Category: Clarke News

All I want for Christmas is to pass my exams

Ah, finals week. It’s much liked the countdown to Christmas, but instead of Holiday cheer, students are riddled with sleep-deprivation, over-caffeination, and stress. It’s the magical week where majors of all kinds collectively lose their heads over exams, projects, and papers.

Everyone goes into finals week with a different attitude. Some students may suffer from test anxiety, while others may feel their heartrates pickup at the thought of giving a speech. There are perfectionists and those that go with the flow– optimists, pessimists, and everything in between.

Regardless of what kind of student you may be, whether you strategize your time with amazing restraint—determined to get your work done, even if it means staying up all night every once and awhile—or whether you can’t find it in yourself to stay up past 10 p.m. anymore, it’s important to acknowledge the one variable that unites us all during these trying last few weeks of the semester.

We all care far too much.

We treat our grades and our GPA’s as the end all be all—and, for some of us, they are. These grades are the gateway to our degrees which we need in order to go out into the work force or into a higher degree of study. So, we chug our cups of coffee and energy drinks, we sacrifice our mental health to our textbooks and notes, we go to bed at 3:00 a.m., and we panic all the while about whether or not we’re prepared enough.

The unfortunate truth is that most of us aren’t.

But we can be. Believe it or not, studying works wonders. If you find studying difficult, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are a number of different resources available for free use on campus, such as the MARC, the professors, and even other students. It may sound crazy, but everyone wants you to pass just as much as you do.

At the end of finals, when you turn in that last exam, when you give your final presentation, you’re free for the rest of 2018. Sure, you won’t know your grade for some time, but as long as you put in the work and give it your all, it doesn’t matter. You did all you could.

So enjoy your break and scrape together whatever holiday cheer you have left, because you deserve to relax. You worked hard this semester. You deserve this break, because if you’re coming back next semester? Who knows when you’ll get another chance to sleep for an entire month.

Happy Holidays, and Merry Finals!

 

By Maggie Christianson

Midterm elections end November 6th. Make your voice heard– go vote!

Election season is once again upon us. While the hype around the Midterm election is not as massive as that of the Presidential election, voting is nonetheless extremely important. Not only is voting an integral part of the American democratic experience—it also allows citizens to make their voices heard in the context of greater government decisions. November 6th is the last day Iowans are able to cast their votes for their governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, secretary of agriculture, and house representatives. Will you be at the polls?

Currently, the political sphere is riddled with unease—the tension between parties higher than ever. This 2018 election could either make—or break—the nation’s political stability. Some are hoping for a blue wave, citing that it might add balance back into the political system. Others are hoping that the election turns out red, which would make Republicans the majority in the United States government.

Regardless of what party you may align with, it’s extremely important that we as citizens practice the right to vote. Some countries have major limits on citizen participation within the government. However, in the United States, we are given the chance to express our opinions—to cast our votes and influence the turnouts of major political decisions.

The last day to vote in the Midterm election is Tuesday, November 6th. However, if you have not yet filled out an absentee ballot or if you have not yet registered to vote, have no fear. Dubuque voters are allowed to register the day of the election. Just bring a valid Iowa Driver’s license or another picture ID with proof of your permanent address. Additionally, polling stations will allow absentee ballots which have not been posted in the mail to be brought in and counted at the station.

In regards to location, Dubuque voters are able to fill out their ballots at the Election Annex on 75 Locust Street. Clarke students can also vote at the city’s 9th and 10th precinct polling place, Westminster Presbyterian Church, located at 2155 University Ave. If you happen to be a commuter, you can also use this resource to find out what precinct you belong to and which polling place aligns with your address.

Voting is a fundamental right, one that should be exercised whenever possible. You have the chance to make your voice heard, so use it! Go out and vote tomorrow, and wear your “I Voted” sticker proudly!

 

By Mimi Ottavi

 

Raising Student Involvement

Student involvement at Clarke has been at a significant low for a couple of years. The students on Clarke’s campus are rising in number, but that doesn’t mean that student involvement is gaining any traction. By boosting student involvement, it’s possible that students would be more willing to consider the campus home.

Sydney Eustice, president of the Clarke Student Association, says that “One of the goals of the CSA is to help student organizations get more students to attend events.” She believes that, as a campus, “We need to get rid of the stigma that student athletes don’t have time to join in the student organizations events or other sporting events. “ Sydney also mentioned that the Clarke Student Association has meetings every other Sunday hold discussions regarding campus life and the steps CSA can take to help improve it. She says that all students are welcome to join these meetings to present new ideas.

Roane Hand, primary contact of the Spanish club, agrees, stating that “Giving students somewhere to go makes them want to come, which can up the stakes of encouraging them to join.”  Roane elaborated on how she, as a club leader, gets word out about student organizations like the Spanish club. “The only real way to get more students involved is word-of-mouth or face-to-face. It’s a lot harder to tell someone no to their face. If they do say yes and then they don’t show up, you know their face, so when you see them in the hall it can create an awkward situation.”

A resident assistant, Lexi Wenz, had plenty to say not only on student involvement, but the overall environment of Clarke University. Wenz said of the school that “Last year, it felt like this school was a suitcase school. Students lived here during the week, but then left on the weekends. I guess that in my first two years, the Clarke Activity Board had events every weekend or they were more planned out. The chalkboard in the tunnel between Mary Ben and Mary Jo always had weekly events.” As a resident assistant, Lexi gets a different opportunity to get students involved. Lexi says she normally tries to update her residents by letting them know when and where events are happening on campus or in the city.

 

Every week, campus engagement also sends out an email covering the weekly events taking place on and off campus. Most students find this to be helpful, allowing them to plan their schedules accordingly with the addition of events they’d like to attend. In regards to how else to get the word out about campus events, students have been pushing to better utilize the chalkboard in the tunnel between Mary Ben and Mary Jo.

While the university doesn’t make the student, the students definitely make the university. Clarke for a few years now has had a significantly low rate of student involvement, which has impacted the overall environment of Clarke University. Hopefully, over the next couple of months, students will become more aware of what opportunities Clarke has to offer, both on and off campus.

 

Morgan Foster

The Impact of College Athletics at Clarke

A student body is a critical aspect to any university. Without students, a university has no way to sustain itself– and for smaller schools like Clarke University, students are of an even greater importance. The student body here at Clarke is made up of nearly 70% athletes according to the university’s website, suggesting that Clarke needs to market themselves primarily to athletes and attract them to the athletic programs at Clarke. This year, Clarke finished a construction project on two new practice fields that football, soccer, and lacrosse all use.

These two fields have jump-started the four-million dollar project for athletic facilities on the Clarke campus, according to Athletic Director Curt Long. The new turf fields, just finished this August, are great recruiting tools for Clarke Athletics. Additional upgrades to Clarke’s sports facilities include a weight room, fitness area, and locker rooms constructed on the ground level of the Kehl Center. Various athletic programs are available, including volleyball, soccer, golf, baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, lacrosse, track and field, and soccer.

So how does Clarke University actually manage to reach athletic students not only across the U.S. but internationally as well? For Kevin Hunley, a senior baseball player, Clarke jumped onto the starting right fielder’s radar when Dan Spain, the head baseball coach, sent him an email. Inside the correspondence, Spain said exactly what Kevin wanted to hear from a potential college.

Being from a large city where his high school actually had more students than Clarke University, Kevin said, “Coming to a school like this was different. As a high schooler you always see college as some new massive experience. Although Clarke may lack the student population, they make up for it in other ways.” Kevin was attracted to Clarke’s smaller size and, through the encouragement of Coach Spain, decided to experience Clarke and all it had to offer.

While explaining the differences in between his hometown of Glendale, Arizona and Dubuque, Kevin also stated, “There are kids everywhere in the U.S. looking for a place to continue their dream.” All it took for Kevin to commit the next four years of his life to this university was an encouraging email from Coach Spain. Kevin believes the west coast has many students just like him waiting for an email like that from an encouraging coach offering an enticing place to play.

In regards to his academic. He stated, “They really want you to succeed and are willing to work with you. The professors want you to be successful and try to help in any way they can.”

Senior pitcher Chelsea Fogarty has attended Clarke University all four years of college. Chelsea was recruited by a coach that is no longer in employment at Clarke. She spoke about this coach recruiting her starting in her sophomore year of high school.

The persistence of this coach and the fact that, “he made me feel important” encouraged her to become part of the Clarke Pride. She visited three times before verbally committing. Chelsea said, “Other schools had my attention, including Tennessee and a Division Two college in southern Illinois.” The coach that began recruiting her was her main reason for attending. In addition, the nursing program, the friendly Dubuque community, and being close to home helped seal the deal.

Clarke’s athletic teams have been more successful in the past few years, promoting Clarke in an even more positive way. “Athletics here at Clarke are a major component to the success of the university. With more success, we’re going to draw more attention from future athletes,” stated Chelsea. Being in the north, Clarke does present some cold temperatures for athletics. The baseball and softball fields are located 20 minutes from campus, which can be a strain for some students.

Chelsea stressed the pain it can be to drive 20 minutes off campus to a practice field, and with some students not having cars, they can run into difficulty with carpooling and transportation at times.

The student athletes appear to support each other well and the school spirit and comradery seem to overcome even the coldest of temperatures and distance to fields. Both Clarke athletes talked about the connection they felt to the coaches recruiting them. Relationships and connections appear to be a convincing component for athletic recruitment at Clarke University according to senior soccer player Trevor Kennedy, a men’s soccer player at Clarke. Clarke University and the wider area of Dubuque both offer a strong sense of connection and community, drawing student athletes from many corners of the U.S. and abroad.

 

By Austin Mettica

Fall Into Art 2018!

On Friday, October 5th, a wide variety of art students from nearly every department showcased their work at the Smokestack in downtown Dubuque. The event, entitled Fall Into Art, is an annual art show that strives to present the newest or most coveted work done by those pursuing art majors and minors. From graphic design to abstract sculpture, the pieces being shown illustrate a number of ideas and concepts. 

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Clarke President Joanne Burrows and Professor Jessie Rebik observe student work displayed at the Smokestack.

Hannah Ingles, a junior graphic design major at Clarke, displayed a redesign of a vintage matchbox cover. The project was originally assigned as a means of challenging students to re-conceptualize and modernize old outdated advertisements. Hannah’s work, which depicted the brand Scissor Safety Matches, featured a number of textures and detailed, Victorian era ornamentation. 

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Piece by Hannah Ingles

In addition to a number of printed graphic design pieces, a series of full body drawings were displayed, having been completed in a life drawing class from the 2018 spring semester. Charlotte Rodewald, a junior graphic design major, presented a depiction of a skeleton, showing her ability to accurately portray different perspectives of the human body. 

“The assignment really helped me understand how the body moved,” said Rodewald of her piece. “It’s so important to understand where certain bones and muscles are [as an artist].” 

If you want to see new student work, keep an eye out for art department events around campus. From December 5th to February 28th, sophomore and junior art students will be having their review, exhibiting their pieces in the Quigley Gallery at Clarke University. 

To keep up to date on any events hosted by the Clarke Art Department, click here

 

 

Feelings of Neglect Among Pride

Is Clarke University considering anything and everything for its athletics? Some students on campus, specifically student athletes, feel as though their respective sports are being overlooked by administration, thus, making them feel unimportant.

Decorated teams like Baseball, Softball, and Track and Field all been competing off campus since each of their inaugural seasons. Baseball competes at A.J. Spiegel Park in Peosta which is about a 20-minute drive. Softball competes at Veteran’s Memorial Park which is a 7-minute drive, and Track and Field have never even had home field advantage as they are always on the road. These teams, along with two Lacrosse teams, two Golf teams, two soccer teams, and potentially our new football team will have to share one indoor facility throughout the year, the Gantz Center, which is also a 7-minute drive from campus. Clarke does not provide transportation to these off-campus facilities.

Baseball, Softball, and Track and Field have been exceptionally successful in the past few years; however, a number of student-athletes feel as though they have nothing to show for it.

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Photo Credit: College Consensus 

Campus is changing, and some concerns are coming to light. There is little word from the administration regarding what exactly these new facilities are going to look like. Students can visibly see the plethora of space there is on campus, and that there is a lot of room for possible facilities for sports that seem to have been forgotten.

In a conversation with All-American baseball player, Michael Lopez, a junior from Rancho Cucamonga, California, he expresses his discontent with the current facilities stating, “I feel like our team is consistently successful, however we still get the short end of the stick having to drive 20 minutes to practice every day. A lot of us are from far away states and don’t have cars at our disposal.”

Lopez continues with expressing frustration stating, “It just sucks because student-athletes work as hard as we can to represent Clarke and what has Clarke done for us? Now that they are taking trees down, I can see that there is definitely room on campus for a baseball field or even an Avila type facility which is a full length make-shift football field, soccer field, softball field, and baseball field…I know I am not alone by saying there is room for this type of facility at Clarke.”

Clarke softball players also express their frustration and feelings of neglect. Ally Renforth explains the softball field is less than conducive for competition and practice, “…we have to haul all of our equipment from Gantz to [Veteran’s Memorial Park] to the school. It’s a constant struggle having to chase down equipment.”

Renforth continues to express her frustrations with the actual field, “We play at a community field. Kids ride their bikes across it and even run onto our field during practice. We have to put up a fence in order for our field to be regulation, we have an extremely small dugout for our team, and we have a scoreboard with broken pegs for plastic numbers that fall off. In all of my four years of college softball we are the only team I’ve seen with less than satisfactory facilities like ours.”

Renforth continues to state, “don’t get me wrong, we are content with the facilities that we have, but now that Clarke is making new facilities for a team that doesn’t even exist yet, it kind of hurts feeling as though we have been totally forgotten about.”

In closing with Lopez he expressed, “Clarke is doing a lot of things right, but they are also doing a lot wrong. The university should be caring thoughtfully about their current students and student-athletes because we are the best chance they have at generating donors. Instead, most of us are unhappy and envy schools like Georgia Gwinnett, University of Dubuque and the facilities that many teams in our conference have. I understand sports aren’t everything in life, but Clarke is wasting the chance to bring a championship culture across all sports to campus.”

Personally being affected by this, it seems like Clarke is jumping the gun on some of the decisions they make. This article is not meant to be taken offensively. I think Coach Regalado is doing a great job recruiting a team and getting the Clarke community excited about football. Administration is doing a great job in supporting football on the Clarke campus. The soccer and lacrosse teams are all equally deserving of benefiting from these future facilities. All of these things aside, it still doesn’t hide the fact that current student-athletes feel neglected for a shiny new object when they have put in the blood, sweat, and tears in order to make their sports worthy of respect.

 

By: Jamie Deering

Connect and Serve

There is a small group of students on Clarke’s campus who participate in a program that is not widely known by other students. This program, “Connect and Serve,” began in the spring semester of 2016, and consists of Clarke students partnered with students just across the street at Dubuque Senior High School. These Clarke students mentor the Senior High School students through a program adapted from the University of Minnesota’s Check and Connect program which works to improve the graduation rates among high school students.

This semester, eight Clarke University mentors were each paired with at least one Dubuque Senior High School student and met weekly with their mentees. We developed academic goals to improve grades through academic supports, improved behavior at school, improved the students’ attitudes towards academics. Of these eight Clarke students, four are volunteers and the other four are in the “Connect and Serve” course instructed by Clarke Sociology Professor Rachel Daack. This one-credit hour course meets once a week to discuss each mentee’s progress in the program and to provide support and ideas that can improve the mentoring experience and outcomes of the high school student mentees. Clarke students also explore social research and participate in community organizations with goals similar to Connect and Serve.

Clarke University hosted a visit event on campus this spring semester for the Senior High mentees. The student mentees ate lunch in the cafeteria with their mentors, toured campus, and participated in a Q & A with Clarke mentors about college life. The high school students thoroughly enjoyed the unlimited lunch buffet in Clarke’s dining hall (especially the ice cream sundae bar), the opportunity to see a dorm room, and hearing from their college mentors about what college life is like in comparison to high school. Many of the student mentees left campus with new considerations of attending college after high school and programs they may be interested in participating in. Overall, the event successfully opened the student mentees’ eyes to life beyond high school, which has in turn motivated the students to do well in school in order to attend college after graduation. The mentoring program will continue into next year as new mentors are being recruited in order to grow the program.

 

By: Caroline Herrig

Lack of Health Insurance Causes Crime and Crushes Dreams of College Athletics

After bartending for over 20 years, a woman we will be referring too as Kay, suffers of shooting pains up and down her arms, pinching in her wrists, and numbness in her hands; she suffers from severe arthritis. Due to not having medical insurance, Kay took matters into her own hands by smuggling Oxycodone in her bags after a trip to Mexico.

This shows the lengths United States citizens will go to find treatment or care if they are without healthcare. Those that cannot afford health care

“Look, I am a bartender and I will be for the rest of my life. It is just too easy not to do! My child gets sick all of the time and I have this issue with my hands. We go down there [Mexico] every year, it’s just too easy to pass up”, Kay said.

The main reason for the smuggling was because of the prices of Oxycodone, or any other non-over-the-counter medications in the States.

If healthcare were to be more affordable for the single mother of three she would consider getting a plan. She does not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid.

Kay told reporters, “They [Doctors] tried charging me 70-80 bucks a bottle? I buy 20 dollars’ worth in Mexico and I’m set for the year”.

According to HealthCare.gov, the lowest premium rate in the state of Iowa costs $429.69 if you are over the age of the 50. That is without monthly costs and deductibles.

Kay’s daughter is a student at NICC. After graduating at Senior High, she planned on attending Clarke University and wanted to continue her bowling career to the collegiate level.

“They [Clarke] told me I was not able to compete or attend because we didn’t have health insurance to cover for any accidents or injuries… Yeah, it was upsetting but I got over it quick”, Kay’s daughter said.

According to the Clarke University website, “All Clarke students must be covered by health insurance… Clarke University does not endorse a specific student insurance plan”. This is due to the Affordable Care Act.

However, the website does list a number of options and suggestions of different health insurance company’s students can contact.

According to Clarke Health Services Nurse, Tammy Moore, states, “The complicated part about health care is that everyone’s situation is different. But, all students are able to be seen here. We are limited to what we can do, so usually if they [students] need further care and have issues with parents’ plans or they are out of network, we send them to Hillcrest or Crescent Community Health Center”.

Although all situations are different, health insurance is something that is supposed to help us, not harm us. Some benefit, while others actually struggle more because of their lack in coverage.

“It wasn’t always this way”, Moore says, “We used to accept students onto campus whether they were insured or not. But it all falls back on liability”.

For now, campuses like Clarke University are doing their best to provide quality healthcare to all students, despite economic differences regarding health insurance opportunities.

 

By: Cassidy Derus

 

 

 

#ClarkeToo

Since the social media campaign spark in October 2017, the #MeToo movement hits close to home with members of the Clarke community. They hope Clarkies will participate in the upcoming “Denim Day” on April 26th.

The #MeToo movement spread across the United States when actor Harvey Weinstein was accused by several women in Hollywood of sexual assault. Within hours, women were posting on their social media accounts “#MeToo,” showing that they too are survivors, and support the awareness of sexual abuse. For some Clarke University students, faculty, and staff, the media outburst ignited conversation of just how often sexual assault happens.

Picture1.jpgTriston King, Assistant Director of Engagement and Intercultural Programs at Clarke University, says it is time to take action on such a prevalent issue in today’s society. “If you are looking at the #MeToo campaign as a shift in culture, as something where people look at this and say, ‘Oh my gosh! Today forty women that I know on my Facebook feed posted this.’ Think about that. Think about how many women you have on your profile. Think about the ratio of women you have who actively post and that you pay attention to.”  This was a personal driving force for King. He suggests that the real way to make a cultural shift is to raise awareness for the issue.

Renee Dionisio, student, had similar ideas as King. Together, they decided to sit at a table in Clarke’s atrium and start the conversation in late November. Dionisio sat at the table with small pieces of paper and a box, prompting members of the Clarke community to write either #MeToo or #IHave. “A lot of people did not know what it was, so I had to explain it to them. I could tell they were uncomfortable to even write #MeToo or even #IHave.” The table was set up for two weeks. Dionisio recalls, “It was hard until one person came and wrote #MeToo. She told me her story and was very wide open with it.” For her, this moment and an encounter she had with a faculty member put things into perspective.

metoo-2859980_1920After the fourteen days were up, the slips were posted on a wall in the Fabiano conference room at Clarke. In the end, about forty slips were turned in and hung on the wall. A majority of these slips read #MeToo, and about a third of those had stories attached to them. A conversation took place at 7 p.m. on November 20 in the conference room.

King says that these were posted on the conference room wall for two reasons. Firstly, King said it gave those survivors a voice that they deserve. He told members of the Clarke community, “We want you to feel completely free to write down everything and anything that happened to you.” This allowed students to write anonymously so they would not have to hold back any details. It also gave other students an opportunity to see just how many people are affected by this issue in just the Clarke community.

“In the moment is where we want change,” King states. He suggests to the people who are in fear of coming forward to, first, remove yourself from the situation. However, King insists that you must do something about it in order to create change. “If you know something is happening but you are afraid to say anything, call someone you trust. Call campus security. Call the police. Do whatever you feel is necessary.” Dionisio also wants to remind students that even if you are unsure, there will be consequences to those perpetrators.

Dionisio and King also would like to let the Clarke community know about the upcoming “Denim Day” on April 26. Students are encouraged to wear denim to show support and solidarity for those who are survivors of sexual violence.

Clarke students are encouraged to also use the support systems on and off campus. Both the counseling center and campus ministry are not required to report cases of sexual violence, however, resident advisors, student employees, and faculty members are mandatory reporters. The Riverview Center is also a great source for students who want to talk with people who share the same experiences or discuss policies of sexual misconduct. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, the number for the 24-Hour Sexual Assault Hotline is 888-557-0310.

By Emily Boge

Pet Therapy Now Offered Twice a Week

At Clarke University, students now have the option to attend Pet Therapy two times a week, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.

In previous semesters, Pet Therapy met once a week on Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Due to popular demand, Pet Therapy now meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., giving students more options to attend.

“Pet Therapy is now two days instead of one by popular demand by Clarke students” the student organizer of Pet Therapy, Laura, explained. “We put a vote on the university’s Twitter asking which day of the week students would prefer for another pet therapy slot, and the majority answered Tuesday. So, now it’s Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which is convenient for students who might be busier on one of those days, but still want to see a dog that week.”

dogIn further conversation, Laura stated, “Pets just make me feel calm and loved, and it’s so rewarding to love them back. They’re always a nice de-stressor because all they expect from you is pats and treats.”

“It makes me feel at home” Alex, a Clarke student explained. “Pets are a part of most people’s lives and helps many of us feel better overall. When I go to Pet Therapy, I can forget about all of my school work for the time being. I get to enjoy good company and the pets help reduce my stress levels.”

Laura explained her motivations for organizing Pet Therapy. “I understand how important it is for students to have a break throughout their week. Schoolwork and jobs and life can be insane, and I know how refreshing it is to look forward to an event that doesn’t involve high stress or responsibility.”

Multiple students explained that they can get more homework accomplished later by attending Pet Therapy after a day of classes.

“It gives our brains a rest after long hours of lectures in our classes. We get to de-stress while petting these pets and all of our worries temporarily go away” explained Kelsey, another Clarke student.

Many students agreed that being able to pet a dog in the middle of the day is a de-stressor and positive experience.

“The Pet Therapy program was something I had loved about Clarke since freshman year. I would make an effort every week to try and see the dog that was coming” Laura said. “Taking time, even if it’s just passing by on the way to your dorm room, to pet a happy dog is just so calming. Pet therapy can even be the highlight of someone’s day.”

“I’m glad Pet Therapy is now offered on Tuesdays. I always had a class from 3 to 4:15 on Wednesdays and never got the option to attend. Now I can attend on Tuesdays when I don’t have a late class” Alex explained.

As a consensus, students at Pet Therapy on Tuesday agreed that Pet Therapy was a way to break up their long day of classes and the homework that had to be done that night.

 

By: Kelli Peterson

 

*Pictures curtsey of Kelli Peterson and Clarke University