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Monday, March 18, 2013

Inside A6

Inside A3

More than 135 exhibitors filled the Ryder Center selling crafts such as stained glass, metal art and yard ornaments at the Keepsake Collection Folk Art and Craft Show.

Dozens of students from several faith-based campus organizations spent their spring break abroad on mission trips.

Vol. 45 No. 21

Saginaw Valley State University’s student newspaper since 1967

Debating Hiroshima

Visiting speaker raises questions about World War II atomic bombings

Vanguard photo | Alyssa Ellis

Peter Kuznick, associate professor of history at American University, visited SVSU to show his documentary about Hiroshima and World War II. By Marie Nesbitt Vanguard Staff Writer The American bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened nearly 70 years ago, but are still a subject of debate. Peter Kuznick, associate professor of history at American University in Washington, D.C., came to campus to show his documentary, “America and the Atomic Bombing of

Hiroshima and Nagasaki” and discuss the event with students and faculty in attendance. A renowned scholar of the history of nuclear energy and the Cold War, Kuznick spoke on the issue for last week’s Barstow Humanities Seminar. Kuznick recently collaborated with Oliver Stone on a series of documentaries titled “The Untold History of the United States,” which intend to pro-

vide an unconventional account of some of 20th century history. Kuznick believes that one of the biggest problems surrounding the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is the continual emphasis on the “heroic narrative about America’s involvement” that deems Americans as victors and claims that the bombing ultimately saved lives by ending World War

II. Kuznick believes that textbooks in high school are teaching children today the wrong narrative, leaving out critical information and providing a misconstrued perspective that leads to a false understanding of the brevity of the bombing. “I want people to get the other perspective,” Kuznick said. “I want people to really think and to question what really happened, from the stand

point of humanities and human decency.” Kuznick’s ideas question the Truman administration and its decision to officially bomb the two cities. “We should have avoided the bombing and changed the surrender terms (of Japan),” Kuznick said. “We could have saved many lives. The logic just doesn’t make any sense.”


Sister school to visit & host Mandarin camp By Justin Brouckaert Vanguard Editor-In-Chiief For the second year in a row, students from Taiwan’s Ming Chuan University will live, study and teach on the SVSU campus this summer. Building off the trial run study abroad program that brought 43 Ming Chuan students to SVSU last year, a group of 25 Ming Chuan students will arrive in Saginaw this June to takes classes for university credit, in addition to leading a free Mandarin Summer Camp open to middle school, high school and college students. “Last year was just a test run,” said Carine Yang, assistant to executive director of American Ming Ch-

uan University. “We want to make it official, run annually, to bring students here.” The students who will host the camp come from Ming Chuan’s Department of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language. Many of them have the goal of becoming Mandarin teachers. “They are trained students, and this will be an internship for them,” Yang said. “It will be exciting for them.” The camp runs from July 8 to July 30, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The program features a wide range of activities through which students will learn the Mandarin language and Chinese culture, including singing, drama, calligraphy and more. “We expect that many of the students will be

Courtesy | Carine Yang Students from the Roberts Fellowship Program met with Robert Yien, Ming Chuan vice president of academic affairs, at an informational breakfast to learn about Ming Chuan and Taiwanese culture.

news tips/press releases

from the younger generation, and we will focus on the simple Chinese conversation and writing and song,” Yang said. “We just want them to have fun.” While Yang said they expect a certain number of younger students, the program will be organized to accommodate learners of all levels this year. “This year will be different because we will separate the students according to their level of Chinese proficiency,” she said. “Hopefully, we can get three classes: basic, intermediate and advanced.” AMCU is working with the College of Education to share information about the camp to local school districts. “Our goal is to recruit local students aged 12 to college students,” Yang said. “We hope to recruit 40 to 50 students.” Interested students can download a registration form from or contact Carine Yang at Students can also visit AMCU in the Regional Education Center, Room EA 125. A four-week summer Mandarin program for SVSU students will also be supported by Ming Chuan University this year. The chair of the honors program, professor of English Elizabeth Rich, gathered a group of 15 honors students to study Mandarin at Ming Chuan in late May. “We hope this will be long term, since AMCU is officially located here,” Yang said. “We hope this serves as a platform for Chinese training and cultural communication.” Established in 1957, Ming Chuan University is the first and only U.S.-accredited institution in Asia. It became the first Asian institution with a branch in Michigan after American Ming Chuan University was established in SVSU’s Regional Education Center in October. The relationship between SVSU and Ming Chuan was facilitated in large part by President Eric Gilbertson, Ming Chuan President Chuan Lee and Robert Yien, who served as the vice president of academic affairs for SVSU for more than 20 years and now holds that same title at Ming Chuan. newsroom (989) 964-4482 visit us online at



(989) 964-4248

Inside A5 Led by senior catcher Chet LaFave, the baseball team opens GLIAC play at Northwood this Wednesday.

‘Peering’ into campus safety, traffic concerns By Brandy Abraham Vanguard Campus Editor The need for more biology classes and stop signs were hot topics along with maintaining campus safety in Arbury practice rooms at last Thursday’s President’s Forum. Students and staff in attendance brought to SVSU President Eric Gilbertson’s attention the need to keep the campus safe and reliable. Dylan Kosaski, chair of the Student Association Student Concerns Committee and a biology student, said that biology majors are in need of another section of the microbiology course offered through their program. He said that the microbiology course is only offered in the fall semester. So, if a student misses taking biology 111 A, B or C, or any other prerequisite for the microbiology course, the student could fall drastically behind in their program. Kosaski said that microbiology is a big part of the entrance exams and the GRE. He said that since students normally take graduate school entrance exams in their junior year, if they are off-track in their program, they might have to wait an extra year to complete their education as well as be fully prepared for their exams. “I feel if it were offered in the winter semester as well, it would give students an extra semester to catch up on prerequisites,” he said. Kosaski plans to begin a petition for an additional section of the class. He will start asking for signatures from premed students after talking to the Dean of the College of Science Engineering & Technology, Deborah Huntley. “We add classes up until the semester starts,” Gilbertson said. “We drop and add courses all the time. If a critical number of students need (the class), then that is something we should look at.” Student Association President Ted Goodman also brought up the question of technology fee increases for online courses. He said that some of the association has noticed in signing up for classes that there is an additional fee associated with those types of classes. “There are additional costs associated with those courses,” Gilbertson said. “There are additional support costs that go along them. The question we always have to ask with any fee, is who is going to pay for it?” For example, fees associated with music classes for students who are using an instrument can be expensive. Gilbertson said that it would not be reasonable for everyone to have to pay that fee. “There is no perfect formula. It takes some judgment at every level. Some courses cost more, a lot more,” he said. Gilbertson said that this is an issue that is looked at every year. Student Association Allocations Committee Chair Bethany Thrun represented


Vanguard photo | Taylor LaPlace Students brought thier issues and concerns to President Eric Gilberston at his monthly forum



News coverage continued from page 1

Page A2| Monday, March 18, 2013 | | The Valley Vanguard

police briefs

Kuznick discussed the Soviet Union’s declaration of war against Japan, which caused the Japanese to make surrender agreements with America and the Soviets in the first place. However, since American troops did drop the two bombs on Japanese cities, the alliance between America and the Soviet Union was affected, which, as Kuznick pointed out, led to the hostile relations during the Cold War. Monika Dix, assistant professor of Japanese language, literature and culture, said the lecture failed to address the differing perspectives that Kuznick believed were so important for today’s youth to be aware of. “I found it problematic that the film focused exclusively on the American perspective of the atomic bomb at-

tacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Dix said. “The agenda of President Truman was emphasized over and over, but we did not get to hear the voices of the Japanese. “I don’t think that you can speak of differing perspectives because the emphasis was clearly on America destroying Japan as the primary goal, no matter the cost.” Dix said that she still believed it was important for students to attend the lecture. “The communication of the experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki faces a major problem: the few remaining atomic bomb survivors are aging rapidly, and once they pass away, we need new ways to teach future generations about the disaster of nuclear destruction and the importance of peace,” she said. “It is important for our students to realize that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not just an isolated tragedy of the past.” John Baesler, assistant professor of

history, hopes that Kuznick’s argument allowed students to view these moments of time in new and innovative ways, as well as question the presence of nuclear technology in today’s world. “I hope audience members gained an appreciation of the ‘what ifs’ of history,” said Baesler. “At certain moments we can imagine events taking a different turn if circumstances change only slightly. This is an empowering message because it reminds us that we too can shape history and make a difference.” “A second important aspect of the talk was the idea that Americans would be well advised to consider how their actions are perceived by others,” he said. “Possession of the nuclear bomb made the United States an, at times, intimidating and frightening presence on the world stage, which is something most Americans do not fully comprehend.”



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Yien facilitated Ming Chuan’s U.S. accreditation following his retirement from SVSU in 2007, and was the first person to suggest that an overseas trip to Asia be included in the Roberts Fellowship Program, a leadership seminar for SVSU students formed in large part from a generous donation by Donna Roberts, former head of Dow Chemical Co.’s legal department and secretary to the Dow CEO. A visit to Ming Chuan University is included in the three-week trip that Roberts Fellows make each May.

tour guides during the meeting. She said that tour guides are finding that another stop sign is needed in the Pine Grove Lot, before College Drive, at the intersection. “When they are giving tours, it is really, really scary for them,” she said. “And that is got a good experience (for prospective students).” SVSU Police Chief Ron Trepkowski agreed with the students that another stop sign should be placed there to prevent any unnecessary incidents. “As a tour guide, you see things others don’t,” Gilbertson said. “If it is an intersection, there should be a stop sign there.”

Considering campus safety, an SVSU music student who regularly uses the Arbury practice rooms, located on the second floor, said that some of the practice rooms do not lock and that mirrors located in the room allow outsiders to “peer” into the rooms while students are practicing. “There are weird ways that the mirrors are set up,” she said. She requested that the mirrors be put on the doors instead of the wall so outsiders can’t use the mirrors to peer into the room. She said that this is a regular problem. Gilbertson said that they will give that area a general safety check to make sure that the doors can lock and in working with music department staff, perhaps find a better way to hang the practice room mirrors.

female student reported that her iPod was stolen from her purse while she was in class and did not notice it was gone until she had reached her car. • At 5:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22, police received a complaint from Living Center South that money was missing from the Relay for Life jars that had been sitting on the counter in the lobby. An unknown amount of money was taken. • Between 2 and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March

12, a 20-year-old male student reported that while at the Ryder Center, he had placed his clothes inside a locker in the fitness center and returned after working out to find his wallet missing from his pants. • At 12:24 p.m. Monday, March 11, a 19-yearold male student reported that while eating in the Marketplace at Doan, he had left his backpack at the table he was sitting it to get his food and came

HIROSHIMA continued from A1

Police briefs are written according to reports from University Police. These indicate preliminary descriptions of events and not necessarily actual incident. Fire report • At 1 p.m. Monday, March 11, police were called to Living Center Southwest for a fire alarm. Upon entering, they could smell smoke and in one room a sprinkler had been activated due to a fire in a garbage can. Officers spoke to the resident, who admitted that he had been smoking marijuana and had left the room after depositing the hot ashes in the garbage can. Minor damage was caused to his room and there was some water damage done to his as well as an adjacent room. Property Damage • At 8:50 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, a 22-year-old nonstudent struck a deer while on Bay Road, causing minor damage to her vehicle. Suspicious activity • At 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, a 19-yearold male student reported that while using the bathroom in Brown Hall, he noticed a hand with a cellphone reaching under the stall door attempting to take a picture of him. • Between 9 and 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, a 19-year-old female student reported that while studying in the library, a 45-year-old male nonstudent approached her and introduced himself to her. He began talking with her and began asking her to come over to where he was. The student became uncomfortable and he left after she told him she would not. Ten minutes later, he returned and insisted she come over to sit with him. She told him she had to leave and left the library. Larceny • At 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, a 21-year-old

back to find it missing. A person was caught on camera taking the bag and police are still looking for him. Minor in Possession • At 2:15 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22, officers were called to University Village to meet with residential assistants who had called for a loud noise complaint. Alcohol was found and two 18-year-old students as well as three 20-year-old students were

The Valley Vanguard editorial staff (989) 964-4482 Justin Brouckaert, editor-in-chief Evan Poirier, design editor Brandy Abraham, campus editor Rachel Stocki, campus editor Noah Essenmacher, copy editor Chris Oliver, sports editor Tyler Bradley, A&E editor Sean Dudley, photo editor Chris Oliver, web editor professional staff (989) 964-4248 Katie Zlotecki, business manager Shannon Davis, Advertising Manager

Corrections and Additions

If you see an error, please let us know as soon as possible by contacting editor-in-chief Justin Brouckaert at (989) 964-4482 or In addition to printing a correction in our print edition, the online version of the story will reflect the correction.

About us

Since 1967, The Valley Vanguard has provided coverage of campus and community happenings to students, faculty, staff and community residents. An online edition of the paper is available at and is updated weekly during the fall and winter.


The Vanguard is published by the students of Saginaw Valley State University weekly in the fall and winter semesters, with one issue published in the summer. Our office is located in Curtiss 125 on the campus of SVSU, at 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI, 48710.


All advertising inquiries should be directed to Shannon Davis at or (989) 964-4248.

all given an M.I.P. • Smell of Marijuana • At 6:50 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, officers were called to Pine Grove to meet residential assistance because of a strong smell of marijuana. Upon contact, a 21-year-old male student admitted to smoking it and produced marijuanarelated paraphernalia, but no marijuana was found.


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The Valley Vanguard 125 Curtiss Hall campus editors Brandy Abraham e-mail Rachel Stocki e-mail office (989) 964-4482

the News and events from on and around campus

courtyard The Valley Vanguard | | Monday, March 18, 2013 | Page A3

Mission trips add meaning to spring break His House - Juarez, Mexico

Standing in the Gap - Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Project Sunset - Libreville, Gabon, Africa

By Marlin Jenkins Vanguard Staff Writer Dozens of members of SVSU’s faith-based organizations used spring break this year as an opportunity to travel on mission trips. Two of SVSU’s Christian campus ministry groups: His House and Standing in the Gap, each took a group of students abroad to help with ministry and construction in impoverished areas. Members of Project Sunset, an organization dedicated to supplying mosquito nets, traveled to Africa to do various types of work, including working with widows, orphans and people with HIV, as well as making wheelchairs. Upon returning from the trip, students shared their experiences. Faith Corner is dedicated to covering religious communities on and off campus. It is unbiased, informational and not confined to any singular denomination or religion. Students with questions can contact Marlin Jenkins at

Beth Koch Elementary education senior

Kaylee Wittock Business management/ marketing freshman

Jordan Killop Biology senior

Kacie Leneway Math education junior

Sarah Lewan Nursing sophomore

Kelly Larner Biology junior

“(The most fulfilling/valuable thing about the trip was) being able to give up our spring break and serve this family and know that we gave them a house.”

“(The most fulfilling thing about the trip was) the fact that, when we go, we’re not only changing the lives of the family we built a home for, but our hearts are changing, too. … we all felt God there and we all knew that we had changed immensely and that what we did is going to show God’s grace not only to this family but to everyone in the neighborhood.”

“The most valuable aspect of this trip … was finding a direction. … All of the worship music was in creole and we were given books to try to sing along, (and) it was a powerful experience to see all of these people worshipping the same God - the same faith but a different language … I felt like I could fit right in. I felt immediately at home.”

“It was really cool just to see God reveal himself and to see what a unity we could have with other people of God despite language barriers, cultural barriers, and all of that. … One of the most fulfilling things about the trip was getting to work with the people there and getting to play with the children and show them love.”

“(The most worthwhile thing about the trip was) being able to love the person in front of us, and not worry about all the other stuff that was going on, but focus on the person we were helping at that moment.”

“I felt as though I was serving my purpose on this planet. I felt like I was following God’s call and just getting to love and serve people. … I really learned how to love better. The Gabonese know what they’re doing. They know how to love and just give (love) out to people.”

Connecting to Japanese culture through education By Rachel Stocki Vanguard Campus Editor The Japanese Culture Club (JCC) is reaching out to more and more students. Last week, the JCC hosted an event allowing students to purchase origami, have their name written in Japanese and try on traditional Japanese clothing. Club President Madison Smith, an international studies senior with an Asian focus, said she was happy with the turnout. People who stopped by were particularly excited about the yukatas, which are traditional Japanese festival coats worn during the summer. “You have to wear (the yukatas) a certain way. There are little things that are just fun facts that we can tell people while we are dressing them up,” she said. “People love the idea of kimonos, people love the idea of different cultures having different types of clothing.” The event was a fundraiser for the club, which meets weekly and has about 15 regular members. At each meeting, a different aspect of Japanese life is discussed, such as food, history, pop culture, government systems and clothing. Vice President and international studies junior Lorin Davis likes that the club allows students to see Japan in a different light. “It’s making connections. Japan does have cool, exotic things, and it is different, but I also want people to consider similarities. It’s not this alien world that’s outside of us,” Davis said. Smith agreed that understanding different cultures is important. “The Earth is one place. We are one people,” Smith said. “The more we can understand the differences in little places like different countries and different cultures, I think that helps people to realize that there are similari-

ties, they’re not that different from me, or if they are different from me, that’s fine, because the Earth is this wonderful, beautiful place where there is so much to learn.” Smith believes that SVSU is the perfect place for students to grow more with knowledge of other cultures. “The world as it is right now, ever more so than before, is a global community. I think SVSU understands that very well,” Smith said. “We have a pretty big international community, and we have different language courses, and there’s always a push for students and professors to interact with international students and study abroad.” Eventually, the JCC would like to reach out to Japanese students. “(We want those students to know) there’s a place they can meet, there’s a place they can feel comfortable, they can give their input, they can talk about their culture,” Davis said. One notable aspect of the club is that many of its members have a deep love for Japanese culture. Club member and graphic design sophomore Melissa Johnson said the club fit perfectly with her desire to learn more. “Ever since middle school, I have had a huge interest in Japan and Japanese culture. I thought this was my chance to get to know Japan a bit more and expand on my knowledge,” Johnson said. “It’s such a friendly crowd, and you can really connect with people who share the same interests and they just make it a fun experience.” The JCC’s prevalence on campus has been growing, with more people getting involved and attending their events. “We have come leaps and bounds in just this last semester,” Smith said. In the future, the JCC hopes to use the raised funds

Event to teach about personal branding for jobs, reputation By Lauren Wietchy Vanguard Staff Writer The term “branding” is often used for companies and organizations, but job-seeking students can benefit from a lesson in personal branding, as well. The White Pine chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) will be host a lunch and learn with a renowned expert on personal branding 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 19 at the Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw. Hajj Flemings, founder of Brand Camp University, is slated to present strategies on how to effectively manage personal and organizational brands in a workshop titled, “How to develop, define and build a personal brand (that matters).” Whether communicating for an organization or applying for a new job, Flemings will show participants how to cut through the clutter of today’s digital economy so that their message is heard and effective. The workshop will focus on how to become a better storyteller, brand ambassador and curator. “How students portray themselves using social media and other outlets is very important in today’s competitive job market,” said Hilary Gwisdala, president-elect of the White Pine chapter of PRSA. “This event will provide an excellent opportunity for students to learn personal branding strategies and tactics to best market themselves to potential employers.” Flemings’ Brand Camp University is the larg-

est personal branding conference in the Midwest. He also authored “The Brand YU Life: Re-thinking Who You Are Through Personal Brand Management,” and is a columnist who writes about technology, social media and branding for small business. Flemings frequents colleges and universities around the nation to speak about personal branding, social media and career development. He also has been featured on WDIV 4 (NBC), Fox 2 News,, and travels nationally speaking as a brand strategist enabling personal and business brands to remain relevant. His clients include Walt Disney, Ford Motor Co., Skechers Footwear, and the U.S. Department of Defense (Telecom Division). PRSA is the world’s largest organization for public relations professionals with more than 28,000 professional and student members worldwide. The White Pine chapter of PRSA was chartered in 1988 and serves public relations professionals in the midMichigan area, including Bay City, Midland, Mount Pleasant, Saginaw and surrounding areas. The cost of the event is $20 for students. Reservations are required by 3 p.m. March 18. Tickets can be purchased online at For more information, contact Heather Smith, White Pine PRSA communications chair, at (989) 4002649 or at

to attend a local tea ceremony and perhaps travel to Ann Arbor for events like geisha performances, culture festivals and taiko drum shows. “Our future events revolve around student participation, campus involvement and hosting and participating in larger events,” Smith said. “Doing things like that as a club and promoting those events to campus, to invite other people to come with us to those things, would be ideal.” The JCC is also putting on its second film festival, which will be held in Wickes Hall and features different Japanese movies. The next festival is focused on “Godzilla” movies and will be Saturday, March 23. Davis said the film festivals serve as another way to

educate attendees. “‘Godzilla’ is a huge franchise in Japan. It’s been around for years,” she said. “(We want to show) why do we talk about this, why do Americans know about this.” Smith hopes that ultimately, the club will help reach and educate many people. “We want to broaden what SVSU students know about Japanese culture and we want students here to know that everything and everyone on the planet is interrelated,” she said. “What happens in Japan affects us here, and what happens here affects those in Japan.” For more information or meeting schedules, contact Madison Smith at or visit the JCC’s pages on Facebook and OrgSync.

Courtesy | Madison Smith

Members of the Japanese Culture Club sold origami, wrote names in Japanese and allowed people to dress up in traditional Japanese clothing in order to raise funds and promote student awareness.

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The Valley Vanguard campus editors Brandy Abraham e-mail Rachel Stocki e-mail office (989) 964-4482 125 Curtiss Hall


Page A4| Monday, March 18, 2013 | | The Valley Vanguard

Campus Beat Column


Vanguard Vision Some thoughts on surviving March, April, May & beyond

Looking to the past important for future novelists

By Matt Ostrander


Vanguard Columnist want to be a novelist. Really badly. The only problem is that I have nothing productive to show from this ridiculous, but optimistic dream. There are a million ways for me to fail. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what I haven’t achieved that I overlook all of the small, but important steps I’ve taken during the last couple years to develop my dream. From my surprisingly serious story ideas in childhood to my current agenda of trying to balance my creative writing with more professional writing, I’ve realized that I’ve come a long way. I think that all writers have a point where they look at their most early work and either cringe or are just stricken with confusion. I’m hit with a bit of both reactions. I’ve already accepted that I was going to share some of my horrible ideas this week, so let me give you one of my weirdest from childhood. It was called “Jail”. Why? I’m not sure. But that’s what is written at the top of the dated page, so I guess that’s what I have to call it. This story was about a cop who kills this criminal and sends him to hell. This criminal went on to kill the devil, take his place, and return to earth to seek revenge on the cop you took his life. Goodness. What a strange idea for a sixth-grader who de-

cides to commit to a story for the first time. At first I was embarrassed by the goofy premise, but the more I thought about it, I can see the beginnings of what I try to do in my current stories. For one, I’m pretty sure the concept hasn’t been done before. Second, I can see how even when I was younger I wanted to break some new ground. One of my main goals as a writer has always been to create something that hasn’t been thought up before. The older I became, the less motivation I felt. I’m not sure why, but it could have been because I just couldn’t comprehend anything I had written obtaining approval from anyone halfway literate. Fast forward to my second year at SVSU, I realize I hadn’t sat down and seriously wrote in too long. My roommate suggested I apply at the Vanguard and I got the job. This job has not only helped me develop more professional writing techniques, but it has also helped with my creative endeavors as well. Dealing with deadlines has helped me write more often and more efficiently. When I have a good idea or think of a good way to write something, I immediately type it out no matter what I’m doing. This is something I started to do once I begun to have articles due every week. Being forced to write for my job helps motivate me to continue to write more outside of work. I would even say that I have two distinct paths I want to explore through my future fiction. I’m extremely interested in situations where a person is trapped, either physically or metaphorically, in one place for the entire narrative. Initial ideas are simple, but I try to figure out the most unsettling of them all to turn into a story that will trigger something in the audience. A struggling couple driving in the middle of the night on an

unknown dirt road. After a long bout of verbal fighting they realize the road has been going nowhere for too long and they are quickly running out of gas. They turn around to go back to the last station, but the road continues to be endless the opposite way until they are forced to continue the seemingly endless journey on foot. What if there was an inmate on death row who had spent the last agonizing year alone, in solitary confinement, and at the last moment emotionally accepted his death. The next day the court turns his case over because of a technicality and he is free for the first time in years. I’m also trying to improve my use of dialogue. I feel as if language, especially the informal discourse that happens between two people is unique to each person and says a lot about their characters without me necessarily having to spell them out for the reader. One story idea that I have been playing around with for some time now is as simple as they come. I want to write a story that is completely dialogue; just two people at a diner talking, and keep it fascinating throughout. It sounds easy, but it is not. In the end, this is really just me half explaining my writing process and half me trying to get out in the open that dreams are not going to happen over night. There is no way that I am going to be able to publish a novel by next week and see it in Barnes and Noble by the end of the month. But every time I see my name in the paper, at least I know I’m heading in the right direction.

By Justin Brouckaert Vanguard Editor-in-Chief


orty-eight days. Readers, there are 48 days until this semester ends. If you are a student, there may be even fewer, depending on how your finals shake out. If you are a graduating student, you have 59 days — fifty-nine days! — until graduation. But perhaps you are not counting. A funny thing happens to college students in the two months between spring break and the end of the semester. Maybe you’re moving a bit slower. Maybe you’re looking at the calendar and staring at the long, unforgiving month of April. There is little respite for college students in April. April is worse than October. Maybe you’re getting bitter about the term “home stretch.” Maybe you’re a former runner who knows how long that home stretch can be. Maybe you hate home stretches because you know there’s nothing short about the last 50 meters of a 5K. Readers, it’s only March, but we should talk about April. What are you going to do about April? And don’t underestimate March, either. March will stay longer than you wish. March will make you uncomfortable. Readers, you should take care of yourselves, and not just in the fruits and vegetables kind of way. Remember what

a night off can do. Remember that rest can bring clarity. Remember that rest can bring renewal. Reader, remember that your girlfriend would really like to watch a movie with you. Remember that no one else will schedule rest for you. Readers, remember that the worst thing that can happen to you is only failure, and remember that failure creates opportunity for incredible growth. Remember that you are allowed — expected, even — to fail. Does this makes it less frightening? Remember that you will, indeed, fail. You will fail many times, in fact, and it will rarely kill you. Readers, I hope you remember this, especially in April. I always think of failure in April. Readers, remember the reasons we put pressure on ourselves. Remember that you don’t HAVE to do anything. You WANT to do things, readers, so many things. I know this. If you find yourself overcome by malaise, then you have to know why. This is essential. Malaise fears nothing more than insight. So, readers, why are you here? Why do you do it? That answer will carry you through March, through April, through May and beyond. It should excite you. You can surf a long ways on that answer. (I am allowed to use surfing metaphors in March.) Finally, readers, let’s try to spice things up. Let’s get weird in March and April. If you’re started to feel like you’re trudging through your weeks, then try to do things a little bit differently. Surprise yourself. If you are growing tired, for example, of writing newspaper editorials each week, then you should probably try something different instead. You should experiment. Readers, this is only an example. Let’s conqueror malaise. Let’s not count down — it’s too easy to count down. Let’s be active and sharp and well-rested and inspired. Let’s get weird. Let’s take ideas and run with them. Let’s run fast. We are not alone on this home stretch.

RELIGIOUS COUNSELING Christian counseling/Life coaching - Relationships, stress, addiction, more. Call Larry Hoard B.A. 989842-3982.

Matt Ostrander is a secondary education junior. Reach him at

Editorial Cartoon

Visit for more opinion articles: “A few tips on tipping etiquette: How, when and why to tip” By Hannah Meyer

Rashad Baiyasi is a physics and chemistry senior and the Vanguard’s cartoonist. Reach him at ribaiyas@

“Glasses or contacts?: Viewing eyewear through the lens of professionalism” By Brandy Abraham

Editorial Board, March 2013

Permanent members

Meeting times

Justin Brouckaert, editor-in-chief Brian Hlavaty, adviser Brandy Abraham, Campus Editor Tyler Bradley, A&E Editor Chris Oliver, Sports editor Noah Essenmacher, Copy editor

Editorial board meetings take place Sunday evenings during the fall and winter semesters. University students, faculty and staff are encouraged to share their views with the Vanguard.

The Vanguard Vision The Vision is written by the vanguard editor-in-chief in collaboration with the newspaper’s adviser and editorial staff. Columns and Commentaries Columns and commentaries do not represent the views of the Vanguard staff. Opinions are solely those of the individual.

Letters and Op-Ed policies How to submit Op-Ed We accept op-eds from faculty and staff on any topic. Interested parties should e-mail editor-inchief Justin Brouckaert at to arrange an op-ed. Letters Send letters to or visit our submission form at


Letters may be edited for content, grammar and length. Letters containing abusive content will not be published. Letters should be sent to The Valley Vanguard and no other publication. Letters for publication must be no longer than 350 words. Students writing letters must include their major and class standing. All others must provide a title or job description. We do not publish open letters, news releases, public postings or notices of any kind.

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The Valley Vanguard editor -in-chief Justin Brouckaert office (989) 964-4482 e-mail 125 Curtiss Hall


Page A5 | Monday, March 18, 2013 | | The Valley Vanguard

sports Batters ready to slam into GLIAC briefs BASEBALL

By Chris Oliver

Vanguard Sports Editor

Men’s Baseball • Wednesday, March 20, @ Northwood University, 2 p.m., Midland • Wednesday, March 20, @ Northwood University, 4 p.m., Midland • Saturday, March 23, @ Ashland University, 1 p.m., Ashland, OH • Saturday, March 23, @ Ashland University, 3 p.m., Ashland, OH • Sunday, March 24, @ Ashland University, 12 p.m., Ashland, OH

Women’s Softball • Thursday, March 21, vs. West Liberty, 2 p.m., University Center • Thursday, March 21, vs. West Liberty, 4 p.m., University Center • Friday, March 22, vs. West Liberty, 12 p.m., University Center • Friday, March 22, vs. West Liberty, 2 p.m., University Center • Saturday, March 23, @ Lake Erie, 1 p.m., Painesville, OH • Saturday, March 23, @ Lake Erie, 3 p.m., Painesville, OH • Sunday, March 24, @ Walsh University, 12 p.m., North Canton, OH • Sunday, March 24, @ Walsh University, 2 p.m., North Canton, OH

Golf • Saturday, March 23, The Cardinal Spring Invitational, Florence, Ky. • Sunday, March 24, The Cardinal Spring Invitational, Florence, Ky.

Upon returning to Michigan, the men’s baseball team is looking to work the fundamentals to improve and compete for a conference title. Following a spring trip to Florida that ended with a 2-8 record, the men’s baseball team is hoping to cut down on the mistakes and hit its way into contention in the GLIAC. Senior catcher Chet LaFave believes the team has the tools and just needs to work out some minor kinks. “The Florida trip was a little disappointing because of the way in which we lost,” LaFave said. “We dropped our first three games in the last inning. “We’d be in the lead and there’d be an error that cost us or we’d have the bases loaded with less than two outs and just couldn’t capitalize.” Coming into the season, the team was expecting to take a trip to South Carolina to help gear up for the rest of the season. Due to weather, the trip was canceled, and LaFave believes that had a lot to do with how the team played in Florida “We were hoping to kind of use the South Carolina trip as sort of a spring training to work out all of the jitters and kinks going into the season,” LaFave said. “But going forward, we can kind of look at Florida as our training trip and look ahead to conference play.” So far LaFave has helped anchor the middle of the lineup for the Cardinals, hitting .308 with one home run and four runs batted in. Senior third baseman Andy Orr has hit .273 so far this season with seven runs driven in. Fellow senior and right fielder Kyle O’Boyle has struggled so far this season, batting .167 and driving in one run. The offensive potential of the team is a big reason for the expectations LaFave has this season. “Our lineup, from top to bottom has the potential to really shine this season,” he said. “Our middle of the lineup with me, Andy (Orr) and Kyle (O’Boyle) should hopefully provide some leadership to the younger guys and drive in runs to help keep the pressure off the pitching and the rest of the team. “As long as everyone can approach every at bat with the right mindset and every game, we should be in good shape.” LaFave also has high hopes for his own production on the team. “My goals for this season beyond bringing home a ring is to leave a positive mark on the program before I graduate,” LaFave said. “With so many younger guys on the team who will be taking over, I’d love for them to taste a bit of success and continue the tradition going forward. “I just really want to be a leader this season.” With the number of talented underclassmen on the team, LaFave said he expects the Cardinals to

Vanguard file photo

Senior catcher Chet LaFave led SVSU with a .308 batting average on the Florida trip. He added four RBIs while posting a team-best .419 on-base percentage and slugging .500 on eight hits.

Spring Trip Leaderboard Player Chet LaFave Brad Schalk Niko Gonzalez Andy Orr Chris Perkovich Michael Craig Ryan Hotmer Dylin Eschenburg Kyle O’Boyle

Average (Min. 15 at bats) Runs Batted In .308 .306 .292 .273 .265 .235 .235 .167 .167

continue winning after he leaves. “If I can leave on a winning note and these young, talented guys can keep it up, I think they can have themselves a great four-year run,” he said. “Being a part of the start of something great like

4 2 3 7 8 2 6 1 1

Slugging Percentage

.500 .389 .333 .364 .353 .265 .324 .200 .226

On Base Percentage .419 .390 .346 .368 .286 .235 .297 .167 .278

that would be amazing. The Cardinals will kick off their GLIAC schedule in-state on Wednesday, March 20, when they travel to Northwood University.


Individual efforts shine through rocky start By Joey Oliver Vanguard Staff Writer The softball team’s spring break may have been warm and sunny, but it also consisted of a lot of hard work. SVSU’s trip to Kissimmee Fla., is over. The team returned to Michigan after posting a 4-10 record in spring ball and finished on an off note by losing its final six contests. First-year head coach Todd Buckingham said that his team had a lot of positives on its trip regardless of its record. “Our record does not indicate the type of team that I feel we’re going to be,” he said. “I feel like we’re very young and we did accomplish some good things in Florida, and I think that we can take the lessons that we learned from Florida and apply them to the

rest of the season.” Buckingham also said that he expects his team to be in the thick of things once the season begins. “I truly think that we will be prepared for our GLIAC schedule and that we can still make an impact in the conference,” he said. As a team, the Cardinals batted .221, as opposed to a batting average against of over .300. SVSU had an on-base percentage under .300 while slugging just .301. Despite some of its struggles as a team, SVSU featured some good individual performances in the Rebel Spring games. Sophomore infielder Amanda Kimes was on fire in spring ball. She batted .324 while leading the team in hits with 11. She also posted an on-base percentage of .361 while slugging .382. Kimes also chipped in five RBIs.

Kimes said that regardless of its spring record the team is a talented bunch. “We didn’t win as many games as we would have liked in Florida but we showed very promising signs for a great season,” she said. “We have a lot of talent defensively, offensively, and pitching-wise, and when we pull these three aspects of the game together we are a force to be reckoned with.” The Cardinals offensive showing this spring was inconsistent. At one point they scored nine runs in one game, yet they were shut out twice. Kimes said that the team needs to improve on its timely hitting. “In our previous games we got a lot of hits and got people on base but our problem is that we left them on base,” she said. “We just have string our hits together to score runs.”

There were other impressive individual performances for the Cards. Senior outfielder Samantha Sutton swiped six bags in spring ball without being caught. Additionally, junior infielder Lindsay Hayward hit two home runs while posting an on-base percentage of .400. SVSU was supposed to begin its season Saturday against Concordia, but its doubleheader was canceled due to issues getting its field ready. The Cardinals will instead open their season Thursday, March 21 against West Liberty. They will play a doubleheader on Thursday before playing another doubleheader, also against West Liberty, the following day.


Successful season raises bar for returning starters By Joey Oliver Vanguard Staff Writer The Lady Cardinals entered the season with mild expectations after having not reached the playoffs since 2007. Their 2012-2013 campaign opened some eyes as the team not only reached the playoffs, but turned things around from a 6-20 record a year ago. The team finished with a 13-13 regular season mark before losing in the quarterfinals of the GLIAC tournament. They finished with an 11-11 conference record while going 8-6 at home and 5-8 on the road. Head coach Jamie Pewinski is in her second year as coach of the Lady Cards. She credited the season’s success to the players’ dedication to improve. “The 2012-2013 season was a great step in the right direction for the program,” she said. “We have a great group of student-athletes who are eager to be successful and they worked hard this season to do just that.”

Going forward, Pewinski emphasized the importance of the success her team had this past season. “It was a rather historical season in the fact that we won a lot more games than the program is used to and had some individual success in the process,” she said. “We are proud of what we did this year and the experience we gained and look forward to having a great postseason and summer to improve our individual games, so that we can build upon the success of this season.” SVSU came into this season with an abundance of youth. Of the 11 players on the team, six were freshmen and an additional two were sophomores. “We thought going 13-13 (11-11) would be a great season for this team, because of its youth and inexperience,” she said. “Our goal all year was to split each weekend and then hope that there would be a few weekends we would sweep. “For the most part, we did exactly what we had hoped for,” she said. “For me, one of the

best stats is that for any team we played twice we only got swept by Michigan Tech, Wayne State and Findlay, but we were able to adjust with every other team and get a season split.” With so much youth on the roster, making the playoffs was a great learning experience and one that the team hopes to experience again. “Getting into the playoffs is always big, because it’s just added experience,” she said. “We won some big games down the stretch to get into the tournament, so it showed we weren’t ready to quit and we kept fighting, which is what needs to happen to make the playoffs. “We showed we could play on the road and under pressure and we learned the value of continuing to improve and how important each possession is,” she said. “There was not a scenario we faced that was too big for these kids.” The Lady Cardinals had several outstanding individual performances throughout the year. Emily Wendling turned in a great first season. The freshman forward finished in the GLIAC top-10 in points per game (15), rebounds

per game (8.1) and field goal percentage (53.1). Another freshman forward, Katelyn Carriere, also played an important role for the team early on. She averaged over 30 minutes a game, more than any of the other players. Sophomore forward Samantha Zirzow made more than 50 percent of her field goals, joining Wendling as a member of the GLIAC top-10 in field goal percentage. The Cardinals will be returning 10 of their 11 players for next year. Expectations will be higher than they were before this year, but Pewinski says her team will work hard and will embrace the expectations. “No one from the outside will ever be able to put more pressure or set higher expectations then we will have for ourselves,” she said. “For the next few months, we will work solely on our individual improvement and getting stronger. “Now it’s just about improving and getting more depth to the roster.”

The Valley Vanguard sports editor Chris Oliver office (989) 964-2629 e-mail 125 Curtiss Hall


Page A6 | Monday, March 18, 2013 | | The Valley Vanguard

Keepsake crafts create crowds By Tyler Bradley Vanguard A& E Editor Some of the Midwest’s talented artists and crafters gathered together to craft up profits Saturday. An annual destination for more than 2,000 people, the Keepsake Collection Folk Art and Craft Shows hosted its 8th spring show in the O’Neill Arena. More than 135 exhibitors featured purchasable items such as stained glass, metal art, wooden yard ornaments and clothing. Leslie Needham, a full-time exhibitor and organizer, said the event is growing in attendance every year, despite low numbers of students from the university. She said the event has had a steady number of exhibitors each year it has been hosted at the university. According to Needham, the six-hour show

reaches peak attendance between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Needham said there is a great selection of vendors that include those who sell for a retirement income and those who sell full time. Buyers come from as far away as Clarkston and Ann Arbor, according to Needham. Two exhibitors, she said, traveled from the Upper Peninsula for the show. To Needham, the venue at the university is perfect because of its wide-open spaces. “My favorite thing is getting to see the diversity of what people are making and how they are marking it,” Needham said. One exhibitor at the show sold custom neon signs along with pre-made signs that included the SVSU Cardinal logo, Michigan-based sports teams logos and nautical-themed works. Rick Jacobs of Houghton Lake has worked with neon signs in his custom vinyl and neonsign shop for 30 years. Each piece, which runs between $225 to

$245, is made by firing and bending a tube that is filled with gas that produces the light. Jacobs, who started doing craft shows last year, said neon signs are a dying business, but he likes the colors and craftsmanship that goes with it. According to Jacobs, LED lighting has taken over a lot of outdoor lighting. Another exhibitor sold baked goods to give back to the Saginaw community. Altrusa, derived from the word “altruism,” is an international organization that focuses on leadership and promoting literacy. The Saginaw chapter sold about 60 varieties of baked goods that raises between $800 to $1,000 annually. “Because it’s collective and all members help out, it probably took each member a few days to bake everything,” member Beth Bauer said. Bauer said all the money raised at the show goes towards putting on programs throughout the year.

Last year, the chapter gave a book to each baby born in a hospital during the month of April. The chapter also is hosting an adult team spelling bee Wednesday, May 1, where members of a business or organization will compete. All profits will go toward Books for Breakfast, the Read Association of Saginaw County and the LIteracy Council of Saginaw County. The Keepsake Collection Craft Show will return to the university Saturday, Oct. 6. Other upcoming shows will occur Saturday, March 23, at West Intermediate School in Mount Pleasant; June 7 and 8 at Green Acres Plaza on State in Saginaw Township; and several dates from June through September at Zehnder Park in Frankenmuth. For more information go to

Vanguard photo | Amelia Brown

People browse through the 135 exhibitors selling products at this year’s spring Keepsake Arts and Crafts Show on Saturday. Event organizers said the event draws in more than 2,000 people annually.

art briefs

Woodblock Prints

Drag Show

• Japanese woodblock prints are on display in the University Art Gallery through April 14. For hours go to galleryopenhours

•At 8:00 p.m. Friday, March 22, in the Thompson Student Activities Room, Living Proud will host its sixth annual drag show. Tickets will be sold at the door and pre-sale via tabling or emailing ajvatter@ Doors open at 7 p.m.

World’s Fairs Lecture • At 4 p.m. Monday, March 18, in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall, Susan J. Bandes will discuss the lost remnants of American World’s Fairs.

Sins Poetry Slam • At 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, in the Student Life Center Program Room, Cardinal Sins will host its winter poetry slam. Winner gets published in the winter edition of the literary and fine arts magazine.

Home and Garden Show • From 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 22, in the O’Neill Arena, the Home Builders’ Association of Saginaw will host a home and garden show.

Godzilla Film Marathon • At 6 p.m. Saturday, March 23, in in Wickes 115, the Japanese Culture Club will show the films “Godzilla,” “Godzilla 2000: Millennium” and “Godzilla: Final Wars.”

Game Night • At 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, in the Alumni Lounge, Delta Sigma Pi will host a game night with games such as Spoons, Apples to Apples, Dance Central and Black OPs II.

This Is 40

The Hobbit

Senior Recital

• At 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Thursday, March 21, and at 8 p.m., Sunday, March 24. in the Thompson Student Activities Room, Valley Nights will show the film “The Hobbit.” Free.

• At 4 p.m. Sunday, March 24, in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall, Amanda Lewis will perform her senior recital.

Tea with Mussolini • At 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 22, in C100, Valley Film Society will show the film “Tea with Mussolini.” Membership required: $25 Regular and $5 SVSU Student.

• At 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday, March 23, in the Thompson Student Activities Room, Valley Nights will show the film “This is 40.”

Vanguard photo | Amelia Brown

A guest examines purses sold at the craft show. Products also include wood and metal creations, baked goods and clothing.

The 20/20 Experience Category: Music Release: Tuesday, March 19 Artist: Justin Timberlake Genre: Pop Utopia EP Category: Music Release: Tuesday, March 19 Artist: Kerli Genre: Pop Gears of War: Judgment Category: Video game Release: Tuesday, March 19 Publisher: Microsoft Studios Platform: Xbox 360 Genre: Third-person shooter The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct Category: Video game Release: Tuesday, March 19 Publisher: Activision Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 3560, Wii U, Playstation 3 Genre: First-person shooter

new releases

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity Category: Video game Release: Sunday, March 24 Publisher: Microsoft Studios Platform: Nintendo 3DS Genre: Dungeon crawler Olympus Has Fallen Category: Film Release: Friday, March 22 Director: Antoine Fuqua Starring: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman Genre: Action-thriller Love and Honor Category: Film Release: Friday, March 22 Director: Danny Mooney Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Austin Stowell Genre: Romantic drama InAPPropriate Comedy Category: Film Release: Friday, March 22 Director: Vince Offer Starring: Rob Schneider, Lindsay Lohan Genre: Comedy

The Valley Vanguard 125 Curtiss Hall A&E editor Tyler Bradley office (989) 964-4482 e-mail


The Valley Vanguard | | Monday, March 18, 2013 | Page A7


Theater student Hopps into the spotlight By Landon Defever Vanguard Staff Writer

Vanguard photo | Alyssa Ellis

Theater sophomore Mykaela Hopps has starred in productions such as “Buried Child” and plans to audition for several more in the upcoming months.

Theater sophomore Mykaela Hopps is making a name for herself with her passion, making appearances in a number of productions. The daughter of Gary and Maribeth Hopps, Mykaela was born in Bay City on April 20, 1993. Even at a young age, the actress gravitated toward the world of theater. “I was always very theatrical as a child,” Hopps said. “When I was really young, I used to make my family sit in the living room while I performed interpretive dances with made up languages. We even had flashlight spotlights to go along with them.” Hopps continued to explore theatrics all throughout her childhood. In third grade, she enrolled in dance. It wasn’t until sixth grade, however, that the actress took on her first roll in “Children of Eden.” “I’d rather try and not remember that play, to be honest. I played a storyteller and I was on stage and singing my lines the entire show.”

Despite this show, Hopps later got to perform in roles that she thoroughly enjoyed. The first major role that she remembered performing in was Margot in “The Diary of Anne Frank.” This role allowed her to expand her horizons as an actress. “I had to cry on stage, which was big for me,” she said. “I just had to be in the moment, and feel what Margot would’ve been feeling, which helped a lot.” It wasn’t until the actress was 16 that she officially decided to pursue as a career after high school. It all came down to a decision between her two biggest passions: art and theater. In the end, Hopps went with a theater major with a minor in art, as she would have to opportunity to work with art in theater. Over Hopps’ career so far, a few productions in particular have stood out for her. Some of these include “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Arsenic & Old Lace,” “Road to Mecca” and this season’s “Buried Child” by Sam Shepard. In “Buried Child,” the actress took on the demanding role of Halie, a wife in her mid-sixties

with a deep, dark secret that threatens to tear apart her family. Over the next few months, she will audition in the spring for roles in next semester’s “The Producers,” directed by Ric Roberts; “It’s All In the Timing,” by Dave Rzeszutek; and “Sylvia,” by Tommy Wedge. Though Hopps has been in her fair share of theatrical productions, she’s taken a lot of inspiration from actresses on the silver screen, both dramatic and comedic. “Meryl Streep is an obvious one,” Hopps said. “I also love Kristin Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Aubrey Plaza.” She said they have their own unique styles and can play a variety of characters, especially Streep. “They all have their own personal way of making people laugh,” she said. “It’s also really inspiring because it’s really hard to be a respected female comedian in times like these.”

Technology influencing childens’ books By Matt Ostrander Vanguard Columnist The act of teaching students how to advance in reading is constantly being changed by technology and future teachers need to evolve along with it. Frank Serafini, who is an award-winning children’s author and a past elementary school teacher, spoke on the developing methods of teaching that are needed to keep up with societal advances. Serafini was brought to SVSU through the Saginaw Bay Writing Project, which is celebrating its 20th year anniversary. His presentation, entitled “Reading/Writing/Thinking; Making Vital Connections,” focused on the changing field of teaching, reading and writing. One of his most important messages was that everyone reads in different ways and that there is not one method that should be considered the best. He emphasized that with the growing technological field, the ways books are read will be growing, too, especially through more interactive texts. “The texts we are reading today are not the

texts of our parents,” Serafini said. “The strategies we need to make sense of these multimodal texts are different than the strategies we would use to analyze basic written language.” A big portion of his presentation focused on how the meaning is in the message in modern literature. This deals with fonts and visual designs that parallel the book’s message or even purposefully contradict what the story is saying. This not only inspires new material from authors, but it also evolves the way literature is analyzed and processed. If the way of interpreting the message is changing, then the questions come up of whether the literary cannon should change as well. “There’s new ways to access the new canon,” Serafini said. “Like you can access any Shakespeare play for free online. But I’ve always thought that the literary canon needed to be revised. I think that we need to read widely. That means authors of color, authors of different cultures, from different perspectives.” During one point in Serafini’s presentation, he used the example of Hansel and Gretel to show how different presentations of the story could change the reader’s response and possibly even the meaning of the text itself. He showed

the audience several different interpretations of the fairy tale, including a goofier children’s version, a more realistic depiction and even an effectively creepy version geared towards mature readers. Marilyn Brooks, assistant director of the Saginaw Bay Writing Project, helped bring Serafini to SVSU and believes in his approach to teaching. Brooks, along with the rest of the Writing Project, was happy to have the speaker help them celebrate their 20 years of existence. “I just got to meet Serafini and there are many things that make him an interesting person,” Brooks said. “One, he is an academician, which means he knows how to do research. He’s a research-based practitioner. He’s also very practical. While he gives the you technical way to change instruction, he presents it in a way where you find yourself saying, ‘I can do that!’” Scholars like Serafini are integral to any college’s academic progression, since students are able to see presenters from far away share their views on teaching and any other type of topic. “I think that one of the functions of a university should be to be a center for academic discussion,” Brooks said. “To promote scholarly discourse. That’s something students some-

times miss, but we do value these presentation. There are people who come to talk about sciences, history or politics. We just love bringing knowledgeable people to our campus.” Serafini also chose to discuss how he broke into the business of writing children’s books. His initial ideas were turned down, but he continued to try. “My children’s books came about from my time as a photographer,” Serafini said. “I had submitted some photographs to a publisher and they didn’t like my ideas for the books but they loved my photography. So my pictures actually got me my first contract.” His advice to any aspiring writers is to do research and find other writers who are in similar situations. Research and knowledge is key. “Right now, the children’s lit market is hard to break into,” Serafini said. “I got lucky. If you are thinking about writing children’s books, go to the ‘Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ online. It’s a great place to find local writing group or to learn about who’s accepting manuscripts.”

Oz: The visually stunning and not compelling Tim Windy is an English literature and creative writing senior and Vanguard reviewer. Reach him at



Courtesy |

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In his article “5 Reasons The Greatest Movie Villain Ever is a ‘Good’ Witch,” David Dietle of identifies Glinda of the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” as both the orchestrator of Dorothy’s unnecessary visit to the Emerald City and as being primarily responsible for the misfortune that befalls Dorothy while on her journey to see the Wizard and the additional errand of murdering the Wicked Witch of the East. Dietle writes, “When Dorothy and friends return to the Emerald City as heroes, we find out that the entire fiasco could have ended the moment Glinda put the ruby slippers on Dorothy . . . we think it’s pretty convenient that by the end of the movie . . . both chief rivals of the so-called ‘Good Witch’ (are) dead.” Similarly, in “Oz the Great and Powerful,” a prequel to the 1939 film, the plot’s most despicable villain is not readily apparent as such because no one cowers in his presence and he has no green skin or warts. He is the protagonist for which the film is named. Whereas the deceitful Glinda’s willingness to allow Dorothy to act as a proxy assassin receives only a sideways glance in “The Wizard of Oz,” the true villainy of “Oz the Great and Powerful” originates in Oz him-

self (James Franco), his offenses and their repercussions forming the movie’s main arc. Oscar Diggs, aka Oz, is a magician because every traveling circus needs a magician. Along with his brilliant talents as a performer come the expected and nearly obligatory vices. So what are they? Alcohol? Gambling? Narcotics? As it turns out, Oz is a bit of a philanderer, his go-to pickup move being the gift of a dime-store music box to his potential romantic partner accompanied with an improvised spiel about how it once belonged to his grandmother who died during a war, any war, really. And it is just this particular vice that sets his journey in motion, providing the impetus for his departure from Kansas and his arrival at the land with which he shares his name. Secondly, Oz’s wickedness is not confined to a single vice, fortunately. Being the consummate performer, he has several. Along with his appetite for company of the opposite sex is his greed for material wealth. A short while after arriving in Oz, Oz’s moneygrubbing nature is aggravated when he is shown the riches that will be inherited by the next king of the Emerald City. The long-standing prophesy that a wizard who falls from the sky and has the same name as the land of Oz will be the next king and the tremendous wealth that accompany the position are enough incentive for Oz. Per the request of the keeper of the Emerald City, Oz must kill the Wicked Witch before ascending to his place as king, so, with dollar signs in his eyes and his knowing that he is not a wizard, he sets out to kill the Wicked Witch. As the plot develops, the viewer witnesses the effects of Oz’s desperate lusting. It proves to be the reason for the presence of true evil in Oz, augmenting the innocuous brand of malevolence that previously resided there to one that takes no prisoners, one that thirsts for the blood of the innocent and in the wake of spilling it may sleep soundly. Now, all that sounds well and good as far as plots go, I suppose, but in application “Oz the Great and Powerful” disappoints in places. While the movie is visually stunning, Oz’s transformation into a virtuous man worthy of kingship by the movie’s end did not seem to arrive naturally and therefore was not compelling. Also, Mila Kunis’ performance as Theodora was well-fitted in the beginning, but she seemed more petulant than sinister by the arrival of the movie’s climax.

A&E editor Tyler Bradley office (989) 964-4482 e-mail

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Do you have strong communication skills? xtra money e e m o s e k a m to Are you looking our resume y e k a m r o s ip tr r for those summe stand out?


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Representative will be paid by commission, and students returning for the 2013-2014 school yearwill have an opportunity or advancement that brings additional income. New Representatives will be briefed and trained prior to starting.

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The Valley Vanguard (Vol. 45 No. 21)  

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The Valley Vanguard (Vol. 45 No. 21)  

The Valley Vanguard newspaper