Main Feature

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online.
New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Holly Hovis
© Boise State Student Media 2015

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online.
New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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He had a wife, a daughter, a stable job in construction and a nice house. However, two years ago Chad Spangler found himself sleeping in his car after losing his home in a divorce.

“It can happen to anybody. It doesn’t matter how rich you are, you can be homeless. You can lose everything just like that,” Spangler said, snapping his fingers.

After evaluating his situation, Spangler decided to enroll at Boise State as a social work major. At 40 years old, he knew his body couldn’t handle construction work forever.

Due to his financial situation and child support obligations, he has remained in his car for the two years he’s been a college student.

Spangler isn’t the only student at Boise State facing homelessness. According to FAFSA forms received by the Boise State Financial Aid Services, 11 homeless students and one student at risk for homelessness enrolled at the university in the 2014-2015 year.

FAFSA defines homelessness as a student who does not have regular, fixed housing that is adequate. “This includes students who are living in shelters, motels, cars or parks, or who are temporarily living with other people because they have nowhere else to go.”

Pursuing academic dreams

According to data compiled from FAFSA forms, approximately 58,000 college students nationwide identified as homeless during the 2013-2014 school year. This is a 25,000 increase—or 43.1 percent—from the 2010-2011 school year.

Universities are not required to keep track of homeless students, therefore FAFSA is the most available data. However, a student must self-identify on their form of their special circumstance. This means the data available may not accurately represent the number of homeless students that exist. A student may not realize they are homeless or they may not want to report their situation.

“The general stereotype is, ‘You’re homeless. You’re either an alcoholic or an addict or you just don’t want to work,’” Spangler said. “Granted there are those (who fit this stereotype), but there are some of us who are just trying to get by.”

Twenty-four-year-old Jake McAbee entered the workforce following his mission for his church. When he lost his job at Wal-Mart, he struggled to pay rent. His fellow roommates became upset. After a confrontation with one roommate, McAbee left his residence to find shelter at the Interfaith Sanctuary in September 2014.

“That’s not the life I want to live,” McAbee said. “I guess I could be like everyone else and just live (at the shelter) the rest of my life and not do anything, but I don’t want that.”

After he couldn’t find work, McAbee decided to apply for Boise State as a communication major this spring. He has found multiple ways to pursue his passions, including being a drummer for a band at the shelter and a radio show host for The University Pulse.

Between attending classes, doing homework and his involvement on campus, McAbee has to make sure he is back at the shelter by 8 p.m. to ensure he has a bed to sleep in.

“If you don’t have a bed, then you have to (call) in before so that you can have a position on the floor because it’s first come, first serve,” McAbee said.

McAbee pays for college strictly with grants from FAFSA. The grants cover tuition and books, but there isn’t enough left over to cover housing.

Throughout this semester, McAbee has had to complete his homework assignments and study hours prior to leaving for the shelter. McAbee cannot bring his laptop into Interfaith due to shelter policy nor does he have access to Internet due to shelter policies. Some nights, he won’t go to the shelter in order to complete his studies.

Spangler feels many don’t understand his circumstance. He works approximately 20 hours a week doing contracted construction work but must pay $500 a month in child support. Taking care of his child a higher priority to him than paying rent.

“How about some compassion?” Spangler said. “It’s not like we’re a disease; we’re human beings.”

He wakes up around 6 a.m. to head to campus. When he gets out of his car, some people passing by will stare, make an off-handed comment or snicker.

“There’s a stigma that goes with (homelessness)—you’re homeless so they see you,” Spangler said pausing for a moment, “as garbage.”

Common struggle

Anna Moreshead, Impact Scholars coordinator for the Office of the Dean of Students, typically receives referrals from the financial aid office, professors and other students about students who are at risk or experiencing homelessness.

“Usually what I find is that homelessness is not the only thing going on for these students,” Moreshead said.

This can include academic struggles as well.

Moreshead highlighted that the retention rate of homeless students is low. Since physiological needs, such as shelter, are harder to meet, homeless students can’t focus on their academics as much as a college student who has shelter.

“It’s just so sad that without intervening—maybe on a more holistic approach—I just fear we’re going to keep losing those students,” Moreshead said.

The value of education

Moreshead believes that as higher education is pushed more, diversity will grow among the student body. This includes students of different financial backgrounds and needs.

“I would rather have a student experiencing homelessness spend time in a college classroom than anywhere else because the social worker in me just latches on to the fact that anybody can be an agent of change,” Moreshead said.

While Spangler has lost many material possessions, his education is invaluable to him and will help him build a better life.

“This is just something I want to do for me because when I get my degree, you can’t take it away from me,” Spangler said. “I’ve earned it. I can take it anywhere I go.”

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online.
New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Holly Hovis
© Boise State Student Media 2015

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online.
New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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We interviewed director of the program Dave Fotsch, he gives a detailed explanation into how the program works and operates, and what all is needed to rent a bicycle. By Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22 2015 the public will have access to all 114 bikes available through the bikeshare program.

CREDITS:
Tyler Wilson-Producer/Editor
Cody Sullivan-Producer/Editor
Dave Fotsch-Director of Boise GreenBike

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online.
New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
© Boise State Student Media 2015

 

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online.
New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online.
New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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Tyler Paget
Freshman forward Chandler Hutchison (No. 15) would not be able to play this season if a proposed NCAA amendment making freshman ineligible for varsity sports passes.

American culture is dominated by sports.

From some the earliest years, many American’s are placed in sports. Data from polls conducted by ESPN in 2013 says over 21.5 million children ages 6 to 17 participate in sports.

27% of American adults spent 6-10 hours a week watching the NFL according to the Harris Poll. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, over 32 million Americans spent $15 billion on fantasy sports as well as 8.67 hours a week consuming fantasy sports.

Even when their playing days are over, many Americans trudge out onto a frozen field for the annual turkey bowl.

For the majority of Americans, the rite of passage is paved with sports.

Our obsession with sports and the role they play in society can be narrowed down to four main pillars gathered from interviews with seven Boise State athletes and coaches.:

1. Sports teaches life skills

2. Sports teaches character

3. Sports provides a family

4. Sports provides an emotional escape

Life Skills

Of the seven Boise State athletes and coaches interviewed for this story, five said that they have applied skills they have learned from sports in their everyday lives.

“I think after someone gets out of sports its role in society would be the skills it gives you—time management, dedication and determination,” gymnastics junior Maddie Krentz said. “Those things will lead to somebody in the workforce or wherever going better because of what they learned in sports.”

Assistant women’s soccer coach Maite Zabala said that sports has been used on an international level to empower individuals, particuarly women.

“Sports in general (are) pretty empowering when you take a chance to learn something and work as a team,” Zabala said. “If you empower women, and a lot of times they talk about doing that through sports, more empowering of women equals much more developed and stable societies.”

Character

Sports has provided countless situations to teach an individual lessons of character.

Zabala believes that sports primarily reveals one’s character, but the most important aspect is it offers a lesson on ethics.

“I think that people’s character can be exposed in difficult times,” Zabala said. “Difficult times can also allow someone to step up and learn how to do things the right way. I think it’s a little bit of both.”

Junior punter Sean Wale agrees that sports has provided countless role models throughout his life. Wale argues this is a double-edged sword, however.

“It builds that character that is needed throughout life and a lot of athletes are really looked up to. I don’t know if that’s how it should be,” Wale said. “I know where I was from, there would be people who grew up not playing sports and they’d kind of get into more trouble.”

Family

The case of Antoine Turner provided the perfect narrative of sports providing an individual with a basic human need—stability.

Turner was homeless until Boise State was able to offer him financial assistance following an NCAA waiver.

“My team just means family,” redshirt junior offensive lineman Steven Baggett said. “We’re all just trying to get better each day and every day.”

Head cross country and track and field coach Corey Ihmels added that he has been shaped by those he has competed with.

“I think (sports) shapes who you are,” Ihmels said. “The people that you meet and the ones that you are around, they shape who you are and the path that you go down. I’m not doing what I’m doing today without quite a few people (I’ve met from sports).”

Emotional Escape

Distance runner Marisa Howard loves sports because of the unscripted moments. Anything can happen on any given day.

From the 1980 Miracle on Ice, to one-legged Anthony Robles winning an NCAA wrestling title or the success of Boston sports in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, sports has provided an escape for our society.

“I feel like it’s such a raw form of entertainment,” Howard said. “We always talk about just those amazing moments that you can’t script and how much pure joy winning a championship or making that goal—you can’t script that stuff.”

Krentz added that her career in gymnastics has provided her an escape from the trials and tribulations of life.

“One of my friends earlier this year said this perfectly, ‘Gymnastics is our church,’” Krentz said. “It’s where we go for everything and it’s always super helpful. It’s like our own little getaway.”