A new look for graphic novels
Norse Force gaining support
Free shows begin at planetarium
See Features, p.6
See Sports, p.9
See A&E, p.10
Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011
Edition 48, Issue 3
On-campus housing hits capacity Some dorms overbooked while students wait for rooms to open Caitlin Centner Contributing writer With not enough space in on-campus living areas, some Northern Kentucky University students were assigned to temporary off-campus housing for the first few weeks of the semester, and some of them are still living in extended occupancy in University Housing. According to Arnie Slaughter, interim director for Student Housing, approximately 85 students were assigned to temporary housing. Thirty-five of those students stayed at the Comfort Suites hotel in
Bellevue, Ky. A Resident Assistant stayed with them just like they would if they were in the dorms. The remainder of students were assigned to expanded occupancy areas within the dorms, where rooms designed for two or three people held three or four people, or were placed with an RA. Students who lived in a hotel had some concerns and anxiety due to being disconnected from campus, Slaughter said. Parents and students were able to talk to housing coordinators like Cathy Carson through the duration of their stay about what resources were available to students at the hotel.
Photo by Emily Lindeau Tameron Singletary, now living in Norse Hall, was one of the 85 students assigned to temporary housing because of overcrowding in the dorms. He was placed in a room with a Resident Assistant, who typical has his or her own room.
“Parents were usually more focused on their students getting off to a good start,” said Margaret Brown, a junior RA and housing office worker. “If a student was highly concerned, Cathy made sure they were taken care of,” Brown said. Brown was one of the RAs on duty at the hotel. “Duties were to get there by 9 p.m.,” Brown said. “Housing facilitated a program that allowed the RAs to take students to get food. Each person was allowed five dollars.” Students were informed in advance that they would be living in temporary housing. The housing deadline was May 1. Those who signed up for housing after that date had a greater chance of having a temporary assignment. Housing officials’ first priority was to get students out of the hotel, Slaughter said. Those students are now in their permanent housing assignments. Slaughter said some students in extended occupancy assignments have gotten used to their arrangements and grown close to their temporary roommates. Kentucky Hall, Commonwealth, Norse Hall and Callahan Hall have students temporarily living with RAs. These rooms are built for two people, but RAs typically live alone per their employment contract. Callahan Hall is providing expanded occupancy; a two-person bedroom is to function as a threeperson room, and a four-person bedroom as a fiveperson bedroom. Assigning students to their permanent housing arrangement depends on cancellations. As students cancel within a hall, a student with a temporary arrangement moves to that spot. “I definitely think we need to be as proactive as possible,” Slaughter said. “As the university grows, plans for housing will also be in progress.” He said NKU is looking at other properties to build more housing but provided no further details.
Just for laughs
September 7, 2011
Student Government Association Freshmen elections Running for five senate positions
David Trump, Cody Hedges, Anthony Cameron, Clayton Castle, Joseph Barkley, Damon Dodson, Hannah Posey, Kheiston Tilford, Christopher Walters, Victoria House, Justin Bezold, Matt Tinsley, Clayton Bhola, Jon Lyons, Jackson Kosztala
How to vote
1. Log on to the SGA voting website at http://elections.nku.edu/sga between 7:30 a.m. Sept. 7 and Sept. 8 at 10 p.m. 2. Or visit computer voting stations at the Student Union Information Desk, Norse Commons Lobby Desk or Callahan Hall Front Desk Students will need the last four digits of their Social Security Number and the last eight digits of their All-Card ISO number to vote. Contact the Dean of Students Office in SU 301, or by calling 859-572-5147 between 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with any voting issues. Comic by Brittany Granville
Edition 48, Issue 3
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Cassie Stone [email@example.com]
COPY DESK CHIEF Emily Christman [firstname.lastname@example.org]
That thing we do
MANAGING EDITOR Karli Wood [email@example.com]
CARTOONIST Brittany Granville [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Staff blog takes readers behind the scenes
PRESENTATION EDITOR Alysha Durrett [email@example.com]
STAFF WRITERS Nick Jones [firstname.lastname@example.org]
NEWS EDITOR Claire Higgins [email@example.com]
COPY EDITOR Elizabeth Parsons [firstname.lastname@example.org]
FEATURES EDITOR Brandon Barb [email@example.com]
PHOTOGRAPHER Kevin Jo [firstname.lastname@example.org]
A&E EDITOR Roxanna Blevins [email@example.com]
VISUAL DESIGNER Emily Lindeau [firstname.lastname@example.org]
SPORTS NEWS EDITOR John Minor [email@example.com]
AD MANAGER William Fisher [firstname.lastname@example.org]
SPORTS FEATURES EDITOR Stephen Wilder [email@example.com]
ADVISER Jacque Day [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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.
The Northerner Founders Hall Rm 314 Highland Heights, KY 41099 Editor in Chief: (859) 572-5812 Newsroom: (859) 572- 6677 or 5620 Advertising: (859) 572-5232 Fax: (859) 572-5772 E-mail: email@example.com Web site: www.thenortherner.com
Correction The Northerner incorrectly called Mikey Adkins the University Improvements Committee chair in Issue 2 published Aug. 31. He is the Student Rights Committee chair.
Karli Wood Managing editor As the semester settles for most NKU students, things are still gearing up at The Northerner. We receive a lot of questions and comments about what we choose to cover and why, our general thought processes and our ethical decisions. After a unanimous vote during our annual Fall Orientation, we decided that we would address those questions and more. The result of this is our new blog, aptly titled “Georgia 10.” We tossed around a few different blog names, all various plays on terminology we use, such as “We have issues,” and “Past the print,” both former behind the scenes-type blogs by staffers. Luckily, after many phone calls, feverish text messages and Google searches, we settled on “Georgia 10.” The reasoning, you may ask?
“Georgia 10” is the font and size of the body text in our print issues. We wanted to convey that there is much more than the ink you see on paper every week – a lot of thought goes into every issue
and choice. We’ve been asked why we made certain stories cover pieces, why we didn’t cover an event or trend and why we didn’t tailor each issue to individual needs. There are answers for all of
those questions. We do our best to follow the Associated Collegiate Press and Society of Professional Journalists codes of ethics, as well as our own moral compasses. Despite following multiple guidelines for behavior and writing, we do – and will – make mistakes. That is the nature of a student newspaper – to learn by doing. But don’t worry. The blog will be there to discuss each victory and blunder. So get ready, because it’s definitely going to be an interesting journey. Seeing as that we double as an independent student-run online publication and newspaper, things will constantly be hectic. We’ll do our best to answer any concerns through “Georgia 10” and give the reader a view into our collective conscience. Feel free to continue reading each week, because we’re far from finished.
norse poll responses Compiled by Alysha Durrett & Karli Wood
Do you attend NKU sporting events? Why or why not?
Ricardo Weaver Senior, Marketing
Brendan McHugh Freshman, Undeclared
Janell Jackson Senior, Communications
Taylor Belew Freshman, Pre-Nursing
“I attend basketball home games. I intend to go and support soccer games. I feel like there needs to be a little more crowd participation.”
“No, I’m only up here two days a week because I commute. If I was closer I would.”
“No, I haven’t because I don’t know that many people on campus to go with.”
“No, not yet. I’m a freshman this year so I’m not acquainted with all the sporting events, but I definitely plan to.”
September 7 Get The Scoop on Study Abroad
When: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Where: SU plaza What: Learn about study abroad programs, from academic exchanges to spring break trips. Also get free ice cream with all the fixings.
September 9 The “Nigga” Debate
When: 6:30 p.m. Where: Otto Budig Theater What: You don’t want to miss out! Topic of discussion is the term “nigga” a term of endearment? Come out and find out what you peers have to say. Admission is $1.
NKU Volleyball vs. Charleston (W. Va.)
Learn How to Find a Co-op
When: 7 p.m. Where: Regents Hall What: Come cheer your Norse to victory at the first NKU volleyball match of the 2011 season. Admission is free to all NKU students.
September 9 NKU Soccer vs. Kentucky Wesleyan
When: Men 5:00 p.m., Women 7:30 p.m. Where: NKU Soccer Stadium What: Watch this exciting doubleheader! First 500 fans receive NKU license plate.
When: 5-6 p.m., Where: SU 302 What: Discover how to acquire hands-on experience in your career field while earning academic credit and getting paid.
September 10 NKU Cheerleading Tryouts
When: 7-10 p.m. Where: Regents Hall What: Students who have experience in tumbling and stunting are encouraged to attend tryouts. Men are also welcome to tryout.
September 7, 2011
September 7 Peace Corps
When:10 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: SU plaza What: Gather information on the organization, application process and what it is like to be a volunteer. Begin your Peace Corps journey with ample information.
September 11 Wreath Ceremony
When: 6 p.m. Where: Flag Pole behind Chase on the new East Oval. What: Join the APB, NKU V.E.T.S and Campus Flood as they observe a wreath-laying ceremony in memory of those lost September 11, 2001.
September 8 Adventure Addicts
When: 1 p.m. Where: Albright Health Center What: Addicted to adventure? Check out the Adventure Addicts Sport Club.
September 13 Film Screening: “Küss mich, Frosch”
When: 7-9 p.m. Where: LA 110 What: A German modern film version of “The Frog King.”
Edition 48, Issue 3
Online learning still on the rise Local study examines the benefits of online learning as enrollment in the university’s online program goes up Claire Higgins News editor As students’ schedules become more full, more people are taking advantage of online learning instead of a traditional college experience. With the spike in popularity has come questions about benefits and disadvantages of online learning. A new report from the Bluegrass Institute discusses the successes and challenges of digital learning, specifically in high school, but the recommendations outlined in the study pose the same questions about online programs at the college level. The report, “Digital Learning Now,” looks at the advantages of online learning at the high school level. It lists recommendations on how to take the right steps to move toward more digital options for students. Northern Kentucky University also recently compiled its own set of 24 guidelines for each online course to follow that were meant to improve the digital experience for students. Since creating the guidelines, NKU’s student satisfaction and retention rates for online majors have increased, according to Online Learning Assistant Director Kristen Lovett. The program has grown to 1,080 students from the 650 it had when the program began in 2009, when Lovett began working at NKU. Every semester, the number of available online courses grows from 21-28 percent, and section sizes have increased by 16 percent, Lovett said. Lovett and Natalie Nickol, Online
Learning coordinator, attributed the increase in online learning popularity not to the economic hardships many students face, but to a “paradigm shift” that is happening in the workplace. Employers today want to see their employees receive their bachelor’s or master’s degrees, but do not want them to leave the workplace to complete them. With this shift, Lovett said she has seen a “huge change” in adults who want to further their education while still working. Provost Gail Wells said “opportunities to take online courses can often help students make more timely progress toward graduation,” which could add to the program’s growth. Erin Burton, an online communications studies major, said she chose to take online classes so she could be free to travel to work and because it is easier for her to learn on her own time. “The great thing about taking classes online is that they are available for you to work on homework 24/7, which is great for people with a hectic work schedule or for those who are night owls, like myself,” Burton said. Online learners have 20 associate, undergraduate, graduate and doctorate degree programs to choose from, including one of the five online doctorates in nursing programs in the United States. Although the online programs are growing, the questions and disadvantages still appear in the uncertainty of technology, campus support and in the cost-effectiveness of online learning. Technology, although beneficial to the students who live off campus, can still be unpredictable, Lovett said. It is not uncommon to lose In-
Photo illustrations by Claire Higgins A student works on homework through Blackboard for her online leaning courses. NKU’s online learning program allows students to complete degrees without stepping foot onto campus.
ternet connection in the middle of an exam or while working on an assignment on Blackboard, where all online courses are based. Switching to a strictly online program is not an easy experience, Nickol said. Beginning students “don’t know the gist of it,” so it can be tough for some. To help with student support, NKU recently created an online orientation students must complete before taking an online class, which shows them how to work Blackboard and other standard computer programs. Despite the orientation, some students do still prefer to be in a faceto-face classroom setting, listening to a professor’s lecture, according to Nickol. But Lovett said the cost-effectiveness of online learning outweighs the need for the traditional college experience. For any student taking an online class, the university charges a $35 fee per credit hour. But students enrolled in an online-only program
are charged in-state tuition no matter where they live. For example, an online student living in Kentucky would pay the same rate as an online student living in California. Online-only students pay $347 per credit hour. For out-of-state, full-time students, tuition is $624 per credit hour. The in-state tuition is a perk, according to Lovett, because many students are living too far from campus — in rural areas, in the military or internationally — to make the trip every day. Wells said for online students, the cost effectiveness of online learning “depends on a student’s life circumstances,” but is seen by reducing travel time and a lesser need for other expenses, such as child care. Burton, who lives in Nicholasville, Ky., said it does even out. “Yes, I may pay more per credit hour; but I save money in gas, room and board, and meal plans,” she said.
September 7, 2011
Book Connection goes graphic Novel helps freshmen explore life transitions through interpretive art Brandon Barb Features editor
Shivener was referring to the wide variety of classes that David Mack took. His classes ranged from graphic design to Japanese to anatomy to numerous art classes. Entering college is a chance for someone to com“The Alchemy” is a graphic novel, but it strays away pletely reinvent oneself. The shy, awkward person he or from the traditional panel format. The majority of the she was in high school can finally emerge and begin to book is done with symbols that everyone is familiar with bloom. — such as the women’s bathroom symbol and the cross That is what college, and ultimately life, is all about: in the form of a six-sided cube. choices. To decide whether or not to pursue a dream, Starting with the seventh volume of a work could be to act upon a talent or keep it locked away from sight confusing in most cases; how— every day, freshmen and ever, “The Alchemy,” can be a students all over the world starting point because Kabuki face choices. “Kabuki: The goes back into her past through Alchemy” addresses these out the book. choices such as changing one’s Though “The Alchemy” is lifestyle or establishing a new mainly for freshmen, other stuidentity. “The Alchemy” was chodents on campus are reading sen for Northern Kentucky and enjoying the graphic novel. University’s “Book Connec“I’m only on part three, but tion” because of the fact that I’m enjoying it greatly,” sophoKabuki, the main character more media informatics major in the graphic novel, is going Ashley Seibert said. “I’m really through what freshmen go into the Asian culture, and the through. opening pages really capture For the first time, the Book that art.” Connection selection is a “The Alchemy” is beautigraphic novel. “Kabuki: The ful and stunning, but it has Alchemy” is the seventh volconfused NKU students and ume in the Kabuki series creprofessors alike. Mack made a ated by NKU alumus David campus visit over the summer Mack. to aid in a teaching workshop, “We felt it was an exciting book for students,” said Dithen he helped create teacher rector of First-Year Programs guides. Mei Mei Burr. “It was just very “The response has been different from any book we’ve mixed. We did a survey durselected. It’s just a very new ing orientation and found that and exciting genre for our stuabout 40 percent of students dents to be exposed to.” are familiar with graphic novThere are six other volumes els,” Shivener said. Photo courtesy of First Year Programs to the “Kabuki” series, which “Kabuki: The Alchemy” is Mack started when he was still many things: a work of art, a new take on graphic novels a student at NKU with the first volume Circle of Blood. and an inspirational tool. In the back of “The Alchemy,” Before Mack graduated his career was taking off. “I think it inspires freshmen. It’s a great example of Mack included letters he has accumulated while worksomebody coming to this university, taking a variety of ing on the “Kabuki” series. Each letter has its own story classes … all those classes you take account for some- of inspiration or how “Kabuki” has touched its writer’s thing,” Assistant Director of First-Year Programs Rich life. A novel that connects with so many people is rare, Shivener said. let alone a graphic novel.
Edition 48, Issue 3
Artist’s unique style breaks industry fads ‘The Alchemy’ gives readers a breath of fresh air in the world of comic books Brandon Barb Features editor “All you need to know is that there is a scar on my face, I’m starting a new life, and I have a friend who is helping me.” — Kabuki. My first thought upon reading “Kabuki: The Alchemy” was Terry Gilliam. That might sound a bit strange, but when the graphic novel is looked at as a film, the similarities are there. Gilliam’s films and “The Alchemy” are both beautiful and submerged in fantasy, with realism sprinkled in. “The Alchemy,” written and illustrated by Northern Kentucky University alumus David Mack is the seventh volume in the Kabuki series. Though the last in the series, readers can start with this book without feeling distanced from the characters and the story because he includes background on Kabuki. Still, “The Alchemy” is different. While the comic book and graphic novel business clings to a stable of the same characters, Mack has found a way to make the pages of his graphic novel more than clean-cut panels and speech bubbles. Mack has created a unique experience of visuals and words, accomplished by combining various art forms into one. He uses sketches, paintings and photography, placing objects on each page, reminiscent of an “I Spy” book. The most striking aspects of the graphic novel are the visuals and the way each page is presented. For most of the book, the speech and action revolve around symbols, the women’s bathroom logo and the six-sided cut-out cube being the most prominent. For those who haven’t picked up a copy, here is a little back story: Kabuki is a young woman who used to be a Japanese assassin for an evil corporation known as “Noh.” In “The Alchemy,” Kabuki is trying to find a new home and find herself in the process. She does so by writing and reflecting on her pre-
vious life. The main theme of “The Alchemy” is starting a new beginning and a new life for oneself. There is little action in “The Alchemy,” even though the previous volumes have the action an assassin could love. Instead, Mack focuses on the characters, emotions and art. The journey of Kabuki, and Mack’s unique art style, makes readers want to keep going without using blood and death. No matter what the focus, something will be left out. There is too much in “The Alchemy” to cover in a single article. With beautiful art and an engaging narrative, “The Alchemy” is arguably the most unique graphic novel on the shelves. Every read-through can bring something new to the reader’s attention. While there are so many things that are great with “The Alchemy,” the narrative can be hard to follow at times. The section that best describes the visually stunning yet sometimes confusing style is “Self Portrait.” As the story within the story, “Self Portrait” is what Kabuki reads when she meets a writer on an airplane. This portion is done in the style of a sketchbook, and it is drastically different from the rest of “The Alchemy.” The words get lost within Mack’s art. With no panels the words flow with the lines of his art and at times are scattered around the page. Now comes the time for the verdict. Coming from a fan of comics, mostly “Thor” and “Daredevil,” I think “The Alchemy” was a very different read. The whole book was the exact opposite of other comics. Instead of focusing on dialogue, Mack’s art pulls you in to look at more than the words. In a business that counts on a core group of characters, and is seeing a massive reboot from DC Comics, Mack has opened up new doors to creating comics and graphic novels. “The Alchemy” is different, but hardcore comic fans and newcomers alike can enjoy this graphic novel.
Art by David Mack. Courtesy of First Year Programs
September 7, 2011
Volleyball team set with experience John Minor Sports news editor The Northern Kentucky University volleyball team is bringing back every starter from last year’s 20-win squad, and expectations are high for the group. “We work extremely hard and push each other to become better players on and off the court because we want to be the best,” senior outside hitter Noelle Peterson said. NKU posted a 20-14 record last year and earned a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament. The Norse did not lose any key players to graduation, which will help them in their quest to make this year’s tournament. The Norse have four returning 2010 all-conference selections. Junior middle hitter Shelby Buschur returns, leading the team last year with 402 kills, resulting in a Great Lakes Valley Conference first-team selection. Junior setter Jenna Schreiver, Peterson and senior outside hitter Sarah Drennen were second-team conference selections. Schreiver was second in the conference last year in assists per set (10.68). Also returning to the team after redshirting last year due to an injury is Kim Nemcek. In 2009, she led NKU in kills (455), blocks (95) and hitting percentage (.317). Head coach Liz Holmes said Nemcek is a leader and role model to the younger players off the court and an all-around player on the court. The team has been working to improve the areas of the game where they have had difficulties in the past. “This season we are making block-
ing a major priority, because in the past seasons we have not focused on that and have struggled,” Peterson said. “Another team goal is having the most digs in the conference because I think we have the best defense within our region.” The conference will feature two divisions. The top four teams from each side and two wild cards will earn a berth to the 10-team GLVC Tournament held Nov. 11-13. The GLVC Tournament will be hosted by the team with the best conference record. In the GLVC preseason poll, the Norse was picked to finish third in the east division, behind Lewis University and the University of Indianapolis. According to Holmes, the east is loaded with talent. NKU opened its season by playing four games at the UIndy Invitational on Sept. 3-4. The Norse finished the tournament undefeated without dropping a set. As a result, the Norse entered the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II poll at No. 24. Peterson credits the team’s chemistry as the main reason for the fast start. “We are playing more as a team than ever,” Peterson said. “In the past, we were more concerned about individualistic goals rather than team goals; and I think once you see us play, you will notice a huge difference.” Holmes said the team has a “mental toughness to battle back to win sets.” NKU will play its first home game Sept. 7 against the University of Charleston (W.Va.) in Regents Hall. The Norse begin GLVC play Sept. 9, hosting Saint Joseph’s College.
Photos courtesy of Tim Downer Senior outside hitter Sarah Drennen (top left), junior defensive specialist Kylee Tarantino (top center) and sophomore defensive specialist Anna Prickel (top right) are among the returning players for the Norse this season. Head coach Liz Holmes (bottom left) enters her first full season as the head coach of the volleyball team. Drennen (bottom right) returns after finishing the previous season with 285 kills, ranking third on the team. She also earned All-GLVC second team honors.
Edition 48, Issue 3
Throw your Norse up Students and athletics team up for school pride Stephen Wilder Sports features editor Northern Kentucky University’s athletic department has joined with the student spirit group, Norse Force, to help promote school pride and improve attendance at sporting events. All NKU students receive free admission to all regular-season home games with a swipe of their NKU All-Cards. If they sign up with Norse Force for $10, they will receive an official Norse Force tshirt as well as a “Norse Tag.” They can scan these tags at NKU Athletics events to earn points toward rewards throughout the season. Sponsors of the student rewards program include Self Diploma, Buffalo Wild Wings, Campus Book & Supply, Chipotle, Barleycorn’s, Jimmy John’s, Skyline Chili and Adventures on the Gorge. With the anticipated jump to Division I, Norse Force and NKU Athletics representatives say that now is the time to get students involved in helping spread the word about the Norse across the nation and put Northern Kentucky on the map. “Going D-I is one of the reasons I wanted to make Norse Force really big this year,” Norse Force President Sara Daugherty said. “We are starting now, instead of looking like we do not know what we are doing when the time comes.” Daugherty said getting the word out will help get students excited about becoming a bigger school in
a larger division. NKU is hosting the Division II Elite Eight for men’s basketball in 2012 and 2013. Daugherty said Norse Force will be a part of it by volunteering and helping host the event. “We are going to have a lot of people around to show off what we are made of and prove that we can go D-I,” Daugherty said. Norse Force has had its ups and downs with student participation over the past few years, but joining with NKU Athletics will give it the backbone that it needs, according to Daugherty. Stephanie West, athletic marketing and promotions coordinator, said the new student rewards program should give students motivation to come out to the games. “I have been wanting to do the student rewards program, and it just made sense to partner with Norse Force,” West said. “It is basically the spirit organization here on campus, and it has the strongest presence with athletics.” West said student participation and attendance have increased over the last two years, and she said she thinks the student rewards program can make it double. “Sara has been great with helping us get all of the students,” West said. “I can go out and recruit all I want, but the students are the ones that can really make an impact by bringing in more people.” Daugherty and West both said student athletes
must also play their parts as fans. “Athletes are allowed to join and it is actually smart for them, because they are already going to be at the games,” Daugherty said. West said that student athletes are like one giant fraternity and sorority. “It is a big family away from home,” West said. “As a student athlete, you love to see your peers in the stands.” Sean Herron studied entrepreneurship at NKU and is a co-founder of Self Diploma, a Norse Force sponsor. “I foresaw getting involved with Norse Force as an opportunity to start speaking with all of the right people about my visions, ideas and goals for NKU’s growth,” Herron said. “I think that adding DJs and performers to the current events at the university will make them more entertaining and will create a buzz.” Self Diploma is an outside marketing firm that controls a lot of the entertainment around downtown Cincinnati. It hosts concerts and celebrity events, as well as bar and night club promotions. “I see what other universities are doing,” Herron said. “If NKU wants to be more appealing, these are the type of things it will have to do. It is something that students can look forward to and you’ve got to give them something to talk about. It is what draws people to come out and enjoy themselves.”
Photo by Stephanie West Norse Force and NKU Athletics have come together to get more students to attend sporting events. The student rewards program offers free and discounted items from sponsors in the area.
September 7, 2011
Planetarium challenges perceptions Free shows offer students more than just a glimpse of the stars Roxanna Blevins A&E editor If you are interested in learning about the seven wonders of the ancient world you can, at the Haile Digital Planetarium, in the Science Center. “Seven Wonders” will be showing for free, the first and third Fridays of the month, at 7:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 9. and every Monday, from noon to 1 p.m., beginning Sept. 12. Throughout the week, astronomy classes are held in the planetarium. However, not all of the shows featured on Mondays and Fridays are related to astronomy. “I purposely have tried to have shows that aren’t all about astronomy,” said Planetarium Director Dan Spence. “We try to cover a wide range, including geology, chemistry and biology.” According to Spence, there is not a big turn-out for the Monday afternoon shows, which he thinks may be because of the perception that it is “just stars on a screen.” Spence hopes “Seven Wonders” will help change that perception. Whatever perceptions people hold, it seems that
many students are not aware of the free shows at the planetarium. Melissa Danner, a junior middle-childhood education major, had not heard of the free Monday and Friday shows at the planetarium, but she said they are something her children would be interested in. Although she is taking an astronomy class, Jessica Lovelace , a senior middle-childhood education major, had not heard about the free shows either until she saw a poster for them. “I would go if I had the time free,” Lovelace said. “I enjoy going to things like that, or the OMNIMAX.” Lovelace is not the only student who is unable to attend the planetarium shows due to time constraints. “I heard about it in University 101,” said sophomore Joey Battaglia. “It seems interesting, but I usually have to work, and don’t have the time.” Free Mondays, which have been held in Haile Digital Planetarium since its opening in 2007, are not the only form of outreach at the planetarium.. The planetarium is also available to groups, such
as Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. The facility is also used for an astronomy summer camp for children in grades sixth through eighth. According to Spence, donations are accepted; however, there is no charge for using the planetarium. The facility is funded by grants and earmarks, as well as astronomy, history, archaeology and art classes, which are held there. “Seven Wonders” will be the featured show through the end of October. “Kentucky’s Cascade Cave” will debut Oct. 31, and will be featured through April 2012. An archive of previous shows are available to choose from for scheduled events, including “Wonders of the Universe,” “Microcosm,” “Two Small Pieces of Glass” and “New Horizons,” as well as two- to three-minute mini-shows, such as “Compare Planets” and “Elements.” For more information about Haile Digital Planetarium, including a full list of shows, go to www. pget.nku.edu/planetarium/index.php.
Photos courtesy of Dan Spence Left: A scene from planetarium show “Earth, Moon, Sun.” Right: Students in a beginning astronomy class listen to a lecture in the planetarium.