Collegian Editorial Board ASCSU candidate interview: Dave and April

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Mar 312010
 
Authors: Johnny Hart

In the effort to gain information about student government candidates to make an informed endorsement, the Collegian Editorial Board will interview each of the three pairs.

Round two: Dave and April.

 Posted by at 10:30 pm

Reformed mobster speaks to students

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Mar 312010
 
Authors: David Martinez

For Michael Franzese, life with the Colombo Mafia family began in 1975 with a knife to his finger –– a blood oath that would make the crime family the most important thing in his life.

When he entered the “family” he entered a life of violence, gambling and eight to nine million dollars in racketeering money each week.
But in 1987, after making the Colombo family more than $300 million, he sacrificed his lifestyle and connections to the Mafia, plead guilty to racketeering charges, and received a 10-year sentence in federal prison.

Franzese spoke to a full theater at the Lincoln Center on Thursday about why he chose to walk away from the Colombo family and how the change affected his life.

The audience had a mix of students from several CSU Christian groups, friends they had invited and students who were just curious to hear the former Mafia man’s message.

When asked what his message was to students, Franzese said that he felt a responsibility to young people to use his life as an example.
Though he had made poor choices as a young man, he encouraged young people to seek their purpose in life through a relationship with God.

“None of you are here by accident, I can tell you that,” Franzese said after he introduced himself to the crowd. “I’m here to share a story.”

Franzese grew up in New York City with seven siblings fathered by John Franzese, a notorious leader in the Colombo crime family who is currently the oldest parolee in the country at 93 years old. While Franzise was never pressured to join the Mafia, he said he easily became a part of the world when he told his father he didn’t want to attend college any more.

Within ten years of his life, Franzese became a Caporegime in the Colombo family, one of the Mafia’s top positions. He was ranked number 18 on a list of the 50 most wealthy and powerful mafia bosses. Franzese told students that out of that list, 43 bosses have died and three face life in prison.

However, Franzese began to rethink his commitment to the Mafia when he met his wife while producing a movie in Florida.

Camille Garcia, a Christian girl who was a dancer in Franzese’s film, convinced Franzese to break his oath to the Mafia and confess to the racketeering charges against him after they fell in love.

However, Franzese said he only became a Christian after finally losing connections to his father and the Colombo family.

While Franzese was in prison, an article in Life magazine gave a detailed account of how he had quit the Mafia, a secret he had kept from his father and the Colombo family. Franzese said that he lost all ties to the Colombos as well as the members of his family.
Franzese said that when he had become completely hopeless, a guard slipped a bible throught the slits of his jail cell.

When he opened the book, Franzese said that he was immediately impacted by the passage, which said, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the lord, all of his enemies are at peace with him.”

Franzese said that that quote made him realize the selfishness of his life. He said that it was like God giving him a message.
“Here you are, you’re stripped of everything,” he said. “You’re either gonna go my way or you’re gonna go the other way.”

Staff writer David Martinez can be reached at news@collegian.com

 Posted by at 5:58 pm

Fort Collins sticks the skinny to Boulder

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Mar 312010
 
Authors: Sara Michael

In hard economic times, wallets aren’t the only things shrinking in Fort Collins. It appears waistbands are too.
Not only the best place to live as awarded by Money Magazine, Fort Collins was also named the least obese metro area in the country earlier this month.

In 2009, Gallup took polls across the country, surveying 353,000 adults in 187 metro areas to find the obesity rates in America. They took into account height and weight, calculating body mass index and healthy habits with eating and exercise.

The Fort Collins / Loveland metro area took the prize for the lowest obesity rates at 16 percent, followed closely by Boulder at 16.6 percent.

The national average weighs in at 25.6 percent.

“A big factor is the nature of the residents,” said Mayor Doug Hutchinson. “The medium age of people in Fort Collins is around 29 years … We have a young, vibrantpopulation.”

More than 4 percent of citizens now commute on bikes –– twice as much as in many other states, Hutchinson said. He also attributes the city’s 50 parks and great trail systems for the unusual amount of wellness.

Despite Fort Collins’ illustrious new reputation, however, CSU is lagging behind in the fitness arena.

“This campus is not as active as you’d think,” said CSU Health Educator Deb Morris. According to data collected by the Hartshorn Health Center and Campus Reccreation, only 47 percent of students said they engage in 20 minutes of vigorous activity three to five times a week.

Students who regularly attend the gym or other physical activity say that they feel good, look better and live healthier, Morris said. She added that many students reported less stress after exercise, and overall, they felt happier.

“It’s important for people to hear that –– (exercise) is positive, not a chore,” Morris said. “We want to get (students) thinking about how they can make this part of their day.”

RamMotion is one program the university created to get students to get their blood pumping. Every Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m., Hartshorn Health Center holds games and other activities on the Lory Student Center Plaza.

“It’s basically recess,” Morris said, laughing. “It’s social and fun.”

“When I work out, I feel great,” said freshman Marc Young, an English major. Young said he goes to the gym as often as he can, at least four days out of the week.

“People don’t come (to the gym) because they’re scared, or they don’t have time … ” he said, adding that with the weather improving, students can make time to work out.

Time is the number one thing people blame their lack of exercise on, Morris said. But it’s not hard to make it a part of everyday activities.

“Why not get a group and walk to Old Town, or bike to the grocery store instead of drive? If you’re going to go out, why not go dancing?”
Ranking third with a 16.9 percent obesity rate is Barnstable, Mass. Colorado Springs pulls in fourth with 17.2 percent and San Luis

Obispo, Calif. came in fifth with 17.6 percent.

Overall, Colorado averages at a 19.6 percent obesity rate.

The most obese area goes to Montgomery, Ala., which has a 34.5 percent obesity rate.

Staff writer Sara Michael can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:56 pm

CSU celebrates Cesar Chavez’s birthday with week of events

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Mar 312010
 
Authors: Allison Welter

If you asked junior human development and family studies major Mayra Granados who Cesar Chavez was before she began college, she would have said a boxer.

Since then, Granados has gained a “piece of her pride that was missing” by learning about the life and legacy of the Mexican-American activist.

“Cesar Chavez giving Latinos the confidence to stand up for their rights inspires me to stand up for immigrants and give them a voice as well,” Granados said.

Wednesday night, the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom hosted the Community Celebration and High School Awards to honor Chavez’s life and legacy and local high school students for their commitment to the continued fight for social justice.

An individual with roots as a disenfranchised farm worker, Chavez labored to develop organizations that would protect the farmer. In 1975, Chavez’s union passed the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act. Today, it is the only law protecting the right for farmers to unionize.In addition to his work for farmers’ unions, Chavez led campaigns against economic and racial discrimination in urban areas.

“Too many human spirits and dreams are still crushed by poverty and racism, that is unacceptable,” said Rich Salas, assistant director of El Centro. “We must all come together –– from all cultural backgrounds –– to fight for equality.”

Salas, also a member of the night’s band Grupo Aztlan, said that at times, even Chavez and his fellow activists partied and encouraged the crowd to eat and enjoy themselves.

“He brought people together, just like tonight, from all backgrounds,” Salas said between songs.

After food and music, CSU Provost Rick Miranda extended a welcome to the night’s attendees, emphasizing Chavez’s positive influence on the country.

Spoken word performances by Ralph Lazo, a graduate student seeking his Master’s degree in ethnic studies, and junior ethnic studies major Kim Ford, delved into issues such as racism and poverty.

Ford shared her poetry with the crowd of more than 100 people in remembrance of Chavez’s legacy.

“To speak at something in honor of him is something I’m grateful for, I feel very privileged to honor him in that way,” Ford said.

Awards were given to local high school students throughout the night for work done at their schools that embodied Chavez and the words of Granados and sophomore sociology major Emanuel Brito.

Brito is a child of illegal immigrants who now have citizenship in America. His father knew friends of Chavez and was proud that he created a positive change in this country.

“He was their inspiration for a better life and my inspiration for a better educated life,” said Brito, in his speech to the attendees.

The celebrations for Chavez in the CSU community will wrap up tomorrow with “500 years of Chicano History” by Jesus “Chuy” Negrete, a history told through running ballads. The event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in LSC Room 230.

Staff Writer Allison Welter can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:47 pm

Candidates assessed more fines

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Mar 312010
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

The student government elections committee found presidential candidate David Ambrose and his running mate April Ragland guilty of campaigning before the official start of elections and assessed a fine of $75 Tuesday night.

Jordan Von Bokern, a campaigner for Cooper Anderson and Jennifer Babos who filed the complaint, cited e-mail correspondence between Ambrose and Tim Campbell, president of Students for Concealed Carry at CSU, in which Campbell promises Ambrose and Ragland an official endorsement.

The e-mail, sent March 2, explicitly requests that Ambrose explain how he plans to address the issue of concealed carry on campus, a practice the CSU System Board of Governors banned last semester. The policy will officially go into effect on or before August 1.

Ambrose replied that while he appreciated the support, Campbell’s organization could not begin campaigning before March 12, 10 days before the sanctioned election period.

Paul Wade, who represented Ambrose and Ragland to the committee, said, before filing an official declaration of candidacy to run, the team was not “legally bound” to any elections rules.

In the e-mail, Ambrose said he and Ragland have considered creating a paid position in the ASCSU Cabinet to have constant contact with lobbyist groups at the state Capitol and suggested to Campbell that, if interested, he or another officer from Students for Concealed Carry at CSU would be considered for the position.

Ambrose and Anderson spent last semester drafting and pushing a resolution supporting a gun friendly campus through ASCSU Senate, on which they both sit.

During the discussion and debate portion of the hearing Anderson told the committee Campbellcontacted him about the issue, but he refused to comment.

“He (Ambrose) knowingly blatantly violated the rules,” Anderson said.

But Wade urged the committee to recognize Ambrose’s attempt to keep Campbell from early campaigning and said, while he misstated the date, “it’s hard to find conclusive evidence of a deliberate violation.”

“The verbiage in David Ambrose’s reply is well within his reach as a senator,” he said.

Emily Malin, clerk for the elections committee, said because the issue of concealed carry “holds so much weight at CSU,” early campaigning on a promise to keep fighting the ban “could very well sway the vote.”

Earlier that same night the duo was assessed a $25 fine for posting libelous comments about a competing campaign on their Facebook page and a $50 fine for allegedly violating residence hall guidelines regarding the distribution of platform handouts.

Another hearing, in which the committee will determine the “fair market value” sending the handbills to all dorm residents, will take place on Friday.

Ambrose and Ragland will have three business days to pay all fines assessed during Tuesdays meeting.

Other complaints

A barrage of complaints were filed Wednesday morning against the campaign of Anderson and his running mate Jennifer Babos by members of the Ambrose/Ragland ticket, ranging from copyright infringement to a violation of local animal cleanup rules.

In the latter, two small dogs took presence wearing campaign merchandise. One of the dogs defecated on the plaza, and the campaigners did not clean it up, which Ben Weiner, who filed the complaint said violates city ordinance.

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:45 pm

University gifts and YouTube re-education

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Mar 312010
 
Authors: Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer

This week we’re coming to you guys with some of the most exciting news we’ve ever delivered. Starting this May, CSU has agreed to purchase and distribute Apple iPads to all CSU students.

Now, of course, our first question was how the university would be paying for the new technology. But don’t fret, not a penny of student funds will be spent on the new tablets. The funding will be coming from our Arbor Housing Department, whose revenue comes from rent paid by our campus’ squirrel tenants.

Not every student will be receiving the iPad immediately as the supplies are currently low. Students with an odd number of credits will be receiving their iPads May 1, but if the number is prime you’ll have to wait until next semester.

Those of you with an even number of credits will be getting yours during finals week, unless, of course, you have a final, at which point the school has decided you don’t need the distraction of a shiny new toy. You’ll be waiting until Winter Break 2010.

Happy April Fools.

On a serious note, we have recently discovered that there are a few misconceptions about the popular video site YouTube. The other day we overheard several students explaining to each other the reasons behind some of YouTube’s quirks –– and they were completely wrong.

With much effort, we just kept our mouths shut and decided to use this platform to explain some things instead.
We need to start out taking a look at the development of the site. YouTube was launched to the public in November 2005, just more than four years ago. One year later, Google purchased it.

The first year of YouTube was starkly different then than it is now. It was not nearly as streamlined; upload times took ages, videos were limited to 100 MB instead of the current 2 GB and the user interface was rudimentary. 

Back then, all of the content on YouTube was uploaded by Joe Schmo (that God-like man who keeps the world turning), and there were no deals made with movie studios and record companies to put copyrighted content on the site. However, there was also no software automatically checking videos for copyrighted audio and video, so users could get away with a lot. 

Entire movies were put on the site in 10 minute segments (because that’s what users were limited to). This was done illegally by individual users and isn’t a practice done by movie studios because of bandwidth issues on the site (Misconception No. 1 busted). 

Thanks to video compression and streaming technology, individual videos don’t take up a lot of bandwidth, but tens of thousands of new videos are uploaded each day. This does take up a lot of storage space on Google’s servers. In fact, the amount of content on YouTube has far surpassed the total amount of data on the entire Internet 10 years ago. 

YouTube is not yet profitable. It doesn’t make enough money on ads to support all the bandwidth usage. However, Google does in fact advertise on many more videos than just movies uploaded by the major studios (Misconception No. 2 busted).

Thanks to its YouTube Partner program, Google pays Joe Schmo a percentage of ad revenue if they get thousands of views, giving rise to the YouTube celebrities out there who can afford to make a living by vlogging (video blogging). 

The contracts are secret, but it’s estimated that these vloggers get about $2 per 1,000 views. These videos sometimes hit million  views; thats $2,000 –– a nice paycheck for a four minute video.

It makes us want to drop out of college and vlog for a living.

Google has cut deals with many movie studios to do the same thing –– exchange content for ad revenue. Currently, there are a lot of older movies on there; Google hasn’t done as good a job at licensing content as Hulu has (think “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”). 

And the last misconception is that YouTube is responsible for copyrighted content uploaded by users. Currently, the issue is up for debate in an ongoing lawsuit that Viacom has against YouTube. With luck, YouTube will be treated like an Internet Service Provider in the respect that courts have upheld that ISPs aren’t responsible for the activities of those they provide service to.

Columnists Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer are preparing to celebrate Zombie Jesus day this Sunday. Send questions and comments to verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:45 pm

Pushing for platforms

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Mar 312010
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

After pledging to tackle the higher education crisis if elected, two of the three parties running in the student government elections proved Wednesday night that they understood legislation that could redirect funding to all levels of Colorado education.

During the formal election debate, candidates were asked whether they knew of and supported a measure for the November 2010 ballot that would allow legislators to sidestep a state constitutional amendment that keeps them from raising taxes without voter approval. Known as DECIDE, Decide: Education Cuts of Invest in our Democracy and Economy, the proposal would allocate state funding to K-12 and higher education.

The presidential tickets of Copper Anderson and Jennifer Babos, and Jack Becker and Darrie Burrage said they were in support of DECIDE and, if elected, would stand behind legislators to push the referendum onto the Nov. 10 ballot.

Concerned that campaigns were not as focused on the survival of higher education, Matt Worthington, director of Legislative Affairs for The Associated Students of CSU, last week had teams verbally pledge to make it a top priority.

But after hearing the campaigns’ responses to his question about DECIDE, he said he is satisfied all tickets are working toward a solution. But he added later that he doesn’t think all have a complete understanding of the situation.

“I’m willing to work with whoever’s elected to do the best for students andwork to solve the higher ed. crisis,” Worthington said in a phone interview with the Collegian.

Becker said he has gained a “good grasp” of the dire straights of higher education funding by keeping up with news and talking with experts on the subject. But Becker said he was in no way an expert.

If elected, he and Burrage plan to first educate students, community members and administration about the capabilities of DECIDE and then rally their support, Becker told the Collegian.

Anderson said he and Babos support the proposal because it would allow elected officials to do their jobs and intervene when taxpayers aren’t willing to stand behind K-12 or higher education.

In the debate, David Ambrose and April Ragland had no comment when posed the question. In a later phone interview Collegian, after given more context about the proposal, Ambrose said he and his running mate were in full support of the measure.

He did say, however, that his campaign believes Colorado would be hard pressed to pass a referendum. Working with lobbyists and educating students is his campaign’s solution, he said.

Following questions of how candidates plan to run their administration, address concealed carry on campus and their feelings toward the proposed student facility fee increase, former ASCSU vice president Quinn Girrens asked candidates how they would balance execution of their big ticket promises with their desire to garner student input.

If elected, Anderson and Babos plan to hold town hall style meetings at least once a month where students could keep up with platform success and throw suggestions and ideas into the pot. The duo will also continue a close relationship with student organizations, Anderson said.

Becker and Burrage, communication majors who are part of CSU’s Center for Public Deliberation, will hold forums where students can learn about and discuss issues like concealed carry and higher education.

Getting students to talk in an intimate setting, like a round-table forum, is more effective than a meeting in which leaders lecture constituents about issues or an impersonal suggestion box, Burrage said.

Ambrose and Ragland will better utilize ASCSU’s existing virtual suggestion box by checking it daily, which Ragland said isn’t currently happening.

“This is how students told us they want to communicate with us. Maybe it will work, maybe it wont, but we’re going to try it,” she said.

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:42 pm

Life & Times

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Mar 312010
 
Authors: Danny Taylor
 Posted by at 5:36 pm

Scubbles

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Mar 312010
 
Authors: Derrick Burton
 Posted by at 5:35 pm

The PROfessor

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Mar 312010
 
Authors: Anon Y. Mous
 Posted by at 5:34 pm