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Opal Witherspoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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It is irrefutable that most hobbyists have a niche in the Boise scene. The differing communities within the interests of Boise are impressive and range from the model train enthusiasts in Old Boise to the Boise Ukulele Group.

In fact, almost every passion is accounted for except for film, as Boise’s attempts at film festivals fall flat, fade away or contain little to no artistic content.

Film festivals are an important part in building the culture of a city, similar to music festivals. Unknown directors and film aficionados with an eye for visual masterpiece create a symbiotic relationship that allows for the hosting city’s economy to grow while being infused with more film culture.

According to The University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, The Sundance Film Festival brought $269.8 million to Utah’s economy during 2014 and supports 1,434 jobs currently. That alone is enough economic incentive to cheer for more film festivals in Boise. In addition,  according to Filmmaker Magazine, the average filmmaker will receive a median of $12,825 per film at a B-ranked film festival (which is what we can assume a Boise film festival will start out as). There isn’t anything but good things that could come of this kind of indulgence in visual art.

Currently, there are only two non-touring film festival in Boise, Idaho: The Treefort Film Festival (which isn’t really a film festival exclusively), and The Idaho Horror Film Festival, which had its inaugural three days Oct. 16-18 at The Flicks and The Egyptian Theatre.

The horror film festival was more of a string of loosely related films at the same locations under the umbrella term of horror. Most, if not all, of the films shown during the three-day span were shown between a half an hour and 45 minutes after their announced showing time, if they showed at all.

The short “The Body”  stopped two minutes into its only play-through due to technical errors and was never aired again during the festival.

The festival also premiered only one movie, which was written about in our last issue, rebuking the main purpose of a film festival: to show unknown films and introduce views to new work and new names.

To put it simply, the growing pains of The Idaho Horror Film Festival will be immense if it wants to become a respected part of Boise’s art scene or a “real” film festival by national standards.

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Carter Allison, freshman English major

“I enjoy it as a holiday but I don’t think Columbus is all people really need him to be. Everyone says he discovered America, but he didn’t. He was like the second person. He did a bunch of bad things to people.”

Jessika Solleder, freshman political science major

“I feel like it’s kind of a tragedy how it’s been taught to children, how Columbus is kind of revered as someone who should be well-respected when really he was an immoral person.”

Darby Kenyon, sophomore environmental science major

“I think some people really think Columbus Day is important and other people just blow it off. It’s weird because Native Americans view Columbus Day as that whole expedition coming into their land and taking over everything. So coming from that sense it’s hard to respect Columbus Day.”

Matt Bruender, junior computer science major

“I don’t really feel anything about it. I mean, it is a holiday, guy turned out to be kind of a jerk but in some aspects we do have to have to pay our respects to him; he did come here and do all that business and if it wasn’t for that none of this would have ever happened. I’m pretty neutral about it. I think it’s one of those holidays that people have just in the back of their minds and no one really celebrates that much.”

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In 1492, the transatlantic slave trade was born. We celebrated the founder of this lucrative business on Monday, Oct. 13.

Wait­, what?

“It appears to me that the people are ingenious and would be good servants,” Christopher Columbus noted on Oct. 11, 1492.

Monday was Columbus Day, a day for honoring Columbus and his accomplishment of “discovering” America, but I definitely didn’t learn about the transatlantic slave trade in grade school.

Columbus Day should not be celebrated and if we do continue to celebrate it, the name should be changed.

A lot of horrible things happened when Columbus came to America. There was rape, mutilation, sex slavery, genocide and war.

Why I really hate Columbus Day, why I think we shouldn’t celebrate it, is because before returning to Spain, Columbus abducted 500 people and took them back to his homeland. Three hundred people survived the trip and transatlantic slave trade was born.

Americans celebrate this holiday without knowing the whole story. We’ve all celebrated, observed and recognized Columbus Day, but we don’t celebrate the slavery part of it.

We shouldn’t celebrate the discoveries of a slave trader and mass murderer.

America decided to honor Columbus with his own federal holiday in the 1930s. Columbus is regarded as an American hero, lumped into the same category as Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Men who advocated for change, for prosperity and the value of American life share the same honor as the founder of the transatlantic slave trade.

Slowly, individuals and larger entities are combating the celebration of Columbus Day. For example, the city of Seattle celebrates Indigenous People’s Day and it’s about time the rest of the nation follows suit.

Steven Leekity, freshman computer science and electrical engineering major and president of Boise State’s Intertribal Native Council, is hoping that will be the case. On Oct. 13, the Intertribal Native Council erected a teepee on the Quad and passed out information about the less positive aspects of Columbus Day.

“I went to a public school when I was a little kid. They just told us that Columbus found this place and that he discovered America but they didn’t know what he did to start it,” Leekity said. “In a way he did start (America) but it caused a lot of domino effect, a lot of negativity going down to the indigenous people.”

“Students need to remember that Columbus came here and started a war of negative things,” Leekity said. “The main thing is that Columbus started a chain that we still see today.”

Leekity hopes that his club will be able to spread a sense of Native American culture and community. Columbus Day doesn’t do them any favors.

Leekity suggested that Indigenous People’s Day is a more fitting name for the holiday.

“It’s to remember that we, Native Americans, are still here today,” Leekity said.

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“Yes, there’s potential. For younger kids, if it’s not like Grand Theft Auto where you are out stealing stuff—if the focus is helping people, little tykes might be encouraged to get involved in their communities. But realistically, not a lot.”

– Jason Jennings, junior, psychology major

“Yes, they can teach life lessons and morals, like responsibility.”

– Adriana Ridley, sophomore, radiology major

“I think they can teach life lessons, depending on how the game is designed, like how to interact with people.”

– Haley Hixon, freshman, biology major

“I mean, I guess it could—I’m not positive. I feel people like create characters that aren’t necessarily who they are or what they look like. It’s like trying to be someone else and focusing on appearance and stereotypes.”

– Anna Popma, junior, health science major

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With the release of “The Sims 4” this past September, Maxis, the game’s developing company, offers students an opportunity to rip apart their lives without actually causing permanent harm. 

Most students, at one point or another, want to stay up late, avoid work or host a party every day. The Sims lets gamers watch their avatars crumple under the pressure of their unwise life choices, spurring more thoughtful choices in the
physical world.

Success is nice when it matters

Sims don’t have to go to college, which takes quite a big weight off their pixelated shoulders.  When working a Sim job, it’s relatively easy to get promoted: One simply has to brush their teeth before going to work, gain a boost in their confidence emotional state and decide to “schmooze with [their] boss.”  They don’t even have to pay for the toothpaste.

Success comes easily in the Sims.  In some cases, it’s too easy.  Seeing one’s Sim fly into the limelight of success without having to spend more than a few hours honing their painting skills can be cool, but it doesn’t have the same value as actual, time-consuming success.  Sometimes it’s worth the added effort for real-life achievement.

Sims have to sleep too

Unfortunately, students playing the game will begin to see that the Sims have as many problems juggling their bodily needs as those playing the game.  Spending a lot of time focusing on easy promotions can send a Sim into panic, jumping between the bathtub and the fridge, trying to dismiss their “grungy” and “ravenous” traits.

Students like to stay up late.  In most occasions, they enjoy staying up too late, sending them into a downward spiral of exhaustion.  Sims go through the same problems.  The upside is that players don’t actually feel the slow petering of their energy level or capacity of their bladder—that is, until they watch their Sims pass out at work, lose their job or lose their cool in public without a toilet.

In the end, staying up writing six novels isn’t worth the problems that arise further down the path of ignoring one’s bodily functions and needs.

Muti-tasking is an absolute must, and students will realize that daily, habitual endeavors, like eating square meals and getting adequate sleep,  are rather useful in the long run, inside and outside of the game.

Getting to know people is hard

The Sims 4 offers introverted players the unique opportunity to meet, fall in love with, propose to and elope with a prospective romantic interest in, say, one sitting.  It’s pretty easy to select every romantic interaction choice and build up the friendship and romance meters in an afternoon and evening, which amounts to 10 or so minutes in real time.

The real downside to this is the fact that one’s lover can turn out to be an evil, mischievous, child-hating criminal.  In a flurry of “flirt” and “compliment appearance” selections, one will forget to actually get to know their partner and get married with a Sim whose personality window comes up as unknown.  Students choosing this quick path may find a renewed appreciation for the dating process.  They might also give up on it entirely.  The Sims can do that.

In the end, The Sims is really a good way to do away with the impulsive desires that people might face in life, especially in terms of hygienic upkeep and romantic endeavors.  Players just need to be careful that they don’t stay up too late with their graphical friends.

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Torrenting might seem like an initially black and white issue to most, but information on pirating still varies heavily and is a complex issue that students need to look at more closely, as it often houses potential positive effects from a global standpoint.

Pirating’s economic impact

Several different estimates for the economic impact of pirating have been made, including a $250 billion estimate made in the new proposal for Stop Online Piracy Act and a $58 billion estimate made by the Institute for Policy Innovation.

However, many economists question the validity of these claims because they fail to take into account whether or not consumers who torrented products would have the money to buy said products.

Instead, the bigger picture should be analyzed.  Torrenting shouldn’t become accepted as something that everyone should do, but students should instead take a look at the flow of information that accompanies pirating.

According to the Business Software Alliance, the countries that have the highest rate of software downloaded illegally are  countries with lower GDP per capita:  Nigeria(83 percent), Libya (90 percent) and Zimbabwe(92 percent), compared to higher GDP per capita countries like  United States(19 percent), Canada(27 percent) and Australia (23 percent).

This is saying that people who can afford to not torrent will often take the legal avenue and buy the product.

Affording mainstream media

Following this train of thought Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft, makes the argument in an interview that those who pirate aren’t people who can buy the product. He explains that piracy isn’t really theft because a copy isn’t being stolen. So the question becomes: should we be stopping that flow of free copies of media products?

If the majority of piracy is coming from areas where the software cannot be afforded—meaning the persons in question wouldn’t buy the software even if it was available to them—then the only thing happening is the spread of free information.

The flow of information

Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media talks about this in a Forbes article.

“In my experience at O’Reilly, the losses due to piracy are far outweighed by the benefits of the free flow of information, which makes the world richer, and develops new markets for legitimate content,” O’Reilly said.   

“Most of the people who are downloading unauthorized copies of O’Reilly books would never have paid us for them anyway; meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of others are buying content from us, many of them in countries that we were never able to do business with when our products were not available in digital form.”

What O’Reilly is saying is that not only has piracy given new information to people who wouldn’t have been able to access the information freely, it has also created pockets of areas where the market sector can gain revenue because free media online created fans in areas of the world that otherwise wouldn’t have known that those products existed.

Free advertisement

In a video, short story, novel and graphic novel author Neil Gaiman made for Open Rights Group, he explained he felt that torrenting played a huge role in free advertisement. Gaiman makes the comparison that many people borrow, lend and find about his work in ways that don’t give him revenue, but after they are introduced to him and become fans, they buy his work.

“No one who would have bought your book is not buying it because they can find it for free. What you’re actually doing is advertising, is reaching more people and is raising awareness,” Gaiman said.

This isn’t to say that students should download BitTorrent and have a crack at pirating for themselves. The idea is to keep an open mind about how torrenting affects us globally, and acknowledge  that although torrenting may be a negative from a legal standpoint in the United States, it can have a positive outcome on the market globally.

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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

I was interested to read Sean Bunce’s recent article on crosswalk safety in The Arbiter (Vol. 27 [9]).  As a cyclist myself, I would like to put the counter argument: that motorists simply don’t know how to deal with cyclists on the road even when they are obeying all the rules. 

Many motorists see cyclists as inconvenient obstacles that shouldn’t be there—like children playing in the road.  With this mentality they fail to give cyclists the respect and legal right-of-ways they are due, and this is not a new problem.  A student back in 2002 talking to The Arbiter called bicycles “a daily annoyance and an occasional hazard,” which goes some way in revealing the emotional bias of some motorists (not to mention the irrational motivation of the backers of BSU’s policy 9010). 

The people who feel threatened by bikes on a college campus are exactly the sort who go home in their over-sized trucks and are a “daily annoyance and an occasional hazard” to innocent folks like me on the roads.

My bike is not a recreational vehicle but my main form of transit: it’s how I commute to/from work and get my son to/from his day care.  I have frequently had to stop suddenly for a car going through a stop sign and failing to yield to me the right-of-way on the cross-street.  I’ve even had to pull up short on University Drive when a pedestrian crossing at a crosswalk but against the light walked right in front of me.  It seems cyclists are in danger from motorists and pedestrians!

One particular concern which I pointed out to the university almost a year ago (and about which nothing has yet been done) is the amount of west-bound traffic (especially cyclists) on Cesar Chavez Lane, which parallels the Greenbelt south of the river on campus.  Cesar Chavez is a one-way road, with traffic only allowed to travel eastbound.  There is potentially a BIG problem as they come to the junction with the Friendship Bridge, where cyclists heading south across the bridge cross Cesar Chavez Lane.  There is a stop sign for (eastbound) traffic on the road, but of course none for westbound traffic because there is not meant to be any westbound traffic.  For this reason, westbound cyclists/motorists routinely do not stop at the junction, even though southbound cyclists have the right of way there.  The potential disaster lies in the inevitability that a southbound cyclist will check for traffic to his/her right, see none, and sail through the junction while an illegal westbound vehicle, not seeing a stop sign, will also sail into the junction and right into the southbound cyclist.  Speed will almost certainly make the collision worse, as the road here is fairly flat and southbound cyclists, having just come across the bridge, are actually traveling downhill.  I have seen many cyclists violating the one-way system here (even though the two-way Greenbelt is just a few feet away) plus several cars and even a few university vehicles.

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Most students are tight-lipped and cautious about what they say after the term animal testing is used in conversation. Generally the consensus is that animal testing is okay in research which will help cure human illness and unacceptable for consumer or industrial product testing—as long as the animals aren’t hurt while doing so.

“If it’s not harmful it will be fine,” said Shannon Westergard, a student caught off guard while walking to the library. “If I wouldn’t want it done to myself, I wouldn’t want it done on animals.”

Boise State is currently conducting animal testing and discussing plans for a new vivarium. With this happening in their own backyard, many students seem to lack knowledge about the subject altogether; this needs to change.

“I think we should do some of it, just depends what it’s for,” said Mathew Chance, freshman criminal justice major. “If it’s something that will kill them (animals) then no. If its something that’s helping us and not harmful to them then yeah we should (do animal testing).”

The California Biomedical Research Association states that nearly all medical breakthroughs in the last 100 years come from research using animals. Examples they use are the discovery of insulin, which was discovered by removing the pancreases from dogs and the polio vaccine, which was first tested on animals reducing the global occurrence of the disease from 350,000 cases in 1988 to 223 cases in 2012.

These breakthroughs aren’t without a cost. Although animals are treated with anesthetic and other sedatives, Humane Society International paints a different picture that many never see.

According to their website, animals used in experiments undergo force-feeding, forced inhalation, food and water deprivation, prolonged periods of physical restraint and they’re subjected to burns and other wounds to study the healing process. Pain is also inflicted to study its effects and remedies. When animals are killed, it’s by carbon dioxide asphyxiation, neck-breaking, decapitation or other means.

Robert Schulkey, English major at Boise State, feels this may be a necessary evil.

“I’m not happy about it, but I realize it saves lives,” he said.

Before students have a knee jerk reaction about sensitive issues such as animal testing, they need gather more information about the topic.

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“It brings the campus and the university together,” sophomore Communications major Clayton Carpenter. It’s a much bigger game because it brings everyone together.”

“It’s great because there is a lot of spirit going around campus,” sophomore Graphic Design major Sarah Holleron said.

“It’s awesome because the student population comes together and reflects on Boise State’s past and what the future is going to hold,” junior Communications major Tyler Rawsa said.”

“Homecoming is a great way for the community and the campus to bond together,” Maria Guave said.

” It mean absolutely nothing to me,” senior Construction Management major Geoff Decker said.”

“A week long of celebrating Boise State,” sophomore Construction Management major Kaylee Beck said.

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The flags dotting walkways and buildings on campus this week mean more to some students than others.  For those in the know, the posters plastering walls and promotional banners highlight Homecoming Week, the upcoming game, and its emphasis on community.  But for others, they are just decorations that don’t mean much in the grand scheme of their day-to-day endeavors.

Junior sociology major Collin Blair is considering attending the game on Saturday.  He plans to buy a t-shirt and participate in some of the closer, more convenient Homecoming Week activities and games but doesn’t feel obligated to delve into everything possible.

“It’s fun and exciting and supposed to get people involved,” Blair said.  “But there are also those that aren’t quite as excited as others.  The activities tend to cater to the already involved students.”

Homecoming activities focus on students that are already pumped and hyped for the upcoming game and football season, as well as welcoming freshmen to campus and fostering a sense of community within those living on campus

Based on data gathered in 2013 by US News, Boise State had over 20,000 students enrolled, with 94 percent of those students living off campus.  Students that commute for classes, park in one of the general lots or Brady Garage and spend most of their time on campus in class rarely venture past the Quad or Communication Building.

These students are often left out of Homecoming’s community focus.

Senior history major Deb Jackson doesn’t see much appeal in the upcoming Homecoming events.

“I didn’t know it was Homecoming Week until I saw the flags around the Business Building and thought, ‘Oh, OK.’”

Jackson participated in Homecoming activities as a freshman living on campus and because the events were at her fingertips. She now lives off campus and commutes to school mainly for classes and work engagements.

Most of the Homecoming events and advertisements are centered at the SUB, far out of these students’ paths.  The advertising of these events is based around on-campus housing and the SUB, making it that much more difficult for commuting students to stay in the loop.

“Some events should be hosted closer to the ILC,” Jackson said.  “Events are centralized by location, not by population.”

A strengthened focus, at least on advertising, in this more trafficked area would certainly help reign in interested students.  But it is difficult to get students excited about a community that they don’t necessarily want to be a part of in the first place.

“Homecoming becomes a bro-fest of bro-ness and football and flags,” said Jackson. “It isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It’s just very narrow-minded in its approach.”

Homecoming events may aim to foster a sense of community and involvement within student attendees, but it ultimately does an excellent job of excluding those without a particular set of interests or campus placement.

“College is about getting involved in one way or another,” Blair said, after suggesting that Homecoming planners poll a variety of students about their interests in activities.

By expanding the targeted audience for Homecoming, those putting activities together could easily reign in multitudes of participants.  But in the end, it comes down to the fact that Homecoming festivities are focused toward individuals that already know they want to be involved.

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San Jose Mercury Editorial Staff
MCT Campus

Creepy doesn’t begin to describe Facebook’s 2012 psychological experiment on 700,000 of its unwitting users. Any attempt to manipulate the emotional state of consumers is unconscionable. It reflects poorly on the entire tech community, confirming privacy activists’ worst fears. This public relations disaster, coming on the heels of the NSA spying revelations, reasserts the pressing need for Silicon Valley to produce an online users’ bill of rights. The alternative is an inevitable downward spiral of confidence in tech companies and their products. Could government regulation be far behind? Social media and software companies have been hiding behind user agreements to excuse blatant invasions of privacy. Facebook’s data use agreement is nearly as long as the Book of Revelations and about as comprehensible. To sum it up: In the event of anything short of an apocalypse, Facebook is covered. And if anyone out there claims to carefully read all the terms and conditions for a web site before clicking “Accept” to join it _ get out the salt shaker. The basis for an online bill of rights must be full transparency. Social media users should not have to go through a 8,000 words of legalese to know what they’re agreeing to. It would help to have a shorthand summary of a user agreement in plain language. If something jumps out at users, they can read the whole thing. The Federal Trade Commission should look at requiring this, along the lines of the Food and Drug Administration labels that summarize the ingredients of food products. The summary should include who will have access to a user’s data and how it can be used. Are photographs shared? Are locations tracked? Are online purchases recorded? Are lists of acquaintances compiled? Are political or religious affiliations shared? Are online searches tracked? These are all yes or no answers. Details can be a click away. At a minimum, users should have access to an annual report of the material being collected and what individuals or businesses have purchased any personal information. They should be able to opt out of having their personal data sold for any purpose. Companies such as Facebook and Google contribute enormously to Silicon Valley’s economy, creating services used by hundreds of millions of people a day. They’ve made billions by mining the data they collect from those users and selling it to companies that profit further from it. Good for them. But they owe their customers basic honesty. And they shouldn’t play mind games with the people from whom they profit. The European Union is ahead of the United States in protecting personal information. Brazil passed an Internet bill of rights in April limiting the data that online companies can collect from users. Silicon Valley should take the initiative to offer Americans the same protections. If it doesn’t, the industry’s reputation will continue to unravel. And companies won’t be able to blame NSA snoops for it.

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The Arbiter

Do you generally read through your terms and conditions before agreeing to them on social media?

“No. Most of what is written seems like common sense.  I don’t need to be told what is and what is not appropriate to do or unnecessary.” – Haley Meyers, senior, anthropology major

“Not usually.  The jargon they use can be confusing, which lends itself to encouraging people not to read them in the first place.” – Brianna Oswald, junior, social work major

“I skim through them sometimes.  I just pick out key words about pictures and stuff that is personal.  It’s mostly a lack of time.” – Kyle Hansen, auto body alumni

“I don’t ever read them.  I always just click the checkbox and say ‘yes, I’ve read these.’  I just don’t want to deal with it.” – Justin Dodd, freshman, undeclared

“On Facebook I do, but on anything else I don’t.  Since the Facebook messenger app, I’ve been a bit more suspicious.” Jeanie McElroy, junior, radiologic sciences major


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Question: Have you thought about the gun bill since returning to campus?

Charlie Muraski, senior elementary education major

“Yes because a teacher brought it up. [We] were talking about things that were uncomfortable to talk about.”


Sydney Trumbo, sophomore radiology major

“No, I haven’t, not since last semester.”


Blake Lyman, freshman music education major

“Not really. It’s come up in conversations but it’s not a pressing thought on my mind.”


Anthony Taylor, freshman music and business major

“We haven’t talked about it much. It was brought up in class once and that was it.”


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Are you excited to be going to Boise State this Year? Why or Why not?

Heather Corisis- Junior, major: Psychology with a minor in family studies.

-”Yes, I’m excited to see my friends.”

Dominic Christianson- Junior, major: criminal justice.

-”Yes, I’m ready for football season, to see my friends and for all the other exciting stuff that goes on here.”

Makayla Jarvey- Sophomore, major: per-radiologic sciences.

– “This is my first year at Boise State but I’m excited to be here, it’s a beautiful campus. I really like all my professors so far and have met a lot of nice people.”

Brian Rust- Freshman transfer, major: Athletic training.

– “I’m excited to get out of California, It’s a lot cleaner here and the people are really nice.”

Lucus Ebben- freshman, criminal justice

– “Yes, I get residency. Just being back in school after being out 10 years (is exciting).”

Anna Zigray- freshman, biology major with a minor in mathematics hoping to go into research.

– “I fell in love with the campus when I came here.”

Jamie Butler- freshman, kinisiology

– “Yes, I’ve been coming here for years and I love it, it’s not to big not too small. I’m excited to be on my own and experience college life.”

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Judging by recent lawsuits, Boise State claims veto power over students’ freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the Second Amendment. I attended the Dick Heller Second Amendment rally, May 16th. I thought that the heavy police and security coverage were intimidating. There were three to five police and security people guarding the front door, a cluster of three in the SUB, and one guarding each entrance to the SUB— even one stationed way out at the crosswalk of University and Lincoln!

Who wants to run a gauntlet of a half-dozen cops just to go to a meeting? Who called the heavy heat? Boise State administrators. Why? Because a group of students had invited a pro-Second Amendment speaker.  This ‘risky’ fellow was Dick Heller.  Mr. Heller has appeared before the US Supreme Court. And, they invited “Pro-Gun Republican” candidates for Idaho Attorney General, Governor, Secretary of State, and several legislative districts.

Boise State took down the student announcement of the approved rally. It’s like Boise State didn’t want anyone to attend. Then, before the event occurred Boise State charged the student group $465 in security fines. The student organizers passed the hat to help pay the pre-event fine (I gave $10). In summary:

    1. Boise State required an act of Idaho legislature to overturn their veto of Second Amendment rights.
    2. Boise State is being sued over their attempt to veto pro-life free speech.
    3. Boise State is being sued over their attempt to veto freedom of assembly.

What’s the next right Boise State wants to veto? It should instead foster a marketplace of ideas.

Editor’s Note: Since submission of this letter, Boise State University has said they will rescind the fee placed on the group for bringing a guns right advocate to speak on campus.

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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

It’s hard to imagine living in a world of intolerence, where jobs and housing only go to straight, white people and individuals are bullied because of whom they choose
to date. 

In many examples throughout history, minorities have been oppressed by the majority, while the laws that govern allow the behavior to continue.

The most recent example of this in American history, is the events which took place in the South. Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, de jure and de facto segregation kept African Americans from sitting at the same lunch counter or drinking from the same water fountain as white people. De jure refers to laws set by the local or national government, while de facto segregation refers more to common practices by people. 

This type of segregation has gone away though, right? Wrong.

 Many gay and transgender Idahoans are denied basic human rights, which many take for granted. These individuals experience discrimination with employment, housing, education, business and public service.  

This is appalling, as a community Boise State students shouldn’t tolerate this injustice.

 “A lot of my friends have been affected by it (discrimination),” said Amber Stiles, a sophomore at Boise State studying entrepreneurial management. “One of my friends actually lost his job because of it.”

Unfortunately, some cases are even more severe.

In a recent sentencing of participants involved with the Add the Words protests in February, two mothers took the witness stand. Both of their children were gay, both were bullied and both took their own lives.

Julie Zicha, mother of one of these children, also helps run a nonprofit organization devoted to helping lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

“Every moment we wait we risk losing more kids,” she said.

According to Zicha, who lost her son when he was 19, these crimes stem from hatred and intolerance.

For now, gay and transgender marriage is still banned in Idaho pending an appeal by the state, which will take place in September. On May 13, the ban was overturned but the ruling held due to a request to hold the ruling until an appeal could be made by both Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

“I think it’s critical to take an orderly approach to this case and avoid the confusion that has occurred in other states,” Wasden said in a USA Today article May 20. “Now I can focus fully on my responsibility and obligation of defending the choice Idaho voters made to define marriage eight years ago.”

Same-sex marriage may be prohibited in Idaho but these individuals are still human. They should be afforded the same  rights and protections   as everyone else; the quickest way to do this is by helping to Add the Words.

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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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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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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.