Our View

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Jul 312007
 
Authors:

Our reputation precedes us.

Basically, if you want to be an athlete at CSU, the first step is committing a slew of crimes. If homemade “joke” bombs, confrontations with guns or the usual drinking infractions aren’t your bag, perhaps check fraud or identity theft will lift your jersey.

For some it’s all fun and games, but for others it can be a team building exercise. Take the example set last year by Rams football players who together devised an intricate check fraud and racketeering scheme that resulted in thousands of dollars of theft and left an irreversible dent in the Ram image.

Last spring, one men’s basketball player thought it wise to pull a gun on a teammate and shoot the couch on which he was sitting. He may have jumped the gun in his decision-making, but that’s just not good teamwork.

Now, Stephen Franklin, a 6foot and 6 inches men’s basketball hopeful and full-ride scholarship recipient, has really shown his commitment to CSU sports. Like an overzealous engineering major who hits the text before classes begin, Franklin thought he’d hit the courts ahead of time.

Denver media outlets reported Tuesday that Franklin and an accomplice picked up a woman’s wallet at a Fort Collins party and went on to use her credit card. Maybe Franklin thought this, too, was a joke, but police use big words like “identity theft” and “theft” for things like this.

Let’s hope coach Miles knows words like “bye, bye.”

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Soccer title won; Hearts, minds, not so much

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Jul 312007
 
Authors: Ryan Nowell

On Sunday, in a victory celebrated across the embattled nation of Iraq, the country’s soccer team beat the heavily favored Saudis to capture their very first Asian Cup title. Some are already calling it one of the greatest sports stories of all time, despite many people having not been previously aware that the Asian Cup exists and is a thing. Our bad.

But uplifting stories of triumph in the face of adversity are the lollipop portion of the overall Iraqi news tetanus shot, falling well short of compensating, all things considered.

We don’t even need to look at a different story in this instance: During the post-game festivities several bystanders were maimed by falling bullets that soccer enthusiasts had fired into the air. It took investigators hours to determine it was celebratory gunfire that had caused the incidents, rather than insurgent gunfire, sectarian gunfire, religious holiday gunfire, rush hour gunfire, laundry day gunfire, new gun gunfire, or stress-relieving me-time gunfire.

This tendency of bad good news has been prevalent throughout the war. Progress has happened in Iraq, but only the Jenga kind. We end Sunni dominance and cause a civil war; we hold elections for a government that doesn’t work; we build schools and police stations with dangerously cheap labor and materials; on and on and on.

Whenever pressed for some tangible results, the White House suddenly turns into Virginia Woolf, espousing the situation’s complex emotional subtleties and vague, unknowable personal progressions. There is slow, deep change occurring. The Iraqis will come around, they just need time and ennui. Possibly flowers. Only a philistine would demand to see results as obvious as safe streets and electricity.

Maybe I just have vulgar taste, then. A key oversight in the reconstruction of Iraq comes from policy-makers misunderstanding how our own country works. You see, we tolerate our incompetent democracy because we enjoy a ridiculously high standard of living. However egregious the latest scandal or injustice is, if we can still end the work week by falling backwards into a kiddie pool of Haugen Daus, we probably won’t mount much of a protest other than throwing an empty beer can at a rerun of Meet the Press.

I mean, if someone really gets pushed too far, they’ll throw on the Che Guevara t-shirt they bought at the mall for twenty bucks, march to the nearest person holding a clipboard, and “get involved”, meaning entire weekends will be devoted to sign-making, chanting outside of office buildings, and holding the clipboard.

So where did Iraq falter? Think back to when they were electing their own incompetent democracy. Remember that? The purple finger thing? That Time magazine cover? How we spent a week or so feeling really great about ourselves for graciously bestowing this prodigal nation with glorious, purple-fingered freedom?

Well, when the already less-than-enchanted Iraqis recognized the bureaucratic slog their country was about to lurch through, opinion started to give way to opposition. The vast majority of them still being without plumbing, running water, or electricity, many Iraqis have lived the proof that their shiny new democratically elected government can’t or won’t make good on the promise of a better life. And with no kiddie pool of Haugen Daus to cushion the blow, people are given to do rash things.

I don’t know what the best course of action is. We can leave, and while it’s arguable how much good we’re doing over there, I don’t know how leaving can be anything but bad for the average Iraqi. It’s highly doubtful whether the “mission” will ever be accomplished, but it seems resoundingly cruel to waltz away from a problem we caused. On the other hand, I’m not over there, and that also seems resoundingly cruel to say we should stay when I’m not the one getting shot at. I don’t know. All I know is whatever we decide to do, we should probably learn to be happy with the trickle of ineffectual good news.

Ryan Nowell is a junior English major. His column appears weekly in the summer Collegian edition. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Letter to the editor

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Jul 312007
 
Authors:

Forgiving all the mistakes in Sean Reed’s actual writing, I find it inexcusable that he would confuse Martin Sheen with Fred Thompson. Fred Thompson has never appeared on “The West Wing.” He has been a regular fixture on “Law & Order” for several years now, and I believe that almost all people who have some passing knowledge of Fred Thompson know this fact. In fact, I find it appalling that a political science major wrote this. Forgetting Fred Thompson for the moment, Mr. Reed goes so far as to state that “…many Americans can’t even name the president…” quoting his source as Jay Leno. This is absurd. What qualifies as many? The five people selectively picked out of hundreds or perhaps thousands of pedestrians with questions and answers edited for maximum comedic affect? His general criterion for deciding how “many Americans” feel or think is consistently suspect (he heard a comment in a Starbucks for instance). Mr. Reed displays an ignorance that perhaps would be forgivable if it didn’t seem so deliberate. It would be nice if some of these opinion articles were actually rooted in reality and fact.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Troy Butler

PhD Student in Mathematics

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Churchill – a cheat, not a hero

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Jul 312007
 
Authors: Joseph Haynie

Ward Churchill is one more reason why America is great.

Now, hear me out before you move onto another Joseph Haynie article. I am not a fan – I personally believe that there is no word in the English language that adequately describes how vile this man really is. I disagree with his political philosophies his dishonesty cannot be overlooked when attempting to qualify his character. And I’m glad he got fired – he had it coming.

Last Tuesday, Mr. Churchill was dismissed from CU because, according to the Regents, his conduct “fell below the minimum standards of professional integrity including fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism”.

Faculty members, especially tenured ones, have “the responsibility to maintain competence, exert themselves to the limit of their intellectual capacities. and to act on and off campus with integrity,” they said.

Fabricating information, falsifying facts for the sake of supporting outrageous claims, and plagiarism are the furthest things from the exertion of one’s intellectual capacities. Churchill chose not to uphold these high standards of conduct, and, as a result, was terminated. Logic, reason, and, most importantly, justice were satisfied with his dismissal.

Instead of owning up to his reckless behavior, Churchill has sought to make this case more about his first amendment rights. For this purpose Churchill has filed suit against CU and prolonged this freak show.

It’s disturbing how many members of the American public and academia have failed to look at the bolder, issue of academic misconduct and instead opt to focus on the footnote of freedom of expression. It is not what he said that got him fired, but rather how he said it and how he came to not only those, but other conclusions in his research.

Churchill is no friend to the first amendment, nor is he a hero. He, at best, is a fraud. To label him a hero is a slap in the face of thousands who have answered the call of the martyr, laying down their lives, with dignity and honor, for the cause of freedom and democracy. Heroes come from scenes like the events of Tienanmen Square. Tens of thousands of Chinese students protested the communist government, peacefully petitioning for more liberties. These students, who assembled in the name of democracy, were snuffed out by Chinese military forces. Nearly 3,000 lost their lives because they voiced their opinion. These are the people that should be revered, not Churchill.

That being so, this man is still living proof of the greatness of our nation. The fact that one can make a career out of denouncing the very government that grants him the right to criticize; that one can make heinous assertions about innocent victims of a terrorist attack; that one can do all of these things and more and not lose their life testifies to the greatness of the very thing he proclaims to be evil. Ward Churchill is the antithesis of himself.

America is a great country. No tyrant has set foot on this soil. No citizen of this nation has ever had to look over their shoulder, nor bite their tongue for fear of government censorship or death. We have freedoms and liberties that are relatively new to other nations. While much of the world was under the rule of dictators and despots, America was blazing the trails of democracy with free speech at the forefront.

So seriously, what is Ward Churchill’s problem.

Joseph Haynie is a senior political science major. His column appears occasionally in the summer Collegian edition. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Photos related to Javad Marshall-Fields murder case

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Jul 312007
 
Authors:

Beyond what has already been published and made available to the public at large, these are the only records the Collegian has related to Javad Marshall-Fields, Sir Mario Owens or the case against Owens.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Lory Student Center evacuated

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Jul 312007
 
Authors: Collegian Staff

Students were evacuated from the Lory Student Center on the CSU campus Thursday after a flash flood brought water into the building. At least one university employee reported a gas leak shortly after water entered the building.

At about 7 pm. water seeped into the basement, where building managers worked to mop up the mess and guide the flow to a drain in a nearby storage room. The LSC Theater was later flooded with at least an inch of water, one maintenance worker said. Just minutes before the building was evacuated, water made its way into the main level of the LSC.

The university’s emergency management team is currently assessing the damage caused by “mild to moderate flooding,” a CSU spokesman said. Buildings affected by the storm include the LSC, Morgan Library, Hartshorn Health Center, Engineering, Green Hall and Aylesworth Hall.

The CSU Police Department evacuated the LSC at about 8:30 p.m. after a university employee smelled a gas leak. Police have let employees and students back into the building.

Some Fort Collins residents were forced to evacuate their homes due to flood levels as high as 2 feet.

Thursday’s downpour came 10 years after Fort Collins was submerged in violent water that spilled over from Spring Creek. That flood – on July 28, 1997 – ripped apart homes, picked up cars and left five women dead.

Residents who witnessed both flash floods say Thursday’s storm was far less dangerous.

CSU officials said students and employees should report any damages to Facilities Management at 491-0099 or, if in a Residence Hall, contact Housing and Dining Services at

491-6511.

The forecast calls for continued rains over the next couple days. Visit Collegian.com for continued coverage.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Searching for an enigma

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Jul 312007
 
Authors: Mike Donovan

The hot July sun scorches the West Lawn as CSU takes the field in a match-up against its rivals to the south.

Emotions are clearly on the player’s sleeves as on the first play, the home team screams in delight at the sight of the opposing player failing at his job.

And the joyous exuberance is not unfounded in this sport. A game of cricket at the local level can take a full day. When it comes down to it, one out in cricket is like a baseball team striking out six straight batters in baseball or a basketball team, shutting out its opponent for a full quarter.

For the majority of Americans, cricket is an enigma. A sort of baseball-like competition played with tea breaks in England, the game has never caught on in the U.S. despite its former ties to the British Isles.

And when CSU took on the Coal Creek Cricket Club’s Gold team in an official Colorado Cricket League match on July 14, most casual passersby were struck by the same thought. What is this game and why are a group of men wearing white khakis playing it?

Dads stop with strollers in tow to watch the mysterious game trying to figure how one scores or gets out. Bicyclists whiz by the match only to notice a ball flying into the creek that is adjacent to the West Lawn. Surely thinking, what is the heck is going on here?

“The rules aren’t too difficult, Americans are very smart, they could learn the rules quite easily,” said Krishna Ivaturi, Vice Captain and President of CSU’s cricket team.

For whatever the reason, cricket has not caught on in America. While theories abound why that is, Ivaturi believes there is one main factor.

“Americans are not used to playing all day,” Ivaturi said. “They just want to play a quick game like baseball. I don’t see a sport (in America) that takes all day.”

The quote in itself seems to go against all fabrics of American sports fans. Baseball as a quick game? Most fans would consider the pastime the longest and most drawn out of all spectator sports.

The speed of the game has certainly made it hard for American audiences to comprehend. Selwyn Caesar, the treasurer for the United States of America Cricket Association, believes the pace of the game is definitely a factor in the lack of American interest.

“Cricket is an elongated game. It isn’t like any American sports,” Caesar said from his Yonkers, N.Y. office. “It’s not like hockey, which has its fighting, and it isn’t like basketball, which is so fast paced. It’s a different game”

The USACA, which is the sport’s American governing body, has more than 690 teams in 36 leagues in its membership, according to Caesar. With that many teams, the sport sure seems to have some foothold in this country.

And Caesar, who is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, is quick to point out the continued development of his beloved game on his adopted homeland.

“There has been an increase in clubs in recent years. Younger players are forming their own clubs,” said Caesar. “Cricket is going to places where it hasn’t been before.”

As far as its continued development at CSU is concerned, the club is at a crossroads. Established seven years ago as a sports club team, the cricket club was dropped from the sport clubs department in 2005, according to Aaron Harris, assistant director of sport clubs at CSU.

“They failed to meet three of the criteria to be a sport club. Their competition schedule was incomplete, their travel requirements, and membership requirements all failed.”

Since their dismissal from the sport clubs department, the cricket club is now considered a student organization. Despite the non-sport recognition from the university, CSU’s playing field, which is also known as a wicket or pitch, is considered the best in the state.

“The facilities are nicer here than most places. Almost every player agrees that CSU’s wicket is the best in Colorado,” Ivaturi said. “It’s a new one, only three years old. The ball takes a proper bounce. There are different pitches throughout and ours is a fast one.”

CSU competes in the Colorado Cricket League, which is one of the 36 sanctioned leagues found throughout the United States. CSU’s team is made up of all students, according to Ivaturi. This puts CSU at a disadvantage compared to the other members of the league.

“Most other teams can add players and play whomever they want. We just try to keep students playing on our team,” Ivaturi said.

The club currently fields only players of Indian descent, but Ivaturi wants this changed.

“We don’t want to be an “Indian” team, we want to be a CSU team,” Ivaturi said.

The CCL, however, is home to players from India, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the West Indies, Australia, and other nations.

Despite the success of the CCL and other leagues throughout the nation, cricket remains an enigma in America and in Colorado.

It’s a sport which uses the same equipment it used 100 years ago, that takes a day to play at the minimum, one which includes lunch breaks in most international matches.

A sport that will continue to cause onlookers to stare in confusion and wonder, what is this game?

A mystery that will continue to endure on the West Lawn.

Staff writer Mike Donovan can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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Freshman hoops player under investigation

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Jul 312007
 
Authors: Collegian Staff

An incoming freshman on the CSU men’s basketball team is under investigation for theft and identity theft and has been issued an arrest warrant, according to Denver media outlets.

Stephen Franklin, a 6-foot-6 guard from Aurora Central High School, and another man allegedly stole a debit card from a women’s wallet earlier this month and used it to buy food and gas, CBS4 reported Tuesday morning. Franklin is set to attend CSU in the fall on a full-ride athletic scholarship.

The Larimer County district attorney’s office would not release the arrest warrant because the case is still under investigation and said that Franklin has yet to be informed of the warrant.

Men’s basketball coach Tim Miles issued the following statement through the university’s athletic department: “We are aware of the situation. We’re going to gather all the facts before we make any determination on Stephen’s future with Colorado State basketball.”

The possible loss of Franklin is just the latest crisis Miles as had to endure since taking over in March.

Only three scholarship players from last year’s squad remain on the roster, with that number looking more and more like two each day guard Tyler Smith does not show up to team workouts this summer.

“(Smith’s) just kind of MIA,” said center Stuart Creason of the team’s second leading scorer last season. Creason said he has seen Smith only once since May.

Creason chose not to comment on Franklin’s situation but did say he was with him on as recently as Monday.

If Franklin is ruled ineligible and Smith continues to be a no-show, Miles would be left with only eight scholarship players. Two of those eight, forward Andy Ogide from Mississippi and forward-center Dan Vandervieren from Purdue, are transfers and must sit out a year because of NCAA regulations.

Sports Editor Sean Star can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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CSU revamps free-speech policy

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Jul 312007
 
Authors: Brian Park

The right to speak out – in the residence halls and around campus – has become a lot easier after CSU revised three of its free speech policies.

The university’s advertising policy now prohibits only “obscene language” while the peaceful assembly policy has been modified to protect free speech anywhere on campus, not just the Lory Student Center plaza /- the “primary public forum pace,” according to the old policy.

And the hate incidents policy, which previously prohibited “expressions of hostility,” now only restricts blatant harassment and abuse in residence halls – a distinction one first amendment watchdog group says needed to made.

“This is an exciting day for free speech at Colorado State,” said Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, in a statement earlier this month. “By making these changes, the administration has proven it is serious about protecting its students’ First Amendment rights, and we commend the university.”

The process to overhaul the three speech codes began around November’s election when the CSU Libertarians, Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and CSU Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) were campaigning in favor of Amendment 44, a failed statewide initiative to legalize marijuana.

The groups posted flyers in the residence halls urging people to go out and vote in favor of Amendment 44. The university banned the groups’ use of the posters because marijuana leafs were printed on them.

Last March, FIRE sent a letter to CSU President Larry Penley charging him and the university with stripping students’ first amendment rights. The letter caused a stir among the student leaders, including the Associated Students of CSU.

ASCSU passed a resolution in support of re-examining the free speech policies, and CSU officials said they would review the rules.

University lawyers said last April that CSU didn’t plan to abolish the policy, maintaining that the distribution of pamphlets featuring drugs and alcohol on campus and in the dorms wasn’t protected.

“If we had taken the policies to court the university clearly would have lost,” said Seth Anthony, a graduate student and former chairman of the CSU Libertarians, who at the time were spearheading for the changes. “Obviously the university doesn’t like bad press; they didn’t want an article saying they restrict students’ speech.”

The university’s actions, Anthony said, were blocking political freedom of speech, and needed to be changed.

“You couldn’t advertise a debate about lowering the drinking age or drug policy [in the residence halls],” Anthony said. “With this in place we really don’t have a policy where we can have free discussion.”

Staff writer Brian Park can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Going Organic

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Jul 312007
 
Authors: Nikki Cristello

On a recent sunny Wednesday, a suntanned farmer kneels to the ground and firmly pulls a carrot out of the moist, musky soil. Upon closer examination it becomes clear this is no ordinary orange vegetable. Its exterior is beet purple.

The carrot is a “Purple Haze,” said Frank Stonaker, director of the Specialty Crops Program at CSU.

The purple carrot can be found with a host of other organic vegetables being grown at the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) research farm, an 80-acre spread where organic produce is grown for research and to feed a select portion of the local community.

The CSA project is Stonaker’s brainchild.

“I think my main interest [in initiating the CSU CSA] was my experience as a small farmer,” Stonaker said. “We didn’t really have someone to go to. CSU was focusing on larger crop programs. There wasn’t a whole lot being acquired in vegetables and food that would benefit small organic farmers. So, this is an outreach to them.”

The CSA, known as the Rocky Mountain Small Organic Farm Project is contained on an eight-acre plot of land while the remaining 72 acres are filled with luscious trees, shrubs and other greenery.

Daily, suntanned interns evaluate and note growth of the food. On a walking tour of the site, it is easy to forget that I-25 and the Budweiser brewery are only several hundred feet away.

The farmland has a rich history. Dana Christensen, the farm manager, said the land was bought shortly after World War II, possibly around 1946, by CSU’s Horticulture Department. It is the main research facility for the department, although there are more sites.

The University uses the land to conduct research on turf grass breeding, ornamental trees and shrubs and vegetable entomology, to name a few areas of study.

The land has been certified organic for six years, and pesticide free for nine years. While synthetic, chemical pesticides used on large, conventional farms are prohibited, some organic pesticides are OK to use. However, the organic pesticides are made from natural resources, for example, to clear bugs from crops.

The farm utilizes a share-purchasing system in which a small portion of people associated with CSU can buy either full or half shares. Only a handful of people associated with CSU can purchase a “share” of the farm’s harvest for the season. Each share feeds a family of four. The full price of the (more or less) 22 weeks of produce is $500. Half shares are available for $275. Separate fruit and flower shares are $50 each but must be purchased in addition to a vegetable share.

There is already a waiting list for next year. This year 52 half shares and 29 full shares were sold.

The farm, the food, the people

More people than ever are interested in attempting to put fruits and vegetables back in their diets, lessening pesticide use and in helping the environment. So, sales of organic foods have been on the rise.

The farming experience is one that is embraced by some CSU Horticulture students. Currently, 14 student interns are enrolled in the program and each received a $1,000 scholarship from the Aurora Dairy.

Matt Clifford, a senior soil and crop sciences major, is an intern at the farm and said he enjoys watching people who own shares pick up their produce each Thursday at the Plant Environmental Research Center (PERC).

“When CSA members come pick up [their shares], they are so excited,” Clifford said. “Seeing where all our work is going is so cool.”

Members get to try new foods each week. Some weeks they get butterhead and Iceberg lettuce. Sometimes zucchini blossoms and yellow squash.

Stonaker said buying a share shows a commitment to student farmers who help offer locally grown food. It does not guarantee members anything.

“Nature is unpredictable and there is no guarantee to the amount of produce,” Stonaker said.

Grace Wilson, a programmer at the Development and Advanced Information Services (DAIS) office has a full share and said she enjoys the opportunity to eat different vegetables each week with her family.

“I love to find different recipes,” Wilson said. “My kids love crispy kale. They eat it like potato chips.”

Wilson said to make crispy kale she simply tears the kale into pieces, tosses with salt and olive oil, and then puts it into an oven until its crispy (about 10-15 minutes).

The debatable side of organics

The farm is a research facility, and some of the experiments test different varieties of the same type of produce.

Recently the Horticulture Department found that some organic produce might be healthier than conventionally grown produce. Researchers tested melons of the same cultivar (type) and found they were not equal in the amount of vitamin C. The organic melons had almost double the amount of vitamin C compared to the non-organic. This type of research is important because it could lead to whether or not organic foods are actually healthier than conventionally grown foods.

Garry Auld, professor of community nutrition education, said the nutritional aspect of organic foods is a highly controversial topic because no one really knows if the varying amounts of anti-oxidants really make a difference.

“Research shows organic produce in a good aspect, but the overall impact on health is unknown,” Auld said. “Is the higher antioxidant or vitamin C amount enough to make a difference?”

Regardless of the hurdles, Stonaker and others firmly believe in organic foods. For example, some of the controversies organic farmers face include questionable sustainability (in terms of labor use), how much carbon organic farms use and produce compared to conventional farms (the organic footprint), and the large food industry trying to break into the business, making it difficult for small, local farms to survive.

Contributing factors to the high demand for organic produce include the freshness of the product, small, local family farms the food is grown on and the fact that the produce does not have to be trucked halfway across the country, using expensive gas.

“Small farms are really important in our society,” Stonaker said. “Our children need to know where our food comes from, and small local farms allow for it. “Wal-Martization” of anything, we’ve seen, drops prices. For the grower, this is not sustainable and makes it difficult to sell anything at a reasonable price in other markets. We lose a lot of farmers because they can’t afford to sell the produce for the same price as Wal-Mart.”

Auld provided a different view of the organic food boom.

“Demand is high,” Auld said. “That is why Wal-Mart is now selling organic food. But as big as they are, they cannot deal with many small family farms. They need big farms. So we import, but then the question arises of whether or not the countries providing abide by the same rigorous standards of the US.”

Staff writer Nikki Cristello can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm