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What is the most creative holiday gift you have ever received?

”A lot. I think my parents really pay attention to the things that I’m interested in at the time, such as, I was getting really big into snowboarding and my dad bought me a bunch of snowboarding gear. I was interested in becoming a pilot, so my dad got me a chance to go fly an airplane, like a certificate-type thing…just stuff that relates to what I’m interested in, I guess.

- Brendon Smith, senior, kinesiology

“My parents got me a stand for a keyboard instead of getting me an actual keyboard that I asked for. I was super disappointed, but I got the keyboard for my birthday so it was okay.”

- Lauren Chaffey, sophomore, health science studies

How do you decorate for the holidays? 

“My house is kind of exploding with Christmas stuff. So we have the Christmas tree of course, and then my mom has a bunch of those ceramic houses that are Christmas-y so we have a whole little town set up. And Christmas lights inside and pretty much just spewing Christmas everywhere.”

- Samantha Cheney, junior, marketing and finance

“My roommates and I got a Christmas tree that’s about yea (two feet) big and that’s about the extent of holiday decorations around my house.”

- Connor Jones, junior, general business administration and human resource management

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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

Courtesy Cheyenne Perry

More than two years ago, the “A-Team” meant nothing more to Boise State students than the 80s show starring Mr. T.

Now campus has its own  A-Team.

Lacking a few explosions and military patches, the A-Team at Boise State differs from the famous Hollywood version.

Most notably, the Boise State A-Team has a different area of expertise.

The A-Team specializes in providing experience for students interested in the entertainment industry. Working closely with Boise State staff, the A-Team is a student organization that helps plan and promote events at the Taco Bell Arena.

The student organization’s name actually stands for the ‘Arena Team.’

Heather Hanks, promotions coordinator for Taco Bell Arena, created the student organization and assigned its name.

When Hanks graduated from Boise State and began working for the Taco Bell Arena in 2008, she noticed a serious lack of connection between campus and the Arena.

She asked herself, “Why aren’t we offering something to the students on campus?”

Though she began small—with only one intern—demand grew and motivated her to create
the A-Team.

Now approximately 25-30 students compose the A-Team, and Hanks predicts more to come.

Though formed in 2011, the A-Team celebrates its one-year anniversary as an official student organization this spring.

From helping with meet-and-greets—where individuals get to meet musicians and artists backstage—to handing out flyers downtown, members of the A-Team take care of all marketing duties.

Member participation differs in the organization. Some members attend the once a month meeting and hear what’s going on, while others dedicate the majority of their week to the A-Team.

Some of the students who have made the A-Team their priority are the four currently working as interns
for Hanks.

Meet the four recruits—Alyssa Meyer “Hannibal,” Taylor Siders “Miss T,” Marcus Ferguson “Faceman,” and Steven Palin

Meyer, a senior marketing major in her third year at Boise State, originally had a music/business major. After transferring to Boise State from the University of Colorado-Boulder, she noticed a gap between her split major and decided to focus on the business aspect.

Meyer sees the potential of connecting to campus with the A-Team.

“One of the goals (is) to increase the A-Team presence on campus, so we try and start there and branch out,” she said.

Siders, also a senior and marketing major, has been involved in other event-planning organizations and sees the A-Team as “definitely another hands-on aspect of things.”

Ferguson, a senior marketing major preparing to graduate this May, sees the benefits of gaining experience from the A-Team.

“It’s just been beneficial to the advancement of my career in marketing,”
Ferguson said.

He also hopes to see more benefits after he graduates.

After two previous interns involved in the A-Team graduated last spring 2012, they immediately obtained jobs pertaining to their major in the summer. Ferguson hopes to be the third.

Hanks enjoys seeing the opportunities the A-Team offers to students.

“It’s definitely the favorite component of my job,” Hanks said.

For more information on the A-Team, contact Hanks at

The A-Team meets every first Friday of the month at 10:30 at the Taco Bell Arena.


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The Arbiter

You’ve finally made it.  Four years and several thousand dollars later, the moment that makes all the blood, sweat and tears worth it has finally arrived.  And now, you have to choose.  Between relatives, that is.


As Boise State’s commencement ceremonies approach, graduates have been informed that for the first time ever at Boise State, the graduation ceremony will be a ticketed event.  For those of us with larger families (or heaven forbid any friends who may want to share in the moment), Grandma may have to stay home this year.

Or, someone can drive her over to the Hatch Ballroom.  An “overflow” location, it has been set up for the relatives and friends who don’t make the seven ticket cut.  Never fear, the ceremony will be streamed live and coffee will be provided.

As Boise State’s student population continues to increase, the campus is struggling with many of the pains that accompany growth without the structural support needed to make that growth smooth.  This year’s graduation ceremony is one of the evidences that things need to be thought out a little better.

This year, over 1,500 people will participate in the graduation ceremony.  Taco Bell Arena only holds 13,200 people.  A little simple math, and it’s easy to see that in order for the university to ensure that every graduate can have a few meaningful people there, every graduate must be limited to seven guests.

“This is the largest ceremony ever, and every year has been the largest.  It means we’re meeting our goal of graduating more people every year,” said Kathleen Tuck, Assistant Director, Publications at the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Tuck said last spring, they set up the Hatch Ballroom just in case they needed it for overflow guests, and ended up reaching capacity at the Taco Bell Arena.  This year, they are planning on needing it.

“My out-of-town grandmother won’t be able to come unless I get another ticket,” said Katie Farmer, a communication major and a senior frustrated with the university’s solution to this problem.  “My father is driving eight hours to pick her up, and eight hours back home, and I have to tell her she can’t come now.”

Annie Olson, a mathematics major also graduating this spring, has also had to pick relatives over each other.  “My own husband and children won’t get to go, because all of my grandparents are going!” she said.  “They were supportive of us while I have been going to school; how can we say that they can’t go?  So we just decided, my husband and kids would stay home.”

Tuck claims the executive team looked at several other options, including using the stadium.  “It would have cost us over half a million dollars to use the stadium, because we would have had to put down a fake floor over the turf, build a staging stand, and bring the sound system down there.”  Tuck said if it rained, they would have to cancel the entire event.

Other venues around town were also considered, but nothing seemed to be a fit.  “This is not unusual; a lot of universities have had to ticket their events,” Tuck said.

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The Arbiter

But Farmer said one of her friends who attended the nursing program at SPU (Seattle Pacific University) had a solution.  Each department hosted their own graduation ceremony, so  each graduate could bring as many people as they wanted, and each department could celebrate in their own way.  As a bonus, the ceremony was not three hours long, with people sitting and listening to a long list of graduates from departments that don’t concern them.

Olson expressed similar sentiment, saying she also had visited a friend who was graduating from the University of Idaho, and the departments all had separate graduation ceremonies in different buildings. “It would have allowed for a lot more people to come,” Olson said.

Sadly more thought was not put into the solution for this year, and now the invitations have all been printed and sent out.  Too late for this round of seniors, but perhaps next year’s seniors will listen, and start rallying now to get the graduation ceremony they deserve.

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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

Campus life and making the decision to attend college can be a daunting one, but for most it is something that has been discussed with parents, grandparents and friends before ever finishing high school.

For a select few that is not the case.

For foster children who do not have the parental or family support, college may have never crossed their mind, or they simply never anticipated attending college let alone succeeding.

Frequently, the reality of the life of a foster child after care leads to unemployment, underemployment and homelessness. The possibility of a college education for a youth from foster care gives them the opportunity to change the cycle of abuse and poverty, the opportunity to succeed in life.

Anna Moreshead, a graduate student with the school of social work here at Boise State, is working with the Dean of Students, Chris Wuthrich, the school of social work, and community partners on a pilot program to assist former youth of foster care to be successful in college.

The pilot program will hopefully be called Guardian Scholars, and is the model which has been proposed to the university with the hope the university will support these efforts and it will be fully implemented. Due to the fact the program is still in its pilot stage, no advertising or outreach can occur just yet, but Moreshead is dedicated to assisting the former foster youth in any way she can at the time.

Wuthrich has supplied her with an office space where she currently spends 10 hours a week dedicated to piloting the program. She works another 20 hours a week with both Casey Family Programs and the Department of Health and Welfare.

When asked what Moreshead’s goals were for the program, she explained through services, the overall goal is to have and help more youth from care come and graduate from college.

She went on to say, “Whatever it takes to support students in their efforts of that is what I want to do”

The statistics for foster youth graduates are disheartening.

Nationally only 10 percent of foster youth enroll in post-secondary education after care and of that 10 percent, only three percent complete a degree. Each year in Idaho about 200 youth age out of care, which means about 30 will attend college and less than two will graduate.

The underlying hope and goals within the pilot program is to work toward changing these statistics here in Idaho by providing services and general support to students who desperately need it.

There are hundreds of programs like this around the nation. A few of the more prominent colleges are UC Riverside, which championed this idea, and did it so well now every university and community college in California has a program.

There is also Western Michigan’s program called the Seita Scholars, UW’s program called Champions and ISU just started a program this fall as well.

The services for the students can range anywhere from completely covering tuition and housing, to lower costs for housing and priority for not only housing but for registering for classes. Arguably, the most valuable aspect of this potential program is the support and listening ear of someone on campus who cares.

In an anonymous survey taken at Boise State regarding foster care, students said they were interested in basics.

They wanted to meet one another for peer support, and mentioned they would like support with from the program in the forms of academic support, career planning, financial aid support and mentoring.

“A consistent person to care that they had a test and ask them how it goes,” Moreshead said. “Things like that,” she goes on to say that, “the feedback that I have gotten is that it is very helpful to have someone that they know, that they can always come to and ask questions. A little more of a mentoring role, and a consistent person to care.”

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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

“Spaces of otherness,” what exactly does this mean? How do you describe a space of

This is exactly what Boise State Instructional and Performance Technology professor Don Winiecki was trying to answer and portray in his opening recption last Thursday night with his display of “Heterotropias, Institutional Structures and

Entering the Jordan Ballroom in the Student Union Building was a different experience than when attending most opening reception for an art display.

There was no music or loud chatter in the

Every attendee was focused on observing the pieces of artwork, displayed not only on the walls but also dangling from the ceiling.

This added an immense amount of diversity to the room and was a portrayal of “spaces of otherness” Winiecki was reinventing through his work.

Winiecki’s work ranged from digital print on paper, gouache on paper, oil, graphite and ink on paper.

Many of his pieces’ titles aligned with the “spaces of otherness” theme throughout his collection.

For instance, his works of art, “Structure?” and “Dueling Ideologies” beg the concept of confusion and interpretation for
the viewer.

“Heterotropias” will be on display in the Student Union Gallery through June 4.


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Courtesy Cheyenne Perry

Boise State student Lucas Jantzen doesn’t recall the exact age he got his first guitar—it was sometime in his early teens.

“I had it actually sitting in my room for about a year or two before I even touched it,” Jantzen said.

His friend’s passion for playing prompted Jantzen to try it out, and when he did, something clicked.

“(I) picked it up, plugged it in and I was like…what am I missing out on?” he said.

Since then, 19-year-old Jantzen has bought about five or six guitars, and joined a band he’s still currently playing rhythmic guitar for—The Dark Harlequin.

Jantzen described the band as “melodic, death metal.”

The band formed in 2010 when Jantzen met two of the band members in a Japanese class at Rocky Mountain High School; the trio then met the future vocalist at a Bullet For My Valentine concert.

Freshman Zach Carpenter, drummer for The Dark Harlequin, didn’t really have a first impression of Jantzen, but sees him now as a “goofy kid.”

Jantzen and the band have played shows at the Boise Venue, opening for bands like Emmure and The Ghost Inside.

Jantzen sometimes gets nervous before opening for bigger bands, and he has two remedies for expelling these stage-butterflies.

“Just blow through it,” he said. “Either that, or a cigarette.”

Though music is at the forefront of his life, Jantzen participates in various other activities.

When he’s not playing guitar or hosting four radio shows for University Pulse, Boise State’s student radio station, he’s participating in the University Television Productions (UTP) and Film Club pertaining to his communication major.

Jantzen was involved in film before coming to Boise State, and now helps create shows for the UTP that air on Channel 95.

Yet, attending Boise State limits Jantzen’s time for music.

Carpenter understands the demanding nature of school for Jantzen.

“He’s as devoted (to music) as you can be with school,” Carpenter said.

Balancing the band, school and his extracurricular activities in the Pulse and the UTP can be difficult for Jantzen.

“It’s tough. We (the band) don’t get a lot of practice time in,” he said.

The band sets aside about an hour every Tuesday to practice their songs. This is some of the only spare time Jantzen has.

As a musician, Jantzen struggles most with solos. He finds it limiting, and knows it’s something he’ll have to work on.

When it comes to making mistakes during a show, Jantzen sometimes gives himself away.

“Apparently, I tend to make facial expressions,” he said.

Onstage, Jantzen’s style usually varies from business-casual to a simple t-shirt and jeans. This reflects his usual attire for school, yet he would prefer something more basic.

“If it were socially acceptable to walk around in my underwear or naked, I would all day, every day,” he said.

Jantzen’s musical tastes vary, and have altered through the years.

The first song he learned to play on the guitar was “The Pot” by Tool.

Some of Jantzen’s music influences are Children of Bodom, Trivium and White Chapel.

Yet, Jantzen reluctantly admits some of his other musical tastes—such as Panic at the Disco, Marina and the Diamonds and even Whitney Houston.

Ultimately, Jantzen’s dream job would involve getting paid to play music.

He wouldn’t forget about his film hobby, though.

“I can always film myself on tour,” he said.

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Patrick Sweeney / The Arbiter

Boise State paid 5.9 million dollars for University Christian Church property located at 1801 University Dr., across the street from the Student Union Building. It is the largest single land area left in the expansion zone of Boise State’s master plan.
Boise State will officially take ownership later on in May. There is not a long term plan for what will be done with the space. The purchase was made now because school officials considered the property nearly invaluable to the future growth of the university.
“For us it was just an extremely important land acquisition because as the university grows out this will be right in the middle of campus,” said Jared Everett interim vice president for Campus Planning and Facilities.
The property was purchased on the idea of land banking. Put simply this means that strategic properties are purchased with the expectation there will be a return in the future.
“Right now from an economic standpoint a very good timely acquisition because property values were near all-time lows, many of the economic reports we read indicated that property values will start to increase. And the cost of debt is also historically low,” Everett said. “So those economic principles just pointed that it was a good time for a significant acquisitions.”
In Boise State’s case, the return on the property will come in the form of whatever programs and buildings are built there.
Boise State also may have been motivated by the fact that as the UCC moved closer to completion on their new space in Meridian, they would lose the chance to purchase the space if they didn’t make a move.
“We’ve had quite a bit of interest from outside parties,” said Marcy Timm, chairman of the board for the church.
As part of the purchase agreement, the UCC will continue to occupy for the space for the next year on a nominal lease agreement. The addition of a lease agreement helped the parties reach an agreement and, according to Everett, was a factor the price.
“We really wanted our property to become part of the University,” Timm said. “They were very good to work with.”
Basically, the UCC will pay one dollar a month in rent. On top of that they will pay the operation costs, maintenance, custodial and utilities.
“They will actually have a couple hundred thousand dollars of expenses to maintain and operate the building over the next year,” said Everett. “And they’ll be paying those costs.”
After the church is vacated, Boise State will use the building in its current configuration until the plans for redevelopment are completed. The current UCC building is 45,000 square feet. According to Everett, about 35,000 square feet of that is office, classroom and storage space that the can be used immediately.
However the UCC has been using the building since the 1950s and it isn’t in ideal shape for long term use.
“You or I might not feel like it was modernized… but it is a fully usable space,” Everett said. “The building is basically a well-used but in good condition older building.”
There are no plans to renovate the interior of the building as the use is considered secondary to the future redevelopment of the space.
The UCC will be moving to a new space in Meridian and changing its name to the Parkview Christian Church. The idea of the UCC being gone is disconcerting for some.
“I grew up in Boise and that church has always been there,” said Melissa Quairn, a sophomore developmental studies major. “I’ve been going to church there since I started at Boise State. I don’t know if I want to go all the way out to Meridian every week.”
Timm insists that Quairn is a rare case and few students are being displaced.
“We don’t have that many students that attend. It’s mostly seasoned members,” Timm said.
For students who have lost their church there are worse alternatives than it becoming part of Boise State.
“If it had to be sold I’m glad it was sold to BSU and not ‘Condoms ‘R’ Us or something,” Quairn said.
The idea of purchasing the UCC property is not new. According to Everett, Boise State and the UCC have had on and off negotiations for 13 years.
“More than a decade ago the university was interested in acquiring the property and started discussions with the church,” Everett said. “This time both buyer and seller were really motivated so the transaction occurred.”

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Boise State University

Boise State keeps an online record of crimes and incidents reported to campus security. Each incident is labeled with a date, time, nature of crime committed and indicates whether arrests have been made in each case.

According to the log, theft is the most common crime on campus.

In 2012 alone, 55 bicycles were reported stolen. Of the 55 missing, one was recovered by police.

Boise State isn’t unique when it comes to the amount of theft reported. Idaho State, the University of Idaho, and even a large metropolitan school like the University of Southern California annually report theft as the most prevalent crime on campus.

University security officials warn students to take extra precautions when bringing valuables to school.

“It’s pretty basic, lock your bike with a u-bolt, and make sure you lock your doors,” said Lieutenant Tony Plott of the Boise Police Department. “Don’t make yourself an inadvertent target.”

Boise State Director of Campus Security Jon Uda cautions students with bikes to register them with the security outpost or Boise Police.

“If a student registers his or her bicycle with the city, the chances of it being returned to its rightful owner, if it is stolen, go way up,” Uda said.

Last summer, conducted a review of bike locks and their effectiveness against thieves. The highest rated lock was a u-bolt design.

U-bolt locks can only be cut with industrial power tools, unlike common chain locks that can be removed with bolt cutters.

Senior business student Adam Begando claims his bike made it through two years at Boise State without being stolen because he bought a u-bolt lock.

“My brother uses a u-bolt so I bought one,” Begando said. “I am glad I did though because my roommate and a couple friends of mine have had bikes stolen and had to walk to class.”

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Over the course of the past year “Try it with Tabby” has become a staple in my life, something pushing me to go out each week and experience something new to bring back and share with you.  This week is my final “Try it with Tabby” of the year, and also a hand down to our incoming Arts and Entertainment Editor, Lance Moore, who will be writing a spin-off along similar lines as my column for next year. So for my last dance (figuratively) I took one last dance (literally) with Lance.  And so I introduce to you, the final “Try it with Tabby” of the school year. 

The Argentine Tango: a dance packed with grace, fluid movement, fire and passion. Well, in theory at least, by those who do it well.  For me, as it goes with most new things I try that include any type of coordination, it was more of an awkward expression of my two-left-footedness.  But fun nonetheless.

This week for “Try it with Tabby” I headed over to the REC with Lance for a beginner’s Argentine Tango. Moore, being a dual American and Argentinian citizen, outshone my Tango experience (none) tenfold. My first concern, as is usually when trying something new, was my choice of apparel. As students funneled into class in gym shoes and jeans, I second-guessed my flowing summer dress and pink, sparkly flats. However, aside from some moments of tripping over myself (which may not be attributable to the shoes) my outfit held up.

Learning the Argentine Tango, a beautiful, sensual dance, was a great way to wrap up my “Try it with Tabby” series. It challenged me in a way I set out to challenge myself at the beginning of this journey by throwing me face first into, and the something I was uncomfortable with and foreign to.

Partner switching was another element, which I have discovered with dance classes that can conjure up some discomfort. I am a person who has a rather large space bubble, and the Argenttine Tango forces you to pop those comfort zone bubbles and belly up to your partner, close your eyes, trust them to lead and let the movement of their body guide.

By the end of the hour-and-a-half long dance class at the REC, I was nearly addicted, and regretful about only now taking advantage of the lessons just steps away from my office.



About the Argentine Tango by Lance Moore


The Argentine Tango represents symmetry of two powerful forces, elegance and sensuality. From its Cuban and Spanish roots, to its hint of African rhythmic flair of its ancient past, the post 19th century progression of the dance has evolved into a dynamic and suave symbol of art. No matter from what country a person originates, this symbol of raw but beautiful connectivity has resonated in the hearts of those around the world and will continue to do so for centuries to come.

The enigmatic intensity of human emotion is the ever present drive which essentially highlights the structure of the dance, as if it is the perfect combination of both control and chaos, where reason has no place.

From every smooth and calculating step, it tears down the unseemly dichotomy between masculinity and femininity by simply emphasizing the best of both worlds.

The strength and command a man governs paired with the raw beauty of a woman creates the art of the Argentine Tango. Without one another, the dance would not work, but together, in a word, what is created can only be described as magic.


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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

Define sustainability. Can you do it? Did your mind just go blank? Don’t feel ashamed if it did. Sustainability is a complex issue. It’s more than driving a fuel-efficient car or riding a bike to work or recycling waste. It is an issue that demands an understanding of many different vantage points to tackle. And there is an interdisciplinary research group at Boise State working toward that end.

On Friday, May 3, six professors presented on the topic of sustainability. The Interdisciplinary Research Community on “Translating Sustainability” invited professor Laura Lindenfeld of University of Maine to join in on talks about bridging the gap between university studies in sustainability and community.

The members of the interdisciplinary research group each presented on individual research or experiences that illustrated different approaches to understanding sustainability.

Paul Ziker, from the anthropology department, described the goal of sustainability as an attempt “to try and create human environmental systems that are lasting for the long term.” For him, it is about social sustainability in how material and intellectual resources are shared.

Katie Demps, also of the Anthropology department, gave this statement regarding sustainability, “When I talk about sustainability, I’m thinking about day to day interactions of people and their

Tony Marker, taking his perspective from Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning, spoke on the necessity of finding a balance between “people, profit and planet.” It is his belief that neuroscience is a viable path to developing more “wisdom” rather than “intellect.”

Professor Erin McClellan of the Communication Department spoke about how certain ways of designing public spaces and how people interact with those spaces are indicative of certain value sets. “I think sustainability is sort of a sense of being,” she said, “over time, in a way that reflects a variety of perspectives in a way that creates a collective good.” She made the argument that public spaces should reflect more than just the values of experts or the majority in order to be sustainable and good.

Community and Regional Planning Professor Amanda Johnson spoke on the experiences she had working on a joint project between two different classes. She was able to witness the students’ conversations as they developed a “common language” regarding sustainability.

“You saw this translation happening from these classes and these students,” Johnson stated. “You would hear these students say, ‘(Are you) talking about a sustainable downtown, or are you talking about a livable downtown? How can you determine what sustainability means?’… What we found is through this kind of collective learning process… there has to be this kind of common
language that you share.”

Johnson made the point that phrases like “green” and “sustainability” don’t mean anything unless there is enough discussion to translate the different vantage points on the matter into a more collective understanding. “Not a single field can accomplish this by itself,” she said. “And that’s why this interdisciplinary work that we’re doing is so important because we’re all thinking about it in different ways and have a very different set of inputs into this kind of systems thinking.”

Laura Lindenfeld was invited  to speak at this presentation based on the work she has been doing.

“They came across my work and I study how universities can leverage their capacities to solve sustainability problems,” she said. She works in a similar interdisciplinary group that involves around 100 faculty.

For Lindenfeld, sustainability is a collective effort, and one that doesn’t just occur in the universities.

“I think it is important that universities help their immediate communities. Especially as public universities, we have an obligation to deliver back to our immediate communities.” This is the foundation for her idea that research, teaching and service go hand in hand.

“We need to think more strategically about how those things inform each other and complement each other,” Lindenfeld said.

Sustainability is meaningless, Lindenfeld stated, unless we can leverage whole universities and think systematically about how we turn our attention to the communities in which we live. And this involves what she and the research cluster refer to as “translating sustainability.” Lindenfeld described it thus, “When I think about translation, I think about connecting, bridging, spanning… (It is) never a one-way street. It’s about reciprocity.”

However, the process of negotiating a collective understanding of sustainability and translating it into action is very difficult. During the panel discussion at the end of the presentation McClellan pointed out the challenge of communication. “We don’t have a central language… We all can agree that there’s something about sustainability that we should be talking about, but how we talk about it is not agreed upon.”

Marker complicated the matter further. “Sustainability is actually a whole set of really complex problems,” he said. “There’s not one answer for this.”

Director of Community and Regional Planning Jaap Vos added to the discussion. “The big question I have is are we actually asking the right questions?” But it is often the case that a lot of wrong questions must be asked before the right ones are found.

For senior environmental studies major Shaun Wheeler, it’s important to have malleable ideas.

“If you’re sailing, for example, sometimes you have to steer away from your destination in order to get there,” Wheeler said.

One of the important things he said he learned from this discussion was the need for more “collective energy” in finding the right direction.

“I have satisfaction with the concept of bridging the campus community with the Boise community.”

Fellow environmental studies major Russell Bridges was impressed with the idea of interdisciplinary programs.

“Because Environmental Studies is so broad… this concept of this program being interdisciplinary is my livelihood. More interdisciplinary programs should be developed.”

This presentation was the beginning of sharing ways to  understand sustainability as a community, and develop ways of motivating collective action. No one claimed to have the right definition of sustainability or even the best. The goal was to open dialogue and share research  in order to present different ways of looking at the issues and hopefully, develop a better plan to approach it.

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Courtesy Tammera Mojica

A firefighter’s fire engine and a paramedic’s ambulance idle out front as the two men exit under the emerald awning with brown bag lunches
in hand.

The CWI Culinary Arts program is open for lunch at their deli-bakery or in the fine
dinning room.

The brown bag deli and bakery get more visitors than the dining room, mainly because they have ready-made items and it is great for those who are after a quick lunch or a delicious fresh made bakery item.

“The deli-bakery definitely gets more foot traffic because it’s easy to grab and go. Whether it is a cup of soup, a bottled soda, or already made sandwich,” Chef Kelly Steely, Program Chair for Culinary Arts of CWI said.

Although the public is welcome (no CWI student ID card required), many are unaware of this lunch venue. Patrons can enjoy a delicious lunch at a great price while supporting student learning.

Typically those who do venture over come from
nearby locations.

“We get some students in here and we get some faculty from BSU and typically they are from buildings across the street from us,” Steely said.
In the fine dining room the students are serving up entrées from a menu which incorporates a theme of chilies, chocolate or coffee. There are six different themes per academic year.

The students take pride and enjoy all the tasks of the culinary arts program.

“I had a hobby of baking and now I want to make a career out of it. It’s all wonderful,” Sean Hull, first year baking and pastry student said.
In the deli the bakery items are a big hit, especially on Fridays when they are buy one get one free.

“Regulars keep us in business and they even come wait outside before we open,” Chef Karen Myers said.

The CWI Culinary Arts program was once a Boise State program.

A few years back the local community voted to have a community college and that’s the basis of what formed CWI.

Selland College of Applied Technology was given to CWI and all it’s 2-year degree or technical programs became CWI programs.

Most programs have moved off campus, except the CWI Culinary Arts program remains on campus and many have wondered why.

The answer is quite simple.

“CWI has not found a new home for us yet,” Steely said.

The CWI Culinary Arts program strives to make their students into chefs who can use their skills and expertise in a high-end restaurant.

Each student has a chance to work from guest relations to working the food line.

“It is important for them to understand how to communicate between the front and back of the house,” Chef Steely said.

The intermediate students must do well with keeping in sync with the cooks.

“If people working the line say we are out of salmon and one of the servers is still trying to sell salmon to people, they are going to immediately feel that stress,” Steely said.

When it comes to the advanced students who are nearing their completion at the culinary arts, the instructors want them to have what
they need to be a chef in the real world.

“For students to think of how clean the flavors need to be on the plate and how elevated the plate presentation needs to be,” Steely said. “To give students as close to an experience as they would get if they were working at a place like Berryhill or the Reef, some place downtown with a fine dining experience.”

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Photo courtesy "A Place at the Table"

Courtesy Maliza Lang

After first seeing “A Place at the Table” in Washington DC amongst policy makers nationwide, Kathy Gardner, Director of the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force (IHRTF), saw the importance of bringing this 84 minute documentary to the Treasure Valley.

“There were 200 pantries throughout the United States in 1980, but today there are 40,000… we can’t afford this,” Gardner said.

The Egyptian Theatre will hold the event which can accommodate over 700 people. Idahoans from all professions, age groups and backgrounds are encouraged to come see what the hype is truly about.

Gardner has been working non-stop since the organization was founded in 2006. She is passionate about the state becoming aware and educated on the subjects of hunger, nutrition and food security. Gardner is additionally addressing issues beyond food as she’s tackling policy projects like the low living wage in Idaho and the misconceptions of the food stamp program.

Because she sees the importance of action behind this awareness and education, Gardner has organized many activities following the showing. There will be a short Q-and-A session with a panel of three hand-picked professionals from the valley to further answer questions from the

In the lobby of The Egyptian, there will be 10 tables each representing a unique matter related to the issue.
Jennifer Aumeier, Nutrition Director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Ada County, will head one table informing about ways to get involved. Aumeier is a Boise State graduate who began as an intern and has since worked for the Boys and Girls Clubs for almost for five years.

There are two Boys and Girls Clubs in the valley and between them over 300 nutritional dinners and snacks are served every night.

Even more impressive, the summer food program last year feed 54,000 kids in 54 days.

“We are always accepting volunteers to sit and eat with our students or to help the kitchen with preparation,” Aumeier said.

Aumeier noted this documentary helps get the conversation started.

“The issue is more economic than food,” Aumeier said.

Janie Burns will be at another table informing about the Tomato Independence Project. Here, seeds will be sold and those interested can learn about the importance of local food.

“We’re calling it, the ‘tyranny of the tasteless tomato’,” Gardner said.

Gardner is mindful that the event’s proceeds should go back toward the cause. The IHRTF and the other sponsors are putting the money towards the Fresh

Fund, an effort that matches food stamp dollars to be spent in local natural markets. Malnutrition begins with high calorie low cost foods. This is known as the obesity and food security connection which is trying to be reversed.

“Many [citizens] don’t understand how someone who’s overweight could be hungry,” Gardner said.

Heather Luff is a former teacher who is now involved with the Task Force. She’s a VISTA (member of the Volunteers in Service to America) to the organization.

Luff wanted to use her educational background in the nonprofit world. She understands many issues from a unique perspective as almost a quarter of Idaho’s youth live under the poverty line.

“Kids can’t learn if they aren’t fed properly,” Luff said. “A Place at the Table” a few months ago in preparation to helping organize and facilitate the screening.
“[after watching] I definitely felt like this was a message that other people needed to hear. It’s a fact of life and key message that there’s not a living wage…

This documentary touches a lot of topics,” Luff said.
Watch the trailer and get more information at: or

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Photo Courtesy MCT Campus Wire Service

Titus Young has had a rough weekend, and won’t be landing on another NFL roster anytime soon. The former Boise State standout wide receiver was arrested twice in 15 hours by the Moreno Valley Police Department near his hometown of Los Angeles on May 5.

According to the reports, Young was arrested for a driving under the influence early Sunday morning, and after being released, was arrested again for attempting to take back his black Mustang from an impound lot later that afternoon. He was charged with burglary.

Young was released by the Detroit Lions, who drafted him in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, for what the franchise determined as irreconcilable differences. Young lashed out at the coaching staff via Twitter and was promptly released on Feb. 4.

“Oh I’m not done, if y’all going to cut me let me go. I’m tired of the threats,” Young tweeted about the Lions.

The Lions coaching staff sent Young home three times, once for punching teammate Louis Delmas and twice for disrupting practice. He was then accused of purposefully lining up incorrectly against the Green Bay Packers. Young denied the claims.

Young had emerged as a formidable slot receiver and deep threat for the Lions after being drafted, and was a nice compliment to Calvin Johnson for quarterback Matthew Stafford. However, it seems that only Petersen was able to teach Young what it meant to be a responsible team player.

He was promptly signed by the St. Louis Rams but was released after 10 days for unknown reasons. Young’s future appeared bleak and he sat as a free agent for the last three months.

It’s hard to believe that Young could change so much after leaving Boise State head coach Chris Petersen’s control three years ago. Since embracing a lifestyle of arrogance and frivolous spending, however, Young has shown signs of significant mental and emotional issues.

In an example of his unexplainable tendencies, Young apologized to Lions fans for his behavior via Twitter shortly after being released, but then deleted the tweet.

“I apologize to the Detroit fans, Thank you, for the 2 years of Love and joy,” Young tweeted. Then deleted.

Young’s outbursts will most likely lead to his proverbial expulsion from the NFL, ending his short career. Luckily for Young, Coach Pete won’t be making him run laps tomorrow morning.

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Cody Finney / The Arbiter

Election season is over.  The candidate banners have all been taken down and our television commercials have gone back to being about fast food and footwear.  Though this may seem like an unlikely time to start a conversation about our civic duty to vote, here I am.  My argument–for those who may find politics a little on the daunting side, now is the perfect time to start educating yourself a little at a time, when the candidates, the news and the commercials are not all up in your face.

I confess that I haven’t always taken advantage of my civic right and responsibility to vote.  For me, turning 18 meant that I could finally move out of my parents’ house, and very little more.

As an young adult in the world, I understood that I should vote, but I also felt strongly that it was irresponsible of me to show up at the polls and vote for candidates I knew nothing about.  The only politics I had exposed myself to was whatever I could find on television, and it could never hold my interest for any length of time.  It was too boring, somewhat confusing, and the banter between the candidates was ridiculous.  If I wanted to watch childish he said she said, I wouldn’t break up the fights between my two and four year old.

So, I gave way to complacency.  I didn’t understand politics, and I felt I was too busy to try to unravel the complex web it is.  I would hear other people in my life complain about certain political issues, and having no knowledge or background of the counter argument, I was easily swayed by what they said.  It is very easy to adopt an idea when presented with a reasonable argument why.  But political issues almost always have two opposing sides with two very good arguments, and it is important to understand issues on the fundamental level before you can really form an opinion and choose a stance.

It took years and lot more education before I began to feel differently.

Sadly, I know I am not the only American who behaves this way.  There are any number of reasons why people don’t vote, from being too busy, to not liking either one of the candidates, to simply choosing not to get involved in politics.  According to the Census Bureau, in 2010, the most common reason people didn’t vote was because they were too busy.

In our country, we are given one day in which we are all supposed to flock to the polls and cast our ballots.  But any number of obstacles can deter even the best of intentions:  work, illness, transportation, confusion over voting districts.  That’s not to mention the sacrifice of the most precious commodity in American culture, time.  Sometimes it means taking time off of work to visit the polls, and that can mean losing an hourly wage–or two–and creating an unhappy boss.

Our country tries to accomodate some of these problems by offering things like absentee ballots which can be mailed in prior to Election Day, to help people who are unable to get to the polls on Election Day.  Qualifications include everything from students to seniors, people on vacation to people serving overseas.  Recently, there has been talk of making voting even more complicated by requiring voters to provide personal identification at the polls.

Dr. John Freemuth, PhD, Professor of Political Science and the Department of Public Administration, says, “I am very concerned about the attempt to make it harder to vote.  It should be uniform, clear, fair and easy.”

Couple all of that with the next most common reason people don’t vote:  because they feel that their vote doesn’t matter in the big picture, and you start to get the big picture.  With the way our political system operates, it’s an argument that is hard to counter.

Chaz Gentry, a student at Boise State, says, “I (also) think that, like many from both sides of the political spectrum, have come to the conclusion that our state is simply a “red” state, and because of that, nothing anyone does voting wise, really matters.  Idaho will go for Mitt as president, Idaho will never elect a liberal governor, same sex-marriage will take a long time to be recognized, and gun control will stay at a minimum.  Boise is the blue pond in the middle of a red sea.”

Many people feel that one single vote doesn’t matter (except possibly in a close, small local election).  Your personal vote doesn’t choose our next leaders.  And if you are supporting a third party candidate, you can pretty much just stay home.  The Democratic and Republican Parties have loads of money, and plenty of air time and sway.  They are a force that is difficult to go up against.  In the spirit of great American politics, it doesn’t stop third party candidates from running.  But there are always those voters who will vote for their party, regardless of the issues or the candidate running.  They might even vote for a candidate that they strongly dislike, simply because he is of their political persuasion.

“There would need to be a major national catastrophe to mobilize enough people around a grassroots candidate that was completely different than the major party figures who are so good at suppressing media, etc., of alternate candidates.  Part of the reason third parties don’t have enough representation is the winner take all aspect of our electoral system as well,” said Nickolas Roehl, a student at Boise State studying Media Production.

The media has not always lent a hand to make it less confusing and obnoxious for those who are not keen about politics.  For the sake of viewership, and the constant drive for ratings, the media tends to focus largely on the horserace, and less and less on the real political issues.  When given twenty seconds to make an impression and get a message across, the media seem to focus on slips of the tongue and less on campaign promises.  For someone really looking for the hard facts, it is very difficult to slip past this veneer and at times one may have to really dig to get good hard facts. It is not difficult to see why there are many people who do not have a strong desire to acquaint themselves more deeply with politics.

“The media can play a productive role when they sort through campaign claims for accuracy, and when they can provide information on candidates’ stances and actions on policy issues. The more they turn a campaign into a horse race, with the he said she said superficial coverage, it’s not really very helpful.  It’s negative ads that present most of the name calling, ” Freemuth said.

Statistics from the Census Bureau show that while the number of white (non-hispanic) registered voters has decreased from 80.4 percent in 2006 to 77.5 percent in 2010, the racial diversity among voters has increased.  Hispanics made up 7 percent of the voters in 2010, blacks made up 12 percent, and the number of Asian registered voters remained constant at approximately 2.5 percent.  In the 2012 Presidential Election, 207,643,594 people were eligible to vote.  Of those, only about 150 million were actually registered to vote.  The total population in the United States is a little over 300 million.

How do we create more interest in our political system?  How do we engage people in their civic duties?  “If we were set up more like a parliament where if a party gets a one-third of the national votes, they get one-third of the seats in the government, more parties would emerge because less people would feel their votes were wasted,” says Roehl.  Of course, the odds of becoming a parliamentary system are slim.

Other than voting, Freemuth says people can find alternative ways to participate politically, like participating in a political protest.  The most important thing is to find your voice, and use it.  We are Americans, we fought to have a voice, and we should not forget what that means, and just how fortunate we are.

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“Breaking Expectations” is staff writer Danielle Allsop’s first hand experience with living with mental illness.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to read this article and not judging those of us who suffer with a mental illness.

Writing this weekly column has been extremely therapeutic for me and I hope it has helped those of you who used my advice. I would recommend using writing as a tool to help you cope with whatever ailment you may be dealing with because it releases so much build up frustration that when it’s all out, you feel refreshed and relaxed (well, most of the time).

I would like to encourage you to send me your opinions and ideas for next year’s column. What types of topics would you like me to cover? I would love to give more examples of how to better deal with each ailment so we can reach a broader spectrum of readers.

I would also like to reiterate what I stated in my first column: just because we don’t have an IV sticking out of our arms or just because we don’t cough and sneeze like we have the flu doesn’t mean we aren’t suffering. Martin H. Fischer said it best when he said, “If you are physically sick, you can elicit the interest of a battery of physicians; but if you are mentally sick, you are lucky if the janitor comes around.”

It is okay to feel uncomfortable around someone with a mental illness, but don’t treat them as if they are lower than you. Talk to them, I promise they wont bite. You’ll see that they are normal people who happen to have an illness that is invisible to the
naked eye.

My goal is to help erase the stigma that mental illnesses bring on individuals who suffer from them.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
 – Wayne Dyer

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Cody Finney / The Arbiter

Two more players from the 2011 recruiting class are no longer with the Boise State football program.

Tuesday afternoon Boise State Head Football Coach Chris Petersen announced redshirt sophomore defensive end Sam Ukwuachu and redshirt sophomore quarterback Jimmy Laughrea were no longer with the team. Ukwuachu was dismissed for violation of team rules and Laughrea left the team.

Petersen was not available for comment on the subject matter.

Ukwuachu, a freshman All-American, started 12 games for the Broncos last season, in which he record 35 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks. Ukwuachu was not on the sideline during the 2013 Spring Game but did participate in last Friday’s annual Junior Pro Day.

Laughrea never saw playing time during the 2012 season, as he was 3rd on the depth chart behind starter Joe Southwick and backup, redshirt junior Grant Hedrick. The quarterback depth position also has touted redshirt freshman Nick Patti and class of 2013 recruit Ryan Finley of Phoenix, Ariz. The Broncos have recently received a verbal commitment from quarterback Jalen Greene of a Gardena, Calif., a member of the 2014 recruitment class.

The two players come from the infamous 2011 recruiting class, in which eight players of the class are no longer on the team. Laughrea, cornerback Eric Agbaroji and offensive lineman Adam Sheffield have left the team. Ukwuachu, defensive back Lee Hightower, tight end Hayden Plinke, kicker Jake Van Ginkel and defensive tackle Jeff Worthy have all been dismissed from the team.

The issue with Ukwuachu’s departure is depth and experience on the defensive line. Aside from junior defensive end and sack master Demarcus Lawrence, the only Broncos on the roster is the injury-proned redshirt senior Kharyee Marshall, redshirt junior Beau Martin (who had 15 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 2012) and redshirt freshmen Darien Barrett and Sam McCaskill.

For the quarterback position, it’ll be interesting to whether the coaching staff keeps the position at four quarterbacks or brings in another 2014 recruit or junior college transfer to push back to five.

The Broncos are slated to play their season-opener in Seattle as they square off against the Washington Huskies on Aug. 31 in the new Husky Stadium.



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Every semester, Boise State’s Student Involvement and Leadership Center (SILC), in coordination with Wellness Services, supervise Stress Relievers, activities which are designed to relieve students’ tension about finals during Finals Week.

Erin Salisbury is the graduate assistant at Wellness Services and provides information about the relievers scheduled for the spring semester.

“Finals stress relief will feature many fun and stress relieving activities,” said Erin Salisbury, graduate assistant at Wellness Services. “There will be an aromatherapy station, laughter, puppies, stress resources and giveaways, and even a bounce house on Monday for students to play on.”

The puppies were well received by students last fall, so Salisbury said she expects them to be a big hit this finals week as well.

Erin VanDenburgh, campus programs coordinator from SILC, tries to keep in mind a variety of relievers the center can offer every semester, and mentioned there is “input from student groups like ASBSU and the Student Involvement and Leadership Center programming assistants” into deciding the relievers for the spring.

“We are definitely doing a lot more for this finals relief event than in previous years.  I think the biggest difference is teaming up with “Get Involved,” which provides many more resources and ideas to bring to the table,” Salisbury said.

When asked what her personal favorite stress relief activity is, Salisbury said,

“The bounce house. Our peer educators wanted to feature an activity that will be fun, interactive, and different.  They worked diligently to make bringing a bounce house to campus possible and I am excited to see it play out.  Plus, who doesn’t love a bounce house?”

In contrast, VanDenburgh said she “always enjoy(s) the Night Owl Breakfast on the Sunday night before Finals week. It’s a lot of fun to see staff and faculty support and interact with students by serving them breakfast in the BRC before their finals begin.”

But how effective are these relievers? Some of these activities may seem fun and all, but do they really decrease test-day jitters?

According to Salisbury, “The bounce house will be provided as a fun way to exercise before an exam.  Exercise increases endorphins to make people happy and acts as a distraction to forget any worries from daily life.  It also gets the blood flowing in the body and brain.  Lavender has been clinically tested and proven to reduce stress.  Laughter has also been proven to relieve the stress response and give you a good, relaxed feeling.  It also helps to stimulate muscle relaxation and circulation to help reduce many of the physical stress symptoms.”

For more information, visit for the schedule or call the Student Involvement & Leadership Center at 426-4239.

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The Arbiter

Kate King

Boise’s new non-smoking ordinance may be luring smokers back to campus to avoid being ticketed.  The recent smoking act has left determined smokers with few places to go and campus officials are unsure of how to prosecute violators.

Boise State University officially became a smoke-free campus in 2009. According to a Boise State news release concerning the smoking ban in 2008, 86 percent of students sided that campuses should be smoke-free environments.

Taylor Mitzel, a campus resident and freshman, shares this majority opinion. “I think colleges should be smoke-free mainly because of health. College campuses should not put others at risk from the air pollution that smoking causes,” Mitzel said.

Since the ban, the amount of smoking on campus has decreased significantly. Boise State alumnus Tyler Lyon was a student both before and after the ban.  He saw a major difference between the two.  “I remember transferring here from ISU and being really surprised to see people smoking all over campus. I hated it,” he said.

Lyon transferred during the spring of 2005 and completed his undergraduate degree prior to the smoking ban. When he returned for his master’s degree the ban was in effect. “The ban made a world of difference,” Lyon said. “It was so nice to be able to exit buildings without being greeted by a cloud of smoke.”

In January of 2012, three years after the campus-wide ban, the city of Boise put a city-wide ban on smoking in public parks, bars, restaurants, the Grove Plaza, within 20 feet of city-owned buildings and outdoor commercial patios.  The ban also led to several hookah bars in the area to permanently close their doors because of the restrictions that were imposed.

Boise’s non-smoking regulations were put into place for many of the same reasons that Boise State became a smoke-free campus – to protect the health and well-being of its citizens. But the percentage of students rallying around the new city-wide ban may not be as great. BSU sophomore Verenitze Beltran views the bans as entirely separate issues. “I think it’s right that Boise State has a smoking ban but not that the city of Boise has one,” Beltran said.

The campus ban exclusively covers the university’s public property while the city ban includes privately owned businesses. This dissimilarity causes some who are in favor of the campus ruling, like Beltran, to hold different views on the city law.

“I don’t think Boise should tell business owners whether or not to allow smoking. I know it affects their business so it should be up to them,” she said.

Regardless of the opinion of students on the more recent ban, it is still yet to be determined whether the new city-wide ordinance is helping or hindering the cause of BSU’s original sanction. One might assume that the two regulations would support and strengthen the other but the punishment for the violation of the city ordinance and the campus policy are vastly different, complicating the situation. Violation of the smoking ordinance in the city of Boise is punishable by a $69 fine if violators show resistance to law enforcement or are repeat offenders. The punishment inflicted by campus
violators is far less severe.

“It depends on their attitude, but violators will first get a verbal warning, then a written warning, and then an incident report will be filed,” Boise State’s Executive Director of Campus Security Jon Uda said. “We were never intended to be the smoking police. The ban is intended to be peer enforced by students, faculty and staff.”

Students from Boise State who may have waited to smoke until they were off campus before the city’s ban may instead decide to remain on campus to smoke to avoid the greater penalty. “Before they passed the Boise City ban I did not see nearly as many people smoking on campus.  Smokers used to go to Julia Davis Park but now they do not seem to care,” Beltran said.

It seems that smokers on campus are beginning to take advantage of the weak campus enforcement policy. “I see people walk past me with cigarettes and see cigarettes on sidewalks on campus,” Mitzel said.

An increased number of violators puts campus security in a hard spot. “It’s like a game of cat and mouse and the mouse is better,” Uda said. Determined smokers can always find obscure, unmonitored areas.

While Boise’s new smoking ban may well be improving the quality of the air we breathe, its effects are “clouding the issue” of the smoke free campus that most students and officials are promoting.


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Cody Finney / The Arbiter

Studying abroad is a great experience in itself, but having something to remember it with is equally important. For one, it lets you remember and even keep in touch with all those friends you made. For another, it gives you something material to wave in your little sister’s face to make her jealous.

Some of the most popular are various methods of journaling. There’s the physical option, especially useful for those artistic types who can keep sketches next to the appropriate passages. It also makes for a scrapbook type of memoranda, with ticket stubs and receipts.

The tech option is a blog. This is an easy way to keep up with all those ‘keep in touch, send us postcards’ requests too. Going broke due to postage is not a particularly story-worthy way to go. There are tons of options out there, but one of the easiest is Google’s Blogger, pretty intuitive and included in a standard Google account. Being able to include pictures is a big bonus on this method.

Both of these are ways to capture the whole experience, with as much attention to daily life as you want. There are also a few more unique options for keeping track of travels.

One is a map. The one I use is pretty basic, just country outlines and a few major cities. The lack of details makes it easy to read any notations made, indicating cities traveled to and a brief blurb on the whys.

Another way, which requires someone back home cooperating, is postcards. Landscape shots are all well and good when you have a spectacular camera and enthusiasm for photography, but for cheap-camera owners, postcards are better. Save the photos for people you meet and truly unique shots.

Most places which sell postcards also sell the appropriate postage. Just make sure to indicate you are mailing it to America, because sometimes that has different postage than another European country. Writing out trip details gives the opportunity to record the amusing tidbits often forgotten by the time you get to a computer or to your journal.

By mailing them back home, you also get the postage collection and some travel-worn postcards. Make sure to establish with your recipient they need to save all the postcards for you though.

Finally, remembering the people met on exchange. A popular way to collect signatures and well-wishes are flags from the host nation. Visitor centers and local shops have flags in various sizes. Picking a big one gives signers the option of recording memories or well-wishes rather than just a signature. This is especially fun if they write in their native languages! Make sure to get a translation though, Google Translate doesn’t really cut it.

This is ironic, given my previous column about misusing the American flag, so I wish to assure you that no Swedes have complained about this usage of their country’s symbol. Might be worth checking in your own host country just in case.

With all the creative people out there, unique ways of commemorating a trip pop up all the time. These are just some easy and fun ones to get you started.

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Patrick Sweeney / The Arbiter

No one said it would be easy. But it is, perhaps, too soon to know all the various ways in which reduced government funding will affect the various operations at an institution like Boise State. The sequestration has managed to spread a lot of doubt, uncertainty and fear. However, researchers at Boise State are showing they have the drive to move forward in the face of uncertainty.

“I think we have faculty that are talented and very competitive,” Vice President of Research, Mark Rudin said.  “I feel confident that we’ll continue to be competitive in that area, just because of the talent level of our faculty.”

Professor Julie Oxford of the Biological Sciences Department is one of many researchers working to prove Vice President Rudin correct. 

Professor Oxford is the director of the Boise State University chapter of the Idaho Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE).  It is a statewide program that involves all of the colleges and universities in the state. The National Institutes of Health funds this program and the various stakeholders from around the state get together every five years to write a renewal for their grants. 

The program professor Oxford oversees involves multiple research projects.

“We are looking at the causes of arthritis,” Oxford explained, “and hoping we can find out information that would contribute to a cure or a treatment or prevention.  We also… look at normal development… primarily the development of the skeleton. But we also have interest in development of the eyes and development of the ears.  Some of the conditions some individuals experience have a whole constellation of symptoms that include the heart, the eyes, the ears and joints.  So we’re trying to understand how one very small but specific mutation in a gene can impact all of these different systems.” 

Sequestration brought a bit of a kink at the end of the current five-year funding period. Oxford’s program has an annual budget of approximately $800,000.  Suddenly, funds for this program were cut by about $81,000 for the period starting April 1 of this year and ending March 31, 2014.

“NIH gave us about a month notice,” Oxford said. “They told us they would cut our budget by ten percent and their question to us was how are we going to still carry out our program. And so we had to submit a new budget and justify the cuts.”

This was going to be a very difficult process. “We have many, many people hired on this grant. So I think it’s one thing if someone tells you they’re going to cut your budget by ten percent and you can reduce the amount of spending… on supplies. But it’s (another) thing when you’re talking about people’s jobs. So it was, I think, a little painful.”

For many of the people hired on this grant, the danger was a possibility of losing their career.

“We didn’t know what to do exactly,” Oxford said, “whether we should just shorten our year by 1.2 months, so kind of cut across the board, or should we look at the program and cut deeply into one area.”

The latter would mean someone would have to lose his or her job.

“This grant that has been going on for so long is so lean at this point,” Oxford added. “There just was no fat to trim.”

The grant also funds a summer undergraduate research fellows program in which undergraduate students are able to work in research labs for ten weeks. The number of students awarded this opportunity will be reduced from ten to nine.

Professor Oxford spoke on the general effect this situation has on morale.

“If these researchers that are working full-time… dedicated to whatever research question it is they’re focusing on… I believe that they can’t do their best work if they feel this looming risk of losing their jobs.” This worry can “lessen the attention they might have had to focusing on a question about cancer or a question about arthritis,” according to Oxford. 

One of the worst effects might be this stress motivates people to give up on research.

“I have heard from different faculty members… that they are quite discouraged because grant applications have become so much more competitive,” Oxford said. “Even a very high quality grant application, great research ideas, might not get funded.”

Professor Oxford emphasized the amount of hard work and energy it takes to put a grant proposal together.  She then explained that some professors begin to wonder if it’s really even worth it.

“They do work really hard,” she said. “It’s ok if… it pays off, but when you work so hard and you have nothing to show, it’s kind of hard.”

Professor Oxford mentioned that some faculty members have told her they are considering putting more of their energy into other areas of academia and away from research.

“One of the professors indicated that they would just spend more time teaching… Another faculty member came to me and said, ‘I think maybe I should start moving into administration.’ Less research, more administration, because research is kind of demoralizing people.”

But Professor Oxford sees another side to it as well. “On the flip-side, I think… it motivates us because we have to scramble. We have to be writing that many more grant applications,” she said.

While she feels this may detract from time that could be spent in the lab, there is an advantage to putting out more grant applications. The more grants applied for, the better the chances of making up some of the deficits caused by sequestration.

According to Oxford, the situation is “raising the awareness that we really need to get high-quality grant applications out on a regular basis, rapidly, to keep our research programs going.”

Building the ability to rapidly produce high-quality grant applications likely serves the interests of researchers even when there is no sequester.

It is this dedication to digging deep and doing what it takes to keep research alive that helped Professor Oxford reduce her program’s deficit. But she couldn’t have done it without help.

Both the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Tony Roark and Vice President Rudin were involved in the process. “We were looking at a deficit of about $60,000 and I proposed that we split this and they were very willing to help out.”

The Biomolecular Research Center, who administers the grant, also has some funds that are not from federal grants.  Professor Oxford said they were able to “draw off of that for a short term fix.” Even though her program wasn’t completely unscathed, Oxford acknowledges support from Boise State University. “We trimmed a little bit, but Boise State kind of stepped up to the plate and took over some of those costs. So we’re ok, I think.”

Despite the fact they are still missing around $30,000, Professor Oxford is staying hopeful and working hard to find whatever funding options that are available.

“Because this program starts in April, we’re really at just the beginning of the year. So what we can do is in the meantime apply for more grants… and if one of those grants comes through with a similar mission, then we could end that year early and start the new project just a little bit earlier… we can make it work.”

While sequestration is making research more difficult, Professor Oxford doesn’t think it will get in the way of the university achieving its research goals.

“I’m always concerned about grant funding continuing to come in, but it has been so far,” Oxford said. “I know that it is tough, but it’s been tough before. We’ve seen these levels before… and I’m optimistic that we’re just at a low point and we’ll see it oscillate back up to better, more favorable research funding.”

She called the sequestration a hiccup. “Boise State is still growing as a research university,” she said. Professor Oxford demonstrates that it is a dedication to finding solutions to tough problems that has made this possible and it is that same dedication that will carry research at Boise State through these hard times into the future. After all, finding solutions to tough problems is what researchers do.

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Megan Riley / The Arbiter

The Danny Peterson Theatre was filled with laughter and awkwardness this weekend while the Theatre Majors Association (TMA) performed their spring showcase, “An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein.”

The show consisted of ten shorts and six actors who took on a multitude of roles throughout the evening. It lasted for roughly two and a half hours and covered a variety of topics from laundromats to talking dogs.

For those familiar with Shel Silverstein, this show was definitely something different than his usual children’s books.

There was much mention about genitalia and the female form and even a whole short dedicated to a team of prostitutes trying to sell their bodies.

“It was definitely different than his children’s books,” said Nikelous Patterson. “There were lots of funny moments and quite a bit of vulgarity.”

The content of the play was not for those easily made uncomfortable, as a lot of it hinted at those risqué topics which people don’t tend to mention in public.

The first short depicted a couple coming to terms with the wife’s new problem of becoming a “bag lady.”

The next took a much different turn and had about 200 words to describe a woman’s breasts and about the same to describe male parts.

Another sought to teach a lesson about being taken advantage of in the short, “Wash and Dry.”

Others involved auctioning off a woman to be whatever the buyer wanted her to be, and a rather lengthy short using only the words “meat and

The showcase ran from Thursday night through Saturday night with a fair amount of audience members in the seats. The laughter was scattered, with often a few lone chuckles at the more awkward, vulgar moments where some didn’t know if they should laugh or wait for a less offending moment.

The ten shorts did not reflect Shel Silverstein’s children’s books in the slightest, but definitely brought a whole new audience and reaction to his adult themed writing.

Tell us what you thought of the TMA performance at

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Cody Finney / The Arbiter

Boise State has a rather large—and growing—international student population.  The International Student Services Department is challenging all domestic students across campus to step outside of their comfort zones, and meet some new and friendly faces.


Daria Ursol was only 15-years-old when she journeyed from Muldova (which is tucked between the Ukraine and Romania) to Wenatchee, Wash., completely by herself. She spent a year in Washington with an exchange family, then traveled back to Muldova to finish high school.

In 2010, Ursol had found her way back to Wenatchee and attended a small community college.  Two years later, she transferred to Boise State to pursue a degree in Multi-Ethnic Studies with a minor in Spanish.  She didn’t know a soul in Idaho when she picked Boise State, but she was awarded a great scholarship and  would still be fairly close to her friends in Washington.

Ursol has an almost unnoticeable accent.  Though she said her accent was very strong when she first came to America, she says she has worked very hard to increase her vocabulary.  She said that when she first came to America as an exchange student, the hardest language barrier for her was slang.  She would come home with some edgy words, and ask her host family what they meant.  Her host family was always shocked at the words she was bringing home, and she was always shocked to find out what they meant.

Ursol made the decision to pursue her education in the states because American society fits more closely with her own personal beliefs than did Muldova society, which she describes as still very conservative.  There are more opportunities for  people here, and she likes the fact that we are an individualistic society, compared to the collectivist society from which she came.

“I feel very fortunate being here. I consider myself very lucky. I would definitely recommend BSU to any international student,” Ursol said.


Aziz Alfaleh is another international student at Boise State a long way from home.  He is a sophomore studying information technology management.  Home for Alfelah is Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and his country is footing the bill for his education.  He has been in America since January 2011.

The largest challenge he’s faced since being in America is dealing with what he calls “the tiny cultural differences.”

For example, Alfaleh, with his friendly smile, has easily made friends in class.  But there have been times when he runs into a friend outside of class, and they barely give him a nod.  At first he was offended,  he later came to realize it is part of American individualist society.  w In Saudi Arabia, that would be considered very rude.

Because of all of the unrest in the Middle East, Alfaleh has unfortunately been the target of unwarranted stares and a few nasty comments.  He said people here are not used to foreigners.  When the bombings at the Boston Marathon happened, he said he prayed for it not to be someone from the Middle East.  But for the most part, his experience here has been positive.

Alfelah is also well-spoken. He said he felt very confident about his ability to speak English when he came to America.

“When it comes to language I feel more American than most Americans,” Alfelah said.

Alfelah made an interesting observation about how we handle our money as Americans.  He described it as being money-driven. The example he used was from a time when he had given a fellow classmate a ride home.  The classmate had told Alfelah to pull over at a gas station; that he wanted to put a few dollars of gasoline into his car for him.  Alfelah laughed and said, “No, you don’t have to do that!  I am just giving you a ride because I am a nice person.  You don’t have to buy my gas.”

Both Ursol and Alfelah miss their families and see them very little.  Ursol got to go home last summer, but it had been a year and a half since she had seen them at that point.  The opportunity for her family to come to visit her here in America is slim at best.

“It’s easy for me to come and go, because I have an educational visa, but it’s more complicated for them,” Ursol said.


It isn’t always easy fitting in and making new friends.  It’s not even easy for people born in America.

“You can’t walk up to someone and say, ‘Can we be friends?’  It’s just not done that way,” said Christy Babcock, associate director of International Student Services.

Language barriers are often a problem.  “The challenge can come from two different sides or both sides at once,” Babcock said, whether it’s an international student who doesn’t feel comfortable yet expressing themselves in English, or a domestic student who isn’t used to conversing with someone from another country.

Together with Multi-Cultural Student Services, it shares a couple of lounges designed to bring people from every nationality and culture together. The space is meant to be a comforting place where students can hang out, study, and have group meetings.  Everyone is welcome, but the center has had trouble gaining the interest of domestic students.

Babcock says the center holds a variety of events, but because they are marked as “being held by the international student services” and “being held at the diversity center,” domestic students don’t think they are welcome.  That has been a huge marketing challenge for them.

Domestic students often get involved with the center for service learning credits. For example, The World Cup of Tea Program partners domestic students with international students, and credits are available. Babcock says that once they get involved, they tend to stay involved.

Also, many Christian-based groups tend to be eager to get involved, and Babcock said they just have to make sure their intentions are not to recruit new church members.

Coffee and Conversation is a group that meets every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Student Diversity Center

For international students, it’s a chance to hang out, vent  frustrations, and make connections.  It is informal and comfortable, with people  sitting around, eating and chatting.

Coffee and Conversation typically draws between 30 to 50 students.  One of the hardest challenges Babcock faces is trying to immerse international students with domestic students in a social setting.  Sometimes, it’s a cultural problem in and of itself.

“You really see that with the Middle Eastern Students; they really stick together.  You only have a few that really try to immerse themselves,” Babcock said.  Presently, Boise State is attended by 430 Middle Eastern students. That number has doubled in the last two years.

Babcock said she would like to challenge all domestic students—to step outside their comfort zone, and openly welcome international students.

“This is a way to learn about the world without leaving your home town,” Babcock said.  You are making a new friend, learning about the world, and making someone feel welcome; something Babcock describes as win/win.

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Patrick Sweeney / The Arbiter

Last month, freshman Laray Stoffels and four friends were heading to dinner from their dorms on the fifth floor of Towers Hall. The five of them got in the elevator, as usual, and descended toward the first floor. What happened next was not usual.
“We got like halfway between the fifth floor and the fourth floor and like it just stopped, it just completely stopped,” Stoffels said.
Realizing that the elevator was stuck, Stoffels and her friends pressed the call button and were assured maintenance personnel were on the way to get them out. Stoffel and the others on the elevator remained calm and waited to be rescued.
“One of the girls on the elevator had gotten stuck in Towers before and it took like ten minutes and they got her out, so we didn’t think it was that big of a deal,”
Stoffels said.
Maintenance arrived and after trying several different methods to fix the problem, they discovered there was no way to safely get the girls out due to their location between floors; Boise Fire Department had to be called.
“We waited longer and the fire department came and they had to pry it open with all their tools and then they just pulled us all out,” Stoffels said. “We were in there for like an hour and a half, hour and forty minutes.”
After the students were safely out of the elevator, the cause of the malfunction was revealed to be a broken second brake. Since then, the elevator has been fixed and seems to be operating normally.
While incidents such as this one are out of the ordinary, they do still occur. Since July of 2012 the office of Facilities, Operations and Maintenance has recorded 119 service calls for elevators on campus, according to Suzanne Seigneur, communications and  outreach coordinator for Campus Planning and Facilities.
Boise State has 84 elevators currently in operation, all of which require regular inspections and maintenance to keep them in compliance with state and federal safety standards. According to Seigneur, that task is contracted to ThyssenKrupp Elevator (TKE).
“Safety is our number one job and part of the reason we contract out is so that we’re hiring an expert, who is a certified technician, who comes in and takes a look at all the elevators,” Seigneur said.
Those 84 elevators keep a TKE technician busy working nearly full-time for the university. Each elevator is placed on an inspection schedule based on how heavily it’s used.
Elevators with high usage, such as those in the Education building, are inspected weekly. Elevators in buildings with medium usage—Liberal Arts, for example—are inspected monthly. Elevators that receive little use are inspected bi-monthly, such as the ones in the Extended Studies Center.
According to Seigneur, inspections involve a top to bottom inspection of the elevator car, including operator controls inside the elevator, emergency lights, the car door opening device, landing alignment, door sequencing, brakes, all fluid levels, and many other parts.
“We do our maintenance according to state and federal standards. Every elevator is also pulled off-line and thoroughly inspected every five years,” Seigneur said. “There are some times when an elevator needs to be replaced, typically when parts no longer can be obtained readily.”
The elevators in the Administration Building will soon be replaced, during the end of May and beginning of June, Seigneur also said.
Boise State spends $64,500 per year on the standard maintenance contract for all elevators on campus, with funds from the Facilities annual operating budget. The departments where the elevators are located also contribute funds towards elevator maintenance. Any unexpected service calls, such as removing an individual from a stuck elevator or repairing a broken elevator, are not included in the budget.
With all the inspections, maintenance and funding elevators receive, why does the office of Facilities, Operations and Maintenance still receive an average of ten service calls a month? According to Seigneur, most elevator malfunctions are caused by users.
“Facilities doesn’t experience many mechanical issues with the elevators,” Seigneur said. “Most of the incidences when they do have them are human-caused. It’s most often a case of the elevator doors out of alignment. Most of the time this happens when individuals see the door closing and are quick to push the door back or obstruct the door with a hand or foot.”
Seigneur recommended that riders instead press the door open button to stop the door from closing. Pranks, such as placing a coin in the track of the elevator doors, can prevent doors from opening properly. Overloading the elevators with too many people could also potentially cause breakdowns.
In 2000, Rice University administration threatened fines for students causing malfunctions by jumping up and down while the elevators were in motion, according to the Rice Thresher student newspaper. Similarly childish behavior could also cause elevators to stall at Boise State.
For those few unlucky students who do get stuck in elevators on campus, the ordeal usually isn’t too traumatic. As Laray Stoffels pointed out, she hasn’t exclusively switched to stairs.
“Nothing really happened. We didn’t go crashing down or anything, so it wasn’t that scary,” Stoffels said. “Every time I get in that elevator it kind of freaks me out but I’m not going to avoid elevators completely.

If you are stuck in an elevator on campus:
1) Don’t panic
Modern elevators are engineered in such a way that it is almost impossible for the car to plummet to the bottom of the elevator shaft, so there’s no need to worry about that happening.
Elevators are also not airtight so there is no possibility of running out of air. Take deep breaths if you begin to feel claustrophobic
2) Push the emergency call button
This will connect you to campus dispatch. They will contact maintenance to come and get you out.
3) Be patient
Depending on how severely the elevator is stuck, it may take some time to get you and the other passengers out.
4) DO NOT try and get out on your own
The elevator could unexpectedly move or you could fall down the shaft and be severely injured. The safest place for you to be is inside the elevator car.

Information courtesy of the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation

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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

The Boise State men’s golf team headed down to Las Vegas for the Mountain West conference championships, hosted by UNLV at the par-71, 7,144-yard Catalina Course OMNI Tuscon National in Tuscon, Ariz. The three round tournament featured 18 holes each day for the nine school in the Mountain West.

The Broncos spring tournament season has been one of their best semesters in recent history that included a T-4 at the Sacramento State Collegiate, and a 5th place finish at the Cougar Classic hosted by BYU last weekend.

Traveling for the Broncos to the Mountain West Championships were seniors T.K. Kim, Clayton Kosanovich, redshirt senior Charlie Marusiak, redshirt junior Jordan Skyles, and true freshman Logan France.

Leading the way in the first round for the Broncos was Kim, as he fired an even-par 71, putting him in a tie for 4th place and five shots back of the leader, New Mexico’s Victor Perez. Kim leads the team in scoring average and has placed in the top 25 in all 10 tournaments for the Broncos this season.

The Broncos sat in seventh place after day one, and trailed by 18 shots to the 5th ranked team in the nation, the New Mexico Lobos.

Senior Charlie Marusiak fired an opening round 4-over par 75 to put himself in a tie for 21st. Trailing Marusiak by a single stroke, was fellow senior Clayton Kosanovich who opened up his conference tournament with a 5-over par 76, putting himself just one shot back of the top 25.

Rounding out the scoring for the Broncos on day one was the team’s second leading scorer, redshirt junior Jordan Skyles, who fired a 7-over par 78. Skyles was followed by freshman Logan France with an 8-over par 79.

Following Friday’s opening rounds, the Broncos hoped to make a charge on Saturday to put them into position for Sunday.

The Broncos improved on their first round team score of 16-over par 300, with a 14-over par 298. It would not prove to be enough to make a substantial move however, as the Broncos posted the second highest score of the day, as they dropped into solo 8th place, 35 shots behind leaders New Mexico and San Diego State at 5-under par.

Led once again by Senior T.K. Kim, Kim was the only Bronco to score under par for the day, as he fired a 2-under par 69 as he moved into a three way tie for 4th place, one shot behind New Mexico’s Gavin Green, San Diego State’s Riccardo Michelini,  and UNLV’s Kevin Penner.

Redshirt junior Jordan Skyles improved from his day one score, as he bounced back with a 3-over par 75, bringing his two day total to 10-over par.

Senior Charlie Marusiak struggled on day two, as he shot a 6-over par 77. Fellow senior Clayton Kosanovich and freshman Logan France trailed closely behind, both firing a 7-over par 78.

With one day remaining, the Broncos best chance to be represented at the National Championships is by individual, T.K. Kim. He would be the first since former Broncos and current PGA Tour player Graham Delaet and current Tour player Troy Merritt.

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Devin Ferrell / The Arbiter

Zoe Colburn

This Thursday, May 2, the Modern Hotel opened up its rooms to artists and the public.

With Boise often being named one of the best places to live, one can expect the center of it all, downtown, to be open and inviting. But who would’ve thought that those connotations of being a local would mean that overcrowding in many hotel rooms with art and strangers would be such a draw—pardon the pun.

It is this quite intimate experience that not only screams hospitality, but inventiveness and connectivity.  While some of the artists displayed and sold their pieces, others invited people to get involved and participate in the creative

Mariana Gutierrez, a senior illustration and visual arts major with an emphasis drawing and painting, said, “I know a lot of the other rooms you know you walked in and just kind of check things out, but we really wanted people to do

Angela Henson, a junior interdisciplinary studio arts major, said, “Last year we made the BSU Drawing and Painting Club, and we wanted it to be more like an interactive community art club where we could be out in the community and get other people interested in art.”

Henson continued, “When we decided to do the Modern Show we wanted something that just got people in and drawing and feeling excited
about art.”

The Boise State Drawing and Painting Club provided blank cards, sheets of paper and drawing materials for onlookers to use with the option of keeping and saving.

The hotel room utilized by the Boise State Drawing and Painting Club was filled with many collaborators. People were working alongside each other to create images, but also noticing the images left behind by others. All the produced images created an onslaught of joint effort and progression, art in a
visual motion.

“It’s hard to be part of a community of art until you start getting people together,” Henson said.

Gutierrez shared the same belief and said, “That’s really the heart of this event, we really want people to know that we’re a club, we’re here that there’s going to be more events coming and to have a
good time.”

Another Boise State club, the Red Circle Press, had members showcasing their artwork at the Modern’s First Thursday.

Dan Beaudreau, a junior print making major, said “Red Circle Press is a Boise State printmaking club and we focus on student work and community advocacy for printmaking like we team up with local arts, galleries, events like the Modern to show our work and spread the word of printmaking.”

Printmaking invokes many different levels of media, habitually employing technology, to create highly detailed visuals. Yet with the evolution of this technology, many “originals” can be made, thus meeting with the high demand of production.

Beaudreau continued, “We’ve got a lot of students that can show work and have work so these are the events we like to do.”