Softball looking to sweep the Lobos this weekend

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Apr 302009
 
Authors: Keith Robertson

This Saturday the CSU softball team will travel to New Mexico for their first conference road game since April 12 and the fans can play witness.

The Mtn. network is scheduled to broadcast the Rams’ (24-22, 5-5 MWC) game against the Lobos (11-33, 2-9 MWC) at 4 p.m. Saturday, allowing fans to enjoy the road game from the comfort of their home or favorite bar.

“It’s great exposure. Our players are excited,” head coach Mary Yori said. “It’s nice for people to see what they can do. They usually step up when the game is on TV.”

CSU is currently in third place in the Mountain West and the Lobos are just one spot out of last – meaning they may have to play a little tougher to avoid embarrassment.

“I think (New Mexico) is going to be challenging,” Yori said. “They’re still fighting; they’re still playing for pride. And they want to get a win against us.”

The Rams played New Mexico twice this season, and they won both games. Even though CSU knows they have the upper hand they understand the Lobos have the personnel to be dangerous. Senior Samantha Hughes has had a ridiculous season, batting .398 with seven homeruns.

“We are not going to overlook them by any means,” said freshman pitcher Kelli Eubanks. “But (if) we go out and play the way we know how, I think we’ll be fine.”

Barring unforeseen occurrences, Eubanks (10-9) will start in the circle for the Rams. She has been playing superbly recently, as she recorded her fourth shutout of the season this week.

The rest of the horned heroes have added to the solid softball play, as they are on a three-game winning streak after winning both games of a doubleheader against UNC and one game against San Diego State.

The offense is led by Caitlan Stem, batting .373, who has piled up 39 runs this season and is only 10 away from cracking the single season top-five in CSU history. The Rams have also looked to the bat of freshman outfielder Jenna Krogh, who is currently on a 13-game hit streak.

“Almost every time she is getting it at her first at-bat,” Yori said. “She keeps getting more confidence and hopefully she can keep it going.”

The team believes that with only three games left in the season, they have to channel their inner Ram and not center their game plan on their opponents.

“We just need to focus on ourselves,” said third baseman Robyn Mask. “I think that’s what trumps us up a lot.”

The Rams will have plenty of time to focus inward on the long bus trip down south as well as have a little extra time to relax. Yori said the team enjoys the automobile experience because they will be able to study for upcoming finals, socialize and watch a few movies along the way — instead of hauling through airports populated with mask-wearing travelers afraid of the swine flu.

After the team pulls back into Fort Collins, the Rams will have a week of practice before heading out to Utah for the final three games of the season next weekend.

Softball beat writer Keith Robertson can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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CSU ready for Front Range Classic

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Apr 302009
 
Authors: Scott Callahan

By Scott Callahan

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The track and field team has had much success this outdoor season and is looking to expand on its already 13 regional qualifiers at the Front Range Classic in Boulder this weekend. For those who have not reached regional qualifiers, many of them have beat their own personal best records.

“We try to encourage and celebrate personal bests and whoever hits regional qualifiers each week,” said head coach Brian Bedard. “It helps provide encouragement (to the rest of the team).”

Regional qualifiers mean that the athlete has competed above a set mark and qualifies to compete in the NCAA regional meet the University of Oklahoma hosts on May 29.

The Rams 13 regional qualifiers are fairly evenly split between the teams, with seven men and six women qualifying. Three of the women have regional qualifiers in two events each.

The regional qualifiers for the men are: Ryan Friese in the 800-meter run (1:48.99), Wil Buchanan in the 800-meter run (1:49.47), Spenser Lynass in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:04.94), Jake Keyser in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:06.85), Doug Dieker in the pole vault (16-feet-6.75), Tyson Williams in the shot put (57-feet-3), and Alex Godell in the hammer throw (208-feet-1).

The women’s qualifiers are: Kirsten Anthony in the 1,500-meter run (4:25.90) and the 5,000-meter run (16:51.30), Nicole Peters in the 5,000-meter run (16:44.04) and the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:46.66), Missy Faubus in the shot put (52-feet-4) and the discus (170-feet-11), Jennifer Ugochukwu in the shot put (46-feet-11), Meagan Berg in the hammer throw (190-feet-1), Leah Elmshauser in the hammer throw (180-feet-7).

“The athletes are peaking at the right time,” Bedard said. “The focus and technique are lining up a little bit, and we are hoping for more (regional qualifiers) this weekend.”

Front Range Classic will host many of the D-I schools in the area such as Wyoming and UNC.

This meet is unique in that a different school each year plays host. This year Colorado is hosting the meet, and next year CSU will host the same meet.

The Ram women finished in first, and the men finished in second to Air Force Academy in the last outdoor season.

Additionally, the whole team is going to the meet this weekend instead of splitting up attendance into several meets. Bedard said the coaches only split the team when they think it is in the best interest of the athletes. This will be one of the few weeks the team will be together.

“Most teams will be at full strength, and everyone is going to try to take a little pride in winning it,” Bedard said.

Track and field beat writer Scott Callahan can be reached at sports@collegian.com. in the hammer throw (180-feet-7).

“The athletes are peaking at the right time,” Bedard said. “The focus and technique are lining up a little bit, and we are hoping for more (regional qualifiers) this weekend.”

Front Range Classic will host many of the D-I schools in the area such as Wyoming and UNC.

This meet is unique in that a different school each year plays host. This year Colorado is hosting the meet, and next year CSU will host the same meet.

The Ram women finished in first, and the men finished in second to Air Force Academy in the last outdoor season.

Additionally, the whole team is going to the meet this weekend instead of splitting up attendance into several meets. Bedard said the coaches only split the team when they think it is in the best interest of the athletes. This will be one of the few weeks the team will be together.

“Most teams will be at full strength, and everyone is going to try to take a little pride in winning it,” Bedard said.

Track and field beat writer Scott Callahan can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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Rams golf in fifth after MWC first round

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Apr 302009
 
Authors: Justin Warren

The CSU men’s golf team is off to a slow start in their bid for a second consecutive Mountain West Conference championship in Tucson, Ariz., sitting in a three-way tie for fifth with BYU and Utah.

The Rams shot 7 over par in the first round on the par-71, 7,163-yard Catalina Course of the Omni Tucson National Golf Club.

“I am disappointed,” head coach Jamie Bermel. “We were just sloppy out there and we wasted several strokes. We just were not good from top to bottom.”

“For some reason, the past four or five tournaments we have gotten out to a poor start and we have always come back strong the last day. I think we are going to come out firing hard tomorrow,” junior Riley Arp said. “I think if we can shoot 8 or 9 under in the next two rounds, we will have a pretty good chance.”

TCU, the highest ranked MWC school at No. 17 in the nation, is the current leader of the tournament, shooting 8 under par for the day.

Seven strokes back in second position is No. 22 San Diego State, shooting 1 under par.

New Mexico shot an even par in the first 18 holes to put themselves in the third spot followed by UNLV in fourth shooting 5 over par.

Tom Hodge for TCU is the current individual leader shooting 4 under par.

Arp is the only Ram golfer in the top-10, sitting tied for the seventh spot with Brady Johnson of BYU and J.J. Spaun of San Diego State. The trio shot 1 under for the day.

“If I could get my putter to start working I think I could go up in the standings. I am hitting the ball better than I have anytime this year and I don’t see it coming to an end anytime soon,” Arp said. “I made a pretty good run today but just let it slide with a few three-putts.”

Arp, coming off his best performance of the season in last week’s Cougar Classic, is the only CSU golfer in the top-20 after seven birdies in the first round.

Senior Zen Brown shot 2 over par for the day placing himself in the 22nd spot while brother freshman Zahkai Brown and teammate junior Bryce Hanstad sit one stroke back in a three-way tie for 31st, shooting 3-over.

Junior Dustin Morris did not have the day he expected, shooting 7 over par and sitting in 43rd position among the 45 individual golfers competing.

The Rams have two more rounds to make up the 15 strokes that separate CSU from leader TCU.

“We just have to go out there and not play sloppy. We are hitting the ball fine and putting fine. We just have to eliminate the mental breakdowns,” coach Bermel said.

The second round is scheduled to begin this morning at 8 a.m.

The tournament can be followed with live, up-to-date stats on http://www.golfstat.com.

Men’s golf beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Dynamic freshman take softball to another level

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Apr 302009
 
Authors: Sean Star

Freshman year of college: The best of times, the worst of times or somewhere in between. Whichever the case, one thing is for sure. It’s an experience like none other.

Everything is new. The living space is uncomfortable, the food is unlimited and the freedom is unprecedented.

All of a sudden, Thursday becomes part of the weekend, and going to class becomes optional.

No doubt, it’s a lot to take in. Too much to take in, in fact, as 20 percent don’t come back the next year.

For athletes the adjustment is even more difficult, as time management takes on an entirely different meaning. The transition is so severe, that oftentimes freshmen sit out of competition all together. Instead they redshirt, sit on the sidelines and learn from the veterans.

But for this year’s crop of freshmen on the CSU softball team, there’s been a lot less sitting and a lot more hitting.

As many as six freshmen have made an impact for the third-place Rams, which were picked to finish fifth before the season.

Offensively the young group is led by first baseman Christine Thomsen and outfielder Jenna Krough, whose batting averages rank second and third on the team, respectively.

Krough has been on a tear at the plate recently, and she enters Saturday’s game at New Mexico with a 13-game hitting streak. (Though, it appears to be a sensitive subject, so knock on wood for her.)

In the circle, Kelli Eubanks has been the team’s best pitcher, leading the Rams in wins, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts.

Collectively their success is shared. But individually they’re as different as the color of hair on their head.

Thomsen, a blonde, is relaxed and confident. Krough, a red head, is outspoken and full of energy. And Eubanks, a brunette, is always focused and ultra-competitive.

“I just think that they’re very eclectic,” junior Ashley Munoz said. “Each one of them has their own personality.”

If anyone on the team can relate to first-year success, it’s Munoz. Two years ago she bashed what was at the time a team-record 14 home runs on the way to being named the conference’s freshman of the year.

Now a junior, Munozsays things have changed dramatically. No longer does she have the luxury of playing in a conference where no one knows her strengths and weaknesses, which is still the case for this year’s freshmen.

Surely by next year, scouting reports will be available on Thomsen, Krough and Eubanks. Throw in a little pressure of repeating their success, and once again everything will be different.

But for know, it’s all about letting the frosh have their fun, Munoz said, “letting them think it’s all easy.”

It sure appears that they’re having fun, and as their coach, Mari Yori says, they’ve brought a new sense of energy to the program.

“We kind of brought a fresh breath of air to the team,” Thomsen said. “Kind of lightened things up.”

Lightened things up, sure, but not necessarily mixed things up. Yori and her players agree that, although a lot of at bats are going to freshmen, team chemistry has remained strong.

Instead of causing a divide among themselves and older players, the freshmen have relied on the upper classmen for guidance.

“Maybe some of us had that concern about that coming in, that we were going to be a really divided team, but we meshed really well,” Eubanks said. “We look to those (veteran) girls not only for leadership on the field, but off the field just in general.”

Sports columnist Sean Star can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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RamTalk

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Apr 302009
 
Authors:

Break ups are like broccoli; It may be good for you, but even the good ones still taste like crap.

To the guy I gave the pink razor phone to: It was actually my mom’s, but I’ll let her know you’re enjoying it.

Did anyone else find it ironic that the front page of yesterday’s news paper had an article about second-hand smoke effects on dogs and at the same time the picture had a guy wearing an “Always Hi” shirt holding his dog?

“Go hang a salami! I’m a lasagna hog.” Now I’m the Palindrome Fight Champion.

Just because we’re in college does not mean that a hat suffices for a shower.

All you need is love…but all you want are hookers.

To the gentleman who left the sweet note on my car: I’m assuming the all caps on C**T means you are really mad? Do you feel better now?

You know you’re too drunk when you try and walk home from your own apartment.

To the blonde girl in the PACe Center: Who are we kidding? I sit by you on purpose, you sit by me on purpose. I wish you were my calculator so I could plug in my natural log.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

RamTalk

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Apr 302009
 
Authors:

Break ups are like broccoli; It may be good for you, but even the good ones still taste like crap.

To the guy I gave the pink razor phone to: It was actually my mom’s, but I’ll let her know you’re enjoying it.

Did anyone else find it ironic that the front page of yesterday’s news paper had an article about second-hand smoke effects on dogs and at the same time the picture had a guy wearing an “Always Hi” shirt holding his dog?

“Go hang a salami! I’m a lasagna hog.” Now I’m the Palindrome Fight Champion.

Just because we’re in college does not mean that a hat suffices for a shower.

All you need is love…but all you want are hookers.

To the gentleman who left the sweet note on my car: I’m assuming the all caps on C**T means you are really mad? Do you feel better now?

You know you’re too drunk when you try and walk home from your own apartment.

To the blonde girl in the PACe Center: Who are we kidding? I sit by you on purpose, you sit by me on purpose. I wish you were my calculator so I could plug in my natural log.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Our View: CSU loses ‘No. 1 fan’

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Apr 302009
 
Authors:

The CSU Athletic Department lost a member of the family yesterday, and Saturdays with the football team next fall will not be the same.

Rich Bircumshaw, the voice of the Rams for the last eight years, passed away at the age of 54 following complications from a stroke suffered in his home.

For those who didn’t know Bircumshaw, he was regarded as a consummate professional with a quirky, self-deprecating sense of humor and an ability to make anyone he talked to feel like the most important person in the room.

For those who did know him, he was most often a friend.

“We have lost a dear friend in Rich,” men’s basketball head coach Tim Miles said. “It was very apparent, something that I noticed right after I met him, that it wasn’t the job that mattered to Rich, but it was the Rams family that he truly cared about. When we won, he felt like he had won. And when we lost, he lost. Most of all, he was a tremendous person and a great friend to all of us in the program.”

As a football and basketball announcer, Bircumshaw could paint a picture with his words, taking Ram fans closer to the action than a television screen could. As a supporter of CSU athletics, he was unparalleled.

Bircumshaw volunteered as an emcee at dozens of Athletic Department events every year, in addition to hosting a weekly coach’s show each football and men’s basketball season. Head football coach Steve Fairchild called him CSU’s “No. 1 fan.”

The editorial board would like to express our deepest condolences to the Bircumshaw family, the athletic department and anyone who came in contact with Rich in his much-too short time.

To the voice of the Rams: Thank you for the memories; you will be deeply missed.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

The ethics of cloning need to be determined now

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Apr 302009
 
Authors: Alex Stephens

Imagine a world where people are no longer born but are grown — where endless fields are dedicated to the farming of humans to be made into soldiers, slaves and replacements.

No, this isn’t a meshing of Huxley and Wachowski. It is one possibility of a future that our generation will soon likely witness.

For centuries, civilizations have sought methods of social engineering — from the legendary Spartan methods of judging a child’s strength, a la the exaggerated “300” to the American Eugenics Movement of the 1930s, social Darwinism and the subsequent Nazi Holocaust. Finding ways to create, as Adolf Hitler phrased it, a “master race” has always been present in one form or another throughout history.

Methods of social engineering progress as technology advances.

Our current understanding of DNA, spurred by biochemists in the 1950s, has led to genome mapping which is the ability to read, like a map, a person’s list of genetic traits. Genes that determine the color of your hair and eyes, your potential physical strength and even your lifespan are continually being discovered and understood.

Eventually, doctors will be able to discern and correct undesirable traits in unborn children upon the parents’ request. Devastating genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis will be preventable.

But this raises the possibility of “designer children” for those who can afford it. Social stratification would reach new heights; discrimination against “faulty” individuals might become the future equivalent of racism.

The sci-fi movie “Gattaca” presents these possibilities in a medium most of us can relate to.

Cloning is quickly coming to the forefront of ethical debate. In 1996, Scottish scientists created the first reproductively cloned animal, Dolly the sheep, which raised a host of moral questions ranging from the edibility of cloned animals to whether we should be playing God.

Sometimes science erases questions of ethics while prompting new ones, as in the case of stem cells.

For the past decade it was believed that therapeutic stem cells used to repair damaged organs and tissue could only be acquired through embryos. That led to the heated debate of whether saving a life was worth sacrificing another.

Earlier this year Japanese scientists found a way to essentially reprogram any cell to become a stem cell, eliminating the old requirement of embryos. The newfound ability to reprogram cells and genes has opened the door to science that was once thought fictional.

In the recent May issue of National Geographic an article described the process of cloning or resurrecting long extinct animals.

The ability to create a long-extinct wooly mammoth is within reach of current reproductive technologies. This raises many more interesting and frightening ethical questions than stem cells ever did. Scientists that once laughed at “Jurassic Park” are now reconsidering the very real possibilities of bringing dinosaurs back to life.

What’s more currently feasible than dinosaurs though is cloning your dead great-grandmother. All it takes is a small sample of her genetic material implanted in a reprogrammed enucleated female egg.

Now, what if you were able to take some of your own genetic information and clone yourself? If any of your organs fail, you could harvest your clone for fresh pieces. Perhaps you could even transplant your brain into your younger clone’s body.

Who’s to say that’s impossible when a year ago we thought today’s technologies were unimaginable?

Will our ethics catch up to or ever outpace our scientific and technological advancements? In February, President Obama lifted the ban on government funding for embryonic stem cell research, but it was not controversial enough to reignite the debate over cloning.

In order to preserve our societal ethics, we need to be discussing even the most seemingly absurd possibilities of cloning now before they become a reality.

Alex Stephens is a senior political science major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

A theoretical scenario of nullification in the U.S.

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Apr 302009
 
Authors:

Last week I wrote about the fundamental right of states to nullify federal laws they believe to be overbearing.

This week, let’s look at a fictional future scenario in which nullification is applied, and the consequences of such an application.

President Obama wins re-election due largely to Republican nominee Rush Limbaugh’s ridiculous claim that the media was desirous that a black president succeed.

Despite an approval rating in the low teens, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, still Speaker of the House, reintroduces the Assault Weapons Ban. Last time the Democrats learned their lesson, they included wording banning the ownership or possession of any firearm with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds.

President Obama signs the AWB into law less than a month later, having encouraged both Congress and the Senate to fast-track the legislation.

Wyoming legislators nullify the new law not 72 hours later. Identifying the rights granted to them by the U.S. Constitution under the second and 10th Amendments, they declare the entirety of the law null and void within Wyoming borders.

Sensing a shared feeling of dissent from their cousins to the south, Montana resurrects similar legislation they allowed to die in early 2009. Idaho, Utah and Alaska follow suit within the day.

President Obama, not willing to cede any federal powers (constitutionally or not), orders the FBI special agents in charge of all five state bureaus to place the governors under arrest. Having immediately squashed the resistance, President Obama activates the National Guard units of all 50 states.

My point is that our government was designed a certain way, and practically every politician, once in power, ignores that design and just does whatever ensures reelection.

Many of you celebrated Obama’s election like you had won the game. That idea is offensive and ignorant. The Collegian’s editorial staff graded this man with a B+ at 100 days. Wrong.

Being cool, calm and well-spoken (or well-read as the right keeps reminding us) does not give the man a free pass for the disregard he shows for the Constitution. You didn’t let President Bush get away with it. Why do you let this man do so?

Once elected, the politicians must be held accountable for their actions. Obama scoffed at the idea of decriminalization of marijuana the same way any old Republican president would have.

Instead, he’s due to spend a minimum of $5 trillion his first year in office. You replaced the party of bad ideas with the party of worse ideas. “Change,” indeed.

When are you going to wake up and realize that in the late 1700s we were given a golden ticket to national prosperity and have wiped our collective butt with that ticket for the last century?

Secession is the reality in front of you, folks. Nullification is going to be attempted within the next five-to-10 years. I promise you. You’ve grown accustomed to Washington governing your daily lives, but that’s just not the way it was meant to be. Luckily there are those among us who recognize the flawed system in which we live today.

Think what you may of that 3 percent of Americans clamoring for a reduction in government, but when the workers realize their money is being taken in order to give it to the poor, the lazy and those illegally in the country, they are going to stop working.

This is the most interesting time in America since its beginning. We are no longer talking about discrimination or human rights — we are talking about good government and Constitutional adherence.

The despots in Washington aren’t stupid; they will disarm the populace just before they move to control the populace. Then the revolution that started in Boston will reawaken in the 3 percent of the population willing to stand and fight for the country the liberals and conservatives destroyed.

What possible drawbacks do you see in federalism? For the uninformed, that means less federal government, bizarrely enough, with most governing coming from state and local government.

Next week: Secession — why we will have to go there.

Seth J. Stern is a junior journalism and sociology major and political science minor. His tirade appears Fridays in the Collegian. Send comments, criticism, vilification or scorn to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Field Day to promote breast cancer awareness, raise money for cancer research

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Apr 302009
 
Authors: Jessica Cline

Today CSU will hold its first-ever Passionately Pink for the Cure Event to raise awareness about breast cancer and money for the Susan G. Komer Foundation, the world’s largest network of survivors and activists fighting to find a cure for breast cancer.

Funds will go to research for helping find a cure.

An estimated one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the Susan G. Komer Foundation Website which is an estimated five million Americans and their families and friends that will have to battle against breast cancer.

“If you just think about those five million people and all their friends and family members, it is simple to see why finding a cure, raising awareness, early detection and many other breast health issues . are so important and why we should do everything in our power to help the cause,” said Jordan Romero, member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

The NSCS is hosting a mini track and field day to help in the fight against breast cancer and raise awareness at CSU. The field day will include events such as a high heel race, a three-legged race, a hula-hoop contest and a best-dressed pink outfit contest, all of which are open to the public.

They hope draw large participation and raise at least $500 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

“We are donating to (the foundation) mainly because (Romero) knows a lot of survivors, and it would be great to get them involved with something they had to deal with so they can pass their courage and wisdom to others,” said Leah Fenimore, NSCS community service coordinator, “And this organization is a great organization to do that through.”

A 25-year pioneer of breast cancer research, the Komen organization works to educate people about the disease, and members of NSCS encourage the CSU community to join the cause.

“I am sure that, like myself, many students’ lives have been touched by this disease,” Romero said. “And it is important for all people, not just women, to understand the realities of breast cancer for the benefit of our mothers, sisters, friends, girlfriends, wives and daughters.”

Romera cited the possibility of winning door prizes at the event and having a good time as other reasons to support the cause today.

A panel of guest survivors from the CSU and greater communities, Monique Romero, Jordan Romero’s mother, CSU biology professor Karen Raines and Tammy Zuber, will judge the best-dressed attendant in pink.

The event is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. on Field 12, located on the corner of Meldrum Street and University Avenue on campus. It is $5 to participate in the events and free to watch. Donations will be accepted, and a minimum donation of $1 enters a donor’s name into the raffle.

Prizes will be given for the events and the raffle including: pink cupcakes donated by the Buttercream Cupcakery, a $45 gift card donated by Carrabbas, a handmade necklace donated by local artist Rebekah Valentine, among others.

Staff writer Jessica Cline can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm