Friday, February 28, 2014

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: A Performance of Grace

  Where were you the night of February 28th, 2014? If you were not at the Performing Arts Center, you were not at the right place! Frostburg students did a wonderful job in performing Mark Twain's story: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. There are too many performers/characters to name; however, the main roles were Tom Sawyer played by Austin Jacobs, Becky Thatcher played by Sara Danley, and Huckleberry Finn played by Eric Brown. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a story following the life of Tom Sawyer, a teenager who is eager about exploring his little town in Missouri. He tends to find himself in trouble and sticky situations but somehow always finds his way back out it.
  While waiting for the play to begin, as well as during intermission, the audience was welcomed with music that was being played on a fiddle. The music set the tone for the play which was very "southern-like." Before the play started it was easy to see people were excited for the performance to start and wanted to be closer to the stage. One person in the crowd repeatedly asked, "Is this row G? Is this row G? Is this row G?" After much hesitation the guy sitting next to me politely responded, "No it's row E!" It was nice to know people were anxious to see the performance.

   I found it very interesting that the audience was more so of an older crowd. The play had a lot of language that related more so to the older audience. For example the words "tan" as in the action of spanking someone. People surrounding me were commenting that they were used to hearing these words/expressions when they were growing up.
  During intermission a lady beside me was asked "are you still up?" She promptly responded, "yes I'm wide awake." Soon to follow her response was a yawn; nevertheless, she stayed up during the remainder of the performance. Beside that small inconvenience, there was a lot of laughter coming from the audience! People were truly enjoying themselves and were deeply drawn into the performance.
  At the end of the play another audience member exclaimed, "They're really good. These kids are good, really cute!" This was noteworthy because the crowd was so enthusiastic and truly commended Frostburg's amazing performers. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was a performance full of life, laughter, and sophistication. Frostburg students did a magnificent job and executed Mark Twain's vision in such a great way.
  My only criticism about the entire performance was how the stage crew handled preparing for the next scene. I understand it becomes a little difficult when rearranging furniture but I wish there was another way of doing it so that the audience would not be able to see. I felt as though it was a distraction due to the loud commotion and the fact I could actually see the crew moving things around. If there was a way to make it seem as if no one was there and the stage was already set in its proper way, I think it would make the performance run a little smoother. Other than that, I believe the performance was done very well and I would recommend anyone to attend any of Frostburg's performances. You will not regret it!

For more information on Frostburg's performance of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer click here

Bluegrass Jam

Philadelphia Pennsylvania is home to many popular tourist attractions, including the Theatre of the Living Arts or more commonly known as the TLA. The music venue is located on a street in center city known as “South Street”, a 3-mile stretch of shops, bars and places to eat.  Last Friday at 7:00 pm people poured into the TLA to see the band Greensky Bluegrass. In the world of bluegrass their music is the new best thing, as their shows are said to be “almost psychedelic”. Everyone stands as close as they can to the stage while they eagerly jump up and down in anticipation. The show began when the lights dimmed and five men carrying instruments strolled on stage. Dave Bruzza, the band’s guitar player took the mic and yelled hello to the concert, obviously the crowd went wild and everyone began to scream the titles to their favorite songs.             

      The band played straight through the whole concert, the only time there wasn’t music playing was when one of the band members was telling one of their funny stories. Everyone at the TLA enjoyed the concert; even the bouncers and stage crew joined the mosh pit of dancing music lovers. The merchandise man’s slogan was excitable,  “They’re coming to your town to help you party down” he chanted to all the passer byres.  The workers weaved through the audience taking drink orders and delivering them right to you on the dance floor for your convenience.  Towards the end of the concert you could see the bands shirts drenched in sweat but their fire was still there. They saved the best song, “Handguns” for last. Every last burst of energy was used while the band played their last song. The concert was over and everyone yelled for an encore. With smiles from ear to ear the band happily played for a little bit longer until they finally called it quits.  One woman said as she was leaving that “the band truly nailed this evening”. After the concert everyone brought the energy to all of South Street as they continued singing and dancing all the songs as they rump through Philadelphia. Greensky Bluegrass is a show worth seeing and with their popularity still rising they are only going to get better. For more information about the band or future events visit their official website

"Sigmas" Party walk all the way to FIrst Place!

On Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. fraternities and sororities apart of the Divine Nine challenged each other at the Iota Phi Theta annual Party Walk competition. Students flooded into the Armah at Lane Center fighting to sit as close to the open floor as possible. Students seats made a perfect "T" in the floor to create enough space for the stroll. On the stage, one alumni from each fraternity and sorority sat next to each other and were declared the judges for the nights competition. The competition goes two rounds allowing each fraternity and sorority a chance to show all they can. The judges choose the winner and the winner is announced later at the after party, which is also held in the Armah of Lane Center. The fraternities and sororities that participated in this years party walk competition were Omega Psi Phi (Ques), Phi Beta Sigma (Sigmas), Kappa Alpha Psi (Kappas), Iota Phi Theta (Iotas), Delta Sigma Theta (Deltas), and Alpha Phi Alpha (Alphas).

Hosted by Iota Phi Theta alumni Chris the "Alphas" opened each round of this years competition. As a surprising change of outfits from previous years the "Alphas" started in black S.W.A.T vests. The "Ques" filled the room with their bright purple shirts, gold boots, and in the second round their retro overalls. The "Sigmas" showed off their blue and white in the first round and shirts for beloved student Lateef Gazel in the second round. The "Iotas" represented their brown and gold in the first round and their "Seductive" pajamas in the second. The "Deltas" rocked their red in jean shorts, white shirts, black boots, and red lipstick or socks. The "Kappas" came in smoothly swinging their red and white canes, ties, white button downs, and black pants.

Every fraternity and sorority created their own playlist and each and every one of them the audience went crazy for. As to be expected some songs were played more than one time, but every time the crowd was more and more excited. The entire competition students were standing up, singing, and dancing with the music. The Armah was filled with constant laughs, smiles, "OOHS," and "AHHS." As I watched the show I heard multiple students yell "This my song!" A crowd favorite this year was the "Nae Nae" dance and song. Every time it was played the crowd was up dancing with the participants.

As the second round came to an end, host Chris ended by saying, "and the winner is... your gonna have to go to the after party to find out!" By the sound of the audience throughout the show it was no secret that this years winners would be Phi Beta Sigma fraternity Inc. otherwise known as the "Sigmas." The "Sigmas" strutted their blue and white stuff both rounds of the show. They dedicated their second round outfits to beloved student Lateef Gazel. Their shirts had Lateef's picture along with a quote. In the second round the "Sigmas" also showed off their some African dance moves and played a song that was also played in Lateef's memorial.

Every year the Party Walk Competition is more and more crowded. Congratulations to Phi Beta Sigma on their win and good luck to all participants next year. To view more pictures from the stroll click here.

"Dunk and Donate!" 16th Annual Deep Creek Dunk

Hundreds of freezing cold dunkers ran for heated tents after participating in this year’s 16th annual Deep Creek Dunk. On Saturday February 22, 2014 over one thousand people gathered around deep creek lake for good times, good friends, and freezing dunkers! This event started at 10:00 a.m. and lasted all day. The annual Deep Creek Dunk is held every year to sponsor the Special Olympics. This year successfully raised $141,410. The minimum pledge to dunk is $75 and includes a free sweatshirt that says, “I DUNKED” across the back.

The thousands that traveled to dunk did their best hold tradition on who could come in the craziest costumes! Present at dunk were mermaids, cows, ballerinas, penguins, superheroes, and even a surprise appearance from KISS (at least they thought they were kiss). Dunk, providing an open bar, let everyone get “loose” and laughs were heard from every direction. Aside from Frostburg, Cumberland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia natives much of Frostburg’s on and off campus Greek life attended dunk! There were multiple Greek life members that participated in dunk, me included! There were members from Kappa Gamma Delta, Zeta Phi, Omega Kappa Zeta, Omega Epsilon, Kappa Beta Sigma, Delta Delta, Kappa Chi Kappa, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Alpha Sigma Tau, Delta Zeta, Delta Phi Omega, and Sigma Tau Gamma. It is safe to say that Greek life really took over!

After hours of good food, lots of drinks, and music it was time for dunk! The area to dunk was a specific slate of ice that was cut out of the lake. Lining up to dunk, the goal was to run in all the way to flag and slap the hand of a certified emergency diver. The divers were stationed to ensure the safety of all dunkers. After all, that water was below freezing and full of mud. There were so many people dunking that not everyone could go at one time. All dunkers lined up and were counted off in heats to do their dunk. As I stood in line and patiently waited my turn I was sweating from being so nervous. Thankfully my sorority sister Marissa Moran was standing right by side the whole way. Unfortunately, standing next to me was a woman dressed as a cow. I say this unfortunately because I have a fear of cows and I could not understand why the one cow costume in the crowd had to stand next to me. As I stood in disgust of this costume my sister laughed and told the woman I was afraid of her costume. Marissa took the initiative to say “it’s okay she’s just scared of cows.” The woman kindly replied with a “MOO!” Thankfully it was our turn to dunk and I could finally get away from the cow woman. Marissa and I lined up at the starting line and before I knew it all 50 dunkers including myself were half way to the divers. The water was cold and quickly rising up my torso. I made it to the diver as fast as possible while still holding Marissa’s hand! We began to turn around head back to the starting point when my feet felt stuck to the ground! It was mud, so much mud. Marissa used all her strength to pull me with her and we finally made it to the finish line! Freezing cold and soaking wet we made a dash for the heated tents! We had to undress and get warm as fast as possible. Marissa kept shouting, “I CAN’T FEEL MY FEET!” I could not feel mine either, but we had to stick it out and get as warm as we could as fast as we could! As I was dressing I heard so many random people yelling, “My butt is out," “I’m naked help me," and even “Where are my clothes?” We dressed in an open tent full of other woman so these comments were of course normal. The tent was the funniest part of the day.

Dunking lasted about an hour and afterwards most people dashed for food and warmth. After dunking there was more matching “I DUNKED” sweatshirts than crazy costumes. All day long I heard numerous shouts of “I love dunk” and that was a beautiful thing. Dunk is a fun activity for a good cause. I am glad to see that our surrounding areas and our campus is active in the community. 

Deep Creek Dunk is held every February and encourages people of all ages to participate. In order to find contact information, make a donation, support a dunker, sign up for next years dunk, and just for a general knowledge of the event click here.

If You Attended Party Walk, That May Be The Last Party You'll Walk To

It was February 22, 2014 and 5 p.m. The sections in the ARMAH in Lane University Center were split into sets of four, two long sections on each side of the aisle, and two square sections in the back. Each frat was hyping up the audience, shouting out their own personal slogans particular to them. The red chairs were filled with people already, bumbling with excitement for the show to start.

The event was called "Party Walk". Party Walk is an event hosted by the fraternity Iota Phi Theta, Incorporated and deals with all of the fraternities battling against one another in their frat-specific "strolls" to win the title of Party Walk Winner 2014.

The Phi Beta Sigmas, better known as the Sigmas, decked in blue and white, stood in one corner. The Kappa Alpha Psis, better known as the Kappas, smoothly adorned in all black suits with red ties and red and white canes to match, stood in the back left. The Alpha Phi Alphas, better known as the Alphas, wearing SWAT gear and camouflage print pants, were also standing in the back with the Kappas, but on the right. The Omegs Psi Phis, better known as the Ques, dressed in their flashy purple and gold, were standing on the right side of the ARMAH. And of course, the Iotas, the hosts of the event were all assembled in the front of the ARMAH, with one IOTA named Chris Inskeep being the M.C. of the show.

The judges' tables were horizontally lined up on the stage, having a person from each frat as well as one woman from the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, one woman from Delta Sigma Theta sorority, and an Iota Sweetheart. Chris introduced the judges and the Party Walk began.

There were two rounds of the Party Walk, in which the Alphas led both. Everyone screamed when an Alpha named Lord was thrown onto the shoulders of another Alpha named Kenny in an almost effortless swing. The Kappas were next, and although their size was small with three people, they brought enough energy to hold their own. They solidified the completion by sensually shimmy-ing and stepping in sync. The Party Walk champions of 2013, the Ques, or the Dawgs, were next, and performed as well as they could to secure their position. There were a few slip ups, but they performed in a high level of energy to keep the crowd's attention. But, the Sigmas rocked out both of their performances for both rounds, integrating different kinds of music and dancing into their strolls and making the audience scream and cry with excitement. The Sigmas were crowned the winners at the Iota Phi Theta after party.

If you attended the after party, though, then that may be the last dance party that you attend at Frostburg for a while, sources say. Because of recurrent fights at dance parties here, the University Programming Council is thinking of cancelling all dance parties for the next two semesters if students don't stop fighting.

There is another dance party this Saturday, March 1st, 2014. If students are not able to cooperate at this dance party, Party Walk may be the last party we will walk into for a while.

If you would like to watch videos from Party Walk, here is a link to one of the performances: Party Walk 2014 or search "Party Walk 2014 Frostburg State" in the search bar or your preferred search engine.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Making a Difference with Blake Mycoskie By: Katie Scott ENGL 336

On February 25th of 2014, Frostburg State University held a program in Compton, room 226, commending the founder of TOMS shoes. The program was held by the National Society of Leadership and Success at Frostburg.  The Society often brings in speakers, who are inspirational leaders, to speak to college students.  The founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie, shared his life experiences with the adherent audience.  Blake went on to share his successes as the founder of TOMS and the struggles he faced when starting his own company.      
Mycoskie founded TOMS in 2006 and has been helping children in need of shoes ever since.  TOMS is a philanthropic company that sells shoes, giving a pair away free to impoverished children with every purchase.   Mycoskie said “TOMS is called TOMS because I could not fit tomorrow on the little label of the shoe.”  TOMS is short for tomorrow’s shoes because the message is that impoverished children will get shoes tomorrow for shoes purchased today.  Mycoskie was on a trip in Argentina when he was inspired to create TOMS, he saw children in Argentina battling foot diseases because they had no shoes and had to walk miles to school.  TOMS started in Mycoskie’s small Los Angeles apartment; Mycoskie said “I didn’t know anything about shoes or business since I worked for a software development company as my day job.”   Mycoskie said “I hired 3 college interns off Craig’s List to help me with TOMS.”  Mycoskie’s office was his apartment, and his office phone was his home phone.  Once the public started becoming aware of his “One for One” program, tons of orders were called in.  So many, in fact, that he couldn’t fill all the 2,000 orders with the 200 shoes in his duffle bag.  Mycoskie had to board a flight to Argentina the next day, where the shoes were being made. The people he had met in Argentina were willing to come together and start producing more shoes. Once the money was collected, the shoes meant for the Argentinian children were made and distributed. He started appearing in magazines, such as Vogue, all claiming him to be a suave businessman—Mycoskie said “he was nothing like that.”  Nordstrom contacted Mycoskie for a large shipment of shoes to be delivered the next day. When the order couldn’t be filled, the Nordstrom representative became angry and asked to speak to the TOMS sales representative. Mycoskie tossed the phone to a random intern, who pretended to be the sales representative, calmed the Nordstorm caller and compromised—after six weeks, Nordstrom would be distributing TOMS. To this day, Nordstrom is the biggest provider for TOMS shoes.
After Nordstrom became TOMS largest distributor, Mycoskie realized that TOMS needed more employees and people who knew what they were doing. He worked with public relations and business people, as well as individuals who knew all about shoes—how to make them, and how to sell them. They branched out their types of shoes from the traditional slip-on to athletic wear, wedges, and boots.  They also began to give shoes to impoverished kids in other South American countries as well as Africa. The countries with the highest rates of foot disease and poverty are TOMS focus. They still give away their standard slip-on to children who need to walk to school and athletic shoes for those who have more active lifestyles. Mycoskie continues to be successful with his company and encourages others to make a positive difference in the world.
For more information go here

Getting Back to Nature with Mariah "Skyler" O'Marrah

Hailing from Parkton Maryland, Mariah “Skyler” O’Marrah  is a 20 year old Sophomore at Frostburg State University. The Hartford High School graduate, known as Skyler has traveled to several different countries in her brief life time, even going to China for an exchange program at the tender age of 16. Living in the Baltimore County, she is missed by her parents, a sister, several dogs, and even a gecko, although she, her parents, and her sister plan to go to Europe this summer on a cruise. However, despite the upcoming summer’s excitements, Skyler is even more excited about her education. Originally planning to major in journalism, Skyler soon found that her interests lie in nature or more specifically Ethnobotany more than journalism ever would.

Laid back comfortably in her chair, fitted in a simple black tee, blue jeans, black buckled knee high boots, and a calm air about her, Skyler is seemingly one with nature. That is until she is actually invited to talk about nature. Then her eyes light up and she sits up straighter than any would have expected for the average height and “severely chilled” young woman.  “Asking what my favorite part of Ethnobotany is a difficult question,” O’Marrah sighs as she goes to explain her previous job at a nursery where she was able to propagate plants such as hydrangeas and magnolias.   The Vegan, belly dancing, dark chocolate loving “I love dark chocolate. I have so much in my room right now,” woman shares that “ I really love learning about how different plants are used: as dyes, for basket-weaving, for medicinalpurposes, etc. But I am also really looking forward to being able to identify plants better and more consistently,” although she admits that she must wait to take “Dendro and Plant Tax” in order to learn more about the process.

To O’Marrah, knowing the benefits of plants and the relationship humans have with them is knowledge she can’t get enough of and she wants everyone else to feel the same way too. Vehemently O’Marrah shares “I think maybe it is most important for people to be aware of how much we as humans actually depend on plants. They help to regulate the whole water cycle, they produce oxygen!” And when asked what the second most important thing about plants, she does not neglect to mention that “Plants are necessary for food, whether directly or indirectly, and plants are used frequently for furniture and clothing as well. So yeah, they are vital to our survival.”

Clearly passionate about Ethnobotany, the next obvious question was what she planned to do after graduating from FSU, to which she confidently stated “after college, I plan to go to graduate school... And then I hope to maybe work at a botanical gardens or a state park or maybe for the USDA.” Satisfied with her answer, Skyler finally returned to her slouched position, restated she’s always been into nature, and went back to being “severely chill.”

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Frostburg Women’s Lacrosse Struggles in Loss Against Catholic

Senior, Megan White

The Frostburg State women’s lacrosse team suffered their second consecutive home loss to Catholic University this Tuesday. Catholic’s potent offense and stingy defense proved too much for the young Frostburg team as they lost 21-8. Despite the frigid cold and the falling snow, five players from Catholic scored hat tricks, and two players from Frostburg had hat tricks as well. Although the lady bobcats are off to a bit of a rough start, there is reason to think optimistically going forward into the season.

Megan White and Jessica Jones both scored three goals each with their superb drives to the goal, and excellent finishes in front of the cage. Megan White, a senior captain for the bobcats, is one of the team’s best scorers and is the returning leading scorer from last season with 32 goals. Megan is very confident of her ability to put the ball in the back of the net saying, “I expect to score a lot of goals, that’s my job”. Her confidence is well placed as she showcases time after time her amazing dexterity with the ball.

This season the Bobcats are also fortunate to have another senior captain, Malory Brunett, returning to the field after a devastating ACL injury that she suffered in a double overtime loss to Allegany last season. Malory is one of, if not the most versatile athlete on the roster. She possesses blazing speed, agility, and the leadership needed to excel at a high level. As a midfielder she must play offense and defense, and does so very well. In the first two games her unselfish play has resulted in 2 assists, and a goal. One of her assists came after she ran the length of the field, leaving defenders in her dust, and threw a bullet of a pass to a cutting teammate. Along with Malory’s physical talents comes her natural leadership as a second year captain. Malory says, “My biggest thing is doing things when coach isn’t looking. As a captain I try to always be positive, always uplifting, never negative.” She also feels very strongly about the freshmen class that has helped fill the void left by graduated seniors. In reference to the new freshmen Malory believes, “The freshmen class is definitely very talented, without them we would be hurting. Their play has inspired the upper classmen.”

Another positive derived from the two tough losses comes in the form of Junior, Ellie Garner. Ellie was originally a defender last season, but after schematic changes made by Coach Megan Foy, Ellie has been converted to play attack. In the season opener against Allegany, Ellie displayed her offensive capabilities as she scored 3 goals on just 4 shots. Ellie likes to play physical as she drives hard to gain topside from her defender to get her shots off. While she might play attack now, she still hustles back to cause turnovers on skillful back checks which she perfected as her time as a defender. When asked about her success on the offensive end of the field, Ellie credits her defensive knowledge in helping her understand how to beat the other team’s defense. Ellie says, “I used to play defense, so I know how to beat it. I can anticipate how they are going to react.”

The girls still have 13 games left in their regular season and there is reason to believe that the first two games will not have any lingering effects on the players. Malory says that, “We’ve put the games behind us, they’re over with. We need to focus on getting better for the next game.” With incredible athletes like White, Brunett, and Garner, the lady Bobcats are capable of competing against the best teams, and winning.




"Faculty Artist Series" Performance Wows Attendees

"Faculty Artist Series" Performance Wows Attendees
By Mariah "Skyler" O'Marrah

It started out with Per questa bello mano by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a famous concert aria.Professor Soebbing and Dr. Jay DeWire then proceeded with a series of songs written around the time that World War II was going on, borrowing themes from different times and intermixing them. "Just wanted to let you know a little Shakespeare is going to be coming your way tonight," Professor Soebbing said. Then they proceeded with selections from "Let Us Garlands Bring", which is a series of Shakespeare songs. There was quite a contrast between the peppier "Who is Silvia?" and the slow and sad "Come away, come away, death". There was use of the foot pedal at the end of the song, making for a long and shimmery note.

After the Intermission, Professor Soebbing and Mr. DeWire proceeded with a series of songs written by French composer and pianist Poulenc, "when he was nineteen, actually," said Professor Soebbing. This included one particularly fast-paced song and a transition to a rather slow one. Afterwards, introducing "When my cue comes, call me" from "A Midsummer's Night's Dream" (a play by William Shakespeare), Professor Soebbing tells the story of Nick Bottom and how the king of the fairies thinks Nick Bottom is a "pompous ass", and thus turns him into one. "This is Nick Bottom waking up," Professor Soebbing says.

The song included some particularly expressive facial expressions and a donkey noise. "I told you that one was going to be a little bit out there," Professor Soebbing said, before going on to talk about studying for his doctorate in Austria, and how men singing women's songs and women singing men's songs was once thought of as not at all peculiar. He talks about how he met the composer of the next song, and how this composer once wrote a song for Professor Soebbing meant just for his voice. "My song shall be of mercy" from "O Pioneers!", a play about a loveless marriage in Nebraska, had a dark and angry tone, with lyrics such as "sin and death for the young ones", and "she has walked among us like a dead woman".

Professor Soebbing afterwards talked about studying abroad in Spain and how, while he was there, he got a CD at a gas station/"tabacaria" and listened to it in the rain. He continued to say that he continues to search for some of the sheet music for songs from this musical compilation he once purchased. He talked about how he thinks "Princesita" is a "fun song", and how the song "Amapola" has an English version. And in reference to the lively "La Manola de Madrid", Professor Soebbing said "I think you'll agree it's a little over the top."

Frostburg student Ayauna Andrews called the first half of the performance "nice". She attends these kinds of events regularly. Music Performance major Sean Scriber described the performance as "wonderful" and said "but I'm a little biased" because it is his professor featured. He goes on to say, "he's drawing from different eras... he puts them together so that they complement each other, even when they're sometimes centuries apart." Troy Bennett, also a Music major, described the performance by saying "I think its phenomenal," and "I'm enjoying myself and the songs." He says he goes to these types of performances very often and that he is "very familiar with the PAC (Performing Arts Center) Center".

Note: All those questioned about their satisfaction with the performance were questioned during the Intermission time. The recital took place on Friday, February 21st, 2014 at the Pealer Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center. Professor Steven Soebbing is a bass-baritone and Dr. Jay DeWire played the piano throughout the performance.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Communities Outreach to Solve Issues with Off-Campus Housing

The Communities Outreach to Solve Issues with Off-Campus Housing
By: Jordan Smith
February 24th 2014, Frostburg, MD-It was windy and bone chilling evening, but that did not stop members of the Frostburg community from gathering on Monday night to discuss off-campus housing issues and solutions. The dialogue series titled, “Living With Each Other: A Discussion of Off-Campus Housing Solutions,” was led by Dr. Ruminski at the Lyrics Theater on Main street. This workshop touched on many topics that have not only become a concern for students, but for the community as well. The audience and speakers of the event included students, facility, alumni, landlords, law enforcement, and even the mayor. It was a time for the community to come together discuss how we can improve off-campus living.

With the recent tragic loss of student, in an off-campus house fire, the community is raising the red flag on the safety of these rental properties. With some of the houses being close to almost 100 years old, the safety of the renter could be put at risk at any unexpected time.  This workshop was a great way for people of the community to raise their concerns, thoughts, and ideas, to the people that are affected by these issues. The four main topics of the work shop included, “What do we know? What do we need to know? What can we do?” and, “How can we support each other to get through this?”

The first speaker of the night was Frostburg’s Dean of Students, Jesse Ketterman. He started off by giving a very touching speech about the life of Lateef, the student lost in the recent house fire. Ketterman included many interesting facts that the community had been unaware of, and afterward the room shared a moment of silence in memory of Lateef. The workshop proceeded into a question and answer segment, and there were many concerned individuals that addressed very important issues. Some of these issues included, “Who is responsible for the up keep and safety of these homes? How can we educate the students?” and,  “How can the community can come together to solve these issues?”

Next up to speak was the city’s Code Inspector and Enforcer, Mark Monnett. He answered questions for almost an hour, informing the audience of the many ideas that the city has for off-campus housing in the future. One idea that he addressed, was installing new smoke detectors that are virtually tamper proof to students. Unfortunately, this product is not only hard to purchase, but to have them installed in all 700+ off-campus houses would be extremely expensive. However, even with the downsides of the product, the audience agreed that it would stop students from removing the smoke detectors and potentially putting their lives in danger. “It will be a collective effort to insure that these events will not happen, but it is also important that students also be aware of their property, and be able to keep themselves safe.”

Finally, to get a student’s perspective, Zach Nalepa discussed his own experiences with off-campus housing. “I think the biggest problem with housing, is with the students not knowing what’s okay and what’s not okay when renting properties. If you have a good landlord, it makes the process a lot easier,” stated Nalepa. He discussed many possible ideas, such as a course for students about rental maintenance and safety. If a student was to complete the course, they could receive a discount on their rental costs. This is something that would get more students involved in maintenance and up keep of their property. This would not only benefit students, but it would help landlords get more involved with their renters as well.

Over the span of this three-hour workshop, many questions and concerns were addressed by the community of Frostburg. Most of them were successfully answered, but there will always be more concerns that will need to be addressed at a later date. All in all, the audience agreed that it was a successful community dialogue. Even if these issues could take time to fix, it will have to be a community effort to ensure that no individual’s life is in danger due to poor housing conditions.

Community Dialogue Series: Frostburg Comes Together to Strengthen Ties Between Students and the Surrounding Community

Gina Angiola, addressing green renovations in off-campus dwellings
On a cold, windy evening in our beloved Frostburg, guests began signing in and getting seated for Monday night’s discussion at the Lyric Theatre at 20 E. Main Street. Everyone is in attendance to discuss the topic, “Living With Each Other: A Discussion of Off-Campus Housing Solutions,” in hopes of educating and building better housing solutions for Frostburg State University students, as well as ways to encourage graduates to take up permanent residence in the city. This is one of several in a series intended to strengthen community relations, and better Frostburg as a whole by grouping diverse personalities from in and around Frostburg in an open forum. 
Despite the weather, there were multiple prominent speakers, from students to alumni, school staff to city leaders, landlords to tenants. At just past 5:30 all the guests were seated, and Dr. Elesha L. Ruminski, chair of FSU’s Department of Communication Studies began with opening remarks, and encouraged the members of each table to get acquainted with each other. Dr. Jesse Ketterman, Frostburg’s own Dean of Students followed up with a solemn moment of silence for Lateef Gazal, the unfortunate casualty of the recent house fire tragedy haunting Frostburg. With the jury still out on what exactly caused the fire, and many Bobcats looking to move off-campus, readily available information on the subject is needed, and several speakers stepped up to provide it.
Speaking first, Mark Monnett, the city Code Enforcement Officer discussed at length Frostburg’s municipal codes and the enforcement of them. Questions ranged from new state housing codes, to landlord tenant relationship abuses. Specifically, the new state mandated smoke detectors were a hot topic. “How many of your smoke detectors beep,” he asked before continuing, “How many of you take them down? How many of you know that’s a fine,” he finished. A $250 fine, and a rather large problem with many students living off-campus. Mark went on to stress the importance of students being well informed on everything about their apartments and lease agreement before they enter into them blindly. “Look for smoke detectors, and secondary egresses” he remarked. Finally, he announced that a checklist of things to be aware of before moving in was recently placed on the city’s website for all to see, a valuable resource for any aspiring for independence.
Jeff Graham, explaining the importance of proactive learning

Next up was Zach Nalepa, an engineering student and off-campus resident of Frostburg. Zach began by discussing the dynamic between landlords and their tenants, a relationship that some landlords take advantage of. While speaking, he addressed the student’s lack of knowledge to deal with a binding legal agreement, while members of the audience brainstormed ideas to reach students. Thoughts ranged from using Twitter and Youtube, to creating a housing handbook, and a course that would act as orientation. Zach’s focus stems from his own experiences living off campus. “My landlord took advantage,” he said when asked about his first year off-campus. “My new landlord and I have a much better relationship” explaining his current housing, “it’s all about respect.” Zach is a great example of how many sophomores and juniors aspire to live: independent with not a parent in site. “It’s a good experience,” he says leaving the podium for the night. 
One of the final speakers for the night, Gina Angiola, a local property owner of a green renovation on Maple Street, took the stage to address greener housing solutions. Her goal for Frostburg is to offer reliable, environmentally conscious housing for students, and she wants them to get involved. Gina, a victim of the 2009 economic crisis, became a successful realtor in response and has since taken time to help develop her own properties for student use. Inspired by lifestyle innovations in Ithaca, New York, Gina stated "green villages facillitate healthy communities. Why not get students involved?" Her avant garde approach is one that many in the audience very clearly supported. Gina wants to start a pilot project where students would "grow their own food," providing income, perhaps even jobs right here in Frostburg. Her cause is genuine, and will most likely be a huge influence in student's choosing Frostburg in the future.
Several others spoke, including landlords, and the mayor himself, all coming together to focus on making Frostburg better for students and citizens alike. The session concluded with words from many in the audience expressing further ideas to better Frostburg for all. One thing’s for sure, students need to be more involved in the procedures that go into moving off campus, and there’s an abundance of help and information in this town. The next dialogue in the series is set for March 27th, and the topic will be "Building the 'Burg: Inviting FSU Students to join and Grow the Local Community." All students are encouraged to attend. For more information on the Dialogue Series and all Frostburg news go to, or contact Elesha Ruminski, at

Taylor Williams: Big Family Person

Since her childhood days, when her grandmother would throw parties and special events on Holidays such as Easter, Taylor loved event planning. Williams, standing at about 5'2, possesses a smile so big, it is only right to assume she was a cheerleader. "I cheered from 6th grade until my sophomore year in college." Williams is now in her junior year of college and works for Late @ Lane. She likes to hang with her friends for fun on the weekends claiming "I don't go out too much, i'm broke."

Williams is elder to one sister who will be graduating High School this year. They are from Frederick County where they reside with their mother and father. Williams father has been working at a car shop since he was 16 years old and is now the service manager. Her mom has 2 jobs one of which is at the Hallmark card shop and the other in Hospital which Williams describes her job title as "the fun one" who takes the patients insurance info when they first walk in.

It is easy to see that Williams loves to talk when asked about her family. She claims she is very family-oriented and the scariest moment in her life was when her mother was hospitalized after she fainted at her job. She was diagnosed with high blood pressure but is now doing better and has lost over 50 pounds in 3 months due to some shakes that she has been drinking.

Williams thinks of herself as the comedian in her group of friends saying she can get really weird when she is comfortable. She hopes to one day work at a PR firm, hoping that her event planning major and her marketing minor will take her far. She is a sagittarius and her birthday just passed in D

Latrice Artis... Speaker of the Stars

Latrice Artis... Speaker of the Stars

"I want to write about what I like to write about," senior Latrice Artis intensively stated. She hopes to work for a magazine someday and write columns about relationship advice. Latrice wants to use her astrology knowledge as an advantage for the advice she gives. "I am really into astrology," she said. "People don't believe me, but normally I am right about figuring out someone's sign just by talking to them." Latrice talked about her aunt getting her started into her love for astrology today. Her aunt gave her t-shirts, bracelets and other trinkets that had her sign on them; Latrice guessed because it was the trend at the time. She also mentioned her own sign was Pieces, which meant her birthday would be coming up soon, next Friday to be exact. "Since I will be stuck here, I will just be hanging with my friends."
                Latrice also talked about her future plans after college. She not only enjoys writing, but helping her friends make videos.  Being a Mass Communications major with a minor in Video Production, she hopes to make all types of videos: music, movies and even TV shows. After college, Latrice wants to move away. She mentioned traveling to LA to start, and continue her work as becoming a director. "I love being behind the camera," Latrice said smiling. One of her favorite directors is Collin Tilley, who works a lot with star Chris Brown and other hip/hop, R&B artists; Latrice loves the Chris Brown music videos. Fingers are crossed for Latrice as her hope to become a director will become a reality!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Black History Month: A Time to Remember, A Time to Enjoy

Black History Month: A Time to Remember, A Time to Enjoy
By Sharron Duncan

“It’s too early for people to be this live,” were the words of a Frostburg student as he watched members of his organization energetically board a bus to Washington D.C. at 7:15 a.m. Feb. 22, 2014 marked the date of the annual black history month trip for members of Frostburg State University’s Black Student Alliance (BSA). Last year, the organization traveled to Baltimore’s National Blacks in Wax Museum. But this year, they traveled to D.C. to visit the MLK memorial and Madame Tussaud’s wax museum.

The trip included 17 student members, including the BSA executive board, as well as their faculty advisor Mrs. Robin Wynder. The energy on the bus was fairly high for such an early morning trip. “I hope we make it back for the stroll competition,” one student exclaimed aloud. A couple of female students, who happen to be best friends, playfully fought over where to sit, while another group debated over which movie to watch for the 2 ½ hour ride. After finally settling on the film “Prisoners,” the energy died down for a while but then picked up again when students began to yell at the TV, trying desperately to solve the mystery unfolding on screen.  

After arriving in D.C., the students finally fell quiet as they reflected upon the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the MLK memorial. Many students paced themselves, walking slowly to read and absorb the famous quotes of Dr. King that were engraved into the memorial walls.  This was a special moment for the organization as a whole being as though they had recently conducted a forum on the legendary activist only days prior. “I never even heard that quote before,” a student admitted as she admired the wall. The students gathered around Dr. King’s statue for photos full of smiles and laughter.

After filling their brains with knowledge, the students fed their bellies. More laughter and bonding were shared over lunch, and then the students headed to Madame Tussaud’s around noon. Everyone split off into small groups and toured the museum. The late Madame Tussaud, a French entrepreneur and wax sculptor, has many wax museums across the world including the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. The Washington, D.C. wax figures are categorized into Presidents, Behind the Scenes, Civil Rights, Sports, Glamour and Media.

What distinguishes this museum from many others is the fact that there are no barriers between the public and the models. People are allowed to touch the models, excluding hair, face and hands, and walk right up to the figures and take photos with them. Also, the museum is full of interactive exhibits, making it fun for people of all ages. The BSA students were seen exploring the exhibits making wax hands, taking pictures behind the desk of the oval office, making speeches behind the presidential podium, and sitting in Rosa Parks’ bus seat.

The trip appeared to be a success, despite the small amount of students that attended. “It was great! I just wish a more diverse group would have attended” commented president of BSA, Kira Al-Mateen. More importantly, the bus made it back to Frostburg just in time for the Iota Phi Theta stroll competition.

BSA members at Madame Tussaud's wax museum 

Frostburg Mens Lacrosse takes the wind out of DeSales

            On a bright, sunny, Saturday afternoon in Frostburg, MD, the Frostburg state Bobcats lacrosse team defeated DeSales 12-3. Frostburg State came into this season with more firepower than ever due to some new additions to the team and some key experience. Statistically, the game was not close at all as Frostburg had a 49-22 advantage in shots. They also had a slight 49-41 advantage in ground balls which was a huge key of possession. The other statistical factor that was a keystone of their success was the 11-7 advantage in face-offs, which was led by Senior, Billy Lark, who managed to win 66% of his duels.
                The Bobcats got the first goal of the game from sophomore, Carroll County native, Spenser Love. Frostburg then piled on four more goals from Chris Rios and and Ryan Serio until DeSales could get on the board. The crisp air breezed through bobcat stadium where a crowd of 284 fans screamed and cheered throughout the entire game. The Bobcats went into halftime with a 5-1 advantage over the visiting team.  Spenser Love started off the second half with a goal from the help of Senior Ryan Serio.  Freshman, Frederick County native, Tate Rolland would be the next player to score on an assist from Senior, Lucas Flaig. The home squad received 3 goals both from Love and junior, midfielder, Chris Rios.
       I got a chance to catch up with sophomore, attackman, Nick Stailey who said, “The game wasn’t ever really close, lacrosse is a momentum game and once we started, we couldn’t stop scoring”. He then went on to talk about how grueling preseason was because it was mostly inside due to inclement weather. He then stated, “The experience from the upperclassmen propelled us in today’s win…our leadership will play a huge roll in this season’s success”. I also spoke to Freshman, Brendan Krivak about how it felt to suit up in the Bobcats uniform for the first time and he said, “It’s a proud feeling when you work for something all preseason and when game day comes, all that hard work is worth it, I love being a bobcat”. This afternoon’s contest was all smiles and sunshine as the bobcats won their first game and plan to continue their form as they take on Shenandoah in Virginia on Wednesday, the 26th at 4pm.
Above, Senior Tyler Haines prepares to save a shot.