On February 26th, Sister Joanne Burrows announced Dr. Thom D. Chesney as the new president of Clarke University. Burrows, who has been the president of Clarke University since 2006, announced she was going to be retiring from her position in July of 2018. Her announcement sparked a nationwide search and concluded with a unanimous vote from the Board of Trustees, electing Chesney as the 16th president of the university.
According to a biography issued by Clarke University, Dr. Thom Chesney previously held the position of president at Brookhaven College of Dallas, TX. He also maintained a number of administrative positions at other surrounding universities and colleges around Texas. Among these are The University of Texas (UT) at Dallas, vice president of academic affairs and provost of Collin College, and additional faculty and administrative roles at UT Dallas, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Texas Wesleyan University, and Whitman College. Chesney earned a doctor of philosophy in English literature, a master of arts in creative writing, and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish.
His background has been a positive point of discussion among many members of the Clarke community. Some students have expressed excitement about his involvement in liberal arts programs. The press release issue by Clarke University also revealed that Chesney’s wife, Noelle, is also deeply involved in the arts—holding a doctorate of musical arts in vocal performance.
Hannah Ingles, a junior at Clarke who is currently studying Graphic Design, said, “I think his leadership has the potential to bring about some exciting opportunities for some of the arts programs at Clarke. I’m really excited to see what changes he makes in promoting programs like mine. I hope he’ll be an advocate for the fine arts—all of them.”
In Chesney’s time at Brookhaven, he attempted to encourage student enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. Additionally, according to Clarke University’s press release announcing his appointment, Chesney has also been a reliable and active member of his community. He served on the board of the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce, which named him 2014 Citizen of the Year, and also took part in a number of other community programs.
Dr. Thom Chesney, along with his wife, Noelle, and two kids, Drew and Ellen, will be joining the Clarke community July 15th. Sister Joanne has stated that there are a few things she wants to complete before making her departure this summer, but is overall happy to pass the torch to Dr. Thom Chesney.
This past Monday on November 12th, Marvel mogul Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95. The creator of iconic superheroes like Spider-man, Hulk, Wolverine and so many more was beloved by generations—from adult comic lovers to young Marvel movie fans.
Lee began his career in the comic industry during a tumultuous time in the country. Starting at the Timley Comics company in the year of 1939, Lee began his career in the industry as nothing more than an office assistant. As time went on, he became more interested in comics, sticking with the publisher even when it underwent a name change in 1960. The new name of the company? Marvel Comics. In an attempt to keep up with D.C. Comics after they received a huge popularity boost with the introduction of Justice League, Lee created the Fantastic Four, changing the comics industry forever. 1
Stan Lee also aided in the development of Captain America, one of Marvel’s most famous characters, who served as a hopeful symbol to the United States in a time of war. Lee was the writer who introduced the iconic shield as Captain America’s weapon of choice, which now acts as one of the defining characteristics of the hero.
Once Marvel comics made the transition to screen, Stan Lee was introduced to younger audiences through a number of cameos—appearing in nearly every Marvel film as a random, often eccentric unnamed character. Audiences were always delighted to see him on screen, sometimes going so far as to clap during viewings when he showed up in the plot. Though his life has come to an end, his legacy will continue to live on as the Marvel franchise endures.
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.
Triston 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.
After 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.
Not only grade schools, but also colleges and universities are at risk every day for violence. We have to find a solution. The House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday to help find and implement new ways to keep children and teachers safe at school. This act is called STOP School Violence Act of 2018 and will authorize $500 million over 10 years for grants to improve training and coordination between schools and local law enforcement. It will also help identify signs of potential violence before they occur.
A modern history of mass school shootings is a website that details some of the most recent shootings that have taken place in our schools. It is a scary fact that we have to worry about the public’s safety in institutions such as schools. Jenna Merrick, an 11th grader at Maquoketa schools says, “I feel safe at school depending on who I see.” She also stated, “Maquoketa Schools have phones to call up to the office and a camera to identify people entering the school.”
Fisher Bisinger, a senior at Midland Community Schools, stated, “I feel safe at school, but I do carry guns with me to protect our livestock and myself.” He also stated, “The school doors are locked at 8:00 am and visitors have to go through the office to enter the school.” He continued, saying, “We have a code that is put out over the intercom and if we hear it we are to leave school and go to the Calkin’s Barn to meet back up.” He wasn’t too sure about this plan, especially if there was more than one assailant.
This was a sample of how some area high schoolers felt about the safety of our schools.
Next, I wanted to hear from a Clarke student and see how she felt about safety on campus. Cassidy Derus stated, “I feel safer at Clarke than I did at the last school that I attended in Chicago, where there was no security.” She also stated “There was a person shot in the alley behind my apartment.” When asked what would help with security at Clarke she mentioned security cameras and locks for the interior of the classroom doors.
What is the solution for this violence to end? Gun control? Good luck fighting the NRA on that issue. I think we are heading in the right direction with the STOP School Violence Act of 2018 and it will have to be a multi-faceted approach to be successful. Education and implementation of safety measures will be the key to safer schools for everyone. It’s not all about the guns! We have to take a look at the people that have the guns. Parents, the government, and teachers have to know the signs to look for and alert the proper authorities if they suspect a potential problem.
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.”
In 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
Dance Marathon is an organization that supports the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, and this is Clarke’s third year of hosting their own Dance Marathon event.
This organization works throughout the school year to raise funds and awareness for the hospital, and at the end of the year at the “big event”, the total amount of money raised is revealed to all of the members and dancers who helped raise it! In the past two years, Clarke Dance Marathon, an entirely student-run organization, has raised over $25,000 and with that money, was able to purchase a prep/recovery room at the hospital that is named after Clarke’s program.
Kaitlynn Pate, one of CUDM’s Co-Presidents, expressed how critical each and every member and dancer is to the success of the organization.
“It is amazing to me that college students can make such an impact on the lives of those treated at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. We are all part of a movement that is larger than all of us participating combined. We are the face to end pediatric illness,” Pate stated.
This year, the organization has been especially busy with fundraising, as the goal this year is to raise $20,000, all of which goes directly to the hospital to provide things like meal tickets for families during their stay, toys/gifts for the kids, as well as funding for research for pediatric illnesses.
The executive committee has also been working to ensure the big event runs smoothly, and has been working to schedule entertainment for the event such as dodgeball, karaoke/lip sync battles, minute-to-win-it games, a bounce house, Zumba, therapy dogs, plus more! All of these activities are free for Dance Marathon committee members and dancers to participate in. The only hard part, is that there is no sitting or caffeine allowed during the 8 hour event. This is a way for the Dance Marathon members to take on the struggles that the kiddos at the hospital regularly face.
Most importantly, at the big event, the miracle families that are the face of the Clarke Dance Marathon program are given the opportunity to share their stories of their experiences with the hospital for all of the members and dancers to hear. These stories are shared throughout the event to serve as a reminder of what all of the hard work is for. Chelsea Pierce, CUDM’s Family Relations Director, stated, “I have never met and gotten to know stronger families than our CUDM miracle families. They let our organization into their lives and let us become a part of their families. They share with us their difficult times, and our organization helps life them up.”
CUDM’s big event is held on Saturday, April 14th from 4 pm – midnight, and is held in the Kehl Center on campus. Dancers can still register for the event, and donations can be made now, through the duration of the event. If you would like to register, donate, or learn more about Dance Marathon and the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, you can visit clarke.edu/dancemarathon.
Cedar Rapids, IA, is debuting a brand new $4 million cultural festival named newbo evolve, in the heart of little bohemia featuring headliners Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson, from August 3rd through 5th. newbo evolve celebrates not only the Bohemian creative spirit in Cedar Rapids, but the rebirth of the city after the 2008 flood.
This festival, according to their website, newbo evolve has a purpose of celebrating “the creative Bohemian spirit through music, art, fashion, dance, food, and technology” by providing 40 keynote speakers, various activities and experiences, alongside the well-advertised concerts of Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson.
Interested attendees have the option of purchasing a 3-day pass for the festival at $375 dollars, or individual tickets to the headliner shows of Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5. The festival directors are receiving criticism for the pricey 3 day pass, the lack of a-la-carte passes for sessions, and that tickets are limited to 18+ audiences.
In response to this criticism, KCRG, did some research about the costs of festivals and confronted the directors of newbo evolve. Lollapalooza, the 4-day all music festival near Chicago only has a 4-day admission of $335. Aaron McCreight, the President of Go Cedar Rapids, and the creators of the festival stated that “So for the evolve pass for $375 you get reserved seating, preferred seating right up front in front of the stage. You get there whenever you want. Nobody will be in your seat, and it’s actually a chair,” and expressed their desire to create a reasonable and affordable price for all the activities provided.
According to the festival website, the price of everything included in the $375 package is well worth over $600. This price includes reserved seating at both headlining and to-be-announced local artist concerts, access to all celebrity lead keynotes throughout the three days, and exclusive access events and locations that are listed on their website, here.
However, do not be discouraged by the price tag if you were interested in seeing Maroon 5 or Kelly Clarkson. There are general admission tickets available for purchase through the US Cellular Center for Maroon 5 starting at $70, here, and Kelly Clarkson starting at $54.50, here.
What do you think about a festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, costing more than Lollapalooza? Would you attend newbo evolve for the span of 3 days, or would you rather attend only the concerts? Let us know in the comments below.
Let’s be real, Valentine’s Day is for chocolates, roses and romantic dinners with that special someone. How sweet. If you’re me, however, you could care less for this holiday because you are single and your date is a box of chocolates with the disgusting cherry filling. Over the many of years of being single, I have perfected the best way to enjoy my Valentine’s day by showing myself a little love. Here are my top 5 activities I like to do on the most romantic day of the year.
Do a little shopping.
I’ve been working hard, I should treat myself, right? Absolutely! Nothing big and flashy, but maybe that cute tee you have been eyeing for a while now. Think of it as a good job reward. Something that will remind you that “Hey, your special, so get something special.”
I don’t know about you, but I stress myself out like crazy. Between school, sports and my own personal projects, my mind and body are always sore. To counter that daily stress, give yourself a chance to get pampered. Valentine’s day is the perfect day to do so, whether it’s putting on a face mask or painting your nails, allow yourself to decompress and chill.
I enjoy a good laugh and love story, so I enjoy Valentine’s day by popping in a movie. It doesn’t have to be a romantic comedy, just something you enjoy that makes you smile. This year’s top two picks for me is 10 things I hate about you (Highly recommend) or Deadpool (Because I can).
I am always reading new books and traveling to new places. It’s the best way to unwind and relax. Find a comfy corner, your bed, couch or futon. Then get a bunch of pillows and blankets, and finally curl up in your nest. Pick a book you haven’t read before, or one you love. Allow yourself to escape for a little bit. You’ll feel refreshed after (Unless you choose the an intense book. Then you’re in trouble.)
Share the love
If you see someone down, give them a smile, or offer them a hug. Pass someone some candy to show how sweet they are. I always go out of my way to give someone a smile and hug a friend because everyone deserves a little bit of love, not just those happy couples.
How did you spend your Valentines Day? Did you try any of these out? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @TheClarkeCrux !
They have been running fast, training hard, and preparing all season for their upcoming meet. The Clarke Men and Women’s Cross Country teams are awaiting the most anticipated race of their season: conference.
Their conference meet will take place on November fourth in Baldwin City Kansas. The results of this meet decide what teams and individuals will continue their seasons onto Nationals or which will come to an end. Although the meet is fast approaching, the anticipation of this meet has been building up over the course of many months for both the men’s and women’s team.
All sixteen cross country runners, under the coaching of Brooke Ferguson, have raced at five other competitive meets. These meets include: The Mustang Gallop, Luther All-American, Brisman-Lundeen Invite, Loras Invite, and their most recent race the Seminole Stampede.
The women’s team most impressive finish being 6th out of 17 teams at the Brisman-Lundeen Invite. The team, led by the strong junior Lauren Block, finished with a total of 188 points to earn them their impressive 6th place finish. Block placed 9th overall with a 5k time of 20:41. The second runner for the team was freshman Lauryn Pritchard running a time of 22:05 and was followed closely by junior Emily Reisenberg at 22:06. Sophomore Alex Branham finished in fourth for the Clarke pack coming in at a time of 23:26. The other contributors were freshman Mariah Pellino, senior Anna Cole, and freshman Annie Knobloch. The eighth member of the team, Sydney Hendricks did not race because of an illness.
Although Lauren Block had a great finish and an overall large contribution to the teams 6th place finish at the Brisman-Lundeen Invite, this isn’t the only accomplishment we have seen from Block this season.
This is Block’s first season back after time off from an injury. She reflects back on her achievements thus far:
“I think as an individual, finishing my first race was a turning point within itself. Being injured for over a year, I never thought the day would come where I could actually run a race, and placing made it even more bittersweet”
The first meet of the season, The Mustang Gallop, was were Block first individually placed this season, placing 9th out of 74 runners. Additionally to this 9th place finish, Block has also placed: 6th, 9th, and 19th at the team’s other competitive meets.
It is with the help of the team that Block has made these accomplishments. She is not alone in the outstanding efforts that have been put in by runners this season. Each and every member of the women’s and men’s team have been working hard the entirety of the season, pushing themselves in every race and at every practice.
Block agreeably states that it is through teamwork that the team has come this far and is going to be prepared for, conference.
“As a team, we are all so encouraging of each other on and off the course. No matter a good workout or bad, we’re always there keeping each other’s spirits up. Cross country is a hard sport, and add in the factors of being a college student, the stress levels can reach an all-time high. By making sure we’re all mentally and physically ready to race, we can ensure a successful conference race”.
The men’s team has also had their fair share of accomplishments this season. Their best finish as a team was also at the Brisman-Lundeen Invite. They finished 11th out of 22 teams with a total of 312 points. Coming in first for the Pride was senior Malik McCrary with a 6k time of 22:36. Close behind him was junior, Logan Fraker running a time of 22:59. Sophomore, Mike Aguilar took the third place finish for the team’s pack, finishing at a solid 23:44. The fourth finisher for the men’s team was sophomore Kevin Ockenfels running a time of 24:26. The other contributors to the team’s strong finish were freshmen Jimmy Slowik, Devin Dobbles, and Reide Gallaway. The eighth member of the team, Craig Stout, who has been battling minor injuries, did not participate in this race.
The Clarke men’s cross country team has shown tremendous progress over the span of this cross country season. A lot of their success this season can be credited to the growth in members for the men’s squad.
Back in 2015, the Clarke men’s cross country team consisted of only five members, which is just enough for them to race as a team. Since 2015, the men’s teams roster has grown to a total of eight members. This is a major positive change for the team as Stout adds:
“The team has gotten bigger. The more guys we have on a team, the more successful we will likely be. It’s nice going into practice knowing you have to bring your A game or you’ll get left behind”
They will be able to use this new advantage of more members to push one another during their next conference meet in a way they are not able to do previously. With only five runners in 2015, each member counted for the team’s score. Now they have to work together and push themselves to be in the top five that scores for the team.
With the anticipation at an utmost high, the excitement to see what the men and women’s cross country team will accomplish at their conference meet is overwhelming.
For some, this will be their last conference meet in their collegiate running careers. This goes for the seniors Anna Cole, Sydney Hendricks, Malik McCrary, and Craig Stout.
Hendricks reflected on her last four years as a runner and shared what she is thinking as her days as a college cross country runner nears to an end:
“I want to finish the season and my career strong. But I know I’ll be participating in races after XC and am excited to start that part of my running career. I will miss my teammates tremendously though. They make the hard days easier.”
Undoubtedly the women’s and men’s team will miss the efforts, positive energy, and dedication that the senior members offer.
Embracing their accomplishments and remembering how far they have come, both teams are more than ready for their conference meets. Coach Brooke Ferguson talked about her goals for the teams as they get ready for conference. She hopes that both teams continue to pack run, work up during their races, and finish in the top half of the conference meet.
Hendricks shared what she would want to say to her team in regards to conference,
“I would tell them to run our best, have confidence in ourselves, and leave it all on the course. At the end of the race all that truly matters is that we ran our hardest and gave it all we had.”