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Kapumba Chinyanta: from Zambia to Bluffton

Kapumba Chinyanta is a senior accounting major with a business minor. He is from Zambia, which is located in southern Africa. He had lived there all his life until he moved to the United States for his education.

“The small atmosphere along with Christian values really attracted me,” said Chinyanta. There aren’t many things that he found challenging with the university except maintaining relationships with the students and faculty on campus. “I learned that it’s very important to know my limits with people and be respectful,” said Chinyanta. Bluffton University is his second home but he will always consider Zambia his primary home.

The three main sports that he has enjoyed watching since he has arrived in the U.S. are: soccer, football and basketball. When he lived in Zambia, soccer was the main sport where he lived. “Juventus is my favorite soccer team, because of the great history,” said Chinyanta.

When he is not busy with work or academics, he stated that he loves playing soccer with friends both video games (FIFA) and real life. Soccer was a key factor in him making friends and bridging the gap between Zambia and the US. He stated that there were some culture shocks but he tried to use soccer to help cope with some of the shocks. “I got to know people from a better perspective through soccer and create friendships,” said Chinyanta.

Like basketball and football, he stated that he likes sports in Bluffton and the U.S. more because of the diversity. “Diversity from my stand point has helped me understand myself and to know that people might be different but they can still share some unique qualities,” stated by Chinyanta.

Most of the important things like sports, music, food and other things were interesting to him. He stated that the vocabulary was a little weird because of how they were used. “Slang words kind of made me confessed but studying when and how they used it allowed me to fit in more. I wanted to understand the U.S. culture and I think the use of slangs among my friends started to make me feel more welcome,” said Chinyanta.

There are many things still left to learn and understand but he stated that he’s enjoyed his time here and hopefully make more friends along with getting his degree and later attending graduate school in the U.S.

A conversation with Savanah Hofstetter

by: Caitlin Nearhood

???????????????????????????????Q: So, what’s your major, where are you from and what year are you at Bluffton?
A: I’m a psychology major for Kidron, Ohio and I’m a junior here.

Q: Who was the first person you met at Bluffton?
A: Well, since I’m part of the hall chaplain team here, I got to meet them first at the retreat at the beginning of the year.

Q: When you tell someone about Bluffton, how do you describe it?
A: The people are pretty nice; some don’t say hi back. The dorms are different too. For example, Ropp is more open and community-like, while the dorm I live in, Hirschy, is more isolated.

Q: What’s the biggest culture shock you’ve had as a Bluffton student?
A: It’s bigger than my last college! (Hesston College)

Q: If you could take any famous person out to eat, who would it be and where would you go?
A: I would choose author Ted Dekker, and even though I don’t go out to eat a lot, I’d pick Applebee’s.

Q: What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
A: Well, there are several, so I’ll list them: The Departed, because it was a long movie and everyone dies in the end. I’d also say Twilight and any chick flick.

Q: Well, what’s your favorite movie?
A: Oh gosh! Do you have to make me pick just one? I have, like, at least five: Fanastic Four, Batman: Dark Night, Man of Steel, Guardians of the Galaxy and Daredevil. That was so hard!

Q: Favorite Marbeck food?
A: Oh gosh, so many choices! I like a specific baked pasta dish that is at the pasta place sometimes. I like the cookies on Tuesdays and Fridays —the M&M and chocolate chip ones. Also, I like biscuits and gravy when the biscuits aren’t hard. Oh, and cheesecake! I love cheesecake!

Q: Coke or Pepsi?
A: Honestly, I don’t like either of them—I don’t like brown pop. I don’t drink a whole lot of pop in general. If I do drink pop like at a party or something, I’d drink Mountain Dew or any orange pop.

Q: Who’s your favorite professor here at Bluffton?
A: I really like Rudi Kauffman! He’s so awesome, I could listen to him talk all day. He’s so inspirational and he knows everything!

Q: Finally, what would you say is your best memory at Bluffton so far?
A: Hmmm. I would say the times at Frisbee are the best times I’ve had. We’re good at goofing off.

Meet Hannah Johnson- 3rd generation BU student

by: Kristina Ciminillorth

Senior student from Goshen, Indiana
Environmental Science Major
Lives in Ropp Hall
Works at TLU Rescue

Q: So Hannah you mentioned that your parents, both sets of Grandparents, an aunt, and an uncle are all graduates of Bluffton University.
A: “Yes, both my parents, they met at Bluffton.”

Q: How does that feel?
A: “Feels familiar. Especially the campus- for activities. I have family in Lima and here in Bluffton. I know a ton of faculty members. I feel like there’s some pressure to be as successful as my parents but they keep reminding me to be myself. This is 40 years later. My parents come to Homecoming, all the concerts, and May Day.”

Q: What are your parents doing now?
A: “My mom is a campus pastor at Anabaptist Mennonite Bible Seminary and my dad found work at an alternative high school as a math teacher. They lived in Elkhart initially but moved to Goshen for better schooling opportunities for me and my younger brother Aaron.”

Aaron has followed the family footsteps and is a 2nd year student at BU now.

Hannah is planning to graduate in May. With her degree in environmental science she hopes to find employment with a local zoo. Besides volunteering and being a paid employee of TLU Rescue Hannah is interested in working with young children and is pursuing a job caring for them as well as animals.

Hannah has worked diligently to overcome problems with Autism and anxiety. I observed her interacting firsthand with a child who has Asperger’s. This child was very comfortable in her presence, even falling asleep next to her, and continues to ask after her daily.

Hannah will make an excellent zoo employee. The animals will be well cared for and the visiting children will feel welcome and encouraged.

clusterFlunk raises $1 million in new funding from Lightbank, launches nationwide

default_gigantic_avatarclusterFlunk, an app that allows students to get better grades by asking questions and uploading/downloading files, has come out of a private beta and made the entire app available to all university students.

Students join the app/website, and get help from students studying similar subjects, courses, or even the same professor. From there they can post questions, and upload/download files to get the help they need instantly. Best of all, clusterFlunk is completely free.

The app that gets students better grades will use their latest round of funding to help every student in the U.S.

They have recently closed a $1 million seed round. Lightbank led the round and was joined by Built by Iowa, an Iowa-focused early stage fund. This investment was primarily for their national launch, as they were in a closed beta at the University of Iowa, after seeing massive success.

While in beta 15 thousand of the 21 thousand undergraduates were using clusterFlunk at Iowa.

“As students, we were frustrated by the lack of access to classmates in our large lecture courses, and we wanted to create a way for more collaboration outside of the classroom,” said clusterFlunk co-founder AJ Nelson. “clusterFlunk provides students with instant help, allowing them to ask questions and upload/download any kind of file (study guides, past exams, lecture notes), for free.”

clusterFlunk launched at the University of Iowa in January 2013, and more than two-thirds of the students on campus have joined the platform. Additionally, three-fourths of clusterFlunk’s users visit the site at least monthly to share notes, ask questions, and collaborate on assignments.

After seeing that success the company has decided to make the app/ website available nationally.

“Students have a lack of resources to connect in an easy way online. Current options such as Facebook don’t offer the tools necessary to share files and truly engage with classmates,” said Paul Lee, partner at Lightbank. “clusterFlunk is changing the way students study, interact and plan on campus. The metrics from their initial launch are impressive, and we’re excited to see the platform expand to other campuses across the U.S.”

More than 65 percent of clusterFlunk’s users said their grades enhanced as a result of the platform, and 38 percent said they made at least one new friend after using the social network.

To learn more about clusterFlunk, visit, or download the app in apple’s iOS store.

Q&A interview with Sara Klenke

By: John Eckenrode

Q: Hi Sara! What’s your major, where you from, and what year are you at Bluffton?

A: I am psychology major and public health minor. I grew up in Coldwater, Ohio. And I am a senior at Bluffton.

Q: Who was the first person you met at Bluffton?

A: Well, I knew a student from my high school that was here, but the first person I really remember meeting was Randy Keeler. I meet him at lunch during a summer discovery day.

Q: If you could take a famous person out to eat, who would it be?

A: I would take Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love.

Q: What is your middle name?

A: Elizabeth.

Q: Where do you hope to be in 15 years?

A: Umm, I hope to be a high school guidance counselor with my own family, in a school district where I can make a difference. I want to make the students realize their self-worth and foster their potential.

Q: What is the most expensive textbook you’ve had to purchase at Bluffton?

A: I wanted to be a bio major before I got to Bluffton, so I purchased a $190 pre-calculus textbook.

Q: Why did you choose Bluffton?

A: I chose Bluffton because I wanted to be at a small school where I wouldn’t be “just a number.”

Q: What is your favorite thing about Bluffton?

A: My favorite thing about Bluffton is that I have meaningful relationships with my professors so that I can ask them for help with not just academics but personal things that arise in life as well.

Q: When you tell someone you attend Bluffton University, how do you describe it?

A: I say that Bluffton is a small school where professors really care about students. You will get to know at least the name of the majority of your peers and most people are willing to help one another out whether it is studying for an exam or jumping your car. Bluffton feels safe and the residence halls feel homey.

Bluffton Public Library – February 2015 Events

Bluffton Public Library announces its February 2015 programs, opportunities, and services. Programs are open to the public, but when noted below, require registration. To register during library hours, call 419-358-5016 or stop by the front desk. After hours, email or leave a comment on Bluffton Public Library’s Facebook. Registering for BPL programs is now easier than ever with our online registration button. Visit our website at and click on the “Register Here” button, which will take you to an online form. Specify the program for which you’d like to register and provide us with contact information.

Join us for our winter sessions of Storytime from January 26th- March 17th. Remember to register via phone, email, online, or at the front desk. We will be exploring stories about how to stay warm and cozy. On February 2nd and 3rd children are welcome to wear their pajamas for Bedtime Tales. For more information grab a Storytime bookmark or check the schedule on our website

Chill Zone continues Tuesdays afternoons (February 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th from 3:30pm to 4:30pm). Middle and High School students are welcome to hang out at the library for games, movies and crafts every Tuesday.

The Adult Book Discussion is back on the first Wednesday of the month (Feburary 4th) at 12pm. We will be discussing the book Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink, Ph. D. – limited space and copies are available, so advance registration is requested.

Our next installments of Teen Games will be February 4th and February 25th in the lower level of the library. Teens/tweens (11-16) are welcome to join after school from 3:30- 4:30pm for an indoor games session; games may include: balloon stomp, fruit salad, shoe mix etc.

Yoga Fit, a yoga-based exercise class, is offered at Bluffton Public Library on Wednesdays at 6:30pm by BFR Sports & Fitness. For February, sessions are on the 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th. Please contact BFR to register.

On February 7th and 21st at 10am stop by the library to read a book to a certified therapy dog. Teddy and Tango love hearing stories and just getting a friendly cuddle from children, teens, college students, or whoever. This program supports literacy, the humane treatment of animals, and healthy stress relief practices.

On February 9th and 23rd from 6 to 7:30pm join us for Jammin’ at the Library– an informal time for acoustic musicians to come together “Song Circle” style and share their love of music. This program takes place on the main floor of the library during the winter months.

We’re hosting our first ever Sweet Reads Book and Chocolate Exchange on February 13th! Love books and chocolate? Who doesn’t! Between Feb. 2nd and Feb. 12th, we will collect books (in new or good condition) and new, packaged chocolate. When you donate, pick up your corresponding vouchers, and then, come in on Friday, Feb. 13th between 2:30 and 4:30pm to redeem them for whatever chocolate or book you’d like! If you donate chocolate, you choose some chocolate, and if you donate a book, you choose a book (and if you donate both, you get both!) Must have vouchers to redeem.

On February 18th, Anime Club will meet at 6pm. Join us to view an Anime Movie, and plan the next round of Anime Club activities and fundraisers.

We’re on a D.I.Y. kick! Interested in learning simple suminagashi (marbleizing paper)? On Friday, February 20th at 4pm, we invite adults and responsible teens to learn how to make suminagashi and then try making their own. Registration is required for this event by February 17th.

Registration for 1000 Books Before Kindergarten opened on January 26th, but there is still time to sign-up! Commit to reading your child/children 1000 books before they start kindergarten (for babies, toddlers and preschoolers); BPL will supply a starter pack with reading logs and book lists. The first 100 people to sign up for this challenge will receive a free “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” book tote– and a board book to go with it! BPL thanks the S.H.A.N.N.O.N. Service Club and The Friends of Bluffton Public Library for sponsoring this

Are you struggling with your laptop, or fumbling through your Kindle? You don’t have to do this alone! When it comes to learning more about technology, we all come from different skill levels, backgrounds, and needs. This is why Bluffton Public Library offers FREE one-on-one basic tech tutoring classes every other month. Register for a one-hour session for February today!

It’s still cold, so we’ll keep on serving – Hot Tea Tuesdays will continue in Febuary! From 10am to 2pm, a variety of hot tea and other hot beverages will be available for you to make and sip at the library—or to take to go!

For February, BPL will also have a book display on biographies and will unveil the recyclable reading igloo in the children’s section. BPL also encourages patrons to stop by to view February’s display case, which will exhibit a local craft items made at the Bluffton Senior Citizen’s Center.

Please note that the library will be closed on President’s Day (February 16th).

Public Services Coordinator / Bluffton Public Library
419-358-5016 /

College athletes: rate your coach

Locker Room Talk® ( is a rating and review website for college coaches which compiles information in an easy-to-search format so that high school athletes undergoing the varsity recruiting process can make educated decisions.

Through a short, anonymous online survey, Locker Room Talk gives college players the unique ability to easily rate and review their coaches.  The website is a positive platform for college student-athletes to express their views so that high school athletes can better evaluate the programs they are considering.

“We need current and recently graduated college athletes to fill out our simple, fast, anonymous online survey to provide information about your experiences with your coach. By sharing your honest opinions, you will be helping high school athletes make the best choices for their futures,” said Oliver Loutsenko, co-founder of Locker Room Talk.

Created by former varsity college athletes as a “force for good,” Locker Room Talk® is an invaluable resource for high school athletes and their families as they prepare to make one of the most important choices of their lives.  It covers both men’s and women’s teams in sports such as football, baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, skiing, swimming and more.

For more information, call 203-556-5839, visit, Facebook, Instagram (@lockerroomtalk) or Twitter (@LRTsports).

Click here to take the quick survey!

Guns near Bluffton Schools

by: Lucas Augustine

On April 20 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris walked into their high school in Columbine, Colorado and shot twelve students and one teacher. Since then, school shootings have become a great concern for many Americans.

In the village of Bluffton, Ohio many of the university students are unaware that there is a gun store not too far from campus. Riley Creek Mercantile is a store that is one mile from the university’s campus, half a mile from the Bluffton high school and on the same street as the Bluffton elementary school.

Mercantile’s inventory has an assortment of firearms, from pistols to rifles and shotguns. The highest caliber ammo that is sold there is a “thirty ot six”. The “thirty ot six,” which is designed for rifles, hits targets up to one thousand yards away.

The price range of the firearms at The Riley Creek Mercantile ranges from $150 to $2000. In order to purchase a shotgun the customer needs to be at least eighteen years of age. While the age requirement to buy a pistol is twenty-two, as long as the person is able to pass a background check, eighteen is an acceptable age.

According to the sales associate at the store, a background check only takes about five minutes to complete. After the background check is complete and the customer is deemed “clean,” the customer is able to buy whatever gun they desire and in this case, walk outside and be standing on the same road as an elementary school, half a mile from a high school and only a mile from a college campus.

Owning a firearm is a right granted to us by the constitution, but should a store be able to sell firearms so close to schools? What about our “Mennonite” school and the Mennonite beliefs of nonviolence? These questions are for you to think about.

The “Haunting of Lincoln” party

by: Ryan Laidlaw

On October 30th, Marbeck Center Board, Theme Housing, and the Residential Life Department held a haunted house party in the former residential hall, Lincoln Hall. Nathaniel Haas was the coordinator for the event; he is who requested the approval of Dr. Julie DeGraw to host the party in Lincoln. “Lincoln is creepy even during the daytime as well as night time and people’s reactions changed when I told them about moving [the party] from Neufeld to Lincoln,” Hass said.

Since the building’s closing in 2011, many students believed that Lincoln was considered to be condemned. ‘The Haunting of Lincoln’ concept was created last year by students in Neufeld when they held an event called ‘The Haunting of Neufeld.’

The usage of Lincoln for the party was approved by the Dean of Students, Dr. DeGraw. Nate affirms, “Julie was really excited and wanted to do it, so she said she would talk to a few people and see if it was possible.”  Nate stated that Julie spoke with members from the Buildings and Grounds Department. Buildings and Grounds workers are in charge of the residential halls and making sure they are fully functional. They went through Lincoln to see where the event could take place and what places were off limits. Hass stated that Buildings and Grounds workers told him that he had to have two exits, including a main entrance. The workers told him that he had to keep the bathrooms locked off due to the bad plumbing. “Hopefully it holds upright, so that next year we can come back and use it a lot more,” said Haas.

According to Ravi Knutson, the Hall Director of Ropp and one of the people who assisted with the event, Lincoln might not be used for the haunting party next year because of the plans that the university has for it. Lincoln will likely be torn down to make space for the new science building, but there are a lot of conflicts about this idea because alumni want to keep it as Lincoln, while the university wants to do other things with it.

Student Senate puts commuter proposal on back burner

by: Brianna Lugibihl


Bluffton University’s Student Senate placed commuter space proposal aside a month after its proposition.
In September, Student Senate President Matthew McCoy proposed designating a specific place for commuter students to keep their belongings in response to various commuters’ requests throughout the year. Senate debated locations and requirements, such as space, centrality to campus, and accessibility. At Monday’s meeting, it was not on the agenda.

Alex Lugibihl, a commuter of three semesters, supports the proposal. Last year, he not only slept in his car during inclement weather, but had his laptop stolen. He says, “If I had a place that was relatively central on campus where I could store things without going to my car, it would cut down on my stress and make me more confident in the security of my belongings.”

When informed that Student Senate had postponed progress, he stated, “Commuters often get treated like second rate students anyway. . . it is kind of unfortunate that we are being shoved aside again.” Lugibihl keeps his belongings in Mosiman when he is unable to go to his car between activities.

Alex Parker, a third year commuter, stashes his belongings in the library on days when he doesn’t have access to his family car. He said, “It would be nice to have a place to stay instead of being left to the elements . . . if you are a commuter student and you are stuck on campus, that’s on you.” He responds to Senates postponement stating, “I have accepted that I am like a second class citizen, so I have stopped complaining.”

Student Senate Treasurer, Charles Miller, says that “this issue of commuter representation has been brought up several times in Senate” and Senior Representative, commuter Jeremy Basinger, speaks on the commuters’ behalf.

Earlier attempts at a commuter lounge in Ramseyer Hall and Centennial Hall have both failed. McCoy guesses that it was overlooked. He says, “The vast majority of students are students that live on campus. Not that the campus doesn’t care about commuters, but there have been issues that have come up that a greater amount of students would benefit from.”

Lugibihl says, “It is already difficult to be involved in campus and it is difficult to see that just because we try to save a little money, we suffer for it.”
Bluffton University currently has seventy-nine full time commuter students versus six hundred sixty-seven residential students.

McCoy says the proposal will be revisited at end of November or beginning of the next semester.

Students may contact Student Senate at the Bluffton University Student Senate Facebook page or by talking to local student senators. Student senator profiles are located on the Senate bulletin board across from the bookstore in Marbeck Center.