Colorado State PhD student injured by vial explosion

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May 152012
Authors: Elisabeth Willner

A CSU doctoral student was treated for cuts after a vial of liquid exploded in a second floor chemistry lab Monday morning.

“He had cuts from the glass from the vial and was transported to the hospital,” CSU spokesman Mike Hooker said.

The student was treated and released from the Medical Center of the Rockies following the accident.

At the time of the accident, the student was wearing the lab’s required safety clothing including goggles, a lab coat and gloves.

He had been working with potassium perflurododecaborane (K2B12S12), a compound with potential for use as an electrolyte in batteries. The student was injured while collecting the chemical from a flask.

Hooker said that the chemical is generally extremely stable and had been used many times in the lab without incident.

“The procedure is very standard … It’s not something that should have normally caused a problem,” Hooker said.

CSU chemists believe that an impurity may have caused the explosion. On Tuesday afternoon they were working to find out whether that was the case.

James Graham, the director of CSU environmental health services, said that it’s very unusual for a chemical explosion to occur in CSU’s labs.

“I can’t remember anything like this ever happening,” said Graham, who has worked at CSU since 1995.

The chemistry building was not evacuated following the accident, since the CSU Environmental Health Services determined that the chemicals themselves were not dangerous. The lab was back in use about an hour after the incident.

News Editor Elisabeth Willner can be reached at

LSU Chancellor named finalist for CSU Chancellor position

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May 102012
Authors: Andrew Carrera

Louisiana State University Chancellor Michael Martin was named a finalist for the vacant CSU Chancellor position by the university’s Board of Governors on Thursday morning.

“While there were certainly many excellent candidates, Dr. Martin quickly rose to the top of the committee’s list because of the clear record of leadership and results he has demonstrated throughout his career in public higher education, particularly at multi-campus systems,” said Pat McConathy, who chaired the search committee charged with finding the best candidate for the position.

The working group started searching for candidates in Dec. of 2011 after Joe Blake resigned from the position.

Members of the Board of Governors will now discuss the chancellorship with Martin, 65, as well as possible terms of employment.

More than 450 people across the nation were contacted about the position. Dozens of applications were reviewed and five candidates –– including Martin –– were interviewed.

But this isn’t the first time Martin has been declared a finalist for a top position at CSU. He was also in the running to be the university’s president in 2003. His rival finalist, Larry Penley, ended up taking the job only to resign in 2008 amid widespread criticism of his job performance. He was replaced by current-president Tony Frank.

Martin emailed LSU students moments after the chancellorship announcement:

“This morning, Colorado State University announced that I have been named a finalist for the chancellorship of its three-campus system. Information about my involvement with Colorado State reached the news media over the course of the last 48 hours and I regret that only now am I able to address this with you.

Allow me to share my situation as it stands today:

Despite the considerable fiscal challenges faced by LSU over the past four years, Jan and I have developed a deep affection for the people of LSU, Baton Rouge and Louisiana. This is a truly great university and I am proud to serve it.

I have not sought other professional opportunities, but a few have approached me. It has been my plan to finish my career at LSU. Sometimes plans change. I was first informally contacted by Colorado State in December and then formally contacted in January. I did not seek out this opportunity and my conversations with Colorado State are in no way related to recent changes at the System Office.

I have not received a formal offer. If I do, I will carefully consider it. My single criteria for deciding what to do at this stage of my professional life is this – where do I have the best chance of making a positive difference?

As events and options unfold I will try to keep all of you informed. Whatever happens, be assured LSU will continue on its journey to excellence. Certainly challenges lie ahead but the remarkable dedication of all members of the Tiger nation will ensure success.”

Developing. Stay with the Collegian for more updates.

News Editor Andrew Carrera can be reached at

LSU Chancellor approached for CSU Chancellor was also tapped for CSU President

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May 082012
Authors: Andrew Carrera

A search committee charged with finding CSU’s next chancellor voted to pass on the name of the best candidate for the position to the university’s Board of Governors on Monday night, according to CSU spokesman Kyle Henley.

The board will hold a special meeting via conference call on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. to discuss accepting the recommendation. Choosing to do so can usher in a vote to name a finalist, after which the candidate’s name would become public.

But a source close to the process who wished to remain anonymous doesn’t expect the board to move so quickly.

“ … Thursday morning (they) will presumably deliberate that recommendation and prepare to announce a sole finalist for the position,” the person said, stressing that the candidate’s identity will be officially made known at a later date.

But unofficially, the word may already be out. Louisiana State University Chancellor Michael Martin said Tuesday night he was being “seriously considered” for the job, according to Baton Rouge, La. newspaper, the Advocate.

“I think Colorado State is still deciding if a formal offer will be made, and if a formal offer is made, I will formally consider it,” he said in an interview with the publication.

Pat McConathy, an LSU alum and former Board of Governors member, led the chancellor search committee.

Henley had no comment on whether Martin was being tapped for the chancellery.

But it is confirmed, however, that he was seriously considered for CSU’s presidency in 2003. After a similar search process, the Board of Governors declared him to be a finalist for the position. His rival finalist was Larry Penley, who ended up taking the job only to resign in 2008 amid widespread criticism of his job performance. He was replaced by current-president Tony Frank.

The chancellor search committee started its work in December of 2011 after then-chancellor Joe Blake announced his plan to resign in July that same year.

Developing. Stay with the Collegian for more updates.

News Editor Andrew Carrera can be reached at

I’ve had the time of my life, and Collegian, I owe it all to you

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May 072012
Authors: Erin Udell

It was the fall of 2008, when everybody called me Tuffy and it didn’t occur to me to mind. It was before Barack Obama became president, before Lady Gaga reached international fame, when all I wanted to do was start college and I didn’t think I’d ever find a guy as great as my dad.

For all of you who didn’t notice, yes that was loosely based off of the opening line of the 1987 hit “Dirty Dancing.” And yes, I did tailor it to describe my life four years ago, when I was a freshman just getting started at CSU.

Fast forward to now, and a lot of my life has changed. “Tuffy,” the high school nickname everyone seemed to call me back then, for example, is now just mainly used by family members or in the occasional Facebook wall post.

Obama’s first presidential term is almost up, radio stations aren’t constantly playing back-to-back Lady Gaga songs anymore and the excitement I felt about starting college has now been replaced by the dread I feel knowing that I’m graduating this month.

I still haven’t found a guy as great as my dad, though.

Looking back, I think of everything that’s changed me in the past four years. Everything I’ve experienced starting the second I first stepped on this campus, from the classes I’ve taken to the people I’ve met, has helped shape the person I am today.

And, keeping with my “Dirty Dancing” theme, no thing or one changed me quite as much as Johnny Castle, the seductive dance instructor from the wrong side of the tracks, did. Okay, okay, so I didn’t have a dance instructor, but I did have the Collegian, which is the closest I’ve gotten to a life-changing experience.

From the second I started writing for this paper, I fell in love with it. Serving as an outlet for my passion, the Collegian not only gave me a purpose, it also gave me another home. The newsroom not only became my second apartment, but the paper’s staff became my second family.

The little band of misfits that made up this family has changed me in ways I never imagined they could. My fellow News Editor Matt Miller and I developed telepathic powers. Other editors – Courtney and Colleen – taught me that there’s no problem a good corn dog can’t fix. Columnist Eugene Daniels let me know that there are people who don’t think it’s weird to eat hot wings over a trash can and almost cry during a televised interview between Oprah and Paula Deen.

Greg Mees, our visual managing editor, proved that there are a few men out there who won’t let you down. Heck, Content Managing Editor Allison Sylte even made me climb a mountain once.

Thinking about leaving these people and the CSU campus behind, is enough to keep me up at night (like studying for finals hasn’t already), but I’m prepared. I know it will be a little scary at first, I mean, when Baby originally tried that lift during her and Johnny’s performance at the Sheldrake, things got a little hairy.

But, just like her, I’ll keep going. My professors, co-workers and amazing friends – shout out to Emi, Carolyn and Sarah! – have prepared me for all that lies ahead. I just need to get out in the world and start living my post-collegiate life.

And no matter what happens, I won’t let anyone put me in a corner.
Feedback for former News Editor Erin Udell can be sent to


Start living the life you’ve built and dream big, graduates

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May 072012
Authors: Eugene Daniels

We are always told that as we get older, we are meant to become wise. But I hope we stay foolish. Foolish enough to believe that everything is possible. To know that we can do whatever we want and there is no one that can stop us but ourselves.

Fellow graduates, very soon we say goodbye to a constant in our life. We say goodbye to organized education, goodbye to late nights of studying or Facebook creeping and goodbye to buying books and selling them back at a 99 percent revenue loss.

But most importantly, we say goodbye to the children we used to be. This is it. Everything prior was just practice.

Every break-up. Every smile. Every betrayal. Every laugh. Every tear. Every breath we took.

They have all been to prepare us for this weekend. We may not have known it at the time, but everything we have experienced was for a reason.

We’ve done the work. We’ve put in the blood, sweat and tears. We’ve planned for this moment since we can remember and now it is actually here.

I hope you did what you wanted. I hope you took some great classes and some really time-wasting ones. I hope you gained lifelong friends and mentors. But, most of all, I hope you know that you deserve what your life has in store for you.

There is one thing I have learned that stands out the most: Life is about being ready for the moments that will change your life. Plan to fail at times; that’s what life is about. But prepare for the opportunities to grow as a person.

I just have to thank God for every opportunity I ever had. Who would’ve thought the bullied weird kid that was constantly teased in elementary school would experience the things I have.

To my mother Leah, my rock, thank you for teaching me strength and humility and thank you for being there when everything seemed to be falling apart. There is no one like you, and I am who I am because of the things you taught me. Everything I have accomplished is your victory as much as my own.

To my father and namesake, you taught me how to be a man, to be proud, to know that you can always be a better person and that it is never too late to change.

To my sisters, Sha, Jade and Maya, you are my reasons for working so hard. You keep me sane and grounded.

To the rest of my family and to my friends, thank you for being there when I needed you most. Everything I have learned from you, I will take with me for the rest of my life.

To the Journalism Department and Student Media, I found myself through you. Thank you for helping me meet the adult Eugene and letting him know what he’s meant to do in this life.

To you CSU, remember to never stop trying, to never stop fighting for what you want. Never stop doing things that make you uncomfortable. Take chances. Follow your dreams, especially when they are ridiculous and other people say you’ll never see them fulfilled.

Good things come to those who wait. But great things come to those who work tirelessly and never give up. The groundwork is set; our foundation is in place. Our life is out there waiting on us.

The only thing left for us to do is show up.
Feedback for former No B.S. columnist Eugene Daniels can be sent to _

CSU lacrosse beats BYU for MCLA title

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May 062012
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

Even after wrapping up its third consecutive Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference title Saturday, the CSU men’s lacrosse team still has one more goal –– a national championship.

The Rams avenged their only regulation loss of the season by defeating BYU 14-7, granting them an automatic bid in next week’s Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association national tournament.

“For a lot of our guys it wasn’t a new thing,” CSU coach Alex Smith said. “We’re definitely happy with the achievement, but we know there’s more on the table in front of us.”

CSU opened the tournament Friday with an 8-5 win over third-seeded CU-Boulder, the Rams’ second win over their bitter rival in two weeks.

“We made it a focus to keep the game tempo quick and I think that really paid off for us, just pushing the ball and not letting them settle the game like they wanted to,” CSU junior Austin Fisher said.

No. 2 BYU, the tournament’s top seed, handled Utah 13-7 to advance to the title game against CSU for the third consecutive year. The Rams prevailed 14-7 to clinch their third consecutive conference title Saturday night.

BYU took an early 2-0 lead after two man-up goals from midfielder Patrick Matheson. Following a goal by Fisher, BYU senior and RMLC offensive player of the year Ted Ferrin put the Cougars up 3-1. They wouldn’t score again for 15 minutes.

“Our defense was outstanding,” Smith said. “We did a great job limiting them in transition.”

While they kept BYU’s offense in check, the Rams started pounding the ball into the net. CSU scored five goals in the second quarter to extend a 6-3 lead to 11-4 by halftime.

“On offense we were really moving and meshing as a unit,” Fisher said. “I think that was creating opportunities for everyone.”

Fisher propelled CSU’s offense, collecting four goals and one assist in the game. He finished the conference tournament with six goals and two assists. The RMLC does not award an MVP trophy for the conference tournament.

“If they would have I would say Austin Fisher or Danny Wurfield would have been my choices,” Smith said. “Those two really stuck out for me.

Wurfield took 26 of 38 faceoffs and picked up six ground balls in the two games.

“When you can rely on your faceoff guy to win 80-90 percent of the faceoffs each game, it puts you in a great spot,” Fisher said. “We definitely count on Dan to get us the ball.”

With the victory, CSU secured a spot in the MCLA national tournament in Greensboro, S.C. The MCLA released it’s bracket late Sunday night, and the Rams will open the tournament as the No. 2 sees against Illinois.

The Rams have been in this position for the last two years, but couldn’t close the deal in the national tournament.

“That’s the big challenge. We do have finals this week, so having a couple of days off might give them an opportunity to focus on schoolwork and recover in their bodies a little bit,” Smith said. “Hopefully then we can build momentum up in the next three practices. I think we prepared for (the conference tournament) really well, and we’ll use the same blueprint heading into the national tournament.”

Men’s lacrosse Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at

Honoring the honors director at Colorado State

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May 062012
Authors: Amanda Zetah

Robert Keller, the CSU honors program director, will be retiring this semester. He plans to stay at the university and teach economics courses after his contract finishes on June 30.

Keller has been with the program since the 1990s, teaching classes and serving on the Faculty Honors Council. He later served as its director for 13 years before making the decision to retire.

“I still hope to be able to teach in the program,” Keller said.
The honors program was first created in 1957. It started with one small seminar of 15 students, co-taught by two professors. One professor was Willard Eddy, whom the Eddy building on campus is named after.

Since then, the program has grown exponentially each year. Keller estimated that around 370 freshmen will enter the program next fall.

“There is definitely a cap on the number of students we admit. We target anywhere between 350 to 370 freshmen each year,” Keller said.

Most students major in science or engineering, although the program is open to all majors. Students with a 4.0 and a 32 ACT are automatically admitted, but most students have to complete an application. Applicants must have at least a 3.7 GPA and a high standardized test score to qualify for admission.

Keller was most proud of his time spent reinventing the program and successfully recruiting “a number of quality students,” he said. He devoted his time as director to doubling the size of the program, recruiting high achieving students and hiring qualified faculty to teach the courses.

“Bob is really the face of the honors program,” said Diane Burton, the assistant director of the program. She was hired by Keller seven years ago and has watched him make important policy decisions, meet with administration, parents, faculty and students during her stay.

Keller plans to continue a strong relationship with both students and faculty in the honors program.

“I have full confidence that (the new candidates) will have new direction and new ideas,” Keller said. “The ball is really in their hands.”

Three candidates are currently being interviewed to fill his position. There is a selection committee that will replace Keller with the best possible choice. The decision will not be made until mid-summer.

Collegian writer Amanda Zetah can be reached at

Skate culture at CSU

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May 062012
Authors: Bailey Constas

Echoing from the sides of CSU’s Rockwell Halls at 11 p.m. you can hear skateboard wheels rolling across pavement and grinding against benches. There you’ll find a group of students turned skaters.

It’s not just a popular form of transportation –– it’s an overlooked culture for students.

Freshman Adam Concannon builds his own fixed gear bikes to fit his own specifications and style. He has been riding “fixie’s” for less than a year, but has skated his whole life and has enjoyed the Fort Collins skate scene.

“All the parks are awesome. Northside is awesome, Spring Canyon is cool. I’ve heard they’re building a new one. But all the kids are pretty rad and the scene is awesome,” he said.

In Thornton and Denver, where Concannon is from, he explained there are some traces of a skating community, but not as much as Fort Collins.

“In Denver they just want to show up everyone, but (in Fort Collins) these kids grow up together and develop their skills,” said Concannon. “They’re a family and they want see each other do well.”

Cody Oliver, a freshman skater also from Denver, agreed.

“In Fort Collins people are a lot tighter. Everybody knows everybody and everybody is friendly,” Oliver said. “In Denver there’s just way too many people. Here it’s a smaller scene, but the kids are more dedicated.”

Concannon has noticed a rivalry between bikers and skaters, but more of a tension between longboarders and scooters.

“In Arvada you’ll see 20 kids cruising through with $300 Razor carbon fiber scooters,” Concannon said. “The two attract different types of people and different attitudes. It also just depends on the person … bikers are more our allies in this war.”

Oliver put it differently.

“If a biker were to ever hit a skater, every skater in the park would just beat the s*** out of them,” he said.

This kind of bond is not just in Fort Collins, Oliver added. Skaters tend to stick with skaters and bikers need to be cautious.

“A skateboard is so much smaller and so less dangerous and a bike can do so much more damage, and they can go super fast,” Oliver said. “Bikers just need to be careful, just as long as they’re not irresponsible.”

Tensions aside, Concannon can’t get enough of the sport he loves.

“It’s a release from school and the everyday stresses,” he said. “It’s good to clear your mind and refocus.”

Concannon has ended up at the Northside Aztlan Community Center at night or taken a ride to Horsetooth Reservoir.

“It’s a good way to release, have fun and meet people,” said Concannon.

Oliver began skating in sixth grade and has continued ever since.

“It’s like my creative outlet, it’s how I release my creativity,” he said.

But it’s not always a good time. Concannon was fined $75 for riding down College Avenue two weeks ago.

“It’s crappy because skateboards are defined by law as toys in Colorado. So I was fined $75 for playing with a toy.”

Evan Humphreys, a freshman fish, wildlife and conservation biology major from Wisconsin, recently got into the skating and biking scene.

“I just wanted to get a fixie, so I bought one,” he said. “And then I moved to Colorado and I decided to get a skateboard or longboard, but most of the kids I hang out with here skateboard so I got one of those.”

He hasn’t had any run-ins with the law due to his boarding, but one of his friends from Wisconsin received a $125 fine for longboarding in the road.

“I think it’s about time lawmakers recognize skateboards and longboards as legitimate modes of transportation,” Humphreys said. “I want lawmakers to do to skateboarding the same thing that they’ve done to every other legitimate form of transportation –– make it legal.”

Concannon, however, doesn’t think that the laws need to be changed towards skating. Instead, officials should maintain cities’ concrete quality. He has had a few spills on campus due to cracks in the concrete and wears two scars from the incidents.

And he’s not alone. Oliver has broken his left wrist and pinky once, right wrist twice, as well as torn ligaments in his foot up to his shin. But it doesn’t bother him too much.

“It’s absolutely worth it to be injured,” he said. In a weird way when I’m injured I think, at least I’m out there doing something. It’s like battle scars.”

Collegian writer Bailey Constas can be reached at

Northside Aztlan Community Center
112 East Willow St.
Free and open to public year round
Opened in 2008

Edora Skateboard Park
Located between the Edora Pool Ice Center (EPIC) and the ballparks and tennis courts at Edora Park
Free and open to public year round
17,500-square-foot concrete facility
Opened in 2001

Fossil Creek Skateboard Park
Located between the parking lots and playground near the front of Fossil Creek Community Park
15,000 square foot urban obstacle skateboard park
Opened in 2003

Pranks of the Past: A history of practical jokes at CSU

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May 062012
Authors: Emily Smith

On April 23, five male students dashed across the Lory Student Center Plaza, donning silly hats and hollering loudly. Also –– they were completely naked.

In light of this recent streaking incident, the Collegian is taking a look at some past pranks on CSU’s campus.

  • Panty raid results in expulsion*

In May 1952, William E. Morgan, standing president of CSU at the time, received warning that a panty raid was being planned, according to James E. Hansen II in his book “Democracy’s College in the Centennial State: A History of Colorado State University.”

“Although generally tolerant of youthful exuberance, in this instance the president was concerned about offending the parents of Aggie students,” Hansen wrote.

“Learning that one fraternity had played a key role in promoting the idea,” he continued, “he called in its president and informed him that any actual participation would result in immediate dismissal for the persons involved.”

Turns out the panty raid happened anyway and according to Hansen, resulted in highly unfavorable publicity for CSU.

“Utilizing photographs taken at the scene, he (Morgan) succeeded in identifying five male students illegally cavorting inside of Rockwell Hall,” Hansen wrote. “Each admitted his guilt and each was summarily expelled from the College.”

  • Cow demolishes dorm room*

Gordon “Hap” Hazard, CSU alumnus, retiree and current library volunteer, remembers a practical joke in the late 1990s.

“There was a steer that got loose in Edwards Hall,” Hazard said. “He was running around on the lawn and somebody thought it’d be a good idea to open the door.”

Hazard said the young cow –– which had likely gotten loose from the Animal Sciences building or the old Veterinary School in the Glover building –– got into a student’s dorm room and “completely demolished” it.

Climbing the library walls

Patty Rettig, head archivist at Morgan Library, recalls a certain prank five or six years ago, she said.

“A student scaled the front of the library and got on the roof with a cape on,” Rettig said.

When authorities climbed up to get the student, he jumped off the back she said. Rettig said that students climbing up the walls of the library and other buildings was a fairly common occurrence.

Streaking for charity

More recent pranks of the past decade have made headlines as well. On Oct. 28, 2006, “Streak-a-palooza” took place following a Saturday football game, according to the Collegian article “Streakers drop clothes, raise cash” by Geoff Johnson.

According to Johnson, three students organized the event to raise money for the Livestrong Foundation. They ended up making only $58 even though 313 people streaked through a vacant field a mile and half north of Hughes Stadium.

  • Women’s basketball players prank teammate*

January 2007 held a prank by four women’s basketball players that led to their suspension. According to Dan Boniface in a 9News article, the players set off a chemical bomb as a prank outside a teammate’s apartment.

Two players quit the team and the other two eventually returned.

Snakes in a classroom

Following a snake-in-class prank in September 2007, two CSU students faced misdemeanor charges, according to the Denver Post article “CSU charges 2 in snake prank” by Vimal Patel.

“The students allegedly set a bull snake loose in a class of about 150 students,” Patel wrote. One student was bitten by the snake, which was apparently caught in the Poudre River.

_Collegian writer Emily Smith can be reached at _

A Snapshot of Past Pranks
-1950s: panty raid
-1990s: loose cow is let into Edwards Hall
-2000s: student climbs up the library and jumps off, women’s basketball players set off chemical bomb, students release a snake in class