?

Log in

We Blog FoCo
Writing about Fort Collins, Colo. and Colorado State University
Recent Entries 
18th-Dec-2009 01:48 pm - Concealed Carry War Wages On

 

 

 

The Board of Governors latest quick-draw response toward concealed weaponry on campus has worked to quell the voice of the student. The policy put in place by the board helps to perpetuate a contentious stand-off between students and administration regarding the most heated weapon in the world.

The unanimous Dec. 4 decision brought down by the BOG will end all previously standing concealed weaponry legislation at Colorado State. The Board has given both Fort Collins and Pueblo campuses until February to formulate specific policies suited for each university.

ASCSU senator David Ambrose, who helped in creating the initial Concealed Carry legislation, feels the Board of Governors ruling does not necessarily mean the end for guns on CSU’s campus.

“The policy makes serious restrictions regarding weapons on campus,” Ambrose said. “But nowhere does it blatantly ban them, we will hope that President Tony Frank makes a policy suitable for the wants of its students.”

Concealed Carry laws, which give citizens with carry permits the right to arm themselves on campus, were initially passed at Colorado State on Oct. 7.

            In the wake of the BOG’s policy, the bout between students, faculty and administrators at Colorado State has suddenly become highly publicized, creating a polarized divide between supporters and dissenters.

            “State statutes say we are legally allowed to carry weapons,” Ambrose said. “It’s as if we are second class citizens.”

            Hundreds of CSU students agree with Ambrose, as proven by the 1,203 signatures received by ASCSU in support of Concealed Carry legislation.

ASCSU president Daniel Gearhart, the lone student representative sitting on the board, remains intent on having the voice of the students heard.

“The Board of Governors was doing what they thought was best for CSU,” Gearhart said. “However I found it hard to see what they think is best when they are not attending the university.”

            Those in support of concealed weaponry on campus most often provide one statistic: There has never been an incident of school shooting for campuses with Concealed Carry law in place.

            Considering only thirteen campuses in the country allow for concealed weaponry, and only three (including CSU) are located outside the state of Utah, political science professor J.A. Straayer doesn’t believe the statistic is good enough.

            “People cite that campuses where you can carry a concealed weapon nobody has ever been shot,” Straayer said. “How many campuses are there like that? That’s just a nonsense statistic.”

            Straayer, a political science professor, polled his afternoon class of nearly 200 to get an idea of the true stance of CSU students regarding concealed weaponry.

            In that poll, 47% said they supported ASCSU’s pro-concealed carry stance, while the other 53% said they backed the BOG’s policy banning concealed carry laws.

            “The majority of those in favor of weapons on campus were not surprisingly men,” said Straayer. “Women just tend not to be as excited about packing heat as do guys.”

            The university will make its final decision on the matter in February, as CSU President Tony Frank works to initiate a bill to determine whether or not the university will retain its right as one of the few campuses in the nation to allow concealed weapons.

            Members of the student body are planning to make their stance known, with rumors of a protest in the works. Erin Hunt, who is a student employee of CSUPD, said the group plans on wearing empty holsters to campus next semester to show support for ASCSU and their pro-concealed carry stance.

            “We want to show in a non-threatening way, that these are the people who support carrying on campus,” Hunt said. “It makes us more visible.”

            Visibility remains a prominent theme in the ongoing saga between ASCSU and administrators, but according to President of Faculty Council Richard Eykholt, the BOG has exclusive authority in matters of campus safety.

            “The Faculty Council and the Administrative Professional Council both passed resolutions urging the restriction of possession of weapons on campus,” Eykholt said. “Hence, any action by the Board would have gone against the wishes of at least one campus constituency.”

            According to Eykholt, the 21-3 vote in favor of concealed carry by ASCSU remains the lone entity on campus against the ban on weapons.

            The divide between those in support and those in opposition of concealed weaponry often is built by personal feelings of safety or danger one draws from the presence of a gun.

            For Andy Ries, a 22-year old graduate of Rocky Mountain High School, the thought of guns on campus makes him think back to his senior year of high school when a gun-wielding sophomore made it public that he had a gun.

            “You only give encouragement to those with bad intentions by legalizing the presence of guns at school,” Ries said. “That is not a sound decision.”

            Sean Slevin, a mechanical engineering major at CSU, was also attending Rocky Mountain on that day. For Slevin, the ability to defend himself would’ve been ideal in retrospect.

            “The bad apples have a way of running wild when they know they can,” Slevin said. “Having the right to defend ourselves is laid out in the Constitution and should not be something that is this easy to rip away.”

            The opinionated clash will likely continue well into next semester, as the universities final policy is put in place.

            “I don’t think it’s a good idea for people to be carrying guns around at an academic institution,” said Straayer, who has been employed at CSU for 43 years. “It makes people nervous and apprehensive, and there’s always a chance of an accident.”

            According to Concealed Campus, an online organization in support of concealed carry, students are “no more nervous or unwilling to attend school with knowledge of potential concealed guns than they would be in a crowded theater or shopping mall, where citizens are legally allowed to conceal weaponry”.

            Students are coming out in massive numbers in support of ASCSU, including student media’s largest entity, the Collegian. In a Dec. 14 staff editorial, Collegian writers pegged the Board of Governors as “pansies”, describing their decision as “political cowardess”.

            ASCSU is going one step further in their defense, stating that state legislators, namely Republican Greg Brophy, are drafting documents challenging the Board’s that have been endorsed by several senators.

            “Its hard for anyone in the student body to form their own opinion when all we hear is that we’re supposed to be in support of weapons,” said Drew Pappas, a freshman journalism major. “It’s interesting how media shapes our opinions that are supposed to be our own.”

            The holiday season will offer ample time for board members, ASCSU representatives, and faculty alike an opportunity to consider their next move. With the final policy looming, the showdown will surely wage well into the months ahead.

             

           

             

 

           

           

 

Andy: Court
Gymnastics: The truth behind the gold medals
December 15, 2009
By: Brittany Evans

At age 6, Jaia Sattler enrolled in a gymnastics class at Fort Collins, Colo.’s GK Gymnastics private gym. The ballet lessons she took at the gym piqued her interest in gymnastics, leading her from dance to a new sport, one she was immediately in love with. “When I watched it with my mom, when I was growing up, I always wanted to do what they were doing,” she says. “I would even say, ‘Me do, me do!’”

She started competing at Level 4, the lowest competitive level in gymnastics (with the highest being Level 10). By the time she turned 10 in 2001, she was competing nationally as a Level 7 gymnast. One year later, she jumped up two levels to Level 9 where she qualified for the state competition—quite an accomplishment for a girl who had just started gymnastics five years earlier.

But Level 9 was where everything stalled for Jaia. She spent three more years at the same level, and that’s when the sport began to wear down her body. In the fall of 2004, she broke the ball of her foot in half attempting a back tuck (a single back flip) on the balance beam. “It went misdiagnosed as a sprained ankle, so I competed on it that spring season,” she says. “It gave me so many issues that we got it checked out. I ended up having surgery on it the day before I was supposed to compete at State in March 2005.”

The following summer, she tore a ligament in her right ankle—an injury that went unnoticed until she tore another ligament in the same ankle. During high school gymnastics at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colo. a couple months later, she rolled both ankles when she did a straddle jump (a jump in which the legs go out to each side to form a 180-degree split) and landed on the outsides of her feet. She finished the high school season with bruised and swollen ankles, but the injury forced her to miss the entire club season that winter. In May 2007, only a couple more months later, she sprained her left ankle, requiring ankle ligament reconstruction surgery that fall—which she delayed until after her senior-year high school season ended; it too ended her club gymnastics career. But her injuries weren’t done with yet; at the high school state championships, she landed a Tsukahara vault short (in which the hands cartwheel onto the top of the horse and then the body flips backward off the horse), fracturing her tibia above the growth plate.

She says now, looking back, that all of her injuries cost her one of the ultimate goals every gymnast has: to become an elite (moving beyond Level 10). “I really do believe that if I had not experienced the injuries that I had during my gymnastics career, that I would have made it to elite level,” she says. “I had the right training and was strong, but the injuries left me out of the gym for months, (and I had) to relearn and relearn constantly, making it hard to move up.”

Another goal that she shared with other gymnasts and thought she could have accomplished if it were not for her injuries: making the Olympics. “Watching the gymnasts compete gave me the biggest thrill because I would imagine that being me and representing my country in the greatest sport,” she says. “I truly thought it could be a reality as long as I stayed as dedicated as I was and kept training like I did. I even had friends at school asking me when I was going to the Olympics.”

---


Jaia is one of nearly 50 million gymnasts worldwide, according to Bruno Grandi, president of the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (the governing board for international gymnastics more commonly known as the FIG). As much as Jaia wanted to become an elite gymnast, the odds wouldn’t help her either; only about 2000 of those 50 million gymnasts make the elite level. And her chances of making the Olympics? Only 196 men and women competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Injuries top the list of reasons that elite gymnasts are a rarity. As gymnasts rise from the beginner levels and through the United States Gymnastics Association’s competitive levels (starting at Level 4 and ending with Level 10; elite gymnasts go beyond Level 10), the skills required of them increase in difficulty and riskiness.

A Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio study ranked the skills most likely to cause injury in gymnastics. At the bottom of the list: headstands and splits (accounting for 1.7 percent and 2.1 percent of all gymnastics injuries, respectively). Topping the rankings are cartwheels and handsprings/flips (30.7 percent and 42.3 percent, respectively). Every year, an average 27,000 injuries occur for gymnasts between the ages of 6 and 17; the average age of an elite gymnast is 19, perhaps explaining why so few gymnasts make it to the elite level—because so many become injured before reaching age 19.

The Ohio study results mirror a British study that shows these injury trends are not exclusive to the United States. An article printed in Britain’s “Times Online” claims that “gymnastics is almost as dangerous as rugby, with thousands of children suffering injuries each year;” rugby is regarded as one of the most physically-demanding sports in Europe. The study explains that 2,600 children are admitted to the hospital every year from gymnastics injuries. “The youngsters suffer broken bones, strains, sprains, dislocations and head injuries,” the article details. “For every 10,000 children doing gymnastics each year, 52 will end up going to the hospital, compared with 75 young rugby players.”

Some of the most common injuries in gymnastics that account for the 27,000 each year include anterior cruciate ligament (located in the knee) tears and stress fractures (which can occur in any bone but is primarily seen in the feet and legs). “ACL injuries have been considered an epidemic in female athletes who participate in twisting and cutting sports such as gymnastics,” M. R. Hutchinson, a former USAG team physician, says in his sports medicine abstract. “Variations of neuromuscular characteristics including strength, agonist-antagonist ratios, Proprioception (defined as “the unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself”) and motor initiation sequences have been identified in female athletes and may be associated with the increased risk of ACL injuries in gymnasts.”
Similarly, Hutchinson notes that occurrences of stress fractures continue to rise in gymnasts. “The incidence of stress fractures is associated with nutritional factors, training intensity, feeling of well-being and technique,” Hutchinson says. “Prevention is focused on gradual progressions of intensity, good energy balance, early and aggressive treatment, and proper technique.”

---


At private gyms across the United States, coaches begin their gymnasts on the elite track as early as possible; the younger a gymnast can begin to perfect skills, the more time a gymnast has to become elite. Adding to the pressures to succeed at younger ages are the requirements to compete in the Olympics; beginning at the 2012 London games, gymnasts must be 16 when the Olympics start. Coaches and gymnasts want to qualify for the Olympics as soon as possible, and that means being ready before age 16.

Coaches recognize the time constraints for developing an Olympic-ready gymnast. Bela Karolyi, one of the USAG’s national coaches, leads the way in producing Olympic champions. He helped bring the Romanian gymnastics program to the fore-front of success in the sport before coming to America to build the USAG program into a gymnastics powerhouse. Among the girls whom he coached to medals: Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton and Dominique Moceanu.

In her book “Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters,” sports writer Joan Ryan details Karolyi’s training methods that began in his home country of Romania. “The system was based on militaristic control,” she writes. “His gymnasts lived in dormitories at the gym in Romania, trained seven to eight hours a day, fit in a few hours of school and ate only what the Karolyis fed them.”
He brought the same regime to America in 1981, but most gyms rejected him as a coach, citing “too many hours, too much pain, too little freedom.” He eventually found a coaching job with the University of Oklahoma before opening his own gym. Ryan writes: “As Karolyi established himself in the United States as the top coach, some of the same symptoms Westerners had denounced in the Eastern Bloc system—the blank faces, the abnormally small bodies, the bandaged ankles, broken wrists and compressed vertebrae—were beginning to appear in American gymnasts.”

Despite these problems that began to appear, gymnasts still flocked to Karolyi’s gyms in Texas to train. He helped lead the Magnificent Seven—America’s 1996 Olympic gold medal-winning women’s gymnastics team—to success in Atlanta; of the seven girls on the team, two belonged to Karoyli: Kerri Strug and Dominque Moceanu (the youngest gymnast to ever compete at the Olympics). Other American international medalists who have called Karolyi coach include Kim Zmeskal, Kristi Phillips and Mary Lou Retton. In 2008, though not a coach, Karolyi followed the American team to Beijing where he cheered on all-around champion Nastia Liukin.

Karolyi is not the only coach to hold his gymnasts to such high standards, but his case remains the top example for how gymnasts used to train and why they should train differently today. The USAG has implemented regulations for training and takes injury more seriously than was the case during Karolyi’s first years in America. It’s not only the coaches, though, who expect gymnasts to train to such extremes; gymnasts push themselves to the brink, all in the quest of being one of those 196 Olympians every four years.

Gymnasts follow the mantra that “injury is just time wasted in an already short career.” The chapter in Ryan’s book concerning injury is titled “If it isn’t bleeding, don’t worry about it.” The backs of some gymnasts’ t-shirts read “Pain is just weakness leaving the body, so gymnasts must be really strong.” It is this disregard for the long-term effects of injury that worries Ray Browning, a sports medicine professor at Colorado State University. “Does a 13-year-old have the ability to make decisions about long-term life?” he asks. “Is the human body at 12, 13 capable of sustaining (that level of competition) long term? I suspect the answer is ‘no.’” He says that the pressure to succeed is too great for the girls on the elite track and that they will sacrifice their bodies for short-term gains. “It’s easy to (tell gymnasts) that you’ll make the Olympics (now) but not be able to walk at 17,” he says. “And they say they’ll use a wheel chair (for the rest of their life in order to make the Olympics now).”

Browning cites the Olympic age regulations as a source for the destructive attitudes that young gymnasts hold, and suggestions to relax regulations to allow younger gymnasts to compete at the sport’s biggest competition has him even more worried. “I interpret the Olympics as being designed to showcase athleticism, not freak shows,” he says. “Should we have a 9-year-old in the Olympics? When do we draw the line?”
Brian Butki, also a professor in the Health and Exercise Science department at Colorado State University, agrees with Browning that the Olympic age regulations for gymnastics should not be lowered. “There should be a minimum age in any league (or sport),” he says. “With an 11-year-old, there are bone growth problems (you’d be looking at).” He says that allowing younger athletes into the Olympics will lead to children losing valuable time in their childhood. “Be a kid. That’s the most developmental part of life. Relax a little.”

---


A year after fracturing her leg, Jaia returned to the gym as a freshman at Colorado State University, but she came back only as a recreational gymnast. “Once I realized the Olympics may be a stretch, I wanted to work towards getting a college scholarship,” she says. She considered training to walk on to a college gymnastics team her sophomore year but reevaluated that goal after realizing the long-term impact gymnastics had on her body. “I’ve got doctors and my physical therapist saying that with all the trauma my body has taken, it would be physically impossible for me to be doing gymnastics competitively again.”

Looking back on her career as a competitive gymnast, Jaia can understand why so few gymnasts survive to compete at the elite level. “It takes over your life,” she says. “Most elite gymnasts are in the gym for anywhere from five to seven hours each day. It’s a huge commitment and is straining on your body, which turns more girls off…You have to love this sport more than it hates you.”

CSU offers a gymnastics club for students to join for a small fee each semester, and Jaia couldn’t pass on the chance to stay in the gym for a little longer, even if it was just a recreational club. “I love gymnastics so much that it is good enough to be doing it all.”
15th-Dec-2009 03:33 pm - Depth story comment
The part of my depth story that I struggled the most with was getting athletes and coaches to do interviews and talk to me when I do not work for a newspaper or tv station. Many found it not worth their while to talk to someone that will not be published, and just used for a class. It has been interesting getting the few interviews I could and I have learned a lot about the women's volleyball team and the players.
15th-Dec-2009 03:26 pm - beat 1
Ready, Set, Serve

CSU SLiCE Office Challenges Students to Get Involved in the Community

The Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLiCE) office at Colorado State University offer an abundance of community service opportunities to the students and the Fort Collins residents. SLiCE acts as the liaison between the students and the community to find opportunities for students to give back. With multiple diverse upcoming opportunities, including Cans Around the Oval, the SLiCE office challenges CSU students to get involved and make a difference.

SLiCE is gearing up for Cans Around the Oval, which CSU's October food collection that goes toward the Food Bank for Larimer County. According to Britt Reiser, Special Events Coordinator for the Presidents Leadership Program, “Cans Around the Oval brings in more food than any other food drive in most of Colorado.” Cans Around the Oval has been a tradition at CSU since the fall of 1987. Last year, CSU raised $25,000 which was the most financial donations in Cans history.

Many students, like Reiser, enjoy working and volunteering with SLiCE because of the great atmosphere and diverse opportunities. "My favorite part about SLiCE is that I get to work with people who have similar values and goals as I do, and I love to see everyone so motivated for positive change and have the energy just pulse through the office," said Britt.

One of the SLiCE office's largest projects is CSUnity, which is a community service project that organizations, clubs, faculty, alumni and all students are invited to work on. According to the CSU SLiCE office website, CSUnity had the most volunteers for any one-day event in most of Colorado. When spring rolls around, SLiCE gears up for CSUnity and the volunteer’s efforts are greatly seen within the community. Over 2,000 CSU students gather for a day of service in and around the Fort Collins community. Some previous community service activities have included planting trees, painting houses, visiting with senior citizens, and sorting food, . This spring the date for CSUnity is Saturday, April 17, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Alternative Weekends are also offered through the SLiCE office. Alternative Break Site Leaders, including Britt, just had a weekend retreat for site-leaders and are planning a week long service trip to numerous places around the country and world, for spring or winter break. The site leaders are in charge of recruiting participants, planning the trip and creating group dynamics.

Special Needs Swim is another opportunity that SLiCE offers to students. Students swim with children and adults with disabilities every Thursday and Sunday throughout the school year. Volunteers interact with community in the EPIC swimming pool for exercise, games and friendship. These sessions offer the opportunity for those with disabilities to develop relationships, improve body coordination and skills, and to get involved with SLiCE. To get involved, the SLiCE volunteers suggest students walk in and ask what is going on to learn about all of the opportunities. There are over 350 registered student organizations to get involved with including anything from Double Dutch Jump Roping, Club Sports, Greek Life, and Snowriders. Many of these clubs work with SLiCE in community service opportunities year round.

For more information, please check out their website at http://www.slice.colostate.edu/ or visit them in the Lory Student Center, directly behind the Campus Information Center. There are 11 professional staff members and 30 student staff members ready to help and set students up with a new way to give back to the Fort Collins community.


Contact Information:

SLiCE Office

113 Lory Student Center
8033 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523
Phone: (970) 491-1682
Fax: (970) 491-2826
The Women’s Foundation Hosts Annual Luncheon

Over 2,000 women gather to hear key note speaker Lisa Ling


Denver, COLO. – The Women’s Foundation Annual Luncheon with guest speaker Lisa Ling occurred on November 12, 2009 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colo. This was the largest women’s convention in the state with over 2,000 women in attendance.


The Women’s Foundation of Colorado has been around for over 20 years. In 2008 they granted over $250,000 to women and girls The Foundation commits its focus to five areas: Research, Education, Public Policy Reform, Grant making, and Fundraising. So far this year they have made over 1 million in grants plus another half million that was donated to research and advocacy.

.

Christine Benara, the Current chair of The Board of Trustees of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado stated that their goal is to have every woman in Colorado become self sufficient and every girl be on the right path to self sufficiency.


This foundation has had immense success, but the organization members describe how they are constantly pushing further and not resting on past success. In Benara’s term they created the Power the Change Endowment Campaign and raised over 11 million dollars in eighteen months with over 1,400 donors contributing. “There is always somebody that wants to make a difference.”


Currently 315,000 women and girls are in poverty in the Denver area. Over 7,000 girls drop out of school each year, and the members of the foundation believe and truly understand that this is where the problem must be addressed.


“We need your help, and we need you to help Colorado’s women and girls. Think big, be bold, make a change,” said Jeannie Ritter, the First Lady of Colorado.


Mayor John Hickenlooper, one of the seven men in attendance, quoted Nancy Ragen and described the potential of this organization saying “A women is like a tea bag, you don’t know her strength until you put her in hot water.”

Denise Whinnen, from the Gay and Lesbian Foundation spoke of the power of collective philanthropy for benefiting women and girls it’s importance. “When you invest in women and girls, you invest in families, communities, and future children,” said Whinnen.


After many presentations and guest speakers, the key note speaker was welcome to the stage with a round of applause as the 2,000 women in the room rose to their feet.


Lisa Ling was selected as the key note speaker for this luncheon because of her extraordinary work and accomplishments. She is a special correspondent for the National Geographic Channel, and the Oprah Show, as well as the series, Planet in Peril.


She has been a self-sufficient woman for seventeen years, which began at age seven when her parents. She argues the typical “you need a man to take care of you” stigma and calls it tragic and pervasive. “I vowed never to follow that path,” Ling said.


According to Ling, reporting has left an indelible imprint on her heart, especially when dealing with difficult stories such as child sexual trafficking. One third of the women in Colorado are under the poverty line and 8,000 students between the 7th and 12th grade dropped out this year. Many of the homeless women and girls find prostitution to be their only escape and home. She describes it has a form of slavery in America.


“They come from broken homes and men pray on these vulnerable girls and say , ‘hey little girl, I’ll take care of you and love you’ and the girls have never seen that from a man,” Ling said.

When these women are picked up for criminal charges and imprisoned, their children are given to foster homes and relatives. In India, children have the possibility of being incarcerated with their mother, and Ling believes this could be potentially beneficial for homeless girls.



Ling ended her presentation with a quote that Oprah has said to her, “Now that you know, you can’t pretend that you don’t.”

.

Ling as well as the other esteemed presenters of the evening asked that each woman in attendance donate what they could, and to take with them these life changing stories and ideas.
Bullying no longer consists of stolen lunch money and wedgies. Students now must endure a more silent form of harassment: cyber-bullying. In an age where almost everything is done electronically, students have taken their social lives and competition for popularity online.

Cyber-bullying is willful and repeated harm inflicted through electronic text. Major electronic devices used to harass others include personal computers, harassing e-mails, instant messages, Web sites created to promote discrimination, online bulletin boards and text messages.

Extreme cyber-bullying cases like the case of 13-year-old Megan Meier, a teen from Dardenne Prairie, Mo., are becoming more common. Meier hanged herself in her home in Oct. 2006, after it was revealed by investigations that she received cruel messages on a MySpace.com account, supposedly from an acquaintance her age, Josh Evans.

An investigation revealed the teens exchanged messages for more than six months, and it was the final message that caused Meier to take her own life. The investigation also revealed that Evans never existed; instead, he was the creation of a woman named Lori Drew, the mother of Meier’s friend. Drew apparently created the online profile to communicate with and harass Meier online.

Although it was clear that Drew’s creation ultimately caused Meier to commit suicide, there was no law, at the time, under which to charge Drew that fit the circumstance of the case.

What makes cyber-bullying a terrifying trend is how bullied individuals react. While a majority of individuals being bullied choose to ignore harassing e-mails and instant messages, a small percentage feel the need to act irrationally. According to the Cyber Bullying Research Center, the number of reported suicide cases linked to cyber-bullying has increased steadily each year. A 9.5 percent increase from 2008 to 2009 was reported by the Cyber Bullying Research Center.

With more people undergoing online harassment, law enforcement is being forced to act. In Nov. 2007, a law passed in Colorado making cyber-bullying a crime. This was the first of its kind in Colo. In the state of Colo. online harassment is now considered a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $500 and 90 days in jail.

Online services have also noticed the need for more security. Profile Web sites like Facebook.com and Myspace.com now have explicit prohibitions against online bullying, and encourage users to report all instances of cyber-bullying. Are laws and warnings enough to protect people from and stop people from engaging cyber-bullying? The answer might be found in the opinion of parents.

Many think it is a parent’s responsibility to keep their children safe. Whether a parent allows a child to view violent movies, play video games, or watch TV, parents have a great deal of power in steering their children away from dangerous material.

It should be no different when it comes to the Internet. CyberPatrol software like SafeEyes $49.95, IM Einstein $40, and eBlaster $99.95 is available for the public to purchase, but will not stop a child from viewing violent, sexual, or dangerous Web sites.

Some parents, like Bo Everson, an Evergreen, Colo. mother of three teens, has restrictions to online use. “I don’t let my 13-year-old son have access to the Internet, unless it is supervised for school work. He is too young to advertise his identity to the world, and many forget how cruel middle-school age teens can be. It’s my attempt to protect him,” said Everson.

Everson allows her two older daughters, 16 and 19, to have online profiles on Facebook.com and Myspace.com. “I have done my best to warn them about online-predators, and confrontation between peers that would be better done face-to-face,” she said.
However, many parents realize that their children will only take their advice into consideration to a certain extent. Fort Collins, Colo. mother Karla Shelton knows that there are several places her 15-year-old daughter can access the Internet. “I have limitations to online use at home, but how will I ever know if she goes online at school, the library, or at a friends house? I won’t,” Shelton said.

Most parents are not fully aware of how dangerous cyber-bullying can be, as reported by Cyber Bullying Research Center. A mother of a 30-year-old daughter, Janice Brewer, thinks that bullying is only done to make a person feel physically intimidated. “In the real world it might be hard to avoid a bully, but online it is hard to understand why a person wouldn’t just stop reading,” said Brewer.

The reality is that cyber-bullying has the potential to be dangerous. Statistics gathered by the Cyber Bullying Research Center show individuals are getting used to the world of anonymity afforded by communication over the Internet. Technology is becoming a new era of cruelty, and teenagers are in the center of it all.

It seems people are quick to offer a great deal of information about themselves both online and through text messages, without fully thinking the consequences through. Information such as pictures and personal interests is then used at the bully’s will. In a sense, the more information that is put out electronically, the more ammunition a bully has to work with.

Britte Kolrud, a former Colorado State University student, has experienced cyber-bullying first hand. Kolrud has a Facebook.com profile, and uses the Internet on a daily basis to socialize. Kolrud ran into trouble with a Facebook.com application named “the honesty box,” a device on her profile that allows her friends to post anonymous comments about her.

Kolrud was shocked to find that people she considered close friends from school were posting rude comments about her, which grew more aggressive each day. She expected to receive constructive comments about herself as a person, but was harassed about the way she looked and how she interacted with others. Out of 10 posted comments, seven were negative and three were positive. “It made me feel pond scum low. I thought my true friends would confront me,” Kolrud said.

Knowing how to deal with cyber-bullies may not be easy. Candice M. Kelsey, author of the popular book “Generation Myspace,” has written guidelines directed towards teens and parents on how to deal with online adolescence. The book is an informative guide to the growing hazards of the Internet.

Several Web sites devoted to cyber-bullying are attempting to make this issue better known. Pages such as cyberbullying.us and cyberbully.org are dedicated to educating the public about the growing issue. Both Web sites have features such as news, events, research, services, links to other sites, and resources to help those who might be bullied via the Internet.

Anti Cyber-Bully Week was officially declared by the Cyber Bully Research Center Nov. 19-23 in early 2007, in attempt to make the issue known to others. Although cyber-bullying can be a silent torture, many are doing the best that they can to help bring the issue to the surface. “The Internet is both a blessing and a curse all at the same time,” Kolrud said.
15th-Dec-2009 03:22 pm - Feature story
Feature Story


I always wondered where she went when she snuck out. I never realized the extremity of the danger she put herself in. I never knew what to say to make her stop. She never realized how much she was hurting herself, and her family. She never knew her life was about to change forever. Lots of pronouns here, so I recommend trying to tighten and shorten and remove some, if possible. Let’s try something like:

Always wondering where she went when she snuck out, I never realized the extremity of the danger she faced. I never knew what to say to stop it. She never realized how much she was hurting herself and her family, nor that life was about to change forever. (I didn’t do such a great job here, but you get the idea—even 4 removed pronouns makes it flow a little better.)

She was skipping class and the school called almost daily. After sneaking out, she was brought home by the cops multiple times around 4 a.m. I never believed her stories about drugs, alcohol, and the terrifying dull diction; find something stronger and more specific here. she claimed to have done, but I should have known. I was too scared to know and accept the truth, but I had to. Now you’re getting a little repetitive. I recommend shortening the first two paragraphs, combining some of the similar meaning.

She always compared herself to me and my sister. “The perfect athletes, students and daughters,” she would say. “Angel Child,” soon became my nickname, and she frequently teased me for being a goodie goodie. She had the same chance to live a normal life, but she wasn’t taking it.

What happened to the days of playing dress up, and fighting over who got to be Barbie and who had to be Ken? It became harder to remember these moments, and to find the balance between being her fun older sister and knowing she was doing wrong. I wanted her to know she could tell me anything and trust me with the truth. After hearing the horrifying stories of her late night adventures, I had to decide whether to keep her trust, or keep her safe. She is my baby sister; she is only 12 (AP Style)

some of these personal comments might be written a little less formally, perhaps using some incomplete sentences, to create the idea the individual is speaking.

It’s hard following the rules when you feel like you don’t belong. I guess you could say I never found my “niche” in school and life. I always felt like I needed an escape and to find something that would make me feel happy and important. I didn’t know if this was drugs or the attention I received from older guys. I knew it wasn’t something my parents approved of, but that sure didn’t matter to me.

After a year of running away and being brought home by the cops at 4 am for trespassing, drug use, and searching for a new and fun place to stay, my parents realized that grounding me was not working. This was when I decided they were the most controlling, strict, and heartless parents alive. They sent me to boot camp in Missouri to help me get over my “drug problem.” I guess they were right. I needed to get over my addiction to drugs and maybe I could be weaned off of them.

Boot camp left me with an unlimited amount of time to get caught up in my thoughts. I remember starting off drinking and smoking marijuana. I can’t remember the night that I first tried coke, or heroine, and the drug that completely ruined my life, meth. I couldn’t

I knew what I did was wrong and I knew it could save my life. But I had never hated my parents so much for sending me there. I had seen boot camp shows on TV before, but never knew how hard it would be. Running for miles, cardio and calisthenics until my legs felt like Jell-O, the worst food I have ever tasted, and military bullies screaming at me, were nothing compared to the pain of withdrawals. My body has never felt such an excruciating pain. I yearned for my fix and I would do anything to satisfy it.

I had military commanders screaming in my face “Johnson you are worthless, no wonder your parents sent you here, and you are a disgrace!” Meanwhile, all I could think about was how much I needed a fix, and strangely how much it hurt not being able to speak to my family.

After an entire year there, I was finally picked up by my parents and got to return home. I wanted to be a normal kid, I’m only fourteen-years old.

***

When she returned home from boot camp a year later, she seemed to have been a changed girl. She returned to middle school and was attending class and we were so relieved that boot camp worked. This lasted about a month. She began skipping class again and disappearing at night. It was hard to get our hopes up that she had changed and then watch her crash back into the kid needing sexual attention and drugs. Again, try to work on synthesizing, tightening and shortening, particularly to remove extraneous pronouns. The reader can grasp your pronouns fairly quickly and we just don’t need so many.

I felt completely helpless and lost. I could only think about how I had failed her as a mother. What could I do to show her how much I loved her? When would she realize how much we care?

At this point, the cops in our area knew her on a personal basis and took a strong interest in our family. They recommended that she begin seeing a child psychiatrist, transferring her to the juvenile rehabilitation high school, attend Narcoleptics Anonymous and Alcohol Anonymous classes, and be required to take routine drug tests. Why Narcoleptics? Not clear.

Awkward in terms of who’s speaking the quote; kind of comes out of nowhere, particularly given your changes in persona here. Quotes need to be introduced and crystal clear relative to who’s speaking.In the beginning, it seemed hopeless. “It was a terrifying feeling calling the number waiting for them to say the color turquoise, meaning I had to take the drug test that day. My stomach would completely fall every time they did,” she said describing her routine drug test phone calls. She knew she wasn’t clean, and that there would be severe consequences.

Eventually, the consequences became heavy enough that she cleaned up. I had never been so proud of her for wanting to be clean. I remember the day she came home from her NA class and she had received a medal for being clean for a year. An entire year had flown by and we thought she would finally be able to prepare for high school and someday even college. This was until she disappeared again. She is my my youngest child, she is only 16.

***

It seemed strange to remember being so scared when she would be missing for one night, when she had been missing for 9 months. We had no way of knowing where she could have gone, or if she was even alive.

I’ve lived in Colorado long enough to know that the name “Colfax” is trouble. I’ve been told stories describing it as “ghetto, and full of prostitutes, drugs and violence.” I was forced to describe this area to me parents after hearing she was picked up for prostitution charges on that very street. Where did you hear? This seems awkward, as though you heard about her whereabouts before anyone else? What is the deal here? This isn’t a direct result of prostitution charges, correct? It’s a little confusing.

Weeks later, the phone rang and my mother’s face turned pale. The first thing in my head was that my little sister was dead. Thankfully, the news wasn’t of her death. The news we received was not good. She was pregnant and addicted to heroin. She was placed in a hospital and rehabilitation center to get her off the drugs and discuss abortion. She was completely against this because she had already grown attached to the baby inside of her. This caused her to run again. Under what we thought were lockdown circumstances she managed to get away somehow. It wasn’t until she was in labor that she returned to the hospital to have the baby. She gave birth to a baby boy that miraculously survived her drug abuse. This child was given to Social Services and was adopted by a loving family.

She is now in a lock down rehab and juvenile delinquent center in Canyon City and has been clean for 8 months. “We pray for her everyday and hope that this time will be the time she stays clean."
15th-Dec-2009 03:19 pm - CSU Softball Community Service beat

CSU Softball Team Has a Soft Spot for Community Service

Student athletes earned admiration by students across the CSU campus due to their hard work and dedication. The University offers help and guidance to attempt to set athletes up for the greatest success they can achieve in the classroom and on the court or field. Realistically, athletes encounter time constraints that make their lives more challenging than that of a traditional student. However; when these students are asked by the community and the coaches to do even more work, such as community service, the team agrees they will gladly accept the challenge.
The CSU softball team has participated in a read a thon at local elementary schools, volunteered at the Race for the Cure , and hosted a national LIVEstrong Day where they each bought as many LIVEstrong bracelets as they wanted to hand out to the students and staff on campus. They also plan to be take part in other community service opportunities as the school year progresses.
The money raised during the National LIVEstrong day goes to The LIVEstrong Foundation to further cancer research. The money raised at the Race for the Cure goes towards furthering breast cancer research, with both causes hoping and working towards a day without breast cancer. To help the cause, they buy LIVEstrong bracelets in bulk and then sell them to students and the Fort Collins community.
Caitlan Stem is often seen dominating the infield for the CSU Softball team and wearing the number 23. But this junior, business major can often be seen giving back to the community with the team.
“It has allowed us to enter the real world. We get so caught up in our athletics, school, and our own lives that we forget about issues that surround this entire world and bring it together. It keeps us humble and allows us to reflect on the blessings in our lives,” said Stem. The CSU softball team enjoys having the opportunity to give back to a community that supports it each season.
The team’s favorite community service event so far was participating in Race for the Cure because “It was a truly inspiring day that touched my heart in ways that will humble me forever,” said outfielder Ivory Allen. “It brought the power of a survivor and the strength of a fighter to life.” She described how the team was almost in tears during the event due to the joy, sadness and determination.
The women also participate in adopt a family where they adopt several small families or a few large families. The team then tries to provide a great Christmas for them through donations and spending time during the holiday season with these families.

“I will continue to participate in these events with or without my teammates by my side, and I will encourage my friends, family and community to do the same. I have always felt that there is no greater joy than helping other people but sometimes I lose sight of that and these events have helped remind me how important it is not to forget that belief,” said Stem.

Playing on a college sports team is time consuming and takes a committed student to succeed. Despite how busy they are they enjoy community service and find it extremely important to give back to the community that supports them

“Whether that’s bringing a smile to their child’s face by reading a book to them, helping raise awareness and giving them a few dollars for more research, or by cheering on those who cross a finish line to symbolize the life threatening disease they have conquered or are battling, community service has much deeper meaning than any of us realize,” said Stem.

13th-Dec-2009 10:19 pm - respect for reporting
I have earned a much greater respect for reporting and newswriting this semester. It has really been my first experience with this type of writing.

With all the difficulties I had in getting a hold of sources even through e-mail, phone, etc. and the sometimes limited information they provided, I was glad I had so much time to complete many of my stories, when I know that professional reporters and journalists often have such strict deadlines.
13th-Dec-2009 10:12 pm - reporting/my future
Even though I ultimately want to pursue a career in video communication, this class was a lot of help to me. I learned a tremendous amount about the reporting process and about myself as a reporter. Everything I learned about news and editorial reporting I will be able to apply to my future in tv news and video communication.
13th-Dec-2009 10:09 pm - the food beat
I think I picked the worst possible direction to go with my Food/Restaurant beat. For some reason I chose to follow the farmers markets in Fort Collins. I don't know why I never go to farmers markets and I really wasn't interested in them too much.

I chose it because it was easy and, ironically, I think that is what made it more difficult to me. I didn't pick it for my interest in it or my passion for it.

I was able to find and turn in quality stories but it wasn't a lot of fun for me.

Picking this aspect of my beat was a lesson in itself, that I shouldn't do anything because it sounds easy but I should do what I love and what interests me.
I was surprised at how willing many of the ski resorts were to talk about their future, which honestly does not look to bright. Even those high up in many of the companies were more than willing to freely discuss the issue of climate change and how it relates to the ski industry.

Initially, I thought it was going to impossible to find enough sources to write an in-depth story about a topic so sensitive to all the ski industries in Colorado, but I learned a lot and I'm really glad I still decided to do it after I thought it was going to be so hard at first.
13th-Dec-2009 09:54 pm - Reporting this semester
I have always enjoyed writing, but I came into this semester and this class not looking forward to the reporting I would have to do. I didn't feel like I had a reporter's "mentality," or really the motivation to dig deep into stories and interview people and stuff like that. After my first couple beat stories I still felt the same way. I did not enjoy my beat too much, or at least the aspect of my beat that I decided to cover.

However, for the in-depth story I got out of my beat and I'm really glad I did. Because I wrote about something that I love and that I am very interested in. This seemed to give me that reporter's mentality and the motivation that I had been so worried about in the beginning.

Going from a topic that I was not passionate about all to a topic that I love made all the difference in the world to me. I feel like I got more out of my in-depth story than I had on all of my other stories combined.
While doing my story about the future of the ski industry, a couple things really stuck out to me.
1.) My main sources (Auden Schendler and Matthew Hamilton) both work for sustainability at Aspen Ski Resort. However, when I interviewed them they had very different perceptions on where the ski industry is headed. At least up front, Auden seems to believe that there is no hope for the ski industry, and that it should be the last of our climate change worries because there is no way we will salvage it. Matthew Hamilton, at least in the interview, was pretty optimistic that legislation and government regulations will help the ski industry greatly. Granted that Hamilton did seem like he was trying to "sell" me the fact that skiing would be ok, and Auden seemed to be much more honest about his feelings, it was still interesting to see the two different opinions within a company.

2.) In other interviews I read, Auden Schendler seemed to preach about how his life goal is to turn climate change around. Yet, he works for Aspen Skiing Company, which he admits has lied about how green they are in a Businessweek article, and also shot down some of his ideas on going green because they were too expensive. This really seems like a microcosm of the whole businesses and going green issue. If Auden was really concerned about making change why would he work for a company that isn't willing to, and shoots down his ideas. Even though he has written a book, and been involved in some very important green efforts, I don't believe him when he says his life's goal is to turn around climate change.

I really wish I could find out what his salary is........
13th-Dec-2009 01:03 pm - First beat story
" Change of Heart"
They are not standing on the plaza condemning you to hell. They are not asking you to fill out surveys as you walk to class. They are not sitting back judging you. They are, however, seeking to make a positive impact in your life.

The Realm, a student Christian campus ministry affiliated with Colorado State University, is working on new programs where it can demonstrate evangelizing in a way that’s more subtle than other such groups.

“[The Realm] provides a place for students to grow in their relationships with God and to seek out ways to be a blessing to the greater community of CSU,” Jason Sheffield, the Realm’s director, said.

The Realm attempts to be a blessing by participating in campus activities and welcoming anyone—Christians and non-Christians—to its events.

“At the beginning of this semester, we had a barbecue at Corbett [Hall], and anyone could come,” Madeline Walker Zeikus, a member of The Realm, said. “We also had a bonfire near Poudre Canyon and people who weren’t even members or Christians showed up. When we do our own thing, we welcome anyone to come.”

While some CSU Christian ministries, like Grace Christian Church, survey students about their beliefs, The Realm takes a more indirect approach to evangelizing: by building relationships and engaging in campus and community life.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines evangelizing as preaching the gospel or converting people to Christianity. Members of The Realm interpret evangelizing as sharing their faith and being kind and loving toward all people; however, they are not necessarily trying to convert people.

“It’s not about us bringing you to some place, but about bringing us to you,” The Realm associate Madeline Walker Zeikus said. “We just want to share everything we’ve found to be so great in our lives about God with others. We’re not trying to convert. It isn’t based on numbers or how many people join…It’s just about spreading the gospel and spreading the love of Jesus.”

The Realm welcomes and loves people whether they do or don’t convert, Zeikus said.
The Realm emphasizes using daily activities like class to practice its indirect evangelizing.
“If I see someone in class who is having a bad day, I can say something kind to try to help make their day better,” Zeikus said. “If people see me being really kind and loving, they might start to wonder why I am the way I am. Then, they might ask me, and I can share my testimony about God. I can evangelize in that way—by setting an example and then maybe share my faith.”
Like Zeikus, affiliates of the group do not reveal they are Christians unless prompted although they aren’t ashamed or afraid to tell others.

The group believes some people get turned off by Christians who constantly try to convert them or mention God; members of The Realm let the topic of God come up naturally through informal conversations.

The Realm members attend classes, participate in sports and engage in other extracurricular activities. If someone happens to mention faith or express an interest for something more in these settings, they will share their testimonies about God.

“We just hang out with people, have conversations and let things happen organically,” Sheffield said.

Pastors and Christianity advocates come several times a year to CSU, openly discussing their faith on the plaza and throughout the campus.

“It’s very much needed to have Christians be overt, but there needs to be a balance,” Sheffield said.

It would be too crowded if every Christian campus ministry were on the plaza, preaching about God, Sheffield said. He believes The Realm’s indirect style of evangelizing by example and through informal conversations balances the direct (stop people on the street and preach on the plaza) style of evangelizing.

Visiting ministers sometimes anger students with their tactics. Tom Short was one such minister.

“I remember feeling a bit embarrassed when [Short] came to campus,” Sheffield said. “This guy was sharing a Christianity that I would not be a part of. He was very condemning, calling people sinners without knowing them, and saying that they were going to hell. Jesus wouldn’t do that.”

For others who have experienced this type of “aggressive” Christianity, Zoe Kendall, a member of The Realm, apologizes for the pain they have endured.

“There’s a verse about teach them gently and perhaps God will change their hearts. It’s not our place to judge or condemn,” she said. “We’re called to love. It’s a deep wound to be called names. All I can do is try to change that perception [of Christians] by example.”
The Realm is seeking opportunities and creating ways for its members to help other organizations on campus and in the Fort Collins community.

One Resident Assistant from a CSU dorm needed extra members for an intramural soft-ball team, and The Realm helped him by asking its members to volunteer, Sheffield said.

“If people need help with anything, we want a way for them to contact us so we can provide them with assistance,” Sheffield said.

The Realm, which is associated with Mountain Life Church, will paint the house of a community member Saturday. The group hopes to do more volunteer activities during the semester but currently has no activities scheduled.

In October, The Realm plans to throw a mixer at its church, where anyone from CSU or the community can come to have fun and meet people. The group is also planning a retreat in November.

“We also want to do more hikes, and invite anyone who wants to come,” Kendall said.
As a form of advertising, The Realm chalks crowns, which symbolize the kingdom of God, on the plaza and sidewalks throughout campus. The group also has table tent cards with its crown logo and Web site, but no other information is included.

If a person is curious enough, he or she can further explore the meaning behind The Realm’s advertisements by picking up one of their tent cards and going to the Web site. It is a philosophy similar to Jesus when he said “seek and you shall find,” Kendall said.

“The entire world is yearning for the truth…and you can feel it as you walk around campus,” Zeikus said. “They’re hungry for the meaning of life and only God can provide the answer.”

The Realm’s director, Sheffield, hopes the group will have a large impact at CSU and in the surrounding community.

“We deeply desire to connect to CSU students and to the greater community,” Sheffield said. “We don’t just want to be affiliated with CSU, but we want to be such a blessing to everyone that CSU and the community would mourn if we left.”
This page was loaded Mar 30th 2017, 2:25 pm GMT.