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“uDefy Places 2nd Nationally” on 3 Volume 114, Issue 5


VISTA “The Student Voice Since 1903”

Follow the Vista: vistanews1903 @TheVista1903 thevista1903 The Vista Monday, Feb. 13, 2017

UCO Wrestling Makes School History

UCO wrestler Will Steltzlen grapples with William Homalon from Fort Hays State University. Stetzlen pinned Homalon and won this match by pin at 1:59. (Ryan Naeve / The Vista).

Jordan Belew @JordanBelew Sports Writer

Broncho wrestling has a long and storied tradition. Yet, in just his first season as head coach, Todd Steidley has lead his team to break multiple school records. The Bronchos are ranked seventh in the latest NCAA Division II rankings. They also have four wrestlers who are nationally ranked in their weight classes. The team has managed to break the school record for consecutive wins with 25. They have also managed to secure the first undefeated dual season in school history at 18-0. “When I was younger I would’ve said it’s irrelevant without the championship. These guys have made history at a prestigious program and that’s something to be proud of,” Steidley said. “I just couldn’t be more proud of them.” Steidley takes a great deal of pride in coaching for UCO. “I’m proud of

our tradition. I’m proud to be a part of it,” Steidley said. In 1987, Steidley contributed to one of the Broncho’s 15 national championships as a junior. He won the 142-lbs national title and earned a team title. This season has roots dating back to the end of last year. The Bronchos closed out the 2015-2016 season with seven straight dual wins, setting up the 25-win streak. “We don’t expect to lose any matches. Whether a guy is number one, whether they’re Division I guys, we expect to win every match,” second-ranked, 197-lb wrestler Greg Wilson said. The junior has been a key in the Bronchos’ perfect season thus far. With their killer attitude, the Bronchos took down every challenge in their way. When they beat second-ranked Nebraska-Kearney, the season started to look like it could be special. The victory put the Bronchos on top of the MIAA Conference Dual standings and was a key step to capturing an illusive undefeated season. See “UCO Wrestling” on 15

DeVos Boasts Charter Schools

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos addresses Education Department staff, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at the Education Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

See ‘Nancy DeVos’ on 9 for full column


The Vista

Feb. 13, 2017


Eddie Yellowfish, junior, begins threading his beads at the NASA Craft Night: Valentine Beaded Rings event in the Cherokee Room in the Nigh University Center on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. (Elizabeth Roberts/ The Vista).

CONTENTS uDefy..............................................................3


Around Campus..........................................4-5

Letters to the Editor.....................................12


Academics and Sports.................................13

Online Gaming...............................................8

Bucking Broncho.........................................14

Nancy Devos..................................................9

UCO Wrestling............................................15


Kateleigh Mills Megan Prather Peter Agnitsch Siali Siaosi Cara Johnson M i r a n d a Va n M e t e r Elizabeth Spence K a t i e To w l e r Victor Quezada A . Suave Francisco Ryan Naeve Te d d y B u r c h

Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Sports Editor Online Editor Photo Editor Copy Editor Re p o r t e r Re p o r t e r Re p o r t e r S p o r t s Re p o r t e r Photographer Advisor

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The Vista is published weekly during the spring, summer, and fall semesters. In all issues, The Vista has opportunities for both classified, online and print ads. Email your questions to:

The Vista is published as a newspaper and public forum by UCO students, weekly during the academic year, at the University of Central Oklahoma. The issue price is free for the first copy and $1 for each additional copy obtained. EDITORIALS Opinion columns, editorial cartoons, reviews and commentaries represent the views of the writer or artist and not necessarily the views of The Vista Editorial Board, the Department of Mass Communication, UCO or the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges. The Vista is not an official medium of expression for the Regents or UCO. LETTERS The Vista encourages letters to the editor. Letters should address issues and ideas, not personalities. Letters must be typed, double-spaced, and must include the author’s printed name, major, classification and phone number. Phone numbers are included for contacting purposes only. Letters are subject to editing for libel, clarity and space, or to eliminate statements of questionable taste. The Vista reserves the right not to publish submitted letters. Address letters to: Editor, The Vista, 100 N. University Dr., Edmond, OK 73034-5209, or deliver in person to the editor in the Communications Building, Room 131. Letters can be emailed to


Feb. 13, 2017

The Vista


uDefy Team Combats Online Extremism, Places 2nd Nationally

Kateleigh Mills @KateleighSuz Editor-in-Chief

A team of four students from the Mass Communication Department placed second in the Department of Homeland Security's national "Peer to Peer: Combating Extremism" competition in Washington D.C. on Feb. 1. The uDefy project was created by UCO students Kaitlyn Britschgi, Tommy Johnson, Ashley Neese and Yusuf A. Shurbaji along with the help of UCO alumna Laura Goehler and UCO lecturer, Sandy Martin. The project aimed to combat online extremism and prejudice, while also providing facts that would lead to a more empathetic understanding of different races, backgrounds and beliefs. "It [uDefy] is a call to action, or people to defy prejudice, extremism and stereotypes ... that all have a similar tolerance that leads up to extremism," Johnson said. Team member Tommy Johnson,

a senior Strategic Communications major, said that the task was to develop a completely digital online campaign, with an original name and website, while also incorporating social media posts, something that the team did in their spare time. "We did it all basically in about 28 days," Johnson said. Since then, uDefy has been able to reach over a million people in 83 countries, according to the uDefy website. The team had a $400 ad credit through Facebook that they used to promote the campaign's message. "Within minutes we started to see the numbers just skyrocket in countries like India, Russia, several countries in Africa, the southern United States. We really only thought that it was going to be impacting the United States," Johnson said. "When we stretched that profile globally, it just started spreading." The team was chosen as one of the

top four out of over 80 schools who submitted a proposal to the Department of Homeland Security. The team then traveled to D.C. to compete and present a panel of government, business and nonprofit leaders. "We were excited to present but we were very nervous because we didn't know what to expect," Johnson said. Anyone looking to commit to uDefy had to follow four steps. Step one was for people to face their truth by considering beliefs, admitting prejudices and opening the mind about extremism. Step two involved taking uDefy's online quiz that gave facts regarding violent extremism and identifying the false narratives that have been circulating around the web. After the quiz people could receive a commitment certificate from uDefy asking them to get out of their comfort zones, work on changing perspectives and defy individual assumptions about extremism.

The final step of uDefy was to spread the word about what people learned while also sharing the quiz so more people could become aware of the false information out there about the topic. Johnson said that the data collected from the uDefy website showed signs that people didn't consider how extremism starts. "They spent countless hours redoing things because it wasn't quite right... They were non-stop working on it, they would be up all night changing things because they were just driven to do that," Sandy Martin said. "I knew that we had a really strong campaign." Other endorsements for the project included the UCO Office of Global Affairs, the Muslim Student Association, the Islamic Circle of North America, UCO Faculty member Dr. David Macey, and UCO President Don Betz.

The University of Central Oklahoma's uDefy team poses with their 2016 Finalist banner. The team, with proposal on online extremism, placed second nationally after presenting to the Department of Homeland Security. (Provided/ Tommy Johnson)


The Vista

Feb. 13, 2017



Love Boldly Week Feb. 13 - Feb. 18, 2017:

The UCO Women’s Outreach Center, American Association of University Women, UCO Peer Health Leaders, UCO Project SPEAK, UCO’s Women’s Research Center and UCO’s BGLTQ+ Center have teamed together to provide events throughout the week to encourage students to love themselves first. The organizations are asking students to take steps to “celebrate and strengthen your self-confidence, your body, your relationship skills and your future.”

Your Inner Immigrant Feb. 14 - Feb. 21, 2017: Members of the UCO community are being asked to submit to D2L a 3 page essay on

the stories of how their families came to the United States in order to receive STLR credit for global and culture awareness. More information can be found on OrgSync or by contacting event host Elizabeth Overman at STLR tenet: Global & Cultural Competency

Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 MSA Library: In Howell Hall, represen-

tatives from the Muslim Student Association will be in Room 221N. MSA has created a library that lends textbooks to students at no cost. These textbooks are available for University Core classes. More information or to check book availability can be found by contacting or on The last day for the MSA Library is Feb. 15, 2017.

Non-Traditional Student Support Group: Beginning at 11 a.m. in the Nigh

University Center’s Room 415, the Center for Counseling and Well-Being will offer a support group for students who are having issues balancing school, work and family.

The Fantastic Cure: From 11 a.m. to

1 p.m. Campus Activities will be out by the clock tower near Broncho Lake to offer an “intensive game course” for students. More information can be found at

Love Boldly Week: Condoms and Candy Bars: From 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the

Nigh University Center near the food court, Peer Health Leaders will have a table to pass out free condoms and candy.

UCOSA Congress Meetings: At 1

p.m. in the Will Rogers Room on the fourth floor of the Nigh University Center, UCOSA Congress members will have their weekly congress meeting.

Got Stress Workshop: The Center for

Counseling and Well-Being will hold a class on learning how to manage stress and college life in NUC Room 402 from 2-3 p.m.

Life Skills Around Eating: At 3:30

p.m. in Nigh University Center’s Room 402, the Center for Counseling and Well-Being will be holding a free and confidential support group for those who suffer from eating disorders and symptoms that suggest eating disorders. BSA General Body Meeting: From 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. the Black Student Association will meet in the Will Rogers Room for their executive board and general body members to discuss events and projects that need to be completed.

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 Love Boldly Week: Love Your Body Day: From 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Nigh University Center near the food court, the American Association of University Women will ask students to share what they love about their body as well as decorate a t-shirt to proclaim confidence and strength about their bodies.

Oklahoma Higher Education Day:

At 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oklahoma State Capital, UCO students, faculty and staff are invited to come and talk to state-elected and appointed leaders about priorities at our state colleges and universities. For more information visit The event is also STLR-tagged by the Leadership; Service Learning & Civic Engagement tenet.

SPBe Loving: From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. by

the clock tower, members from the Student Programming Board will be out to help people create Valentines Day cards for loved ones. Stu-

dents are asked to go online from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. to write positive messages to refugees, LGBTQ+ persons, international students, immigrants and first Americans in the UCO community. The messages may appear on the website. The event also will count towards STLR credit if students submit their UCO email with their messages on the website. The STLR tenets for the event is Global & Cultural Competency, Health & Wellness and Service Learning & Civic Engagement.

Valentines Day Fundraiser: From

11 a.m. - 9 p.m. the Horticultural Club will have a fundraiser at Alfredo’s Mexican Grill, located at 3409 S. Broadway in Edmond. All proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards the club’s projects at UCO.

MindStrength: Beginning at noon, the

Center for Counseling and Well-Being will be in the Quad in Room W112 for a workshop that helps individuals deal with anxiety and are intended to help improve sleep as well as the ability to stay calm.

SMART Recovery: At noon in the NUC Room 402, the Center for Counseling and Well-Being will have a SMART Recovery meeting for those in recovery to learn skills to stay balanced and motivated in staying healthy. More information about the SMART Recovery can be found on Anger Tamers: At 1 p.m. in the Nigh University Center’s Room 402, the Center for Counseling and Well-Being will give confidential and free support for those who struggle with controlling anger.

AROUND CAMPUS Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 Love Boldly Week: Body Positivity Day: From 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Nigh

University Center’s Will Rogers Room, UCO artists will have an art show centered around body positivity. Students that attend the show can learn about diverse body types.

NAACP Toy Drive: From 11 a.m. - 1

p.m. members from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will collect toys to send to Children’s Hospital at the OU Medical Center.

Seeking Strength: At 1 p.m. in the Nigh

University Center’s Room 402, the Center for Counseling and Well-Being will hold a free and confidential group for those dealing with trauma or substance abuse symptoms. The groups work on skills such as how to set boundaries in relationships, understanding triggers and learning how to self-care.

BGLTQ+ Support: From 2 p.m. - 3

p.m. in the NUC Room 402, the Center for Counseling and Well-Being will offer a support group for individuals thinking about coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or for people who have recently come out and are seeking support. These groups are free and confidential.

African Student Association Meeting: At 4 p.m. the African Student Association will meet for their general meeting in the Nigh University Center.

The Pink Knight: At 7 p.m. in Consti-

tution Hall, Campus Activities will show the movie Batman: The Dark Knight. Popcorn and candy will be at the event. More information can be found on OrgSync.

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 Central Improv Weekly Meeting:

At 3 p.m. in the Nigh University Center, will have a weekly meeting open to anyone on campus.

Feb. 13, 2017 Love Boldly Week: BYOB (Bring Your Own Beautiful): From 11 a.m - 1

p.m. in the Nigh University Center near the food court, students can remove their makeup and take pictures, “allowing their natural beauty to shine through, makeup wipes.”

Stress Paws: From 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. in the

Nigh University Center’s Room 402, the Center for Counseling and Well-Being will have therapy dogs to help students relieve stress every Thursday.

SMART Recovery: At 5:30 p.m. at the International House, the Center for Counseling and Well-Being will have a SMART Recovery meeting for those in recovery to learn skills to stay balanced and motivated in staying healthy. More information about the SMART Recovery can be found on www. William Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’: At 7:30 p.m. in the Mitchell Hall

Theatre, the College of Fine Arts and Design and Department of Theatre Arts will present ‘As You Like It’ for students, faculty and staff as well as the surrounding community. The show is free for current students who have their UCO ID. More information can be found on The event is also STLR-tagged by the tenets Global & Cultural Competency; Research, Creative & Scholarly Activity.

HeartBeat: At 8 p.m. in the Central Plaza

Ballroom, the Electronic Dance Music at University of Central Oklahoma will have a dance party for the UCO community.

Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 Anger Tamers: From 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. in

the Nigh University Center’s Room 402, the Center for Counseling and Well-Being will give confidential and free support for those who struggle with controlling anger.

The Vista



for more news stories, updates, features, reviews and more.

Grief Group: Beginning at 11 a.m. in the Nigh University Center’s Room 402, the Center for Counseling and Well-Being will offer a grief group to individuals who are experiencing grief. SPB Presents Slam Poet Louis ConPhliction: At 6 p.m. in the Radke Fine Arts

Theatre, slam poet, rapper, singer and entertainer, Louis ConPhliction will perform for the UCO community. More information can be found on OrgSync.

Friday Night Live Show: At 8 p.m. in

the NUC Constitution Hall, Campus Activities will host FNL, a rendition of comedy similar to Saturday Night Live. The admission is free to for students and community members.

Information gathered for ‘Around the Campus’ can be found on UCO’s OrgSync page,,, Campus Activities and from other organizations across campus.


The Vista

Feb. 13, 2017


UCO’s They, Them, Their: A Project of Inclusion on Campus

Emily Smith

@eaasmith Contributing Writer

They/Them/Their is a transgender clothing exchange program that aims to provide an outlet for those who find binary clothing options unsuitable. Started in August of 2016 by graduate student Kiki Pierce, the program is funded by a STLR Grant from the University of Central Oklahoma. They/Them/Their student researcher Mick Kennedy explained why this program can be a necessary and wonderful source for those who might be transitioning or are against traditional binary clothing. “Clothing is very binary, just in general, like male, female and They/Them/Their was founded so that there would be a way to switch your wardrobe if the way you were presenting (yourself) didn’t fit you anymore.” The program works by setting up a person in need of clothes with someone around the same size who is also changing the way they present themselves. If the program is unable to match you with another member, they will provide clothing that has been donated to the program instead. All clothing is free to those who participate. While this program is available to any

They/ Them/ Their assists transgenders in the process to ensure an easier transition from one gender to what they find is right for them. The organization provides clothing options outside of the typical binary clothes and support for those going thorugh the transition. (Provided/ They/ Them/Their).

member in the BGLTQIA+ community, it is especially helpful for those who are transitioning to a different gender. As people transition, they are faced with many costly and stressful things, such as hormone therapy and surgery. They/Them/Their hopes to help reduce the financial strain of the process in at least one way by providing them with the clothing they need. The ultimate goal for the program is to become a national non-profit so that they can benefit more than just the local community. They are already making plans to be able to mail out clothing to those in need of a wardrobe switch. The program is always looking for volunteers to help with inventory, folding and hanging clothes and helping members connect. For more information contact They/Them/ Their at and to keep up with the program, follow them on Facebook at They/Them/Their, Twitter @ theythemtheir and Instagram @theythemtheirproject. They/Them/Their also hosts a Wordpress blog with more information, advice and stories:

Strangers Finding One Thing in Common — Love Colby Holder

@colbyholder13 Contributing Writer

YesLove was an interactive art piece that brought a room full of strangers together to make art and choose love over hate. Each person put their name in a hat and then two names at a time were drawn to take a professional picture together showing love not hate. “Look at everyone in there. They are smiling. They are happy. They are in a really good mood and none of us know each other...We need this kind of positivity. We need to say yes to love and no to hate,” Sarah Zody, a participant in the event, said. The interactive art piece was on exhibit Saturday, Feb. 4 at Dunlap Codding in Oklahoma City. To get one another to interact and become more comfortable, they held an ice breaker

selfie challenge. Each person had to find other people in the room that fit certain descriptions such as: someone with freckles, someone wearing glasses, someone with an unnatural hair color, etc. Love gives strength to the disheartened, to the disenfranchised. It allows us to put ourselves in others shoes and shows us that there isn’t much to divide us other than politics, participant Chase Cecil said. They will also be auctioning off the art piece used for the background, made by Tulsa artist Alexander Tamahn, who said, “May the work of your hands and the substance of every cause you champion, be rooted in love.” Founder of the event Jessica Montgomery said, “We don’t want YesLove to end here. We believe this is a starting point and hope to eventually make this a national event.”

Albert Rios pulls a name from the hat during YesLove hosted on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 in Oklahoma City. The idea of the event was for strangers to pose together for photographs and come closer through the idea of accepting on another in the moment. (Cara Johnson/ The Vista).


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The Vista

Feb. 13, 2017


Gambling Sites Target Online Gamers Victor Quezada @VicQ87 Staff Writer

Valve announced last Tuesday that they were cracking down on Team Fortress 2’s gambling websites after a similar incident recently with their other online game Counter Strike Global Offensive, according to VG24/7. The way it worked as online gambling was the introduction of mystery crates in Counter-strike: GO in which players must purchase a key for a few cents and open the crate during the game for $2.49. Players are then introduced to a new skin of a weapon that ranges from average to very-rare, enticing the 850,000 total players. After the players receive the skin from the game, they then have the option to keep the skin or exchange it on the Steam website for either credit or cash. Players of any age can then take that skin or money to a gambling site where they have the option to get more of the same skin or profit off it by purchasing credits on the website. The games then imitate slot machines, roulette, dice or coin flip. “It is like a virus that should be left out of the gaming market because it causes corruption in games that are solely for people’s enjoyment,” UCO student Luke Parish said. The gambling websites have since

This Jan. 31, 2014 photo shows a game of Pai Gow under way on a computer screen in Atlantic City, N.J. New Jersey Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo introduced a resolution on Jan. 23, 2017 calling on President Trump and Congress not to outlaw online gambling after Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said he’s like to reconsider a Justice Department policy that allows it. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

been shut down. Regulation of these websites during the summer was difficult because just skins of the weapons were advertised on the websites without the gambling aspect. “I think that online gambling is

strangely similar to live gambling because of the luck factor being put in it along with it, but the difference that matters is the age verification because it does not exist on online gambling,” UCO student DJ Mar-

shall said. This created an opportunity for other notable figures in the gaming world to profit. YouTubers Trevor ‘TmarTn’ Martin and Tom ‘Prosyndicate’ Cassell teamed up to promote their websites during the live stream gambling. According to, their videos showed them winning thousands of dollars worth of CS:GO skins on CSGO Lotto, portraying their success as luck without disclosing to their viewers that they were co-owners of the website. Team Fortress 2 is going through an investigative process to make sure there are no other websites profiting the way as CS:GO did. According to ESPN, these types of business profited more than $5 billion last summer. With the quick crackdown on this incident, the gaming community has proven to be actively concerned about what is right and wrong in the eSports world. The YouTubers are currently going through the judicial process and gamers are now aware of the possibilities of being manipulated. An online gambling crackdown is in process to shut down sites and regulate those profitting where they shouldn’t be. (Provided/


Feb. 13, 2017

The Vista


Nancy DeVos Boasts Charter Schooling Megan Prather @meganthefeline Managing Editor

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos addresses Education Department staff, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at the Education Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Molly Riley) Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Education Secretary on February 6th, 2016 in a tie broken with a vote cast by vice president Mike Pence. President Trump’s nomination of DeVos was met with criticism due to her lack of an education degree, teaching or administrative experience, her support of charter schools and lack of experience with the public school system due to not having had attended it herself as well as not sending her children. The billionaire is credited for being a businesswoman, philanthropist, and top political campaign contributor, donating $2.7 million to Republican candidates throughout the 2016 election. Her business background comes from acting as chairwoman of Windquest Group, a privately held enterprise and investment management firm that she and her husband founded in 1989. DeVos was politically active in Michigan acting as Republican National Committeewoman from 1992-1997 and chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000.

DeVos is also an advocate of privatizing public education as well as “school choice” serving as the chairwoman of the American Federation for Children, which supports charter schools and tax-credit scholarships. In fact, in 1993 she and her husband worked to pass Michigan’s first charter school bill. What is the goal of institutes like charter schools and what effect do these institutions actually have on our education system? Initially, the idea of a charter school seems harmless enough. As independently run public schools funded by state governments, the goal of charter schools is to provide parents who who can’t afford, or don’t want, to send their children to private school with more education options. Charter schools are applauded for their ability to focus on particular subject areas more extensively and for allowing educators to use different teaching methods. However, critics claim that charter schools are draining funding from traditional public schools, reducing their resources. This harms public school districts and the children left attending them because they’re unable to attend a charter school. KIPP is the United States largest network of charter schools and, in 2015, it received an average of

$800 more per student in public sources of revenue than local school districts. They’re also known for misspending public money almost four times as often as any other type of tax-payer funded agency. Some charter schools also receive private funding that is kept off the books. Depending on the design of the school, charters are also criticized for the potential to lead to racial stratification. In regards to academic performance, these schools aren’t scoring higher academically in comparison to traditional public schools like proponents expected. 119 charter schools have closed in Florida since 2008 due to low performance. 14 of these schools didn’t even finish their first academic year. In Detroit Michigan, however, these poor performing charter schools are remaining open due to lack of regulation, leading to more schools than students. But, while there is plenty of school choice, it has led to a huge lack in school quality. Whether or not DeVos’ ideas for education reform, which failed horribly in Michigan, will work for the rest of the nation has yet to be seen. But, the evidence so far isn’t promising.


Feb. 13, 2017

The Vista


Trading Valentines for Valentine:

A Reminder of What It’s Really About Cara Johnson @cara_johnson_ Photo Editor

In the midst of everything happening in the world today — between the Dakota Access Pipeline, the new President of the United States, the rising rates of hate crime and the corresponding protests to these things — there is something else that still needs to be discussed. To put it quite honestly, whoever you are and wherever you come from; this relates back to you in the purest form. Valentine’s Day. Now bear with me, I promise you this isn’t going where you think it is. Before I get into it, let’s start with a little history about the holiday itself. There are many theories about where Valentine’s Day stems from, some more popular than others. One of these legends began in Ancient Rome with a fertility festival called Lupercalia, which was typically celebrated in a time that we now know as mid-February. In short, the festival included sacrifice to the builders of Rome to ensure fertility of women and crops for the coming spring and summer. If you skip ahead to 200-300 A.D., there were multiple Christian martyrs named Valentine. Due to their acts of love and compassion for others, these men were deemed saints in the Catholic Church. Then in the late 400s, Pope Gelasius named Feb. 14 as a day to honor Saint Valentine. It wasn’t until the 1300s that Saint Valentine’s Day began to be associated with the idea of love and romance. With the ball rolling, Europe began the tradition of valentine exchange in the 1600s and the United States began to mass-produce and sell valentines in the 1840s. So alas, what began as a reminder of the compassionate actions of a saint quickly became a commercial holiday. According to, 62 percent of adults polled said they celebrate Valentine’s Day. The average amounts an individual spends on those they love ranges anywhere from $70-150, all for one day. reports that this year’s

Flowers are a staple gift given on Valentine’s Day to show a significant other love. reports that at least 23% of adults buy flowers on the holiday, the majority of which being men. According to the Fiscal Times, $1.9 billion will be spent on flowers each year. (Provided/

spending is expected to amount to roughly $19.7 billion. projects that this is $448 million spent on candy, 58 million pounds of chocolate, 36 million chocolate boxes shaped like hearts and 150 million Valentine’s Day cards. Now, think about this in perspective. $19.7 billion dollars can do quite a few different things. Research Maniacs said that it could buy roughly 98,500 homes at $200,00 per house or give every single person in Canada almost $550 each. In addition, it could fund over half of the $30 billion that the United Nations estimates it would take to solve the crisis of world hunger for one year. This basically means that pouring the Valentine’s Day budget alone into world hunger each year could easily lessen the problem. Let’s bring this closer to home and talk about the average $150 that most people spend each year. In regard to the economy in its current state, $150 may not seem like much. In fact, a good pair of shoes cost about that these days, but

when it comes to showing someone you care, a price doesn’t always necessarily have to be named. When we remember why Valentine’s Day was originally created, we also have to remember that it was never about the money in the first place. It was never about the candy or the cards or the flowers. It began as one person carrying out acts of love each and every day of their life, and loving one another equally and unconditionally. So why have we let one day be the definition of showing up and giving presents to our loved ones to let them know we care? Why is it that this one day is singularly a symbol of love and acceptance, when the original celebration was to honor someone who spent every day symbolizing these same things? Why do we draw the line at 24 hours and overpriced candy hearts? So, to get to the point, here’s my idea: Don’t celebrate. Yep. I said it. Don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Instead, let’s revert to celebrating Saint Valentine and everything he stood for. Take that $150 and stretch it out over the next year and show those you love how you feel every single day. Love exists 365 days a year, not just one. So let it exist. Instead of showing up and giving presents, show up and be present. There’s a reason that quality time falls under one of the five Love Languages, and while receiving gifts is one as well, this doesn’t make quality time any less important. In perspective, being with those you love will make more of a difference than a box of chocolates and in today’s world, where hate and intolerance are constantly becoming more prominent, spreading that love every single day couldn’t be more important. So it’s your move — and Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. I’m asking you to choose love when it comes; I’m urging you to choose it every other day, too, and hoping you make each of them about heart, not money, every time.


The Vista

Feb. 13, 2017


DEAR EDITOR, The front page article ”Trump’s First Priority: What does a ‘Muslim Ban’ mean?”, appeared in The Vista, UCO’s school newspaper dated January 23, 2017, and was written by Victor Quezada, a contributing writer. Mr. Quezada states that Mr. Trump restated his policy by referring to a Muslim ban on Muslims who are “associated with terrorist immigrant groups.” Mr. Quezada then states that “Although it is possible for President Trump to impose the law of banning to a specific group of immigrants, he cannot do so for religious purposes, as it would violate the First Amendment.” Mr. Quezada also states that since Mr. Trump’s announcement, there have been many examples of discrimination (against Muslims). The First Amendment of the United States Constitution says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” It refers to religion, not immigration. Mr. Trump is fully justified in banning immigrants from countries that are hostile to The United States. And the American citizens are fully justified in supporting that decision. How quick Mr. Quezada is to tout discrimination now, when the rights of American citizens have been trampled upon for the past 8 years in the name of globalization. It is a privilege to stand in the land of my Founding Fathers. And the rights of illegal immigrants, refugees and immigrants intent on doing harm to American citizens do not supercede our rights. We the People, Kimberly Willis Graduate Student Wellness Management **Personal contact information has been omitted. No other changes to this letter have been made.

The Vista always accepts letters to the editor. If you would like your response displayed in the next issue, please send your letters to The Vista at 100 N. University Drive Edmond, OK 73034 or email your response to the Vista at


Feb. 13, 2017

The Vista


Academic Excellence in Sports Peter Agnitsch @PeteyPete33 Sports Editor

UCO athletics had over 220 students with a 3.0 GPA or higher in the fall semester of 2016 . This brings UCO athletics’ overall GPA average to a 3.0 for the second straight semester. “It’s equally as important as what we do competitively,” athletic director Joe Muller said. Seventy student athletes made this year’s dean’s honor roll, which requires a 3.5 GPA, and 44 also made the president’s honor roll, which requires a 4.0 GPA. “They’ll use that degree for the rest of their life,” Muller said. Jacob Hillemeyer is the assistant registrar, is involved with NCAA academic eligibility and is responsible for the academic certification of all 14 sports teams on UCO’s campus. He also is an academic advisor for most student athletes, helping them determine what courses to take. “Everything that an athlete has to do from an academic perspective, I oversee.” Hillemeyer said. This is the highest overall GPA since Hillemeyer started back in the fall semester of 2013, when the overall GPA was at a 2.90. “It’s a testament to our student ath-

letes and to our coaches,” Hillemeyer said. In the fall of 2014, the student athletes recorded a 2.88 GP, which was higher than the general student population’s of 2.77. “Our athletes are really the true definition of student athletes,” Hillemeyer said. Most UCO athletic programs host study halls for their athletes, like how the football team requires first semester UCO football players to attend study halls to help them handle their work load. Once they show they can handle their course load, they are no longer required to attend study hall, but it will always be available to them. The UCO football team’s GPA has risen since the 2013-2014 academic year from a 2.67 to a 2.73 overall GPA last semester. Student athletes also use Tutoring Central and their department tutoring to help them with their courses. “I think the faculty here at UCO does a better job at that than most facilities out there,” Muller said. In the fall, UCO volleyball led all athletic programs in GPA with a 3.47. “It feels rewarding to be a part of the team with the highest GPA,” senior volleyball player Allison Barr

UCO Volleyball players compete in a match on Sept. 7, 2017. Overall, the volleyball team has the highest academic scores over all other sports at the university. (Provided/ Vista Archives)

said. Barr will graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree in speech language pathology. UCO athletics will continue to

strive for academic success this spring semester. “They are true ambassadors for UCO,” Hillemeyer said.

Over 220 student athletes at the University of Central Oklahoma achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher in Fall 2016. UCO athletics aims for performance on and off the field. (Provided/


The Vista

Feb. 13, 2017


The Bucking Broncho:

Athletes Should Be More Like Muhammad Ali

A. Suave Francisco @SuaveFrancisco_ Sports Reporter

Muhammad Ali is one of the most controversial, outspoken and revolutionary athletes of all time. He did and said things that weren’t expected back in the 1960s and 1970s and even today, it’s hard to think of one athlete that would take the stance that he did if put in the same position. One of his most notable stances came in 1967 when he refused to answer to his former name, Cassius Clay or take the oath in order for him to serve in the army during the Vietnam War. This led to Ali’s arrest and eventually a conviction that was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. A month before his military induc-

tion, he explained why he wouldn’t enlist to fight in Vietnam. “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No, I am not going ten thousand miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would put my prestige in jeopardy and could cause me to lose millions of dollars which should accrue to me as the champion.

But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is right here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality… If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. But I either have to obey the laws of the land or the laws of Allah. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail. We’ve been in jail for four hundred years.” As stated earlier, this defiance wasn’t recommended back then and in many cases, the average person may have been physically abused or killed for such stances. These

days no one’s life is at stake, but the passion and drive are lacking. Other than Colin Kaepernick, if put in this position, I honestly can’t name another African-American athlete with this much depth or courage to step out and do more than talk a good game. We live in a society where we are encouraged to be our own person and speak out as a normal citizen, but as a celebrity, or more so an athlete, being politically correct has become the standard. Over the past half-century, things have drastically changed but the foundation remains the same. African-Americans have equal rights and are treated better in most cases, but the principle remains the same. As a black man, I’ve noticed the systematic approach to my demise as a man and a professional- from not getting the same opportunities as a white person for an insignificant reason to the obvious cover ups of the real reasons to hide from discrimination lawsuits. I noticed when I speak out, take stances, or appear to have an attitude, I’m too controversial or a thug, but when a white man says or does the exact same thing, in the same setting, over the same topic, he’s just speaking his mind or he’s “just a little upset.” All this to say, Muhammad Ali had an unbelievable impact on this country and more significantly, on the black community by paving the way for many of us to speak our minds without hesitation. It would just be nice to see people with the platform to make a difference actually do so and take a chance. We need more social revolutionaries like Ali was in his time. The fight for equality isn’t nearly over.

Muhammad Ali, one of the mst famous fighters of all time, had a habit of stirring things up in the ring and out of it. Throughout his career and life, Ali made multiple controversial statements and stances to challenge society. (Provided/

Feb. 13, 2017


UCO Home Games this week: Thursday: UCO WBB vs. Nebraska Kearney @ 5:30 Thursday: UCO MBB vs. Nebraska Kearney @ 7:30 Saturday: UCO WBB vs. Fort Hays State @ 1:30 Saturday: UCO MBB vs. Fort Hays State @ 3:30

The Vista


UCO Wrestling Season

Jordan Belew @JordanBelew Sports Writer

(Continued from cover) The Bronchos seemed to have a knack for knocking off ranked opponents during their streak. The team finished the year 7-0 against other teams in the top 25, including two wins against top-ten foes. “We just look at it as another day, keep moving forward,” seond-ranked heavyweight Caleb Cotter said. The big man plays a key part of the team, anchoring most duels. “Usually I’m just so in the zone I don’t even think about it,” Cotter said. The 6’2” Sapulpa native has dominated the entire season, boasting a 21-3 record. The two big guys, Cotter and Wilson, give the Bronchos stability at the back end of duels. Combined, the two have only lost seven matches on the year. “This is my first season that I’ve gotten to the end. I’ve had injuries and eligibility issues, so I’m super excited to get out there and do what

I’ve been waiting to do for four years,” Wilson said. The season was capped off with a win against Fort Hays State University on Feb. 5. The win solidified the MIAA Conference Dual Championship and locked down the first undefeated wrestling season UCO has ever had. “I think momentum throughout the year has carried pretty tremendously. I mean, guys attitudes, we’re a confident team and we show that when we wrestle,” Wilson said. While it may be impressive to the outside world, inside the wrestling room this is exactly what was expected. “I think this isn’t really a surprise to anybody in this room,” Wilson said. Coach Steidley has managed to build upon an already rich culture that surrounds the program. “We’ve really stressed family atmosphere, having each other’s back,” Steidley said, “We’ve stressed being more physical, being tough, being more aggressive. Our conditioning

is great with Coach Black in the off-season. He had them doing stuff that would make a billy goat throw up,” Steidley said. The physicality and fitness on which Steidley has focused has proven to be effective throughout the season. However, the biggest prize is still on the horizon for the team. Steidley has made it clear what another National Championship would mean to him. “It would be awesome to cap it off with a National Championship. It would be a Cinderella season,” Steidley said. The Bronchos move forward, looking to win the MIAA Conference Tournament and possibly the National Championship on March 11. Regardless of the outcome, their coach is still proud of his team. “No matter what happens from here on out, they’ve broken several records and can continue to do that next year. I just couldn’t be more proud of them.”

The Vista Feb. 13, 2017  
The Vista Feb. 13, 2017  

The University of Central Oklahoma's weekly student publication, The Vista. Student-run since 1903 and 217 SPJ OK newspaper of the year.