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Do you deserve a refund? NKU could owe you money due to unauthorized credit card charges

By: Brittany Granville

9, 10 & 11


Editor talks battlefield journalism: Speaker discusses issues and dangers of reporting during conflicts


A&E BFA Exhibit



Students jump to new heights: Equestrian Club to host first show in club’s history

northernerstaff PRINT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Vern Hockney [] PRESENTATION EDITOR Karli Wood [] ADVISER Gayle Brown [] COPY DESK CHIEF Emily Christman [] COPY EDITORS Mark Payne [] Elizabeth Parsons [] Claire Higgins [] PHOTOGRAPHERS Alysha Durrett [] Alexandra Hedges [] CARTOONIST Brittany Granville []

STAFF WRITERS Jesse Call [] Derick Bischoff [] Tabitha Peyton []

contactinformation The Northerner Founders Hall Rm 301 Highland Heights, KY 41076 Editor in Chief: (859) 572-6128 Newsroom: (859) 572-6677 or 5260 Advertising: (859) 572-5232 Fax: (859) 572-5772 E-mail: Web site:

Shawn Buckenmeyer [] Brandon Barb [] Jennifer Parker [] John Minor [] Matt Brewer [] WEB CONSULTANT Arica Lyons [] SPORTS EDITOR Nick Jones [] 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.

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November 17, 2010



Elise Thompson’s area of focus is painting. Her show “Lessons” explores themes of insecurity, personal exploration, fears and relationships. “It’s kind of like an abstract biography,” Thompson said. “Just things I deal with growing up, finding myself and working through relationships.” “It’s a form of therapy,” Thompson said. “It’s a form of feeling accomplished and doing something that I’m actually good at. I feel like I’ve always wanted to do something like this and now I am.”

Jessica Duvall created a stationary company called Pulp. She explores the concept of special stationary materials that incorporate the whimsical, personal and intimate with materials including paper, fabric and buttons. “I wanted to revive the idea of personal touches and the meaning behind them,” Duvall said. “I also wanted these to become a remembrance piece. The idea of personal exchange also played a role in my decision-making.”

BFA Exhibit Shawn Buckenmeyer

Aly Durrett

Staff Writer


Anthony Mercer, a graphic design major: “The idea of death has kept me up at night for sometime now; it is a terrifying thought for me. So for my senior show I wanted to explore the subject of death, in hopes I could conquer the fear of my own mortality,” Mercer said. “So, with this subject and my graphic design background, I focused more on how people are remembered after they die, and I built an environment that would show my thought process behind the subject, and encourage people to think about their own mortality and how they want to be remembered.”

Kevin Gautraud, a graphic design major, explores the concept of motion graphics in film by creating a motion graphics company called Bulwark and working with a client to bring a video concept to fruition in HD format. “My project follows the story of one snowboarder that wakes up in the middle of the woods, digs up his snowboard and ‘migrates’ to the mountains,” Gautraud said. “I think this is a feeling that a lot of snow bums can relate to — that urge to go board. I tried to parody that and make it into something beautiful at the same time.”

Sarah Eisenman, a graphic design major, reinvented the face of Tewes Farm in Erlanger, Kentucky by redesigning their logo, letterhead, business card and company website. “The Tewes Farm was excited to have an updated and consistent identity design that expressed their high quality, homegrown and all-natural products,” Eisenman said. “I displayed these brand qualities throughout the new design in the look, tone and feel of the brand.”

Megan Richards’ exhibit explores textbooks and the lack of design that many have. By designing her own textbook pages, she explores the concept that educational materials can be informative and worthy of creative design.

Frederick Wessel, an intermedia art major, documents his time spent with an aftercare organization called International Justice Mission that works with girls rescued from sex slavery in Mumbai. Each work represents a girl that he met and interacted with. Through the use of narratives and interactive sculpture, he explores the concept of memory-keeping. “With this specific work, my goal was to reflect an event and a characteristic of one of the girls that I met in India in the aftercare home,” Wessel said. “To me, they’re portraits as reminders.”


Students jump to new heights Equestrian Club to host first show in club’s history Derick Bischoff Staff writer

The NKU Equestrian Club is making history. On Sunday, Nov. 21, the club will host two horse shows at Gatewood Arena in Dry Ridge, Ky. at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the first time in the club’s history. Hosting a show is an Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) requirement this year. The show will host all the colleges competing in the Zone 6 division of IHSA. Besides NKU, the Zone 6 division consists of Midway College, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Kentucky University and the University of Louisville. Lindsay Bosse, NKU junior and Equestrian Club president since 2008, is excited and a little stressed about the show. “This is the first horse show ever to be held by NKU. It’s going to be a great experience, yet at the same time, the costs to put on a show are a bit overwhelming,” Bosse said. The judges and the first place ribbons are the most expensive costs to host a horse show. All the horses to be use in the show are donated. At least 25 horses will be used during the show in order to switch them in and out over the course of the show to prevent the horses from getting tired. A contestant cannot enter their own horse into the competition to show because it would be considered an unfair advantage for the rider. “Horses are just like people in that they all have their own unique personalities. If a rider gets to know a horse and what its quirks are and how it reacts to different situations,

it can pose a great advantage over someone who has never ridden or even seen a horse until the morning of the competition,” Bosse said. “I always compare riding different horses to driving cars. It’s like driving your Ford and then driving your buddy’s Chevy; yeah, it drives the same, but all the controls are in a different location,” Lynlee Foster, Equestrian Club coach, said. In order to cover the expenses of hosting a show, the club intends to have bake sales, money donated by the Frede family and money that comes from the athletic department. The Frede family donates to the Equestrian Club because they want to encourage more people to experience the joys of horse riding without the stress of maintaining and feeding their own horse. The amount of money given by the athletic department is largely based on how much money the club intends to use throughout the equestrian season, how much it brings in from the show and how many participants join the club. There will also be a $50 entry fee for all riders who want to participate in the show. Spectators get in free of charge, but are encouraged to have lunch and drinks at the concession stands. “Our goal is to just breakeven, profit-wise. Any money made after that is fabulous,” Foster said. The horse show will have competitions in six English and Western divisions. The biggest difference between English and Western riding is that in English, the rider takes control of the horse’s mouth with a set of reigns, and uses the reigns as a way

to dictate the speed and direction of the horse; whereas in Western, a rider will use the seat and his/her weight to control the speed and direction. In each English and Western division there will be competition in riding and jumping for novice, intermediate and advanced. NKU has 21 members on the club this year. Eighteen of the members have shown before, but for three members, this will be their first time showing. Those three members will be showing in the lowest division of the competition. In order to qualify for that division, the riders must have had at least 16 weeks of training. “Riding is really challenging at first. At least one person falls off a horse at every show. That’s the reason for the training; to get every rider comfortable riding different horses every week, regardless of skill level,” Bosse said. The Equestrian Club is always looking for new members. The cost is $350 per semester for lessons, a $20 club fee for active members or $40 club fee for new members. Show costs include: $30 to show in English or Western discipline or $40 for both, $15 for IHSA fee and a $25 entry fee for each show. Students can contact Bosse through NKU’s club page for more information. “The whole goal of the Equestrian Club is to allow college students to be able to enjoy horse riding without having to worry about taking care of the horse. For some it’s a great stress reliever, a place where a student can take their minds off of classes and their job for awhile,” Bosse said.

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Bosse

English discipline rider Shelby Shinkle receiving her first blue ribbon this year at Midway College.

November 17, 2010


Do you deserve a refund? NKU could owe you money due to unauthorized credit card fees Jesse Call Staff writer

As if tuition and fees were not high enough, many students wishing to pay tuition and fees to Northern Kentucky University must pay even more through a $15 convenience fee for the use of credit or debit cards for each transaction. However, one major credit company says that such a fee is unauthorized by policies and agreement with NKU and should not have been charged to students or parents. “Visa does not allow universities to charge consumers an additional fee, or checkout fee, for using a Visa card. These fees do nothing more than shift universities’ cost of doing business onto students and parents,” the company said in a statement to The Northerner. However, Visa acknowledged that some merchants are allowed to charge convenience fees when people use “alternate payment systems,” such as automated phone systems at movie theaters. However, Visa would not comment as to whether NKU’s system qualified as an alternate payment system. The company emphasized that these are fees charged by the merchant and not by Visa. The Bursar’s office only accepts credit cards through an online system and refuses to take them at the window. Thus, students are left with no alternative but to pay the fee if they wish to use their Visa debit or credit card. The $15 charged to students paying their tuition and fees to the Bursar’s Office does not cover the university’s costs for processing the transactions, according to Kenneth Ramey, NKU’s vice president for administration and finance. “We are charged by the banks a percentage for every transaction that takes place. We charge the $15 to help


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offset part of the expense,” Ramey explained. “The $15 fee does not offset the credit card expense that we have.” According to figures released to The Northerner by Ramey, in Fiscal Year 2010 the university was charged more than $378,500 in processing fees through the bursar’s office. In FY2009, it was more than $410,000. For the same time periods, the bursar’s office only collected approximately $193,000 in FY2010 and approximately $202,000 in FY2009. Ramey said he thought these fees charged by credit card companies would be shocking to students. When asked whether the bursar’s office could continue accepting credit cards if they were prohibited from charging processing fees, Ramey said “it would be difficult to do.” However, many other university services accept credit cards without charging any additional fees. This includes Parking Services, which had to pay more than $25,700 in processing fees in FY2010. Others include the AllCard Office, Steely Library, the Bank of Kentucky Center and the NKU METS Center. When asked why there was the additional charge for tuition and fees and not for things like parking and the AllCard, Ramey responded that “it was just a decision that was made for the Bursar that there would be a percentage.” A Student Government Association (SGA) official gives the NKU administration the benefit of the doubt. “I believe NKU’s Bursar office would only charge students necessary costs and at the lowest rate possible,” said Chad Howe, chair of the SGA Finance Committee. Nonetheless, the $15 fee is something the Finance Committee plans on investigating, according to Howe. “I know NKU’s current administration is very dedicated to the student

and all he/she experiences while they attend NKU,” Howe added. However, the fee is $15 per transaction, which means that students that must use payment plans and must use a debit or credit card have to pay an extra $15 with each payment. While Visa prohibits this practice, other major credit card companies are more accommodating. Discover and Mastercard both have policies similar to Visa; however, they have exceptions for tuition and fee payments charged by universities. “Mastercard has put in place a convenience fee program for participating pre-certified government and education entities, or their third-party agents,” Sarah Ely, a company spokesperson, said. “Many state funded institutions, including universities, are typically allowed to assess a convenience charge. This practice is consistent within the industry, since most government funded entities are required to collect the state authorized tuition/fees in full,” Discover Cards spokesperson Mai Lee Ua said. The questions remain whether NKU can continue to charge this fee to Visa customers and whether it must (or is willing to) refund the unauthorized fees it collected to each Visa customer and whether it will continue to charge the additional fees to students using Mastercard or Discover . Organizations like the Better Business Bureau often help customers who have been wrongfully charged, and customers can fill out an online form to make a local claim at http:// Students can also contact their state attorney general office or state legislators to file consumer complaints. Students and parents may also have legal rights, according to Louisville attorney Jeremy Rogers. Rogers said that if the practice is

explicitly prohibited under their contractual agreement with the card company, then customers could likely sue as third-party beneficiaries for breach of contract. However, such action is unlikely given the legal costs associated with filing versus the amount of fees the customer would recover. “These types of cases are usually class action,” Rogers said. This allows small claims to come together into one large claim and thus make the legal effort worthwhile for attorneys and clients. Visa did not comment on what customers should do if they feel they have been wrongfully charged. One other local university, instead of not assessing additional fees on students and parents, has chosen to no longer accept payments from Visa at its bursar’s office. Xavier University in Cincinnati wrote this on its website, “While Visa is accepted in other venues on campus, it is not accepted as a form of payment towards a Bursar account. Visa has chosen not to participate in a percentage-based convenience fee program.” Ramey said he thinks the fee is comparable to what other universities charge. “I think if you checked around, our fee is very reasonable and less than what you’ll find at other places,” Ramey said. The University of Cincinnati’s website says that students there are charged 2.5% of the amount they pay by credit card for tuition and fees. The University of Louisville has a fee levels program where they charge $15 if the transaction is under $1000, with an additional $5 fee per thousand. The question also remains if credit card companies will continue to allow additional charges against college students and add to the increasing costs of higher education.

ees F : ade ing M s s e NKU ,000 roc P 3 $19 ,000 d: ard i C a P it 202 + U d $ 0 K e 0 N Cr 8,5 $37 ,000 0 : $41 010 2 : r 009 Yea 2 l ar ca Fis al Ye c Fis

If you g raduate in six y average ears (th for most e undergra dents) a duate st nd paid uby credi semester t card e , you wo ach uld pay processi a b out $180 ng fees. in

Uni C Uni versi redi t ver ty sit of Car Pr y o C f L incin oces si oui n svi ati: ng F lle 2.5 ee C : $15 % x $ ompa r for proc $$ pa ison $1, paym essin id = for 000 a ent l g cha fees $1, each nd an ess t rge 000 ha a a pai dditi dded n d ona $5 l

November 17, 2010



Editor talks battlefield journalism Speaker discusses issues and dangers of reporting during conflicts Matthew Brewer Staff writer

Veterans Day was an appropriate time for Northern Kentucky University’s Six@ Six lecture series to host an evening with John Daniszewski. Daniszewski, the Associated Press’ senior managing editor for International News and Photos, spent a great deal

of time behind enemy lines in his career as a journalist. He thanked veterans on Veterans Day for what they are doing for the country and for what they have done for him and other journalists who are overseas covering the world. Daniszewski was an international reporter for the Associated Press and for the Los Angeles Times. Many times

Aly Durrett/Photographer

John Daniszewski, editor for the Associated Press, speaks to community in Covington on Nov. 11.

while overseas, he found himself searching for American soldiers so that they could help provide him some relative safety from the violence and wars surrounding him. He reminded people of the dangers of being an international journalist and shared his experiences to a crowded auditorium at The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington on Nov. 11. At a checkpoint in Romania in 1989, Daniszewski and a journalist from Yemen were shot after having just filed a story with the Associated Press. After they were shot, they did not receive immediate medical attention. Instead, they were taken by the Romanian soldiers and questioned about being a spy. It was not until early the next morning that the soldiers finally dropped Daniszewski off at a hospital, where he remembers the doctor working on him saying, “You are lucky. Not many people can survive a wound like that. That means you are going to live a long life.” “I took away a strong sense of empathy for those I covered,” said Daniszewski when referring to what he learned from being shot. “Journalists, especially international correspondents and photographers, more often than not, share at least some of the danger and many of the hardships of those they are photographing or writing about.” Generally speaking, journalists have the option of whether to be in a dangerous setting, according to Daniszewski. They do not have to put themselves in situations that jeopardize their safety, but most journalists who choose to be in the middle of danger

have a strong desire to help the victims they encounter. “You can’t help but to identify with the people who are sadly caught in the crossfire and you hope that somehow by your coverage that you are helping them or at least making other people care about them,” said Daniszewski. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Daniszewski joined the Associated Press. Since 2009, in his position of senior managing editor of International News and Photos, he is in charge of over 600 journalists abroad in about 100 bureaus. “You need to realize that these are real life flesh and blood people who are putting their lives on the line everyday so that people can know the truth,” said Daniszewski. After the 9/11 attacks, while in Pakistan, Daniszewski was frustrated by the lies and conspiracy theories he was encountering when talking with local citizens. He remembers a pleasant conversation he had with his colleague, Danny Pearl of the Wall Street Journal, and what a relief it was to talk with someone who was focused on facts and accuracy. Less than three months later Pearl was abducted and executed while reporting in Pakistan. This execution was recorded on film and sent to America as a warning to other American journalists. “I came away from my times abroad with a keen awareness that survival is not a given,” Daniszewski said. “Not for anyone. Not for a soldier and not for a civilian in war time. We must take steps to protect ourselves. We must take great care for the journalists and other victims of war. We must learn lessons that help protect

us and our colleagues in the future.” He explained while no one is guaranteed safety while being overseas, it is always much more dangerous for the photographers. “It’s always hardest for the photographers,” said Daniszewski. “Unlike print journalists who can often observe from a relatively safe distance, visual journalists need to be close to the action, which leads to a delicate balance between safety and success.” Even after the visual journalists have made it home and have landed on the successful side of the situation, they still often have difficulty with the terrible things that they have seen. “The trauma facing the photographers, is sometimes so intense that many of them have trouble coping emotionally,” he said. “Kevin Carter who won a Pulitzer Prize for a photo that was in the New York Times of a vulture sitting next a starving child, killed himself a few months later.” Daniszewski showed the audience a collection of photographs that he thought encompassed the many faces of war. He stopped at one showing a group of American soldiers firing upon a group of rebels, but one of the American soldiers was wearing nothing but a white t-shirt and boxers with hearts on them that said “I love New York”. Daniszewski pointed out that the moments that illustrate an event often happen with no warning, so a journalist always has to be prepared not only to catch the story, but to also stay safe enough to deliver it to the public. Good advice for troubled times.

November 17, 2010



‘Unconscionable’ practices Professor uses strong words to criticize response to suspicious mail Jesse Call Staff Writer

U.S. Postal Inspectors say they are not actively investigating the recent suspicious packages, one bearing the words “small pox,” sent to Northern Kentucky University’s anthropology department all while one professor has called the decisions not to notify campus or interview the people in the anthropology department to which they were addressed “unconscionable.” Sharlotte Neely, professor and coordinator of anthropology, sent an e-mail to her supervisors, division chair Terry Pence and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Samuel Zachary, calling on them to question the NKU administra-


Edition 46, Issue 12

tion and Department of Public Safety (DPS) for failing to notify anyone in the anthropology department about the packages. “This is unconscionable on two levels. First, if there is any danger, we should have been given a heads up. Second, someone from DPS and the U.S. Postal Inspectors should have contacted and interviewed those in our department for any ideas of who could be behind this,” Neely wrote. “This disregard for our safety cannot continue.” The new NKU police chief, who had not yet started his job until after both packages were received, said he is looking into the way these cases were handled in light of Neely’s concerns.

“I’m looking into it and I am currently working with those involved to figure out how we can improve on our communications,” said Chief Jason Willis. The Postal Inspectors said they followed protocol for packages of this type. After a package has been deemed safe and the package lacks an explicit threat, the Postal Inspectors say there is little they can do because of the amount of resources they have. “It being nonthreatening, there’s nothing really else we can do about it now. We won’t be actively investigating it up until the point there is a threat,” Lisa Fitzpatrick, public information officer for the Postal Inspectors, said. The perpetrator wrote “small pox” on the September enve-

lope, which included several other written statements that investigators indicated do not seem to make sense. However, the envelope did not threaten the use of small pox nor specifically say that it contained small pox. The October envelope had similar characteristics to the one sent in September, but did not contain any threats. “We don’t want to make it seem like we don’t care about people’s safety. We truly believe there is no threat with these letters,” Fitzpatrick explained. “We’re still going to have an open file on it in case it does escalate, but as of right now, we don’t have a lot to go on.” That can change if tips and information come in. Anyone with information on who is

sending the letters should contact the U.S. Postal Inspectors NKU Police is not planning to investigate further unless they are given reason to do so, even though the Postal Inspectors said they would welcome the help. “We turned the investigation over to the postal inspector, however we welcome anyone with information regarding these packages or any other suspicious activity to contact us,” Willis said. Fitzpatrick also said the Postal Inspectors would be willing to train the university on how to deal with these packages, including the anthropology department. She also said they would gladly take any information that Neely or anyone at the university has about the threat.


New roads coming to campus An extension, expansion and new thoroughfare planned John Minor Staff writer

Two road projects that directly affect NKU will start in the near future. Both roads will change the look of the campus. Next spring the State Transportation Cabinet is expected to start a road project around NKU’s campus. The project includes repairing and realigning Johns Hill Road. The new Johns Hill Road will be three lanes, including a lane that will sometimes be used as a turn lane. There will be a bike lane and a sidewalk on both sides. The project also includes expanding University Drive to Johns Hill Road and connecting the two with a round-a-bout. The construction will affect students coming and going from campus. “They say traffic will be maintained throughout construction,” said Mary Paula Schuh, Director of facilities management and campus and space planning. “We will work to keep students and faculty informed about delays due to construction.” A major federallyfunded road project may

start in 2012. It will be called Connector Road, and it will begin at University Drive/Three Mile Road and run all the way to the AA Highway. The north section of the road will run from University Drive to Johns Hill Road on the outer edge of NKU’s campus and is expected to take 18 months to complete. It will be three lanes wide with a bicycle lane and sidewalk. The purpose is to get traffic out of the middle of campus and Kenton Drive. “You won’t be sitting on traffic in Kenton Drive and will be able to drive faster because you won’t be stopped by pedestrians,” Schuh said. The new road will cause changes on NKU’s campus. Seven hundred and fifty parking spots located on the edge of campus will be demolished. Also, the new road will increase the speed of traffic. The speed limit will be set at 45 mph. “There will be inconvenience due to the construction, but I believe it benefits us in the long run,” said SGA President Kevin Golden. “It is a positive move making the middle of campus a pedestrian zone only.”

Photo Courtesy of Campus Planning

The orange line indicates the extension of University Drive to Johns Hill Road. The purple line indicates the new route Johns Hill road will take after construction is completed. The blue line indicates the road that will connect Three Mile Road to Johns Hill Road. The extension of University Drive and expansion of Johns Hill Road will begin in 2011 while the connector road is not expected to begin before 2012. The connector road is expected to eventually connect to the AA Highway. November 17, 2010


The Northerner Print Edition - November 17, 2010  

Do you deserve a refund? NKU could owe you money due to unauthorized credit card charge. Editor talks battlefield journalism: Speaker discus...