24-year-old woman sexually assaulted near campus

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Jul 272011

A 24-year-old woman was sexually assaulted Wednesday morning in her off-campus apartment in the 200 block of West Myrtle Street, a press release from the CSU Public Safety Team said.

The victim woke up at about 1:50 a.m. to find an unknown man in her bedroom inappropriately touching her. When she screamed the man ran out the front door, the press release said.

The suspect is described as a white male, about 25 years old, 6 feet and 2 inches tall who weighed about 185 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and khaki shorts.

It is believed that the suspect entered through an unlocked window.

Anyone with knowledge is encouraged to contact Fort Collins Police at (970) 221-6540 or Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at (970) 221-6868 or www.stopcriminals.org.

The Public Safety Team urges that people take precautions during warmer weather, because perpetrators of theft and sexual assault take advantage of opened or unlocked doors and windows.

Correction: The article previously stated that the suspect was 6 feet and 12 inches tall rather than 6 feet and 2 inches tall. The Collegian regrets its error.

 Posted by at 12:26 pm

McSweeney: Love your college just the way it is

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Jul 262011
Authors: Colleen McSweeney

Last week, I think I may have unintentionally set a young woman up for a future of homelessness and/or prostitution. That, or I persuaded her to attend CU — I’ll let you decide which is worse.

It all started when I was asked the seemingly simple, but surprisingly baffling question, “So, what makes CSU a good school?”

I was sitting outside the Lory Student Center during my lunch break, eating an egg roll, gazing out onto the plaza and thinking to myself, “I really hope those Mormons don’t come up and start asking me questions. Also, this egg roll is pretty greasy.”

Then suddenly I heard, “Hey, sorry to bother you, but are you a student here?”

I looked up, and instead of seeing the Mormon missionaries as expected, a teenage girl and her dad stood beside me.

She explained that she was a high school senior, unsure of whether she wanted to attend CU or CSU in 2012, and this visit would hopefully determine her decision.

Then, the infamous question came up. And instead of spouting an eloquent speech about the strengths of each department and the beauty of the Oval, all I could come up with was, “Um, well, I don’t know … I like it, though … ?” It was really articulate stuff.

The girl’s raised eyebrows said two things: “This girl with the egg rolls is not very bright,” and, “I’m definitely going to CU.”

As she and her dad walked away, undoubtedly on their way to stock up on Buff merchandise, I couldn’t help but feel defeated. I mean, I truly do think CSU is a great school. But there has to be some concrete reasoning, doesn’t there?

And I began to wonder: If I were in that girl’s position, without any of the emotional attachment I have for it now, would I think CSU is a good school?

Honestly, I can’t say that I would.

Aesthetically, the campus is a mess right now. There’s quite literally construction being done around every corner –– “CAUTION” tape has replaced the ubiquity of the Green Peace people.

Beyond the mess of jackhammers, there’s a constant reminder of the substantial tuition increase. And that’s beyond aesthetics, because we all know 20 percent is a pretty big deal.

And while those things are both irritating and troublesome, the truth is, CSU has won me over.

If given the chance, I wouldn’t change schools. In fact, if I were hypothetically offered a full-ride scholarship to Notre Dame (my “dream” school a few years ago), I wouldn’t accept it.

Because while CSU may look a little shabbier than the Fighting Irish’s campus right now, and our financial future may be a bit more precarious, our university holds mine, and hundreds of other students’, affection.

You see, I wish I knew two years ago –– when I was riddled with anxiety over making the right college decision –– what I’ve come to learn since my time here at CSU.

All universities are just a name and a reputation. That is, until, you get to know the campus and the people who roam it.

I wish I knew that what makes a school “good” for you may not be something that’s measurable by ranking or awards –– but rather, it’s an intangible feeling that you’ve benefited from, and been changed by, your years there.

Sure, this all sounds sappy, but I hope the girl on the plaza wasn’t dissuaded by my unconvincing response. Because beyond the cheesy, Oprah-esque sentimental reasoning, CSU really is a great place to earn a degree.

At what other school does the president sign his five-page long informative emails with the friendly and casual, “-tony”?

I can tell you one thing for sure: Notre Dame’s prestige has nothing on that lowercase “t.”

_Editorial Editor Colleen McSweeney is a junior journalism major. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:42 pm

Rampy: We need to work together

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Jul 262011
Authors: Justin Rampy

There’s a lot of talk going around (especially on behalf of the right) that our president is a failure, a nincompoop, doesn’t know what he is doing and is ruining the country. People feel that they have been cheated –– but have they?

Despite what you may think, America, you voted for this man, and you knew what he stood for. Of all the U.S. presidential campaigns, Barack Obama’s perhaps promised more than any other candidate in history.

He gave us “hope” –– that same slogan that so many Tea Partiers and far rightists now mock and ridicule.

These promises came at a price: to trust in the executive branch of our government.

Many would say that all of his promises have been broken, slid under the rug or blatantly ignored to the chagrin of the American population. Some have been, but surely this is not the whole story.

President Obama promised us a new health care bill, and it was signed after months of Republicans in Congress being as antagonistic as they could be, slashing down every draft brought before them.

He promised us nuclear non-proliferation, and he did us one better: he signed the new “START” treaty with Russia, reducing the number of nuclear warheads in both countries. It also guarantees U.S. access to Russian launch sites to verify progress.

He kept his promise to remove combat troops from Iraq, as well as the promise to begin training and equipping Afghan military forces. He is also in the process of ending the use of torture as a means of gaining intelligence.

Securing the Mexican border was certainly a selling point in his campaign, and since his inauguration, he has beefed up security on the border. This has led to a 36 percent decrease in apprehensions of illegal aliens. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, this is because fewer people are attempting to enter illegally due to the increased security.

A promise that won him overwhelming support was to ensure new regulations for all of the financial institutions in the country. President Obama signed into law a reform bill that looked nearly identical to the one he outlined in June of 2009.

Major provisions of the law include the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau –– an agency that looks out for the well-being of everyday Americans.

There are many other reformations in the law, which include an official audit of the Federal Reserve, new rules for credit card and credit rating companies. The law has changed the landscape of financial transactions, big or small, for the betterment of the average American.

Lastly, no one could soon forget the President’s promise to eradicate Osama Bin Laden, which of course was achieved through a tireless effort from the government, its generals and the American troops.

It was President Obama’s vow to work with Democrats and Republicans in order to succeed in passing legislation that would ensure better laws and regulations for the American people. He still holds this view and refuses to let party politics get in the way of accomplishing what needs to be accomplished.

We may disagree with the President’s methods (stimulus, universal health care, etc.), and we may not agree with the positions that his party holds, but the important thing to remember is that he is our president for four years –– whether we work together, or against each other.

Time doesn’t stop just because we filibuster efforts in Congress, and the world’s problems will still be there whether we do something about them or not. The “us vs. them” mentality in the legislature gets us nowhere. We’re spinning our wheels until there’s no traction left in them.

I personally would like to see a Congress that works to get things accomplished, rather than fights with each other over who has the correct solution. Politics, the vying for power, should have no place in government once the campaigns are concluded.

Also, I like to see a president who is committed to working with everyone involved. I find it
refreshing to see a president who, if nothing else, tries to fulfill the promises he makes to his citizenry.

Popular opinions aside, make up your own mind about what this president has done and what his presence has meant to our country and our reputation around the world.

You don’t have to agree with the “man,” Congress or even the government, but this is what we have –– and it was you who decided it would be.

Justin Rampy is a sophomore journalism major. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:40 pm

Big brother is watching

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Jul 262011
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

In its latest effort to quash the efforts of CSU’s rambunctious population in adding to Old Town’s free flowing “rivers of urine,” the Downtown After Dark initiative is attempting to implement an ID scanning system in Old Town’s bars.

The scanners, which will have a pricetag of about $1,800 per bar (the group doesn’t know how they’re being paid for yet), will theoretically be used to identify Old Town’s troublemakers and keep them from destroying the peace during our otherwise relaxing nights of innocent college revelry.

And it sounds like a good idea, especially after some of the violent altercations this summer in Old Town. You can’t argue that we shouldn’t keep the drunken idiots at bay, and this seems like a pretty viable solution.

But, by the same token, it seems like another one of Fort Collins’ efforts to become a “Stepford City,” (see all of the random awards the city tries to win) and another (very expensive) attempt to blame students, who make up a large percentage of Old Town bar-goers, for any sort of blemish on its otherwise sterling reputation.

After all, if you’re going to put ID scanners in bars, the next logical step seems like liquor stores … and then grocery stores. Heck, and then people’s houses. People drink there too.
Because seriously, drunk idiots have no place in this city at all! We should force them out by whatever means necessary. They just need to go away!

Like to a city that’s not in Money magazine’s running for best place to live.

It really is a flawless idea. After all, they don’t call “1984” a utopian novel for nothing.

 Posted by at 2:38 pm

Community Briefs for 7/27/11

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Jul 262011
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

*‘The Onion’ rolls on to campus
The Aug. 3 edition of the Collegian will look different than it ever has in the past. For the first time the satirical newspaper, “The Onion,” will be packaged inside of CSU’s student newspaper and every Wednesday following.

“The Onion” is brought to the university through a partnership with the Associated Students of CSU and the Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation.

Bringing the satirical paper to CSU is a student voted initiative, meaning that student fees are paying for it. It was also a campaign promise of ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg and Vice President Rachel Robertson.

RMSMC will receive revenue through advertisements. “The Onion” maintains exclusive rights over all of its content and RMSMC and ASCSU will take on business management responsibilities, including advertisement sales, printing and distribution.

“The Onion” is printed in 14 markets including New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Denver and Boulder. It also has fans through radio, broadcast, online and mobile outlets.

Former CSU fullback signs with Texans

Minutes after the NFL lockout was lifted Tuesday, Zac Paua, a former CSU student and four-year starter for the Rams, signed a free-agent contract with the Houston Texans.

Th 6-foot-1, 240-pound Pauga will now become the sixth Ram to join the Houston’s roster, including Jesse Nading, Mike Brisiel, Cole Pemberton, Shelley Smith and Joel Dreessen.

As reported in the Coloradoan, Pauga said, “the Texans called me as soon as possible, and I went with them. I told Matt (Striegel), my agent, I don’t need to hear any more offers, I’m good with Houston.”

In his last season at CSU, Pauga, originally from Lakewood, caught 33 passes for 308 yards and one touchdown while also running 53 yards on 12 carries.
CSU Equine Science program heads to Europe*

The CSU Equine Science program is hosting horsemanship camps in Europe to foster greater understanding of American horse culture.

Five of some of the program’s top students are touring Germany, Austria and the Netherlands in three weeks and lecturing on subjects like horse physiology, behavior, industry standards, and are also giving riding lessons.

Approximately 75 participants, ages 10-15, are attending the camps from July 22 to Aug. 7.
Alex Eason, a 2011 Equine Sciences graduate, told “The Coloradoan” she expects language barriers, but is hopeful the camps will be an opportunity to “be more of an exchange of ideas, versus ‘This is the way we do it.’”

Translators are assisting the students during riding lessons, according to the CSU Equine Science program blog.

“It’s been an adventure thus far and it may be possible that we’ve learned more from (our campers) than we have taught so far,” they write.

CSU was the first program in the nation to offer a four-year degree in equine sciences, which currently has approximately 400 members. A grant from the American Quarter Horse Association is covering their trip’s expenses.

Requests for comment from the students were not returned.

 Posted by at 2:37 pm

ID scanning to hit Old Town

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Jul 262011
Authors: Erin Udell

Red and blue flashing lights may become a thing of the past in Old Town, as some bar owners are set to install a new ID-scanning system aimed at banning trouble makers from their establishments and reducing crime-related incidents.

This new program will record ID cards and photographs of patrons as they enter bars, helping owners to keep track of those who start fights and refuse them entrance or service.

As soon as someone is flagged in the system as partaking in destructive, unsafe or illegal behavior, other bars in the system are alerted as well.

The scanning database is seen as a preventative measure — one Dawn Nannini said was the next step for the Responsible Alcohol Retailers (RAR), a local self-governing group committed to the safe sale and service of alcohol.

Nannini, who works with the group through Team Fort Collins, said local bars involved with RAR have been participating in alcohol training classes and monthly ID checks since the group’s inception seven years ago.

And now, with the use of these scanners thriving in places like Colorado Springs, RAR hopes to test these successes in the Fort Collins community.

So far, 11 bars have volunteered to participate in what Nannini calls a “pilot project.”

In light of recent incidents that took place after people had been drinking in Old Town, including a random drive-by shooting and the separate death of a Fort Collins man hit outside of a gyro stand, RAR’s mission has gained more attention and support.

“I think it’s in everybody’s best interest to have a safe and enjoyable downtown after dark,” said Fort Collins Councilman Wade Troxell.

Among those supporters, Fort Collins Police Sgt. Jeremy Yonce also called the system a “good tool” for Old Town establishments.

“It would give the bars something they don’t have right now,” Yonce said. “The liquor establishments already do a pretty darn good job right now, but it’s still hard for them to manage everyone who comes to Old Town.”

After submitting a purchasing request with the city, RAR hopes to raise the funds necessary for the system hardware, which can cost up to $2,000 per bar entrance.

Nannini said the non-profit group is currently looking for grants and other outside entities to provide the necessary funds, adding that she hopes to see the program implemented by winter.
But, with this new technology on the horizon, junior social work major and Ramskellar bartender Nicole Herrera, is unsure, calling the system “a little extreme.”

“Only a small amount of people cause trouble,” Herrera said. “I feel like it would just take a lot of time for the majority of people who don’t cause problems.”

Nannini said the goal is to help bar owners communicate through a database, not to change the Old Town experience. She said that the information taken by the scanning device will be exclusively used by participating establishments and not as public information.

“It won’t change the experience of patrons, just provide an environment that is very clearly doesn’t tolerate destructive behavior,” Nannini said. “We are all just working together in this community to make it a safer place.”

News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:35 pm

'Captain America:' the 'Avenger' preview

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Jul 262011
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

Pitted against the anticipation for “The Avengers,” super project, “Captain America: The First Avenger” seemed like an afterthought by coming out at the tail end of the “Avenger” prequel movies.

Add to that the fact that Captain America has an unproven track record as a movie superhero and all signs would point to “The First Avenger” being a major flop.

However, Marvel Studios takes this lesser publicized property and creates a summer action movie that entertains as much as any superhero film out there.

Set in the 1940s, the film establishes a beautiful New York City through sepia tones and a glossy finish.

Chris Evans pulls off the goody two shoes roles of Steve Rogers and Captain America quite well, making the most out of a one-note character.

Action sequences feel predictable, but provide entertainment through fast-paced set pieces and impressive visuals.

On the other end, the most glaring mistakes that “Captain America” makes lies within its villain.
Usually sound, Hugo Weaving leaves a lot to be desired as bad guy Red Skull, although he is not given many menacing things to say by the script.

Ultimately, as an “Avengers” precursor, “The First Avenger” gets right what “Iron Man 2” failed at last year.

This film introduces Captain America’s involvement with the Avengers project in a short, seamless way. It feels like an actual part of the story and culminates well with an epic “Avengers” teaser after the credits.

Samuel L. Jackson’s eye patched Nick Fury is not parading around the entire movie like he was in “Iron Man 2,” and instead the Captain America folks rightfully hold center stage for essentially the entire film.

Having different Marvel characters cross over into the same movie is bound to impress; “The First Avenger” gives a little sample by having Tony Starks’ father Howard Stark play a pivotal role.

And with “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” set to come out next year as well as “The Avengers,” 2012 is shaping up to be superhero gold.

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at verve@collegian.com and can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonberlinberg.

 Posted by at 2:31 pm

'Music Man' strips down for CSU performance

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Jul 262011
Authors: Colleen McSweeney

As lights illuminated the empty stage in the University Center for the Art’s Griffin Concert Hall July 22, it was clear — from the simple set comprised of only a sprinkling of black chairs — an unconventional musical production was about to begin.

This performance of the Broadway classic “The Music Man,” which was put on by the CSU Music Department in collaboration with Opera of Fort Collins, was minimalistic for a reason: the conductors, not the actors, were the real stars of the night.

The 10 conductors of Friday’s performance were all students of CSU’s Summer Master of Music Program in Conducting, and “The Music Man” performance was essentially their final test and showcase.

“This is a culmination of many conductors who will guide you through one of the most beloved musicals of all time,” said Wes Kenney, the show’s musical director. “I think you’re going to experience something that is truly special.”

Since they completed most of the three year Master’s program online, the conductors had less than a week to work with the cast, which was comprised of CSU voice majors, CSU alums and members of both Opera Fort Collins and the Centennial Children’s chorus. And the cast members themselves only started rehearsing three weeks before the performance.

Aside from the lack of set, the only thing that gave away the show’s short rehearsal period was the performers use of scripts. Throughout the performance, each cast member held onto the booklet, only glancing down occasionally.

But for most of the audience, the undeniable talent of the musicians and conductors masked the raw staging.

“I think they were so great for having such little time to rehearse,” said audience member and Fort Collins resident Beth Malone. “And the scripts in their hands were like subtitles in movies — I stopped noticing them after a few minutes.”

The two-hour-long, sold out performance of “The Music Man” contained all the memorable songs of the musical — such as “76 Trombones” and “Gary, Indiana” — but much of the excess dialogue was cut out.

“You get the basic sense of the story, but with the dialogue cut down, it really makes you focus on the music,” said Jennifer Clary, director of marketing for the School of the Arts.

With nothing to focus on but the singers, the music did shine. And since most of the audience was familiar with the musical, it was easy for them to fill in the rest.

“I’ve seen (‘The Music Man’) many times before, so it was fun for me to imagine what was going on,” said audience member Louice Meiman. “And I think it’s really neat they combined so many people from so many different programs for this show.”

As the different conductors appeared between every few songs, each waving their baton in a distinctly enthusiastic style, it was clear they were the ones holding the diverse cast together.

And after the cast made their final bows, the 10 conductors walked on stage, eliciting the loudest applause from the audience. They not only just finished a performance — they also just earned a degree.

“After three years, I can’t believe I’m finally done,” said master’s in conducting student Michelle Knight. “Tonight really couldn’t have gone more wonderfully.”

Editorial Editor Colleen McSweeney can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:24 pm

Donors rising to challenge

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Jul 262011
Authors: Jason Pohl

The financial pocketbook of Colorado State University widened radically over the past year, even in financially stressful times.

Private donors contributed more than $85 million to the university last year –– an increase of 47 percent from the previous year. The national average was only 5 percent.

“We are seeing a great upward trend,” said Brett Anderson, vice president for University Advancement at CSU, which oversees fundraising. “We are getting out there and talking to as many people as possible.”

Anderson said the donations came in all amounts from all sorts of people, primarily alumni, who want to, “target a specific program and stay connected with their passion.”

Ranging from scholarship opportunities to construction projects like the new engineering building, the contributions from nearly 28,000 donors last year added up in a big way.

Perhaps the most well known donation came from Walter Scott in the amount of $10 million. Scott graduated from CSU in 1953 and has since worked in the construction and telecommunications industries, propelling himself onto Forbe’s “Richest Men in the World” list, valued at nearly $2 billion in 2010.

“CSU did an outstanding job giving me an education,” Scott said at the groundbreaking of the new engineering building last spring. “(This is) an opportunity to make a significant change in the engineering program at CSU.”

The donations are a culmination of the Campaign for Colorado State, a movement hoping to gather $500 million in donations by June 2012 –– the amount needed for numerous functions on campus. Since the campaign began in 2005, $425 million has been raised.

Anderson said educating people is the hardest part, and many don’t realize the tuition they pay only covers one-third of the total cost.

“Private support becomes more important all the time,” he said.

“At a time when we’re balancing severe state funding cuts with the need to keep education affordable and of high quality, private gifts are even more essential than ever,” said CSU President Tony Frank in a press release. “Every gift –– whether $5 or $5 million –– makes a big difference to CSU.”

The Campaign for Colorado State will continue its fundraising effort over the next year as the total nears the original goal.

“CSU Fort Collins significantly outpaced CU Boulder,” Anderson said. “We have great alums, great students and great programs, and we should all be very proud.”

Staff writer Jason Pohl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:22 pm

RamRide sees big changes for 11-12

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Jul 262011
Authors: Allison Knaus

Colorado State University’s safe ride home just got streamlined.

RamRide patrons can expect a change in operations for the 2011-2012 school year including shorter wait times and more incentives for student volunteers according to officials.

An agreement signed with Motorpool, a company part of CSU’s Transportation Services Department, will increase the number of vehicles made available to RamRide, told ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg. The agreement guarantees nine vehicles Thursdays (up from six vehicles in 2010-2011), and 19 vehicles on Fridays and Saturdays (up from 15 vehicles in 2010-2011).

But with an increased number of vehicles means a heightened demand for student volunteers.
According to Berlinberg, RamRide has struggled in the past with getting student’s to volunteer for the program.

“It’s a double edged sword,” he said. “We have experienced long wait times in the past because we don’t have the volunteers to fill up cars.”

But beginning this fall, student organizations will havemore of an incentive to volunteer with a 41 percent increase in payment to organizations who participate with rollover funds from 2010-2011.

“Increasing money that we can pay to student organizations will hopefully alleviate the demand for volunteers,” Berlinberg said.

“The increase will serve as a huge fundraising tool for organizations and will hopefully help us get the numbers of volunteers needed,” he said.

As an added benefit, any student who volunteers for RamRide will receive a free T-shirt.
According to ASCSU Public Relations Coordinator Danielle McConnell, RamRide is an essential program to the Fort Collins community and this year has the ability to be better than ever.

“There are so many great ideas surfacing this summer,” she said.

Since Oct. 24, 2008, RamRide has provided 138,031 rides to the CSU community and last year alone provided 22,668 students with a safe ride home.

RamRide has been a successful program in the past, but this year we are looking to fine tune all the details to have the most successful yet, said the RamRide Director, Allison McVey.

“Being the former director, Eric really cares about this program and he’s making it the best it can be,” she said.

Originally modeled after Texas A&M University’s CARPOOL program, RamRide is now the second largest college safe ride program in the nation, Berlinberg said.

“RamRide is such a visible program at CSU and it plays a key role in keeping students safe,” he said. “In the past it hasn’t gotten the attention or resources necessary, but the program finally has the leadership to succeed.”

Additional changes are being made to RamRide, including a staff that has doubled in size, improved customer service, increased educational marketing geared towards students and more efficiency in creating designated drop offs beyond Old Town Square, Berlinberg explained.

Staff writer Allison Knaus can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:20 pm