For graduating seniors, CSU’s Career Center can be a lifeline

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May 062007

The center, located in Ammons Hall on the northwest corner of The Oval, provides services for CSU students up to a year after they graduate.

Services include:

– Career counseling

– Job posting

– Workshops

– Career fairs

Hours for the center are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walk-in hours during the regular semesters are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wellness Zone in the Lory Student Center. These hours do not apply during the summer semester or during breaks.

Walk-in hours end after May.

Also, the center offers CareerRAM – an online service solely for CSU students and alumni, providing job and internship postings, job interview signups, resume referral and other information.

Counselors can also help students and graduates with career assessments – weighing one’s interests, skills, values and personalities against various job paths, according to the Career Center’s Web site.

To schedule an appointment, call (970) 491-5707.


Career Center counselors help students with:

/ Career counseling and decision making, including use of inventories such as the Strong Interest Inventory, Campbell Interest and Skills Survey and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator

/ Writing CV’s, resumes and cover letters

/ Applying to graduate or professional school

/ Finding internships, jobs and post-doc opportunities

/ Interviewing for jobs and graduate/professional school


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Connecting alums and CSU

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May 062007
Authors: Anica Wong

5,000 members strong and standing behind the slogan, “The Alumni Association connects you to CSU alumni and friends around the world,” the Alumni Association of CSU offers alums, new and old, many different ways to continue the bond they share with CSU.

“Through the Alumni Association, we offer new alums a way to stay connected to CSU,” said Kellen McMartin, the coordinator of member services for the Alumni Association.

Recent graduates receive many benefits with their reduced fee of $25 a year, which makes them certified members of the Alumni Association. Members will receive a monthly e-newsletter, a magazine that is produced three times a year as well as the connection with several Ram Networks around the nation.

There are several large Ram Networks that new alums can join, including associations in Denver, Phoenix, Ariz., Washington, D.C., the Bay Area of California, Los Angeles, Calif., Orange County, Calif. and Kansas City, Mo.

For students staying in the Denver area, McMartin suggests attending the New Grad Welcome Party in Denver. The party will be on June 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Colorado Business Bank lobby.

“This is a great way for recent grads to get plugged into the network,” McMartin said.

As well as helping alums keep close ties with CSU, the Alumni Association also offers members several different services.

Alums have the option to receive a CSU credit card through U.S. Bank, where a portion of the money is donated back to the Alumni Association to fund specific scholarships.

Grads can also consolidate their student loans through Nelnet and receive discounted medical insurance through American Insurance Administrators as members of the Alumni Association.

“I joined because I wanted to support the Alumni Association and to make sure that I was staying involved,” said Joel Cantalamessa, a 1995 graduate of CSU.

He only joined a few months ago but is already seeing the benefits of becoming a member.

“I like how hard (the Alumni Association) works to keep former students involved,” said Cantlamessa.

Along with being involved with CSU in several ways, Cantalamessa is also the founder of, on online Web community that is based around CSU athletics and alumni.

“It is a neat tool to get to know other (CSU) fans and alumni,” Cantalamessa said.

The Web site has several message boards where alumni and Ram fans can talk with each other about CSU athletics as well as general CSU events.

For more information about benefits of becoming a member of the Alumni Association and services provided by the organization, visit

Staff writer Anica Wong can be reached at

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Women up in education, but still seek equity

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May 062007
Authors: Jessi Stafford

Throughout the history of higher education in the U.S. there has been an overlying theme of male dominance. Universities and colleges began as institutions specifically for men to study, earn diplomas and enter into the job force.

Yet, studies from recent years have shown that the number of females in higher education is rising to meet the number of males. And in the past five years, the number of women has exceeded that of men.

CSU is one university that reflects this trend. In fact, 52 percent of the students who were enrolled in the 2006-2007 school year were women, according to the CSU Fact Book.

In the 2006-2007 school year, 72 percent of the students enrolled in veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences were women, which is a giant leap from CSU’s roots.

Although females are beginning to saturate the classroom, the uphill climb toward equalizing the gender gap has not necessarily been easy.

Laying the groundwork

Dr. Robert Shideler attended CSU when veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences was only beginning to blossom into the high-ranked program it would later become. He graduated in 1948, when the university was still called Colorado A&M College. The year he graduated, only one-fifth of the total students were women, according to CSU enrollment statistics.

One woman was in veterinary medicine.

“The student population ratio of men to women in my day was 10 percent women and 90 percent men,” Dr. Shideler said. “Now it’s the reverse of that.”

The change, as far as veterinary medicine is concerned, is a direct result of the gender ratio of who is applying, Shideler said.

“The application pool is mostly women,” he said of today’s enrollment. “That doesn’t really say anything about either gender, it’s just the way it is.”

Nicolas Booth, a veterinary medicine graduate of the 1951 class, saw similar circumstances during his time at CSU, but he did see an increase in female enrollment.

“About 25 percent of the students were women when I was in school,” Booth said. “And in veterinary medicine it was much less than that.”

Yet, Booth believed in educating women as well as men, even if it wasn’t the majority opinion.

“Women should get an education, I’ve never seen it any other way,” Booth said. “There were some people who felt that women didn’t need to get a college degree, though.”

The women who did earn degrees in the 50’s, however, were mostly concentrated in the College of Home Economics, Booth said.

A Shift in the Trend

Twenty years after Booth graduated from the veterinary school and after the U.S. gradually entered into the Vietnam War, popular culture shifted. So too, did the expectations of women as more and more began stepping outside of the home and into universities.

Although, in 1970, the total number of men enrolled at CSU still nearly tripled that of women, according to CSU enrollment statistics. And the trend of women in home economics continued, while the men populated agriculture, engineering and veterinary medicine.

In the early 70’s Susan Usel found herself among an influx of females entering CSU. She majored in hearing and speech science, which was overwhelmingly populated by more women than men.

“Yeah it wasn’t good for meeting guys,” Usel said. “My classes were dominated by females.”

And Usel knew how important it was to meet the guys.

This may have been because the university wasn’t a place where women were expected to learn, it was a place where they were expected to find their husbands and begin a family, Usel said.

Some called it the MRS degree.

“Women went to school to find a mate,” she said. “There was a lot of pressure to find a husband.”

And many women she knew did follow the traditional path of marriage and children.

“Most women I knew got married just after school and then started having kids,” she said.

Gayle Adams, also a CSU student in the early 70’s, agrees that there was pressure to get hitched.

“Getting married was equally important,” Adams said. “And if I didn’t get married, then the degree was even more important.”

In those days, many women were told that getting married was actually more important than receiving an education, Adams said.

So, with an exaggerated emphasis on the wedding vows and such little emphasis on the diploma, it may not be altogether surprising that it took a few more years for women to begin significantly filling up seats in classes other than home economics.

Finding Equality

By 1979, the number of female students enrolled at CSU was almost equal to that of the number of males, according to CSU enrollment statistics. The concentration of women was still in humanities and home economics, but more women began entering veterinary medicine, business and engineering – predominantly male-saturated majors.

Pam Schwartz, a CSU graduate in 1979, was among the female-dominated classes of human development and family relations, formerly coined home economics.

“The program was really good, I learned a lot about life,” Schwartz said. “But there’s not a lot you can do with it.”

In fact, Schwartz went on after earning her degree to be a teacher’s aid and then a secretary. Then, years later, she went back to school to earn her teaching certificate.

“I’m not sure what most women went on to do with their degrees,” she said.

Along with more women going into higher education, Schwartz also found that there was less stress on finding a husband and more on actually getting an education.

“We all had boyfriends come and go,” she said. “It was not expected that by the end of college I had a husband.”

But it was expected that she earn her diploma, which was a different experience than many women had before her.

“My parents insisted that I go to college,” Schwartz said.

Dominating the Classroom

Now the number of women in higher education exceeds the number of men in institutions across the nation. At CSU alone, the number of females is equal to or exceeds the number of males in almost all majors.

In fact, the only major that has a significantly higher percentage of males is engineering, according to the CSU Fact Book.

Adams, who once was a student enrolled in plant pathology, now finds herself back inside the classroom. Although now, she says, things have changed.

“It used to be that the majority were guys, especially in math classes, but now it’s pretty even-steven,” Adams said.

Although women have shoved their feet into the doors of higher education, there still may be a struggle to significantly enter the job force and receive pay that is consistently equal to that of men.

Women on average earn about 76.5 percent of the male average salary – or 76 cents to the dollar – according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“I think women are accepted into more fields now, but I still don’t think women have as much earning power as men,” Schwartz said. “Women still make less money.”

News editor Jessi Stafford can be reached at

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Fake n’ Bake

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May 062007
Authors: Margaret Canty

Karen Raines used to lie outside for hours, dreaming of glowing, bronzed skin until her flesh was red and blistered.

But the burns never made the 25-year-old tan. Instead, she got call from her doctor.

Raines had skin cancer.

Now, at 48, the CSU biology professor bears a small scar on her back – a permanent reminder to the three-time skin cancer survivor that tan skin isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s a value she passes on to her daughter and students.

Raines has changed her relationship with the sun. She spends less time in daylight, wears sunscreen everyday and still receives annual skin checks from a dermatologist.

But not everyone gets a second chance or third chance. This year alone, 8,000 Americans will pay for skin-deep beauty – with their lives.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of skin cancer among young people in the U.S. has risen by almost three percent each year since 1981, and Colorado, with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, is no exception.

With May being National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, dermatologists have targeted indoor tanning salons, pointing to their increase in popularity as the cause.

But indoor tanning isn’t going down without a fight. Several local salons are actively promoting themselves as the healthy alternative to sun tanning, and some insist no proven link exists between indoor tanning and skin cancer.

And with the recent failure of a Colorado bill that would limit tanning to those over 18 – a law passed in 19 other states – it appears the salons could be winning.

Indoor tanning has grown to become a $5 billion-a-year industry, with 30 million Americans catching the fake rays each year, according to The American Academy of Dermatology.

Home to over a dozen tanning salons, Fort Collins is no stranger to this market. CSU students have their pick to an array of tanning techniques and locations when the weather doesn’t permit a bake. The synthetically hued skin tones flooding campus attest to tanning popularity, especially in the frigid winter months.

“Since 1996 there has been a sky rocketing boom in the tanning industry,” said Tassica Singleton, a manger at A Desired Look tanning salon in Fort Collins. “People aspire to look like the people they see in a magazine, and right now, they’re more dark, and have golden skin tones. Their popularity is still on the rise.”

But this fake baking could leave students fried. Despite the “safety” advertised by several salons, the rays emitted by tanning beds can carry both UVA and UVB rays, said Jane Higgins, a physician at Hartshorn Health Center. Both of these rays are linked with an increased risk of melanoma, the deadly and most prominent type of cancer in Colorado.

Lauri Elwyn, a physician and medical director at Hartshorn, has seen this cancer first hand at Colorado State University. Over the past several years, there has been an increase in cases of melanoma. The health center sees at least one student patient with the disease each year.

“There is no definite known reason for the increase in melanoma, and both tanning from the sun and tanning at a salon will increase your risks,” said Elwyn, who has also seen an increase in indoor tanning in many patients, especially before spring break. “But I discourage tanning in the salon because it’s more concentrated, and medically, it’s completely negative.”

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, which strongly encourages any legislation limiting the use of tanning beds by minors, tanning beds can emit up to 15 times the amount of UVA rays as the sun, significantly increasing one’s chance of cancer.

Coloradans are especially at risk for the disease, even without the aide of tanning beds, due to its touted number of sunny days and the higher altitude. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported an incidence rate among men in the state as 46 percent higher than the nation, and for women, 38 percent higher.

With statistics like these, it’s a wonder why the use of tanning beds has grown so consistently along with skin cancer rates.

Linda Johnson, a manager at Ultra Tanz tanning salon, thinks that indoor tanning offers more benefits than drawbacks.

“It only takes three sessions in a high bed to get a good base tan,” she said. “You don’t have to lay out all the time and it can keep you from burning.”

Johnson said that Ultra Tanz requires that patrons be 18 or have permission by a parent to use their beds, adhering to federal regulation. She believes further legislation restricting their use to minors is unnecessary, and Singleton agrees.

“If people educate themselves, they can make good decisions on their own,” she said. “You have to do things in moderation, and hope that the girls who tan with parent’s permission have been educated by their parents.”

Higgins also believes education is the key to reversing the skin cancer growth.

“I am not sure legislation is the appropriate way to influence people’s health decisions,” she said. “Education is important, and making sure people understand the risk there might be with using tanning beds is prudent.”

Having battled with skin cancer first hand, Raines view of tanning salons is much less forgiving. She said they’re “horrible,” and that because evidence suggests that burns from childhood pay a large role in one’s risk of skin cancer, minors should not be allowed to use them, parental permission or not.

“It’s weird to think that changes in a part of your body, like your skin, could kill you,” she said. “It’s hard to imagine, but it does.”

Staff writer Margaret Canty can be reached at

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College Royalty

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May 062007
Authors: Brian Park

Some fortunate CSU students could be hailed royalty on campus. But only the pretty ones will get a shot at the title of “king” and “queen.”

It’s all going to happen at – a social networking site created by two CSU students who say beauty is in the eyes of, well, them.

The site models the likes of Facebook and, but adds an exclusive spin.

“College Royalty will have features that you won’t see anywhere else, it gives people the opportunity to elect who is famous,” said Rob Thomas, a CSU junior and the founder and co-owner of the company. “This will be a non-Ivy League school creating a Web site for students across the nation.”

The site debuts on May 11, a day after Thomas and Ryan Pinjuv, co-owner, host an exclusive, red carpet launch party at Osiris Night Club, where they say vanity will trump the standard cover charge.

“It’s going to be the hottest girls and best-looking guys,” Thomas said of the site’s kick-off party.

A different type of Web site

Students can create profiles, add friends (VIP’s), network with other students and have the ability to vote every week for the most famous woman and man on campus – the royalty. Then the students who receive the most votes in a month will be crowned king and queen for that month and become eligible to star in a College Royalty calendar.

“We’re creating a talent agency out of student calendars, this is going to take social networking to the next level,” Thomas said.

College Royalty will offer unique features that sites like Facebook do not have. Besides the king and queen aspect, an organizational page will give students the ability to type in dates and times of exams, parties and job interviews, and then a text message will be sent out to their cell phones to remind them of their plans. The Bathroom Stall page is a virtual public restroom where students can post anonymous comments, rants and thoughts in graffiti style that will be “painted over” daily.

“We’re not trying to steal Facebook’s thunder, but when they (students) get bored of Facebook this is where we can get them to go,” Thomas said.

A Drink Cheap section will allow students to rate bars throughout town and receive text messages daily about the best deals on booze and food.

“Every day you’ll be able to see the best deals,” Thomas said. “The ratings will change according to user input, you’ll be able to give it a one through five rating.”

This section will be available upon the Web site’s launch, while the Organizer and Bathroom Stall will not be up-and-running until August. The top-rated bar will be placed prominently at the top of the Drink Cheap section.

The co-owners say they believe this will be a useful reminder for students who can never remember where dollar beers are being poured and inexpensive mixed drinks stirred.

“I go to Sullivan’s five nights a week, and I don’t even know the specials,” Pinjuv said.

Hollywood-style debut

On May 10 the red carpet will be rolled out, the limos will arrive and the College Royalty models will strut their stuff as the Web site will debut at Osiris Night Club in Fort Collins.

The photos will be flashing, film crews will be filming and deejays and break-dancers will be doing their thing in the parking lot as partygoers arrive.

The CSU duo say the event will also be raising money for charity, donating 10 percent of the $10 cover charge to Shoot For David’s Cure. The foundation is raising money for David Crider, an 8th grader in Windsor who is suffering from synovial cell sarcoma, a type of cancer threatening to take away his left arm. The money would go toward Crider’s medical expenses.

Thomas, who coined himself “Rob ‘Party Boy’ Thomas on his Facebook account, says it’s going to be a party for the record books.

“This is going to be the only red carpet event in Colorado. We’re going all out: photographers, media, camera crews; this party is going to be amazing,” he said.

Of the 15 College Royalty models, 10 are CSU students and the other five are from Denver. The models will arrive via limos, walk the red carpet and pose for pictures with spectators for a $10 fee, with 10 percent of the funds generated from the photos going to the Windsor foundation as well.

“It’s going to be really cool. If it’s a couple grand raised that would be awesome. I was thinking more like $700 to a grand,” said Corey Manicone, a CSU freshman and co-founder of Shoot For David’s Cure.

Lauren Clary is one of the Royalty models and a sophomore biological science major at CSU.

“This just sounded really exciting, all the details sound great – a stylist, limo, red carpet,” Clary said. “I just got really excited about it and thought it would be a good experience.”

These are some of most beautiful women at CSU, Thomas and Pinjuv said. And they aren’t shy to say they’d know.

“They’re Royalty girls, and they’re going to rock our Royalty world,” Thomas said.

Pinjuv seems ecstatic, saying that the event is going to be the best party of the year and help out a good cause at the same time.

“College Royalty is not going to make any money off this event,” Pinjuv said. “It looks good and it’s the right thing to do.”

But these two haven’t had the best of luck when it comes to fundraising.

Learning from his past

Some CSU students might remember Rob Thomas’s name.

Thomas was one of three CSU students to organize “Streak-a-palooza” last fall with hopes of breaking the Guinness Book record for streaking and all the while raise money for a cancer support group.

While the record was far from broken and only $58 was raised, Thomas said he learned a valuable lesson from the incident.

“The streaking thing wasn’t a serious thing, but it gave me the opportunity to see how I can affect the student body with just one idea,” he said.

He and Pinjuv are convinced College Royalty will triumph.

“I mean the London Metro wrote a story about me,” Thomas said. “To write a story about a kid in Colorado, obviously that kid in Colorado made a difference that someone in England wrote about me.”

Thomas and Pinjuv scoff at their critics who think their company will not make it.

“There’s always going to be haters,” Thomas said. “And for the record we’re doing the streak in the fall.”

What the future holds

At first College Royalty will solely focus on Colorado schools, such as CSU, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Northern Colorado and University of Denver, Thomas and Pinjuv said.

The overall goal is to expand the site to schools around the country, widening the scope of their latest endeavor.

“By this time next year it will be available to every college in the nation,” Pinjuv said.

The two co-owners also plan on starting a Maxim-like magazine for college students and would place the monthly “king” and “queen” winners on the cover.

So far both say they believe the process of creating the company has been extremely valuable but also very time-consuming. The two have clocked hundreds and hundreds of hours on College Royalty.

“I mean it’s just an experience, it’s a good learning experience, why not try it?” Pinjuv said. “I don’t want to be 26 years old and be like I didn’t give it a shot.”

With the party on Thursday and the launch a day later, the two are itching to see what happens next.

“This is a new tool that we’re completely confident will succeed,” Thomas said. “This site will eliminate the corporate power who is working for profit and gives it to the people with something that is entertaining and revolutionary.”


To learn more:

Check out on May 11

College Royalty Red Carpet Launch Party:

When: Thursday, May 10 from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Where: Osiris Night Club at 2469 E. Mulberry Street in Fort Collins

Cost: $10 cover

For more information on College Royalty contact or

For more information on Shoot For David’s Cure visit

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ASCSU battles with Penley – and wins

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May 062007
Authors: Vimal Patel

Luke Ragland sat along a wall in a third-floor room of the Capitol building when he heard the news.

The CSU student listened as Sen. Andrew McElhany announced to about 15 Republican lawmakers that CSU wanted an amendment that would increase tuition by nearly half added to the state’s spending bill.

“My first reaction was, ‘this can’t be right,'” Ragland said. “Something was wrong. There’s no way it can be a 43 percent increase.”

Ragland was there that late March day for an internship through the political science department. But he was also director of Legislative Affairs for Associated Students of CSU.

He switched hats and went to work. He called ASCSU’s lobbyist. He then dialed President Jason Green. The student government decided it would take a stance against the increase.

The next day, Ragland skipped classes, put his life on hold and drove to Denver.

He had an amendment to battle.

Penley makes his move

The university wanted to close the so-called credit gap. CSU can only charge students for nine credits. Other Colorado colleges and universities are able to charge for up to 12.

This, CSU President Larry Penley said, was clearly unfair to CSU. And he was done talking.

He’d been talking for months, he would later write in an e-mail to students, but the funding inequities that plagued CSU persisted.

The amendment introduced by Sen. Bob Bacon, a Fort Collins Democrat, at the behest of Penley would have given the university an additional $34 million in spending authority. The increase, of course, would have been paid for by students.

The gap would have been filled in one shot, at the cost of about an extra $577 per semester for each in-state student – less than the initial 43 percent increase version, but still close at 37 percent.

The amendment was added to the Long Bill, the state’s $17.8 billion spending bill.

Immediately, Penley and the amendment were denounced – by legislators and student leaders. The rage was hot, and it mostly centered not on the content of the amendment, but the way it was introduced.

“One of the norms in the legislature is you don’t surprise people,” said John Straayer, CSU political science professor.

Student leaders were upset because of a lack of input. Legislators were upset because they were kept out of the loop. And both were upset because of the last-minute attempt to, as they saw it, unfairly sneak through a dramatic funding measure.

“It was a surprise to me that that was coming,” said Sen. Steve Johnson, a Fort Collins Republican and member of the powerful Joint Budget Committee, about the 11th hour add-on.

“We really had no input from CSU lobbyists during the budget process . I would have liked to have been a more effective advocate for CSU, but when I don’t hear from them it’s hard to do that.”

Bacon, the author of the amendment, defended the measure and its timing.

“You seize the moment,” he said. “I would not do anything different because any time I have an opportunity to help the fiscal health of CSU, I’m going to seize that opportunity.”

ASCSU counters

People – especially legislators and journalists – like personal accounts. Human tales bring to life stories the way facts and statistics can’t.

Ragland had one.

The Dolores native’s family owns a small business in southwestern Colorado. Like most students, he gets tuition assistance. And his sister will be attending CSU next year.

This wasn’t a tuition increase, the CSU administration’s lobbyists argued to legislators. They were right. Technically, it wasn’t. But Ragland saw the increase not in semantics, but in practical terms.

Whatever the increase is called, he said, the bottom line is his working-class family would be paying significantly more to fund his education. And a large part of his decision to attend CSU was cost.

“I kind of liked the idea of attending (Arizona State University) or other schools, but there was no way my family could afford that,” he said.

So armed with a personal account of a cash-strapped college student, his mission that day was to tell it to as many legislators that would listen.

He’d catch the lawmakers wherever he could. On their way to lunch. In their offices. He’d send his business card in with the Sergeant at Arms and request meetings that way.

“You’d be surprised how accessible the Colorado state legislature is,” he said, estimating he made his argument against the amendment to about 20 legislators.

“Legislators were receptive to (my) message because it was straightforward. Also, students were not consulted in any way, shape or form. Legislators were receptive to that, too.”


The day of hard work paid off. The amendment was shot down in the Senate 18-15.

And some credit Ragland for the outcome.

Johnson said three senators personally told him it was Ragland’s explanation that helped them digest the issue.

“They told me that Luke’s explanation was clear and concise and helped explain the impact of the amendment,” he said. “CSU’s lobbyists were confusing people. Senators were telling me, ‘That CSU student explained to me in two minutes what those CSU lobbyists couldn’t.'”

Sen. Josh Penry, a Fruita Republican, even mentioned Ragland’s account at the Senate podium.

But on such a passionate issue, Ragland wasn’t viewed as a hero to all.

“I believe this is a failure by the governor and senate to acknowledge the value of higher education at CSU, to provide equitable funding with other institutions in the state and our peers, and to allow CSU the revenue authority to replace missing state funds,” wrote Robert Jones, chair of the CSU faculty council, in an internal e-mail to other council members.

“In their refusal to take the responsible approach to funding higher education, it appears that they have enlisted an anti-tuition sentiment in some students as their mouthpieces and excuses to the media.”

The only student lobbying in Denver against the amendment was Ragland, and he took offense at being called a mouthpiece.

“The reality is, the dialogue between me and legislators was unequivocally one way,” he said. “It was me giving them information. I was not approached by anyone.”

The day after the amendment was shot down, Penley’s office released a list of programs and services that would take a hit because of the defeat.

Some cutbacks, according to CSU, included a reduction in faculty salary increases by one percent, elimination of 100 planned new faculty positions and a reduction in the amount of assistance offered to low-income students.

Ragland called the list a scare tactic used to rally the community to the university’s side. He also added he found it curious that there were no slated cuts for administrators on that list.

Moving on

Last week, CSU proposed a tuition increase of 5 percent on in-state and out-of-state students. The university also proposed increasing the amount of credits it can charge full-time students for to 10. It’s expected to close the entire gap incrementally over three years, what many critics of the Long Bill amendment suggested.

Under the new proposal, in-state students would pay an extra $287 per semester. Out-of-state students would spend an additional $1,243.

Although not ideal, this level of increase would be acceptable, Ragland said.

“We were just happy they didn’t do it all at once because of the huge tuition costs associated with it,” he told the Collegian last week. “We’re absolutely not opposed to tuition increases in general. We think they should be responsible. Preliminarily, it looks appropriate.”

The current proposal won’t provide nearly as much funding as the failed Long Bill amendment would have, but it’s a start, student leaders said. And it’s one step away from the March debacle and toward reconciliation.

“Everybody was really mad at first, but like any other conflict, time will ease that,” Ragland said. “I think there’s some rebuilding that still needs to occur. I think there’s some allies that CSU had that may feel alienated because of this.”

Others, too, were optimistic about the future of CSU’s relationship with legislators.

“It cost us some goodwill and it cost us some friends, at least in the short run,” Straayer said.

“From everything I’ve heard down there, that’s indisputable – no matter what the story is here. But in the long run, these things have a way of fading away. Sometimes, people can have a hell of a fight, but that doesn’t mean they’re lifelong enemies.”

And if anything positive came from the fight, it’s that state funding of Colorado’s higher-education institutions, especially CSU, was in the spotlight.

“CSU was put in the forefront of every newspaper in the state,” Ragland said. “That’s a good thing. I would never suggest a tactic like this, but there are good things that came out of it, including more communication between students (and administration).”

A political education

Ragland’s all-day lobbying effort in Denver was an eye-opener. He learned about “the process behind the process,” and that lobbying’s a skillful art that isn’t all bad.

The 21-year-old doesn’t quite know why he likes politics as much as he does. His family wasn’t especially political, but for some reason, he’d find himself watching “Meet the Press” as a kid.

“I love the political process. I love studying it. I love being a part of it,” said Ragland, a political science major.

“I don’t know why. It’s just something I understand. It’s so hard to say what I’m going to do (for a career), but it seems like I’m always going to be drawn back to politics because that’s what I love.”

But his years of studying political science from textbooks and in the classroom didn’t quite prepare him for real-life politicking.

Ragland was instrumental in defeating the amendment that would have jacked-up tuition hundreds of dollars per semester for most students, and changing the very nature of the tuition picture for cash-strapped students.

But in the process, he changed and grew as well.

“I’ve learned more about the process that day than I did all four years studying political science,” he said.

“I never expected to be involved in something so controversial and I didn’t want to, either. It was something reluctant that we had to do. There were no winners that day.”

Staff writer Vimal Patel can be reached at


By the Numbers: Higher-Education Funding in Colorado

$832 million: The average Colorado higher-education funding trails its peers.

12.3 percent: The increase in full-time equivalent (FTE) students in Colorado from 2001 to 2006.

14.1 percent: The decrease in state funding allocated per student, the second worst drop in the country.

$7,644: Colorado’s state support per student, the lowest among all 50 states.

The CSU amendment to the Long Bill: A primer

Who: Sen. Bob Bacon, a Fort Collins Democrat, at the request of President Penley, authors a last-minute amendment to the Long Bill, a $17.8 billion state budget bill. The amendment is defeated in the Senate, 18-15.

What: The amendment would have given CSU an additional $34 million in spending authority to provide substantial financial aid to low-income students and fund various services and programs. The money would come from charging full-time students for 12 credit hours, which most Colorado colleges are allowed to, rather than the current nine CSU is able to.

Why: Penley said CSU is being treated unfairly by the state. The credit gap needs to be fixed, and the amendment was the only way to do it.

The Cost: Students would have eaten the cost. At $192.55 per credit, a three-credit leap would cost full-time students an extra $577.65 per semester.

The Criticism: Critics charge that the amendment, which would have closed the credit gap in one quick fix, was a giant leap that would have put extreme burden on cash-strapped students. Most criticism of Penley, however, was directed at Penley’s alleged lack of communication with lawmakers and students, along with the timing. As Gov. Ritter’s spokesman put it, the CSU president “tried to pull a fast one.”

The Opposition: Gov. Ritter, Sen. Johnson and several other politicians; the Colorado Dept. of Higher Education; Associated Students of CSU, especially its director of legislative affairs, Luke Ragland, who spent all day March 28 lobbying against the amendment. Some lawmakers credit the political science major with defeating the amendment.

The Support: President Larry Penley, several faculty members at CSU, Sen. Bob Bacon.

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‘Road to nowhere’ leads back to CSU

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May 062007
Authors: Francisco Tharp

Steph Davis checks her climbing harness one more time, her figure-eight knot and the tape she’s wrapped around her hands to protect them from the Yosemite granite. Silver carabiners, blue cord and multicolored quickdraws and cams – the tools of her trade – hang from her harness like elaborate jewelry. Behind her, is 3,000 vertical feet of air.

Davis’ partner, Cybele Blood, whom Davis met only days before their climb, feeds her some rope and good vibes– You can do this, Steph.

Davis places her fingers into the just-wide-enough crack and twists hard. Solid. She places her foot on a crumbly, dime-thin edge that her feet are too numb to feel and powers up the wall. A cold October wind rushes up the rock face from the Yosemite Valley below and swirls Davis’ long dark hair.

Only two more pitches (rope lengths) tower between 33-year-old Steph Davis and the top of the Salath/ Wall route on Yosemite’s El Capitan. If she makes it, she’ll be the first woman and ninth person to free-climb the mountain, Davis planned on spending five days climbing this route, but it’s taken her seven just to reach this point, and the two hardest sections of climbing remain.

At the top of this second to last pitch, which climbers call the “Enduro Pitch” for its 150 feet of hard, sustained climbing, Davis is so worn out that she struggles to lift the 8.9 millimeter rope that stands between her and ten seconds of free fall.

She clenches the rope in her teeth, pushes the slack through the anchor carabiner and goes for the last moves. Just as she reaches for the second-to-last hand-hold, she feels her hands slipping out of the smooth rock. Suddenly her right foot slips off and Davis flies. The rope stretches taught against the anchor and Davis bounces twenty feet below.

She’s fallen for the umpteenth time. Everything seems to be going wrong on this climb. Freezing and tearful with frustration, she lowers back to Blood.

Out of food and growing skinnier by the day, the climbers decide Blood will climb fixed ropes up to the top of the rock, hike to the bottom of the valley, buy food and return in the morning. Then they’ll keep trying.

Davis spends another night on her sidewalk-sized ledge, alone with her doubt and exhaustion.

A Fort Collins Homecoming

Two years later the sun is hanging low over the big “A” and the Horsetooth bouldering areas. From campus, Davis looks west with joyous nostalgia. She hasn’t been back to Fort Collins since graduating with a master’s degree in literature in 1995.

“Fort Collins was the best,” Davis said. “I came from Maryland, but that was never home. Then I got here and I was like, ‘Oh my God’, this is where I belong. When I had to go back to Maryland, it was like being put in jail. This school is perfect. Everything’s just the right size.”

Fort Collins is where Davis’ “road to nowhere” (the climbing life, that is) really blossomed as she climbed the Horsetooth Reservoir boulders and the Estes Park crags during her year of undergrad work at CSU in the early 90’s and later during her Master’s program.

Rodney Ley, assistant director of the CSU Outdoor Adventure Program where Davis taught climbing classes in grad school, remembers Davis as a good climber back then, “but not a climber you’d expect to be one of the best in the world a few years later.”

After finishing her master’s degree, Davis surrendered to her true love: climbing. Her parents certainly weren’t happy when she quit law school at CU Boulder to follow her passion, but she implies that to have done anything else would have simply been unnatural.

Davis writes in her recently-published first book, “High Infatuation: A Climber’s Guide to Love and Gravity”: “My pursuit of climbing was … a surrender to the inevitable. Even now, supposedly older and wiser, I make most fundamental life decisions impetuously, based on what feels right inside, and I never look back. It’s the only thing I can do.”

For seven years, what “felt right to do” for Davis was to first live out of her grandmother’s hand-me-down Oldsmobile sedan with the seats removed, and later – “luxuriously” – out of the back of a Ford Ranger pickup, all the while climbing hard, traveling far and occasionally supporting her habit by waiting tables or guiding climbers.

During those nomadic years, Davis put up many thousands of feet of first ascents on hard rock, snow and ice climbing routes in places like Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, the Baffin Islands and the Argentine Patagonia.

“I constantly worried my life was a wreck and careening toward destitution,” Davis writes, but following her path has led her to more contentment than she says she could have predicted.

Along the way she fell in love with Moab, Utah, and made it her home by “acquiring a storage unit and a library card.” She now has a home base in Moab as well as Yosemite with her husband, professional adventurer Dean Potter, and canine running partner, Fletcher. Salath/ High, Salath/ Low

The following morning, Blood rappels to Davis with fresh food, a Scrabble board, a bottle of wine (for the top) and gifts from fellow climbers in the valley below.

After resting for a day and feeling replenished by food and encouragement radioed from below, Davis finally climbs the “Enduro” pitch, but the climb is far from over. The next day she falls various times off the last move of the final pitch before finally “sending” it a day later and becoming the first woman to free climb the Salath/ Wall, which, with its 5.13c difficulty rating, would be like scaling a 300-story high-rise on holds barely big enough to pinch.

After ten days Davis’ strength, focus and determination paid off. For weeks afterward, she was in “ecstasy.”

“I had used every scrap of reserve I possessed and had to fight harder than I ever thought possible to climb [the Salath/]” Davis writes. “For the first time in my life, I truly believed that I could do anything I put my mind to, and it was an amazing feeling.”

But that high was not without its low.

After the thrill of climbing one of the hardest routes in Yosemite had worn off, Davis felt “drained.”

“The Salath/ was a humongous psychological and spiritual crux for me,” Davis says, “and the low was every bit as intense as the high, to a degree I had never experienced before. I was like, ‘whoa – I am totally obliterated.’ I felt crushed by doubt.”

Davis found herself questioning her highly-motivated, goal-driven attitude on the Salath/ given that her spiritual and philosophical beliefs call to “surrender to the flow, to never force outcomes.”

“I recognized the conflict between my spiritual philosophies and my personal ethic of hard work and determination, and I was filled with confusion,” Davis writes in her book.

She says she knows other climbers who’ve given their all to a project have had similar experiences.

Although she hasn’t fully reconciled this dilemma even now, two years after climbing the Salath/, Davis seems to have regained her joy and wonder for life.

“I think I’m trying to be at a slightly more peaceful place right now. I’m finding myself more comfortable with my big climbing projects, but I’m also happy without that now,” she said. “I think it’s a special balance to be able to put so much energy and focus on something – because that’s a beautiful thing – but also to not be controlled by it. There was a time, like on the Salath/, that I was controlled by my climbing projects, and I don’t think it was necessarily healthy. It seems in the climbing world it’s generally okay to be selfish – encouraged, even – but I’m starting not to feel that anymore.”

Writing her book, “High Infatuation” helped Davis sort through these personal conflicts.

“Writing that story and having to piece it all together helped me recover from those feelings,” she said.

Davis presented her book and climbing adventures at the Lory Student Center last Wednesday. She blended reading passages with thrilling climbing videos and photographs set to soulful music.

Ley, who coordinated Davis’ visit, said, “Steph hasn’t changed that much. She’s still got all that ‘ha-ha-ha!'”

In the end, it’s all about living simply and naturally for Davis.

“Climbing,” she writes in her book, “Simply and joyfully, is the way I love the world.”

Staff writer Francisco Tharp can be reached at

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Softball Loses One, Lightning Ends Game 2

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May 032007
Authors: Nick Hubel

The Ram softball was back at home Thursday after a two week road trip, hosting the last-place Utah Utes in what was scheduled to be a late-afternoon doubleheader. The Rams lost the first game 3-2 in extra innings, and played one out of one inning in game two before a severe weather warning threw the game into a delay.

The weather cleared up by 5:15 p.m., but Utah had to leave to catch their flight out of Denver by 6:15, so officials decided to call the game.

CSU will not make up their second game because, under Mountain West rules, teams do not have to make up the last game of their season series if that game is called.

After the delay, CSU head coach Mary Yori expressed her frustration with the situation.

“If (Utah) could have waited, we could have played this game,” Yori said. “This isn’t what is best for the program or our student athletes. This isn’t working.”

The weather did stay away long enough for the Rams to get their first game in, but the sunshine didn’t seem to help the team out any as they lost their third strait game.

The Utes jumped on the Ram pitching early in the first game, as junior Meghan Crouse led off the game with a triple, paving the way for the Utes to score two runs in the first two innings.

The Rams were held scoreless with just one hit until the bottom of the seventh, when freshman Ashley Munoz hit a fastball deep over the right field wall for her tenth home run of the year, bringing them within one of the Utes at 2-1. Senior catcher Stacey Leigh then hit a single to right and advanced to second on an error, putting the tying run in scoring position with nobody out.

Pinch runner Sara Sullivan, in for Leigh, was able to advance to third on a pass ball with one out. Capping the late run for the Rams, first baseman Julia Kloppe hit a slow groundball up the middle but the throw to the plate was not in time, scoring Sullivan and tying the game at 2.

Utah pitcher Karina Cannon was able to work her way out of the jam, striking out two and inducing a fly-out to deep short, sending the game to extra frames.

Unfortunately for the Rams the comeback was not to be, as freshman first baseman Kara Foster opened up the top of the eighth for the Utes with a towering homerun to left center, regaining the Utah lead, 3-2.

After a leadoff walk in the bottom of the eighth put senior designated player Jessica Strickland on first, the Rams went 1-2-3 on their way to their eighth conference loss of the season.

“It seemed like our players were guessing instead of attacking at the plate,” coach Yori said. “We talked about that and we worked on that in practice, and they didn’t respond, and that is frustrating. We let them take control.”

CSU finished the game with three hits from three different players and no errors. Sophomore Kim Klabough picked up the loss for the Rams, dropping her record to an even 10-10. Klabough gave up three runs on six hits, striking out four and not allowing a walk in 8.0 innings pitched.

“We have a lot of great girls,” Yori said. “At this point in the season, we are trying to play the game right and play hard because that is our job as a team and as athletes.”

With the loss the Rams fall to 26-26 on the season, 5-8 and fourth place in the Mountain West.

The Rams continue their home stand Friday, hosting the league-leading Brigham Young Cougars in a two game series over two days. Friday’s game is set to begin at 3 p.m. and Saturday’s first pitch is set for noon.

Softball beat writer Nick Hubel can be reached at

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Basketball could lose scholarships

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May 032007
Authors: Jeff Dillon

Due to borderline NCAA Academic Progress Rates, both CSU men’s and women’s basketball programs could be in danger of losing scholarships next year.

The NCAA released its third-annual APR report Wednesday, which analyzes the academic success of all Division-I athletic programs in the country by taking into account eligibility, retention and graduation rates.

Players who leave a program before graduating can also negatively affect a team’s APR, something that both CSU’s men’s and women’s programs have experienced in recent years.

According to the report, which draws data from the past three seasons, CSU men’s basketball has a three-year average APR of 892, which is below the NCAA minimum of 925.

But the program is not subject to any penalties at this time due to the NCAA’s squad-size adjustment, which gives teams with smaller numbers the benefit of the doubt on APR standards.

According to Christine Susemihl, NCAA compliance coordinator for CSU athletics, when the squad-size adjustment is implemented the men’s score increases to a passable 933.

Next season the squad-size adjustment will no longer be in effect, so Susemihl said a “bad” next year academically could result in the loss of scholarships for the men’s team.

“There are no penalties for us right now,” Susemihl said. “The worst-case scenario for the men’s team is losing two scholarships next year, but they aren’t losing any now.”

The women’s program was given a passing score of 956, but after losing nine players in the past two years for various reasons, could be in danger of losing a scholarship for the 2008-09 season.

But Susemihl said the only way either program would lose scholarships is if, in addition to a below-standard APR score, a student-athlete leaves the program academically ineligible before this fall. If that happens, the NCAA would not allow the team to use that athlete’s scholarship on a replacement.

“We won’t know this for sure until after summer school, but so far we haven’t had any kids leave ineligible,” she said.

Susemihl said the athletics department knew the scores would be low when the information was submitted in the fall, so the news did not come as a surprise.

She said the program remains concerned about making sure its athletes’ academic progress is a top priority.

“If you see a red flag go up like this you need to look internally at some things,” Susemihl said. “Do we have enough academic assistance? Are we recruiting the right kids? Are the right pieces in place? Of course we’re concerned.”

The men’s score of 892 places the team in the 10th to 20th percentile within all Division-I men’s basketball programs. The women are in the 30th to 40th percentile.

All other CSU sports received passing APR scores, including football (944), volleyball (974) and water polo, whose score of 988 was the best among all CSU teams.

Sports staff writer Jeff Dillon can be reached at

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Goalies making difference for Eagles

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May 032007
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

Goalies have set the tone for the Colorado Eagles in the playoffs so far. It was no different Wednesday night.

Colorado rookie goalie Tim Boron shut out the Memphis RiverKings in Memphis, Tenn., helping the Eagles cruise to a 3-0 win and a 2-1 series lead in their Northern Conference Finals match up.

Boron was perfect, blocking 33 of 33 Memphis shots en route to his second straight playoff victory.

Eagles left wing Ryan Tobler put the game completely out of the RiverKings’ reach, scoring an empty-net goal with just over one minute left in the game – his eighth goal of the playoffs.

The Eagles got off to a quick start Wednesday, as center Steve Haddon scored the game-winning goal 13 minutes into the first period.

Eighty-eight seconds later, Colorado defenseman Frasier Filipic put a shot past Memphis goalie Larry Sterling to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

In the previous two games of the series, Colorado had only scored one goal in the first period of play.

With Wednesday’s shutout, his second of the playoffs, Boron has now gone 98 minutes consecutively without letting a puck pass him and has won three of the four games he has started.

Boron took over as the Eagles’ starter on April 29, replacing three-year pro Marco Emond who had been Colorado’s head goalie most of the season. Before being replaced, Emond posted a .927 save percentage during the playoffs. Boron is currently averaging a .962 save percentage, which leads the Central Hockey League.

The Eagles now have an opportunity to close out the series this weekend. The RiverKings are scheduled to host Colorado in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday night at the De Soto Civics Center in Memphis. Colorado has yet to close out a playoff series on the road, failing in three previous opportunities this season.

The winner of this series will move on to play the winner of the Southern Conference Finals series between the Laredo Bucks and the New Mexico Scorpions. Laredo currently leads the series 2-0.

The puck drops on game four of Colorado’s series tonight at 6:05 p.m. Coverage can be heard on 107.9 The Bear.

Eagles beat writer Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at

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