Faculty meeting addresses retention, other issues
By Noah Manskar
Published Sept. 26, 2013
Ohio Wesleyan’s top administrators proposed several “conversations” about the university’s future at the Sept. 16 faculty meeting.
One major issue was student retention. In his report to the faculty, University President Rock Jones said retention from the first to second year is the lowest it’s been in six years, down from 83 percent to 80.1 percent. Second-to-third year retention increased 3.5 percent from 71.2 percent to 74.7 percent; but third-to-fourth year retention underwent the largest change, decreasing 4.3 percent from 71.5 percent to 67.2 percent.
Jones said the administration has started a data analysis initiative headed by Dean of Institutional Research Dale Swartzentruber to “understand the characteristics” of students who left. Administrators are also testing a “student success guides” program to help students get involved, gain “better awareness” of their academic struggles and increase intervention with those on academic probation.
Provost Charles Stinemetz said he and his office aim to provide “necessary support” for student success to improve retention.
“We do that by offering special programs that contribute to academic success and support bringing our campus community together as a community through a variet(y) of venues (lectures, performances, athletic events, etc.),” he said in an email.
Empty promises and budget struggles: An investigation of the faculty salary debate at Ohio Wesleyan
View an interactive version of this story at Transcript Investigations.
By Noah Manskar, Editor-in-Chief
and Suzanne Samin, Transcript Correspondent
Published online May 24, 2013
Someone wanted students to know about the ongoing faculty salary dispute at Ohio Wesleyan.
A small lime green flyer was posted, showing a run-down of faculty salaries in comparison to other colleges that are members of the Great Lakes College Association (GLCA). On the flyer, OWU ranked 10th out of thirteen.
The flier had no other writing or comment—simply the figures there, in multiple locations on campus for students to see.
While the subject of faculty salaries floated in and out of students’ minds, the facts were very much up to speculation. Some people had heard, from their professors or otherwise, that salaries were lower than they would like it to be. Others had never thought twice about it. But these fliers, many of which were posted on the doors of student residences, started a new conversation.
As this conversation began, a larger one had been going on among the faculty, administrators and Board of Trustees for decades about whether this was a problem, and if so, how the university would fix it.
While the perspectives vary and the arguments vary even more, there is one thing everyone can agree on—the issue is very real, and the faculty is demanding it be acknowledged.
Thursday shooting injures one, suspect in custody
By Spenser Hickey, Assistant Copy Editor
and Noah Manskar, Editor-in-Chief
Published online May 3, 2013
A man was shot Thursday night on the Woodward Elementary School playground at 200 S. Washington St., three blocks from the Ohio Wesleyan campus.
Delaware Police Department (DPD) officers responded to a 911 call at 8:15 p.m. reporting a fight outside the school, according to DPD Captain Adam Moore. When they arrived, they were informed the fight had resulted in a shooting.
Joshua Mosley, Jr. of Columbus was arrested and charged with felonious assault after police conducted an investigation at the scene, detaining and interviewing seven witnesses.
Moore said Mosley “made some statements” indicating he committed the shooting. Some witnesses’ testimony also contributed to the probable cause for the arrest.
The victim, Darryl Ginyard of Delaware, sustained a gunshot wound to his upper body and was airlifted to an Ohio State University hospital. Moore said he was told the man went into surgery for his injuries last night.
Catching up: sex crime reporting in Delaware and at Ohio Wesleyan
By Noah Manskar
Published April 25, 2013
Rape and sexual assault are the most under-reported crimes nationally—54 percent of rapes are never reported to authorities, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).
In Delaware, most that are reported are quickly closed. According to a list of all Delaware Police Department (DPD) reports of sex crimes (including dissemination and display of harmful material, rape, sexual imposition, gross sexual imposition, pandering of obscenities, sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and use of nudity-oriented material with a minor) between Jan. 1, 2008, and March 1, 2013, 45.1 percent of sex crime cases have been exceptionally cleared, meaning no arrest was made even though the suspect was known; 20.3 percent remain inactive pending further information. 8.8 percent were declared unfounded accusations, meaning there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support the case.
In that same time period, Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Public Safety received 22 sex crime reports, but only six were ever reported to DPD. Of those six, four were exceptionally cleared and two remain pending or inactive. One 2008 incident was said by PS to be reported to the police, but no corresponding DPD report exists. PS Lieutenant Cathy Hursey said DPD declared the case unfounded.
PS Director Robert Wood said the department is legally obligated to file a police report for any felony sex crime reported to the university, regardless of whether the victim files a report individually. Some, like rape, according to DPD Captain Adam Moore, are automatic felonies; but others, like sexual imposition, have misdemeanor and felony levels.
Even when it’s “iffy” as to whether a crime reported to PS is a felony, Wood said the university would rather report to the police than not—once a crime reaches the felony level, there is more at stake than the victim’s decision whether to report it themselves.
“(Y)ou’re really breaking the laws of the state, and what the state says and what the prosecutor says,” he said. “If you’ve got a rampant sex offender out there committing felonies, even if you don’t want to prosecute it, we have a responsibility—we might have a responsibility to prosecute it because of the other people involved—they’re a danger to the community.”
Looking forward: What you can expect from The Transcript
By Noah Manskar
Published April 25, 2013
In February, I wrote about why The Transcript exists and what we stand for as Ohio Wesleyan’s journalistic entity. While we do have financial ties to the university that keep us in print, we are an independent news organization, not a public relations service or promotional machine. This has been true since we printed our first issue in 1867, and it will never change.
Soon, though, a few things will. At the end of the semester, two of our most valuable editors—sports editor Heather Kuch, and managing editor, online editor and business manager Elizabeth Childers—will graduate. They will leave big shoes to fill, and the staff will certainly miss them. But they’ve helped us set The Transcript on a new path.
Osman enters guilty plea, will receive reduced sentence in June
By Noah Manskar
Published April 18, 2013
Former Ohio Wesleyan student Waleed Osman filed a guilty plea to charges of burglary, voyeurism and public indecency on Monday.
Osman was arrested in the early morning of Dec. 1, 2012, after he went into a Thomson Hall women’s bathroom and tried to watch a female resident shower.
He also gained access to a woman’s bedroom in Bashford Hall, where he then lived, and exposed himself to her. He was charged with two counts of burglary (one for each residence hall invasion), a third-degree felony; and one count each of voyeurism (watching the woman shower) and public indecency (exposing himself), both third-degree misdemeanors.
Osman waived his right to grand jury indictment on Jan. 29 and was indicted by a bill of information from Prosecuting Attorney Carol Hamilton O’Brien. He initially plead not guilty.
According to Kyle Rohrer, first assistant prosecuting attorney for Delaware County, the change came following his acknowledgement of wrongdoing to the investigating detective.
“He basically admitted to everything we had him charged with, so I think he wanted to get this behind him, basically—accept the responsibility and take the consequences and get this behind him and try to piece his life back together,” Rohrer said.
Beyond the Equal Sign: Being a straight ally involves more than a profile picture
By Noah Manskar
Published March 21, 2013
My Facebook news feed was a sea of red on Tuesday.
As the Supreme Court commenced oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the landmark case on marriage equality challenging the blatantly heterosexist Proposition 8 from California and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, many of my friends changed their profile pictures to a red equal sign, a special version of the Human Rights Campaign logo.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a basic display of allyship spread so quickly. All it took was a few clicks to say, “I favor universal civil rights regardless of sexuality.”
Some people call this “slacktivism” – uploading a picture or sharing a link as a substitute for substantive action against injustice. While there is much more that can and should be done, I can’t agree that these easy actions are akin to doing nothing. Showing even tacit support is better than remaining silent – which, as Andrew Wilson pointed out in the story on page one, is most often counterproductive.
Complacency, however, is different. It’s disgusting to make a red equal sign your profile picture and then act as if you’re the (straight) hero of the queer movement and everything will be wonderful for queer people as long as your virtual friends see you as that little logo.
Mystified and double bound: Alcohol and adulthood in American culture
Alcohol and adulthood are strange bedfellows at the uniquely American institution of the residential university.
With entrance into college—and the departure from home it often necessitates—comes a degree of independence and a select few accompanying privileges. Students thrust themselves out of their parents’ watchful gaze and into a universe where alcohol, the mystical substance of their youth, is readily available. It’s a thrill to be able to make the choice whether to partake, a decision previously reserved for adults.
With this opportunity, however, comes a risk. For at least half of the average Ohio Wesleyan student’s time at the university, it’s still illegal to consume or possess alcohol even when it’s accessible—the law says the legal age is 21, and public and private authorities enforce that law. Despite the independence they have and adult choices they’re able to make, students are still not considered full adults in the eyes of the government.
“The legal threshold that enables young people to engage in adult-like behavior operates as rite of passage,” said Dr. Harry Blatterer, sociology lecturer at MacQuarie University in Sydney, Australia. “Hand in hand with that, legal consumption sends the message to young people that once you cross that threshold you are considered an adult.”
Tuition rates continue to increase
Increase as percentage declining, but tuition still above median among peers
By Noah Manskar
Ohio Wesleyan’s tuition will increase 3.5 percent next year from $38,890 to $40,250, according to a Jan. 29 announcement from Dan Hitchell, vice-president of finance and administration and treasurer.
Hitchell said the increase is a result of rising fixed costs like lights, heat, power, facility and technological maintenance, and library expenses.
“Even when we’re aggressive in cost containment, some things will go up and cost more,” he said. “You walk around a college campus and it’s like running a small city.”
According to Hitchell, the rise is low compared to other Great Lakes College Association (GLCA) institutions—the highest rates of increase as a percentage of current tuition are around 5 percent, while the lowest are around 3.
OWU’s rate of increase has declined 3.2 percent since the 2006-2007 fiscal year, from 6.2 percent.
Tuition for the current year is the cheapest of the Ohio Five—OWU, Denison University, Kenyon College, Oberlin College and the College of Wooster—but is the sixth-most expensive of the thirteen GLCA schools. Earlham College ranks just above OWU, with a tuition cost of $39,200.
Sophomore Ibrahim Saeed said he thinks the university “hasn’t really given a proper explanation” of the increase.
Students deserve food that supports individual and communal health
By Noah Manskar
I didn’t eat in Smith Hall the evening Chartwells served its “black history” menu, but when I heard what was served, it was almost too much to believe—I certainly have not been totally satisfied with Chartwells as a foodservice provider, but I didn’t think it would sink to overt racial stereotyping.
At the same time, I wasn’t at all surprised when I found out it was true.
Chartwells, in my opinion, is seldom satisfactory when it comes to providing Ohio Wesleyan students with quality service. The racist menu in Smith Hall is just one example of many unnecessary steps Chartwells takes that detract from the student experience in dining halls.
Menus like last week’s are undoubtedly appropriative—they purport to “honor” or “appreciate” a culture without any apparent regard for authenticity or input from actual members of that culture.
I’ve seen this in Smith Hall many times, and the example of the attempt at Indian food sticks out in my mind. Pita bread and naan, I’ve been told, are two different things.
I realize Chartwells management is not consciously trying to offend or hurt anyone; but regardless of the intent, these menus still perpetuate inaccurate cultural stereotypes. They could avoid issues like last week’s by consulting black students before making the menu, rather than asking for their input afterward.
Doing so would be an actual appreciation—or at least a step toward it—rather than an attempted one, and would likely make the food more authentic and appetizing.
It seemed this used to be common practice, though—Chartwells Supervisor Beverly Coleman was involved in “Soul Food Nights” in Welch Hall before the foodservice there was discontinued. I can’t help but wonder why her input was not asked for in this most recent instance, and why the name was changed. Much controversy could have been avoided had those things happened.
This is not the only way in which Chartwells is problematic, however.