CSU showcases student achievement

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May 022013
 

Author: Kelsey Peterson

[youtube]http://youtu.be/_6SHq773xQs[/youtube]

The Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity showcase crowded the Lory Student Center Theatre at Colorado State University May 30. All CSU undergraduate students are encouraged to submit research or creative works that are then featured at the showcase and judged by three different judges. Students showed off their achievements and winners were awarded from the various events. For more information visit http://curc.colostate.edu/.

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Fire Forecast: Larimer County Summer 2013

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Apr 302013
 

Author: Lena Howland

[youtube]http://youtu.be/YaoCsVRlWMg[/youtube]

This April has proven to be drastically different compared to last year – all thanks to the snow.

Last April was the driest in Colorado history due to a lack of moisture and precipitation.

At this time last year, Colorado firefighters had just wrapped up the Lower North Fork Fire in Jefferson County and were nearly a month away from battling the High Park Fire in Larimer County.

Regardless of the snow, Poudre Fire Authority is still expecting more fires in the upcoming season.

Hot and dry weather combined with wind can quickly wipe out the moisture Larimer County has recently received.

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CSU exposes human trafficking

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Apr 252013
 

Author: Kelsey Peterson

[youtube]http://youtu.be/HrWwv_n50T8[/youtube]

According to Colorado State University awareness group, No More Injustice, there are more slaves now than any point in history, 50 percent of which are children. Apr. 26-27 No More Injustice will be putting on a human trafficking simulation called “Enslaved” in the effort to eradicate modern day slavery. Participants will walk through three rooms: a brothel, a garment factory and a child soldier scene. Due to the graphic content of simulation, participants must be 18 years of age and are required to sign a waver before the event. The event will go from to 2-8 p.m. both days and the simulation lasts approximately 20 minutes. This event is free and will be held in the East Ballroom of the Lory Student Center.

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ASCSU administration reflects on downfalls and achievements

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Apr 092013
 

Author: Lena Howland

[youtube]http://youtu.be/J1XzxTs19Dw[/youtube]

With ASCSU elections winding down, a new Student Body President will be elected into office on Wednesday, April 10.

One year ago, Regina Martel was elected as the 2012-1013 ASCSU President.

While campaigning, her administration outlined 16 different goals in their Feasibility Report to complete throughout the year.

Overall, they successfully completed more than 50% of their goals including student forums, future construction on campus and keeping blue books free.

They fell short on creating a syllabi sharing website, improving Wi-Fi across campus and implementing a bike library.

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“Girl Rising” film inspires Fort Collins

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Apr 032013
 

Author: Kelsey Peterson

[youtube]http://youtu.be/SxJ2N4zXT9g[/youtube]

“Girl Rising,” a 10 x 10 film revealing the story of nine different girls from around the world, premiered in Fort Collins Monday, Apr.1 at AMC Cinema Saver 6. The documentary, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, was written by nine celebrated writers from each girl’s country and narrated by nine renowned actresses. As posted on their website, “Girl Rising showcases the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world.” In order to show in any area, a community must sell at least 100 tickets first. A group of Colorado State University graduate students involved in conservations leadership (CLTL) worked hard for the screening of “Girl Rising” in Fort Collins. After the film, Kari Grady Grossman, founder of Sustainable Schools International, spoke about the importance of worldwide education and the immense impact it can have, especially on girls. The premiere was sold out and a second screening is planned to show on Apr. 18. To purchase tickets visit http://gathr.us/screening/1785.

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The Land Down Under: An Australian Student’s Semester Abroad

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Mar 052013
 

Author: Anna Palmer

AustralianWith short, dark-brown, curly hair, 22-year-old Ellie Cooper sports a red silk skirt, black stockings and a knitted yellow scarf.  Her bright smile and easy-going mannerisms, coupled with the go-to phrase, “no worries,” warmly gives Cooper away as a cheerful and truly down-to-earth ‘Aussie’.

Though Cooper may be from “the land down under,” she currently resides in the college-town of Ft. Collins.  On “exchange” from Adelaide, Australia, the capital of South Australia, Cooper literally traveled halfway across the world to experience a new life for six months.

“I really love to travel,” she said. “I love my hometown, but it is too small for me. You learn so much about a place when you go stay for an extended period of time.”

Being that Colorado State University was one of the 10 institutions Cooper could choose from, she took into account what would work best with her degree.  As a journalism major, the upheld reputation of the Journalism and Technical Communication Department at CSU stood out to her.

“Ft. Collins looked so pretty and there was so much to do and see, and it seemed easy to get around,” Cooper said, with a glint of excitement in her eyes. “I live right by the beach back home so it was nice to come to a place so close to the mountains.”

Staying in Ft. Collins for only a semester, she hopes to take advantage of her travel time in the United States.  With Washington D.C. on her radar, she notes that her interest in U.S. politics was one of the determining factors that swayed her over studying abroad in Europe.

Outlining her travel itinerary, Cooper plans to go to San Francisco, Cali., over spring break for an Indie music festival.  Her parents are coming to visit after the semester ends to travel together to New York and Chicago before she continues her solo journey up the East Coast into Canada.

Currently Cooper lives in a house with Americans as well as other exchange students.  She enjoys being able to observe the American perspective, especially when it comes to politics.

Bearing this in mind, one apparent difference between the two countries comes to mind: the “right” and “wrong” side of the road.  However, she highlights one drastic difference in particular: the weather.

Upon leaving Australia in 120-degree heat, Cooper, wearing her heavy winter coat, lugged her lone survival backpacker’s bag full of winter clothes onto the plane.

“I’m not used to the constant cold,” Cooper said. “I saw snow fall for the first time [here].  It was such a pretty, white powder.  I ran to tell my roommates and was like, ‘Guys, it’s snowing!’ They were like ‘we know’, like it was completely normal. As soon as it’s slightly warm, everyone’s wearing t-shirts and flip flops and I’m still all bundled up. I guess you have to make the most of a warm day here.”

Another slight difference Cooper has stumbled upon is that of the food and bar scene.  Though corporations like McDonalds and KFC have become ubiquitous globally, permeating into countries including Australia, there are slight differences in food choices and availability.  She notes that there’s “heaps” of international cuisine in Fort Collins.  In particular, there is more Mexican food here, not that she has any complaints with her newfound love of burritos.

“I do miss Vegemite,” Cooper said, vouching for the staple of any Aussie diet. “I’m waiting for my care package to come because it has Vegemite in it.  It’s definitely an acquired taste.”

In regards to the bar scene in Ft. Collins, Cooper gave her two cents.  The Trailhead Tavern in Old Town was the first bar she visited, and she immediately noticed all the TVs, pool tables and beer, calling it “so American.”

“The bars here are more quirky, a bit older, in a good way,” Cooper said. “They have character.  Our bars are very modern with strobe lights. The bars close early here.  Back home they stay open till 5 a.m., sometimes even 10 a.m.”

Stemming off of this difference, drink specials are pretty much non-existent in Australia.  In fact, the Australian government is considering doing-away with “happy hour” due to the increasingly high levels of intoxication.  There is more control in Australia, Cooper commented.

“[Almost] no one in Australia has guns.  It is really difficult to get a permit.  I felt naughty because I held a gun for the first time here,” she said, hiding a smile.

In terms of her experience interacting with Americans, Cooper rates it as being a positive one, commenting on the friendliness and helpful nature of CSU students in particular.

While abroad and despite all the new and exciting things Cooper doesn’t “normally get to do,” she does keep in contact with friends and family halfway across the globe via Facebook and Skype.  Mentioning that the only time she felt homesick was when she had the flu, she makes the point that “six months goes so quickly” and to take advantage of the time she has here.

“[So far], I’ve only seen Ft. Collins and Denver.  I love Old Town though,” Cooper said, as her mind drifted back to a pivotal point in her time abroad. “A couple of days after I had just arrived, I was tired and jet-lagged.  I had just got a bike so I road down to Old Town with other exchange students.  The lights came on and it was awesome.  It was the first time I knew I had done the right thing by coming here.”

Eating Disorders Awareness Week hits CSU

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Feb 282013
 

Author: Kelsey Peterson

[youtube]http://youtu.be/35EEOvqBjgQ[/youtube]

This week, Feb. 24 to Mar. 2, is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and eating disorders are more prevalent on college campuses than many people realize. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 60 to 90 percent of women on college campuses are dieting to try to lose weight and 10 to 18 percent of men struggle with compulsive exercising, abusing supplements or steroids, and undergoing cosmetic surgery. Many college students like Kalista Consol struggle with helping friends with eating disorders as well as struggle with the disorder themselves. There are many resources at CSU to help students fight the mental ailment and the CSU Health Network offers both counseling and help from nutritionists. Their counseling services can be reached at (970) 491-6053. With media influences in every direction telling women and men how they should look, it is important to be aware of the prevalence of eating disorders, which is what this week is all about. According to The Body Project, most female models are thinner than 98 percent of American women.

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Tricks to travel cheap

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Feb 252013
 

Author: Nicole Beale

Anyone that has ever traveled knows about the hassle and expense that traveling comes with. Being a college student doesn’t lend much room to hidden expenses and overcharging. However, there are some tricks that can help you avoid some unnecessary charges and get things at a cheaper price.

Colorado State University is home to a significant number of out-of-state students. Experienced traveler and out-of-state student Natasha Kersten is from McLean, Virginia.

“Flights are really expensive especially from the East Coast. I like to travel on Wednesdays because it is the cheapest day to fly,” Kersten said. “Picking what day you travel changes the price of the flight dramatically. Flights on weekends and Mondays are not only more expensive but the airports are generally much more crowded.”

“Flight prices fluctuate, so don’t book your fights right away. Make sure you are getting the cheapest price,” said Charlie Mitchell, an out-of-state student from Texas.

If you know what day you would like to fly out, check multiple websites and price watch. You could check one week and the next it could be $100 less. It is worth it to wait. If you are flexible on what day you want to leave, make sure you check out Southwest Airlines’ ‘wanna get away deals.’ They are cheap flights for people who decide to travel last minute, according to Mitchell.

Another way to get a cheap flight would be to check a site that compares multiple airlines, such as Orbitz or Priceline. When comparing airlines, you can see what airlines are offering the cheapest flights. You can also check if they charge extra for bagging or have specific seating.

The cost of flying is continuing to rise and they seem to keep adding on charges, according to Consumerreports.org. Even bringing an extra bag can cost you a pretty penny. You can look to alternatives, such as driving. However, driving has its pros and cons as well.

When driving, you must worry about any sort of car troubles and fluctuating gas prices. In the United States right now, gas prices range from three to five dollars. GasBuddy.com will tell you the gas price you will pay in any area of the United States. It is a great resource to help you plan out any road trip.

Traveling will always be expensive, however, there are ways to make it cheaper so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Student Abroad Reflection: The power to recreate

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Feb 212013
 

Author: Anna Palmer

Turning on my computer, I stare momentarily at my desktop background.  My eyes linger over the vibrantly blue water back-dropped by the dramatic snow-capped peaks, wondering to myself if it was all a dream.

Glancing to the north-facing wall in my room, my eyes scan the postcards and memorabilia: the New Zealand flag surrounded by postcards of places I’ve been, pictures I took and a five dollar bill with Sir Edmund Hilary stamped on the front.

My eyes stop at the certificate of the 43-meter leap of faith I took from the site of the world’s first bungy.  This concrete piece of evidence symbolizes the overarching lesson I’ve taken away from my experience: the possibility of overcoming fear in the face of it.

Deep down I like to think I’ve known that the only way to overcome your fear is to face it.  However, being in New Zealand, I was given the opportunity to put this life motto into action.

Contrary to popular belief perhaps, I did not come out of this experience a “changed” me.  Sure, I may have grown into an improved version of myself, but I am still “me”.  I now know that no change in my environment, no matter how awesome and utterly amazing it is, will ever do away with my internal struggles, which take more deliberate, conscious choosing.

Although these personal struggles persist, I do notice more subtle changes in myself.  I feel better equipped at confronting certain fears.  I am quicker to take action and confront these anxious or self-doubting feelings, instead of running away scared.

Instead of getting completely overwhelmed with the laundry list of things to do on a daily basis, I am better able to take it one thing at a time.  I find myself better able to live, moment to moment, recognizing when I am lost in the worries of my mind.

It has been almost two months since I returned from my adventures in the southern hemisphere.  Upon my return, I have noticed subtle changes in my environment as well.  Little things are different but still generally the same: different roommates, same house, different classes, same professors.  It has been a strange combination of getting my footing back somewhere I used to call home.

As ready as I felt to come home at the end of my time abroad, I can’t help but reminisce about the experience in its entirety and about the good friends I made.

Keeping in touch with the friends I made abroad has been as rewarding as it is challenging.  I look forward to our “google hang-out” dates, when all five of us girls can coordinate a time.  Being one of two in the group who lives in the western half of the country nonetheless, this has proved challenging.

All of us are back to our “real” lives, our little circle of friends from home and our school, no longer separated from each other by a mere five-minute walk.  Thousands of miles away, we have tried our best to stay in touch.

I notice myself going about my day-to-day activities as usual, before New Zealand, and something, some thought or memory will appear, drawing me into the past.  Looking back on my experience abroad, I really do feel as though it was almost a dream.

It feels as though I was transported into this sort of “alternate universe” for six months, and I truly was able to recreate myself into whoever I wanted to be.  I knew absolutely no one, and no one knew me.  I could be whoever I wanted to be and that notion in and of itself was drastically freeing.

After a few short weeks of classes back at CSU and readjusting back to the “routine”, I feel myself trying to close the gap between the “old” me and the “new”, subtly-improved version of me.  Like all change, resistance has come up.  Recently though, I feel this last bit of resistance dissipating.  This resistance came from my initial fear of returning back to my “old” life, back to the routine of school and homework, back to the town and people I had left behind.

More so, this fear has stemmed from the uncertainty of the future, my inevitable graduation, and the daunting task of searching for an internship and eventually a job.  But now that I am back in Fort Collins, after being abroad in the beautiful country of New Zealand, I feel myself in a strange sort of mindset.

Initially going back to the routine of school, homework, exams, actual work and the sometimes-mundane schedule did not appeal to me at all.  However, as the weeks have gone speedily by, I am beginning to accept the reality of the hard work that lies ahead of me this semester.

Though I do think back to my time in New Zealand, it is not exactly the nostalgia I had anticipated.  Of course, there are things I miss: the humility of the Kiwi people, the friends I made, the beautiful scenery, the adventuresome spirit I felt there, and the list goes on and on.

But as much as I miss these things and sometimes wish to go back, I know that this chapter in my life is just one of many.  Being abroad showed me that all I truly have is the given moment, a point of decision to make it what I choose.  I can smile and relish over my past experiences abroad, but to reach into the past with longing is to enter into dissatisfaction with the present.

The “take-home” message, if you will, that I took from my experience was to live moment to moment, enjoying all that each day, each opportunity, has to offer.  Once it is gone, there is no going back.  I know that as much as classes and the workload I have this semester can feel overwhelming and stressful, I will want it back when it is gone.

Once I graduate, I know I will long for the life as a student once more, so I might as well soak it up while I can, enjoying the “simple” life of studying, classes, and hanging out with the good friends I have missed while being abroad.

My eyes glance back to the wall in my room, this time, to the map of New Zealand.  My gaze stops at the point on the map marking the city of Dunedin that I called home for six months.  Flashes of memories appear: eating “hokey pokey” ice-cream, trekking to the New World supermarket, running in the botanical gardens, and going on “tramping” excursions each weekend, pushing my body and mind to their limits.

Pulling myself out of this reminiscent dream, I smile as I return to reality, knowing that this dream feeling is accessible at anytime.

I will never forget the beauty of “Aotearoa” (“the land of the long white cloud”), nor will I forget the empowerment it gave me to recreate my life, but I will move forward into this next chapter in my life, feeling more assured in my ability to face whatever comes my way.

Cost of food increasing in Fort Collins

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Feb 192013
 

Author: Lena Howland

[youtube]http://youtu.be/8DRmadFb67c[/youtube]

In 2012 alone, the U.S. has faces a drastic increase in the cost of food.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of fresh whole milk has increased by 2.9% while the cost of fresh vegetables have gone up by 5.7%.

The cost of apples have also skyrocketed by 13.3%.

Many restaurants are now starting to feel the inflation and local Fort Collins favorite, The Pickle Barrel, is no exception.

Along with restaurants, markets and corporate grocery stores, they must also raise their prices to keep up with the nation-wide inflation.

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