Category: Uncategorized

Looking Back on a Month of Art: An #Inktober Reflection

With the recent conclusion of October, we’ve reached a time for reflection on the season of spooky costumes, pumpkin spiced lattes, and art!

While many non-artists might not be familiar with the trend that is Inktober, this annual challenge has become quite the phenomenon in recent years. Inktober was created back in 2009, by an artist who refers to themselves as Mr. Jake Parker. Originally, Inktober was developed as a way for artists improve their ink skills, requiring that artists draw with just ink for 31 days in hopes to create a developed and unique drawing routine.

IMG_2098 2

Fast forward 9 years later and Inktober has developed into a worldwide artistic movement. This past October, I attempted this challenge myself. I had many reasons for wanting to pursue Inktober. The first was because I was going through a funk of just not being pleased with the art I was creating. The second was because I wanted to improve my inking skills, especially with markers. Finally, I had failed at Inktober in the past, not giving it the proper time and attention it needed, so this year I was determined to see it through.

The Beginning :

I was feeling good, I had this. I was following the Inktober prompt list created by another artist who I follow on Instagram using the hashtag #elentober2018. The original creator of the trend, Jake Parker, does post his own prompt lists for the public to follow, but I found this one better suited to my interests.  The first few days were a breeze— I was sitting down and experimenting with the different inks I had, using everything from markers to fine liners to ink wash. My confidence was up, but this was only the beginning.

As the first week came to an end, I began to realize how hard this was going to be. Motivation wasn’t something I could go out in buy if I ran out, but I forged ahead regardless. A majority of my work varied from simplistic to detailed, not staying consistent with what ink I was using. I chose my art supplies based on my time and what I was feeling that day.

IMG_2094 2

Midterms:

School can be cruel, and by the time Midterms rolled around, I found myself with little to no time to complete my sketches. My classes had me running around trying to complete assignments, so I really had to mange my time if in order to fit in any reasonable time to draw. I never planned what I was going to draw, which was a personal choice, and while that helped the creative process some, it also made completing certain pieces more difficult.

I began to stress over having to do it until finally, it hit me. That brief time I spent drawing was my breather form all the stress I had accumulated from  school. Once I came to that realization, Inktober became my escape from the pressure of being a student.

The End:

As the finish line came into view, I was both relieved and disappointed. I was disappointed that it was over, and I felt I had not put forth my best work, but that wasn’t the point. Inktober is about taking the time to learn a new skill and learn how to ink— and that’s exactly what I did! I watched my style develop over the month and challenged myself with inks and markers.

Overall, I was proud of my achievement. I had successfully completed Inktober even though my life had turned hectic with the appearance of Midterms. My drawings weren’t masterpieces like the art I had seen on social media, but that’s okay. I would say at least 75% of my art was bad in my eyes, but we’re all a bit self critical! I was able to take the time and explore a new medium and at some point, discovered a new art style which I’ve come to enjoy.

I think anyone interested in art or ink should try this challenge once it comes around again next year. Your work doesn’t have to be great, because at the end of the day, it’s just for you to enjoy. It will allow you to get better at time management, help you develop consistent drawing habits, and get you to become more comfortable in the medium of ink. So give it a try! There’s no pressure. And who knows, at the end of the month, you may just surprise yourself with the beautiful work you’ve created.

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

 

Already missing Halloween? Here’s a list of our favorite horror movies that will help keep the spooky spirit alive!

Though we’ve just left the Halloween season in the dust, that doesn’t mean we have to give up any and all things spooky and scary! Horror, to me, is one of the most interesting film genres, though it doesn’t get near as much love as films that fit into boxes like romance and comedy. Many may think horror movies are corny, dumb, or just downright disturbing– and sometimes, they are! But despite these preconceptions, it’s still possible to find enjoyment in a scary movie every now and then. Below, I’ve compiled a list of my all-time favorite horror movies. Some are merely slivers of a larger series of films—others are standalones. That’s not to say the series as a whole isn’t good, but these films in particular are the best of their counterparts! Beware of spoilers in the descriptions of each movie!

  1. Paranormal Activity (2007)
  • I have to say that I’ve never found these movies to be truly scary. They’ve startled me a couple of times, but I’ve never been clinging to my seat with my heart in my throat. I remember watching this film for the first time. The concept of telling a story through security cameras was groundbreaking, and to this day, I can’t think of another movie that accomplishes this style as well as Paranormal Activity did. It’s a great movie to watch curled up with friends in the winter weather!

 

  1. Scream (1996)
  • Scream has become the pinnacle of 90’s horror– calling out dumb tropes, being self-aware of its own ridiculousness, and giving the horror genre a number of iconic scenes, Scream is commonly known as one of the most widely known slasher flick of all time.

 

  1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  • While The Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t at all a traditional horror feature, it surely has a number of scary or spooky moments that could leave anyone with chills. Done in the style of claymation, the chilling setting and movement of the characters sets a tone that is sure to put a shiver down your spine. And, with Christmas fast approaching, it’s a perfectly appropriate film to watch by a fire with a cup of cocoa in hand!

 

  1. The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
  • The Purge franchise tends to get a lot of flack—many say the kills are over the top, and the plots aren’t well crafted, but I want to give the series some credit. When the Purge came out, I was pretty dissatisfied. There were some good moments, but overall, I thought the movie wasn’t anything spectacular. However, when Purge: Anarchy came out, I was astounded how different the sequel felt to the original. To go from a fight in the house of a rich person to people defending themselves on the street gives the audience a neat view on how the premise of the Purge works. The Purge: Anarchy was the first movie I have seen which changes the entire premise of the series halfway through.

 

  1. The Thing (1981)
  • This movie, while it isn’t at the top of the list, is one of my all-time favorites! The Thing is a film which is unafraid to develop layers in both character and plot. The concept of aliens is always a fun one to explore, and The Thing does so with vigor. There is so much we don’t know about space, and The Thing takes full advantage of that lack of knowledge. This movie tests the trust of everyone, relying on the build of paranoia in audiences rather than jump scares or gore. The entire premise of this movie is that an alien can transform into any living thing, so no one knows if a person is who they say. Setting up that suspense and never settling down makes this a great horror movie.

 

  1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  • This movie is a jewel in the sand of horror movies. Night of the Living Dead was one of the first movies to establish the zombie theme in horror, and I think it’s the only one that has done it right since its original release. The film itself has a controversial history behind it, being that it was one of the first movies of to have a black lead protagonist. (Spoilers ahead!) This black lead also had one of the most controversial deaths in cinema, being shot at the end of the movie for seemingly no reason. Did the shooter believe Ben, the black character played by actor Duane Jones, think he was a zombie, or did he have quiet racist intentions? This question is never answered, which leads watchers to delve into some introspection after the credits start rolling.

 

  1. Halloween (1978)
  • Being one of the titans of the horror genre, Halloween, similarly to Paranormal Activity, is considered a classic! This film was the first to establish the monster that is Michael Myers, making this antagonist a household names to both those who love and hate horror. I give major credit to John Carpenter for his tremendous work during this movie and the others of the series, as well as Jamie Lee Curtis for giving us in the audience such a chilling performance.

 

  1. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (1982)
  • So, I’m breaking the one rule I set up for myself, which is to not include more than one film from a single series, but for good reason! This movie has never felt like a true sequel to Halloween, in my opinion. What gives this movie an edge over the original Halloween is that the plot of this movie is gruesome, much more gruesome than the first two of the series. To sum up the plot, a man sells a few masks to some local children and on Halloween night, he attempts to use a stone from Stonehenge for a Celtic ritual which will melt the heads off all the kids wearing the masks. While to some the concept may sound ridiculous, to a kid who still finds joy in dressing up on Halloween, this is terrifying. I’ve been afraid of wearing masks for years, and watching this movie again still terrifies me. A great flick to watch if you’re already missing the Halloween season!

 

  1. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
  • It’s hard to describe to people why I love this movie, but I’m going to try. I think what puts this movie over the other Nightmare on Elm Streets is that this movie lets Freddy have fun, or as much fun a psychotic supernatural killer can have. I think a lot of his most memorable kills from the franchise come from this movie. You have a girl being electrocuted through a television, another being injected with poison filled syringes, and a kid being thrown off a building after being strung up like a puppet by his tendons. It sets itself apart from the others by playing loose with the rules of reality for Freddy, and I think that makes the film all the more entertaining. Freddy doesn’t have to make sense because in the world of Elm Street, it’s Freddy that makes the rules.

 

  1. Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter
  • The Friday the 13th films were the first I ever watched as a kid. I remember being terrified yet amazed by the killer that is Jason Vorhees. He goes from being a killer living in Crystal Lake to an immortal being to killing in Manhattan to being sent off to space. This man/supernatural monster/psycho killer has seen it all! Now, while I do love the entire franchise, part 4 takes the place of my number one pick because of one character alone. Tommy Jarvis. (Spoilers ahead!) In the beginning of The Final Chapter, Tommy starts as an innocent nerd, but after witnessing all of the evil committed by Jason, he snaps and kills Jason himself. Yes, he kills Jason! The twist of having a seemingly defenseless nerd murder the famous antagonist is brilliant and shocking.

 

Was one of your favorite horror flicks not included on this list? Let us know! We at the Crux would love to hear your opinions on what you like to watch when you find yourself missing the Halloween season.

By Dane Shaull

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

Mental Illness in College

We all know that college is a time of new experiences. College is really a test, it gives us a taste of the real world and at some points slaps us with reality. While going through college we learn a lot about ourselves that we didn’t know before, and one of those things is how well we can handle the stress of the real world. With the constant studying, assignments and impending due dates, college students commonly become overwhelmed and cannot handle the pressure of higher education. This can leads to mental health issues.  Mental health is defined as “Emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices,” (1). Throughout college students will commonly test the limits of their mental health and will potentially end up pushing themselves to the point of developing a mental illness. It is important for students to understand the importance of taking care of their mental health and to know how to when it is time to seek help when they need it.

The most common mental health issues found in college students are suicide and depression, stress and anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD,  and sleep disorders (2). There are many signs that can help determine mental health conditions before they worsen; unusual sleeping habits, low energy and ambition, change in hygiene habits, thoughts of harming yourself or others,  as well as feelings of worthlessness, helpless or hopeless feelings, and changes in appetite. When these signs are experienced its best to reach out to a counselor or advisor to seek help before it gets too out of hand.

An anonymous professor at Clarke University explained that he thought the most strenuous part about being in college that affects mental health is students being on their own. He explained that parents are not teaching kids to function on their own before they are thrown into the complexity of college. He explained that as a parent it is their responsibility early on to teach children the basics of independence. When asked for advice on how to help students deal with the struggles of sustaining mental health he recommended analyzing your week. Most college students when mapping out their week have too much leisure time, do not spend enough time studying or doing homework. For example, if you have four hours of free time, spend two hours studying then play video games. He also said that students feed themselves negative thoughts, in which he provided a hand out which allows for an individual to assess or challenge the negative thoughts in order to prevent them from altering one’s mental health. One would believe that the drop out rate would be high considering the stress that college can put on one with mental health issues, and this professor agrees. He stated that between three and four years ago about 5-10 psychology majors dropped out at Clarke during the spring semester because of depression and anxiety disorders. As a college educator, he has seen students experience mental health issues first hand. In his experience he said the most common signs of mental health issues that he has seen consist of continuous absences from class, late work, previously stellar work to more poor-quality work and the physical appearance of the student is different, students have baggy eyes, poor complexion, look sloppy in overall appearance and lack overall hygiene.

Liz Schuler, a Clarke instructor believes that mental illness is seen as a stigma but has also seen the powerful affects of mental illness. She says that so far from her knowledge about 3 students have already dropped out this semester. What some may find surprising is that Clarke staff do not have to go through training to be informed about mental illness or how to help the students who are struggling.

Mental illness is a neglected topic that most individuals are unknowledgeable about. To those who deal with a mental illness, do not be afraid to reach out, college is a mess sometimes. You shouldn’t have to be. Your mental health is not a stigma, and you are not your mental illness.

By Alexis Decker`

2)“College Student Mental Health.” Psychology, www.learnpsychology.org/mental-health/.

1)“What Is Mental Health?” What Is Mental Health? | MentalHealth.gov,www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health.

College lacrosse continues to spread rapidly in non-traditional lacrosse areas

College lacrosse is growing rapidly in the state of Iowa. While this is all fine and dandy, Iowa to this day has no varsity high school lacrosse teams. As lacrosse rises in popularity as a spectator sport, more and more colleges in areas lacking high school programs have begun to add collegiate varsity programs. This is both a brilliant athletic and academic recruiting strategy, which is almost guaranteed to increase out of state enrollment.

Not only has lacrosse become popular in the United States, but across the globe as well. Most teams are compiled of players from Canada and the United States, but it’s become common for players from Europe to appear on NCAA and NAIA rosters. Here at Clarke, the lacrosse team is made up of players from all over the United States and Canada. Freshman Canadian attack Drew Bannister had some comments to share on the topic of lacrosse and it’s rise in popularity.

“Lacrosse really is on a rise in the US and across the world, which means more players like me will be coming to the U.S. for school and lacrosse”, says Bannister. These sorts of opportunities mean more and more kids from across the world are starting to pick up a lacrosse stick in order to try out this amazing sport. For many, the draw of lacrosse comes from the finesse and aggression found within the sport that’s similar to hockey or soccer. It’s fast, skillful, brutal, and downright fascinating to watch.

Clarke University has recently taken on a new lacrosse coach. Coach Morhac, who heads both the Men’s and Women’s programs, is currently starting his second season with the University. Last year he led both teams to school records for most wins in a season. Morhac, along with Louis Deeny, a student assistant, was happy to give some insight as to why so many programs are popping up around the Midwest.

“The answer is primarily enrollment, with the exception of some schools with excess funding”, says Deeny. This essentially means schools will continue to add programs for financial gain.

Morhac agreed, adding “Schools like Saint Ambrose University had club teams then made the choice to add varsity programs due to the boom in high school lacrosse.”

If schools are willing to dip their feet into the water on new sports and take a risk, they clearly have to believe in the growth of the sport. This faith in lacrosse and it’s inevitable popularity extends to women’s teams as well.

“On the women’s side, lacrosse is introduced as a low budget and high enrollment option to balance out Title IX,” says Morhac. Essentially, this means that schools are introducing the women’s game as a way to comply and balance out scholarships with Title IX, a civil rights law which ensures fair financial treatment between men’s and women’s sports.

The lacrosse world by no ways is in ideal condition, but with more growth worldwide and in the college game on both the men’s and women’s side it will soon reach the level lacrosse fans have wanted it to be.

 

By Tucker LaBelle

 

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. 

IMG_2911.jpg

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. 

Ingles Redesign-02

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