Page 1

Evaluation changes up for debate again See NEWS, p.7

Common Ground holds drag show for fundraising efforts

Mearns, Votruba will work together to prepare for one of the university’s most important changes in leadership

See SPORTS, p. 14

See p.8

The Northerner

pres. transition starts now

Roller derby season starting soon at BOKC

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 Edition 49, Issue 14 Value: 75 cents


NKU’s independent student-run newspaper

Photo by Emily Lindeau Current President James Votruba welcomes president elect Geoffrey Mearns to the university during a public announcement.

Claire Higgins News editor It isn’t official until Aug. 1, but Northern Kentucky University’s presidential seat transition begins much sooner. President elect Geoffrey Mearns will spend the summer working closely with current president James Votruba to prepare for his upcoming stay at NKU. Votruba will finish out the summer at NKU and work with Mearns through the transition to make it as seamless as possible. Although he will still be responsible for his regular duties, Votruba will begin deferring some decisions to Mearns as the months progress, likely in late June or July, he said. “I’m making lists of things we need to

go over, because I’m trying to structure this transition in a way that will deal with a political dimension, on-campus budgetary issues, lots of different things,” Votruba said. Meetings with faculty, staff and the presidential team in order to “be an active listener” are at the top of Mearns’ list after he finishes the academic year as provost at Cleveland State University. Before jumping into the challenges facing NKU, Mearns said he wants to know where the university has been successful in the past 15-20 years and where it can improve. Mearns’ mentorship with Votruba -and following in his footsteps -- is “daunting,” but after recent conversations with the current president, he said he knows he is capable of sharing his advice for leading

the university in the right direction. The advice sharing between the two men, according to Mearns, will be a “one-way street” because of the amount of knowledge and experience Votruba already has to give. The president elect is coming to NKU from Cleveland State University in Ohio, where he currently serves as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. The transition, he said, will be similar to his move from dean of the Cleveland State’s law school to the provost position. The difference, and one of the challenges Mearns said he will face, will be finding a balance between internal and external responsibilities. As provost, Mearns deals more closely with internal duties of the university, but a president must be




April 25, 2012

Student editors say farewell

It’s not easy saying goodbye Roxanna Blevins Assignment editor I came to Northern Kentucky University at the perfect time. It was a strange period, rife with changes, both in my personal life and on NKU’s campus. When I came to NKU, Griffin Hall was still under construction. This year, the building was finished, and I got to take advantage some of the technology it offered because most of my classes were inside it. Griffin Hall was hardly the only change I experienced here, though. I began writing for The Northerner through one of the first classes I took at NKU. The professor for my practicum class, which partnered with The Northerner, was Gayle Brown. Gayle is a wonderful woman, and she was the reason I joined the staff of The Northerner.

One more time: Thanks for the memories Elizabeth Parsons Copy desk chief I have always been what you might call a “Grammar Nazi.” There’s a joke in my family that I was born with a dictionary and pencil in my grubby little hands. Working for The Northerner has served to solidify that aspect of my life. I’m that person behind the scenes making sure the copy is as clean as it can get; I’m also the one in the corner shouting grammar rules that sound extraordinarily like curse words. During my time at The Northerner, I’ve learned a few things about journalism, about myself, about life in general. I learned how to subsist on little

sleep after a production night; I learned that not everyone is as excited about sentence structure as I am. The most important things I’ve gleaned here, however, are confidence in my abilities and the friendship of a whole staff of wonderful people. I found a home for my incessant need to complain about how not everyone knows the difference between their, they’re and there. I’ve done a lot of growing over the last four years, and I have many things to be thankful for. The Northerner is part of the reason I consider myself a world-ready graduate. It’s bittersweet, leaving this office for the last time. But ultimately, I remember when I walked in for the first time, and I’m so glad I did. This has been fun.

This year, we had a new adviser and practicum professor, Jacque Day. While many of us at The Northerner did not agree with the process of the change, I realize that in the end, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know and work with both of these amazing and unique women. As a staff member of the newspaper, I had a lot of exciting opportunities to learn new things and meet new people. In parting, I want to express how thankful I am—to the university itself for providing a quality education at an affordable price, to all the professors and students who taught me something and showed that they cared, to the friends I have made here and to the family I have found in my fellow Northerner staff members. I wish you all the best, and I will carry the memories of this place with me as I leave to embark on the next part of my journey.


Edition 49, Issue 14

So long and thanks for...

northernerstaff EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Karli Wood []

STAFF WRITERS Caitlin Centner []

ASSIGNMENT EDITOR Roxanna Blevins []

Tara Derington []

PRESENTATION EDITOR Emily Lindeau [] NEWS EDITOR Claire Higgins [] SPORTS NEWS EDITOR John Minor [] SPORTS FEATURES EDITOR Stephen Wilder [] WEB EDITOR Brittany Granville [] VIEWPOINTS EDITOR Aaron Sprinkles []

Kevin Erpenbeck [] Zachary Rogers [] COPY DESK CHIEF Elizabeth Parsons [] BUSINESS MANAGER Allison Buchanan [] SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Andrew Despotes [] ADVISER Jacque Day []

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.


contactinformation The Northerner Founders Hall Rm 314 Highland Heights, KY 41099 Editor in Chief: (859) 572-6128 Newsroom: (859) 572- 6677 or 5620 Advertising: (859) 572-5232 Fax: (859) 572-5772 E-mail: Web site:

Karli Wood Editor-in-chief Dammit, I don’t want to leave. I never thought I’d be saying that. When I joined this staff as a freshman, I intended to stay a staff writer or assistant designer. I didn’t want to touch professional cameras, Mac computers, Photoshop or investigative news stories. Now, here I am, sitting at the editor-inchief’s desk. And I’ve done all of those things. There are quite a few people who had a hand in me making it this far. It began with student mentors like Mark Payne and moved on to Jesse Call and Cassie Stone. Call and Stone taught me the value of hardhitting news, to always retain self-respect and to stand by what I believe in. They also handed me a camera and reporter’s notebook and told me to suck it up. To my staff, I love you. I’d stare down a train for you. You’re strong, talented and determined. Hold tight to those characteristics — people won’t know how to handle you. As far as NKU staff/professors, there are a few of those as well. Gayle Brown, who is now at the University of Cincinnati, helped me gain a thick skin and encouraged me to constantly challenge myself; losing her sucked. Jacque Day has been an amazing adviser, always advocating for the truth and constantly reminding the students on The Northerner of our value. She stays strong against pushes for prior review and respects our judgment — I can’t thank her enough for that. Jacqueline McNally. I really don’t know what to say about her; she’s too wonderful for words.

She’s an outstanding professor, who takes time for each of her students, and treats them with respect. NKU could learn a thing or two from her – they need more like her. My final farewell goes to the ones that make it difficult for student journalists. The ones that hide the truth, hang up the phone on us, degrade us and turn their collective back on us. Thanks. You taught me how to fight, and why I should.

npr norse poll responses Compiled by Tara Derington & Caitlin Centner

How do you feel about roller derby coming to the BOKC?

Candace Mclaurine Junior Social work

Matt Bausch Junior Business management

Catie Earley Junior Public relations

Rohit Nair Sophomore Communication

“It doesn’t bother me. It’s great publicity for the campus. People love the River Monsters.”

“I think it’s a good idea because it generates revenue for the university.”

“I don’t see a problem as long as they aren’t taking time and space from our own campus endeavors.”

“It is great for them to use the facility. I don’t think NKU athletics will take a back seat.”



Across the University

SGA hands out yearly awards

Northern Kentucky University SGA recently announced its yearly awards. Sen. Joseph Fons received the title of Senator of the Year. President Dustin Robinson and Sen. Mikey Adkins received the William Lamb Leadership Award. Student organization NKU VETS was awarded the Paul Myers Community Service/Public Engagement Award. SGA awarded students Arturo Minera and Mayra Guzman with the Anne Braden Scholarship.

Spring Convocation to be held April 25

President James Votruba will hold his final Spring Convocation at 11 a.m. on April 25 in Greaves Concert Hall on Northern Kentucky University’s campus. At the convocation, Votruba will present the highlights of the 2012-13 annual operating budget and discuss some of the opportunities and challenges the university will face over the next year. The retiring president will also answer questions from the audience.

Law students held inaugural Student Philanthropy Day

The Salmon P. Chase College of Law held its first Student Philanthropy Day and raised a total of $970, after matching by the Alumni Board of Governors. Students participated in a cornhole tournament and chili cook-off April 21. Those who were unable to make the event can still purchase an “I AM CHASE” T-shirt for $10 from Barb Parrish in Nunn Hall room 521

April 25, 2012

NKU faculty wins local award

Five professors from Northern Kentucky University were recently named to Cincy Magazine’s Outstanding Educators Class of 2012. Kim Code, Miriam Kannan, Young Kim, David Singleton and Christopher Wilkey all “extol virtues from scholarship to a passion for teaching; from innovation to spending extra time to present material in ways that are both engaging and effective,” according to Cincy Magazine.

Research award winner announced

The winner of the inaugural W. Frank Steely Library Research Award of the Celebration of Student Research and Creativity is Shane Richard Winslow. Winslow, a senior in the Department of History and Geography, titled his project “The Cost of Empire: How the Aztec Political and Economic System Facilitated Spanish Conquest.” His faculty sponsor was Jonathan Reynolds.

NKU entrepreneurship teams brings home awards Four Northern Kentucky University entrepreneurship teams placed in top ranks at IdeaStateU, a statewide, annual business plan competition. Overall, the teams collected $37,829 in monetary prizes. Each team employed an innovative application of technology to solve either a consumer or commercial problem.

Reach for the high hanging fruit. The



Ru Red


Edition 49, Issue 14

Student senate’s final move unveils new logo with unusual debate A new look is the first step in the student org.’s summer and 2012-13 rebranding campaign Claire Higgins News editor The 2011-12 Northern Kentucky University student senate has reached the end of its term and finished out the year with a new logo to kickstart a rebranding campaign for the future. The new logo faced an informal vote and more debate than usual at SGA’s final meeting April 23. The new logo passed, with the possibility of changing the current font, with a vote of 12-10. Many senators questioned why a new logo was necessary and why they were not shown more options. According to President Dustin Robinson, the senate’s executive board collected multiple logo submissions from various students recruited by secretary for public relations Chanell Karr. The decision for a new logo came from executive discussions to not only move

away from a logo that resembles a “flow chart,” but also one that will “match with the university’s themes of branding,” Robinson said. “There’s a lot of new things for the university. We just moved Division I, we just hired a new president, and if ever there were a time to rebrand student government … I think now is the time,” he said. The chosen logo, which resembles a Norse viking helmet, was a combination of multiple submission concepts. The artist who won has the opportunity to be compensated for the work; the senate also voted to allow the executive board to award a prize, but it is not yet decided if that is definite. In addition to the new logo and as part of the rebranding campaign, the executive board is also looking to create an official SGA seal to keep a sense of “professionality” with the organization.


The Year in Review

A look at Robinson and the senate’s accomplishments Passed 27 resolutions including: • Requested Business, Operations and Auxiliary Services, be placed in charge of all print management services, which would save the university over $200,000. • Addressed concerns of students who purchase parking passes by requesting a Parking Pass Advance. • Requested the creation of a program to enhance the on campus residential experience, known as Upper Division Housing. The Dean of Students and VP of Student Affairs will be looking into this in the upcoming semester. • Passed a resolution requesting additional funding for the Health, Counseling and Prevention Services office to provide two more staff members: this request was fulfilled. • Requested that Faculty Senate endorse a policy providing midterm grades for all undergraduates. Midterm grades will be expanded to all students, with an optional provision. • Asked the university to explore funding options to provide wireless printing abilities for students. • Promoted healthy lifestyles by recommending additional bike racks for student use. • Began exploring possibilities for placing

University Police Beats April 17 11:50 a.m. A request was received to do a welfare check on a student in the University Suites. 3:23 p.m. A female student on NKU’s main campus reported that she was “receiving unwanted communications” from a male she knew. It was filed as “harassment.” 9:45 p.m. A female subject in the University Suites reported “receiving unwanted communications” from a male she knew. It was filed as “unwanted communication.” April 18 10:51 a.m. An NKU parking decal was taken from and unsecured vehicle in Lot F.

April 19 1:53 a.m. Officers told a subject to leave campus after the subject was found near Kentucky Hall attempting to talk to another individual regarding the recent breakup of their relationship. April 20 11:30 a.m. An unknown person removed a Scantron machine from a room in the MEP building on campus. April 21 11:29 p.m. There was a three-vehicle accident on Nunn Drive. No injuries were reported.

a Redbox in University Housing. • The Board of Regents approved the request to rename the Student Union the “James C. and Rachel M. Votruba Student Union,” in honor of Votruba and his wife Rachel’s service to NKU. Advocacy efforts: • Members of SGA have lobbied for the Health Innovations Center, and passed a resolution asking the General Assembly to fund the project • Hosted the largest Rally for Higher Education in history, taking three buses down to Frankfort, and had the highest attendance from any of the other state institutions. • Had students complete over 600 surveys, and participate in open forums to create the Norse2020 plan that will be presented to the new NKU president. • Partnered with the Student Alumni Association to provide incentives for NKU students to show school pride with Black and Gold Fridays. • Norse Nights partners have tripled since the campaign launched at the end of last semester. • Worked in collaboration with the All Card Office to redesign the All Card as part of Norse pride efforts.



April 25, 2012

Photo by Emily Lindeau

Tuition once again increasing for fall

Students look to their bank accounts as school costs rise even more Tara Derington Staff writer For the fourth year in a row, tuition prices will increase for Northern Kentucky University students. After receiving a 6.4 percent budget cut from the state, yearly tuition will rise $192 per semester for the average in-state undergraduate student enrolled in 1216 credit hour courses. Double that amount for the out-of-state undergraduates. Senior budget director Ken Kline said the tuition for in-state under-

graduates is determined by the cap given by the Council of Post-Secondary Education, budget costs and fixed costs including utilities, building insurance and benefits. The fixed costs estimated for approximately $3 million. Angela Schaffer, associate budget director, explained that was a normal rate. “Utilities and insurance rise each year, but with tuition increasing, so will scholarships,” Schaffer said. The transition to Division I has nothing to do with the rise in tuition. The process of going from Division II to Division I has been a long time

coming. Schaffer explained that the money used was reallocated from other sources. “In the last couple of years, we used our available resources to fund it, ” Schaffer said. Schaffer said that most of the revenue made from Division I, like ticket prices, will go to the athletic department. At the April 9 student government meeting, President Votruba explained that even though tuition is increasing, the average class size will stay the same. Votruba did explain that graduate percent increase is higher, because

there is no ceiling on increases (undergraduate is 5 percent). Instead, the Haile/US Bank College of Business and other graduate programs look at the market. Competing with other surrounding schools, such as Xavier University, University of Cincinnati and Miami University, the graduate programs try to keep tuition as low as possible. NKU students and staff will not know if tuition will rise once again until next January. There are many solutions and choices that can be made. Ultimately, it will be up to president elect Geoffrey Mearns.


Edition 49, Issue 14


Faculty pushes for evaluation updates The 30-year-old fight for a chance to improve student responses continues Zachary Rogers Staff writer The Northern Kentucky University Teaching Effectiveness and Enhancement Committee (TEEC) has restructured the end-of-semester course evaluations in hopes that the new form will allow for more meaningful and detailed feedback from students. The new online evaluations will feature up to five questions that were created by instructors specifically for their respective classes so that students will be able to comment and elaborate on specific aspects of a class. TEEC president Kenneth Rhee said that course evaluations help promote a synergy at NKU, one where students can improve their educational environment by improving their professors through constructive feedback, and that course evaluations are essential to this cycle. “TEEC was created to focus on im-

proving teaching effectiveness by way of course evaluations,” Rhee said. “And the way that works is that we need feedback from students to help improve our teaching, and then thanks to that, students will begin to see that improvement and how they were essential to that process.” According to TEEC member and NKU communication professor Jacqueline McNally, the evaluations have had the same questions for about 30 years. “A lot of them didn’t exactly mesh well with the online courses and others were just not providing any worthwhile responses,” she said. In the updated evaluation, the committee changed the placement of some questions and “put the more introspective ones first, so that students can reflect on the personal effort they put into the class before they begin to evaluate the instructor,” according to McNally.

Questions like “How much time did you spend studying outside of class?” or “How many times did you ask your instructor for assistance?” appear first on the new evaluations. McNally suggested that by promoting this sense of reflection, students will be either more honest or more accurate with their instructor’s evaluation. The one-to-five scale, with “one” being one extreme and “five” the other, has been kept intact. McNally said that the scale has been accepted nationwide as being the most “useful” in evaluations. TEEC member and mathematics and statistics professor Philip McCartney finds that the commentary offered alongside the data is actually more useful in improving instructors and teaching methods. “To comment and to elaborate on why an instructor succeeded or failed in a particular area is wonderfully

useful to us,” McCartney said. “We are able to learn so much more from those comments than we are from just the scores, they really do help us improve.” TEEC wants to encourage an educational environment where these evaluations are not only properly utilized but are promoted enthusiastically by all members of the university. “We really do read and apply these suggestions to our classes,” TEEC member and Teacher education professor Kimberly Code said. “We may not be at the point where every single student is filling out and commenting on everything that they experienced in their classes over the semester, but we are moving towards that. Our objective is to promote the idea that this process helps the whole university, and I think that that’s pretty well understood by a lot of students and faculty.”

TRANSITION, continued from page one equally in touch with the outside community to be successful, he said. Similar to a presidential position, as dean of the law school, Mearns worked specifically with the external community to raise funds for a “high tech trial courtroom” that is available to both law students and community members. Both Votruba and Mearns agree on the challenges awaiting Mearns in the upcoming years at NKU. Those include financial woes and maintaining a quality undergraduate education with the addition of new learning techniques and technology. It is a reality that the university is continuously underfunded by the state. To fight this, Mearns said he plans to “be a present and vigorous” advocate for NKU at the state capitol and with Kentucky legislators. NKU’s underfunding was a project that Votruba would have liked to make more progress in improving during his time at the university, he said. “What [Mearns is] going to have to confront financially is the future and how we can continue to invest

in the university and its academic programs and support services for students even when the state isn’t able to participate in the funding,” Votruba said. With an increase in technology and new ways in learning, Votruba and Mearns agree that it is important for the new president to find a balance between faculty development and new styles of interactive learning. “How can we retain something that we’re proud of when technology is threatening it?” Mearns said, referring to NKU’s undergraduate education quality. A challenge specific to Mearns’ agenda is continuing Votruba’s work to stay present in the community. The work Votruba has done in the community is one of his proudest accomplishments during his position at NKU, he said. “We have achieved national reputation in the area of public engagement and I am very proud of the work we have done to strengthen and support P-12 education, healthcare, economic growth as well as the university’s public intellectual role,” Votruba said.

After 15 years at the university, Votruba believes he is leaving NKU in a “strong position for the future,” as it has grown stronger and more mature under his leadership. Mearns and Votruba, according to the current president, have similar values, but the change will bring a “burst of energy” to NKU. “He will come to all those issues with a lot of background and a lot of insight … he may approach these in some new and different ways and that’s the strength,” Votruba said. Although he’s preparing to leave the university in August, Votruba will be returning after a year off to teach in NKU’s doctoral program, focusing on leadership. His year off is not exactly one for relaxation, although he does plan to spend time with his wife, Rachel, and their children and grandchildren. Votruba will also be working on a national task force focused on improving college readiness in high schools across the country. He said he also wants to start planning courses to teach when he returns to campus, and incorporating new technology into the lesson plans.


silence is a

Student equality org. puts on a new face to fundraise Brent Lonaker Contributing writer Drag queens (and kings) took the stage in Northern Kentucky University’s University Center April 20. NKU’s organization for gay-straight alliance, Common Ground, hosted this annual drag show to raise money for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Questioning) groups, the GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) and Common Ground. Performers volunteered their time and effort, donating all earned tips to the cause. The tips, in addition to the $3 cover charge, raised over $550. One-third of the proceeds went to GLSEN, while two-thirds go to Common Ground. The show began with a spotlighted performance by hostess Crystyle Starr. The music boomed as she danced and lip-synced. Starr worked her way through the audience, collecting dollar bills from eager tippers, sometimes using her mouth instead of her hands. As her performance ended, she took back the microphone and introduced the next performer. Dressed in over-the-top make-up and outfits, per-

former after performer took the stage and danced and lip-synced to a three- to five-minute musical number. Starr occasionally visited the audience in between performances, cracking jokes as well as embarrassing some of the audience members. Starr even hosted a quick, entertaining game of musical chairs on stage with the help of five volunteers from the crowd. This version had a slight rule change to the traditional game. Whoever was caught without a seat when the music ended could finish the song lyrics to redeem himself or herself and eliminate another player. While many of the performers specialized in female illusion, the show also contained two women dressed as men, one of whom performed as “Justin Beaver.” With a purple flat bill hat, leather jacket and skinny jeans, Emily Thiem fit that role nicely. Thiem also later performed Will Smith’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” One of the most outstanding and, without a doubt, athletic performances of the night was by Mari Jane. Performing a Whitney Houston song, she had much of the audience on their feet, cheering her on. She highkicked, performed one-handed cartwheels and did the

splits numerous times throughout her performance. Near the end of the show, Starr once again took the stage to do a performance that paid tribute to suicide awareness in the LBGTQ community. In a stunning yellow dress, she performed “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera. Audio clips played of news reports of suicides by teens and young adults because of their sexuality being “outed.” Common Ground Vice President Kellie Peyton enjoyed the show and had a few words to say about Nikki and Jessica Dimon, who performed at the event. According to Peyton, these performers are no strangers to the drag scene; they are both significant names in the local drag community. They have appeared at many popular Cincinnati establishments, such as The Dock downtown. Starr often volunteers her time for the LBGTQ community, and many times that means she must perform twice in one night. “I know this month alone I’m doing eight different benefit shows on top of my regular,” Starr said. “Usually it happens on days like this where it’s literally two shows in day... for [another] two and half hours.”

Arts & Life


April 25, 2012

Equines, the myth and that three-letter word Senior artists leave their mark on the university in a final exhibition Ryan Repasky Contributing writer The 2012 Spring BFA Senior Exhibitions had their opening reception April 19 in the main gallery of the Fine Arts Building. Showcased by the Department of Visual Arts, this semester’s show featured four senior artists whose artwork collectively covered painting, sculpture, photography and four-dimensional studies. Where one collection started, another ended, and the distinction between them is as obvious as the subject matter. An enormous oil on wood painting of six horses greeted viewers as they entered the door, and among the constant flow of people, it seems that the stallions are galloping right across the wall. This piece, called “Children of the Wind,” is the artwork of Danielle Wallace. “The large one [‘Children of the Wind’] is 60 feet long took 140 hours,” Wallace said. “Just over the course of a month and a half.” Wallace said that on a medium sized work, it took her eight to 10 hours to build her canvas and 60-80 hours to paint. Although horses have been featured prominently throughout history, Wallace’s desire was to capture the emotions of the animals and the impact one has when physically standing in front of a horse. “Because [previous generations of photographers] didn’t really have an understanding or they couldn’t use photography to really have a great understanding of the horse’s bones and anatomy,” Wallace said. “They always kinda looked a little funky to me.” Wallace’s self-proclaimed job was to present horses in a natural light. Her efforts were realized through the many different poses and motions each horse took in each piece. Nestled in its own closed-off section of the gallery was Jesse Byerly’s four-dimensional, or new media, art titled “Self Sentient.” An object that resembles an old pirate ship wheel sits in a room divided by

(Top) A piece from Pete Hall’s “A World Unnoticed” 3D exhibit. (Bottom) Jesse Fox captures bondage scenes, drag queens in “Three Letter Word.”

a black curtain. As someone turns it, a video projection passes through the glass in the center of the wheel to create different images on the wall. Byerly’s artist statement reflects the meaning behind his pieces, stating: “If we wish to understand others, we first must understand ourselves.” The artwork by all four artists may be different in form and subject, but they seem to complement each other well, giving visitors something constantly

new to look at. “You can really tell that the students put a lot of hard work into these projects,” said senior Ashley Pratt. “I don’t even feel like I’m at school; I feel like I’m at a real museum.” “A World Unnoticed” is a piece by Pete Hall that cannot be missed from any viewpoint in the room. Hanging from the ceiling, a steel serpent seems to effortlessly slither its way through the open gallery air, while inflated latex -- among other materials -creates a sea or lake-bed floor. The inspiration behind Hall’s three-dimensional art comes from those things in life, nature and among the species that are taken for granted everyday. “Steel represents strength in body and form,” Hall said in his artist statement, “while the latex which is inflated will die over the course of the exhibit, losing size daily.” Perhaps the most controversial artist would be Jesse Fox, whose collection of photography was properly titled “Three Letter Word,” referring to sex. Capturing drag queens at their best, scenes of bondage and discipline and sadism and masochism (BDSM), as well as women who embrace their natural bodies. “There is no one way for a person to experience sex, sexuality and gender,” Fox said in the artist statement that described her works. While a constant flow of visitors, family and friends left and entered the room, the opening reception may not have been as well visited as previous exhibitions. “There are a lot less people this time,” said Matt Dugger, a senior at NKU whose artwork was showcased in the fall semester’s senior exhibitions. “It seems like it’s half the amount of people than in the fall.” The Spring BFA Senior Exhibitions are sponsored by the John L. Magro Foundation, which has provided scholarships to NKU students pursuing the creative arts. The exhibition will be open until April 27, running through the week from 5-7 p.m.

Edition 49, Issue 14

Arts & Life


Startups get training and advice

Students learn how to get business off the ground under new program Samantha Hayden Contributing writer The Haile/US Bank College of Business has introduced a new program that will help students “hustle” for money. For 12 weeks starting May 7, teams of three people will spend the summer developing a prototype for their hustler’s startup idea. Hustlers are entrepreneurs who have a startup idea, but need help with funding, networking and finding a team. The INKUBATOR will provide these teams with the training and support they need. The five hustlers have already been chosen, but applications for prospective team members can be submitted through April 30. The idea for the program came from its director, Rodney D’Souza. As an entrepreneur professor at NKU, D’Souza said he realized the university does not provide pre-seeding programs or help students develop their startup ideas. “We are preparing [them] before [they] actually go out to market,” said Zachary Strobl, INKUBATOR program coordinator. NKU alumnus Dan Adams brought his business,

Earthineer, which has been running for a little over a year, to the program. When he first began working on his business plan, he was taking two independent studies. At the start of his business, Adams felt there was nothing at NKU to efficiently help him. “I wanted to pick from marketing, college of business, informatics, grab a videographer and then pull in all the resources I needed to make a viable business,” Adams said. “And this is an opportunity to do exactly that.” During the summer, each team will be paired with a mentor who has experience related to the hustler’s idea. Although the program is not class-based and participants will not receive course credit, there will be classes during the 12 weeks. Nine professionals from outside NKU will be teaching the classes, which will help the teams develop their business plans and create prototypes.

Although Adams has more than 14 years in Internet application experience, the program “is a great opportunity to get mentors to get team members and to really network with some of these accelerators and investors,” he said. Once Adams gets a team together, he will be able to present his business to an accelerator. The accelerator serves as an investor. However, unlike an investor, the accelerator will invest while taking a percentage of the profit. The INKUBATOR program is about being a testing ground for these ideas. “If we can get two teams that stick together, get accepted to accelerators and go on to do big things, I would be really happy,” D’Souza said. Strobl said they do not want to cut the cord once participants complete the 12-week course. They would like to keep these entrepreneurs coming back and to build a community. “The goal is also to keep these businesses in our local area,” Strobl said. Those interested in being on a team can view blurbs about each hustler’s startup idea on the INKUBATOR’s website. For more information about the program and to apply to a team go to http://cob.

Arts & Life


April 25, 2012

Cultural night welcomes new talent

Thursday Nights Together incorporates aspects of hip-hop in event Brett Schreiner Contributing writer

Several people gathered in the Baptist Student Center at Northern Kentucky University April 19 to be a part of Thursday Nights Together (TNT), a weekly event that showcases the different cultures in entertainment, food and a friendly social atmosphere. TNT usually incorporates international cultures into their events; this night, however, brought in a home-grown culture by exceptionally blending gospel music with hip-hop music. The room was comfortably dim, with a crowd of people surrounding the stage, which was equipped with a large backdrop for easy viewing and colorful spotlights to accentuate the excitement in the atmosphere. Faces in the crowd included NKU students, their friends and family and other locals who came together to recognize their allegiance to Jesus and unify as a group. “There’s a certain perception that you need to identify with Jesus in a certain way, we’ve made it a little more fun while connecting with each other,” campus minister Ray Arnold said. “This is a studentperformed show, and a way to be who you are.”

Photo by Brett Schreiner New hip-hop talent engaged audiences at the Baptist Student Center April 19 for Thursday Night Together’s cultural event

Fruit of the Spirit Culture Night showcased various hip-hop artists, including Yo Conchus, K Starr and the official premiere of Young Saint. These are all artists who have chosen hip-hop as a creative way for people to identify with their faith. “I grew up on hip-hop. It was a tool used to help the less fortunate,” Conchus said. “I should be dead, but I’m not and I’m here to show that no matter what your past was, it doesn’t dictate your fu-

ture. Here, you can be a part of something bigger than yourself.” Conchus performed a handful of his songs, including “WatUGonDo” and “Let My Light Shine,” both previously released on iTunes from his album, “The Dead Testimony,” to an eager crowd of people shouting his lyrics right back at him. The album has been described as heart-felt music that revolves around the gospel. When it came time to brainstorm ideas for other cultures to display, students began brewing the idea to incorporate the genre of faith-based hip-hop. “Christian hip-hop is up-and-coming, but music is music. Students have converted old bar songs into the hip-hop genre because they’re songs about the Lord,” said NKU alumus Susan Stein. “It’s not just about the genre, but more about the words. We want to get people to come together, regardless of your beliefs.” TNT is a weekly event that takes place in the Baptist Student Center along with Worship Night, another weekly service on Tuesday nights. To find out more about these events, visit the Baptist Student Center or contact them through the campus website.

Campus sororities hold fundraisers

NKU chapters orchestrate events to benefit local and natural charities Caitlin Centner Staff editor

The women in letters on Northern Kentucky University’s campus are holding two more events before the conclusion of the spring semester. Kappa Delta is holding the annual Shamrock Golf Scramble at the Kenton County Golf Course in Independence, Ky. April 28. The first tee-time will be at 8:30 a.m. and the second round will begin at 1:30 p.m. Kappa Delta has the golf course reserved free of charge, so all proceeds will benefit Child Abuse America and the Family Nurturing Center. With about 224 participants, whose entry fees are $60 for students and $75 for adults, Kappa Delta is expecting this event to surpass last year’s proceeds, according to senior Kayla

Kemen. “This is the highest that we’ve ever had, we’re probably looking at $17,000 for Child Abuse America and the Family Nurturing Center. Last year we raised around $6,000 or $7,000,” Kemen said. Participants will receive a complimentary T-shirt, and breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided. Kemen said the atmosphere of the event will be relaxed and fun. “There’s no judging. Everyone just goes out and has a good time,” she said. “A lot of the fraternity guys come out and play. They get decked out and wear old school golf outfits with the long plaid socks and bow ties.” The event is open to everyone. Kemen’s parents golfed last year in support of Kappa Delta. “My parents had a blast last year. It

was the first time they were involved with something with Kappa Delta, and it made all the stereotypes of a sorority disappear,” she said. “They realized we’re doing something great.” For Kemen, this event will be her last as a Kappa Delta. Senior sendoff was April 22 for the chapter’s upcoming graduates “I’m excited about taking my next steps in growing as an alum member and being there for the actives in a mentor kind of way instead of an active member way,” Kemen said. She will graduate in spring 2012. Seniors of Delta Zeta will also attend their final event, the Turtle Tug, April 28. Although the event was postponed earlier in the semester due to inclement weather, the women of Delta Zeta were able to reschedule. The event will be held from noon to

3 p.m. on NKU’s intramural fields and will benefit Delta Zeta’s national philanthropy, the Painted Turtle Camp. The entry fee was $50 per team. Teams will consist of five people in a battle of tug-of-war over jello. The losers fall in the jello, according to junior Jessica Daniels. This is Daniels’ last year to participate in the messy activities before she herself is a senior. Cassie Juniet, junior marketing major and current president of Delta Zeta, said that although only two girls are graduating, Saturday’s event will be an emotional one. “I think it kind of wraps up everything that we embody,” Juniet said. She said this event is important to these women, because it is their last chance to give back as a collegiate member.



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April 25, 2012

Roller derby season approaches Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls will hold free exhibition at BOKC April 28 Stephen Wilder Sports features editor The Black-n-Bluegrass Roller Girls are hosting a free exhibition at The Bank of Kentucky Center April 28 to kick off the new season. The exhibition will be a scrimmage bout, and Blackn-Bluegrass Roller Girls will invite skaters from other teams to join in. According to blocker Silverose, the exhibition will be a trial run to get the staff figured out and to become familiar with the BOKC, as well as to make a presence within the area. For people who are not familiar with the roller derby, Silverose explained it as a “fast-action, hardhitting, full-contact type of sport.” “It takes a little while to learn the rules, but there is Roller Derby 101 in the programs,” Silverose said. This marks the first time the team will compete in its new home in Highland Heights, Ky. The actual season begins May 19 and will consist of five home games, to be played through September, plus away games. The BOKC will also be the location of the postseason tournament in October. The team previously competed at Midwest Sports

Complex in Florence, Ky. and the Florence Fundome. But, as the team continued to grow, so did the need for a larger venue. Jammer/blocker Petal to the Metal said competing in the BOKC will definitely be different, but she thinks the team will be fine. “Past venues have been a lot more intimate, where the fans can be a lot closer,” Petal to the Metal said. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing. That was just always one of the pluses of being in a smaller venue.” Although the setting may not be as intimate as it would be in a smaller venue, there will be floor seating available for fans to get up close and personal to the action, even if it means that they could be catching a skater in their lap. Petal to the Medal said competing in the BOKC will allow more people to fill the stands. “I think people will be able to see the action better as well because of the arena seating,” she said. Jammer Beka Rekanize said the big challenge in switching venues will be helping to inform the current fan base that the team will be moving to a different place. “We’re really excited about it,” Beka Rekanize said. “It’s a big change for us. We’ve had to do a little more work promoting ourselves.”

Black-n-Bluegrass has currently been planning promotional and fundraising events as well as working with nonprofit organizations to raise money for traveling and to spread awareness in the community about the upcoming season. The team will not only be competing in a new venue, but it also switched to a new practice location as well. “It’s been a good change but it’s a little harder financially and it takes a lot more work on everybody’s part,” Petal to the Metal said. Pedal to the Metal said she is looking for a successful 2012 season. “We came out of 2011 on a winning season and I really believe we can continue that,” Petal to the Metal said. “We have a lot of great strategies, our coach is really good and we have a lot of committed girls who are very talented.” Black-n-Bluegrass joined the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association as a full member in March 2012, after competing in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Apprentice Program since April 2010. Presale tickets for regular season bouts will be $12, but regular admission is $15 at the door. For more information about Black-n-Bluegrass events, check out

Edition 49, Issue 14



Tennis teams finish fourth at GLVC tourney John Minor Sports news editor The Northern Kentucky University tennis teams competed in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament in Springfield, Mo., held April 20-21. Both teams ended the event with a fourth place finish. In the first round, both teams defeated No. 3 West team, Missouri-Saint Louis. The men won the event 5-0, sweeping the three doubles matches. Juniors Guillaume Berman and Andre Correa picked up singles victories. The women also defeated the Tritons, winning 5-2. Sophomore Marta Romeo, freshman Clemence Binon and junior Jenny Hand won their singles matches. Romeo and Hand also won their doubles matches, partnering with seniors Whitney Thomas and Jillian Sturgeon, respectively. In the semifinals, both teams fell to the No. 1 West seed, Drury. The men lost 5-3 to the No. 20 nationally ranked team, winning two doubles matches and one single match.

Senior Tyler Fraser and sophomore Pierce Kohls won the No. 1 doubles match and Berman and freshman Drew Schroeder won the No. 3 doubles match. Berman was the only man to claim a singles victory. Senior Martin Leroy and freshman Christopher Angulo lost in three sets in their singles matches after winning the first set. “We were two sets away from defeating the No. 20 team in the country,” head coach Brian Nester said. “We showed we can play with the top schools.” The women fell to No. 22 Drury, 5-1. The only victory for the Norse came in doubles with Hand and Sturgeon winning the No. 3 match. “Drury has always been a top competitor,” Thomas said. “It was overall a good match, we just fell a little short.” Both teams competed in the third place match on April 21. The teams both came up short, finishing in fourth place for the tournament. The men lost to No. 32 Southern Indiana, 5-2, and the women lost, 5-0, to Rockhurst. Fraser and Kohls won the top seeded doubles match and freshman Angulo won the

No. 5 singles match for the men. The men now have a 14-6 record, while the women’s record is 10-10. Next on the schedule is the NCAA Tournament Preliminaries, held April 29-31. The women did not qualify, while the men advanced to the tournament. The men, seeded No. 6, will play No. 3 Southern Indiana with the winner facing No. 2 Northwood (Mich.) The Norse played the Screaming Eagles twice this season, losing both times. In addition to the GLVC Tournament, NKU also lost to Southern Indiana in the regular season on March 31, 6-3. Nester looks forward to playing Southern Indiana again and said that a key to the matches were the doubles matches. “We need to find a way to win two of the three doubles matches because if we don’t we have to win four singles matches,” Nester said. “It’s possible, but it makes it more difficult against one of the top teams in the country.” The team not only would like to beat the Screaming Eagles for the first time this year, but would also like to beat last year’s NCAA Tournament results.

Photo by Kody Kahle Senior Whitney Thomas helped the women’s tennis team defeat Missouri-Saint Louis in the first round of the GLVC Tournament.

“Last year we lost in the first round, 5-4, to Northwood,” Kohls said. “We hope to get past that first round obstacle. We have plans to go far in the tourney, and we know we have the ability to.”



April 25, 2012

Former college athlete ready to run university President elect was a member of Yale’s cross country and track teams for four years and qualified for the Olympic trials Matt Reed Contributing writer Few college students can say that they have a record-setting athlete at the helm of their university. Next fall, Northern Kentucky University students will be able to boast that they do. Geoffrey S. Mearns will succeed James Votruba as the president of NKU, effective Aug. 1, 2012. Mearns has a long list of accolades, including serving as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Cleveland State University, serving as dean and a professor at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, holding a position as a law professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and New York Law School, maintaining a career as a practicing lawyer, and being a high school English teacher. What makes Mearns unique, however, are his athletic accomplishments. He was captain of his cross country team at Shaker Heights High School in Ohio, where he placed third in the mile event with a time of 4:16 and fourth in the two mile event. As a student athlete at Yale University, Mearns ran varsity cross country, indoor track and outdoor track for four years. As a freshman, Mearns broke Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter’s indoor two mile record with a time of 9:01. His time in the 10,000 meters of 29:50 is still in the top 10 all-time at Yale. As a senior, he captained the cross country team and was named the track team’s most valuable athlete. Mearns still runs and competes in races two or three times a year. In preparation for marathons, he runs between 100 and 130 miles per week. “My best marathon time is 2:16,” Mearns said. “I also ran 2:17 twice.” He qualified for the 1984 Olympic trials but did not compete due to injury. Athletic director Scott Eaton is excited to have a former college athlete taking over as the university’s president.

“I believe that he has a clear understanding of the importance of intercollegiate athletics within the institutional structure,” Eaton said. “Particularly for the overall student experience and donor and alumni support.” Ricky Harm, a junior exercise science major and member of the track and field and cross country teams, welcomes a new era for NKU. “I think it’s great to have someone with his type of experience, for us as athletes and the entire athletic department at NKU,” Harm said. “He will be able to help us reach our goals as an NCAA athlete.” Along with being a high school English teacher, Mearns also served as an assistant cross country and track coach at the high school. Harm hopes to take some pointers from Mearns if the two meet. “It would be such an honor to have someone like him help out with the team, because most universities don’t get that opportunity to have a coach with a background of athletic experience,” Harm said. Harm’s head coach Steve Kruse is looking forward to working with Mearns. “Mr. Mearns resume is incredible, especially with his athletic accomplishments,” Kruse said. “I plan on tapping his wealth of knowledge about the sport and about athletics in general.” Mearns is especially eager for NKU to make the transition from Division II athletics to Division I athletics. “It provides a great opportunity to raise the profile of the university, and I anticipate that we will be competitive very quickly,” Mearns said. “Our top priorities are to ensure that our students succeed academically and that all members of the NKU athletic department, the student-athletes, the coaches and the administrators conduct themselves with integrity.” Kruse also believes that Mearns will direct the school to the next level. “The NKU athletic program is really on the rise and Mr. Mearns will be another stepping stone in the right direction,” Kruse said. “I think he is a great fit to carry the flag for NKU.”

Photos courtesy of Yale University Geoffrey Mearns ran track and field and cross country for Yale University. He qualified for the 1984 Olympic trials but did not compete due to an injury. Mearns still competes in races two or three times a year and runs for fun.

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The Northerner Print Edition April 20, 2012  

votruba hands over presidency, final issue of semester, news goes here.

The Northerner Print Edition April 20, 2012  

votruba hands over presidency, final issue of semester, news goes here.