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Since 1966

Vol. 38, Iss. 10

Monday, November 4, 2013

News Manitou flood Geography department estimates future flooding 3 Veteran 5K/3K The Student Veterans Organization plans first annual run and walk 3

Science & Business Nobel Prize Instructor recalls working with Nobel Prize winner 4 Online classes Students weigh pros and cons of online education 4

Culture Playwright Jeff Keele discusses his inspiration 5 Katy Perry Starlet strikes a high note with ‘Prism’ 6

Opinion Homeschoolers Students taught at home are prepared for college 9 Feminine items Tampons and pads should be free 9

Sports University of Colorado Colorado Springs

UCCS key player at Colorado Sustainability Conference Nick Beadleston

The end of October ushered in the 11th annual Colorado Sustainability Conference. The event, presented by the Catamount Institute and held at the Hotel Eleganté Expo and Conference Center, brought together experts and organizations aimed at improving the environment. Key speakers included Bob Inglis, executive director of the Virginia-based Energy and Enterprise Initiative, and Nick Kittle, co-founder of Colorado Springs’ Office of Innovations and Sustainability. UCCS was featured by way of Chancellor Pamela ShockleyZalabak, who was chosen to deliver the opening address. The university also hosted a booth featuring information about campus sustainable programs and changes. ‘Reaching Higher’ Shockley-Zalabak’s address, entitled Reaching Higher, focused on the topic of Colorado Springs’ “middle miles” of sustainability. The middle miles, as defined by Shockley-Zalabak, are the stretches of distance after the exhilaration of the beginning but before the certainty of the finish. “It is the middle miles where the success factors are developed and executed,” she said. “A lot of us can start fast and finish fast, but sustaining it in the middle is a huge challenge.” Shockley-Zalabak highlighted 10 points in the Pikes Peak Region 2030 plan and explained how the components could benefit from a sustainable mindset. “If we focus on our region, we will develop technologies, processes and behaviors that can be scaled to other parts of the country and other parts of the world.” The chancellor spoke heavily on the topics of agriculture, and arts and culture.

SGA Cabinet member resigns amid conflicts Aaron Collett


Kevin Gilford presented at the sustainability conference.

“If you look where we live, it’s very easy to see the importance of our natural environment.” She continued by explaining that other citizens of Colorado, particularly those in urban settings, do not have the same benefit. Shockley-Zalabak spoke of inheriting her family farm in Oklahoma where a no-till, noartificial irrigation methodology led to a 35 percent energy reduction. Regarding the university’s role in facilitating a more sustainable future for the region, Shockley-Zalabak said “the most important thing we can do is provide academic knowledge.” While the chancellor referred to UCCS several times during her address, the bulk of her speech focused on the Pikes Peak region in its entirety. She

did, however, state that the university has “fully integrated sustainability into our educational goals.” Shockley-Zalabak concluded her address by addressing five values necessary to succeed in sustainability: persistence, sincerity, humility, honesty and belief. “All of the creativity in the world comes from an ‘I don’t know’ mentality,” she said, referring to the importance of humility. The chancellor also stated that in many cases properly channeled persistence can trump intelligence. Shockley-Zalabak simultaneously closed her speech and opened the conference by stating, “Welcome to the middle miles of sustainability.” Continued on page 3 . . .

Basketball Men’s and women’s basketball prepare for upcoming season 11


Secretary of Multicultural Affairs Thaddeus Bland Jr. resigned from the Student Government Association last month, effective on October 11. He was originally elected to the position of senator of multicultural affairs. Last spring, however, that position was removed and replaced with the Cabinet-level secretary of multicultural affairs. “If I would have known what was going to take place before it took place, I wouldn’t have chosen that position,” Bland said. “They took away my vote, as far as meetings go, so if I don’t have a vote in meetings, it’s almost like saying my voice doesn’t even matter.” Student Body President Jasmine Caldwell said, “Our documents don’t give him a lot of power with what he wants to do.” Referring to the new position, Bland stated, “Honestly, I still don’t know what the new job is. They never told me.” He added, “I wanted to create the position, what it means and the blueprint for the position.” Constitution changes Last spring, the SGA Constitution and bylaws came up for their three-year review. Among the changes proposed were removing a freedom of speech clause from the preamble and giving the president an uncontested veto on all budget items. It was also purposed that the senators of athletics, housing, sustainability and multicultural affairs be converted to Cabinet positions. This would move them to the executive branch, thus removing their voting authority. Of the proposals, only the conversion of the three Continued on page 2 . . .


Nov. 4, 2013­| 2

Manitou at risk for 100-year flood, professor says April Wefler

This past summer, Manitou Springs was hit with an onslaught of flooding that impacted businesses and tourism. If research in the geography department comes to fruition, the impact from the summer flooding will seem minimal compared to the impact from a 100-year flood, expected in the year 2064. “It doesn’t mean that every 100 years you’re gonna have a 100-year flood event. You could end up having two … events back to back,” said Eric Billmeyer, instructor of geography and environmental studies. Although the probability of two

back-to-back 100-year floods is unusual, Billmeyer said it is not impossible. “There’s a possibility of 63.4 percent of one or more 100-year floods occurring in any 100-year period,” he said. Billmeyer said Eve Gruntfest, professor emeritus of geography, estimated the last 100-year flood in Manitou was Aug. 5, 1902, from Fountain Creek. “We didn’t have any gauged streams back then. It’s based on damage that occurred and eyewitness accounts,” Billmeyer said. He added that Williams Creek was estimated to have had a 500year flood event on July 1, 1882, which came through Williams Canyon and impacted Fountain

Creek. Billmeyer said that Fountain Creek, which flows into Colorado Springs, is the main creek that goes through Manitou. Williams Creek is a tributary of Fountain Creek. Flooding events in Manitou come from Fountain Creek, Williams Creek or Weston Creek, which flows off of Pike’s Peak. The three creeks converge in downtown Manitou. “That’s what makes it dangerous; flood in one or just all three and they’re gonna impact Manitou,” Billmeyer said. Historically, most of the Manitou floods occur in July, August or September. “The biggest flood in Fountain Creek in the Manitou

(Continued from page 1) SGA Cabinet senatorial seats passed. Caldwell, who was the former senator of multicultural affairs, said, “I was a little indifferent. I believe I voted yes to move it because my perception was that these positions would have more power in the secretary position. But now we are discovering that’s really not the case.” “Especially since they don’t have a vote on really anything – actually nothing,” she continued. However, not everyone in SGA is opposed to the change. Matthew Driftmier, secretary for sustainability, said, “I don’t miss my vote at all. If anything, I wish we’d gotten rid of it sooner.” He explained, “I don’t see it necessary to have a vote. I still get my voice heard in committees ... Really, the secretaries, without the vote, without having to attend all the meetings, it really allows us to step into an

advocacy role.” Currently, the secretary of multicultural affairs is the only open Cabinet position. Collin Campbell was recently appointed to the secretary of athletics position, which has stood vacant for much of the semester. Absence policy Lack of power was not the only issue between members of the executive branch. “The conflict came when Jasmine had told me that I had two absences due to scholarship obligations, and I had a job interview for a promotion,” Bland said. “She told me, ‘You have two absences, excused or not; three absences and you’re kicked out of SGA.’ That was the last straw for me.” According to the rules set by the SGA Constitution, Cabinet members are required to meet with the president once a

area in the gauged record happened in September of 1964,” he said. In the 1964 flood, the stream gauge at 30th Street and West Colorado Avenue recorded 2,630 cubic feet per second (cfs). “A cubic foot of water is essentially the same size and volume of a basketball. When you’re standing in the river, 2,630 basketballs would be going by you every second,” Billmeyer said. The September flooding had 1,540 cfs. “Even though we got a lot of rain this September, it was spread out over a period of time that we didn’t have a lot of massive flooding,” he said. Billmeyer said that in order to have the flooding that occurs in a

100-year flood, there needs to be high rainfall intensity. Since the September flooding was spread out over a period of time, it created low rainfall intensity. “The storm that did happen in Williams Canyon this past summer was only estimated to be about a 15-20 year storm event,” he said. According to Billmeyer, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimated that in a 100-year flood event, there would be a wall of water about 20 feet high going through downtown Manitou. If the 100-year flood does come to Manitou, “essentially, downtown Manitou will be destroyed,” he said.

member resigns amid conflicts

month. Caldwell said, “Because they are mandatory and set, we have the expectation that you are required to meet those. If he wanted to reschedule, we could have talked about it or he could have let me know beforehand. All my members know I’m open to moving things around.” Bland says, however, that he did inform Caldwell about the absences, providing documentation to The Scribe of an email exchange with Caldwell in which he informed her of the conflict in scheduling. In the exchange Caldwell responded with, “Thanks for letting me know TJ!” According to Caldwell, there is no official excusal policy for missing meetings. “We are actually trying to figure that out because our documents are not specific ... So if a member notifies us of a sickness, or maybe if a member had a sei-

zure or something like that, that they absolutely cannot attend, then that would be an excuse,” she said. Caldwell continued, “It’s really hard right now because we are really trying to interpret our documents and fix them because it’s really not clear what, or if, there is even excusable absences.” While the policy is not clear on what constitutes an excused absence from meetings, Caldwell was firm with Bland about the consequences of his absences. “I approached him, and I said, ‘You have to be at these meetings. You are required to be at these meetings, and you have not shown your face. And you have little chances. So you need to be showing up.’” Lack of Communication Both Caldwell and Bland have blamed lack of communication.

“There was a lack of communication; I felt like I wasn’t even part of student government. I felt like I was just doing my own thing,” said Bland. “If he would have let me know, I don’t think he would have had to resign. And I think we could have worked it out further,” Caldwell said. “I feel like that lack of communication really hindered his membership and our collaboration.” Despite the break between Bland and the SGA, neither he nor Caldwell indicated being bitter about the resignation. Caldwell said, “He respects me, and I respect him.” Bland said, “She’s a good person. I have faith in her. She is a good president.” He also expressed a desire to run for SGA at another time. “I do plan on running again, either next year or the year after that. I plan on running for president,” Bland said.

Student Veterans Organization sponsors first 5K run and 3K walk Ryan Adams

More than 800,000 veterans enrolled in post-secondary institutions last year, according to the National Public Radio website, and that number is expected to climb. In conjunction with the Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs, the Student Veterans Organization (SVO) will be hosting the first annual UCCS Student Veteran 5K Run and 3K Walk on Nov. 9. The event will commence at the Forster House, located near Parking Lot 1, on the south side of Cragmor Hall. Starting time for the race is 9 a.m. For students, faculty and staff, participation will cost $25. For veterans and military personnel, the registration fee

The Lowdown What: UCCS Student Veterans 5K Run and 3K Walk Where: Forster House When: Nov. 9, 9 a.m. How much: $20 for military $25 for non-military More info: is $20. Attendees will receive a T-shirt before the race starts. The SVO plans to donate 50 percent of the race proceeds to The Home Front Cares. The local nonprofit provides

emergency support to Colorado veterans and their families. Additional revenue from entry fees will go toward funding other veteran events on campus. Jennifer Phillips, executive council member of the SVO, is hoping to have 100 people or more in attendance. “Veterans have a competitive spirit,” she said. “A run or walk event like this is the perfect way to garner support for them since it is a veteran-focused idea,” Phillips said. She also encouraged everyone to sign up, regardless of present or prior military status. Jorge Arrendondo, the president of the SVO, believes that there isn’t enough veteran awareness on campus and hopes this event can spark a change.

“‘We’re not done yet’ is the motto for our organization and by that, it means that we will have continuous support for veterans at UCCS,” said Arrendondo. “We want them to be able to adapt to life as a student on campus. Some are having a hard time with that, so this event will be a great way to provide relief funds to those who are struggling and make it easier on them.” Participants can register for the race online ( uccs5k). Information on other veteran and SVO events can be found on the Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs website ( The SVO and the campus VA office will also be hosting several other military and veterans awareness events

during November. These include a screening of “The Invisible War,” a documentary on rape in the U.S military, Nov. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in UC 302. There will also be a Remembrance Day National Roll Call beginning at 7 a.m. and Veteran’s Day Resource Fair beginning at 10 a.m. on Nov. 11 in Berger Hall. Lunch will be provided. Additionally, the Military Creative Expression Art Exhibit will be on display in the Kramer Library through the end of the month. The exhibition is part of a collaborative effort between the Pikes Peak Fine Arts Center and Aspen Pointe. A reception and viewing will be held Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. in the Kraemer Family Library apse.


Nov. 4, 2013 | 3

Campus Sustainability Day focuses on climate adaptation Samantha Morley

The Office of Sustainability hosted its second annual Campus Sustainability Day on Oct. 29. The event was aimed at raising awareness on aggressive climate change. In keeping with the theme, the event was titled Climate Adaptation: Are You Ready? The office chose the topic because the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released its fifth assessment report – the previous report published in 2007 – and because UCCS recently convened its Climate Advisory Board, according to Kevin Gilford, assistant sustainability director. The Climate Advisory Board consists of administrators, faculty, students and staff who will explore ways UCCS can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the next few years. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., tables were set up at various locations on campus and were moved to Berger Hall from 2-4 p.m. The set-up in Berger Hall consisted of a welcoming table, five tables with informational


Campus Sustainability Day shared information about climate change.

boards, a prize table and an ice cream station. In the center was a climate change survival board game. Participants rolled a large balloon die and moved spaces accordingly. They were then given pieces of paper that stated if their spot was or was not ecofriendly. Valerie Beyer, the Office of Sustainability event coordinator, put together the game. “The game pieces actually

hold a bit of information that give the students an opportunity to see what negatively impacts them during climate change and what can positively impact them,” Beyer said. “They can get something that either sends them forward or backwards. Forward would mean something is advantageous if climate change happens and it could be issues of social justice or something like you’re wealthy or you don’t live near

(Continued from page 1) UCCS

key player at Colorado Sustainability Conference Sustainable Business Expo The Sustainable Business Expo portion of the event consisted of several dozen tables from local and state ecologically conscious businesses, schools and organizations. Businesses present included Affordable Solar, Bio Rappel International and Colorado Recycling Industry. Members from the Sierra Club, the Green Cities Coalition and Colorado Springs Utilities were also in attendance. UCCS was represented at the expo by a table staffed with members of the Office of Sustainability. Among them were Linda Kogan and Kevin Gilford, the sustainability director and assistant director. Information and handouts were available regarding the two sustainability minors and the new masters of engineering in energy engineering. Additionally, several published reports detailing green advances on campus, such as the six current and four

planned LEED buildings, were available. Breakout sessions Between key note addresses and expo hall open time, the conference hosted more than 20 breakout sessions that addressed a wide range of topics. These included sustainability on Ft. Carson, urban gardening and the role of tax payers in promoting a green future. On Nov. 1, Andrea Hassler, the UCCS trails specialist, and Jonathan Toman, Green Action Fund communication chair, as well as Kogan, spoke during the Educating Tomorrow’s Sustainability Leaders breakout session. (Toman is also The Scribe’s sports editor.) They addressed the role sustainable learning and educational institutions should have moving forward. The session included two case studies regarding programs designed to “improve the economic and environmental impacts” of schools.

a coast,” Linda Kogan, sustainability director, said. Communication and media studies major Erin Bolinger participated in the game and won. Prizes like body lotions, shampoos and gift cards were offered to winners. Several volunteers served at tables at the event. Anthropology and archaeology major Ashlie Scott and computer science major Sonali Karandikar were posted at the welcoming table.

“I am big into eco stuff,” Scott said. “I’m pretty picky about lights being left on. In my dorm, I’m always turning lights off or I’m taking out extra chargers from the wall.” Aside from the prize and ice cream stations with biodegradable spoons and bowls, informational tables with posters covered climate changes to the atmosphere and surface, the ocean, cryosphere (portions of earth where water is frozen), sea level and carbon cycles. Topics addressed included how societies have adapted to climate changes, what the current climate state is and what it is projected to look like in the future both globally and regionally. While Campus Sustainability Days were held across the nation on Oct. 23, due to scheduling conflicts, the Office of Sustainability was forced to postpone theirs. Created by The Society for College and University Planning, the national Campus Sustainability Day is in its 11th year and supported by several organizations including The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

sCieNCe & BusiNess

Nov. 4, 2013 | 4

Assistant professor worked with Nobel Prize winner in chemistry

Dedication and good leadership were as important to the Nobel Prize in chemistry as scientific innovation this year, according to someone who knew one of the winners. Arieh Warshel, one of the three winners of the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry, led Assistant Professor Sonja Braun-Sand’s post-doctoral project before Braun-Sand came to UCCS. “I think he is incredibly deserving,” said Braun-Sand, who teaches biochemistry courses. “I think that the methods that the three of them developed have had very important affects on all of our lives, because prior to their work, we couldn’t dream of modeling enzyme mechanisms, or ligand-binding to enzymes … I think all of our lives have been impacted in some way by the work that they started in the 70s.” “He modeled for me what I think an effective mentor is like,” she added. “He was very involved. You could go to him with questions, which I really appreciated. He gave us immediate feedback.” Warshel worked with Michael Levitt and Martin Karplus on computer software to improve molecular modeling. The New York Times noted that they won the Nobel Prize in chemistry “for work that did not involve test tubes or lab coats.”

I think all of our lives have been impacted in some way by the work they started in the 70s.

Cynthia Jeub

—Sonja Braun-Sand

As Braun-Sand explained, “Essentially, back in the late 1970s … computers were not all that useful for chemists. They could model very, very small molecules and … because of the computing power that it took, it was very difficult to do anything, even somewhat large. People hadn’t even dreamed of using it to model biomolecules.” Braun-Sand knew Warshel when she worked on her postdoc for more than two years in his laboratory. “I studied a number of biological molecules,” she said. “Bacterial rhodopsin is interesting even though it’s not in humans … it has a structure that’s very similar to some receptors that are very important in humans. Bacterial rhodopsin has really been used as a model system to try to model a whole class of receptors called GPCRs, G-Protein Couple Receptors, and it’s been estimated around 40 percent of the drugs that we take actually target GPCRs. “So they have some rele-


Professor Sonja Braun-Sand, Ph.D., studied under this year’s Nobel Prize winner in chemistry.

vance for human health. I also looked at an antibiotic called gramicidin when I worked with him. He has a lot of different projects going on all the time. He’s really looked at huge numbers of biologically important molecules.” She recalled learning more

than just research while working with Warshel. “One thing I appreciated was that I did get to work on some grant proposals with him, which not all postdocs get to do. And so working on those grant proposals really helped me when it became time for me to write grant proposals

here.” When asked if she’s still in contact with the Nobel Prize winner, Braun-Sand said, “Occasionally. Not too often anymore, but a couple years ago I traveled back to Los Angeles for his 70th birthday party… and he’s still very energetic.”

Online education offers choices, though most prefer in-class learning opportunities Ryan Adams

For many students pursuing a post-secondary education, the vast improvement in technology has allowed them to take a different route than they would have 10 years ago. Online classes, although still a new concept at some institutions, have become a valuable alternative to receiving that elusive diploma. Like thousands of universities around the country, UCCS has taken the effort to establish a formidable online program. This online program allows more flexibility and options for UCCS students, the majority of whom commute. Will Manning, a junior in the College of Business, believes online classes can be beneficial in the learning process. “If a class setting has a student-to-teacher ratio that isn’t the best, the online classes may be the best option to learn the material,” he stated. “They are also flexible and allow for

employment while going to school.” According to a recent Gallup poll, 33 percent of Americans believe online classes give students a wide range of options for curriculum, and 33 percent also believe they provide good value for the money. Jeff McFaddin, a junior majoring in finance, also likes the idea of pursuing an online education, especially for certain types of people. “I think they are great for people who are working to get through school and who are also very busy,” he said. “They [online classes] also are a great option for alternative learning styles that some students may have too.” Although Manning and McFaddin both find online education beneficial, many students at UCCS and Americans in general still prefer the in-person lecture. According to the Gallup poll, only one-third of Americans rated online programs as “excellent” or “good” while the

majority calls them “fair” or “poor.” Arick Zeigel, a senior, can see why. “I have never taken an online class, but to me, it seems harder to understand the material without a professor in front of you,” he said. “It’s nice for the convenience factor part of it, but I’d only take one if it was required for me.” Zeigel is one of many Americans who consider the traditional route of in-class learning the best choice. More than two-thirds of Americans rate four-year colleges and universities as excellent or good, and 64 percent rate community colleges just as highly according to the Gallup poll. As a junior at UCCS, Josh Hunter believes he has learned the best when he is taught by a professor in an actual classroom. “Personally, I prefer getting taught by someone who knows the ins and outs of the material rather than learning it myself by looking at a computer screen,”

said Hunter. “Taking an online class might be beneficial as you can complete the class in the comfort of your own home, but you might procrastinate and not learn the material as effectively as you would from a professor.” Another aspect of the online education versus traditional route of education is how rigorous the class is. Online classes, as Hunter mentioned, are likely to cause procrastination for students, especially those with busy schedules. Unlike a structured weekly class that in most cases requires the student to be in attendance, online classes usually don’t require students to read the lectures and take notes. This might make online education look less credible to not only students, but also the employers looking to hire those students according to most Americans surveyed in the Gallup poll. Sam Vosler, a senior also in the College of Business, brought another perspective

to the debate: “Online classes are not bad for everything, but when a certain job requires you to do something hands-on, how can you do that with an online class?” Vosler, who is part of a “family of doctors and nurses,” as he put it, believes that online classes cheat students out of the genuine learning process as well. “In-person lectures allow a student to have communication with a professor beyond emailing each other,” he said. “I think our society has lost the ability to interact face-to-face, and online classes don’t help that cause.” Until online education becomes more appreciated by the public, the emphasis will remain on current methods as most people still believe the traditional route of learning to be best. This article was written for a COMM 2900 Writing for the Media assignment and was chosen for publication out of three finalists by The Scribe Editorial Board.


Nov. 4, 2013 | 5

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright to speak at UCCS April Wefler

While watching an episode of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s comedy show “LaughIn,” the idea for Paula Vogel’s “Mineola Twins” was born. “She had seen an episode with Goldie Hawn with all these boob jokes and wanted to question our societal beliefs about why are we fixated on boob jokes,” said Joye Cook-Levy, an instructor in educational theater and outreach. UCCS students will perform “Mineola Twins” starting Nov. 15 in University Hall’s Osborne Theater. Vogel will host a prologue for the play Nov. 4 in the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater. Vogel is the writer of many plays, including “Baltimore Waltz” and “How I Learned to Drive,” for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. “I don’t think anyone would doubt that she’s one of the foremost playwrights in America,” said Kevin Landis, assistant professor of theater and director of the Prologue Lecture series. “When she won the Pulitzer Prize, I think it solidified her importance in the theater world.” As part of the prologue, Landis and Vogel will discuss Vogel’s career and follow it with a half-hour question-and-answer session. The prologue is part of the Prologue Lecture series that has invited American playwrights to UCCS every fall. Last year, playwright Sarah Ruhl, who studied under Vogel, visited. “We really want to focus on great women playwrights in the United States,” Landis said. Landis was first introduced to Vogel’s works as an undergraduate at Brown University. “One of my best friends directed a production of her ‘Baltimore,’ and it was

The Lowdown What: Prologue Lecture: Paula Vogel

What: “Mineola Twins”

Where: Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater

Where: Osborne Theater

When: Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m.

When: Nov. 15-24, 7:30 p.m.

How much: Free

How much: Free for UCCS students, $5 general admission

More info: the greatest piece of theater I’d seen at that point in my life,” he said. He said Vogel was able to make humanity present and alive in the play. “Any playwright who can do that so beautifully … there’s a presentness of humanity to them that’s unlike any other playwright,” he said. Landis said Vogel confronts serious issues in her plays but does so in a whimsical way. “[There’s something] so light and fun and terrifying about her plays all at the same time. That’s a very difficult thing to do, and that’s why I’ve always loved her,” he said. Landis was given the opportunity to meet Vogel as a graduate student when he directed a play written by one of her students. “You read someone’s work for so many years and then all of a sudden, she’s in the same room as you and you’re talking about theater,” Landis said. Cook-Levy, who is directing “Mineola Twins,” said the play is in the style of camp. “Camp really loves the exaggerated … we stereotype people and things in society, [use] humor to show us the darker side of

More info: life,” she said. “Hopefully we have a good time laughing, but it should also really make us think of the way we view gender roles in society.” “Mineola Twins” consists of two sisters played by one actress, Jennifer Jones. The sisters, Myrna and Myra, are complete opposites. “One twin is very conservative and one twin is very liberal, to the extreme. Everything in this play is to the extreme,” CookLevy said. “I think it mirrors our community. On one block, you have a mega church. On the same block, marijuana centers. I think it would be interesting to see a piece that’s making fun of those extremes,” she added. The play starts with the twins as teenagers in the 1950s and progresses to their adulthood in the 1980s, crossing three presidential administrations. “It’s a really interesting challenge for the actor that’s playing both parts. Sometimes, when you’re tasked to play twins, you think opposites. They’re both really strong in two different directions,” Cook-Levy said. “Each of the twins has a son. Each son has a personality that is completely differ-


ent from the woman who bore him.” Cook-Levy said that ordinarily in “Mineola Twins,” each actor plays multiple roles. She decided to have one actor do the main roles and spread out the other roles to more students. “I really love well-done satire. I like that feeling of you can’t help laughing. It’s funny, but then having that feeling afterwards of why. What is actually funny about that?” she said. “Theater that makes you ask questions of yourself is my favorite kind to create and if it does it with humor. That’s the best.” Several film students are working on a historical and popular culture montage that will be used throughout the production. Additionally, dance students will perform an interpretive dream dance in the middle of the play. “Sometimes, this play has been described as six scenes, four dreams and seven wigs,” Cook-Levy said.

Student playwright for Theatre d’Art’s ‘Paradise Lost’ retells epic adventures through modern lens Eleanor Skelton

“Paradise Lost” was the most profitable full-length show last season at Theatre d’Art with 263 attendees. Jeff Keele, a senior English major at UCCS, was the scriptwriter. Keele started his “Paradise Lost” script four years ago after he had taken a John Milton class with Joan Ray, professor emeritus of English. He plans to continue working in theater even though he’s studying literature. He experimented with short stories in creative writing classes before launching into longer works for theater. “Unlike ... writing fiction or short stories ... doing it in theater allows you to sort of see the stuff come to life. You kind of get to meet your characters in a way,” he said. “I also like the way that it’s very collaborative, where basically I only go halfway and the directors and the actors take it the rest of the way.” Keele took an independent study with Kevin Landis, an assistant theater professor, to work on the “Paradise Lost” script. “It didn’t seem to be a work that had been given a dramatic life when I felt it was something that would be very suitable for it,” he explained.


Jeff Keele wrote “Paradise Lost.”

Keele has sent his adaptation of “Paradise Lost” to two other companies so far: City Light in Chicago – but discovered they only did original adaptations – and the Public Theater in New York for its emerging writers’ program. He grew up in a military family and has lived in primarily Maine but also in Chicago, Hawaii, South Carolina and Australia before settling in Colorado Springs for the last 10 years.

Currently, Keele works as a night clerk. “That’s where I write a lot of my scripts, at the night shift. It also gives me a lot of opportunity to work lines out loud because I’m alone most of the time. I can just do full scenes out loud,” he said. “Sometimes people wander into the store, though, without setting off the door bell, and there’s this awkward moment where I was just reciting Milton to myself out loud, but they probably don’t know it’s Milton, they don’t know what the hell I’m saying. “It’s Milton, so half the time I’m talking about Satan. We kind of have this awkward moment where they pretend that they didn’t just hear me talking to myself.” When asked what kind of atmosphere Colorado Springs provides for his creative work, he replied, “There’s not a lot of companies doing original work in this town … TDA [Theatre d’Art] is the only company I’m aware of that does full-length works of this scale.” His friends and former roommate were involved with Theatre d’Art and Theatregasm, in which local writers create 10-minute sketches. After submitting two of his own, Keele said audiences liked them and he received a strong response. “I like the fact that you can immediately read the reaction of your audience,” he

said. “Reading is very solitary ... but theater, it’s possible to sit in your audience, as the rest of your audience and see ... where they’re engaged, where they’re interested and also where they’re flipping through the program.” Keele described his artistic goals as a blend of Phillip K. Dick and Shakespeare. “I’m all over the place. I like doing big stuff, I like doing stuff that’s loud … Before ‘Paradise Lost,’ I was primarily writing comedy. ‘Paradise Lost’ is the first major dramatic thing that I’ve done. Everything else has been very silly or over the top.” He prefers epic fantasy to modern theater, which he described as “kitchen-table dramas,” and is planning his next production to be science fiction. His script now has 10 pages of monologue and two to three scenes written. Keele cited the popularity of superhero films as evidence that this kind of theater can succeed. “As far as what is popular right now, it’s superhero stuff, it’s supernatural beings clashing in these big, epic fights, and I see ‘Paradise Lost’ as very much in the same vein … but also that does it in a way that’s much more complex, much more intellectual.” After graduation, Keele plans to move to New York or Chicago to continue his creative work.

Fall fashion trends

CuLTuRe Story and photos by James Sibert,

Cami Coultas-McKenney

Aimee Magnusson TRENDS What are the main trends in fall fashion right now?

PLANNING What’s the most important thing to remember when planning your outfit for the day?

Aimee Magnusson, junior, biochemistry: Boots, scarves, leather jackets and yoga pants. Cami Coultas-McKenney, freshman, education and history: Sweaters, jeans and scarves. Jewell Anne Hartman, Ph.D. student, physics, math lecturer: Boots, leather jackets, skinny jeans, blazers.

Magnusson: Make sure it looks good. For fall, I like to do layers like a shirt, a jacket and a scarf. Coultas-McKenney: Whether you’ll be warm or not, look fashionable and cute and comfy, too. Hartman: Comfortable, classy and couture at the same time. I find skinny jeans, blazers and boots comfortable, couture and practical things to wear.

Roar of approval: ‘Prism’ shines bright for Katy Perry Alexander Nedd

Rating: Katy Perry has once again roared to the top of the pop charts. Her new album “Prism,” released Oct. 22, makes it clear she’s back louder than ever. The pop singer’s rise to success is one with a great backstory. The daughter of two pastors, Perry released her controversial single “I Kissed a Girl” back in 2008 to a series of mixed reviews. Since then, Perry has basked in the limelight, scoring eight No.1 singles on the Billboard 100. The singer continues to give her fans upbeat, fun tempos to dance to with her latest CD. The gap between Perry’s sophomore album, “Teenage Dream,” and her new release should be noted as it remains the focus and drive behind “Prism.” The album comes most notably after her failed, highly publicized relationship with actor Russell Brand. “Prism” allows Perry to handle her emotions and come back from her troubled relationship to let her fans know she is doing just fine. The album’s first track, “Roar,” is a testament to Perry’s strength and is no fluke, becoming her eighth Billboard Hot 100 track to reach No.1. It’s a theme that continues throughout the album and her overall message to her fans. Most of the songs continue to showcase Perry’s talent, and those familiar with her work will not be disappointed. The album spawns familiar content like

Nov. 4, 2013 | 6

love, sex, dancing and pain. “Legendary Lovers” tells a tale of two destined people and the adventures they could have together while “Unconditionally” offers the album’s best love song, showing a vulnerable Perry and using multiple-layered vocals to profess a love that will continue to the end of time. Other notable tracks include “Birthday” and “Love Me,” which notes the spirit of “Prism” with the lyrics “I’m gonna love myself the way I want you to love me.” The album finishes with “Choose Your Own Battles,” which uses a mixture of pounding tribal drums. On the track, she sings she is not fighting anymore, using lyrics that are seemingly surface-level, but they offer a deep view of Perry’s new attitude. My favorite off the album and her current single rising on the charts is “Dark Horse.” Featuring up-and-coming artist Juicy J, the hip-hop-laced track and bassdriven beat provides a perfect example of Perry’s stretch in going outside of her element while flawlessly remaining herself. “Prism” delivers both emotionally and culturally. It proves to be the Perry we love while she continues to explore her reach as a successful pop star. Perry established herself as a star with “Teenage Dream” and only solidifies her role in pop culture with “Prism.” She proves she has a grasp on connecting to people with ravishingly fun beats and catchy-yet-meaningful lyrics. And if we look at this California girl’s patterns and trends, it’s a grasp she won’t be letting go of for quite some time.

Jewell Anne-Hartman GUY TIPS Any tips for guys? Hartman: Oh, definitely Western, kind of a Texas appeal. Boots and jeans and like a T-shirt with a shirt over it – always a classic look. Magnusson: As much as you guys appreciate that we dress up and look presentable, we like the same from you guys. Don’t wear the sweatpants and sweatshirt every day. Coultas-McKenney: Sweaters, jeans – whatever makes them feel good.


Nov. 4, 2013 | 8

Veterans deserve the time of day Staff Editorial

America is all about heroes. We make heroes out of everyone - whether it’s soldiers, first responders or the people who volunteer at the soup kitchen, Americans are in love with the idea of heroes. Despite this focus on heroes, we seem to ignore the actual people who we are supposedly celebrating: our veterans. It seems as if we want heroes, but we don’t want the messiness involved with honoring them. President Woodrow Wilson made the original proclamation of Armistice Day (which later became Veteran’s Day) on November 11, 1919, to mark the cease of hostilities of World War I. “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations,” Wilson said.

Since then, the holiday has been expanded to honor not only those who fought in WWI but those who fought in all other conflicts the U.S. has been involved in. However, the actual celebration of the day seems to be in decline, especially among young people who might not be directly related to a vet. While the Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs is doing its annual roll call and minute of silence, the event is primarily attended by those reading the names of the fallen. Last year, very few people actually attended the event. Some students going to and from classes paused to pay their respects before moving on, leaving the speakers to read names to an audience of empty chairs. Staying for the entire roll call may not be possible with our busy schedules. Still, we owe veterans so much more than just a pause in our daily routine. With military members comprising 17 percent of the study body at UCCS, surely we can celebrate them at least one day out of 365—ideally, each day of the year. Many banks and federal buildings are

closed on Veteran’s Day, but there are very few parades. There are very few indications that the day is a holiday at all. Both as a campus and a nation, we need to honor our veterans. They have risked life and limb to protect our freedoms, and they deserve to be recognized for that. There are a variety of ways to celebrate veterans and show them our appreciation and support, such as care packages and simple thank-you cards. Volunteering at local nonprofits, such as The Home Front Cares or the Colorado Springs chapter of the Wounded Warrior Project, helps provide impactful support to veterans and their families. Sometimes, just offering your support can go a long way to make a veteran feel appreciated. Know a veteran? Consider offering to do their grocery shopping for a day or simply buying them lunch. For those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, we can afford to serve them in simple ways and offer them a small part of our time. This Nov. 11, let’s give the time of day to those who have given the better part of their lives to serving others.

Jesse Byrnes Editor-in-Chief

Sara Horton

Managing Editor

Taylor Hargis Copy Editor

Nick Beadleston News Editor

Eleanor Skelton

Science & Business Editor

Cynthia Jeub Culture Editor

Aaron Collett

Opinion/Video Editor

April Wefler

Life on the Bluffs/Social Media Editor

Jonathan Toman Sports Editor

Nick Burns Photo Editor

Emily Olson Layout Editor

Edwin Satre

Website Manager


Dezarae Yoder Crystal Chilcott Alexander Nedd Attiana Collins Serena A. Ahmad Shelby Shively Monika Reinholz Ryan Adams

Samantha Morley

Graphic Designer, Reporter

Photographers James Sibert Joshua Camacho Miki Swanson

Business Manager NICK BURNS | THE SCRIBE

While the Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs has organized events to celebrate Veteran’s Day, we as a campus and community can also contribute.

Veteran’s Week 2013 schedule

Hussain Albahrani

Ad Sales Representative Michael Petrucelli


Laura Eurich

The Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs has planned the following events in celebration of Veteran’s Day:

Thursday, Nov. 7

5:30 p.m. UC 302 “The Invisible War” documentary screening and discussion

Saturday, Nov. 9

9 a.m. Forster House UCCS Student Veteran 5K Run and 3K Walk

Letters to the Editor:

Monday, Nov. 11

7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Berger Hall Remembrance Day National Roll Call and Veteran’s Day Resource Fair

Tuesday, Nov. 12

5 p.m. Kraemer Family Library apse Military Creative Expression Art Exhibit reception and viewing

Contact us:

On campus: UC 106 Phone: (719) 255-3658

Follow us:

Check out our website!


cribe .com



Nov. 4,­2013­| 9

Homeschoolers in college blend in for the right reasons

Cynthia Jeub

As an adult who was homeschooled for my entire K-12 education, I hear people trash-talking homeschoolers on a regular basis. People feel safe com-

plaining about homeschoolers around me because they assume I’m not homeschooled. It’s unfeeling and rude, but it happens on a regular basis and I’m used to it. According to a study from the University of St. Thomas, homeschoolers graduated college at a rate of 66 percent compared to 57.5 percent for their traditionally-educated peers. Regardless, I consistently hear two complaints about homeschoolers. First, that we don’t know how to communicate with people outside our subculture. Second, we don’t do well in college because

we haven’t learned how to be in a public school setting. My family visited with other families all the time. We got together with other homeschool families on weekdays instead of simply socializing in a classroom setting. Our friends were all different ages – I would play with my little sister, my best friend and her little sister. When the average freshmen get to college, they’re unfamiliar with sharing a classroom with people of all ages, different life stages and different education levels. For me, this is how it

has always been. I was expected to talk with adults and get along with people outside my age group. It’s one reason people are surprised to hear I’m only a sophomore when most people who know me assume I’m close to graduation. A major concern for parents thinking about homeschooling is whether their kids will do well in college. Here’s why many homeschooled kids can do well, if not better, than otherwise publicly educated students: they are trained to be self-motivated. Homeschooled stu-

dents often work on their own as task completion replaces the rigid class schedule. I based my high school curriculum choices on my speech and debate competition, meaning my papers had to be good. I was researching and memorizing, performing and getting judged and ranked by my performance. This prepared me as a communicator, so while the other freshmen in my early classes struggled with performing oral presentations, I came across as more prepared. Homeschoolers in college aren’t without their

own struggles. My one struggle is standardized testing. Most homeschoolers in Colorado are required to take a test every two years to confirm that the students are keeping up with the public schools, but my family wasn’t required to do this, as my dad gets an exemption for being a certified teacher. Still, don’t assume all homeschoolers won’t do well in college. We blend in where it matters because we make up in experience and work ethic what we lack in familiarity with rigid schedules and deadlines.

The right call for students Inaccessibility to feminine products a bloody mess often not in the book

Jonathan Toman

Sometimes there is an example of such wrongness and ineptitude that the adults in the story seem like the children. To be sure, the rulebook was followed to the letter – and that’s the problem. An example is the story of Erin Cox, a high school senior from Massachusetts. She was recently in the news after administrators at her school frowned at Cox for driving to a party to pick up a friend that felt she was too drunk to drive herself home. Cox went to pick up her friend and drive her home when the police showed

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up at the party. While a police officer had no qualms with Cox and vouched for her sobriety, her school district did have a problem. Due to the school’s zero-tolerance policy on underage drinking, Cox was demoted as team captain of the volleyball team and suspended for five games – despite that fact that Cox did not actually drink. Clearly, the old adage about no good deed going unpunished applies here. But there is something larger at work as well. A one-size-fits-all policy does not work in situations like this. Neither does a zero-tolerance policy. Some people, like the school administrators, are no longer able to recognize some choices as simply being the right thing to do. This scares me. Right from wrong is being usurped by what is written in “the book.” If one’s moral compass falls out of sync, then yes, they deserve whatever

trouble they receive. But if the right decision does not fit in a one-size-fitsall formula, the powers that be need to understand that common sense should rule the day and its application should be encouraged, not deterred. Underage drinking aside, both of the students involved in this story did the right thing. Rather than drive drunk, Cox’s friend called someone to pick her up. And rather than let her friend drive drunk, Cox went to drive her home. Many decisions in life are not black and white, and this is one of those examples. People, especially those in positions of power, need to understand that much of what we do is in a grey area. For school administration, the right decision was clear and should not have involved punishing those that acted with common sense. Instead, school administrators should have done what Erin Cox and her friend did: think.

Samantha Morley

Earlier this month, I had the usual present from my lady parts. OK, I thought. No big deal. I reached into my backpack to find my back-up stash of feminine products and came up empty. Not good. But then I thought of the dispensers in the bathrooms and exchanged a dollar for quarters. The first bathroom took my quarter but didn’t provide a product. Frustrated, I went to three other bathrooms before being informed by a custodian that, while the dispensers are there, they don’t carry tampons

or pads anymore. My last resort was to purchase an overpriced package of feminine products from the bookstore when all I needed was one product. Tampons and pads should be free and readily available to all women on campus in emergencies. I was outraged I had to spend money not only to purchase the products I regularly keep at my house but that I used almost $6 to buy enough to last me through the day. Why should I have to pay for a natural and unpreventable process that occurs every month? When I went to Pikes Peak Community College, the college had free tampons and pads readily available at the gym. The Rec Center at UCCS has some freebies, but it’s not like I could quickly make my way over there without staining my clothes. The school should provide basic feminine products in all campus bathrooms for these fren-

opinion weigh in E

l l tt

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zied emergencies. And when I say basic, I mean basic. I’m not talking about brand-name products. They are only there in case of emergencies until women can restock their own products. Women aren’t at fault because they get a visitor every 28 days. To prevent the trouble that I and many of my female friends have experienced, places that are visited for long periods of time like workplaces, schools and restaurants should have a small basket of basic tampons and pads in the bathrooms. I have been to a few restaurants that follow this courtesy, and I was overjoyed to find the little saviors. PPCC’s gym also saved me on several occasions. Yes, women should keep a personal stock of their preferred product, but feminine items should also be readily available for emergencies. Women, and their clothes, would greatly appreciate the gesture.

Life on the Bluffs Campus Chatter Alexander Nedd,

A Man’s Treasure

“I want to see more Mexican food. That would be great.”

Top Ten

Serena A. Ahmad

What food services would you like to see the university put in place with Sodexo leaving? Kommon Ousley, sophomore, comp u t e r engineering

Nov. 4,­2013­| 10

Places you don’t want to run into your professor

I met a man the other day, In a place not too far away.

Attiana Collins,


He had a simple moustache, A piece of art above his upper lip. But in November, it’s more like a treasure chest... Stashing away remnants of food. November, oh November, You’ve given me a dry face

Alex Chavez, junior, mechanical engineering

From kissing his itchy whiskers.

“More breakfast items like cereal, scrambled eggs, waffles. I don’t think we need a specific [restaurant].”

He thinks it’s delightful, I think it’s painful. I now carry a bottle of lotion So that he won’t feel shunned.

Rachel Hunt, sophomore, psychology, minor in counseling

But he does it in support And so I support him too. He raises cancer awareness And refuses to shave ‘til December...

“I like Chinese food. I want to see Panda Express. More variety would be nice; eating the same stuff every day can be old. “

So I guess I won’t shave mine either.

Maya Hayes, sophomore, business administration “I want to see more options like pasta and cleaner dishes. I didn’t always get that with Sodexo.”

This week at UCCS General Nov. 4-6 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-in advising

Main Hall 208

Monday, Nov. 4 5-9 p.m. National Society of Leadership and Success make-up speaker Centennial Hall 186

Friday, Nov. 8


7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Waldo Canyon Trail Volunteer Day Recreation Center, SOLE Office


Victoria’s Secret


Gynecologist’s office


Family planning aisle at WalMart




In the driver’s seat of the car you rear-ended


Blind date


Nude beach


The classroom

3 9













7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Waldo Canyon Trail Volunteer Day Recreation Center, SOLE Office

Saturday, Nov. 9

Remedial classes


7:30 p.m. “The Mineola Twins” Prologue with Paula Vogel Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater

1-2 p.m. Substance Use and Risky Behavior UC 124


Puzzle 1 (Medium, difficulty rating Bring0.56) your completed sudoku to the Scribe office (UC 106) for a prize!

Wednesday, Nov. 6 Noon-6 p.m. Grad Fair UC 116

Your parents’ house

3 3




6 5




2 9

3 1



Nov. 4, 2013 | 11

Men’s basketball looks to draw on experience after tough season, draw a crowd Alexander Nedd

If the look of determination in the eyes of the UCCS men’s basketball team is not enough to show it, their moves on the court will. Bright and early at 6 a.m., the Mountains Lions prowled the court, their moves a choreographed dance, shuffling across the floor with a UCCS-emblazed basketball in hand. The team is practicing for their upcoming season, ready to capitalize. It’s a season that comes after one of the toughest ever faced by the team. After just five wins last year in 26 games, it’s a year the team hopes to use as motivation and climb their way back up. And that’s exactly what head coach Jeff Culver wants them to do. Culver is only in his second year with UCCS, but coaching is not new to him. He coached at Johnson and Wales University, where he stayed for seven years, as well as taught at the University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University. He also coached high school. Culver explained how last year was a foundation year and how the team now fits into his vision of the program. “Last year was quite a transition year.

We brought in a lot new guys and redshirted a lot of players,” Culver said. “We survived what was a very tough season.” Alexander Koehler is one of three team captains this year and is excited about the year ahead. “I feel great about our upcoming season. We have a lot of great players and coaches,” Koehler said. “We have the pieces of the puzzle we just have to complete the puzzle this year.” “It was a tough year, but the chemistry stayed throughout the team,” Culver said. “My hat goes off to all the boys that stuck it out. We were playing our best games throughout the end of the year, so that’s a good sign.” “The team chemistry is great. We all get along and we all enjoy hanging out with each other on and off the court,” Koehler added. “Practices are very competitive because we all want to win.” Koehler looks to personally help the team through his role as team captain. “I’m going to take my experience from last year and be the leader on and off the court. This year we have guys to do that, including myself and the other returners, whereas last year we didn’t really have that.” Although the strategy might be different, the focus remains the same for this year: win.


Men’s basketball practiced for the upcoming season.

“We want to win. We want to be competitive and our goal is to win the conference,” Culver said. The players and coach agree one winning aspect of their team begins with a factor other than themselves. “We truly feed off the crowd,” said Culver. “It’s fun for the team and the

coaches. When the crowd is pumped and rowdy, that keeps our guys motivated.” “We hope to see you out there and we thank you for all the support that we get and have gotten,” said Koehler. The men begin their regular season at home against Johnson and Wales on Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Women’s basketball strives to meet high expectations and hopes for upcoming season Ryan Adams

Having the No.1 ranking in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference preseason coaches’ poll and receiving the most votes in the national poll in program history may mean something to some people. It’s not much to Head Coach Corey Laster and the women’s basketball team, though. They are instead focused on what lies ahead for the 2013-2014 season, one that Laster hopes can be a great one. “Preseason rankings are preseason rankings,” said Laster. “Every year is different and brings a new opportunity to reach our goal. We’ve grown every year, which is what you want to see and we’re looking forward to the puzzle we get to piece together this season.” Last season, the team finished with a regular season record of 19-8 and was 16-6 within the RMAC. They finished their season with a devastating loss to rival Colorado Christian, losing 7270 in the quarterfinals of the RMAC Shootout. The goal for the team this year is to not only get back to that position but win the RMAC championship and possibly go to the NCAA tournament. “We have the experience from last year, as we only lost one player in Lauren Wolfinger,” said Laster. “Last year, we weren’t healthy towards the end of year, so where we go this year depends a lot on our health. We just have to remember not to look too far ahead and just be better than the day before.” Senior and team captain Jeri Pikul is looking forward to what the team can


Hannah Kingsbury practiced basketball in front of a small audience.

do this year, especially since it is her last chance at glory. “I am excited to see the potential this team has and the end product from all the hard work,” said Pikul. “I want to end with a legacy and have no regrets with my time on the team.” Although the Mountain Lions were ranked No.1 in the preseason poll, Laster still believes the competition will be stiff in the RMAC this year, especially at the top. “I think that this year the RMAC is

going to be more competitive, definitely among the top teams,” said Laster. “The home games against Metro, Colorado Christian, Mesa and Fort Lewis are all going to be crucial. If we can win those at home, not overlook the games where we are favored and steal some on the road, that will put us in good shape.” Sophomore and starting point guard Gabby Ramirez is especially looking forward to a couple key matchups this season. “Personally, I am looking forward to

playing Colorado Christian again,” said Ramirez. “They beat us last second, and we have lots of emotion built up from that game and want to let it out when we play them this season.” As a captain of the team, Pikul understands her role is more than just being a leader on the court. “I also have to be a leader off the court for the girls,” she said. “I need to ramp our intensity up during practice but also calm the nerves of the players during games that are really close.” Compared to last year, Laster and his staff believe the team is also in better shape. “We showed some depth within the team, which is encouraging to see,” he said. “We just have to work on our minutes per players. Last year towards the end of the season, we looked tired. We had the track coaches come in and help us with some conditioning, so that will help us over the course of the season. Scaling back minutes will be the biggest key, though.” Even though both Pikul and Ramirez are fierce competitors on the court, they both enjoy being a part of something that is much bigger than wins and losses. “I really like the student athlete lifestyle at UCCS,” said Pikul. “You’re known as a hard worker and that’s really rewarding. All four years, it’s been nice to really get to know a great group of girls that both battle on the court but also that you can love being with off the court, too.” “Having the team always be there for you is awesome,” said Ramirez. “The bond as student athletes is something that’s long-lasting and that I love being a part of.”

s pORTs Student weightlifter presses for 2016 Olympics

Nov. 4, 2013 | 12

Taylor Hargis

As the site for one of only three U.S. Olympic Training Centers, Colorado Springs often attracts some of the top upcoming athletes in the country. UCCS freshman Ellen Kercher moved away from her hometown and family in Flowery Branch, Ga. upon receiving a training and residence offer from the OTC. The offer was extended after she became the national champion and top-ranked 48 kg weightlifter at the 2012 Arnold Weightlifting Championships. Kercher started weightlifting in the seventh grade with the help of her friend and teammate’s father, who was a coach at the local high school. “The high school was doing it for the football players because Olympic-style weightlifting was supposed to get football players stronger; it’s like cross-training for other sports,” she said. “The coach said, ‘I can make you a national champion because you have really good technique.’ So I dropped basketball and did this instead.”


Ellen Kercher practices anywhere from three to five hours a day.

“You just kind of have to decide which is more important: training for the Olympics, which you only have a few years to do that, or school – and you have the rest of your life for education. —Teri Switzer In 2011, Kercher made the Youth World Team and competed in Peru as one of seven U.S. girls. Earlier this year, she went on to compete in the Junior Pan American Games in Chile and won gold, which was her first international medal.

Now, Kercher is training with a group of Olympic hopefuls to compete in the 2016 Olympics. “There’s a team of 14 people, seven guys and seven girls, that go to World,” she said. “The one that really matters is

the one in 2015, the year before the Olympics. If everyone does really well, you earn spots for the United States, so it’s a team effort to earn spots.” “The more spots earned is the more chance that you’ll get to go yourself. After Worlds

is over, we’ll have the Olympic trials, and the best in your weight class internationally, the best person, the best total percentage, which is a combination of your snatch and clean and jerk. It’s your total compared to internationally ranked totals. The person with the highest percentage gets the [Olympics] slot.” At the OTC, Kercher is a full-time weightlifter and trains Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for four to five hours and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for three hours. With that kind of time commitment, Kercher said it’s difficult to balance school and training unless she only takes one or two classes a semester. “When I first moved out here, I thought I was going to do full-time student and full-time training. My parents clearly knew that wasn’t going to happen, but I wanted to try it and I was panicked the first week,” she said. “You just kind of have to decide which is more important: training for the Olympics, which you only have a few years to do that, or school – and you have the rest of your life for education.”

Nov. 4, 2013  

Vol. 38, Iss. 10

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