To the editor:

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May 082005
 
Authors:

Currently there is a growing debate in our society as to whether we should teach intelligent design (creationism) along side evolution in science classrooms across the country. Currently the battle is being fought in the state of Kansas. The Kansas State School Board, which is stacked with Christian conservatives, is attempting to rewrite our understanding of the origins of life. Fundamental Christians are incensed that their religious dogma does not get mention in science text as an equally plausible explanation for how life occurs. It doesn't seem to matter to them that their scientific explanation has absolutely nothing to do with science and everything to do with their selfish need to have their religious beliefs taught as science, regardless of whether it is right or wrong.

Normally I laugh at these religious extremists, except in our current political climate they are winning ground in the debate. They are winning because moderates, liberals and fiscal conservatives are not fighting back. According to MSNBC reporter Alex Johnson, mainstream science organizations spurned invitations to participate, dismissing the hearings in Topeka (Kan.) as an effort to attack and undermine science. This is a critical mistake, when only one side of a debate is voiced they usually win; even if they are a fringe group made up of Christian Al-Qeada. It has been approximately 150 years since Darwin first published "On the Origin of Species" and still half of the country doesn't readily accept evolution. Lets face it – we have a communication problem. This is why I am writing and suggesting that it is time for the silent majority to take the gloves off and fight. Next time some religious extremist or neoconservative starts bashing reality give them a verbal lashing, don't back down. I honestly believe if we fight back this debate will die away quickly. I believe this because history has taught me that it is impossible to constantly fight off the truth.

James C. Carlson

Graduate Degree Program in Ecology

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The best is yet to come

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May 082005
 
Authors: Kelly Hagenah

I always have something I want to say. Rarely is there a moment when I don't have an idea to share, an opinion I want to voice or a thought I'd like to provoke.

So, thank you, to the Collegian readers and staff, for allowing me to do just that for the last year; really I can't thank you enough. However, as we all know – life really does move fast, and while graduation is (only!) a week away, today's column is my last and I still have a few thing left to say…

To sum up the last four years would be impossible. There is just too much; a million stories, a million more memories, an infinite number of lessons, trials and triumphs. Wild nights that we knew would never be remembered, and unplanned moments that will never be forgotten. I turned 19, then 20, then 21, and before I knew it – 22.

I lived in the residence halls, the sorority house, then abroad and then in a great off-campus house. I dated, then I dat!

ed some more, and then thought I was destined for creepy or mean guys, dated a bit more, and then I fell in love. I made new friends, I lost touch with a few, I re-bonded with old friends and then I realized I had made some lifelong friends. I laughed, and I cried, laughed some more, then cried because I was laughing so hard; and then I thought to myself what many people have told me a thousand times over: college definitely could be the best four years of our lives.

Sigh … college. There is no doubt that it is an incredible time of our lives. Whether we come here straight from high school, or several years later, college has an everlasting impact on us all. Whether we arrived with intentions to be a serious or laid-back student, we will leave with an education that could not have been achieved in most other places. And no matter how we took advantage of the carefree social life, whether we went out, stayed out, simply dined out or stayed in – every moment was one we will look back on fondly.

But now, its coming to an end – and while I don't want to believe it's over, I also don't want to believe that one day I will sigh and say, "Ah, college. Those were the best days of my life." Because if I say that, then what have I done with the rest of my life? Could it really be true that while I may only be at the quarter point in my life, the remaining three-fourths will never amount to this? I mean, come on – I may have had an unbelievable and incredible time here, but there is just no way I am going to allow this to be as good as it gets.

The thing is, we can't and shouldn't compare college to the rest of our lives because it really is an experience of its own, and a world unlike anything else. While college is an establishment meant for higher education, what it actually gives us is a foundation to know how and where to go from here. College gives us a starting point for what awaits beyond these four years. The lessons we learned here in the classroom will undoubtedly, in at least some way, be of great help i!

n many future endeavors. College is a pre-requisite course for the rest of our lives, and it is one we should always look back to, not wish we were still enrolled in.

While these four years may have set the foundation, it is up to only us how we take it from here. We can stop everything and continue to believe that this is the best it will ever be, or, we can take away with us every little thing we can and use it to create the rest of our lives.

I do hope that you all will consider college to be the best four-plus years of your lives. But I want that to be proven wrong every day thereafter. I wish, for you all, that every day will be better than the last – and that every last day becomes a steppingstone and a moment never forgotten. Congratulations graduating seniors! And to everyone, thank you for giving me a moment of your day.

Kelly Hagenah is a graduating speech communication major. This is her last column.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Steps to de-stress during finals

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May 082005
 
Authors: Ryan Chapman

The signs that the semester is only a week from being over are everywhere. Book buyback has begun, blue books are on sale, freshmen are moving out of the dorms and graduating seniors are streaking the Oval.

The impending glory of a never-ending summer in Fort Collins is now within sight. There is however, that one last hurdle to overcome… finals. In the past this college student "F" word has been most often associated with a strong feeling of dread and agony, similar to that of an upcoming root canal. I am here today however, as I often am during times of unrest on campus, to suggest a solution.

I have devised this list of three quick and easy ways of beating pre-final anxiety. The following recommendations have been proven to relieve stress, or in some best-case scenarios get you hospitalized and excused from the final completely.

1.) Television Remote Control Toss – I can personally attest to the quick-action, stress-busting power of this technique, and so can my roommates for that matter. All you have to do is pick out one of your remotes (preferably one that looks cheap or doesn't work anymore) and throw it into the wall as hard as you can with a loud scream. It is that simple, and the best part about this technique is that spending hours picking up all of the little pieces that are left over makes for a great excuse for not actually studying.

2.) Fruit Golfing – For me, nothing says, "hey I'm kind of stressed out right now," like hitting things with golf clubs. That is why I devised this method for stress relief that incorporates that very idea with less risk of personal harm to those around you. Simply gather up all the old fruit in your house or in the dumpster behind Whole Foods (oranges and mangos work the best), dig out an old golf club, and tee off. The downside to this tactic is that it can only be done during nice weather because, as it turns out, indoor fruit golfing often leads to a loss of your security deposit.

3.) Naked Bed Jumping – This step pretty much speaks for itself. It is best if not done in mixed company, in the dorms or when you are expecting visitors. Also, if you attempt this method with your entire study group, make sure you have a strong bed frame.

In the seemingly impossible case that these methods don't immediately cure any test anxiety you may be feeling you can always pay someone to punch you in the stomach. A punch to the stomach has a 100-percent success rate of making you instantly forget about anything else, and I could use the money if anyone is interested.

So, good luck to you all this next week and be sure to heed my advice, I'm pretty sure it will work. And to all my regular readers I have good news – I will be back in the fall with more useful advice for everyday life and maybe some political commentary as well, we will see. Have a great summer CSU!

Ryan Chapman is a junior marketing major. His column will return next year.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

RamTalk

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May 082005
 
Authors:

To the guy in the Subaru: Thanks for breaking up my marriage.

– Girl on the Bike

So I was curious about the squirrel poop thing so I asked a professor. This is what he said…"Their fecal poop looks like a pine nut. They are rather small, roundish but elongated and usually hard. They take a crap pretty quickly and that's why you never see them do it. They 'go' anywhere. They could be up in a tree or on the ground."

I can understand why we have to fill out evaluations for all our classes so that next year the departments can improve… but why don't we fill out evaluations for the other "services" CSU provides, for instance the financial aid office, they surely need to improve!

For certain persons who are unfamiliar with the rules, this is how blinker wars work – He who blinks first, gets the parking spot.

Has anyone noticed that the bricks on the third floor of the library have random crap on them like, "I loved a duck", "hakuna matata" and "I am old and I wear purple"?

Boys… You don't have to pretend you want me to come over to watch a movie, I know exactly what is going to happen … I'm not dumb!

What's my favorite part of Cinco de Mayo? Coming home on "El Sies de Mayo" to find my living room trashed and saturated with alcohol! I've never seen so much wine and beer in a carpet. In my opinion, the carpet isn't the only one suffering from a slow alcoholic demise…

So here's the theory: the revolving door in the library is actually a human hamster wheel, yet another sly attempt by CSU to save money and keep the electricity on at the same time.

To the belligerent freshmen who think it is all right to show up uninvited to parties on Howes Street, and steal our things and ruin our property, you are wrong my friends. Have some respect. P.S. Who steals a coffee pot? Seriously!

To all those people who think finals are going to kill them: Ron White once said "when life gives me a lemon, try and find someone whose life gave them vodka and have a party." Cheers, it's almost over, except for those of us in summer school.

The Fort Collins Historical Committee has officially extended the "too old to demolish" rule from buildings to the parking lot west of the Oval.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Our View

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May 082005
 
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff

Fort Collins Police Services is reminding members of the community to take extra precautions for personal safety including locking doors, windows and keeping curtains closed at night.

The public service reminders were spurred by a sexual assault that occurred early Saturday morning. A 21-year-old woman reported that she woke up to an unknown man in her bedroom who raped her and left. Police officers believe the suspect entered the apartment through an unlocked door.

Fort Collins is a pleasant community, but crime can happen anywhere. Summer is just around the corner and it is easier for us to want to leave our doors and windows open, but we need to be careful. We all need to take the extra few seconds to lock the door behind us and make sure all our windows are secured.

It may seem much more convenient to trust that everything will be OK with an unlocked door if other people are home, but it did not make a difference in Saturday's assault. The victim's two women roommates were home at the time of the assault, but they remained asleep until after the suspect left.

We also need to look out for our neighbors. Get to know the people in your neighborhood. If you see anyone suspicious call your neighbor to make sure they are OK. Always use discretion and call the police if you sense danger. Do not just assume that a neighbor will make the necessary call.

We do not need to live in fear, but we need to live with common sense.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Legislative Recap

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May 082005
 
Authors: Brian Park

The state legislature was a busy place last week. Bills that lawmakers debated and voted on included a bill to ban cigarette smoking statewide in indoor establishments and suspending a person's driver license if they provide alcohol to minors. A resolution was also decided on regarding the issue of same-sex marriage and civil unions.

Senate Bill 207

What It Will Do: Ban cigarette smoking in restaurants, bars and pool halls throughout the state. Casinos, bingo parlors and other gambling establishments would be exempt from the rule.

Sponsors: Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver; Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez.

History: Passed in the House of Representatives by a 37-28 vote.

What's Next: Sent back to the Senate, where the amendments the House added will be up for debate.

House Concurrent Resolution 1002

What It Will Do: The resolution would have asked the voters of Colorado to state that a marriage is between one man and one woman. It would have asked voters to outlaw same-sex marriages as well as civil unions in the state of Colorado.

Sponsors: Sen. Ed Jones, R-Colorado Springs; Rep. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud.

History: By a 6-5 vote the House Judiciary Committee indefinitely postponed the resolution on May 3.

What's Next: Nothing, the bill is effectively killed and will not be voted out of committee.

House Bill 1306

What It Will Do: Suspend a person's driver license for six months if the person is caught providing alcohol to anyone who is younger than 21. If the person lets a minor use their identification to purchase or receive alcohol that action can also result in the suspension of the license. A hearing can be conducted regarding the suspension and a probationary license can be issued for the person to drive to work or school.

Sponsors: Sen. Joan Fitz-Gerald, D-Golden; Rep. Jim Kerr, R-Littleton.

History: Passed through third reading in the Senate on May 3.

What's Next: Currently in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 1057

What It Will Do: Students will be required to take a course that will prepare them for higher education, but parents and school administrators can reject the idea if they both agree to it. It will also notify students in the eighth grade, prior to going into the ninth grade, about higher education opportunities the state of Colorado offers as well as admission guidelines.

Sponsors: Sen. Paula Sandoval, D-Denver; Rep. Jerry Frangas, D-Denver.

History: Signed by Gov. Bill Owens on May 2.

What's Next: The bill will put into effect next school year.

House Bill 1326

What It Will Do: It would be illegal for a sexually violent predator and offender to live or work within 1,500 feet of a school, child care facility, playground, video arcade, recreation center or shopping malls and centers.

Sponsors: Reps. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch and Gwyn Green, D-Golden.

History: By a 7-4 vote the House Judiciary Committee indefinitely postponed the bill on May 3.

What's Next: Nothing, the bill is effectively killed and will not be voted out of committee.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Summer Events Calendar

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May 082005
 
Authors:

May 10

Nelly with Fat Joe and T.I.

8 p.m.

Budweiser Events Center

May 14

Lenny Kravitz

8 p.m.

Fillmore Auditorium

May 14 & 15

Pickin' on the Poudre Bluegrass music festival

Noon Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday

Mishawaka Amphitheater

May 20

CSU musical presentation. Performers include: CSU student Kevin Utter, Harry Ferguson and actors portraying Laurel and Hardy.

7:30 p.m.

Lory Student Center

May 21

WWE RAW Wrestlemania Revenge Tour

7:30 p.m.

Budweiser Events Center

May 27-29

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday

11, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday

1 and 5 p.m. Sunday

Budweiser Events Center

Saturday and Sunday June 11-12

Ninth Annual Taste of Ft Collins

11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Civic Center Park in Downtown Ft Collins

June 24 – July 4

Greeley Stampede

9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Island Grove Regional Park

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Riot Prevention Bill Drafted by Greeks

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May 082005
 
Authors: Chris Tarver

In an attempt to prevent the ruckus that occurred during the fall riots last semester and to possibly restore the images of Greek Life, the Interfraternity and Panhellic councils have constructed a new bill.

Resolution 015 of the CSU Interfraternity Council (IFC), was voted on two weeks ago and states the IFC has an obligation to protect the safety, well being and image of CSU as well as the surrounding Fort Collins community.

The bill defines rioting as a group of three or more people who engage in actions that cause damage to property. Any riot that originates, intensifies or is maintained at a chapter facility or an annex will be the responsibility of the chapter.

If charged with responsibility for engaging in, inciting or creating conditions, which contribute to the development of a riot, the chapter will be sent to the Judicial Board for a hearing.

The board will hear the facts in the case to determine if the chapter should be held responsible. Should the chapter be found responsible for the charges, it will face the minimum sanctions of mandated education of rioting conducted by members of the community police force and/or the Community Liaison coordinator for CSU, and social probation for one semester. Depending on the severity of the charges, the maximum penalty could include a recommendation to the Vice President for Student Affairs that its recognition as a CSU organization be withdrawn.

If individual students are found responsible for riotous activities, state law requires that all state institutions suspend the individuals for a minimum of one year without any opportunities to attend other state supported institutions.

Kevin Selvy, president of the IFC, said there was a concern that there was not a proactive measure being done on behalf of the students so the fraternities and sororities at CSU came together to provide a proactive approach.

Selvy believes the bill will be an effective measure.

"I think it'll be very effective." Selvy said. "I think one of the things that it shows is that this isn't what fraternities and sororities are about."

Panhellic Council President Liz Schleicher echoes that sentiment.

"I think it will be quite effective because most members will understand what's at stake," Schleicher said.

Both Selvy and Schleicher believe the Greek community was unjustly blamed for the riots and the bill will help to possibly restore the images of the fraternities and sororities. They also believe the possible consequences will help the members think about their actions and their whereabouts in order to prevent something like this from happening again.

The sororities are affected in a slightly different way.

"The women could just be out having a good time and could get caught up in the situation." Schleicher said.

Anne Hudgens, executive director of Campus Life, said the bill itself is not enough.

"I think the bill is a statement of principle or intention." Hudgens said. "But I think it is a very important, out front effort to communicate a statement of principle."

That principle being that the Greek community does not accept destructive behavior and that type of behavior will not be tolerated.

What is more important than the bill itself is the fact that the student leaders from the IFC and the Panhellic Council implemented and passed such a measure, Hudgens said.

She is not sure if the bill will help to restore the image of Greek Life.

"I think image is a complex thing because it requires both intention and action," Hudgens said.

However, with everything that occurred this year, Hudgens said she is very proud of how the Greek community conducted themselves.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Vice Provost candidates announced

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May 082005
 
Authors: Cari Merrill

Just as students are winding down after finals, work is just beginning in the Office of the Provost.

The office recently announced the candidates for Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies.

Candidates for the VPUS are Professor Irene Vernon, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering Tom Siller and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Alan Lamborn.

Peter Dorhout, Interim Provost for Graduate Studies, is the candidate for the VPGS.

Open forums were held for the campus to have the opportunity to interact with the candidates. A question-and-answer session was included. Siller thought his forum went smoothly, but was disappointed more students did not participate.

"This whole process didn't have a lot of students in it," Siller said. "That was kind of disappointing to me."

Anyone on campus was welcome, but it is estimated that 15 to 20 students were in attendance.

The forums presented the candidates with the chance to tackle the issues they think need to be addressed at CSU as well as the ways they plan on handling those issues if they are selected said Sandra Woods, chair of the Vice Provost Search Committee and Interim Vice Provost.

At his forum, Dorhout hoped to speak about his plan for CSU and its students as well as speak about investing wisely over the next 10 years.

The VPUS is responsible for tasks relating to undergraduates. He or she will handle graduation, ROTC, the summer session as well as the general catalog and other duties, Woods said.

Matters dealing with the graduate studies program are handled by the VPGS. This position carries with it a number of duties. Some of the responsibilities include recruitment and retention of students, promoting the graduate program and implementing the policies of the graduate school according to the Provost Web site, www.provost.colostate.edu. The VPGS will also fill the position of Assistant President of Research.

Dorhout and Siller were the only two candidates reached for comment and both are excited to help CSU become a better school.

"I think it's a very important job," Dorhout said. "Graduate students contribute 20 percent (of the student population) to CSU. I think they deserve attention by the institution. I think graduate education was my calling."

There is no time limit on how long the position can be held by an individual. But a short amount of time can have negative effects as well as holding the position for too long of a time.

Positions like VPUS and VPGS are usually reviewed after a person has held the position for five years, Siller said. Too short of a stint in the job will lead to things not getting done and issues not being followed through with.

The door swings the other way as well. Retaining the position for too long means that the VP will run out of ideas and not be effective at their job anymore, Dorhout said.

The VPUS and the VPGS report to the Provost, Tony Frank.

Woods expects a decision before the end of May.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

CSU professors make average salaries compared to peer institutions

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May 082005
 
Authors: Chris Tarver

In a list recently released by the American Association of University Professors, CSU ranks ninth out of 13 schools in terms of salaries paid to full-time professors.

In the same list, CSU ranked seventh and sixth respectively in what the institution pays their associate professors and assistant professors.

By definition an assistant professor is the entry-level teaching position related to pay grade, usually not tenured, but can become tenured after a probationary period. An associate professor is the mid-level teaching position related to a pay differential, which can be tenured or tenure-track, according to www.answers.com.

"When compared to institutions that look like us (Internal Peers), our rank among the group improves with more recent hires…" Vice President of Administrative Services Keith Ickes wrote in an e-mail interview. "That is we rank better at associate professor level than we do at the full professor level and rank better still at the level of assistant professor."

Peer institutions are institutions that are similar in makeup to CSU based on enrollment size, number of colleges within the institution, as well as each institution having an agricultural college.

According to the report, a full-time professor at CSU earns $90,000 while a full-time professor at Michigan State University earns $101,800. On the low end, a professor at Oregon State University makes $79,200.

Similarly, an associate professor at CSU earns $67,000 while an associate professor at Michigan State University earns $73,000. At the other end of the salary spectrum an associate professor at Oklahoma State University makes $61,900.

An assistant professor at CSU earns $57,900, while a professor at North Carolina State University earns $61,900, and a professor at the University of Missouri, Columbia, makes $53,000.

According to Ickes, it is almost impossible for CSU to obtain the top spot in the yearly study because even if CSU were able to find additional revenue through tuition increases, they would still lack the major state support that many of the other institutions receive.

In addition to the nationwide comparison, the 13-page AAUP report also released a comparison of a dozen in-state institutions. CSU ranked fifth out of 12 in full-time professor salaries behind Colorado School of Mines in Golden, University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado College in Colorado Springs and University of Denver. For example, a professor at Colorado School of Mines earns $103,500 while their counterparts at CSU earn $13,000 less. However, Adams State College in Alamosa ranks last at $54,900.

Nick Zwicker, a junior mechanical engineering major, believes professors should earn more money based the prestige of the institution.

"It depends – I mean different universities have different tuition and different standards." Zwicker said. "Our school, DU, CU-Boulder and the Colorado School of Mines, they all have a solid reputation so employers are looking for that. Therefore they are looking at higher staff capabilities."

According to Ickes, it is very important to ensure that faculty is paid well because it helps CSU recruit the best professors. For example, a full-time professor at CU-Boulder makes $10,000 more a year than the professors at CSU. Like in many other aspects, CSU and their in-state rival, CU-Boulder, are in competition for the best professors.

"If we do not remain competitive, at least as competitive as we are now, with our faculty salaries, then we will lose great faculty and have a difficult time recruiting the best faculty to sustain and grow our academic programs," Ickes wrote.

Other institutions included in the study along with CSU were Michigan State University; Texas A&M University; Virginia Tech; North Carolina State University; University of Missouri, Columbia; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Iowa State University; University of Georgia; Washington State University; Kansas State University; Oklahoma State University and Oregon State University.

One of the main exponents to consider when determining faculty salary is market force or how much a person would earn in that profession outside the world of academia.

Edwin Chong, professor of engineering, said engineers should make more money in general. Chong does recognize and in some senses agrees with the aspect of salary determination based on market force. He also recognized the fairly large difference in faculty salaries between the various departments within the institution. However, he does feel that he is fairly compensated and happy with his current salary for the job he does.

"Could I make more? Of Course," Chong said. "But then I would have to sacrifice other things like working with students."

Tomas Habtemicael, a senior economics major, thinks associate professors should receive a fairly decent increase because he feels they work just as hard as some of the assistant professors and full-time professors. He does not think it affects their ability or motivation to teach.

"If they really love teaching, their salary shouldn't affect them at all," Habtemicael said.

Obviously, institutions pay their faculty members more money when they have larger budgets. However, Ickes said considering CSU's budget, the institution is doing fairly well in paying their faculty members.

"In general we're doing okay. We're in the middle," Ickes said. "Considering our level of funding, that's actually quite good."

Tuition and fees also play a significant role in regarding how much an institution pays its faculty. For example, a resident student at the University of Illinois pays $6,500 and as a result, the institution pays their faculty more money. CSU full-time, resident students paid about $3,800 for the 2004-2005 school year.

Ickes said students at CSU want the institution to maintain and improve the perceived value of their degree. Tuition increases that enable the institution to do so can be acceptable to students and parents. This is important because the state is considering tuition hikes at all of its colleges and universities including a proposed tuition hike of 12 percent at CSU.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm