BGSU

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…


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…


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…


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…


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)…


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…


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…


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…


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 –…


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…


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…


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…


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.


BGSU students feel hatred unleashed by election

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The election season has unleashed a deep hatred that is causing many Bowling Green State University students to feel uncomfortable on campus and in the community. “I feel like I have to walk around with my head on a swivel,” said one African American student at a Town Hall held on campus Monday evening. “I shouldn’t feel like this. I paid to go here. I feel unsafe on this campus.” Students shaken by the results of last week’s election met to create a safe place to talk. They heard story after story of fear, anger and uncertainty of the future. Amira Hassnauoui, head of the Graduate Student Senate, could not hold back the tears as she talked about her decision to come to America from Tunisia. “This is not the America I signed up for when I left my homeland,” she said. “This is my new home. I am here, but I am not a citizen and that scares me.” Some of the anger was prompted by an attack reported by an African American student last week. On Facebook, the student reported she was attacked by a group of white males on Crim Street next to campus. Though students and faculty get emergency alerts for other incidents, many said they received no notice from the university and heard about the reported attack several days later. The students and faculty present demanded to know why they had not been informed through the normal alert system. Tom Gibson, vice president for student affairs and vice provost, explained that university officials found out about the incident through social media – it was not initially reported to campus or city police. Once university officials became aware, they contacted the victim and worked with her to report the incident to city police, he said. “We take these issues very, very seriously,” Gibson said. “I take these issues very, very seriously.” The university then sent an email communication out to students within 24 to 48 hours after the incident, he said. “It wasn’t…