THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2017
DECISIONS FOR ATHENS Evaluating Trumpâ€™s presidency P8 TACO exceeds majority vote P15 Hispanic students balance college P20
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ELIZABETH BACKO MANAGING EDITOR Kaitlin Coward DIGITAL MANAGING EDITOR Hayley Harding SENIOR EDITOR Marisa Fernandez
NEWS EDITORS Maddie Capron, Bailey Gallion SPORTS EDITOR Andrew Gillis CULTURE EDITORS Georgia Davis, Mae Yen Yap OPINION EDITOR Chuck Greenlee COPY CHIEF Alex McCann
ART DIRECTORS Abby Gordon, Sarah Olivieri PHOTO EDITORS Meagan Hall, McKinley Law, Blake Nissen, Hannah Schroeder, Matt Starkey SPECIAL PROJECTS DESIGNER Abby Day
DIGITAL PRODUCTION EDITOR Taylor Johnston SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Kate Ansel BLOGS EDITOR Alex Darus MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Andy Hamilton DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS Jonny Palermo
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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
How ‘The Post’ works to add context to elections All year long, Post staffers attend public meetings. As journalists, consistency is important. We want to be educated on the issues and be able to give our readers as much context as possible. So when it came to Election Day on Tuesday, we were prepared. To create this edition of The Post, it took a lot of planning and preparation, and a lot of that came from our reporters who diligently follow each Athens City Council and each school board meeting. With this issue, we wanted to add context to what this election means. Though we have been keeping up with coverage all year long, we published endorsements last week and, on Monday, profiles of all the candidates. We did that in hopes of giving our readers plenty of inforELIZABETH BACKO / mation to make educated decisions while in the voting booth. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Election season is an exciting time for many in the newsroom. For a few staffers, it is their favorite time of the year. For others, it is a chance to break out of their comfort zones and get a taste of political reporting. It’s a great skill to be able to write on deadline and publish content soon after the story breaks. Our reporters strive to do that with every developing story, but election night gives everyone a little extra practice. After winners were announced Tuesday evening, reporters followed up that night and/or the next day to better understand how the candidates were feeling after the initial wave of celebrations wore down. As per usual, we have a few mainstays in this issue. Our weekly Post Modern, which usually exists on pages 20 and 21 and goes online late Tuesday night, is in its usual place. We also have our Weekender at the end of the tab to help our readers plan out their weekends. Our opinion section still lives on pages 4 and 5. And of course, we have news briefs, blotter and classifieds on pages 6 and 7. We want to give readers a dose of the regular content we have week to week while also informing them about all the latest election news. And as always, we publish content every day to thepostathens.com so we have a whole bunch of variety. And as time goes on, we’ll continue to tell our readers the latest news happening at school board meetings and city council. So follow along as we add more context to this new season.
Elizabeth Backo is a senior studying journalism and the editor-in-chief of The Post. What did you think of The Post’s election coverage? Email her at email@example.com or send her a tweet @liz_backo.
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CINEMA AND SYNTAX
Quentin Tarantino’s films are overrated I’ve only seen one Quentin Tarantino film all the way through. I led with that so all of you Tarantino fans can gasp in horror and either stop reading or continue on to see if I’m some type of alien. GEORGIA But here’s a newsflash: Not everyDAVIS body likes Tarantino. is a junior studying I watched Pulp Fiction for the first journalism time in the past months — I’m 21, by at Ohio the way — and it wasn’t bad. It defiUniversity. nitely didn’t live up to the hype, but it wasn’t a terrible movie. But the only reason I watched it was because I was told, “You have to watch Pulp Fiction.”
So I sat on my couch for its 2 hour and 34 minute-duration, impressed by the dialogue but underwhelmed by everything else in the movie. Some scenes in the movie lulled, and others packed intense action. And I don’t care for multiple storylines and chapters in any movie I watch, which are signature elements of Tarantino films. I even tried watching some of his more universally appealing films. I didn’t make it through the first half hour of Inglourious Basterds, and I fell asleep during Django Unchained. It’s not because of the goriness — I actually like that component. I just can’t sit through a three-hour movie that is not made in the style I prefer. I know everyone says the endings really tie the whole movie together
and I should really try to watch the whole film, but watching a movie is like reading a book. If I don’t like the first few pages of a book, why should I suffer for 400 pages just to get to the good part? Honestly, Tarantino is overrated. And here is a message to everyone who worships his films: Watching them does not make you edgy or cool. And your looks of exasperation when you meet a person who doesn’t like Tarantino are annoying. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you dislike Quentin Tarantino too? Tell Georgia by tweeting her at @georgiadee35.
Bob Dylan speaks through his music Bob Dylan, in a moment of scant vocal clarity, started to sing the fourth verse of his 1997 song “Love Sick.” “Sometimes the silence can be like the thunder/Sometimes I want to take LUKE to the road and plunder.” FURMAN The line made perfect sense for the is a senior enlivened audience at Columbus’ Palace studying Theatre. Dylan, clad in a white suit and journalism black pants with a single white vertical at Ohio stripe, had not yet spoken a word directUniversity ly to the audience — nor would he. But there he stood, at 76 years old, playing songs old and new, covers and originals, to those who braved the lashing stormy weather outside. Dylan let the songs speak for him and his band, which never missed a sixteenth note. Sitting behind a piano or singing into a standing mic on the other side of the stage, the American icon reflected on the autumn of his life. With standards like “Autumn Leaves,” “September of My Years” and “Why Try to Change Me Now,” Dylan used lyrics of others to delve into his personal emotional territory. But a rendition of his own “Trying to Get to Heaven” — also from 1997’s Time Out of Mind — served as a thesis encompassing all of the previous songs accepted an advanced age. Following the final notes, the crowd stood
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in applause, but Dylan, in the darkness of the stage, only prepared the for the next number. Along with meditations on mortality, Dylan continued his career-long proclamation of a changing human landscape Sunday night, both personally and in general. He opened the show with a stomping performance of “Things Have Changed” and continued the thread with 2001’s “Honest With Me” and a cover of Tony Bennett’s “Once Upon A Time.” The old gives way to the new, and situations improve or dissolve. Dylan’s band resembled the standard rock group with the inclusion of a steel pedal guitar player, who breezily soundtracked the slower covers to perfection. None of the other players sung backup vocals, letting Dylan’s voice be the only one heard. But they played like professionals underneath several massive hanging lights that mimicked day and night, giving off the illusion that several days had passed since the concert began and concluded. In contrast to the soulful, enunciated voice of opener Mavis Staples, Dylan delivered his classic tonality in hoarse but mostly understandable singing. Selective of his Nobel Prize-winning back catalogue, he only played around four or five songs from his early career — most of the setlist was recording in the last 20 years. Chugging blues renditions of “Tangled up in Blue” and “Desolation Row” exuded Dylan’s signature folk rock feel,
sans harmonica. But his two-song encore of the hopeful “Blowin’ in the Wind” and the cynical “Ballad of a Thin Man,” nearly indistinguishable from the studio version, capped off the night at a high point. Since the first time I heard “Blowin’ in the Wind,” the lyrics “How many years can some people exist/Before they’re allowed to be free” resonated with me at a deep level, and Dylan probably banked on that assumption for everyone when he sang them live 54 years after the song’s release. It was a powerful moment, even if it didn’t match the sparseness of the original recording. Uproarious cheers filled the theater when Dylan joined his band for a final recognition of the audience at that stop of his Never Ending Tour, still without uttering a word or even bowing. In front of me, a white-haired man with a flip phone defied the no-photo policy to snap a photo of Dylan on stage. Parents clapped with their children, who would not fully comprehend the importance of Bob Dylan until life later showed them. As the stage went dark, Dylan and his band exited stage left while the rest of us headed back into the storm. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you listen to Bob Dylan? Let Luke know by tweeting him @LukeFurmanLog or emailing him firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t bask in your self-imposed nihilism So, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you probably have some social media account. You probably laugh at CHUCK things like memes, cat GREENLEE videos and nihilism. is a junior Pretty dramatic turn in studying humor, right? communication Urban Dictionary studies at Ohio states that it’s “useless University. to define it.” Nihilism is basically the philosophical belief that nothing matters since we all die anyway. It’s a really lame way to live. Anyway, you’ve probably told all your friends that you wish you had been hit by a car, murdered in your sleep or something else that results in the cessation of your existence when something as trivial as forgetting to charge your phone has happened to you — because that’s a reasonable reaction. I get it: These are tumultuous times to live in. 2017 has been nothing but weird, and I certainly understand how one can get stressed out about having to exist in a day-to-day state. Some have to deal with mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, which have been on the rise in teens and young adults over the past few years. So yeah, some people have a hard time seeing the bright side, not because they don’t want to, but mental illness holds them back. Getting off my mental illness soapbox, to the nihilists out there who have everything going for them but choose to live by nihilism for some unbeknownst
reason: Why? Why choose to live thinking that nothing matters? The majority of nihilists I have met in my life are such bummers to be around. Want to ruin a karaoke party? Give a nihilist the mic. “Karaoke is dumb. Why drunkenly sing along to Journey when we are all going to die anyway? Nothing matters.” There goes the mood of the night. Boom, one privileged person who read Edgar Allan Poe a few times decides that he gets to ruin everyone’s mood because he has a heightened sense of being and that no one will catch up to him nevermore. Give your life meaning in some way shape or form other than hating it. A novel idea, I know. Watch sports, take up jogging, pick up the paintbrush or start collecting quarters. Seriously, just find something to be excited about and put some sort of meaning on that. Please, for the love of all that might matter to you, just stop being such a drag. It can’t be a healthy way to live. I’m not a medical professional, but even I know basking in self-imposed meaninglessness is bad for you. But hey, to the people I am trying to reach, my irritation with you doesn’t matter anyway. After all, we just die in the end anyway, so who cares if everyone during your estimated 70-some years hates to be around you? Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Is this all pointless? Let Chuck know by tweeting him @chuck_greenlee.
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Student may have meningitis; speaker revealed BAILEY GALLION NEWS EDITOR OHIO UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR NAMED FALL COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER Distinguished Professor Thomas H. Carpenter will deliver the Fall Semester commencement address, Ohio University announced Wednesday. Carpenter, who previously served as chair of the department of classics and world religions, has been an OU faculty member for nearly 21 years and directs the Charles J. Ping Institute for the Teaching of the Humanities. Carpenter was trained as a classical archaeologist and holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University and Oxford University. An expert in the religion and iconography of ancient Greece, he has published numerous books, including Art and Myth in Ancient Greece, which has been translated into six languages.
One of his most recent books, which centers on the Italic peoples of 4th century B.C. Italy, was the first book in English to focus on the Italic. The university’s fall commencement ceremony will take place Dec. 16 in The Convo at 2 p.m. PROBABLE VIRAL MENINGITIS CASE REPORTED OFF CAMPUS Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones said in a campus-wide email that an OU student living off campus may have a case of viral meningitis. Hall-Jones wrote that the student is in the hospital and is “doing well.” Viral meningitis is generally less severe than bacterial meningitis, which can be prevented through a vaccination required for OU students who live on campus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, viral meningitis can be transmitted through close contact with
an infected person, although it is rare: Only a “small number” of people infected with the virus actually develop viral meningitis. Symptoms of viral meningitis include a severe headache, stiff neck, fever, disorientation, lethargy, nausea and vomiting. Anyone who is concerned about exposure or has symptoms of the virus is encouraged to take precautions and seek out a health care provider. GSS ASKS OU NOT TO REQUIRE GRADUATE STUDENTS TO PURCHASE STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE At its Tuesday night meeting, Graduate Student Senate passed a resolution asking OU to no longer require international students to purchase the student health insurance policy. GSS’ discussion of asking OU to no longer require international students to purchase the student health insurance policy included primary sponsor Bahman Shahri, senator
for the Patton College of Education. Shahri urged body members to approve that resolution to come to a conclusion by next Fall Semester. He said the conversation has been ongoing for the last “four or five years.” Mohamed Amira, representative for teacher education and another primary sponsor, described his experience with purchasing that insurance. He said he was told, “If you do not pay, you are violating your status and will be deported.” Long, another primary sponsor, explained that requiring international students to purchase that plan is a “huge financial burden” and dependents of those students cannot use those on-campus resources. GSS will provide examples from peer institutions as to how to waive the fee for international students.
Pig runs free; two students pass out in their puke ELLEN WAGNER FOR THE POST Ohio University Police officers responded to two separate calls about students passed out in vomit in dorm bathrooms over the weekend. First, OUPD responded to call about a student passed out in Hoover House on Saturday at about 3 a.m. The student was found lying in her vomit on the bathroom floor. Officers observed that she smelled like alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and was slurring her speech, according to the report. She was arrested for underage drinking and possession of a fake ID. The student was taken to Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail to sober up. The same day at about 11 p.m, OUPD responded to a call about another student passed out a bathroom in Gamertsfelder Hall. The student was sitting in his vomit. He had bloodshot eyes, was slurring his speech 6 / NOV. 9, 2017
and smelled like alcohol, according to the report. He was arrested for underage drinking and taken to Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail. Those were two of five alcohol-related incidents reported by OUPD this weekend. OUPD also issued three citations for possession of marijuana. HIDE AND SEEK Residential assistants at Pickering Hall called OUPD about an intoxicated student passed out in the hallway at about midnight Saturday. When OUPD arrived, an officer woke up the student and observed he had bloodshot eyes and smelled like alcohol. Officers tried to find out the name of the student and asked him to produce his wallet, which was visible in his pocket. He then ran from the officers, jumping over a balcony railing, according to the OUPD report. The student hid from offi-
cers but was found a few minutes later. He fled on foot again, and was eventually caught. He was arrested for obstructing official business, disorderly conduct by intoxication and possessing a fake ID. He was taken to Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.
arrived, the man said no gas had actually been taken but wanted them to speak to his cousin about the incident. Deputies were unable to find the cousin. The man did not wish to do anything else, since no gas had been taken.
PIGS GONE WILD On Friday, the Athens County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report about a loose pig in Chauncey. Deputies were able to contact the owner of the pig, who was given a warning for an animal at large. According to the report, deputies told the woman to keep her pig on the property or charges would be filed.
CREEPY CLEANERS On Friday, the sheriff’s office took a report from a woman who said people arrived at her house on Canaanville Road and said they had been sent to clean it for her. The woman sent the “cleaners” away and said she had not hired a cleaning crew. After talking to her family and home health aides, they confirmed that none of them had requested a cleaning crew to be sent to her home. Deputies told the woman to call again if they returned and to keep her doors locked.
GAS GUZZLER? Deputies took a theft report from a man who said his cousin was stealing gas from his car Saturday in Carbondale. According to the report, when deputies
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HAYLEY HARDING DIGITAL MANAGING EDITOR Election Day was a blur. For Sam Miller, then-president of Ohio University College Democrats, it began at 4 a.m. Miller worked with the Hillary Clinton campaign to coordinate volunteers on campus, which meant everything from ensuring people weren’t being wrongfully turned away at polls to arranging an impromptu counterprotest against an anti-abortion group. Polls closed at 7:30 p.m., but she stood at the Baker Center polling location until every voter left at some point around 10 p.m. She went to The Pigskin Bar and Grille for a Democratic watch party, confident Clinton would be the first female president of the U.S. David Parkhill, then-president of OU College Republicans, described Election Day as “almost unreal.” A few days before the election, a friend Parkhill worked with throughout the election called to ask if he had prepared comments for reporters and others about why Donald Trump had lost. Parkhill had — because in his words, he thought “it (was) probably going to be a bloodbath” for the 8 / NOV. 9, 2017
Republican Party. He watched results with friends and didn’t know what to expect, but as the night went on, races across the county and state looked good for the Republican Party. “It was pretty much just down to Trump,” Parkhill said. “We were still at my house watching those roll in, and every other second you refreshed, it was Hillary, Trump, Hillary, Trump." It was tense. For Miller, the watch party at The Pigskin began almost celebratory in nature. When states started flipping from an expected Clinton win to a projected Trump win, however, moods changed. When Ohio was finally projected to go for Trump, she was on the phone with her “hardcore Republican” father. He told her he was proud of her for achieving her goal of having Athens County vote primarily for Clinton, although he himself voted for Trump. “I remember looking up at the television, and CNN and Wolf Blitzer coming through and being like, ‘Projected winner! Ohio goes red!’ ” Miller said. “I was like, ‘Dad, I cannot talk to you right now.’ And that is where the night went progressively worse.”
For Parkhill, it was the same point in the night when things got better. He ended up watching the results come in from a hotel in Columbus with local Republicans, meeting up with members of the Trump campaign and some OU alumni. For him, the feeling of validation after supporting a candidate where it felt like “every day of the week, something went wrong” was incredible. “It wasn’t the popular vote, but the majority of Americans believed what I believed,” Parkhill said. “The people we needed ... voted the way we needed them to vote, and just basically proved that the silent majority still exists.” Trump struck a chord with voters, Parkhill said, and as a result, he won the election. One year after the presidential election, the intense emotions that arose in the immediate aftermath of the election have, for the most part, subdued. Now, Americans across the country must work with policies enacted by the president. They don’t necessarily agree with new policies, though. Athens city officials were against Trump’s executive order limiting travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, going so far as to pass a resolution in opposition of it. City officials named Athens a “welcoming city.” The title implies the city is in support of the international community but comes without a threatened loss of funding from federal agencies. “We are in support of not only the international students who come to Ohio University, but also others in our community, that we’re not going to go walking around looking for everyone’s papers,” Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said. Trump made immigration a major part of his platform during one of his first campaign speeches when he suggested the U.S. should build a wall on its border with Mexico because Mexicans who crossed the border were rapists and were bringing crime and drugs. Erick Meza, the president of OU’s Latino Student Union and a junior studying international business, agreed there are problems in Mexico, but he didn’t agree with Trump to stereotype all Mexicans. Both of Meza’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico and became citizens. He said his parents took Trump’s comments hard. Meza said while he agrees the U.S. should not let in people with “extreme criminal backgrounds,” he thinks there are many potential immigrants who may make America a better country. “If you bring in potential students that might be the leading doctors of
ILLUSTRATION BY ABBY DAY
America, then for all means, yes,” Meza said. “But if you’re letting in people that have zero interest, criminal backgrounds … obviously, no.” Beyond policy topics are the social issues that Americans are aware of. Trump “emboldened” a lot of people to voice negative opinions about race, gender and other topics that they might not have acknowledged, Mailé Nguyen, the president of Students Teaching About Racism in Society, said. Nguyen, a senior studying theater in the Honors Tutorial College who uses they/them pronouns, said the U.S. still would have been dealing with those issues under Clinton, but the problems are likely more prominent now. Many people are concerned the progress made on social issues by previous administrations will be undone, delfin bautista, the director of OU’s LGBT Center, said. If Clinton were president, bautista, who uses they/them pronouns and the lowercase spelling of their name, said things may be less unsure because Clinton is “less sporadic.” “It’s not so much (the administration), it’s what they’re inspiring,” bautista said. “I think the boldness (Trump) has inspired is leading to an increase in hate crimes, to the tragedy of homicide, to microaggressions, to people
saying things, graffiti and whatnot.” For those in the Republican Party, the changes took a different form than perhaps anyone expected. People were looking for a change from establishment candidates, Pete Couladis, the chairman of the Athens County Republican Party, said. “I know for a fact that people were calling me at home and wanting Trump signs and telling me they were Democrats,” Couladis said. “Whether those people stay (Republican) or not, that’s another question.” Though some argue there is a growing divide between members of the Republican Party, Couladis hasn’t seen that as much at the local level. He said it’s important to pay attention to local races “and not let good candidates for local and state offices lose because they’re mad at Trump.” He said it’s always been difficult to be a Republican in Athens, but it’s more the result of the political affiliation of the area rather than anything Trump has done. To Ryan Evans, a senior studying political science and the president of OU College Republicans, Trump has not changed what it means to be a conservative. The party is still based in conservatism, Evans said, valuing strong economic policies.
Some argue Trump’s election led to the rise of the alt-right movement, but Evans said such extremists “are not conservatism at all.” “(The alt-right is) a disgusting organization,” Evans said. “I think people calling all conservatives racists, bigots, homophobes — all these different names — takes away from the fact that the alt-right is racist.” One year after the election, things are largely no longer a blur. Some policies, such as environmental regulations, have changed a lot; others, such as tax policy, have yet to change at all. Health care sits somewhere in the middle as something Trump has unsuccessfully tried to change. People’s perspectives on social issues may have changed, but for some, that has been an inspiration to get involved, to run for office or to just make their voices heard. Changes would have come no matter who was elected. For some, however, America just feels different under President Trump. Read an extended version of this story online at thepostathens.com
@HAYLEY_HARDING HH102614@OHIO.EDU THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 9
CHAMPION OF STUDENTS HAYLEY HARDING DIGITAL MANAGING EDITOR Pat McGee knows Ohio University students. He knows the things they want from their school and how they like to relax. He lives near students, he’s taught legal rights classes to students and he was once a Bobcat himself. After winning his second term as an independent on Athens City Council, McGee’s hopes to continue to advocate for students and bring their voices to the city administration. McGee is a strong proponent of students. He has worked for the Center for Student Legal Services since 2000. As the managing attorney there, he represents students in everything from landlord disputes to cases involving underage drinking or illegal marijuana use. He also served as legal counsel for some of those involved in the February protest in Baker Center that led to the arrest of 70 students, according to a previous Post report. “I must say that I have even been used as a mediator by the university police on issues concerning student demonstrations and free speech issues,” McGee said in an email interview with The Post. “Since our office is not permitted to sue state officials or to ‘meddle’ in internal affairs of the University, I have been able to earn the respect of the administration through my actions without being threatening or subservient.” McGee earned 1,429 votes, 23.11 percent of the total vote for the three at at-large seats. He will join incumbent Peter Kotses, who got 1,527 votes, and newcomer Sarah Grace, who earned 1,447 votes. McGee made $7,919.55 as a councilman in calendar year 2017 and was one of five candidates running for the at-large position. McGee said he wants to strive “for increasing mutual respect between students and ‘townies,’ ” meaning he Pat McGee, I-At-Large, poses for a portrait. (EMILY MATTHEWS / FILE)
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wants to improve student opportunity in the city and lessen penalties for what he called “indiscretions.” He also wants to help make students proud of Athens, because as he says, “It really is an amazing place.” “One of my goals in running as an independent again rather than as a Democrat is to demonstrate how the current primaries, which occur while the students are away, results in a less-representative selection of officials,” McGee said. “I'm running for the at-large seat because I want to represent all of the citizens of Athens. He wasn’t a candidate only for students, though. McGee sees some of the biggest problems in Athens as ones that affect both full-time residents and students alike. McGee said during his campaign he has several main points on which he wants to focus. The first of those points is requiring body cameras for police officers. Calling it a “win-win” for police and citizens alike, he argues it results in “police realizing they have to act as professionals, and citizens realizing that there may be legitimate reasons for the filing of charges.” He also plans to rid the city of “garbage utility charges” that stem from charges on trash can billing in the city. Furthermore, he wants to promote free public transportation and preserve lower-income housing. “Last of all, I want to challenge what I consider reckless spending on items that have limited benefit,” McGee said in an email. After winning, he thanked students who came out and voted. He said he was excited to get back to work tackling the issues the city faces. “I’m feeling good,” McGee said. “We were just saying, ‘Let the party begin.’ It’s not a ‘party’ party, though — it’s a ‘hard work’ party.”
A second wind for Sarah Grace She’s an Ohio University alumna and a mother of four — and, after running a successful campaign, she’s the newest atlarge member of the Athens City Council, winning 1,447 votes. Sarah Grace has made her return to the local spotlight after her 2016 run for state representative and hopes to give back to the “vibrant, funky town” she calls home. “I recognize what a privilege it is, and I know that this hasn’t happened by accident,” Grace said in an email after her victory Tuesday night. “It has taken the dedication of countless community members and public servants. … I am committed to public service and working in whatever way that I can to not only keep it going, but perhaps to make it even better.” Last year, Grace campaigned as the Democratic candidate for Ohio’s 94th House district but lost 58 to 42 percent to Republican Jay Edwards. Unsure of her next step after the loss, Grace returned to OU, where she is now pursuing her master’s degree in public health — a degree she hopes to use to continue serving Athens. “I have always had an interest in health care and have become increasingly aware of gaps and significant health care needs that rural communities face,” Grace said. “The public health field seems like a good way to combine my interest in health care and commitment to public service.” As votes were tallied and the results began rolling in Tuesday night, Grace was in class and had to rush home to finish a paper before her midnight deadline. “I am very grateful,” Grace said after her win. “And excited. And tired.” Since her last campaign, Grace has been studying, recovering from a recent surgery and spending time with loved ones, including her husband, local Athens Municipal Court Judge Todd Grace. “I focused on spending time with my family and being grateful for the joys of being together in Athens,” Grace said. “My oldest child is a senior in high school, so as a family we took a trip to visit about a dozen different colleges and universities for him to consider.” Grace’s former campaign manager, Nathan Cotton, who now works with Zack Space’s campaign for Ohio auditor, said Grace is “very approachable and open minded” in decision-making. “Sarah is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and that really comes
I recognize what a privilege it is, and I know that this hasn’t happened by accident. It has taken the dedication of countless community members and public servants. … I am committed to public service and working in whatever way that I can to not only keep it going, but perhaps to make it even better.
LAUREN FISHER ASST. NEWS EDITOR
- Sarah Grace, D-At Large
through with how prepared she is to discuss public policy,” Cotton said in an email. “That preparation and knowledge is really valuable, especially when coupled with her more holistic understanding of the Athens community, which has been developed as a parent of kids in local schools, interacting with local businesses and operating her own.” Despite her loss last year, Grace’s focus remained on improving Athens. “My positions on issues and my hopes for this region of Ohio have not changed,” Grace said. “My personal focus and priorities are currently more specifically on Athens, family and school though.” Those priorities include efforts to allow more OU students to remain in Athens after graduation by increasing the availability of affordable housing and supporting more “innovative, good paying jobs.” “I also want to see the city continue to work towards increased sustainability, e.g. curbside composting, more energy efficiency, and solar,” Grace said. “Part of why I love Athens, is because I appreciate the funky progressive atmosphere of the town. I want more people to be able to contribute to and enjoy it as I have.”
Sarah Grace is the newest at-large member on Athens City Council. (MEAGAN HALL / FILE) THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 11
Peter Kotses poses for a portrait at his bike shop, Athens Bicycle, 4 W. Stimson Ave. Kotses was re-elected to his at-large city council seat Tuesday. (ABBEY MARSHALL / FILE)
Local businessman Kotses re-elected to at-large seat ABBEY MARSHALL FOR THE POST Athens native Peter Kotses has three fundamental passions: bicycles, streets and his community. Kotses, a 1992 Ohio University graduate and local business owner, was re-elected to his position of at-large city council member in Tuesday’s election. Kotses, a Democrat, was first elected in 2015. This was the first time he’s run for re-election to fill one of three at-large positions. Incumbent Pat McGee, I, and newcomer Sarah Grace, D, also were elected. “A lot of that first term is just getting your feet wet and understanding what the position is and how it works,” Kotses said. “What’s cool (about a second term) is I would move up the ladder on some of the committees.” Kotses expressed interest in leading the transportation committee, an issue he has focused on heavily during his time on council. 12 / NOV. 9, 2017
“You boil back the ingredients to make a city, it’s streets and people,” he said. “If those two don’t exist, you don’t have a city. ... It’s the most important property the city owns, so it’s something we can always do a better job of analyzing and providing a better system in which people can get through the city.” His passion for transportation within the city extends beyond council. Kotses has owned and operated Athens Bicycle, 4 W. Stimson Ave., since 1998. “A lot of people love this region, but finding employment and staying is hard,” he said. “When we opened up, it was to provide something for the community that should be present in the community we love.” Kotses said his business skills transferred over to his position as at-large councilor. “I see a lot of parallels to what I’ve done for 20 years here being good assets for the job,” he said. “I have to manage a budget and make sure people run a tight ship. Be-
ing on council is kind of similar. You have to provide a watchful eye and make sure the funds are being spent in a proper fashion.” Of his time on council, Kotses cites his proudest moments as the votes he casted in support of the Stimson Avenue roundabout and the bikeway extension bridge over the Hocking River. He made $7,919.55 in calendar year 2017 as a councilman. “Every street system needs to be analyzed … so people can get around better maybe without a vehicle and so can we encourage a healthier lifestyle for people,” Kotses said, referencing the complete streets project, which aims to accommodate multiple modes of transportation. “If you can make the streets safer, that (could) bring more people out so we have more human interaction. It’s breaking down barriers and making things more accessible.” Kotses is the son of an OU professor and was raised in Athens. He lives in the city with his wife and 10-year-old daugh-
ter. He believes his 40-plus years of experience with the city gives him an advantage when it comes to being successful in his city council position. “I have over 40 years within the city limits, so I have a good history of what this town has done and what they’ve been trying to achieve,” he said. “A lot of the initiatives we’re working on now, I can go back and look at why things are the way they are because of things that were happening in the ’90s.” Kotses said he is thrilled to continue to serve the city he loves. “I’ve always enjoyed the town,” Kotses said. “It’s a great place to grow up. I was excited that I was able to find something that allowed me to stay and raise a kid here. … Council is just another extension of providing help and assistance to a community I love.”
Butler beats Cristi, keeps first ward seat
Councilman Kent Butler, D-1st Ward, speaks at the Athens City Council meeting on Aug. 22, 2016. (CAMILLE FINE / FILE)
In 2008, Kent Butler was approached by people on the west side of Athens about running for a position on Athens City Council. At that time, former Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl was considering leaving his council position to run for mayor. Butler has held his seat on city council since then. Butler won the election against challenger Brian Cristi on Tuesday and will continue representing the first ward on council. The first ward covers the west side of Athens. “I want to thank Brian Cristi for the civic engagement and his efforts,” Butler said. “The community deserves dialogue.” He also said he is honored to serve again and thanked voters for their support. Butler is an Ohio University alumnus with a master’s degree in education in rehabilitation counseling. In addition to his position on city council, he is the executive director of the Hocking Valley Community Residential Center. He believes some of the main issues facing Athens as a whole include aging infrastructure, the opioid epidemic and general safety issues. “I think we need to continue to engage and listen to community members about the direction they want to see their city grow,” Butler said. Butler chairs the City and Safety Services Committee, which deals with city infrastructures and the police and fire departments. He said there are homes of all types on the west side, from student housing to middle-class family homes. Additionally, he said there are several businesses on the west side that he is “trying to make sure infrastructure is there to help them prosper.” “I would argue that the first ward is one of the most diverse social economic districts,” Butler said. General safety issues, private business infrastructures and aging infrastructures, and mobility and transportation for those with disabilities are a few of the things Butler thinks are issues for Athens’ west side. Butler also said the topography of the area is “challenging when consider-
TAYLOR HEDDLESON FOR THE POST
I think we need to continue to engage and listen to community members about the direction they want to see their city grow. - Kent Butler, D-1st Ward
ing certain needs and legislation.” While serving his terms, he has become “associated with LGBT-friendly and inclusive legislation” and making Athens pedestrian- and bike-friendly. “Sometimes making a political impact is zero recognition and being a quiet voice of reason in a room, or sometimes making a political impact is to be loud and obnoxious,” Butler said, “I think my (political) impact (on Athens) is through working in a way that empowers people.” Some of his most memorable experiences during his career on city council have included being a part of legislations that he believes increased inclusion and diversity, he said. Additionally, Butler said “seeing (residents’) creativity come to fruition” in the Athens community is one of his favorite parts of serving on council. He loves when residents come to council meetings with ideas to help better the city and likes seeing them be empowered when their ideas become reality in the form of legislation. “It’s pretty exciting when (something) starts off as just a small idea and it becomes an integral part of the community or the city,” he said. Butler made $7,919.55 in calendar year 2017 as a councilman.
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COUNCIL PRESIDENT Athens City Council President Chris Knisely, a Democrat who ran unopposed, was elected to serve another term as council president Tuesday night. She received 1,984 votes. Since Knisely was first elected, city council has approved various city projects, including the construction of the Stimson Avenue roundabout, the new city pool and the East State Street improvement project, according to a previous Post report. Knisely gave the credit for all of the projects to city workers and her fellow council members. “It’s not because of me,” Knisely said. “It’s because of this whole cadre of talented people.” Knisely, who began serving in 2015, said she hopes to continue working closely with city administration and officials during her second term as council president. “We need to work … in the best way that we can with the city administration so that we can be good stewards of our moneys and our resources that we have for the city,” she said. SECOND WARD Jeff Risner, an incumbent, was re-elected to his position representing Athens’ second ward with 443 votes. Risner, a Democrat, ran unopposed for his fourth term on city council. Although it may not always be glamorous, Risner said he enjoys his position in Athens’ second ward. “I guess I’ll just plunge into what I have been doing and keep working on the city budget,” Risner, the chair of the Finance and Personnel Committee, said after his re-election. THIRD WARD Samuel Emerson Crowl, Ohio University’s sustainability project coordinator, won an unopposed election for Athens City Council’s third ward seat on Tuesday night with 582 votes. Crowl, a Democrat and longtime Ath-
I guess I’ll just plunge into what I have been doing and keep working on the city budget.
T he Pointe
- Jeff Risner, D-2nd Ward
ens resident, said in a previous Post report he would like to see the relationship between the city and OU grow even stronger. “I think the town-gown relationship was a little bit strained in my younger years,” Crowl said. “(I) would like to see that cooperation go even further.” John Haseley, chairman of the Athens County Democratic Party, said Crowl could provide insight to clean energy efforts in Athens. “He has a really good voice and will bring a lot of good insight to a lot of the sustainability and green energy efforts we’re taking in Athens,” Haseley said. “I think he’ll approach every issue with a thoughtful, common-sense approach.” FOURTH WARD Chris Fahl, an incumbent Democrat, was re-elected to her council position representing the fourth ward with 485 votes. Fahl said in a previous Post report that her greatest accomplishment since she was elected in 2008 was working with residents to write “Chapter 47: Resource extraction and disposal monitoring and mitigation,” which protects Athens in terms of resource extraction and waste disposal by requiring reports and monitoring activities related to those processes. During her time on council, Fahl has worked on traffic calming, or the installation of safety solutions such as radar speed signs or speed bumps to reduce traffic, in residential neighborhoods. She has also worked toward pedestrian safety measures and has focused on city trash laws. Shelby Campbell and Anastasia Nicholas contributed to this report.
Nov. 7 levy, issue and ordinance results
GRAPHIC BY CLAIRE HANNA
What levies, issues and ordinances passed in Athens on Tuesday MADDIE CAPRON NEWS EDITOR About 11,746 ballots were cast in Athens County for the 2017 general election. Here’s a look at what levies, issues and ordinances passed in Athens on Tuesday night. THE ATHENS CANNABIS ORDINANCE, OR TACO Under a new Athens ordinance, those convicted of misdemeanor marijuana offenses will pay no fines. The Athens Cannabis Ordinance, or TACO, passed with 2,000 votes, or 77 percent of the vote. It aims to decrease the incentive for Athens police officers to enforce marijuana laws by removing the fines and court costs offenders pay. “Law enforcement is a business just like any other one,” Caleb Brown, one of TACO’s petition leaders, said in a previous Post report. “With no fines or court costs to be paid from local citations, the justice system will quickly recognize that enforcing misdemeanor marijuana offenses in town is not a profitable venture.” Under the Ohio Revised Code, possessing marijuana paraphernalia or fewer
than 100 grams of marijuana is a minor misdemeanor that carries a maximum fine of $150. Possessing at least 100 but fewer than 200 grams is a fourth-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250. Carrying at least 200 grams of marijuana is a felony, and the ordinance will not apply. STATE ISSUE 1 Issue 1, otherwise known as Marsy’s Law, will repeal and replace the Ohio Constitution’s Second Amendment, passed in 1994. Similar to Amendment 2, Issue 1 establishes constitutional rights for victims and their families, but the two differ in the actual execution of those rights. Marsy’s Law designates 10 specific rights in its text. They include a right to a timely notice of all public proceedings, the right to restitution, the right to prompt conclusion of the case and the right to refuse interviews the defendant requests. The issue passed in Athens County with 71.94 percent of the vote or 8,151 votes. STATE ISSUE 2 Issue 2 failed to pass, receiving 7,770 votes against it in Athens County, or
about 69.19 percent of the vote. If it had passed, Issue 2 would have required state agencies to pay the same for prescription drugs as the Department of Veteran Affairs, which typically pays 24 percent less than other agencies for prescription medication. Supporters of the bill said it would save taxpayers $400 million by reducing prescription medication prices, which could help fund police, schools and other public services. ATHENS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT LEVY The Athens City School District levy renewed a 1 percent income tax levy for “current operating expenses,” according to official ballot language. The levy passed with about 65 percent of the vote. ATHENS COUNTY BOARD OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES LEVY The Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities 1.8 mill levy passed with 71.13 percent of the vote. The levy represents roughly 15 percent of its annual budget, according to the board’s website.
ATHENS-HOCKING-VINTON ALCOHOL, DRUG ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES DISTRICT LEVY The Athens-Hocking-Vinton Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services District levy passed with 70.50 percent of the vote. The levy is “for the purpose of supplementing the general fund for the purpose of the operation, acquisition and construction of alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services and facilities,” according to official ballot language. ATHENS COUNTY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES LEVY The Athens County Emergency Medical Services levy passed with 77.17 percent of the vote. The levy will “provide for Emergency Medical Services,” according to official ballot language. According to the Athens County Emergency Medical Services’ website, levies account for roughly half of the EMS’ operating expenses.
@MADDIECAPRON MC055914@OHIO.EDU THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 15
Smith wins one of two township trustee seats BENNETT LECKRONE SLOT EDITOR
Eddie Smith celebrates his victory in the Athens Township Trustee race at The Pigskin Bar and Grille, 38 N. Court St, on Tuesday night. (MIJANA MAZURA / FOR THE POST) 16 / NOV. 9, 2017
After his loss in Ohio’s 94th District Democratic primary last year, former Graduate Student Senate President and Ohio University alumnus Eddie Smith was encouraged by local officials to continue pursuing his political career. “I got a call from Charlie Adkins, one of the county commissioners,” Smith said. “He told me ‘Eddie, I really want to recommend you run for township trustee. You live out in The Plains. You’re a representative of the people who live out in the community trying to improve it.’ He was really motivating me to get out and run for it.” Tuesday night, Smith won one of the two open Athens Township Trustee seats with 1,972 votes. Incumbent Steven H. Pierson won the other seat. “It feels phenomenal,” Smith said after the election. “We ran a really hard race, clean and honest. (The other candidates) were both really classy.” Smith, who serves as the director of the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council, has been politically active in Athens for years. “He’s been really active in supporting the local party and also progressive candidates and Democratic candidates in Athens County,” Athens County Democratic Party Chairman John Haseley said of Smith. “I work closely with him, and I think he’s a really good person and a really strong candidate.” As president of OU’s Graduate Student Senate, Smith was part of an effort to increase the number of Athens Public Transit bus stops in The Plains from eight stops a day to 24 — something he says is still an issue for many residents of the community. “A majority of residents in The Plains live in renter-occupied homes, and 29 percent of those people do not have access to a personal automobile,” Smith said. Because cycling is a popular option among people without access to motor vehicles, Smith said he would consider working with the Ohio Department of Transportation, or ODOT, to put bike lanes on some county roads to increase access to bike paths that lead into Athens. “Right now there’s not a safe way for people to get to the bike path,” Smith said. “They have to bike on 45 (mph) roads.” Smith said Athens Township has nearly five times the money to spend per mile of
road in its road fund than Athens County. He said increasing transportation equity could help residents without cars get jobs. “We are legally and budgetarily completely able to do this,” Smith said. “It’s just a matter of if we have the will to do it.” According to a certificate of estimated resources from the Athens County Auditor’s office, Athens Township has $2,179,916 in resources available to it, including $592,978 in its road and bridge fund, as of Jan. 24. Smith said ODOT also has grants available for communities that adopt complete streets policies by putting in bike lanes and increasing transportation equity. Smith said he also wants to address crime in the unincorporated areas of Athens Township. He said there have been roughly 77 burglaries in those areas in the past two years. “The Athens County Sheriff’s Department is underfunded,” Smith said. ”They have 500 square miles of area to cover in this county ... and at any moment on the road, they only have three deputies.” Smith said Ohio law allows townships to pay police departments to put an extra deputy on patrol within its borders — something he says should have been done four years ago. Other issues Smith wants to address include community involvement and trustee visibility. Smith said the township’s website is rarely updated, and township agendas and meeting minutes aren’t put online. “If our township website was actually engaging and had useful content, news, events, (and) created a sense of community and talked about activities and events going on, people might want to visit it,” Smith said. “There needs to be an archive of all official activity of the town government, all the resolutions and all of the meeting minutes, so people can see exactly what their township government is doing for them.” Smith said creating a plan for the township will be his first step as trustee. “I think the first thing we need to start with is creating a planning process for the township,” Smith said. “Athens Township has no planning process right now. We need to figure out, ten years from now, what we want to accomplish.”
Pierson re-elected to township trustee seat ASHTON NICHOLS FOR THE POST Athens Township Trustee Steven H. Pierson won re-election Tuesday. He will serve alongside former Ohio University Graduate Student Senate President Eddie Smith, who was elected to his first term. In March, Pierson retired from his position as the assistant city manager of Nelsonville, where he previously served as code enforcement director. He also worked as the director of code enforcement for 14 years for the City of Athens. “I am relieved that the election process is over and that I can return to investing time in township interests,” Pierson said in an email. “The winter months can be the busiest for keeping roadways clear and motorists (and bicyclists) safe.” Pierson said, now that the election is over, he plans on working right away with the City of Athens to continue work with extending sewer service outside the city. “If the system is installed it will have road and ditch disturbance for not only township roads but also many county roads and state highways,” Pierson said in an email. “It will also affect property values.” Pierson also said he would like to install traffic signals at North Plains Road and Oak Street to “relieve congestion and improve traffic safety” and work to improve sidewalks. Pierson has been a member of the Athens County Regional Planning Commission for 21 years and a member of Carpenters Local 200 in Columbus for 37 years. “I moved here from the Sugar Grove area and started working with the city in 1994,” Pierson said. “In the area that I lived in ... I served as a planning commissioner and a board of zone appeals member. That was the experience that I had when (Athens) hired me 23 years ago.” Pierson serves as the secretary of the Athens County Regional Planning Commission. He also serves as the secretary of the Athens Civitan Club and chairs the Board of Directors for the United Seniors of Athens County. Pierson is passionate about issues such as flooding, public works and city maintenance. He said the Athens County Commissioners will soon enter an agreement with the City of Athens to construct a $20 million sewer project to serve approximately 1,100 residents in Athens Township.
“One of the main charges that township trustees have is to maintain township roads, and a lot of the work that is going to be done to install this sewer system will involve disturbance of the road surfaces to place sewer pipes,” Pierson said. “That’s a big concern that the trustees have over the next few years.” About 75 percent of the Athens Township budget is based on property taxes, Pierson said. He is concerned about protecting the health and safety of residents in the Athens Township area and aiding in improvements of disposal of sewage. “We get about 1.6 percent of everyone’s property tax that they pay,” Pierson said. Pierson said his past experiences working with grants have helped him with his position as township trustee, dealing with “quality of life” questions on a daily basis. “If you have the time and the contacts to fund programs like this, that is where my experience lends itself well in the trustee position,” Pierson said. “In the past, I’ve worked with Athens County Commissioners. It was a federal grant passed down to the state, and then distributed to each county.” That grant funded a program known as Moving Ohio Forward, which acquires “distressed properties” for demolition. Since taking office, Pierson has worked with the program to demolish three houses. Nelsonville City Manager Charles Barga has worked with Pierson for two months since he began working with the city in March. “You’re not going to find anymore more knowledgeable about regulations regarding code enforcement, floodplain management or zoning,” Barga said. “He’s a wealth of knowledge in those areas. ... I still reach out to him occasionally for something I just can’t find the answers to; he’s always been very helpful with me.” Barga said Pierson is passionate about government and brings his passion to the position of being a trustee. “When it comes to local (operations), and how they operate, and how they effectively get things done, he’s just a wealth of knowledge,” Barga said. “He’s just a good person.”
Steven H. Pierson will serve as Athens Township Trustee alongside former Ohio University Graduate Student Senate President Eddie Smith. (BAXTER TURAIN / FILE) THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 17
ILLUSTRATION BY RILEY SCOTT
Athens City School District Board of Education gets shake-up in members THE ATHENS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION WILL HAVE TWO NEW MEMBERS ON THE BOARD AFTER KIM GOLDSBERRY, PAUL GRIPPA AND SEAN PARSONS WON THE THREE OPEN SEATS TUESDAY MAGGIE CAMPBELL FOR THE POST KIM GOLDSBERRY Kim Goldsberry won re-election to the board with 2,504 votes, or 20.68 percent of the vote. “I’m very thankful to the citizens of Athens for entrusting me with the children of Athens,” Goldsberry said. Goldsberry attended Morrison-Gordon Elementary, Athens Middle School and Athens High School before studying communication at OU. She has twins who attend Athens Middle School and a daughter who attends Athens High School. All three previously attended East Elementary. She has served as both president and vice president of the East Elementary Parent Teacher Organization. Goldsberry said she was involved in improving student safety with better security measures at East Elementary, better traffic patterns at Athens High School and more crosswalks near Athens Middle School. Goldsberry first ran for the board and won in 2013 and began her term in 2014. 18 / NOV. 9, 2017
During her time on the board, she said the board has made tough financial decisions, tried to not micromanage what happens within the schools and evaluated the current facilities. Goldsberry hoped to look into grant funded after-school programs that have been implemented at Hilliard Schools near Columbus, as well as “power hours” that would help students struggling with reading if re-elected. PAUL GRIPPA Paul Grippa won one of the three open seats on the board with 2,307 votes, or 19.05 percent of the vote. “I’m proud and honored that people thought that I was an appropriate candidate for the board, and I’m thankful the people voted for me and got me elected,” Grippa said. Grippa has lived in Athens since 1986, when he came to the district to be principal of the Athens Middle School, a position he held for 28 years. Grippa said he also served as interim superintendent for the district from 1995 to 1996. Grippa had nine children
go through the district. Grippa said his time in the district has helped him become familiar with nearly every issue and all the buildings and some of their limitations. He believes the issues that could come up have always been issues, facilities being the exception. He believed the district needs to determine if there are enough or too many buildings, rate the quality of all the buildings from top to bottom and figure out which buildings, if any, need repair. Grippa said the board must address the state of the facilities. “If there are buildings that can be continued to be used, then I think we have an obligation to continue to use these buildings and have them be preserved,” Grippa said. He thinks the board's role is to be a body that oversees and determines policy. SEAN PARSONS Sean Parsons won one of the open seats with 2,066 votes, or 17.06 percent of the vote. "I'm excited to take the energy from campaigning and put it towards improving education for all of the kids in the Athens City School District," Parsons said.
Parsons is an assistant professor at OU’s School of Music. He is the father of two children who both attend Morrison-Gordon Elementary and was a member of the steering committee that developed the three facilities options proposed to the board. Parsons produced videos that explained what the Athens City School District Board of Education was discussing, especially about the facilities options from the steering committee. He said he created those videos to demonstrate how he would communicate as a board member. Special needs services and supporting teachers are two aspects of the district Parsons is focused on. The wide range in the district in special needs services is something Parsons believes there is a “societal obligation” to address. Rather than telling teachers what to do, he wants teachers to tell him what they would want, and he would try to support it. Parsons said he has gone into classrooms in different buildings in the district to see how they were maintained and hopes to do something similar as a board member.
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LATINOS’ IDENTITIES, REPRESENTATION IN U.S. JESSICA HILL | FOR THE POST Carla Triana wasn’t sure what she wanted to be when she grew up. She wasn’t aware of her possibilities. Before Triana moved to Wauseon, a predominantly white city in northwest Ohio, she lived in Colonia, Hidalgo, Mexico, a small town with only five streets where the houses were made of concrete and everybody knew each other. Her father went to the U.S. to work when she was 4 years old and would send money back to them. Triana, her mother and her younger sister lived in a small house without a bathroom and would take baths with a water-filled bucket. She would help her mother go door-todoor selling homemade empanadas. After moving to the U.S. when she was 5, Triana ran sprints for her track team in middle school. She was actually pretty good, she said. But, when she would race, 20 / NOV. 9, 2017
her teammates would comment, “There’s the Mexican running away from immigration.” While visiting family in Mexico, she didn’t entirely fit in. She felt as if she couldn’t pronounce certain Spanish words correctly; in the U.S., she would make mistakes pronouncing English words. “I’m stuck in the middle. I’m trying to find where I fit in,” Triana said. “Society wants to put us in a box and label us.” Like Triana, other Latino students have experienced an identity crisis as they juggle fitting into two worlds: their world of comfort with their own culture and a world of white at their university. Some Latino students have experienced microaggressions, subtle or unintentional discrimination, and they try to find how to fit in a primarily white school.
PERCENTAGE OF HISPANIC STUDENTS AT OHIO UNIVERSITY
LATINO ROOTS Born in Mexico City and raised in Cincinnati, Gabriela Godinez-Feregrino would say she grew up “half and half.” She grew up speaking Spanish and visiting extended family in Mexico about twice a year. Godinez-Feregrino had a fun childhood, but she said it was hard. “You’re never American enough, and you’re never Mexican enough,” Godinez-Feregrino said. In the U.S., people would remind her she was Mexican and not fully American. Questions such as “Where are you really from?” would frequently roll off people’s tongues. And when Godinez-Feregrino would visit Mexico, her cousins’ friends would shrug her off, saying, “You’re just American, so you don’t get it.” Godinez-Feregrino remembers one of the first times she ever explained to someone she wasn’t undocumented. When she was 10, she went to a Girl Scout event. She and her friends had been talking about visiting family during the holidays. A parent, confused, asked her how she was able to go back to Mexico. Godinez-Feregrino didn’t understand the question, but her mother jumped in and mentioned how they had just renewed their passports. “Never did I ... allude to the fact that I could possibly be undocumented because that wasn’t true,” Godinez-Feregrino said. “It wasn’t even on my mind. I didn’t know people did that. I was 10.” When Godinez-Feregrino became a citizen in seventh grade, she experienced a spiritual transition. Before, her mother had felt uncomfortable with singing the national anthem. But once they finally earned citizenship, the national anthem and the American flag intensified in her life. “Now it is yours. Now, legally, it is yours,” her mother told her. Once she became an American citizen, she started to be bullied. People would tell her “go home.” She could not understand how a piece of paper that legitimized her right to be in the country and meant so much to her, meant so little to anybody else. “It was definitely a miniature crisis,” Godinez-Feregrino said. “I was also at the
I feel like I have to be playing a game on a board that was not made for me. - Gabriela Godinez-Feregrino, a senior studying integrated media
same time coming to terms with my sexuality, with being queer, like bi or pansexual, so it also wasn’t very healthful that my racial and my sexual identity were colliding at the same time.” delfin bautista, the director of Ohio University’s LGBT Center, was born and raised in a Spanish-speaking household in Miami. bautista, who uses they/them pronouns and the lowercase spelling of their name, didn’t realize how much of a minority Latinos are in certain areas, first when they went to graduate school in Connecticut and then when they came to OU. In 2016, Hispanic students made up 3.1 percent of the OU student body, compared to white students, who made up about 78.7 percent, according to the OU Fact Book from the Office of Institutional Research. “It’s just very lonely and isolating,” bautista said. “Where do you find community? And then, having to constantly justify and prove your Latin-ness.” Triana remembers crying a lot. When she was 5, she and her mother and sister moved to the U.S. to meet her father. Her uncle drove them to a house, where they waited for coyotes, people who smuggle Latin Americans across the border. They stayed in the house for about a month, and crossed the border while hidden in vehicles on Thanksgiving Day in 2000. Before gaining a green card through her family’s immigration lawyer, Svetlana Schreiber, and later her citizenship, Triana lived as an undocumented immigrant. Her grandparents died soon after she came to
the U.S. Unable to return to Mexico, she never got to see them. “I don’t have memories of them,” she said, tears brimming in her eyes. Living as an undocumented immigrant shaped her. She had to grow up fast, Triana said. At 7 or 8 years old, she was translating for her parents at banks and interviews — “big, grown-up stuff,” she said. Triana would try to assimilate to her white friends’ culture and blend in. Though she was proud about her heritage, she couldn’t speak about it. She feels she has a divided identity that is split among two groups, sometimes referred to as the “1.5 Generation.” COMING TO COLLEGE Gabriela Soto, an undecided freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences who is from Humacao, Puerto Rico, has felt very welcome at OU. Her first week, she made friends with people in her dorm and joined the Latino Student Union. When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September, her friends in the LSU comforted her. “I joined Latino Student Union because even though I came here to explore new things, I knew that I was going to get homesick,” Soto said. “The Latino Student Union was the closest thing, I guess, to Puerto Rico.” Godinez-Feregrino, a senior studying integrated media, however, felt like an outsider. Occasionally a classmate would say something underhandedly racist, and she wouldn’t feel comfortable standing up for herself, afraid her professor would take offense. “I feel like I have to be playing a game on a board that was not made for me,” Godinez-Feregrino said. Hispanics made up 17 percent of students, both undergraduate and graduate, enrolled in college in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And as of 2012, the Hispanic college enrollment rate surpassed that of whites, according to Pew Research Center. So, the number of Latino students at OU is pretty “shameful,” Alicia Chavira-Prado, the special assistant to the vice provost for
Diversity and Leadership, said. “We need to do better,” she said. “If we don’t respond to those demographics, we’re missing out. We need to grow as the nation’s trends grow.” When Triana, president of International Student Union, came to OU as a freshman, she didn’t know any Latinos and considered transferring to Ohio State University for that reason. “I don’t think lonely even describes it,” Triana said. “How the emotion, the feeling, desperate for people to look like you. ... I felt very unwelcome, like I didn’t really fit in.” Godinez-Feregrino toyed with the idea of a dorm for people of color, as it could be useful and make Latinx students feel safe and comfortable in their own space. Latinx is a term often used as a gender-neutral or non-binary way to refer a person of Latin American descent. “But what are we going to do? Keep isolating ourselves? Keep segregating ourselves?” Godinez-Feregrino said. Godinez-Feregrino said it was also hard being intersectional, trying to fit in with both the LGBT community and the Latino community. SHADES, an LGBT group for people of color, has helped her a lot, and that’s where she’s made her best friends. In February, Triana was one of 70 students arrested in Baker Center. She sat with the other students to protest national immigration policies, seeing a stark reality that if Schrieber, her immigration lawyer, hadn’t helped her family, she could have been one of the students in fear of deportation. Now, Triana has decided what she wants to be when she graduates: an immigration lawyer. “I want to give other people the opportunity to pursue their dreams and goals and go to college, start their own business, without the fear of being deported,” Triana said. “I want to be an advocate for immigration. That’s what I want to do.”
@JESS_HILLYEAH JH240314@OHIO.EDU THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 21
Marching 110 features all songs from season while honoring upcoming graduates Ohio University’s esteemed marching band will perform its set list from the entire football season Saturday. The Marching 110 is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Marching 110 Varsity Show will feature all 245 members together on one stage. The event serves as a platform to share the year’s repertoire with people who may not usually see the band at Peden Stadium or who want to see it in a different setting. The show begins at 8 p.m. in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, and tickets are free for OU students with ID, $11 for non-students and $9 for each member in a group of 10 or more. Josh Boyer, assistant director of marching and athletic bands, said the performance intends to gather together OU students, alumni, high school students and parents. The Marching 110 puts on a similar concert in Columbus, but Boyer said this one has a personal touch because they honor the students who are graduating. Each person is introduced and thanked for their time playing in the band, so many parents often come to witness it. Evann Figueroa, a senior studying journalism and information design, said after the seniors shake both band directors’ hands, they make a long line in the audience and watch the remaining band members play “Stand Up and Cheer” for them. It’s emotional because that’s the first song they heard as a freshman during training week, she said. High school students often attend the event if they’re interested in joining the Marching 110 when they come to OU, Boyer said. “They see the band, they want to be part of the band,” he said. “This concert gives them the opportunity to come see everything we do.” 22 / NOV. 9, 2017
Josh Green, a freshman studying media arts, said he came to a few varsity shows during his years at high school because he was determined to become a member. The Varsity Show makes it easier to hear and see the band than at football games because the band faces one direction and just plays. “Hearing the face-melting power of the Marching 110 up close and personal is a mind-boggling experience,” Green said. “It’s one that you can never forget.” The most recent band directors at Green’s former high school, Lakewood High School near Cleveland, were members of the 110 and had brought back techniques to incorporate at the high school level. Green knew some basics before joining the drum line, but he wasn’t prepared for the “dedication and enthusiasm … and the amount of effort that they put into every rehearsal and every performance we have.” “After coming here and arriving at training week, I was immediately blown away by the amount of excellence that the 110 strives for,” Green said. “You can’t compare a high school marching band, or even a college level marching band to the 110. ” Boyer said small groups of juniors and seniors perform the band’s halftime choreography on both sides of the stage during selected songs. Figueroa said the band directors asked her to be a dance commander for the Marching 110 this year. She’s in charge of creating the band’s choreography and teaching it to the band members. Sometimes, students might have to learn different steps than what they perform on the football field. She said there were fewer dances for the Varsity Show this year than in past years. Not many juniors were picked for the dance groups, leaving it mainly up to seniors. “If you’re a junior and you get picked for a dance this year, that’s mega exciting because you were that good that we made a
The Marching 110 performs during their annual varsity show at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on Nov. 20. (CARL FONTICELLA / FILE)
Hearing the face-melting power of the Marching 110 up close and personal is a mindboggling experience.
MEGHAN MORRIS FOR THE POST
- Josh Green, a freshman studying media arts
spot for you,” Figueroa said. Boyer said he estimates last year’s crowd to have had between 1,500 and 1,700. He loves the different energy the audience gives off during varsity shows. The Varsity Show also allows more audience interactions while the dancers do their cheer dance. Band members will jump off the stage, run through the audience and give people high fives. “It’s the closest you’ll ever be to (performing) at a rock concert,” Boyer said. “The crowd’s very close to you. They’re very energetic. They’re there to see the band.”
WHAT’S GOING ON? MORRIS WEIN FOR THE POST
Friday Psylodelic Gallery: Jefferson Airplane Loves You opens at noon at
the Fur Peace Ranch, 39495 Saint Clair Road, Pomeroy. Psylodelic Gallery finished its latest exhibit composed of rarely seen group of photos from guitarist Jorma Kaukonen’s private collection of memories with Jefferson Airplane, as well as Athens artist Andy Tucker’s “A Shared Moment,” which includes oil paintings of poets, writers, activists and musicians from the 1960s. This is the perfect gallery for any ’60s, free-love, rock ’n’ roll enthusiast. Admission is free. Pride Show at 8 p.m. at Athens Uncorked, 14 Station St. Join Jasmyn LaBasha as she comes in like a wrecking ball. Joining her will be the amazing talents and special guests Zach Matthews, Jada Fenix Lorez, Kendall Kray, Lady Davona and Antidote to celebrate LBGT pride. They plan to put on an exciting show. Tickets cost $6, and doors open at 6:30 p.m. Greg Ashley, Water Witches and the D-Rays perform at 9 p.m. at The
Union Bar & Grill, 18 W. Union St. Another Union concert that is sure to be fun. No cover charge is specified on its website yet, but the Union usually charges for these shows, so anyone planning to attend should have cash ready.
The Albany Ohio Honor Guard stands by during taps at the Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11, 2016. (KEVIN PAN / FILE)
Saturday Veterans Day Parade at 10 a.m., starting up East State Street to Carpenter Street on to Court Street, where it concludes at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on College Green. A brief program will be held at the monument at the conclusion of the parade. The Birdhouse Music Festival at 2
p.m. at 186 N. Congress St. This backyard music festival will feature local and regional indie, folk and alternative bands. Admission is free, but those who attend are encouraged to donate. All donations and
T-shirt sales will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
movies on the big screen. Tickets are $12.50 each.
Acrylic Grooves, The Tangled Roots and Curious Camels at 10 p.m. at
Ohio University Jazz Night at 8 p.m. at Athens Uncorked, 14 Station St. Wind down this Sunday night with some smooth jazz. OU faculty members Matt James, Sean Parsons, John Horne, Terry Douds and Roger Braun will present a set of jazz classics, followed by a jam session featuring OU students. Admission is free, so anyone can come to enjoy some wine and jazz.
Casa Nueva, 4 W. State St. Casa is hosting another show. That means great food, drinks and music. The cover charge is $5.
Sunday Casablanca at 7 p.m. at the Athena
Grand, 1008 E. State St. Come celebrate the 75th anniversary of this iconic classic at the Athena Grand. Don’t miss out on this chance to watch one of the most iconic noir
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24 / NOV. 9, 2017