Rams lose sloppy exhibition game to Metro State

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Oct 312007
 
Authors: Matt Stephens

A season ago the Colorado State women’s basketball team was 1-1 in exhibition play with the loss coming at the hands of in-state foe Metro State at home. Wednesday the Rams again played host to the Road Runners with hopes of earning content after last fall’s upset. Unfortunately for the Rams, that did not happen as they fell 55-42 in a game ruled by turnovers.

With nine total newcomers on the a squad that only returned two starters, it’s not uncommon to make mistakes on both ends of the ball, but 18 total turnovers and other mental errors were not the only reasons the Rams fell victim to Metro, as CSU shot a mere 32.5 from the floor to go along with its 56 percent shooting at the free throw line.

“We took a lot of good shots, they just weren’t falling,” said sophomore forward Juanise Cornell, who was had seven points on the night. “We seemed to be tentative to ‘step outside of our box.’ When we were given open jump shots, we just couldn’t hit them.”

The Rams held a 24-20 lead going into the locker room at halftime as their defense stood firm, holding the Road Runners to just 32 percent from the field.

“In the first half we did a very good job following the game plan and forcing Metro State away from the paint and into tough one-on-one contested shots.” said third-year coach Jen Warden. “In the second half, we had to continually remind ourselves defensively that even though that want to play harder and create something, we have to play smarter and do the exact same thing.”

If there was a silver lining in Wednesday night’s affair, it would have to be the getting the newcomers actual game experience at Moby Arena. The newcomer that was most impressive had to have been freshman forward Lauren Young, who tallied 4 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals in her first collegiate basketball experience.

“It was a lot of fun out there, a completely new experience from high school. It’s a much bigger court, which I had to get used to with a lot of preseason,” said Edina, a 6-foot-2 Minnesota native. “It’s always hard the first game, you come out a little nervous, but I think most of [the newcomers] settled in late in the first half.”

Up the next for the Rams is CSU-Pueblo Saturday afternoon at 2 in Moby Arena. Coach Warden plans to take what she has seen in CSU’s first exhibition game as a lesson learned into Saturday’s game.

“I just wanted to see where we were tonight,” Warden said. “You’re looking at nine newcomers who have never played division one. We’re going to learn it and put it together, but our upside is going to come quick.”

Player of the game:

Sophomore Forward

Juanise Cornell

7 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists.

3-3 from the field.

Cassandra Bratton

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Brain injuries take toll on quality of life

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Oct 312007
 
Authors: Beth Malmskog

The Center for Disease Control estimates that 1.4 million people receive a Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States each year. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has also become known as Iraq’s signature wound.

Dr. Pat Sample, a professor in the department of Occupational Therapy at CSU, studies TBI and what happens to TBI survivors. She and her colleagues recently completed a study in which they interviewed the survivors of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing who suffered brain injury in the blast. They found that many survivors had never been talked to about their brain injury or received help for the after effects.

“They kind of got confused when we kept bringing that [brain injury] up,” Sample said. “A couple of guys said: ‘you know, they just basically told me that I’m going to be stupid now, and good luck.’ Who knows what really went on back then, but that’s the message they left with, you’re wrecked and good luck.”

These survivors represent a significantly large community with TBI that struggles with daily life and doesn’t receive the help they need.

But Sample and other occupational therapists, social workers and psychologists at CSU are working to remedy that situation.

CSU’s Center for Community Partnerships (CCP) helps TBI survivors connect with services in the community, especially with job assistance.

Donna Detmar-Hanna, an occupational therapist at CCP, said automobile accidents are the biggest cause of the brain injuries of CCP’s clients.

However, they expect to start seeing Iraq veterans soon, as more returning soldiers enroll in college or look for jobs outside the service.

The term TBI encompasses any damage to the brain from an outside force. The physical effects of brain injury vary widely, and include long-term coma, total paralysis, personality and mood changes, memory loss and bizarre, isolated losses of abilities.

“Every single brain injury is completely different, and every person is completely different,” said Rachel Gramig, a first year Master’s student in Occupational Therapy at CSU. Gramig worked with several people who had suffered brain injuries when she was an undergraduate in Recreation Therapy at the University of Tennessee.

She also saw first hand how brain injury changes a person when a friend fell off a waterfall in South America.

“Her personality was really different,” Gramig said. “She experienced daily seizures, which can cause even more brain damage.”

Her friend also lost the ability to visually recognize people she knew.

TBI also causes physical symptoms.

One widespread symptom of TBI is recurring headaches, Sample said. A less obvious but very common consequence is constant fatigue.

“(Fatigue) is probably one of the hugest things,” she said. “It’s so hard to be functioning with this brain that’s not working well for you, and you’ve just got to put so much more into your daily life than anyone else does, especially if people are expecting you to be just like you were prior to your injury.”

This can lead to a downward spiral in the lives of TBI survivors.

“People just start losing respect for you, thinking you are kind of just turning into a not OK person, when in reality you just can’t do it anymore,” Sample said. “Relationships crumble. If you’re married to somebody, and suddenly that person isn’t who you married, it’s really difficult. So it’s not very often that marriages survive a brain injury to one of the spouses, because one of the spouses becomes more of a parent, and the other spouse becomes someone needing all this help all the time.”

The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that more than 5.3 million Americans will need long-term or life-long help with their daily lives as a result of TBI.

Judy Dettmer, a social worker and direct services coordinator for CCP, said TBI survivors have trouble because “often brain injury is not visible.” Society doesn’t ask why a person is struggling and why he or she can’t just get on with their lives.

Survivors also have to adjust to reliance on other people. They may only need small things, like day planners with alarms to remind them of routine activities.

It’s sometimes as simple as needing someone to come in and put “sticky notes all over the house,” Sample said.

And insurance rarely covers long-term help. CCP finds services for people who could not otherwise afford them.

“Nobody ever shows up here with money, but they’re the ones who really need the help,” Sample said

“(TBI is) an equal opportunity condition,” Dettmer said. “It can happen to any of us.”

Dr. Sample said TBI is also a real danger for CSU students.

“I just go crazy looking around campus,” she said. “Bikes are leaping out from everywhere. Nobody has a helmet on. Nobody. One accident and your life is going to be real different. Just one.”

Staff Writer Beth Malmskog can be reached at news@collegina.com.

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Dance studio showcases talent at CSU

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Oct 312007
 
Authors: Valerie Hisam

The lights turn on and the music begins.

With pounding hearts and adrenaline coursing through the veins, the stage becomes the backdrop for a story of music and life as told through dance.

For Noelle Robinson, this is the way of life. For her, dancing is self-expression and an art form that takes practice, determination and love to master.

“It’s quite a bit of work, but it’s worth it in the end because I love being on stage and having the rush of being in front of people,” said Robinson, a senior dance and business finance major. “I’m actually a really shy person but dancing makes me feel comfortable, and it’s where I can be myself.”

Keeping a standing tradition since 1987, Robinson, along with fellow senior dance majors Shari Callear and Ariane Pfneisl, will be directing the biannual Studio Dance Performances that showcases a large variety of dances choreographed and performed by students, starting with the first performance tonight at 8 p.m. in the third floor studio of the General Services Building.

“Everything about Studio Night is student run,” Robinson said. “Everything is put together by the students and all the choreography is from students. It’s a free-for-all, where anything goes with any style of dance.”

As a new requirement before their senior dance showcase performance in the spring, Robinson, Callear and Pfneisl had to direct, choreograph and perform in Studio Night. From creating all the promotional material to holding auditions to each choreographing a dance, the three directors have been working relentlessly since August.

Callear explained that along with Robinson and Pfneisl, getting prepared for the performance has been “busy and time consuming, but has gone smoothly,” and is all about the students.

“Studio Night is very student oriented and based off our individual perspectives,” said Pfneisl, a dance and speech communications major. “It’s about people’s individual ideas and it allows us to express ourselves through movement.”

Along with Pfneisl’s piece, there will be 13 group pieces, one choreographed by each director, and six solos that will be performed. Each group piece will be performed twice while the six solos will be split with two performing each night. Callear and Robinson each produced a modern group performance while Pfneisl choreographed a contemporary ballet piece.

“You can’t get intimidated because you have a chance to choreograph anything,” Callear said. “Everyone has any equal opportunity to do anything. It is a well-rounded performance that included everything from modern dance to ballet to tap or hip hop.”

For all three directors, dancing has been a passion in all of their lives from very young ages. According to Pfneisl, dancing is like any other hobby or sport, and is what “gets me through all of the stressful times.”

“It’s all about the coordination of one’s mind and body,” she said. “It’s become an addiction. It’s a way where I can leave the outside world behind.”

Pfneisl, who is double majoring in dance and speech communication, is taking almost 30 credits this semester, 18 of them academic. Even with hours of practice and rehearsal each day, she still can’t imagine her life without dance.

“Sometimes there has to be sacrifices,” Pfneisl said. “Some semesters I dance more and some I dance less, but I’m still dancing.”

As for Callear, her dance experience went from being very energetic when she was younger to bit more subdued as she got older. But when she was planning on attending CSU for veterinary science and realized that there was a dance program, her major immediately changed.

“Dancing has always been in my life,” Callear said. “The way it makes me feel and how it is just a way to release things if I’m having a bad day has created this something inside to love dance.”

Callear’s dance in Studio Night reflects her love of dance, as well as her life. Callear choreographed a dance that reflects the ups and downs of her relationships and life, and is dedicated to her friends and family that have always supported her.

“There have been hard times,” she said. “I applied these to my piece and feel that it reflects my personal relationships through dance.”

For Robinson, her motivation and desire to dance are much the same as Callear and Pfneisl. Dancing since the age of four, Robinson has taken dance seriously for so long that she is highly motivated by learning new technique and doing the best at what she tries.

“Dancing is my release in life where if I’m dancing for myself it becomes stress free,” she said. “I’m motivated by the fact that I’ve always loved dancing, so I don’t quit until I get something right. My goal is to keep improving my technique and performance.”

Robinson still has a year until graduation, and even though she doesn’t have a solid idea as to what she wants to do after college, she sad she is determined to make her last dance performance, her senior showcase piece, “the best piece that [she has] ever choreographed.”

All three directors are looking for a good turnout to their Studio Night performance that begins tonight in the General Services Building on the east end of campus. Three more shows will take place, one Friday at 8 p.m., and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Each show costs $5 for students and $9 for the public.

One thing that Pfneisl hopes that the performance will bring is a greater appreciation of what dance is. Including Callear and Robinson, Pfneisl said that this show offers such a wide variety of dance enthusiasts and dance styles, with many “different levels, styles and different perspectives of what people view.”

“Dance is more than what people think it is,” Pfneisl said. “Dancers work just as hard as any other athlete. If people just give it a chance, they’ll see that dance has such defined movements that create shape and emotion that no other sport has.”

Verve reporter Valerie Hisam can be reached at verve@collegian.com

Breakout Box:

Studio Dance Performances

What: 19 different dance performances, all choreographed and performed by students, with 6 group and 3 solo performances each night

When: Tonight and Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Where: The Dance Studio on the third floor of the General Services Building at Pitkin and Mason Streets

Cost: $5 for students and $9 for the public. Tickets can be purchased through the Campus Box Office in person at the LSC, by phone at (970) 491-4TIX, or online at http://www.csutix.com

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Volleyball team prepares for end of season

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Oct 302007
 
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

As they prepare for the last six games of the regular season, the CSU volleyball team is expecting a dog fight in every match.

CSU began the final stretch of the regular season Tuesday night with a hard fought win over the University of Denver at Hamilton Gym.

The Rams(16-5 9-2) defeated the Pioneers (17-11 11-3) in three games 30-28, 30-28 and 32-20.

Rams coach Tom Hilbert gave credit to DU for a quality match, saying that the Pioneers do very well in certain areas.

“Denver is good at what they do, and we had a very difficult time disrupting that,” he said. “I thought we served tough enough to get them out of system, but it didn’t really hurt them. I am pretty impressed with this team.”

The Rams needed more than 30 points to put DU away in game 3 as the Pioneers refused to give up. DU junior Kerry Porter blocked a CSU shot to put the Pioneers up 30-29.

After the point, Hilbert called a time out, a move that would pay off in the end. The Rams then took the next three points, including the match winner on a Danielle Minch kill.

CSU middle blocker Mekana Barnes was happy with the way her team ended the match.

“We struggled a little bit, but we finished,” the junior said. “When you play good teams you expect it to be close. The team that could finish games and be competitive at the end won.”

Outside hitter Jamie Strauss agreed that her team finished strong, but added that they still have a lot to improve on.

“It is good that we bounced back, but there are still a lot of things we need to work on.

We could have played better,” she said.

Barnes put forth an impressive effort in the win, gathering 16 kills and a .523 hitting percentage, her best in the last 13 matches. The 6-footer also hit two game points in the Rams’ win. Strauss and middle blocker Tessa Nelson also had good matches, chipping in 13 kills each.

Up next for the Rams is a showdown in California against the San Diego State Aztecs on Sunday.

Hilbert expects nothing but close matches from here on out. The Rams have six games left in the season, four of which are on the road.

“They are all going to be like this,” he said. “Every road match we play against every opponent is going to be like this. We just have to accept it and claw our way through to the win.”

Volleyball beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegain.com

Player of the Game

Mekana Barnes

16 kills

.520 Hitting Percentage

3 blocks

2 game winning points

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Our View

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Oct 302007
 
Authors:

It’s Halloween and yet again, many students are looking for spooky ways to spend their holiday.

Well, we here at the Collegian have some suggestions for places you can go to get your blood curdling.

First, go take a trip down to the Student Services building and visit the resident ghost. We hear they’re real friendly this time of year.

If you have the misfortune of not encountering any sullen spirits, you can still drop by the folks in the Admissions Office. We’re sure the memory of your personal admissions nightmare will be enough to get your heart pumping.

Next, drop by Johnson Hall and check the balance left on your tuition bill. If the bill itself doesn’t frighten you, the hold on your registration certainly will.

For the exceptionally brave, drop by the Administration Building and ask President Penley his prediction for next year’s tuition hike. His answer will likely be more terrifying than watching Saw IV – and more costly, too.

If you haven’t had enough, your next stop should be the plaza table manned by the CSU College Republicans. They, of course, started Halloween early today by handing out trading cards of the presidential race’s most gruesome candidates.

Do you think you could handle being handed a Hillary Clinton? We certainly couldn’t.

The final stop for you thrill-seekers comes in a place that is generally rather peaceful.

Come downstairs and drop by the Student Media and meet the most frightening group of students on campus – the Collegian editorial staff. Five minutes with us will give you nightmares for years.

Happy haunting CSU!

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Relearning lessons from the past

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Oct 302007
 
Authors: Nick Hemenway

In recent years, it has become apparent the American public has forgotten a key lesson we learned in the twentieth century. That socialism is a bad idea.

Whether the socialist states of years past adhered to the teaching of Karl Marx or not, all roads have lead to failure, because of one fundamental error – socialism ignores human behavior.

Socialism, as an economic system is loosely characterized by the redistribution of property and wealth among its people. In theory, this makes sense. If everyone is equal, no one is left without, right? Not as long as humans are involved.

The problem with socialism is that there is no incentive tool to spur economic growth. Without economic growth, everyone suffers.

By nature, humans are competitive and reward-driven. We are consistently looking for a way to get ahead in life.

It’s because of this nature that you are enrolled at a University. You are working towards a degree so that you can get a high-paying job after graduation. For example, if engineering jobs didn’t pay more than professional Halo gaming, there is no way I would be taking a class on Heat and Mass Transfer.

Our pursuit of something better is what has made America great. Capitalism is a proven winner, and the more we can incorporate the free-market into our lives, the better.

Unfortunately this principle is drifting away in the eyes of our nation.

Last week, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told the Concord Monitor, should he be elected next year, he would “institute a New Deal-like suite of programs to fight poverty and stem growing wealth disparity.”

While that may seem benign to some at first glance, with the absence of an economic recession similar to the Great Depression of the 1930s, a New Deal does not work. It would only hamper our economic growth. The New Deal was enacted by President Roosevelt in order to provide relief after the worst depression in our nation’s history.

Presently, our economy is very strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 110,000 jobs were created in September alone, and the unemployment rate is at a mere 4.7 percent, not exactly what I would call a depression.

Last week, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Charlie Rangel (D-NY) introduced his proposal for tax reform.

In this proposal some are calling “the mother of all tax hikes,” our nation’s wealthiest citizens are again the primary target of what would be the highest tax increase in US history, estimated at $1.3 trillion dollars. Once again, this is a gleaming example of the redistribution of wealth.

In addition, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama have all proposed various forms of universal healthcare, taking the free market out of our decisions regarding our own health.

We as a nation must be mindful of the lessons learned by our grandfathers. The less control the government has over our lives, the better.

Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Hunting for the haunted in Old Town

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Oct 302007
 
Authors: Laura Anderson

Each city with decades of history has its own share of hair-raising tales and many of these stories are passed on from one generation of residents to the next.

And as most Fort Collins scary stories are a part of any local’s repertoire of anecdotes, some of the spooky past is inevitably buried with the dead.

Every October, for the past 8 years, the Fort Collins Museum sponsors Terror Tours of Old Town to tell the stories of some of the more mysterious events in Fort Collins’ history.

“People love to hear about the darker side of Fort Collins,” said Curator of Education Kerry Doyle, who guided one of the tours last Saturday night. “They rarely get to.”

The one and a half mile tour begins in the courtyard of the museum. Visitors walk from site to site and are led by costumed tour guides, though Doyle said they don’t share ghost stories.

“We don’t report hauntings,” Doyle said. “Really what we’re doing is providing a tour of some of the darker sides of Old Town.”

Topics covered range from the first cemetery in Fort Collins at the site of what is now the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art to bootlegging during 1896 to 1969 prohibition of alcohol in Fort Collins.

Doyle said her favorite story comes from the days when the city was a military fort. She said that what is today Green Logic was once Old Grout, which had a jail on the second floor.

One night, an inmate, who was condemned to hang, mysteriously disappeared. Most Fort Collins residents assumed that he escaped. But when Old Grout was torn down for the building of Stone City Drugs, Doyle said a new theory was born.

“When they tore down the building, they found bloody clothes in the walls,” Doyle said.

Information for all of the Terror Tour stories come from the history archives of the museum and Fort Collins Public Library, which is all open to the public.

Doyle said that even after eight years of tours, the museum is still researching the stories, details and myths that make up the creepy side of Fort Collins.

Staff writer Laura Anderson can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

CSU researchers aiding stroke survivors

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Oct 302007
 
Authors: Shannon Hurley

The National Institutes of Health have awarded $380,000 to CSU researchers to explore how brain stimulation affects the rehabilitation of arm movement in stroke survivors.

As a result, researchers have created the BRAINSTIM Project, a collaborative effort between the NeuroRehabilitation Research Laboratory (NRRL) and the Center for Biomedical Research in Music (CBRM), which “may change the approach to upper extremity rehabilitation for stroke,” Dr. Gerald McIntosh, a neurology consultant at the NRRL and medical director for the CBRM, said.

The study will use brain stimulation to excite affected areas of the brain along with intensive therapy to help restore movement in the impaired arm or hand of stroke patients. This will be accomplished through the use of an innovative research technique known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in conjunction with a constraint-induced rehabilitation method.

“(TMS) delivers impulses to areas of the brain that have been injured to help regenerate connections that help a person to recover,” said Dr. Michael Thaut, director of the CBRM and chairman of the Department of Music, Theater and Dance.

Areas in the brain affected by stroke generally have abnormally low excitability levels, and TMS uses a magnetic field to temporarily turn on undamaged cells in the brain, proving beneficial for patients to relearn how to use their body.

Study participants will work with researchers six hours a day for 10 consecutive weekdays, completing extensive constraint-induced therapy (CIT) in which participants perform routine tasks encountered daily, such as meal preparation, which incorporates repetition of both precision and gross movements.

“There’s a real interest in developing a combined program that involves something that impacts the nervous system and then allows (researchers) to use that through a very intensive, rigorous program of occupational therapy,” said Dr. Matt Malcolm, the project’s lead investigator and director of the NRRL. “The brain stimulation alone would not accomplish (restored arm movement).”

Coupling TMS with extensive CIT enables researchers to understand the impact of such stimulation on the “physiological conditions in the brain for learning [in stroke survivors],” Malcolm said.

“It’s a very interesting research tool. It’s very effective and pretty simple to do,” Thaut said, acknowledging that now the question becomes, “Can the research method be a therapy?”

Setting out over the next two years to find answers for improved stroke rehabilitation, researchers are just beginning to understand the complexities of the brain and how it works, especially after it’s been damaged.

“There is still so much to be learned about how we can help get people back to the things they were once able to do,” Crystal Massie, project coordinator and occupational therapy graduate student, said.

The NRRL is currently seeking research participants for the ongoing BRAINSTIM Project, stroke survivors aged 40 and older with a fair endurance may contact the laboratory for further information at (970) 491-3444.

Staff writer Shannon Hurley can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Spooky tales seep through campus architecture

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Oct 302007
 
Authors: Kyla Hunt

Thrilling costumes, freshly carved pumpkins and eager trick-or-treaters are found throughout the CSU campus, but many students are unaware that there are several buildings on campus that could be haunted.

The Student Services building at CSU is known to spook innocent victims, not only around the month of October, but also throughout the year, with stories of a sociopath architect who lurks its winding, impractically built hallways.

Jennifer Mclalin, who works in the university’s Human Resources Department, has worked at the Student Services building since 1989 and said she has heard and seen things that have made her quiver, according to the building’s history press release.

“Creeps and groans. I think I hear people, but then there is no one there,” said Mclain in the press release.

Just near the Oval, the building is part of the old campus. Its dull and aged brick contribute to the buildings haunting guise and spooky feeling. The Student Services building was originally designed with a series of accessible ramps and stairs and the building now stands as a three-story piece of architecture.

“You can’t get to the north end of the building from the south, and there are half floors in the building,” Mclain said. “It’s also said that furniture has to be moved through windows because the hallways become too narrow.”

As one familiar telling of the story goes, the architect that designed the building lost his mind during the process, which many feel explains the building’s bizarre blueprints.

Fairly soon after the design was completed, he was committed to an insane asylum after his plans of murdering his wife and burying her and himself in the building were revealed.

Eugene Groves constructed the building in 1948. According to a biography, Groves faded from the architectural scene in the 1960’s where he was trapped in a woeful state of poverty, begging for food and, at one point, collapsed from starvation in the streets of Denver.

Groves also designed 12 other buildings on campus, including Ammons Hall, which has its own bloodcurdling tales.

“My dad, a CSU alumnus, told me that he entered Ammons Hall once and immediately got the sensation of icy cold hands grasping him around his neck,” said Eric Brayden, a freshman open options major. “Lets just say that I am happy I live across campus.”

Ammons hall was once the original music building and prior to that, a women’s recreation center with a pool. Since the remodeling took place, the pool has been concealed, but people have said the sounds of individuals swimming and music playing still floods the hall.

“I can relate to that haunted feeling, I think my house is haunted,” said Ahmed Alesa, a sophomore business management major.

“Every time I come back to my house late at night, I see the TV is on, yet it was not on when I left the house. When I come back I find it is off,” Alesa said.

Some locals are still not convinced.

“I have yet to experience anything regarding ghosts within this building,” Brian O’Bruba, an associate director at the Career Center, said. “I think it just has to do with the folklore of the facility.”

Staff writer Kyla Hunt can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Wildfire victims look for aid

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Oct 302007
 
Authors: Cece Wildeman

There are now more than half a million people in California that have been displaced by the rampant fires, according to Morgan Merriman, a former Fort Collins resident now living in California.

However, it is not only the people living in the paths of the fires that have been affected. Former Fort Collins locals, like Merriman, and current CSU staff are also feeling the affects of the fires.

Merriman is currently a senior at Woodbury University in San Diego, Calif., and said that at first the fires didn’t affect him very much because he lives out of the fires’ range near the beach. But after a while, he said, the skies began to fill with smoke, making it harder to breathe in an area where there is already low air quality.

Merriman said many people that have been volunteering at Qualcom Stadium, handing out food and water. Merriman is one of the many to spend a day at the stadium to help the relief effort.

“It was definitely overwhelming to volunteer at the stadium, but it was pretty under control,” Merriman said.

He said that he saw some college-aged people volunteering, but that it was mostly older people.

“It seemed like most students saw the fires as a way to get a day off of school, which happened for many of them,” he said.

Merriman is also involved in a class called society of sustainability, which focuses on living in an environmentally conscious way. The students in the class are trying to organize a project with their local Habitat for Humanity to build houses and help with the relief effort. The project would be done with the aid of Habitat for Humanity, but the students are hoping to accomplish it mostly themselves.

The wildfires have also affected students and faculty on the CSU campus. Patrick Plaisance, an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism has a brother and mother who live in California.

“The smoke was a big issue for my family,” Plaisance said.

Plaisance said that his family told him the smoke was so bad that they could not be outside for an extended period of time. Members of his family couldn’t find any breathing masks to wear when they were outside, so Plaisance bought some and shipped them to California.

None of Plaisance’s family was forced to evacuate, but there was a voluntary evacuation request for his brothers’ neighborhood, which is about two miles away from some of the fires, according to Plaisance.

People who chose to evacuate were given the option of going to the homes of friends or family or to Qualcom Stadium.

Dell Rae Moellenberg, who works with the CSU Public Relations office, said the office has not been notified of any events that are taking place on campus to contribute to the relief efforts. However, Holli Kinkel, who is involved with ASCSU, was informed by an ASCSU senator that the issue will be addressed in meetings in the next couple of weeks. to the relief efforts at this point, whether it be money, food and water, or clothing.

Senior reporter Cece Wildeman can be reached at news@collegian

 Posted by at 5:00 pm