Archive for Bluffton

“Me Too Monologues” debuts on campus

Dr. Melissa Friesen’s “Theatre for Social Change” class is producing and performing the “Me Too Monologues” this month as a class project. The “Me Too Monologues” is a collection of stories about identity from Bluffton University students, staff, and faculty.

Members of Dr. Friesen’s class are performing these monologues to empower the community of the university as well as bring to light some issues concerning identity that are often stigmatized or kept quiet. The concept of “Me Too Monologues” was developed and first performed at Duke University with their community and this model has since been adapted by many other schools. The monologues are anonymous and those who submitted pieces assigned I.D. numbers to their work.

The “Me Too Monologues” at Bluffton will address topics such as body image and mental health to open a dialogue on campus to think about what identity means to each of us.

The performance will occur April 14, 2015 at 9:00 PM in Ramseyer Auditorium, College Hall, located on the Bluffton University campus. Admission is free and Arts and Lecture credit will be available.

For more information, please contact Dr. Friesen at

Riley Creek Festival reminder


by: Kristina Ciminillo


Everything’s Coming Up Ducks! This is just Ducky! Try Your Duck Luck! Duck Day is on the Way!

Things to Think About:












Did you miss the volunteer sign up? Well get your tail to a computer kitty kat and quack it up to Emma Regula at or Shanon Gallagher at

Foreign baby born in Bluffton


by: Kristina Ciminillo

Meet Janeth and Nataniela Makene. Nataniela was born at Bluffton Hospital on March 3, 2015.

Janeth is a 1st year Master’s Degree Program student here at BU. She is studying Production and Operations Management.

KC: How did you manage to have a baby and be in a Master’s Program?

JM: I was inspired by a story written by a Kenyan author titled “Is it Possible?” It’s a Masai story which was all about carrying books on one hand and carrying a spear on the other hand.

KC: Tell me a little bit more.

JM: Masai people in both Kenya and Tanzania do not believe in education. Due to change the government encouraged the Masai people to get an education.

KC: What is the spear about?

JM: The Masai are livestock keepers so they use the spear to defend their animals from wild animals and enemies. So for them education is not as important as a spear.

KC: How did the story then encourage you to get an education?

JM: I was inspired by a Masai boy who decided to go to school.

KC: What made him want to do that?

JM: He saw the importance of education and he wanted to be educated while, at the same time, maintaining his culture. Through the story of the Masai boy I came to realize that it is possible for me to have a baby and still continue with my studies.

KC: So, are you from Kenya or Tanzania?

JM: I’m from Tanzania.

KC: What is the population of Tanzania?

JM: It’s 4.4 million.

KC: How many languages and different dialects do you speak?

JM: I don’t speak any of the native languages, I can only hear my mom’s and my dad’s and respond to them. I grew up speaking Swahili which is our national language.

KC: How did you learn English?

JM: I started learning English in third grade. It was difficult.

KC: Do you mind if I ask how old you are?

JM: I am 27.

KC: You mentioned to me before that your husband is possibly going to follow work to Australia.

JM: He went for a fellowship, which was for three months, now he is back home.

KC: What is his name?

JM: Benjamin Makane

KC: Do you live on campus or have a host family?

JM: I live with Ron and Sue Epp, who kindly host me.

KC: Tell me about your culture shock coming to Bluffton and a village.

JM: I didn’t have any culture shock. I live in a village and have been to America before so I knew what to expect.

KC: How did you find Bluffton?

JM: Through friends that I worked with in summer camp in Michigan in 2007.

KC: So you have experienced our cold winters before?

JM: Yes.

KC: What do you miss from home?

JM: I miss the food, most especially ugali, which is like stiff porridge.

KC: How do you communicate with your family and husband?

JM: Skyping, email, and Facebook.

KC: What are your plans in life?

JM: I will go back home and open a business and maybe look for a good job.

KC: Thank you for your time today.

JM: My pleasure.

Bluffton Public Library announces its first Adult Spelling Bee—Cash grand prize to be awarded.

BPL announces its first Adult Spelling Bee, to take place Thursday, March 26 at 6pm.  Anyone over age 13 may participate, so teens can compete against their parents, grandparents, or teachers —  Are they smarter than a teenager?

Adults will notice this is not the Spelling Bee they remember from school; dressing up in bee colors or wearing your favorite “geek glasses” is encouraged (this is a library—creativity is appreciated).  Professional photography for this event will be provided by Elysian Fields Photography and will be featured on our website and social media.

Registration forms are available at the library’s front desk and the contestant fee is only $2 — however, larger donations will be accepted.  Half of every donation will go toward the cash grand prize while the other half will go toward a literacy-supporting non-profit, the Bluffton Area United Way.

Every contestant who donates more than $2 earns a lifeline to use at any time during the competition.  When using this lifeline, the contestant has 60 seconds to use any library material to find the correct spelling of a word which has them stumped.

Be sure to sign up for this event today, as registration closes March 16th.  Every registrant will receive a study pamphlet to use in preparation for this event.  If there are any questions, BPL encourages you to email or call 419-358-5016.  Support your community, advocate for education and literacy, compete for cash and have some fun while doing it.  It’s just one more reason to love your BPL!

Shalith and Inspiration Point

shalith ad

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 /

Make some extra cash right here on campus

If you are looking to make a little extra money, I propose short term telemarketing.

You have probably received a flier in your mail box or have seen advertisements posted around campus: Phonathon is here again.

Speaking from personal experience, this job is not hard. You call people, you read from a script and maybe have some side conversation. Some of the people that I have talked to gave me some great information about my future as a social worker. That’s right, you might even be calling alumni who are currently in your future profession.

If the $8.20 or $8.45 an hour for just talking to people doesn’t spark your interest, do it for the experience. You can put telemarketing on your resume. Bluffton University is a liberal arts college, you are here to become well rounded, this is another opportunity.

It is only for two weeks, January 31st-February 11th. Monday-Friday evenings 5:45pm-9pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm and 2:30pm-4:30pm, Sundays 1:30pm-4:30pm and 6pm-9pm


Apply at

You need this code: BU15S


My opinion: Try it, your student loans aren’t going to pay themselves.


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.

New Bike Path Connects Main Street To Fast Food Restaurants off I-75

President Jim Harder looks on at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photo courtesy of

President Jim Harder looks on at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photo courtesy of

After five years of planning, a new bike path was officially opened to the public at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 21, 2014. The 2009 Comprehensive Bluffton Bike and Pedestrain Master Plan needed upwards of $123,000 to commence. 36 area individuals and businesses are responsible for raising the required funds.

The path was initiated by the Bluffton Lions Club and Bluffton Lions Foundation, thus earning it the name “Lions Way.” The goal of the path is to improve public safety on a heavily-traveled route, where sidewalks are scarce.Spanning seven-tenths of a mile, the new path will allow bikers and pedestrians to safely travel from Main Street to the businesses off of I-75, among other places.

Bike paths have always been a big part of Bluffton’s past. Ropp and Mary Em Triplett launched the idea of several other bike and pedestrian pathways in the late 1970’s, which were implemented in the ’80s. For more on the history of bike paths in Bluffton, click here.

This whole initiative has been a part of the Bluffton community’s effort to connect the people to various destinations, and promote the health and well-being of area community members. The addition of the bike shop downtown last year, CG Pro Bikes, also furthered this mentality. Bluffton students with bikes on campus can utilize both this resource, and the new path.

Lions Way is not entirely completed yet. About 200 feet along Commerce Lane to Route 103 are scheduled for completion soon.