Face Off: What do you think of the Athletics fee increase?

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Mar 302008
Authors: Sean Reed, Laurel Berch

Editor’s note: the views expressed in this Q&A are solely those of the participant and not necessarily reflective of the views of the Associated Students of CSU.

ASCSU Vice President Trevor Trout, a senior business major, took a fewa moments to give the Collegian the scoop on why the Athletic Department’s fee increase request, while a break in procedure, may have some merit.

Q: Do you support the Athletics Department’s request for a fee increase?

A: I personally, as a student do not support [the fee increase] without having heard yet Paul [Kowalczyk’s] budget presentation the full fee amount. I do not support an endorsement of no fee increase.

However I do not support the full fee increase at this time because there’s really been a lack, in the past three years, of athletic transparency [and] of course athletic performance. There’s been a lack of student focus just out of the campus and student leadership and there’s, again this year, an incredibly inappropriate athletics and central administration has made this fee increase. And eventually my goal is to see Athletics become self-sustaining and actually be able to give back to the university, which requires a certain level of investment from students through either tuition or fees, but there needs to be a substantial effort to really be inclusive of student opinion within that ramp up.

Q: You referred to a lack of athletic transparency. What has been the problem of communication between Athletics and student government?

A: You know, I think its incredibly indicative if you look at past fee legislation … there’s examples of transparency being an issue.

It’s funny because, if you look at some, of the fee legislation from 1984 on transparency has been an issue for a long time — since the Student Fee Review Board’s inception.

This year is especially difficult because as you have contractual obligations to pay the new coaching salaries that Athletics promised, students realized there is a need to finance athletics and naturally that required a tuition increase and to be honest we were never encompassed in that discussion of what would be the most appropriate way to finance athletics — through tuition or fees.

Amanda Huisman, a sophomore construction management major, was kind enough to take a couple minutes out of her day to give the Collegian her perspective on the Athletic Department’s fee increase proposal.

Q: Do you support the CSU Athletics Department’s proposal for a fee increase?

A: I kind of do, but also I’m an out of state student so it’s a lot of money that I’m just going to have building up on my loans and stuff. I’m paying for school myself so that doesn’t help me at all.

Q: Would you support a lower increase?

A: Yeah, I would.

I definitely think $15 for a year would be better than a $15 for the semester, definitely. A lower amount would probably be best.

Q: Do you think it’s fair for Atheltics to propose their increase so late after deadline?

A: No, I don’t. I definitely think that they should have it in on time, so that way students know about it ahead of time and don’t get a spur of the moment “let’s raise the fees.” I do remember seeing that on the Collegian front page and we were all like, “no.”

Q: Do you think, given the Colorado’s poor funding of higher education that it is important to fund Athletics or should the money be going to academics?

A: It should definitely be going more toward education just because that’s what we are here for — to get a better education.

You’re not here to do sports . I’m not here to watch sports rather than take classes. I’m pretty sure that’s what most people are here for.

Q: Do you attend many Athletics events?

A: I attend a pretty good amount. Football games I definitely attend, and basketball and volleyball occasionally, but not as much as football.

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Spring break with some old friends

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Mar 302008
Authors: Anne Marie Merline

There are many rituals concerning spring.

Some trace the roots back to the Greek and Roman days to help liberate those of mate-able age during the season of fertility.

There are the Pagan rites of the new season that gave way to the Christians seeking a more worship-oriented passage into spring, which did not quite work out.

In the modern era, spring rites during World War I gave way to the festivities that college students celebrate today. Through the decades of the late 20th century, the ebb and flow of self-indulgence — however celebrated — gives us all a week off in the middle of the semester.

Through it all, it is all about enjoying the liberation of the winter coat and the hope of Mother Nature’s fertility in the coming months with people who we like spending time with.

The assignment that I give my students over spring break is to “sleep in, eat well and take time to visit family and friends.” Because I require it of my students, I do the same.

Some head for warmer weather for a week of excess, some use the time to help serve others through service learning programs around the globe.

Spring break for me for many years has meant a trip to the colder climate of Minnesota to reconnect with my favorite boy in the littlest boy category, Theo. “TT,” as I call him, is the oldest son of my friends Shannon and Jason.

I wish I could say that I met Shannon and Jason in college and that we had lots of spring break adventures together. In my mind, I imagine that they are and that we did.

They are the kind of friends that you would like to meet in college.

For the record, Shannon and Jason both went to college in Minnesota at Gustavus Adolfus. They met there as undergraduate students and eventually got married here in Fort Collins, where Jason sojourned as a graduate student in physics.

I went to college in New Hampshire at New England College. The only person that I kept as a friend was the man I married almost 23 years ago, a few months after I graduated with my B.A. in earth science education.

My now ex-husband became friends with Jason. Shannon moved into town. Jason graduated in 2001 with his Ph.D. I now consider them life long friends.

We have now been friends through Jason and my graduate school experience, their marriage, my divorce, moves all across the country and now three sons between us. We make it a point to see each other twice a year.

Once a year, (spring break) my son and I travel to where they live, now Minnetonka, Minnesota, and once a year (when the babies are old enough), they travel here to Fort Fun to enjoy the weather, see a blue sky again, visit their favorite brew-pubs and to visit friends from CSU and their former ‘hood.

The most important lesson is the importance of having good life-long friends, some of whom you have met, or ones you will meet in college.

Shannon and Jason are among my best friends. I hope that their sons, Theo and Henry, whom I just met this week, become the same as they grow up.

Shannon and Jason are the ones who I trust with my most important thoughts, decisions, and life’s conundrums.

They are the ones that I brave the Great White North for during a week that is supposed to be filled with self-indulgence.

Instead I actually cooked a meal for them, changed their son’s diaper, sat back through babies crying and a four-year-old — well — being a four-year-old. I think they call this Karma.

All, however, has been well worth the investment of time and energy, to let the people I love know just that by hanging out with them.

I know that in about 10 years that we will all be able to take that real spring break that I never took as an undergraduate and that I have not been able to take as an adult.

We will be past the diapers and be able to take on the rites of spring as a reward of a job well done.

Anne Marie Merline is a professor for the University Honors Program. Her column appears biweekly Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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Guest Column: Know your rights: Academic Dishonesty

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Mar 302008
Authors: By Katie McLaughlin, Robert Drost

Imagine you are a freshman in a 100 level class.

Your first major assignment is a research paper. Without much experience in college level writing, you write the essay to the best of your ability using the writing skills you developed in high school.

A few weeks after you turn in your paper, you get an e-mail from your professor asking you to meet with her after class. You agree, assuming that maybe you didn’t do too hot on the paper.

When you meet with the professor, though, it is much worse. She tells you that you engaged in plagiarism and academic dishonesty for not properly citing your sources.

In your essay, you cited direct quotes but not ideas from the sources you used. You have done this all through high school without penalty and never imagined that this could potentially be a problem.

However, this particular professor does not take academic dishonesty lightly. She then tells you that she has no choice but to fail you for the course. You are absolutely stunned at what is happening, and can’t understand why this professor is doing this to you.

Unfortunately, this situation happens more often than you would think. Fortunately, if you find yourself in this situation, there are options. Initially when a professor thinks someone has committed academic dishonesty, the first thing they need to do is confront the student.

Academic dishonesty can be one of many different things. Cheating in the classroom, plagiarism and unauthorized possession of academic materials can all lead to a hearing on the grounds of academic dishonesty.

After confronting the student, the professor can do one of three things: assign a grading penalty and simply document it with Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services, assign a grading penalty and request that the student has a hearing with CRSCS, or simply to request a hearing in front of a CRSCS staff member.

If at any point students believes that they have been wrongly accused of academic dishonesty by a professor, they too can request a hearing with CRSCS.

After the hearing, if the student is found in violation of the Student Conduct Code Academic Dishonesty policy, they can still seek an appeal of the hearing officer’s decision.

There are multiple conditions for which an appeal can be granted, all of which can be found in the Student Conduct Code. These include reasons such as whether a hearing was held in a fair fashion given the information presented, if the sanctions imposed on the student were appropriate for the violation, or if there is new substantial evidence.

Any of these reasons, if valid, could be grounds for the case to go before an appeals board. This board consists of five members, two of which are students — either from the Associated Students of CSU Supreme Court or the vice presidents of the Greek Standards and Values Alignment Board — and three faculty members.

The appeals process is a good way to have a few extra eyes review the case and possibly get new perspective.

According to Paul Osincup, Assistant Director of CRSCS, “Generally students who have engaged in academic dishonesty feel extremely remorseful and are able to learn from their mistake.”

One of the most common forms of academic dishonesty at CSU is the use of unauthorized materials into the PACE center for testing. Even if you had something written on your hand — whether you used it to cheat or not — it could be considered academic dishonesty.

These seemingly trivial mistakes can lead to some substantial sanctions, so it is wise to think about the potential consequences before engaging in activities that could be easily misconstrued as academic dishonesty.

However, if you do, or are falsely charged with doing so, hopefully you will feel comfortable knowing your rights and coming into the CRSCS office or the ASCSU office and asking about what you can do.

Justices of the ASCSU Supreme Court are here for you, as is CRSCS. If you have any other questions, please visit the ASCSU Supreme Court Web site at www.ascsu.colostate.edu/supremecourt.aspx or the CRSCS Web site at http://www.conflictresolution.colostate.edu/.

Katie McLaughlin is a junior political science major and Robert Drost is a senior history major. Both are Associate Justices of the ASCSU Supreme Court. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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Letters to the editor

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Mar 302008

Dear editor,

I understand that CSU is committed to about $2 million for two second-rate sports coaches who apparently head football and women’s basketball.

For a university that is supposedly designed to educate, these absurd salaries for individuals not worth more than $30,000 says very little for the intelligence prevailing at the university.

Considering the nation’s economic crisis, the wisest move would be to close down for good these two unnecessary activities and apply the funds saved to educational matters.

To be obliged to read the constant wailing of university representatives and university students of the lack of funds really is the limit. One matter is certain — any further request for college fund assistance will automatically enter the garbage can.

Paul Bulkley

Fort Collins resident.

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Athletics fee increase unjustified and unacceptable

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Mar 302008
Authors: Sean Reed

Athletics does not deserve our money.

On Friday, the Collegian reported that CSU Athletics Director Paul Kowalczyk is seeking $670,000 in student fee money for his department for fiscal year 2009 — an amount that comes down to roughly $15 per student.

This announcement came after Athletics stayed suspiciously silent about their plans for funding nearly two months ago when department requests for student fee money were due. Such deadlines, apparently, do not apply to Kowalczyk and Co.

This announcement came in the wake of three very high profile firings –the 2006 dismissal of basketball coach Dale Layer, last semester’s firing of former head football coach and all-around CSU hero Sonny Lubick.

Then, last week, things got a bit more complicated when it was announced that women’s basketball coach Jen Warden would be involuntarily leaving CSU as well. Kowalczyk, however, gave his assurances that the events surrounding Warden’s dismissal would not affect his request.

I highly doubt that.

Money, as Kowalczyk is learning the hard way, does not grow on trees. Over the next two years, CSU will still be paying Warden to the tune of roughly $230,000. On top of that, we get to pay new coach Kristen Holt an additional $115,000 for her work next year.

Combine that with the fact that we will also be paying both the former and new coaches of football and men’s basketball their full salaries as well and you will get a glimpse of the financial mismanagement that is fueling this fee increase.

Now, the dissatisfaction that fueled this wave of firings is completely understandable. I know many people that celebrated Layer’s dismissal. Football was coming off of two seasons of extremely poor performance. And as for women’s basketball, Warden only won five conference games in her three-year tenure at CSU.

When teams don’t perform, the coaches need to go. However letting three coaches go, knowing full well that they have extended contracts to pay off and that you don’t have the resources to pay them, just reeks of bad management.

Any other department at CSU, if faced with similar challenges, would be expected to make cuts and make due with the budget they have. Athletics, on the other hand, is allowed to ask for late student handouts while their budget continues to grow.

Take the last six years, for instance. The Athletics Department has seen their budget increase 66 percent since 2002, according to the CSU Budget Report.

But for all that money flowing in, not much in the way of performance has been coming out.

If Athletics wants more money, I am perfectly fine with that, but they need to prove that money is being well spent and they need to ask for it in the right way.

A two-month late request for an increase that, based on the performance of the major sports teams, is completely unjustified and is unacceptable.

Athletics, of course, will get the increase because they need it. Football and basketball are too popular to allow them to starve on inadequate funds.

I just hope next year, Athletics will have something to show for our money.

Editorials Editor Sean Reed is a senior political science major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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Stop wasting government money

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Mar 302008
Authors: Ian Bezek

Henry Kissinger famously summed up politics when he said, “90 percent of politicians give the other 10 percent a bad name.”

This year’s politicians have confirmed the truth of this statement with their bald-faced vote-buying schemes to address the weakening housing market. They’ve turned a simple problem into a complex money-wasting boondoggle.

The problem, in a nutshell, is that a bunch of ordinary citizens with shaky financial histories, commonly referred to as sub prime borrowers, bought outlandish mansions they couldn’t afford after being enticed by artificially low interest rates. Banks were eager to harvest more fees and interest and turned a blind eye to borrowers’ credit reports.

As soon as the economy hit a rough patch, the strapped homeowners quit making the payments. In response, banks foreclosed on their houses, then sold those houses at losses in fire-sale auctions, and everyone lost.

The homeowners lost their homes and the banks lost their investment profits. This outcome is natural in a capitalistic free market society; if people make stupid financial decisions, they suffer substantial losses.

However, the politicians saw this unraveling and felt the need to act. As one of my friends said, “if the government isn’t making things worse, how can we know they care?”

Officials rushed in to rewrite the terms of loans, thus invalidating private contract law. This extreme measure did nothing to fix the underlying problem — a guy earning $40,000 a year can’t afford a million dollar house regardless of how the government rewrites the loan payment schedule.

The government was not content just to attempt to help homeowners who were in over their heads, however.

A large financial firm, The Bear Sterns Company, was on the verge of bankruptcy. Its leadership had made numerous poor decisions and the free market had deemed the company unworthy of survival. Good companies survive while capitalism kills the bad ones — it is the natural order.

However, the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve decided to intervene to save the ailing company. They coerced another firm, JP Morgan, to buy out Bear Sterns by offering them loan guarantees to help the deal go through.

This action continues a very bad precedent. If you run a bank, you can feel safe making risky loans because you know the government is there to bail you out should something backfire. As seen in the taxpayer-funded rescue of the Savings and Loans companies and now with Bear Sterns, unscrupulous bankers can count on government assistance funded with your wallet should things go awry.

Making this whole thing even worse is the fact that Bush and the Federal Reserve didn’t even bother to go to Congress to get approval for their scheme. They, without any legislation, authorized $30 billion in non-recourse loans.

Non-recourse is just a fancy word for saying that JP Morgan would have no obligation to repay our treasury – meaning Bush authorized the giveaway of $30 billion in taxpayer money without any Constitutional authority.

This amounts to little more than bribery of a public corporation with taxpayer money by an out-of-control president. If you, like me are tired of the government throwing away money to bail out big business while pandering for votes, I urge you to raise a fuss with your elected representatives.

For instance, you can go to sign the petition at financialpetition.org that calls for the termination of the illegal and unethical Bear Sterns buyout – once signed, your signature is automatically faxed to your congressional representative and senators. It would be a terrible crime if we sit back and do nothing while our elected officials bribe corporations with our own tax dollars.

Ian Bezek is a sophomore economics major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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Our View: Support your local record shop

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Mar 302008

The recording industry is dying. It has been for quite some time as the rise in new media technology continues to insert itself into people’s lives.

The ease of obtaining music and other media files from the Internet, legally and otherwise, allows people an easy method of obtaining cheap music — they don’t even have to leave their computer chair.

This is causing local businesses to fold up or go up for sale, in turn putting their owners back into the job market. Which, because of CSU’s presence in Fort Collins, is probably not the least competitive for undergraduate entrepreneurs just trying to make it.

Industry experts say this is partly because the recording industry refuses to reduce their CD prices to reasonable amounts — and they’re right.

But that doesn’t leave people like college students unaccountable for a dying industry that has brought our age bracket an insurmountable amount of joy and good times.

We at the Collegian dislike paying more money for entertainment — well, anything for that matter — as much as the next student. But the recording industry will not survive if we don’t do our part and throw a little money into circulation for the everyday Joe who owns the CD shop on the corner.

We encourage students to pick the habit of buying CDs back up and support the underground market instead of spending hours on iTunes downloading songs for 99 cents a pop.

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African Awareness Week wraps up

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Mar 302008
Authors: Lucia Papureanu

Africans United, the student organization at CSU comprised of 30 members from all over Africa wearing shirts that said “I Rep Africa” wrapped up African Awareness Week with the celebration of the Fourth African Night, an exhibition of African culture Saturday in The Lory Student Center.

The event was meant to raise awareness of diverse cultural issues that many student leaders say are swept under the rug at CSU, which, according to institutional research reports is 13 percent racially diverse.

Ange Soumahoro, a political science graduate student from the Ivory Coast, said it’s vital for African students to show that they are a real presence in society.

“[Fourth Africa Night] is a question of pride for me,” Soumahoro said. “It’s important for us to meet each other and share our culture.”

Sam Alemayeno, originally from Ethiopia paraded in green, gold and red, the official colors of their country and talked about theimportance of raising awareness about Africa in a community they say is not diverse.

“We’re trying to show a different side of Africa that people don’t see,” Alemayeno said. “On TV, Africa is portrayed negatively, but there’s more than that, it’s about culture.”

The co-founder of Africans United and senior natural sciences major, Abigail Mensah-Bonsu stressed the importance of cultural awareness, especially at a university like CSU where the majority of students are Caucasian.

“We need to open the eyes of the CSU community about different cultures on campus. When you watch the National Geographic, you don’t see what Africa is about; we need to show Africa in a positive light,” Mensah-Bonsu said.

The night illustrated African culture to community members and student with a dinner of traditional African food from all over Africa and an African dance performance.

Hundreds of students and community members participated in the Taste of Africa, which was a free meal offered by Africans United, which educates students about African traditional food that includes cassava, beef and rice curry and ginger tea.

Following that was the African Night Theatrical Performance, which exhibited modern and traditional and dances from Uganda, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya and the Caribbean, all performed and directed by AU members.

On the traditional side, the community based Falé African Dance group, performed a few dances based on free movements, while the beats of the drums made the audience toss and turn in their chairs.

Although Africans United started in 2004 as a forum for African students to interact with each other, they also play what they call a pivotal role in educating students about cultural issues.

Staff writer Lucia Papureanu can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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Cesar Chavez honored in eight states

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Mar 302008
Authors: Lucia Papureanu

Taking part in an eight-state civil rights awareness drive this week, student organizations and the Lory Student Center will offer students and the community an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of civil rights activist Cesar Chavez through a series of events.

This year’s celebration titled “Educating the Heart” will continue Monday with a panel of farm workers from Northern Colorado who will talk about their first hand experience, what it’s like working in fields and what they feel about immigration, said Estevan Jaimes, a student leader from the planning committee.

Jaimes organized a Monday night play that features a 14-year-old immigrant boy.

Based on a true story, Edgar came to the United States to escape being co-opted in MS-13, the largest gang in Central America. However, due to strict immigration and asylum laws, a Denver federal judge sent Edgar back home.

He was killed 17 days later. After the play, on Tuesday there will be a discussion and a workshop with the theatre group De Novo that will present the history of how they came up with the idea of the play as well as the research and the human effort they put into it.

The Lory Student Center Governing Board and the Residence Hall Association are also hosting a campus-wide clothing drive directed towards the Sunrise Community Center in Greeley. It started Friday and will end Tuesday.

“This year’s clothing drive will be the biggest and the best we’ve had yet,” Jaimes said. “We’re able to keep alive the spirit of helping the farm workers.”

The events coming up next week are in celebration of the Civil Rights Movement, but more so, bring it into perspective, said Lance Wright, director of Campus Activities.

Wright said students need to understand that civil rights struggles are not just part of history and there’s still work to be done. Cesar Chavez Celebrating is an opportunity to do so that increases dialogue about immigration and labor practices that he said are still unfair.

“It’s important for a major university like CSU to take a stand and celebrate all leaders, not just the ones celebrated through K-12 education, but also women and people of color,” Salas said.

The events are preceded by, a poetry and politics discussion presented by Women’s Programs and Studies, a kick-off event that included keynote speaker Luis Leon from the University of Denver and a live music event hosted by the Latino Greek Council last week.

While the celebration is currently acknowledged in eight U.S states, the planning committee hopes to make Cesar Chavez Week an annual, national celebration.

“If in our own backyard, we can’t raise awareness and education through the works of Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, and Dolores Huerta, we’re missing the boat.” Salas said.

Staff writer Lucia Papureanu can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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Local music shop closes after two decades

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Mar 302008
Authors: Bijah Gibson

Two local music stores are feeling many of the ill effects of America’s suffering recording industry, which has taken huge hits from alternative media like the Internet offering cheaper music options like file sharing that has allowed for easier methods of music piracy.

ABCD’s, which was the first CD-only store in Fort Collins, will be closing its doors in mid April, and The Finest, a competing store, is up for sale.

ABCD’s owner Walt Werren began to see sales drop dramatically last summer.

“What we thought might be a fluke stayed in a continual funk,” Werren said of the poor sales his store has experienced.

Werren said the trend that has affected record stores across the nation is the largely because record labels didn’t do anything to prevent the new media from affecting the industry.

“The blame falls pretty strongly on the labels,” Werren said. “They were reactive instead of proactive.”

Werren remembers that when he his store opened in 1987, CDs were cutting edge. The first threat to his store came when “big-box” stores like Best Buy came into town and began to offer CDs at much lower prices, using their buying power and large advertising budgets to muscle out independent stores. The Internet came next, and the industry continued to go downhill. Werren believes record labels hurt themselves during that time.

Once his store closes next month, Werren will hunt for a new job. He hopes to remain in Fort Collins, which has provided him with a large, loyal clientele and employees for 20 years.

Jim Risser, owner of local music store The Finest, cannot imagine his life without music. Risser has worked at the local music company since 1981 and purchased the company, which includes stores in Greeley, Fort Collins and Windsor, in 2003. Risser is now attempting to sell his business, and hopes that someone with energy and passion for music will buy it.

“I’m trying to sell while it [The Finest] is still attractive to someone to buy,” said Risser in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

Risser also emphasized that album sales have steadily declined since the rise of online music downloading and file sharing, but like Walt Werren he does not completely blame the Internet for the decline of the album sales industry.

“Our own industry killed itself by not embracing the Internet.” Risser said.

Risser also blames the decline in album sales on something he calls the three-headed monster, which is composed of the Internet (both legal and illegal downloading and file sharing), “big-box” companies that sell albums at a loss to muscle out the competition and the album industry itself which refuses to drop prices.

For Risser, his business is not out of the picture yet because it does more than just sell CDs.

“We’re a niche,” said Risser. “We still have the record store vibe. We can get things overnight and have it the next day. We also have download and burn kiosks in our Greeley and Fort Collins stores.”

With the rise of Internet downloading and online file sharing, the recorded music industry has taken a major hit. According a Nielsen Soundscan study, the sale of albums in the United States continues to drop.

In 2000, Americans purchased 785.1 million albums, a figure which dropped to 588.2 million in 2006.

More people, particularly younger generations, obtain their music online, either by paying for songs on sites like itunes.com or downloading music from file-sharing sites like Limewire.

Students at CSU are no exception to this rule.

For Annie Stenseth, a freshman double-majoring in business and family and consumer sciences, lower prices and the convenience of online purchasing keep her from buying CDs.

Staff writer Bijah Gibson can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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