Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Students respond positively to economic depression

Rachel Barclay and Molly Lyons serving food at the Oklahoma City Rescue Mission. Barclay and Lyons are two of several girls that volunteer at the City Rescue Mission every Friday.

While the country remains in a lousy economic depression, college students are responding in a constructive way.

Rather than lounging around and feeling sorry for the nation, students are taking the initiative to volunteer. In fact, this year's Big Event, a campus wide volunteering project, had the highest number of participants than it ever has.

OU has seen other numbers increase recently, said Kari Dawkins, assistant director of the Leadership Development and Volunteerism program.

"Big Event went great," Dawkins said. "We also had more students role out for Arbor Day than we ever have before. We were expecting 40 or so students to show up but over 200 did."

According to a study by Corporation for National and Community Service, student volunteer numbers have increased by over 20 percent from 2002 to 2005.

Since then, the number has been estimated to have increased as 43 percent of college students twenty years or older volunteer every year, making them the most active age group, according to Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

These statistics are no stranger to students at OU as they continue to answer the call to serve by getting involved both on and off campus.

OU freshman Rachel Barclay said she felt the call to help other people in their time of need. Earlier in the year, Barclay and a friend got a group together and began volunteering at the City Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City.

The girls make the trip to Oklahoma City every Friday to serve food to the lower class, homeless and volunteers at the City Rescue Mission.

"[My friend and I] had been talking about volunteering for a while," Barclay said. "Finally, we got together and actually did it and have been doing it for most of the semester."

The group started with just a couple of girls but now has grown to six or seven, said Barclay.

"I actually found it to be a lot of fun," she said. "I found that I enjoyed helping people and it really made me feel good."

Freshman Molly Lyons said the group went earlier in the semester in January as part of a Bible study.

"After the first time we went, we all fell in love with the City Rescue Mission," Lyons said.

She said the group felt it to be their duty to help other people who are enduring hard times. After going one Friday in January, Lyons, among others, has made it part of her every Friday routine.

"The people really are so grateful," she said. "It makes a world of difference to them and it really makes me feel good to make their day that much better."

Tiffany Webb of the City Rescue Mission said the girls' work has been priceless.

"They have been great, not only them, but all of the students that come here to volunteer," Webb said. "They really do make a world of difference."

Barclay and Lyons both said the City Rescue Mission is always looking for volunteers. Those interested can visit their website at or they can simply visit the establishment in Oklahoma City to see how they can get involved.

Dawkins said her department has many volunteer opportunities for students to get active and get involved.

The Leadership Development and Volunteer office is located on the second floor of the Oklahoma Memorial Union, where students are welcome to walk in anytime from eight a.m. to five p.m.

A comment from Molly Lyons:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Super Six

The Campus Activities Council is moving to prevent the formation of a group who has come to be known as "The Super 6" in homecoming 2009.

The group is a merger of several different fraternities and sororities including Phi Gamma Delta, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Phi Delta Theta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta and Pi Beta Phi.

The Greek bodies originally were teaming up as one group to enter homecoming where they boycott building a float and using the money that would be spent on the float to host a philanthropy.

"It is nothing against CAC or anything like that," said Dan McCarthy, president of Phi Delta Theta. "We just want to use the money to benefit people rather than building a float that you just throw away the next day after months of work."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gaylord Ad and PR Agency

Above: The new add agency facility on the 2nd floor of the new wing of Gaylord Hall will allow students the opportunity to work with real clients and get hands on experience with state of the art facilities and a student ran operation.
A new student- led public relations and advertising agency will be on the second floor of the new Gaylord wing next semester.

The PR and ad agency has yet to be named and has been a dream since the Gaylord building has been designed, said professor David Tarpenning. The agency will begin training this summer and will begin operations in the fall.

After a profit is generated, which could be as early as the spring, scholarships could be made available for those involved. While the interview and application process is over, students are still welcome to apply next fall for the spring of 2010.

"It is a great experience for students to deal with real clients from around the nation and get hands on experience," said Andrew Jones, advertising junior. "Working for a student led agency is makes students infinitely more marketable, as employers would rather see students work for an agency as opposed to internships."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Oprah's right-hand man coming to OU

Oprah's right-hand man will be coming this week to speak to students about his experiences with Oprah and the future of radio.

Erik Logan joined XM Satellite Radio in 2004 where he became the executive vice president. He joing Harpo, Inco. in 2008 and has been working with Oprah and all around Harpo ever since.

Logan will be lecturing several classes and will also be interviewed by both the "Wake up, Oklahoma" morning broadcast show and the "OU Nightly" evening broadcast.

"It should be very interesting," said OU freshman Rachel Barclay. "I was raised watching Oprah. My mom is obsessed."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sooner Scandals finals

Sooner Scandals came to and end tonight with the victors being Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and the Beta Theta Chi fraternity.

Sooner Scandals is an annual event that takes place every spring semester in which student groups, predominantly fraternities and sororities, partner up and put on a 12 minutes musical during CAC's Parents Weekend.

This year, six shows made the finals, of which three placed. Placing second was Delta Gamma and Phi Delta Theta, followed by Chi Omega and Delta Tau Delta.

"The shows this year were better than I expected," said OU freshman Katie Piper. "I didn't participate or anything, but now I really want to next year."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Amount of student fees unknown to students

OU student Cole Ford browses the political journals in OU's Bizzell Library. Ford said he uses the journals that are supported by students fees all the time to write essays for classes.

While students pay a long list of fees every semester, some students admit they do not know what these fees support.

According to OU's Tuition Estimator located on both the OU and Office of the Bursar's official website, the average undergraduate student pays $121.10 in fees per credit hour for lower division classes. In addition, each college has a specific technology fee and the university requires all students to pay a list of five fees for every semester.

"I'll have to admit that I really am unaware to all the fees I'm paying and where they go," said Cole Ford, political science and English sophomore.

And while David Boren said tuition will not be increasing next semester, representatives and public relations officers from the Office of the Bursar, OU Libraries and OU Health Services said they were not sure if fees would be increasing next semester.

The technology fees are based per college and range anywhere from $5.00 in the College of Arts and Sciences to $30.00 in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the College of Earth and Energy, according to the Office of the Bursar's fee statement on their website.

On top of credit hour and technology fees, the list of mandatory fees for both the fall and spring semester adds up to $176.50 for each semester. After these fees, there are also certain fees administered by each separate college per credit hour or per course a student takes from that college.

Some students say they are aware of fees, but not the full extent of fees and how many different fees they are paying.

“I knew I was paying fees, but I didn’t know there were so many different ones,” said Jainelle Daniels, University College freshman. “I’ll admit it is probably because my parents handle it all, but I really had no idea, and I think that is wrong.”

In the list of mandatory fees, the “Library Excellence fee” is $11.00 per credit hour. This fee supports library staffing, acquisitions of books and documents, and subscriptions to scholarly journals, both online and physical copies, according to the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Bursar's website.

“We have access to more than 250 databases, and these provide access to a wealth of information students may not be aware are available,” said Sarah Robins, officer of public relations for OU Libraries. “We [also] have databases that provide full-text journal and newspaper articles, scores for classical music, and primary sources from the 18th and 19th century as well as streaming theater and dance productions.”

While some students are unaware of these benefits, Ford said he makes use of the journals frequently for political science essays and other homework assignments.

“I probably go to the library on an average of four times per week,” Ford said. “I make use of the library fee. It seems like a bargain to me.”

OU Health Services charges a mandatory fee of $74.00 for both the fall and spring semesters, as well as $37.00 for the summer.

OUHS offers a variety of services to help meet the health care needs of the college-aged student,” said Maggie Pool, OU Health Services promotion coordinator. “The medical clinic staff consists of board-certified, licensed physicians, physician assistants and medical assistants offering a full spectrum of care in family medicine, sports medicine, and disease prevention and treatment.”

Pool also said physicians and registered nurses issue test results, refill prescriptions, give free flu shots and offer a lot of advice on medical questions and there are also registered dietitians who are available by appointment for students. The health fee provides all of this at a cheaper price then around the community.

“I didn’t know about it, but I used Goddard all the time last semester when I got really sick,” Daniels said. “They gave me prescriptions and they did a great job and saved me from having to go to the 24-hour clinic which takes forever.”

Ford said he never has been to Goddard, but is glad that the services exist.

“I really haven’t had anything more than a cold while I’m here and they really can’t help me with that,” said Ford. “But I am glad that I know it is there when I do need it.”

All of these services and many more are available to all students. Both Pool and Robbins said the fees their branch charges provides services for students and do not support renovations to OU’s campus.

“Some of the fees seem alright, but I really wish OU would do a better job of letting us know what we are paying,” said Daniels. “Some of the fee titles sound very vague to me. I wish they would reevaluate all the fees to see if all of them are necessary and make the Bursar website less confusing.”

Ford said he was also unaware of the plethora of fees and does not know if he uses every single one.

“Some of them sound alright,” said Ford. “I have never had them explained to me before though. I honestly don’t really know if they are all reasonable or not.”

Below are some of Ford and Daniels' comments on student fees.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sooners sent off by students to Sweet 16

Men's basketball coach Jeff Capel walks to the buses as students and cheerleaders cheer on the team.

OU students sent off the men's basketball team to Memphis to take on Syracuse this afternoon.

Many students and people of the Norman community gathered at the south end of the Lloyd Noble Center to cheer on the team as they got on the buses to head to Memphis to play in the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

The Sooners will be playing the Syracuse Orange, a potent three seed team led by two guards; sophomore Johnny Flynn and junior Eric Devendorf. The Orange also bring an effective 2-3 zone defense to the court, which will most likely be focused on stopping OU's Player of the Year candidate Blake Griffin.

"I think that there wasn't a good turnout because it wasn't advertised as much," said Kristen Crabtree, accounting and finance freshman. "But it was really cool seeing the players and getting to send them off towards victory."

Click play to hear Crabtree's thoughts on the Sweet 16 matchup