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THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2020

RIVER RESCUE

Program seeks to counteract acid mine drainage effects in the Hocking River P10

Athens businesses cut back due to coronavirus...P4

OU pauses budget reduction during pandemic...P7

LGBT Center offers remote resources...P12


FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

Hello from next year’s ‘Post’ editors

T

he past couple of weeks have been a time of change for everyone in different ways. While The Post is finding ways to work together remotely, we still have to move forward with making plans for next year. This time of year usually includes a lot of training in the newsroom to make sure next year’s staff is ready to go. Working remotely has made that a little difficult for our staff, but these three have been working hard to make it as smooth as possible. They are eager to dive in, hire their staff for next year and work on learning the ropes so they can be ready to go when they return to campus and the newsroom in the fall. These three were chosen for their leadership skills, ideas to help the staff continue to grow and their work at The Post over the years. For now, I will let them introduce themselves: MOLLY SCHRAMM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Hi, guys! My name is Molly Schramm, and I’m so very excited to be The Post’s editor-in-chief next year. I’m currently a junior and the editor of The Beat. The Post has been my home away from home since my freshman year, and since then I’ve specialized in entertainment and lifestyle journalism as well as film and music criticism. As editor-in-chief, I can’t wait to take The Post in a more digitally minded way, while continuing to uphold the reputation and legacy of our weekly tabloid. I’d like to take the steps to brand The Post more as a media platform than a simple news publication. Showcasing the pristine writing The Post

has always published with inviting multimedia and stark design, The Post will hopefully excel even further as an example of excellence in student journalism. Going into my senior year, I couldn’t be more excited to have Baylee and Matt at my side. The Post means the world to me, and I can’t wait to work alongside the talented staff surrounding me to help the publication grow into the best version of itself. BAYLEE DEMUTH MANAGING EDITOR Hey, everyone! My name is Baylee DeMuth, and I’m excited to take on the executive role of managing editor at The Post for the upcoming academic year as well as my senior year. I’ve written for The Post since my freshman year and have since taken on roles such as a staff writer and the editor of the culture section. As managing editor, my goal is to be a constant force in the newsroom and be someone staffers can come to with anything, whether it be help on a story or just to chat. During my time at The Post, I’ve come to learn the importance of persistent communication and reliability, two aspects I plan to emphasize in my new role that will help us better serve our readers. My time at The Post and as a Bobcat is coming to an end faster than I expected, and I plan to make the most of it by being an ethical, compassionate and approachable leader of a publication I hold near and dear to my heart, alongside Molly and Matt.

MATT GEIGER DIGITAL MANAGING EDITOR Hey, folks! I’m Matt, and I’m looking forward to being the next digital managing editor of The Post! I am currently the social media director and a columnist here at the paper as well as a freshman studying economics and political science. The Post has helped make my first year at Ohio University a very enjoyable one. I have already met so many lifelong friends and made so many amazing memories and cannot wait to continue doing so over the next three years. As the next digital managing editor, my vision is to lift The Post to new heights by pushing the boundaries of what the internet has to offer. I want this publication to create unique, digitally engaging content that goes beyond the written word and into the world of data visualization. I also want to use the digital tools at our disposal to reach new audiences and demographics. This includes building upon the foundation I created as social media director by increasing the usage of other social media platforms, like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. What I care about the most, however, is doing all that I can over the next year to ensure that my friends and fellow Bobcats at The Post are put in the best possible position to produce the best possible content. I want to give back to the paper and the people that have already given me so much. I look forward to working alongside Baylee and Molly and can’t wait to get started. If you would like to talk to Molly, Baylee or Matt you can email them at ms660416@ohio.edu, bd575016@ohio.edu and mg568618@ohio.edu, respectively. COVER ILLUSTRATION BY RILEE LOCKHART

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELLEN WAGNER DIGITAL MANAGING EDITOR Taylor Johnston

EDITORIAL

NEWS EDITORS Abby Miller, Nolan Simmons ASST. NEWS EDITOR Ian McKenzie LONG-FORM EDITOR Ashton Nichols SPORTS EDITORS Matt Parker, Anthony Poisal CULTURE EDITOR Baylee DeMuth ASST. CULTURE EDITOR Riley Runnells OPINION EDITOR Shelby Campbell THE BEAT EDITOR Molly Schramm ASST. THE BEAT EDITOR Mady Lewellyn COPY CHIEF Bre Offenberger SLOT EDITORS Jack Gleckler, Avery Kreemer, Chloe Meyers, Kevin Pan

THE

POST

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ART DIRECTOR Rilee Lockhart DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Kelsey Boeing PHOTO EDITOR Emilee Chinn

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STUDENT MEDIA SALES INTERNSHIP MANAGER Andrea Lewis MEDIA SALES Emily Cassidy, Ali Gifford, Kyle McCort

2 / MARCH 26, 2020

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Send us your letters Do you ever find something in The Post thoughtprovoking, questionable or even infuriating? Let us know! We are always interested in hearing about the way our readers respond to our content every day.

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that violate our advertising policy. If an error occurs, and an advertisement is published not as ordered, please notify The Post by the end of the business day following publication, a corrected advertisement will run without charge in the next print edition. Cancellation requests for advertising must be received and acknowledged by staff no later than 2:00 pm on Wednesday for the Thursday print edition. Refunds will not be given for ads that have been printed. These advertising policy rules can be changed at any time without prior notification.


Pass/Fail Petition Petition to change grading to pass/fail gets student attention EMMA SKIDMORE STAFF WRITER

A

petition to temporarily change Ohio University’s grading system to pass/fail while in-person instruction has been suspended has been circulating among students. The petition, created by Payton Wilks, has nearly 4,000 of its 5,000-signature goal. Wilks did not respond to a request for comment, but the petition describes why a pass/fail grading system would be beneficial. “Due to the uncertainty of this situation and the possible, unsafe environments of some students’ homes, it is likely that their academic performance will be deeply affected,” according to the petition. The petition also addresses various stressors, personal difficulties and financial factors students may experience as a result of having to return to their hometown. It also cited universities that have already transitioned to a pass/fail system, including MIT, or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kent State University has switched to an optional pass/fail grading system for this Spring Semester. “Students who have left Athens, but have returned to states with a high number of COVID-19 cases, such

Photo illustration of the petition started by Ohio University students to make classes pass or fail after classes went online for the rest of the semester. (KELSEY BOEING/ DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY)

as Washington or New York, are likely still experiencing stress, knowing that their community is at risk,” the petition read. It also focuses on how a student’s grades would be affected should a family member contract COVID-19. “We should be prioritizing the health and status of our community over grades at this moment,” the petition said.

OU administration is “working together to understand and evaluate the implications of additional pass/fail options for our students as they complete spring semester and how such decisions may impact successful completion of academic programs and degrees,” Elizabeth Sayrs, executive vice president and provost, said in an email. Sayrs said in an email that the university’s first goal is safety as they continue to uphold academics. She also said university administration has been in conversation with faculty leaders and watching changes made at other institutions. “We are living through a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty, which is understandably creating additional stress and anxiety for our students,” she said in the email. “The last several days have required focus and quick action of University leadership to address the rapidly changing situations facing our university communities, state and nation.” Sayrs said more information about this decision will be made available within the next week. Lydia Ramlo, Student Senate president, said she has also been working with faculty members to address pass/fail concerns among students. “We have lots of different students emailing the senate account talking about pass/fail courses,” Ramlo said. “I’m aware of the petition that has gone around and of different articles of different universities like MIT going towards the pass/fail option.” Ramlo said she has reached out to OU President Duane Nellis and Sayrs.

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THE FARMACY NATURAL FOODS 740-593-7007 regular hours Curbside service available Delivery in Athens available Mon-Sat 9am-6 | Sun 10am-5 KROGER 740-593-7007 Delivery in Athens available Mon-Sat 8am-6 | Sun 10am-5 M-TH Seniors & IC Customers only first hour

CENTURY NAT’L BANK 740-593-7756 20 E Stimson Regular Business Hours Lobbies CLOSED Drive-thru available

HOCKING VALLEY BANK 740-592-4441 ALL Locations Regular Business Hours no changes at this time

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with restrictions on how some businesses can operate, and to meet staffing and hygeine demands, some of our members have made a few changes in how they do businessbut they are open! OHIO UNIVERSITY CU 740-597-2800 ALL Locations Regular Business Hours Lobbies CLOSED Online/mobile, ATM, drive-thru, phone banking available

SHRIVERS PHARMACY 740-447-9201 Regular Business Hours Delivery available

WALMART 740-593-3398 Reduced hours | daily 6am-8:30pm Tues. Seniors & IC Customers only first hour

MERCHANTS NAT’L BANK 740-593-5205 20 E Stimson Regular Business Hours Lobbies CLOSED

UNIFIED BANK 740-753-4313 ext. 2230 873 Chestnut St Regular Business Hours Lobbies CLOSED Online/mobile, ATM, drive-thru open phone banking available

GROCERY

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WESBANCO BEVERAGE 740-753-4313 ext. 2230 & DINING 505 Richland Ave listed seperately Regular Business Hours Lobbies CLOSED Online/mobile, ATM, drive-thru open

KINDRED MARKET 740-594-5463 regular hours curbside pickup available Mon-Sat 8am-8| Sun 10am-6 Seniors & IC Customers only first hour

ATOMIC CU 740-594-8185 ALL Locations Regular Business Hours Lobbies CLOSED Drive-thru available at East State St

Please Note: The health restrictions are evolving on a daily basis, and while we have done our best to be timely with updates and chages to these listings- REMEMBER: if in doubt- please reach out THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 3


Coronavirus Cuts

Customers at Bagel Street Deli order outside its window on March 17, 2020. Owners turned from their normal operations to carry-out orders due to a mandated closure of restaurants in the state of Ohio because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (MEAGAN HALL / FOR THE POST)

Athens businesses cut back further due to coronavirus TAYLOR BURNETTE FOR THE POST Business is scarce for all Athens businesses when students are out of town, but it has proven to be even more scarce when residents are supposed to stay inside, too. Many food and beverage serving establishments in Athens, like Donkey Coffee, The Pub Bar and Grill and Bagel Street Deli, have closed their dining rooms and are now offering take-out services due to the coronavirus. Others, like Restaurant Salaam, 21 W. Washington St., had to reduce their services even more drastically. “We asked all of our employees to go ahead and apply for unemployment and (we said) that we would shut down the restaurant as much as possible to avoid having huge bills to pay that we could not manage,” Hilarie Burhans, co-owner and executive chef of Salaam, said. “We then decided to open for ... pre-ordered and prepaid meals on just Friday and Saturday nights that my husband and I could cook on our own.” 4 / MARCH 26, 2020

For the Burhans, this is an effort to both assist with Salaam’s bills and use up the ingredients they have as well as support local farmers. The offering of meals reflects a much smaller menu. “The gardens don’t know that there’s a pandemic,” Burhans said. “They keep making lettuce, and that’s great for us.” Salaam is now taking call-ahead orders, which are prepaid only. Burhans said she hoped to keep the exchange as contactless as possible. Salaam is having arranged times for customers to pick up the food from a table on the Burhans’ back porch. Other establishments, like Donkey Coffee, 17 W. Washington St., are still open for carry-out and online ordering with greatly reduced hours and employees. “We went from a staff of 18 people to six,” Ben Ziff, a manager at Donkey Coffee, said. “That was a pretty horrible day.” Ziff said business at Donkey wasn’t so bad at first, thanks to an influx of parents and students leaving campus,

but around the past three days, business has decreased. For The Pub, 39 N. Court St., business has also majorly decreased. “It’s definitely been less busy,” Cait Edwards, a daytime manager at The Pub, said. “It’s also a hit or miss depending on the weather, too, since it’s only carry-out.” Edwards said a lot of recent business came from workers at hair salons, banks and offices Uptown, but with the recent closures, business has diminished a little more each day. As time goes on, Edwards said The Pub is just taking it day by day. “You can’t really predict anything in this whole situation right now,” Edwards said. Bagel Street Deli, 27 S. Court St., has also seen a hit in business, Michael Wasko, a line cook, said. However, he also said business has sometimes been steadier due to many other restaurants being closed.

“We seem to be open as far as I know,” Wasko said. “We’re still open … indefinitely.” Despite the hard times put upon everyone, Burhans said Salaam saw a great outreach of support for the community when it closed normal operations. “The community was incredibly gracious,” Burhans said. “We requested that people purchase gift certificates for the time that we actually do reopen and can hire our staff and so forth. The community response was absolutely wonderful.” Edwards echoed the sentiment of supporting local businesses. “When you go out to the grocery stores, shop local,” she said. “If you are out to get lunch, go to a locally owned restaurants. Don’t go to chain restaurants. Try to support the local economy as much as you possibly can during these hard times because definitely everybody’s suffering.”

@THATDBEMYLUCK TB040917@OHIO.EDU


NEWS BRIEFS

Ohio University student tests positive for the coronavirus; tents set up outside of O’Bleness Hospital ABBY MILLER NEWS EDITOR OHIO UNIVERSITY STUDENT TESTS POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS An Ohio University student who went on a university-sponsored studyaway program tested positive for the coronavirus Tuesday. The student began experiencing symptoms while they were still abroad. The trip the student was on will not be disclosed in order to protect the student’s privacy, university spokesperson Carly Leatherwood said. The identity of the student will also remain confidential so they may focus on recovery, OU President Duane Nellis said in a university-wide email. After returning from the trip, the student self-quarantined in their off-campus residence while waiting for their test results to come in. They are

now back in their home county and are continuing to quarantine, according to that same email. Anyone who was in recent contact with the student has been contacted by the university and asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. The university is also working with public health officials to investigate anyone else the student may have come into contact with at the university and will contact any other necessary individuals. CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES UPCOMING STIMSON AVENUE PROJECT An over $7 million construction contract will bring several changes to Stimson Avenue over a three-year period. The Stimson Avenue improvements project will include burying overhead utilities, replacing the pavement on Stimson, creating new sidewalks on one side, adding decorative street lights and

constructing a duct bank. It will also make the street more accessible for bicycles, strollers and wheelchairs. Of the $7 million contract, Athens will fund about $3.7 million. That amount could go up or down depending on if the city gets a pending $750,000 grant. Over $2.5 million in grants have already been secured for the project through the Ohio Department of Transportation and other government agencies. About $5.2 million will be used for street and city utilities, $1.5 million will be used to put electric utilities underground and about $350,000 will go toward a telecommunication duct bank. The project will begin in 2021. MULTIPLE TENTS SET UP OUTSIDE O’BLENESS HOSPITAL Triage tents were put up outside OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital this week

in an effort to separate patients who have flu-like symptoms from other patients. The tents are set up outside the hospital’s emergency exit and will not be used for COVID-19 testing, Marcus Thorpe, media relations senior consultant for O’Bleness, said. The tents, however, will help limit the possibility of the coronavirus being transmitted between patients. Anyone who wishes to be seen at O’Bleness for an injury or other treatment must first be screened in a tent, Thorpe said. Based on the results of that screening, the patient may be admitted to the hospital. The testing is part of a partnership with the Athens County Emergency Management Agency and Athens County Emergency Medical Services.

@ABBLAWRENCE AM166317@OHIO.EDU

POLICE BLOTTER

Four wheelers on road, suspected narcotics in package KIRSTEN THOMAS FOR THE POST MISSING MAIL Over the weekend, deputies from the Athens County Sheriff’s Office took a report over the phone regarding mail being stolen on Vore Ridge Road. The case is being referred to the post master. FORGETTING SOMETHING? Deputies responded to 12th street in Butchel over the weekend regarding an abandoned car on someone’s property. Deputies spoke with the person who owned the vehicle about having it removed from the property. WHO STARTED THE FIRE? Over the weekend, deputies responded

to Angela Drive due to a report of suspicious people starting a fire on the creek bank. When deputies arrived, the fire was out, and the people involved were gone. Before deputies arrived, the landlord talked to the people who started the fire, who then put the fire out and left. WHO LEFT THEIR CAR? Deputies responded to Red Dog Road in Glouster over the weekend for a report of an abandoned vehicle. Deputies determined the vehicle was involved in an accident the Ohio State Highway Patrol was investigating. The Ohio State Highway Patrol came to the scene. CAR-PART ROBBER On Monday, deputies took a report from York Paving on River Road regarding

five catalytic converters and 4-inch muffler pipes taken from dump trucks. The situation is under investigation. FALSE ALARM Deputies responded to a business in The Plains on Monday after they received an automated alarm. Deputies went to the business and determined it was secure. No other action was needed. NOT STREET LEGAL On Tuesday, deputies responded to Euclid Avenue regarding two people driving four wheelers on the road. Deputies were not able to find the four wheelers. NOT QUITE WHAT THEY THOUGHT Deputies responded to Pine Street on

Tuesday regarding a report about a package delivered to an individual. The person believed that there were illegal narcotics in the package. Deputies determined it was vape juice. DING DONG DITCH On Tuesday, deputies responded to The Plains regarding an individual knocking on the Fire Department’s door, then running away. Deputies did not find the individual but instructed the Fire Department to call back if they saw the person again.

@KIRSTENTHOMAS36 KT531818@OHIO.EDU THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 5


Graduate assistants to fulfill appointments online The transition to remote work looks different for graduate assistants, teaching assistants and research assistants, but students will still receive their Spring Semester stipends ABBY JEFFERS FOR THE POST Students in graduate appointments will continue to have “meaningful work” and will continue to receive their stipends despite transitioning to remote work, according to Ohio University’s coronavirus website. Of the 1,309 graduate students holding appointments this semester, 644 are graduate assistants, 472 are teaching assistants and 193 are research assistants, according to an email from Lisa Poston, a Graduate College budget manager and online graduate appointment system administrator. The average spring stipend for graduate appointments is $6,343. The transition to online work looks different for graduate students in each type of position. About half of the research assistants can complete almost all of their work remotely for several weeks, said Shawn Ostermann, associate professor and senior associate dean for research and graduate studies in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. The other half can still make progress by reading background papers, working on their thesis or analyzing data. Research assistants who still need access to Ohio University facilities must talk with their faculty adviser, according to the university’s coronavirus website, but Ostermann said that no more than “two or three or four” students should need access. “I think we could survive for three weeks this way without really slowing anybody down too much,” Ostermann said. “After that, it’s going to slow people down. It’s going to delay graduation.

But for most of them … I don’t think it is, it’s not that big a deal.” Teaching assistants will continue their work while professors move classes online, said Brian McCarthy, senior associate dean for faculty, research and graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. Teaching assistants will still engage with students through Blackboard, Microsoft Teams and other online programs. “I think, virtually, we have some type of technological solution for almost every discipline that we have,” McCarthy said. Graduate assistants, who work in departments across campus, will work remotely unless their need to be on campus is critical, according to the university’s coronavirus website. Remote work may help graduate assistants “rethink” higher education and student affairs, said David Nguyen, assistant professor of higher education and student affairs and program coordinator for the higher education and student affairs program. Remote work can take away the subtleties of interpersonal relationships between students, professors and supervisors, like stepping into an office to ask a question or overhearing music

GRAPHIC BY RILEE LOCKHART

from another desk, Nguyen said. Still, despite the challenges of moving online, he says students in his class are “doing the best they can.” “I think that that’s the thing that I try to drive home with the students: everyone’s doing the best that they can and to the extent that you can do your best, and your best might be a little bit different than if you were in an office

physically,” Nguyen said. “And that’s OK. But also just knowing that you’re able to take some pride in your work can go a really long way to changing your outlook towards the situation.”

@ABBYJJEFFERS AJ588117@OHIO.EDU

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University budget problems on pause OU announces pausing ‘budget reductions’ amidst COVID-19 pandemic IAN MCKENZIE ASST. NEWS EDITOR

O

hio University announced Wednesday that President Duane Nellis asked OU leadership to pause “personnel-related budget reductions” because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a message on Feb. 28, Nellis said the scope of reductions is significant and that there would be about $26 million in reductions on the college level over the next three years, while at least $8 million would be cut in administration. The Board of Trustees approved OU to use $65 million from its reserves through the 2024 fiscal year. The university will reevaluate the budget planning and institutional priorities, according to a letter from Nellis, senior vice president for finance and administration Deborah Shaffer and Elizabeth Sayrs, executive vice president and provost. “This very difficult time is one that calls us to come together,” according to the letter. The OU chapter of the American Association for University Professors, or OU-AAUP, asked Nellis to halt faculty non-renewals in early March, before the COVID-19 worry. The organization “applauds” Nellis, Sayrs and Shaffer for the pause in personnel reductions. The group said in a statement it appreciated the security that this announcement gives to OU employees, especially instructional faculty members who are “on the chopping block this year.” OU-AAUP said in the statement that to provide a quality education for students, faculty members need to be supported because they are at the “front line” of teaching and defending OU’s academic mission.

GAMES

The organization wrote a letter to Nellis that said the g roup was “disappointed in (the administration’s) lack of transparency and engagement with faculty,” according to a previous Post repor t. The letter also asked Nellis to make a public comment to halt the non-renewal of employment contracts for instructional faculty.

As a faculty member, I appreciate the decision by President Nellis and the executive administration to pause any decisions on personnel.” - Julie White, vice president of OU-AAUP

Another letter from the OU-A AUP to Nellis and the Board of Trustees said OU “has shown great leadership in shutting down university operations and moving classes online to keep students, faculty, and staff as safe as possible.” The letter said laying off faculty members during the COVID-19 pandemic would be “inhumane” because access to healthcare is highly necessary. “As a faculty member, I appreciate the decision by President Nellis and the executive administration to pause any decisions on personnel,” Julie White, vice president of OU-A AUP, said in an email. White, who is a political science professor, also said instructional faculty have done “such an incredible job stepping up to meet the educational demands of this moment.”

@IANMCK9 IM581017@OHIO.EDU THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 7


Amanda Grega dances during rehearsal for the fall senior dance concert, “The Sensing Body”, on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (JESSE JARROLD-GRAPES / FOR THE POST)

Students studying the arts struggle to transition to new online classes

Students of the School of Art & Design and the School of Dance, Film and Theater have difficulty adapting as COVID-19 pressures curriculum to online-only LILY ROBY FOR THE POST COVID-19 has caused countless disruptions in coursework for both Ohio University faculty and students, but one group that has had an especially difficult time transitioning to online learning are the students in theatre, dance, music, film and other art programs. These primarily hands-on classes are now expected to occur over video chat or through programs such as Blackboard, which has been proving nearly impossible as the worldwide pandemic worsens. The School of Theater was just beginning to shift into gear, working on the 25th Annual Seabury Quinn, Jr. Playwrights’ Festival, an event which highlights the work of and provides feedback to OU’s MFA playwrights. Due to the coronavirus, this festival is now canceled, eliminating an enriching learning opportunity for theater students. Senior Caleb Crawford looked forward to being involved in the festival and was disappointed when it was canceled. Crawford and other students studying acting performance prepare for this festival and other in-person events each year, and to have that taken away makes finishing the semester difficult. Crawford said physical presence is incredibly important in an actor’s process of exploring and expressing their character. Even on-camera and voiceover work, the emphasis of Crawford’s classes and projects this year, requires all of these elements because, Ceawford said, you never really are in sync with someone else unless you’re in the room with them. “Because of the virus, our Stage Manag8 / MARCH 26, 2020

ers cannot fulfill their course requirements of running a show,” Crawford said in an email. “Our MFA Playwrights are not given the opportunity to watch their work in rehearsal, which is crucial to the development of their plays. Our BFA Playwrights are unable to put on their works because they lack access to actors now. Our Production Design & Technology Departments are unable to accomplish any of their tasks because they have no access to the equipment and tools needed. Our BFA Actors are unable to perform and enhance their craft. Our firstyear BFA Musical Theatre Performers are unable to receive the training and feedback necessary to their growth.” The School of Film also depends heavily on students in the School of Theater, and to have these actors and actresses taken away brings the studies of both schools to a halt. Crawford highlighted how these practice opportunities for filmmakers and theater students are now practically impossible. OU will be utilizing multiple online programs, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Blackboard and Canvas, in order to allow students to continue their studies. However, many students are worried about the quality of education that they’ll receive through a screen. “It’s disappointing to lose such valuable class time because that’s where the magic happens,” Crawford said in an email. “I am incredibly grateful for my health and all the opportunities to me, but also, I am incredibly stunted and stalled by this virus.”

Jenny Martin, a senior studying production design & technology, said she was in a state of disbelief when Tantrum Theater first broke the news that its upcoming show, Objects in the Mirror by Charles Smith, was canceled. Martin was supposed to be the co-master electrician for the show and had met numerous times for rehearsal. “As theater people, we have a ‘the show must go on’ mentality, where no matter what catastrophe happens along the way, the show always opens,” Martin said in an email. “But accepting that all theaters are going dark, including Broadway, took a moment to process.” Professors are taking steps to make the transition from hands-on classes to the internet as easy as possible. An example provided by Martin is that classes involving stage lighting are being re-imagined through online projects rather than physically arranging the stage lights. Martin also emphasized that theatrical companies like Electronic Theatre Controls are also offering various online courses for free. The College of Fine Arts is being affected entirely differently, especially the studio classes. These classes rely on students working on physical pieces of work, which students will now have to do out of the studio, without many resources. Lila Fisher, a senior BFA with a focus in sculpture and expanded practice, is no longer allowed in their allotted studio space in order to finish their thesis work. Even if Fisher were to finish their thesis work at home, the thesis exhibition receptions are canceled, giving

students nowhere to display their works. “While I fully understand the necessity to shift to online settings, I was disappointed beyond words,” Fisher, who uses they/ them pronouns, said in an email. “So it’s obvious that those receptions are canceled, which is a total bummer and punch in the gut. I’ve been working towards this point for almost 4 years, and now that that’s gone I feel frustrated.” Fisher said, for the fine arts students, there’s a sort of movement coming through social media. Students are creating Instagram posts that allow others to submit images of the work they would have shown at thesis shows. Although this isn’t a complete fix, it allows students to view each other’s work safely, limiting human contact. Fisher is understandably unsure about what is in store for the future of the College of Fine Arts. However, they believe that their professors won’t leave them with nothing and that artists are really skilled at adapting so, no matter what, folks are going to make it. “No matter how high quality, I feel that my learning is being inhibited due to this shift,” Fisher said in an email. “But it’s what’s necessary, so I can’t complain too much. We all need to be aware of how we can help others in this time. Staying home is an act of caring for your community and loved ones. I’m sure I’ll be able to show my work sooner than later!”

@THELILYROBY LR158117@OHIO.EDU


Local tattoo and piercing shops affected by loss of business during pandemic

NOW LEASING

The shops were ordered to close as they are not deemed essential businesses

sures on a daily basis. “Tattoo shops are already very cautious. We just assume everybody is sick all the time, Athens is home to many popular tattoo and we’re constantly cleaning all day on a regand piercing shops, each of which receive a ular basis no matter what is going on,” Green great deal of business from Ohio University said. “But we started going in early every day and cleaned the entire place and did so in bestudents as well as local consumers. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, tween customers as well. We also decided to where non-essential businesses have been do appointments only, and we didn’t let anyshut down and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has body bring any of their friends in with them.” Despite the nationwide panic surroundissued a stay-at-home order, these tattoo ing the spread of the panand piercing businesses, demic, Kisor said there was where the artists are paid not an alteration in busiby commission, have been ness prior to the closing greatly impacted. Each of being issued. the shops will be pushing “It seemed like it stayed back prior appointments to pretty busy,” Kisor said. “I future dates and returning thought people wouldn’t deposits upon request by be interested in getting the customers. tattoos or piercings and James Kisor has been spending that extra money a tattoo artist for over 20 when this is all happenyears and currently owns ing, but it didn’t really slow the shop Decorative Indown at all. People were jections alongside his wife. still coming to the door Kisor said prior to DeWine ordering the tattoo busi- Decorative Injections on Court and still emailing, trying to make appointments even nesses to close, his team had Street in Athens, Ohio, closes up until a couple days ago.” already decided it would be due to COVID-19 pandemic. Shawn Hawks is a tatbeneficial for them to do so. (KELSEY BOEING / DIRECtoo artist who opened Skin “I didn’t want to prema- TOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY) Hooked Tattoo & Body turely shut down, but I was worried about myself and my family as well as Piercing with his wife about eight years my employees and their families,” Kisor said. ago. Hawks began tattooing in 1997 after “So we were thinking it might be the right idea frequently drawing tattoos for him and his friends while he was in the Marine Corps. to close, and then they shut us down anyway.” Thomas Green, a tattooer at Thunder When this pandemic rose in the U.S., Hawks Bunny, has been tattooing for 22 years. said it deeply affected the shop’s business. “This all hit us right during our busy seaGreen mentioned the shutdown would be inevitable due to the close proximity tat- son where kids want to get their tattoos and too artists and piercers are required to have piercings around the time of spring break, with their customers, a factor that would and we were booked all the way through the negate the 6 feet of distance suggested in middle of April,” Hawks said. “We tattoo and pierce by appointment, so when they shut us the social distancing orders. “I have friends that tattoo all over the down, it shut our income completely down.” Despite the devastation accompanying world, so I had been following their progress during all of this, so I tried to get as many this stressful time, Green said his fellow tatappointments in as I could because I knew I too artists can still find inspiration and busiwas gonna be out of work,” Green said. “I was ness amid the negativity. “Tattooers generally, in my opinion, we’re halfway through a tattoo, and my phone had like nine messages from people I know who kind of workaholics,” Green said. “It’s not that tattoo in Ohio who said, ‘Well, I guess we’re we chose this job. This job chose us. So I think out of work.’ So I finished up the tattoo and everybody’s sitting at home painting, and I know a lot of people who are selling their art went home.” At the start of the pandemic, the shops and doing commissions online.” began to take precautions in relation to sanitation. However, Green emphasized that the @LAURENESERGE shops already engage in precautionary meaLS351117@OHIO.EDU

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Biodiversity Acid mine drainage kills biodiversity in Hocking River COURTNEY PERRETT SENIOR WRITER

Rust-colored sludge fills the streams of Southeast Ohio as acid mine drainage from abandoned coal mines continues to pollute tributaries of the Hocking River, destroying local aquatic habitats. Historically, rural Appalachia was considered an extensive coal mining region. Before the 1970s, the U.S. had very limited restrictions on the coal mining industry, which resulted in the environmental legacy known as acid mine drainage. Coal miners would tunnel into the coal, safely extracting as much as possible. This process created large labyrinths carved out of the earth that later filled with groundwater when the pumps were deactivated. This caused pyrite minerals that were exposed to water and oxygen to react, forming sulfuric acid and large quantities of dissolved iron. During the 1980s, an air shaft that was sealed exploded, filling Sunday Creek — a tributary of the Hocking River — with excessive amounts of iron each day.

HOW ACID MINE DRAINAGE HAPPENS 1

10 / MARCH 26, 2020

Miners tunnel into the coal and excavate as much as possible

2

Abandoned tunnels fill with groundwater


O

ver time, the iron seeped into the water stream, creating the dark red effects of the acid mine drainage found in rivers today, Guy Riefler, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Ohio University, said. “If they’d never done any coal mining, this would be where the water table is, but since it’s traveling through the old mine, it has picked up all this pollution,” Riefler said. He’s made it his mission to research and devise a plan to reverse the side effects of acid mine drainage on the environment. “(Acid runoff) openly drains from abandoned coal mines into nearby stream and waterways carrying excess metals, high acidity and very low pH values, leaving streams orange and disrupting the aquatic organisms in the stream, if not destroying them completely,” said Jen Bowman, director of environmental programs at the Voinovich School of Leadership. Acid mine drainage is a problem in many of the waterways in Southeast Ohio, including Raccoon Creek, which is a tributary of the Ohio River, said Nora Sullivan, chairperson of the Raccoon Creek Partnership, a non-profit established for the watershed control of the creek. While the effects of acid mine drainage can be seen by the physical eye, Riefler said they’re not harmful to humans the way they are to wildlife. “This isn’t a threat to human beings in terms of causing disease or cancer, but it is really destructive to wildlife,” Riefler said. While the iron is non-toxic in itself, it accumulates in such high quantities in waterways like Sunday Creek that it produces thick, rust-colored sludge that coats streams and destroys the habitats of aquatic life, Riefler said. “Acid mine drainage typically results in low-pH, high-metal, high-conductivity water that does not support aquatic life,” Bowman said. Nate Schlater, the watershed program director at Rural Action, said acid mine drainage is among the leading causes of why many of the waterways in Southeast Ohio are severely polluted. Wastewater, sediment, silt and nutrients are also possible explanations for the pollution. “Excessive pollution means that water quality will be decreased, sensitive aquatic species will no longer exist in these areas or, with more pollution, no aquatic species may exist,” Schlater said. Some tolerant aquatic wildlife are

3

PH of Sunday Creek 2017-2018

“(ACID RUNOFF) OPENLY DRAINS FROM ABANDONED COAL MINES INTO NEARBY STREAM AND WATERWAYS CARRYING EXCESS METALS, HIGH ACIDITY AND VERY LOW PHVALUES, LEAVING STREAMS ORANGE AND DISRUPTING THE AQUATIC ORGANISMS IN THE STREAM, IF NOT DESTROYING THEM COMPLETELY.” — Jen Bowman, director of enviornmental programs at the Voinovich School of Leadership

MAP VIA WATERSHEDDATA.COM

capable of surviving the influx of pollution, Schlater said. However, this will decrease the biological diversity in the river and impact the functioning of the entire ecosystem. “In Monday Creek, there are now 37 species that live in a stream that were once considered dead,” Schlater said. “Many of these species have not lived in this stream since coal mining.” Rural Action’s Watershed Restoration Project addresses the water quality impairments the region faces, including assisting communities with wastewater treatment and sedimentation. The non-profit also works with local partners to restore and protect Ohio’s water resources. Bowman said source control reclamation is always preferred to a treatment plant, but it’s not always an affordable or practical way to treat the site of pollution. In the past, Rural Action’s watershed restoration project focused on abandoned mine land remediation in Monday Creek, Sunday Creek, Huff Run and Mud Run. Schlater said the watershed team spends about half its time focusing on abandoned land mine

Water, oxygen and pyrite react to form sulfuric acid and iron

4

work, while the other half is spent on other non-profit initiatives. “We are now working to address one of the largest acid seeps in the state and create a business out of the pollution that will enable us to continue investing in water quality restoration and preservation,” Schlater said. Bowman and Schlater both believe climate change is influencing the levels of pollution in the waterways in Southeast Ohio. Bowman said longer and harder rains could create more erosion, which moves nutrients that can create harmful algae blooms. Schlater said there is “no doubt” that climate change is impacting the water resources. He said that if the water temperature increases, it would affect the impact of biology and nutrients as well as possibly encourage invasive species to take over the river system. Elaine Goetz, the director of sustainability at OU, said the bigger issue to tackle is that climate change and acid mine drainage are both caused by the same thing: the burning of fossil fuels. “Coal mining is the issue for acid mine drainage,” Goetz said. “Climate change is caused by burning of not only coal, but (also) natural gas and oil.” The largest way that people can help reduce the pollution in the Hocking River and surrounding tributaries is simply being aware of how they dispose of waste, Bowman said. This includes limiting the number of human-caused disturbances on the riverbanks, removing trash and loose items from yards and leaving existing natural vegetation on the banks to stabilize and reduce erosion, Bowman said. Ohio has recently been experiencing an increase in rainfall and higher temperatures

Large deposits of iron build up and dissolve into the water

5

with more extreme weather events such as droughts, high winds and floods, all likely caused by climate change, Riefler said. If there is more rainfall in a region, water levels in the rivers will be higher, which means that acid mine drainage will impact fish and other aquatic life less. This process works in reverse, too. One of the only viable treatment plans that is working and sustainable in the region is the True Pigments project, developed by Riefler of Rural Action and John Sabraw, an art professor at OU. It began as a passion project that was developed specifically to combat the effects of extreme acid mine drainage in Sunday Creek, Riefler said. “The project involves collecting water, treating it, producing paint and selling the paint to pay for the plant operations,” Riefler said. “As an environmental engineer, my focus is problem solving using environmental solutions, like cleaning up pollution.” Riefler said his ultimate goal is to be able to produce the pigments on a large scale so that they can be sold commercially to make the project fully self-sustaining. Riefler’s project has been a game-changer for water quality restoration in Sunday Creek, Schlater said. The acidic seep currently impairs 7 miles of Sunday Creek, acting as a barrier for fish passage from the Hocking river. Once completed, Riefler’s research and extraction system will allow all 7 miles to be restored fully. “The possibility that a project can treat water, pay for itself and pay for addressing other water quality impairments is unheard of and extremely exciting,” Schlater said.

@COURTPERRETT CP160517@OHIO.EDU

Air shaft explodes, releasing excessive iron into the river

THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 11


LGBT Center provides silver lining LGBT Center works to support students during pandemic RILEY RUNNELLS ASST. CULTURE EDITOR Ohio University’s LGBT Center staff is working every day from home to combat the pandemic. “It’s certainly unexpected, but we are just trying to make lemonade out of the lemons we’ve been handed,” Jan Huebenthal, assistant director of the OU LGBT Center, said. Huebenthal and the rest of the LGBT Center staff are certainly not alone in having their Spring Semester plans halted by the various COVID-19 quarantines throughout OU’s campus and various countries. However, they’re working tirelessly to make sure the LGBT Center’s opportunities and support systems stay alive and well to act as a beacon through a chaotic time. Though all programs have been halted, the LGBT Center staff is pressing on by hosting virtual programs to keep students involved. The first of those programs is making a progress pledge, which is geared toward everyone, not just LGBTQ+ persons. The people who want to make the pledge can go online, fill out a brief survey of how they plan to be an ally to their LGBTQ+ friends, loved ones and to the group as a whole. “This is going to be like a really strong

signal, we believe, to communicate to students that they are not alone, that there are so many people across our community who support them and who are there for them,” Huebenthal said. The next program is the Rainbow Resilience Series, which is an initiative to reach out on social media by sharing tips and strategies for how to maintain wellness and sanity during the pandemic. It focuses on mental health, physical activity and an overarching theme of social distancing not equating to social disconnecting. Virtually, social media seems to be the best way to reach the most people, so the LGBT Center staff will be using their social media to celebrate the LGBTQ+ graduates and acknowledging LGBTQ+ members for days such as Trans Day of Visibility on March 31 and Lesbian Day of Visibility on April 26. Though the center is doing the best it can to support its students during this time, there have been some sacrifices made to keep people safe and healthy. This includes guest speaker David Collins, a television producer of Netflix’s Queer Eye. However, there’s still several aspects of normalcy within the center, like the SafeZone training programs that will continue to be offered virtually for various groups. This is part

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of the center’s educational initiative to familiarize audiences with the world of sexual and gender diversity by teaching them to create a “safe zone.” Huebenthal doesn’t expect everyone to have access to tools like the internet or even necessities like a comfortable and safe environment. For those people who are in need, Huebenthal recommends phone calls to OU’s Counseling Psychological Services, or CPS, and just trying to stay connected with people as much as possible. “We’re practicing social distancing, but what if we were to reframe that concept from social distancing to distant socializing?” Huebenthal said. “Maintain those connections, and reach out to friends, and reach out to the LGBT Center. Be connected as much as possible.” Maddie Moore, a sophomore who works in the LGBT Center, agrees with calling CPS for support. She also believes finding the safest space in whatever environment someone is in is important, and doing some mindful activities like meditation and other self care rituals can help with comfortability levels, too. “(Some people) are not out to their families. They’re worried about being disowned financially or actually, physically disowned from their family, and the LGBT Center is the only place they feel comfortable going,” Moore said. “So having those online resources, having people to message and contact when they need help, it’s just so wonderful and important.”

Huebenthal believes that people who are living with an LGBTQ+ person should also take it upon themselves to put effort into making the environment as comfortable as possible. Hayden Spurgeon, a senior who works in the LGBT Center, feels active listening and an open mind is a great way but also thinks comfortability can be a good discussion off the bat. “I would just simply ask that person, ‘What can I do to make you feel most comfortable in this home? How can I respect you?’” Spurgeon said. “Just being open and honest, and then most people will be willing to tell you what they want.” Huebenthal knows making lemonade out of the lemons they’ve been handed is a tough challenge. But at the end of the day, their main focus is making sure every student involved with the center is safe and happy as well as supported. “In times of crisis, it’s often the most vulnerable who are disproportionately impacted,” Huebenthal said. “And we know that a lot of students who frequent the LGBT Center face different kinds of vulnerabilities –– these different kinds of adversity. So I think in the case of the coronavirus, it’s really important to kind of remind ourselves of the importance of supporting the LGBTQ community and fending off against other racism and bias.” For more resources and inquiries, visit ohio.edu/diversity.

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STAY I N G AT H O M E The importance of practicing social distancing

TAYLOR BURNETTE FOR THE POST

A

long with many others around the world, Bobcats far and wide have hunkered down in a dedicated effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing. Social distancing, according to the CDC, means avoiding large gatherings and remaining approximately 6 feet from others whenever possible. Many different types of places, ranging from restaurants to hairdressers to bowling alleys, have been closed by Gov. Mike DeWine in the previous days. Social distancing applies not only to those who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, but people from all walks of life. “Social distance is important for everyone because it minimizes the risk for new infections,” Caroline Kingori, an associate professor of social and public health, said in an email. “The fact that the disease is spread through close contact means that anyone can get infected. So it is important that everyone practice social distance to slow the spread of the virus.” For some Ohio University students, working in essential services, like grocery stores and pharmacies, can prove difficult when practicing social distancing, but Becca Roth does her best at following the CDC’s rules while also showing up for work when scheduled.

Avoid large gatherings

CDC GUIDELINES FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING “I’m doing my best to stay at home, but I do work at an essential store here,” Roth, a junior studying sports management, said. “I work at Target, so when I do have to go to work, I really don’t have an option. I basically only leave the house when I go to work, which is maybe three times a week. I’m doing the best I can just stay inside and just stay healthy as well.” At work, Roth said measures have been put into place for safety there as well. “We are just trying our best to sanitize after every transaction if we’re able, and just overall, if you are feeling unwell, stay at home,” Roth said. “Then we have our order pick-up and driveup services. A lot of our customers are using that as well. So it’s just a matter of making sure that everything is clean and wiping off devices after everyone touches them.” Other students, such as Isabella Philippi, a pre-bachelor of specialized studies junior, are social distancing far from Ohio. “I am from Puerto Rico, and I was here visiting my family for spring

Stay home if you are able to Remain approximately 6 feet from others

break, and I got stuck here. I haven’t been back to Ohio since before spring break,” Philippi said. “It’s been very stressful just being away from Ohio. It’s my third year and then not having the end of it was really stressful. I had to move out (via) FaceTime because I had an amazing friend who did me a huge favor of getting all my things and putting it in storage.” For Philippi, social distancing will be an opportunity to focus on school and tie up loose ends. “I’m probably gonna stay in … I obviously have to do all the classwork, and so I think I’m just gonna stay at home, probably do all the things that I said I was gonna do (that) I never finished doing,” Philippi said. For Roth, she plans to keep busy by improving her living space at her parent’s house. “I’m taking time at home to clean out my room and just … get all my 12-year-old self out of my bedroom,” Roth said. “I found my old Nintendo DS. I’ve been using that a little bit. It still works … I’ll go outside in the backyard and play around.”

Kingori believes social distancing also involves the disclosure of diagnosis, especially for the sake of others who have been exposed. She stressed the importance of quarantining those infected in order to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. “Disclosure of one’s infection is necessary so that those individuals who have come into contact with the infected person can self-quarantine and/or get tested in order to reduce the likelihood of infecting more people,” Kingori said. The CDC also recommends and emphasizes the importance of social distancing for all people, no matter the status of their health. Many, like Philippi, have taken this to heart. “I understand that at Ohio University we have that reputation of like, ‘Oh, my God, let’s go out, and let’s party,’ but I think now is the time that we need to reflect only to think not about ourselves, but other people,” Philippi said.

@THATDBEMYLUCK TB040917@OHIO.EDU THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 13


Taking Extra Care

Immunocompromised people forced to be cautious as coronavirus spreads LILY ROBY FOR THE POST Fears of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, have recently driven the majority of the world to take shelter in their homes in order to avoid the rapidly spreading virus. Apprehension is thick in the air in Athens, students and locals only occasionally stepping out in order to get groceries or other necessities. Those doing their part to limit the spread are wary of what they touch and when they leave the house, which can be a difficult life change. However, people living with compromised immune systems have to live in even more critical conditions, further demonstrating the importance of people doing the best they can to limit the spread. Little things like carelessly ignoring hand washing just once can rapidly spread the virus and make people with compromised immune systems even more vulnerable to the coronavirus. Early childhood education major Ryan Gwin has had to become much more cautious when leaving his home because he lives with Henoch-Schonlein disease. Also known as HSP, the auto-immune disease causes inflammation and bleeding in capillaries. Gwin, a freshman at OU, was diagnosed with the disease in 2015 and has since dealt with body pains, kidney issues and a higher susceptibility to catching the common cold, flu and viruses. “My future plays out in the ‘safety’ of my home while I am practicing social distancing,” Gwin said in an email, highlighting that while he is still able to work and take part in classes from home, there isn’t much else he can do to protect himself. “All I can continue to do is what the CDC has been stressing from Day 1.” Gwin is careful to practice hand washing, sanitizing and practicing social distancing, but he said the virus has impacted him psychologically as well. “I suffer from a bit of anxiety, like everyone else who is worried about getting the disease,” Gwin said in an email. “I have to make sure I practice good hygiene and social distancing. If I don’t, I am more at risk of becoming ill. If I happen to get the virus, I am more at risk of getting harsher side effects.” Many people with conditions that make them immunocompromised now must depend strongly on their close family and friends to keep them protected from the coronavirus. These inner circles have to be incredibly cautious in keeping clean, especially when running errands. Je Hooper, a graduate student at OU 14 / MARCH 26, 2020

GROUPS THE CDC CLASSIFIES AS AT RISK OF BEING IMMUNOCOMPORMISED •People aged 65+ •People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility •People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma •People with serious heart conditions •People undergoing cancer treatment or treatment for genetic diseases •People with underlying conditions that are not wellcontrolled or treated •People who are HIV positive ILLUSTRATION BY RILEE LOCKHART

•People with auto-immune diseases •People who are pregnant and are already ill

My future plays out in the ‘safety’ of my home while I am practicing social distancing. All I can continue to do is what the CDC has been stressing from Day 1.” - Ryan Gwin, a freshman studying early childhood education

for interdisciplinary arts, is a survivor and advocate for living HIV positive. Hooper has lived this way for a little over 11 years and now depends on his boyfriend to take extra precautions in order to ensure good health. Hooper described the methods the two have worked out between each other for when his boyfriend comes home from work, ranging from changing in the basement and immediately showering when getting home to wiping down grocery products and washing clothes every other day. He also stressed the emotional pressure that the virus has placed on his relationship with his life-partner and metamour, who currently lives in New York City. Under his doctor’s order, Hooper is now unable to visit his partner for the foreseeable future, which has led to his partner considering moving. “It has been intense,” Hooper said in an email. “However, even in our polyamorous-configuration it is nice to know that I am loved, honored and supported.”

Wearing gloves daily and constantly hand washing and using sanitizer, Hooper now works from home. Utilizing OU’s online courses and updating his Facebook Live show, “Keep Liv’n,” he has kept busy nonetheless, learning and creating virtually amid the chaos that is COVID-19. Diana Ray, an Athens resident of two years, is considered immunocompromised because she is currently on maintenance chemo. Ray’s husband, the international director for the grad school at OU, was flooded with news of the virus and was able to quickly warn Ray that they had to quarantine during spring break. While quarantining, Ray has been homeschooling her three children and working to educate them on what is happening across the globe. In order to further help them understand isolation, Ray’s children are currently reading The Diary of Anne Frank. She said that although it’s an intense example, the book brings up great discussions on our privilege during this current historical event.

VIA CDC.GOV

Ray said although she does fear for her health, she has generally felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and calm. She and her children have not left the house since the middle of spring break, and her husband has only left to pick up groceries and for an emergency vet visit. Their family works hard to stay safe, quarantining groceries in their garage for three days before disinfecting them. For a visit to the vet, the Rays placed their cat for pickup at the front door in a carrier in order to limit contact. When the cat was returned, the family only handled it with gloves until its fur was cleaned. “We have to see the beautiful silver linings that have come out of this,” Ray said in an email, remaining positive nonetheless. “People singing from balconies, neighbors dancing in the streets at safe distances to entertain those watching from windows … the unique way our social human spirit has found ways to be in touch with our loved ones in a time of isolation and fear. We will overcome, and we will look back on this historical event that we indeed overcame in a beautiful way.”

@THELILYROBY LR158117@OHIO.EDU


GEIGER COUNTER

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

A dangerous cure for a deadly disease

OU should adjust Spring Semester tuition

The history of coronavirus begins in 1787 at the closure of the C on s t it ut i onal Convention when Benjamin Franklin spoke some of the most consequent i a l MATTHEW words in AmeriGEIGER can history. is a freshman The exstudying economics change took at Ohio University place when a Philadelphia woman asked Franklin if the convention had established a monarchy or a republic. Franklin’s witty and ominous response would then forever enter the history books: “A republic, if you can keep it.” Today, the founding father’s words are more important than ever. At every turn in the nation’s history, we have been faced with crisis after crisis that test the limits of the Constitution and democratic system. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic affecting every single American citizen, it is crucial that we as a country do not relinquish the rights and liberties we have fought so hard to keep. While draconian measures have already been implemented across the country, such as mandatory quarantining and “stay-at-home” measures, the most dangerous policies being enacted have largely escaped media attention. Sweeping mass surveillance legislation is slithering its way through our nation’s government, and it poses a critical threat to the personal freedom of all Americans. Private companies, such as Facebook and Google, are actively working with government officials to share the

smartphone data of average citizens. If those companies intertwine themselves with legislation enough, it will give them a dangerous legitimacy and license to continue harvesting our personal data. “We could so easily end up in a situation where we empower local, state or federal government to take measures in response to this pandemic that fundamentally change the scope of American civil rights.” — Albert Fox Cahn, the executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, a nonprofit organization in New York City. With an increase in mass surveillance, it becomes increasingly harder for individuals to protect their own private health from becoming public. Even scarier, however, is what may come after the coronavirus is long gone. In an attempt to prevent future pandemics, governments may begin assigning digital identifiers to citizens. These identifiers will create a whole host of civil rights violations for individuals, as it will enable the government to intrude in almost every sector of daily life. Your anonymity will be stripped right along with your freedoms. The American public is the final check on government authority. We must band together in these trying times and stop those in power from destroying what remaining rights we still have. “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” — Thomas Jefferson

Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Matthew? Tweet him @Mattg444.

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It’s not difficult to notice the effects of COVID-19, no matter where you look. All non-essential businesses have shut down, professional sports have suspended their seasons MICHAEL and schools are transiCHANEY tioning their lessons to is a senior studying sports online platforms. I have management to remind myself several at Ohio times a day that this is, in University fact, real life. This is especially difficult for me as a graduating senior, as it’s quite likely that the memories I’ve made in Athens have become just that: memories. The status of graduation is up in the air, and adulthood has come a lot more quickly than I expected it to. I feel selfish for having this mindset — people are literally dying — but life as we know it is rapidly coming to an end. Schools are making the right call to transition to online learning. We would all rather be back in Athens with our friends, but we all think that something like this isn’t possible until it happens to us, and schools are smart to do what’s possible to prevent the virus from spreading even further. My daily routine is of secondary importance to the safety and well-being of everyone else. The problem is, however, that we’re still paying for benefits that we aren’t getting. When I reached out to the university to ask for any updates on tuition costs, the bursar’s office told me that tuition will not be adjusted because instruction is still taking place, and that “only the mode of delivery is changing.” That’s all fine and dandy, but for a lot of people, it just doesn’t make sense. How do you explain that to nursing students and other majors who require personal instruction? How do you explain that to students who have to spend more money to have the right equipment to finish a semester online? More frankly, how do you explain that to anyone? My professors have all been very transparent with me over the last week or so. They understand the difficulties that we’re all dealing with, and they’ve made themselves

available any time I need their help. But not all professors are like that, and some just aren’t capable of teaching an entire course online. How can the university say that nothing is any different? If I wanted to get an education online, I could have easily done it anywhere else for a fraction of the cost. And maybe I would have, but it’s easy for a high school student to feel pressured into attending a four-year university because of the common perception that an online degree “isn’t valuable.” How the tables have turned. Beyond that, the university eliminated a week of classes from the semester to more smoothly transition into online courses, but we’re still paying for a standard 15-week course load. At the very least, we deserve a refund equal to the cost of the week of an education that we’re no longer getting. But that’s the bare minimum. I kept pressing the bursar’s office further, and I was told that this is the cost that I agreed to originally. Neither one of us could have predicted that a global pandemic would essentially take over the world, but refusing to change a school policy in even the most unpredictable of circumstances makes it abundantly clear that the university sees students only as dollar signs. If you claim to care about us enough to send everyone home for the rest of the year, then act like it. It doesn’t help that the staffer replying to my email somehow managed to care so little that they spelled my name wrong. It’s also worth mentioning that a portion of our tuition helps pay for resources across campus, all of which are now closed. If I’m not able to use the rec center or various counseling services across campus, why am I still being charged for them? At this point, I just have so many unanswered questions, and I don’t know where to go from here. It’s perfectly clear that the university doesn’t really care about “us” at all; they care about our money, and that’s it. My only regret is that it took me so long to figure that out. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post.

SCAN HERE THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 15


2020 will bring good films to the silver screen, just not right now Various big-ticket movie premieres have been delayed due to COVID-19 concerns. JACK HILTNER FOR THE POST

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY JACK HILTNER

As warnings from health officials grow, the film industry is being forced to reconsider proposed movie premieres in order to protect the well-being of the general public. With the global cases of the coronavirus exceeding 350,000, governments all over the world have taken preventative steps, such as lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders, to secure the safety of the public. Here are the handful of highly anticipated films experiencing delayed releases:

prior to the scheduled release date.

A QUIET PLACE PART II Initially scheduled for public premiere on March 18, 2020, John Krasinski’s horror original has been postponed until a later date in 2020. Krasinski did not confirm an official date for the reschedule, instead saying in an Instagram post, “People have said that our movie is one that you have to see all together. Well, due to the ever-changing circumstances of what’s going on in the world around us, now is clearly not the time to do that.”

MULAN The live-action remake of the classic Disney film has postponed its release date until later in 2020. The announcement came with declarations of relief from mainland China, one of Disney’s most important markets. Cinemas and theaters in that region have been closed since late January due to the rising pandemic.

NO TIME TO DIE Following many hours of deliberation with MGM and Universal Studios, Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. WIlson came to the decision to delay the newest installment of the James Bond series until November 2020. The move came at the beginning of March, less than a month 16 / MARCH 26, 2020

F9

The release of the ninth movie in the iconic Fast and Furious franchise has been pushed back to April 2021. While other motion pictures are taking a few months to let things calm down, actor Vin Diesel said, “It’s become clear that it won’t be possible for all of our fans around the world to see the film this May.”

ANTLERS Perhaps one of the more chilling films of the delayed line-up, Antlers was originally set for release on April 17. Searchlight Pictures, a subsidiary of Disney, followed a similar path as with Mulan and has refrained from setting a specific date for release. Movie productions have been halted all over the globe in order to keep people as safe and healthy as possible.

MORE DELAYED MOVIE PRODUCTIONS INCLUDE: Avatar 2 Black Widow Bros Cinderella Fantastic Beasts 3 Jurassic World: Dominion King Richard Minions: The Rise of Gru Peter Pan & Wendy Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings Spiral Tape The Batman The Little Mermaid The Matrix 4 The Woman in the Window Untitled Elvis Movie

@JACKHILTNER JH396418@OHIO.EDU


At-Home Workouts 5 workouts anyone can do from home while social distancing MADDIE BUSSERT FOR THE POST As the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate, most gyms and workplaces have closed their doors in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Because most of the country is now working from home, exercise may be more important than ever right now. While this means it may be a little harder to get the workout you want, there are still plenty of ways to keep moving while in isolation. Here are five ways to keep your endorphins flowing all while safely distancing yourself from others: TAKE A VIRTUAL YOGA CLASS Yoga is a form of exercise that combines breath and body work for a challenging workout that can be easily

done in the comfort of your own home. Because yoga studios and gyms have been ordered to shut down for the time being, many yoga instructors are out of work. If you’re a regular yogi and typically go to a studio for classes, check and see if the instructors are posting their classes online. If not, there are a ton of free videos on YouTube! Pick a beginners class if you’re trying it for the first time. EMOM EMOM stands for every minute on the minute. It’s a form of circuit workout that’s meant to elevate your heart rate and is sure to leave you sweating. The idea is to complete each exercise in under one minute, and the remaining time left in the minute is the amount of time you have to rest before starting the next exercise. Pick five different exercises before you start. For ex-

ample, if your first exercise is to do 10 burpees and it takes you 30 seconds to do the burpees, then you have 30 seconds to rest before moving on to your next exercise. Repeat your circuits as many times as you want or as many as you possibly can! GO FOR A RUN OR WALK OUTSIDE Because the gyms are closed, you might not have access to a treadmill or an elliptical to do your daily cardio. While the weather warms up, going for a run or walk outdoors is a perfect way to get your daily steps in while getting some fresh air. Take your dog on a walk to a local park, or go on a run to get some extra energy out. Just make sure you’re keeping your distance from others! MAKESHIFT WEIGHT TRAINING The closing of gyms nationwide has arguably been the hardest on people who lift weights frequently. For those who don’t have dumbbells at home, it’s time to get creative. Fill up old milk jugs or plastic water bottles with rocks, change or whatever else you can find, and use them as dumbbells. ONLINE PILATES If weight training is not your thing, try an online pilates class to get your daily exercise in. While pilates is typically done in a studio with machines, it can also be modified to be done from home using only your body weight. There are several free classes you can find on YouTube. Most classes are only 15 to 30 minutes long, so they’re perfect for anyone wanting to get a quick sweat in before their work day starts.

@BUSSERTMADDIE MB901017@OHIO.EDU

ILLUSTRATION BY JELA LATHAM

THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 17


OHIO IN 2020: THE YEAR OF THE GUN Is Ohio looking to disarm or reload their relationship to firearms? It depends where you look GEORGE SHILLCOCK FOR THE POST

D

ayton’s Oregon District in 2019. Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Center in 2018. Pike County in 2016. Chardon High School in 2012. Ohio has a history with gun violence, and 2020 may be the year the state government changes gun ownership laws. The debate between the right to bear arms and whether the government has the right to limit and restrict the usage of fi rearms hit a boiling point in the past decade. With the rise of mass shootings around the U.S., many Americans are searching for solutions to gun violence while many others, gun owners in particular, are fi ghting to protect their second amendment rights. Ohioans felt the painful sting of mass shootings more than once this decade. While these tragedies may be the most visible in the news and everyday life, far more lives are lost through the use of a gun by suicide or homicide every year. At the state and local levels of Ohio’s government, steps are being taken to respond to mass shootings either with gun control proposals or vocal opposition to any such legislation.

BY THE NUMBERS Crime often gets boiled down to a statistic, but the victims of firearm related deaths are just like the victims of any other crime or tragedy. Each death or injury is a person with a story or has a family who is in mourning. It is extremely difficult to determine the number of firearms in the state because Ohio, like most, doesn’t require gun owners to register their firearms. In fact, only four states and the District of Columbia mandate registration of some or all firearms. According to a study done by CBS News, Ohio ties for 23rd with Oregon among the most heavily armed states — there are 11.4 guns for every 1,000 Ohio residents. That’s 131,990 registered firearms among 11,570,808 people. CBS News was able to accomplish this study by combining data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, along with data from the 2013 U.S. Census. Between 2009 and 2018, about 13,000 Ohioans lost their lives by suicide, homicide or accident while using a firearm, according to a study done by the Ohio Alliance

for Innovation and Public Health, or the OAIPH. The study points out that counties containing Ohio’s largest cities and counties in southern and eastern Ohio see the largest rates of firearm deaths per 100,000 residents. Rates of homicides were generally higher in counties with big cities while rates of suicides were higher in Southeastern Ohio. Adams County had the highest overall rate in the region and in the state with 20.23 firearm deaths per 100,000 residents while Athens had one of the lowest with 8.18. This study happened before two of the more recent mass shootings in Dayton and Cincinnati. According to the Gun Violence Archive, or GVA, a mass shooting is when four or more people are shot or killed, not including the perpetrator. GVA, which is a non-profit that catalogs every incident of gun violence in the United States, said Ohio had 64 mass shootings with a total of 77 people killed and 257 injured between 2014 and 2018. Toby Hoover, the founder and former director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence and a victim of gun violence, said she has been waiting a long time for gun violence to be addressed. She said 2020 may finally

Firearm Fatalities by Ohio county (2009-2018) Loss of life due to homicide

Loss of life due to suicide

Loss of life attributable to all causes

233-392

331-493

458-675

91-233

233-331

299-458

7-91

132-233

163-299

Data Not Available 18 / MARCH 26, 2020

DATA VIA THE OHIO ALLIANCE FOR INNOVATION IN POPULATION HEALTH


be the year. “You go through a lot of years and a lot of elections, and nobody ever mentions (gun violence), but we’ve finally reached a point where this is a top issue,” Hoover said. “DO SOMETHING” “Do Something” was the infamous chant of an angry crowd at a vigil in Dayton in response to a speech given by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. Within days of the mass shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District, which killed 10 people, including the shooter, the chant became a rallying cry, as there was an increase in activism both in Dayton and around Ohio, Nan Whaley, Dayton’s mayor, said. Since then, Gov. DeWine has helped to draft STRONG Ohio, a Senate bill aimed at curbing gun violence through moderate proposals. The bill is sponsored by Senator Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls. Dan Tierney, DeWine’s press secretary, said the goal of this bill is to create a set of proposals that are unique to Ohio and build upon existing systems, such as Ohio’s pink slip laws and background check system. Tierney said the bill is hoping to address firearm sales that happen through private retailers, which he says make up about 20% of sales compared to the other 80%, which are through federal dealers. This proposal does not make it mandatory for all private gun sales to go through a background check, what is often referred to as “universal background checks.” Instead, it offers a route for private retailers to request a background check from their customers while also providing legal protections to these sellers if their customer ends up committing a crime. Advocates of stricter gun control laws, alongside gun owners, have been skeptical of STRONG Ohio, Whaley said. “It’s not as far as I’d like to go,” Whaley said. “I think the real measure would be having universal background checks and a stronger red flag law, but I know it is a step in the right direction.” Whaley has been working as a partner with DeWine on the plan since the Dayton mass shooting. While she supports STRONG Ohio and believes it is a good first step, the mayor also is supporting a ballot-proposed ballot initiative for 2021, which would institute universal background checks. Hoover said her organization is in favor of universal background checks, like those proposed in the ballot initiative, but is opposed to STRONG Ohio because she said it does not do enough. The ballot initiative is being proposed by Ohioans for Gun Safety, a grassroots gun control activism group that would require an unlicensed person wishing to sell

or transfer a firearm to another person to conduct the transfer through a licensed gun dealer running a background check. Whaley believes that both proposals will be an “uphill battle,” either getting the majority of Ohioans to vote for the ballot initiative, or getting the Republican-controlled state legislature to support the bill. “I do have hope because it is one of the governor’s number one priorities,” Whaley said. SANCTUARY COUNTIES Gun control has always been a divisive issue in the country, so it’s not surprising that many in Ohio who feel strongly about their right to bear arms are working to try and stop any efforts to restrict gun ownership. The largest response to these proposals actually comes at the local level among some of Ohio’s 88 counties. Recently, counties like Vinton, Meigs, Pike and Jackson, among others in the state, have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries through resolutions. Even though they hold no legal significance, the resolutions are clearly a response to recent efforts to pass gun control. These resolutions declare that a city or county will refuse to enforce any new gun control laws passed by the state or federal government. These resolutions are not enforceable because counties and cities do not have the power to tell law enforcement agencies what to do when enforcing a state or federal statute. Hoover said resolutions like this are dangerous because there is the potential of a county prosecutor or sheriff choosing not to take action. “You could end up with loss of life because they didn’t enforce something,” Hoover said. Athens County is a county that is straddling the middle of the second amendment sanctuary debate. The county recently passed a resolution declaring its support for the second amendment, Lenny Eliason, a commissioner for Athens County, said. Eliason said the reasoning behind passing it was to get ahead of other proposals that were being brought to the commissioners from citizens. They wanted to get ahead of these and declare their support for the second amendment in their own way. Ohio is a Dillon Rule State, meaning counties do not have any power, except those the state legislature grants to it, Eliason said. “Declaring the county a second amendment sanctuary has no purpose or ability to be in effect,” Eliason said. “We don’t have any ability to tell the sheriff’s department what laws to enforce or the county prosecutor what laws to prosecute.”

@SHILLCOCKGEORGE GS261815@OHIO.EDU THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 19


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