Bradford, a 2004 graduate. “Coming out of college, I can say from personal experience that the network at Fort Lewis goes a long way,” Bradford said. Bradford is currently a Certified Public Accountant, after having been an accounting major at FLC. Bradford received a great education from FLC, and felt well prepared to take the CPA test, he said. Part of what made his experience good was his experience he gained outside the classroom, Bradford said. He worked at the FLC Ski and Bike shop and participated in clubs, including Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honors fraternity. He is still in contact with many of the members, he said. In addition to accounting, Bradford is a photographer for Getty Images, he said. He is a part of the upper tier of sports photography, working alongside people whom he admires, Bradford said. Before reaching all of his success, Bradford was photography editor for The Independent and later worked as a photographer for The Durango Herald, he said. Bradford is still involved with FLC, he said. He attends alumni gatherings in Denver, which are always well attended. He also does outreach for the school, talking to a handful of high school students about FLC, Bradford said.


Community News

BUZZkill in 2014? Buzz Bus Service Slated to be Story by Bob Brockley

Cut in City’s Budget Proposal

Photos by Anthony Martin


he new year could mark the end of the Buzz Bus’ 15-year run as Durango’s low-budget driving alternative for latenight revelers. Facing a $430,000 budget shortfall according to Amber Blake, the Durango Multimodal Transportation administrator, the Durango City Council is currently taking comment regarding City Manager, Ron LeBlanc’s, proposal to end the Buzz Bus service. The move is surprising some residents and students who argue that Durango has a notorious DUI problem, and the city should continue to subsidize late-night transportation. “This town is going to pop-off with DUIs if they shut down the Buzz Bus next year,” said Nick Moore, a community member, who began riding the Buzz Bus after he received a DUI conviction in Durango. The program, which charges a flat rate of $5 per rider, gives patrons door-to-door service from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and certain holidays. LeBlanc released his budget proposal in September, which includes cutting weekend bus service. Together, these two proposed transportation cuts represent about $220,000 annually, Blake said. The Buzz Bus service would account for $34,400, Blake said. This represents about 7.5 percent of the City’s transportation shortfall. The service documented serving 3800 riders last year, Blake said. In reality, the number of riders served may be higher. When people board the bus without fare, they won’t necessarily be denied service, said Moore and Madison Bush, an FLC sophomore. “I mean it’s only $5 to get on, and even then you don’t have to pay,” said Bush. “I give her what I can, like a handful of change to get myself home.” Even the reported number is nearly double the riders who used the service five years ago, when the Durango Telegraph reported that the bus served 2000 people. City officials say that their recommendation is not based on demand. “It’s not about ridership, its about dollars and cents,” Blake said. As the proposal has gained recent publicity, an opinion piece in the Durango Herald and Facebook comments have suggested raising the Buzz Bus fare in order to fund the service. To compensate for the entire $32,400 savings with a fare increase alone, the 3800 annual riders would have to pay about $13.50, based on numbers computed by our staff. Private services


are charging less than half this rate locally. Private taxis in Durango are comparable to the Buzz Bus’ current fare. The rate for Durango Taxi from downtown to campus costs $6 per person, and Animas Transportation has a special for $5.50/ person to go anywhere in the city limits after 10:30 p.m. Several people leaving a Main St. bar late Saturday night said a taxi in Durango usually costs them $10-$15. Tim Maher, who initiated the original Buzz Bus program over a decade ago as a member of Durango’s finance board, opposes raising the fare. He argues that the low fare caters to a specific market of younger rider who can’t afford taxis and limousines. Maher suggests another novel solution. “I would like to see the city try a one year experimental roundup program at the bars in town,” Maher said, in a phone interview. Round-Up programs that ask customers if they want to round up the price of their purchase to the nearest dollar, with the change going to a charity, are gaining popularity with national retail stores. “The city could try out a round-up volunteer program for a year, and if it didn’t make enough to cover the Buzz Bus then they could look at other options,” Maher said The late-night transportation fares are dwarfed when compared to the hefty price of a drinking and driving offense. “The average cost for a DUI can be anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000,” Parson said. lists the incidence of DUI arrests in La Plata County as 129 arrest per 10,000 people, and gives the county an F on the grade scale for too many DUIs. Between Oct. 3, 2012 and Oct. 3, 2013 there have been 253 DUIs and 13 DWAIs in Durango, said Sgt. Gary Parsons of the Durango Police Department. In the city of Durango, the amount of DUIs does affect grant funding for the department, Parsons said. A lieutenant tracks the DUIs for the grant period. DUIs may be tracked during certain time periods, such as St. Patrick’s Day weekend, Memorial Day and other holiday weekends because alcohol consumption is typically increased during these periods. The lieutenant then tracks the DUI’s for up to six days, and hands the data over to the state, he said. According to data computed by Independent staff using 2010

FBI data, Durango has 61 percent more police officers than the average for Colorado cities of its size. The police department has previously stated, in a 2012 Durango Herald article, that the need for a larger force is necessary due to the increased daytime population, several festivals and event, and the amount of college students. Lt. Ray Shupe, the public information officer for the Durango Police Dept., declined to comment on the statistic for this story. The direction in which the city seems to be heading, on terms with public transportation services, is a concern to Maher. “The police just don’t want people drinking and driving, and I would guess that most cops here would support the Buzz Bus program,” said Maher. “But I am concerned with the general direction that the city seems to be going by cutting various public transportation services.” Public transportation has never been profitable- and shouldn’t be, Maher said. Inebriation is not a requirement to ride the Buzz Bus. A minority of those served by the bus are commuting to and from late night jobs in town. The service can also provide a safe ride home if people are uncomfortable walking home in the dark. “The campus is surrounded by a wooded area,” said Arnold Trujillo, the chief of police at FLC. “If you are walking and intoxicated it could be very dangerous.” FLC students, like sophomore Madison Bush, have expressed opposition to the proposal. She believes that the Buzz Bus helps to keep a lot of people safe, and for her, it is better than walking. “I think that they are doing everyone a solid service by encouraging people not to drink and drive,” Bush said. City officials have pointed out that students will not be left without late night transportation options. When the Buzz Bus program began there were inadequate private transportation services in Durango, but now there is ample service between the three taxi and limousine companies in operation, said Sherri Dugdale, assistant to LeBlanc. “It was a budget decision first, but we always have to be cognizant of competing with private services,” Dugdale said. The proposal, however, is not popular with at least one of these taxi service owners. John Nadolny, owner of Animas Transporta-

tion, said that as a father of 5 he cannot support the proposal, and as a businessman he is not threatened by the competition. “Here’s the problem: there is a mass exit from the bars when they close at 2 am and in thirty minutes it’s over,” he said. “If they cut Buzz Bus service there are going to be a lot of kids sitting around waiting for a ride, and wondering what to do with themselves.” He could potentially add one more car to his fleet, but that only represent four seats, and the bus seats 25 riders. “The city really is not thinking straight on this one, and I will be at the meeting on November 5 to speak against the proposal,” Nadolny said. The Buzz Bus is funded primarily with money collected from the city’s Parking Department and also is given some help from lodging tax, Dugdale said. “Those who drive and park subsidize transit,” Dugdale said. “We have made the decision not to continue raising parking fines to fund increasing expenses because we feel it is not sustainable.” The demand on local transit has been increasing in recent years, said Dugdale, noting that some days early this summer the trolley was forced to leave riders at stops since all seats were filled. The 2014 budget is still in the proposal stage, and public comment is still being accepted. A public hearing on Nov. 5 will be the final chance for community members to voice their opinions about the budget proposal. City Councilman Keith Brandt said that community input could sway votes within the Council, since the 5 councilmen serve as the voice of the community. Attendance at these hearings is typically low, Brandt said. “The reality is, aside from the recent bag tax hearing, nobody shows up to the meetings unless the issue affects them directly,” he said. According to Brandt, the City Council has yet to be presented with the figures behind the proposal or discussed the issue. Reconciliation is scheduled for Nov. 12, and this is when all changes to the budget proposal must be decided, Dugdale said. The entire budget package, which must be balanced according to state law, must be approved by a Council vote in December before it is formally adopted, and Buzz Bus service would stop in January.


FLC student Latham Clayton catches a ride on the Buzz Bus.


Cover Story

halloween In Durango


Story by Deanna Atkins Photo by Hana Mohsin Graphics by Livia Hooson

he month of October brings the much anticipated holiday of scary costumes, trick or treating, pumpkin carving, costume parties and haunted houses. Halloween in Durango brings a history of events to life, including the Zombie March on Main Avenue, a haunted house at Fort Lewis College, the Fall Festival at Three Springs and more. On Halloween night, Oct. 31, FLC will be hosting a haunted house in the Student Union Ballroom from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., said Elizabeth Roberts, the FLC union programming coordinator. According to Roberts, last year was FLC’s first haunted house held in Cooper Hall, under the direction of Edgar Anaya, the FLC Cooper Hall resident director. Last year Anaya and the Cooper staff hung trash bags through the hallways of the dorm and placed people in corners to scare its guests. Because of the high participation Cooper Hall saw last year, the haunted house is now being hosted by a collaboration of organizations, including Student Union Productions, Residents on Campus Association, Boo Radley Club and El Centro de Muchos Colores, Roberts said. “The haunted house is called the Old Fort Asylum, and all the different organizations are coming together to make different rooms, and its going to be really scary,” she said. Since each group is responsible for each room in the haunted house, Roberts said they have several ideas ready and plan on putting a lot of work into it. “A lot of the resources that were purchased were purchased with the intent that, if it goes well and gets a nice hype around it, we’ll continue to make it bigger and better in the future,” she said. The haunted house does not completely deter students from the events happening downtown because it allows students to come to campus, go through the haunted house at least twice, and still make it back for other events, she said. Roberts said the Student Union Productions will also be showing a movie, The Conjuring, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Oct. 30 in the Vallecito Room free of charge. Happening the night of Halloween is the Zombie March, where people parade up and down Durango’s Main


Avenue sidewalks in the late hours of the night dressed up in their best costumes. The march is an unsanctioned event thought to be based off the occupy movement coinciding with online websites, said Lt. Ray Shupe with the Durango Police Department in a phone interview. This means that the city council of Durango does not have anything to do with it, Shupe said.

The haunted house is called the Old Fort Asylum, and all the different organizations are coming together to make different rooms, and its going to be really scary. -Elizabeth Roberts, FLC union pragramming director

In November of 2011, Shupe said the Zombie March had gotten out of hand resulting in 22 arrests. Because of the past arrests, Shupe and his department have done their research on the occupy movement, have educated their officers with the information they have found, and will continue to provide safety for the community. Last year there were no arrests most likely due to the cooperation with Fort Lewis College and Durango Police who advised students to be respectful and abide by the officer’s sanctions, he said. Aside from the hiccup in 2011, the Zombie March continues to appeal to the town’s Halloween fetish. Of the Halloween attractions for mature audiences, there is the Rocky Horror Picture Show, hosted by the Strater Hotel Theatre from Oct. 24 through the 26 at 8 p.m. for $18. Since 2008, the Strater has put on live performances of several different scenes of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, said Emily Flood, front house manager at the Henry Strater Theater, in a phone interview. The first showing, on Oct. 24, is open to ages 16 and up as long as minors are accompanied by a parent or guardian, because the show dresses men in womens clothing, Flood said. Because the show is such a fun and highly visited event, Flood said that many cast members from previous years come back and play the same roles.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show has shown for the last six years, so in order to spice things up, Flood said that the theater announces new themes every year like steampunk and 50s. This years theme is the 80s, she said. Along with their Rocky Horror show tradition, this year Flood said the theater will be hosting their first new Halloween event, titled the Strater Halloween Bash, Flood said. The Halloween Bash, featuring the band Vanilla Pop from New Mexico, is scheduled on Oct. 31 at 8:30 p.m. costing $10 in advance and $15 at the door, she said. Flood said that The Bash is planned to be a late night event lasting until 11:30 p.m. There will be live music with a full bar open along with specialty drinks like jello shots, she said. This is the first year that the theater is taking a look at a new secondary event, and if it receives a high participation rate, the community can expect to see it again in the future, she said. For the kids, aside from the traditional trick or treating, Durango also hosts events like the Three Springs Fall Festival and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado Run For Kids’ Sake Zombie Challenge. The Three Springs Fall Festival has been held every October since 2007 and has been growing as more groups have joined to help, said Sherry O’Toole, Three Springs project manager in a phone interview. The event includes festival games like door to door trick or treating, a cookie walk, coloring contest, fun run, bouncy house, haunted house, live music by Dave Mensch and more, O’Toole said. Since the event is during the day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 26, O’Toole said its great for parents and families to take their children out in a safe environment to enjoy the Halloween festivities. As Halloween approaches, O’Toole and Three Springs focuses on contacting its nearby residents and participating

groups to partake in the planning of the festival, she said. Three Springs also reaches out to FLC and the community to fill volunteer positions by advertising their event via word of mouth and passing out flyers, she said. O’Toole said last year was the first year that Big Brothers Big Sisters nonprofit organization partnered with Three Springs Festival and held their Run for Kids’ Sake Zombie Challenge. “The Zombie challenge is a cross between a race and a haunted house,” said Ann-Marie Saputo, the manager, marketing and special events coordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado. According to Saputo, the Zombie Challenge is the first Halloween based event the organization has ever put on and will take place again this year on Oct. 26 at 2:30 p.m. during the Three Springs Fall Festival with a participation cost of $25 before Oct. 20 and $30 the day of the event. Last year the idea came from one of the board members’ sons, and the organization was able to make it happen within six weeks, she said. The Zombie Challenge is an untimed mile and a half fun run for all ages containing several different zombie zones that the runners pass through, she said. “There are physical obstacles that the runners go over, and the people loved it last year,” she said. According to Saputo, the FLC Native American Honor Society members participated in the event last year and were placed in the trees to jump down and scare the runners. Because the event requires at least one hundred volunteers to host the run and set up the course, Saputo said they are reaching out to the community and Fort Lewis College sports teams to fill volunteer rolls. “99 Acts is also a sponsor this year and will be doing a live remote broadcast from the event,” she said. Saputo said the event last year saw at least 135 runners, and their goal this year is to receive at least 200.

8 m


Cheated earts

Story by Meghan Olson Graphics by Graeme Johnston


eing the “cheater” in a committed relationship has not been deemed as a pleasant experience or a worthy action for the majority of recent human experiences. Russ Pool, a licensed professional therapist in Durango, considers cheating to be “when one partner is getting their needs outside of the relationship that they are in,” he said. “People might cheat because it’s easier to start up something new than fix something that needs attention or work,” said Betty Carter Dorr, a professor of psychology at Fort Lewis College. “I think it’s easier to cheat than to address the problem of ‘my relationship is in trouble, my relationship needs work.’” Cheating leads to an immediate ego boost, caused by the feeling of being wanted and being an attraction to someone else, Dorr said. Human beings learn how to be in relationships during childhood, Pool said. “Children are very smart,” he said. “They will duplicate the actions of what they’ve observed from their parents.” This means that after childhood, they will grow up to act on what they have learned, and what they have seen throughout childhood. “People tend to make agreements unconsciously about the relationship they’re in and that’s when things can get messy or someone gets hurt,” Pool said. “When you actually sit down and have a conversation about what the boundaries are, then it’s more clear.” The problem is, many people feel too vulnerable to have these conversations when in a relationship, he said. “Gender and sexuality are very complex social forces even though we tend to think that they’re biological,” said Kerri Brandt, a sociology professor at FLC. “I hate even using the word cheating or infidelity because it creates negative language to discuss people having sex outside of relationships.” The pain that arises from being cheated on or the sense of guilt from being unfaithful is usually caused from released feelings of something that may have already been hurting a relationship, or the reopening of old wounds, Pool said. If the scenario arises that one partner cheats and then owns up to it, the relationship is usually mended or called off, Pool said. “The biggest issue in relationships is the inability to express their thoughts, feelings and needs in a way their partner can hear,” Pool said. From a sociological standpoint of cheating, things are a little different. Working on a relationship can be daunting, but is it the relationship that needs work or the person? Is it biologically ingrained for people to be sexually active with multiple partners and not stay monogamous with one person for life? “A lot of people in my field would agree with that,” Dorr said. Surrounded by young attractive people, how could the dating scene not thrive? Maintaining a monogamous relationship at a young age is hard in the college culture. As an older adult, it is easier to make monogamous commitments and these relationships are better upheld, she said. Dorr said people finding their soulmate from 16 to 18 and lasting until they’re 70 is uncommon in this culture. “Before the 21st century it was very common to have exclusive arrangements and divorce wasn’t widely available, common, or ac-

cepted,” she said. Though it may seem that more people are participating in infidelity now, this is not true. These situations are just reported on more often, Dorr said. Being misled by someone or lied to is very hurtful, and not being able to trust a life partner is harmful to a relationship, she said. Previous experiences with other partners define one’s outlook or one’s future expectations, Dorr said. “I have a more optimistic outlook where people can move on if they’ve been hurt,” she said. “If you’re dating and you haven’t agreed that the relationship is exclusive, it’s not cheating.” For many, dating provides a door to see other people, unless the relationship was defined as exclusive, she said. Cheating carries the stigma of being morally wrong, Brandt said. “We’ve constructed it as this horrible thing because we have this narrative about monogamy in our culture, yet more than 50 percent of relationships are not monogamous,” she said. In reality, the way people live is not monogamous. Either way, the ideology is that being in a monogamous relationship is good and healthy, and that’s what is best, she said. Society holds monogamy up as the healthy standard, and then holds everything else as abnormal and negative, Brandt said. “I really think, as a culture, we need to have a discussion about what it means to be in a committed relationship and what are the boundaries,” she said. Maybe monogamy doesn’t have to be central to a committed relationship. “There are a lot of people in relationships that are deeply committed, but not monogamous” said Brandt. “It’s this funny thing when you start talking about cheating and infidelity,” she said. “I think that there’s a bigger debate to have about how we, as a culture, believe in monogamy and our thoughts on intimacy and so forth.” There are more important things that need to be addressed in relationships: honesty, communication and the existence of pleasure, she said. Hookup Culture “Men are more likely to admit to cheating but I don’t think the data is clear on that,” Brandt said. “It’s tricky.” Many partners may be okay with their significant others enjoying pornograhy without them and being sexual. But if they’re dealing with an actual human being, it is then considered cheating. In pornography, they don’t even know the person, Brandt said. And with social media, a man or woman can have an interest in someone else and follow them on Facebook, studying and fantasizing about them while searching through their photos. The definitions are interesting of how society sets for the boundaries in relationship, determining what is and is not okay to do, Brandt said. “It’s much more complex than the way we are conceptualizing it,” Brandt said. “With social media now, you can learn so much about a specific person and participate with them through this mediated experience, and almost kind of a secret experience.” “I think social media has a radical effect on partnering and relationships,” Brandt said.


Munchin’ on Mercury: Amalgam Fillings and Their Risks Story by Julia Volzke Graphics by Rise Fujita


hroughout history, mercury has been used as a material for filling cavities and, to this day, many people still have mercury fillings, even though they have been proven to be toxic. According to the FDA, mercury fillings, otherwise called dental amalgam, have been used as a material to fill cavities for more than 150 years. Dental amalgam fillings are also commonly known as silver fillings, due to their silver color. Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals that include liquid mercury, as well as a powdered alloy made of tin and copper. Of that mixture, 50 percent is comprised of elemental mercury by weight. Though the common belief is that the use of amalgam fillings has ceased, there is evidence that dentists still use it as a material. Nathan Pallat, a senior at Fort Lewis College, received his first amalgam filling 5 years ago. “I did not really understand the toxicity risk until I was farther into my college education,” Pallat said. According to the FDA, some of the benefits from having an amalgam filling are that they are strong and long-lasting and are the least expensive type of filling material. The risk is exposure to low levels of mercury vapor that can be inhaled. High levels of mercury vapor contact are linked to adverse effects in the brain and kidneys. Some patients may have an allergy to mercury or other metals used in the amalgam fillings. “Mercury vapor from an amalgam filling can be released anytime a person chews or grinds their teeth as well as when a person drinks hot liquids,” said John Rothchild, a general dentist at Holistic Dentistry. The FDA recommends that dentists follow guidelines when deciding to use a dental amalgam in patients. They recommend not using dental amalgams in patients with a mercury allergy, as well as having adequate ventilation when handling dental amalgam. “Amalgam filings are used in teeth because, at room temperature mercury is in a liquid state,” said Rob Milofsky, an FLC chemistry professor. “Amalgam is used because it binds all the different metals together, sticks to the tooth, sets in as a soft liquid until it hardens and molds to the shape of the filling.” There are also other filing options besides amalgam that are recommended by the FDA. These include a composite resin filling, glass ionomer cement filling or a gold foil filling. These have been found to be less durable, but not as risky as an amalgam filling. “I say, ethically, an amalgam filling should not be taken out unless it is needed,” Rothchild said. “I abide by the American

Dental Association’s code of ethics. I will only remove a filling if the patient wants me to.” According to the FDA, mercury vapors are released by elemental mercury which is mainly absorbed by the lungs if ingested. By comparison, Methylmercury is a type of organic mercury which is found in fish and is absorbed into the digestive tract. Our bodies have different ways to process these types of mercury with different levels of tolerance for each. The methylmercury is more toxic than mercury vapor. “I am more concerned with mercury waste from power plants, that can get into our food chain and is ingested, than the mercury used in amalgam fillings,” Milofsky said. Still, students are concerned with the removal of amalgam fillings “Currently I would like to have the filling removed, but there is the cost of about $400 and there is a risk of exposure when removing a mercury filling,” Pallat said. “My filing is relatively small in comparison to others people have.” The skill of the dentist and the size of the actual filling can make an impact about whether or not a person would want to have it removed, he said. “It really depends on the dentist, what insurance plan you have and whether the filling is simple or more involved,” Rothchild said. “In our practice, they can be anywhere from two-hundred to thirteen-hundred dollars to get an amalgam filling removed.” If an amalgam filling needs removal, a protective rubber dam is placed in the back of the throat so no mercury vapor is swallowed. A nasal oxygen mask is given to the patient and chlorella, a green algae, is placed around the edges of the rubber dam, Rothchild said. The filling is then removed in chunks and cut into pieces, while water is used to cool down the tooth and mercury. High speed suction is used to take away any of the debris and to protect both the patient and doctor from exposure.The safety of the patient is of the utmost priority, he said. “At the end of the day the safety and well-being of the patient is all we care about,” Rothchild said.



Indy by the Numbers: The Golden Edition

Story by Taylor Ferraro


hat started out as a weekly publication of the student manufactured campus newspaper, overtime became a biweekly publication with a focus on student feature stories, special interest articles and current events. Through the dedication that students and various English professors at Fort Lewis College have shown, The Independent is now accessible in print as well as online. The Indy Online offers weekly news stories on local events and issues, while social media networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest provide timely information on relevant happenings. A brief history of The Independent. A Glance into the Past The Independent originally started out as a student run club that produced a weekly paper. In 1982, The Indy became a practicum course, said Larry Hartsfield, a professor of English. “I was the first Legal and Ethical Advisor for the Independent,” he said. “That position started in 1986.” Either he or Faron Scott, also a professor in the English department, has been content advisor since. The practicum allows students to earn credit hours and experience a news environment, he said. When Hartsfield first became involved with The Independent, there were about 35 students involved, not all of whom were practicum students. “The entire time I worked with The Indy, it was a newspaper,” Hartsfield said. “The big shift that I’ve seen is that it has moved from being a publication that focused primarily on reporting hard news to being a magazine that tends to stress feature stories and what I would call soft news.” Leslie Blood, associate professor of English, has been the Practicum Director of The Independent and has worked in the English department for six years. “When I first started at The Indy, we were a traditional print


Graphics and Photo by Graeme Johnston newspaper” she said. “There were 12 people on staff.” Two years later, in 2009, The Independent became a news magazine, she said. “We thought it was a good way to provide something more current than what we had been doing,” she said. The Independent was introduced to the virtual world in 2011, Blood said. This will be the fourth year that The Independent news magazine has been around, and current staffers are constantly thinking of new ways to expand The Indy and gain more readers, she said. Student Involvement Throughout the years, many students have become involved with the Independent in an effort to learn the process of creating news from the ground up. The Indy practicum, a class required for all English Communications majors, is run entirely by students. However, the practicum can be taken by anyone seeking out experience in news writing. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Indy as a club. There are several jobs that students have to choose from when it comes to working for the Indy, Blood said. Students have the opportunity to be reporters, copy editors, photographers, as well as becoming part of the graphic design, broadcasting or social media teams. Students can also help out with the business aspect of running The Independent. This involves doing public relations work as well as advertising for the Independent, Blood said. Throughout the four years that The Independent has been a news magazine, there have been many students who have dedicated their time and leadership skills as part of the Independent’s news staff. “My experience with The Independent prepared me for the professional communications industry more than I could have expected,” said Kaitie Martinez, the former editor in chief of The

Independent from 2010-2012. “The Indy gave me an opportunity to learn and understand communications in an applied way.” Martinez graduated from FLC in April of 2013 with a degree in English Communications. Stephanie Cook, news editor from 2011-2012, received a job with the Durango Herald as a weekend reporter because of her experience with The Independent. “The Indy gave me a lot of experience and basics in newswriting,” she said. “It also connected me to a lot of great people on campus and in the community.” It is eye opening to see the actual process of creating news from the ground up, said Lucas Hess, the online editor from 2010-2011. “I learned the process of creating and discussing story ideas and then going out and getting the information I needed to write the story,” Hess said. Hess graduated from FLC in April of 2012 with a degree in English Communications. He currently works at Four Corners Broadcasting as a news reporter. Ayla Quinn, current editor in chief, has been involved with the student publication for three years. Through the time Quinn has spent with The Independent she has moved from being a reporter to the online manager and now editor in chief, which she has held for two consecutive semesters, thus far. “All of our students, from the editor in chief to our most junior content producers, are the ones that make The Indy happen,” Blood said. “We have so many dedicated students on staff and their love for their work has helped the Indy to grow in ways that continue to amaze me.” The Ever Evolving Indy Within the last four years, The Independent has made vast strides to expand and improve the student run publication in an effort to reach out to a larger demographic. The Independent was introduced to the virtual world in 2011, making the bi-weekly print edition easily accessible to more individuals. The Indy Online also provides readers with access to timely news articles on local happenings. “When I started working with The Indy, our web presence was not the strongest and we were trying to get online started,” Quinn said. “Once we got the format that we have right now and really pushed people to look at our web page and get new mediums up online, The Indy Online became stronger.” The addition of online presence of The Independent created a position for a web developer within the publication. The web developer focuses on building and maintaining the website and providing a strong foundation for other online mediums associated with The Independent. As well as having an online presence, The Independent is

also linked to social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. “Each year we have added a new medium to The Indy to reach out to more people and gain more readers,” Blood said. This is the first year that the English department is able to work with broadcasting and video footage, put together for The Independent to use, Blood said. Home resides in the Heart of the Student Union. Another aspect that has helped The Independent gain momentum within the past two years has been the addition of the Ballentine Media Center located in the Student Union Building. The media center has been able to bring together all of the different news entities on campus including The Independent, KDUR and Images, Fort Lewis’ literary magazine, Blood said. “The media center has created a hub for campus news,” Blood said. “It helps us keep in touch with the other news entities and see what they are doing and what they are covering.” Hopes and Expectations for the Future of The Independent. The future of The Independent lies in the hands of the student participants. The Indy is an entity that will continue to grow as long as the people involved are willing to try out new platforms and increase staff numbers, Blood said. This in turn helps The Independent become better at serving the student population as well as the Durango community, she said. It is also very important that The Independent stays involved with the community and maintains its partnerships with local businesses, such as The Durango Herald, she said. In addition to maintaining ties, it is also important that The Independent continues to build off of the online website and social media networks, Quinn said. The Indy Online and social media networks are two different media that produce different content than print. This provides readers of The Independent with three different mediums that produce equal amounts of content, she said. The Independent staff is pushing the online and social media side of the publication in hopes that more students and community members will be acquainted with The Independent. Over the past three years, much work has been done to expand the student run publication and reach out to more readers. Hopefully the online presence that staffers over time have developed and established will help The Independent continue to grow and expand its audience base, Quinn said. Cheers to 50 issues of The Independent’s News Magazine!



Capricorn~ December 22- January 19 You will feel strangely adventurous in the coming weeks—trying new foods, seeking new experiences, generally living life as much as you can. Aquarius~ January 20- February 18 These coming¬ weeks will be relatively calm for you, but you should experience a major social paradigm shift. Maybe you’ll have a falling-out with someone close, or maybe you’ll gain a lifelong friend.

Horoscopes Pisces~ February 19- March 20 Your personal life is heading for a rough patch soon. You are in danger of alienating those you care about because of stress and other personal issues, so keep your chin up and try to see it through.

Leo~ July 23- August 22 You’re heading for a brief bout of good luck soon, so by all means, buy a lottery ticket! You’ll get a great grade on a test, or a pay raise, or maybe you’ll just find a 50 dollar bill lying on the ground.

Aries~ March 21- April 19 Your home life will be trying for you. Maybe your roommate is a slob and your apartment has gotten filthy, or your spouse has been driving you crazy. Be honest with them and talk about it, but do so carefully.

Virgo~ August 23- September 22 Your love life will take a turn for the better soon (which is ironic, considering your sign). They might be a fling, or they might be The One, or even a combination of the two.

Taurus~ April 20- May 20 You’ll meet someone soon who will be a part of your life for a long time. It might be a lover, a roommate, or a friend, but your bond will be strong enough to endure for years to come.

Libra~ September 23- October 22 Fiscally, you’re heading for a change. You might get a job, or spend a lot more than you usually do. Remember that money is just a thing, and it can’t buy happiness. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t help.

Gemini~ May 21- June 21 It’s getting harder for you to work up the motivation to get things done. You’re feeling bored and dissatisfied, and aching for a change. One will come soon, but you might regret wishing for it when it does.

Scorpio~ October 23- November 21 You’re going to experience a social boom soon— you’re going to hang out with friends, party, or at least study with someone more or less every night for some time. Congratulations for being in demand!

Cancer~ June 22- July 22 Things are calming down for you, and that’s just fine. You’ll have the free time to hit the slopes, or pick up that book everyone’s saying you have to read, or maybe just have movie nights. Enjoy your free time while you can.

Sagittarius~ November 22- December 21 Your life has been a bit down lately, but you’re heading for an upswing. It might be more subtle than you’d think—maybe someone will reach out to you, or you’ll get homework done early, or a long-time problem will resolve itself.

Halloween Crossword Across

4. An orange variety of squash 8. The antiquated holiday that predates Halloween


1. A carved pumpkin 2. A Fort Lewis Halloween tradition, occurring on Main Street Durango 3. Dressing up 5. The tradition of going door-to-door and receiving candy 6. The holiday occurring on October 31 7. A face covering

Graphics by Graeme Johnston and Allie Hutto


Recipe Creamy Italian-style Baked Ziti

Ingredients: 1 jar (24oz.) Florentine Spinach and Cheese Pasta Sauce 1 jar (15oz.) Marinara Sauce 16 ounces ziti pasta 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese: cut into 1/2-in. cubes ¾ cup of shredded Parmesan cheese ¼ cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs

Directions: 1. Preheat oven 375 degrees. Cook pasta al dente according to package instruction and drain. Coat 13X9 backing dish with nonstick cooking spray. 2. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, Florentine Spinach and Cheese Pasta Sauce, Marinara Sauce, mozzarella cheese and ½ cup of Parmesan cheese. Spoon into baking dish. Sprinkle top with remaining ¼ cup of seasoned dry bread crumbs. 3. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown on top. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. 4. Enjoy!

Photo by Ayla Quinn

Recipe courtesy of Ryan Hood

Indy on the Street What is your guilty pleasure? Jane Jackson 22 Senior U.S. History Kelly, WY

Jake Savage 22 Senior International Business Washington, D.C.

Gorging on cookie dough.

Rocking out to Selena Gomez!

Alva Claussen 23 Sophomore Business Administration and Early Childhood Education Pueblo, CO

I probably sleep too much. Meg Mooney 20 Sophomore English Communications Memphis, TN

Netflix and Supernatural

Lauren Hammond 19 Sophomore Political Science Farmington, NM

Not doing my homework on time, procrastination. Noah Garcia 19 Sophomore English LaMesilla, NM

I don’t feel guilty about any of my pleasures! Photos by Christian Bachrodt


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Femme Fatale, Phantom or Freak? Fun finds for every alter ego

• Halloween Costumes & Accessories • Crazy Hats, Headpieces & Wigs • Bright Tights & Scarves

• Stylish Jackets & Coats

• Jewelry, Apparel & Gifts

Be seen on the scene this Halloween! 1015 Main Avenue • Durango, CO 970.385.4526 •

The Independent FLC Issue 50  

Issue 50 of the Fort Lewis Independent Practicum