Q&A with Sarah Barren

by: Ryan Laidlaw

Q: What is your favorite sport?
A: “Softball.”

Q: What professional teams do you like?
A: “Red Sox, Steelers.”

Q: What’s one thing you love about Bluffton University?
A: “The people and community, because they are friendly.”

Q: Who do you look up too?
A: “My mother.”

Q: What are you afraid of?
A: “Nothing.”

Q: What’s your ideal vacation destination?
A: “Somewhere warm and fun.”

Q: What kind of pets do you like?
A: “Dogs.”

Q: Name one professor on campus that you were happy to have met?
A: “Jackie Slinger.”

Q: What career do you want?
A: “Something that has to do with early childhood education.”

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: “The Harry Potter series.”

Shalith and Inspiration Point

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Meet Christina Klahre – fairy tale fan and master storyteller

by: Kristina Ciminillo

Senior student Fremont, Michigan
English and Writing Major
Lives in Ropp Hall
Works at the Writing Center

If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing or reading one of Christina’s stories then you are missing out on creative genius right here in Bluffton. I sat down at Common Grounds one day to speak with Christina and get the details on her adventure to Ohio.

Kristina C: What brought you to BU?

Christina K: I was looking for a small liberal arts college that had a good writing part to their English Program. I read about BU in a brochure and came down for the Presidential Scholarship Program.

KC: You said “down”, where are you from?

CK: A small town in Michigan called Freemont.

KC: How does Bluffton compare to Freemont?

CK: It’s not too different. It is a little smaller, which makes it nicer for everything to be within walking distance of the University.

KC: What is the most rewarding thing about your BU experience?

CK: A combination of the community- I’ve made a lot of good friends here- and the improvements in my writing.

KC: What or who influenced that?

CK: All the chances to write for different assignments. Trying different types of writing; like short stories, poetry, and literature papers. It created goals for my writing which was very helpful.

KC: So your major is Writing?

CK: And English.

KC: What are your plans after graduation?

CK: I’m not certain yet. I’m going to take a year off and then start looking into grad schools probably.

KC: What is the most interesting thing you’ve found about BU?

CK: My cross cultural experience to Northern Ireland. I’d always wanted to go there, so that was very exciting.

KC: What did you come away with from that experience that you have used or think you may use in your writing?

CK: I got to know a lot of interesting people and I think they may become characters in future stories. I also saw a lot of beautiful places which would help create scenes and construct different worlds.

KC: So you lean towards the fantasy/fairy tale genre from what I’ve noticed. What age audience do like to write for?

CK: Young adults, a lot of my stories have younger protagonists.

KC: So, do you hope to publish short stories, a novella, or a novel in the future?

CK: Definitely a novel, but probably short stories as well, later.

KC: How many days a week do you work at the Writing Center?

CK: Three.

KC: What do you like about it?

CK: It’s nice to see I’m helping people, the people that come in regularly. It’s nice to see the way that their writing improves.

KC: Thank you for your time. Best of luck in the future.

Jesse Roth and Fault Lines win big in Fort Wayne

by: Alex Parker

While some students were heading off to warmer locations during that first weekend of spring break, Jesse Roth and a few of Fault Lines dancers traveled to Fort Wayne to win a huge competition.

Roth, a senior majoring in writing and business administration, choreographed four dances for the Fort Wayne Dance for All Choreography Exhibition, a line dance competition. The Dance for All celebrated its 20th anniversary and remains the biggest line dance convention in the United States. This meant a tough competition for Roth and her dancers.

The competition was split into three divisions; Newcomer/Novice, Intermediate, and Phrased. The top three dances in each division placed and a final prize awarded to the overall winner. Roth had entered one dance in the Newcomer/Novice division, one in the Intermediate division, and two in the Phrased division. Each division had a total of seventeen dances competing for the right to be called the best. “I thought a third place finish would be good,” said Roth considering the competitors.

The competition got underway and all the dances were performed in front of a few select judges as well as a large audience. Roth felt good dancing despite losing her name tag in the beginning of her dance. “I was more comfortable knowing [Fault Lines] was with me, and that’s the biggest number I’ve competed with.”

The award ceremony began and the choreographers were lined up so that prizes could be dealt out. Roth took third in the Newcomer/Novice division, first place only escaping by a mere 5 points. She then took first in the Intermediate division by a few points. Finally she dominated the competition in the Phrased division, taking first by a whopping 17 points.

The final listings showed that her winning streak wasn’t quite over. Jesse had received a total score 607 points, putting her 27 points ahead of second place which shocked her. She said “I figured someone was going to run onto the floor shouting they had miscalculated and someone else was the winner.” She then accepted the $250 dollar grand prize for being the best overall choreographer.

With the competition over Jesse and the other dancers enjoyed the rest of their break knowing that moving to those warmer locations wouldn’t have had the same results.

Violence in Ferguson: Timeline of police shooting

by: Delano Whidbee

In case you are unaware details have emerged today showing how the protests outside the Ferguson police department on Wednesday night turned into a crime scene. Two police officers were shot, but released from the hospital this morning, the St. Louis County police department said in a Facebook post.

According to ABC News this is how the horrific night unfolded.

5:30 p.m. Wednesday
Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson’s resignation is announced, one week after the Justice Department released a damning report on what they concluded was widespread racial bias within the police department. The removal of Jackson, who originally came under fire in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown in August and the ensuing violent protests, was described as a “mutual decision” by Jackson and city administrators.

Jackson did not appear publicly on Wednesday, instead having Ferguson mayor James Knowles address the media and confirm the decision.

8:01 p.m.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that he received a call from his chief of staff who warned him that they should expect protesters to gather in the parking lot of the Ferguson police department.

“I called my staff and I said, ‘Listen, I want this like we always do this. I want this to be a very measured response by the police department,'” Belmar said.

8:15 p.m.
Protesters started blocking South Florissant Road, where the Ferguson police department is located.

8:27 p.m.
A code 1000 was called, which means that the closest 25 police cars are called to assist at the police department. At the time, Belmar said that about 150 protesters were gathered on the roadway.

9 p.m.
The first protester is arrested on the charges of failure to comply, endangering the welfare of a child, resisting and interfering with arrest, and being in the roadway, Belmar said. The individual’s name was not released.

10 p.m.
Over the course of the next hour, the number of protesters in the area fluctuated, first with many leaving but then by 10:00 more arrive prompting a second 1000 call for an additional 25 officers. All told, there are 69 officers at the scene after that call, Belmar said.

10:30 p.m.
A second arrest is made of another individual. In spite of the arrest, Belmar said that he went to bed around this time because the situation appeared to be under control.

“I didn’t really expect the agitation,” Belmar said.

11:15 p.m.
A third, and final, arrest is made — though no further details are given about this individual. Belmar said that the crowd was starting to disperse at this point.

11:45 p.m.
“In fact, by about quarter to midnight we’re beginning to see not only the crowd beginning to leave, but also seeing the police officers that are going to be leaving, some of them,” Belmar said.

12:00 a.m. Thursday
Police hear three or four gunshots, which “immediately strike two officers standing next to each other,” Belmar said.

Belmar guessed that there were approximately 75 protesters gathered and 40 police officers. Of the officers, 20 to 25 of them were standing in a line.

The order in which the officers were shot has not been confirmed and neither have the officers’ identities.


Let us know what’s how you feel about this violent night in Ferguson, Missouri. Comment below!

Suge Knight hit & run video (graphic)

by: Delano Whidbee

Rap mogul Suge Knight’s legal situation isn’t showing signs of improvement, especially now that the full video footage from Suge’s alleged hit-and-run has surfaced. TMZ obtained the footage, which shows Suge’s red truck running over Terry Carter.

The incident proved fatal for Carter. We also see Suge’s truck clip Cle “Bone” Sloan, who suffered minor injuries as a result. Be warned, this is graphic content.

First, we see Bone approach Suge’s window and there’s an obvious scuffle between the two. Suge then backs up, clipping Bone with his car and Bone falls to the ground. Then, Terry approaches, and is completely run down by Suge’s truck.

Suge’s lawyer claims that Suge wasn’t attempting to kill either of the parties involved, he was attempting to flee because he feared for his own life. The lawyer claims Terry and Bone had guns. After Suge makes a run for it in his car, another man approaches Bone, who is now lying on the ground, and removes something from him that could very well be a gun, before putting it in his own waistband.

Watch the video footage here.

Is it over for Suge? What do you think about Suge Knight’s murder trail now that the full video has been released? Let us know what you think, comment below.

Largest fraternity in North America caught singing ‘There will never be a ni**** in SAE’

by: Delano Whidbee

The national headquarters for Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) is closing its chapter at the University of Oklahoma after video surfaced Sunday of members on a bus singing racist lyrics about their fraternity. SAE’s national office said they were disgusted by their members’ behavior. SAE, the largest fraternity in North America, was founded in the Antebellum South.

According to the Huffington Post “all of the members have been suspended, and those members who are responsible for the incident may have their membership privileges revoked permanently,” the national SAE office said in its statement. Prior to SAE’s announcement, University of Oklahoma President David Boren said if they determine it is in fact their chapter of SAE, the fraternity would be removed from campus completely.

Boren did not say if students would be punished by the university, but said in a statement to the Huffington Post, “If OU students are involved, this behavior will not be tolerated and will be addressed very quickly. If the reports are true the chapter will no longer remain on campus. This behavior is reprehensible and contrary to all of our values.”

The nine-second video, uploaded by an anonymous user on YouTube, shows a group of college students in formal attire clapping while they sing racist lyrics to the tune of “If You’re Happy And You Know It” during a date function.

The lyrics as heard in the video:

“There will never be a ni**** in SAE.
There will never be a ni**** in SAE.
You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me
There will never be a ni**** in SAE.”

You can watch the stomach turning video here.

How should the school handle this? How should the students at OU handle this situation? What feelings would you have being a student of color attending the school? How can OU overcome this situation? Let us know what you think, comment below!

Free college journalism camp this summer

From the World Journalism Institute:


Greetings from the WORLD Journalism Institute. I’m Lee Pitts, the associate dean of WJI. Hopefully your newsroom received the brochure I sent you several months ago (also attached with this email). I wanted to follow up to introduce myself and encourage your student newspaper to send some of your reporters to WJI’s “Backpack Journalism in a Digital Age” course in Asheville, NC, this May 17-30, 2015. Our program provides an opportunity for students interested in journalism to attend a camp for free (with housing and many meals provided) and build up their writing portfolio while earning a chance to land paid internships. That combination is not offered in many places anymore at such low cost to the student.

This free, two-week course is hosted each May in the scenic mountains of North Carolina for college students of all majors and recent graduates who want to strengthen their communication and reporting skills. You don’t have to be a journalism major to attend! We offer instruction in Christian worldview and the nuts and bolts of backpack journalism for convergent media. The course focuses on news/feature writing and reporting for magazine, website, and radio; we also provide training in photography, videography, and sound. Guest speakers who have spent decades honing their crafts in these areas lead our workshops. Our students get to report using radio, video, still camera equipment as well as the old-fashioned but indispensable notepad and pencil.

The top students from the course will be invited to spend an additional 4-8 weeks gaining more reporting, writing, and video-audio experience in their hometowns; at mainstream newspapers; at WORLD’s office in Asheville, NC; or at WORLD’s Washington, DC bureau. Students have the opportunity to publish their work at Worldmag.com or in local newspapers.

As outlined on our website (www.worldji.com/programs/view/64), our mission is to recruit, equip, place and encourage journalists who are Christians. Through the generous support of donors, we are able to offer this course free to accepted students each year, and the internships our top students secure are typically paid. The deadline for students to apply for this year’s course is March 31. But if you email me that you are interested I could give you a some time to complete the application.

Would you be willing to forward this email or share this information with students in your newsroom and on your campus who might be a good fit for WJI? Please encourage any potential applicants to read our recent WJI alumni testimonials at http://www.worldji.com/news. There you can learn about the reporting adventures and challenges our students faced and overcame last summer both in Asheville and Washington, D.C.

Interested students can apply online at http://www.worldji.com/programs/view/64.



Edward Lee Pitts

Associate Dean

World Journalism Institute


Message from the Exercise science Strength and conditioning club

Aron Gibson, the president of Bluffton’s Exercise science Strength and conditioning club would like you to know members are selling club tshirts for $12.

If you have any questions email Aron Gibson at gibama@bluffton.eduimage

Kapumba Chinyanta: from Zambia to Bluffton

by: Ryan Laidlaw

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.