Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Name Conspiracy


Caitlyn Hutchison, Honors College Senior.


Caitlyn Hutchison, Honors College senior, on the new name.


Jennifer Wilt, Honors College Freshman, on the new name.




The University of Oklahoma's Honor College has recently adopted a new name and some students disagree with the change.

The building is now labeled under the Joe C. and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College, named after the parents of donor Aubrey McClendon, who gave the single largest donation in honors college history.

Some students have begun to worry about what this name change means after an article was released in the Oklahoma Daily revealing a petition started by the Students for a Democratic Society, SDS, to have the name changed.

These students worry that the name change is challenging the principles of the college itself.

“In my opinion, the McClendon name shouldn’t be put on the Honors College building,” Nick Stanley, Honors College Freshman and SDS treasurer said. “Given McClendon’s past dealings, both in business and philanthropic works, I think his name directly contradicts the values, ethics and goals of the Honors College.”

McClendon has become well known for his business dealings and politics. According to an article by the Seattle Times McClendon, with business partner Tom Ward, donated over one-million dollars to and anti-gay organization, Americans United to Preserve Marriage.

“I think they should change the Honors College name back to David L. Boren, because I could see where it is offensive to some people,” Jennifer Wilt, Honors College freshman, said.
The SDS had brought up the petition after months of requesting information on the change, according to Stanley.

“It is the largest donation in Honors College history and officials weren’t releasing any information about it,” Stanley said. “We were asking people about it for months with no response and heard nothing. We put out the petition because we wanted more transparency.”

The article in the Oklahoma Daily created a large backlash against the organization because of the quotes given by SDS president, Sean Hughes, against McClendon.

After the article was published each party involved with the story: Students for a Democratic Society, Aubrey McClendon, and President David Boren each released a statement which were never published in print further explaining their position on the issue at hand.

Hughes explained that he had not realized that he was going to be quoted when his comments were made and that they weren’t a fair representation of SDS, but instead his personal opinions.

“After the story came out in the “Daily” people thought we were pompous left wing university liberals,” said Stanley. “It isn’t political. It is about the values and ethics of our university and preserving them.”

“We want to create an atmosphere where students can have a stake in the university, where they are apart of their education,” Stanley said.

This isn’t the first time OU has adopted the name of a business leader to their colleges. The name ‘Gaylord’ is plastered all over campus walls, including the college of journalism and the football stadium. Gaylord is famous for his right-wing conservatism and bias in his newspaper in Oklahoma City.

Some students don’t see how this name change is different than any other and only see it as a business deal.

“You have to follow the money, and the fact that the Honors College didn’t have a name attached, it is expected that its name would change to the appropriate donor,” Kristyn Wagner, Honors College senior and non-profit organization studies minor, said.

“OU has never pandered to their donors,” Wagner said. “OU does values based funding. For instance, here at OU one of our core values is academic freedom so our donors fund us based on matching core values. The donors and institutions work together to find the best fit for each other. The university taking this contribution just means that it was the right fit between the donor and organization.”

This sudden change leaves some students confused on their feelings.

“I don’t know what I want to see happen,” Caitlyn Hutchison, Honors College senior, said. “I would like to believe in the integrity of the Honors College and that a businessman couldn’t influence the way the professors are teaching. But I think that is a na├»ve view.”

As for what happens next, no one is sure. However OU has been known to change the names of buildings because of damaging reputations before.

According to the history of the Black Student Association, OU changed the name Debarr Chemistry Building to the Physical Sciences Center after learning of Edwin Debarr’s association with the Klu Klux Klan. Meaning that perhaps the University will see the need of a reversal in the name change.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Behind the scenes of "Super Size Me"

Morgan Spurlock came to speak at OU this week and students were able to meet the man that started the American health revolution.

Morgan Spurlock is an award winning filmmaker most famous for his movie "Super Size Me" and his show "30 Days" came to OU this last week. He spoke about how he came up with his ideas and how the industry received him.

"It was Thanksgiving 2002 when I was sitting on my mom's couch when I came up with the idea for 'Super Size Me,' which is very fitting and ironic," Spurlock said.

CAC's next big event will be presented by Film Series with their annual OU Student Film Festival on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. in Meacham Auditorium.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Friday

Some students are disappointed that they weren't released from classes on Good Friday to visit home.

Students aren't being released from classes for Good Friday, to be able to go home for Easter. This is a religous holiday and many think that because we have classes it is witholding them from their religion.

"I am from Houston and I was disappointed that I wouldn't be able to go home and visit my family for Easter," Sarah Fickes said. "I know many other students felt the same way I do."

There will be no change in schedule for the religous holiday, classes will take place on Monday, April 13, 2009 as usual.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Campus has Been Invaded

The National Forensics League has taken over the OU campus and students have the chance to see debate and acting in the heat of competition.

The Oklahoma National Forensics League, or better known as speech and debate, is using the campus for their annual district tournament. The organization is composed of high school students and the competitive categories include: humorous interpretation, dramatic interpretation, Lincoln Douglas debate, and extemporaneous speaking, just to name a few.

"I think it is great that they host this here," Heather Hall, former NFL member, said. "I think it will help us recruit these students to OU, the more time they spend here and see that our school supports the things that they are involved in. It can't hurt us as a university."

The tournament will end Saturday April 4, 2009 and students can come and watch for free. For more information visit the 3rd floor of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hopes for a National Championship

Courtney Paris hugging a fan before joining her teammates. (Photo by Colbi Beam)

OU Women's Basketball team was sent off by fans to St. Louis for their Final Four game with hopes to win a national championship.

OU, the number one seed, will be playing the Louisville Cardinals, the number three seed, to move onto the championship game.

"The girls are so excited," Kristi Brezinski, basketball manager, said. "They have been working for this for so long, they deserve it."

The game against Loiville will be Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Campus Activities Council is Ready for a Change



Kirsten Brinlee and Clara Mitcham discussing homecoming ideas. (Photo by Colbi Beam)


Courtney Nelson speaking about Campus Activities Council


Some students believe that Campus Activities Council is biased in preference of students in Greek houses and that those who aren't Greek don't have the same opportunities to get involved.

Campus Activities Council is a branch off of UOSA designed to create and organize the large scale events at OU. According to the CAC website, the events hosted by CAC include major activities like Homecoming, University Sing, Dance Marathon, and Howdy Week. The council also brings year-round attractions, including: films, concerts, and speakers.

Each of these events has their own committee, offering several students to get involved in the process of creating each attraction. However, some students think that the basis for choosing these leaders to get involved is biased in their Greek affiliation.

"I think that the system is run by Greeks," Courtney Nelson, un-affiliated student said. "Because of that when it comes time to choose, they choose people they know. People from other Greek houses. It makes it really hard for everyone else that wants to get involved."

Some Campus Activities Council leaders disagree that the bias exists in selecting leaders.

"I received over a hundred applications for people that wanted to be on Homecoming exec, and there were less than ten applicants that weren't Greek," Clara Mitcham, Homecoming Chair, said. "I can't pick people who don't apply. I would actually be more apt to put someone on my exec that's not Greek just because they want to get other non-Greek people involved."

CAC Executive Committee member, Chrissie Johnson, said that she thought that each candidate is evaluated fairly but occasionally prior knowledge may be brought up.

However, not all Campus Activities Council members disagree completely with the complaint.

"I do think that there can be a sense of nepotism," Kirsten Brinlee, CAC Public Relations officer, said. "Event chairs are human, but I don't think on a broad level that Greek individuals have any more clout than non-Greek individuals."

There are most definitely parallels in the kind of people that are involved with CAC and Greek life. People that join fraternities and sororities want to be involved, they are outgoing and want to be around other people and those are the same kinds of people that want to apply for CAC, Brinlee said.

"CAC is looking for people who want to be leaders, that want to be plugged-into campus and those people usually want to be in the Greek system for the same reasons," Mitcham said.

Campus Activities Council has six members on its executive council and presently all six are currently or have been in a Greek house during their college career. However, the general council for CAC is more diverse; five of the seventeen non-executive general council members are unaffiliated and are among the highest positions CAC has to offer.

"There is a good spread of Greek people and non-Greek people," Johnson said.

While some feel that the mix is just right, others think there is room for improvement.

"The executive council right now is the remainders of what CAC used to be, back when it was primarily Greek," said Brinlee. "We are in the process of change, but that takes time for everyone."

Event chairs are working to make the events more accessible to other groups on campus and trying to redefine what their events are.

"I think that the chairs are becoming experts at their events," said Brinlee. "They are trying to see what people want and make them better. University Sing and Homecoming this year opened up a 'town meeting' so people could vent their feelings about the event and discuss the changes they hope to see. The chairs want to include more than the Greek system in this."

Although CAC chairs are trying to change the way the system works, there are other factors to consider. The Greek system is very important to campus as a whole, according to the Panhellenic website, 25% of all the undergraduate women on campus are in a Panhellenic sorority. That is only one of the several Greek organizations.

"I know I want to make homecoming accessible to everyone, I want to make it affordable and encourage everyone to get involved," Mitcham said. "However, Greek organizations are the ones that want to participate. Yes, making a huge float is expensive for smaller organizations, but at the same time it is a part of the tradition."

While no one can argue that Greek students are the majority of CAC leaders, some think that this will change very soon.

"CAC is undertaking an organizational culture change," Brinlee said. "It has changed a lot, it has become less Greek since the time I was a freshman. As for the current leadership, we are a result of how CAC was, and in the next couple of years we will see a change of a better educated better and a qualified council. That is exciting!"

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Student Life Photo Contest

The Student Life Academic Calendar Photo Contest is offering students the opportunity to show their life at OU.

Student life is hosting a photo contest to represent the "spirit of student life" at OU. Prizes include a book scholarship from the OU Bookstore.
"We are asking students to show us their view of student life here on our campus," Emily Hilburn, Assistant to the Director of Student Life, said. "We want to showcase their talent by publishing the top three photographs."

Photo submissions are due to Emily Hilburn by Sunday April 29, 2009 in the Student Life Office. For more information on guidelines and prizes you can visit the Student Life website.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New UOSA Leaders already Disappointing Students


Elizabeth Evans discussing Katie and Dewey's platform. (Photo by Colbi Beam)


Elizabeth Evans on the new UOSA officers.

The new UOSA president and vice president ran unopposed and some students worry that the lack of selection lead to a compromise in expectations.

Katie Fox, president, and Dewey Bartlett, vice president, have goals ranging from a UOSA sponsored tailgate in the fall to fine arts season passes. These platforms are significantly different than the past representatives have chosen to pursue.

Amanda Holloway and Vince Winston had platform advocating parking improvements and increases in funding for student organizations.

"In general I would say that I am disappointed in their platform," Elizabeth Evans said. "With the position and resources that they have I think they could be doing so much more with this office."

Students can learn more about Fox and Bartlett's platform by visiting their website at katieanddewey.com and can contact through email at katieanddewey@gmail.com

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The New Diet Pill

Some students are using Adderall as a weight loss drug, and this trend may be more dangerous than some have suspected.

Adderall is a prescription drug designed to help people with ADHD or narcolepsy and one of the many side effects is a decreased appetite. However, many students don't know that other side effects of this drug include: an irregular heartbeat and the possibility of heart failure or seizures.

The drug is also related to crystal meth, in that they are both amphetamines. Adderall, in its intended use, is not very addictive; however, used in excess for weight loss it can become both psychologically and physically addictive.

"I think I would still use adderall as a diet pill," Heather Hall said. "All medications have side effects, if you use them responsibly and watch your symptoms then they shouldn't be a problem."

If this trend continues, student can expect an increase in the use of illegal drugs.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spies on Facebook

Students can find their jobs on facebook now, government agencies are using facebook and other social-networking sites to recruit students and new employees.

The CIA and the National Security Agency have both created 'Pages' on facebook offering employment opportunities to users. Jobs range from accountants to analytic methodologists to cryptanalysts.
"I think it is nice that the employers are trying to reach out and touch us," Elizabeth Evans said. "I have been trying to get internships and jobs, but I feel like I have to look everywhere. It is nice for them to start connecting with young people through a network they already use."

Students can find these pages by visiting facebook or going to the CIA's or the National Security Agency's websites.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sooner rugby team shuts out the OSU Cowboys


Sooners in their last huddle of the game. (Photo by Colbi Beam)


Sooners and Cowboys fighting for the ball. (Photo by Colbi Beam)

Sooner fans can cheer once again because the sooner rugby team shut out the OSU Cowboys in their last game of the year.

The team is now the new Central League Champions and the score was 47-0 by the end of the game this past Saturday, March 6, 2009. In winning this title, the team earned a spot at the national playoffs.

"In winning the central league we earned a banner for our clubhouse and a title that we haven't had since 2001," Austin Ryan, OU rugby player, said.

The next game will be the Varsity versus the alumni game here in Norman on Saturday, March 14, 2009. To see more about the team you can visit their website at
http://www.ou.edu/student/rugby/index.html

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No Smoking in Norman


Natalie Vaughn smoking outside. (Photo by Colbi Beam)

Elise Lippe, non-smoker, on the issue

The Norman City Council is considering a smoking ban in public parks and some students are torn as to how they feel about this issue.

The city council has asked the city staff members to create a bill banning cigarrette smoking and other types of tobacco use in public parks due to tobacco's adverse effect on others.

"I think that it would be OK in children's play grounds," Natalie Vaughn, smoker, said. "But I don't think it should necessarily be the entire area. I mean, if you can't smoke outside where can you smoke?"

The city staff members are currently drawing up an ordinance and if it passes it will be banned. If citizens have an opinion on this they can contact Mayor Cindy Rosenthal by email: mayor@NormanOK.gov or call her at 405-366-5402.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Greek Students Hoping to Learn More From Professors


Greek Community Forum poster. (Photo by Colbi Beam)


Samantha O'Neal speaking about the Greek Community Forum

Greek Community Forums are inviting students from all types of Greek organizations on campus have a chance to learn something new and get to know their professors a little better.

Several forums are held at different locations at the same time on the same night and students get to choose which lecture to go to and they are open to all students involved in a Greek organization on campus. They are directed by OU's Leadership Development and Volunteerism and LEAD Team to allow for a better faculty student relationship within that community.

"Greek Community Forums are a good way for students to have a relationship with professors," Samanth O'Neal, sophomore Panhellenic representative, said. "They also they talk about subjects that are good for the students future well being."

The next Greek Community forum is Tuesday, March 3, 2009 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information students can contact Leadership Development and Volunteerism at 405-325-4020 or rreed@ou.edu

Themes and locations are:
"The Current Economic Crisis, the Stock Market, and Financial Accounting Information" at the Delta Upsilon house
"Shakespeare Would Have Loved Motion Pictures: Women Behind the Camera During the Silent Era" at the Chi Omega house
"Good Nutrition=Better Grades, Better Friendships, Better Money" at the Alpha Chi Omega house
"Sooners Serving and Learning Along the Way" at the Delta Gamma House
"What is Excellence in Higher Education?- A View from the Honors College" at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house
"Beyond Cinderella's Castle: Leadership Lessons from Disney" at the Beta Theta Pi house

Monday, February 23, 2009

Vaginas making an impact


The V-Day organization was giving out condoms and other contraceptives outside of the auditorium. (Photo by Colbi Beam)



Jennifer Wilt speaking about her experience at the Vagina Monologues.

Students can raise money to stop violence against women by attending the Vagina Monologues.

While enjoying the performance of the Vagina Monologues audiences are also introduced to a number of issues dealing with violence against women. V-Day raises money to end violence against women and has open shelters and safe-houses around the world.

"I learned a lot at the Vagina Monologues about domestic violence," Jennifer Wilt, freshman, said. "Especially during the video at the end because I haven't really been exposed to that information before, so it was very eye opening."

The next performance will be at 7:00 pm tomorrow, February 24, 2009 in Meacham Auditorium. Tickets are $5 with a donation of a personal care item, or $7 without.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Women's basketball has taken another win



Sooners huddling up at half time. (Photos by Colbi Beam)


OU women's basketball took the lead against number five ranked, Baylor Bears, Saturday and hope the win will boost their ranking in the Big 12.

The Sooners set a new school record Saturday, February 22, 2009, with their 20th straight win. It was a tight game with OU leading by six points after the first half. The game ended with the score 66, Sooners, to 58, Bears.

"The momentum at the game this week was really awesome," Leslie Hartsook, junior, said. "The student section was packed and you could see how the full stadium really influenced the game overall. Hopefully we will be ranked number one and students will want to come and support their nationally top ranked team."

The next home game will be against OSU in Norman at 12:00 pm Saturday, February 28,2009 at the Lloyd Noble Center. Students are admitted free with a student ID.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Women's Gymnastics Taking Another Victory


OU gymnasts standing to accept their team win. (Photo by Colbi Beam)


OU gymnasts waiting to see their results. (Photo by Colbi Beam)

OU's women gymnasts took first place at the meet Friday and are hoping for more audience support from students in their next big meet.

The number 11 ranked gymnastics team won titles on beam, vault, floor, along with the highest overall score at the Lloyd Noble Center Friday, February 20, 2009. The sooners team tally of 196.35 barely beat number 13 ranked, Mizzou, with a score of 196.225.

"Well this win for the team meant a lot to us but for the rest of this season it did not set anything in stone for us," Melanie Root, sophomore gymnast, said. "This win was not an easy one for us and the University of Missouri is going to want to beat us that much more at the Big 12 competition. We are always striving to get more audience, it always makes the floor routines that much more fun."

The last home meet, "Senior Night", will be Friday, March 6, 2009 at 7:00 pm at the Lloyd Noble Center. Students are admitted free with a student ID.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Students for a Democratic Society are ready to make a change


One goal for SDS is to extend library hours to keep the doors open to students later at night. (Photo by Colbi Beam)

Students for a Democratic Society has come back to OU after almost 40 years. Students may soon see changes at the university ranging everywhere from library hours to a new student newspaper.

The Students for a Democratic Society, SDS, lead the student movements throughout the 1960s, and was kicked of the OU campus in its first life. Now a new group of students have restarted the club with all new goals in mind. Their goals range from the state legislature to everyday problems existing at OU.

"I joined the new SDS to help develop some intellectual discourse here on campus," Nick Stanley, freshman, said. "Also, to create a place where students can ask questions."

The SDS will be having their next meeting 7:00 pm. Monday, Feb. 16, 2009 in the lobby of Dale Hall. You can learn more about this organization on their facebook group: OU Students for a Democratic Society.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Sooner Mardi Gras celbration


Freshman Taylor Derring is preparing for the parade by making her Mardi Gras mask. (Photo by Colbi Beam)

Oklahoma's only Mardi Gras parade will take place here in Norman. Some Catholic students are excited about sharing their traditions with the Norman community.

This will be the 15th annual Mardi Gras parade in Norman. The theme this year is "Celebrating ancient cutures-- In a time warp" and the celebration will include floats, revelers, musicians, dancers, and animals in a family friendly setting free of charge. Last year's parade brought in more than 3,000 visitors; planners are anticipating an even bigger turn out this year.

"It is nice to have a celebration of this event because there aren't very many Catholics in Oklahoma," Gigi McCormick, senior, said. "It is good to be able to share this fun celebration with the Norman community and experience Mardi Gras in its true fashion."

The parade will begin 6:30 Saturday Feb. 21, 2009 in the historic downtown arts district of Norman.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Big Event 2009

Students will be volunteering again this year in OU's annual Big Event.

Volunteers will be able to spend an entire Saturday giving back to their community. Big Event brings in thousands of volunteers each Spring to say "thank you" to their community. Volunteers are sent out in groups to volunteer at various locations around the Oklahoma City/Norman metropolitan.

"I will participate in the Big Event again this year because it is really a great way to help out the community here," Elizabeth Evans, sophomore, said. "OU is a big part of the Norman and Oklahoma City and it is great to be able to give back to the people that support us students."

The Big Event 2009 will take place Saturday, March 28, 2009 and students can apply to volunteer at bigevent.ou.edu.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Juicy Campus Closing

Taylor Mangrum checking juicycampus.com (Photo by Colbi Beam)


Juicycampus.com will be shut down today by the founder and CEO of the website.

Students will now have to look for another way to gossip on the web. Juicycampus.com, a popular gossip sight for many college students, will be shut down tonight, February 5, 2009. This news was posted on the website founder and CEO, Matt Ivester's blog yesterday, February 4. Ivester said that he blames the economy and says that the website couldn't pull in enough revenue to keep it going.

"I am sad," sophomore Taylor Mangrum said. "It is entertaining and fun to look at! So many other students got on it and you actually got to see what people had to say!"

The website is to be shutdown as of February 5, 2009.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Another Fee Increase

OU President David L. Boren recommended an approval of a slate of college- and course-specific fee increase at the OU Board of Regents meeting Wednesday

Students in the Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, and the colleges of business, journalism, and arts and sciences will have to begin saving their money. The fees approved by the regents include a $3 per-credit hour addition to the enrichment fee at the Michael F. Price College of Business and a $5 per-credit hour addition to the enrichment fee at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

"It is frustrating," Heather Hall, Advertising sophomore said. "It is like every semester, every year they put their students more in debt to save the flower beds or something! I know that this has been a bad year on the economy, but it has hit all of us."

Boren had hoped to prevent fee increases for this year, but due to a state budget shortfall reaching nearly $600 million, this was difficult. Boren said the new fees will keep OU "treading water" through a difficult fiscal year and hopefully allow the administration to avoid raising tuition and mandatory fees next year. The fees will go into affect Fall 2009.