BGSU fraternities march to raise awareness of sexual assault issues

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The men of Alpha Tau Omega know what many people think of when they think of fraternities and  sexual assault on campus. For Cameron Johnson that “stigma” stings, so he and his fraternity brothers as well as those from two other fraternities marched across campus Thursday to stand up and say that in sexual relationships “no” means “no,” and “quit asking.” Brothers from three fraternities including Tau Kappa Epsilon and Kappa Sigma marched from the Greek Village. Observers couldn’t tell what house they were from. They all wore white t-shirts. Instead of Greek letters, their shirts were emblazoned with statements calling attention to sexual assault.  “Are you part of the problem?”  “Consent is mandatory.”  “Stand up don’t stand by.”  “We believe victims.” “We’re coming at this as men first and foremost, before Greek affiliation,” Johnson said. The three fraternities along with Sigma Chi will be collecting money Friday and Monday in the student union to benefit the Cocoon Shelter. “We recognized an issue within our community,” he said. “We wanted to be the one to stand up and address it publicly. We want to encourage a dialogue.”  Dejontay Shakespeare, Alpha Tau Omega, said  there’s a  belief  “that people in Greek life don’t  stand up for sexual assault awareness.” But on Thursday “we’ve come together as a complete community to say that consent is absolutely required in a sexual relationship.” Shakespeare knows the importance of the issue. He’s had family members sexually assaulted. And during his time in the military he served as an advocate for victims. Brooke Barman stood by and watched as the march concluded in the student union, and the 100 or so marchers assembled on the steps. “Sexual assault is something that’s becoming very prevalent on college campuses,” she said. “There’s been a lot of attention around making voices heard and making victims’ voices are heard, and making sure they know they can report and that they have people there for them.   “To see this coming from this big group of men supporting consent and making sure it’s known that consent is mandatory is a really big thing.”

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Student vets group raising funds for full court flag to display at sporting events

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Student Veterans Organization wants to help Bowling Green State University up its game when it comes to patriotic displays. The organization is raising $10,000 to buy a full court flag that could be used at athletic events both on campus and off. The SVO has launched an online crowd-funding campaign through Falcon Funded.  Click here. “It’s the least we can do so we can show our support for the opportunities this country has for everyone,” said Brady Clayton, a Marine veteran who is majoring in construction management. “To have this giant flag at Bowling Green is awesome.” Eric Buetikofer, a military and veteran advisor who coordinates on-field military recognitions, said the initiative got started last year when the athletics department approached him about finding a full field flag to display at a football game.  A full field flag covers the length and width of a football field. A little research showed only the Cleveland Browns had that large a flag. To rent one would cost $6,500 — it comes in its own truck and crew. A full-field flag costs $45,000 to buy. That was too much, Buetikofer said, but a less costly and more practical option was the 50-foot-by-90-foot full court flag. That flag covers a basketball court. That would cost $10,000. Eric Buetikofer brought it to the SVO as a project. The organization took it on. A flag that size can be used for pre-game displays for a full range of sports including hockey, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, and soccer. When displayed on the football field, it allows for space for the band. The SVO will be the owners of the flag, responsible for its use, handling and maintenance. While it will largely be used at BGSU, the flag will also be available for high schools and other colleges. “It’s a flag not just for BGSU but the community at large,” Buetikofer said. “It adds to the sense of responsibility,” Clayton said. This also gives the veterans group an opportunity to work with the community. It takes 30-50 people to hold the flag when it is displayed. The flag has straps attached to the underside of the flag. The student veterans would have the responsibility to find volunteers to help. Buetikofer said he hopes it also helps bring more attention to he military-affiliated community on campus. There are 650 military-affiliated students who are either active duty, National Guard, veterans, or dependents  For Bryan Bills,  sophomore studying aviation, the flag project has special meaning. He served in the Army for six years and is still in the National Guard. He’s had two deployments to Afghanistan. On his second deployment, someone sent him a BGSU flag that he proudly flew. Now at BGSU, there will be a new American flag to fly to recognize his and his peers’ service. “It’s good to have,” he said. “If it’s not important to anybody else, it’s important to us.”

BGSU Arts Events through Oct. 31

Oct. 10 – Dave Lewis, sound archivist of the BGSU Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives, will lead the discussion for the Record Listening Club. The featured artist is Emmylou Harris and her album “Wrecking Ball.” The club puts a new spin on the idea of a book club. The discussion will begin at 6 p.m. in the Pallister Conference Room at the Jerome Library. Free Oct. 10 – The Faculty Artist Series welcomes Conor Nelson on flute. Nelson is an associate professor in the College of Musical Arts. During his extensive performing career, he has appeared internationally as a soloist and won numerous awards and competitions. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 11 – The BGSU Department of Theatre and Film’s Elsewhere Productions presents “Apocalypse Then,” a public reading by BGSU student Harmon Andrews. The reading will begin at 7 p.m. in the Marjorie Conrad M.D. Choral Room (Room 102) at the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Free Oct. 11 – The Prout Reading Series presents Sarah Rose Nordgren, a poet, teacher and multiform text artist. She has written two poetry books, and her poems and essays appear widely in various periodicals. She also creates video and performance text art in collaboration with Kathleen Kelley under the name Smart Snow. Her reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Oct. 11 – BGSU College of Musical Arts composition students present their newly composed works during a Student Composers Forum. The pieces will be performed by musical arts students. The performances will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 12 – The School of Art hosts an exhibition of intricate textile costumes by artist Sha Sha Higby, one of the featured guests for the 2018 New Music Festival. Higby studied art, made dolls and pursued the art of puppetry and sculpture in her early years. She has received many prestigious grants that have enabled her to study the arts of carving, mask-making, puppetry and dance throughout Southeast Asia. She has entranced audiences with her mesmerizing puppetry/dance performances at major venues throughout the world since 1974. Her New Music Festival performance is at 7 p.m. on Oct. 17 in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at The Wolfe Center for the Arts. The exhibition of her costumes runs through Nov. 4 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Oct. 14 – The Toledo Museum of Art welcomes faculty members of the BGSU College of Musical Arts for the first Great Performances presentation of the season. They will perform in the Great Gallery at the museum, previewing some of the music from the 39th annual New Music Festival, which opens Oct. 17. The recital will begin at 3 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St. The performance is free; onsite parking for nonmembers of the museum is $7. Oct. 15 – The BGSU School of Art’s printmaking program will host visiting artist Amze Emmons, an associate professor at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. Emmons is a Philadelphia-based, multidisciplinary…

Project Connect in need of more volunteer hosts for next week’s event

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The  volunteers’ t-shirts are made, now Project Connect needs to get more people to fill them. On Tuesday afternoon, students in Janet Ballweg’s screen printing class at Bowling Green State University put their skills to good use, printing 170 yellow t-shirts that will be worn by the hosts at Project Connect. Those hosts help guide guests through the dozens of services that will fill every corner of St, Mark’s Church next Wednesday (Oct. 17) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Project Connect is, according to organizers: “A one-day, one-stop event with free goods and services for Wood County individuals, families, elders, and veterans in need. This event is to get individuals that are in need in Wood County more aware of the broad range of organizations and resources available for their benefit.” In 2017, Project Connect, an initiative of the Continuum of Care Coalition of Wood County,  helped 574 individuals from 278 households. More than 200 people volunteers and 52 providers and agencies set up shop. Project Connect provides same day services as well as long-term connections.  The hosts are key players in this. They help the guests navigate the event so they get what they need, whether it’s legal help, food assistance, a winter coat, or a haircut. One week out from Project Connect those hosts are in short supply. An email sent out Tuesday said 46 hosts were still needed. Click to volunteer. It takes more than 200 volunteers to stage the event, said Erin Hachtel, one of the Project Connect co-chairs. And these students are a part of the effort. “For me it’s a way to show the many ways people can use their talents to help people. You see people using art to make a difference in the community.” This is Project Connect’s sixth year, and Ballweg’s students have printed the t-shirts each year. Some years they’ve done more and in multiple colors. Hatchel was wearing a red shirt, which signifies that she’s a member of the organizing committee. On the day of the event this lets people know, she’ll have broader knowledge about what’s going on. Because there were extras from previous years, only yellow shirts are being printed.  “It’s a way to give back to the community,” Ballweg said. This service learning project has elements of both. Given it’s early in the semester, the students have only completed one printing project so far. Taking this  on accelerates their learning. They have to work together, and teach other while printing the shirts, Ballweg said. While their schedules don’t allow them to volunteer on the day itself, she does encourage them to stop by to see for themselves what happens at Project Connect. Those who do are impressed, she said. They don’t realize that this kind of poverty exists in Bowling Green. Hatchel said: “I hope this is something that lasts beyond their student years and they take with them.” 

Author Adam Alter warns about the dangers of being hooked on electronics

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Writer Adam Alter believes technology has an addictive power over people. He should know.  In his talk Monday at Bowling Green State University, Alter related his own experience with the game Flappy Bird. He was on a six-hour flight from Newark to Los Angeles. He had plans for all he would accomplish in that time. He started by playing the game. Six hours and a continent later, he was still playing the game. “I had lost all sense of the passage of time.” Alter was on campus because his book “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked,” was chosen as the campus’ Common Read. It raised, said Sheila Roberts, acting vice provost of academic affairs, themes that are familiar and  “frankly a little bit uncomfortable.” Speaking before a packed ballroom mostly of students, Alter described how people’s involvement with technology is increasingly taking over that part of our lives not devoted to work, sleep, and the other necessities of life. That free time “where all the magic happens.” Alter said he deleted Flappy Birds, and its developer Dong Nguyen, in a fit of conscience, even had the game pulled from app stores even though it was making $75,000 a day in advertising and sales. Alter doesn’t see Apple, Facebook, and the other tech giants as following suit. Though, he said, they seem aware of the dangers and are instituting some changes. Alter said he was prompted to write the book after reading a profile of Apple founder Steve Jobs in The New York Times. The reporter, Nick Bilton, commented to Jobs that his kids must love the iPad that had recently been released. Jobs replied they didn’t have one. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” In exploring further, Alter found that Jobs was not alone. His attitude about his children’s engagement with technology was typical of those in the tech industry. This is akin, Alter said to the belief among drug dealers: “Never get high on your own supply.” The author noted that many tech executives send their kids to the Waldorf School of the Peninsula where computers are only allowed after grade 8. Instead much of the learning happens outdoors. Alter wondered: “What were they so concerned about?” Young people, like the majority of those he was addressing, are more tied to technology. A study asked people would they rather have their phone fall and shatter into a 1,000 pieces or break a bone in their hand. About half the young people surveyed preferred to break the bone. Some asked if the injury would keep them from using their phone. The cell phone does, he said, enable us to connect with other people. “It’s a large part of our social well being.” And during the question period after the talk, one young man spoke about how he has friends who suffer from depression and extreme anxiety who call him for support. He feels he can never shut off his phone. But what we have now is not what we will have in 10 years, Alter said. “In 20 years we’ll laugh at Facebook.” Already younger users are fleeing the platform. On the horizon is virtual reality where everyone has a personal set of…

Faculty panel is skeptical about claims of technology addiction

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News On Monday Adam Alter, the author of “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked,” will talk about his book, which has been the Common Read this year at Bowling Green State University. A crisis, he believes, is at hand with many people, 50 percent even, becoming addicted to technology. In anticipation of his talk, a panel of faculty from the Psychology Department was convened to discuss his thesis. The members of the panel, moderated by department chair Michael Zickar know about addiction from the inside out. Casey Cromwell is a biopsychologist, who has studied the chemical workings of addiction including time in the same lab discussed by Alter in his book. Harold Rosenberg has treated people suffering from addiction and compulsion disorders. Eric Dubow is a child psychologist who studies the impact of technology on children. And Joshua Grubbs is “the porn guy,” though his work extends beyond studying porn to other compulsive behaviors including gambling. “I tend to be a skeptic,” Grubbs said, of Alter’s theory that technology is designed to be addictive. “I think we pathologize a lot of things that are very normal behaviors, and that there is money to be made from pathologizing normal behavior,” he said.  The diagnosis of addiction has traditionally been restricted to those hooked on substances such as drugs and alcohol, not those linked to behaviors. Only recently has gambling been recognized as an addiction.  In addition, the World Health Organization recognizes excessive gaming and compulsive sexual behaviors as impulse control disorders, not addictions. “It’s important to define addiction correctly because if we’re not defining it correctly, we’re minimizing the struggles people who actually have addictions,” Grubbs said. Cromwell said many of the experiments into the underlying mechanisms of addiction are done using animals. But behaviors like cell phone use or watching porn can’t be tested on animals. Rosenberg noted that one characteristic of addiction is the simultaneous need to take a substance but not liking the outcome. This occurs when the addict’s tolerance for the drug develops. It’s an internal “tug of war.” Cromwell said the role of the neurotransmitter dopamine in this is “a little confusing,” and may not apply to the craving. And Rosenberg wondered: “What are they addicted to the content or is it something about the device itself?” “I actually think it’s quite specious to separate technology addiction from what you doing on our phone,” Grubbs said. Because people overuse something doesn’t mean that it is addictive, Grubbs said. “Do some people use pornography so much it ruins their personal life?  Yes, I’ve treated those people.” Then again in the 1990s, some people ruined their lives by compulsively collecting Beanie Babies. No one would say Beanie Babies, however, are addictive. Whether technology is addictive or not, Dubow said, it clearly can prove to be a distraction in an educational setting. Studies have shown that schools that ban the use of cell phones in class have seen an increase in their standardized test scores. However, this becomes tricky as more teachers want to use internet resources in class, he said. One school in a wealthy district that he works with has given all students lap tops. But for a district that can’t afford that, a cell…

Not In Our Town project to tell stories of local lives

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Every life has a story. There’s a beginning, an end, and everything in between that makes a person who he or she is. Not In Our Town Bowling Green would like share the stories of local residents’ lives by putting words and photos together for an exhibit. “We want to use narratives and storytelling to promote understanding across differences,” said Christina Lunceford, campus co-chair of Not In Our Town. “We are trying to find a way to better tell the story of who’s in our community.” The Not In Our Town Narrative Project will be modeled after storytelling projects in other communities across the U.S. The purpose is to provide “space for our community to develop understanding of varying world views and lived experiences.” The photos and stories will tell about the lives of local leaders and everyday people in the community, Lunceford said. “Who’s got a story to share,” she said. The idea is that once the photos and narratives are collected, they will be displayed on a BGSU diversity and inclusion webpage, but also be part of a rotating exhibit in the community – in places like the library or storefronts. “We want to talk about the richness our backgrounds bring,” Lunceford said. “We want to understand how people’s backgrounds and experiences benefit their communities.” Local people wanting to share their stories or be part of the process of photographing or collecting the narratives are asked to email, or fill out this survey to indicate interest. Individuals who would like to share their stories and portraits will be contacted to set up photography sessions and interviews. The interview questions that will help guide personal narratives will be sent out in advance. By showcasing the various voices that make up the Bowling Green community, the goal is threefold: to celebrate diversity that is in BG through visual arts, to showcase acts of “ally-ship,” and to raise awareness of the experiences of marginalized groups in the community. The idea for the narrative project comes from the works of Dr. Howard C. Stevenson on racial literacy and inspired by the California Polytechnic State University’s Dr. Jennifer Teramoto Pedrotti’s work with the Kennedy Library’s “I am Cal Poly” exhibit and University of California-Santa Barbara’s Dr. Kip Fulbeck’s “Pan Asian, 100% Hapa” traveling exhibit.