Parking hike aims to fill cheaper lots

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Keeping a car on Ohio Wesleyan’s campus is now almost twice as expensive.

Students who want a B-level permit, which provides access to most residential lots, will have to pay $175 for the upcoming academic year, according to a Public Safety statement released last Wednesday. The B permit cost $100 last year.

The price of a C-level permit also increased from $10 to $15 for parking in lots further removed from residential buildings, such as those near the Jay Martin Soccer Complex, Beeghly Library and Selby Stadium.

The penalties for breaking OWU’s parking rules will also be steeper this year. Parking ticket fines are increasing from $20 to $30 for cars with permits and to $50 for cars without permits. Public Safety will put boots on the fifth violation for permitted cars and on the third violation for those without permits. Those drivers will have to pay $75 to get the boot removed, which cost $50 last year.

The hikes is an effort to reduce crowding both in OWU’s lots and on Delaware streets, according to Public Safety director Bob Wood. With last year’s influx of cars on campus, many students who needed B spaces often couldn’t get them. He said he hopes the cheaper C permit will divert drivers away from the crowded residential lots.

Also part of the effort is the Enterprise CarShare Program, now in its second year. Wood noted that the Delaware Area Transit Authority’s main bus hub is on Park Avenue in the center of OWU’s campus.

“We’ve got a lot of good transportation options, so we’re trying to encourage people — if you don’t need a car, why don’t you look at another way to do this?” he said.

The greater sanctions for drivers without permits is an effort to reduce crowding on Delaware streets, which has prevented residents from parking near their houses, Wood said. Public Safety will be stepping up enforcement of its requirement of all OWU students with cars to buy a permit.

Many students reacted negatively to the increase. Sophomore Nicole Barhorst said the higher parking cost makes it more burdensome for her to travel home each month to visit her sick grandparents and the girl she mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters.

I absolutely need my car to spend time with these very important people, yet every year it gets much less affordable to bring one to campus,” she said on Facebook.

Wood said he and other administrators compared the university’s parking prices to those at similar schools and found OWU’s were cheaper. But even with the additional $75 per permit, he said, there’s still a gap in maintenance costs, which are between $800 and $1,500 per space.

Sophomore Brian Burnett suggested Public Safety prohibit freshmen from having cars on campus or keep them to the C lots, which OWU used to do. The policy changed last year, when B and C lots both opened to all students.

Facebook fast may satisfy different kind of personal hunger

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If someone asked you to give up a habit or start a new one for 40 days, what would it be?

This question came to me in the context of Lent, a period in the Christian calendar during which practitioners of the faith do just that. Giving up delicious but unhealthy beverages like soda or coffee is common, as is committing to a daily ritual of prayer, or some sort of fasting.

This year, I decided to give up Facebook.

On its face, the task is either straightforward and easy or immensely difficult, depending on one’s relationship with technology. For me, the difficulties were largely logistical. I have a job that requires me to use social media, and my duties for The Transcript mandate interaction with Facebook.

To resolve this I created a friendless alter ego on the site, one with administrative access to The Transcript’s page and other events I needed to advertise. In this way I gave up the “real” experience of Facebook — the endless notifications, the plethora of events, the links to trend pieces and BuzzFeed quizzes — without having to compromise my various obligations.

There are a few different reflections I’ve had since logging back on this past (Easter) Sunday — for instance, the relative ease with which any person can create a second self online, and the scary potential for deception that creates. Or what the fact that people get paid to use social media says about our culture.

But the main thing that’s been on my mind is the fact that I didn’t really miss Facebook one bit.

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Smoking committee shouldn’t light up new policy too hastily

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A debate that got rather heated and resulted in little meaningful compromise three years ago was resurrected this week.

Yesterday was the first meeting of a new Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs committee of students administrators and service providers (including Chartwells and Aramark) set to the task of fulfilling the 2011 resolution to make Ohio Wesleyan’s campus smoke-free.

The reasons behind the resolution are certainly sound. WCSA is rightly concerned about the negative health effects of tobacco and second-hand smoke, and the members’ interest in the campus’s health is commendable.

But I am very hesitant to align myself with any sort of claim that a smoke-free initiative is the correct way to do this.

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'Butterfly Confessions' vitally grows our heads, hearts

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On Tuesday night I was privileged to attend and photograph the dress rehearsal for this weekend’s performances of “Butterfly Confessions” and “The Vagina Monologues.”

I know the latter fairly well — I first read it for the introductory women’s and gender studies course and saw the Ohio Wesleyan production last year. Its power and beauty show through strongly this year, and it is just as important as ever that we as a campus community see it and hear what it has to say.

But “Butterfly Confessions” was entirely new to me, in more ways than one.

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In defiance of ‘the opposite of ordinary’

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A few weeks ago I attended every involved Ohio Wesleyan student’s favorite spring-semester reason to complain – OWU Summit.

The three-and-a-half-hour conference is, in theory, a good idea. It seeks to unite all campus leaders (a fairly dubious term) to create greater synergy and collaboration within and between organizations. It’s an admirable goal, but a difficult one to achieve. Because all the people who attend, either by choice or by supreme edict of OrgSync, could be doing something else that afternoon in pursuit of fulfilling our many obligations, we inevitably complain about how it’s a waste of our time.

I kept an open mind. I thought a session about “well-being at OWU” could be particularly fruitful.

I, along with so many of my friends, are involved so heavily in so many things that we often have trouble taking care of ourselves. I thought this session might perhaps address the culture of overinvolvement among the students of this university, how it can be detrimental to us, and offer some advice for mitigating it.

I sure was wrong.

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St. Vincent defines self

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The self-titled album is a curious beast.

Most often it seems a cop-out when no other title fits a record because it lacks unification. But then there are self-titled works like St. Vincent’s.

This is a record where the artist goes on a journey of self-definition and shares what she finds. Titling it after the artist herself, then, unifies it in a way no other title could. This is what makes “St. Vincent” so compelling.

Annie Clark, the woman behind the pseudonym, opens the record with a story of being confronted by a rattlesnake naked in the desert. It alerts her that she isn’t “the only one in the only world” — but she might desperately want to be.

With this comes two of the most eloquent, coherent indictments of America’s dangerously obsessive relationship with technology, the Internet and social media. “Huey Newton” and “Digital Witness” expose how these provide space for us to say and do anything we want without consequence, where we can hide behind anonymity or identities not our own, how we have a compulsion to share everything — and how truly grotesque it all is.

The songs are juxtaposed with “Prince Johnny,” a song about how people often need each other’s help in the real world free of judgment.

Clark’s whole self, both the parts that desire isolation and those that recognize the importance of relationships, is present here. She fully embraces the power of self-identity inherent in self-titled albums. The question remains whether this is Clark’s identity or that of a persona — St. Vincent’s. But that mystery makes her the enigma she is.

Real-life violence affects value of Allen films

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I’ve never seen a Woody Allen film.

“Annie Hall,” “Manhattan,” “Midnight in Paris,” “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” — all impeccable films, I’m sure, but none of them have come into my consciousness as a consumer of art.

Perhaps that’s why it’s so easy for me to write this. Perhaps Allen’s work is so compelling that if I had seen it, I wouldn’t be so upset that he, a man who sexually assaulted his adopted daughter when she was seven years old, has been nominated for an Academy Award.

But I doubt it.

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Student charged with second-degree felony

By Noah Manskar
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A former Ohio Wesleyan student is out of jail awaiting indictment after being arrested and charged with inducing panic, a second-degree felony.

Delaware Police Department (DPD) arrested junior Brian Bowers on Dec. 3, the same day a report was filed that he threatened to kill people at the university, according to Sgt. John Radabaugh.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Rohrer said Bowers threatened use of a firearm against specific people and the university at large. A statement from University President Rock Jones said he was never known to have had a weapon on campus.

Cole Hatcher, director of Media and Community Relations, said Bowers made the threats via text messages and non-public Twitter exchanges.

Radabaugh said DPD made the arrest so quickly because of the gravity of the situation.

“I think, certainly, if you look at probably the past decade of American history, if there are threats of violence against the school, they have to be taken very seriously,” he said.

Director of Public Safety (PS) Robert Wood said Bowers was off-campus when PS was notified of the incident around 11:10 a.m. on Dec. 3. He turned himself in to DPD voluntarily after another local law enforcement agency located him.

Wood said PS notified Student Affairs and DPD immediately after the threats were reported.

Rohrer said Bowers has waived his right to a preliminary hearing. A grand jury now has 60 days to bring an indictment against him in the Court of Common Pleas, where felonies are tried.

Bowers is being monitored by a GPS tracking device and is prohibited from entering OWU property or making contact with anyone at the university. The terms of his release say he must seek mental health treatment and, if recommended, enter a restricted-access mental health facility.

Rohrer said the court issued the order because there were indications Bowers was struggling with mental health issues.

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Student struck by DPD vehicle in accident

Officer involved cited for traffic violation but remains on duty

By Noah Manskar

Junior Caroline Welker is out of the hospital and recovering from a severe concussion after a Delaware Police Department (DPD) cruiser hit her early last Thursday morning.

Welker was crossing W. Central Avenue walking northbound on N. Sandusky Street at 12:21 a.m. on Nov. 28 when DPD Officer Mark Jackson’s Ford Explorer XL struck her making a left turn. 

The DPD crash report said the vehicle was traveling 22 miles per hour when the collision happened.

Jackson’s witness statement on the report said he did not see Welker until she was in front of his cruiser.

The statement said Welker rolled up onto the hood of the car and then fell onto the road. 

He attended to Welker until Officer Joseph Kolp arrived and directed him back to his vehicle.

Delaware Fire Department medics took her to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Welker said she was walking home from the Backstretch Bar and talking on her phone just after midnight on Nov. 28 following a belated birthday celebration with her brother and some friends from high school. 

She said her brother bought her a drink and she left after half an hour.

Jackson was en route to The Jug on N. Houk Road to support other officers on a call reporting unruly customers refusing to leave. 

Two days before, Jackson ran the same cruiser into a guardrail while investigating a disabled semi truck on Highway 23 North.

The crash report also Welker’s injuries were “non-incapacitating,” but she said she was unconscious from the time of the accident until around 5 a.m. 

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Alexis Krauss: Ready for a fight

By Noah Manskar
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Sleigh Bells are certainly a restless band.

In 2012 they put out the strikingly dark “Reign of Terror,” a contrast to their debut “Treats,” and promoted it with a tour supported by Brooklyn-based black metal band Liturgy and acclaimed DJ Diplo. The followed up with another national headlining tour, including a stop in Columbus last November.

In October, just a year and a half after “Reign of Terror,” they released the more upbeat “Bitter Rivals,” proceeded to embark on a cross-country tour and will return Columbus on Saturday. As vocalist Alexis Krauss put it when I spoke with her over the phone last week while she and guitarist/producer Derek Miller were in Atlanta, the album “feels like a fight,” and from how active and motivated they are, it’s certain Sleigh Bells will go down swinging if they go down at all.

Alexis and I talked about the band’s restlessness and how it helps them put out albums so quickly, their fond memories in Columbus and boxing, their newfound love—not surprising, considering the sound “Bitter Rivals” achieves.

Noah Manskar: Where are y’all right now? You’re on tour, right?

Alexis Krauss: Yeah, I am currently in Atlanta, Ga., and—I guess we’re about midway through the tour, so it’s been really incredible so far. The shows have been a lot of fun, and we’re looking forward to keeping it going.

NM: What do you like best about touring, and what do you like least about it?

AK: I like best the fact that you wake up in a different city every day and get to meet new fans and experience new places. I feel incredibly grateful and appreciative that I get to do this for a living and that I get to see so many different parts of the country and of the world. What I like least about touring is probably being on a bus with nine guys and dealing with their lack of hygiene and all that comes with touring with nine boys. But that being said, we all love each other, we’re a really close knit touring family. But stepping on dirty socks and dental floss is never fun.

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