Thursday, October 31, 2013

Homecoming Week 2k13

       The last week of October is always an exciting week for both students and staff at Frostburg State University. Students’ excitingly prepared for homecoming and Halloween events while professors grade midterms, and finally drop absentee students that were very much present at Homecoming. Before the fun began, Frostburg was sure to remind students that education is first. On Friday, students and professors rallied up for career expos, presented by Alumni of various majors.  Surprisingly, the majority of all English majors showed up for the career expo. At least, all of Dr. Parks’ students were present, as it was required for extra credit points in his class.  Dr. Mary Anne Lutz introduced English majors and professors to Candace Reed. Candace, an alumn and former English major, presented a PowerPoint on the beneficial and intellectual significance of attaining an English degree. She stated that her parents were initially opposed to her interest in becoming an English major and thought she should study a discipline more financially rewarding. “…When I told my mother I wanted to major in English, her response was: “What in the world are you going to do with an English degree",” Candace stated humorously. Candace expressed to Undergrad English majors that “being able to know how to read and write is important in any career.” Candace now works for a small business in DC,  is engaged, and is pursuing an online MBA degree at Frostburg State University. Students left with a new outlook as to what to expect after college, and if in Dr. Parks’ class, a few extra points on their final.
   The biggest buzz on campus since the beginning of October was Homecoming dance, but upon the end of Homecoming week, the Step-Show had stolen the spotlight. On Saturday evening, students, alumni, and faculty all gathered in the PE Cordts Center, awaiting a grand performance. The Delta Sigma, Kappa Alphi Psi, Beta Sigma, Omega Psi Phi, and many other sororities and fraternities put on an outstanding show. The crowd  jumped as the music pumped.  During the Step-Show, a brief moment of homage was given for Mr. Wynder . He was Vice President of Student Services, and a house-hold name in Frostburg’s community. Devontae Thompson, a former Frostburg student stated drunkenly, “I miss Frostburg like f------ crazy; I wish my ass would have never got kicked out!” After the Step-Show, students rushed backed to their dorms to get dressed for the grand finale- the Homecoming dance.  Many students were still looking for tickets to purchase. Alumn student, Brittany Battle, graduated with a Psychology degree last spring,  and lucked up on a ticket just two hours before the dance.  She paid 25 dollars for a ticket that originally sold for only 3 dollars. “…I spent 200 dollars on a dress and shoes for  Homecoming; I was getting in the dance by all means, even if I had to sneak in,” Brittany voiced energetically. Frostburg’s 2k13 Homecoming turned out a success, but the Step-Show is what took the cake. Many students stood out in the hallway, angered by the “whack” music the DJ played. Students were anticipating the music to be as “live” as it was at the Step-Show. Nevertheless, Frostburg State University rose to the occasion just as they do each and every year.

Frostburg students aiding in Strides against Breast Cancer

October 19th, 2013 was a beautiful crisp fall day, though a little chilly, at the Canal Place Festival Grounds in Cumberland Maryland. The field was abuzz with people milling around after making their walk or making their Strides Against Breast Cancer to find out how much money they had made for the cause.
Walking along the usually quiet shop streets of canal place the sound of balloon stick clappers being slapped together by the members of Alpha Phi Omega and the Echo Stars to cheer on the participants reverberated off of the cement buildings. Patrick Travers, president of Alpha Phi Omega says that he was “Happy to see people coming together to support a great cause”. The walkers garbed in all pink, quietly made their way around the path casting a happy grin at these students as they passed them nearing the goal of reaching the 10 foot tall, pink balloon arch. Once past the arch you enter onto a grassy field encircled by gravel, but where people are looking expectantly is the stage, a cement rectangle about 2 feet tall with a roof above. If you look beyond the stage you see a train pull into the canal place station expelling white and grey puffy smoke into the air.
As the walkers finished the host welcomed them back and introduces the Avengers Dance Crew to perform for the people. They broke from their circle and came to the center in from of the stage to perform. Each member wore a pink bandana for the event and their hip-hop choreographed danced seemed to catch the attention of the audience who whooped and hollered as each move was executed (click to watch the performance). These students volunteered to come to the event because as their president Evan Greenberg says “We supported Relay in the past and when they asked us to help out again, we just said ‘yeah’. It’s a good cause and we really enjoy dancing…so why not do it for something we already support?” I managed to get them all to pose for a photo before they left after the event ended and it sounds like they will be requested for many more events as I overheard one of the event coordinators asking Mr. Greenberg to help Big Brothers, Big Sisters by doing a performance for them, and they will be performing at one of the events on Halloween weekend.
(The current members of the Avengers after the event, Left to right: 1st row: LandryYantou, Jonathan Ashby, Alusine Kargbo, 2nd row: Jermirra Burley, 3rd row: Isaac Lendore, Evan Greenberg, Sean Scriber, 4th row: Tyler Lynch)
The avengers were not the only extraordinary people present. People dressed all in pink came to the front of the stage competing for the most pink person at the event, some with giant pink wings, wigs, and even their pets in pink. Once a winner was decided by the cheers of the audience they came back to the hoard of people looking at the stage and the survivors of breast cancer were asked to come to the front of the stage. One there we stood quietly as god was thanked and helpers came by in front of these women passing out yellow roses. Then anyone in the audience who was a care-taker of someone with breast cancer was asked to come forward and much hugging and tears occurred leaving this writer misty eyed in empathy. They exchanged roses, giving their yellow ones to the care-takers and receiving a pink one for themselves to keep. Angelina Sandoval, a Sociology major who viewed this told me that this was her most memorable part of the event “When all the breast cancer survivors and their caregivers stood in front of the stage with their roses. This was so touching; seeing all of these women who fought against breast cancer made me proud. I was also encouraged; I felt the strength and unity of women and families at this event. I felt the love and support that was all around. The beauty of being able to unite for a greater cause made me have faith in the society we live in.
Women who are survivors of breast cancer pointing their roses up to the sky with hope
      Finally the amount of money raised by the participants of the event was to be announced, and people clutching one another’s hands waited and upon hearing over 60,000 dollars was raised the sea of people moved like waves as people jumped at each other for hugs in happiness.               
       The event was over; unsold cupcakes were being passed out to people leaving the fairgrounds, the helpers were taking down tables and path markers, and the big pink balloon arch that moments earlier was a beacon to walkers coming into the event. As she was popping the balloons to the arch down I asked Christy Ayres a member of Alpha Phi Omega and an elementary and early childhood major what her most memorable part of the event was, and she responded “I would have to say that the most memorable part of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event was seeing the survivors arrive. It was cold and early in the morning, but they were smiling and ready to go. They are people who have been through so much and they are out there to support the event. I find this to be very inspirational to see. When I see cancer survivors it is a real symbol of hope. I was there to greet them and cheer them on for the walk/run. Their smiles are something I find to be most unforgettable.” 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Homecoming Weekend 2013

            If one found themselves at Frostburg State University  on Saturday, October 26th, then it was impossible not to hear or see an event that related to the university’s homecoming.  The anticipation had been building all week, and students were excited for all the festivities that the university offered.
            It started on that morning at 11:00 a.m with tailgating right outside of Bobcat Stadium.  Students congregated with food, beverages, and music in an effort to show support for their team as well as to enjoy time with one another.  I caught up with T.J Jones, a former student at FSU who has since transferred to Salisbury, who had a few words for me about the event.  “It’s a great time” Jones said.  “Even after transferring schools, I still love Frostburg and wasn't going to pass up the chance to come back and party with my friends.  Plus I get to watch a little football so that’s always a plus.”  Jones, as well as everyone else who was tailgating, was clearly having a great time and hoping that the energetic atmosphere would carry over to the game.
            Beginning at 1:00 p.m, the FSU football team faced off against Alfred University.  However, the game did not go as anyone hoped it would.  The Bobcats seemed completely outmatched by the Saxons in the 32-7 loss, but there was some upside.  Junior Michael Fourth rushed for 117 yards and caught three more passes for another 39 yards to combine for 156 all purpose yards.  This was Fourth’s third time rushing for over 100 yards in the past five game, but it was not enough to help lift the Bobcats to what would of been only their second win of the season.
            Starting at 6:00 p.m in the FSU gymnasium students gathered for the 2013 step show.  Performances were held by the sisters of Delta Sigma Theta, as well as the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Beta Sigma, Omega Psi Phi, Kappa Alpha Psi, and Iota Phi Theta.  Each organization put on a sensational performance that had the crowd going crazy.  I asked Junior Michael Ojiere what he thought of the performances.  “It was crazy” Ojiere said.  “All of the jumps and turns they do in sync with each other just lets you know how hard they work at getting it down to perfection.  I just sat there it amazement the entire show.”  After a fierce competition between the organizations, the brothers of Omega Psi Phi took home the $500 prize.  After the conclusion of the step show, all of the students exited the gymnasium to go and get themselves ready for the dance.
            At 11:00 the students returned to the gymnasium for the annual homecoming dance, and we’re greeted at the doors with blaring music and an unbelievable atmosphere.  If one were at the dance, they would see the students of FSU dressed to the nines and dancing their shoes off.  The dance went until 2:00 a.m and time seemed to fly by.  “It was such an awesome time,” said Marquise Bowman, a sophomore at FSU.  “To have all of my friends in one place with great music, it was definitely one of the best nights I've had in Frostburg.” 
            Regardless of what words are put in this article, one simply had to experience the weekend first hand in its entirety to understand how exciting it was.  Words simply cannot do it justice.


Big Turnout at Frostburg’s Halloween Parade

Lights, sirens, action! Large crowds gathered on Main Street in Frostburg Tuesday night to watch the Halloween parade. The beginning was signaled by the lights and sirens of police vehicles, followed by a display of fire engines from Frostburg and surrounding areas. Perhaps the biggest eye catcher of them all was the oldest, retired engine.
The parade featured many different performers. Perhaps two of the most interesting were the Ali Ghan Shrine Club men and the Mountain Ridge High School Marching Band. The Ali Ghan men drove miniature cars in a wild show of figure eights from sidewalk to sidewalk. Both adults and children seemed to enjoy this funny display. The Mountain Ridge High School Marching Band could be heard coming. Frostburg locals would recognize the school’s “Fight Song”. As the band marched by people stood up, clapped, and cheered. The energy of the crowd was measurably higher. The band gave the parade spirit, as a parade without music is really pretty dull.

Children lined the sidewalks eagerly awaiting the candy they knew would soon be thrown. At the start of the parade, Andrew Boch accurately predicted, “The children are going to be diving on the ground for the candy!” Upon each shower of candy children made mad dashes to collect handfuls, with parents close on their heels. The parade offered many ways for a child to enjoy the experience of Halloween. Parents walked in the parade with their costumed children.  Another group of children slowly staggered down the street as if they were zombies. Laura Michael said, “I was really happy that it was unseasonably warm for the parade this year, so you could see the kids’ costumes.”
One very popular event of the night was the children’s party held at City Place. The line stretched back to Main Street; people remarked about how surprised they are at how many have come. Once inside, children can play games and win candy. This year, the large crowds caused an atmosphere that was much more energetic and hectic. Suddenly, a voice on the loud speaker announces that a four year old child is missing. The once loud crowd goes completely silent; even children stop playing. The atmosphere shifts to one of tension and intense concentration as the announcer describes the missing child. But as the description is finished, a second announcement is made that the child has been found. The room is immediately filled with cheer and applause, and a visible feeling of relief.
Some felt the big turnout at the parade took away from the experience. Many parents felt the overcrowding made it hard for their children to enjoy the activities in City Place. Others did not feel this negative effect. Kaitlin Lemmert said, “There were a lot of kids there, so it was nice to see the community getting involved.” Whether the crowds were a problem is different for each person. Ultimately, a large part of the community came out to support each other and enjoy the spirit of Halloween.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Horrible Reality For Freshman: Homecoming Without A Ticket

Many people can argue that one of the worst things about being a Freshman is not being informed on huge events on campus. However, while these Freshman were not quick enough to obtain tickets for Homecoming weekend they did use the time to accomplish other things! As a Resident Assistant on weekend duty during Homecoming, I had the special opportunity to see how these opportunistic Freshman celebrated one of the biggest events at Frostburg State University.

This resident found that completing homework and surfing the web during Homecoming weekend was more fun than going out and dancing the night away.

This resident used Homecoming weekend to catch up on some laundry while everyone else was partying. He even made a game out of throwing his laundry in the machine!

Although these residents did not have Homecoming tickets, they still decided to search for some Homecoming activities during the weekend as a group. These residents ended up finding other non ticket holders and celebrating the festivities in unconventional ways.

Even though I was not allowed to leave the building during Homecoming weekend, it was very enjoyable watching the Freshman who were to slow to grab a ticket finding ways to have fun during the weekend. 

Step Show and Homecoming Dance a Success

On a windy Saturday evening at around 6:00, nearly 1,000 Frostburg State University Students gathered in the main gym to attend the first step show in four years. Students, alumni, faculty, and visitors gathered outside the doors of the gym anxious to get in and get the best seats. It was so crowded and hectic that some people pushed pass the security and ticket check and headed straight to the main gym auditorium. Aside from the chaos of trying to enter the gym, the 2013 Frostburg State University Step Show turned out to be successful. Performances were held by numerous fraternities including: the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha, Iota Phi Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, and Phi Beta Sigma, alongside the sisters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Also included in this event was a moment of appreciation for the late Mr. Bernard Wynder. Wynder was the assistant vice president for student services and a pioneer for the Frostburg community. He passed away suddenly due to health issues this pass summer.

After being in heavy competition with one another the brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity took home the cash prize of $500. The Omegas or "Ques" put on a breathtaking performances that included high jumps, hard stomps, and lots of enthusiasm. Despite being defeated, members of competing fraternities congratulated the Ques on their win. Respects are paid to the members of the FSU Alumni Association and Office of Student Activities for co-sponsoring the event and making it all possible.

Once the step show ended the audience hurried out of the auditorium to get ready for the Homecoming dance that would take over the gym in less than two hours after the step show competition. In just a short amount of time the gym was transformed from an auditorium that held a step show competition with bleachers and chairs stretched out across the floor to it being completed cleared of chairs and bleachers and being turned into a huge dance floor. Tickets for the homecoming dance sold out in just two days this year. There were over 1000 tickets sold to both students and guest. The night of the dance proved that over a 1000 tickets were sold. The gym was jam packed including the people standing in the halls outside of the auditorium.

While the DJ played some familiar hits the crowd was fully pumped and could not stop dancing and singing along to the songs. Students, alumni, and visitors seemed to have enjoyed the festivities held this weekend. Visitor, Shavonne Michelle, visited Frostburg for the first time this pass weekend with some friends and had some input on the events. " This school is smaller than others I have visited in the past but that's good. I like how everyone knows everyone and it's a close knit community with limited violence," she said excitedly.

This weekend's homecoming was one for the books. The step show was brought back after years, there was a great turn out, and the atmosphere remained fun and positive.

It's Time to Talk About Sexversations

Frostburg hosted an event focusing on sexual assault prevention, Sexversations, October 28, 2013 in the lane center. Students gathered in the Atkinson room at 7 pm to hear speakers Kelly Addington and Becca Tieder.  Male and female students all sat in the audience while the two women spoke about the taboo topic of sex. The goal of the program is to create a healthier campus environment by educating students about sexual awareness and consent.

The atmosphere of the room was very nonchalant and felt very personal. The program starts off with the audience making a pledge of respect and privacy. Everyone in the room takes an oath to respect the program and thoughts of everyone in the room. The room really became closer and one as the program progressed. Students could raise their hand to comment on the topics presented on a power point slide show. The power points were categorized into card suits. Clubs represented advancement or as Kelley put it, “Myths, condoms, and the big O and I’m not talking about Oprah.” Sexually transmitted infections and communication between partners was covered under the spade suit. The topic of consent was clearly defined and discussed with the heart suit discussing the topic sexual assault. “Questions for your conscious” or the diamond suit allowed for students to get any questions they had off their mind and really dig into how culture looks at the topic of sex.

The first suit discussed was clubs. The speakers stress that Frostburg, as community, is responsible for better the campus. By ending certain cultural stigmas associated with sex, those engaging in consensual sex are able to freely express themselves, but also victims of unwanted sexual advancements are able to confide in others without shame. Questions were used to break the ice and get the conversations flowing. The audience was able to text in their vote on true or false questions. Some of these racy questions included “ do most people have a nickname for their genitals,” “do both partners climax during sex every time?” and “does what someone eats effect the way genitals taste?” As expected, laughter and giggles were heard from the audience. The speakers were effective in getting students involved in dialogue though.

The point was not to embarrass or make students feel awkward, as Kelley said, “There should be no guilt or shame for making adult decisions.” The language used to describe sex influences the environment in which it is discussed. Using words like "whore" and "slut" keeps sex a taboo, and does not allow for an atmosphere of empowerment. As the program progressed, the topics got more serious. Sexual diseases, safety, what defines promiscuity, and gender roles were just a few topics the program went on to cover. 

Often used interchangeably, audience members were surprised to learn sexual assault can include rape, but does not strictly mean rape. Sexual assault means any unwanted sexual advancements and does not only apply to intercourse or penetration. However, rape means penetration with a weapon. The object used for rape is considered the weapon. The speakers included some starting statics not to scare students but make them aware. A couple of these facts were that “every 2 minutes in the U.S. someone is sexually assaulted,” and “1 in 5 women in college are assaulted.” For sexual assault survivors, creating an environment was sex is not viewed as obscene and dirty is important so they do not feel guilty. The common reaction to hearing a friend or family member was sexually assaulted is violence. When Kelley asked the audience to shout out how they would react, the most common remarks were “kill them,” “anger,” and “ have them arrested them.” The response to learning someone has been assaulted should not be violence, but support for the victim.

Becca shared her own personal story of how she was sexually assaulted in college with the audience. An amazing, strong woman, Becca explained sexual assault from the viewpoint of the victim. Someone struggling with revealing his or her experience with sexual assault does not want to be met with irrational violence. Instead, Becca said the victim need to hear, “It’s not your fault how can I help?” She went on to discuss resources on campus for anyone victimized. It is important for secondary victim, or friends and family of the victim, to realize there are options out there. Not everyone’s solution to sexual assault is going to be pressing charges. How the situation is handled needs to be left up to the victim.

The only way to make change is to talk about “IT,” sex. In 2006, Kelley and Becca founded the Unite for Change Campaign to spread information and promote sexual awareness. The program Sexversation is relatively new with its launch in 2009. Since then, the team have toured campuses nation wide discussing sexual assault, awareness, prevention, and empowerment. For more information about sexual awareness or Becca and Kelly, more information can be found on their website Frostburg needs to embrace change and spread the words. As student Whitley Burns put it in regards to Sexversation, “This school has a rich tradition, be a part of it.”

Here Kelly Addington (on the right) and Becca Tieder (on the left) are seen getting ready for the start of their presentation, Sexversations.

Let it grow: A Story about Trees

Let it grow: A Story about Trees
By: Katie Pratt
Eastern Redbud, pin oak, willow oak, gingko, red dogwood, blackgum, pink dogwood, and white dogwood are just a few of the tree species that have been planted along Frost and Ormand Streets under the careful eyes of Frostburg Sate Senior Laura Smith. As part of her undergraduate project she wrote up a proposal and received a grant from Chesapeake Bay Trust mini grant for outreach and education, “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work with the city and the university to educate people on trees,” says Smith with a grin. After all the trees planted Smith has plans to put small signs on the trees that explain what species they are and how much carbon dioxide they will remove from the air once full grown.

                Students from Dr. Sunshine Brosi’s Forest Ecology and Conservation class, which is taught locally at Frostburg State University, have been participating with the tree planting for the past 3 weeks coming every Monday and planting as many trees as needed. Erika Randolph is one of those volunteers, “I think it’s cool. It’s obviously good for the environment,” says Randolph as she pauses from shoveling a hole for a young Eastern Redbud. “It’s a learning experience as well,” she continues, digging the shovel back into the ground and continuing to widen and deepen the hole. As she carefully pulls the tree out of the pot and begins to pack earth around it she explains that she thinks it’s good for students to be doing this type of work “so the elders don’t think all college students are bad”.

                Though no residents came out this past Monday to investigate what the small swarm of students buzzing up and down the street was about, the trees will be appreciated, and also serve an ulterior motive for Smith who is trying to make Frostburg a contender for Tree City USA (Frostburg State won Tree Campus USA for 2012). Smith is also a part of the Tree Care Commission on campus, which requires the university to do a service learning project among the community. “I think we were supposed to only get 50 trees but they were less expensive than originally thought so we ended up with around 64,” reports Smith happily.

                “It was my idea, but I was lucky enough to find someone to have enough time to work for it,” says Dr. Brosi with a laugh. “The application for tree city will open us [Frostburg] up for more grants,” she explains. As if watching her idea come to life, Dr. Brosi was an intricate part of how everything came together, helping when needed, and bringing the volunteer force need to plant all the trees.

                Not everything went as smoothly as the tree planting process seemed. “There were a lot of layers of Bureaucracy B.S,” Smith finally admitted with a laugh after being teased by Dr. Brosi. In the end, overall she seemed happy with the work accomplished, and smiled and joked with volunteers who were also classmates as the trees were placed into the ground one by one.   

Life at FSU

The Frostburg State University Men's Soccer Team practices on a cold evening.

Junior Resident Assistant Rasheed Howard prepares for a Black Poetry program in Edgewood Commons.

Trayvon Jacks and Selina Deal play a heated game of ping-pong while other students take advantage of the game room in the Lane University Center.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Students of Frostburg State University engaging in the intriguing topic of sex.

With the word sex in the title, it is no wonder that the event, Sexversations, would attract many college students on a Monday night.  On October 28, 2013, presenters, Kelly Addington and Becca Tieder, experts on sexual assault and sexual awareness, engaged the audience with knowledge, while making them get out of their comfort zones.  

Addington and Tieder’s goal was to leave the audience sexually empowered by getting people to discuss topics about sex that seemed unacceptable to talk about in public such as virginity, vaginas ,and penises. To start the talk off, students were given an option to speak up or text up.

Students could answer some of the intriguing questions anonymously by texting the number 22333 or speak up by voicing their opinions. The texting questions allowed for students to see the anonymous answers via poll on the screen. 

Tieder jokingly said “I want people to orally speak with the whole group.”  Making the audience laugh because oral is a form of sex. During the event, the questions asked made some people laugh, blush, and be shocked. The first question, “Does what you eat or drink affect the smell of your vagina or penises?”, got the crowd first laughing and blushing due to the awkwardness of the question. 

Overall, the audience agreed that eating or drinking does affect the smell. Such foods as asparagus and mangos can affect the smell, according to Addington.  “Vegans might come popular later on,” Tieder jokingly said, to make the crowd laugh about hygiene and get the crowd awake and energized.

After lots of joking and laughing the conversation went up to whole new level as the topic of sexual assault was addressed.    “Do you know someone who has been sexually assaulted, was a question that made the crowd quieter as they contemplated the thought. Over 85% said yes to knowing someone who had been sexual assaulted.

Addington and Tieder addressed to the audience that every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted and in college 1 in 5 women will be sexual assaulted. The audience agreed that everyone has the opportunity to change the statistics.

Furthermore, "how can people stop the amounts of rapes from happening “was the next question that many people really considered. A person in the background voiced silently, “Don’t rape people.” Overall, the group discussed that people need to take responsibility and not only watch out for themselves but their friends as well.

On a lighter note, the conversations took on a happier tone when students were asked questions about orgasms and sizes of penises.  Many people in the audience especially women agreed that most women don’t’ experience orgasms during sex. It was made clear by the audience that many people fake it. Addington added that “he can fake it too,” to emphasize that girls are not the only fakers when it comes to sex.

For many students talking about sexual parts was at first awkward to do in public but talking eventually allowed people to be comfortable to voice their opinions. The question, “What is the average size of a penis?” made many people laugh. Some joked around and said 12 inches, others just blushed and mumbled their response.   

Overall, the audience learned that 5 1/2 to 6. 2 inches in length was the average size. The topic intrigued the students and got them ready for another exciting question of, Does race or ethnicities have an effect on size?  A girl from the audience said to her friends jokingly, “Yes all day”, when she heard the question.

Everyone agreed that race or ethnicity does affect the size of a penis. Tieder said genetics plays apart,       “Thank your family tree”, she jokingly said while making people laugh especially the Greek organizations.

Conversations then got serious when STDs were mentioned.  People became quiet. The presenters brought up the topic of whether a not a person should tell a sexual partner if he or she has a STD. People in the audience agreed that telling a partner before he or she engages in any sexual activity is a good option and it is not right to go “cheers, oh and by the way I have an STD.”

Furthermore, the event concluded on a great note by people in the audience agreeing to talk about sex to their partner. “Addington said, “Sexual empowerment is talking about sex with your partner. As people we need to break down the stereotypes.” Tieder added by saying” it is our responsibility to take action. What you do is your legacy, what you do not do is as well.”

Overall, the event left students empowered and with lots of knowledge. Tony Williams, a junior and Information Technology major said, “The event left me wanting to speak up about sex and take action.

For more information about sexversations, text 22333, or email Kelly Addington at or Becca Tieder at Follow them on Facebook at and on twitter at sexversations.









Residence Hall Association Hosts Successful Children's Halloween Bash

It is no secret that Frostburg, Maryland is a college town. Every weekend, the streets are lined with scantily clad females in groups of 4, searching porches lined with young men with red cups in their hands for one that strikes their fancy. Halloween weekend is no exception. Actually, Halloween is an excuse to dress ever-more risqué and line even more houses with even more plastic cups. Though the night is an experience worth watching for 20-something college students, it is far from appropriate for the little ghouls, firemen, and mummies that are merely searching for a home that hands out full-sized candy bars.

The city of Frostburg has understandably decided that the night of Halloween is not safe for trick-or-treaters to roam. Though some parents may jump for joy that they have escaped from the tradition of dragging the costumed tots door-to-door, the Residence Hall Association at Frostburg State University has designed an alternative to the door-to-door excursions.

Frostburg State University's Residence Hall Association designated a time for families to bring their children to trick-or-treat in a safe and friendly environment. On Sunday October 27, 2013 from 1-3 p.m., the staff of residence life from each building on campus gathered in Cumberland and Annapolis Hall and set up an individual section of different activities for costumed children to move, including cookie decorating, coloring, art projects, and games. (All while collecting candy from each group, of course.)

The staff that man the event gain a sense of pride in helping the community. Madison Storey, Resident Peer Mentor of Sowers Hall, feels that the event should provide a sense of pride for Frostburg State University as a whole, "It's a great way to get the university involved with the community on a personal level. The kids are safe but they're not missing out on Halloween."

The event was set up initially to provide a safe environment for the children to celebrate Halloween, but the staff members are just as excited to celebrate right along with them. Head Resident of Frost Hall, Jen Cruz, says that the experience brings her joy beyond knowing that she is helping the community, "I enjoy it because I like to see the kids. I enjoy seeing the kids. I saw a dinosaur today; it was great."

The event went off without a hitch with the families leaving with thanks to the groups at the tables. Long after the last mini-pirate had left, the staff ate left-over candy and laughed about the brawl between the zombie ninja and his Scooby-Doo brother over the princess's candy.

At the end of the day, not all that different from a college party.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Harvest Holiday at Keyser High School

      On Saturday October 26th, Keyser High School brought in yet another way to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Harvest Holiday welcomed more than 90 different vendors, showcasing a wide range of products including baked goods, photographs, handmade furniture and many more. Many of the vendors donated some of there items to silent auctions hosted by ACES and HY-Y, two of the high schools organizations, who are fundraising for a major landscaping job at the school, benefiting the students and the community.

      Among the many displays at the festival was one by the name of “Aunt B's Place.” Owner and artist Brenda Caldwell displayed many of her industrial sculptures and one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. Ms Caldwell has been making artwork for several years, but this was only her third major shop event, starting with Heritage Days only a few months ago. The Victorian Era is what drew her to the unique style known as “steam-punk”. Her pieces include necklaces and earrings embellished with small gears and decorations crafted from vacuum pipes and broken watches. “I love re-purposing things. I see things most people would see as junk, but to me I view it as something entirely different,” Ms. Caldwell stated. Located in Fort Ashby, West Virginia, Ms. Caldwell sells her things from her home and website. “I didn't think he would buy anything,” Ms,. Caldwell says as she recalls a time when an older gentleman bought something for his relative. “But there's really something here for everyone.”

      Photography was also one of the many talents that was exhibited at the Harvest. Sandy Thunker, of Gainesville Virginia, has been a self taught photographer for over 30 years. She and her husband have taken pictures all over the world, including places like Europe, Russia, and many parts of Africa. “My favorite place would probably be Africa. I've traveled to Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa,” Mrs. Thunker explained. “There were so many different animals and amazing things to see.” Her 3-D photographs seemed to be the most attractive pieces to the spectators. In what appear to be shadow boxes, Mrs. Thunker takes several shots of one picture and layers them together to create even more depth than you would see in the regular photo. Sandy also creates and sells photo greeting cards along with her prints and 3D photos, all of which can be viewed on her website “Especially for You.”

      Aside from all of the vendors and their displays, the food was also what drew many people in. The aromas of pumpkin spices and apple dumplings filled the halls of the school, which made it irresistible to stay away. The festival was also attended by Keyser Rotary Club and restaurants like The Wing Shack, who offered taco salads, burritos, quesadillas, soups, pulled pork, beef brisket, and chicken on a stick. “I've probably gained like five pounds in the last four hours, but it was worth it,” laughed senior Alexis Spitzer of Keyser High School.

      As the event came to a close, the shoppers left with the crafts and treats they had purchased and with smiles on their faces. A thanks goes out to Keyser High School for hosting yet another successful Harvest Holiday.

An October Event: Leadership Studies Minor Presentation

Around the Homecoming period in the fall semester, it is also known as the premiere time of the academic year to find new students- externally, out of Frostburg State University to join the institution, but also internally, to recruit new majors and minors for various colleges within the school. This type of event was taken place on October 17, 2013 in the Atkinson Room in the Lane Center. It was the Leadership Studies Minor Presentation, hosted by Dr. Elesha Ruminski. She is the Coordinator of the Leadership Studies Minor, Chairwoman and Assistant Professor of Communication Studies. She was there to persuade to students why joining the minor is very beneficial to their academic and professional careers. She summoned that the purpose of the presentation was to recruit new members for the program and expand the experimental learning emphasis that is the foundation of the study.
Ruminski was joined by her fellow Leadership Minor colleagues: Dr. Diane C. Blankenship, who is Associate Professor of Recreation and Parks Management, but teaches the LEAD 499, the Independent Study course for the minor, as it mostly serves upperclassmen. Also there was Doug Baer, who is the Director of Leadership and Experiential Learning in the Department of Student and Community Involvement. He teaches entry-level courses of Lead 101 and 201. He is also in charge of the outdoor activities and trips, which is one of the reasons why many students are interested in the program. The last faculty member is Doug’s wife, April Baer, who is Coordinator of Wellness, as well as instructor for the entry-level LEAD courses. She also partakes in some of the experimental learning adventures.
The host, Dr. Ruminski, talked about how she became involved in Leadership Studies. She said, “I grew up in a working class home, and labor was very important in my family. I have been involved in many Labor movements, and realized I held leadership qualities that not only could be applied to this, but other causes.” She had everyone go around the room and introduce their self and tell what leadership meant to them. One student named Daniel Ramirez said “ I wanted to join the minor after I heard all the trips and activities my friends, and other students like got to embark on.” He was a freshman. People laughed at his comment. Another student named Nicolette Black told how she is not a minor but sees the program helps for many other reasons. She said, “I’ve always been the kind of person to lead by my morals, and sometimes that would set me a different path than my friends, so to me leadership is something someone can do for their self, and not always being in charge of others, but you can influence others to do the same.” Dr. Ruminski commended her on her comment.
The presentation offered food, provided by ARAMARK. The menu included cheese quesadillas, teriyaki chicken skewers, cream-spinach filled mushrooms, and a buffalo-cheesy sauce to eat with little dried baguette pieces.  The food was the talk of the town.
After the icebreaker, Dr. Ruminski told about how she was hoping the minor would become a major, and that the minor started off as a grassroots movements, so many if the same method is applied for the major, it could happen. Everyone in the room agreed a Leadership Studies major would be a good idea.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

International Students Entice Frostburg Undergrads to Travel Abroad (Photo assignment.)

Xuan "Ann" Fun shows a video about Taiwan to a group of undergrads.

Shih-Cheng "Peter" Liu lends a hand.

At another table, FSU Seniors Katie Dixon and Patrick Burke tell transfer student Christina Davis about their time in Ireland.

Northumberland Rep Jack Bousfield shares a laugh with with Angela Ramallo from Murcia.

A sign graces the entrance to the event.