BGSU

Mayor and BGSU president get neighborly on East Side

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wearing her jammies and holding a blanket, Victoria Francetic opened her front door Friday afternoon to find the city mayor and university president on her porch. As they took their annual East Wooster Street stroll, Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards and BGSU President Rodney Rogers greeted Francetic, a political science major, and her roommate, criminal justice major Natalie Macquarie. The visits have a dual purpose – welcoming the students back to Bowling Green and asking them to be good neighbors to the permanent residents in the city. Though it came as a shock, Francetic said she appreciated Edwards and Rogers taking the time to stop by. “I think it really is a sign of respect, to know members of the community,” Francetic said after the dignitaries left her door. As for wearing her pajamas for the afternoon visit, Francetic said she was OK with that. “This is the outfit I’d want to wear to meet the mayor,” she said with a smile. This is the seventh year for the mayor and university president to team up for the Wooster walk. The surprise visits are intended to present a unifying message and encourage good behavior. A letter was left at each residence with some tips on being neighborly. “We try to enhance civility and encourage folks to be good neighbors,” Edwards said. “It’s been well worth the time and effort over the years.” As they rounded onto Troup Avenue, Rogers and Edwards arrived at a house rented by five university swimmers. One of them, Franziska Wohlert thanked Rogers for hiring a new swim teach coach. “I think it’s a great idea,” Wohlert said of the visit by the dignitaries. “I think it’s really cool.” A few houses down the block, the men started walking up the driveway when a shriek came from the backyard. “I know you,” Sammy Hajdu said as the university president approached her and introduced the mayor. “Oh wow, the mayor’s here,” Hajdu said, as one of her roommates videotaped the visit on her phone from inside the house. “We are welcoming you to the neighborhood,” Rogers said, giving Hajdu a high-five. “Be great neighbors. Keep everything under control.” Rogers had one more request for Hajdu, a senior communications and marketing major, who was wearing her boyfriend’s Heidelberg University shirt. “You need to put a Bowling Green shirt on,” he said with a smile. After her visitors left Hajdu said she was shocked to see Rogers and Edwards at her house – and was glad she and her roommates had tidied up the yard. “We just got done picking up trash,” she said. This year, the mayor and university president knocked on doors along East Wooster, Troup and South College streets. Both men left their suit jackets behind for the walk. Rogers passed out some Falcon orange sunglasses to student residents along the route. One of their stops was at the home of Quentin Walker and Haley Richardson. “It’s nice to see the people who run the place you live,” said Richardson, a third-year digital art student. Back on East Wooster Street, two international students were surprised by their visitors. Having only been in the U.S. seven days, the students from India were pleased. “We are new to the U.S….


BGSU & OSU heads: Higher education a wise investment

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Several decades ago, college was affordable for a few, and a dream for all the others. A few decades later, college was the place kids were expected to go to start their futures. Now, the pendulum has swung back again, with college costs and job prospects leading to a push in the trades. But BGSU President Rodney Rogers and OSU President Michael Drake held a public conversation Wednesday evening about the lasting value of higher education. “Higher education is a value to young people, a value to our communities, a value to our state,” said State Senator Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, who moderated the conversation. A college degree makes a person more employable, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for someone with a master’s degree is 2.2 percent; a bachelor’s degree is 2.5 percent; an associate’s degree is 3.4 percent; and a high school education, 6.8 percent. And more than 80 percent of the country’s top 100 jobs require a bachelor’s degree. “There’s real value there,” said Gardner, who both Rogers and Drake called a strong advocate for higher education. A college degree also results in bigger paychecks. It offers a better annual return for investment (average 13.7 percent) than the stock market (average 10 percent), Drake said. “It’s really about the best investment a person can make in their future,” the OSU president said. Over a lifetime, that investment averages more than $1 million more in earnings, he added. The perks go beyond the paychecks, Drake said. People with college educations are more likely to rank themselves as happy, are healthier, live longer, and are more engaged in their communities, Drake said. Drake asked those in the audience to envision a map of the U.S. – then put their fingers on a couple areas of great innovation, like Silicon Valley, Boston, or the Research Triangle. “Under your fingers are great universities,” he said. Rogers noted the BGSU alumni who are doing great things in their communities. “That is a part of what drives our state, our region and our communities,” he said. Ohio’s 14 public universities are places where ideas are discussed – places that help inform the public debate. “That is the power of universities,” Rogers said. “We are making Ohio a better place. We need to embrace it. We create public good.” But state budgeting is an issue. In the 1980s, state funding made up 60 percent of university budgets. That number is now closer to 23 percent. “We seem to almost write budgets by anecdotes,” Gardner said. Legislators hear of someone’s child earning a four-year diploma then having to take a job as a janitor. They hear stories of too many people going into higher education, and degrees being worthless. “People say that, but the statistics don’t yield that,” he said. Higher education must show that it is relevant. “That’s what universities need to be evermore,” Gardner said. Gardner believes in the “all of the above” education strategy for the state – with emphasis on the trades, community colleges, bachelor, master and doctorate programs. “Whatever students and families want,” should be available in Ohio, he said. “We should open their eyes earlier to all the options open to them.” Gardner praised efforts to…


Landlord and renter responsibilities examined in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In a college town with nearly 7,000 rental units, there’s an awful lot of headbutting between landlords and renters and homeowning neighbors. When problems occur with home maintenance, is it the landlords’ responsibility to prove that their housing meets safety standards? Or is the onus on the renters to notify authorities if their housing is substandard? For years, Bowling Green officials have debated this question. Other Ohio college towns – like Kent, Oxford and Athens – have mandatory rental inspection and licensing programs. Bowling Green has preferred to make sure there are services in place that respond to rental problems as they arise. Following are various viewpoints in Bowling Green, including those from Mayor Dick Edwards, BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey and landlord Bob Maurer. Those who respond to complaints – the health district, fire division, building inspection and planning office – also share their perspectives. People closest to the students, like BGSU legal services and some East Side residents, also weigh in. And officials from rental inspection programs in Athens, Kent and Oxford talk about their experiences. EYE-OPENING TOUR Early this fall, some BGSU students asked their professor Neocles Leontis to help them get out of a lease at a rental property they felt was unsafe. “I could not believe it was allowed to be rented,” said Rose Hess, who toured the house. Photos taken during the tour show a ceiling fan dangling from the ceiling, a filthy washing machine that wasn’t working, a dryer that was not vented, a stove that didn’t work, fuse boxes without covers, and bricks holding open windows. “These properties are unrentable, yet they are being rented,” Hess said. “We need interior inspections and licensing.” Leontis agreed. “Parents who send their kids to Bowling Green can have no assurance when they rent a house that it’s safe.” Inspections are required of restaurants – the same should be standard for rental housing, he said. “This should not be allowed. Your kid moves into a fire trap and you never know.” SAME HOUSE – DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES Of course, few issues are truly black and white. Even the rental property mentioned above is shaded with an awful lot of gray. The landlord reportedly rented the house to students who had difficulty getting others to rent to them. Bowling Green has several safety measures in place for renters who encounter problems with their residences. When complaints are received, city officials ask the Bowling Green Fire Division, Wood County Health District, or Wood County Building Inspection to check out the property. In the case of the house rented by Leontis’ students, Fire Chief Tom Sanderson also toured the residence. The fire division recently started a community risk reduction program, in which firefighters inspect multi-family residential sites. “We do not inspect individual residences,” unless there is a specific request, Sanderson said. Though this particular house had several deficiencies, as someone who frequently tours the inside of rental properties, the chief had a different perspective. “I don’t believe the home was unsafe,” he said. Though it may appear worrisome, the original wiring in the house is not inherently dangerous. “We find that all over the place,” Sanderson said of the old wiring. The health district’s role is similar, in that its inspectors only…


Janet Parks is passionate about sharing the story of BGSU’s women athletes

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Janet Parks wrote the book on women’s athletics at Bowling Green State University. She authored “Forward Falcons: Women’s Sports at Bowling Green State University, 1914-1982” with Ann Bowers and Adelia Hostetler Muti with design by Jennifer Joseph, in 2010, some six years after she retired after 39 years of teaching in the School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies. During that time she was a central figure in developing the sports management program. “Forward Falcons” wasn’t the end of it. Parks remains passionate about telling the tale of BGSU’s female athletes. Last week she spoke about the development of the Janet Parks Sports History Initiative in the Center for Archival Collections at Jerome Library. The goal of the initiative, Dean Sara Bushong said, is to document women’s sports at BGSU and in Northwest Ohio, including the legislation and rules the governed and influenced it. It’s a story of champions, Parks said. A newly installed photo display on the second floor of Eppler, celebrates those champions. But to have champions, one must have a governing body to sanction them, and that didn’t exist for women’s intercollegiate athletics until 1971 when the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women was founded. The AIAW was the culmination of various bodies that fostered women’s sports since 1899 – seven years before the precursor of the NCAA was founded. “From the beginning it was maintained by women’s physical education teachers,” Parks said. “These women saw athletic competition as an educational experience that was open to all women who wanted to participate.” When the organization that became the NCAA was formed, it had no interest in women’s sports. “That was fine with women,” she said. They wanted governing bodies run for and by women. And that’s what they had for most of the 20th century. Some believe, she said, that there were no sports before women until recently. But in 1971, BGSU had 14 teams in a variety of sports. What those teams didn’t have was a chance to compete for state, regional or national titles. The AIAW changed that. And the Falcon women’s teams distinguished themselves. “The AIAW brought in an era of champions,” Parks said. “We had champions at this school. We won things.  That’s why we keep score, to know who won. Our teams were highly respected.” Swimming and diving teams and track and field teams and individuals went on to win national titles and All-American honors. The AIAW was the largest intercollegiate governing body in the country with 960 member institutions in three divisions with 99,000 competing in 19 sports. And creating 1,200 leadership positions, mostly filled by women. “We were euphoric,” Parks said. “We were in high cotton. We thought this would last forever.” Then the NCAA came to call with checkbook in hand. It offered schools free membership for women’s teams and financial support to travel to its championships. The AIAW sued, Parks said, contending the NCAA was a cartel that wanted a monopoly on intercollegiate athletics. The suit failed, and in 1983, the AIAW disbanded. “That date marks the first time in history that women’s intercollegiate sports programs were not under the direct influence of women physical educators,” Parks said. Christine Grant, one of the association’s founders and in Parks’ words “an icon…


Four pedestrian crosswalks being added to East Wooster

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   BGSU students crossing East Wooster Street will have to worry less about dodging traffic – and motorists will have to be on their toes to not miss the four new crosswalks being added to the street. Four pedestrian crosswalks are being installed on East Wooster Street – one by the Stroh Center, and three between the traffic lights at Manville and South College avenues. A pedestrian safety study was conducted in the fall of 2015 around the Bowling Green State University campus, to identify locations that may need marked crosswalks. “They took all likely crossing points,” Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett said. “Our goal is to ensure everybody can cross the road.” The four crosswalks, costing a combined total of $489,191, are being paid for entirely by the Ohio Department of Transportation. Though there will be three crosswalks in a very short distance between the existing crosswalks at Manville and South College streets, Fawcett said the study did not foresee any resulting traffic congestion on East Wooster Street. “They incorporated the traffic counts in their studies,” he said. The construction going on now on East Wooster is the underground infrastructure needed, plus markings and signage. Plans call for the signals to be installed early next year. There are two different types of crosswalks being installed. Both types are new to Bowling Green. Two will be more traditional crosswalks with “refuge islands” in the middle of the street. The other two will be pedestrian hybrid beacons. The two pedestrian islands, which will have 6-inch high curbs, will be located in the middle of East Wooster Street – one near Founders residence hall (just east of Manville Avenue) and the other just west of the Falcon Health Center. They will be installed this year. The refuge islands in the middle will allow pedestrians to only worry about traffic from one direction at a time. “The goal for the island is to give a person an opportunity to maximize their safety,” Fawcett said. The two pedestrian hybrid beacons will be installed at the Stroh Center and across from McFall Center (just east of Troup Street.) The beacons, which remain passive unless a pedestrian wishes to cross, are activated by a push button. Once pushed, the yellow lights start flashing, followed by red lights to stop traffic. The lights remain red for the amount of time expected for pedestrians to cross the street. Once the lights are no longer red, traffic may resume. The pedestrian hybrid beacons will be completed in early 2018. Motorists who drive through the crossings while the red lights are shining can be cited for violating a traffic control device, similar to a stoplight violation. “It’s a very good example of a collaborative effort between BGSU, the city and ODOT, working on a common goal,” Fawcett said. “We’re pretty fortunate that ODOT is picking up the cost of these.”


BG council candidates try to win BGSU student votes

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council candidates wooed student voters Monday evening with promises to work on decent housing, better job opportunities and more renewable energy. Ten of the 13 candidates running for City Council spent two hours answering questions during a forum at Bowling Green State University. Third Ward candidate Mike Aspacher is running unopposed, so was present but did not participate. At-large candidate Carolyn Kawecka and Second Ward candidate Kent Ramsey were no-shows. The candidates were asked about three local topics by the moderators – rental housing, environmental safety, and the city-university relationship. They were asked how the city could hold landlords more accountable for the condition of rental properties. The question specifically referenced the “power over the city” held by landlords like the Newlove, Maurer and Green families. William Herald (Republican for Fourth Ward) said efforts have been made by the city to improve housing through such proposals as the master plan update. The city has worked on improving the appearance of neighborhoods, but “those efforts need to be continued,” he said. Scott Seeliger (Democrat for Fourth Ward) agreed that housing is a problem. “We certainly have an issue in housing.” He suggested that zoning changes would be the best way to make improvements. “We have to work with the owners. We have to work with the students.” John Zanfardino (Democrat for Second Ward) said the current programs in place for correcting substandard housing are insufficient. “I have grave concerns about the rental properties in Bowling Green.” Other communities, like Oxford, require that landlords have rental properties inspected prior to leasing. “You know that’s not happening here,” he said. “We kick the can down the road on this issue. We need to start hearing from students.” Hunter Sluss (Republican for First Ward) said his hometown of Sandusky hands out “pride awards” for homeowners that take care of their properties. The city also offers grants to help owners remodel homes. Such programs could help local landlords re-evaluate their properties, he said. Daniel Gordon (Democrat for First Ward) noted this is an ongoing issue. “We don’t like asking tough questions of ourselves.” There is a need to revitalize neighborhoods and improve housing stocks, and Gordon said he is working on drafting a plan that would make property owners more accountable. He asked the students to go to the city website to comment on the new Community Action Plan. “You need to chime in,” he said. Gregory Robinette (Republican for At-Large seat) agreed, “It’s important that everyone has access to safe housing.” He pointed out that several programs are already in place to help meet housing standards, such as code enforcement through the planning office, the recently published “Good Neighbor Guide,” the building code and inspections by the Wood County Health District. Those programs may need to be better advertised to residents, so they are aware of their options, he said. Sandy Rowland (Democrat for At-Large seat) explained that as a Realtor, she has seen first-hand some of the housing issues. “I have long had concerns about the housing stock in Bowling Green.” She has seen garages used for housing, and space heaters as the only source of warmth in homes. “We need safety inspections at the very least,” Rowland said, asking the students…


Under Friday night lights, homecoming crowd cheers on kickoff of BGSU fundraising campaign

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Under the lights Friday night, President Mary Ellen Mazey summoned up her former cheerleader self to whip up support for Bowling Green State University’s comprehensive campaign, “Changing Lives for the World.” Always a booster of the university she leads, Mazey turned her enthusiasm up a notch addressing a Homecoming Weekend crowd gathered to mark the kickoff of the public portion of the $200 million campaign. Mazey said given the good start she envisions the campaign topping the official goal, maybe raising as much as $250 million. Since the campaign was announced in spring, 2014, the university has raised $110 million in “leadership giving.” Now the university is ready to get the public engaged in the effort. The money will be used for facilities, scholarships as well as named professorships and academic programs. Mazey noted that BGSU is one of the very few colleges in Ohio that doesn’t have a named college. She’d like to see two by the time the campaign wraps up in 2020. Mazey said she and many others in attendance benefited from scholarships when they were students, and now it is time to return the favor. Two students who have benefited from those scholarships testified to their importance. Meg Burrell, former student representative on the Board of Trustees, talked about how she fell in love with BGSU. She arrived for her tour during “the worst weather,” but the tour went great.  It was her first one, and she felt this augured well for the rest. Yet 14 tours later, “I had not found another BGSU.” Receiving Presidential Leadership Scholar made her decision to become a Falcon easy. When Burrell arrived, she missed early activities on campus because she was working. “I realized this was not the kind of experience I wanted. I knew I was going to take advantage of any opportunity I could.” Though Burrell still worked two part-time jobs, she knew she could take time off for mock trial or other activities because she’d have the resources thanks to donors. Burrell said she looks forward to the time when she can join the ranks of BGSU alumni giving back to the university. Jauntez Bates, vice president of undergraduate student government, also a member of President’s Leadership Academy. Getting the scholarship “meant the world to me,” he said. “I didn’t know I would be able to do the things I’m doing now.” Bates, the child of a single mother, is from Detroit. He said he did not excel as a student, still a Thompson Scholarship allowed him to BGSU where he has excelled, and has his sights set on law school. He founded BossUpClothing, a company that mixes commerce with philanthropy. Bates said that the help from donors amounts to more than dollars. Conversations are an invaluable currency, he said. Not all students have the mentors they need to help them succeed One of those donors, Paul Hooker, an entrepreneur who graduated in the class of 1975, has funded four full-ride scholarships. Every time he comes back to Bowling Green he makes a point of meeting with the recipients. He’s proud of their accomplishments, and gratified in the knowledge that he helped “these human beings the chance to go to college.” Hooker and his wife, Margo, have donated to many…


BGSU talks about how to prevent Charlottesville here

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green State University students and staff met Tuesday to prevent their campus from becoming another Charlottesville. Many of those present had fresh memories of the white supremacy leaflets posted around campus this past spring. And they had even fresher memories of the images of the violence at a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville earlier this month. Tuesday’s scene at BGSU was set as Angelica Euseary and Zarina Cornelius, of the Black Student Union, played video of President Donald Trump’s three statements about Charlottesville. They reminded the audience of the Maumee man who drove his car into a crowd, killing one and injuring many more. Euseary said Tuesday’s “community conference” was a safe space, where no bashing was allowed. “Attack the argument, not the person,” she said. Those present were reminded that last spring BGSU was targeted by alt right white supremacists, who stuck materials around campus. Those items were quickly removed, but left a bad feeling among many on campus. Students wanted to know how BGSU police would handle a demonstration like the recent one in Charlottesville – if neo Nazis and other white supremacists came here to rally. BGSU Police Chief Mike Campbell said the campus department’s 24 sworn officers have trained for handling demonstrations – both passive protesters and active aggressors. But he admitted his office has limitations. “We’re a small agency,” he said. BGSU police department has mutual aid agreements with Bowling Green, Wood County and state law enforcement – who would be called in to assist. Campbell stressed that students could also help by sharing information with police. “You guys are going to understand things are brewing long before I do,” he said. He asked that students talk with police so they can prepare for demonstrations. “We’re going to take it seriously if we get word of something.” “We want to intervene early if we can,” Campbell said. Some students asked about freedom of speech – if there are lines that can’t legally be crossed. “That can be a difficult topic,” Campbell said. “We’re talking about a Constitutional right that applies to everyone,” even if some find the words offensive. “There’s a limit to what we can restrict.” Freedom of speech law can be tricky, he said. And there is no firm line defining when freedom of speech turns to hate speech. “Does that mean we can blanketly say what we want? No,” Campbell said. The chief also said that while BGSU has designated “freedom of speech” areas on campus, groups are allowed to hold rallies elsewhere on campus as long as they aren’t disrupting classes or the flow of student traffic. Campbell asked that students look at the police as partners on campus. “Our sole purpose is the safety and security of the university,” he said. “We want to make sure this is a safe environment.” “The last thing I want you to do is look at us as just the cops on campus,” the chief said. One student asked about police training for working with marginalized people – blacks, transgender, mentally ill. She asked about sensitivity training for the department. Campbell listed off the required training for all the officers. But the student said that training was all institutionalized, and asked if there might be…


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 pleased to have such high ranking visitors – but at the same time, they were comfortable enough to continue cracking open beers as they talked. The students said they would take down the large sign, and the city and university officials planned to return later to make sure it stayed down. Most of the other stops along the door-to-door route were far less eventful. Oftentimes students were caught off guard to see the mayor and university president knocking at their front doors. “Please put on a good face,” for visitors to the city and campus, Mazey told one student who had a shocked look on her face when she opened the door. “Spread the good word.” As they walked along the sidewalk, Edwards stopped to chat with some new BGSU students from Bangladesh. At another house, they encountered three male students. “Good behavior this weekend – that’s all we ask,” Mazey said. After the distinguished guests left, the students said they did not feel the city and university were cramping their freedoms. “It’s not an issue, we’re fine with that,” Mark Buzzard said. For all those houses where no one answered the doors, official letters were left behind for the students living on the front porch of the city and campus. The letters offer the following tips to students living off-campus: Make meaningful contact. Introduce yourself to neighbors. A simple hello goes a long way to building relationships. Know neighbors on a personal level. Ask questions about their interests, professions, backgrounds and their family. Be considerate. Please think about your neighbors’ schedules, which may be different from yours, and be considerate. Making too much noise, particularly late at night, is…


Girls sink their teeth into STEM … and sharks

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The slimy, smelly spiny dogfish sharks were placed on the lab tables in front of the young girls. “Ewwwww,” one girl said squeamishly. “I can never eat gummy sharks again,” another girl said. This was the moment they had been waiting for at Tech Trek week – shark dissection. They were armed with gloves, scalpels and scissors to open up the gray sharks native to Australia. Some were a little timid about slicing into the sharks. “Oh my goodness,” one girl said with apprehension. Others were ready to explore. “I call dibs on making the first cut,” another said with glee. The shark dissection class Wednesday at Bowling Green State University’s Tech Trek week was just one of several sessions to help the participants realize that their female gender should not keep them from careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The fifth annual Tech Trek, supported by the American Association of University Women, is intended to make STEM educations and careers more accessible to girls. The program is only open to girls, so they are encouraged to pursue their STEM interests in an environment free from stereotypes, and given the chance to believe in themselves. Tech Trek is based off of the research titled “Why So Few?” which shows that women enter STEM fields at much lower rates compared to their male peers.  The research also showed that the crucial time to get to girls before they give up on STEM careers is in junior high. “The most critical time to impact them is between seventh and eighth grade,” said Dr. Deborah Wooldridge, professor and director of the BGSU School of Family and Consumer Sciences, who is head of the Tech Trek week. “We expose them to all areas of STEM.” The 55 girls all came to the camp with existing interests in STEM subjects. The camp builds on those interests, and teaches them that their gender should not dampen their enthusiasm or slow their success. “There are lots of subliminal messages out there – that’s just not what women do,” Wooldridge said of STEM careers. Many STEM professions are still male-dominated. “Computer science is tough to break into,” she said. By the end of the week, the girls should have no doubt that they are mightier than the glass ceiling that may have held back earlier generations. “It’s interesting to watch the change in the girls,” Wooldridge said. In addition to core courses and workshops, the girls also go on field trips and have chances to talk to women who have made their careers in STEM professions. The girls visited Owens-Illinois, where they met with women researchers. “They have a large group of women in STEM,” Wooldridge said of O-I. “We are letting them see other women in STEM so they have a role model.” The girls also got to interact with a panel of women in a “speed dating,” type of setting, where they could go around and ask questions of women in different STEM careers. Topics covered during the week were: Science: neurobiology, microbiology, chemistry, cancer in brain cells, physics, biology, kinesiology, and physics. Technology: robotics, computer coding, cyber security, app development and blog site development for camp blogging. Engineering: civil engineering and water filtration systems, field…


BGSU turns to Campbell to lead public safety

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   Bowling Green State University has turned to an insider to fill the position of police chief and director of public safety. In a letter to BGSU faculty, staff and students, Vice President for Finance and Administration Sheri Stoll announced that Michael Campbell, who has been serving as the interim chief since last October, has been named as permanent chief. The university conducted a nationwide search, eventually selecting three finalists. In addition to Campbell, the search committee interviewed candidates from Northeast Ohio and Ann Arbor. Campbell took over as interim chief when Monica Moll left BGSU to become director of public safety at Ohio State University. It was Moll who hired Campbell as a patrol captain in April, 2011. According to Stoll’s message: “In his time at BGSU, his leadership has been critical in creating important training and professional development programs and opportunities for his officers.” He serves on a number of campus and town-gown committees, including Not in Our Town. Campbell takes over as the campus is being roiled by complaints about how sexual assaults are being handled by the university. Campbell participated in press briefings and interviews about the issue, explaining the department’s procedures. He said on the day of a protest that drew 200 people that he is always looking at ways to improve how the department does things. During another interview, he said, that his officers will do what they can to assist victims, including accompanying them to the Bowling Green City Police of the assault occurred off campus. Sexual assault cases, whether or not they are prosecuted, are also investigated by the university’s Title IX office. After graduating from Adrian College with a degree in criminal justice, Campbell started his career in law enforcement at the University of Toledo. He has a Master of Science in criminal justice from BGSU.


BG teamwork touted in ‘State of the City’ address

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Though it may sound trite, it’s teamwork that makes Bowling Green work, and it’s those teammates who will get it through tough times in the future. That teamwork was seen in city government last year, with a solar field being built, a park levy being passed, streets being paved, sidewalks being replaced and trees being planted, Mayor Dick Edwards said Thursday during the annual State of the City address. Vital members of the team are Bowling Green City Schools and Bowling Green State University, which have the ability to bring new residents and businesses to the community. “There are hundreds of details,” to make a community work, Edwards said during the address hosted by the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce. Among the many teammates are the fire division which responded to more than 3,000 calls last year, and the police division that reached out to the community with a new “Coffee with Cops” program. Both divisions are nationally accredited – which only six cities in Ohio can boast. “This speaks directly to their extremely high level of service,” Edwards said. “It’s a very, very demanding process.” Last year, economic development in the city brought in investments of more than $47 million in machinery and equipment, and more than $24 million in business construction. “Bowling Green is on the right track for 2017,” the mayor said, noting that during his annual visits with industries, many have indicated they are likely to add more jobs. The city’s utilities also continue to be a point of pride – with a state-of-the-art water treatment plant, an electric system that recently was awarded for reliability, and the building of the largest solar field in Ohio. The city’s energy portfolio is now nearly 40 percent renewable power, which is “almost unparalleled,” the mayor said. “Our utility rates are among the best and most competitive in the region,” Edwards said. The mayor pointed out the city’s historic commitment to earmarking a portion of its income tax revenue for utilities. “We are a fortunate community to have the level of service” from city utilities, he said. The city, however, continues to struggle with declining general fund revenue. “We’re been wrestling with this for a decade,” Edwards said. Cuts from federal and state government have led to annual losses of more than $1.8 million since 2007. The result has been a “much leaner” city government, despite increases in local income tax revenue. “We have reacted in a responsible and very conscientious manner,” Edwards said. But the city is now faced with a decision on how to help the general fund recover. Two of the options being considered are privatizing garbage collection or shifting the income tax revenues so more goes into the general fund. With teamwork, Edwards is confident the city can weather this revenue issue as it has dealt with problems in the past. “I remain optimistic we will be able to respond in a fair manner,” the mayor said. The city is also looking toward the completion of the Community Action Plan, progress on the downtown green space, and work on the proposed roundabouts on East Wooster Street at the Interstate 75 interchanges. “I share with you a real sense of optimism and hope for our city in 2017,”…


Renters’ guide rates landlords and housing units

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   More than 1,000 apartment and house renters in Bowling Green have filled out a survey ranking their landlords and living units. The results were compiled into a first-ever BGSU Renter’s Guide, intended to help students make more informed decisions before they sign leases in Bowling Green. The information is pulled from direct responses from students surveyed on their satisfaction with different rental agencies in the city. The BGSU Renter’s Guide is a joint project of the Undergraduate Student Government, the Graduate Student Senate and Off Campus Student Services. Such a guide has been offered for Ohio State University students for years. A total of 25 landlords are listed in the survey along with the ratings by their former renters. The highest number of survey responses came from renters of Greenbriar, Copper Beach, Falcon’s Pointe, Mecca Management and John Newlove. The rental costs range from the lowest of $100 to $199 a month for 19 respondents, to the highest of more than $1,000 a month for three respondents. The most common rental cost was between $300 and $399 a month. The renters were asked about how easy it was to contact their landlord with concerns. The responses ranged from 40 percent who strongly agreed it was easy, to 16 percent who strongly disagreed. Landlords  were ranked on whether or not they answered questions prior to the students moving in, whether students were given the same apartment they toured, whether students were satisfied with the apartment when they first moved in, and whether or not landlords maintained the interior and exterior of rentals. Less than half, 48 percent, strongly agreed that their landlords maintained the exterior of their homes. Even fewer, 39 percent, strongly agreed that the landlords maintained the interior. Renters were also asked how quickly their landlords responded to emergency maintenance issues. Renters from some landlords said they always responded with 24 hours. But other landlords took more than two weeks to respond, according to the survey. The renter’s survey can be found on the BGSU off-campus student services website. The guide also advises renters to ask basic questions before signing a lease, such as: What are the lease terms? What is included in the rent? Can I decorate my apartment? What is your maintenance and emergency repairs policy? How long does it take to repair a leaky faucet or replace a torn window screen? What are safety and security policies? The guide also give renters tips on rental insurance, how to mediate roommate conflicts, how to get security deposits back, and how landlords must give 24 hours notice prior to entering a rental unit. The survey comes with a disclaimer from BGSU. “The landlord survey response data collected and presented by the Office of the Dean of Students in conjunction with Bowling Green State University does not reflect the opinions, position or endorsement of said office or university and no responsibility will be assumed for users’ interpretation or reaction to the data,” the disclaimer states. The renter’s guide survey was administered to the off-campus student population through Off-Campus Student Services. The survey was administered in April 2016 to all BGSU students who did not reside in on-campus housing. The survey yielded 1,051 completed responses which was an 11.4 percent response rate.


Citizens urged to support ‘sanctuary campus’ plan

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Undocumented immigrants protected under President Barack Obama’s administration now face uncertainty when Donald Trump is sworn in as president next week. Across the country, approximately 800,000 people have registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy that allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation. But that status is now at risk. “These undocumented youth are stuck in the middle of this,” said Luis Moreno, who teaches Latino studies at Bowling Green State University. Based on Trump’s stance during the presidential campaign, those previously protected are now exposed. Since DACA was an executive order by Obama, Trump could revoke it as soon as he is in office. “Students might be detained next week,” said Michaela Walsh, who also teaches Latino studies at BGSU. People who previously signed up for DACA gave the government information, “which makes them even more vulnerable.” Moreno and Walsh led a community meeting Thursday evening about efforts to create a “sanctuary campus” at BGSU. More than 350 signatures have been collected on a petition that will be presented next week to the BGSU Faculty Senate. The goal is to garner support and convince BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey and the university trustees to consider the sanctuary concept. “We want to provide buffers from people being deported,” Walsh said. Bowling Green has a large immigrant population, including those undocumented. “There is a community here of undocumented students and employees at the university,” Moreno said, though no numbers were known. “As citizens, it’s our duty to protect those people,” Walsh said. A woman in the crowd at the community meeting at Grounds for Thought agreed. “It’s time for people in this community who feel safe to stand up,” she said. Moreno noted how BGSU’s president has worked to promote diversity on campus, and added that he hoped that her dedication to students would extend to undocumented students. Other universities across the nation are considering similar actions. A student in the crowd asked how they could help. It was suggested that students make their opinions known to Mazey as she begins a “listening tour” on campus. “You have a lot of power,” Walsh said. Another person in the crowd asked if BGSU would lose federal funding if it became a sanctuary campus. The organizers said that is possible, but “there’s time to mount resistance to that,” Walsh said. Another audience member, Raymond Gomez, said the issue extends far beyond campus. He talked about a co-worker who is an undocumented immigrant. “He’s been here almost 50 years,” Gomez said. “We have to take this further than the university. I’m going to be God darned if I let them be ripped out of the country at gunpoint.” Wood County has an estimated 6,000 Latino residents, according to Moreno. “I’m still questioned today if I was born here,” he said, noting his family has been in the U.S. for generations. “There assume we are undocumented. Those stereotypes also affect me.” Those organizing the sanctuary effort are hoping that the campus concept can be expanded to the city and the county to offer greater protection. Those in the audience were encouraged to attend Bowling Green City Council meetings. “The more…


NCNW hosts Women’s Empowerment Concert

Submitted by NCNW of BGSU The National Council of Negro Women Inc, Bowling Green State University Section, was established Spring of 2008. NCNW serves its national purpose and mission which is to lead, develop, advocate, inform, and unify the African American Women of Bowling Green State University’s campus and its surrounding communities as they support their individual, family, and societal efforts and lifestyles. NCNW implements our mission through bi-weekly meetings, community service, workshops, annual events, awareness and fundraising. NCNW hosts a variety of events to fulfill our organizational purpose and mission. This Saturday we will be hosting our first big event, which is our 8th Annual Women’s Empowerment Concert. This year our theme is “Evolution of a Black Woman: More Than a Stereotype.” Our concert is unique because it consists of students using their special talents to empower woman through rap, dance, song, spoken word, etc. This year we have some hardworking students with very raw power performing. The second portion of the concert is dedicated to a special guest performance. This year, R&B singer Cree and her live band from Detroit, Michigan will visit Bowling Green State University giving us an exclusive and uplifting performance. There will also be food, drinks, interactive games, a live DJ, other women’s organizations and raffle for exclusive art pieces of black women donated from different artists in many different states. Concert will be November 19, 2016 from 6-9PM in Oslcamp 101. Tickets can be purchased in the student union this week from 11-3PM and at the event. Tickets are $3 for students, $5 for non-students, and $1 for NCNW members. To receive a discounted ticket, guest are allowed to bring in a canned good or feminine product to receive $1 off the ticket price. Donations will be given to the Cocoon Shelter in Bowling Green, Ohio. If you have any additional questions regarding the concert, feel free to contact myself or the chair of this event Khadirah Hobbs at khobbs@bgsu.edu.