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Career fee set toward future tuition P8

All-black cast brings in all audiences P12

Goalie’s recordbreaking season P19


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New ‘Post’ editor to be selected Friday By Friday evening, a new editor-in-chief will be selected for the 2018-19 academic year. The three candidates running for the position will individually present their ideas to The Post Publishing Board, which includes students, faculty and myself. The board will then choose the new editor based on a majority vote. Each year, a Post staff member writes an article about the new editor selection. That story will be published to our website Friday evening. The new editor will then start training for the role and begin hiring a new staff. Each year, staff positions are open to students across Ohio University. That means the next few months will be an exciting learning experience for everyone in the newsroom. Some years, students re-apply to stay in a role, but often, people begin transitioning to new positions. We are all looking for innovative ELIZABETH BACKO / ways to make The Post better. Though I am a graduating senior, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF I will not be out of the picture just yet. I will continue my day-to-day duties, such as planning what stories will go online and in print and handling any requests from readers. But as I continue my duties, I will have someone else alongside so that person can best fulfill the editor role next year. The Post goes through this transition every year, and the ultimate goal is for the staff to improve and grow every time. Even the graduating seniors like myself want to see The Post thrive when we take on new jobs in new places. We want to see the next generation of writers and editors reporting hard-hitting stories, taking incredible photographs and populating The Post’s website every day. We are all eager to see that happen next year. It is a great time to express as a reader what you would like to see from The Post next year. We always have room for improvement, and we want to know what will make The Post better. What stories should we be telling? What do you want to see more of online and in print? What do you hope stays the same as staff members begin to transition into new roles? We would love to hear your feedback. Elizabeth Backo is a senior studying journalism and the editor-in-chief of The Post. Want to talk to her? Email her at or send her a tweet @liz_backo.

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Graduate Employee Organization demands increased health subsidies For graduate students like Maria Funcheon, paying for Ohio University’s health insurance with a $40 subsidy from OU can be costly. The Graduate Employee Organization is trying to fix that. On the current plan, Funcheon is running out of one of her migraine medications and doesn’t know if she can replace it. Funcheon takes migraine medicine that works for her, but her current university insurance doesn’t cover the medication, forcing her to pay $1,000 out of pocket, she said. Funcheon said her only other option is going to the emergency room or urgent care and receiving an injection that costs up to $150. This semester, she contacted her professors about her migraines and said she may be unable to attend some classes. “I don’t know if I’m going to have to miss class more or have to miss my internship more … because the insurance that I have to pay for through the school is not adequate to cover my needs,” Funcheon said. OU Graduate Employee Organization, or GEO, launched a campaign Saturday to increase health insurance subsidies for graduate student employees. The organization released a report Sept. 15 comparing OU to 10 similar institutions. The average health insurance subsidy for those universities is 89 percent, while OU only subsidizes 4 percent of its required student insurance. GEO also released a follow-up report comparing OU to other Ohio public universities. That report shows the average health insurance subsidy at other Ohio public universities is about 62 percent, which is still significantly higher than OU’s. Health insurance is mandatory for all OU students, but they can submit a waiver proving they already have coverage. International students do not have that option, according to a previous Post report. Elliot Long, co-president of GEO, said the organization chose to focus on subsidies this Spring Semester because it affects all graduate students, and members believe there’s a real need to address it. The organization launched its social media campaign using the hashtag #BeAverageOU to share the stories of graduate students and how they struggle to pay for their health insurance. “We have that social media campaign, we’ve been flyering, we’re going to be speak-

I don’t know if I’m going to have to miss class more or have to miss my internship more ... because the insurance that I have to pay for through the school is not adequate to cover my needs.


- Maria Funcheon, Ohio University graduate student

ing at the Student Senate this Wednesday,” Long said. “We’re going to try to approach more administrators with the power to address this issue.” Vice President for Student Affairs and interim Chief Diversity Officer Jason Pina said graduate students have asked for increased health insurance subsidies in the past. Pina said he has met with graduate students about insurance. “We are going through a process for health insurance right now and making sure people are aware of that process,” Pina said. “So we’re looking at it.” Lori Boegershausen, a master’s student studying international development, said she unexpectedly had to pay for OU’s health insurance plan after her mother lost her coverage last month. If the university subsidized at the average of its peer institutions, Boegershausen said she wouldn’t have had to pay such a “detrimental” cost. Boegershausen said GEO is considering hosting a demonstration outside of the Board of Trustees meeting in March if the group’s concerns aren’t heard. “The quantitative data should be enough, yet we still have to sit here and share personal stories from each of us … because although the data’s out there, no one’s paying attention to it,” Boegershausen said. “There’s a time where bureaucracy doesn’t do it, and we have to take democracy into our own hands and demand our needs and our wants. And that’s what GEO is doing.” @JULIAPHANT JE827416@OHIO.EDU



CDs and driving, a perfect match In recent news, Best Buy and Target both announced their stores will generally no longer sell CDs, pushing the future of the shiny, LUKE spherical format nearFURMAN er to its inevitable day is a senior of reckoning. studying But for people who journalism drive cars made beat Ohio fore 2010, CDs not University. only shorten the trip but also soundtrack our lives in retrospection. Can you remember what you listened to your car in high school? Or what your parents played for you in the backseat? When I learned of MGMT’s most recent album, Little Dark Age, I had no choice but to listen to it. Because after listening to the group’s self-titled third album dozens of times while behind the wheel, MGMT’s journey, in a strange

way, has become entangled with my own. I suppose that’s true for any connection with an artist or band, but having their CD in your car is like an express route to that sense of loyalty. Wu-Tang Clan was the first rap music I enjoyed, specifically “Da Mystery of Chessboxin.’ ” Wu-Tang matched the intensity of the bands to which I was listening at the time, such as Bad Religion and The Black Keys. Naturally, I picked up Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) at my local mall’s FYE store and, after copying it onto my laptop, put it in my Subaru’s center console, where it remains today. I can recall many instances of driving around and listening to that CD, using it to wake myself up on road trips and even doing things as trivial as going the grocery store. The drums match the frequency of the potholes. Strangely enough, the first time I encountered a city with an actual rap radio station was last summer when I drove to

Philadelphia. From the western Pennsylvania rap drought, I had been forced to accrue my own selection of rap music for my car. Wu-Tang; Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, m.a.a.d City; Death Grips’ The Money Store; Mac Miller’s Live From Space; and Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak offered a solid range of rap cuisine for a good cruise. An album on CD, however, doesn’t need to have the quality of something like Enter the Wu-Tang to latch onto — it’s easy to become attached to something way more ordinary, obscure or out there. The only time I listen to Leo Kottke or John Frusciante’s early work is when after I dig through my center console and pluck out a plastic jewel case. Perhaps it’s like the musical equivalent of The Mermaid Theory, in which CDs stand as your only option because your car doesn’t have an auxiliary jack or cassette slot. But cross-country streaming would rack up a stiff data bill, anyway.

So if I’m stuck in that situation, I can only assume that other people rely on CDs for music in the car for the many times the radio is not sufficiently entertaining. I figure you have albums you like that might not be so well-acclaimed but mean a whole lot you. At least for a couple more years, people like us will still insert CDs into the dashboard, CDs that have become something more than physical. The legacy probably will not sell many new CDs, but it will hold off the meteorite of obsolescence from crashing down and sending the format into extinction. And even if that happens, the fossils will nonetheless be discovered in a burnt-out center console. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you still buy CDs? Let Luke know by tweeting him @LukeFurmanLog.


Black History Month matters Most 11-year-olds have an outlined set of priorities during a school day among themselves: dominating in four square during AKASH recess, coming up with BAKSHI the best food items to is a freshman trade during lunch and studying copying their friend’s journalism at homework right before Ohio University. the bell rings. But there is also one more priority that every kid should have: getting to know their diverse group of peers. During the month of February, Mason City Schools — my former school district — would hold an annual competition known as the Black History Bowl to test our knowledge on prominent figures within the African-American community and the different civil rights movements. Although several high-profile incidents involving racism have recently hampered the school district, Black History Bowl 4 / FEB. 22, 2018

has always been an excellent way to promote the growth of knowledge within diversity and the numerous contributions that African-Americans have made to the U.S. Unfortunately, these types of activities are seldomly implemented within many schools nationwide. Although Black History Month is a nationally recognized celebration, many school districts fail in teaching the roots of African-American heritage — and racism, too, for that matter. Of course, certain issues regarding race and sex can be controversial to teach within a classroom; however, merely ignoring the harsh realities of the way African-American life was in the 19th and early 20th centuries (and today) has absolutely no benefit. None. Critics of Black History Month say dedicating a movement for a month is too long. Well, if we have an entire day celebrating the evils of a man who committed genocide and enslaved thousands of people — Christopher Columbus — I think a month is rather well-deserved.

Black History Month officially began as a national observance during the year of 1976, issued by former President Gerald Ford. His message at the time was to “seize the opportunity to honor the neglected accomplishments of black Americans.” Since then, Black History Month has become extremely prevalent on a global scale. Other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, all have their own traditions and customs that are celebrated in light of all the achievements those of African descent have done for their respective country. However, it takes more than just a month to learn about all of the struggles that African-Americans have faced throughout history. There are plenty of struggles that continue to hamper communities nationwide and are still being brought to light to those that are oblivious to such discrimination. Whether it be the tragic deaths of Trayvon Martin and Philando Castile or the harsh back-

lash that black athletes receive every time they use their platform to speak out on such issues, racism is sadly still alive and well in the United States. However, as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and David Thoreau all said, ultimately, education will be the main weapon to combat these systemic issues, not violence. So instead of liking tweets under #blackhistorymonth, pick up a book and learn something from the past that will positively impact the future and create a more equal nation. Because that’s what everybody, regardless of skin color, religion or sexual orientation, deserves: equality.

Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree with Akash? Let him know by tweeting him @akashmbakshi.


OU administration needs to better communicate about budget In the past year, questions and rumors have circulated campus in regard to university layoffs, a lack of raises and numerous other items related to the university budget. As a result, Ohio University faculty members are in crisis mode, and the university administration is saying everything is fine. That’s problematic. It’s time to start having an open conversation about the budget to ease the disconnect. The conversation surrounding the budget should be one of openness and transparency so that everyone is on the same page and has the same understanding. Even though the administration doesn’t peg the shrinking budget as a “crisis,” its persistent messaging toward faculty members and students is not doing anything to relieve the fear. In fact, that fear faculty members have — a smaller budget, layoffs, de-

partment shrinkage — is now a mushroom cloud of near-panic. Faculty members are worried about job security, the fate of their departments and what that depletion means in the long-term. The Post reported on OU’s budget for fiscal year 2018 in August, and the numbers don’t lie. OU budgeted its operating results for $51 million, which toppled almost 50 percent from last year, when it forecasted $101 million. The budget froze raises for faculty and projected no new net revenue for this year, which is a cause for concern. Other state universities are dealing with those problems in some form as well. We understand OU’s budget is only one of the components of how administration helps those on campus. There are many projects the university is tackling: more academic

programming, infrastructure and diversity initiatives. But money helps all of that. The faculty and administration have a disconnect. The administration is pushing a mentality of hope in these harder times for OU. But instead, it’s coming across as ignorant. Let’s bridge that gap with not only better communication, but with realism, too.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post’s executive editors: editor-in-chief Elizabeth Backo, managing editor Kaitlin Coward, digital managing editor Hayley Harding and senior editor Marisa Fernandez. Post editorials are independent of the publication’s news coverage.


5 reasons everyone should watch ‘Queer Eye’ MOLLY SCHRAMM FOR THE POST When Netflix announced they’d be rebooting Bravo’s previous show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, many were skeptical. The original was deemed stereotypical by some, despite shining a light on LGBT people. The show’s premise is that five LGBT men, dubbed the Fab Five, go and help some poor, unfortunate soul remodel their life. The five categories that the Fab Five members touch on are fashion, interior design, grooming, food/wine and culture. If the premise of the show hasn’t sold you yet, here are five fabulous reasons you should watch Netflix’s reboot:


The reboot’s Fab Five consists of Tan France (fashion), Bobby Berk (interior design), Jonathan van Ness (grooming), Antoni Porowski (food/wine) and Karamo Brown (culture). Each guy has a different personality, but it’s easy to fall in love with each one of them. Whether it’s Jonathon’s playful attitude or Karamo’s suave appearance, it’s 100 percent certain you’ll fall in love with something about these guys.


During the original debut of Queer Eye in 2003, mainstream media had rarely represented the LGBT community. Now, the reboot shines a light on people who are LGBT in a time where being openly LGBT is more acceptance, but society still has ways to go. TV doesn’t portray LGBT characters as prominently as it should, and producers often overlook the possibility to represent the community. Despite how far society has come in acceptance of LGBT individuals, shows such as Queer Eye stand as a reminder that all people, despite their sexuality, are people.


Queer Eye is guaranteed to make you laugh. Each member of the Fab Five has his own sense of humor, and, throughout each episode, they’re constantly making jokes. The transformation process for each man can be stressful and overwhelming, so the Fab Five make the situation lighthearted. Anytime throughout an episode, you can find yourself doubling over and laughing along with the guys in the show.


Now, some people may just outright say that this

show isn’t for them. They’re wrong. Queer Eye has a little bit of everything. It’s funny, it’s touching and overall, it’s just entertaining to watch. You don’t necessarily have to be into fashion or cooking to love this show. Anyone watching this can get life lessons and rules to adapt to their own life.


Within each episode of the show, there’s an underlying topic. Whether it’s tackling acceptance people who are LGBT, being an black man in today’s society or handling self-image problems, the show puts taboo topics at the forefront. Between the Fab Five and the men they are remodeling, there’s dialogue that shows that a simple faceto-face conversation can enact some amount of change. In a country divided by race, religion and political differences, Queer Eye has shown that conversation is vital to understanding each other. It shows that despite all of the conflicts within society, that everyone is human.




Sleeping dog upset by neighbor’s car; broken cell phone repeatedly calls 911 from library ASHTON NICHOLS STAFF WRITER Dogs need sleep, too. The Athens County Sheriff’s Office investigated a call Feb. 15 on Blossom Lane for a report of a person who said his neighbors were turning around in his driveway late at night. The man said that it upsets his dog and disturbs its sleep. Deputies asked the neighbor to no longer use the man’s driveway. LIBRARY CALL The Athens County Sheriff’s Office went to The Plains Library on Feb. 16 after 911 received four hang-up calls from a cell phone at the library. After arriving, the phone owner said

they were having issues with the phone because it kept automatically dialing 911. Because there was no emergency, deputies left. THE PHONE WORKS The sheriff’s office dispatched deputies to a 911 hang-up call Feb. 15 to a residence in Dover Township. Dispatch said it could hear what sounded like children playing on the line. The homeowner said it was children playing on a cell phone they believed did not work. Deputies said to remove the battery from the phone so they would stop calling 911. WARRANT SEARCH The Athens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a women in Stewart on Feb. 17.

She was reportedly getting into cars and attempting to stop people who were driving by. Once deputies arrived, the woman was arrested on a nationwide warrant out of Washington County. Deputies transported the woman to the county line, where they met with authorities from Washington County and turned her over. THE MAIL THIEF The sheriff’s office took a report over the phone Feb. 19 about a former tenant showing up at a rental property on a daily basis to get mail out of the mailbox. The caller said she asked the ex-tenant to stop showing up several times because there were new tenants in the rental, but he refused.

THE FAKE SHOPPER The Athens County Sheriff’s Office took a report Feb. 15 of identity theft regarding credit cards being falsely opened under a man’s name. The man said eight cards were opened, including Walmart, Barclays, Amazon and Exxon Mobil. The suspect attempted to use the Exxon Mobil card just before making the report. Deputies uncovered no further information, and no money was actually charged to the card. The case was closed.



Steak ‘n Shake to open in Athens; potential Richland Avenue tunnel designs unveiled TAYLOR JOHNSTON DIGITAL PRODUCTION EDITOR It is week six, and spring break is just around the corner. Catch up on what news you may have missed during the week: YOU CAN NOW PAY FOR PARKING WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD AT SOME METERS UPTOWN Some parking meters on Court Street now accept credit cards as payment as part of a pilot program. Ron Lucas, the Athens deputy service-safety director, said the meters are located on the east side of Court Street between Union and Washington streets. They are also located on the west side of Court Street between Washington and State streets. “The city started exploring the opportunity to launch a pilot of the new smart 6 / FEB. 22, 2018

meters in August of 2017,” Lucas said in an email. Lucas said there was no charge to install the meters and pay stations for the pilot program, and there is no additional fee if one chooses to pay with a card rather than coins. “There will still be ParkMobile accessibility as a number of people that use parking spaces like using their (smartphones) to pay for parking,” Lucas said in an email. “People will now be able to use a debit card in the meters that we are piloting.” STEAK ‘N SHAKE TO OPEN IN ATHENS This summer, Steak ‘n Shake will come to Athens and take the place of the Ponderosa Steakhouse, 741 E. State St., owner Jim Stricklin said. Stricklin said he is partnering with his brother Scott and childhood best friend, Eli Flournoy, to open the restaurant.

Stricklin said the main reason they chose Steak ‘n Shake was because it has a good reputation in Ohio, and the restaurants tend to do well in the area. “We had been looking at a lot of different concepts, and the Steak ‘n Shake stood out,” Stricklin said. “It has the products that we thought would work best in East State Street. There’s not a dessert location in East State Street. There’s a full breakfast that Steak ‘n Shake serves that is very comparable to Bob Evans, Shoney’s or sit-down restaurants.” Stricklin said he believes the restaurant will do well for late-night food. The restaurant is also about 50 yards from the bike path, which allows students to bike over to eat. RICHLAND AVENUE PEDESTRIAN TUNNEL TO COST $2.1 MILLION The City of Athens held a public in-

volvement meeting Tuesday to get feedback on designs for the Richland Avenue pedestrian passageway project. “The purpose of this is to get feedback for the design,” Athens City Engineer and Public Works Director Andy Stone said. The Burgess & Niple engineering and architecture firm has created two possible designs for the passageway, the “brick alternative” and the “O alternative.” The purpose of the project is to eliminate daily vehicular and pedestrian conflict at the crossing on Richland Avenue. Stone said the traffic at the crossing gets congested during class changes, and he has seen three crashes. There have been no fatalities, he said.






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8 / FEB. 22, 2018


The new “career services” fee approved by the Ohio University Board of Trustees in January will cost students an estimated $576 over the course of four years, but the university has not decided how the money from it will be distributed. The Board of Trustees voted to approve the career fee at a rate of $6 per credit hour for all undergraduate students on the Athens campus, as well as those at regional campuses. The fee will first be implemented with the fall 2018 class and will not affect students already under the OHIO Guarantee program. The fee will cap at 12 credit hours, meaning it will cost about $72 per semester for full-time students, or $576 over the course of four years. When Ohio passed its biennium budget for 2018-19, it did so with a freeze on tuition and fee increases for the state’s public universities, but it allowed colleges and universities to instead establish a special fee for career and development services. OU Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina said the fee is not meant to offset budget constraints or replace dollars in the budget. “We’re not allowed to charge students a fee and then not expand our services,” Pina said. “So, it wasn’t put in there just to offset budget constraints or to replace dollars in the budget.” The fee was first discussed at the state level in the summer. In December, OU President Duane Nellis, in conjunction with the president’s council, discussed the option of expanding career services and implementing the fee. OU Trustee David Pidwell said he hopes the expansion of services will be a “two-way avenue” that both enables students to find career opportunities and enables industries to seek out students. “It’s a gateway of opportunity to go both ways,” Pidwell said at the January board meeting. Meanwhile, Pina worked with the staff of the Career Leadership and Development Center, or CLDC, to identify gaps that were

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University historically present in services offered by the center. For now, it is still unclear how the money from the fee will be distributed. “There hasn’t been an avenue for the CLDC to ask for budget increases,” Pina said. “Because we actually reduced their budget last year.” The OU CLDC operated with a budget of $938,379 for fiscal year 2018. The process of implementing the new fee, Pina said, has been “a little convoluted” due to back-and-forth between the university and the chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. “The issue with the process is that it’s not clean,” Pina said. “The Ohio Department of Education Chancellor’s office wanted to ensure that our Board of Trustees supported a new fee before they would look at any proposal. And

then the Board of Trustees wanted to know, at least in broad strokes — what would we use the fee for?” Compared to peer universities, OU’s CLDC is staffed slightly below average, with 12 full-time employees and five graduate assistants on its professional staff. Of the schools used in a Board of Trustees comparison, the average university CLDC staffs about 16 full-time employees. The College of Arts and Sciences, Patton College of Education, and College of Health Sciences and Professions all have counselors who split time between the CLDC and advisory positions within their respective colleges. “That’s a model that we like,” Pina said. “It’s a shared responsibility between the CLDC and the colleges. But not every college has that.”

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Board of Trustees Chair Janetta King said she hopes that model, which “happens already on campus in pockets,” will be available to everyone. “That’s an important part of the higher education experience,” King said. “Translating what you do into real-life work experiences.” By the March 22 Board of Trustees meeting, the university hopes to have feedback from the academic deans and chancellor, as well as from open forums, which Pina said have already been held.



Athens police chief will ask for body cameras despite tight budget this year ASHTON NICHOLS STAFF WRITER The Athens Police Department didn’t receive funding for several budget requests this year, but officials will still consider funding body cameras. APD Chief Tom Pyle said he hopes city council will appropriate money for the body cameras. He said the cost of cameras would be about $100,000 over five years. The city did not fund the department’s requests for vehicles, computers and a server replacement this year for APD. Pyle said the body cameras are not accounted for in APD’s current budget. “I think they would be beneficial,” Pyle said. “The vast majority of the time, it would be a benefit to our agency.” He said his main concern for the body cameras is the cost. The total budget for

APD this year is about $5 million. About half of that, $2.5 million, is budgeted to wages. “My concern has always been a cost versus benefit issue,” Pyle said. “I feel that the cameras will benefit the police department and will help us get a better conviction rate and will protect our officers in the field.” Pyle said APD will not receive a new vehicle, which would cost about $40,000. APD usually receives about one new vehicle per year but will not this year because no money was budgeted for vehicles. He said he will ask for money for the cameras anyway. “I simply want the mayor and council to know that if the money is there, I’m willing to implement the (cameras),” Pyle said. “If the council decides that the budget isn’t there and we can’t do this, we will request it again next year and the year after that.” He is pushing for the body cameras

because they are another form of evidence collection for officers. He said people sometimes fabricate stories and file complaints against officers, and body cameras are a form of evidence that could help discredit the complaints. “I’ve heard over and over and over again information from other chiefs from other agencies that have instituted (body cameras) that have saved officers from complaints,” Pyle said. City Councilman Pat McGee, I-At Large, said body cameras may be expensive, but he is looking for cheaper options, such as small cameras that clip onto glasses. “Both the mayor and I, and perhaps the chief, attended a seminar in Columbus in the fall, in which the issue was presented — and some much less expensive options were portrayed,” McGee said in an email.

Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said he is not opposed to APD officers using body cameras, but there are still logistical issues. One of those is the amount of information that the city would have to redact from video footage for legal reasons. “We’ve had to look at the issue of storage, the issue of how much time a patrol officer needs to sit down at a docking station and download data and also attach metadata to it,” Patterson said. Patterson said he thinks the city could appropriate money to APD for body cameras “very soon.” “We have had conversations with the auditor’s office that we think what it will cost the city moving forward is a manageable cost,” Patterson said.


Checklist encourages faculty members to assist students on autism spectrum SARAH PENIX FOR THE POST Ohio University students on the autism spectrum have new options for support thanks to a new “autism checklist” — a group effort by Student Senate and Student Accessibility Services. The checklist, passed by Student Senate, encourages OU faculty members and staff to better identify and assist students with an autism spectrum disorder, because students must choose if they want to self-identify to professors. “The checklist are essentially signs so anyone, from a novice to an expert, can identify characteristics of autism spectrum disorders and implement strategies to help students be successful,” Jordyn Zimmerman, the primary sponsor of the bill, said. Student Accessibility Services is in its second year of a coaching program for students on the autism spectrum. There are four students in the program this semester. “While students on the autism spectrum are not a huge percentage of our student population, 50 percent of those students on campus would not come back for their second year at Ohio University,” Assistant Dean of Student Accessibility Carey Busch said at the January Board of Trustees meeting. In the coaching program, students are paired with upperclassmen who work with them each week. Because Student Accessibility Services never tells faculty members whether a student has a disability, there is no formal faculty component of the program. “We’ve just had faculty reach out after a student has disclosed that they’re connected with our office. They might reach out for some strategies or some thoughts to help a student in their class,” Christina Jenkins, the Student Accessibility Services program coordinator, said. Last semester, Student Accessibility Services held a faculty series to help professors working with individuals on the autism spectrum. “(The series was) really good to help them understand some characteristics of individuals with autism, talk about strategies working with them, but it wasn’t necessarily a checklist,” Jenkins said.

10 / FEB. 22, 2018

OU President Duane Nellis speaks during the first Student Senate meeting of the year on Aug. 30. (MCKINLEY LAW / FILE)

Though the program has not yet done a “huge marketing push,” Student Accessibility Services has been reaching out to potential and current students at resource and admissions fairs. “Students are looking for programs like this when they’re looking at schools. They’re looking for support beyond just typical accommodations,” Jenkins said. “I guess that’s kind of how we see it growing and expanding, is just by making it available.” The program focuses on a number of competency areas: self advocacy, resiliency, time management, organization, connecting to extracurricular activities and technology. “The coaching program really focuses on the unique needs of each student, what are their concerns, what are their goals,

what is interfering with their experience at Ohio University,” Busch said. All five students who participated in the program came back for their second year at OU, Busch said at the January Board of Trustees meeting. “It was really helpful to have someone (program participants) could go to if they had a question or they weren’t sure where to access resources and things like that, just kind of navigate college life,” Jenkins said. Although the checklist is not connected to the coaching program, it is a part of a larger effort to help students with autism spectrum disorders. “Partnership would be ideal as there is expansion for students and general training for employees,” Zimmerman said. “Interweaving the ideas could

be powerful.” Both the Division of Student Affairs and University College gave input to Student Senate for the checklist. The bill passed immediately and was sent out to groups on campus, including academic deans. “(The checklist) takes into consideration that it’s a very heterogeneous population of students,” Zimmerman said. “While the checklists are specifically designed to assist students with autism spectrum disorders, these strategies can actually be universally applied to improve the success of all students.”


Decreases in energy production affect employment in Appalachia SHELBY CAMPBELL FOR THE POST

mining counties, unemployment remained high as energy consumption moved away from coal, according to the ARC report. The decline in production is because of a decline in international demand for coal, a decrease in the price of natural gas and an increase in the cost of coal, according to the ARC report. Electric power generation in Appalachia also fell from 74 percent in 2005 to 53 percent in 2015. Appalachia is more dependent on coal than the rest of the U.S., where only 35 percent of electric power generation is from coal, according to the ARC report. Ohio’s shift away from coal production is because of the emergence other means of energy production, such as fracking, shale plays and other natural gas and oil operations, Mathew Rob-


Decreasing coal production, without a doubt, has hurt people that were dependent on coal mining

The Appalachian Regional Commission released in January new research that showed coal production in Appalachia fell by nearly 45 percent from 2005 to 2015. The report analyzed how other Appalachian industries directly or indirectly were affected by a decline in coal production and employment. The research is one of the first to analyze how decreasing coal production has affected the Appalachian region, Wendy Wasserman, communication and media relations director for the Appalachian Regional Commission, or ARC, said. “We’re really excited about this study because it’s one of the first comprehensive ones that we’ve seen that looks at the impact of the changing coal economy along the supply chain,” Wasserman said. “We talk about everything we can do with trains, education, energy production and even … what jobs are available for folks who are transitioning out of (the coal production industry).” Mike Cope, president of the Ohio Coal Association, said much of the unemployment and resulting poverty in Appalachia is because of Ohio’s shift away from coal. “Decreasing coal production, without a doubt, has hurt people that were dependent on coal mining,” Cope said. The report found that highly paid coal miners have limited re-employment opportunities in their area of residence with the same pay and scope of employment. Many who work in the coal industry struggle to find equivalent occupations in other industries. Counties, including Athens County, labeled as distressed by the ARC have many options to rehire coal industry workers, Wasserman said. “Really strategic, thoughtful and well planned out economic development is always a good place to start,” Wasserman said. “That can start at a very individual level at a business or an entrepreneur and work its way all the way up to federal funding.” The coal industry employs about 3,000 people in Ohio, according to the Ohio Coal Association. From 2005 to 2015, however, coal industry employment decreased by 27 percent. In coal

- Mike Cope, president of the Ohio Coal Association

erts, info and outreach director at environmental group UpGrade Ohio, said in an email. Although Ohio is shifting toward those industries, Roberts said renewable resources will continue to grow as an energy production industry. “Ohio’s deregulated electricity market and clean energy standards have ... helped aid the development of renewable energy power production and lower electricity prices,” Roberts said in an email. “Renewable energy prices are falling every day all over the world. Renewables are outpacing natural gas and will soon be the best option anywhere on Earth.”


‘A long time coming’ Black Panther leads fans to think critically about its cultural significance LOGAN PASQUAL | FOR THE POST


It’s more than just another superhero movie. So pay attention to the themes, pay attention to what the characters are saying, how they respond to different things, what issues are brought up in the movie.


he year was 1998 when Marvel began its first endeavor in bringing a black hero to the big screen. Blade was successful enough to warrant an entire trilogy, but it is only sorely remembered by most today. Though the audience was given Falcon and War Machine in The Avengers and Iron Man as other black heroes, along with a black Human Torch in 2015’s Fantastic Four, it took 20 years for Marvel to give the starring role to a black superhero. The largest difference between Blade and Marvel’s newest movie is that Black Panther has a predominantly black cast. The appearance T’Challa, better known as Black Panther, made in Captain America: Civil War gave Marvel fans everywhere enough of a preview of his capabilities to excite everyone for his standalone movie. Given that Black Panther is Marvel’s first African hero, it would be foolish to overlook his cultural significance. There seems to be a more interesting issue at hand with the catlike crusader from the fictional nation of Wakanda. In a universe predominantly focused on white American heroes, which is popular among a predominantly white audience, white fans should be excited but remember the messages in the film, Jasmyn Pearl, president of the Black Student Union, said. The director himself, Ryan Coogler, has been quoted stating Black Panther is attempting to ask and answer the question: “What does it truly mean to be African?” When considering the current political climate, with racial tensions high and certain members of the alt-right looking to sabotage the movie, the question must be asked: Are white fans expected to treat Black Panther with an extra pinch of cultural sensitivity? “When Iron Man came out, there weren’t a whole lot of discussions about ‘This is a white film geared towards white audiences,’ and there weren’t these same kinds of concerns when Thor came out,” Akil Houston, an associate professor of African-American studies, said. “I think it’s a real interesting commentary on race that when you do have a film with an overwhelmingly black cast, and it sort of marks it as a black film.” The world doesn’t suddenly become multicultural because of the movie. It’s always been that way, Houston said. “But I think this film will probably be one of those magical moments where you get all these people going to see it. And I think for a lot of African-American audiences, it’s been a long time coming,” Houston said. Realistically, it is a movie and, more specifically, a hero for black audiences to relate to. That isn’t to say that it can’t be enjoyed by everyone. It is important, however, that white fans be informed on the message that the movie is attempting to convey, Pearl said. “It’s more than just another superhero movie. So pay attention to the themes, pay attention to what the characters are saying, how they respond to different things, what issues are brought up in the movie,” Pearl said. “Art is created to make people feel things. So if all you feel is excited because it’s an action-packed movie, you’re missing the point.” When stepping into the world of Wakanda, it

- Jasmyn Pearl, president of the Black Student Union

could potentially be difficult for white audiences to relate and understand to the struggles that play a role in the movie. It seems the best thing that can be done to understand is simply to ask, Pearl said. “Now if it’s something that (you) want to learn more about, then ask a question and find someone you can trust to ask those questions to so you get a true answer,” Pearl said. “That might be a quote from the movie or a GIF. I’m not saying you have call up your one black friend or whatever and say ‘What was this about?’ ” That isn’t to say that white people need to place the need for education solely on others, though. It shouldn’t be solely up to black friends of white fans. There are certain things that could be discovered through a simple Google search, Pearl said. There didn’t seem to be a large concern about white audiences writing fan fiction or using the characters for other activities common in fandoms. The largest concern appears to be cosplay, in which people dress up as fictional characters. “The thing I’m most worried about, like, in terms of re-appropriating Black Panther in terms of the fandom is cosplay,” Fox Alexander, a senior studying English literature, said. Alexander said what would certainly cross the line in cosplay would be any type of black face. Wearing a Black Panther costume is more acceptable, though. Overall, it seems fans of all races are excited about the newest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There is hope that maybe, with the immediate success of Black Panther, there will be a diverse cast in the future for Marvel movies. “I’m really glad that people seem to think it’s good,” Alexander said. “I’m really glad that people are geared up for it. I hope it creates a pattern, and these types of movies are increased.”


BLACK PANTHER LIVES UP TO THE HYPE ALEXIS EICHELBERGER | STAFF WRITER Marvel’s Black Panther is expected to earn more than $200 million during its opening weekend. It has already broken the record for the biggest-ever February opening. It has a 97 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it became the most tweeted-about film of the year nearly a week before it was released. Simply put, it’s a phenomenon — and it lives up to the hype. Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, the young ruler of Wakanda, whose father’s untimely death places him on the throne of his reclusive African nation. Additionally, he is the Black Panther, the catsuit-clad protector of Wakanda who was first featured in Captain America: Civil War. Because fans got their first look at T’Challa in 2016, his solo film has been highly anticipated by more-than-dedicated disciples of Marvel Studios. With a star-studded, almost exclusively black cast and themes steeped in cultural identity and personal conflict, the film succeeds in resonating with an audience beyond loyal comic fans and action enthusiasts. The production of futuristic Wakanda is visually stunning. Special effects and imaginative costumes bring the wondrous African setting to life, which serves as a backdrop to clever dialogue sprinkled with humorous one-liners. A soundtrack featuring a slew of high-profile hip-hop artists and produced by Kendrick Lamar adds an additional layer of artistry to the film’s celebration of black culture. In a franchise full of intriguing characters played by acclaimed actors, the characters of Black Panther make the film a top-notch addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film’s primary villain, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), has the kind of emotional depth and dynamic that makes him difficult to pin down. His battle with T’Challa is not a moral struggle with clear rights and wrongs; instead, it is thought provoking beyond its well-choreographed fight scenes. The women of Wakanda are forces to be reckoned with, as well. Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett and Letitia Wright all play women who influence the plot of the film in ways far beyond those typical of female characters in action films. They are not only love interests, princesses and queens; they are spies, patriots, innovators and warriors. One of the great challenges of superhero blockbusters is to find a way to break the mold of the good-versus-evil trope, but director Ryan Coogler does just that. Coogler, who also earned critical acclaim for his 2015 film Creed, explores conflicts in Black Panther that are anything but trope-like. The film examines what it fundamentally means to be good and to have righteous intentions. Steeped in culture, it shatters Hollywood myths concerning racial representation by appealing to a huge audience captivated by the mystique of Wakanda. As the newest addition to the Marvel universe, Black Panther is refreshing and captivating, showing that, after years of filmmaking, Marvel Studios is still at the top of its game. As a new addition to the world of film, it is a celebration of culture and representation enjoyed by a global audience of all identities.


The Drugstore at OU is conveniently located on campus inside the lobby of the Hudson Health Center. We offer lower copays, automatic refills with text alerts, and the option to apply purchases to your Ohio University student account. We accept most insurances including CVS Caremark and TRICARE, and accept prescriptions from all physician offices. As Athens’ only locally owned pharmacy, we pride ourselves on offering our OU Bobcats with the hometown care and compassion they deserve. Our pharmacists are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your medications. Your health is our priority. We also provide a wide variety of health and personal care convenience items including hair care products, cosmetics, vitamins, cough, cold, and flu medication, Tylenol, Motrin, snacks, beverages, and so much more. We make transferring your prescriptions easy! Simply call us directly at (740) 593-4738 and we will take care of the rest. For more information, visit us at


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14 / FEB. 22, 2018

Figure skating costumes have changed for the better BAYLEE DEMUTH FOR THE POST Sophie Decker-Pahl has been figure skating for 15 years and has seen significant change in her skating costumes since she was a little girl. “When I first started skating, the costumes were all one color, one fabric that was usually always velvet and had a ton of sequins sewn on them,” Decker-Pahl, a freshman studying fashion retail merchandising, said. “But now I’ve noticed costumes have a lot more see-through materials and cutouts.” Figure skating costumes have made a shift from a conservative look to a more sophisticated one, Decker-Pahl said. “Fabrics used to be so heavy and constricting,” she said. “But now the costumes are more fitted and sexier but in a classy way.” Skirts aren’t shorter, and costumes aren’t thinner just for appearance, Decker-Pahl said. “Women in the sport are doing harder elements these days that only men used to be able do,” she said. “I think it’s easier to do those stunts when their outfits are more aerodynamic.” To Hannah Miller, there’s more to figure skating costumes than sequins and tiny skirts. “A lot of spectators think that skaters are just trying to be showy and distracting while out on the ice,” Miller, a junior studying journalism, said. “But the sport has such an art behind it, and the costumes just help to enhance that.” Miller, the secretary of the Ohio University Synchronized Skating team, has been a skater since she was 7. In Miller’s 14 years of skating,

she has seen a lot of change in costumes. The times of the sport have changed, and skaters acknowledge that through what they wear on the ice. “Despite how much more expensive skating costumes have gotten, I think they’re moving in a more positive image overall,” she said. Anne McBride, a senior studying communication sciences and disorders, is the head coach of the synchronized skating team and has seen skating costumes change to reflect current trends. “I think over time, skating dresses have adapted to the current times,” McBride said in an email. “Just like in any sport, the apparel changes and adapts to what the current styles are.” McBride has been synchronized skating throughout her entire life and said today’s costumes have a more mature look to them. The maturity in turn has a big effect on the skaters’ performance. “When you’re wearing the dresses, it’s like the final piece of the program,” McBride said in email. “The dresses give us more confidence in our skating for sure!” Appearance still plays a key role in skating — it’s important that skaters feel good in what they are wearing on the ice. “It just shows through your skating and your attitude when you’re in something that makes you feel good,” Decker-Pahl said. “The confidence helps you do well and kill it out on the ice.”



‘Rough Sleepers’ exhibition brings attention to homelessness HARDIKA SINGH FOR THE POST

16 / FEB. 22, 2018

John Agnone presents his photographic exhibit “Rough Sleepers” in Schoonover Center on Feb. 20. (MCKINLEY LAW / PHOTO EDITOR)

Agnone said. Agnone believes the main reason for an increase in those experiencing homelessness is the high cost of housing. During former President Ronald Reagan’s administration, the money for the housing that was being allocated was cut by 90 percent. That had a huge role to play, causing more people to look for shelter in the streets as a home, he said. Agnone said he wants the federal government to allocate proper money toward the cause. “Just because a person has a drug problem, has (post-traumatic stress disorder) or has just gotten out of jail, they are still people, they still have feelings, they still can contribute to society, given the chance,” Agnone said. “They need help.” One of the audience members said the presentation made her realize her privileges, such as having a roof over her head,

All we can do is keep hammering at the problem, try to shine the light and build awareness. Once we are all aware of it, then we can think about it clearly.

John Agnone was urban hiking with his family in Portland, Oregon, when he saw a young girl lying near a bus stand on the street. Upon closer inspection, he observed that the girl had a lot of bed bug bites on her legs because her living conditions. The sight compelled him to further research the number of people affected by homelessness in Portland. On Feb. 20, Agnone, an adjunct professor at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communications, presented a lecture on his photographic exhibition “Rough Sleepers,” a project that highlights the plight and conditions of people living on the streets. Salgu Wissmath, a graduate student studying photojournalism, helped organize the exhibition. Wissmath said Agnone’s exhibition was chosen because it “highlights the work done by people that are part of the Visual Communications facility.” The presentation started with Agnone listing statistics he has gathered since he began the project. The number of those experiencing homelessness in the U.S. has increased over the years with roughly 100 million people living on the streets in the U.S., Agnone said. “All we can do is keep hammering at the problem, try to shine the light and build awareness,” Agnone said. “Once we are all aware of it, then we can think about it clearly.” Agnone’s research was influenced by Israel Bayer’s TED Talk on the topic of homelessness titled “Homelessness in America: The Journey Home.” In Agnone’s presentation, he gave a brief overview of every photograph he took. Agnone asked all the subjects in his photographs a similar question: “What is your dream?” The most common answer was the dream of “being clean.” “You can’t be clean on the streets,” one of the subjects photographed replied. During the presentation, audience members said one of the main arguments for people living on the streets is because of drug use. But Agnone disagreed. “Drugs aren’t what is driving them to the streets — it provides a relief instead,”

- John Agnone, adjunct professor at OU

a Social Security number and food. Agnone highlighted an upcoming fiveday fundraising event for people affected by homelessness from Feb. 25 to March 2 at West Portico on College Green. All proceeds will be donated to The Good Works Timothy House. Ty Battle, a freshman studying business, recognizes the need to be educated on the topic. “I feel like we should be investing more resources in reducing homelessness,” Battle said. “It is baffling to see that we have a huge military but still struggle to provide equal opportunities at home.”


Journalism films fare well at Academy Awards Recent film successes, such as Nightcrawler, Spotlight and The Post are just continuations of the Academy Awards’ trend of recognizing movies about the inner workings of journalism GEORGIA DAVIS CULTURE EDITOR Journalism movies have fared well in the 90 ceremonies since the Academy Awards first began, with at least 33 films and documentaries in the genre receiving at least one nomination. The 33rd film to be added to the list is Steven Spielberg’s The Post, which is nominated for two Academy Awards including Best Picture — but the odds of it winning the night’s top award are slim. Journalism movies are relatable and often reveal some social or political wrongdoing, which is why they’re are appealing to the masses, Kelee Riesbeck, editor of Ohio Today and, said. Movies that follow journalists uncovering inconsistencies hidden from the public eye are referred to as superhero journalist movies. Tom McCarthy’s Best Picture winner Spotlight fits in the parameters of the subgenre. The film focuses on The Boston Globe’s investigative team as it researches sexual assault cases within the Catholic Church. “These plotlines generally expose some type of government problem,” Riesbeck, who is also the director of content for advancement communication and marketing, said. “It exposes some type of social or political cover up or gaffe.” Leah Nutter, a junior studying integrated media and Spanish, liked Spotlight because she thought it was cool to learn how investigative journalism works and how hard it is. Even though she liked the film, Nutter

said films tend to glamorize professions, especially journalism. “It’s back-breaking work, and they make it seem super fun,” Nutter said. Despite the allure surrounding journalists in film, it is good to show the press in movies because people care about journalism and it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, Nutter said. “If people didn’t care about it, they wouldn’t make movies about it,” she said. Alexandra Kamody, director of the Athena Cinema, thinks journalism films are important because they highlight the freedom of the press. “A lot of the times we just think of the media and press as a negative ... but I think it’s great to see these movies of the press championing social issues,” Kamody said. Spotlight is one of three journalism films to win the statue for Best Picture after a nearly 70-year dry spell following the 1947 award-winning Gentleman’s Agreement. Movies about journalism are not always the most glamorous and are not a big spectacle like other Best Picture nominees, which could contribute to the few wins the genre has received, Kamody said. When the Academy votes for the Best Picture winner, Riesbeck said she thinks the body of voters look at every component of the film — from cinematography to the cast — and not just the storyline. “They look at it as more of an artform as opposed to a (Pulitzer) Prize in journalism, which is really more about content than how it looked on the page,” she said. Films like Spotlight and All The President’s Men had captivating storylines and a certain energy to them that made them deserving of the attention they received, Riesbeck said. Even though Riesbeck found The Post to be entertaining, she doesn’t believe it should have been nominated for Best Picture, citing the politics behind the decision. “It’s a Spielberg picture that has Meryl Streep, whom I love, and that’s what gets nominated,” Riesbeck said. “It’s just automatic.”







































Four takeaways from Ohio’s first series of the season

A LOOK AT HOW COACH ROB SMITH ADDRESSED SOME OF THE HOLES IN HIS LINEUP LEFT OVER FROM 2017 AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF FIVE SENIORS ANTHONY POISAL FOR THE POST Ohio coach Rob Smith had several holes to patch in his lineup after Ohio was booted by Indiana from the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The Bobcats were Mid-American Conference champions last season — their second title in three years — but they appear to have an uphill battle if they want to defend their championship in 2018. Of Ohio's 12 players who received at least 60 at-bats in 2017, five were seniors who needed to be replaced in 2018. Three of those five players were on the Bobcats' remarkable infield, which was perhaps the biggest reason why Ohio's defense finished 12th in the nation in fielding percentage (.980) and only committed 44 errors. The Bobcats also lost three of their top five offensive players from 2017. Through the Bobcats' first four games, the replacements for Smith's lineup appear to be clear. HAFNER FILLS IN AT SHORTSTOP Trevor Hafner transferred from Sinclair Community College after his freshman season and had a fast start to his Ohio career last weekend. Hafner — who appears to be Smith's replacement for Ty Finkler at shortstop from 2017 — went 7-for-21 with a team-leading six RBIs and four doubles. The sophomore offers similar skills as Finkler and perhaps even a little more offensive pop. Finkler hit .236 with five home runs and went 18-for-20 in stolen base attempts in 2017; Hafner batted .371 with eight home runs and stole 15 bases with Sinclair. With Hafner's impressive showing against Rider, expect him to anchor the shortstop position for the Bobcats in 2018. GARCIA SHINES IN LEADOFF ROLE Devon Garcia replaced Spencer Ibarra in center field from 2017, but the junior also appeared to replace Ibarra's leadoff role from a year ago. Ibarra shined as Ohio's leadoff batter in 2017 and led the Bobcats in batting average (.325), slugging percentage (.542) and at-bats (240). While Garcia — who had a .253 batting average and .305 slugging percentage in 95 18 / FEB. 22, 2018

Ohio’s Ty Black slides into second base during the team’s game against Butler on March 24. (BLACK NISSEN / FILE)

at-bats in 2017 — likely won't provide the same level of power as Ibarra, he provided an encouraging level of consistency in the leadoff role last weekend. Garcia went 6-for-15 with two walks as the leadoff hitter for the Bobcats and accounted for three runs. After the solid weekend, Smith could continue to use Garcia, who possesses several common leadoff man characteristics, at the top of the lineup. Garcia's 5-foot-11 size looks smaller in his crouched batting stance and could help him draw walks early in games, and his 2-for-5 finish in stolen base attempts in 2017 doesn't do justice to his speed, which is shown in his impressive outfield range. Look for Garcia to receive more at-bats at the top of Ohio’s lineup in the future. LEVY'S SECOND-BASE OPPORTUNITY Aaron Levy struggled in his first game with Ohio. The freshman went 0-for-3 in his

first game on Friday and committed a pair of errors that led to the Bobcats dropping their first game of the season. Levy wasn't in the Bobcats' lineup for their first game of Saturday's doubleheader, but he returned in a big way for the second game: The second baseman went 2-for-4 with a second-inning solo home run in Ohio's 6-5 victory. Levy finished the weekend 3-for-11 with a pair of RBIs and went 1-for-4 with another RBI on Sunday. If Levy avoids poor defensive games like Friday, he appears to be a solid replacement for Ty Black, Ohio's second baseman from 2017. Black had a .272 batting average with four home runs and 28 RBIs and was excellent in the field with a .971 fielding percentage.

The senior went 8-for-16 with three RBIs and leads the Bobcats in batting average — but he also leads the team with four errors. Giannini, who was primarily an outfielder last season, was Smith's first choice to replace Connor Callery at the hot corner. Callery committed just nine errors last season and hit a .312 batting average. Smith will likely be patient with Giannini defensively, as he had zero errors and 84 putouts last season. Ohio won't match the superb defense it had in 2017. If the Bobcats want to match last season's success, however, it will be imperative that Giannini and the rest of the new defense improve from the nine errors they committed last weekend.

WILL GIANNINI'S BAT COMPENSATE FOR HIS GLOVE? Tony Giannini's bat powered Ohio's offense last weekend, but the third baseman’s glove limited his value.


You could watch the eight main Star Wars movies (not including Rogue One) 1.9 times

You could watch about 20,519 Vines

You could go up and down the Baker Center escalators more than 800 times

You could play about 8 1/2 rounds of golf, or about 153 holes


You could listen to “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd about 202 times

You could take the world’s longest flight, from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Auckland, New Zealand

You could play 136 games of NHL 18 if you played five-minute periods


If you hopped in a car and traveled west, you would land perfectly in Los Angeles, 2,316 miles away from Athens

You could take the ACT more than 11 times




immy Thomas played 2,051 minutes and 54 seconds — roughly 34 hours — as Ohio’s goalie in the 2017-18 regular season. // The sophomore led the nation in minutes, games (35) and tied for second in shutouts (six). // In that span, Thomas led his team to a share of the Central States Collegiate Hockey League regular season championship, tied Ohio’s record for shutouts in a season and also received six penalty minutes in a game against Robert Morris-Illinois. // But what kind of things could you do in the 34 hours Thomas spent in net for the Bobcats? THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 19

Crisis averted? Some faculty members are calling it a ‘crisis.’ The administration is calling it a ‘correction period.’ What’s really going on with OU’s budget?



sea of umbrellas made its way across campus as students rushed to escape the gloomy day the Athens weather granted them. The rain fell in sheets. The wind crashed against the windows of Lindley Hall’s castle-like expanse on a dreary Feb. 14 afternoon. The noise from the sidewalks became

quiet as students and professors retreated into coffee shops and classrooms. Inside a cramped lecture hall on the third floor of Lindley, damp umbrellas at their sides, about 20 Ohio University faculty members gathered to discuss their concerns about the university’s financial past, present and future. They spoke with apprehension in their voices, riddled with concern about potential layoffs and raises, wondering if the university’s fluctuating enrollment would affect their jobs. All of their concerns built up to what they called the ongoing university “budget crisis.” The university budgeted for $53.2 million in operating results for fiscal year 2018 — a decline of nearly 50 percent from the prior year. Ask the OU administration what defines a budget crisis, and they’ll say it’s not really a crisis at all. Ask the faculty members sitting in Lindley, and the mood is somber. Loren Lybarger, president of the OU chapter of the American Association of University Professors, stood in the front of the room and listed off the items of chief concern. Repercussions from the tightening budget are seen as urgent matters. The effects are being seen much sooner. “Firings. Shrinking of the faculty through attrition and non-replacement. Loss of academic programs, potentially. And a whole host of other possibilities,” Lybarger said. “And this is the message that we’re getting from Wilson Hall.” Cutler Hall, the crown jewel of OU’s campus, is perched just next door to Wilson, which houses the College of Arts and Sciences — a college hit especially hard by budget constraints. Despite the proximity of the two buildings, Lybarger said, OU President Duane Nellis is painting a “very 20 / FEB. 22, 2018

different picture” from his Cutler office. “He sounds much more optimistic,” Lybarger said. “He’s talking about investing and honors programs and giving the faculty a raise. So it’s not at all clear where things lie exactly.” Inside Cutler, the mood is starkly different. The urgency that exists among faculty members is diluted. The vice presidents speak of optimism and plans for growth academic programming. Vice President for Finance and Administration Deborah Shaffer stressed that, on many metrics, the university is stronger than ever. Though demographics have been changing, she said, enrollment is at an “alltime strength level.” Market shares have been increasing. Despite “failing” facilities, the university is investing in capital projects. “I wouldn’t call it a crisis,” Shaffer said. “The analogy I would use is similar to the market — we’re going through a correction period. That’s the best analogy to think about what’s happening to the university.” But whether it’s termed a crisis or a correction period, fear of cuts to faculty and academic programming have tensions running high on campus and have prompted a host of questions. The rift between the administration and faculty members is one for how the “crisis” should be handled. ‘HELD HOSTAGE’ BY THE STATE BUDGET A university budget is a living, breathing document. It’s thousands of pages of spreadsheets and numbers that constantly change, pored over by top administrators, scrutinized by board members and ultimately, affecting every facet of what happens on campus. There’s no simple way to break down the many factors that play into its flux and flow.

Total state share of instruction for Ohio public universities INFOGRAPHIC BY ABBY DAY Source: Ohio University Division of Finance and Administration

Share (in millions)


1,463.8 1,463.8 1,3989.3 1,398.3



1,523.11 ,523.11 1,523.1 ,523.1 1,523.1 1,523.1




Fiscal Year Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs knows people want answers to the uncertain future quickly. But the “better answer,” she said, takes time and conversation. “I think one thing that’s hard for anyone to understand ... is that when you think about your budget at home, you know how much you’re going to bring in every month. You know how much the rent is. It’s very clear,” Sayrs said. “The university budget is not like that at all.” Public universities in Ohio are receiving less funding — or “state share of instruction” — from the state. Throughout the past

15 years, the level of state support for public universities decreased from 35 percent of OU’s total budget to 20 percent. On top of that, Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s 2017 state budget included a freeze on tuition increases for public universities. “This is a higher education dynamic,” College of Arts and Sciences Dean Robert Frank said. “The way Ohio does its budget makes it very hard to plan, because you’re held hostage until June of every other year.” The university, however, is still able to increase tuition for the class of 2021, because the freeze would not affect students on guaranteed tuition.

Ohio University total system enrollment

A CRISIS OF COMMUNICATION If there’s one observation that seems to ring true to both faculty and administrators alike, it’s that a lack of communication has soured the budget planning process and led to widespread confusion — or “gloom and doom,” as Lybarger put it. “One of the problems I think that we’ve encountered collectively is the lack of information,” Lybarger said. “The lack of transparency about the severity of the crisis and about what the administration is understanding to be the response that it will take.” Meanwhile, McLaughlin said a significant part of the confusion stems from miscommunication both among the administration and between the administrators and faculty. That sentiment is one that echoes in Cutler Hall. “I do think we could have done better collectively,” Shaffer said. “And when I say ‘we,’ I’m not necessarily saying Cutler Hall, but we as an institution need to do better communicating.” In December, Nellis — not yet a year into the presidency at the time — said budget issues have been “one of the big challenges” he has faced in office. He wants the university to be able to give raises to faculty, staff and graduate assistants whose pay has been stagnant.

INFOGRAPHIC BY ABBY DAY Source: Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost


In January, the OU Board of Trustees voted to increase tuition for the next class of students by 1.3 percent, or about $155 per year. The board also approved a 3.5 percent increase in residential housing rates on the Athens campus, as well as a 2 percent increase in rates of campus culinary services, according to a previous Post report. As the state draws back on financing higher education, schools like OU face widening gaps in revenue and expenses. Factor in elements such as inflating health care costs and deferred maintenance — the backlog of major maintenance projects — and problems arise. “You can see how costs are going to increase when revenue isn’t increasing,” McLaughlin said. Another problem stems from what Shaffer calls “changing demographics” in enrollment. The most recent freshman class enrollment of 4,045 students was 264 fewer than the previous Fall Semester enrollment numbers. Meanwhile, the university saw 87 fewer transfer students than it originally budgeted for. “Not a lot, but it’s enough when we were projecting a little bit of growth,” Nellis said. “You know, a couple hundred students from in-state — that’s $2 (million) or $3 million just like that from tuition, let alone the other revenue for residence halls.”



36,872 36,867


35,266 33,483

32,365 2010








Year “And that’s a challenge, given the budget situation,” he said. “But it’s really important.” AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE The likelihood of the layoffs that Lybarger spoke of remains largely uncertain, according to the administration. In April 2017, the Finance and Administration department eliminated 12 positions, leaving five university staff members without jobs. The layoffs were coupled with $4.9 million in cost reductions submitted by administrative offices, in addition to $4 million in expected reductions in the next two fiscal years, according to a previous Post report. The budget gaps that need to be rectified could ultimately lead to changes in personnel, Nellis said, although it’s “still too early” to determine the scope of potential layoffs. “If you want sort of a guarantee that that’ll never happen, that’s not something that can be offered,” Frank said. “But I can tell you that, as far as I can tell, people are working very hard to minimize or avoid that.” In an effort to prepare for potential budget cuts, Sayrs said academic colleges were asked to consider how a 7 percent blanket reduction to their budgets for the next fiscal year would affect their operations. All

academic support and administrative units are already reducing their budgets by 7 percent in the next three years. “We’re really working hard to understand in infinite detail what the scale of the problem is,” Frank said. “Which may seem like it’s an easy thing to figure out. But you’re projecting into the future, in order to make decisions now. Telling the future is a real challenge.” Frank said the size of the reductions is “up in the air right now” — colleges, however, have already begun looking closely at cuts. “We all know we don’t have a final budget,” McLaughlin said. “But we’ve already had to make decisions within our units.” ‘DOOM AND GLOOM’ Whether state funding will improve, Shaffer and the budget planning team make no certain plans. The share of the state budget, she said, is the university’s “new reality.” “I wish I had a crystal ball,” Shaffer said. “We are not planning for it to get worse, but we’re not planning for it in any way to bail us out or change.” With the shuffling of positions and ongoing searches within the higher level of university administration, some faculty members question the likelihood of change. McLaughlin, however, has faith

in OU’s leadership. “I spend a lot of time with these people. So maybe I’ve drank the Kool-Aid,” McLaughlin said. “But I have some optimism there in the sense that I have faith right now that we have a president and (provost) who are probably going to do the best we could expect in the climate.” Shaffer thinks some of the “angst” coming from faculty goes back to a desire for facts. “I think people are hungry for information,” Shaffer said. “And we’ve been working to get that information and education out, and as people get that, they’re more able to focus.” But the information is largely inconclusive for now. Lybarger fears that if faculty shrinks, the shrinking of academic programs will follow, and the university’s standing will be negatively affected. Though messages from Cutler Hall exude hope, Lybarger said the dean of his college is sending out “nothing but doom and gloom.” And that doom and gloom — the uncertainty surrounding layoffs, raises and enrollment — has faculty members wondering what the future truly holds.


the weekender

Sara Evans, RaeLynn to perform in MemAud GEORGIA DAVIS CULTURE EDITOR Country music fans will have the opportunity Friday to see three established female performers. The CMT Next Women of Country Tour featuring Sara Evans, RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr will make a stop at the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium at 8 p.m. Admission is $55 for the first 10 rows, $35 for the remainder of the floor and $25 for balcony seating. The tour, which is in its fourth year, pairs an established artist with women who are on the verge of breaking into the music industry or stars new to country music, Andrew Holzaepfel, senior associate director of student activities, said. The seasoned artist joining the tour is Evans, who has spent more than two decades in the music industry. Evans has nine top-10 hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, five of which peaked at No. 1. Some of her songs include “Suds in the Bucket,” “Born to Fly” and “A Little Bit Stronger.” RaeLynn got her start in country music in 2012 at the age of 17. She auditioned for NBC’s The Voice and made her way to the quarterfinals on country music star Blake Shelton’s team. Since then, she has had one top-10 hit on the Hot Country Songs chart: “God Made Girls” in 2014. She is also known for her song “Love Triangle.” Shorr is the newest addition to country music of the three coming to Ohio University. She debuted her first single, “Fight Like a Girl,” in 2016. The song has more than a million plays on Spotify. “Once we looked at the package, we were super excited,” Holzaepfel said. “To get them all on one night, it was super fun.” Ticket sales have shown an interesting mix of RaeLynn and Evans fans, Holzaepfel said. More college students are seeking the tickets for RaeLynn, but Holzaepfel said fans of any one of the artists will enjoy

22 / FEB. 22, 2018



the whole show. Abby Stokell, a freshman studying health science, thought about going to the concert to see RaeLynn. Her favorite song by the artist is “Love Triangle.” Stokell gets excited when she hears female country singers on the radio. “Especially if I like their songs,” she said. In recent years, women in country music have spoken out about not being featured on the radio as much. One possible reason is the rise of bro country, a subgenre that focuses more on what male artists sing about. Some popular bro country artists include Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean. With a tour like CMT Next Women of Country, Holzaepfel said it is a chance to highlight some of that talent. “All of these artists do not need a separate tour to bring them to this level because they should be at this level,” he said. “You have lots of amazing female artists out there right now doing amazing work.” MemAud is one of the large venues on the tour, and Holzaepfel is excited to host the concert. “I’m really excited to have all three in the venue on one night,” Holzaepfel said. “I’m really excited to have a big crowd for them. … Athens should be rockin’ this Friday night.”


Q&A: RaeLynn talks allwomen country tour, helping female artists HALLE WEBER FOR THE POST

Country music star RaeLynn will bring her hits to MemAud on Friday as part of the CMT Next Women of Country Tour. The singer-songwriter will join Sara Evans and Kalie Shorr, but before stepping onto the Ohio University bricks, RaeLynn spoke on the phone with The Post about the upcoming performance and being a female country singer.

The Post: I know you guys opened in New York City and then did a New Hampshire show last night, so how have the first couple of shows been? RaeLynn: They have been so awesome; I think we’re finally getting into a groove. B.B. King’s in New York is like more of a sit-down club venue, and so to be able to be doing a show at a theater last night in Concord was amazing. It was great — finally got to do a full-band show. P: So you’re doing a lot of theaters and auditoriums on this tour? R: Uh-huh. That’s what I’m most excited about, ’cause I love the acoustics in a theater and also an auditorium, so I’m really pumped about this tour ’cause it’s really going to showcase another side of what my band can do and I’m excited about that. P: So, speaking of the CMT Next Women of Country Tour that you guys are on, do you think that tours like that, in which women are supporting other women, are important right now, ’cause there’s

been some dialogue surrounding the lack of representation of women on country radio, that’s been a conversation. So do you think tours like this are important because of that? R: Oh, I think they’re really important. I think it’s super important to always raise the conversation of “females need to be heard.” And that’s what I love about this tour. It shows that we are coming up with ways for women to support other women, and this tour is just a big example of that.

P: As a woman with a platform, you’ve had six Hot 100 Country songs and one in the Top 10. Do you feel sort of compelled to use your platform to help other women in country? R: Oh my gosh, of course. I’m so obsessed with so many women right now that have come out with so much amazing music, and I think any way we can all support each other is ideal. ... If I’m not a fan of something, I just won’t post about it. But most of the time, the music that women are putting out, especially in country, like Kelsea (Ballerini) and Cassadee (Pope) and, you know, they’re putting out amazing music right now, and it’s all getting heard. And I’m the type of person where if I’m really a fan of something, I’m going to post about it, no matter who it is. I don’t care if you have one fan or a thousand fans, I think it’s important to support the music that you love and to support other women in your community. To read the full





Friday 5th Annual Plunge at 2 p.m. at Riv-

er Park and River’s Edge, 36 N. McKinley Ave. Join the annual polar plunge event filled with free food, Jackie O’s drinks and more. Admission is free. Can Food Drive for BOGO Slices at 3 p.m. at Goodfella’s Pizza, 6 W. Union St. Goodfella’s will host a food drive for GoodWorks. Participants who bring in two cans will get a buyone-get-one deal on pizza slices. The drive will also take place Saturday and Sunday at the same time. Ted Harris and Friends - live from the Taproom at 6 p.m. at Jackie O’s

Brewery, 25 Campbell St. Enjoy a night filled with jazz and soul music performed by Ted Harris and various guest musicians. Admission is free, but donations of $5 are encouraged. Black Magic Open Mic at 6:30 p.m.

at Donkey Coffee, 17 ½ W. Washington St. STARS will host the second Black Magic Open Mic and provide black artists a safe space to share their talents. Entertainment ranges from stand-up comedy to paintings. Admission is free. Tom Petty’s Wildflowers by members of Spikedrivers and CAAMP

at 9 p.m. at The Union Bar and Grill,

18 W. Union St. Spikedrivers’ Jess Henry, CAAMP’s Evan Westfall and others will present the late Tom Petty’s Wildflowers. Admission is $8.

Saturday Front and Center: Upbeat Music for Downbeat Days at noon in ARTS/

West, 132 W. State St. ARTS/West is hosting a musical performance and children’s open stage, featuring special guest local singer-songwriter Caitlin Kraus. Admission is free. Blues Cowboys at 6 p.m. at Casa

Nueva, 6 W. State St. Local blues, country and classic rock band Blues Cowboys will perform an early show at Casa. Admission is $5 for ages 18 to 20 and $3 for ages 21 and above. EYE, Gudger and Water Witches

at 9 p.m. at The Union Bar and Grill. Blackout presents Columbus-based band EYE, Lancaster-based band Gudger and Athens’ Water Witches for a night filled with rock music. Admission is $6.

Sunday Yoga conditioning for mamas at 11:30 a.m. at Athens Yoga, 77 ½ E. State St. Moms interested in building body strength and awareness are invited to join Athens Yoga’s event. Experience is not required. Admission is $8 to $12. Kids Day February at 1 p.m. at Little

Fish Brewing Company, 8675 Armitage Road. Little Fish and Rural Action will host its monthly Kids Day with events including bird watching, arts and crafts, nature walks and more. Free ginger ale and juice will be provided for participating

Members of the Water Witches pose for a portrait before practice on Sept. 10th. (ALEXANDRIA SKOWRONSKI / FILE)

children, and The Cajun Clucker will serve food. Admission is free. Hamantashen for Hearts at 2 p.m.

at Chabad at OU, 33 N. Court St. Chabad invites people to join its event and bake Hamantashen, a triangular-shaped pastry, as part of its bake sale to raise funds for Israel-based organization Save a Child’s Heart. Participants will get free samples. Admission is free.

The Dark Crystal at 7 p.m. at the

Athena Grand, 1008 E. State St. The Athena Grand will screen filmmaker Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal. The film tells the story of an orphan who embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of the mysterious Dark Crystal. The screening includes an introduction by Henson’s daughter Lisa. Admission is $12.50. @SUMMERINMAE MY389715@OHIO.EDU


Walk-Ins Welcome! Fast convenient care. Wide range of services. The Uptown Clinic powered by Holzer offers a wide range

The Uptown Clinic also provides

of services treating conditions and common illnesses such as:

primary care services including:

• Cold and flu • Asthma • Sinus Infection • Acute Bronchitis/Cough • Seasonal Allergies • Sore/Strep Throat • Upper Respiratory Infection

• Urinary Tract/Bladder Infections

• Preventative health services

• Cold Sores

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• Women's health services

• STD Testing

• Onsite lab testing and screenings

• Pregnancy Testing

• Upset Stomach/Nausea

5N. Court Street, Suite 1 • Athens, Ohio 24 / FEB. 22, 2018

Feb. 22, 2018  
Feb. 22, 2018