Our View

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Oct 312005
 
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff

President Bush always fails to surprise us.

The president's last pick, Harriet Miers – Bush's lawyer crony who would have cut her judicial teeth in the nation's top court – was so ridiculous that even the Republican-controlled Congress wouldn't have confirmed her.

Watching her drop out must have been painful for Bush, after all the effort he spent finding a woman who agreed with all of his ideas. On several occasions, he even let Miers off of her leash and allowed her to run around for the cameras.

But Bush is not one to wallow in his setbacks. He now intends to replace Sandra Day O'Connor – the first female justice, known best for her vehement judicial defense of women's and minority rights – using his tried and true method.

He appointed an old, white man.

Samuel Alito, 55, isn't lacking in experience or credential. He has 15 years of experience on the bench. He's bright.

Alito is also extremely conservative and has a steadfast anti-abortion stance. Legal experts compare him to Justice Antonin Scalia, nicknaming him "Scalito."

Scalia would gladly overturn Roe v. Wade.

We believe that Bush's latest pick, though qualified, is not representative of our nation. Alito would not add a needed perspective to the nation's highest court.

America is comprised of more women than men and boasts an increasingly diverse population, yet women and minorities in the government are outnumbered and underrepresented.

The Supreme Court, thanks to Bush, may continue the trend. We'll be able to look at the court with the discomfort of knowing that those nine people who interpret the laws we live by aren't like us.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Court Challenges Lie Ahead

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Oct 312005
 
Authors: Vimal Patel

If Colorado voters approve Referendums C and D, anti-tax advocate Douglas Bruce said Monday he will file a court challenge questioning the measures' legality.

"It's illegal for a statute to amend the Constitution," said Bruce, the author of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR), a 1992 voter-approved amendment that mandates the state to return revenue collected beyond a certain limit to taxpayers.

Referendums C and D would suspend that spending limit for five years, allowing the state to spend about an extra $3.7 billion over that time period. The money would go mostly toward road repair, healthcare and education.

If C and D are approved, Bruce said, in five years time the state spending limit will be amended and be higher than where it is now. This, Bruce says, would be illegal.

"The state constitution is the supreme law of the state," Bruce said. "Every public official has sworn to uphold it, even though they never read it."

Rich Jones, director of policy and research at the Bell Policy Center, a pro-C and D group, acknowledged Bruce is correct in noting that it's illegal for a statute to amend the state constitution, but said that's not necessarily what the measures are doing.

"Proponents (of C and D) would argue that it's not amending the TABOR limit," he said. "What C and D is doing is allowed for under TABOR."

Whatever Colorado voters decide today, the fight over taxation and government services is far from over. If voters approve the measures, Bruce and other opponents will file court challenges. If C and D are rejected, it's possible similar measures could arise down the road.

"Certainly you could bring them back," Jones said. "Douglas Bruce failed at least twice before TABOR was passed."

Although prepared to eventually go to court, Bruce said he probably won't have to because he's confident Coloradans will shoot down C and D.

"I think people are going to be surprised," he said. "It's not going to be as close as people think."

Bruce made a bold prediction: C will be defeated 54 to 46, and D will fall 57 to 43.

He said he will be rejoicing at a victory party tonight.

Not so fast, Jones said.

"I think it'll be really close," he said, adding that the election could be so tight that results may not be known until Wednesday, and hinge on what demographics vote.

John Straayer, a CSU political science professor, recently told the Collegian that the fewer the votes, the better the chance of C and D passing. When more people vote, he said, there are more occasional voters who are less likely to be informed about the issues at stake.

"The more someone understands the predicament of our budget situation, the more likely (he or she is) to support C and D," Straayer said. "You have a more educated electorate with a 35 percent turnout than with a 70 percent turnout."

The stakes couldn't be any higher at CSU. Larry Penley, CSU president, said earlier this fall that if C and D fail, tuition could increase up to 50 percent. Already this year, tuition has increased 15 percent, double the national average, yet still remains below the national average.

According to Henry Sobanet, Gov. Owens' budget director, the state will have to slash $365 million out of its budget next year. The largest chunk of the cuts would probably come from higher education, he wrote.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

30 years of Special Needs Swim

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Oct 312005
 
Authors: Lee Newville

Every Sunday, junior Tyler Kent hops into the pool at Edora Pool Ice Center (EPIC) and plays with a young girl who suffers from Down syndrome.

"She is a blast to be with. She is always smiling and laughing and having a great time. She brings a smile to my face every time I see her," Kent said. "It's so much fun."

The program is called Special Needs Swim, and serves roughly 30 disabled individuals, both adults and children. Participants meet at EPIC in Fort Collins every weekend for two hours. The program consists of one hour of "reflection," where guest speakers are invited to talk about disability-related topics. The second hour is devoted to exercise and games in the pool.

The swimmers form an eclectic group of individuals with varying degrees of abilities and age. While many are children, there are also adults in the program, some of whom live in caretaking facilities.

"For lots of these folks," said Jen Johnson, assistant director of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement (SLCE) Volunteer Programs, "this may be one of the very few opportunities they have to leave their homes."

Kent commended the program for offering an opportunity for disabled individuals to leave their homes and try something new.

He said the most rewarding part of the program is "seeing the smiles on every person's face as they leave after swim, knowing they had a wonderful time and knowing they had a chance to go to get out of their homes or caretaker situation."

The application process for Special Needs Swim begins the fall semester before the year volunteers would work. Once selected, volunteers must commit to a full academic year with their assigned swimmer. Although this can be a daunting commitment for college students, Johnson said the program is a rewarding experience for volunteers as well as participants.

"I think they're deeply affected," Johnson said. "They learn an awful lot about ability and disability and how that can impact a person's life. I think they learn how to be advocates for people who do have disabilities. They make a lot of new friends both with other CSU volunteers and with the people who swim with us."

Trish Becker, junior psychology major and Special Needs Swim project coordinator, agreed the program offers more than functional uses.

"It's not just about swimming in a pool," she said. "It's about forming a relationship and creating that bond."

Special Needs Swim is celebrating the program's 30th year reunion. It is the oldest program organized by the SLCE office.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Student in critical condition after fall

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Oct 312005
 
Authors: Brandon Lowrey

A student who apparently fell from the roof of the three-story Morgan Library on Sunday night was hospitalized in critical condition, officials said Monday.

The student is a junior male, CSU spokesman Brad Bohlander said.

The spokesman said he couldn't release the student's name under privacy laws. CSU police also declined to release a name, saying they weren't sure the student's family had been notified.

The student fell from the roof at about 10:41 p.m. Sunday, Bohlander said.

Bohlander and police said they weren't sure why the student was on the roof, nor whether he was authorized to be there. A library worker said access to the roof is normally locked and accessible only to authorized maintenance crews.

Bohlander said CSU Police Department investigators do not suspect foul play.

"It's a very sad situation," Bohlander said.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Ram handlers endure hard work

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Oct 312005
 
Authors: Anne Farrell

The music, the smoke, the cheering crowd. But it isn't the football team that is first on the field, it's CAM.

CAM the Ram appears on campus and at many special university events accompanied by his special friends, the Ram Handlers.

Ram Handling involves taking CAM to events, leading him through crowds, running him across the field at football games, cleaning up after him and a number of other responsibilities.

"I had always seen Ram Handlers running CAM across the field at football games and thought that it would be a really good way to get involved show Ram spirit and make connections with a variety of people" said Meghan Schultz, a senior animal science major who has been Ram Handling since last year.

Almost anyone on campus can apply to become a Ram Handler; the position is not limited to animal science or pre-vet majors. Applications are available today and selections are made in January. However, first year students are not allowed in the group because of the time commitment.

The selection process is fairly rigorous, said Kraig Peel an animal science professor and advisor for the Ram Handlers . When choosing the handlers an attempt is made to maintain the group's diversity, which is why the handlers vary extremely.

"When they take (CAM) out they are representing the university" Peel said.

Next year the group hopes to expand both in terms of numbers and events that they participate in. Currently there are 10 handlers, but Peel says they look to have as many as 12 and increase their visibility by taking more trips.

Handlers chosen in January train throughout the spring semester to learn how to handle and take care of CAM. Those who choose to continue for another year also mentor new members.

"Even though I've run with him across the field at football games for two years I still get an adrenaline rush when we take off with the football team running behind us and the crowd cheering." Schultz said. "That is the best part of it, just feeling the school pride."

Without a Ram there would be no handlers. CAM is a domesticated ram, but had to go through an intense training process. Currently there are two rams, one that goes everywhere and a second that is in training for next year.

"(CAM) is cool," said Leanne Lick, an American studies major studying abroad at CSU. "We don't have (mascots) in England."

Before being brought out into public CAM must be halter broken and trained to be used to people holding him. He also has to be comfortable around large groups of people in any number of situations.

"(Seeing CAM) is something to look forward to at the games," said Erin Lee, a junior psychology major.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Campus Calendar

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Oct 312005
 
Authors:

Today, November 1

Freshman Transition Workshop

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Laurel Hall

"Study Abroad Experiences." The office of International Programs has numerous opportunities for students to develop their international expertise through various programs. Come find out more about what is offered. For more information contact the Vice President for Student Affairs office at 491-5312.

Brown Bag Discussions

Noon to 1 p.m.

Lory Student Center, room 220-222

William Bridges is the keynote speaker for National Non-Traditional Student Week. If you are 23 years old or older and have experienced a significant break in your education or are pursuing a university degree for the first time, then you are considered a nontraditional student or an adult learner. The session is free. Contact Jan Rastall at jan.rastall@colostate.edu for more details.

Reflections on 25 Years of Women's Studies Research in India

4 p.m.

LSC, room 203-205

Dr. Jana Everett, chair of political science at CU-Denver, will speak on "Personal and Professional: Reflections on 25 Years of Women's Studies Research India." For more information contact Women's Programs and Studies at 491-6384.

Wednesday, November 2

Freshman Transition Workshop

4 to 6 p.m.

Wellness Zone, LSC

"What are you going to do with that? Matching interests with careers." For students deciding or re-deciding career plans or academic major. To register, call 491-5707 or email brian.oruba@colostate.edu.

CSU Swing Society

7:15 to 10:30 p.m.

Ammons Hall

Join the CSU Swing Society for lessons at 7:15 p.m. and dancing from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Cost is $3 for students and $4 for non-students. For more information contact swing@lamar.colostate.edu.

Environmental Action Coalition

7 p.m.

Eddy Hall 100

"The Global Banquet: Who's Invited and What's on the Menu." The event will include a panel discussing where our food originates and inform about a campaign called "Farm to School," which is trying to bring local food into the dorms. For more information contact Tara at 846-6559.

Women at Noon

Noon to 1 p.m.

LSC, rooms 220-222

"Women in the Czech Republic: From Equality to Efficiency." Lauren Baldridge, a CSU honors economics student, will present her research on the Czech labor market, violence against women, reproductive family planning policies and Czech feminism.

Delta Sigma Pi Co-ed Professional Business Fraternity

6 p.m.

Rockwell Hall or the LSC (specific location to be determined)

Members of Delta Sigma Pi and students in the College of Business are invited to listen to guest speaker Mark McIntosh. McIntosh will give students advice on how to be successful professionally. For more information and event location, contact Shannon at (720) 201-0183 or Tiffany at (303) 875-3847.

Thursday, November 3

Native American mascots

Noon to 1 p.m.

Native American Student Services Office, LSC, room 218

This presentation focuses on the controversial use of Native American mascots. Do they honor Native Americans or reinforce age-old stereotypes? Contact Shequeita Byrne at smbyrne@simla.colostate.edu for more details.

Scottish Arts Club

7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

LSC, room 230

Free Scottish country-dance lessons. No experience or partner needed. Everyone is welcome. For more information contact Marian at mwemple@lamar.colostate.edu.

 

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Campus Blotter

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Oct 312005
 
Authors:

Friday

Theft at the Foothills campus – a sewer-cleaning machine was taken from a shed over the previous weekend.

Theft of a bike seat at the Glover Building

Several Bicycle Enforcement and Education Program and Traffic Enforcement and Education Program tickets

Traffic – individual cited for driving while license cancelled.

Traffic – individual cited for reckless driving and no proof of insurance.

Warrant arrest – passenger in a vehicle stop identified himself as an individual who had warrants. He then gave his correct identity and still had warrants. Booked on the warrants and charged with criminal impersonation.

Driving under the influence at City Park Avenue and Baystone Drive

Assisted Fort Collins Police Services with a perimeter in a search for a shooting suspect.

Welfare check at Ingersoll Hall – individual was checked and cleared by paramedics.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

“The Weather Man” brightens the day

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Oct 302005
 
Authors: Ryan Skeels

I've said it before and I'm hoping I can keep on saying it, Nicholas Cage is the blue ribbon winner for being the best actor that used to be the worst actor after already being the best actor. Make sense? Probably not, but what does matter, the man is incredible. That may completely destroy my reputation for some readers; I just ask you to try the Cage yourself, and attempt to forget "Face/Off."

One thing that may make him such a good guy these days is the diversity of the roles he plays seems to expand by the minute. Giving up the Ben Franklins and automatic weapons of "Lord of War," Cage relocates to the front of a green screen as Chicago-renowned weatherman Dave Spritz. Not only is he the main character of this peculiarly witty film, he's also the actual plot for the flick, as it focuses on him and his attempt to keep his life in order.

Life just doesn't come to easily for David though, and there are a lot of things trying to drag him through the gravel. His dad, played by Michael Caine, has recently been diagnosed with Lymphoma and his future isn't looking too bright. His two kids are a constant handful with the son in marijuana rehab and his daughter's ignorance keeping the kids at school constantly heckling her.

As if that wasn't enough stress for your average day, his ex-wife is getting remarried to the wrong guy and won't stop bickering with Dave about his parenting techniques.

Gore Verbinski's directing is taking similar shape to Cage's acting, as every flick he does is in a completely different category from all the rest. With a history of "The Mexican," "The Ring," "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" and two sequels to "Pirates…" in the future, he's certainly proven himself worthy in all the big Hollywood circles. It's going to be exciting to see what projects he'll conquer when he's done with Captain Jack Sparrow.

For fans of films like "Sideways" with a mixture of humor, drama and lots of insight on life, there is no doubt you'll like "The Weather Man." If Nick Cage is on your list to do away with, take Billy Madison's example and give him a second chance, he's really not that bad of a guy.

4 out of 5 rammers.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Don’t See Saw 2

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Oct 302005
 
Authors: Ryan Skeels

The first movie I ever reviewed for the Collegian was the first "Saw," exactly one year ago this weekend. I had been looking forward to that flick for months upon months and when it finally came out no terrible acting could stop me from deeming it the best movie I'd seen in years. Then I watched it again on video, and holy cripes, did I ever eat my words. Sorry if my poor advice made you run straight to the ticket booth with wallet spread eagle, I won't let it happen again.

The second installation of a probable "Saw" multi-tiligy, "Saw II," picks up where the first one left off with a man sporting the hot new look for Halloween, a mask around his neck waiting to annihilate his face when the attached timer deems necessary. Brutal.

The discovery of his body leads detective Eric Mason, played by Donnie Wahlburg, straight to the Jigsaw killer himself. Everything doesn't go exactly smooth, as in the room adjacent to Jigsaw is a pile of television screens broadcasting feed of a group of folks in a house full of booby traps with no way out.

Upon noticing his son among the group with only two hours to live before a nerve agent turns them into goo, Detective Mason will stop at nothing to crack the case.

The acting was actually pretty decent and there was no Carey Elwes faux-British accent lurking in the shadows this time around. Wahlburg serves his family name well and delivers quite the I'm-the-biggest-Ahole-cop/dad-in-town performance of the holiday. His son Daniel, played by the up and coming Erik Knudsen was also really good, reminding one of Danny from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," with his polite and quiet demeanor.

It's 99 percent certain that the writers sat around one late night dreaming of the most gruesome, demented, torturous, fist balling, teeth grinding, toe curling ways to inflict pain and death on the human race. Then they spread them out on the table, picked an order of occurrence and built the crappiest, hollow, shallow and emotionless plot they could to take up the necessary space. They even tried to get you to feel bad for Jigsaw, delving into his past and presenting the worst ever motive for his wrong doings. If you're going to try and rip off such a great flick as "Seven," at least do it sort of discreetly. Some of Jigsaw's lines even sounded like they were pulled straight from the screenplay.

Another thing that ticked me off was how they tried to pull off the same chaotic editing effects they did in the first installment. It was cool in that one, but this time they kicked it up a notch attempting to spawn epileptic seizures with hard rockin' tunes blaring while some poor sap gets their hands chopped up in an acid-trip of psychotic-ness. What do you expect, after all, it has only been one whole year since the first one came out. Quantity not quality is the problem here me thinks.

If all you care about is seeing horrific expressions and screams and clenching your teeth until they snap, there may be a couple scenes worth your wallet. If a barren desert of a plot drives you nuts, however, save yourself the bother and just skip the flick and check straight into the hospital.

2 out of 5 ram heads.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

The Elegance of the Wild Goose

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Oct 302005
 
Authors: Meg Burd

It is a rare opportunity for many of us students to be able to dress up in our finest clothing and spend an evening dancing to classical music.

With Halloween finally rolling around, a touch of classic elegance is added with a masquerade ball, a lovely alternative to the usual costume parties and other activities commonly associated with the holiday. The 22nd Annual Wild Goose Ball took place Saturday, giving students and community members a chance to experience the classical and romantic beauty of a ballroom dance.

Started in 1984, the Wild Goose Ball began as a joint venture between the student folk dancing club at CSU and the Friends of Traditional Dance, a non-profit organization that continues to sponsor the ball today.

Randy Lumb, a long-time organizer of the ball and publicist for this year's event, remembered when he and fellow folk dancer, Lex Krausz, first envisioned hosting a ball in Fort Collins.

"Lex had just returned from a ball at Estes Park at the Stanley Hotel," Lumb says. "He was very excited about it, and we decided we wanted to do something here."

The name "Wild Goose" came from this early brainstorm, when Krausz pointed out the wild geese that often fly overhead during the autumn season.

The ball grew in popularity over the years, so much so that a second dance was added during spring 1983, the Wild Asparagus Ball. Both balls continue to be popular, with Lumb estimating 300 to 350 attendees.

The popularity of the balls comes in part, suggests Lumb, from the timeless elegance and enjoyment that participants take in the dances. With music supplied by the Mostly Strauss Orchestra, a 50-piece orchestra that performs all around the state, Lumb says people are excited to be "dancing to quite elegant music." Performing waltzes, polkas and even some 20th century dance music (such as big band tunes to swing to), Lumb says everyone has a chance to get out on the floor with a partner and swirl about the room in traditional style.

With the dances being relatively easy for beginners to pick up, Lumb notes everyone at the ball usually ends up dancing. "You don't have to be an expert dancer to pull it off," Lumb says. "The dances from back then are surprisingly simple. You'd think the complex music would have complex dances, but no."

While about 20 percent of the ball attendees are college students, Lumb says the dancing is perhaps best suited to this age group.

"They are aerobic dances," Lumb laughs. "You have to be in good shape to do this stuff."

While offering a chance to dress up in formal wear or costume, the ball also offered a chance for romance.

"There have been some matches made in heaven here," Lumb says of past balls. Indeed, the style of dancing seems to facilitate a connection between partners.

"It's helpful with the spinning dances to stare into each others eyes, for balance, and that can transform into getting to know each other," Lumb notes.

Ball attendees also got to know each other during the opening Grand March, which took place at 8 p.m., a traditional ball activity that allows participants to walk around the room, meet one another and see the array of clothing and costumes.

Many students will attend the ball each year, as well as many people in costume (indeed, a costume contest with prizes such as a stay in the Armstrong Hotel such as what was being conducted this year) and continue to take part in a classic and classy tradition.

A unique experience, the Wild Goose Masquerade Ball offered a chance to step back to old time elegance in music, dress and perhaps a chance to find romance out on the dance floor.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm