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Edition 46, Issue 4

Brandon Barb/Staff writer




The Northerner Founders Hall Rm 301 Highland Heights, KY 41076 Editor in Chief: (859) 572-6128 News & Sports: (859) 572-6677 Features: (859) 572-5859 Advertising: (859) 572-5232 Fax: (859) 572-5772 E-mail: Web site:

PRESENTATION EDITOR Karli Wood [] ADVISER Gayle Brown [] COPY DESK CHIEF Emily Christman [] COPY EDITORS Mark Payne [] Elizabeth Parsons []

STAFF WRITERS Jesse Call [] Derick Bischoff [] Tabitha Peyton [] Shawn Buckenmeyer [] Brandon Barb [] Jennifer Parker [] John Minor [] Matt Brewer []

Claire Higgins []


PHOTOGRAPHERS Alysha Durrett []


Alexandra Hedges [] AD MANAGER William Fisher []

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.

Correction: In the August 25th issue, in the article “New Year, New Students, New Look,” it was stated that, “NKU spent $2.7 billion updating the exterior of the residential buildings.” It should read, “NKU spent $2.7 million updating the exterior of the residential buildings.”



Lean and Green: Chris Cole overcomes lifelong obstacle.



Short on Space: Demand for dorms higher than available supply.


8 &10

Going the distance: Long distance relationships in the movies and college.



Black and gold pride: Student organization turns out to support student athletes. September 15, 2010



SGA talks Norse pride Jesse Call Staff writer

Creating community was a common theme at the latest meeting of the Northern Kentucky University Student Government Association as plans were shared to increase pride among NKU students and alumni and as an organization reached out for inclusion and representation in the student body. Preliminary plans are underway for Norse Nights to take place in the Highland Heights area. Students will


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wear NKU colors on certain game nights and receive discounts at area restaurants and bars. Students would not only save money through the program, but also support local business and grow in Norse pride and community, according to SGA leaders. If successful, they said the hope is to expand it throughout the Greater Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky region to build community among NKU’s 40,000 plus alumni. SGA’s newest senators, the five freshmen elected this month, are hitting the ground

running by working on a ride-share program for students, led by John Jose, who shared the idea with SGA over the summer. Initial plans include having a board for students traveling to locations such as Lexington and Louisville who want to share the gas expense with another student to solicit companions, according to SGA Vice President Danielle Hawks. Even as none of the appointed outreach liaisons from the Residential Housing Association, Chase College of Law Student Bar Associa-

tion, International Students Union, or NKU Norse Athletics have attended any of the SGA meetings this semester, another organization asked for considerations to have a liaison appointed. Black United Students, a collaboration between all campus organizations specifically serving the black community, shared their request during the open session of the meeting but did not receive an immediate response. The SGA is also continuing work on numerous surveys to better understand student

perspectives, the newest being on financial aid programs and the meals plan options provided by Chartwells, NKU’s campus food vendor, according to Chad Howe, Finance Committee chair. Three vacancies remain for senator positions within the SGA. Interested students should apply for the positions in the SGA or Dean of Students Office as soon as possible. The budget for SGA expenses will be presented for approval by the body at the upcoming meeting.


Alexandra Hedges/Photographer

Freshman Jon Blair takes a break from settling into his new room in Norse Hall. Blair stayed at the Country Inn and Suites in Wilder, Ky. until a dorm space became available.

Short on space

Demand for dorms higher than available supply John Minor Staff writer

An unexpected demand for housing on NKU’s campus has made for crowded living situations. “We did not anticipate the demand that we got,” said Peter Trentacoste, director of University Housing. “We did not think it would grow as much in size as it did.” The priority deadline for housing is May 1 every year. Students who apply before the priority deadline are assigned rooms based on the date they applied, while those who apply after the priority deadline are given rooms based on how far from campus they live. “We did not want to turn any one down because we knew there would be cancellations,” Trentacoste said. Freshmen and first-time students who live somewhere other than the 21 counties near NKU in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio are required to live on campus for their first year.

Therefore, they are guaranteed a housing assignment on campus. It is not guaranteed that the freshmen will be assigned a room in the building that they prefer because upperclassmen get to choose their room first. Housing is starting to limit the number of available spots for returners in order to allow local freshmen to have the chance to live on campus. “It is becoming increasingly difficult to accommodate everyone as the campus continues to grow,” Trentacoste said. The overbooking has resulted in students being placed in temporary spots as the university waits to see what rooms will become available due to those who were no-shows. The latest applicants were assigned to hotels, but did not have to stay for more than a week. Other students were assigned three to a two-person room in Callahan Hall. Trentacoste does not like having to put three in a room be-

cause he knows that it is uncomfortable and expects to have the situation resolved in the coming week. Freshman Lucas Sigmon was assigned to a room with two others in Callahan Hall until a spot opened in Kentucky Hall. “It was a little crowded, but we made it work,” Sigmon said. “I am looking forward to living on campus.” Overbooking has also led to freshmen having to temporarily live in the same room as RAs, who typically have a room of their own. It is anticipated that this will be changed in a few more weeks. Moving one room over may not be so bad, but moving to an entirely different building or even floor can place an additional social stress on students. This situation is more than likely going to happen to freshman Brandon Fulton who is temporarily rooming with an RA in Kentucky Hall. “I know all the guys on this hall-

way,” Fulton said. “When I get moved I will have to start that process over again.” This is not the first time that the demands in housing increased. From 1997 to 2002 the students living on campus rose 20 percent. This led to the construction of the University Suites, which opened in 2003 and provided room for an additional 400 students. Since then, NKU has added Callahan Hall to accommodate 430 more students. The construction of another housing facility is not out of the question for the future. Trentacoste does not want to build another housing facility until he knows it can be financed and he would like to see how many students apply for housing over the next few years before making a decision. “I do not think building another building was necessary right now, but if in a few years the numbers continue to increase it will be taken under consideration,” Trentacoste said.

September 15, 2010



Edition 46, Issue 4

Lean and Green: Chris Cole overcomes lifelong obstacle Jennifer Parker Staff writer

Chris Cole has loved Northern Kentucky University since he was five years old. Cole received his B.A. in Journalism in 1999, a Master of Public Administration in 2004, and finally his Juris Doctor from Chase College of Law in 2009. He has also been the Director of Media Relations and Communications since 2001. Cole has had a lot of opportunities come his way and nothing could stop his ambition. From being the sports information director at University of Missouri-St. Louis, to becoming assistant commissioner for media relations and championships for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Cole is managing to overcome his biggest challenge yet: his weight. By getting involved with NKU’s new Lean and Green campaign, which begins Sept. 27 and ends Nov. 5, Cole hopes to inspire others struggling with weight and trying to stay healthy as well. Q: I know you have been many places with other jobs and you have worked in media for certain organizations. What made you come back to NKU? A: I grew up in northern Kentucky. I wanted to work here when I graduated, but there weren’t any jobs. So I lived in Colorado for a year and St. Louis for about four months. It took months to come to fruition, but I came back here and was a writer for five months. Then I became the spokesperson (for NKU)

about a year and a half after I graduated. Q: And during this time in Colorado and St. Louis, did you feel that your weight kept you from certain opportunities or activities? A: I never really thought about that, but definitely. I lived at the base of Pike’s Peak and I rarely went hiking in the mountains. It definitely inhibited what I wanted to do. I may go back there now that I can do some hiking and enjoy it. When I was bigger I was always tired and sore and didn’t feel like doing things. Q: I know your battle with your weight came at an early age. How was your childhood because of this? A: I started getting big when I was 5 or 6. As I got older, there was less and less riding bikes and playing outside and more and more video games and inside-thehouse type stuff. I wasn’t a recluse or anything like that, but I definitely didn’t get out very much as I got bigger and bigger. High school was rough at times. I was in with sort of the popular kids but at the same time, high school kids can be mean. Q: I know that you constantly worked out at NKU to lose the weight. What else did you do? Tell me about any life-changing habits. A: Mixed martial arts, I run, I do Muay Thai, swim, stuff that I never would have thought about doing before, doing the stuff that Lean and Green is all about. I have lost about 140 pounds. It fluctuates, really, anywhere between 140 to 145 pounds. I’ve

lost an average of 3.3 pounds a week for 43 straight weeks. Q: Did you use Weight Watchers or anything? A: I didn’t use any formal program, no specific diet. When I started out I didn’t know what I was doing. I just went to the Campus Recreation Center and really all I could do was the stationary bike. I started cutting out snacks between meals and then gradually went to eating less when I had my meals and then it became eating healthier stuff and less of it. Now I eat a lot of whole foods, a lot of fruits and vegetables. Q: You’re the weight loss champion. Did you get that title from the contest with the co-worker you had? A: Probably. I didn’t create that name. I saw a co-worker challenge a friend of his that works in the Rec Center to a 20-pound weight loss. I said, ‘Hey I want in on this. Can we make it a three-way challenge?’ We decided to do a two-way 40-pound challenge. That was the first one I did and I beat him. Another one was with a guy from our IT department. It was a challenge to see who could burn the most calories in the month of August at the gym. He kicked my butt on his elliptical machine burning 61,000 calories. I burned 48,000. Q: Have you ever lost a great amount of weight and then put it back on? Fell off the wagon, so to speak? A: I lost 80 pounds on the Atkins diet and put 95 back on. I lost 60 or 70 pounds in six months. There was no way I could sustain that diet.

I wasn’t getting enough variety and it was having negative health effects. I approached it from the standpoint of losing weight. And now I approach it as I want to be healthy. Q: I know you said you are currently running 5Ks. What is your ultimate marathon goal? A: I haven’t done a marathon yet, but I’m going to. I do 5k at the gym to plan and test myself. I would love to be able to do the Flying Pig Marathon next year. Q: The full one? Twenty-six miles? A: I don’t know whether I’m going to be able to be there or not, but I can definitely give it a shot; if nothing else, the half marathon. But that’s something I would like to do. Q: Is that your ultimate marathon goal? A: There’s a bicycle race across Iowa that’s about 500 miles. When I started riding the bike every day and was going 30 to 40 miles in one session, I thought, ‘It’s only 60 miles a day, I can maybe do that.’ I would love to do it in summer of 2011. Q: What made you want to get involved with this Lean and Green campaign? A: I like the fact that it’s not just about losing weight but about being healthy and earth friendly. It is a weightloss campaign but people that are already at a healthy weight can still participate. Q: Any advice for those struggling? A: * Make changes that are sustainable.

* Find foods that are healthier that you enjoy and taste good to you. * I cut soda out completely. I drink water 99 percent of the time now. * Don’t get overwhelmed. There are so many factors that you can worry about but I’ve tried to keep it limited. I started off looking at calories, sodium and fiber and now I look at a bit more (ingredients). * For working out, get comfortable, new good shoes. * It’s really about changing your lifestyle. It’s about making more good decisions with food than bad. * If you are in a position to see a doctor before you start a weight-loss and workout plan you should do that. Don’t increase the risk of injuring yourself at the gym. * You can’t tip-toe into something like this. You have to invest yourself in it and be fully committed. * Support is critical. Share your weight-loss plan with your family and friends. * Mix up your workout routine so you keep your body guessing. By getting involved with Lean and Green, you can earn points for being healthy and earth friendly and attend Lean and Green events. To register, go to the Student Union lobby Sept. 2123 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to receive a prize bag, tracking booklet and a first weigh-in. Like Chris , you could be the next “weight-loss champion.” For more information, go to

September 15, 2010



Adventures beyond the lab Students crawl out of their textbooks and into caves Derick Bischoff Staff writer

Taking Hazel Barton’s microbiology lab could be the quencher for a student looking for thrill, fun and adventure. She recently had her lab listed as one of the top 30 “awesome college labs” in the U.S., according to Barton is a professor of integrative science at Northern Kentucky University with microbiology being her main area of teaching. Junior biology major Katarina Schneider appreciates how Barton interacts with her students. “She’s different from other professors because she understands students and actually does care about us doing well in school,” Schneider said. What makes Barton’s lab unique and, well, awesome? “We study microorganisms that live in caves and use the same living techniques as microorganisms that live on Mars,” Barton said. Students are always invited along for the experience any time Barton gets to explore caves for extremophile microbes (organisms that live in extreme conditions). “It would be so much fun. I’ve never been to Venezuela and I’d like to see the different culture,” said senior biology major Andrea Price. “The trips are fun, but at the same time we have a lot of work to do,” Barton said. Students who would like to participate in these expeditions need to be a microbiology research student, in Barton’s lab, adventurous, and take the business end of the journey seriously. “I’ve had students in the past that were like, ‘yeah I want to do that, that sounds fun,’ and we have this great, fabulous trip then we get back and have all this work we


Edition 46, Issue 4

Photo Courtesy of: Hazel Barton

Hazel Barton is held by Eric Banks and Mark Broering as they pose for a photograph on her most recent trip to Venezuela. need to process and they’re gone,” Barton said. If a student is great at research and loves the lab aspect but isn’t adventurous and the idea of repelling down a cliff induces vomit, there is still room for them on the trip. “I got people who just want to do the research and nothing else,” Barton said. “I’m completely happy with that.” Two years ago, Barton took two students with her to explore the Roraima plateau

in Venezuela. They studied the longest quartzite cave on Earth, a 10-mile-long maze of knowledge and intrigue that could help NASA identify what kind of life lives on Mars. She planned on a return trip to the Roraima plateau this fall, but couldn’t get permits finalized. Assistant professor of biological sciences Chris Curran hopes the permits pass sooner rather than later. “This trip has a lot of opportunities for students to get

incredible experience,” Curran said. “The science of it is really top notch.” Barton has been trying to go back to Venezuela for the last year-and-a-half, but it’s been hard to get the research permits to return because of political reasons. Venezuela is a developing country controlled by a dictatorship and that makes it difficult to return. It took Barton two years to get a research permit for the first trip to Venezuela and

it’s now been three years and counting for her second attempt. She was supposed to go in January 2009. The helicopter was paid for, all the expenses were paid and two days before the trip the higher ups of Venezuela declined the research permits. “It’s basically, can we find someone more powerful than the other people so we can get our permits,” Barton said. She can’t go down and collect information without a permit because it is illegal. Even though there are people collecting data without permits, she refuses to be unethical. “Some people take bribes in order to return, but I don’t want to partake in that kind of behavior,” Barton said. Although the permits are on standby, there is always a chance they could be passed any day. If that were to happen, Barton estimates that she could be ready and packed to go in a matter of weeks. One student who would love a trip back to Venezuela is Juan Giarrizzo who has a doctorate in cellular biology. He is from Venezuela and first met Barton two years ago on her first trip to Venezuela. She was the reason he chose to study at NKU. “I would love to go back because it’s where I’m from,” Giarrizzo said.“I would be able to make things easier because I know more of what people can or cannot do over there.” Among the Venezuela trip, Barton has also been working with China and Europe to study microbiology. No matter where she goes or what she studies Barton has a ball doing it. “I do it because it’s really fun to do,” Barton said. “If it’s cool to you, then you love what you do.”

A&E Just for laughs.... Brittany Granville Cartoonist

Shawn Buckenmeyer Staff writer

Boy meets girl. They engage in some harmless flirting and decide to exchange phone numbers. Boy and girl date and eventually fall in love. The only hitch is they live in two different cities far away from each other. This is the basic premise for “Going the Distance,” a romantic comedy that explores the inside of a long distance relationship. Drew Barrymore plays Erin, a late bloomer in life due to a past disastrous relationship, who is interning in New York City for the summer. Justin Long plays Garret, a clueless man-boy who never seems to get it right when it comes to relationships. Barrymore and Long’s onscreen chemistry works for most of the film, although there are a couple of moments when the chemistry falters and you find yourself not really feeling it. The funniest moments in the film are the ones with Garret’s male friend Dan, played by Charlie Day. You can’t help laughing at a character that listens to his friend’s lovemaking in the room next door while serenading them with Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away.” Day plays the part with such sincerity that the jokes are all the more funny. Some of the humor is sophomoric, but it’s


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fun to watch, including giving new meaning to doing it on the dining room table. The movie neither fails nor succeeds when it shows the dating sequence between Barrymore and Long. It follows the rules of most romantic comedies in that the goal is to keep it light and clichéd. What this movie does try to do, with a certain degree of success, is to present an honest look at the trials and tribulations of long distance relationships; from loneliness, lack of sex, a phone sex


B+ experience, texting love messages and finally the question of whether long distance relationships really work. This brings up an interesting topic of discussion concerning long distance relationships and college students. According to research done with over 200 couples by the The Centre for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, the average distance involved in a long distance relationship is 125 miles. In a recent study done

by the journal “Communications Research,” about half of college students are currently involved in long distance relationships. The projection is that about 75 percent will be in a long distance relationship at some time in the future. As written in the article “Long Distance Relationships” (Dzul et al): “The means of communication, especially over long distances, have changed drastically.” Technology can help and hinder long distance relationships, but the question becomes what role it has in a long distance relationship. “Maybe the question is how we use technology to communicate with each other. And the essence of how is critical here,” Dzul said. “Not how as in what type, or how often, but how as in the content of what we say through technology, when we say it, and what circumstance make it appropriate or inappropriate.” Some couples are able to make it work. Some would say that the best part of long distance relationships are the excited reunions. It helps to make the relationship spicier when the two see each other after being miles apart for so long. But can these happy reunions hold a long distance relationship together? “Going the Distance” gives its own interpretation to this question.


Photo courtesy of Kirti Sapra

Members of the Norse Force out in force during the basketball homecoming in 2009.

Black and gold pride Student organization turns out to support student athletes Nick Jones Sports editor

While many of the 16,000 students that attend NKU don’t even know what sports are offered, there is one group that is doing there best to try and spread school spirit throughout campus. This group is comprised of students that are dedicated to supporting our student athletes, and they are known as the Norse Force. The Norse Force is the official spirit club at NKU. The goal of the Norse Force is to give student athletes as much support as possible by attending as many sporting events as possible. There were at least four members at every home contest last season, according to Kirti Sapra,

a junior computer science major and the president of the Norse Force, “We drive to go to every single game and support NKU athletics as much as we can.” Sapra said. While the members of the Norse Force are usually visible at home games, that’s only a small part of what goes on behind the scenes. The leadership is made up of four committees and an e-board. The e-board is made up of the heads of the committees and the group administration. Each committee specializes in a certain area of the organization. There is a finance committee, an events committee, a public relations committee and an involvement committee. Each committee meets at separate

times, and then all the committee heads meet on Thursdays to discuss the state of the organization. “There are not many members, so there are leadership positions available,” Sapra said. “It looks great on your resume because you are a part of something greater than you are because it’s a university organization. The University is right behind you.” For the 2010-2011 NKU seasons, the Norse Force will be reintroducing the Thunderbucks program, according to Sapra. This is a program meant to encourage students to attend home sporting events. At each home game, there will be a member of the Norse Force with a card reader. The student attending

the game will have their All Card swiped, and will receive a certain amount of thunderbucks for attending the sporting event. At the end of the year, there will be a silent auction held by the Norse Force where you can bid on items with the thunderbucks you have accumulated, and the highest bid wins. Sapra says some of the items may include a flat screen TV or a $1,000 scholarship donated by the athletic department. While Sapra says it’s easy to get people to join the Norse Force, having people follow through on their commitment is the hard part. He continues saying many people view the Norse Force as an easy organization to join, but few truly follow through and become truly active with

the organization. “We really have a lot of behind the scenes work, and it’s a tough part for people to get through” Sapra said. “ We have around 70 members, but only 15 to 20 active ones. It’s not about joining, its about following through to your commitment.” Some student athletes are really appreciative of the work the Norse Force is doing around campus. “I think it’s a great step in getting student support for our athletes,” said junior tennis player Jenny Hand. “Every athlete loves seeing students at their events. We have amazing student athletes and there is no reason why every student shouldn’t take pride in the individuals who are representing our school.”

September 15, 2010


The Northerner Print Edition - September 15, 2010  

Lean and Green: Chris Cole overcomes lifelong obstacle. Short on space: Demand for dorms higher than available supply. Going the distance: L...

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