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T H E I N D E P E N D E N T S T U D E N T- R U N N E W S PA P E R O F N O RT H E R N K E N T U C K Y U N I V E R S I T Y

[THENORTHERNER.COM]

Edition 53, Issue 2

Thursday, January 23, 2014

“I have a dream.” Almost 51 years after his famous “I have a dream “ speech, NKU celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through recalling our own individual aspirations.

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA ADKINS

See Page 4

Emile Lubeck is a web design major that once had the dream of becoming a teacher.

For construction updates see page 3

NEWS, PG. 3

Coach’s passion reflects on team page 8

SPORTS, PG. 8


02

HAPPENINGS

Thursday, January 23, 2014

AROUND

Interested in learning more about the Peace Corps?

If you’re interested in learning about how to get support for quitting tobacco use or how to respectfully address a tobacco user on campus, there will be an informational session with the Tobacco Free Task Force on Jan. 28 from 12- 1 p.m. in Student Union room 108. Times Higher Education: NKU more inspirational than the Ivy Leaguers “Eat your heart out, Harvard. You’re not as good as Northern Kentucky University,” Felipe FernándezArmesto said in his article discussing two NKU students’ stairways to heaven project. The article discusses that even though NKU may not have as big as a budget or as much historical background as an Ivy League Univer-

THIS

THE U N I V E R S I T Y

On Jan. 23 at 4 p.m. there will be an informational session in Student Union room 108. If you can’t attend that meeting, there will also be an informational table on the second floor of the Student Union in the lobby area on Jan. 23 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. All are welcome. Have questions about the new Tobacco Free Policy?

CHECK OUT

sity, that NKU makes it up by having a strong commitment and ambition of students and teachers alike. NKU philanthropy courses hope to “benefit campus and community” This semester NKU is offering 14 philanthropy classes that provide small grants to meet the community’s needs while “teaching the value of stewardship to students.” Each class will receive $1,000-$2,000 from the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project. The students’ job will be to identify a community need, find nonprofits addressing that specific need and then award grants to nonprofits that meet that need.

WEEK Tobacco policy update

ONLINE

Learn more about consequences for those people who violate the smoking ban.

7th Annual Tri-State Band Symposium Check out the coverage of last week’s band symposium.

Interactive Provost profile Find out more about the Provost’s journeys across the world with an interactive map and culmination of videos.

WHAT TO DO

THIS WEEKEND...

Have a chance to get off campus this weekend? Check out the nightlife and events happening in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

POLICEBEATS U N I V E R S I T Y

Jan 14, 9:08 a.m.: A two-vehicle accident occurred on Nunn Drive. There were no injuries. Jan 14, 1:43 p.m.: A two-vehicle vehicle accident occurred in Lot W. There were no injuries. Jan 14, 8:21 p.m.: A student refused transport to the hospital after she reported that she had pulled a muscle in her leg. Jan 15, 8:27 p.m.: A report was received that a woman fell on the sidewalk due to ice outside of Steely Library. She wasn’t injured. Jan 15, 8:56 p.m.: The smell of marijuana was reported to be coming out of a room in the University Suites. Jan 15, 10:17 p.m.: A report was received that the smell of marijuana was coming out of a room in Commonwealth Hall’s Cardinal Wing.

Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show Jan. 23 - 26 @ The Duke Energy Convention Center The Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show makes its annual return to the area for a limited time. The show is open to all lovers of boats, camping and an array of outdoor fun. Times and ticket prices vary day to day. More Info: http://www.cincinnatiboatshow.com Cincinnati Pops Orchestra featuring Megan Hilty Jan. 24 - 26 @ Music Hall Broadway and television star Megan Hilty joins the Pops for an evening of broadway favorite performances and songs from Hilty’s new album Happens all the Time. Shows begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets prices vary. More Info: http://www.cincinnatipops.org

Panic at the Disco! Jan. 25 @ Bogarts Live Nation presents Panic at the Disco! with The Colourists and X Ambassadors on their Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die Tour. Show begins at 7 p.m. Ticket prices vary. More Info: http://www.bogarts. com Madcap Puppets: The Firebird Jan. 25 @ The Clifton Cultural Arts Center Join Madcap Puppets in their adaptation of Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite using giant shadow puppets. Show runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets cost $8. More Info: http://www.madcappuppets.com

northernerstaff EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

NEWS EDITOR

PHOTO EDITOR

SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR

SALES ASSISTANT

Richard Cracchiolo [cracchiolr1@nku.edu]

Olivia Adkins [adkinso1@nku.edu]

Kody Kahle [kahlek1@nku.edu]

SALES MANAGER

Kevin Schultz [schultzk2@nku.edu]

Heidi Rink [rinkh1@nku.edu]

Erica DiMartino [dimartinoe1@nku.edu]

Kelly Brannon [brannonk2@nku.edu]

DESIGN EDITOR

SPORTS EDITOR

VIDEO EDITOR

WEB TEAM

MANAGING EDITORS Maggie Pund [pundm1@nku.edu]

PROMO DIRECTOR

ADVISER

Chanell Karr [karrc3@nku.edu]

Michele Day [daymi@nku.edu]

Mosef Asad [asadm1@nku.edu]

Brook Clifford [cliffords1@nku.edu]

Robert Huelsman [huelsmanr1@nku.edu]

STAFF DESIGNERS: Elani Sininger [siningere1@nku.edu]

ARTS & LIFE EDITOR Nancy Curtis [curtisn1@nku.edu]

William Mudd [muddw1@nku.edu]

WEB EDITOR

Wyatt Nolen [nolenw1@nku.edu] James Lloyd [lloydj2@nku.edu]

Stephen Wilder [wilders3@nku.edu]

STAFF REPORTERS: Erin Mullins [mullinse1@nku.edu]

William Kruspe [kruspew1@nku.edu]

Jessica Kopena [kopenaj1@nku.edu]

Kerry Skiff [skiffk1@nku.edu]

Matt Hempfling [hempflingm3@nku.edu]

RJ Bryant [brantr3@nku.edu]

Tori Lentz [lentzv1@nku.edu]

Mac Payton [paytonj1@nku.edu]

Matt Spaulding [spauldingma@nku.edu]

Marc Kennedy [kennedym2@nku.edu]

John Flaherty [flahertyj1@nku.edu]

Brittani Perry [perryb2@nku.edu]

Alyson Schoenung [schoenunga1@nku.edu]

Alexandra Antrobus-Allgeier [antrobusaa1@nku.edu]

contactinfo The Northerner Griffin Hall Rm. 125 Highland Heights, KY 41099 Editor in Chief: (859) 572-6128 Newsroom: (859) 572- 5620 Designers Desk: (859) 572- 6677 Advertising: (859) 572-5232 Website: www.thenortherner.com

furtherdetails Entire content is copyright of The Northerner and may not be reprinted without prior consent. Views expressed do not represent those of the administration, faculty or student body. The Northerner is considered a designated public forum. Student editors have authority to make all content decisions without censorship or advance approval. The Northerner staff respects the right to a free and open dialogue as allowed under the First Amendment.


Ed 53, Issue 2

NEWS

03

Sidewalk is the first of many changes to Callahan Hall Tori Lentz STAFF WRITER

At the request of the Student Government Association, construction has begun on a sidewalk at the front of Callahan Hall extending from the B wing entrance, past the bus stop, and down to the front drive of the residence hall. After the area was deemed a potential safety hazard at both the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 campus safety walks, SGA successfully passed a resolution in April 2013 allowing for a sidewalk to be constructed. Sophomore Senator Kristian Johnson, an accounting and finance major and SGA’s University Improvements Chair, was a coordinator of the Spring 2013 campus safety walk and immediately noticed problems with the lawn area in front of the residence hall. “You could tell from the grass missing and the mud there that it was a high-traffic area from people traveling from the A wing to the B wing and to the gazebo and the bus stop,” Johnson explained. “People use that [path] frequently and wanted some pavement there.” Assistant Vice President of Facilities Larry Blake agreed with SGA’s conclusion and believes something could have been done sooner. “We went over and looked at it and they were right, it was a mess,” Blake said. Crews have nearly completed construction on the part of the sidewalk closest to main entrance and as the weather warms, concrete will be poured on section closest to the B wing. Blake explained that although SGA only requested a sidewalk from the B wing to the bus stop, construction crews were instructed to continue the pavement all the way over to Callahan’s main entrance. “The sidewalk will cover the whole length of the parking lot,” Blake said. He expects the sidewalk to be finished within one to two weeks. Johnson is excited to see the resolution put into action. “It was a very simple request, just a concrete sidewalk. Now, here in the spring of 2014, we are

seeing it implemented and it is an awesome feeling,” Johnson said. Not all of the residents of Callahan Hall have been thrilled with all of the construction taking place, however. Sophomore Nicole Griffith, a resident of Callahan Hall, said, “I just think it’s annoying. Personally I don’t feel we need a sidewalk.” She added that because she lives in the A wing at the front of the residence hall, the construction sometimes wakes her up. The construction has also caused the majority of the parking spaces located directly in front of the building to be blocked off by traffic cones and caution tape, forcing many students to park in Callahan Hall’s lower lot. Additionally, a new sign has been placed in the parking lot near the senior center and future Northern Terrace residence hall warning students not to park in that area despite its close proximity to Callahan Hall. Tickets will be issued to students who choose to park in that particular lot. Blake explained, “Part of the deal with the purchase price of Northern Terrace is that they get to lease that lot back from us so that the seniors would have a place to park and also so that others will have access to the park and the farmer’s market.” Housing Director Arnie Slaughter stressed respect and patience as the construction is completed. “We just want to encourage our students to be respectful of the seniors. We do have many options for parking at Callahan-and it may not be close, it might not be right by the door- but we do have a large parking lot there for the students. There is a small level of inconvenience.” The sidewalk construction is part of a larger plan for Callahan Hall. As construction on Northern Terrace is completed, the area between Callahan Hall and the new residence hall will be completely transformed. Blake explained that the handicap, reserved and all other parking spots located by Callahan Hall’s carport and community garden will be

PHOTO BY TORI LENTZ

Worker lays down concrete outside of Callahan Hall.

gone after this semester. In its place, a small plaza and turn around area will be constructed to connect the two residence halls. Blake revealed that the new plaza will contain outdoor seating, lighting, and landscaping for students. Handicap and reserved spaces will be relocated to the front of Callahan Hall in front of the new sidewalk. Slaughter feels that the new plaza will generate a sense of community between the two halls. “It will create more of a student-friendly college feel as opposed to two separate buildings that have no connection,” Slaughter said. Construction between Callahan Hall and Northern Terrace will be completed in August 2014.

New Northern Terrace dorm under construction Kerry Skiff STAFF WRITER

Everyone enjoys something new, and in the NKU community that thing is Northern Terrace-- the university’s newest residence hall that is scheduled to open Fall 2014. And, with priority registration approaching on Feb. 1, students have a chance to nab a bed months before the dorms open. The building used to be a deteriorating retirement home in need of renovations called Lakeside Terrace, before NKU purchased it in the summer of 2013, said Director of Housing Arnie Slaughter. According to Larry Blake, assistant vice president of Facilities Management, the city of Highland Heights approached NKU with an offer to sell the property early last year, and the deal was closed in the summer. Blake said since then, NKU has been working on plans to renovate the building and construction began January 2014. Slaughter said Northern Terrace will house about 188 students in its 47 rooms, and will be open to students of all ages. The rooms measure 900 square feet, which is larger than the

PHOTO BY OLIVIA ADKINS

The future site of Northern Terrace is currently under construction. It will feature 47 rooms.

current facilities of Norse Hall and University Suites, which measure 700 square feet for four students. Blake said that once the project is completed, the renovation and purchase of Northern Terrace will have cost the university $9 million. “When we get done, we will have right at $9 million invested in the build-

ing,” Blake said. “If we were to build the same quality building for the same number of students, we would spend at least twice, if not three times that.” He added, “We will have a very high quality dorm when we’re done.” Slaughter said the six-floor residence hall of Northern Terrace will have amenities on every floor. Such as laundry

facilities, community kitchens and study lounges. Each room has an open floor plan designed for four residents and includes two full bathrooms and partially separated bedroom and living spaces. Slaughter said NKU’s attraction to the building lay mainly in its location next to Callahan Hall. Because the building is right next to NKU’s newest dorm (opened in 2010), the two communities will be able to share amenities and services, creating a larger learning community outside the Residential Village. When the university opened Callahan Hall four years ago, it added approximately 400 beds, according to Arnie Slaughter, but this has not been enough to house every student that fills out a housing request. Students have until Jan. 24 to fill out friendship clusters for 4-person dorm rooms, and until Feb. 1 to apply for priority registration. To sneak a peek at the room layout in Northern Terrace, check out the display outside Housing’s office in Norse Commons.


04

ARTS & LIFE

ARTS & LIFE

rts & Life

Dreams may change but the journey continues Jessica Kopena

always been able to change someone’s view on a topic. She also feels that a pharmacy wasn’t going to work because she doesn’t like science and she felt there were too many science classes. “I love my choice and I’m happy I decided to go with PR,” Sibanda said. Sibanda feels like NKU has given her more of a chance to get a job. “Through the PR program here, I have been able to work with a number of clients and get hands on experience of the PR world,” Sibanda said. With Sibanda’s major, here at NKU, she doesn’t endure as many sleepless night as she would when she was studying pharmacy.

STAFF WRITER

Think about it. What were you dying to be when you were just a child? Maybe an astronaut? Or a famous musician? How about now? Does who you are now measure up to who you wanted to be as a kid? “50-70 percent of students change their majors at least once, most will change majors at least three times before they graduate,” according to the University of La Verne careers site. And those career goal changes are just while in college. At NKU the most popular majors (besides those who are undeclared) are organizational leadership, computer information technology and nursing. After college, about 27 percent of graduates have a job closely related to their major, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But do these numbers even align themselves with peoples’ childhood goals and dreams? According to Career Bulider, “36 percent of college-educated workers said they wished they chose a different major.” For three NKU students, time has changed their dreams of being pharmacists, teachers and even zookeepers. But what happened to those dreams and why? From the ER to PR When Nonsikelelo Sibanda, now a senior public relations major, was younger she wanted to be a pharmacist. “I was always sick growing up and spent a lot of time at the hospital and pharmacy,” Sibanda said. “Eventu-

From the literal to the concrete jungle Another student who had very different aspirations growing up was Cassidy Hill, junior Spanish and German double major. Hill wanted to be a zookeeper. PHOTO BY HEIDI RINK

Cassidy Hill once dreamed of being a zookeeper.

ally those pharmacists looked amazing to me because I saw them as healers, somehow not knowing the medicine was the healer.” However, as Sibanda grew up, she became more interested in the world of public relations. “I like being able to convince people that certain products or brands are good, even when they are not,” she said. “I love having the power of persuasion.” Sibanda said she wants to go into public relations because she is good at dealing with the public and has

“I’m striving for a more business-oriented type of career.” Hill said.

From designing lectures to designing the web

Emile Lubeck once dreamed of being a teacher.

PHOTO BY OLIVIA ADKINS

Student battles bouts of homelessness to pursue dreams of rapping Brody Kenny CONTRIBUTING WRITER

When Jimmie Reynolds was 11 years old, he wrote his first song. At age 16, his first track “To Mickey D’s” was recorded. Now at 21, the junior integrative studies major has recorded two albums, performed live and gained new life insights as he grows as a rapper, student and overall person. Reynolds, who up until now, went by the moniker “Jimmie the Rapper” (he now refers to himself as “King Reynolds”), first became interested in hip hop as a child. “When I was young, it sounded cool,” he said. “I used to read Dr. Seuss books, so I liked it to rhyme.” Growing up in Toledo, Ohio, Reynolds began producing his first tracks at his uncle’s home. His uncle is a member of a rap group called the Bacz, which has been a strong influence for him. Though he used to start with lyrics first, Reynolds now begins with production, making beats with the digital audio workstation FL Studio, or FruityLoops. He favors “old-school type beats” over more elaborate styles used by other rap-

pers working today. “It sounds like the instrumentals are speaking over the artists nowadays,” Reynolds said. At 22 years old, Reynolds has a sizable discography, with two albums and a mixtape recorded, and a third album in production now. Though currently unavailable for purchase, he is scouting out sites to sell his music on. Reynolds aims to reach as wide of an audience as possible with his music and is mindful of whether or not people might take offense to his songs. Although, he added, that wasn’t always the case. “When I was younger, I used to say anything, but now I’m trying to clean it up.”” Reynolds said. Upon graduating from Holmes High School in 2010, he learned of NKU and decided to see his dream of higher education come true. “I always wanted to go to college since I was five years old,” Reynolds said. Reynolds currently lives on campus in Kentucky Hall. However, over the past two summers, he has not had permanent residences. Though he did have an apartment for most of summer 2012,

Emile Lubeck, now a visual communication design major, wanted to be a teacher when she was younger. “The part I liked the most was that I would get summers off,” Lubeck said. As the years went on, her career aspirations changed to web design. “The reason that I changed was because I don’t like children anymore like I used to,” Lubeck said. Lubeck loves her major because she is in control of what she creates. “I have free reign about my choices and I’m very detail-oriented,” Lubeck said. As soon as Lubeck graduates from NKU, she has an internship lined up with the city of Lexington. “I will be working under people who are in charge of making sure that everything on the site is current,” she said.

the following summer, from May to August, he found himself sleeping outside or in shelters. “I was just trying to survive until it was time to go back to school,” Reynolds said. Despite having to deal with temporary bouts of homelessness, Reynolds said he never lost his hope. “I’d seen a lot of people out there who had pretty much given up on their lives,” Reynolds said. “It ain’t about to stop me from trying to succeed. I wanted better in my life.” Faith in god has had a profound impact on him and his music. Reynolds, who references god in his lyrics and cites him as a strong influence in his life, says he does not care if people single him out as a “religious rapper.” “It don’t bother me,” Reynolds said. “If somebody don’t believe in god, that’s their loss.” In spite of homelessness, these past summers have had some significant highpoints for Reynolds and his music career. Last summer, Reynolds gained the experience of performing live. He debuted at the Backstage Cafe in Covington, Ky., and then followed that up

with a performance at the Mad Frog in Cincinnati. Audience members, were enthusiastic both times, according to Reynolds, who cites their singing along to his song “To Mickey D’s” as a highpoint. Nathan Singer, Reynolds’ professor for advanced college writing, commented that Reynolds made a strong impression on him as a student and as a person. “He’s got a really big personality and a vibrant spirit,” Singer said. Singer believes that Reynolds’ writing displays strong personality, whether it be for a song or for an essay. “Jimmie’s way with words both on the microphone and on paper definitely makes him stand out,” Singer said. As he progresses through his college career and makes his way through life, Reynolds has seen his worldview change, and that translates to his rap career as well. “The more I saw myself in school and succeeding, it made me want to rap about more positive things,” Reynolds said.

Provost’s routine compares to college students’ Brook Clifford SPORTS EDITOR

“I had always loved animals and I thought working with them would be pretty cool,” she said. “I think it was because I wanted to work with the lions. They’re my favorite animal.” However, now Hill has chosen a different path, that she hopes will lead to something in the business world and hopefully allow her to travel. “My interests and goals have just simply changed. Although, I still think being a zookeeper would be pretty cool,” Hill said. “I’m striving for a more business-oriented type of career.”

05

Although the provost is regarded as the second most important administrative position on a university’s campus, Sue Ott Rowlands’ typical day could be mistaken for a day in the life of a NKU college student. A lot of coffee, weekend Netflix binges and bringing her lunch to school are just a few things she has in common with the average student. On an ideal day Rowlands said her perfect breakfast would be a cheeseburger. She would wake up at 5 a.m., listen to British Broadcasting Corporation on the radio and drink coffee with organic half and half and one packet of Truvia (that she had set up the night before). Rowlands, who is NKU’s newly appointed provost and vice president of academic affairs, said sometimes she’ll hit her alarm clock five or six times before actually getting out of bed. But as a common theme in college, things don’t always go as planned. “At this point my day is pretty much taken up by things that are out of my control,” Rowlands said. Just like a college student trying to juggle too many responsibilities, Rowlands laughed as she said she’s “mostly behind all of the time.” While she’s doing work in her office she likes to listen to whatever is on the radio, but she enjoys ‘folksy’ music along with music from different parts of the world. According to Rowlands, her biggest goal while working at NKU will be to work on the new strategic plan. She said the plan strives to accomplish lofty goals that are really important. She said to her, “it’s all about serving the students.”

Her passion for traveling ties in to the goal of developing NKU’s study abroad program. Rowlands has traveled and taught in over 20 different countries, such as Sri Lanka, Chile, New Zealand and Germany. While Rowlands has been all around the world, she laughed when acknowledging that she hasn’t been out of her office much yet. “That’s the problem with being an administrator,” Rowlands said. “It’s hard to stay connected to the students at times, even though that’s who we’re here for, working for.” Similar to a college student, she likes to make lunch on campus convenient and healthy. Rowlands likes to bring something to eat at her desk, like chicken salad or soup. The provost said she feels like she could make a real contribution to the team at NKU, and she likes the position she is holding because she is “at the table when decisions are made.” “You know...people really like this place,” Rowlands commented. “When everything’s said and done, it was a really good move to make.” When she leaves the office, if she doesn’t have an event at night, Rowlands likes to get home by 6:30 p.m. after picking up her dog from “puppy camp.” Rowlands doesn’t watch television, in fact she hasn’t even owned a T.V. in seven to eight years. When she moved to Cincinnati, she bought a flat screen but has yet to hook it up. However, she said she likes to pour herself a glass of wine and read, sometimes for almost three hours a night. The provost acknowledged that this is her favorite part of the day. Sometimes on the weekend, Rowlands likes to watch Netflix on her computer. To unwind from the stress a college atmosphere can bring, she sometimes goes on “binges” where she watches entire seasons in

a matter of days. Her current favorites are Homeland, Mad Men and Downton Abbey. Although the provost has a direct hand in advancing the future of NKU, at the end of the day she still finds herself indulging in some of the normalcies of a typical NKU student.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SUE OTT ROWLANDS

Rowlands teaching in her journey’s across the world.


06

ARTS & LIFE

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Student uses scholastic skills to better coffee brewing business Matt Spaulding STAFF WRITER

Omar De La Cruz runs XIX Ambar, a coffee bean distribution business, with his father Franklin De La Cruz. While the company was started to benefit themselves, it was also started to benefit those who grow the beans in Franklin’s former home of the Dominican Republic. “Basically, the idea was to help the people in the Dominican Republic that had the plantation,” Franklin De La Cruz said. “I felt it would be a good idea to help get the coffee abroad.” Franklin left the Dominican Republic in 1982 and moved to Miami, FL. eventually getting a degree and becoming a physician before moving to Bardstown, Ky. “Around the time I started liking business, he was transitioning to do a thing on the side and it happened to be that he wanted to do this together,” Omar, NKU freshman said, started becoming interested in business during his senior year in high school by selling shoes. The beans are grown in shadows high up in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. Franklin said this yields a better growth than if they were grown in the valley. “It doesn’t have the bitterness you find in others,” Franklin said. “It has a citrus flavor in the

background.” The quality also helps the coffee standout, ac-

PHOTO COURTESY OF MCT CAMPUS

cording to Franklin. Many women make a living separating the beans by hand. The coffee is 100 percent Arabica, organic and is naturally low in caffeine. It is also chemical, residue, and fertilizer free. “It’s a really strong coffee, but with it being organic and not so much caffeine, it’s really good for

you,” Omar said. XIX Ambar currently sells ground and whole bean coffee at Jungle Jim’s and on Amazon. They hope to get into big supermarkets like Wal-Mart and Kroger soon. Omar sold a lot to local coffee shops in Bardstown before moving to NKU for school. Omar said they are selling through the rest of their first batch before moving on to their second batch soon. “We are just trying to get our name known and see if people like it so we can make some changes to the bag and hopefully do some other things,” Omar said. Omar is still pondering what path to take with his studies, but does want to see how far he and his father can take this business. He feels there are a number of aspects he has learned from XIX Ambar that aren’t easily learned in a classroom. Another major lesson Omar has also learned is how much networking and promoting it takes, day in and day out, to have any success. He also learned how to negotiate; a skill he feels is not really taught in school. More information can be found on their website at www.xixambar.com

The Northerner’s movie review of the week. . .

Jonze’s ‘Her’ blurs line between humanity and technology Robert Huelsman VIDEO EDITOR

I like Michael Bay movies. Right about now you are asking what that has to do with “Her.” You are correct in thinking it means absolutely nothing, except that if you take exception to this review, just remember I like Michael Bay movies and my opinion really means nothing. “Her” is not a dystopian type of movie, where the society is undesirable or frightening, but it very well could be. There is negligible focus on the outside world and even in today’s age of constant connection, the setting for this film takes that even farther. The “Her” world has the feel of being 1984-like yet, in a Brave New World sort of way where pleasure is the means to control. We as a society are already attached to internet and instant gratification in almost every place we go and “Her” is simply the next step. It is a near future that people of an older generation are fearing, but one that is slowly becoming inevitable. In the world of “Her,” Spike Jonze’s fourth feature as a director, every person is connected to their computer through an earpiece and a small handheld device. Theodore Twombly, played by Joa-

quin Phoenix, is a man going through a divorce who works as a letter writer at Handwrittenletters.com. Through Twombly we see how this world operates with these new computers. In shots of crowds, you slowly realize that everyone is talking to themselves and that the insular obsession of using a phone has been replaced by talking to an earpiece. When in a crowd, you never hear the din of others in the area as you the viewer are solely focused on the life of Theodore and his computer. It is not until Theodore decides to upgrade his computer to OS 1, a new AI operating system, that his life begins to change. The premise of “Her” is this idea of “what is love?” In a world increasingly devoid of one-on-one interaction, how does one love? Love has never simply been a physical idea but a mental condition as well. Theodore begins a relationship with his OS named Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. There is the obvious debate about how she is not physical and how in some aspects she is not “real.” There is also an interesting juxtaposition within the movie between Theodore’s job and his growing rela-

tionship with his OS. Theodore mentions how many years he has been writing letters for other people and that he knows them as if they were close friends or family. If something as personal as a handwritten letter is

it feel all the more real on screen. As a viewer, it is almost a drawback that they chose an actress such as Johansson as each time you hear her voice, you cannot help but think of her physical form and not just as an ethe-

“In a world increasingly devoid of one-on-one interaction, how does one love?” – Robert Huelsman farmed out to a stranger on the internet for a fee, how real is that love? Visually, “Her” is a film that makes itself standout. The use of color helps to give a life and feeling to a world that otherwise is very bleak. By focusing on what is almost an internal relationship between Theodore and Samantha, the world is portrayed as almost empty, and while there are interactions with other human beings when they are in a crowd, the crowd is very much in the background. The performances of Phoenix and Johansson are fantastic. Their dialogue creates a feeling of a physical romance and a connection that makes

real AI. Samantha becomes a human attempting to be an OS, not an unknown OS attempting to be human. This visualization of Samantha’s form does perhaps make it easier for the viewer to accept the relationship and spend less time questioning if this could actually happen. “Her” is a fantastic movie that is certainly thought provoking. It creates a version of the future that some will leap toward and that others will shirk away from. It all really depends on how you love.


07

ARTS & LIFE

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Compromise could welcome more positive reception on tobacco ban Richard Cracchiolo NEWS EDITOR

The countdown has finally ended; tobacco has been banned from NKU. And I’m just going to say it. Northern Kentucky University makes me want to smoke. While I know this ban is a campus-wide policy, it only directly affects a small portion of those who find their way onto campus. I am one of those people. Since I turned 18, I’ve been an off-and-on smoker. A culmination of things led to me lighting my first cigarette. Between starting a new chapter in my life as a college student and working full-time, I was struggling to find ways to get my life in order. It felt like everything was just a jumbled blur of lectures and running around, and I couldn’t keep up. I’ve always been prone to anxiety problems. Under normal circumstances, I’m no different than any other person, but I’ve always had difficulty handling stress. Once I reach my limit, I sink into a slump that can last for days. At the time I had no other release, so I turned to cigarettes. I knew all the risks and dangers, but I was at a place where any price sounded reasonable as long as it helped me. I can’t say that my first reaction to the ban was a bad one. In fact, I saw it as the push I needed to quit smoking for good. However, I started to realize how much I relied on a smoke between classes. I never really noticed this semester, but once or twice a day I needed to smoke. I respect the rules of this university, and I have no intention of breaking the new tobacco ban. But, not everyone feels the same as I do. The people I have spoken to about the tobacco policy task force have all stressed showing respect

to those who smoke, but they shouldn’t expect those who oppose the ban to return that courtesy. I can’t say what others will do to cope with the tobacco ban, but my ideas are still coming together. I’m perfectly fine with walking off campus if I need to smoke, but so far I’ve done a fairly good job suppressing my nicotine cravings. In fact, I am still planning to have my last cigarette before the end of the semester.

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For anyone who doesn’t smoke, please try to understand what the smokers and tobacco users here at NKU are going through. A lot of them use tobacco to help them calm down and relax. Quitting goes much deeper than simply putting out a cigarette. NKU officials have said time and time again that the university modeled its tobacco ban after UK’s ban. The tobacco policy task force has told us that even UK doesn’t have 100 percent compliance, so they don’t expect to have that either. Even with the ban in place, NKU’s tobacco policy task force is hammering out details such as what happens when faculty and staff members are caught violating the policy from a warning and disciplinary standpoint. With that being said, a few times a day, I notice one or two people smoking. Normally, they’re off to the side like they’ve always been, but a few continue to smoke on the way to class. I can’t speak for those people, but I can say that NKU has always been a stressful place for me. After a particularly long and tedious class, I usually want a cigarette. A popular opinion I’ve heard the past few semesters is rather than putting a tobacco ban in place, the university should enforce the smoking ban. Prior to this semester, there have been designated smoking spots on campus. While a lot of smokers did use those spots, there was always those who ignored the spots and smoked as they pleased. Bearing this in mind, the smoking spots were a compromise. While NKU is taking strides through offering free NRT products through the QUITline, I still think that the smoking spots were the better compromise. I’ve always been a person who likes compromises. They try to satisfy all parties involved, but fundamentally compromises are flawed. Neither party is going to get everything they wanted, but no one is walking away unhappy.


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

ports Coach P’s journey to Atlantic Sun Brook Clifford SPORTS EDITOR

“Togetherness” is a word that is tossed around quite a bit on the women’s basketball team. “We refer to two words often in the program, the first one being toughness,” Dawn Plitzuweit, women’s basketball head coach said. “We use that when we refer to the defensive aspect of the game, as well as finishing plays on the offensive end. The other word we use is togetherness. It’s about being a part of a team and encouraging your teammates every step of the way.” According to Karmen Graham, assistant women’s coach, “Coach P” does not just care about the women’s accomplishments on the court, but off as well, which makes her a great addition to our team. “Instead of having a lucky charm, she pours everything into the team,” Graham said. “Whether it be in practices or reviewing film. She gives her all to the team.” Plitzuweit has a passion and energy about her that moves her to not only care about the university, but also about the players in the program, according to David Bezold, head men’s basketball coach. “She has a tremendous work ethic,” Bezold said. “You can tell the sleepless nights, you can see it and understand it. You can see her passion when she speaks about it.” Graham said the women on the team know that Plitzuweit has a goal for them.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHIGAN TECH

Plitzuweit playing in a game at Michigan Tech.

“Her relationship with the girls is great as she’s extremely personable,” she said. “However, when it’s time to get down to business, she does.” Coach Plitzuweit is only in her second season as

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the head coach for the women’s basketball team, and already, has made a significant friendship with Coach ‘Bez’. “It’s a great friendship because there’s a level of respect,” Bezold said. “I think she’s a great person to begin with because she’s honest and loyal to the people around her.” Coach “Bez” explains; “Coach Plitzuweit and I are constantly in and out of each others offices, bouncing ideas off one another.” Dawn’s past Before being named the head coach for NKU a little less than a year ago, “Coach P” was the assistant coach at the University of Michigan, and was the head coach for the Grand Valley State (MI), and was considered one of the top Division II coaches for Grand Valley State after receiving multiple awards. In the early 1990’s, Dawn Plitzuweit was a continuous starter for Michigan Tech’s women’s basketball team. Not only did she contribute to an overall record of 99-22 during her years at Michigan Tech, but she also made 4 back-to-back trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament. Although some time has passed since her “glory days,” Plitzuweit continued her career in the sport of women’s basketball by landing the head coaching job at NKU, and has led the team to an 9-8 current overall record in her second season coaching the 71413 team. Will Kruspe and Brittani Perry contributed to this article.

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The Northerner 1-23-2014 Print Edition  

The Northerner 1-23-2014 Print Edition