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too late

One woman’s journey back into the workforce after prison



OU student turns trash into treasure P11 APD altercation starts conversation P12 Nick Sink is proving his worth on the offensive line P15


Appreciating our staff for National Newspaper Week


When most people think of newspapers, they think of national publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post. Any newspaper is crucial to telling stories, especially with the state of the world today with issues in politics, climate change and immigration. While larger newspapers are important for keeping up with national and global news, people don’t realize how important local newspapers are for them and where they live. National stories can have an effect on people in some ways, but it is mostly something people read and can forget about because it’s not happening where they live. Local newspapers can be government watchdogs, cover city events and produce time sensitive stories. Unfortunately, there has been a decline in local newspapers in recent years, usually due to lack of funding to support the newspaper printing and journalist salaries. It means a decline in jobs for journalists but also a decline in information for the audience. Next week marks the beginning of Nation-

al Newspaper Week, which is meant to show appreciation for all newspapers. For the week of Oct. 6-12, I want to show appreciation for The Post staff. The Post is unique in its own way as an independent student newspaper in Athens. We are editorially independent, which means we are pitching our own ideas, researching, writing, editing and designing everything on our own time. For most college students, their day is done after classes. At The Post, our staff is in the newsroom after class every day and, for most days, longer than we would like to be. Everything we do is done in our own free time, which can be hard to balance with the requirements of classes and obligation to get things done on time for print and online deadlines. Even though it sometimes takes up too much of our free time, we still love to do it. The majority of our staff voluntarily contributes their free time to write stories, take photos and design. Our paid staffers aren’t paid as much as we would like, but we still love the jobs we do. With our limited time as college students, we

try to cover as much as we can. Every week we do local and campus government, breaking news and events happening on campus and in the city. As students, we do what we can to inform the majority of our audience: OU students. We do what we can to cover as much as possible to keep students informed and are working to expand our coverage even more. I appreciate every staff member, both paid and unpaid, for doing everything they can to do the best work they can do. Between The Post and all other publications at the university and the city, we keep students, alumni, parents and locals aware of what’s going on in Athens and at the university. National newspapers need to continue to have the support of our audience to keep local journalism alive. Ellen Wagner is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University and the editor-in-chief of The Post. Have questions? Email Ellen at or tweet her @ewagner19.

Cover photo by Meagan Hall





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Continuing the conversation about sexual assault W


e are well into the first week of October, meaning school has been in session for over a month. The first month of college is a monumental transition or exciting return for Ohio University students. Week six, however, also marks the end of the “red zone” period — the first six weeks of school in which the most sexual assaults occur on a college campus. So far this academic year, there have been nine sexual assaults reported to both the Athens Police Department and the Ohio University Police Department. Last academic year, at the end of the red zone, there were 18 sexual assaults reported to both departments. Statistically, it may seem like there were fewer assaults, but that doesn’t mean it’s any better. A slight decrease in reports can still mean sexual assaults are occurring, but they might not be reported. It would be better if no sexual assaults occurred at all. The red zone is not a new conversation among OU students. Last year, students rallied to change the conversation on campus after seeing an increase in the number of sexual assaults being reported. Students, police officers and university administrators all wanted to see a change

in campus culture. The conversation could be seen and heard all around campus. Sorority houses hung banners in support of sexual assault survivors. The banners had messages like “Our Body, Our Rules” and “Her little black dress does not mean yes.” Two students started a GroupMe chat after a night out with their friends when they talked with other women abut the sexual assault reports and concerns for their safety. The GroupMe quickly grew to 1,000 members. It was meant to be a resource for women on campus to express concerns, warn each other about possibly dangerous situations or people and ask for someone to walk them home if they don’t feel safe. In September 2018, about 500 students gather for the “It’s on Us, Bobcats” march and rally to call for an end to sexual assault on campus and express their support for sexual assault survivors. So far this academic year, there has not been this response from students to continue the conversation and create change in sexual assault culture. Student Affairs and Student Senate spent about $15,000 on creating sexual assault awareness banners that would be

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hung around the campus during the red zone. The banners are double-side with the front side portraying a short message in support of survivors and the other side to provide information regarding university resources and contact information. The posters include multiple languages, including English, Cantonese, Spanish, Arabic, Thai, Swahili and Indonesian. The banners are meant as a way for students to know they have support as well as being aware of the resources available on campus. While it is great that the university acknowledges this issue, the use of banners hung around campus during this period is simply not going to whisk away the issue at hand. We can have rallies, hang banners and create chat groups, but eventually, the conversation fades into the background and among the lives of busy college students. It’s just a start to changing the way people change the campus culture. Unfortunately, you might have been or know someone who has been sexually assaulted. The majority of sexual assaults that occur are not by some masked person hiding in the bushes. It is done by someone the victims know and most likely thought




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they could trust. Students need to be starting conversations on a peer level to change the culture. People can have conversations with their friends about safety, but jokes and popular culture also promote the perception without most people even realizing. It starts by speaking up and stepping in to address words and actions that can promote rape culture. The conversation also needs to expand to be inclusive of all people. The conversation generally revolves around white women, but it affects people of all backgrounds, races and genders. The conversation needs to have people be more aware and be supportive of all. When we take this into account, conversations can be expanded, and more effective change can happen beyond what is seen around campus and being reported on in the news. It all starts with Bobcats looking out for other Bobcats and the university standing with survivors. Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post’s executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Ellen Wagner, Managing Editor Laila Riaz and Digital Managing Editor Taylor Johnston. Post editorials are independent of the publication’s news coverage.



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Dipping enrollment Ohio University enrollment shows a slight decline over the last two years. COURTNEY PERRETT FOR THE POST

years leading up to 2017, with many of the fall enrollment numbers reaching record highs. Oliver said that could have been because the Ohio Guarantee was instituted in fall 2015. The Ohio Guarantee was a leading initiative among public universities at the time, but it is no longer a strategic advantage, Oliver said. The purpose of the Ohio Guarantee was to ensure that students’ tuition and fees wouldn’t increase over the duration of their education at OU. Another explanation for the dip in enrollment is there are fewer people graduating high school in the Midwest. That is a national trend, not necessarily an institutional problem, Oliver said. However, while total en-

Ohio University’s Spring Semester enrollment is lower than last year, showing a slight downward trend in enrollment over the last two years. OU’s overall enrollment in spring 2019 was 32,965. That is a drop from the spring enrollment from 2018, which was 34,341, and 2017, which was 35,075, according to OU’s website. “There are market conditions that have everything to do with what’s changing outside of Ohio University, not the quality of our education,” Robin Oliver, vice president of University Communications and Marketing, said. The university saw an increase in enrollment in the

rollment has dropped, the university’s retention and graduation rates are higher than anticipated, Oliver said. OU’s four-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time freshmen hit 51.1%, Oliver said. That number breaks the old record of 50.8% from 2002. “OU has a huge tradition of academic success and excellence as one of the oldest public universities in the country,” Oliver said. “We recognize that we are in a more competitive landscape and that we have to do a better job of telling our university’s story beyond our walls.” OU President Duane Nellis has developed a number of initiatives to combat the recent drop in enrollment. One of those initiatives is the Ohio Honors Program. This

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program was initially instituted as a pilot program before it was adopted in fall 2018, following successful results. The Ohio Honors Program was developed as a way to expand the reach of the Honors Tutorial College and attract a greater number of high school graduates to the freshman class. “The new OHIO Honors Program seeks to become a premier Honors education nationwide that has an emphasis on experiential learning, whether this be through creative/research engagement or experiences in leadership or community service,” Donal Skinner, dean of the Honors Tutorial College, said in an email. UCM is also in the process of building a digital team and bringing in strategists to


focus on improving the university’s online presence. “We’ve been interviewing our successful students to market our university, and we’ve been trying to determine what types of stories connect with our prospective audiences,” Oliver said. UCM has been working with the student body to identify the best way to reach high school graduates and their parents by creat-

ing memorable content for the website. Some of that content involves video interviews with previously successful students about some of their experiences at OU. “We recognize that we have challenges, and we have to be proactive in addressing those challenges,” Oliver said.



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PRESIDENT NELLIS’ PLAN OU to move to new strategic model

Ohio University President Duane Nellis speaks with multiple Athens news organizations during an “end-of-the-semester” meeting on Dec. 4, 2018. (MEAGAN HALL / FOR THE POST)

IAN MCKENZIE ASST. NEWS EDITOR OU President Duane Nellis introduced OHIO’s Strategic Framework to university stakeholders during his Sept. 12 State of the University address. In the framework, titled “Fearlessly Forward,” the university identifies four themes that will guide the university’s decision making, according to Ohio University’s website. These themes are access and inclusion, student success and transformation, research and knowledge discovering in support of vibrant communities and sustainable academic enterprise. “As far as the new model, it will have to be experimental,” said Travis Gatling, artistic director and head of the dance division within the School of Dance, Film and Theater. “We just have to try some things out and see what works. If something is not working, to not view it as a failure.” The reason a change is being made is that a fundamental shift in higher education is happening, according to the plan. There is a convergence of economic and demographic challenges as well as emerging opportunities. According to the plan, it will “reinvent and refresh” the university’s academic value to current and future students. The model will provide clarity about resource allocations to support strategic goals. The budget plan will be reimagined into 2025. The enrollments at OU have declined while institutional expenses have increased. Operating budgets will be resized to balance out revenue and expenses. To accomplish this, OU will enact administrative and academic benchmarking to fit the institution’s size. It will also invest in growing programs and developing new programs and certificates to strengthen academic quality.

OU will also be changing how it uses its space on campus. The university’s physical footprint is one of the highest expenses to the institution that relates to capital and operational investment. Digital and technology needs are also transforming the capitial footprint and infrastructure needs of students, faculty and staff. OU will conduct a study of space ownership, management, utilization and needs across the university. It will also rethink how space should be deployed to meet university needs. One of the changes in the plan is a general education reform by the fall of 2021. The education model reform comes as national education standards and expectations change and post-secondary dual enrollment and other transfer credit programs grow. Another goal the strategic framework has set is for OU to become a university of “digital transformation.” The university wants to improve processes, student learning outcomes, teaching environments and the campus by using technology, according to the plan. The digital transformation will require significant investment, according to the plan. The university will be strategic where the investment is placed given current budget constraints. To help the digital transformation, OU will look at the student experience from recruitment until graduation and determine what needs to be changed. Along with other methods, OU will also support recruitment, enrollment, retention and persistence of students by using analytics and data-driven interventions. Another step to realizing the university’s goal is to “reimagine the academic enterprise,” which involves redesigning the structure, process and practice in delivering leadership skills to meet the clear value expected by students, according to the plan. This involves changing the nature of fac-

ulty members’ roles and procedures such as changing or modifying curricula. “(Ohio University) will focus on intentionally creating teams with expertise from essential disciplines to address problems and capture opportunities relevant to our students, our region, and our nation,” the policy said. The reason for this change is to advance teaching and research missions, eliminating redundancies, ensure alignment of all missions as well as many other reasons. OU has focused on diversity and inclusion, enhanced academic quality, building an engagement ecosystem and encouraging dialogue and civil debate, according to the plan. “We must continue to engage our community as we move forward together,” Nellis said at the faculty convocation on Sept. 12. “We’ve already started down that pathway.” Another point in the plan is student success. OU wants students to graduate in a timely manner, according to the plan. This requires improved student retention and graduation rates. This part of the plan is closely tied into the other elements of the plan, such as a general education redesign, diversity and inclusion efforts, enrollment management, data analytics and scholarship leveraging. To accomplish this, OU will develop a student success intervention and programming that reflects the differing needs of students. The goal is to increase retention rates and improve 4-year and 6-year graduation rates, among others. Another goal of the university is to amplify research, scholarly productivity and creative activity. To do this, the university wants to increase applied research to inform communities, support research-funded positions, expand partnerships with corporations and global partners and leverage strong undergraduate research. “I truly believe that we need to include undergraduate students in all of our research

projects if possible,” John Bowditch, director of the GRID Lab, said at the convocation. OU also wants to shift from focusing on rising freshmen in Ohio to recruiting students into hybrid and online programs for adult learners across the country. It also wants to increase that shift to further focus enrollment attentions to attract more outof-state undergraduates. To do this, OU will shift its enrollment efforts from heavily focusing on in-state undergraduates to a more balanced strategy that includes adult learners and non-traditional students. It will also refocus scholarship strategies as well as other goals. “What is happening now is that non-traditional is becoming traditional,” Nellis said. “We need to be prepared for this new dynamic.” When people think of an undergraduate student today, they usually picture someone between 18 and 22 years old, who just finished high school, said Elizabeth Sayrs, dean of university college. She said this is no longer accurate. “We need to shift our recruitment efforts to better fit with today’s landscape,” Nellis said. A marketing and branding initiative will be looked into to develop a brand strategy that recognizes the “long history as an institution but also moves us into the future and promotes an inclusive university community,” according to the plan. The last portion of the plan is for alumni engagement and coordination to be increased. This initiative will leverage alumni to support enrollment and recruitment efforts and connect the alumni base in retaining a student body.



ACACIA fraternity receives cease and desist order; Farmers Market considers new location ABBY MILLER NEWS EDITOR OU CHAPTER OF ACACIA FRATERNITY RECEIVES CEASE AND DESIST ORDER Ohio University administration issued an immediate cease and desist order Monday for the campus chapter of ACACIA fraternity. The order came after allegations that ACACIA engaged in activities that put the health and safety of its members at risk. The university was alerted about those actions, and a thorough investigation will be initiated, university spokeswoman Carly Leatherwood said. Taylor Tackett, assistant dean of students and director of Community Standards and Student Responsibility, sent the letter to the ACACIA chapter president, Colin Dedrick. In the letter, Tackett said an official investigation will be started in order to ensure the health and safety of all OU students. There were not any specific details listed in the cease and desist letter about the health and safety risks. Tackett asked Dedrick send him a list of ACACIA’s full membership, including new members or pledges, anyone who was given a bid but is no longer in the process and the reason they left and all big-little pairings. Those items were to be sent to Tackett by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Members of ACACIA will appear in front of CSSR, who will initiate the investigation, and may be subject to appear in front of additional university employees. During the time of the investigation, members are not permitted to meet or communicate in any capacity, according to the letter. It includes communicating over social media, hosting social events and going on group trips or travel. Sharing information from chapter meetings is also prohibited at this time to uphold the integrity of the investigation. ACACIA previously received a cease and desist order in 2016, according to a previous Post report. The fraternity was investigated after a video of members singing a sexually explicit songs was posted online. After four months, the investigation ended, and no evidence of hazing was found, according to that same report. ATHENS FARMERS MARKET CONSIDERS MOVE The Athens Farmers Market is considering moving to the area surrounding the Athens Community Center in the next few years. The move would allow for more space for vendors, less setup for the market and extended market hours. Athens is also looking to enhance the space around the community center. Besides the possibility of the farmers market in the space, picnicking and a children’s playspace could also come to the center.

Moving around the Athens Community Center would also allow the farmers market to establish a permanent location. Its current location at 1000 E. State St. is expensive to lease and only temporary. The timeline for the move is tentative, and changes are not expected to happen for a couple years. GRADUATE STUDENT SENATE CONTINUES CONVERSATION ON AUTONOMY Graduate Student Senate met Tuesday and further discussed changing the process of adding amendments to its constitution. If GSS changed its amendment process, the Board of Trustees would no longer need to approve constitutional changes. Amendments would be approved by taking two separate votes during two meetings, according to a previous Post report. That approach has already been implemented by several other universities bodies, President Dareen Tadros said. Tadros also said last year’s GSS amendments were never approved by the Board of Trustees, making the current GSS constitution inaccurate. The body voted to approve all amendments passed last year.



Police called about cable truck; woman gets calls about Craig’s List ad IAN MCKENZIE ASST. NEWS EDITOR Resident assistants found a student Saturday passed out in a chair in Mackinnon Hall. The Ohio University Police Department found him with bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. He also smelled like alcohol and was unsteady on his feet. He was issued a summons for underage consumption. THAT’S A FOUL Deputies responded to a fight Sept. 26 between two juvenile men and a staff member at Basset House. Deputies found out that one of the men had assaulted the other for stepping on his foot during a basketball game. The staff member who witnessed it tried to separate the two. WHO DID IT? Deputies were dispatched to Jacksonville park Monday to respond to a call about children throwing rocks at parked cars. Deputies found two groups of children at the park, but they both denied the accusations. No damage was seen on any of the vehicles either. SUSPICIOUS BIKE Deputies were dispatched to Millfield Road Friday for a suspicious man on a bicycle, asking if anyone had seen a woman. Deputies patrolled the area and did not contact the man. 6 / OCT. 3, 2019

THAT ISN’T ME Deputies took a phone report of harassment Friday involving a Craig’s List advertisement with the caller’s phone number attached. She said someone added her phone number to a “highly inappropriate ad,” and she has been called about the ad. BAD RECEPTION Deputies were dispatched Friday to a Millfield residence for a man who kept calling 911 about his phone issues. Deputies arrived on scene, and the phone seemed to be working. He was told to stop calling 911 unless it is an emergency. WHY DO YOU NEED FIREWOOD? Deputies were called to Gun Club Road Friday for a trespassers report of people stealing lumber. Deputies spoke with neighbors who said they had not seen any vehicles going to or leaving the property, and the call was unfounded. FOUND FOOTAGE Deputies responded to Millfield Friday for a property damage report of a trail camera. All that was left of the camera, which was attached to a tree, was the battery casing. THAT’S MINE?

Deputies responded to Petit Road in Albany Friday for a report of a homeowner finding a firearm in her garage, but she did not know to whom it belonged. Deputies found the firearm and determined that it was an old BB gun that does belongs to her. QUICK GETAWAY Deputies responded to a report in Coolville Sunday about a verbal dispute. When deputies arrived to speak with the people, one of them who had left drove back to the property. When he saw the deputies, he drove in the opposite direction. Deputies pursued the man but were not able to find him. The woman told deputies that there had not been a dispute, but the man was yelling at a dog. CUTTING THE CORD Deputies responded to Hudnell Road Sunday for a report of a suspicious vehicle. The caller said she saw a Spectrum Cable truck driving past her residence. She said it seemed off for Spectrum to be working this late. Deputies contacted Spectrum, who said the company was working on a service line.


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Reimagining OU’s General Education MADDIE BUSSERT FOR THE POST


or the first time in 40 years, changes are going to be made to the general education curriculum at Ohio University. Since 1979, several major reforms have been attempted, but only minor adjustments have been made, according to OU’s website. In preparation for the changes, a task force responsible for outlining changes the general education was created last spring. The task force is called the Reimagining General Education Task Force, according to OU’s website. Aside from needing to update the dated program requirements, one of the major reasons for reform is so all general education achieves the Ohio Common Goals’ learning outcomes, according to OU’s website. The common goals of general education for all programs require that all majors have a knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world; intellectual, practical and professional skills; and citizenship embodied by personal, social and professional responsibility. The learning outcomes for general education classes do not match the learning outcomes for the Common Goals, according to OU’s website. Additionally, Faculty Senate’s Gen Ed committee determined there was an unclear way of students connecting general education classes to their major, according to

a previous Post report. Employers are also in the dark as to what role those classes play. The current system in place is organized by what specific classes students should take. The task force aims to change the system by starting to organize classes by what students should learn. The evaluation of what the students are learning from their gen ed classes is unclear, and potential deficiencies are unable to be measured. In a September meeting, the task force presented five general education principles that the gen ed programs should possess to the Faculty Senate and the University Curriculum Council, according to OU’s website. The principles state that the curriculum should be challenging, inclusive, flexible, faculty driven, learner-centric and challenging. Anita Gilson, a sophomore studying journalism, thinks a lot of her gen ed classes won’t benefit her in her future profession. “Since I’m majoring in journalism, I don’t think it’s necessary for me to have to take a math class,” Gilson said. “I’d rather take another English or a writing course because math and other science classes I’m never going to use. I don’t like having to pay for a class that won’t benefit me in the long run.” Kimber Adams, a freshman studying marketing, thinks her general education classes are beneficial. “I feel like my gen eds are necessary even if they don’t

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directly pertain to my major,” Adams said. “It helps to know at least a little bit about different aspects other than marketing.” On Oct. 7, the task force will propose three new models for the new general education curriculum to the Faculty Senate and University Curriculum Council. The new proposed models will be completely different than the current Tier I, II and III model that is currently in place. The timeline for the new general education program is subject to change, but the new model is estimated to be decided on by spring and implemented by fall 2021. In order to get the information out to students about the new changes being made, the task force will hold a poster event on Oct. 9 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the lounge on the fifth floor of Baker Center, according to OU’s website. The event will feature posters showing the different models being proposed, the timeline, the common goals and principles, said Katie Hartman, chair of the general education committee and a member of the task force. Students are welcome to come any time to view the posters and ask questions they might have, Hartman said.


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Students don’t want to miss the new up-and-coming business on Court Street. Students might find themselves walking past The Plug 740 every day, with its interesting location above Red Brick Tavern. The Plug, 14 N. Court St., Ste. 9, owned and operated by four Athens natives, opened late this summer. The entrance is between Red Brick Tavern and Cat’s Eye Saloon. Walking into The Plug, customers are met with a colorful display of posters, walls of shoes and a clothing rack full of thrifted and custom shirts. The store has a youthful, fun, fresh and new energy about it, and it is definitely a distinct shopping experience. “People like the shop,” Amos Moretti-Dobo, co-owner of The Plug, said. Opening The Plug was an endeavor that has taken a lot of time and effort, Moretti-Dobo, a sophomore studying environmental health science and political science, said. “We’ve been working on this for about nine months,” Moretti-Dobo said. “We’ve been open for about three.” The spot above Red Brick was perfect for expenses and location, Moretti-Dobo said. “It was the best location we could find for the price,” he said. “This one was just right because we don’t have that much stuff to store.” The Plug sells a diverse array of items, including customized and thrifted T-shirts, collectible shoes, CBD products, prints and posters. To Moretti-Dobo, The Plug fills a niche in Southeastern Ohio that isn’t being met. Fashion and shoes are hard to come by in the region, which is why Athens is great for The Plug’s business. Ohio University students are the biggest customer base for The Plug, Moretti-Dobo said. “Athens is definitely growing a lot,” Moretti-Dobo said. “(Fashion) is a desirable industry here.” The Plug is a taste of big city culture, Moretti-Dobo said. “I’ve been to a lot of cities, and something that is more common is a curated thrift store, which is sort of what this is,” Moretti-Dobo said. To Moretti-Dobo, a curated thrift store is a consignment shop that carries more customized or repurposed items.

Owners Nathan Whitehead, Micah Saltzman and Amos Moretti-Dobo of The Plug OU, 14 N. Court St., Ste. 9, on Sept. 26, 2019. (RYAN GRYZBOWSKI / FOR THE POST)

“People like custom stuff a lot more,” Moretti-Dobo said. Moretti-Dobo encouraged anyone to stop by whenever they see The Plug open. “Come check us out,” Moretti-Dobo said. “Come up and see the store.” The Plug is continuously growing its inventory and diversity of its items. The Plug hopes to carry more highend shoes and products as well as sell more locally-made art and clothing. “We want it to be a higher-end store,” Moretti-Dobo said. The idea for The Plug came to Nathan Whitehead, co-owner of The Plug, in high school. His original interest was in collecting and trading shoes. “I got into shoes and the sneaker game,” Whitehead said. “I probably had about 40 pairs.” Whitehead struggled to find local resellers and traders who shared his similar interests. “Access to stuff we want to sell is very hard to find,” Whitehead said. Most of the industry around Athens is more focused on vintage and customized clothing, he emphasized. “There’s nowhere nearby that people can go to other than, like, Footlocker, or where people can go to find pre-owned used shoes that people like to collect,” Whitehead said. Whitehead said he’s heard students lament the need for a business that serves special interests, like finding collectible shoes. People in Athens have traveled as far as Toledo and Cleveland to find specialty items they couldn’t get in Athens, but The Plug now has them covered. Whitehead thought opening The Plug would help service the niche interests. “I imagine it’d work here,” he said.

There’s nowhere nearby that people can go to other than, like, Footlocker, or where people can go to find pre-owned used shoes that people like to collect.” - Nathan Whitehead, co-owner of The Plug

Wyatt Clark, another co-owner of The Plug, helped found the business. “There’s nothing else like it on campus,” Clark, a sophomore studying engineering technology and management, said. “It can definitely take off.” The Plug is open Monday through Friday, 3 to 8 p.m. If the door to the upstairs suites is open, The Plug is open. Customers can often catch the owners of The Plug outside their location selling raffle tickets. The Plug’s next raffle drawing is for an Amazon Echo Dot, three pairs of men’s shoes and two pairs of women’s. Keep up with The Plug on Instagram and Snapchat, @theplug_ou.


Thrifty couple takes Instagram

(From left to right) Autumn Murphy and Olivia Germarro, the co-owners of the Instagram thrift shop, Ohio Vintage Co, pose for a portrait. (MADiSON BRYANT / FOR THE POST)

Students create Instagram account to sell thrifted clothes. HANNAH BURKHART FOR THE POST Two Ohio University students are taking advantage of the thrifting market by starting their own Instagram account, Ohio Vintage Co, where they sell locally-thrifted clothes. Olivia Gemarro, a junior studying creative writing and sociology-criminology pre-law, and Autumn Murphy, a junior studying history, are a couple who started thrifting on their own and bonded while doing it. “We always really liked thrifting. ... Like

you can find something that’s vintage or something that’s dead stock, which means they don’t sell it anymore,” Gemarro said. Gemarro and Murphy are passionate about how different thrifted clothing is from contemporary brands. “We just liked the idea of going to a store and not knowing what you’re going to get, whereas a lot of the contemporary brands or styles are the same,” Gemarro said. Thrifting used to be seen as something for people who were on low budgets, but people lately are noticing that the quality of


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the clothes is actually impressive. “The whole stigma around thrifting is that you have to be poor, and that’s not true,” Gemarro said. “Some people might thrift because they’re poor: either they’re poor college kids or are in poverty. There are also some people who want to be more sustainable with their clothing.” The couple started their thrifting account on an app called Depop, but they realized they would reach more students on a popular platform like Instagram. “A few months after we started our Depop account, we just started posting our clothes on Instagram instead because more people will be able to see what we have,” Gemarro said. The couple researches the true value of items and prices them based on how much they are worth. “We understand because we’re college kids, but some of these items are, maybe not rare, but definitely not things you would normally find,” Gemarro said. “We try to focus on buying brand-name stuff. We know Champion is really popular. Adidas has always been popular and so has Nike.” Murphy said they also try to find things that aren’t seen often but have high value. “We find things that you’re not going to find, like, in the Athens area, especially,” Murphy said. Murphy said shipping is free in the Athens area, and her hometown is Chillicothe,

so items are shipped there for free as well. Although Gemarro and Murphy have not posted much on the account recently, they plan to get back to it as soon as possible. “We’re definitely going to start posting soon because we’ve fallen into our class routines and our own routines,” Murphy said. Gemarro and Murphy said OU students get student discounts. The amount of the discount depends on the item. “I think thrifting is a fun pastime to do with your friends. There are tons of ideas and styles you can create for cheap prices. You can transform an XXL T-shirt into a dress, a halter top, anything you want,” Hannah Shea, a sophomore studying wildlife and conservation biology, said. “I think Ohio Vintage Co. on Instagram is a great way to reach out to students interested in great but cheap finds.” Students are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of thrift shopping. “I really enjoy thrifting in stores, but lately, I’ve been following a few online thrift accounts,” Mallory Conner, a freshman studying integrated language arts, said. “I follow a few on Instagram and was just informed of Ohio Vintage Co. The account is set up beautifully, and I will definitely be checking out some items and purchasing them.”





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short walk around the winding streets of Athens makes it seem like it is a small town known only for its party scene. But it is much more — it is a hub of creativity and upcoming artists. With a keen eye and a bit of free time, even trash on the side of the road can be made into something beautiful. Sarah Melaragno, a senior studying interactive multimedia, knows this best. She spends her time not only cleaning up Athens, but turning the trash she collects into art. With Melaragno’s touch, broken beer bottles can be made into remarkable necklaces and pieces of plastic into stunning ashtrays. For just one small piece, it can take an entire 24-hour process of mixing resin and hardener and waiting for the resin to harden in a mold, she said. “Once it’s mixed together, I have about 30 minutes before it starts to get all goopy, so I have to work quickly,” Melaragno said about her process. “I use silicone molds. I got a shot glass one from JoAnn Fabrics, and there are

jewelry molds that you can get on Amazon and such. You just fill it up with the resin, put whatever you want inside of it, and then after 24 hours, you demold it, and it’s good.” Melaragno began scouring the Athens streets her sophomore year when she was inspired by an art project for which she had to “collect data” somehow. Around that time, she realized how much broken glass she was finding on the ground in Athens. “I thought it would be interesting if I did something about broken glass somehow,” Melaragno said. “Then, I brought a bunch of glass pieces to my friends and had them pick out their top five pieces and write sentences on why they picked each one. Whether it was the color, the shape, the size — ever since then, I just never stopped looking.” It’s not just glass: flowers, glitter, butterfly wings, keys, candy and even Juul pods have been included in Melaragno’s pieces. Her work ranges from unique shot glasses and coasters to unforgettable earrings and pendants. “I actually really like her pendants that she makes,” Liv Danner, a senior studying criminology, said. Danner has bought many of Melaragno’s


pendants, she said. Danner made a keychain out of them. “It’s my favorite,” Danner said. “I love having to lock my door and getting to see it.” Locals, friends and fans of her art purchase her pieces on her Instagram, @one_ mans_trash__, where she sells them for a fair price. “I was actually kind of worried about selling the stuff because I didn’t originally start to sell,” she said. “I just wanted to see if I could do it.” Melaragno ended up becoming successful — fast. “I started making a lot, and I was like, ‘Oh, well, I’m not gonna use all of this, so I might as well sell it,’” Melargno said. When she started her Instagram page, Melaragno was worried about her relaxing pastime turning into a stressful business venture. However, according to her, it didn’t become like that at all. “It’s something that’s important to her,” Sherry Gabra, a sixth-year studying chemical engineering and an avid fan of Melaragno’s work, said. “I think she really enjoys giving them to people and seeing peoples’ reactions to things. It’s definitely worthwhile to buy one of her items.”


LOCAL ARTIST MAKES RESIN ART People reach out to her weekly via her Instagram, requesting commissioned work. Melaragno’s favorite pieces to make have been the ones with the most unique items in the resin because they help her really individualize the piece and give the owner a connection to it, she said. One of her favorite pieces is a shot glass for a friend’s birthday. The shot glass had a printed screenshot of a song and also included a key, a Jolly Rancher and more. “All of the pieces felt so weird,” Melaragno said. “But it ended up coming out pretty good.” Melaragno’s works have included ceramic and glass pieces from all over the world, from Colorado to England to right here in Athens. “It’s just so cool to think they can all come together and make something else,” Melaragno said. “I think of it as like little embodiments of feelings and the past. I really love that because it’s like Athens’ history in a little coaster.”






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“ There is significant more to the altercation and the incident that we have amassed in our investigation, which is ongoing.” -Tom Pyle, Athens Police Department chief

“ The Black Student Union of Ohio University is disappointed in the actions of an agency that is meant to keep us safe. While we are unsure of the details, it is evident that this amount of force is unnecessary for one student.”

-Tweet from The OU Black Student Union

“He better stay alive” APD arrest inspires discussion about use of force and racial bias. ABBY MILLER NEWS EDITOR


A video of a Sunday morning Athens Police Department arrest posted on Twitter has spurred discussion about police use of force, potential racial bias and an officer’s previous alleged excessive force accusations. 12 / OCT. 3, 2019


arly Sunday morning, APD received a report of a man fighting in The J Bar, 41 N. Court St. Officers doing bar checks responded quickly to the bar, and staff were able to point out the man. “This isn’t like this person was singled out of a group of people because of race. I think that’s just flatly false,” APD Chief Tom Pyle said at a press conference on Monday. Pyle said the man was Ty Bealer, 21, a black student at the University of Cincinnati. When officers approached Bealer, he resisted the officers, which resulted in the altercation, Pyle said. Bealer had put on a flannel shirt after leaving The J Bar. Even with the change of clothes, APD had the correct age, race and details along with a very specific description of Bealer’s clothing, Pyle said. “We’re confident it’s the right person,” Pyle said. “We have video recording the activities that occurred in front of the bar as well.” Bealer was arrested Sunday at about 1:15 a.m. by APD officers for resisting arrest and obstructing official business, according to the police report. A video of the arrest was posted on Twitter by Jiy Brooks with the caption “At Ohio University, three police officers ran up on a group of boys beside a car on court street, and took down an African American boy. Slammed him, punched him, and holding all parts of his body down when he wasn’t fighting back and was unarmed!” The video shows the three officers pinning Bealer face-first on the bricks of Court Street. Other people can be heard yelling at police from the sidewalk as he was pinned. “He better stay alive,” Brooks, a sophomore studying undecided business, said in the video. Brooks said she was walking down the street around 1 a.m. and saw Bealer near a car with a group of friends. She then saw cops coming up to the car and heard him say, “What did I do?” while putting his hands up. The video only lasts about 30 seconds, but Brooks said the entire altercation lasted about five to seven minutes. A crowd amassed on the sidewalk, and Brooks said her friends and others were shouting at the officers to let the man go. APD Lt. Adam Claar said the use of force in arrest cases varies but is used when necessary. “So if somebody has done something that they’re being arrested for, depends on them whether force is used or no force is used, Claar said. “(It) depends on what type of response that gets. It’s really dependent on the situation.” CITY RESPONSE City officials held an unscheduled press conference with Pyle, Mayor Steve Patterson and Safety Service Director Andy Stone to explain the use of force and motivation for the arrest on Monday. Pyle said he believed that using three officers to make the arrest was reasonable and within policy. “I can tell you that the video that we have seen that’s been posted on Twitter … catches only the very tail end of the incident,” Pyle said. “There is significant more to the altercation and the incident that we have amassed in our investigation, which is ongoing.” Pyle said the use of force by officers was necessary for safety as evidenced due to the lack of injuries to the individual. Stone said the arrest also justified the use of three officers since Court Street is busy with the crowd that

gathered during the time of the incident. “In many cases alcohol is involved, and as those crowds grow, it’s extremely important to get the person and remove them from the situation,” Stone said. “The crowd will just continue to be unruly.” Pyle said Ohio University had nothing to do with the incident. University police only responded to help with crowd control. The APD officers involved in the incident are Ethan Doerr, Andrew Jacob Spear and Dustin Wesselhoeft. Bealer was offered ACEMS treatment for an abrasion to his right hand and a taser barb wound, which Pyle said is standard operating procedure when a taser is deployed. Bealer entered his court pleas Monday and pleaded not guilty to both charges. Pyle said the department has several videos as evidence but will not release them, due to the investigation, until the public trial is over. He asked anyone with more video to send it to the department. The department has no video from police body cameras. APD was supposed to receive body cameras in early September, but the shipment was pushed back by the manufacturer due to back-ordering. The cameras were received last week, and training is scheduled for the end of November. “This is a perfect type of incident that I would have loved (having body cameras for),” Pyle said. “My officers … would have loved that, to have body cameras, because that would have provided additional footage and additional perspective.” Pyle said APD’s policies for use of force change about every month based on the most recent court rulings. The department receives training for policy changes and distributes training bulletins to its staff on a monthly basis. “I have made the statement, and I will continue to make the statement: I don’t want to employ racist cops,” Pyle said. “I said, however, that I did not want to train away racist police officers. I want to terminate the racist police officers. Now, whether I can or not is another story.” The use of force report is anticipated to be fully reviewed by the middle of the week, Pyle said. PAST ACCUSATIONS Doerr, the officer who made the arrest, was sued in 2016 and again in April by two different men, including an OU student, who claimed he used excessive force. The student, Jacob Francis, filed a lawsuit earlier this year against Doerr and the city of Athens after Doerr attempted to arrest him using “excessive, gratuitous and unreasonable force,” according to the complaint. Francis, who has demanded a jury trial, encountered Doerr on April 27, 2018, when he was allegedly having a loud conversation with his friends. After getting upset, Francis threw his phone into the bushes, which he then retrieved. Doerr then approached Francis aggressively, according to the complaint. Doerr asked Francis what he was doing, and Francis said he was walking home. Doerr attempted to grab Francis’ arms “very suddenly and violently,” according to the complaint. Francis attempted to quickly walk back to his dorm, but Doerr stunned him with his stun gun. Francis “mysteriously traveled 15-20 feet away” from where he was stunned, fell down a flight of stairs and fell head-first into a brick wall, according to the complaint. He was eventually taken to Grant Medical Center in Columbus where he was put through surgery for sev-

eral head injuries and had his jaw wired shut. Francis filed a lawsuit against Doerr and the city in April, which is still ongoing. It has not yet gone to trial, and both parties must file all final motions by May 2020, Sara Gedeon, Francis’ lawyer, said. It was not the first time that Doerr has been accused of using excessive force. In 2016, Michael Moe sued the city of Logan and Doerr, then employed by the Logan Police Department, for using “unreasonable force,” according to the complaint. The suit alleged that Doerr grabbed him in a “vicious manner, injuring (Moe) and cursing and swearing at (Moe),” and destroying ... personal property within and on his motor vehicle,” according to the complaint. Moe voluntarily dropped the case, so the suit never made it to trial, and the matter was settled out of court in 2017. STUDENTS SPEAK OUT The OU Black Student Union tweeted in response to the video, saying an excessive amount of force was used for just one student. “The Black Student Union of Ohio University is disappointed in the actions of an agency that is meant to keep us safe. While we are unsure of the details, it is evident that this amount of force is unnecessary for one student,” the tweet said. The OU Black Student Communication Caucus tweeted, “This was an unacceptable display of force on a black man by police officers on our campus last night. We’re looking into this incident for more information.” On Wednesday, members of the Athens Revolutionary Socialists gathered on the steps of the Athens County Courthouse to protest Bealer’s arrest. The group originally scheduled to protest outside Donkey Coffee during its “Coffee with a Cop” event until it was rescheduled by APD, so the demonstration was taken down the street. Ellie Hamrick, a Socialist running for an At-Large seat on Athens City Council, said she doesn’t trust APD. “It’s really troubling to me that they claim to have this full-length video of the incident that exonerates them, but they won’t release it,” Hamrick said. “One of our demands is (for APD) to release the whole video or stop lying about it. We also think that there should be an investigation with the power to fire these three cops that did this and that their charges should be dropped against the student.” Student Senate President Lydia Ramlo and Black Affairs Commissioner Isabela Gibson made a joint statement on Twitter last Wednesday condemning the arrest. “On behalf of Ohio University’s Student Senate, we condemn this discriminatory and brutal behavior and stand with our constituents calling on the Police Departments to release information and a statement regarding their actions,” the release said. The University of Cincinnati Student Government released a similar statement on Twitter. “... We would like to stand in solidarity with Ohio University’s Student Senate in condemnation of this discriminatory and brutal behavior. We support the University of Cincinnati student involved, and his family in this difficult time.”


Shane Hooks is Ohio’s next big-play wide receiver ANTHONY POISAL SPORTS EDITOR Shane Hooks has two different personas. With a helmet on, he’s Shane Hooks, the wide receiver. His height, 6 feet, 4 inches, helps him win jump balls and snatch passes over the heads of helpless defensive backs. His demeanor is calm, but his skills are unquestionable. Without the helmet, though, Hooks is known as “Hollywood” and sports a hi-top fade haircut with a shade of green-dyed hair across the left side. The nickname was given to him by his high school coach from Orlando, Florida, his hometown, when he showed up to a practice donning a pair of sunglasses. “When I’m on the field, I’m a different me,” Hooks said. “With the hair, I just like standing out.” So far, it hasn’t mattered whether Hooks has the helmet on or not — the redshirt freshman has always stood out. His first collegiate reception was a 30-yard catch he made over a defender near the sideline Week 1 against Rhode Island. When Hooks landed on the ground, he hung onto the ball with one hand despite absorbing a tackle from a Rams defender. For his first collegiate touchdown Week 3 against Marshall, Hooks caught a 20-yard pass


in traffic and hung on for the score after a jolting hit from a defensive back. He caught his second touchdown of the season a week later against Louisiana-Lafayette on a 21-yard pass, and that came a play after he made another — yes, you guessed it — leaping grab over a defender on a 49-yard pass. If that’s not flashy enough, Hooks wore a pair of gold grills around his teeth for his smile in this season’s profile picture. For Hooks, that attitude is a part of his hometown roots. Florida is a fun place to play high school football, but Hooks learned quickly that no one cared where he was from when he arrived with the Bobcats. “In Florida, we always feel like we’re the big dogs,” Hooks said. “Coming in, I still felt like I was the big dog … but I was a little immature, and I had to get that out my game.” Hooks was no stranger to mistimed routes and incorrect reads last season as a freshman. Those mistakes, paired with Ohio’s quality depth at receiver position last season, led to Hooks redshirting his first year. That wasn’t a decision forced by the coaching staff, either. Hooks made that decision himself when he realized that he was outmatched when he appeared in the first four games of the season. He wasn’t fast enough to make consistent plays at the college level, and he couldn’t quite


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to block. That’s a task not always embraced by receivers. Hooks, however, loves it. He learned how important the run game is to Ohio’s offense when he watched from the sidelines last season. It’s what makes Rourke so dangerous, and it’s why the Bobcats have been able to maintain their status as one of the top offensive teams in the Mid-American Conference. Now, Hooks enjoys delivering forceful blocks just as much as making acrobatic catches. “Last year, I knew we were a run-first team, and I was kind of frustrated with that,” Hooks said. “But now that I’ve been looking into it, we’ve got to have a run game to open up the pass game. “With that, blocking comes into the big picture, and I love blocking solo.” Albin loves it, too, and that’s why he wants to make Hooks a bigger part of his game plan. After all that Hooks has done in four games this season, he doesn’t really have a choice. “We’re going to play the guys that can make the plays, and he’s done that,” Albin said. “He’s showed up.” If Hooks can make big plays on the field, his “Hollywood” nickname won’t just be a name he had from his hometown to describe his swagger off the field. It’ll be the perfect nickname for the show he’s capable of displaying every week.




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grasp the playbook full of extensive plays built to make the most of the dual-threat skills of quarterback Nathan Rourke. Hooks needed to give his “Hollywood” side Ohio University football a rest. There player Shane Hooks poses for a portrait. (KELSEY wasn’t room for him to run BOEING / DIRECTOR OF wild and make PHOTOGRAPHY) plays on his own at Ohio. If he wanted to keep that side of his personality, he needed to back it up under the offense that coordinator Tim Albin has run for 15 years. And Hooks has done just that. “I’m pleased with where he’s at,” Albin said. “He’s rangy, which is obviously comforting to the quarterbacks. For him to come out and perform and do some of the things that he’s doing, he’s doing that off sheer ability.” Hooks only has seven receptions this season but has averaged 22 yards per reception, which leads all Ohio receivers. His two receiving touchdowns are also tied for the lead, and Albin knows he needs to give Hooks more opportunities to make plays. Albin has always appreciated Hooks’ receiving ability, but he’s also noticed his willingness


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Keep fighting On Nick Sink, his family bond and the plug-in-play of Ohio’s offensive line MATT PARKER SPORTS EDITOR

Ohio University offensive lineman, Nick Sink, poses for a portrait in Walter Fieldhouse on Oct. 2, 2019. (KELSEY BOEING / DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY)


hen Nick Sink found out he was going to start at center in place for injured Steven Hayes against Marshall in Week 3, he knew the first two people he was going to tell. He quickly unlocked his phone and called his parents, Dan and Rita, back in his hometown of Fishers, Indiana. Nick, in a high-pitched voice, recreated the excitement that his parents expressed through the phone when he told them he was going to get his first career start for the Bobcats. “My parents have always been big in coming to my games,” Nick said. “They mean a lot to me, and I love them. Whether I was playing or not, they’ve been really supportive, and I had to notify them first.” Nick and his family are a tight-knit bunch. When he and his siblings are home from school, they hang out and catch up while eating Rita’s homemade buffalo chicken — one of Nick’s favorites. It’s a rarity when all the Sinks are together, but it’s something they make the most of when the occurrence does happen. But one of the biggest and most important things that Nick and his family share is their motto. “Keep fighting.” It’s a phrase that Sink and his siblings have heard as they’ve grown up, and it’s one they tell themselves whenever challenges may seem too difficult to handle. “In sports and in life, I think you’re going to have

your ups and your downs, but you just have to get back up and keep swinging and go to the next thing,” Dan said. “Things may not go your way, but you just have to get up and keep fighting and move on.” For most of his time at Ohio, Sink has done just that. A redshirt junior, Sink has spent the better part of his career with the second team units but has appeared in 13 games prior to this season. Throughout the 2019 fall camp, Sink consistently got reps with the starting offensive line, but he was never the goto guy. Sink didn’t feel nervous when he made his first start on the road at Marshall in front of a big crowd eager to rattle a longtime rival. For Sink, those nerves went away when he saw the experience of his teammates around him. On his left side is Brett Kitrell, one of the more experienced interior offensive linemen on the Bobcats’ roster. Kitrell has played at both guard and center the last two seasons, but he didn’t have much to say much to Sink. He knows he’d be prepared to take the field whenever Ohio needed him to. “We’ve grown a culture here on the offensive line where the next man up is going to be ready, and that next man up was Nick Sink,” Kitrell said. “Leading up to that week, he stepped up like it was nothing. He meshed with us really well. He’s a guy that’s not afraid to take charge of the offensive line.” Kitrell and Sink are roommates on away trips, and

while they spend time talking about the next game, they spent a majority of their evening watching clips from the movie Nacho Libre — one of their favorites. To say that Sink was nervous and lost sleep would be a gross misstatement. “It’s ultimately just a football game,” Sink said. “You just have to relax, go out there and have fun playing.” For Sink and the rest of the Bobcats’ offensive line, they looked about as relaxed as an offensive line could in his first start. It didn’t allow any sacks against Marshall — it allowed six against Pitt the week before — and the offense put up 438 total yards. The following week presented a different challenge, as Ohio’s offense slumped in its last nonconference game of the season. While the offense looked lost in the first half, it scored in the second half, saw 19 points put up on the scoreboard and found areas to improve on. There is no given time estimate on when Hayes will return from injury, and as a result, how much longer Sink will be in the starting lineup. But that doesn’t matter to Sink. His mission won’t change. He’ll just do what he always has done and will always continue to do. Keep fighting.




Ohio’s soft-spoken leader TYLER JOHNSON FOR THE POST Sydney Leckie is committed to being a good leader for the Bobcats, even if she isn’t as vocal as a normal leader. Leckie, a senior defender, is not outspoken or confrontational in her life outside of soccer, and that extends to her personality on the pitch. But thanks to her maturation as a player and person, she has turned into a key leader for Ohio, even if it is not on display for everyone to see. Describing herself as the Bobcats’ “silent leader,” Leckie’s presence is felt behind closed doors. She doesn’t feel the need to be outwardly expressive as a leader, and the team doesn’t ask her to do that. Despite her introversion, Leckie felt that her growth as a leader came naturally and was not something she had to force. “I have a passion for this team,” Leckie said. “My passion comes out in my leadership skills.” Leckie has received consistent playing time in all four of her seasons with Ohio, so coach Aaron Rodgers expected a lot out of her from the beginning. In her first season, the Bobcats were only 5-12-1 and had lost at least 12 games for the third year in a row. After her freshman year, however, Leckie started to notice something. Ohio’s win total has steadily increased from season to season since 2016, and the team’s morale rose as a result. That growth as a team has created a winning mentality. The Bobcats were undergoing a culture change. Leckie credits the culture change to both the upperclass players in her first two seasons as well as the work of Rodgers. They created an environment where winning was the expectation. Anything besides that was unacceptable, and Leckie took notice. It’s something she now incorporates when she is trying to lead the younger players on the Bobcats. “I want the best for the team,” Leckie said. “I want to win, and I will do whatever it takes to get that win.” Part of what went into the culture change was building relationships within the team. The upperclass leaders in Leckie’s freshman and sophomore seasons made sure they built a rapport with her and other younger players. As she was given

16 / OCT. 3, 2019

“I want the best for the team. I want to win, and I will do whatever it takes to get that win.” - Sydney Leckie, senior defender

Sydney Leckie poses for a portrait at Chessa Field during the Wednesday morning, Sept. 25, 2019. (GRACE WILSON / FOR THE POST)

more responsibility, Leckie remembered that emphasis on relationship and began to incorporate it in her own leadership. Leckie’s leadership ability grew in her sophomore year when Rodgers and then-assistant coach Debs Brereton worked with her because they saw that she had the traits of a leader — she just needed some help getting to her full potential. Rodgers saw the potential in Leckie when he first started recruiting her back in 2013. He knew that she may get overlooked

due to her being slightly undersized at 5 feet, 2 inches tall. Despite that, he recognized that she has a high soccer IQ and is a fighter on the pitch, so he felt confident in his decision to bring her to Ohio. “She has a never-give-up attitude, and that will take you a long way,” Rodgers said. Six years later, Leckie is in her senior year at Ohio and the impact that she made on team will not be forgotten by Rodgers. Leckie, in turn, feels she can go to Rodgers for anything — soccer-relat-

ed or not — and he has made her time at Ohio so worthwhile. For Rodgers, losing a leader like Leckie after this season will be a tough spot to replace. “We’re so proud that she became a Bobcat,” Rodgers said. “She’s helping create a legacy for her senior class and those who come behind her.”



Andrew Sacca keeps his eyes ahead after John Carroll JACK GLECKLER SLOT EDITOR Andrew Sacca scored three goals in Ohio’s opening series against John Carroll, but the freshman doesn’t want to brag about it. “It’s just the first two games. There’s a lot more to come,” Sacca said. “You can’t get too high only two games into such a long season.” The Pittsburgh native is focused on honing his skills for future games. He believes there is always an aspect of his game he needs to work on, which was a mindset he maintained in junior hockey. Sacca, a center, spent five years playing in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Elite system, moving up and taking knowledge from every team with which he played. Sacca learned the most under Elite U18 coach Milo Cermak, who gave him the freedom to develop his own style of play. “He’s a big player’s coach,” Sacca said. “He let us do what we wanted with the puck, and he’s big on skating and making plays with the puck. That really benefited my play style.” Cermak’s leniency gave Sacca the boost he needed. Under Cermak’s coaching philosophy, Sacca scored 10 goals and 27 assists in 36 games and recorded his most productive season.

For his first year in a U18 league, Sacca took time away from Pittsburgh to play hockey in a different area. He moved to Detroit for a season to play for the AAA Little Caesars. “Michigan hockey is something different,” Sacca said. “All of the teams are incredibly competitive, and it’s very physical and tough. Every night you have to go out and play hard.” Sacca didn’t prefer Detroit over Pittsburgh, though. To him, hockey is hockey. Standing at 5 feet, 5 inches tall, Sacca is one of the shortest players on the Bobcats’ roster. Before joining Ohio, Sacca was often declined from teams due to his small frame, but that didn’t bother him. He knows his value as a player and sees his height as a bonus, not a detriment. “It is what it is,” Sacca said. “I think it’s harder for people to hit me and harder to get the puck off me. Especially in the corners, I’m quick to get out of there, so people can’t push me into the boards.” Sacca knew many of his fellow freshmen coming into this year. Players from the Pittsburgh area like Blake Rossi, J.T. Schimizzi and Ryan Leonard were all former teammates of Sacca from his time with the Penguins Elite. “It’s funny,“ Sacca said. “Many of us didn’t talk to each other going into this, so it just kind of happened. We’re all


happy that we got here.” Sacca heard of OU through many of his friends. After hearing so much about the school, he decided to come down for a visit, and he loved it. He was approached by several other schools, but none of them stuck out to him. Throughout the process, he was in contact with many assistant coaches for the Bobcats. “They always texted me and wanted to know what I was doing,“ Sacca said. “It’s nice to feel wanted.” Sacca feels at home with the Bobcats. He calls it one of the closest teams he’s ever been with despite only being in Athens for a month. He sees all the upperclassmen as leaders to learn from, and he said goalie Jimmy Thomas is “one of the best people I’ve ever met.” Sacca is excited to keep playing this season. He wants to show what he can do. Most important, however, he wants to improve, and the atmosphere at Bird Arena drives him to play his best. “I love playing in front of the fans here,” Sacca said. “The energy for the first two games was incredible. It’s nice to play in front of people who care.”



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Jessica Littler stood in the kitchen of her two-story recovery home on the outskirts of Athens, and prepared her lunch for the 10-hour shift that awaited her at work. Littler avoids sugar, so she packed a lunch wrap with ingredients that the house provides for her during her stay. “RWRP stands for Rural Women’s Recovery Program,” she said. “They really take a holistic approach to (addiction) recovery. When I was there, I was taught to avoid sugar … We also aligned our chakras and things like that.” Littler, 40, of Wilmington, has worked at Residential Programs Inc., a call center on East State Street, since October 2018. RWRP was one of the first places she went for treatment after leaving prison. And for a woman with two felonies, getting the job was anything but easy. THE SCOPE In 2015, Littler was caught with two

ingredients commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, including a box of Sudafed and a pack of batteries. She served a year in the state penal system and became one of the 1.3 million people arrested for drug related offenses across the U.S. that year, according to The Center for American Progress. Littler’s situation isn’t uncommon, Shawn Stover, Reentry Program coordinator for Ohio Means Jobs, said. Most of the people who come to him for help struggle with drug addiction. “I would venture to say about 80% of the people that come to us had an issue with substance abuse,” he said. “Often the (parole officer) will set them up with me, but coming (to Ohio Means Jobs) is all voluntary.” Stover’s office in The Plains is one of the first stops that people with a felony make when returning to the area after prison. He provides them with services like transpor-

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tation and helps educate them on the next steps moving forward. He’s seen more than 500 area residents return from prison in the last five years, he said. Although they’ve served their time, the punishment doesn’t stop once an inmate leaves prison, Stover said. A large amount of discouragement occurs when returning residents try to assimilate themselves back into society after serving time. “They’ve lost everything and have to start from scratch,” he said. “Some people don’t even get into the system, and most banks require at least a $50 deposit to start a savings account.” HURDLES Littler’s worst days came after her prison sentence. In March 2018, her long-term methamphetamine usage had caused a blood clot, and she used meth while receiving treatment in a hospital. She was forced to leave. The next day, Littler called her aunt in Athens. “She always told me if I needed it, I could come to Athens, and they had a place they knew of that I could come to,” Littler said. That’s how she was introduced to Serenity Grove. Places like Serenity Grove, the nonprofit recovery house where Littler lives, provide a safe space for those recovering and are an essential step in moving forward. In August 2018, Littler was hired by a biotech firm. She made it to the final round of hiring before the employer asked if she had any felony charges. “I just figured I’d be honest and that it would be better than lying about it,” Littler said. “At first the woman was like, ‘Yeah, that shouldn’t be a problem,’ but as soon as I mentioned meth, it was over.” After the incident, Littler said she gave up, returned to Serenity Grove and was completely discouraged. The executive director of the non-profit, Betsy Anderson, snapped Littler out of the funk. “We as humans really need to start treating addiction like the disease it is,” Anderson said. “It’s not that simple … The ‘get a job’ part isn’t easy.” Approximately 60% to 75% of former inmates remain unemployed up to one year after their release, according to Forbes. Littler’s second job out of prison was at a McDonald’s. She tried to cash her first $400

check in early fall 2018. Littler was surprised by the kindness the local teller first displayed, but the kindness quickly vanished after the woman at the desk retrieved Littler’s financial history and credit score. “The lady sat down and offered me a mint and asked me my social security number,” Littler said. “Then she said she had to go talk to a manager. When she came back, she told me I couldn’t open a savings account because I had too many addresses from different evictions.” The teller then pulled the mints away from Littler and told her that if she paid off the fees for her prior evictions, she could open an account. “I was mortified,” Littler said. “I did a year for what I did. I’m not saying I wasn’t wrong, but I just don’t understand how something so long ago can still affect my life.” After surveying 190 former inmates from 2017 to 2018, over 50% had labor-related jobs, according to data that Stover provided from Jobs Ohio. A large amount of those include under-the-table cash transactions. An additional 25% identified as homeless upon release and stayed in shelters and various places including a friend’s when allowed, according to the same data. Anderson said morale at Serenity Grove took a hit when the non-profit struggled with buying a house for the women to live in. This was largely due to the negative stigma associated with residents returning from prison, she said. “We had two deals fall through,” she said, “one in Athens and one in Nelsonville.” Despite the initial discouragement, Serenity Grove is deeply rooted in community activities. Being active in the community helps fight the stigma, Anderson said. In the past year, women involved with Serenity Grove have participated in Boogie on the Bricks, a free community music and arts festival in Athens, the Athens County Recovery Walk and the Chili Bowl. BIG PICTURE Kristi Kinnard, general manager of Career Connections in Athens, said to some extent that businesses in Southeast Ohio have benefitted from hiring residents returning from prison. “Businesses have really grown within the last 16 years, and there’s been a lot of movement for change,” she said. Career Connections serves five coun-

ties in Southeast Ohio and serves as a satellite human resources office for the businesses that it works with. Most businesses they serve have five to 15 employees, and Kinnard said she’s seen how businesses have been reacting to formerly incarcerated people applying for jobs. While Athens has a large workforce, that isn’t the case in other small, rural communities in Southeast Ohio, she said. Most residents coming back to Southeast Ohio from prison choose to stay in Athens County, Stover said, but some travel to where there’s a better job market. But returning residents who often struggled to find jobs might be getting second chances, according to a recent report by the Society for Human Resource Management. The report surveyed more than 2,000 corporate managers and HR executives nationwide on their attitudes about residents returning from prison. The U.S. unemployment rate as of July was 3.7%, but an analysis from The Prison Policy Initiative shows that formerly incarcerated people have been sitting at an unemployment rate of over 27%, a rate

higher than the total U.S. unemployment rate during any historical period. LOOKING FORWARD Littler doesn’t like to dwell on the past. “I can’t really decide if I’m saving up for a car or a place of my own,” she said. She doesn’t see her two children often. They currently live in Wilmington with her brother, but she’s looking forward to seeing them for a three-day weekend. For now, Littler continues to engage in service work for the community. She is also the general service representative for the Athens County Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The non-profit is in the middle of preparing for a Halloween Luau, an all-day sober event at Lake Snowden, nine miles southwest of Athens. “It’s no addict left behind,” Littler said. “We try to create events where people struggling can come and have fun sober.”



FALL 2 OCTOBER 20 – DECEMBER 5 Registration: October 7 – 18 for 7v7 soccer, flag football and racquetball ABOVE: Jessica Littler stands inside of the newly renovated meeting room at Serenity Grove. (MEAGAN HALL / FOR THE POST) BELOW: Commonly read books at Serenity Grove, a women’s recovery house in Athens, Ohio. (LOGAN MOORE / SENIOR WRITER)

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10 spooky hits for your Halloween playlist LEXI LEPOF FOR THE POST

urrects from the grave every Halloween. Play this track and your feet won’t stop moving.

October is finally here, which means spooky season is officially upon us. It’s time to pick out costumes and binge on candy. Whether your Halloween plans include haunted houses, a scary movie marathon or a fun costume party, here are 10 songs you need on your playlist to help get you in the spooky mood:

“MIDNIGHT CITY” BY M83 The background synthesizers of this electronic hit transport you to a city buzzing at night. Spooky yet spunky, this banger is guaranteed to be the perfect addition for all your Halloween festivities.

“MONSTER MASH” BY BOBBY (BORIS) PICKETT “Monster Mash” is hands down one of the best Halloween songs of all time. This nostalgic bop will have everyone singing along. No matter how many times you have heard it, it never gets any less catchy. “THIS IS HALLOWEEN” BY THE CITIZENS OF HALLOWEEN Obviously, Halloween means it’s finally time to watch Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack the Skeleton will get you right into your spooky vibes with this childhood classic. “GHOSTBUSTERS” BY RAY PARKER JR. A question everyone knows the answer to: “Who ya gonna call?” This feel-good classic is truly a song that res-

“MONSTER” BY KAYNE WEST FT. JAY Z, RICK ROSS, NICKI MINAJ, BON IVER If rap is more your style, this is the Halloween banger for you. Kayne and Jay Z are a killer duo, with Nicki Minaji adding just the right amount of spook. Aggressive and hard-hitting, this banger will spook up your night. “PSYCHO KILLER” BY TALKING HEADS Party like it’s 1982 with this alternative track. The ”run, run, run” lyrics speak for themselves in this spooky classic by Talking Heads. “HEADS WILL ROLL — A-TRAK REMIX” BY YEAH YEAH YEAHS, A-TRAK It doesn’t get any spookier than “off, off, off with your head.” This headbanger rightfully earns its spot as a top hit


at all the Halloween parties. The beat is perfect to dance to, and the lyrics ring true to the spooky atmosphere. “SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME” BY ROCKWELL This eerie track is guaranteed to give you chills. This track will make you think twice before you close your eyes to shampoo in the shower. Michael Jackson also kills the hook on this creepy Halloween chiller. “TIME WARP” BY LITTLE NELL, PATRICIA QUINN, RICHARD O’BRIEN The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a classic Halloween staple. Grab your squad, and dance the night away to this timeless track. After all, it’s just a jump to the left and step to the right. “SWEET DREAMS (ARE MADE OF THIS)” BY EURYTHMICS The beat of this song is the perfect mix of groovy and spooky, so obviously, it’s perfect for your Halloween party. The tune of this song is sure to get the monsters, witches and many girls dressed as cats onto the dance floor.


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MIKAYLA ROCHELLE is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University.

f people have been paying any attention to the news in Athens, they know about the act of police brutality that occurred Saturday night. The altercation occurred between Ty Bealer, a 21-year-old student who attends the University of Cincinnati, and three Athens Police Department officers outside of The J Bar on Court Street. A video of the incident was posted on Twitter and went viral. In the video, the three APD officers can be seen holding Bealer down and using what many consider to be excessive force. The video caption says that the man was not fighting back and was unarmed. An unscheduled press conference was held Monday with Mayor Steve Patterson, Athens Police Department Chief Tom Pyle and Safety Service Director Andy Stone. In the press conference, Pyle said he believes the officers used the force necessary to subdue the man. According to the press conference, the suspect in question was trying to


fight with The J Bar staff, and the bar staff called the police. When the officers approached Bealer, he attempted to flee and the altercation ensued. The facts surrounding the case are known. Chief Pyle believes that the officers were acting in accordance with their training and did not use more force than what was necessary. It shouldn’t take three trained police officers, who should know how to handle and be comfortable handling drunk and disorderly people, to take a person into custody. Police should protect citizens, even when they have possibly broken the law or obstructed justice. Attempting to flee from the police is obstructing justice, but that doesn’t mean that a person should be automatically subjected to being tackled in the street by three police officers. People need to demand more from law enforcement. Given the facts of the case, it sounds like just another case of disorderly conduct on Court Street.

But that video, even knowing the facts, doesn’t sit well. It shouldn’t take three police officers to subdue a suspect. It is not necessary for three police officers to be on top of a suspect when the suspect is unarmed and on the ground. We expect more of law enforcement. It is part of their job not just to arrest people, but to do it safely in a way where they don’t overuse their authority. We expect to be protected, even if we are guilty. Court Street should be a place where people get to relax and have fun after a long week of school and work. When things get out of hand, law enforcement should be able to keep things under control, without being abusing authority. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Mikayla by tweeting her at @mikayla_roch.

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the weekender On the big screen Film students premiere their movies in free screening to public. LAUREN SERGE FOR THE POST

The Ohio University Master of Fine Arts film students will bring their movies to the Athens big screen. OU third-year MFA students will premiere their films they made during their second year during a free screening open to the public at the Athena Cinema, 20 S. Court St. An MFA in film is a three-year program where students have the ability to specialize in specific tracks, such as directing, editing and producing. The students have worked on their films since last year and have spent the time since refining and editing them in preparation for the premiere. The students were also encouraged to collaborate on each other’s films, allowing them to exercise different roles. Ten films will be shown on Saturday, each created by the individual students who had the opportunity to develop a film from any genre and topic. The duration of the films are 10 to 20 minutes long. Tabitha Kennedy, a graduate student studying film, explained that her film, Parared, explores the ideas of virtual reality in a traditional film setting while still utilizing elements of VR, such as point of view and frame size. Kennedy said she combined her interest in VR with the subject of mental illness to construct the plot of her film. “Characters get to experience a take on The Ultimate Display,” Kennedy said. “It’s a one-of-a-kind game where they get to do anything they want to in the world. The main character’s best friend takes him there to try to get over his depression, and you’ll see why and how it happens.” Kennedy noted that her interest in film was a natural progression and that the field encompassed a multitude of art forms that she aspired to create. “I’ve always been an artist with traditional and digital drawing and animating, and I always felt like film was the highest 22 / OCT. 3, 2019

level of art to do,” Kennedy said. “When you’re a teenager and you don’t have funds to make a film, you just draw it, so that’s what I did, and now I’m here.” Graham Holford, a graduate student studying film, described his film as an observation of different societies, as his plot explores the perception of his characters’ relationship. The inspiration for Holford’s film was greatly influenced by the societies he has observed, both in Athens and in other countries in which he has lived. “I have lived in a couple of different continents, and so the feelings of having to adapt to a new climate and culture was one of those things that inspired the idea,” Holford said. “I love the idea that America is so vast that you could have these little off-the-grid communities where you could be almost an immigrant in your own town.” Edit Jakab, a graduate student studying film, discovered her infatuation for the process and decided to begin making movies herself. Her current film, In Praise of Angela, is a narrative that was also greatly influenced by her surroundings. “My film really is a satirical ode to the Midwest,” Jakab said. “I’ve lived in Bloomington, Indiana, and the time that I’ve spent both there and here has made me want to pay homage to this region. There was one distinct characteristic that I found through being in the Midwest that’s present within every man, and I used that characteristic for the protagonist of my film.” Eddie Loupe, a graduate student studying film, created his film about a dying old man and the conversations he has with the nurse taking care of him. Loupe conjured the idea nearly three years ago and said the process building up to Saturday’s premiere has consisted of constant revisions. “Up to the screening, it’s almost a year long process of editing,” Loupe said. “Continuously showing it to other students and faculty, and them just constantly picking at it and trying to push it this way

From left to right, MFA film students Tabitha Kennedy, Logan Marshall, Eddie Loupe, Anil Srivastha, Hannah Espia, Edit Jakab and Graham Holford stand in front of The Athena Cinema, 20 S. Court St., holding up their posters on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (RYAN GRZYBOWSKI / FOR THE POST)

or that way, and there are some frictions and shoulders that get bruised, but it’s all for the improvement of the films.” After the screening, Loupe noted many students will aim to enter their films in festivals and expose their sophisticated work to a larger audience. “Having work at this level is supposed to open up doors,” Loupe said. “Especially of the production quality that we’re supposed to be going toward, when you come and watch one of these movies at this stage, it’s supposed to look and sound, and hopefully feel, just like a real movie that someone would pay money to see.” Regardless of what success may follow after the screening, Jakab thinks the ability to share it with others makes the harrowing process of filmmaking rewarding. “It’s so exciting to share something like this and show it to the world in whatever capacity,” Jakab said. “On screen, film is glamorous. But, the work that goes into it involves a lot of suffering. It’s an emo-

tional, physical and mental strain on you. But being able to share it means so much because making films truly is my favorite thing to do.”

IF YOU GO WHAT: Masters of Fine Arts film students’ film premiere WHEN: Saturday, 7 p.m. WHERE: Athena Cinema, 20 S. Court St. ADMISSION: Free




Battle of the Blitz at 9 a.m. at

Charles J. Ping Recreation Center. Support the Ohio Buckeye Blitz wheelchair rugby team, and watch the members play teams from OU and Athens. Admission: Free, donations requested

Trust Me Dance Party at 10 p.m. at

Casa Nueva Restaurant and Cantina, 6 W. State St. Join DJ B-Funk for an all-night dance party with no limits on genre and no rules. Admission: Free October Weekday Fall Foliage at 1

p.m. at the Nelsonville Train Depot, 33 W. Canal St., Nelsonville. Take in the beautiful fall foliage the area boasts on a two-hour train ride from Nelsonville to Logan. Admission: adults $18, children $13, seniors $16

SATURDAY Folk Songs at 8 p.m. at First United

Methodist Church, 2 S. College St. The Ohio University Singers will present its first choral concert of the school year with several well-known folk songs from all around the world. Admission: Free The Fearless Starlight at 7 p.m. at Little Fish Brewing Company, 8675 Armitage Road. The Fearless Starlight, a revolving group of musicians and audio engineers from the Athens area, will perform for the first time at Little Fish. Admission: Free

Jim Yoss at 10 p.m. at Smiling Skull

Saloon, 108 W. Union St. Jim Yoss

arts, music, & entertainment THEATER

The Union • 18 W Union St

by Lauren Gunderson Directed by Shelley Delaney


Oct. 3 -5 & 8 -12

Thursday Oct. 10th




ACRN Presents


$10 Adults • $ 7 Students/Seniors


ART EXHIBIT The Dairy Barn Arts Center



Fall Harvest Jubilee at 3 p.m. at Lit-

tle Fish Brewing Company. Join Athens Area Mediation Services, and create your own clay labyrinth and participate in field day activities and board games. Then, enjoy some music from a local Athens group, the Bob Stewart Band. Admission: Free More Than Pink Walk at 9 a.m. at

Peden Stadium. A twist on the event most people are familiar with, Race for the Cure, this event raises money to support Susan G. Komen. Admission: $15, additional fundraising and donations requested Game Night at 3 p.m. at Little Fish

Brewing Company. Bring your favorite game to demo, or come to play your favorite games. There will be games ranging from Magic the Gathering to Risk. Admission: Free Adult Beginner Cooking Class at 1 p.m. at Tavolino, 9 N. Shafer St. Bring your significant other or your friend, and learn how to make ravioli from scratch. Admission: $65 per couple



Forum Theater • 35 College St

Juried exhibition of works by contemporary Ohio artists

Doors open at 8:00 pm 18 and over $5 at the door



1008 E. State Street forSaturday October 5th


Oct. 5th - Nov. 30th


sponsored by the School of Art + Design and College of Fine Arts


Little Fish Brewing Company 8675 Armitage Road

Saturday Oct. 5th 7pm - 9pm


Southeast Ohio

Hosted by: The Columbus Affilite of the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

PEDEN STADIUM 100 Richland Avenue Sunday October 6th

Get Involved! The Expo opens at 9:00 am Walk-in Registrations 9:00 - 11:45 am Opening Ceremonies 12:00 pm Click on Events


Eclipse Company Store 11309 Jackson Dr • The Plains

Sunday October 6th 11:30am - 1:30pm


4:00 7:00 10:00



will return to Athens and bring his gritty country style with hints of rock and folk to the stage. Admission: $3

Presented by ABC Players


52 Public Sq • Nelsonville Thursday Oct. 10th Sunday October 13th Tickets on sale now Reserved Seats $12 adult • $8 student available at

ABOMINABLE 4:00 6:45 9:45

RAMBO V 4:30 7:30 10:15

HUSTLERS 4:30 7:30 10:00

IT: Chapter 2 1:00 5:00 9:00

ADDITIONAL LISTINGS & advance tickets * Showtimes subject to change and may differ from day to day

why? promote


ART EXHIBIT Trisolini Gallery • Baker Center



on view through October 12th The first in a series of events to celebrate Professor Emeritus and his work. Exhibitions, performances and gatherings will take place on campus and beyond

click on “College of Fine Arts” and select “news and events” for an entire listing of related events


Peformance Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium AN INTIMATE EVENING OF SONGS AND STORIES WITH

because it’s an affordable way to expose art, music, theater, films, and exhibitions

$45-$75 Main Floor • $35 Balcony



$15 per week! send us an email for semester pricing and availability


Saturday Oct. 19th

ART EXHIBIT Multicultural Art Gallery • Baker Ctr

THE ART EXHIBIT BY BLACK PEOPLE through December 1st Featuring Tsasia Mercado, kent Harris, & Elijah Justice



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