Expedition champion and Everest survivor explains his reach for the summit

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Apr 302009
Authors: Ashley Robinson

Mount Everest has tempted and devoured devout climbers ever since her discovery as the world’s highest peak in 1856. Only 4,102 people have reached her icy summit, and 210 people have died striving to reach it.

Jamie Clarke, renowned adventurer and explorer, spoke at CSU Thursday night about overcoming all obstacles to reach that lofty goal.

Clarke has climbed the killer mountain three times but only summitted the peak once. Each time he climbed he learned what he could improve until finally, he got to the top.

The first time Clarke had the chance to climb Everest was in 1991. He went as a base camp manager and did not get to participate in much of the climb. The team he worked with did not summit that year.

His second chance to climb the giant mountain came in 1994.

“The little insignificant things matter,” Clarke said, referring to toilet paper as it was in short supply during his previous trip.

One of Clarke’s team members, John McIsaac, had the opportunity to reach the top; he was only two city blocks away when he realized he was too weak to continue. McIsaac fell asleep on the way back down the mountain before his team m rescued him.

“When you get that high on the mountain, you just get numb and tired and you start thinking of home,” Clarke said. “When you do, death just sees its chance.”

After two failed attempts up Everest, Clarke’s resolve was unshaken. He made a third successful attempt in 1997.

Clarke was unsatisfied with his first step on the top of the world, so as everyone began the steep trip down the mountain, Clarke turned around and hiked up a second time.

“I looked over the edge on the top of the world,” Clarke said. “You could see 8,000 feet down. It was the first time in my life that there was no more up. There was peace; no feeling of conquering just peacefulness.”

Champion brand is sponsoring Clarke to return to Everest for a fourth time. He and his team are going to Nepal in fall 2009 to train and test out new gear provided by Champion.

On March 27, 2010 Clarke and his team will begin their ascent up Mount Everest.

The audience responded enthusiastically to Clarke’s dry sense of humor.

“He’s really inspiring,” said senior natural resources major J.T. Metcalf. “I’ve done some high altitude stuff before but Clarke’s presentation really makes me want to climb more.”

“I really love mountaineering,” Andy Chrysler, a sophomore chemical engineering major said. “I thought his speaking was really inspiring, and I’d like to climb a couple of the Seven Summits.”

Staff writer Ashley Robinson can be reached at news@collegian.com

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Voice of Rams passes away at 54

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Apr 302009
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

CSU sports radio broadcasts will never be quite the same.

Rich Bircumshaw, the voice of the Rams, died late Wednesday after suffering a stroke during the night Tuesday.

Bircumshaw worked with the Rams for 10 years, serving first as a color commentator and eventually as the play-by-play radio broadcaster for the football program, starting in 1999. Three years later, the Utah native expanded his impact on CSU athletics, adding men’s basketball to his broadcasting resume.

Members of the CSU athletic community were saddened by the news of Bircumshaw’s passing. Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk described Bircumshaw as a genuine person who made anyone he talked to feel important.

“All of us in the Ram family, all across the country, are deeply saddened by Rich’s passing,” Kowalczyk said. “Rich had a wonderfully quirky sense of humor and the ability to connect with his listeners in a unique fashion. He was warm and genuine, and a friend to every student athlete, coach and administrator. He made everyone feel like an All-American, no matter who they were. He’s left us with many wonderful memories and will forever be a Ram.”

Head football coach Steve Fairchild shared Kowalczyk’s sentiments, adding that Bircumshaw unselfishly gave of himself to the athletic department. Fairchild said he grew close the 54-year-old after spending time with him on the weekly CSU Football Coach’s Show.

“He just gave everything he had for Colorado State,” said Fairchild in a press release. “And you never heard him ask for anything in return. He was always upbeat, didn’t complain and he just supported us unconditionally. I know that’s how he would want to be remembered, and that’s how he will be remembered, because it’s the truth. He was our No. 1 fan.”

A viewing of Bircumshaw is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, followed by a Memorial Service on Monday at 1 p.m. Both events will be held at the Bohlender Funeral Chapel.

Sports reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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CSU to turn over budget draft to campus today

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Apr 302009
Authors: Bryan Shiele

CSU will turn over its first draft of next year’s budget to the campus today, communicating “really small” job losses by category, university administrators said this week.

In an e-mail to the Collegian, interim CSU President Tony Frank said the university’s plan is “to keep cuts in the low, single-digit range,” laying off few employees and instead dealing with state budget reductions through personnel attrition, or the act of keeping vacant positions unfilled.

He said he anticipates that 99 percent of university employees will not be affected by the cuts.

Just weeks ago, state universities were faced with the possibility of a $300 million cut to state higher education – triple the amount Gov. Bill Ritter advised in January – which would have chopped the $130 million CSU currently receives from the state in half, Frank said.

After receiving word of the Joint Budget Committee’s recommendations, though, Ritter drafted a plan that would instead cut $150 million from higher education, to be backfilled annually for three years using the federal stimulus money the state is set to receive if it maintains its commitment to funding universities.

“The cut for CSU under that system will be about $30 million, with three years of $30 million federal backfill,” Frank said in the e-mail.

Frank said this number is the largest hit that higher education can take under the federal maintenance of effort guidelines included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which dictates whether Colorado will receive national dollars for education.

Earlier this year, Frank and Rick Miranda, CSU interim provost, asked departments to plan for cuts ranging from 2 to 8 percent, and the budget presented to campus today will utilize the lowest cut level, 2 percent.

Frank said the reductions will be “spread thinly across the university.”

“We are not looking at any cuts in tenured or tenure-track faculty, and tentatively we’ll not be losing/significant numbers of open tenure-track faculty positions,/as this is one of the most important areas of the university,” he said.

He noted that “less than 10” full-time-equivalent adjunct positions will be affected. “(CSU has) been relying more and more on non-tenured track faculty,” Miranda said. “The goal is to retain as much instructional capacity as we can.”

Miranda said the university isn’t sure about the exact number of non-tenured track faculty affected, “but it will be hopefully rather modest.”

Frank said this is “in accord with (the university’s) position that adjuncts play a very important role in the delivery of our educational programs.”

“We are trying to make plans that will limit personnel impact,” he said.

News Managing Editor Elyse Jarvis contributed to this report.

Staff Writer Bryan Schiele can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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Vet students Tasered, arrested in LSC over weekend

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Apr 302009
Authors: Jim Sojourner

Two CSU veterinary students were arrested Saturday night for assaulting a peace officer and streaking after one of them was Tasered in a confrontation with campus police officers.

Britton Stubblefield and his girlfriend Elizabeth Maybach were arrested, and each was charged with assaulting a peace officer in the 2nd degree, obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest. Maybach was also charged with indecent exposure.

Interim CSU Police Department Chief Frank Johnson, who has been Tasered himself during training, said Tasers are “very effective if they’re used and make contact the way they’re supposed to” and said they “actually prevent officers and individuals from getting hurt” by avoiding physical conflict.

But two witnesses to the confrontation dispute the police accounts of the incident and say Stubblefield and Maybach were victims of excessive force and trumped up charges.

According to the police report, CSUPD officers Christopher Wagner and Wesley Fuller were working security for the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital Junior Senior Class Banquet in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom when, at about 10:45 p.m., the officers saw three women running fully naked through the crowd.

The officers contacted the women later when they returned fully clothed. Officers asked to speak to the women, one of whom was identified as Maybach, about the streaking incident when Stubblefield approached them.

The report says Stubblefield asked the officers what was going on with his girlfriend and Wagner asked him to step back. Stubblefield then told Wagner no. After arguing, Stubblefield said, “F**k you, I will stay right here,” and refused to leave, according to the report. Wagner wrote that he moved to place an open hand on Stubblefield’s chest to move him away.

According to the report, Stubblefield slapped Wagner’s hand away. The officer and student ended up wrestling on the floor. Stubblefield continued to resist, and, Wagner Tasered him.

The probes did not penetrate Stubblefield’s clothing, and he received no shock, at which point Stubblefield rolled over and knocked the Taser away.

At the same time, as Wagner took control of Stubblefield, Maybach approached him from behind and struck him in the head. But Fuller said he took physical control of Maybach, forced her against the nearest wall and radioed for backup, which arrived minutes later.

Maybach and Stubblefield were uncooperative even after their arrests, when officers took Maybach to Larimer County Detention Center and Stubblefield to an area hospital.

Stubblefield, uncooperative with hospital staff, was later taken to LCDC.

Both Maybach and Stubblefield had been drinking, according to the report.

Chad Zadina, another veterinary student, filmed the incident after the Tasering and gave a much different account.

In her voluntary witness form, Zadina’s wife, Heather, an attorney, said Stubblefield initially approached the officers and asked about their discussion with Maybach. She wrote that Wagner pushed Stubblefield, telling him to get back.

When Stubblefield asked that Wagner refrain from pushing or touching him, Wagner wrestled him to the ground. Heather Zadina reported that she never saw Stubblefield swing or strike at any of the officers.

Chad Zadina’s report also notes that Wagner was aggressive from the get go, refusing to answer any questions and pushing Stubblefield. His report says that “at no time” did Stubblefield swing at Wagner, who wrestled him down and Tasered him without warning.

Both Zadinas also asserted that Maybach never swung at any officers.

Chad Zadina told the Collegian that Stubblefield should have been more compliant, but said he experienced “less than human treatment.” The police report also says Chad Zadina, a former police officer, said Wagner “had used excessive force and was verbally hostile.”

“We’re a bunch of future doctors. How bad can we be?” Chad Zadina said.

He further expressed concern about the officer’s readiness to use the Taser and said he was troubled by the loose CSUPD restrictions.

Johnson defended the Tasering, saying the device’s use constitutes a low level of force.

He said it can be used in a variety of situations such as when people are not obeying commands, are resisting or are physically or verbally confrontational.

Neither Maybach nor Stubblefield returned phone calls from the Collegian.

Assistant News Editor Jim Sojourner can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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LIfe on the Edge

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Apr 302009
Authors: Dave Anderson

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Aisle 9

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Apr 302009
Authors: Jenna Allen

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Wear Am I?

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Apr 302009
Authors: PJ Spokas

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Pex & Solly

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Apr 302009
Authors: David Myers

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Apr 302009
Authors: Ashley Rosson

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Campus Eye

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Apr 302009

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