Campus

Solmaz Sedghi Elherd service

The University mourns the loss of Solmaz Sedghi Elherd, 39, a second-year graduate student in the Master of Cross-Cultural and International Education (MACIE) program, who passed away Sunday, Aug. 20, at the University of Michigan Hospital. She had been ill since July. A campus memorial service is being planned for 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, in 201 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Her family will hold her funeral in her home country of Iran. If you would like to express your condolences to Solmaz’s family, please send them to sympathy@bgsu.edu and they will be delivered.


BGSU Task Force on Sexual Assault’s recommendations to be implemented

By BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The Bowling Green State University Task Force on Sexual Assault has completed its work and issued a final report of recommendations to address sexual assault on the university’s campuses. President Mary Ellen Mazey has announced that all of the recommendations will be implemented. “As a community, we must all come together to prevent assaults from occurring on our campuses,” Mazey said. “I am extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made and the direction we’re taking.” Mazey appointed the task force, which is comprised of students, faculty, staff and a victim advocate, in May. The charge of the task force was to review university policies and procedures for Title IX and sexual assault, benchmark university efforts against best practices from across the country and provide recommendations to improve policies, campus culture, and education and prevention efforts. Key recommendations include additional staffing and resources to support several new and enhanced efforts. For example, the university will be creating a new center focused on sexual violence prevention, advocacy and wellness. Reporting, investigative and hearing processes will be improved to ensure an empathetic, thorough, fair and respectful process for all involved parties and support services will be strengthened. Also recommended are increased training and education, including widespread promotion of and enhanced support for the “It’s On Us” campaign and its bystander intervention techniques. “It’s On Us is a cultural movement aimed at shifting the way we think about sexual assault,” said Alex Solis, task force co-chair. “Sexual assault is not only a crime committed by a perpetrator against a victim, but a societal problem in which all…


With eyes on the sky, diverse crowd of viewers share eclipse experience

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For an astronomical event, the solar eclipse provoked some very down-to-earth reactions – awe, conviviality, generosity. Normal campus life seemed to be put on pause at Bowling Green State University Monday afternoon as the moon rolled over the sun. Though Bowling Green was not in the path of eclipse in its totality, students, faculty, and community members gathered outside on the lawn of the planetarium. More than a 100 made their way to the roof to watch the eclipse with all manner of approved devices, from telescopes to homemade cardboard boxes. The standard equipment for the day were viewing glasses with colorful cardboard frames that looked like the 3D glasses given out at the movies. Those were in short supply, but people shared them. People would look intently at the sun, and then pulling the glasses off, they would offer them to the nearest person, often a stranger. Heather Sekerak came equipped with a homemade box to help her two children, Jozef and Autumn, view the eclipse. “We’re not here because of the hype,” she said. “We’re here because it’s cool.” Though she said she didn’t have the academic disposition to formally study science, she loves it and wants to pass that love on to her children. “This is the opportunity for them to know there’s something beyond them and something bigger than themselves,” she said. “I love science for who created it; God created science, so I love it.” Jayson and Cari Hines were also there with their young children, Aiden and Amelia. Cari Hines said they get to a lot of the…


BGSU student Kyle Jumper-Smith organizes Project Feed Thy Neighbor in Detroit

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING  COMMUNICATIONS Hailed as an economic boon for a struggling city, the rapidly progressing revitalization and gentrification of Detroit neighborhoods has had the unintended consequence of leaving many longtime residents feeling left behind and without ready access to food stores and other essential businesses. But Bowling Green State University  junior Kyle Jumper-Smith has not forgotten about his hometown. Inspired by those who have given generously to him, this summer he organized the second Project Feed Thy Neighbor for his neighborhood, the Cass Corridor. It was a day of empowerment providing food, fellowship and positivity. This year’s event fed 422 people through the help of many donors and 76 volunteers who manned grills, served food, greeted attendees and managed the lines. “It wasn’t just about giving out food but also about uplifting people,” said Jumper-Smith, an inclusive early childhood educationmajor and former Student Leadership Assistant (SLA) in the Center for Leadership . “We challenged our volunteers to reach out to talk with people about what was going on and give each person a positive message of empowerment and a hug. We wanted to create a loving space. “This was a great experience to see the BGSU community collaborate with other students from other institutions and promote positivity and love in a community that is being abandoned due to new business ventures,” he said. “We also had people from Michigan State University, Kentucky State University, Grand Valley State University, Morehouse College and my alma mater, Lewis Cass Technical High School.” He dedicated the event to his late grandmother. “She would have wanted me to do something like this,” he said. “I’m…


Mayor and Mazey try to get students to clean up acts on East Wooster

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The BG mayor and BGSU president tried to tidy up the city’s “front porch” on Friday afternoon. East Wooster Street is the first impression families get of the community and campus as they drop off their children for college every fall. For the fourth year at the beginning of BGSU’s fall semester, Mayor Dick Edwards and BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey went door-to-door on East Wooster Street to ask students to clean up their acts. If the students weren’t sure what that meant, Thomas Gibson, BGSU vice president for student affairs and vice provost, put it in simple terms. “If you think your mother would be upset, don’t do it,” he said. The mayor and university president began the door-to-door tradition four years ago after parents dropping off their college students objected to signs along the East Wooster rental properties suggesting that dads drop off their daughters at those homes. This year, there was one sign painted on a large sheet, saying “Drop off you daddies and bring your natties,” referring to Natural Light beer. That same yard had an inflatable pool in the front yard, inflatable bowling pins set up in the side yard – presumably for human bowling balls to knock down, loud music and red “danger” tape roping off the property. Edwards, Mazey and Gibson were welcomed into the taped in area and offered beers. They shook hands with the students, but declined the beers – until after 5 p.m. “We want to remind you folks of the shared responsibility we have,” Gibson said. The scantily clad students seemed…


Education students ring in start of their BGSU careers

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The first-year students in the College of Education and Human Development at Bowling Green State University rang in the new academic year Friday in what Dean Dawn Shinew hopes will be the beginning of a new tradition. The students gathered around noon Friday outside the Little Red Schoolhouse. One by one they rang the old school bell outside. When they graduate they will return and ring the bell again. “We wanted to create a new tradition,” Shinew said. The one-room schoolhouse, which was originally built in Huron County, was moved to campus at the instigation of then Dean David Elssas in 1974. “It’s at the center of campus,” Shinew said, “because this is what we should be about.” It seemed fitting to have students in the College of Education start the year here. This represents the history of the university, said Hannah Coursey, one of the first year students participating in the bell ringing. Anthony Vellucci, from Mansfield, also participated in the ceremony. He said the ringing of the bell was a fitting wayto begin and then round out his college career. While four years seems like a long time, he knows the four years of high school went by quickly, and he expects his college career will as well. The good reputation of BGSU’s programs attracted both Vellucci and Coursey to the school. BGSU is known for the quality of its education programs, said Coursey, who comes from Cincinnati. Her goal is to teach high school Chinese. Her class was the first in Cincinnati to have the opportunity to study the language. She…


Scavenger hunt helps international students discover downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Students from around the world got a chance to explore downtown Bowling Green Wednesday afternoon. The international students from Bowling Green State University came from many countries—France, Taiwan, China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Zimbabwe, Netherlands – just to name a few. A scavenger hunt organized by the Four Corners Center had them searching out all the treasures they could find in the downtown. That included the coffee shops, restaurants, gift shops, restaurants, and even the farmers market. Teams of about half dozen students each buzzed about town. Members of one group said they didn’t have time to talk as they hurried off to find Homeworks. Elisa Erbrech, a business student from Strasbourg, France, said, those on her team were too intent on winning to even stop and taste the cookies and coffee the Wood County Library had set out. And they accomplished their mission. The team was the first to finish. Marcia Salazar-Valentine, the director of International Programs and Partnerships, said the idea behind the scavenger hunt was to introduce the students, all of whom had just arrived at BGSU, to the downtown, and to introduce downtown businesses to the students. “The international students are so important,” said Wendy Chambers, the director of the Wood County Convention Visitors Bureau, one of the Four Corners entities.  “We wanted to welcome them to the community.” BGSU enrolls more than 1,000 foreign students. “I think it takes a while because they have so much to do the first weeks,” Salazar-Valentine said. She remembers arriving as an international student in Bowling Green. “I came downtown and learned so much…


BG residents urged to engage with international students

Friendship Program matches locals with international students” (Community Opinion, August 9, 2017) was an uplifting article to read at a time when so much negativity dominates national news. As a fairly new BG resident (three years in November), I am so impressed by the volunteer spirit in this great, small city. I would encourage all to participate in the International Friendship Program so we can show these students that not all Americans are hateful. My 20+ years of living abroad has shown me that many foreigners form their opinions of the USA and Americans from what they see in movies and in the news. In addition to the approximately 800 International students starting their undergraduate or graduate programs at BGSU this year, there is another 50 or so International students who come about 3 to 12 months prior to matriculation in order to work on their English here. These students come to the official Intensive English Program on campus: ELS Language Centers. Because of their weaker English skills, we are actively seeking volunteers to act as Conversation Partners by coming to classes once a month to speak to these students for about 45 minutes. Students at ELS Language Centers/Bowling Green also face obstacles with housing. With the closure of the Harshman Quadrangle, there aren’t any available dorm rooms for these students. All that is officially left is our Homestay Program. Although it is a much more serious involvement to house an international student for a couple of months or even a year, the rewards are much greater. First of all, there is financial compensation. Secondly, many families and international students…


Traffic patterns affected by BGSU Move-In

Bowling Green State University has released a list of streets that will close or be one-way as students move back to campus. Move-in for incoming and transfer students will begin Wednesday, August 16, and will run through Sunday, August 20. During Move-in, it will be necessary to close specific parking lots and modify normal traffic patterns. Parking on campus will also be restricted. Street Closures: Thursday, August 17 Mercer Road between Wooster and Poe will be closed 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, August 17, & Sunday, August 20 Merry Avenue between Thurstin and North College will be closed from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Street One-Way Designations (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) Thursday, August 17 North College from Merry to Ridge, One Way – South North College from Merry to Leroy, One Way – North Ridge Street from North College to Thurstin, One Way – West Alumni Drive from Stadium to Mercer, One Way – West Ridge Street from Mercer to Willard, One Way – West Harshman Drive from Mercer to Lot G, One Way – West Kreischer Drive from Mercer to Lot K, One Way – West  


Stars align at BGSU as College of Music welcomes famed guest artists

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts has some special acts in the wings. Lindsay Gross, the college’s manager of public-community relations, can’t help but show her own enthusiasm for what’s in store for the coming academic year – five internationally acclaimed artists who will share their gifts with the community. And all the events related to these residencies are open to public for free. Why wouldn’t Gross be excited? She’s a jazz bass trombonist, and the first guest in September is the American Brass Quintet, a pioneering ensemble that uses bass trombone, not tuba, as its lowest voice. And closing run of guest artists during Jazz Week in late March will be Maria Schneider, the most esteemed living composer for large jazz ensemble. Schneider has won Grammys not only for her jazz work but also for her arrangement on David Bowie’s song “Sue.” And for her collaboration with soprano Dawn Upshaw, who will visit BGSU a week before she arrives. Visits scheduled are: American Brass Quintet, residency Sept.20-22, with a concert Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. Jazz guitarist John Scofield, Sept. 30, a master class and concert at 8 p.m. as part of the two-day Orchard Guitar Festival that starts Sept.29. Opera composer Jake Heggie, keynote lecture at 8 p.m. on Oct. 22 and residency Oct. 23-24, as part of the Edwin H. Simmons Creative Mind Series. Vocal superstar Dawn Upshaw, recital March 18 at 8 p.m. and residency March 19-20, as the Helen McMaster Professorship in Vocal and Choral Arts. Maria Schneider, residency from March 28-30, with a concert March…


Renovated BGSU Traditions buildings get positive reviews

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Tom Gorman came into University Hall looking for his old window. The long-time Bowling Green State University employee and graduate had worked in University Hall a number of years ago, and he visited the now renovated space checking out where he used to sit in a tiny cubicle. The room on the first floor of the 102-year-old building is no longer cramped.  Now home to the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, it is open and full of light. This is the one, or maybe this one is the window, Gorman said, before wandering off to check out the rest of the renovated building and its neighbor Moseley Hall, where he had taken classes. Gorman was one of the employees and community members who strolled through the buildings Thursday during an open house. The public will have another chance to visit the two buildings Saturday (Aug. 12) from noon to 2 p.m. Tours begin at noon and 1 p.m. For her part V. Jane Rosser, the director of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, said she liked having people like Gorman, “folks who know the building, who worked here, students, people who cleaned and folks from other units” drop by to look at the space. “They’ve been very impressed.” Rosser is impressed as well with the office’s new space. In the 10 or so years the center has been in existence, she said, it has bounced from building to building wherever there was empty office space. “All out of the way,” she said. Now the center is located in a place that’s easy…


Friendship Program matches locals with international students

BGSU welcomes almost 800 International students to its campus each year. Many are eager to learn about American family life in addition to their university experience. The International Friendship Program matches interested students with local families for informal get-togethers, meals, family functions, outings, etc. There is NO financial or housing obligation associated with this program. You may do as much or as little as your schedules and mutual interests suggest. Some students may only have time to meet with their “family” (which can be a single person, retired couple, widow or widower, etc.) occasionally while others may enjoy more frequent contact. Please consider participating in the enriching experience for both student and family as the need is great. To speak with someone about the program call Bob Segna at 419-308-1906 or Megan Smith at 419-460-4237. Or, email Bob at rjsegna@frontier.com.   From Bob Segna for the International Friendship Program (See related story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/international-fellowship-program-links-students-from-abroad-local-families/)


New BGSU department reaches across campus & the globe

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Globalization of the economy is an unstoppable force at the same time that the study of foreign language in the United States is declining. “Foreign language departments are closing across the country,” said Philip Peek, who chairs the Department of World Languages and Cultures. That’s true in high schools as well. That trend served as the incentive this year, to marry Bowling Green State University’s two language departments, German, Russian and East Asian Languages and Romance and Classical Studies and form World Languages and Cultures. “Everyone realized that if perhaps we joined forces and started working together and looked at it as an overall team approach that we’ll all get stronger,” he said. The merger was a long time coming. At one point in the university’s history the foreign languages were all under one roof, but at some point they split. The reason is a matter of conjecture about faculty butting heads. Peek said from the time he came to BGSU in 1995 people were discussing merging GREAL and ROCS, but only in the last two or three years did it become apparent that this would actually occur. Spanish is, and promises to remain, the dominant foreign language. While almost 80 percent of Americans speak English at home, almost 13 percent speak Spanish. No other language has even 1 percent, though Chinese comes close with 0.9 percent, according to figures provided by Peek from the American Communities Study. Spanish is the language most taught in high schools. At BGSU, the new department offers courses in 10 languages Spanish, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Russian,…


Business Insider calls BGSU most affordable college in Ohio

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Affordable and highly ranked. Those were the keys to being placed on Business Insider’s recently published list of the most affordable of the top colleges in every state. Bowling Green State University takes the Ohio spot. “Our faculty members’ teaching skills, research, expertise and involvement in our students’ education are hallmarks of the BGSU experience,” said BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey. “By leveraging their passion, we are able to provide a high-quality education at an affordable cost. We are pleased to once again be recognized for our commitment to affordability and accessibility.” Business Insider used tuition data from the Chronicle of Higher Education to compile the list, which only included colleges and universities rated in the top 220 by U.S. News and World Report. BGSU beat out the other five state universities on the list: Kent State University, Miami University, Ohio University, Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati. The tuition data are from the 2016-17 academic year and include tuition, fees, and room and board. Earlier this year, Money Magazine placed BGSU on its list of “Best Colleges for Your Money.”


Not In Our Town struggles to keep students involved

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Not In Our Town was born in Bowling Green nearly five years ago in response to a racial hatred crisis. A series of racist tweets were posted by white students, spurring students and community members to demand changes and official responses to the discrimination. A series of public meetings were held, many of them standing room only. Large banners were filled with signatures of people taking a stand against hate speech and actions in Bowling Green. Students and city residents were inspired to strike down discrimination. Not In Our Town was the group uniting students and city folks in their righteous anger toward hatred. That was then. Now when Not In Our Town meetings are held, the seats are filled with the same community members and university staff still committed to the cause. But there are no students. Meeting times and locations have been tweaked in order to meet student schedules. If students do attend, it is fleeting, with few making repeated appearances. The leadership of Not In Our Town knows there is still support among students. When a march was held last fall from downtown to campus, the walkers numbered in the hundreds and stretched for blocks. But the organization is struggling to understand the lack of student participation – since it’s not that discrimination no longer exists. So recently, a NIOT outreach group met to discuss solutions. It’s not that BGSU students no longer believe in the mission of Not In Our Town, said Holly Cipriani, an academic adviser at the university. “A lot of them are a big fan…