Clarification on Bluffton Connection’s Role

Since our re-launch on Sept. 30 Bluffton Connection has successfully posted new content each and every weekday on which classes have been held. While this is exciting news, we realize that some mistakes have been made and that a few weeks of work is nothing to brag too much about.

Shortly after the re-launch we encountered some flak from anonymous readers. There were complaints about grammatical errors in stories and also expressions of disapproval concerning some of the content. Your input was received and it is appreciated. A student news source thrives on feedback, so we’d like to thank you for giving us something to work with.

That being said, there are some clarifications that need to be made to ensure that the Bluffton Connection staff and its readers are on the same page.

First of all, let me fully explain what Bluffton Connection is and what its role is so that both are perfectly clear to all. This is designed to be a student-driven news outlet fueled by Bluffton University students (hence the banner at the top of the page). Keep in mind that Bluffton Connection is an independent student-operated journalism laboratory and that its Editorial Board decides what is posted.

We are not a forum for the university to use as it pleases. We are not a branch of the Public Relations Department. Therefore, we are not responsible for spreading the politically correct, carefully crafted version of what’s going on here. There are plenty of people whose job it is to do just that. And while we respect them as well as their profession, we do not fit into that category, nor do we wish to.

Instead, Bluffton Connection coverage includes student-produced campus news, feature stories, photography, opinion pieces and anything else we consider important enough to be posted. All of which is presented from a student point of view. We completely comprehend that other demographics also factor into our readership but we do not aim to cater to those groups, but rather to the student body.

The Bluffton Connection staff firmly believes that the campus endorsed “Community of Respect,” allows for freedom of expression when it comes to language used and topics covered. At times these freedoms may appear controversial, but will, of course, conform to mainstream media standards.

Additionally, going forward please make sure to address any questions, comments, or concerns to me, Mitchell Gatzke. As the Executive Editor of Bluffton Connection I will take full responsibility for what is posted on the site regardless of whether or not I am the writer behind the story in question. However, in order to do that properly I need to be the one who is contacted when there is an issue. Not a faculty advisor, not a professor in the Communication Department, or even its Chair, but me.

A professor of mine once said, “Remember that Bluffton’s motto is ‘the Truth Makes Free’ and oftentimes Power is allergic to truth disseminated publicly.” This essentially means that those who have control in any situation would generally prefer to keep others in the dark simply because that makes it a bit easier to operate. I’d remind those who would disagree that freedom of the press is what makes the democratic process possible.

Rest assured that all of the above will be covered in a professional journalistic approach with the Bluffton Connection Editorial Board having the final say.

As the great Frank Sinatra famously sang, “You ain’t seen nothing yet. The best is yet to come.”

Please, don’t hesitate to contact me:
Mitchell Gatzke
Phone: (313) 377-6423
Email: gatmca@bluffton.edu

Meet Jesse Roth

Jesse Roth photoshopJesse Roth is a senior majoring in Business, and Writing, from Rockford, Ohio

She lives in Ramseyer Hall

She is President of Fault Lines line dancing club

Campus jobs: Writing Center tutor and English department assistant.

What is Fault Lines?

Jesse started Fault Lines because she wanted a space for her friends, as well as herself, to dance and have a jolly-good time.

How is that going?

Last semester Fault Lines had five consistent members and this year membership has doubled and opened up to the community as well.

What is in store for Fault Lines this year?

Jesse and her band of dancers will be participating in the Fort Wayne Dance for All Choreography Competition at the end of February.

Interesting Things About Jesse

She is an original Superman lover! Ask her about her Halloween costume choices for the past 3 years.

Jesse’s interests follow reading books. Jodi Picoult, author of My Sister’s Keeper and Micheal Crichton, author of Jurassic Park. Talk to her about books and movies. Her favorite movies are the Scream movies and Jaws. Fun fact, she’s picky about her submarine sandwiches because she used to work at Subway, for three years, and she is in general, just a picky person. She’s colorblind! She won’t tell you that your clothes don’t match.

Jesse’s Accomplishments, because she’s awesome.

Presidential Scholarship winner… wow.

Her line dance choreography has been and is still being taught in various places in America, ask her about it.

She has edited 2 published books, entitled Story Hour and Other Stories by Robert Flanagan, and Waiting at the Dead End Diner by Rebecca Schumejda.

In 2010 she won the Fort Wayne Dance for All Choreography Completion in the phrased non-country.  She won, being the youngest choreographer, and it was her first year.

“Line dancing is for everyone, whether you have danced for ten, twenty years or never. It’s more than fun, I love it. Dancing is a great way to exercise and it is so good for you.”

Student Senate Collecting Signatures for Water Bottle Filling Station

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Another water bottle filling station is in the works for the Bluffton University campus. For the last few weeks, Student Senators have been collecting student signatures in support of this measure.

The purified water-filling station would be installed on the first-floor of Centennial Hall. The unit would be the same as the unit made by Elkay Manufacturing Co. near Bob’s Place in Marbeck Center (pictured above), and similar to the units in the Sommer Center.

Senators want to provide a place other than the Commons for students to get purified water throughout the day. Many students bring disposable water bottles to class. By installing an easy way to fill up reusable water bottles, Senators hope to encourage students to cut down on plastic waste and take in more water while in class.

This initiative has been in the works since the beginning of the calendar year. It was approved at a Senate meeting on Feb. 24, but did not receive enough support for it to be implemented over the summer. Student Senate needs 51 percent of the student body to sign the initiative for the units to be purchased and installed. This is equivalent to 415 student signatures. Currently, there are about 370.

According to 2014-15 Senate President Matt McCoy, if you also want to join the efforts, you can do so by contacting any Student Senator or signing the initiative at the Marbeck front desk before the end of the academic year.

Photo of the Week

Editor’s note: Bluffton Connection will be posting a “Photo of the Week” periodically throughout the semester.  If you’ve recently taken a picture that you’re proud of and would like it to appear on the site, send it to us at: gatmca@bluffton.edu.

This week’s photo comes from the folks at the PR house.

Lauren Hoffman, a Bluffton University junior from Dunkirk, Ohio, stirs a pot of potato and kale soup destined for distribution Oct. 18 at the Bluffton food pantry. Hoffman is among the food and nutrition majors in a food service class that prepared 50 family servings of soup, using several hundred pounds of potatoes donated by an area farmer.

Lauren Hoffman, a Bluffton University junior from Dunkirk, Ohio, stirs a pot of potato and kale soup destined for distribution.

Tales from Room 309 Blog

My roommate Alicia Rodriguez and I have a blog where we post college advice-type articles, aimed at women. Check out our latest post about decorating your room with greenery! For more fun articles, visit talesfromroom309.wordpress.com

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“We’re starting a new category today about dorm room decor. First up: plants! Seriously, a little greenery in any space can change the entire atmosphere of the room. Any show room you see in a magazine has plants sprinkled throughout. Plants are really not that hard to take care of and they add life (literally) to a dreary cinderblock dorm room – “less industrial,” according to our friend Tobin. I’ve found that bringing the outdoors in has had a dramatic impact on my mood, and our dorm room feels much more “homey.” Even on the rainiest of days, our cheery cacti (Alicia has to have SOME piece of Arizona here since she’s stuck in cold Ohio) still looks the same. Along with my resident plant expert roomie, here is our list of reasons to have some green in your room.

First of all.. They just look cool! Plants are a serious conversation starter. Especially when you have a whole room full (we’ve got 27, at last count). We love finding new types and fun containers at thrift stores.They also make great presents! We’re harboring a few in our room right now for students who aren’t here this semester. And plant sitting is the bomb. Obviously.

Secondly, they give you something to look after, since you cannot (I’m assuming) have pets in your dorm room. Besides the aquatic friends in our room, we have to water, rotate some into sunlight, repot, etc. Most of our plants only need watered 1-2 times a week, especially succulents, while our cacti really only need watered twice a month. . Alicia admits that sometimes she monitors them too closely and might over-water them at times, but its easily remedied by pouring off any water that the soil has not absorbed in a few minutes.

Also, plants are fairly cheap. You can find them at Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, your local greenhouse, etc, for a few dollars. Our university science club holds a fundraiser every semester where they sell young plants for $1-2, so check and see if your school does something similar! Soil for repotting is always super inexpensive. Alicia managed to snag a 10 lb bag at the local gas station for only 99 cents.

Alicia: Plants make great travel momentos! There’s usually a gift shop, botanical garden, or something similar nearby, wherever you should go. When I go home, I like to bring different varieties of cacti back to school. And this summer, I went to San Fransisco and I brought back a Euphorbia Mili (aka “lemon drops”), which looks a little like a spiky bonsai tree. I was able to fly back to school with it no problem – most places I’ve bought plants from are always really nice about boxing it up and making it easy to travel with.

We hope you found this informative and will consider adding some greenery to your space! Even if you start out small, with one little succulent in a teacup, you can always grow your collection, and continue it after your college days are behind you. Check back often for new posts! We’re going to try to keep up a regular posting schedule.

As always, comment your thoughts below. :)

xo,

Meg and Alicia”

Ask Wendy: mean what you say

If you have anything going on in your life that you’d like an alternate perspective on, Wendy is here for you! Contact her by commenting on this post or by email: AskWendyBlufftonConnection@aol.com.

“I’m sorry” or “I’m really sorry” is just a bunch of blah, blah, blah. People are killing the meaning behind these words.  Ladies, I think it’s time for us to stop saying “I’m really sorry” when we just want a guy to leave us alone or when we don’t want to hurt their feelings. Yes, I understand that it’s easy to say, but after a while it starts to get annoying.

Fellas, stop thinking that saying it will automatically make girls want to forgive you. Always remember this: actions speak louder than words. It’s perfectly fine to say you’re sorry, but when your actions indicate something else then you are automatically labeled as a hypocrite.

If we are going to say things, then we should mean them.  There are other phrases similar to this that we use, but tend to not to actually mean. One common phrase would be “I love you” when basically you just met the person or haven’t known them for a long time. When it comes to these phrases let’s make sure we say them with meaning and feeling.

College Football Wrapup

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Last Saturday was one of those days where it paid off to be glued to your screen, watching all the college football you possibly could. In case you missed anything here’s a synopsis of the big games that took place.

West Virginia exposes #4 Baylor, 41-27
The Baylor Bears weaseled their way into the playoff conversation by watching other contenders fall by the wayside early in the season. This past weekend was their time to do so. This loss kills any chance they had at ending the season in the top four.

West Virginia gave us a couple glimpses at what they could do when they gave Alabama some trouble in the opening weekend and hung around against Oklahoma a month ago. This time around they were able to pull off the upset, and in doing so jumped into the rankings at 22.

Big 12 teams are some of the worst offenders when it comes to relying heavily on an offensive gameplan. This strategy is why we continually see these sorts of games. An explosive offense is fun to watch but it is generally far more difficult to execute on a weekly basis than stout defensive play. Baylor learned that lesson the hard way.

#14 Kansas State sneaks by #11 Oklahoma, 31-30
What a difference a couple weeks can make. That’s what Oklahoma must be thinking after falling all the way from four to 17 in just three weeks. This was a tight game throughout. Kansas State needed a number of things to go their way, they did, and the Wildcats were able to steal a conference win on the road.

Michael Hunnicutt had a rough afternoon. Normally reliable, the Oklahoma kicker missed three crucial kicks. The first came on a 32-yard attempt just before halftime. In the fourth quarter he had a game-tying extra point attempt blocked, then shanked a 19-yarder with less than four minutes left in the game. Not a great day at the office.

Kansas State’s dedication to defense has a lot to do with why they give fellow Big 12 teams so many issues. The Wildcats still have trips to TCU, West Virginia, and Baylor looming on their schedule so there’s still work to do, but I like their chances to come out on top of the conference.

#7 Alabama embarrasses #21 Texas A&M, 59-0
Not much needs to be said about this one. The score tells the story, the game was never close. The Crimson Tide made the Aggies look like chumps.

Kenny Hill and the A&M offense couldn’t figure out a way move the ball, let alone score. They were blanked for the first time since head coach Kevin Sumlin took over in 2012.

Just when we all began to wonder whether Alabama was falling off- following a loss to Ole Miss and a squeaker win over Arkansas- the Tide put those thoughts to bed. It’s safe to say they’re still an elite team and will be a factor in the pursuit of the playoff.

#12 TCU smacks #15 Oklahoma State, 42-9
These two teams should never have been ranked as close to one another as they were coming into this game. TCU took a tough loss two weeks ago at the hands of Baylor which clearly motivated them for this game.

Oklahoma State had no business being in the top 15 as evidenced by their getting stomped. Their most impressive performance this season came in the opener a month and a half ago when they lost to Florida State by only six points. The problem was that other teams ranked above them kept losing so they kept rising in the rankings.

Going forward, expect to see more TCU and much less of Oklahoma State.

#2 Florida State survives visit from #5 Notre Dame, 31-27
You should feel sad if you missed this one. It was by far the best game we’ve seen thus far this season. And even though Florida State came away with the win, Notre Dame eliminated any doubt that they belong in the playoff discussion.

Two of the top quarterbacks in the nation squared off in primetime with neither one disappointing. Jameis Winston and Everett Golson led their teams as they always do. The two arguably have more of an impact on their teams’ performance than any other players in the nation have on theirs. Watching them go back-and-forth was a treat.

Unfortunately for all those involved, the game was decided by a penalty call that needed to be made because the play was such an obvious violation. Nevertheless, this was a fantastic clash and I can only hope that somehow these two meet again in the playoff.

#16 Arizona State bounces #23 Stanford from rankings, 26-10
For the first time since the 2010 preseason poll the AP top 25 does not include the Stanford Cardinal. The Arizona State Sun Devils made this happen by utterly outplaying their opponent in Saturday night’s late game.

Stanford just can’t score enough. In their three losses this season, the Cardinal have tallied a combined 34 points. Defense continues to be their strong suit. They give up just over 12 points per game, but they can only do so much, they need some help.

If it weren’t for an absolute defensive lapse against UCLA last month, Arizona State would be in the top 10. Major matchups against Utah, Notre Dame and at Arizona remain for the Sun Devils. Wins in those three games will make an already closely contested Pac-12 even more interesting.

Underdogs

Feeling like the underdog can sometimes be the best feeling in the world due to the fact that no one expects the underdog to win. The Kansas City Royals have experienced this before they made it to the World Series this year. Not many people expected them to set a record with staying unbeaten so far in the 2014 postseason.

They have put together an outstanding run with their 7-0 record beating out the Detroit tigers and Baltimore Orioles. The Tigers have probably one of the best starting pitching cores in the league right now. They have starters that have proven to be effective during the regular season putting up ridiculous numbers for pitchers. It was a shock to many people, including myself, to see them beat the Tigers. I was not really a surprise to see them beat the Orioles, but to move into the World Series staying unbeaten was amazing.

It is my hope that they remain unbeaten and win the World Series, because they have proven that they want it more than anything. It’s their drive and teamwork that shows that they can win it all. They are not a big ball club like the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Dodgers, and others, but they have proven that they can compete with the best of the best.

Being the underdog can be the best feeling in the world and the Royals are determined to prove that underdogs can win in big games even when people don’t believe in them.

Why You Should Do Yoga

The definition of yoga means “to join” mind, body, and spirit.

I have been doing yoga for approximately two years now. In my experience, it has been the best thing added to my morning routine. Reasons why you should do yoga include:

  1. It makes you Happy.
  2. Exercising to the point where your heart rate is increased has been proven to release endorphins. These chemicals send signals to your brain and therefore, by doing yoga, it literally makes you happy.
  3. You’ll feel less achy.
  4. Yoga is not all about bending and stretching but that is a pretty large chunk. By stretching out your muscles (some you weren’t aware were even there), you work out the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles after strenuous activity. This then helps to get rid of the aches and pains that tend to occur, even from just sitting in a chair for too long.
  5. It can be a confidence Booster (better body awareness).
  6. While attempting a pose, there is balance and breathing involved. These both require concentration and force you to notice how your body is reacting to how little or how much it is being stretched. Over time, you become more aware of your body and what it needs. This tunes you in to what it can do and how it feels, not how it looks.
  7. It tones muscles.
  8. Don’t let the word “stretch” fool you. If you’re doing it right, yoga is difficult and by practicing daily you will surely see results in muscle tone.
  9. Makes for a better night’s Sleep.
  10. Gives you time to worship.
  11. By taking the time in the morning to practice yoga, you are able to have your quiet time with the Lord. Read a bible verse and mediate on it.
  12. Starting the day with the Lord, getting in tune with what you can control and letting go of what you can’t makes for a better night’s sleep. You also have something to look forward to every morning instead of just rolling out of bed and going to class.

Meet Alex Parker

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Alex Parker is a Junior Public Health and Communication double-major.
He is from Alger, Ohio.
He is a commuter student.
Campus job: Communications Assistant for the Public Relations Office.
Campus involvements: Improv Co-leader, Worship Dance Club, Fault Lines Dance Club, Track and Field,Gospel Choir, Radio Show Host.

You’re a radio host?
Yes! “It is awesome.” Alex has been guest-staring on radio shows since his freshman year here at Bluffton University. He has hosted his own show and has co-hosted several shows. This summer he was the intern for 96.1 WBWH FM and currently co-hosts That One Show.

What is That One Show?
“It is a show where two people of equal amazingness speak about life, music and fun”. That One Show airs at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays on 96.1 WBWH. Tune in or click on the live streaming icon.

Interesting Things about Alex:
He has a deep sultry voice that makes women and men alike on campus swoon. “His hips don’t lie” as in he is a fantastic dancer.  He was told so by a professional dance instructor in the presence of the Fault Lines Line Dancing Club.  He participates in outdoor dramas and plays. He is in this year’s fall play and was in last year’s play as well. If you recognize his voice from last year’s musical How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, that is because he did the voice over from the “How to” book. Also, keep chocolate away from him because it makes him violently ill if he ingests it.

Alex’s Accomplishments:

He has successfully worn the color blue every day for going on three years! He has won as many Oscars as Leonardo DiCaprio, in his mind. In real life he has won awards in acting for his home county, ask him about them. He was accepted into the C. Henry Smith’s Scholars and packs Uncrustables peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch often.