Page 1

The student voice since 1904


THURsday, may 12, 2011

volume 123 issue 152

A sobering reality Two years after Jason Wren’s death, what has changed? By Garth Sears

Photo illustration by Howard Ting/KANSAN


hen he discusses drinking, tragedy and lawsuits with people nationwide, Dave Westol gets rapt attention by flashing a picture of grim young men in dark suits and ties — their hands folded. Their heads bowed. The picture shows the funeral of 19-year-old University of Kansas freshman Jason Wren, who was pronounced dead from alcohol poisoning on March 8, 2009, in his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. “I throw that slide up, and the audience inevitably becomes silent,” said Westol, a former chief executive officer of the national Theta Chi fraternity and now an official for the Fraternal Information and Programming Group, a nonprofit that educates Greeks nationwide on risky behaviors and legal liabilities. Before Jason Wren died, he was best known for his big heart and fun-loving nature. He was outgoing. He was athletic. He played for the KU lacrosse club. But since his death, Wren is better known for how and where he died. His name has taken on a national and local role as an attentiongrabber for experts like Westol and a wake-up call for universities. He is just one student among grim statistics that show significant alcohol abuse among college students — especially those at the University of Kansas — and even more abuse among fraternity members nationwide.


Jason Wren died in a fraternity, but he spent most of his time at the University elsewhere. In August 2008, his freshman year, he moved onto the first floor of

Oliver Hall. Five months later, he told his father he had to move out for violating undisclosed rules. Jay Wren said he called the Department of Student Housing to ask why his son had to leave, but a representative told him that information was confidential because of the University’s privacy policy. According to a court filing by SAE’s lawyer, Jason was kicked out for repeatedly violating the University’s alcohol policy. Because it was mid-semester, he had nowhere to live. The filing said Wren was able to pledge SAE through a friend and immediately move into the house. Diana Robertson, director of Student Housing, said in an email that — in addition to increased emphasis on alcohol education — the department has changed its policy. It now notifies parents when a student’s housing contract is canceled because of alcohol or drug violations. Jay Wren told The Kansan that his son had downplayed his writeups — that a resident assistant found a shot glass, and later a beer can, in his room, and that he had been seen holding a beer can for a friend while the friend used the restroom. Reading about that claim in a Kansan story brought back memories for the resident assistant on the other side of that incident. Since Wren didn’t live on the RA’s floor, the RA hadn’t yet realized he wrote up the freshman whose death dominated newspaper headlines. “I don’t feel guilty about it at all, but I feel like a part of the chain of events that caused this to happen,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

see wren on page 5A

What do you think? by janene gier |

Contributed photo

Jason shares a moment with his sisters Katie, left, and Victoria. Wren graduated from Araphoe High School in Littleton, Colo., in May 2008. Victoria committed suicide about 10 months after Jason’s death.


What will you remember most about this semester? What would you most like to remember?

Libraries stay open 24 hours a day By Chris Hong

Leigh Ann baker Topeka senior “I think I’ll most remember when I got into grad school. What I want to most remember is why my education is important to me. I have something to do with my life now. I’m going somewhere. A step further - in a direction. I was worried about jobs and now with the grad program I got into, which is library science, I’ll be able to get a better job in a very specific field.

Ashley peterson Wichita graduate student “I helped bring in a speaker for the group I’m involved with, Intervarsity. So that was really an experience to actually practice bringing someone in and he spoke on the myth of moral neutrality. It’s kind of, what the importance of morals are in our society in relation to faith and academia. I think it’s interesting to see that sometimes our society is very much like, ‘whatever floats your boat, works for you.’ It was interesting for me to hear that you could still have a moral stance while still being in a diverse society.

INDEX Classifieds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8A Crossword. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7A Cryptoquips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7A

Taylor hovorka Overland Park senior “I want to remember I that came here and did what I was supposed to, or did what I planned on doing in the four years, which is really important to me. It seems really real and I feel like it’s been forever. My time is up and I’m ready to move on. I’m definitely ready for the real world. I’m excited to get paid for all the hours I put in every day.”

Dillon Davis Topeka freshman “I’d like to remember all of the new experiences I’ve made, and friends that I’ve made, and how much better my life has become after this first year at KU. I’ve learned a lot of new routes, which places to avoid, which ways to get to class quicker, what buildings are which, what kinds of classes to expect, the places in town that I know are good, places to eat. I’m just going to be that much more prepared for next year.”

WEATHER Opinion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6A Sports. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . 10A Sudoku. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7A

All contents, unless stated otherwise, © 2011 The University Daily Kansan


92 70 Forecasts by KU students. For a complete detailed forecast for the week, see page 2A.

Eric Rowlands Manhattan junior “Probably filming the ‘Gates of Summer,’ because that was really weird. It’s a larping event and I went there to film it for documentary and that was pretty crazy. Larping is liveaction role-playing and so it was like 200 people who were dressed up like characters in costumes and battle armor and stuff, and getting drunk and fighting each other. “

University of Kansas libraries are open for extended hours to accommodate students studying for final exams. Extended hours began May 8 and will continue through the end of finals week. Watson library will operate until 3 a.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends. Anschutz will be open 24 hours a day and will have extended checkout periods until midnight. Spahr library will be open 24 hours a day between Sunday and Friday. In addition to the extended hours, there will be free coffee and hot chocolate in Anschutz and Watson libraries every night between Monday and Thursday of finals week from 10:30 to 11 p.m. The Hawk Stop at Anschutz will be operating 24 hours a day during finals week as well.

grad guide | Inside

jayplay | INSIDE

Leaving KU

Three students share their extreme stories

See inside for a list of graduates


/ Thursday, May 12, 2011 / THE UNIVERSITY DAILY KANSAN /

Weather forecast

QUOTE OF THE DAY “I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon.”

The high is 83 degrees. Mild wind can be expected and there is a chance for

thursday: rain.

— Ronald Reagan

Congratulations to all the 2011 graduates. KU Info estimates that it takes about 300 steps to make it from the Campanille to the bottom of the hill. Enjoy every step.

A low of 46 degrees. Should be a clear night but rain showers

thursday Night: possible. friday:


There is a good chance for rain throughout the day and the high could reach 64 degrees.

friday Night:

Among coffee drinkers, the average coffee consumption in the United States is 3.1 cups of coffee per day.

The low is 46 degrees. A clear night for stop day! The high is 64 and the low is 44. Partly cloudy turning

saturday: clear.



High is 64, low is 44. A breezy, nice day. — Information from forecaster Megan Lynxwiler, KU atmospheric science students

What’s going on? friday

Thursday May 12

n The KU Alumni Association will host a Grad Grill from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Adams Alumni Center.

n Professor emeritus Ted Johnson will give a Stop Day walking tour of campus beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Natural History Museum. The event is free.

n The English department will host an honors and awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. in the Ballroom of the Kansas Union.

FONTANA, Calif. — A crime analyst who put together a flyer for the “Granny Bandit” wanted in a series of armed robberies in Southern California helped police arrest the woman after she spotted the suspect during

her lunch break. Fontana Police Chief Rod Jones thanked the analyst for helping detectives catch 51-year-old Dodi Wasbotten on Wednesday, hours after she allegedly robbed a woman outside a Target store. Police had been searching for a woman suspected in four stickups in as many days. Victims

described being held up by a middle-aged or elderly woman outside department stores. They said the woman also took off in a dark sedan. Jones said Wasbotten’s sedan matched the vehicle description, and that items belonging to one of the victims were found inside her car. —Associated Press

n The Dole Institute of Politics will host a lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the Dole Institute of Politics. The event is free.



May 17

May 16

May 18

n Finals week.

n Finals week.


Police arrest “Granny Bandit”

May 15

May 14

monday n Finals week begins.



May 13

Check out or KUJH-TV on Knology of Kansas Channel 31 in Lawrence for more on what you’ve read in today’s Kansan and other news. Updates from the newsroom air at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. The student-produced news airs live at 4 p.m. and again at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., every Monday through Friday. Also see KUJH’s website at

MEDIA PARTNERS STAYING CONNECTED WITH THE KANSAN Get the latest news and give us your feedback by following The Kansan on Twitter @TheKansan_News, or become a fan of The University Daily Kansan on Facebook.

KJHK is the student voice in radio. Each day there is news, music, sports, talk shows and other content made for students, by students. Whether it’s rock ‘n’ roll or reggae, sports or special events, KJHK 90.7 is for you.

ET CETERA The University Daily Kansan is the student newspaper of the University of Kansas. The first copy is paid through the student activity fee. Additional copies of The Kansan are 50 cents. Subscriptions can be purchased at the Kansan business office, 2051A Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Dr., Lawrence, Kan., 66045.


The University Daily Kansan (ISSN 0746-4967) is published daily during the school year except Saturday, Sunday, fall break, spring break and exams and weekly during the summer session excluding holidays. Annual subscriptions by mail are $250 plus tax. Send address changes to The University Daily Kansan, 2051A Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Dr.


CONTACT US Tell us your news. Contact Nick Gerik, Michael Holtz, Kelly Stroda, Courtney Bullis, Janene Gier or Aleese Kopf at (785) 864-4810 or editor@ Follow The Kansan on Twitter at TheKansan_News. Kansan newsroom 2000 Dole Human Development Center 1000 Sunnyside Ave. Lawrence, Kan., 66045 (785) 864-4810

M AY 12TH 2011


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University falls behind in grad percentage Graphic by Samantha Collins

Graduation rate percentage

Among Big 12 schools, the University of Kansas is ranked eighth in graduation rates of four-year students. This information is based on the 2010 class.



University receives grants for digitization BY Jonathan Shorman

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — Barebreasted baristas will have to cover up after police officers discovered nudity and illegal gambling going on at so-called lingerie cafes in a Southern Cali-

Texas Tech

Topless baristas told to cover up

Kansas State

Oklahoma State




Iowa State





—Source: Statics from the Nation Center for Education Statistics

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded the University more than $245,000 in grants Thursday. The money, awarded in grants to the Spencer Museum of Art and KU Libraries, will go to documenting historic collections at the University. Spencer Museum of Art received $145,000 to integrate 9,000 objects of global art and culture. The grant will allow all the objects to be documented and assessed and will create new research opportunities, a news release said. Around $70,000 will go KU Libraries for the cataloguing and digitization of material by John Gould. Gould is a 19th century British publisher of illustrated bird books. The grant money will allow access to approximately 6,300 Gould drawings and other items. The digitization process is intended to make the drawings accessible to scholars around the world.

ODD NEWS fornia suburb. More than three dozen of the coffeehouses are operating in the Orange County city of Garden Grove, and some waitresses have been slipping out of teddies to serve customers in the nude. Additionally, arcade machines have been rigged to be gambling machines.

The Orange County Register reported Wednesday that the City Council voted 4-0 to ban nudity, gambling and smoking in the sexy cafes. Police Chief Kevin Raney told the council his officers have raided 20 coffeehouses and confiscated 200 gambling machines.

The chief says nude waitresses were also encountered, and the lingerie cafes have attracted gangs. —Associated Press

Burglar capture assisted by iPhone COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Police say an iPhone left in a stolen truck is how officers were able to capture a burglar suspected of multiple auto

break-ins in Colorado Springs. Officials at the El Paso County Sheriff’s office said 29-year-old Joshua Mitzelfelt allegedly stole a truck left unattended and running in a driveway Tuesday morning. The owner’s iPhone was on the front seat. —Associated Press

Darling, rememberr never let the schooling get in the way of your education.


ALABAMA A&M Fri., May 13 at 6p.m. JAY DAYS:

$2 Popcorn, Corndogs, Candy and Peanuts


$3 Admission for Lawrence Parks and Recreation Teams


Congrats UDK Ad Staff! Best in the Nation

2 for 1 admission when you bring your little to the ballpark


Students admitted FREE with KU ID SINGLE GAME TICKETS KU Faculty/Staff: $5 • Group (10+): $3

The Treksport for men & women.

$3 Admission for all kids wearing a youth baseball jersey


Kids take the field for the National Anthem and run the bases after the game



�������������������� Hey Maddie, this Friday is going to rock your world.

Get as close as possible to barefoot walking, running, or hiking with new options from Vibram and Merrell! Oneder Team loves you

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/ thursday, may 12, 2011 / THE UNIVERSITY DAILY KANSAN /

Campanile cleaning


Mississippi floodwaters force hundreds to flee ASSOCIATED PRESS

RENA LARA, Miss. — Floodwaters from the bloated Mississippi River and its tributaries spilled across farm fields, cut off churches, washed over roads and forced people from their homes Wednesday in the Mississippi Delta, a poverty-stricken region. People used boats to navigate flooded streets as the crest rolled slowly downstream, bringing misery to poor, low-lying communities. Hundreds have left their homes in the Delta in the past several days as the water rose toward some of the highest levels on record. The flood crest is expected to push past the Delta by late next week.

Ashleigh Lee/KANSAN

The Campanile is fenced off until May 18 for cleaning. Fences will be removed for the commencement ceremony on May 22.




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Officials in the town, which has no local newspaper or TV stations, tried to reassure residents that they are doing what they can to shore up the levee and that they will warn people if they need to leave. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour urged people to get out if they think there is even a chance their homes will flood. He said there is no reason to believe a levee on the Yazoo River would fail, but if it did, 107 feet of water would flow over small towns. The Mississippi Delta, with a population of about 465,000, is a leaf-shaped expanse of rich soil between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers, extending about 200 miles from Memphis, Tenn., to Vicksburg, Miss. Along the way are towns whose names are

familiar to Civil War buffs, aficionados of the blues, and scholars of the civil rights era: Clarksdale, Greenwood, Greenville and Yazoo City. While some farms in the cotton-, rice- and corn-growing Delta are prosperous, there is also grinding poverty. Nine of the 11 counties that touch the Mississippi River in Mississippi have poverty rates at least double the national average of 13.5 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The governor said the state is asking local officials to get in touch with people who might have no electricity and phones and thus no way to get word of the flooding.

KANSAN.COM / THE UNIVERSITY DAILY KANSAN / thursday, may 12, 2011 /


Contributed photo


Kim Richter, KU Medical Center associate professor of preventive medicine, middle, speaks next to Mason Tvert, executive director of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, back, and KU Public Safety Sgt. James Anguiano during a panel discussion on how to prevent alchohol deaths sponsored by the Drug Policy Forum of Kansas at the Hawk’s Nest on April 9, 2009. The panel was called in response to the death of Jason Wren.

This photo taken of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house was used in the lawsuit against the fraternity. Jason Wren was found dead in the SAE house on March 8, 2009.

wren (continued from 1A)

funds, then by supplying it to underage pledges. As a result, 22 active members were expelled from the house.

He said during security rounds on the night he wrote Wren up, he came across a group of five to 10 people who did “the whole scatter thing.” Then came his encounter with Wren, who he said was standing in the corner of the hallway holding a can behind his back. “I said, ‘Dude, what do you got?’” he said. The RA said Wren told him he was holding the beer can for a friend in the restroom. The RA replied that he would have to write him up anyway. He said he thought the can was Wren’s, and either way, he seemed drunk. “I wouldn’t say he was screaming at me, but his voice was definitely elevated in frustration and anger,” he said. This was the second semester, so his violations were adding up. “He knew he was in a lot of trouble at that point. So that probably added to his anger.” He said he wrote up Wren only once, but heard about him from the RA assigned to his floor. He heard that Wren was a genuinely nice guy. “It was just that, whenever he got alcohol in his system, it just made him a different person,” he said, “like it does with everybody.” Wren’s trouble at Oliver highlights that his problem began before drinking at SAE, but it does beg the question of why the fraternity would welcome a new pledge with that history. Reuben Perez, director of the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, said when he got the call informing him of Wren’s death, he wanted to know why SAE accepted somebody who already had been kicked out of University housing for drinking. “You know that we rarely remove people from KU housing at all — rarely,” he said. “Didn’t that send a red flag in somebody’s mind?”


Shortly after Wren’s death, the national SAE fraternity said in a public statement that it had closed its investigation into the chapter and found no criminal actions or negligence by the organization, the chapter or its respective members that led to the death. “We believe this is a very unfortunate, isolated incident,” it said. But the Wren family’s lawsuit said SAE correspondence between the national fraternity and its

the adviser board for KU SAE, but she expected it to go further. Alan Fischer, KU SAE president, KU chapter showed numerous and Chaz Rumage, organizer of the violations of rules and policies second Jason Wren Initiative and a regarding underage consumption former KU SAE officer, agreed to of alcohol and “providing alcohol be interviewed for this story but to a visibly intoxicated member” backed out when Stacy, the chapon the night of Wren’s death. ter adviser, told them that after the The lawsuit also said that as settlement they couldn’t publicly punishment for those violations, comment on Wren or the Wren the KU chapter was required to Initiative, despite previous interpay an increased risk management views with the media. (insurance) premium and was “If it’s under the heading of strongly encouraged to implement Jason Wren, we don’t talk about at least one semester of alcohol-free that,” Stacy explained, speaking for living. the KU SAE chapter and its house The house hosted an alcohol- corporation. free concert a month and a half “Our legal counsel advised us after Wren’s death, and Jay Wren not to comment on the Jason Wren publicly asked for SAE to become case, or events surrounding the an alcohol-free fraternity in mem- case,” Kristin Wing, chair of the ory of his son. The fraternity did KU SAE adviser board, wrote in an later change some alcohol regula- email. tions, but it still allows alcohol in SAE national officials failed to the house. respond for comment to requests In a deposition in the Wren law- for interviews. suit, Frank Ginocchio, the general Jay Wren said it was a mistake counsel and director of risk man- for him to allow his son to live in a agement for the national fraternity, house with drinking, and he’s outsaid that about two years before spoken against underage members Wren’s death the national frater- of any fraternity living in a house nity considered, but voted down, a where alcohol is openly served. ban on alcohol With an consumption. undisclosed Ginocchio amount of “You know that we rarely said he recomdamages at remove someone from KU mended the stake, he no KU chapter longer critihousing at all — rarely. become a dry SAE, Didn’t that send a red flag in cizes house after aside from his Wren’s death. somebody’s mind?” desire to have He said he SAE become spoke directly Reuben perez an alcohol-free Director of the Student to John Stacy, house. Involvement and Leadership Center president of “The conthe KU SAE tract with house corpoSAE said that ration and adviser to the chapter. it didn’t allow underage drinking “They didn’t feel it was the right in the house,” he said in an email, thing to do at the time,” Ginoccio “and I believe they are now enforcsaid. “I think they felt that their ef- ing that clause as there were many forts educationally and in the me- students expelled out of the house morial service would be enough.” last spring. I’m very pleased to see While the Wren family lawyer, this change.” Steve Gorny, said the settlement He also said he was pleased that forbade further release of testimony SAE was continuing the Jason in the depositions, one of his early Wren Initiative. filings quoted Ginocchio as saying “It’s my hope that SAE KU conSAE chose not to ban alcohol “in tinues to carry on this initiative and part because it was too harsh of a that the house decides to eventually punishment and out of concern one day be dry and thrive, alcohol that the collegiate members would free,” he wrote. choose to rent another property Despite the house’s educational and the House Corp. would lose its efforts, KU SAE was busted again. tenants.” Just six days before the debut SAE did commit to hosting the of the Jason Wren Initiative, the Jason Wren Initiative for six years, national SAE fraternity said its KU including the two already past, ac- chapter violated alcohol policies, cording to Kristin Wing, chair of first by buying alcohol with chapter


A young man died after a night of too much drinking when no one in the SAE house called for help. Within a month, the university he attended shut down the chapter for at least five years. Members had less than two weeks to vacate the SAE house. When you telephone the house now, you hear this: “The number you have dialed is not in service.” But that student wasn’t Jason Wren. His name was George Desdunes. He attended Cornell University and died in February. Officials from both Cornell and the University of Kansas caution against direct comparisons, given the differences — the University of Kansas is public. Cornell is private; Kansas is in the Midwest. Cornell is an Ivy League school in New York. Travis Apgar, associate dean of students at Cornell, said in an email that Cornell SAE was in a schoolowned house, but that is not what allowed the university to ban them for five years. Rather, Cornell uses a recognition policy with fraternities. Greek houses recognized as university organizations are subject to Cornell rules and punishment when rules are broken — whether they are on-campus or off-campus, in a university-owned house or otherwise. The University of Kansas has no such policy. All Greek houses at the University are off-campus on private property. Many, such as SAE, are owned by a corporation board that oversees the chapter. From the University’s perspective, a fraternity is simply one of the 637 student organizations registered. It can only face punishment for things that happen at its official events. Hazing is the only violation the University can look at when it’s off-campus. The University investigated SAE for hazing but did not impose sanctions. “The other factor that is significant to the discussion is whether or not it was an official function,” Marlesa Roney, vice provost for student success, said. Days before any event, a Greek chapter must submit a form to the University, specifying a guest list, availability of alcohol, security and safe transportation. SAE did not file

In the two years since Wren’s death: n Wren’s family sued the KU SAE chapter, 10 of its members, the corporation board that owns the house and the national SAE fraternity. The lawsuit was settled last week and the settlement forbids either side from disclosing details, such as the amount of money awarded to the Wrens. n The tragedy that began with Jason’s death continued with the suicides of his younger sister and mother. His older sister and father are the only living immediate family members. n Lawrence police investigated but filed no criminal charges. The University investigated for possible hazing but didn’t punish the chapter. The national fraternity investigated but said it didn’t find evidence of criminal actions, while the Wren family lawsuit insisted that it did. n The KU SAE chapter agreed to host the Jason Wren Initiative for six years. It’s an annual program where speakers discuss alcohol abuse. But six days before the first one in April 2010, the national SAE fraternity busted its KU chapter for supplying its underage members with alcohol and expelled 22 active members. n The University has changed its policies: it now notifies parents when students have alcohol- or drug-related violations, requires incoming students under 22 to complete an online alcohol education course before they can enroll, eliminates campus chalking by bars and others who are not registered with the University, has an amnesty policy for underage students that allows them to avoid punishment for drinking when they call for help and introduced a new responsible-drinking campaign for students. n The joint alcohol policy of the KU Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association — the umbrella organizations for most KU Greek chapters — remains unchanged.

such a form for the night of Wren’s death, so the University didn’t consider it an official function. “Unfortunately, the media — back when this hit — didn’t care to know the difference between a registered chapter event and a bunch of students hanging out,” said Reuben Perez, director of the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, which oversees the Greek Life office. “That particular night, most of the chapter wasn’t even present.” “I know, in the eyes of the world, it was like we were trying to cover something,” he said. Roney said that if a fraternity didn’t file the form for a planned event, the University could still investigate whether the event appeared to be sponsored by the fraternity — and therefore, an official function subject to rules. “Everything we were able to learn about what happened that night at SAE was that there was no official function going on,” she said. “It was just an individual or two, sitting around drinking.” Although Wren did not die during an offical function, in January 2010 then-IFC president Jake Droge told The Kansan changes

were being made to the Intrafraternity Council and Panhellenic’s joint alcohol policy. But no substantial changes have been made. As late as a month ago, the posted policy was dated 2007. After officials of both organizations were questioned for this story about promised changes, a new policy was posted online and backdated to March 23, 2010. Amy Long, associate director of the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, said Monday the changes made were only grammatical in nature. “The document is currently under review for the future, as is good practice, and we anticipate changes in the near future,” she wrote in an email. J.M. Angotti, IFC vice president of risk management, said in a statement, “Both IFC / PHA councils and the advisors understand that the Joint Alcohol Policy needs to be changed and are currently working to re-write the document.” He said that IFC and PHA officers want it done before the end of

see wren on page 6A

A 2005 report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that there are:


deaths, 500,000 injuries,

600,000 assaults and more than


sexual assaults

of U.S. college students each year related to alcohol.


Several hundred students and family friends gather in front of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house in 2009. The fraternity held a memorial service for Jason Wren, then a freshman from Littleton, Colo., who was found dead in his bedroom on March 9, 2009.

6A / NEWS /


KANSAN.COM / THE UNIVERSITY DAILY KANSAN / thursday, may 12, 2011 /


in the aftermath of jason wren’s death March 8, 2009

February 28, 2009 The date Wren told his father, Jay, that he had to be out of Oliver Hall, Jay previously told The Kansan. “Jason Howard Ting/KANSAN Wren was a freshman at the University of Kansas when he was kicked out of his dormitory, Oliver Hall, for repeatedly violating the University’s alcohol policy. Because it was mid-semester Wren had no where to live. Through a friend, Wren was able to pledge the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and immediately move into the Chapter House,” a lawyer for SAE wrote in a court filing.

November 1, 2010

Jason Wren was found dead around 2 p.m. in the SAE fraternity house. According to his autopsy report, his blood alcohol concentration was .362 when he died – more than four times the state’s legal limit to drive, .08, for people over 21.

April 10, 2010 Howard Ting/KANSAN

April 27, 2009 The chapter hosted a sober concert in honor of Wren, with more than a hundred in attendance.

The national SAE fraternity busted its KU chapter for buying alcohol with chapter funds and supplying alcohol to minors six days before the debut of the Jason Wren Initiative.

November 12, 2009 The Wren family filed a lawsuit against the national SAE fraternity, its KU chapter, the house corporation that owned the KU chapter, and 10 unnamed members of the chapter.

May 6, 2011 June 15, 2010

Mary Wren, Jason’s mother, committed suicide

The University announced an updated alcohol policy, with increased parental notification when students have drug or alcohol violations, an amnesty policy allowing underage students who have been drinking to call for help without being punished, and a new requirement that incoming students under the age of 22 complete an online alcohol-education course before enrolling in classes.

The day the Denver Post published the obituary of Jason Wren’s younger sister, 16-yearold Victoria, who committed suicide.

Contributed Photo

Wren (continued from 5A) rules, and her national sorority’s rules at once — but that she was reminded by Panhellenic Association officials that legal liability didn’t end there. GREEK LEGAL LIABILITY “If it wasn’t a sorority function, but Dave Westol, a national expert on fraternities and their legal liabilities, a bunch of us went to a bar together, has experience with prosecutions and and something bad happened to one of the girls,” Davis said, “all it would lawsuits. He was a prosecutor before he be- take is one of the girls’ parents to get came the chief national executive of the national sorority involved, because his fraternity, Theta Chi. And he’s she was with all her friends from the been the director of policy interpreta- sorority.” She said regulations for official tion at the Fraternal Information and Programming Group — a non-profit functions could be difficult to follow. fraternity insurance advising group She gave the example of a sorority hosting an event at a bar on Massa— since 1995. During his 18 years as Theta Chi chusetts Street, while following the CEO, Westol had members die and he IFC and PHA requirement that the suspended chapters for bad choices. host chapter provide transportation He knows it doesn’t take much to get to and from its event. “You’re not allowed to drive and sued. “I told our men, ‘six or more, it’s meet us later, because that’s a liability. going to be an event,’” Westol said. And you can’t leave with anyone else,” Davis said. “If you’ve got alcohol, “People want and there’s more than to walk down a few people, it’s going “Think twice about it and the street, but to be a chapter event, ask yourself, ‘How do I you can’t let whether you like it or want this to play out?’” them. You have not.” to drive back Westol speaks from Chaz Rumage to the house, the fraternity’s perFormer SAE officer and then drive spective, as in trying back to Mass. to avoid lawsuits. The if you want to more it looks like the do that.” fraternity was involved Westol said taking on a Greek affili— which might mean a larger number of members present — the worse it is ation meant additional responsibilifor them legally. While the University ties and legal liabilities. “That’s one of didn’t punish SAE after looking at the the things you give up” when you join drinking surrounding Wren’s death, a fraternity, Westol said. “You have to follow the policy. Now if you don’t his family could and did sue. The Wren family’s lawyer, Steve want that, drop out of your organizaGorny, made a compelling enough tion, be released from your vows, and case that SAE and its lawyers were you can have all the keg parties you willing to settle. But under the terms want and nobody’s going to care.” of the agreement nobody can publicly say how much the Wrens received in POLICY CHANGES the settlement. In the two years since Wren’s death, In most cases, the chapter’s liabil- the University has made several poliity insurance, which would pay any cy changes. settlements or judgments, is attained “I think the University focused by the national fraternity. The nation- even more closely on alcohol after al SAE fraternity is insured through Jason Wren passed away,” Roney said. James R. Favor and Company, based “It gave us a sense of urgency — we in Denver. really need to address this now.” According to its website, the comUnder the new rules, if the University pany was bought in 2006 by several becomes aware of an alcohol- or national fraternities. One of them drug-related violation through official was Sigma Alpha Epsilon Financial & notification, such as a police report, it Housing Corporation. notifies the parents of the student. The Samantha Davis, who used to be Department of Student Housing will her sorority’s social chair and vice now notify parents when a student’s president of risk management, said housing contract is canceled because that parties at KU could be exhaust- of alcohol or drug violations, which ing to plan — she had to account was not policy when Wren was kicked for her chapter’s rules, the PHA’s out of University housing. the semester, but chapters have to vote on it first.


Mary Wren hugs her daughter Victoria during the reception of Jason Wren’s funeral in Littleton, Colo. Nearly a thousand people attended the service, including about ten KU students. Both Mary and Victoria Wren committed suicide after Jason’s death.

Relevant organizations in Greek Life Interfraternity Council (IFC): The governing board for 21 fraternities, most of the fraternities at KU. It is composed of members from various fraternities, and every fraternity has a representative vote in decisions. It can sanction fraternities for IFC policy violations. Panhellenic Association (PHA): The sorority counterpart to the IFC, the PHA is the governing board for 13 sororites, most of the sororities at KU. The IFC and PHA have joint meetings every semester, and the two organizations have a joint alcohol policy that all IFC and PHA organizations must follow. Sigma Alpha Epsilon: The national fraternity was founded in 1856 at the University of Alabama. It is the largest social fraternity in North America with more than 280,000 initiated members. KU SAE: The KU chapter of the national SAE fraternity. Jason Wren, a pledge, was found dead in the chapter house. The house, located at 1301 West Campus Road, is owned by the Kansas Alpha House Corp., which also advises fraternity members.

The University unveiled its new responsibledrinking campaign, the Jayhawk Buddy System.

SAE hosted the second annual Jason Wren Initiative.

Jeffrey Wilson sends The Kansan a letter to the editor on behalf of SAE saying the fraternity has improved.

January 10, 2010 May 5, 2009

Wren used a fake ID to buy margaritas from a local restaurant, and then had 10 to 12 beers and hard liquor in the SAE house, his father, Jay, told The Kansan after Jason’s death.

Howard Ting/KANSAN

October 27, 2010

March 16, 2009

Wren’s funeral was held in Littleton, Colo., with nearly a thousand people in attendance.

March 7, 2009

April 12, 2011

Contributed Photo

The Wren lawsuit’s settlement was made official when papers were filed with the county courthouse and the pending lawsuit was dismissed.

April 2011

April 16, 2010

SAE hosted the first annual Jason Wren Initiative.

April 5, 2011 The Wren family lawyer, Steve Gorny, said that the lawsuit had been settled, although the official papers hadn't been filed with the courthouse. Contributed Photo

The Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association Joint Alcohol Policy, originally dated in 2007, was changed and backdated to March 23, 2010. The changes were only “grammatical in nature,” and “no substantive changes were made to the policy in the last two years,” Amy Long, the associate director of the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, wrote in an email.

Jessica Janasz/KANSAN

Additionally, incoming students under the age of 22 must take AlcoholEdu, an online alcohol education course, before they can enroll in classes. “I don’t think anyone’s going to say, ‘Oh, I loved taking it,’” Roney said, “But there is national research that shows that it is one of the best tools available, other than one-on-one counseling.” The University also enacted an amnesty policy for underage students. They will not be punished for drinking when they call for help, either for themselves or for a friend. “If you do the right thing and get help, then we’re not going to come after you,” Roney said. “For some students, that can be a deterrent. We wanted to take that off the table.” The University now bans campus sidewalk chalking by entities not registered with the University. “The only reason we changed the chalking policy was we were trying to stop the bars from chalking on campus,” Perez said. He said it was part of the University’s effort to reduce the presence of alcohol. “It reduces access to students,” he said. For when students decide to be in the presence of alcohol, the University has established a new responsibledrinking campaign for its students called the Jayhawk Buddy System. It focuses on students sticking together when they drink, making sure that everyone is safe. “We are firm believers that when Jayhawks take care of each other,” Roney said, “that will make a big difference.” In February, during a timeout in the men’s basketball game against the University of Missouri, a full section of students performed a flash mob, breaking out into a choreographed dance for a minute and a half, and then took off their shirts to reveal red Jayhawk Buddy System shirts. It drew thunderous applause at Allen Fieldhouse. The YouTube video of it, posted by Kansas Athletics, Inc., received more than 300,000 hits. The second Jason Wren Initiative in April ended with KU SAE members handing out items with the Jayhawk Buddy System logo: a string-pull backpack, a koozie, a cup, a bottle opener with a small light, a poster and a business card holder with a SafeRide card inside.


More than a thousand people were silent while Chaz Rumage, a former

Jason Wren through the eyes of a fraternity brother An excerpt from the article “A staggering tragedy” by reporter Alex Garrison in April 28, 2009 “Every time I hear somebody say he had a drinking problem, I just want to scream, because Jason Wren did not have a drinking problem,” the 2009 SAE freshman said on the condition of anonymity. He said he felt people looked for a simple answer to Jason’s death, but that it was an “unfortunate accident” — the result of the kind of drinking that was common at the University. “People want to blame the fraternity, people want to blame him, but it’s not that at all — it’s

just college,” the freshman said. “We drink. You binge drink, you drink to get drunk. It’s what I do, that’s what everybody does, that’s what Jason did.” He said Jason did not have a problem, because he did not need to drink but rather chose to drink because of the culture. “By the books, yes, he had a drinking problem,” he said. “I mean, I have a drinking problem. Every single kid here probably has a drinking problem.”

KU SAE officer who helped organize one of his online comments reacting this year’s Jason Wren Initiative, asked to stories about Jason’s death, calling the crowd some tense questions last himself “DenverDad” on, month as he introduced the event’s he wrote: “Why do we let our children, underspeaker. “How many times have you gone age, sleep in a house that has open alout to get blackout drunk? How many cohol and no adult supervision? It was times have you carried a friend home the biggest mistake in my life. “The law doesn’t allow anyone unfrom the bar? Did you ever laugh at him, put him to bed, and say “He’s der 21 to be in bars after 10 p.m., but it’s OK for them to going to feel that be in ‘sleeping bars’ tomorrow? called fraternities? “These are all “Sometimes I feel like our “YES, I made things we thought hands are tied behind us mistake of going to the night Jason bar with my son the passed away,” because we know what’s weekend before he Rumage said. happening, but we can’t died, the weekend “Think twice about I helped him move. it and ask yourself, really deal with it.” YES, I made an er‘How do I want ror in judgment this to play out?’” Marlesa Roney that it would be He paused. Vice provost for student success okay for Jason to be “So, the serious in a fraternity … part being said, “I have not had a drink since the we’re also here to have a good time.” He flipped on a pair of sunglasses, day I heard of Jason’s death. Why can’t black with neon orange framing. The fraternities change? Why can’t the University change?” audience snapped to life, laughing. Jay Wren said then he is against “We all like to have fun, and we all like to drink, and the reason we’re here 21-year-old students and underage is not to tell you ‘Don’t drink.’ The rea- students living under the same roof in son we’re here is to tell you to drink University housing and at fraternities. While Perez doesn’t draw the line at responsibly.” The second Wren Initiative high- 21, he does think freshmen shouldn’t lighted the prickly issues in trying to live in fraternities. “I think that’s a mistake,” he said. reach college students — especially the underaged — with responsible-drink- “The Greeks know I think that, and I’m not popular with that view. The ing messages. One can point to Wren’s death and women don’t allow it, and they’re dosay it means that underage drinking ing very, very well.” Regardless of Greek involvement, shouldn’t be tolerated. Another can say it means that the underaged need the underage question can get complithe most help with safe-drinking edu- cated for the University. Roney said, “I am unable, as a cation. Before his son’s death, Jay Wren ad- University administrator, to design mitted that he knew Jason drank. In programs that focus on healthy alcohol

consumption for students under 21, because if I do that, I’m encouraging people to break the law. Sometimes I feel like our hands are tied behind us because we know what’s happening, but we can’t really deal with it.” University officials have suggested one idea for Greek underage drinking — and Greek liability in general: no in-house alcohol, and maybe even no in-house parties. All of KU’s sorority houses are dry. Most fraternity houses are not. “From a risk management perspective, that just amazes me,” Roney said. She used to be an officer for a sorority’s corporation board, and said she would be “very, very reluctant” to serve as a corporation board officer for any house that allowed alcohol. Perez said more national fraternities are banning house parties. “If we had a no-party-in-house community, I’d be thrilled,” he said. “I’m good with that.” But only a fraternity, its corporation board, or the national fraternity has the power to change a house’s alcohol rules. The University and its officials don’t.


Jason Wren’s death shook his family, SAE, the Greek community and the University. After his death, his 16-year-old sister, Victoria, and mother, Mary, both committed suicide. The Greek community is still trying to adapt its policies. The University introduced more alcohol education and awareness. Maybe these changes will save a life. Maybe these changes aren’t enough. For Jason Wren, changes don’t matter. — Edited by Lisa Curran

Study: KU students drink more than average American college student A 2006 study by the National College Health Assessment surveyed students from 117 colleges across the nation, including more than 1,500 KU students. It found that 21 percent of KU students reported drinking five or more drinks at once, three to five times within the previous two weeks...

...compared to the national average of 11 percent.




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Turning panda lungs into literary gold just part of living the life


Free all


I really wish my parents would cheer “One more year!” for me like we do for the basketball players. I don’t want to graduate yet! When I can see both of your butt cheeks as you walk up the stairs in front of me, your shorts are too short. My professor has incorrectly changed “affect” to “effect” in THREE different papers. The effect of your stupidity is affecting my grade. (bad sentence, but correct usage). Gentlemen, I understand that the third floor bathrooms in Strong are warm, but for the love of your fellow students casing the stairwell, PLEASE close the door — the aroma is ferocious! Dear SUA: Best idea EVER: Hire a masseuse or two for the entire finals week and have them offer fiveminute massages in the libraries. Creeper in Anschutz is on AdultFriendFinder like it’s no big deal. Even though I look ridiculous, wearing my graduation cap as I sit on my couch in my pajamas and do copious amounts of homework really is helping me push through these final moments of intense senioritis. I’m going to be out of town for Stop Day, feels like I am missing the college version of Christmas. Student evaluations are the students’ way of getting back at professors that have put them through hell all semester. Unemployed? More like FUNemployed. Couldn’t decide whether or not I was excited for the school year to end until my roommate walked in ... I’m definitely excited now! I am only allowed to open one gift on Stop Day eve ... Luckily all I asked for was alcohol. Thanks Glee, just as the Rebecca Black phase started to wear off you made it cool again! I got in the Free For All today and I can no longer focus on homework because I just want more anonymous fame. Friday on Glee = Crap on Crap. Dear dumb students. You are in Kansas, when it’s 90 degrees outside you don’t wear jeans and a parka. This stress is killing me, times like these I wish I was a pothead. After spending 45 minutes trying to figure out where and how to write on this, I forgot what I had to say. Procrastination seems to ease the fear of my looming finals. Tonight, we dine in hell, for finals are upon us. Good luck, my brethren. I “flag” every Facebook comment that uses a hashtag, unless it says “connected via Twitter.” Things get loco when I fiesta. Things get loco when I fiesta. I feel sorry for everyone who doesn’t go to KU.

As my sentence with this newspaper comes to a close, I’ve found myself reflecting on just how I ended up here in the first place. Back in 2008, I was convicted of helping my evil twin, Fernando, sell a batch of endangered panda lungs to a black market organ dealer. Since all I did was take the box of panda lungs to FedEx (Fernando had told me the package was a collection of Beanie Babies he had sold on eBay), I got off easy. The judge ordered that I do three years of community service. After explaining to the judge that I couldn’t perform manual labor because of my chronic not-wanting-to, he instead instructed that I do something to help the sick, the infirm, the near-death. So, I decided to volunteer in the field of print journalism. The only problem with this plan was that I was wholly unqualified to be a journalist. I couldn’t be a reporter, because they have to go out and

By Alex nichols

interview people and do research and the thought of that makes my notwanting-to flare up. And I couldn’t be an editor, because they have to do whatever it is editors do, which is probably a lot. I needed something that would allow me to make stuff up and pass it off as “opinion.” Something that wouldn’t require any qualifications whatsoever. And so, after laboriously searching through the want ads, I finally found the perfect job: opinion columnist for The University Daily Kansan.


My mom is a total buzzkill, y’all. She’s always encouraging me to do things and acting like I’m all awesome, and frankly, it is really starting to annoy me. Doesn’t she understand that I want to squander my potential by watching “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and tweetBy Chance Carmichael ing about how I’m pretty sure Salem acts the way he does because after he home on election day — unless was turned into a cat he went that voter’s box somehow extremely insane and we all magically turns into that box of laugh at it like that’s not what’s Cheez Its you were going to eat. going on? But, wait! Maybe, my mother I try to explain to her that is right. Because the effects my “Sabrina” theories are my of those causes all involve me livelihood (I have many…) selling Wendy’s Natural Cut/ — y’know, the kinda livelihood Chemical Laden fries and Sarah that involves eating ramen Palin wearing a moose fur to straight out of the packaging her inaugural ball. Maybe it (if you put the chicken powder doesn’t really matter how weird junk on top, it’s pretty tasty) (and worse than terrible) that and complaining about how last season of “Sabrina” is. I much more awesome my telemean, the future is a thing, vision adaptation of “Sabrina right? If my mom’s calculathe Teenage Witch” would be tions are correct, the best way if only I were magically given to combat apathy is by actually a chance. Also, it’s hard to care doing something. So, I guess we about things that matter. should all do something, son. Apathy! We’re all pretty good My mom has made some at it! Let’s play 9 billion hours pretty ridiculous suggesof that zombies thing in “Call tions — one time she told of Duty” and/or download No me to write a Lifetime movie Doubt’s entire discography and (“Because somebody writes listen to it for no particular rea- all of those, and they have to son. Screw the future! Laugh be making a ton of money, at that jerk-with-your-name’s right?”) and when I was a face from the future for how sophomore in high school she many hours he’s gonna have to told me I should write a “CSI: work at Wendy’s a week to pay Crime Scene Investigation” off those student loans. Stay at

Send letters to kansanopdesk@gmail. com. Write LETTER TO THE EDITOR in the e-mail subject line.

praise ranging from “You write for the newspaper?” to “OK, I get it, you write for the newspaper. Now leave me alone.” And now, in writing my last column, I realize that FedExing those panda lungs was the best thing I ever did. The highs and lows of writing for this page made for a truly enriching experience. If you have a passion for writing (or a few hundred hours of community service to do), you should definitely apply. Just be prepared to hate that one-sixth of the page is wasted on a collection of crappy Facebook statuses. And get ready to receive only the most inane/ insane comments on the online versions of your columns. Don’t worry, though — the fun you have in the process will make up for it. Goodbye, University Daily Kansan. You were worth every lung. Nichols is a senior from Stilwell studying creative writing.

Web Exclusives on

To change from the world’s worst teen to slightly-less-worse adult, start a blog

Bond: Learn how to embrace criticism, enhance relationship with God.

episode about a murderer who kills their victim with fireworks (CLOSE-UP SHOT OF CHARRED SKIN). However, on the occasion she’ll make some pretty rad suggestions that are hard for me to mock. She keeps telling me I should start a blog. So, I guess I will, America (if you are cool you just read that sentence in Bernie Mac’s voice). According to all of those blogs, blogging is awesome, and why would blogs lie about blogs? Blog. And my mom is right — all of our moms are right! We should get some experience — at least try to do something productive, so we can really complain if we get stuck flipping those weird square hamburger patties (Wendy’s freaks me out, guys). After all, if there’s one thing “Sabrina The Teenage Witch” has taught me it’s that with a little care and work, you can go from being the world’s worst teenage witch to the slightlyless-worse adult witch. If you want to check out my blog (which will be hilarious), follow me at salemisinsane.tumblr. com. It will be a funny summer, y’all! To you stinkers: SEE YA NEXT SEMESTER!

Holladay: Why don’t printers ever seem to work properly? Sandal: Finding the meaning of life.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED Interested in being a columnist or an editorial cartoonist for the opinion page next year? Email fall opinion editor Mandy Matney at

Carmichael is a junior from Mulvane studying creative writing. Follow him on Twitter @ChanceComical.

Local culture

There is no need to keep Lawrence weird Austin is to Texas as Lawrence is to Kansas. A blue dot on a red map, with a live music scene and state university — the analogy appeared to strike a sudden grave familiarity with Illinoisans, so l adopted the tired response the way a local would recommend a fish house. Having been a part of the colloquialism then, I shouldn’t be surprised local stores have begun selling shirts emblazoned with “Keep Lawrence Weird.” A play-off of “Keep Austin Weird,” the battle cry of the more loveable Texan preservationist, its immediate comparison seems too convenient now it’s been slapped across a white tee. In the hypothetical hierarchy of liberal college towns (a haphazard ranking based on the likelihood of passing through endless blocks smelling of incense and damp hammocks), Lawrence falls into a lower spot on the upper wrung. Mecca is Berkeley, Calif., a city upon a hill for people who deconstruct the city upon a hill model

By matthew Marsaglia

while roaring around the paved edge of a precipice pockmarked by freesolo climbers and sun-drunk seagulls. Nearby, Boulder, Eugene, Portland and Austin compete passive-aggressively for runner-up spots; while in the east, Madison and Providence struggle with the question of whether or not to wear shoes: the decision demarcating hippies from hipsters, genuine from gentrified. Between these cities, of course, in the middle of the country as every foreigner loves to point out, is Kansas — a state occupying another hierarchy of things that aren’t sexy. Like

how to submit A LETTER TO THE EDITOR Letter Guidelines

The editors at the time were impressed with my passion for misinformation and my ability to write 500 words without fainting, so they hired me right away. At first they were baffled by my insistence that I be unpaid, but then they liked not paying me so much that they extended the policy to the rest of the opinion staff. (Sorry, guys!) That first semester was rough. I was writing simply to fulfill my requirement, and as a result the work suffered. For example, I wrote a scathing piece about some dumb Facebook movie that Aaron Sorkin was writing at the time. (The movie turned out to be pretty OK.) I wrote a few other columns about stuff nobody really cared about. Things were bleak, but I stuck with it. As I continued to write, I started becoming more passionate about it. It was no longer just about the court order. It was about the people. Folks started to recognize me on campus, with

Length: 300 words The submission should include the author’s name, grade and hometown. Find our full letter to the editor policy online at

Chris Mullin on the ’92 Dream Team, Lawrence holds a deserved, albeit reserved presence amongst America’s best enclaves for immaterial-driven dreamers. But aside from a consistent jumper and being a good listener, Chris Mullins had as much appeal in ‘92 as a Sade CD bought on layaway. Boulder has more Olympians than deep fryers, Austin rumbles like the saloon of a perpetual boomtown, and Berkley’s a familiar folk song spread across a fault line. Lawrence just has a jump shot and a few good people to hear you out. And to a sentimental senior, that’s the appeal of Lawrence — it’s sexy in a uniquely Kansan way. There’s just enough organic ice cream on the cherry pie. Compared to said cities, Lawrence has normalcy, not in the pejorative sense, but in the sense that Lawrence exists more as a real place because it’s not caked in it’s own quintisentiality. Unlike the way large cities and small towns signify themselves with certain

icons, impressions, attractions or possession of the world’s largest things, Lawrence is not a basketball town the way Hannibal is a town memorizing its master. For a mid-sized city, Lawrence represents the diversity within the body of the bell curve. People have normal, run-of-the-mill lives here, which outsiders might consider more boring than other liberal college towns. But until you’re surrounded by people that are so buoyed into a subculture of a culture that is that city, it’ll be a treat to see a chubby father in socks and sandals buying a banana split for his conventionally named child. You get these Rockwellian scenes in Lawrence because it’s an hour deep into the middle child of fly-over states, and ultimately it’s the location that preserves the progressive normalcy. Until this changes, we wont need a slogan other than the chant we already have. Marsaglia is a senior from Naperville, Ill., studying English.

contact us Nick Gerik, editor 864-4810 or

D.M. Scott, opinion editor 864-4924 or

Jessica Cassin, sales manager 864-4477 or

Michael Holtz, managing editor 864-4810 or

Mandy Matney, associate opinion editor 864-4924 or

Kelly Stroda, managing editor 864-4810 or

Malcolm Gibson, general manager and news adviser 864-7667 or

Carolyn Battle, business manager 864-4358 or

Jon Schlitt, sales and marketing adviser 864-7666 or

The editorial board

Members of The Kansan Editorial Board are Nick Gerik, Michael Holtz, Kelly Stroda, D.M. Scott and Mandy Matney.


/ thursDAY, may 12, 2011 / THE UNIVERSITY DAILY KANSAN /



Post-spring depth chart released

James leads Heat against Celtics


Kansas football released its post-spring depth chart Wednesday afternoon, naming Jordan Webb the starting quarterback heading into fall practices. James Sims is listed as the starting running back with true freshman Darrian Miller as the backup. Christian Mathews and Daymond Patterson were also named starting wide receivers. The defense will run a 4-3 base, with four defensive linemen and three linebackers. Among the starting linebackers is Huldon Tharp, who missed all of last season after suffering a leg injury in training camp. Keeston Terry and Bradley McDougald will pair up as starting safeties, and former running back turned linebacker Toben Opurum is currently starting at defensive end alongside Keba Agostinho.



Jordan Webb, who played at quarterback in the 2010 season, was named starting quarterback heading into fall practices. James Sims will be the starting running back with Christian Matthews and Daymond Patterson heading the receiving corps.


LT: 74 Jeff Spikes (6-6, 325, Jr-2L); 79 Riley Spencer (6-7, 300, So-1L) LG: 69 Trevor Marrongelli (6-2, 293, Jr-2L); 53 Tom Mabry (6-4, 287, So-SQ) OC: 75 Dylan Admire (6-3, 264, Fr-HS); 77 Jeremiah Hatch (6-3, 332, Sr-3L) RG: 64 Randall Dent (6-5, 275, So-SQ); 67 Duane Zlatnik (6-4, 326, Jr-2L) RT: 70 Gavin Howard (6-5, 292, So-SQ); 72 Tanner Hawkinson (6-6, 293, Jr-2L)

TE: 86 Tim Biere (6-4, 260, Sr-3L); 43 Ted McNulty (6-5, 230, Sr-1L); 11 AJ Steward (6-3, 233, Sr-2L) WR: 85 Chris Omigie (6-4, 194, So-1L); 20 D.J. Beshears (5-8, 174, Jr-2L); 12 Christian Matthews (6-1, 186, So-1L) WR: 15 Daymond Patterson (5-9, 173, Sr-3L); 7 Kale Pick (6-1, 208, Jr-2L) FB: 33 Nick Sizemore (6-2, 246, So-RS); 30 Josh Smith (5-10, 205, Fr-RS) TB: 29 James Sims

(6-0, 206, So-1L); 3 Darrian Miller (5-10, 181, Fr-HS) QB: 2 Jordan Webb (6-0, 210, So-1L) OR: 8 Quinn Mecham (6-2, 207, Sr-1L)

DE: 96 Keba Agostino (6-3, 253, So-1L); 91Pat Lewandowski (6-6, 248, Fr-RS) SLB: 52 Steven Johnson (6-1,237, Sr-3L); 4 Prinz Kande (6-0, 194, So-1L) MLB: 39 Darius Willis (6-3, 243, So-RS); 46 Steve Mestan (6-2, 231, So-1L) WLB: 34 Huldon Tharp (6-0, 217, So-1L); 44 Malcolm Walker (6-1, 220, Jr-JC) FC: 19 Isiah Barfield (5-11, 185, Sr-3L); 33 Tyler Patmon (5-11, 180, So-1L) SS: 24 Bradley McDougald


DE: 35 Toben Opurum (6-1, 240, Jr-2L); 94 Tyrone Sellers (6-3, 230, So-SQ) DT: 92 Patrick Dorsey (6-0, 273, Sr-2L); 97 Richard Johnson (6-3, 283, Sr-3L) DT:71 John Williams (6-3, 290, Jr-2L); 90 Kevin Young (6-2, 256, So-1L)

(6-1, 195, Jr-2L); 40 Ray Mitchell (6-1, 183, Fr-RS) FS: 9 Keeston Terry (6-2, 185, So-SQ); 1 Lubbock Smith (6-0, 206, Jr-2L) BC: 5 Greg Brown (5-11, 185, Jr-2L); 30 Anthony Davis (5-11, 205, Sr-3L)


PK: 13 Ron Doherty (5-11, 206, So-1L) P: 19 Victor McBride (6-2, 201, Fr-RS) LS: 54 Justin Carnes (6-3, 230, So-1L)


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MIAMI — Behind Boston much of the season. Behind Boston much of the game. No more. Not only has the Miami Heat caught the Celtics — they have officially gone past them, and into the Eastern Conference finals. Vanquishing the team they couldn’t beat for so long with a 16-0 run to end the game, Dwyane Wade scored 34 points, LeBron James put the Heat up for good with a 3-pointer with 2:10 left on the way to a 33-point effort, and Miami topped Boston 97-87 to win their East semifinal series Wednesday night in five games. James added a game-sealing — more aptly, a series-sealing — 3-pointer with 40.4 seconds left, then turned and posed for some fans who screamed in delight. A steal and two-handed slam 6 seconds later for good measure, followed by a Celtics turnover, got the party started. It was over, the Heat and Celtics knew it, and Boston coach Doc Rivers stood silently near the bench, his arms folded across his chest as James ran down the clock on Miami’s final offensive possession of the series. Of course, he scored. Boston was done, thoroughly worn down by a younger, more athletic opponent. The Celtics won the first three meetings between the clubs this season, then lost five of the final six. Wade was knocked over into some courtside seats trying to snare the final rebound, but that only prolonged the moment. James knelt in prayer for several seconds, then ran over to wrap Wade in a long embrace as the fans screamed loudly. This is why he stayed in Miami, while James and Chris Bosh came to Miami, to chase a championship. They’re halfway there. Next up for Miami: Either Chicago or Atlanta, in a series that may start as early as Sunday. Chicago leads the series 3-2. “It’s a great team,” James said of Boston in the on-court celebration. “Like I said, I got the utmost respect for that team. They’re the reason why all three of us came together, is because of what they did, that blueprint they had in ‘08 when they all came together. So it’s a great team win and get ready for our next opponent.” Bosh finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, including head-faking his way past Kevin Garnett for a game-tying dunk with 2:57 left. The rest was up to James. He scored the game’s final 10 points, putting to rest talk that he couldn’t be effective late in games.



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QUOTE OF THE DAY “If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they’d starve to death. “ — Sam Snead

FACT OF THE DAY Tug of War was an Olympic event between 1900 and 1920. —


Q: How many times does the

average Major League baseball rotate after it leaves a pitcher’s hand and before it hits the catcher’s glove?

A: The average Major League

baseball rotates 15 times before being hit. —

Morning brew

Exercise to cope with stress F

inals are upon us. For some students, this next week will be the first time they worry about a class or perhaps even show up. For other pale, trembling students, this is the season they have been worrying about all semester. Either way, it’s the end to a semester filled with knowledge and beer. When stress hits you and that paper seems unwritable or that long list of terms seems unmemorizable it isn’t the time to stress-eat or curl into a ball crying. It is the perfect time to exercise. All year long I’ve been writing about other people and their pursuit of physical perfection, and I’ve honestly let my own physicality slip a little. I used to run eight miles a day and now I can barely suffer through three. When I’m out there in the bitter heat sweating through my tank top, blisters forming on my blisters and gnats getting stuck in my teeth I wonder why I’m doing this. I’m not ever going to be as fast as Jamaal Charles or have Lebron James’ mad ups and I will probably never fit into a size 2. My little workout doesn’t include thousand of fans cheering my name while wearing “Anderson” across the back of my



today No events are scheduled for today.

friday Baseball vs. Alabama A&M 6 p.m. Lawrence Track Big 12 Outdoor Championships All day Norman, Okla.

BY samantha anderson

T-shirts. (Though I do get the occasional passerby who asks me if I’m all right and if I need some water or a stretcher). It’s not about fanfare. It’s about the self fulfillment and a kind of peace you get when you’ve finished your workout. Your mind is alert, your face is flushed, and honestly no amount of homework could be worse than the hell you just put yourself through. In this week of stress and doubt, it is important to give your body the release it needs. Exercise is a break from the stale lights of the library and the tiny text of your stats book. At the time it may seem like an extra chore and there may not be a crowded Allen Fieldhouse to cheer you on. But by

saturday the end of the workout you will have a brain surging with blood, endorphins, and energy after some much needed time away from your flashcards. And it’s not just me that thinks that. Various studies have shown that exercise, unlike alcohol or sugary junk food, does heighten brain function and can help you study. I’m not saying that if you run a mile before your physics test it will guarantee you an A, but after long hours spent in the library it couldn’t hurt. —Edited by Ashley Montgomery

Big 12

Baseball vs. Alabama A&M 2 p.m. Lawrence vs. Alabama A&M 5 p.m. Lawrence Track Big 12 Outdoor Championships All day Norman, Okla. Women’s Rowing Conference USA Championship All Day Oak Ridge, Tenn.


New head coaches, NBA draft stirs up men’s basketball

The Big 12 will have a new look in men’s basketball next season and not just because Ne-

braska and Colorado are leaving. Four of the remaining 10 teams will have new head coaches and underclassman declarations for the NBA draft will leave Texas with no returning starters and take three players out of seven-time defending champion

Kansas’ lineup. The coaching shake-up is the most significant in the conference since 2006, when six schools had first-year coaches. Only the Atlantic Coast Conference has had as many coaching changes this year.

Billy Gillispie takes over at Texas Tech, Lon Kruger at Oklahoma and Frank Haith at Missouri. Texas A&M’s job is open for the third time in seven years after Maryland hired Mark Turgeon.

-The Associated Press

Bison return to Kansas for Bowl

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota State University football team is heading back to the state of Kansas to face an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision school.

NDSU upset Kansas 6-3 to open last season. In 2013, the Bison will play Kansas State in Manhattan. Athletic director Gene Taylor tells the Forum newspaper that NDSU will get a $350,000 guarantee from Kansas State for the game. -The Associated Press





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Sports thursday, May 12, 2011

football | 12A

Football releases depth chart Football released a tentative lineup for the fall season. Jordan Webb has been named quarterback going into fall practices.

PAGE 14a

major decisions


Self’s future, Big 12 titles are uncertain By Kory carpenter

Do you know who replaced Dan Marino as starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins? What about the successor to John Wooden, the hall of fame coach at UCLA? Or Bobby Knight’s replacement at Indiana? It’s hard replacing legends. It doesn’t seem to matter if that legend is a player or coach, amateur or professional. With few exceptions, that next guy becomes an afterthought, a small blip on the collective radar of sports history. In 2003, Bill Self seemed up for the challenge, leaving Champagne, Ill. for Lawrence after Roy Williams went home to North Carolina. Self ’s resume was impressive, but he was replacing a legend, and there was definite uncertainty about whether he could continue the success of the Roy Williams era. In 2004, with a roster nearly filled with Williams’ players, (a team coming off a national title game appearance) Self had his worst conference season yet at Kansas. He finished second. Bill Self has won the Big 12 conference championship every year since. The Big 12 has had some really good teams in that seven year span. A couple of NBA All-Stars (Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin) couldn’t top Kansas. Neither could a top five team named Kansas State this past season. Whether he was the pre-season underdog like last fall or he lost six of his best players to the professional ranks, it hasn’t seemed to affect Self. He keeps collecting Big 12 championship trophies. Although not as dramatic as the mass exodus of players in 2008, the roster shakeup this off-season has reverberated throughout college basketball. Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar and Mario Little graduated. The Morris twins, along with freshman Josh Selby, who never really found a role in the Kansas system, left early to enter the NBA draft. Nonetheless, he has some all-world talent that would have been put to good use next season. And similar to the 2009 season, people are questioning whether Self can continue his Big 12 dominance. Future NBA All-Star Blake Griffin had a fine Oklahoma team that year, but it didn’t matter. The Sooners lost the conference race by one game, giving Self another Big 12 title. Sitting today with a good-but-notgreat recruiting class and a bevy of key players gone from last year’s team, the consensus from fans and talking heads seems to be the same: 2011 is finally the year Self could have a ‘down’ year and — gasp — not win the conference. On one hand, it’s hard not to blame them. Kansas is thin in the post, with only Thomas Robinson returning with major minutes from last season. There doesn’t seem to be any legitimate three-point threats after the departures of Reed, Morningstar, Selby and the twins. So, the skepticism is warranted. The sheer dominance has to end sometime. However, Self has become somewhat of an expert at landing big-time recruits late in the spring signing period (see Xavier Henry in 2009 and Josh Selby last year). This year looks to be the same, with Kansas still in the mix for five-star wing Deandre Daniels, four-star guard Trevor Lacey, as well as a few others. Self might land one or none, it’s hard to tell right now. Betting against Self seems futile at this point. The skeptics are right. The streak of conference championships will end sooner or later, and that may very well be next season. But when a coin lands on heads seven straight times, are you really going to bet on tails? — Edited by Danielle Packer


Junior first baseman Zac Elgie played for the Oakland Athletics right out of high school. He opted not to stay a part of the Athletics and instead came to KU to improve his draft stock.

For Elgie, emphasis on education BY Blake Schuster

Zac Elgie remembers the morning of June 6, 2008, like it happened yesterday. Perhaps because, to date, it was the biggest moment in his life. With the 364th overall pick in the ’08 MLB Draft, the Oakland Athletics had selected Elgie, the 18-year-old first baseman from Minot High School, in Minot, N.D., and suddenly Elgie faced more complicated decisions than the average high school senior was expected to encounter. At the time of his selection, Elgie had just woken up and was in the middle of a shower when he heard someone banging on the bathroom door, followed by the sound of his mother’s excited voice. Tammy Elgie was dialed in, ensuring that she was able to

catch each selection as it was announced. After all of the hard work that her son had put into baseball, she wouldn’t miss out on the moment where his dreams were realized. Zac was ecstatic. “When she started screaming, I was like this is pretty amazing. I was coming out of high school, getting drafted, and having a chance to play in the minor leagues, and then reaching my goal of playing professional,” Elgie said. When Elgie found out he was drafted, his mind raced toward the east coast and the visions of himself donning a Phillies jersey cluttered his head. Elgie’s assistant high school coach — who also doubled as a scout for the Phillies — kept tabs on the high school star, and made sure that Philadelphia checked him out as his high

school days began to dwindle. Of all the teams that had been scouting him, Elgie communicated most with the Phillies. “The Phillies and I seemed to click real well,” Elgie said. Elgie even had a successful interview with Jerry Lafferty, a super-scout credited with discovering Ryan Howard. With Elgie gearing up to head to the Phillies, the last thing he expected was to be drafted out west. The first concrete inkling that Elgie had of being taken by the A’s came on June 5, 2008 — the night before Elgie would eventually be drafted in the 12th round. After the first six rounds of the draft had been completed on June 5, an Oakland scout who had seen him play earlier that week contacted Elgie. The scout had only one ques-

tion for Elgie: Are you serious about wanting to play baseball? Elgie didn’t hesitate to answer. “Yes, I’m ready,” Elgie said to the scout. “It’s always been my goal to play in the majors, I’m ready for it.” Hours later, Zac Elgie became the newest member of the Oakland Athletics. To Elgie, it didn’t matter that he wasn’t going to be a member of the Phillies. The fact that his name was called consumed him. He would now be able to say that he had a chance to go to the Majors. With the chance to go play minor league ball and get a head start on his career, Elgie opted not to stay a part of the Athletics. Before the draft, Elgie had his sights set on attending the University of Kansas. When it came down to going pro or

getting an education, Elgie took the latter. Both of Elgie’s parents, who had attended college, expressed to Zac that there was no way to put a monetary value on the college experience. Armed with the knowledge that he would be unable to be redrafted for another three years Elgie decided to come to KU to work on his game, and improve his draft stock. Elgie, like five other current Jayhawks — Alex Cox, Ka’iana Eldredge, Kevin Kuntz, Wally Marciel, and T.J. Walz — had a shot to realize his childhood dreams, and decided to hold off. For Elgie, there are no regrets. “I’m living the dream here at Kansas,” Elgie said. ­—Edited by Emily Soetaert


Jayhawks have a crucial weekend of play ahead BY MIKE VERNON


Junior pinch hitter Chris Manship connects for a RBI single Friday against Texas. Kansas lost the game 9-1.

Senior pitcher T.J. Walz will step onto the turf Friday night at Hoglund Ballpark pitching for his 26th career win as a Jayhawk. A win for Walz would tie the all-time Kansas baseball record for wins in a career. His big night could come at the perfect time for Kansas when they play the Alabama A&M Bulldogs. With only two weekends left in their regular season, the Jayhawks are in a battle with Kansas State for the last spot in the Big 12 tournament. Both teams will have to wait though, as the Jayhawks and Wildcats will both take on non-conference opponents this weekend. Coming off six straight losses, the Jayhawks (22-27, 9-15) will have a recovery weekend of sorts, in their four game series in Lawrence against Alabama A&M (1033, 6-17). “I hope we get some momentum back in our dugout after the devastating last couple of weekends we’ve had,” coach Ritch Price said. “We can get the guys feeling good about themselves, get the swagger back in our dugout, and gain some

momentum for the final weekend.” After sitting as high as fourth in the Big 12 standings earlier in the year, the Jayhawks have fallen to ninth — half a game behind KState. The reason for some of the dropoff: the Jayhawks’ young pitching staff that has fallen apart during the final stretch of the season. Twelve games into conference play, the pitching staff anchored the Kansas team with an ERA of 3.57. Now, 24 games into conference play, their ERA has increased to 3.95. “I think a lot of it has to do with the wear and tear of it being a long season,” Price said. The play of the defense behind their pitchers has also led to the Jayhawks late-season struggles. Kansas has made 68 fielding errors this season, leading to 52 unearned runs. Its problems pitching and fielding culminated last weekend when they were swept by Oklahoma, giving up 12 unearned runs and 33 total runs in three games. The four games against the Bulldogs, who bat .250, provide the perfect chance for the pitching staff and defense to recover. Alabama A&M only has one batter with an average over .300.

After Walz throws Friday, sophomore Tanner Poppe will start in the first game of a double header Saturday at 2 p.m. for the Jayhawks, followed by freshman Alex Cox in the 5 p.m. game. Sunday at 1 p.m. junior Colton Murray will forgo his usual role as closer to start for the Jayhawks. Price said he hopes the start will get Murray’s rhythm and confidence back after struggling the last couple of weeks. With its season coming down to the last week, Kansas must take full advantage of its weekend with Alabama A&M to set itself up for a weekend with K-State, in which a Big 12 tournament bid will be on the line. Price wants the weekend against the Bulldogs to help correct some of the pitching issues that have plagued the Jayhawks down the stretch. “The first thing I’m looking for is quality starts by each guy that goes out there,” Price said. “They need to get into the 6th or 7th inning, and give us an opportunity to win, because that has not been the case for two consecutive weeks.” —Edited by Corey Thibodeaux

May 13th  

The May 13th Issue

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