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Just behind Christmas, Halloween is the largest  grossing holiday, annually averaging 6.9 billion spent by Americans celebrating  all things spooky every year.

Despite what would seem to be  common sense, there isn’t a direct correlation between the increase in consumer money spent and an increase in seasonal jobs in Boise.

According to Neil Palmer, employee at Halloween Express in Boise, a lot of the hiring process for Halloween stores stems from connections.

“Basically, everyone here is either related or knows each other by friends,” said Palmer.

Palmer claims that everyone who works in The Halloween Express already has a full-time job and is here to “to help out the shop.”

This trend is also evident in the Idaho Historical State Society’s Halloween-themed  event “Frightened Felons” held annually. Amber Beierle, visitor services coordinator for the Old Idaho Penitentiary, explained that the two-day event is put on by only existing staff and volunteers.

“We rely heavily on volunteers,” Beierle said.

This fact might change in the future, however. The success and sheer volume of people who attend event has caused the Idaho Historical Society to discuss expanding “Frightened Felons” into a week-long event. This change would require hiring additional staff.

“If we want to increase anything we will have to hire people seasonally because you can’t depend on volunteers to do more than the two days. We’re really stretching it as it is,” Beierle said.

Income brought in

Although “Frightened Felons” is only open for two nights, it brings in roughly 1,250 people and between $17,000 and $30,000 per year, accounting for 10 percent of the penitentiary’s   profits yearly.

The month of October is  the busiest month for the Penitentiary.

“There’s no doubt there’s a direct correlation with people wanting to do something creepy, spooky or routinely listed at the most haunted place in Boise,” Beierle said. “Just yesterday (the Penitentiary) was listed as the most haunted place in Idaho.”

The Halloween season also allows Idaho farmer Jim Lowee to branch out in business.

Lowee is owner of the Farmstead Festival Cornmaze. He said that the cornmaze and related attractions create a way for farmers to get into agro-tourism.

“The majority of farmers (who decide to create corn mazes) are looking for a way to diversify because farming is risky, and running a corn maze is risky,” Lowee said. “If one is down then maybe the other is up.”

According to Lowee, the designed field brings in more profit as a cornmaze than it would if it were just harvested as feed corn for cattle; however, the corn maze requires an exorbitant amount of time to create.

“Its a lot more of a time investment to get the return on investment,” Lowee said.

Investment for profit works out well for Halloween stores like Halloween Express. According to Palmer, by Halloween, the store has usually been cleaned out of merchandise by customers.

“We’re going to sell pretty much everything. Another five days and it will look really bare in here,” Palmer said.

After Halloween, when the majority of the merchandise has been sold, the stores selves and remaining merchandise are put into a storage unit in Idaho until  used the next year along with new shipments. Halloween Express identical to every other store.

The average customer at Halloween Express spends around $75 per trip, however Palmer feels that this it “doesn’t take much to spend $100.”

Not just a children’s holiday

Part of the explanation for these hefty receipts comes from the heavy price tags attached to adult costumes which are about, $20 more than children’s costumes on average. Palmers said that adult females often spend the most on Halloween.

“The store is about half costumes for woman,” Palmer said.

Beierle also found that the customers most interested in “Frightened Felons” were adults as well.

“We have looked hard at making it an adult-only event, number one because it’s more profitable,” Beierle said. “We make more money. We sell out. We don’t have to worry about more advertising dollars to get people to come in.”

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Enter a Walmart and you can find all things Halloween, from candy to pumpkins. Look four aisles over and you’ll see Christmas trees, ornaments and good ol’ Saint Nicholas.

Deemed “Christmas creeping,” many major retailers cash into the holiday spirit of Christmas earlier each year. Due to economic demand, some stores set up Christmas displays as early as late August to early September.

The strategy has paid off: Black Friday sales have doubled and Thanksgiving sales  have almost quadrupled in online revenue since 2008, according to Statista.

Lauren Latham, sophomore biology major, feels that it’s odd to see Christmas retail before  Halloween.

“I think it’s a lot too early,” Latham said. “They’re making more and more about merchandise every single year.”

Latham isn’t alone. According to a study conducted by RichRelevance, a large retailer personalization resource, 71 percent of the 1,000 study participants are either “annoyed” or “very annoyed” by Christmas creeping.

“I think it’s always been commercialized, but it’s getting worse every year,” Latham said.

Matt Chance, freshman criminal justice major, has mixed feelings about Christmas creeping.

“I like it, but at times I don’t because it’s hard to get gifts. I think they’re too overpriced when they come out too early,” Chance said.

While big name retailers like Walmart and Costco inflated large snowmen over Labor Day weekend, some local Treasure Valley businesses refuse to join the Christmas creeping trend.

According to Art Gregory, communications and marketing director at Zamzows, the company doesn’t believe in rushing the season.

“Jim Zamzow calls it over solicitation. This is like when you sign up for somebody’s email updates and they send you two or three email updates every day,” Gregory said. “Not only that, but between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you’ve got a month right there. (There’s) plenty of time to buy anything you need for Christmas.”

Zamzows won’t start selling Christmas merchandise until Black Friday.

“Philosophically, it’s just a little early to be buying Christmas things,” Gregory said. “Each store has their own strategy for doing things. In many cases, certain businesses (have) up to 80 percent of their annual sales made during  Christmas.”

Although it may seem odd to trick-or-treat while preparing to deck the halls, the option to shop early for Christmas can be a good thing for some.

“There’s only so much time that people have, particularly during the holiday season when it gets busy. As a student, winter final exams are right before Christmas,” Gregory said. “If you had a little extra time to do your shopping, would that be such a bad thing? The answer is probably no.”

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Opal Witherspoon

This last Thursday night (Oct. 16), I went to the wonderful Boise Idaho Film Festival where they showed a lineup of short films and a wonderful movie called “Chip and Bernie’s Zomance.” I must say, I was deeply saddened to read the review that your newspaper published online about the film. I felt that the review was uncalled for and insulting to a funny film that the audience was laughing at when the actors first got on screen.

Mr. Murena was kind enough to do a Q&A with the audience and then he also gave out DVDs to the audience. He was a most pleasant man and there was a little boy in the audience that absolutely loved his film and past work. I saw Mr. Murena take a photo with the child and talk about old movies with him before and after the film for a long time. You should have seen that dear little boy’s smiling face.

The film was most enjoyable and it never once made fun of homosexuality or having a disability. The film embraced both of those subjects, making a main character a hero who was both homosexual and having a disability. I feel the reviewer did not understand filmmaking at all; if he was a fan of Abbott and Costello, he could see the brilliance behind this film. The physical comedy, one-liners and storyline was the best in that days’ lineup.

I have to say that I will not be reading your articles again after a shameless attack on such a wonderful film. Will it win an Academy Award? No, but it won my heart and the rest of the audience besides your writer of that cruel article.

I am ashamed to be a loyal fan of your website when you give zero care to the work that is shown in our state. Mr. Murena mentioned how sweet the people of Boise are and I hope he does not read your review after how much he enjoyed our town. I hope my words do not come across as too harsh, but I could not hold my tongue after reading the review.

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After starting the season 3-1-2, the Broncos have struggles in their past seven games. The team is currently 4-6-3.

Women’s Golf

Women’s golf was able to end their fall season in a dramatic fashion.

While in Hawaii at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational, the team finished second overall.

Broncos Genevieve Ling and Samantha Martin finished third and fourth as individuals respectively.

The team will now take a four month break before returning to action at the Juli Inkster Spartan Invitational on Feb. 23. 

Men’s Tennis

Boise State’s men’s tennis team will continue their fall season with a trip down to Las Vegas this coming weekend.

The team will be competing in the Larry Easley Memorial Classic in a tuneup meet for the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships.

The tournament will run from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

Boise State had no trouble dispatching the Rebels earlier this month at the ITA Mountain Regional.

Swimming and Diving

Boise State’s swimming and diving teams are on the road to a repeat of their MW Championship continues with a trip to Corvallis, Oregon on Halloween night.

The Broncos will attempt to beat Pac-12 foe Oregon State to extend their streak of wins over the Pac-12.

Boise State defeated Utah, 156.5-143.5 earlier this month on Oct. 8.

Women’s Soccer

After spending the past month struggling in the MW, head coach Jim Thomas was finally able to get the team back on track this past weekend.

The Broncos shut out both Nevada and UNLV in 2-0 wins on Oct. 24 and 26.

With those wins, Boise State sits in sixth place in the MW heading into their final game against Utah State on Halloween night.

If the Broncos can notch a win over the Aggies, Boise State would qualify for the MW Championship Tournament to be held in San Diego, Nov. 4-8.

Women’s Volleyball

The Boise State women’s volleyball team dropped two games during the past weekend’s road trip.

The Broncos were first swept by Colorado State on Oct. 23 and then lost a 3-2 match to Wyoming on
Oct. 25.

Colorado State is undefeated in conference play this season.

The two losses dropped the Broncos to tied for sixth with Air Force and Utah State in the MW.

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Although most Boise State students may primarily think of the prowler as the quintessence of spooky, there is a plethora of paranormal activity going on behind closed curtains in Boise.

According to Marie Cuff, executive director of the International Paranormal Reporting Group, there have been several different paranormal activities this year in Boise which have led  to a number of local investigations.

“The more well-known would be the Old Idaho Penitentiary, the Egyptian Theater, Hannifin’s Cigar Shop, the Boise Little Theater and of course, the Communication Building on the Boise State University campus,” Cuff said.

According to Cuff, many of these visits come in the form of small noises like “footsteps, voices, shadows, music playing”.

These signs can often go unnoticed during the daytime because buildings more foodtraffic and noise while the sun is up. This is why Cuff feels that people link spirits to the night time.

“If a location is really haunted, it will be just as haunted during the day as it is at night. It just may be more noticeable at night when things are quieter,” Cuff said.

Out of their 615 recorder cases, the International Paranormal Reporting Group has investigated the Idaho Penitentiary twice in 2014. During their investigation on March 22, volunteers reported seeing shadow play, being touched and viewing  full figure apparitions.

Things heated up during their second visit on June 20.

During their most recent visit, members got video of a chain rattling back and forth and  of several loud bangs being made on the large metal door that led to the execution room.

“I think there’s definitely some spirits [in Boise], more along the river and the cemeteries,” said Darby Kenyon, sophomore environmental studies major.

Kenyon feels that Morris Hill Cemetery is  particularly haunted, as well as the 7 floor of the Towers Dorms.

“We had a ghost there last year… Almost everyone on our floor experienced the ghost because this girl jumped out a window a few years ago and committed suicide,” Kenyon said.

Kenyon would often hear the sound of someone on the roof though there isn’t roof access and sounds resembling someone using a staircase.

Students interested in learning about more paranormal events or more investigation by the International Paranormal Reporting Group, can visit their website.

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Sports & Rec Editor Nate Lowery

The Lowery Lowdown is a comprehensive sports column written by Sports & Rec editor Nate Lowery.

Last Friday’s contest against BYU proved why the Cougars are Boise State’s chief rival in football.

The Broncos could potentially see another rival forming to the south in Colorado State.

With the restructured MW ending Boise State’s annual series against historic rivals Fresno State and Nevada and the Idaho rivalry being dead since 2010, Bronco fans are deprived of the breadth of tradition schools such as Notre Dame and Alabama have in rivalry match ups.

Since Jim McElwain, Nick Saban’s former offensive coordinator at Alabama during two of the Crimson Tide’s national championship seasons, took over as the head coach in Fort Collins, the Rams have seen rapid growth in the program.

Since 2012, Colorado State has improved with each passing season. Currently, the Rams are 7-1 and just on the outskirts of a Top 25 ranking. If Boise State loses at all this season, and the Rams continue their five-game win streak, the Broncos will fold to Colorado State for the second annual MW Conference Championship Game.

McElwain’s SEC swagger, coupled with an annual matchup between the two schools, could see the Boise State-Colorado State games turn into a regular skirmish.

Despite only five games against BYU, Boise State was able to develop a rivalry with the Cougars for two reasons: geographic proximity and equal level of talent.

Boise State-Colorado rivalry shares both of those elements as well.

Only 11 hours of asphalt separate the two campuses. McElwain has steadily increased the Ram’s appeal to recruits as well, increasing the talent level.

Albertsons Stadium was able to draw a crowd of 34,910 fans for this year’s showdown between the schools earlier this year. Expect that number to be higher in 2016.

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With the thrill of anonymity that comes with dressing up on Halloween, students are reminded to proceed with caution and be respectful of other cultures.

Campus Security and the Boise Police Department will have their normal crew looking out suspicious behavior.

Richard Rogers of the Boise Police Department suggests that students be smart and practice good taste on Halloween night.

“Dressing up like the prowler is a way to get in trouble,” Rogers said. “It’s not funny.”

Dressing like the prowler will likely get students stopped and questioned.

Keeping that in mind, some students feel the highly awaited festivities should be celebrated respectfully. One of the most problematic practices of Halloween is cultural appropriation which is the adoption or theft of icons, rituals and aesthetic standards from one culture by another.

“Being reduced to a costume that somebody puts on for a night, gets drunk, has fun and then takes off and forgets—that’s terrible,” said Andrew Geske, student support coordinator for Multicultural Student Services. “The people who embody that culture have to live it every day and it never goes away, but those attitudes stay with them forever.”

Cultural appropriation runs rampant when it comes to costumes. Although it can be tempting to throw on an Indian chief headdress or Pocahontas dress, some believe it’s inappropriate.

Annaliese Armstrong, a junior social work major, is not a fan of cultural appropriation on Halloween.

“To so blatantly use people’s culture as something funny or something to be joked about, something to be torn apart by only using parts of it, like using only the feathers and maybe the face paint and then adding a short skirt. Rather than embracing the culture—it’s using somebody else’s beliefs as a prop,” Armstrong said.

According to Geske, using meaningful artifacts from one culture as a prop for a costume on Halloween night takes away the significance of that particular artifact.

However, Geske did have some advice for the people who are still brainstorming costume ideas.

“You can dress as people from another culture without being completely offensive. If you want to dress as Jay-Z and Beyoncé, OK; they’ve worn some pretty iconic outfits together. Get somebody to wear those outfits with you but don’t paint your face brown or black,” Geske said.

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With green face paint, prosthetic noses, rusty cauldrons and black hats, those dressing as witches this year will be instantly recognizable as classic Halloween villains. Amidst the inevitable hoard of Elsa and Spiderman costumes, witches will be right at home on the sidewalks of Boise this Halloween night.

But the real witches of Boise are quite different in mannerism and appearance. While the stereotypical witches might traverse the streets and stores of Boise  during a certain season of the year, other witches reside in Boise and practice their craft  on a daily basis.

“People think that we are uneducated and always think of us as old devil worshippers,” said Woventear, leader of the Treasure Valley Witches Gathering and owner of the magically inclined store, Bella’s Grove. “The word witch means healer, and that’s what we do. We heal the Earth, people, animals and plants.”

Woventear doesn’t label herself as Wiccan and doesn’t believe in some of the main teachings of the Wicca faith. She instead calls herself a shamanistic witch and pagan.

“Wicca as a religion is fairly young, and I would say that I am older than the Wiccan religion,”
Woventear said.

She stressed that her main goals as a witch are to nurture the earth, live green and honor the nature gods and goddesses that she
holds dear.

“We are one with the universe,” Woventear said. “We are all the elements: water, fire, earth and air. We try to partner with them as much as possible.”

Comparing her faith to the community work of Christianity, Woventear explained that her group raises money to help pay the rent of those in need and cares for troubled pets in the Treasure Valley area. Just like many other religious groups, Woventear has set up a food bank and lending library for members of her community in the Treasure Valley.

Woventear believes in the ability to facilitate the  change in energy around a person. This means, in basic terms, the usage of spells, manifestations and visions.

“As long as you follow the rules and the laws of the universe and accept responsibility for what you do, then you should be able to do whatever you like,” Woventear said.

According to Woventear, this might include spells, hexes and curses based on the belief system of individual witches.

Past Boise State business major and current College of Western Idaho education major, Ryan Emry, didn’t realize that witches did, in fact, live in Boise. Upon first hearing the term “witch”, he thought of costumed Halloween witches.

“I have heard of Wiccans and pagans, but don’t know much about their practices,” Emry said. “If I were to guess, they are very connected with nature and use spells and rituals for praying and spiritual purposes.”

Emry’s assumptions aren’t too far off, though the belief systems of most witches are much more complex than a general assumption might shape them to be.

Woventear personally teaches a variety of topics to her groups and classes, including the different mechanics of spell work, the laws of the universe and   quantum physics, and the concept of nonlinear time.

“You can be a witch and not Wiccan, and you can be Wiccan and not a witch. It’s very extensive,”
Woventear said.

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Arbiter Graphic

“Honestly, I have no idea yet. It’s probably gonna be a telletubby.” – Renee Perez, freshman engineering major.

“I’m dressing up as StarLord because he’s a super chill guy. I’m actually going to make his mask.” – Jake Dudley, junior accounting major.

“Flint Lockwood from ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.’ Because, why not?” – Benjamin Broderick, junior anthropology major.

“A cow with a gag that says ‘Got free speech?’ to make a mockery of the ag gag bill that was passed.” – Lauren Bramwell, senior communication and political science major.

“A nurse because scrubs are super comfortable.” – Baylee Proctor, senior music education and flute performance major.

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The doorbell ringing isn’t necessarily the spookiest Halloween sound, but your pets may beg to differ.

Kendall Schreiner, a representative for the Idaho Humane Society at the Petsmart on Milwaukee Street, urges students to make a special effort to ensure their pets feel safe as neighborhood kids make rounds asking for candy.

Whether you’re taking your dogs out on Halloween or staying in, Schreiner offered some tips for keeping them safe.

“Set them up with a chew toy in a comfy room. Get them some exercise beforehand,” she said. “If you’re going to be out walking your dog at night, make sure they have the same reflection gear you’d want your children to have.”

Boise State kineseology instructor Laura Petranek has two mutts. This year, she might be taking extra precautions to make her dogs feel safe because she won’t be home for the holiday.

“The stressor for them would be the ringing of the doorbell,” she said.

Since she lives in a trick-or-treat-prevalent neighborhood, she is a little concerned about how her dogs will react to the doorbell ringing while she’s gone.

Larger fears for pets include urban myths suggesting that during Halloween, black cats fall prey to the sacrificial rituals of obscure, cult-like groups. While Schreiner hasn’t heard any firsthand accounts confirming miscreants torturing black cats, she strongly encourages students to keep their cats inside on Halloween night.

“(Rumors) are definitely a good excuse as any, whether it’s a wives’ tale or not,” Schreiner said. “I’ve heard of people stealing black cats, taking them home or out of their neighborhood. That’s our concern on that—they’re getting taken away from their home environment.

“You want to keep them inside and preoccupied. Black cats are a giant attraction on Halloween,” she said.

Halloween isn’t much of a concern for electrical and computer engineering junior Zac Nickle, since his three cats are inside cats anyway.

“One of them freaks out really heavily, so we make sure she has confined spaces like closets and drawers,” Nickle said. “The other ones are pretty low maintenance so they just will normally hang out and watch.”

For more suggestions on ways to keep your pets safe this Halloween, go to the Idaho Humane Society’s website for a comprehensive list at idahohumanesociety.org.

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Your heart throbs in your ears; muffling moans of the undead creep through their pounding on the walls of your shelter. You hear the wood creak; defenses start to break down and you cling to your only weapon as you wait for the horde to overtake you.

When the walls come down, your last thought—I wish I had prepared for this—runs through your head.

If that actually happened, what would you do?

“I have type 1 diabetes. I always say I’ll just become a zombie because I’m going to die anyway,” said Nichole Di Dio, an MBA student. “If I had a plan, I would probably head to whatever insulin producing rDNA facility there is and hopefully there are still people there creating the medicine.”

While battling her way to this facility, Di Dio plans to fight her way without firepower.

“No guns, because it would make too much noise, nothing that would have to be charged,” Di Dio said. “I would have to look for a fire axe, definitely an axe. That would be my weapon of choice; an axe if I could find one.”

Di Dio takes comfort in thinking a case of mutated zombie attacks will never occur.

If it did, the government is prepared for an invasion of the undead.

“I could potentially see an outbreak of some disease, but I don’t think people would actually die and then come back. I don’t think that’s a possible thing—or at least not come back the way they’re shown in the movies,” Di Dio said.

Counter-Zombie Dominance, referred to as CONPLAN 8888 was not designed as a joke. It is a disaster plan.

“A zombie outbreak can affect thousands of individual healthy humans in a span of minutes,” CONPLAN states.

The CONPLAN is part of the Pentagon’s training and covers senarios from the traditional slow-moving movie zombie to space zombies. The plan lists several phases for the military in the case of a zombie apocalypse.

“It’s important to note that zombies are not cognizant life-forms. As such, they cannot be deterred or reasoned with in any way,” CONPLAN states.

The plan is separated into five phases.

Phase One: Deter

Phase Two: Seize

Phase Three: Dominate

Phase Four: Stabilize

Phase Five: Restore Civil Authority

CONPLAN was designed as a training exercise, despite the Pentagon does not believe a zombie apocalypse would happen, but there is value to the plan. The remainder of the plan is still under construction and will continue to change.

“We posted this plan because we feel it is a very enjoyable way to train new planners and boost retention of critical knowledge,” states the CONPLAN disclaimer.

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Popobawa, which means “bat wing” in Swahili, is an evil spirit from the Tanzanian island of Pemba that has shapeshifting abilities. It has the ability to change between human and an animal but is usually a bat, as the name suggests. The Popobawa is a nocturnal monster that doesn’t discriminate against its victims, attacking women, men and even children. It is believed that it likes to take form of a one eyed bat who has tendencies to anally rape adults, often while they sleep.

Joseph Willert, a freshman studying physics thinks that although it’s a pretty scary creature, Popobawa is interesting because it’s different and captures “actual human fears and emotions.”


Jorogumo, also knows as the “whore spider,” is a creature derived from Japanese folklore. According to the legend, Jorogumo is a spider that is gains the power to turn into a beautiful woman when it turns 400 years old.

Jorogumo then uses its beauty and singing voice to seduce men. As soon as men fall for her, she wraps them up in a spider web and devours them as her next meal.

“I think it’s interesting that stories like that have become a popular motive and exist in almost every culture,” said Nils Kofoed, biology major. “Like, in Native American culture, they also have a deer woman, who would seduce men into sleeping with them and trample them to death afterwards.”

El Silbon

El Silbon, or “the man who whistles”, is a tall, skinny man with physical deformities and a bag on his back. The Venezuelan legend says that, after a failed hunting trip, a spoiled boy killed his father and ate his organs instead. His mother and grandfather punished him by making their dogs bite off his ankles and forcing him carry his father’s bones for the rest of his life.

One version of the story tells that El Silbon crashes  parties and kills those who are indulging. Be careful at that Halloween party! 

Kelly Larkin, a sophomore radiology major felt a little bit disturbed at this mythical figure. “That is so intense. It is definitely more intimidating than usual monsters,” Larkin said.

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Despite the current successes of the Broncos programs and the passage of time, these moments in Boise State athletics history still leave fans with a twinge of fear.

1984 Governor’s Trophy

While few Boise State fans pay any attention to the formal rivalry with Idaho today, the Vandals can still hold onto the 1984 matchup between the two schools.

With the Broncos leading the all-time series 8-4-1, Boise State seemed assured to continue that streak on The Blue.

However, Idaho would end up achieving a shutout over the Broncos 37-0 in what still stands as one of the worst home losses in Boise State history.

Brotzman missed two

Score-wise, this isn’t the worst loss in Boise State history, but it’s hard to argue that this was not the most devastating defeat the Broncos have suffered this century.

On the verge of their second straight BCS berth, and third in five years, the Broncos seemed poised to beat Nevada. Instead, Colin Kaepernick led the Wolf Pack from a 17-point deficit at halftime for an overtime win. Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman missed a field goal at the end of regulation, and then another one in overtime.

The Broncos fell from their No. 3 national ranking down to No. 11 and were relegated to the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl. Since then, Boise State has never been ranked higher than No. 5 nationally.

Goodale’s turn

Then freshman kicker Dan Goodale built off of Brotzman’s nightmare the following season. With the Broncos ranked fifth in the nation and in the conversation for going to a BCS bowl, a showdown against TCU seemed like the next step in a dream season.

The Horned Frogs’ quarterback Casey Pachall was able to outduel Kellen Moore with five touchdowns to Moore’s two.

Third-string running back Drew Wright fumbled the ball with the Broncos in scoring position, allowing Pachall to drive TCU downfield and go up 36-35 with 55 seconds left.

Moore managed to get the Broncos in scoring position, but Goodale’s 39-yard field goal attempt sailed right as time expired.

The loss was Boise State’s first on The Blue in 35 games and Moore’s only loss in Boise.

December 2013

Last December is a month Boise State fans likely wish to forget.

On Dec. 6, long time football coach Chris Petersen, the driving force behind the Broncos’ rise to the national level, quietly left Boise to take the head coach position at the University of Washington.

In Petersen’s absence, interim coach Bob Gregory led the Broncos to Hawaii for the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

There, starting quarterback Joe Southwick was sent home in disgrace after alledgedly urinating off of a hotel balcony. From there, Boise State’s trip to Hawaii spiraled downward.

Ball control issues led to a 38-23 Oregon State route that dropped the Broncos to 8-5 to finish the season.

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Aries- Today is the day to find love. Turn to the person that you sit next to in class and repeat these words: “Would you like to have some of the spaghetti I stuffed in my pocket?”

Taurus- You will finally give in and break your oath to live a healthier life. Start first by visiting your nearest Panda Express and asking for orange chicken, nothing more. Your sacrifice to the stars will be duly noted, resulting in future riches.

Gemini- Despite your best efforts to be a well-rounded person, you are stretching yourself too thin. The best course of action you can take is to follow around one person for the rest of the week. Don’t let them get more than five feet away from you.

Cancer- The stars are in your favor today. Do you have some sort of test today? Yes? Perfect! Forget everything you did to study for the test. Instead, go in and write the first word you think of.

Leo- It’s time to put an end to your abrasive personality. Instead of arguing and becoming frustrated with someone, give them a hug. While they are distracted by your sudden display of affection, put a “kick me” sign on their back.

Virgo- You are going to break down into tears today. It could be from watching the latest episode of “The Bachelor,” or maybe because you didn’t get to sit next to your crush in class. Get over it and grab some tissues.

Libra- Despite feeling shy, today you will be overcome by a bout of bravery. Put your big boy pants on and attempt to steal the “B” in front of the Admin Building. Your “friends” will try to stop you, but you must have faith in yourself.

Scorpio- Your procrastination and fear of professing your love finally catches up to you. Instead of taking charge of your life, you watch helplessly as that random person in the SUB swoops in and steals your bae.

Sagittarius- You will struggle to communicate with people today. While others are able to carry out eloquent conversations, you will be reverted to nothing more than a bumbling mess that wanders out on the Blue and moo—all night long.

Capricorn- Is all of the money that you spend on cosmetics and hair products really worth it, I mean really? Instead of wasting time and money on your appearance, forgo showering for a week to revitalize your body.

Aquarius- Nature is calling: Are you going to answer the call? It is time for you to walk out on civilized life and go on a three-day vision quest out in the middle of the woods. Once you reach Reno, you may return to civilized life.

Pisces- Childhood dreams are a great way to live. Ditch that big boy suit and those shiny shoes and get back into that Spiderman onesie you still have in your closet. At first people will stare, but eventually they will join you and revolutionize the world. Welcome to the new age.

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Courtesy Maria Shimel

Online Testing Center

It’s the time of the semester when students begin to be stretched to their limits.  To give you an edge in these upcoming weeks, I researched some ways to help improve your memory.  The first trick is to make sure you get plenty of sleep.  I know that seems obvious, but even a short nap helps improve memory recall and assists your brain in consolidating the memories. You should also include regular exercise in your memory building activities; after taking a 20 minute walk, brain scans show increased mental activity—your mind will be sharper and your memory will be more alert.  A third trick that is out of the box is to increase your consumption of blueberries.  Not only are blueberries already proven to be great for your diet but studies also show that regular consumption of blueberries strengthens the existing connections in your brain and are good for longterm memories.  Last but not least, studies have shown that the use of regular meditation also helps to improve memory recall and the ability to concentrate.  Hopefully any combination of these scientifically tested tips will give you the push you need to ace your next exam!

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For the handful of cyclists that have been struck by motorized vehicles this semester, Boise State may not feel too bike-friendly. But signs around campus indicate otherwise, regardless of intermittent collisions.

Cycle Learning Center  (CLC) coordinator Brian Ohlen explained campuses are designated bike-friendly by an external organization, the League of American Bicyclists. Campuses have to apply for the title.

According to Ohlen, Boise State applied in 2011 and the title lasts through 2015.

“It’s pretty rigorous,” Ohlen said about the application.

He explained that it addresses what the League of American Bicyclists call the Five E’s: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation.

According to the league’s website, engineering means “creating safe and convenient places to ride and park,” and enforcement means “ensuring safe roads for all users.” Boise State’s implementation of new bike racks, covered parking, bike lanes and sharrows help meet these

Bicycle programs supervisor Stephen Ritter explained that sharrows are arrows without the stem painted on the road which indicate to motorists and cyclists that it’s safe for cyclists to take the lane.

“Those are on campus on Theatre Lane and Brady Street,” he said.

Education means “giving people of all ages and abilities the skills and confidence to ride,” the League of American Bicyclists explains, and encouragement means “creating a strong bike culture that welcomes and celebrates bicycling.”

Services offered by the CLC offer educational and encouraging experiences for campus cyclists.

“The Cycle Learning Center is a campus-based service focused on developing healthy and sustainable lifestyles by promoting the use of bicycles and multi-modal transportation options,” The CLC’s website states. “The CLC strives to create a hands-on learning environment that empowers campus users to explore sustainable transportation through educational programming, retail sales and services.”

The last “E” is evaluation, or, as the league’s website describes, “planning for bicycling as a safe and viable transportation option.” Boise State’s “Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Master Plan” details campus efforts to implement the infrastructure necessary to meet this requirement.

Marketing junior Will Driml commutes to campus via his bicycle. He feels Boise State is, overall, bike-friendly.

“The only problem is between the SUB and Lincoln because people just drive through there,” he said. He explained he has to be extra careful in this area but otherwise has an easy enough time traversing campus.

According to Ritter, the application to a bike-friendly campus doesn’t directly take into consideration vehicle-bicycle collisions.

Instead, it indirectly addresses this threat to cyclists “through education systems and structure … and anything we do to reduce the probability of things like that happening,” he said.

The Arbiter asked Ritter why collision statistics aren’t required by the application.

“All I can think of is that those numbers would be, for one, easy to skew,” he said. “And for two, you would have to do them per capita to get a real representation so my guess is just that it would be hard to set the parameters like that for that survey.”

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Fireball flinging plumbers dash after angry mushrooms and swirling shells, while a green tunic-clad hero battles for golden fragments of legendary power.  In the same universe, young heroes capture elemental monsters in red and white orbs and a pink ball of air and gusto swallows enemies whole.

All of these iconic characters, their quirks in tow, make up the basis for Nintendo’s continuing success.

“It’s silly to say out loud, but when I think of Nintendo, I typically think of plain and simple fun,” said linguistics junior Maxwell Jahner. “Fun and an incredible amount of polish.”

Jahner explained that, in contrast with other first-person-shooter-centered console games, Nintendo tends to lean toward character-driven content.  Whether it is “Mario Golf,” “Super Mario Sunshine” or a standard Mario platformer game, Nintendo draws appeal from its cast of lovable characters while still making their games superior to other takes on platformers or other Mario monopolies.

Jahner’s favorite Nintendo character is Kirby.

“He’s well-suited to a variety of different games given that his primary trait is he’s an adorable blank slate,” Jahner said. “He can be a swordsman, a ninja or a ball of yarn and it all suits him equally well.”

With the recent release of “Super Smash Bros” for the 3DS and the forthcoming release of the Wii U version of the new “Smash Bros,” many gamers are jumping to Nintendo’s newest consoles with their favorite heroes.

In addition, Pokémon’s newest installments are remakes of old games, meaning old content and adventures will be revamped and recreated with new graphics in the form of “Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby.”  Umpqua Community College mathematics junior Jeremiah Fallin plans to purchase one of the Hoenn region remakes.

“I know that I have bought every new Pokémon game that has come out because of nostalgia, and, in my opinion, some of them have been good and some have been not as good,” Fallin said.

Fallin explained that while some argue that Nintendo is for children, there are many facets within the company’s games that appeal to a variety of  age groups. This is why he was recently hooked into the Fire Emblem series, just as many children are lulled into Mario party games.

Jahner acknowledged that Nintendo does tend to aim its initial appeal to younger audiences, allowing these gamers plenty of time to forge strong connections with Link and Pikachu until they are primed for “Call of Duty.”

“Those of us who carry nostalgia for Nintendo’s pantheon of memorable characters did not develop such feelings in a moment, but over many years of repeated positive encounters,” Jahner said.  “Someone just jumping into gaming today has just as much opportunity to fall in love with them in the same way as us if they’re looking in the right places.”

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The Black and Blue game is more then just a game. It serves as a charity event.
Fructoso Basaldua
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Over the course of a collegiate season there are certain games that mean more than others.
Marquee matchups are those that, as an athlete and a fan, you can’t help but circle on your

In some cases, these games have a lasting significance long after the final horn is blown. Boise State vs. Idaho is one of those games.

The Boise State men’s hockey club is set to face off against the University of Idaho men’s hockey club in the fourth annual Black and Blue rivalry game at CenturyLink Arena on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.

All proceeds of the event go to Metro Meals on Wheels, a local nonprofit which supplies meals to the elderly in Ada County.

The event allows players to benefit their community while also competing in such a storied in-state rivalry. Together the clubs have raised around $60,000 in the past three years.

Fans and alumni can experience a top-notch premier hockey game live in the heart of the Treasure Valley.

Boise State is coming off one of its best seasons to date following their 2013-2014 campaign.

The Broncos finished last season ranked seventh out of 44 teams in the western region of the American Collegiate Hockey Association and hope to continue the trend this year.

This season the Broncos are currently 7-1 while the Vandals are 0-2.

Free tickets are available for Boise State students and staff, while supplies last, at the Boise State Recreation Center.

The public can purchase tickets at CenturyLink Arena for $20 on the day of the event, or in advance by calling (208) 972-1819.

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Much like renting a house together for the first time, students should think twice before joining a fantasy football league with their best friend.

The idea may seem great at the time, but tensions always arise when someone starts to lose.

“No one likes to lose, but everyone wants to make fun of the guy who did lose,” said Jeremy Hudson, sophomore business major. “I’ve definitely had some friends who have gotten into it over trash talk. But we’re all bros. They’re pissed off for a few days and then the next week starts and they forget all about it.”

Hudson mostly plays with friends from high school. For him it’s a way of staying connected.

“We’ve all had spats but we’ve never had anything that went beyond that,” he said. “I think if fantasy football can ruin your friendship permanently, you’re probably not that good of friends.”

In some leagues, however, even the strongest bonds of friendship are tested.

“I think it’s more likely that friendships will by ruined (by fantasy football) if money is involved,” said Trent Waters, senior English major. “I know I’ve lost a friend like that. People get really serious when there’s money on the line.”

According to him, these leagues are much more competitive.

“Even if it’s only five or ten dollars no one wants to get ripped off—especially if you earned it by winning or you feel like someone is cheating,” he said.

Cheating usually occurs if two players collaborate against the rest of the league. One player realizes he can’t come back from a crummy season and decides to trade his best players to another fantasy owner.

“I’ve never had any trouble other than that. It’s fun to compete but it’s nothing to get upset over,” he said.

Relationships aren’t always threatened when fantasy football is introduced.

Veronica Vanzeipel, fifth grade teacher, has been playing fantasy football with her husband the last three years.

“We actually are unique in that we weren’t actually interested in football, either of us, until we both started becoming interested at the same time so we learned it together,” she said. “That’s why we joined (a league) together.”

Vanzeipel’s at the top of her league and although some minor trash-talking occurs between her and her husband, she claims their relationship is still as strong as ever.

“I think it brings us together not so much that I feel closer because of it, but I know that if only one of us were doing it we would have to spend more time apart,” Vanzeipel said.

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Ben Duran, a senior political science major, is affected by SAD, or seasonal affective disorder every year.

“To feel suffocated by the gray clouds, to feel my vitality drained from me until I see the sun again, these things are hard enough without knowing that those I care about most are also suffering,” Duran wrote in an email to The Arbiter. “Mood swings, fatigue, and an undercurrent of depression and anxiety paint my experience with SAD.”

Duran is not alone in his struggle. SAD affects 5 to 13 percent of the nation’s population according to the Bates College Health Center.

It is most prevalent between the ages of 18 and 30 and is diagnosed the same way as depression. Changes in dopamine, serotonin, as well as melatonin levels are all implicated in a diagnosis of SAD.

People with SAD suffer harsh symptoms of depression, insomnia and a lack of appetite. Fortunately for Duran as well as others who have been diagnosed with SAD, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Located on the second floor of the Norco Building by the check-in office to University Health Services is a light box that mimics outdoor light.

“Boise gets hit pretty hard every winter with an inversion that blocks the sun for weeks at a time,” Duran wrote. “Getting exposed to a light box just makes these feelings slip away.”

Even though she is not diagnosed with SAD, Leila Issa, a freshman psychology major, can feel the effects of the darker weather on
her mood.

“It makes me not feel good and I can’t focus if I’m not feeling good,” Issa said.

Health Services also provides literature on the function of light boxes so students can read up on the benefits and the science behind phototherapy.

“I think this is a good time of year to consider using one; with the time changes and the days getting shorter, we don’t see as much daylight,” said Dr. Karla West, director of Counseling Services.

According to West, Counseling Services decided to put a light box in the waiting room this last year in order for students to become more familiar with the concept of phototherapy.

Counseling Services also keeps a light box in its Oasis Room, which is a relaxation room that students can request to use. Counseling Services has been using these lights for years and are happy to accommodate requests from students to use one.

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Boise State professor Cheryl Jorcyk is fighting cancer one step at a time. Jorcyk doesn’t have cancer herself–she’s researching it.

This professor of biological sciences is focusing on breast cancer research in her lab this October.

“People don’t die from having a tumor in their breasts because you can usually remove that surgically,” Jorcyk said. “But those cells in the tumor can break free and metastasize through the blood stream or the lymphatic system and spread to some other place in the body, like the lungs, the liver, the brain or the bone.”

The spread of these tumor cells is what kills people.

According to Jorcyk, her research takes a deeper look at why these cells are so damaging.

Jorcyk and her team study one protein in particular. The protein, oncostatin m or OSM, is made by the immune system naturally and helps with inflammation. But a surplus of OSM can be deadly.

There are two ways to develop a surplus of OSM in the system.

The first, according to Jorcyk, is too much OSM in the system caused by immune cells attacking a tumor. In this process the tumor reprograms the immune cells and helps the tumor metastasize.

“In some cases the tumor cell can make the OSM themselves, and then in response to that protein being outside the cell and being in that tumor environment, the tumor cells start taking on characteristics that allow them to metastasize,” Jorcyk said.

Jorcyk has been researching at Boise State for the last 17 years and started working with OSM 14 years ago. She said the progress she’s made couldn’t have been done without the help from her team.

Her greatest discovery while researching OSM was confirming her hypothesis in 2012.

“(We) confirmed in a living model animal, using a mouse model for human breast cancer, and showed that OSM is really important for breast cancer metastasis,” Jorcyk said. “When we actually confirmed our hypothesis in a mouse, that was huge.”

Jorcyk’s and other professors’ research is making big waves when it comes to changing the world of cancer research.

Currently, professors are studying different ways to treat cancer more effectively, develop techniques for early cancer detection, develop better drugs and examine the make up of cancer DNA.

“I think that’s so cool (Boise State) is one step closer to curing cancer,” said Mareesa Rule, freshman business and marketing major.

Rule thinks the research being done is more than just a good thing.

“It’s beyond a good thing,” Rule said. “Curing something that affects so many people, that’s amazing.”

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With every step she has taken in her career, Boise State adjunct professor Dana Hathaway has worked to improve the lives of others. The next step she takes, however, may leave her outside the front doors of
Boise State.

Founder of a new organization on campus, Students Against Sweatshops, Hathaway plans to establish a union for adjunct faculty.

This is a movement which has already started across the country. In universities in Washington D.C., Virginia and Minnesota, adjunct professors are unionizing to help overcome an exploitation of professor labor.

Hathaway is in her first semester at Boise State. Even so, it’s hard to imagine her being around for another after being so outspoken.

“It’s scary because yeah, you might lose your job, but what else do you do?” she said. “Do you just continue with it?”

According to collegefactual.com, the average percentage of adjunct faculty in the U.S. is 48 percent. At Boise State, it’s 46 percent.

These workers receive low pay, no benefits and don’t know what classes they’re teaching until a few weeks before the semester begins—if they get any at all. In this way, Hathaway feels adjuncts are treated as contingent, disposable employees.

At Boise State, adjunct faculty receive $2,800 per course for the semester, which works out to just over $20,000 if they teach the maximum amount of courses they’re allowed two semesters in a year.

Tenured Boise State faculty, however, make $65,000 to $70,000 each year and full-time lecturers make $38,000.

“We oftentimes talk about labor exploitation in various fields and various countries around the world,” Hathaway said. “Of course, the adjunct problem, as it’s been referred to, isn’t on the same scale as something like a mining camp or a forest sweatshop in Thailand, but it’s certainly something that needs to be addressed and it’s being addressed with this movement.”

The explanation

In an article published by the Boise Weekly in February of this year, Martin Schimpf, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Boise State, said the university hires adjuncts as a way to keep higher education accessible and deal with a growing student

“As we grow, we’ve brought on more adjuncts,” Schimpf said in the article. “That’s one of the benefits of living in a metropolitan area. We can hire those folks to open up a new section of a class … Adjuncts are the most economical way that we can add faculty for our students with the money we are given.”

Although it’s not required for an adjunct professor to have a Ph.D, master’s degree or even a teaching certificate, many do according to Hathaway.

She believes adjunct faculty lack a voice at Boise State.

“It’s not from lack of work, there’s courses to be taught, it’s not from lack of a degree… it’s really not a lack of experience either,” she said. “There are adjuncts that have been here for ten plus years teaching at the part-time level and many of us teach at the just below full-time level.”

She feels adjuncts are kept below full-time so the administration can avoid paying them a better wage and benefits, also to deny them the added job security that comes with tenure.

Susan Shadle, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, said full-time or tenured faculty often have more responsibilities. They make decisions about curriculum, programs they’re responsible for and the experiences students will have. This includes engaging students in internships, undergraduate research, mentoring students and steering them towards their careers.

“I think there are certain things we need to do as a community and that’s challenging for adjunct faculty to do because we’re not paying them to be a part of the community,” Shadle said.

Hathaway explained that adjuncts aren’t allowed to teach more than 11 credits per semester; she teaches 10 ½ now. She believes there are enough courses to go around that every adjunct professor can potentially teach 12 credits. However, this wouldn’t bode well for the university financially.

“If I were to be hired as a full-time lecturer, teaching one and a half more credits, my pay would double,” she said.

This would make it possible for her to receive benefits such as health and dental insurance for her as well as her two kids. It would even allow her to contribute towards a retirement fund.

The goal

What Hathaway hopes to accomplish by starting this union is to create awareness.

“I don’t think students, here especially, are aware that many of their professors qualify for food stamps,” she said. “I think if you go to college and you strive hard and you get a good job and you work nearly full time, you shouldn’t qualify for food stamps.”

This added awareness is also meant for faculty who don’t know this movement  is happening.

To her, the uncertainty of whether or not she’ll have a job next semester is an uncomfortable position to be in; it affects the quality of education she can give.

“I love being a teacher. I love it,” Hathaway said. “The thing is (this movement) is not just about us adjuncts being dissatisfied with our pay or the conditions under which we work with no benefits and no guarantee of classes next term.”

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The Boise State offense put a season high 55 points in the win over BYU.

Fans were taken back to the glory days of Boise State football Friday night, the days of Kellen Moore and company when the Bronco offense was virtually unstoppable.

The Broncos put up a whopping 55 points, the most on the season, against BYU in the win and showed Bronco nation that they still have a highly potent offense.

The Broncos had 637 yards of total offense, the second most on the season thus far.

‘Things are starting to click more because we have more guys involved,” offensive coordinator Mike Sanford said. “We’re in more of a rhythm because more people are touching the ball and that’s the biggest difference.”

The Broncos had nine players with a reception and six players carry the ball in the victory.

With the injury to Matt Miller, Boise State needed the other players to step up in a big way—and
they have.

The biggest one has been sophomore wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck who had a game and career high six catches for 148 yards and a touchdown.

“He is taking advantage of his opportunities,” head coach Bryan Harsin said. “He is showing some consistency at that position and if you get the ball to him, he is going to have a great chance of making a play.”

Speaking of career highs, senior quarterback Grant Hedrick threw for a career- high 410 yards and accounted for five touchdowns.

His 439 total yards are the sixth most in school history.

With his performance over the last three games, the Air Force game seems like a distant memory for everyone except Hedrick.

“I knew that wasn’t my best performance and I knew I had to prove that to myself,” Hedrick said. “This was personal for me.”

Finally, junior running back Jay Ajayi is living up to his self-proclaimed nickname “The Jay Train” as the running back steamrolled to 118 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.

“Jay is running the ball well,” Hedrick said. “It seems when he is running well, things are rolling for us offensively.”

So, what has been the key to this offensive turnaround for the Broncos?

“The preparation that we have been putting in at practice,” Ajayi said. “We are having the best practices we have had in a long time.”

Another factor for the Broncos has been the lack of turnovers. The Broncos have only turned the ball over twice in their last two games.

“When we take care of the football, we have a great chance of winning,” Harsin said.

The Broncos will now have a week off before they start the final month of the season with aspirations of finally bringing an outright Mountain West championship to The Blue.

“We are going to do everything we can to make it a November to remember,” Sanford said.

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Students have a safe secure place to park their bikes during the football games.

Boise State’s Cycle Learning Center hosts a Bike Corral at every home football game.

They tape off an area just for fans to park their bikes. During the games, people can leave their bikes there and feel secure knowing that their bikes are in a safe, monitored place.

“There is a lot of other bike parking around the stadium, but we are there,” said Phil Hobbs, Cycle Learning Center employee. “It’s corralled off. We’ve got people there the entire time. We’re watching the bikes basically. It’s pretty handy.”

Employees working the Bike Corral get there about four hours before the game starts, and are there for an hour after the game ends. If people don’t get their bikes in that time, the bikes end up back at the Cycle Learning Center.

“We’ve been doing it for at least two or three years and we’ve only ever had maybe three to five bikes that haven’t been picked up and ended up back here,” Hobbs said.

The Bike Corral is something that a lot of students don’t know about.

Boise State freshman Kailee Heikkila states that the Bike Corral can be very beneficial to students, and that she will be using it at the next home game.

“I don’t trust my lock, and with BSU games there are a lot more people because it is a locally known team,” Heikkila said. “There’s always a question in the back of my mind if my bike is going to be there when I walk out because I’ve known a couple people who have had their bikes stolen this year.”

The Bike Corral is completely free. Students who ride their bikes to home games can drop them off and know that their bike will be safe.

“People don’t have to worry about having to lock (their bikes) up all over the city and stuff like that,” said

Brant Habra, Cycle Learning Center employee. “It promotes people to ride their bikes here. I think it’s great; we get people to ride their bikes.”

The Cycle Learning Center will be continuing to have these services for the remainder of the season.