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It’s your first day of college. You don’t know anyone there or in the whole state for that matter. Suddenly, you have that, “Oh crap, what was I thinking” moment.

Although I initially had this feeling when I moved from California to attend Boise State, over the last four years I developed a deep love for Boise and my fellow Broncos. I know this connection wouldn’t run so deep, however, if I hadn’t spent three of my four years living on campus.

As a freshman, I lived in the boonies, otherwise known as Towers Hall. What could be seen as isolation was in fact the perfect environment to foster friendships.

Although living on campus is generally more expensive than living in an off-campus apartment or with your parents, it is definitely worth it. Sophomore health science studies major Lisa Francis said the communal environment of Driscoll Hall allowed her to make more friends than she would have by simply going to class.

“If it’s financially possible, I would definitely suggest it. Not only for getting involved and connected, but also for the independence,” Francis said. “You live with your parents for 18 years, it’s a very unique and good experience to live with a bunch of people that are different than you.”

Philip Storm, resident director of Towers Hall, said student services tries to make campus services as available as possible to all students, but it’s generally easier for students who live on campus to be involved.

“It’s just an awesome opportunity where you have that support system right here, where as students who aren’t living on campus have to search out a little bit more and make that initial contact,” Storm said.

Francis said she felt more connected than her friends who lived off campus.

“I know that I had a lot of people I met later through classes that expressed disappointment because they would go to school and go home from school, just seeing the people that they had already known. That was not the case for me,” Francis said. “It enabled me to go on more adventures.”

Storm said another advantage for students who live on campus is that they tend to have higher GPAs than their counterparts.

What more could you want out of your college experience than good friendships and respectable grades?

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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

They call it a selfie. For some, it’s an act of narcissism, a definitive mark of the “Me Me Me” Generation. For others, it’s a work of art, an atlas for the future, or a moment of great and joyous honor. A selfie, therefore, is perhaps not something to shame, but rather something to celebrate.

The demonization of the selfie suggests societal refusal to view anything with the implication of narcissism as more than that. To see a selfie as a self-portrait, then, would be nothing short of a desecration of art.

Try explaining this to Vincent Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, to Rembrandt, who hosts a whole myriad of self-portraits, and to Robert Cornelius, to whom we owe the ability to take color photos.

Instead of brush strokes, we chose aperture, the amount of light let in through the camera lens. They selected color schemes; we choose filters. Angle, depth, height, all factors chosen by the creator of the image regardless of the century in which the image was created.

It is possible, then, that selfies are capable of the same beauty and brilliance as the world’s most heralded pieces, collected together not in museums, but on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where the weathering of time will have no affect on the image itself.

Selfies, unlike paint on canvas, are easier to produce in a shorter amount of time, making them much more abundant.  So instead of marking on moment in time, selfies evolve in to an atlas of a life, a series of maps routing the adventures of the subject of the photograph.

Isn’t it incredible that one picture has the potential to inspire hundreds of thousands of other human beings, to excite these people for the days to come, to tell innumerable stories of the adventures to be undertaken, and, eventually, to document an entire lifetime in tangible, accessible way?

A selfie can tell the story of a young student becoming the first of his family to graduate from college. It can be the tale of a professor, lecturing to a grand hall of eager young minds. It marks birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, celebrations, Hail Maries and hallelujahs.

These images record moments, moments that belong exclusively to the photographer. A selfie is a documentation of the moment of the subject experienced by that person alone, detailing what it was to be in entirely in that moment.

It is a mark in history.

But as soon as a selfie is cast off as generational practice of egotism, the viewer deprives him or herself of the ability to see potential, beauty, or good in that photograph. It digresses into the inescapable pit of social trends, lying to rest next to T9 texting on Nokia brick phones, hot pink velour sweat suits, and MySpace.

It is finally important to remember that a selfie does not belong to one person or to a group of people. Its reach – an therefore its influence – is vast.

On a sweltering afternoon at a primary school in Jamaica, after hours of mixing cement, applying coats of fresh paint, and defending your territory against potentially poisonous eight legged fiends, a swell of children rush from the two-roomed school house like a wave crashing against the shore across the street.

They reach you in an instant, entangling their hands in your hair and their laughter echoing across the yard in which they play. They reach for your phone, for your camera. They pose for photographs, learn the motion of the shutter, and begin to take selfies.

Are these children, narcissists, bathing themselves in the glow of selfishness?

Some expressions convey joy with smiles stretching across international borders. Others are ponderous, perhaps attempting to make sense of the stranger staring back at them.

We do the same with our selfies, scouring every aspect of our reflected image, attempting to understand the faces reflected by the screens of our cell phones.

The image we ultimately post is the one that we feel best interprets our experiences with that moment.

I see myself as a creator, an artist, an intellectual, an adventurer, a dreamer. But it doesn’t mean anything for me to tell you. So instead, let me show you.

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Arbiter Graphic

Question: Is living on campus beneficial to students?


Connor Mccoy-Michelson

A: I believe it gives you good connections within the college community but can be very distracting at times, especially if your roommates are noise.

Thomas Warner

A: I feel it’s good for your first year in order to sort of acclimate you to the (college) environment, so far I’d say it’s been beneficial to me.

Micah Urizar

A: I think it’s nice because we have our own dining facility and I don’t have to commute so far to get to class.

Tori Haeve

A: I think so, my sister did it last year and was able to meet a lot of great people and get involved.

Jared Rade

A: I feel like it helps people establish social relationships, it gives them more real world opportunities to deal with conflict management with the people they have to see every day.

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Being a male, I’m not inclined to voice my opinion on the matter of pro-life vs. pro-choice.  It’s not a decision I will ever have to make, so I believe my feelings on the matter are irrelevant.  The issue I’d like to discuss is the lack of civility within the debate itself.  How can you claim to be performing an act of love for an unborn child when you can’t even respect a person standing directly in front of you?

Time and time again, I’ve witnessed someone be bullied and persecuted for their stance on the subject.  I understand it is a passionate topic and people display that passion in their own ways, but it’s not a decision that anyone makes lightly.  Whether someone decides to keep a child or not, it is a big life decision, one that should never be met with the hate and visceral I’ve witnessed in previous debates. People standing on the outside feel the need to tell a woman that a critical life decision automatically labels her as a monster and a murderer.  Tell me again how this is supposed to be an act of love and compassion?

I will both commend and condemn the actions of the demonstrators I witnessed in the quad last week.  I was offer their material, politely declined, and not another word was said.  This particular individual decided to respect my viewpoints and I respect her all the more for it.  However, I did not approve of the use of aborted fetus images in trying to bring their point across.

Shock and disgust are often an effective persuasion technique, but the whole argument behind the pro-life movement is that these fetus are humans and thus deserve to be treated as such.  I have to say, what I saw in those pictures were not humans.  The horrible, disfigured images did nothing more than turn my stomach; nothing I saw affected my opinion on the matter.

I’d just like to see a little bit of respect brought back into the equation.  This decision is one that no woman should ever take lightly, but people on both sides of the debate need to respect that decision, as it is one that she alone has to bare.  If you feel the need to try and persuade her toward your feelings or beliefs, remember that the woman you’re talking too is a human being as well.  As such, she deserves every bit of love and respect that you reserve for your friends, family, and the ones you are trying to protect.

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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

It’s almost a mocking but true statement about the lack of things to do in Boise Idaho that the Spring Fling is attended and taken seriously.

Let’s just hope that Cash Cash forgets their entire music career pre-Overtime EP. I don’t know if students could endure the awkward unbalanced rhythm and sloppiness of anything from Take it to the Floor. Unless I was mistaken when filling out college applications and failed to realize this institution was actually a high end middle school, I would prefer if the bands that my tuition is used to fund don’t that uses the phrase “You did what you did, then you hid/And now I never see you hangin’ around, hangin around”. Looks like someone discovered rhymezone.

Armada ID is fantastic. They’re talented, exciting, inspiring, and drop dead sexy. Student Involvement probably thinks so too, seeing as this is the second Saturday in a row they’ll perform at Boise State for Boise State Students. That’s okay though, who wants to experience new things anyway?

Ah yes, let us not forget Jupiter Holiday, not that we could seeing as they so recently played in Boise during Treefort (Hey if you still have the App you can preview them: Convenient). Mind you, there is nothing wrong with repetition of music. When I first heard Misanthropic Drunken Loser by Days n Daze I listened to it so many times that any exaggerated number would be too little; however, the band should be good if Boise State students should succumb to their “music” again. Perhaps Student Involvement is fretting about the participation of students past their midlife crisis. Spring Fling has gone on far too long discrimination against the older generation; those kids with their rap, and technological romance! Why else would they possibly feel the need to include a band that seems to have crawled out of a time machine straight from a decade before CDs grunge and the advent of internet memes. On the bright side it will be fun to watch people trying to figure out how to dance to this (Hint: If you want a preview just watch videos of people at Phish concerts).

After I learned there was a successful kickstarter for Ecclectic Approach’s pancakes music video I was convinced that there was some deeper meaning to Ecclectic Approach’s music. I was wrong. Their music is unoriginal, weak, lacking in any sort of flavor, and tacky. I’m just assuming that before they make a song they a compile a list of the hashtages that 12 year olds use on twitter and force them into a song while somehow butchering the English language more. #ijustwanttobecool #Ijustwanttohavefun #plantopartyallnight

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Arbiter Graphic

Eunice Macias




I haven’t heard anything about it, no.


Rick Anderson



I am not incredibly sure what’s going. I really try to stay away from that stuff.


Michael Wolf

Mechanical engineering



I know there are couple local people. It’s different than the usual. I’m kind of excited it’s more of an all-day thing than just a night thing.

Paige Puccinelli



I’ve never really heard of most of the people … I think it will be fun. It’s a free concert so people shouldn’t really complain. You might as well grab a ticket and go.

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Sexism is not dead.

It permeates American culture, infecting the minds of the young, old, male and female. Songs like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” –which essentially encourages date rape–constantly play on mainstream radio and in night clubs across the country. These types of dehumanizing images abound in pop culture. A universal understanding and practice of feminism is vital in order for change to take place.

The problem remains that many people don’t fully understand the ideals of feminism.

“We’re all bra-burning, man-hating, just raging, angry at the system, lesbians,” said Courtney Boyce, vice president of the Gender Studies Club at Boise State, about people’s perception of feminists. “It’s really changed a lot, but I think the connotation developed in the 90s, like with Rush Limbaugh coming out and saying ‘feminazi.’”

Although some feminists may fall into these stereotypes, most simply want equality for all. 

“I do like [feminist expert] Bell Hooks’ definition, which says that feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression. It think that’s pretty all-encompassing and something that all feminists have in common,” Hansen said.

Current struggles facing feminism

With the emphasis that feminism stands for equality for all individuals, a recent push sprouted up to reclassify feminism as humanism.

A danger of glossing over issues presents itself when the name is changed.

Dr. Reshmi Mukherjee, professor at Boise State, said changing the name to feminism would inadvertently lead to its disappearance. While feminists adhere to the same ideals and objectives as humanists, they also try for different ones as well.

“Humanism is going to benefit having feminism under its umbrella, but feminism is going to lose out on some of the ideals,” Mukherjee said.

Feminism itself continues to change, developing into a more inclusive philosophy.

Many feminists strive for the rights of transgender (trans) individuals, particularly in the workplace. Inclusivity remains the major goal of feminism, but the conversation often excludes trans individuals.

Trans-exclusionary radical feminists believe that since trans individuals weren’t socialized as women from the beginning, they don’t and never will fully understand the female struggle.

As Boyce said, not including trans individuals in the conversation only perpetuates the oppression.

Policy may change in some instances, but that doesn’t always denote actual change. This means the way people feel about women and how they treat them sometimes stays the same despite legislative and philosophical progression on some fronts.

While women receive more college degrees, they typically make 5 percent less than their male counterparts their first year out of college and 12 percent less after 10 years working the same exact jobs, according to the Center for American Progress.

“We have this system where we’re able to make things look good on the surface, like, ‘Wow women are getting degrees!’ But it’s still really shitty,” Hansen said.

 Not a man hater’s club

“One of the biggest misconceptions, like everyone has heard this, is that feminists hate men,” Hansen said.

Most feminists actually want men to align with them in order to promote equality for all and to demonstrate the issue’s importance. It adds more poignancy to the mission of feminism if men take a stand against sexist practices such as unequal pay.

“Feminists believe that once we get past that gendered notion of what a woman should talk about or what a man should talk about, what should be personal and public, until we resolve these issues, we cannot move forward,” Mukherjee said.

In addition to fighting for equal treatment of both genders, feminism looks at issues that effect men.

“Feminism does examine men’s issues a lot, but it does understand that there is that hierarchy in place,” Hansen said.

Rape culture

The Women’s Center at Marshall University describes rape culture as, “an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture.  Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.”

Every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted, according to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).

 It ultimately comes down to education and helping to educate others.

“If we have gender sensitization in every unit, not only in schools or universities, but the workplace as well, feminism wouldn’t be such a dirty word,” Mukherjee said.

Although recently brought to the spotlight and dissected, there remains much to do in terms of remedying the deplorable culture of rape that exists. What needs to be done now is continued encouragement of education and understanding.

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Arbiter Graphic

Question: What is your perception of America’s involvement in what is going on in the Middle East?

Fawn Cooper, junior special education major

“I haven’t kept up on it lately; I don’t necessarily agree with what we are doing there but like I said I haven’t kept up on it so I don’t know what the current situation is over there.”

Keaton Beattie, sophomore liberal arts major

“I’m not really up-to-date on what’s going on in the Middle East so I think what we’re doing is good and that it’s nice we’re trying to help other people out and stuff, but I think there’s a limit to how much we should be involved in everything; I think it’s good what we’re doing.”

Tanner Cliff, freshman psychology major

“I’m not really too well-informed on it so I don’t really have a solid perception on it I think it’s not really necessary for us to be over there, but we’re over there.”

Thomas Wright, freshman business/marketing major

“I don’t actually think we should be over there; we should just pull everyone out and let them deal with what they need to do because they should be able to do it by themselves; we shouldn’t involve ourselves in everything everyone else is doing.”

Kim Gailey, freshman chemistry and English major

“I honestly think that we should lessen our involvement over there because we stick our nose in like everything and I just feel like we’ve been over there long enough and I feel like we should bring our troops home.”

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Society today is obsessed with social media. Its all about posting on Instagram. Whether it’s #throbackthursday or #selfiesunday, its never ending. Instagram has become such a big part of all of our lives that it is hard to realize how obsessed the world has become.


The big question is who do people present themselves to be on Instagram? A hipster who drinks a lot of coffee? A health nut who meal preps every week? Or a selfie Queen/King? How people portray themselves on social media is how the world sees them. Or is it how they want people to portray them?


Lets be real here for a second, everyone has stalked someone on Instagram. A model, an athlete, some random person. Everyone does it. Instagram doesn’t seem like it can impact peoples perceptions of other people, but it does. All those tiny images add up and create the person that other people get to see.


Instagram itself is a performance. It’s possible to be whomever. There is also the ability to self edit before posting. People edit their photos to only show the best, and rarely show the negative parts of life through Instagram.


“People want to put their best face forward, they want to be portray their best self and show everyone the positive aspects of their life”, said Kasey Pennington a junior communication major.


Everyone always says “a picture is worth a thousand words”. The typical instagram has upwards of one hundred photos. The pictures could be saying something completely different than what was intended.


When scrolling through Instagram the lives of friends and family are openly displayed. But sometimes the pictures being viewed can be deceiving. The beautiful girl that always post selfies all the time may actually be really insecure. The boy who post picture of him partying all the time may actually be one of the smartest people in his class. The view the world sees of people on Instagram isn’t always the whole story.


Who you are on social media isn’t always the “real you”. However it does play a huge roll in what other people think. Mixing the person one actually is, with who one wants to be seen as on social media is a hard mixture to obtain. The “real you” is the person that everyone should be seeing on Instagram.



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President Barack Obama delivers remarks, Monday, November 7, 2011 in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on tax credits included in the American Jobs Act and new executive actions that will help get veterans back to work. PHOTO COURTESY MCT CAMPUS WIRE SERVICE

For someone who already holds a relative distaste towards the American government, it may not have been the best decision for me to read the book, “Boomerang! How Our Covert Wars have Created Enemies across the Middle East and Brought Terror to America,” by Mark Zepezauer.

In this book Zepezauer provides an in-depth, crash course history lesson in America’s policies in the Middle East from as far back as the mid-19th century up until 2003, when the book was published.

Though it’s obvious in the introduction and afterword that Zepezauer holds a bias (we should stop causing destruction and turmoil in foreign nations), the body of the book is merely facts, laid out clearly and plainly.

What I learned from reading this book is something that I have already perceived as true, but was never sure of the extent to which these actions stretched. Throughout American history our government has funded, ignited, and armed a slew of hot-headed rulers (most of which are far from shy about their inhumane practices), coups, revolutions, and civil wars. It’s pretty ironic, coming from a country that so valiantly fought for their freedom from a dominant foreign power, that we have no problem whatsoever exerting as much money and military personnel as possible to maintain our influence as the dominant super power in other nations.

What inspires our prolific leaders to execute such powerful and patriotic acts? A strong component in the equation is none other but oil, our greatest friend. The Middle East is pretty full of it and whoever controls the oil keeps the power, and who are we, as the world’s greatest super power, to let anyone else carry the burden of keeping watch over these precious oil deposits?

Another facet of the puzzle is our favorite foe, Russia, formerly the Soviet Union. It’s only obvious that our nation must plot conspiracies and fund wars to make sure that Russia never equates to our power and influence, isn’t it? The nations that we tear apart in the process, the lives that we destroy, are a measly price for world power.

As Zepezauer takes the reader from nation to nation, things begin to get a bit repetitive. The CIA held secret meetings with this government or leader, they funded this war, supplied these weapons to these people, turned their backs after their interests looked elsewhere, imposed sanctions which left hundreds of thousands of children and families without healthcare, energy, and water.

The most disturbing part throughout all of this is the reactions of western officials.

A 1979 State Department memo wrote, “The United States’ larger interest would be served by the demise of the Taraki-Amin regime, despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan,” (Zepezauer, 2003).

It’s clear that our government holds zero interest in the respect of humanity or any human life outside of our own borders. How can people let the notion of a nation overpower the value of our own existence?

Finishing this book left me wondering – what is our nation doing now? Have our policies in the Middle East changed?

In a New York Times article, Warily, Jordan assists rebels in Syrian war, published on April 10, 2014, Ben Hubbard wrote on the situation in Syria. Hubbard mentioned what the Obama administration is doing to help.

“In fact, many rebels say they believe that the Obama administration is giving just enough to keep the rebel cause alive, but not enough to actually help it win, as part of a dark strategy aimed at prolonging the war,” Hubbard wrote.

This sounds eerily familiar to the practices discussed in Zepezauer’s book.

I find it very possible that our nation hasn’t changed their ways. Next time you think about turmoil in the Middle East, think about how those nations got that way, think about which super powers got their hands dirty in those countries and what were their true intentions?

I highly suggest any and all to read Boomerang!, it could change your view of living in “the greatest country on earth.”

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I had FOMO (fear of missing out). Some would say I still suffer from the FOMO. I’d say I am a recovering from the FOMO.

I remember creating my Facebook profile during my senior year of high school. It was taking over Myspace and we’d all rush home, just to sit and stare at the screen. But that was how we communicated, through statuses, messages, and comments.

Looking back, I would spend hours sitting at my computer, waiting for my Facebook feed to update, hoping someone would post something interesting just so I could be the first person to “like” it. You were always cool if you got the first “like.”

If I had gone out and done something with friends that weekend, I’d be on Facebook for hours the next day, waiting for pictures to be posted so I could relive the fun we’d had.

When I upgraded to an iPhone and downloaded the Facebook app, it made it easy to check my profile wherever I was. It was so convenient I would check it in the middle of the night, sometimes more than once.

One day, seven years later, I had an epiphany: Why do I care what every one else is doing at every moment of the day? Why do I spend hours on end staring at a computer screen, waiting for it to update with useless information?

I began to realize how much of my life was consumed by social media.

Do you really care what so and so from high school is doing with their life? Do you honestly care so much about their lives that you’re willing to waste hours of your own life away as to not miss out on their exciting news?

When you use your phone to take pictures or videos of that awesome concert, are you really enjoying it? Are you missing out on the actual event because you’re too busy recording the show as to relive it later? Yes, it’s cool to be able to share media with friends (or “friends”) who couldn’t be there, but you aren’t there for them; you’re there for you and the experience.

It has been about four months since I’ve deleted my Facebook account. Sure, there are days where I get the urge to reactivate my profile to see whose gotten engaged, whose pregnant, and if that jerk from high school still had the body of a Greek God, or if karma had finally caught up to him and his beer belly was hard to conceal under his too-small wife beater tank. But I’ve resisted, and it feels great. I think this is what it feels like when a smoker finally quits: free of toxins.

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Imagine a scenario where your car breaks down and you don’t have the money to fix it. You live out in the suburbs and regularly commute downtown to attend classes and are now forced to find another way to get around.

Suddenly you remember that Boise has a public transit system called ValleyRide prompting  you to hop online to see if you can take the bus to school. Boise State includes a bus pass with your school ID so maybe going without a car won’t be so bad.

Your optimistic attitude soon turns sour when you realize most buses run only once an hour with services ending by 7 p.m. each weeknight, making it impossible for you to take public transit home after staying late in the library or after an evening class.

Boise’s public transit system is lacking for a handful of reasons, but most boil down to one factor: money.

Public transit in Ada County is funded partially by the federal government and mostly by the city of Boise itself forcing ValleyRide to compete with other city budget essentials like the police and fire departments.

With a national and state economy that has seen better days, it is unlikely that city officials will begin expanding bus routes and hours anytime soon. Without extra cash to spread around, ValleyRide will stay as it is.

But why is everyone driving their own cars to work and school anyway? Why don’t more people opt to build a rail system and expand bus operations?

The answer may lie with the policies of a former American president.  When Dwight D. Eisenhower occupied the White House  in the 1950’s, he fostered the creation of  the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, or the freeways system as most call it now.

This system linked states with roadways that could also be used to quickly mobilize military forces to any part of the U.S. during a time when invasion from the Soviet Union was seen as a serious threat.

While a freeway system may have given military leaders some peace of mind on the home front, it forced American citizens to purchase automobiles to get around, creating a culture where cars became the main mode of transportation.

Keep in mind, this was during a period of booming economic growth and plentiful, cheap gasoline so most Americans probably didn’t blink an eye. Now we live in an age of economic stagnation and high gasoline prices.

Many Idahoans are already struggling to stay afloat in dark economic times, so why should we carry on with transportation policies that place extreme burdens on those who can’t afford to drive?

This isn’t the 1950’s anymore, we aren’t locked in a cold war with Soviet Russia and last time I checked, gas sits at $3.50 a gallon. It’s time for Idahoans and Americans in general to push legislators to build practical mass public transportation systems.

It’s important to recognize that the system is broken. Times have changed and we need to adapt or get left in the dust.


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Q. What do you think you would miss out on if you gave up your social media accounts?


Christa Christiansen, kineseology major

“Probably being able to communicate with other students who I go to school with and I  don’t know their phone number. But mostly just keeping up with friends and family.”


Hank Davis, computer science major

“News updates, I like to see what’s going on like around campus


Cody Wetherelt, linguistics major

“All the little things my friends do back home and the things that are happening on campus like with my other friends.”


Sophie Eckert, English major

“Probably talking to my friends that live in different countries.”

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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

As my years at Boise State add up, and graduation steadily draws closer (yes, it really is getting closer), I have seen a trend that concerns me as a rather involved student here at Boise State. The more my peers and I start to think about what to do after graduation, the more I hear concerns that graduating from Boise State will impact people negatively in the application pool.

I’ve heard this from multiple students, whether it be that they don’t feel prepared for a graduate program, or that they don’t feel like their resume is strong enough to get them the kind of job they want post-graduation.

And here’s the thing. I’m tired of people bagging on BSU. I have no concerns about getting in to law school for this reason: Admissions committees look at more than grades and test scores. Every post-Boise State option I have looked in to makes me feel as though they want to hire and admit well-rounded people.

Debbie Kaylor, Boise State Career Center Director stressed the importance of having more than a degree on your resume.

“A degree is not enough,” Kaylor said. “That piece of paper is not enough.”

And she tells students the same thing.

“If you’re coming in here as a senior, you’re too late.” Kaylor said. “It’s the out of the classroom activities that matter to employers and grad schools. Coming out of Boise State doesn’t look bad on applications.”

In a nutshell: College is more than going to class. If you haven’t spent your college career building a resume and trying to make yourself someone that employers want to hire and admissions committees want to admit… Well, that’s not BSU’s fault.

There are posters all over campus trying to get students to get involved. From running for an ASBSU office to attending a networking event to getting help with career options, there are so many ways to get involved and expand your resume! And if you aren’t doing those things to make yourself stand out in application pools, that is on you, not Boise State.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. BSU can give you every opportunity to make yourself a well-rounded applicant, but nobody is going to hold your hand and guide you through it unless you reach out and ask for the help you need.

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Naomi Aguirre – Marketing

“Yeah, I think so. I don’t have reason to think otherwise I guess, so that’s why I wouldn’t say no.”

Estaban Galn- Political Science

“You get what you put into it. You can skate by in classes and not read your texts fully and just google all assignments through and you’ll probably walk out with a decent B and pass and feel like you paid for nothing. But if you engage yourself in your education and you actually spend the time doing the readings and then the supplemental material, which professors do give, and then come to class prepared and not afraid to have a discussion, you’ll probably have the same quality education that you would get anywhere in the United States.”

Ivana Mullner – Linguistics

“I think I’m definitely getting a quality education. I’ve found that the professors are extremely wiling to work with you and point you the right direction if you only put in all the effort and that they are extremely engaged and want the best for their students. So I’ve had a lot of opportunities presented to me.”

Richard Martinez – Environmental Studies

“I think that I am getting a pretty good education. I think that my major is very interdisciplinary so there is a lot of  different courses I have been taking for the major, but overall I would say that yeah, I am very happy with what I am doing. I mean, the pricing and everything like parking, there’s little things at any university that’s kind of a pain in the ass, but overall with the education, I think i’m doing just fine. I enjoy it.

Ashley Martinez – Visual Arts

“I think that I am getting a good, quality education here, but there are just certain things like the way the art department is treated here is kind of bullshit, and you can put that in The Arbiter. It’s just certain things like that, but that’s beside the question. I do feel that I’m getting a quality education and I’m glad I’m going to college.”

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I think it’s time  we all grow up a little.

 No longer are we bound by the chains of the high school education system, obsessed and solely driven by GPAs and test scores. You have nothing left to prove, so make the most of your time in college and get out of the classroom!

I came into Boise State this past fall expecting to finally be enlightened, to have the opportunity to actually learn something instead of just regurgitating “knowledge” on a scantron.

Instead, I was met with the cruel realization that college is just like high school.

Boise State is a wonderful school with wonderful faculty, but I still have seen the same thing I went through in high school: let’s give out pointless busy work, testing the students to see who can accomplish it with the least amount of effort.

Many of us just glide along through college, simply attending class, expecting our work in the classroom alone will secure a job waiting for us upon graduation.

Unfortunately, the real world isn’t like that. A degree is not job training or experience, it is only a paper that shows we’re willing to work.

I’m making the most out of my college experience by choosing put the majority of my time energy into endeavors out of the constricting walls of a classroom.

Instead of spending countless hours studying and working on class work, it would benefit us all if we escaped the classroom and got out into the real world, where things matter.

Our quest for knowledge is not gained inside of a classroom. It is gained by becoming involved in organizations.

I, like many, saw high school as a waste of time, so when faced with the choice of how to experience college, involve yourself!

Get out into the community and make connections! We are all better off involving ourselves with some of Boise State’s over 200 organizations and taking on leadership roles.

The opportunity is ours for the taking! Making grades and getting that degree still matters, but get out of the classroom!

The real world is not a room with four walls and a professor lecturing you; it is a place where those who are successful are the ones that get out into an unfamiliar environment and attack every opportunity they see.

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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

Courtesy: Alexa Valladolid

If you ask a thousand people for a dollar in Boise, it turns out you make $1,000 after just asking a few hundred. After reaching my goal I had a commitment to honor. I took a seat beside five other brave souls and prepared to lose my locks. I hadn’t planned on it, but there I was bald again. The clippers stopped and I ran my hand over my head; I had forgotten how soft buzzed hair feels.

I decided to shave my head the first time after witnessing my classmates participate in the first event for St. Baldrick’s, which is a charity organization that raises donations for childhood cancer research. Instead of walking or running, participants volunteered to shave their heads in order to fundraise. Crazy right? The volunteers had different reasons for joining. The head of the program, Aubrie Gribble, decided to bring the event to campus after learning every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. Like my friend Nicole did, I stopped thinking about the hair and started thinking about the people. I didn’t have a personal connection to cancer, but I knew that didn’t mean I couldn’t be an advocate. I started talking to friends with a mission to prove that bald is beautiful. That March, over $10,000 was raised for the cause and I became bald buddies with 40 other people.

Fast forward to this March, and anyone near the SUB Thursday and Friday afternoon heard my plea.

“Hi, my name is Alexa and if I raise $1,000 I will shave my head and all of the proceeds will go to childhood cancer research. So I would like to invite you to donate a dollar if you could,” I said.

I figured if I asked a thousand people for a dollar I would reach my goal. Through volunteering with the event again I realized that I didn’t have a reason not to shave my head. I’m fortunate enough to be able to choose whether or not I cut my hair, but others don’t have that option. I went to every table, stopped groups of students, and talked to professors I knew. The response was overwhelming. I chatted with a few people outside an office and all of the sudden I hear, “Did someone say St. Baldrick’s?” and a lady runs from the back room with a $20 in her hand. One person forced me to stay put while she ran to an ATM machine, some dug in pockets for all change they had, and others just raised dollar bills after hearing me talk to their neighbor. I was humbled by the generosity. I did receive many no’s, but all were respectful and still wished me luck.

More people started hearing about my goal and words and donations spread quickly. As soon as I only needed $30 it was like the end of “It’s A Wonderful Life” and people were just throwing cash at me. Not actually throwing, but close enough. It was a pretty humbling experience.

During the event we had some rain, but we didn’t let that stop us from shaving 46 heads. We started with stories of the battle cancer had in the lives of loved ones. Tears were shed, but hugs went all around. Today as I walk around campus, not only do I stand with my 45 fellow shavees, but we stand in solidarity with those fighting cancer. I believe that one of the greatest powers of a human is to support the cause of another and want to thank all of the people contributed, whether it was donations or time.

We are still trying to reach our goal of $15,000 and would like to invite anyone willing, to donate $1. Donations can be given by going to  Stbaldricks.org and searching for BSU housing. Just as $1 can make a difference, one person can make a difference. If you see any shaved heads around campus, ask us why we are bald and we will be happy to tell you about the people we support.

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Arbiter Graphic

“What do you think of people hooking up through online mobile apps like Tinder?”


Student Voices Ben Focht Devin Ferrell
Ben Focht, Freshman, Civil Engineer “I think its kind of ridiculous ‘cause I don’t think any strong relationship will come out of it.”







Student Voices Haley Kennedy Devin Ferrell_5
Haley Kennedy, Junior, English secondary education “I don’t believe in mobile dating apps…its kind of creepy”







Student Voices Drea Burton Devin Ferrell
Drea Burton, Freshman, Psychology “I think its kind of scary because you don’t know the person.”







Student Voices Eli Luna Devin Ferrell_2
Eli Luna, Sophomore, Microbiology “I think if you have hobbies in common and stuff like that I think it’s a great site, as far as dating I’m not sure about that.”






Student Voices Josh Marr Devin Ferrell_3
Josh Marr, Senior, English “There’s a part of me that is skeptical of technology having this mediating presence between human beings, there’s another part of me that says if no one is getting hurt than have all of the anonymous sex you want.”






Student Voices Sarah Beardsley Devin Ferrell_4
Sarah Beardsley, Freshman, Nutrition and Dietetics “I think it’s just a glorified booty call.”


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Recently, I downloaded an app called Tinder. It’s marketed as a dating app, and I was curious to know what the hype is about.

I caught on to tinder-ing quickly enough. Basically a potential match’s picture (usually their Facebook profile picture) comes up on your screen, a swipe one direction means you’d talk to them, the other way means you aren’t interested. When two people approve each other, a chat conversation is opened, either party can actually start the conversation.

Tinder has only one definition on Urban Dictionary: “Dating app. Tinder is the McDonald’s for sex.”

And after my short experience with the app… that’s a pretty fair definition.

Tinder is not for me.

Sites like Match.com and eHarmony have already changed the face of dating for many. But even they give users a chance to browse profiles and see if they share interests with someone. They give users a chance to put their best foot forward and learn more about a person than what meets the eye.

Tinder, gives you one small photo, maybe two.

Apps like Tinder, and their soaring popularity mean only one thing to me. We have arrived at a place in time, where sliding someone’s picture to the right side of my phone means I don’t think they’re someone I would want to talk to. Talk about judging books by their covers.

That idea doesn’t sit well with me.

I just can’t support anything that tells a human being their value lies in their appearance. Company’s like Dove, Aerie and Seventeen Magazine come forward with different campaigns to celebrate real beauty and I would rather waste my time flipping through a magazine with untouched models than sliding guys’ mirror selfies to the no pile. I would rather give my money to a clothing company that tells teenage girls to love their bodies than my time to a dating app that nothing is ever going to come from.

I know it’s just an app. I know it’s probably not hurting anybody. But why are we still so obsessed with image we can really be okay not only judging other’s by a photo alone, but also letting them judge us by a photo. There is not a single photo in the world that could pack all the different aspects of a person into it.

No single photo can summarize any human. So, I won’t Tinder.

The Boise State Games Center in the Student Union Building. (Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter)

We’ve all seen it. Many of us have taken part in shooting pool or bowled a few frames in the SUB.  Despite the fact that popularity and participation has decline in recent years, it’s still one of the most iconic and historical spots on the Boise State campus. Now the beloved Game Center might be replace by the ever exciting Admissions Center.

Last week, we discovered that the Boise State Game Center at the south end of the Student Union Building could be repurposed in the coming months. One of the most trafficked areas everyday at Boise State, the removal of the Game Center would essentially eliminate all reason to journey through that area of the SUB.

Financially, I will agree that the Game Center has declined in recent years. I will be the first to admit that I don’t frequent the bowling alley as often as I did as a freshman at Boise State or even as a local high school student. With that being said, the repurposing of the Game Center as the Admissions Office is one of the most foolish and logistically puzzling ideas I have heard of.

Maybe I’m the only one, but I feel Admissions makes the most sense in the center of campus in the Admin building. Aesthetically, if I am an incoming freshman still deciding on a school to attend, heading to the Admin building, the Quad is astronomically more inviting than a street corner and the parking garage out the window.

Maybe the Game Center area would be more accessible, but doesn’t that almost defeat the purpose of the SUB? I view the SUB as a more relaxed area to interact and get away from the Library or other academic buildings. Moving the Admissions Office into the existing Game Center area just infringes on that escape and shuts off that area of the building to many students.

I will admit, I have some bias to keeping the Game Center around. As young 20somethings in the mid-80s, my parents went one of their first dates with a group of friends to go bowling in the SUB. My mom has told me several times that date was when she realized she liked my dad.

Obviously bowling isn’t a common matchmaker, but many students have a personal attachment to the Game Center and frequent it on a daily basis. Removing the Game Center for Admissions seems like the focus is less on the student at Boise State and his or her experience, and more on the financial gains for the University.

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It started with the encouraging but strong nudges to participate in this program called Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars. I had been faithfully coming to the annual engineering outreaches for High School students Boise State University hosted, and they just knew I would enjoy the program. I completed the requirements for the application, which included writing my state legislator to ask for their nomination that I be in the program. I was accepted in December and in January I started one of the most challenging courses of my High School career.

This one semester course takes students through knowledge of NASA history and Space Science on an intense and rapid schedule. It wasn’t only a great hands on and knowledge based experience but it actually help me focus on where in engineering I wanted to work as a professional and that was space science. This online course cleared up so many misconceptions for me about science and what I could do with it. And the commitment I had to make to the program was incredible. When I wasn’t doing my other school work I was completing ISAS coursework. 

After completing the course I received the amazing opportunities to take a special tour of Gowen Field Air National Guard Base and then later in the summer I, with 30 other ISAS students were flown down to NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Both experiences greatly underscore my actual physical experience and interaction with the field of aerospace and space science. I have knowledge but I also have seen the places and the type of experiments that I want to work on in my career. Not a lot of students can say that but I can because of ISAS. Through ISAS we fill our minds with a ton of information and then we get to use our creativity and natural skills to turn ideas into projects and these projects into real interactions with our future careers. Idaho students who have a beginning like this will have an edge and overwhelming favorable odds to do well way beyond ISAS and our High School careers. 

I encourage anyone who has an interest in Idaho students being able to take this rare and once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with NASA as high school students, to contact their legislators in support of this program and its funding before Thursday, May 6th. This program which is only present in a few of our states besides Idaho must not be put to rest. How many more scientists and engineers can we produce from Idaho? The answer is many. We need programs like these to encourage Idaho students to reach for the stars and to achieve great things. Please join me in support of this program, let’s get the word out there that Idaho students are one of the best investments this country can make. 


I am in my Freshman year at Boise State University studying Mechanical Engineering. I am also a member of the Honors College and I hold an Undergraduate Research position at Boise State’s C-MEMS Lab. I am also a team member of Space Broncos which focuses on research and other opportunities directly with NASA.

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An open letter to Greg Hampikian, Professor at Boise State University:

Students for Concealed Carry noted your recent op-ed in the New York Times on the subject of firearms in the college environment entitled “When may I shoot a student?” As you may be aware, Students for Concealed Carry is the only national gun rights group focused exclusively on the issue of the rights of law abiding adults possessing a concealed carry permit to be able to carry firearms while visiting a college campus. Thus, while your op-ed was not addressed to us and was written in an overtly facetious style, nevertheless we wished to address the substance behind your satire .

In call-response style, we address each of your concerns from your op-ed in turn.

BOISE, Idaho — TO the chief counsel of the Idaho State Legislature:

In light of the bill permitting guns on our state’s college and university campuses, which is likely to be approved by the state House of Representatives in the coming days, I have a matter of practical concern that I hope you can help with: When may I shoot a student?

I am a biology professor, not a lawyer, and I had never considered bringing a gun to work until now. But since many of my students are likely to be armed, I thought it would be a good idea to even the playing field.

While in the text of your article you refer to yourself as a biology professor, your biography attached to the end of the article notes that you are also a professor of criminal justice. Thus, even though you are not a member of the bar, we are truly shocked and dismayed if you honestly do not know the answer to the question you are posing.

The standard for the use of lethal self defense is, at its core, both intuitive and well established. Generally speaking and with some nuances, a person is justified in the use of lethal self defense against an assailant if the assailant possesses an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm to another. Nothing in the bill passed by the Idaho State Senate proposes to modify this standard with respect to campuses. A person thus may use lethal self defense force on a college campus under those circumstances that would be considered justified anywhere else in the State of Idaho.

The States of Colorado and Utah allow a licensed adult to carry a firearm on college campuses. The issues that have arisen in those states within the college environment are not fundamentally different than those from outside the campus. While every case presents unique facts that must be resolved as part of any criminal investigation or trial, to our knowledge the State of Idaho has not had any particular difficulty in applying the standards of self defense in cases that arise outside the college environment. It is therefore perplexing to us that you conclude without supporting evidence, either from Idaho’s sister states or via parallel from within the state of Idaho, that the State of Idaho would somehow have unusual difficulty applying the self defense standard if such an incident were to occur at a college.

I have had encounters with disgruntled students over the years, some of whom seemed quite upset, but I always assumed that when they reached into their backpacks they were going for a pencil. Since I carry a pen to lecture, I did not feel outgunned; and because there are no working sharpeners in the lecture hall, the most they could get off is a single point. But now that we’ll all be packing heat, I would like legal instruction in the rules of classroom engagement.

Nothing presently prevents any person from bringing a firearm into almost any college classroom nationwide; the law only prevents a person from doing so legally in many states. It is therefore illogical to assume that no person has ever possessed a firearm on any college campus you have either studied or taught at. It is likewise irresponsible to conclude that a person intent on committing an armed assault and willing to suffer the potential legal consequences would somehow be deterred by a college’s threat of expulsion for violation of policy.

The State of Idaho is a “shall issue” state. According to July 2012 study by the GAO, Idaho has issued 76,000 resident concealed carry permits, or about 4.8% of Idaho’s 1.6 million residents (1.6 million includes minors; the percentage would obviously be higher when considering only those of legal age). Thus, any time you go anywhere off campus where there is any appreciable number of people, there is a fairly good chance that someone has a concealed firearm. Have you dealt with these issues off campus? If not, why do you think this will be an issue on campus when it has not impacted your life off campus?

At present, the harshest penalty available here at Boise State is expulsion, used only for the most heinous crimes, like cheating on Scantron exams. But now that lethal force is an option, I need to know which infractions may be treated as de facto capital crimes.

The fact that expulsion is the harshest penalty is precisely the problem. Why on earth would a person intent on committing a crime of violence using a firearm or similar non-firearm based force care the least whit about the potential academic consequences?

I assume that if a student shoots first, I am allowed to empty my clip; but given the velocity of firearms, and my aging reflexes, I’d like to be proactive. For example, if I am working out a long equation on the board and several students try to correct me using their laser sights, am I allowed to fire a warning shot?

No, you may not shoot a firearm under these circumstances, as you are not facing an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm. Additionally, when you are conjuring straw men arguments, you may wish to make them less transparent.

If two armed students are arguing over who should be served next at the coffee bar and I sense escalating hostility, should I aim for the legs and remind them of the campus Shared-Values Statement (which reads, in part, “Boise State strives to provide a culture of civility and success where all feel safe and free from discrimination, harassment, threats or intimidation”)?

Are the armed students in your hypothetical using their firearms in an imminently threatening manner in some way during their argument? Either way, the answer is addressed in our responses above. Incidentally, does this kind of thing happen to you now when you visit coffee shops off campus? If not, why are you projecting that it will happen on campus when it is not currently impacting your life off campus?

While our city police chief has expressed grave concerns about allowing guns on campus, I would point out that he already has one. I’m glad that you were not intimidated by him, and did not allow him to speak at the public hearing on the bill (though I really enjoyed the 40 minutes you gave to the National Rifle Association spokesman).

Student for Concealed Carry believes in the first amendment, including the right to speak and the right to petition our government for grievances. As you might be able to imagine, from time to time our side of this debate has been denied equal opportunity to present our arguments in various state legislatures or before various officials or bodies. If your side did not have equal opportunity to present argument, we do not find this in keeping with principles underlying our form of government, and having been there ourselves, we sympathize.

Additionally, Students for Concealed Carry has on occasion been denied our first amendment rights on college campuses via various campus policies, from being denied forming our own clubs in violation of our right of assembly, to being denied handing out informational material in violation of our freedom of press. When not denied entirely, we are sometimes cordoned off into “free speech zones”, far away from any potential audience. Our members students are occasional intimidated from expressing their views, sometimes by professors who sharply disagree with our proposed policy recommendations, and sometimes even by college administrators. Campus speech codes or similar policies from time to time prevent the full expression of political debate on all subjects on college campuses, where due to the fundamental nature of what a university is and should be, we believe these rights should be at their zenith.

The first amendment issues surrounding the firearms debate are troubling, as is anytime free speech is suppressed.

Knee-jerk reactions from law enforcement officials and university presidents are best set aside. Ignore, for example, the lame argument that some drunken frat boys will fire their weapons in violation of best practices. This view is based on stereotypical depictions of drunken frat boys, a group whose dignity no one seems willing to defend.

The problem, of course, is not that drunken frat boys will be armed; it is that they are drunken frat boys. Arming them is clearly not the issue. They would cause damage with or without guns. I would point out that urinating against a building or firing a few rounds into a sorority house are both violations of the same honor code.

To our knowledge there have been no issues with “frat boys” who possess a concealed firearms license discharging their firearm on any campus in a wanton manner. Students for Concealed Carry does not believe not believe that a law abiding person who has obtained a concealed firearms license should be denied that right because they joined a fraternity, a sorority, or any other student organization.

Students for Concealed Carry believes that it is irresponsible for a person to possess a concealed firearm while inebriated, regardless of any fraternal or other association the person may hold. In the state of Idaho, it is currently unlawful for any person to carry a concealed weapon on or about his person when intoxicated or under the influence of an intoxicating drink or drug. Nothing in the college carry bill purports to change that, nor would we support such a change. Those who make the decision to carry concealed and who obtain a valid permit tend to behave in a responsible way off campus, and we see nothing about the campus environment that is likely to change that.

Finally, your implication that a person who would be willing to violate a ban against public urination would be likely to use a firearm in a criminal way is beyond absurd and is a massive straw man. Urinating in public might result in a citation under the Boise City code. In contrast, reckless or intentional criminal misuse of a firearm will almost certainly result in felony or even capital charges, with the potential for life incarceration (or worse). The offenses are nowhere near the same magnitude in severity.

In terms of the campus murder rate — zero at present — I think that we can all agree that guns don’t kill people, people with guns do. Which is why encouraging guns on campus makes so much sense. Bad guys go where there are no guns, so by adding guns to campus more bad guys will spend their year abroad in London. Britain has incredibly restrictive laws — their cops don’t even have guns! — and gun deaths there are a tiny fraction of what they are in America. It’s a perfect place for bad guys.

If the campus murder rate is zero as you claim, then it seems on Idaho campuses that neither guns nor people kill people. However, we very seriously doubt that you can warrant that there is no threat or acts of rape or sexual assault at any of Idaho’s college campuses. Nor do we believe that you can vouch for safety of the night time commuting student who gets out of class at 9 pm, has to walk a half mile to her car, and then must travel home, stopping along the way at various business to run errands. Nor do we believe you can vouch for the safety of a person who has a restraining order against another person, both as they conduct their affairs on campus, and as they leave campus to conduct affairs off of campus. Disarming someone on campus additionally disarms them everywhere they might travel to and from campus, since they must leave their firearm at their house.

While the gun violence rate is low in the United Kingdom, their overall violent crime rate is far higher than that in the United States. Life in London is therefore not the scene of perfect tranquility that you imply. Travelers, inherently unfamiliar with their surroundings, are at increased risk due to their own naiveté . You may not be attacked with a gun, but there are parts of London, as their are parts of any city, that are unsafe for the unwary and uninitiated. As far as we are concerned, in the moment of a violent encounter that poses a threat to our lives or poses a threat of grievous bodily harm, it is irrelevant whether that threat is coming from a gun, a knife, or someone’s bare hands exerting raw power. It is deeply unfortunately that citizens of the United Kingdom are denied meaningful self defense options. We believe it would be sharply unwise to duplicate that practice on the college campuses of our fine country.

Some of my colleagues are concerned that you are encouraging firearms within a densely packed concentration of young people who are away from home for the first time, and are coincidentally the age associated with alcohol and drug experimentation, and the commission of felonies.

Once again, this reflects outdated thinking about students. My current students have grown up learning responsible weapon use through virtual training available on the Xbox and PlayStation. Far from being enamored of violence, many studies have shown, they are numb to it. These creative young minds will certainly be stimulated by access to more technology at the university, items like autoloaders, silencers and hollow points. I am sure that it has not escaped your attention that the library would make an excellent shooting range, and the bookstore could do with fewer books and more ammo choices.

The only thing that is being changed under this bill is where a person may legally carry, not who may legally can carry.

Many law abiding adults presently play video games, both on and off campus alike, and we are unclear how this fact is relevant to the issues at hand. Would your analysis change if the law abiding adult in question instead of playing video games for leisure was an active participant in a book reading club? If not, why are you mentioning this red herring?

Among other criteria, a person must be 21 years old to obtain a concealed firearms permit in Idaho, and therefore is not away from home “for the first time”. We are additionally unclear why in your view this age is particularly “associated with … the commission of felonies”. Since having either having been convicted of a felony or being an unlawful user of, or addicted to, any controlled substance is a disqualifying criteria against the issuance of a concealed firearms permit, any person with such a criminal or substance abuse record before they reached 21 would be disqualified from obtaining a concealed firearms permit.

Finally, we are unaware of any issues with previously otherwise law abiding adults who, once having obtained a concealed carry permit in Idaho (or any other state), suddenly embark on an escapade of felonies, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse, as you imply. We see no reason to believe this will change because law abiding adults are now legally allowed to carry in a new location. Are your students aware that you have such a low opinion of them?

I want to applaud the Legislature’s courage. On a final note: I hope its members will consider my amendment for bulletproof office windows and faculty body armor in Boise State blue and orange.

We would likewise like to applaud the Legislature, although in a non-sarcastic way. In 1986, there were eight states were “shall issue” for concealed firearms permits. In 2014, forty-two states were “shall issue”. For the last 28 years, gun rights supporter have heard the unsubstantiated fears that concealed carry would turn every dispute into the O.K. corral. It hasn’t happened, either in Idaho or anywhere else nationwide. No state that has adopted “shall issue” has ever changed its mind – the parade of horribles did not come to pass.

Students for Concealed Carry has since our existence in 2007 heard the same predictions of doom and gloom for college campuses as have been made since 1986 with respect to concealed carry generally. These predictions have likewise not come to pass in either Colorado or Utah, nor will they come to pass in Idaho.

Gang members or criminals do not ask for the state’s permission to carry a concealed firearm, and do so anyway. Law abiding adults who ask for permission are statistically significantly more law abiding than the general public, and by and large behave in a responsible fashion. They are not strangers; they are your neighbors, your colleagues, and your friends.

We challenge you not to let you allow yourself to become clouded by fear, uncertainty, and doubt when there is no basis for such pessimism.

We welcome any opportunity that might present itself to address these issues in any suitable forum.


Students for Concealed Carry

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In response to the fanatical article about guns on campus, two things are falsehoods.  One, Uda’s declaration that the university would spend $2 million on extra security.  Concealed carry exists in malls and other large, public areas, and has existed for many years.  Weapons carry, open and concealed, has existed in this country since before its founding.  It has existed even in the state capitol building in areas open to the public.  None of those places have high walls, barbed wire, and metal detectors.  The notion of needing all that extra security has nothing to do with guns, it has everything to do with treating students as guilty until proven innocent.  The expenditure is a number pulled out of thin air and reflects only the desire to wall in the campus and maintain military checkpoints at restricted entrances (on a commuter campus, mind you) for no measurable security benefit.
I’ll wager most of you have never read the requirements for a STANDARD conceal carry permit.  In short, no felonies, no domestic violence proceedings ongoing, no DV protection orders, no anti-harassment protection orders, no history of drug/alcohol abuse, and I think most importantly no history of mental illness if it is on a list (in the statutes).  In short, you only get one if you are a law-abiding, drug free, non-alcoholic, non-violent, non-insane person, in other words someone innocent until PROVEN guilty.  Getting a permit goes one step further than innocent until proven guilty, it means you’ve proven you are what I have just described.  The fanatical notion that we need metal detectors and checkpoints to protect against law-abiding citizens is insanity and must be rejected as such.  Barring law-abiding citizens from carrying on campus does NOTHING to stop law-breakers from wandering on campus.  For those that weren’t already aware, law-breakers break laws, by definition.
The campus gun policy serves no purpose.  All of the notions of gun crime that “could” occur are already illegal under Idaho statutes.  Brandishing, and aggravated assault and battery are already illegal, carrying under the influence is illegal and has no limit like DUIs do, anything above 0% is criminal, a school policy making it “doubly” illegal when it itself has no force of law does absolutely nothing to deter gun crime, but instead makes it, while legal, punishable for a law-abiding citizen to carry out a right protected by our Constitution.  The current student policy has no force of law.
Kustra’s comment that students will run around with guns exposed on hip and shoulder holsters is pure insanity.  Someone message him the definition of “concealed” please, I think it’s lost on him.  It need not be explained what kind of carry the bill in question discusses, if that’s not clear to him then he is not paying attention enough to have an opinion.
One final note, the right to carry is not subject to a poll by non-gun-owner students.  If you don’t like guns, don’t get one.  I have a right to carry, that is inherent as the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and if you don’t like it that is just too bad.  You don’t get to vote on whether or not you want me to have a gun.  I have a right to, inherent in the right of self-defense, inherent in the right to life.  Civil rights are not subject to popular opinion, anyone who paid attention to the 1960s should know that.  More than a few school administrators didn’t want races mixing in schools and tried to make policies to bar that, like “separate but equal.”  This is no different.
Just because some in our administration and virtually everyone studying communications here doesn’t like the concept of students being treated as they should, innocent until PROVEN guilty, doesn’t mean I get to be treated as guilty and have my rights suspended without due process of law.  I’ll say that again, you can’t suspend my rights without due process of law.  I have a CCW permit, I have proven beyond shadow of a doubt my character and a federal background check found that I am of sound mind, I have no criminal history, no history of violence, and no mental illnesses.  I am an upstanding citizen of these United States and my rights cannot be suspended without due process of law.
Shame on the Arbiter for printing the garbage it has on this subject without asking so much as one CCW permit holder what he or she thinks.  Shame on you.

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Recently there has been quite a bit of discussion regarding the new Idaho initiative to allow concealed weapons on campus. I have noticed that much of the debate has centered solely on the prospect of an active shooter scenario and whether or not armed students would be a benefit or a detriment in such a situation. However, I believe this narrow focus (from both sides) misses the forest for the trees.

Personally, I feel it is time to reexamine not only the restriction on concealed weapons, but also BSU’s entire weapons policy needs to be reconsidered. I know my opinions may be unpopular with some, but I encourage you to read my entire letter before jumping to any conclusions.

Since the lone active shooter scenario has gotten so much attention from both sides in this argument, I suppose I need to address the elephant in the room… Although the odds of being involved in an active shooter scenario while on campus are about the same as winning the Powerball, that doesn’t mean people don’t still buy Powerball tickets. Just because something is unlikely does not mean it’s impossible.

With that said, it is important to remember that a concealed weapons permit is not a hunting license. It doesn’t mean you should grab your gun and go looking for trouble when the fecal matter impacts the oscillating rotational cooling unit. It just means that if trouble comes to you, you can do something more proactive than simply hiding under a desk and waiting your turn.

As far as trouble coming to you… While an active shooter situation is unlikely to ever occur at BSU, violent crimes can—and do(!)—happen on campus. According to the university’s own annual security and fire safety report, between 2010 and 2012 there were 10 forcible sexual assaults (half of which were forcible rape), 3 robberies, 5 aggravated assaults, and 23 burglaries (9 of which were residential) reported on BSU properties… And I can assure you that, like all campuses, those numbers are most likely under-reporting the number of true incidents.

Carrying a gun for protection isn’t about having the chance to stop a crazed gunman, it’s about protecting yourself (and those around you) from being a victim of *any* violent crime! This fight isn’t about whether or not a student with a gun will save the day when terrorists storm the campus with fully-automatic sniper rifles. (Yes, I’ve actually heard people use such a scenario to argue against allowing concealed weapons on campus!) This fight is about whether a single mom taking night classes can safely walk to her car in a darkened parking lot.

Also, as I said earlier, BSU’s entire weapons policy needs to be reconsidered. As it is currently written, the policy prohibits, “any animate or inanimate device, instrument, material, or substance used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury.” That definition is so broadly worded and vague that it could be construed to apply to almost *anything*! A chihuahua or a bottle of water could be construed as a “weapon” under such vague wording.

Furthermore, the prohibition on weapons extends to university housing. I’m not talking about dorms, but things like apartments off the main campus… Many of the students living in off-campus university housing are non-traditional students, sometimes with families. These students are prohibited by BSU policy from defending themselves, and their families, in their own homes! I spent a year living in the university apartments on Liberty Road with my wife, and I can assure you it is far enough away from campus not to receive the extra security ACSD provides to the main campus.

Finally, the prohibition also applies to vehicles parked on campus. So CCW holders don’t even have the option of locking their weapon in their vehicle when attending classes or other on-campus events. This means they must make a choice between being unarmed and vulnerable the entire time they are away from home, or violating school policy.

I don’t advocate unrestricted carrying of guns (or any weapons) on campus… But I do believe the policies should be a bit more in line with reasonable precautions. Especially considering the nature of BSU’s student body—it is a commuter campus with a large number of non-traditional students. A blanket prohibition (especially one as open-ended as BSU’s) from all university properties is neither prudent nor reasonable. There should be some compromise… Prohibiting firearms in dorms and classrooms might be a fair and reasonable measure, but extending that prohibition to parking areas, walkways, and off-campus university housing is not.


Thank you,

S. Bannister Brownlee

BSU Alumnus