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Harry Penate is a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity on campus. He is a junior English: Creative Writing major.

As spring semester gets underway, the new Phi Delta Theta fraternity enters its first full semester at Boise State. The fraternity, formed in early October, has been attracting new members with its low fraternity fees, campus involvement events and diverse group of members.

The fraternity president, J.R. Rasmussen, already has his policy planned out for this semester: “as many socials and student organization events as possible.”

Last semester the fraternity was able to have a group trip to Lucky Peak, go skittles bowling for Halloween, and build gingerbread houses with the sororities on campus.

Phi Delt is also a very diverse group of students who have all different kinds of interests and hobbies. Freshman Michael Duke raps at places such as The Crux, Revolution House and Powerhouse. Junior Colton Ankeney is an avid skydiver. Junior Harry Penate performs stand-up comedy downtown at Liquid Laughs. Sophomore Colby Hall is a member of the Army ROTC program and the Idaho Army National Guard, as well as plays on the BSU club rugby team.

Phi Delt has members from all over, from New Jersey, California, Oregon, Washington, even Vietnam. Freshman Tu Huynh came to BSU from Vietnam and was one of the original founding fathers. When asked about what joining the fraternity meant, he told me “I was a little shy at first, once I moved to Boise State, but after joining Phi Delt it boosted my confidence like no other! I’m being myself around everyone, which helps me meet new people.”

If becoming the best version of yourself meeting many new friends, and getting involved on campus sounds like something you want to do, look for the Phi Delta Theta members at social events or look for the best-dressed men on campus on Sunday evenings.

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Vaccines have transformed the world of medicine. They protect society from infectious diseases that would otherwise kill millions.

Despite the many benefits that they bring, there’s still strong opposition from the general public. People ignore pushes for vaccinations against preventable diseases such as influenza, chicken pox and whooping cough.

Getting vaccinated is a crucial citizen responsibility.

Role of vaccines

“Vaccines are one of the most important medical advances of the century,” said Juliette Tinker, biology professor at Boise State and current vaccine researcher.

It’s no different than wearing a seatbelt in a car. It’s a precaution.

Not everyone who doesn’t wear a seatbelt will get in a car accident. If something were to go wrong, however, the risk is much higher if the precaution is not taken.

The same applies to vaccines. Not everyone who doesn’t get vaccinated will become sick, however, if they do, there’s a chance of fatality.

Children are suffering from the consequences of not getting vaccinated because parents are ignoring the facts. In 2012, a large whooping cough outbreak occurred in the U.S. The Center for Disease Control reported at least 48,277 cases of whooping cough, the most since 1995.

The CDC linked the outbreak to the lack of vaccinations against the disease.

Hindering myths

Many times, people refuse to get vaccinated due to their lack of education of how they work, their role and importance. Lots of myths have been built around the issue.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield published a study in “The Lancet” in 1998 stating that there was a link to an increase in autism and the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. The study cut corners, jumped to conclusions, used a biased sample group and had questionable financial ties to the trial lawyers.

Since then, there have been over 100 studies disproving the claim that autism is linked to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, and there’s still ongoing research looking into the issue. Ten out of the 13 original researchers have withdrawn their names from Wakefield’s study. Despite the proof, people still beat the dead horse and use it as an excuse to avoid vaccinations.

Another common myth is that vaccines will cause someone to get sick with the illness. This claim couldn’t be more wrong.

Why vaccines work

Many vaccines carry either the dead pathogen or antigenic fragments that elicit an immune response within the body. Dead pathogens cannot replicate—they are already dead. Antigenic fragments can’t either because they are only a portion of the pathogen. They can’t replicate and cause illness because they don’t have all the necessary components to replicate within the body.

Attenuated or live vaccines do have a live microbe, however it is weakened. Only a small number of the weakened pathogen is injected, just enough to cause an immune response but not nearly enough to cause illness.

Even though the virus (or bacteria) is injected into the person, it is done in a way that won’t get the person sick.

Scientists and researchers spend years developing a vaccine. On average, it takes 10 to 15 years to receive a licensure for a human vaccine to be used in public health. This includes an exploratory stage, preclinical trials with mice, clinical trials with humans, regulatory review and approval, manufacturing and quality control. Even after the vaccine receives approval, it undergoes continuous research to ensure its effectiveness.

“I think it’s really important to understand how long of a process it is to make a vaccine, and how there are really a lot of safety nets in place,” Tinker said.

Getting vaccinated is crucial for a healthy society. Not only are those who get vaccinated protecting themselves, they protect others from getting infected. This is vital for those who might be immunocompromised from an autoimmune disease or receiving chemotherapy. The less people who are carriers of the illness, the better. It protects those who can’t get vaccinated.

Take one for the team and get vaccinated. A small prick from a needle to protect lives is well worth it.

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Arbiter Graphic

How do you feel about that person who always seems to be talking and asking questions in the classroom?

“It depends on the context, if it’s related to the class and not distracting it’s fine because they’re either saying things that I hadn’t thought about or they’re giving information that I actually need. A lot of times they’re just trying to debate with the teacher or whatever so it can be distracting.” – Jacob Buckley, computer science sophomore

“I like them and dislike them. Sometimes they really can start discussions and get the ball rolling and I guess sometimes they can really stop the ball just by talking about something that really has nothing to do with the topic and going off on a tangent.” – Tim Baxter, international business senior

“It can be distracting for the class when one person who’s always rambling on and you’re trying to be productive and get stuff done and you already know this person is going to start talking. It’s not something that you can’t work around but it can get annoying sometimes.” – Daniel Barth, marketing freshman

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If Idaho received a report card, it would be failing in education.

As its students and teachers struggle, the state turns a blind eye.

Idaho needs to fund education, especially teachers, in a smart, effective way.

While Idaho is finally looking to fund education, the strategy is questionable.

In 2015 the State Board of Education will be proposing the Career Ladder to the Legislature for consideration. The Board want to put nearly $200 million towards helping raise teacher pay. By increasing the base pay for teachers, Idaho hopes to draw in and keep high-quality educators within the state’s school districts.

In theory, it sounds great. Teachers are meant to instruct students and assist them in success.

In reality, it’s a horrible train wreck. The ladder doesn’t seem very easy to climb, as it’s based on years of experience, level of education and student performance. These three qualities are not an accurate measurement of teachers’ abilities and prowess.

Measuring an educator’s success based on student success is like an employee’s success being measured on the rate of customers. While great customer service can influence the rate, it’s a highly uncontrollable factor.

The same applies to teachers. A great educator can inspire some struggling students to succeed. However, teachers don’t handpick who will be in their class. It’s based on the pool of students available in the area and assigned by the school.

By random luck, a teacher may have a class full of outstanding students who always do their homework and ace exams.

Unfortunately, there will always be students who don’t care about their education, and some teacher will have to deal with these students. No matter what techniques they try, no matter how much care and effort they put into this student, it won’t matter. Some students just don’t care.

This doesn’t leave very many options for a teacher whose pay relays on the success of his or her students. Will teachers start passing students who haven’t earned their grade just for a better paycheck? It’s a strong possibility.

It’s time to get educated about education. Being 48 out of 50 is nothing to be proud of.

Although education was a focus in the recent Idaho election, between Gov. Butch Otter and self-proclaimed “Chief of Schools” Sherri Ybarra, the future is scary.

We need to treat our teachers with the respect and pay they deserve. They are the direct connection to success for our students. While the Career Ladder would be a step in that direction, its implementation will cause more harm
than good.

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There’s one in every class it seems: the student who talks as much as the teacher, who raises their hand with every question or blurts out answers which turn into life stories.

In some cases this person knows what they’re talking about. In other instances, they don’t. Other students cringe at the sound of their voice as it travels through the classroom.

If you don’t know who I’m referring to, you’re probably that student.

These students should stop talking so much and allow others participate in classroom discussion.

For Ryan Cannon, assistant professor in the Communication Department, these students aren’t as much of a distraction for him as he feels they may be for other students within the classroom.

“I remember as an undergrad, you’d go to class and there would be a particular student or students perhaps … who have a lot to say or people who sometimes monopolize conversations,” Cannon said. “I think that’s where the danger comes into it. You want everyone to become involved, (but) sometimes you don’t necessarily want classroom participation to become lopsided to those one or few who are often outspoken or have a lot to say.”

This isn’t to say that everyone who raises their hand is disruptive to the students around them. However, there is a fine line between asking questions to improve your understanding and having a conversation with the professor while they’re trying to instruct a class.

“There’s a certain flow in a classroom environment,” said Kacy Bonds, sophomore secondary education major. “I think that if students keep asking questions and keep interrupting what the professors are saying it can definitely be frustrating because you’re just trying to go with the flow of the class.”

Bonds feels that those students who typically ask a lot of questions can tend to stray away from the topic the class is discussing. This can often lead to frustration among students in the class.

“I was in an introduction to education class last year and there was a woman in that class that always had to give her two cents on everything,” Bonds said. “That was incredibly frustrating because they weren’t keeping (on) course with what we were talking about in class. It was like tidbits about her own life.”

According to Leslie Clampitt, senior computer science major, this should be a sixth-sense for students at this point in their education career.

However, this may not always be the case.

“Most students who are like that don’t know how to look for social cues I guess; body language, facial expressions, that (say) they are doing something wrong and need to stop,” Clampitt said. “If they’re not at this point able to recognize those things, then they’re not going to learn it. I mean they’re adults, they should know that.”

The solution seems clear: if you think you’re talking too much and being a disruption to the classroom environment, you probably are.


Student Voices: How do you feel about that person who always seems to be talking and asking questions in the classroom?

Jacob Buckley

Jacob Buckley, sophomore computer science major

“It depends on the context; if it’s related to the class and not distracting it’s fine because they’re either saying things that I hadn’t thought about or they’re giving information that I actually need. A lot of times they’re just trying to debate with the teacher or whatever so it can be distracting.”

Tim Baxter

Tim Baxter, senior international business major

I like them and dislike them. Sometimes they really can start discussions and get the ball rolling and I guess sometimes they can really stop the ball just by talking about something that really has nothing to do with the topic and going off on a tangent.

Daniel Barth

Daniel Barth, freshman marketing major

“It can be distracting for the class when one person (is) always rambling on and you’re trying to be productive and get stuff done and you already know this person is going to start talking. It’s not something that you can’t work around but it can get annoying sometimes.”

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‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, finding the perfect gifts and holiday cheer. As holiday shoppers are rushing through the mall this month, they will most likely hear a seasonal greeting from a retail employee.

However, two simple phrases, “Happy holidays” versus “Merry Christmas” have sparked massive debate in recent years.

It’s two words. Boycotting a store because the company chose to say “Happy holidays” or yelling at a retail employee for wishing a “Merry Christmas” is quite ridiculous and honestly unnecessary.

Companies must choose one or the other. By saying “Merry Christmas,” companies are ostracized for being insensitive to other religious affiliations. By wishing a customer “Happy holidays” instead, criticism arises for following a liberal agenda.

As of 2010, 3 out of 4 Americans claim Christianity as their belief system. While this is a majority, this excludes almost 25 percent of possible customers ready to spend big bucks for presents.

The American Family Association, an organization who promotes fundamentalist Christian ideals, fights big-name retailers who switch to the politically correct term, and encourages their readers to boycott companies and demand “Merry Christmas.”

For other companies, saying “Happy holidays” is not only being politically correct—it opens the possibility to make a larger profit by trying to appeal to every belief system.

Here’s the truth though: Many Americans don’t care.

In 2013, a study by the Pew Research Center found 8 out of 10 non-Christians celebrate Christmas in the United States. It’s a safe bet that companies aren’t taking a large risk by saying “Merry Christmas” if the Christmas shopping crowd is so large.

Yet, despite the vast majority celebrating Christmas this year, so much emphasis is put on the issue.

In another study conducted by the Pew Research Center, nearly half of Americans don’t have a preference for which seasonal greeting they receive.

Approximately 42 percent said they preferred “Merry Christmas” while the remaining 12 percent prefer “Happy Holidays.”

The whole concept of Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and every other holiday celebration in between is about love, tradition and spending time with family.

Focusing on such a simplistic issue draws attention away from the real meaning of the season for many cultures.

Don’t be an Ebenezer Scrooge and bring bah-humbug to the joy of the holidays by focusing on such a petty issue.

Tear open the presents, indulge in vast amounts of food and enjoy time with family and friends.

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When The Arbiter asked 50 undergraduate students if they felt they were able to take on all the responsibilities of being an adult, 39 said they did not feel fully prepared. Knowing how to perform the basic duties of being an adult such as managing finances, insurance plans and student loans is crucial knowledge to have when heading into

Once students graduate  high school, they should be prepared for adult life.

High schools often fail to properly teach students skills that are necessary to have as an
independent adult.

If these skills are not taught during high school,  the last step before expected independence, students should be taught these skills during college to better prepare them for the real world.

Repurposing UF classes to focus on teaching the basic principles of adulthood would be more effective in helping students in the real world.

“Maybe they (universities) expect you to know already or don’t consider it school-worthy,” said Andrew Stone, junior psychology major. “If you look at how many kids buy with credit cards and don’t know how to use a credit card, or how many kids buy houses and have no idea how a mortgage works, you can see that there is some important knowledge missing there.”

Of the 50 students mentioned previously, 48 of them stated that they would prefer UF courses that taught the basics of being an adult instead of the current curriculum.

UF courses focus on topics ranging from storytelling to invention and discovery.

“If you’re going to have a university foundations class, I think it should be more applicable,” Stone said. “It’s pretty obvious that with everybody who takes those classes that there is no content to them. We could use that space to teach more practical things like basic finances, balancing checkbooks or even cooking.”

The mission for the Foundational Studies Program is to “engage our Boise State University community in a cutting-edge, evidence-based liberal arts education relevant to our continually changing and diverse world.”

According to a four-year study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, 71 percent of students graduating in 2012 had student loan debt, with the average debt amount being $24,000.

If students are graduating with thousands of dollars in debt, students need to be equipped with the skills to handle their finances.

“Doing taxes is more relevant to my world than storytelling,” said Beth Alderink, senior speech pathology major. “There should be a personal finance class where I can learn what a 401k is and how to set a budget.”

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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

Smith2424. Incorrect. Alligator3. Incorrect.

Whatever your password is, sharing it might strengthen your relationship.

By sharing your password you are creating a more trusting environment with your significant other. This ultimately leads to a stronger, happier relationship.

A recent study done by The Pew Research Center showed that individuals were more comfortable sharing passwords with significant others than they had been before.

In a survey of 2,000 individuals in committed relationships, 67 percent said they shared passwords to online accounts such as Netflix or Amazon with their partners.

However, only 27 percent of couples will go so far as to have a joint email account.

My personal experience  shows that sharing your password will strengthen your relationship and this mentality and practice is growing; after all if you want to spend the rest of your life with someone in marriage, shouldn’t you be able to trust them with your Gmail account password?

My boyfriend and I share passwords for the Netflix account to our individual Facebook pages. Since we’ve swapped email passwords, there are no more secrets.

He can see all of my Victoria Secret coupon emails and I can check any of the 30 forwarded emails his dad sends him a day. Our relationship isn’t made up of checks and balances but, if one of us were ever curious about the other, the answer would only be a few clicks away.

Sharing passwords has also made managing our mutual accounts more convenient.

Everything from the water bill to the Internet is managed online; if he needs to check when something is due, he can sign in and check and vice versa.

However, there are a few reasons not to share a password.

One reason could be that the relationship is too new. If you still have emails from your ex-partner in your inbox, the temptation to see how your last relationship worked could be too much for a new girlfriend or boyfriend. Also, do you really want someone you’ve only been seeing for a short time to have access to all your accounts, especially if they involve money?

Another reason not to share is because you are entitled to your own privacy. If you pay your own bills you have earned a right to have a life of your own. You shouldn’t feel obligated to share your password with anyone, even if you are dating them. That said, if someone denies sharing a password, don’t assume it is because they are hiding something.

Lastly, if your significant other is constantly trying to check up on you, maybe you should keep your password to yourself until trust can be built. A relationship can’t survive without trust and sharing a password with someone is the ultimate sign of trust.

While no one should ever feel obligated to share passwords, the benefits range from easier finance access to stronger trust. Despite some negative sides to sharing passwords the strength built in relationships is worth it.

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Lindee Neumeier
Social Work

It has been ingrained into your brain and you may have never even considered why you say it. You memorized this recitation soon after you enrolled in public school, given that you started your education here in the United States. Know what it is? It’s the Pledge of Allegiance.

From a young age, you are told to stand up, put your right hand over your heart and recite the Pledge. It isn’t until later middle school or early high school when you start to really want to know why the Pledge is recited in school and what the words really mean.

First, we have: “I pledge allegiance,” which simply means that you are declaring that you are loyal to something, be it a person, place (country), or idea. Next: “to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands,” this pertains to our country and everything it stands for. Then, we have: “one Nation, under God, indivisible,” which implies that our indivisible nation is religious. And lastly: “with liberty, and justice for all,” which means that we all have freedoms and that we are fair to all of our citizens. Overall, this seems like a good thing to teach our children at a young age.

However, there are five words which seem to be contradictory.

“One Nation, under God, indivisible” is a discerning (sic) phrase to me and any other American that identifies with being non-religious. This is because to be “under God,” and to be “indivisible” don’t add up in our “one Nation.” Our current Pledge states that our one nation, our whole country, is “under God,”which isn’t true. If it isn’t true, why do we state this in our Pledge today?

Ken Lynn, an active Air Force member and Freedom From Religion Foundation member, explains that during the Red Scare of the 1950s, the whole nation was panicked about the spread of communism, which in its definition is implied to be anti-religious as well as anti-freedom.

The citizens of the United States as well as Congress decided that they had to make a large scale declaration of our nation being against communism. So, in 1954, Congress voted to add the words “under God” in our Pledge. However, 60 years have gone by, and America is becoming less religiously affiliated.

In 2012, Pew Research claimed that, “The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion also has grown in recent years; indeed, about one-fifth of the public overall – and a third of adults under age 30 – are religiously unaffiliated as of 2012”.

If this is the case, then why do we declare that our nation is religious as a whole? We need to correct our current pledge for it to be true. You can help do this by writing to your school districts, state legislature or even Congress. We need to right this wrong for future generations of Americans.

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Clay Schoessler

America prides itself in giving every person the opportunity to receive a quality post-secondary education. But is this really true? In this country, most students struggle to afford a college education. What changes can be made to our system? As American citizens and tax payers, we hold the power to tell the government what to do and when to do it. Well America, now is the time for post-secondary reform.

Having little money growing up made me think more consciously. By my freshman year in high school, I knew that my best chance to get a good quality education was by earning scholarships. Four years later, I had my college tuition paid for with several scholarships. However, most students are not this fortunate.  Every year, hundreds of students are driven into debt by the outrageous cost of attending a post-secondary institution.

Only a few years ago, a middle class family could afford college savings. Sadly, I know few people who are able to do this today.

According to the College Savings Foundation, 63 percent of parents count on their kids to carry the debt they acquire in college. These students in turn rely on help from the government, which then puts more burden on the taxpayer.

With outrageous government spending and a failing monetary system, it’s no wonder that our educational system has fallen through the cracks.

According to the U.S. National Debt Clock, fewer people are in the workforce today than in 2000. Each year the number of people and families on welfare increases.

According to USA Today, the average student debt in 2000 was $17,000 compared to a whopping $30,000 today. These facts paint a very bleak picture for a once great nation based on the principles of self-sovereignty and democracy.

The solution to the problem of student debt cannot be addressed from any one smaller perspective. The issue is multi-faceted and can only be successfully tackled by looking at the whole of our nation and asking the question of what do we, the people of this country, want for our children and our future? We need to invest in ourselves.

European countries invest in their future by paying for the student’s college through taxes.

Raising taxes is an ugly situation and nobody likes them. They are tricky and Americans already feel like they’re paying through the nose in them, but as a young adult of the lower class income bracket, I am able to realize that this is a possible solution.

I think we should institute a tax law to help pay for the cost of attendance at a post-secondary institution. It’s hard enough to afford anything right now, but bear with me.

In my opinion, the opportunity to have an affordable and quality education should be the right of every citizen in our country.

We need to exercise our ability and our responsibility to seeing that our nation’s priorities are sustainable for the future of our people and our country.

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Arbiter Graphic

“No, because I think shopping is evil and that it is black magic and that’s why they call it Black Friday and it should be stopped.”

– Daniel Joseph Ryan, sophomore, health science studies

“Yes I do, because they can get way more business that way.”

– Cody Tilley, freshman, mechanical engineering

“No, I don’t like that … I always think of the saying, ‘On Thanksgiving, you’re so thankful and then on Friday, you go and trample people to go get something.’”

– Samantha Cheney, junior, marketing and finance

“It just seems kind of ridiculous. I mean, Thanksgiving is all about family time and it seems like Black Friday has kind of taken over that.”

– Wil Balch, sophomore, mechanical engineering

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While many will be sitting down for a turkey dinner next Thursday, Kali Ireland, third key holder at Icing Jewelry in the mall, will be working.

She’ll be skipping pumpkin pie to face the masses of shoppers looking for early Black Friday sales.

“I don’t understand why we have to open on Thanksgiving. I think it’s a little bit ridiculous because they keep making it earlier and earlier every year,” Ireland said.

All the hype for a day of shopping now overshadows the day to be thankful; consumers need to stop participating in early Black Friday shopping or  it will only get worse every year. Not only are shoppers missing out on family time, there is a huge strain on retail employees.

This year is the first time many stores in the mall will be opening for Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving. Large department stores have been leading the trend in recent years: Stores such as Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl’s released Black Friday advertisements in the beginning of November this year.

“Thanksgiving is time to be with family and not go out and fight people off to get really awesome deals,” Ireland said.

Not only do employees have to cut family time, they will have to work extra hours. It is exhausting for workers who already have to deal with the stress of  angry, aggressive Black Friday shoppers.

“It’s tough right now … because we’re not fully staffed. There’s only four of us working at the store, so we all have to work double shifts and a couple of us have to work triple shifts,” Ireland said.

Despite the toll on retail employees, consumers continue to participate in the retail festivities.

Although junior biology major Kristen Chamberlin won’t be shopping on Thanksgiving, she believes shoppers should have the option.

“I think (stores) should be open. I feel like people, if they want to go out and shop, they should have the opportunity,” Chamberlin said.

People shopping on Thanksgiving indirectly support unnecessary consumerism.

Others protest the concept. Facebook pages such as “Boycott Shopping on Thanksgiving” try to persuade the public to let retail employees enjoy the holiday.

“I think everybody should have Thanksgiving off at least to eat with their family,” said Caitlin Fovenyessy, junior kinesiology major. “I know Black Friday is like a big tradition for a lot of people…but on Thanksgiving Day, (stores) shouldn’t be open.”

Ultimately, consumers are the driving force behind the cultural phenomenon. While they’re getting great deals, retail workers are ultimately the ones paying the price.

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On Nov. 4, Idaho failed to elect change. Midterm elections proved Idaho is stuck in its Republican ways when the people of this state reelected 72 year-old Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter, for a third term, instead of Democratic candidate A.J. Balukoff.

Tweets and Facebook posts cried snippets of outrage and disappointment. Sentiments are still echoed throughout campus. Some students felt Balukoff had a strong chance of winning, a rarity in one of the reddest states in the country.

Benedetta Torsi, senior Spanish major, said she could not vote because she is not a U.S. citizen, but she is upset with the outcome of last week’s elections.

“It’s very frustrating because I didn’t have an active part in voting and the results are even more frustrating,” Torsi said. “I don’t like Republicans. I was excited to see change.”

Idaho will never change short of a political apocalypse. Idaho’s neighbors to the west may be blue, but their ways will not cross the border.

Otter took 54 percent of the votes while Balukoff took 39 percent. Boise State Public Radio reported Ada County was Balukoff’s biggest supporter with 51.4 percent of the votes—almost 11,000 more votes than Otter.

Despite these victories and Balukoff’s popularity in Ada County, political science professor Scott Yeanor said Balukoff never stood a chance.

According to Yeanor, while the governor race was reportedly close, that was actually never the case.

“Democrats are irrelevant in Idaho. And they’ll continue to be irrelevant,” Yeanor said. “They have almost no power in the Legislature and, absent a great scandal, the Republicans will win state-wide office. The superintendent of schools election shows that. The Republicans ran a stiff in that election and won.”

For Yeanor, the political conversation that should be taking place is if one-party rule is a good thing for a state. Idaho has had Republican governor control for a long time and Republican legislature control even longer. Yeanor said, generally speaking, long term one-party rule can become more like a collection of interests instead of a party of ideas. When that happens, every once in a while having an electoral defeat can be rejuvenating for the party, where normal partnership and relationships are broken up.

“It’s a question whether one-party rule, even democratically accountable one-party rule, is good in the long term,” Yeanor said. “A lot of interests end up growing around a party that holds an office that holds and it becomes less true to itself over time and so I think all Idaho citizens should be concerned
about that.”

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Adiya Jaffari

Adiya Jaffari, senior pre-med health-science major

“I think I’m a bit disappointed that more people who wanted change didn’t vote. It’s interesting to think about because I know a lot of people didn’t vote for Otter. I think the younger generation is more liberal, but there is less voter turnout in that group. They’re upset with the government. You don’t get to complain if you don’t vote.”

Everett Smith

Everett Smith, junior fine arts major

“I’m happy the fire bond bill passed and I look forward to the construction of new emergency buildings. I wish more of the youth were involved in the political process.”

Orion Vogel

Orion Vogel, sophomore molecular biology major

“I know that Otter won reelection and that’s probably terrible. I don’t support Republicans and Democrats; generally I’m a pretty independent person.”

Christiana Svetkovich

Christiana Svetkovich, senior psychology major

“Iffy, because I think a lot of people aren’t as informed as they could be. I think my biggest problem was probably the education leader this term because she did plagiarize and she did get caught doing some other things she probably shouldn’t have been doing that are not liable and that concerns me. Even though she is Republican, I get that, but she shouldn’t have been doing those things. When you ask questions like did you know this happened no one knows, they’re like, ‘no I just voted for R,’ so that bothers me in the very fact that voters are not very informed.”

Jennifer Stohler

Jennifer Stohler, senior theatre arts and graphic design major

“One of my biggest issues is not only do I agree with (Svetkovich) that people should be more informed instead of just choosing a letter next to a candidate’s name, I also feel some people just don’t go out and vote which also affects the election. People need to go out and vote, do the research and pick a candidate that fits.”

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In the days following the 2014 midterm elections, social media was awash with hostile reactions toward the right-wing swing that occurred.

Many negative reactions, faithfully captured in the Twittersphere and elsewhere, blamed the outcome on the “lazy dinguses” who failed to turn up to vote.

Without emphasizing my own political views, I would like to say that I can understand why my politically active peers had impassioned reactions on social media. After all, these elections effected decisions that affect us all.

I am wary, however, of those who choose to enter the blame game by accusing non-voters of a moral failing­—aka, vote shaming.

The post-election shaming that occurred on various social media platforms is unconstructive and potentially counterproductive to whatever party you identify with and whatever political cause you support.

The fact is this: a measly 13 percent of Americans in the 18-29 year old age group voted in the 2014 midterm elections, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Insult leads to injury, however. On the one hand, the vote shaming  that occurred after midterms 2014 may further disenfranchise timid collegians out of fear of being yelled at or chased by an army of rabid donkeys. On the other hand, vote shaming may send ambivalent would-be voters into the arms of other political parties in the hopes that they are just less angry people.

“Millennials are the largest and most racially diverse generation in the country’s history, making theirs the vote to get,” according to an article in the International Business Times.

Even though they remain a key target demographic for the Democratic party, Millennials still don’t consistently show up to the polls: why?

Well, that I don’t know; innumerable theories have sought to explain the poor voter turnout over the years. Perhaps political campaigns do not target Millennials enough; perhaps Millennials do not know where or how to register; maybe they just do not care enough.

Boise State political science professor Jaclyn Ketter alluded to a possible “why not” in an interview with the Boise Weekly: “Young people have been turned off because of a lot of negativity and the lack of getting things done.”

Negativity might have a surprisingly lot to do with the poor voter turnout.

One possible explanation for this occurrence can be found in the field of psychology. Specifically, the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change created by Prochaska and DiClemente (1983) which has been extensively supported by subsequent research points to self-efficacy as a key component of behavior change.

That is to say, lasting change comes from within. In order for young voters to turn up at the polls, they must come to believe on their own terms that the outcome of the election is meaningful
for them as individuals.

While there may be no cut and dry solution to the task of enfranchising America’s youth, a discourse of negativity that bullies non-voters or blames them for the nation’s political problems is definitely not the

At best, it reignites the blame game that already permeates the nation’s political discourse from the ground up. At worst, it discourages hesitant would-be voters from voting in the future.

If there is an answer, it lies in increased positive discourse, not shaming.

Even though the Twittersphere is an unlikely place to find an answer to this age-old dilemma, it still succeeds in elucidating the irony of the vote shaming phenomenon:

Alex Blagg


Hurry, you only have a matter of minuets left to change someones entire political worldview witha facebook status update

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Jordan Smothermon
IT management

As a student in the College of Business and Economics, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to work with NASA. Space Broncos is a collaborative program with Boise State and NASA to foster education and interest in science and technology, but it’s not limited to science or engineering majors.


Space and astronomy have always fascinated me, so when I heard about the opportunity for all majors to take part in putting together a Space Broncos event, I applied immediately to become a part of Team Swanson. As a team, we spent the spring semester organizing a multidisciplinary Space Symposium featuring a downlink interview with astronaut Steve Swanson while he was aboard the International Space Station. I had the privilege to work with NASA, motivated students, generous faculty, and members of the community in helping to put together this event. Along the way, we learned a great deal about event coordination, social media marketing, and community activism.


I got to represent Space Broncos at Boise’s first annual Hackfort, a partner with Treefort promoting innovation in technology for the Boise area. It taught me how much community involvement in any endeavor, especially education, leaves an impact. With that in mind, I proceeded with preparing for the symposium with a goal of getting the Boise area, especially students, excited about science and technology.


Many k-12 students asked questions about astronomy and NASA’s space programs on our social media pages, and many attended the Space Symposium to learn about all kinds of research currently conducted by NASA and Boise State students and faculty.


I also had the chance this summer to support some very bright middle schoolers in the Zero Robotics competition. Over several weeks, they had programmed robots to run a simulation on the Space Station, hosted by Steve Swanson.
It’s a thrill to work with so many amazing people for such an amazing goal. I’m happy to announce that this year, Space Broncos will become a club open to all students who are interested. A signup sheet will be available Wednesday Night as Steve shares his experiences with us. I have absolutely loved sharing my excitement for science, space, and technology with the community, and I hope you will be excited enough to join us this Wednesday!

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“Yes, I would vote for a 3rd party candidate because the main two aren’t always perfect and sometimes the third party candidate is the candidate that shares the same beliefs as me.” – Brant Havro, junior business and marketing major.

“I would vote for a third party if what they believe is what I believe.” – Tyler Gilbert, freshman mechanical engineering major.

“I would absolutely, especially in Idaho. If their ideals match up with what I believe I would 100% support them.” – Travis Gunn, junior business major.

“No, because in my opinion it would be a waste of a vote since they don’t have enough funding and don’t have a good chance of winning.” – Alma Romero, sophomore radiology major.

“Yes, because I don’t think the two parties don’t always work and it shows that those two parties are not always perfect which in this case I would vote for the third party.” – Marcus Lodman, freshman computer science major. 

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Courtesy Mike Sheneman, MCT Campus

Despite what seemed like a bustling voter center on campus, voter turnout in Idaho was at a low last Tuesday with a 20 percent voter turnout rate. While this doesn’t come as a shocker, it does confirm the already growing issue that students and Idaho residents don’t care about local politics and issues.

“You can’t make people read stuff they are not interested in and we’re all still interested consumers of whatever we’re interested in whether it’s products at the store or news,” said Bill Manny, local news editor for the Idaho Statesman.

Manny feels that local news outlets need to do a better job marketing themselves to students and touching on topics that students will find interesting. Although this may be partly true, students hold individual blame for not taking the time to be interested in politics.

As students of a university, it only makes sense that we would be jumping at every opportunity to understand a larger part of the complex networks of information that will allow us to become better voters.

Megan Fromm, assistant professor of communication, feels that although students have multiple influences battling for their time, keeping up with the news is worth the struggle.

“You do have to pick your priorities, for students who don’t live here who send absentee ballots somewhere else, I still think it’s important to understand what’s going on in the state if only because of education policies, budget and learning who’s in the governor’s mansion,” Fromm said.

Despite the logic of Fromm’s statement, Manny has found through experience that most students won’t be interested in local news and big picture current events until they are much older.

“What we’ve learned over years is until you are out of school, have a job, are paying taxes, have kids in schools, buy a house, and start paying property tax that’s when they get most interested in traditional old fashion news,” Manny said.

Manny’s experience presents a problem in students’ thought process. Local elections and news play a large hand in the economics of students’ lives.

“It will directly affect students. It will affect how much tuition they pay, it will affect work study, it will affect the degree programs that are offered,” Fromm said. “I mean it really does trickle down to students.”

This considered, it is important that individual students takes into account how important reading local news and actively participating in it can be.

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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.