Food in halls monitored regularly

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May 092004
 
Authors: Anna Welle

Contrary to what some people may think, kitchens in every CSU

residence hall follow standard practices and tests to maintain the

safety of the food they serve.

“They’ve got some sketchy food sometimes. I’ve noticed some

sausage patties from the day before in the gravy,” said Brandon

Johnson, a freshman open-option major. “I guess you never really

know, but you can kind of tell.”

Housing and Dining Services officials say otherwise.

“We have a highly organized system, designed to do two things:

give healthful, pleasing food and prevent people from getting

sick,” said Dick Snell, Dining Services IV in the Corbett and

Parmelee dining hall.

Three unidentified students, known as “mystery shoppers,” are

used to do evaluations of the dining halls. These students critique

employees’ performances and survey individual units periodically

throughout the year.

The student-critique scores are averaged together to give an

overall employee evaluation.

Deon Lategan, director of Dining Services, said the plan to keep

food safe is “truly a team effort.”

Dining Services also uses The Hazardous Analysis Critical

Control Points, a food-safety inspection system used by NASA. The

test is used to analyze the flow of food through the production

process and to keep food safe.

“It’s amazing how much food waste has to happen to keep

food-quality high,” Snell said.

CSU residence-hall kitchens also must comply with strict federal

government food-code standards and must take part in periodic,

unannounced inspections from CSU Environmental Health Services.

Snell worked in the restaurant business for more than 10 years

before coming to CSU. He has worked with Dining Services for more

than 12 years.

“There’s a natural propensity not to follow when there is no one

watching,” Snell said.

Still, he said the safety and quality standards are more likely

to be followed in the school system.

To ensure that all the food produced in the kitchen is safe, a

sample of every meal is kept for three days. This practice, called

“Oscar,” allows the food to be tested in case any customer issues a

food-poisoning complaint. Snell said that to his knowledge, the

three times an “Oscar” sample was called in, the food tested

negative for poisoning.

The National Association of College and University Food Services

is an organization used as an informational resource for education,

marketing and safety.

Each year it compiles a survey of 51 institutions and more than

81,000 students. CSU scored higher than the national average in

every category, Lategan said.

Additionally, surveys have shown that student appreciation of

Dining Services has increased over the past year and there have

been a 64 percent increase since last year in the purchase of

“off-campus” meal plans for students who do not live in the

residence halls but still wish to eat there.

Allen Blanco, a junior sports medicine major, likes to use his

friend’s guest passes to eat residence hall food.

“I like it. I love it,” Blanco said.

Whitney Barrick, a freshman open-option student, is also a fan

of the residence-hall food.

“I like it. There’s a good variety of stuff,” she said.

Others disagree.

“I wish they had more of a healthy selection,” said Danielle

Garnett, a freshman biology student. “Even the baked chicken is

greasy.”

Still, Lategan said that the residence halls are trying to

respond to students’ concerns by developing new programs.

“Computrition,” a computerized menu-management system, is coming

soon and will help students make healthy and educated decisions on

what they eat.

Lategan said the system will have nutritional components

available for everything served and will be available in the next

six to eight months.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

ASAP looks to put on more events

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May 092004
 
Authors: Karissa Ciarlelli

The Association for Student Activity Programming has big goals

for next year,

said Whitney Carlson, next year’s ASAP executive director.

As an entity within the Associated Students of CSU, ASAP is a

student-run organization devoted to providing students with

involvement opportunities, promoting school spirit and promoting

community awareness.

“We take student fees and put on events we think students would

like to attend,” Carlson said.

This year, ASAP hosted concerts, Homecoming, Family Weekend, Ram

Welcome events, CSU Idol, “Skeller Sessions” and Friday night

movies, as well as cultural and community outreach programs.

Carlson is currently the ASAP officer of special events. One of

her biggest goals as next year’s executive director, is to bring

concerts to Moby Arena.

“It’s one of our big dreams,” Carlson said, “I’m not sure if it

will happen yet or not.”

ASAP also hopes to appeal to a more diverse range of CSU

students next year and to reach more students through Ram Welcome,

Carlson said.

“I want to bring in more quality programs that a lot of students

will be interested in,” she said.

ASAP recently appointed 13 new chair members for next year, and

applicants gave a speech before a selections committee before being

voted onto the executive board.

Naomi Jones, the new director of marketing, said she and her

marketing committee will work to promote ASAP’s name and to get

students familiar with the events and activities it sponsors.

“Our hope is to make ASAP a household name,” Jones said.

Katie Dougan, the assistant director for advertising and

promotions, agreed.

“I want to make it big, so hopefully more students will attend

our functions,” Dougan said.

To promote activities, Dougan said ASAP will distribute booklets

during Ram Welcome and Centerainment and will have a banner

displayed in front of its office and at each ASAP event.

Cheree Sulcer, a freshman art major, said she has never heard of

ASAP but had been curious which organization was sponsoring events

around campus.

“I think it’s cool that they do so much for the students, and

sad that we don’t even know who they are,” Sulcer said.

ASAP has also sponsored programs designed to ease the nervous

tension of the end of the semester, including Green and Gold Week

from April 19 to 24, which celebrated the CSU football team’s first

scrimmage.

During Green and Gold Week, ASAP also hosted flag football

games, a Frisbee golf tournament and gave out candy to people

wearing school colors.

Melissa Pester, the current ASAP executive director, said

despite the numerous events already hosted by the organization, its

members plan to continue working over the summer to ensure that

student events still occur.

“ASAP works hard all summer long to make sure special events

like Homecoming happen,” Pester said.

Box:

A few of ASAP’s upcoming events:

*Ram Welcome, August 19-22.

Thursday- Carnival

Friday- activities all day in the Lory Student Center

Saturday- an outdoor movie, volleyball and basketball games,

dance

lessons in the LSC

*Homecoming week and Family Weekend: Sept 28- Oct 2, 2004. *CSU

Cinema, Friday nights, (will start the second Friday of the school

year)

*Film Matters, Thursdays, once a month, a movie featuring an

international problem. A speaker may come in to talk about the

film.

*College Bowl Trivia

*Stress relief program (end of year)

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Students discuss rudeness in the library

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May 092004
 
Authors: B.A. Klaene

Every day an estimated 5,000 students visit Morgan Library,

which can sometimes make it a place of learning and

distraction.

“From May 2003 through April 2004 my office received 157

comments, suggestions and complaints; 19 comments were on noise,”

said Allison Cowgill, coordinator for Reference Services

Information and Reference.

According to the Morgan Library Web site, quiet study areas are

designated for no cell-phone use and minimal talking.

Quiet areas are located in assigned sections on every floor and

the entire lower level is designated as a quiet study area.

Todd Hardin, a senior computer engineering major, tries to

utilize this space.

“I always come downstairs in order to keep myself productive.

Sometimes it’s not even quiet down here,” Hardin said. “It is

really annoying when a bunch of kids sit down underneath the ‘quiet

area’ sign and start talking.”

The library staff is doing what it can to combat noise issues in

designated quiet areas.

“We have added three new study rooms this spring and will add

another presentation room this summer,” Cowgill said. “We also have

plans to add two more study rooms on the third floor in the

future.”

Study rooms, which are equipped with tables, chairs and

chalkboards, are designed to accommodate individuals or small

groups.

Large groups have access to presentation rooms on the first

floor. These rooms can accommodate up to 10 people and provide

Internet access, DVD and compact-disc-player access, a ceiling

projector system and a whiteboard.

Reservations are not required for use of these rooms, so they

sometimes fill up quickly.

Michael Paige, a senior English major, said his experiences in

the library have not been very quiet.

“People don’t respect the quiet area very well; that’s why I

have ear plugs. Cell phones are a big problem, people get on their

phones and talk loud,” Paige said. “There is no reason to disturb

everyone.”

Lauren McElroy, a junior marketing major, said studying at the

library is better than other options.

“My house is worse,” McElroy said. “I have three roommates, so

it is still better to come here.”

Julie Conroya junior chemical engineering major, agreed.

“There are less distractions in the library than in my house,”

Conroy said.

Addressing some students’ concerns about the quiet areas,

Cowgill said a future project would develop another type of area in

the library, deemed a “deep quiet area.”

This area will provide seating for at least 80 students and

create a soundless study-safe haven surrounded by walls. No date

has been set for construction, Cowgill said.

Taylor Felton, a junior chemical engineering major, said she

believes the current quiet areas are sufficient for students.

“If you have an issue with the noise, there are enough areas in

the library that are designed as quiet areas. If I need to study I

go to the study rooms with my group, where you can be as loud as

you want to be,” Felton said.

Regardless of the current or future library resources, Amanda

Morrison, a senior animal science major, thinks library etiquette

amounts to simple courtesy.

“I don’t mind when they are talking about school stuff,”

Morrison said. “But it’s when they sit down and talk about what

they are going to do for the weekend, that’s annoying.”

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Correction

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Correction
May 092004
 
Authors:

Monday’s article “Keepin’ the faith” mistakenly referred to

Fatimah Mohamed as secretary, rather than treasurer, of the Muslim

Student Association. The Collegian regrets this error.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Great talents in a flawed system

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May 062004
 
Authors: Joshua Pilkington

We’ve used this space before to talk about something very dear

to us: baseball in the Dominican Republic. We’ve praised its

development of stars like Sammy Sosa and Miguel Tejada in the past

and would do so again today if not for a previously unknown problem

with the system, one we wish to address: the exploitation of

baseball prospects in the Dominican.

“They sign 25 guys and maybe only one is a good player,” said

San Francisco Giants manager Felipe Alou in “B�isbol:

Latinos and the Grand Old Game.” “It’s like they throw a net in the

ocean, hoping that maybe they’ll get a big fish. The problem is if

they don’t get a big fish, they’ll throw all the smaller ones

back.”

For those who have not read Tom Farrey’s “Finder’s Fee” in the

May 10 edition of ESPN the Magazine, the term busc�n is

foreign, yet it is the busc�n who is at the root of our

problem.

The buscones are those who devote their time searching the

Dominican for the next Sosa or Tejada. They seduce 12-year-old kids

to leave school and enter their training camps to develop their

“special” talents and receive a big signing bonus from major league

clubs at the age of 16 or 17.

All for the nominal fee of 25 to 50 percent of said signing

bonus.

The system is a plus for MLB, because as an entity it does not

have to spend money on developing talent, pays a prospect’s

busc�n a small commission and puts the player in a

developmental situation he otherwise could not be in legally –

since signing players under the age of 16 is illegal (though that,

too, is a problem).

In addition to the large percentage the busc�n takes from

the prospect’s signing bonus, more than one busc�n can claim

to have been in contact with the prospect and demand his share of

the bonus as well. In the case of one player, according to Farrey,

the signee of a $150,000 bonus was left with less than $1,500 after

paying the seven buscones who claimed to have “developed” the

prospect.

Even more disturbing is the problem Arturo Marcano Guevara and

David Fidler identified in their book “Stealing Lives”: most of the

money promised to the players upon signing (usually between $5,000

to $8,000) never reaches them…

It’s not that baseball hasn’t helped the Dominican in many ways,

as “Hoy de New York” columnist Enrique Rojas told us, “MLB’s

investment in the island reaches more than $76 million annually

with the creation of 1,200 direct jobs and 900 other indirect

jobs.”

Furthermore, all 30 teams have established a baseball academy in

which they invest a combined $14.7 million annually to train signed

prospects, Rojas added.

The problem is not the money invested; it’s the way the

investments are carried out.

According to Guevara and Fidler, 28 visas are distributed to all

30 MLB teams annually (a total of 840) and “assuming every

foreign-born major league player receives a visa, major league

teams have approximately 618 visas to use to bring foreign-born

minor league players to the United States.”

Not a bad total until we observe that the total leaves, “2,247

minor leaguers without visas, or approximately 78 percent of all

foreign-born players under minor-league contracts,” Guevara and

Fidler wrote.

Many would react to this by saying, “yes, but those signed

players are still signed and still have a job,” to which we would

reply using, again, the words of Guevara and Fidler.

“The projection of the ‘rags to riches’ mythology onto the

exploitation of Latin children by MLB represents profound ethical

myopia in the American baseball world. … It essentially holds

that it is acceptable to treat poor children worse than affluent

children because they are poor.”

Our solution?

Why not allow these kids to stay in school and develop their

baseball skills? As we mentioned previously, kids leave school

believing they’ll be the next Sosa, but “for every Sosa there are

hundreds, even thousands, of players that will not obtain anything

in return for having invested the young years (in baseball camps),”

said Jos� Escarram�n, president of the National

Association of Independent Baseball Programs. “This scenario is not

beneficial for a third-world nation that, though proud of its

baseball stars, needs to educate its people.”

With each team already having established baseball academies in

the Dominican, what impedes them from turning the “academies” –

which Guevara and Fidler more rightfully called “hideouts for

prospects that teams do not want to be seen by other scouts,” –

into schools where time is devoted to educating and baseball.

Escarram�n has already established 322 training programs

that require their participants to go school to receive baseball

training. Can’t baseball just take it one step further with its

already established camps?

Baseball in the Dominican is a great entity and MLB has done

much to help the country flourish, while bringing us stars like

Sammy Sosa, Vladamir Guerrero and Pedro Martinez in the process.

But does that give it the right to hinder the development of

thousands who don’t reach that level?

We think not.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Rams and Lobos to Play Four, Then on to Tourney

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May 062004
 
Authors: Scott Bondy

As the semester winds down to its last few days, so does the CSU

Rams’ softball regular season. With four games remaining before the

Mountain West Conference Tournament, CSU (36-13 overall, 12-4 MWC)

holds second place in the conference.

A No. 1 or 2 seed in the tournament assures a first-round bye.

With a 12-4 conference record, CSU has secured at least a No. 2

seed. This weekend the Rams face a New Mexico team that holds a

29-30 record but is 3-12 and in last place in the conference.

The games start Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled at noon

and conclude with Sunday’s doubleheader scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Rams are hot of late, winning 12 of 14 games. At the same

time, they know facing a conference opponent four games in a row

will prove tough.

“It’ll be a challenge for us to face (New Mexico) four times in

two days,” senior Megan Masser said. “Mentally, we have to focus on

each game individually.”

The reason for the four-game set is to make up for an April 3

doubleheader against the Lobos that was cancelled due to bad

weather.

Masser, playing her final regular season games at CSU, looks

forward to the postseason but realizes how tough it will be when

her career comes to an end.

“I’ve been playing for 11 years straight. The end of the season

will definitely be bittersweet,” Masser said. “I have loved playing

here.”

Masser leads the CSU pitching staff with a 10-4 record, a 1.96

ERA and 102 strikeouts in 92 innings pitched.

Offensively, junior catcher Kerry Farrell received the MWC

Player of the Week award for her outstanding week versus Brigham

Young and Utah. Last week she was 7-of-13 from the plate (.538

average) while smashing three home runs with eight RBIs. She raised

her season totals to a .371 batting average, 7 home runs and 34

RBIs. It was CSU’s fourth player of the week honor and Farrell’s

first of her career.

“It’s a nice honor to be recognized in such a good conference,”

Farrell said. “I had a few solid games and I feel that I earned

it.”

If the four-game series between the Rams and the Lobos is

anything like the previous years, CSU should have nothing to worry

about. Last season the Rams won all four games played between the

two teams, outscoring the Lobos by a combined 19-5 margin.

Leading the Lobos offensively is sophomore second baseman

Stephanie Kennedy, who’s hitting .325 with 22 RBIs. Junior Ashley

Perkins, 12-6 on the year with a 2.78 ERA, leads the pitching

staff.

With second place a lock and first place still within reach, the

Rams are right where they want to be.

“It’s one game less to play. That was the goal,” said head coach

Mary Yori, whose Rams host the MWC Tournament at Rams Field May 13

to 15. “But we’re still pulling for first.”

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

This girl is proud of herself

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on This girl is proud of herself
May 062004
 
Authors: Willow Welter

The opportunity to earn a higher education did not come to me

easily.

When my mom opened the box of my graduation announcements, she

cried. My family is very proud of me because I am the only person

out of the six of us to go to college. I think the fact that I’m

the first one has made me much more appreciative of the college

education I have earned.

Our family is not rich by any means; my dad works for a roofing

company and my mom stayed at home to raise my sisters, brother and

me. I went through high school hearing classmates talk about

college, and I never thought I would have the chance to go. I

always assumed, based on the “money situation” my parents were

frequently worrying about, that college was out of reach. I also

assumed my 2.6 GPA would never be enough.

I tried anyway, and with loans and money from my Grandpa and

Dad, attended CU in the Springs for two years before transferring

to CSU about three years ago to major in journalism.

Growing up, constantly hearing about my dad’s struggles to pay

the bills and my mom’s struggles to raise the kids while he was

working out-of-state Monday through Friday. I promised myself two

things: I would repay my parents for all they had done for me and I

would have a career I enjoyed, never having to rely on anyone else

for money.

It has not been easy, although I have definitely had my share of

fun during college. The friends I have made, knowledge I have

gained and diverse opinions people have exposed me to have all

contributed to “the college experience.”

But I did feel somewhat sorry for myself (stupidly) when it

seemed like “everyone at CSU” was going to the Bahamas for Spring

Break while I was going home to Colorado Springs to work at Chuck

E. Cheese’s so I could attempt to pay rent and bills.

I think I developed an ulcer from the guilt over borrowing my

parents’ money when I couldn’t make rent (which was pretty much

every month) when I knew they were struggling to pay their own.

$30,000 of debt and tons of my dad’s money later, I get to put

on that black robe and funny hat to walk down the aisle. I’m not

sure if I will be walking toward a satisfying job or if I will be

dressing up as a giant mouse the rest of my life at Chuck E.

Cheese’s (which isn’t so bad, except the time when an old guy died

in the sky tubes or when kids would barf in the ball pit), but I

graduated from college.

That makes me feel better than the Brave Little Toaster when he

finds his owner after a tumultuous journey with other talking

appliances. I have just finished my greatest accomplishment thus

far in my 22 years, and it has created so many more possibilities

for the future. That is something no lack of money, discouragement

or the threat of being a giant mouse can ever take away from

me.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Kidnapped students attend college

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Kidnapped students attend college
May 062004
 
Authors: Vera Feistel

In essence college kidnapped us.

Once freshman year started we were taken away, kicking and

screaming from our high school lives and chained to another round

of tests, portfolios, essays, projects and reports at the

collegiate level. We were tied to things like composition and

(everyone’s favorite) statistics, herded into our majors, shown we

could eat only what was in front of us or our grades would suffer

and isolated from news of the outside world.

Sure, we had access to the Internet. Granted, we might have

bartered away our studying or working or partying time for a little

dose of reality. But really, how many of us took it? Our time was

another thing we traded in when we came wide-eyed and innocent to

the CSU campus.

As seniors, we now emerge into that foggy reality everyone likes

to call “the real world.” We come out of our respective colleges

like Brendan Fraser’s character from the movie, “Blast From the

Past:” clueless but charming.

As we stumble out into this world, what kind of world are we

facing? What has happened in the last four years? (Note: “Four” is,

of course, a relative term.)

Let’s start by going with the crowd. I deemed the Internet a

good source of information. According to searchenginewatch.com,

Yahoo’s top ten search terms for 2003 are as follows: 1)KaZaA, 2)

Harry Potter, 3) American Idol, 4) Britney Spears, 5) 50 Cent, 6)

Eminem, 7) WWE, 8) Paris Hilton, 9) NASCAR and 10) Christina

Aguilera.

For all you Googlers out there, the top five read like this: 1)

Britney Spears, 2) Harry Potter, 3) Matrix, 4) Shakira and 5) David

Beckham.

If you want to know about important cultural icons, these would

be good places to start. David Beckham … WWE … well, I’ll be

looking those up after finals week is over.

What about more serious, thought-provoking news? CNN.com’s top

stories of 2003 included the war in Iraq, gay civil rights issues,

SARS, loss of the space shuttle Columbia, controversy over the Ten

Commandments monument, California wildfires, the standoff with

North Korea and the deaths of Bob Hope and Mr. Rogers.

The New York Times Web site, nytimes.com, compiles a similar

list. This year’s top issues are the growing business of gastric

bypass surgery, concerns about harmful side effects of

antidepressants, housing subsidies for the poor being threatened by

cuts, the displacement of a million people in western Sudan, and

the creation of an antimissile system.

Some of these we’ll know from our pre-college days: gay civil

rights issues, controversies regarding separation of the church and

state and Mr. Rogers. In fact, Mr. Rogers and I go way back to

kindergarten days.

Lest I get on a soapbox, let me just pose two questions. It’ll

take two minutes of silence while passing through college doors out

into “the real world.” What do you want to do with your freedom?

What do you want to do with your knowledge?

Let me be the first to say that I don’t have a clue. Yet.

I’m still worried about getting through graduation and trying to

make up for four years of all-nighters and brain fry.

But seniors, now’s our time to shine. We’re graduating with the

credentials that now allow us to make decisions that affect more

than just our inner circle. We enter the work world that, because

of our degree, bestows on us varying degrees of power and

influence.

As we stumble out of our bunker, we take back our time and our

lives. What are we going to do with them? You can be sure I’ll

still be asking myself the same question. And paying off my

ransom.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Graduation to what?

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Graduation to what?
May 062004
 
Authors: Thea Domber

Graduation? Beh.

I don’t mean to spoil the party but the words excitement, relief

and freedom aren’t the first ones to pop into my mind when I think

about walking next Saturday. The words that rush into my head are

more like fear, anger and a general sentiment of “that’s it?”

I’m happy to be getting out of here but I feel like I face a

bigger uphill battle now than I did before I went to college.

Coming to Colorado State was a big experiment for me. I wanted

to know if I could survive living far away from home (yes, I did,

but doing your own laundry sucks). I wanted to know if I was ready

to enter the adult world (yes, I am, but I was ready when I was

18). I wanted to know if I could survive in a place very different

from my home (yes, I did, but it was survival more than

thriving).

I suffered through 60 credits of core classes I’ll never need

and some professors who delighted in torturing me. And even in my

major, many of the skills I needed to learn were ones I already

knew. This is what I paid more than $20,000 a year for?

No offense, CSU, but I don’t feel much more prepared for the

real world than I did out of high school. Sure, I had mock

interviews- with a company from Fort Collins. Career day was great

… if I wanted to work in the Denver metro area! Colorado’s great

and all; I don’t think you can beat its beauty. But I want to work

east of the Mississippi. So I ended up setting up my own interviews

back home. With my own money and my own time. As a result, my class

attendance has sucked this last semester and my wallet is looking a

little bit thin.

Speaking of wallets, there’s a 500-pound gorilla on my back that

will be there until I’m about 35 or 40. Or 60. It’s called student

loans! Hello graduating with $50,000 in loans. I feel very cheated

when it came to money for school. I don’t get a trip to Europe when

I graduate. I paid my own way through school and now apparently I

get to pay for being an adult as well. It’s like the university is

saying to me, “Hey, not only will we not help you find a job, but

we also want you to be paying off your schooling for the next 15 to

20 years! Oh, and you’ll get your first alumni letter asking for

money in a week.”

It’s not like I was a bad student. I was pretty damn good, if I

do say myself. And I graduated in four years. Where is the

four-year parade? Looking at the four-year graduation rates I think

we deserve it! But my financial assistance has been minimal. My job

search assistance has been minimal. And I feel pretty minimalized

by a university who will soon be charging me $22.25 for my rental

cap, gown and a souvenir tassel. Gotta kick me one more time on the

way out, I know.

I don’t mean to sound bitter because I’m not. I met some super

cool people that I will stay friends with for life and found out a

lot about myself. I stepped out of my normal boundaries and tried

things I wouldn’t ordinarily do. I realize that in some ways that’s

what college is all about. But if meeting people I wouldn’t

normally talk to and finding out about myself was the main goal, I

could have done it all in one pop for $3,000 by signing up for the

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. cruise around the Caribbean and making buds

with my fellow NASCAR-lovin’ folk and at least I would have had the

ocean as my backdrop. (Bonus if Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow

or Orlando Bloom as Will Turner decided to board the ship.)

Or, more realistically, I could have stayed in New York City and

worked my way up and done night school. I guess I’m just wondering

what I got out of CSU that I couldn’t have gotten somewhere else

(besides KCSU, which is the coolest radio station ever). So what,

besides KCSU, did Colorado State uniquely offer me?

I’ve been thinking very hard for about two weeks and honestly, I

can’t think of a damn thing. I’ll walk next Saturday where my head

will not be in the clouds but weighed down by looming car payments,

loan payments and the prospect of fighting a bad economy for a

job.

I used to tell people that I wanted to be a rock star when I

grew up. It’s still true, but I probably need a back-up plan until

the labels come a-calling. There was a time when I used to be the

eternal optimist. In high school I won the unofficial award for

smiling most often. I don’t smile so much anymore though. If this

is what it means to be an adult, then I’d prefer to go back to

being 17 forever. Good luck, class of 2004. Here’s hoping that your

adult life starts off much easier than mine.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

The gravy train

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on The gravy train
May 062004
 
Authors: Eric Klamper

College may have been the best years of your life, possibly all

seven of them, but now it’s time to wave goodbye to that lifestyle

and make a graceful transition into your very own comfortable

cubicle, pressed business suit or whatever your degree has brought

into your future.

The road to graduation can be a costly one, unless of course you

skip the road entirely and hop a ride on the gravy train

instead.

Many students graduate from Colorado State University without

ever having to incur any of the crippling costs of higher education

and the life that goes along with it- usually because someone else

was generous enough to financially support him/her through the

pricey proceedings of these college years.

If you find yourself about step off the gravy train and into

reality, here’s a quick estimate at the reimbursement check you’ll

have to write in order to square away your college debt to your

parents, if you should ever feel so obliged.

For you in-state graduates, four years of tuition alone ran you

close to $15,000 according to the financial office at CSU.

Rent and utility payments, at an average of $350 each month, sum

up to another $16,800.

Assuming you were able to limit your food and entertainment

budget to an average of $10 per day, that’s still $14,400 after

four years.

The grand total for four years is $46,200. If you took five

years, which you probably did, increase that debt to $57,720.

If you came to CSU from out of state, the price of college life

was $88,064 for four years and $95,864 for five years, using the

same figures.

It would most likely take every penny you make for the first

couple of post-graduate years just to get out of the red with the

folks.

“I hope that some day I’ll be able to pay them back for the

disgusting amounts of their money I’ve spent up here,” said Jon

Thieson, a junior open-option major and gravy train profiteer. “I

wouldn’t make it in college if it weren’t for their financial

help.”

Many other students have had a totally different college

experience as they paid for their years at CSU by working long

hours and receiving loans from the school.

“The average indebtedness of a graduating senior in the year

2003 was $16,075,” said Christie Leighton, associate director of

student financial services. “But most students have other sources

of financial aid such as grants and scholarships so the price of

college is really much higher.”

Despite the drawback of loan payments, some students believe

that the financially emancipated life is one of the vital aspects

of college learning.

“I don’t think that (the gravy-train-riders) fully appreciate

the opportunities that supporting yourself offers,” said Jason

Lewis, a senior history major. “You haven’t really been introduced

into the real world until you’ve learned how to stand on your

own.”

Since the gravy-train-riders never had to work to earn their

money during college, some people may believe that they don’t know

what it’s like to budget or limit their spending.

“People who get it all for doing nothing just don’t know how to

appreciate the dollar,” Lewis said.

Many of the gravy-train-riders disagree with this idea and even

claim that having financial support only increases the amount one

can absorb from their college experience.

“Having a credit card and other financial resources can

depreciate the value of a dollar only if you abuse those

privileges,” said Bianca Pugh, a junior finance major. “They also

taught me how quickly money can be spent and how important my

college degree will be for my future.”

Sometimes, in order to help ensure a successful future,

activities of the present must be sacrificed. This is especially

true for students with limited financial resources. The social

aspects of college life are an integral part of development and

spending money is often a precursor to participation.

“This is a time where you can find out who you are and what you

want with life,” said Pugh. “I don’t think this time should be

crowded with worrying about how to pay for tuition and rent.”

The overall effects of the gravy train are yet to be made clear.

Having your college life paid for by someone else may create an

apathetic work ethic but it also may create socially and

academically successful students. Either way, by the time you’ve

signed your last bar tab, dropped off your last rent check and

bought your last pizza at two in the morning with your credit card,

the cost of this glorious life you’ve been leading the last few

years is something that any person wishes they could avoid or pass

off to someone else.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm