Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Buckle Up or Pay Up

Travelers weren't the only ones hitting the road in high numbers over Memorial Day weekend. State Highway Patrol officers were also out in full force cracking down on the safety belt law.

Ohio Highway Patrol Sergeant Max Norris says such crack downs are effective.

Ohio's safety belt law was initially enacted in 1986 and redefined in 1992. Getting pulled over without your seat belt on today, will put a ticket in your hands and a hole in your pocket. Fines vary depending on the county, but in some areas they can reach as high as $100.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol website, traffic crashes take the lives of thousands and cost billions of dollars each year. But, safety belts can reduce the severity of injuuries and reduce the loss of life and funds. In 1996, it's believed that seat belts saved 321 lives, prevented 20,026 injuries, and saved $893 million in costs.

Last year in Athens, 40% of lives lost were because of traffic crashes where the driver or the passenger were not wearing their seat belt.

Athens MidDay's Linda Ubokudum took a closer look into this issue.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reducing the Pain at the Pump

Gas Prices. Everybody loves to talk about it, but hates to hear about it.

In Athens, gas has been hovering around $3.50 cents. So what can YOU do to get the most out of your car? Athens MidDay talked to Auto Technician Mark Miller who offers some helpful tips.

Miller also says pay attention to all of your sensors and driving the speed limit can make your car run more efficiently. Driving over 60 miles per hour can dramatically decrease your gas mileage.

Several handy websites are available that provide even more helpful tips. Using cruise control, overdrive gears, and avoiding idling all can save you money. even provides the locations of the cheapest gas pumps. Another site suggest quick engine warmups, keeping windows closed, and buying gas during the coolest times of day.

Don't forget, though, there is always the practical tips. Carpool whenever possible, and of course, don't be afraid to ride a bike.

If you have any tips on saving gas, let us know! Post your comments and suggestions by clicking below.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ohio University President Roderick McDavis says he's "confident."

This comes after last week's Student Senate elections when 78 percent of students voted "no confidence" in McDavis. However, not all students voted in the election. McDavis says the "no confidence vote" represents only 23 percent of the student body.

McDavis spoke to the public about the vote for the first time yesterday. Athens MidDay Reporter Stine Eckert went to the news conference. Eckert says McDavis is not discouraged by the negative vote.

McDavis says the "no confidence vote" could reflect the recent budget problems and athletic cuts. Now McDavis says all facets of the University must work together to improve OU. This includes gathering input from students, faculty and staff before making institutional decisions.

For more background, read this article about the "no confidence vote" published by Ohio University's Post.

OU faculty are also judging McDavis's performance in a survey sponsered by the American Association of University Professors. Results are due May 29th. Read more in an article by the Athens News.

Health Care Crisis in Athens: PART TWO
Athens MidDay Reporter Tierra Palmer investigates how rising health care costs affect local businesses. The story includes comments from an Athens Chamber of Commerce Representative and the owner of Brennan's Greenery and the Athens Book Center.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Health Care Crisis in Athens County

Athens MidDay reporter Jennifer Moore on the health care crisis in Athens County:

Be sure to check out Athens MidDay tomorrow for part 2 of this series on health care. Jennifer takes a closer look at how health care coverage affects local businesses.

Quarters v. Semesters: OU Committee Considers Changes

A committee of Ohio University faculty is considering whether to change from the quarter academic calendar to semesters.

Athens MidDay reporter Jessica Morgan has more:

The group is studying other school's calendars, including Ohio State, Nebraska, Harvard and St. Olaf, before making recommendations to Ohio University President Roderick McDavis this summer. McDavis will make a decision whether to make changes in the fall.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ohio University Students Take Action in RIAA Lawsuits

This past April, a third wave of pre-litagation letters were sent to Ohio University students. Students had the option of settling out of court with a $3000 payment or foregoing the payment and facing the possibility of settling in federal court. Now 15 more OU students join the list of John Doe lawsuits, bringing the total to 25. These 25 lawsuits will be decided in court.
Athens MidDay reporter Shane Kline takes a closer look at the university's response to the lawsuits.

But Ohio University is not the only school facing this problem. A list of the 22 universities and colleges that received the third wave of letters can be found on the RIAA website.

The Top 5 from the third wave are:

#1. Ohio University (50)
#2. University of Massachusetts-Amherst (32)
#3. Indiana University (28)
#4. University of Maryland System (25)
#5. Central Michigan University (24)

A group of OU Telecommunication students voice their opinions of the RIAA in a satirical parody: The RIAA:The Truth. The students produced the video in four days and published it on YouTube. The video makes fun of how the situation was handled.

But there is some good news. Bill Bible, Ohio University's chief information officer, says copyright complaint notices have decreased from five to 10 a day to almost zero now.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Students Voice Opinion in Historic Election

Athens MidDay reporter Allison Morrison on last week's Student Senate vote...

Last week's Student Senate election brought out OU students in record numbers. About 4,600 students - 23 percent of the entire student body - turned out to vote. The election boasted the largest turnout in recent history.

The record number of students elected their fellow students into Senate office, but another issue was on many voters' minds. The ballot proposed the issue of "Confidence" or "No Confidence" in President Roderick McDavis. Voters strongly voiced their opposition of McDavis with 78 percent of voters declaring "No Confidence" in McDavis. In response, McDavis issued a statement saying he was not surprised by the "No Confidence" vote. McDavis cited a decline in state support, the cutting of four sports and tuition increases as possible reasons for the negative vote.

In the Senate election, the TOGA party's top three candidates were elected into their positions. Tim Vonville was elected president, Amanda Roder vice president, and Will Wemer treasurer. With the record voter turnout, it was a decidedly close election. Vonville defeated independent candidate Will Klatt by 17 votes; Roder defeated her opponent by just 6 votes.

The rest of the elected Senate body will be a mixed party, with TOGA and Pulse candidates each winning about 50 percent of the votes, respectively. All of the new Student Senate members will assume their positions in September.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Federal Hocking postpones pay-to-play decision

The Federal Hocking school board met on Tuesday, May 15th, to make a final decision on whether athletes need to pay-to-play for this upcoming 2007-2008 academic year.

After parents raised a number of concerns at the meeting, the school board decided that they needed more time to review before making a final decision.

The reason that the school board is making a decision is because of a 1.65 million dollar deficit.

Federal Hocking superintendent, Jim Patsey tells us more about this years deficit.

Many reasons account for next year's budget deficit. The former treasurer made an inaccurate five year projection leaving many programs without adequate funding. In addition, the school district has not passed a levy in over thirty years and the schools enrollment has decreased. Passing levys and student enrollment are two key components for receiving state aid.

Athens MidDay's own Jessica Morgan has the story. Click play below to find out Federal Hocking school district's most recent decision.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Shane's Birthday Wish

Shane Bernier is a seven-year old boy from Ontario who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was five. Shane's birthday is May 30th, and his one birthday wish? To break the world record for number of birthday cards received. His goal is 350 million birthday cards, and with 14 days left, students at Ohio University joined together to help Shane acheive his goal.

Athens Midday Reporter Sheree Coleman was at the event and spoke with students and the coordinator.

If you want to send a birthday card to Shane, or if you want to help, Shane's address is:

Shane Bernier
PO Box 484
Lancaster, Ontario
K0C 1N0

Thursday, May 10, 2007

OU Student Falls Fifteen Feet on Court Street

A Greek Week celebration on North Court Street left unexpected events. One moment an OU junior was enjoying a Greek Week celebration on a balcony, the next he was plummeting towards the concrete.

An OU student who witnessed the event sent Athens Midday these photos.

Captain Tom Pyle of Athens Police says that unfortunately this is not a solo incident in Athens. In the 18 years of service, he has seen about 10 to 15 cases. Pyle says that many more cases occur each year and are not reported.

Athens Midday wants to remind all viewers to be extra careful when enjoying company on any balcony. When mixed with alcohol and large groups of people, extra safety precautions need to be taken.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Primary Election Results Are In: New Faces Fill City Council Seats in Athens

"I'm running because I think we need a change in the city," Says new Democratic Mayor Paul Wiehl Paul Wiehl.

And the citizens of Athens seem to agree, considering two incumbents have been voted out of the primary elections. This upset puts Paul Wiehl on the ballot over current Mayor Ric Abel. And Current council at large Democrat Carol Patterson was not one of the three names to be put on the ballot.

Reporters Tashira Tierney-Houze and Lindsay Allison spoke with the candidates of the primary election and have reactions. Results can be found at the Athens Board of Elections.

With the Athens County Elections all tallied, what do you think about this year's primary election? Post your comments here!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Presidential Address Expresses Urgent Need for Change

"Change is upon us. And unless we seek to control it, it will surely control us."

Ohio University President Roderick McDavis' message was clear that the state of the institution is in trouble.

During his Presidential Address, McDavis told those in attendance to be "patient" and "optimistic." McDavis says progress is being made in Columbus. Governer Strickland and Speaker Husted are working to provide more for higher education. Specifically, Ohio University could receive a 2 million dollars in subsidy this July and a 10 million the following July. But his speech featured six key objectives:

1. Improve enrollment management

2. Improve student success. A goal of increasing retention by one percent each year.

3. Streamline the transfer process.

4. Enhance our academic research, scholarship and creative activity

5. Diversify our institution

6. Take full charge of the academic plan

A key actor in these objectives is Dr. Kathy Krendl. McDavis announced Dr. Krendl will now assume the post of Executive Vice President and Provost. Basically, she is in charge of the six objectives. She will work hand in hand with McDavis and deans from regional campuses.

As expected, though, there are skeptics like Student Senate member Sam Rossi.

Some staff, like Director of Admissions Dave Garcia and Education Administrative Associate Marlene Swartz, are trying to stay optimistic.

Now that McDavis' plan is laid out, tell us what your thoughts are. Is it enough? Is it too much at once? Is President McDavis being unrealistic? Let us know! Just post your responses right below by clicking on comments.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Biotech firm graduates from Ohio University

A locally-owned biotechnology company is expanding out of Ohio University's Innovation Center. Diagnostic Hybrids Inc.(DHI) officials celebrated last Friday the company's move into the former McBee Center on State Street. DHI develops and manufactures products that are used to diagnose viral diseases and other disorders, including herpes and respiratory diseases.

DHI was founded in 1983 and has increased revenues ten-fold over the past five years and in 2004 was included on Inc. Magazine's list of the 500 fastest-growing private U.S. companies, according to the Ohio University website. This rapid growth made the move necessary for the company's 170 employees. The company's new State Street home will provide over 50,000 square feet.

The former McBee building has been vacant since Deluxe Corporation closed its doors in 2005. The closing of the McBee Systems check-printing plant left 360 Athens area workers unemployed.

Ohio University's Innovation Center, also known as a business incubator, has a mission to provide business services and resources, to foster entrepreneurship resulting in successful companies and a prosperous region.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Title Nine 35th Anniversary

Ohio University faculty and students gathered at the Baker University Center to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Title Nine. Title Nine increased the development of athletics for women, but the effect of the measure does not stop there. People who attended say that Title Nine encourages equal treatment for women in all areas, including the work force.
Stine Eckert went to the discussion yesterday. Eckert says that women have come a long way since Title Nine.

Ohio University Professor Nancy Bain, founder of the Women Studies Program, says she's been fighting for women's rights ever since she came to OU in 1971. She says she has seen a lot of progress, but more still needs to be done.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Big Plans for the Future of the Ohio University Airport

Athens MidDay reporter Sara Goldenberg says the Ohio University Airport plans for new additions

Airport Director Ken Carley explains the plans for airport expansion:

Gordon K. Bush Airport Director Ken Carley said he plans to have a small commuter airline flying into Athens within the next two years.

The airport has been working to bring in a new market for several years now. Carley said plans for a scheduled air service were in motion in 2003 after the airport was last expanded. But even an extended runway and a new terminal weren’t enough for those plans to take off.

“The infrastructure of the airport really wasn’t ready to receive the service at the time,” Carley said. But he said a small commuter airline would not require many improvements.

“We’re really in a position where we’re pretty much able to provide that service with the infrastructure that’s in place today,” he said. However, some airline-specific improvements, like additional hangars, would have to be made.

A two-part study has helped Carley identify a commuter airline as a practical market that is sustainable in the long run.

“This would be a logical airport for some of those air service providers to consider. The piece that we need to answer for them is really what is the demand,” he said.

City Council member Amy Flowers questions the demand and potential business impact of an expanded airport.

“I don’t really see much local use out of that airline considering we’re not that far away from another airline,” Flowers said. “I think it would have a minute impact on businesses.”

So who would use the airline? In the study, people living within a one-hour drive time from the airport are considered potential ticket buyers. Carley says the cost to fly would be high in the beginning and will cater to business travelers. However, it is unlikely that will last.

“Ultimately, that will trickle down, and the price point will continue to drop to the point where leisure travelers might start to use the service as well,” he said.

Eventually, the price of tickets will match the costs of flying out of Port Columbus International Airport. And Carley said the savings in time, gas money and other travel expenses will make the OU airport competitive with nearby airports.

In addition to providing more travel options for people in and around Athens, the new airline could contribute to the local economy. A 2006 study showed the airport has a $15 million output into the community and provides 160 jobs.

“We’re a pretty healthy economic engine for the community,” Carley said. He is working with the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Ohio University to find funding and grants for the plans.

“There’s a lot of synergy that could be created in terms of these public and private partnerships,” he said.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Take Back the Night Week

Take Back the Night is a movement that seeks to end domestic and sexual violence toward women, and violence in any form. The history of Take Back the Night dates back to the late 1800s. Nationally, Take Back the Night week includes rallies, speakers, and movies that seek to educate and stop violence. Rallies often include candlelight vigils, empowerment marches and survivor testimonials.

Athens MidDay reporter Kaylea Livingston was with the supporters last night as they started Take Back the Night week here at Ohio University.

In this interview, Lee Robbins talks about the events Ohio University will be holding for Take Back the Night Week.

Ohio University's Take Back the Night rally/march will take place Thursday May 3 from 7-8 at the West Portico. The event will feature speakers and entertainment followed by a march. Men are welcome to attend the event. Also, there will be a weeklong Clothesline Project displayed in Baker University Center with daily private shirt making at Hudson Health Center from 12-4:30 in the 1st floor conference room.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Athens International Film and Video Festival

The 34th annual Athens International Film and Video Festival kicked off over the weekend.

The festival features 23 feature films to be shown through the week. Additionally, 133 other films will compete for $9,000 in prize money. The films will be screened in 30 public showings through the week at the Athena Cinema in uptown Athens, the Athena Grand on East State Street and Stuart's Opera House in Nelsonville. The complete schedule of films can be found online.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ohio University Restrains Illegal File Sharing

At a press conference on Wednesday, Ohio University President Roderick McDavis announced that the university will restrain all illegal peer-to-peer file sharing on campus computers. The university will monitor its network for file sharing activity and cut off Internet access on computers that violate the new policy. Athens MidDay reporters Stine Eckert and Lindsay Allison were at the press conference and have more.

In an official statement announcing the crackdown, the university said it is restraining illegal file sharing because it consumes bandwidth, exposes the university network to viruses, and illegally distributes copyrighted works. Repeat violaters will have their computers disabled again and a referral to University Judiciaries. Illegal file sharing is considered theft and misuse, both of which are class A offenses.

There are legal file sharing websites on the Internet and those are allowed under the new policy. Chip Mcintosh, President and CEO of Frognet Internet Services, explains the difference between illegal and legal file sharing websites.

Have you been caught illegally downloading material on the internet? Tell us your comments and concerns.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Democratic Mayoral Debate

The two Democratic candidates for mayor of Athens met in a debate at the Athens Public Library on Tuesday evening. Incumbent mayor Ric Abel and challenger Paul Wiehl (D-1st Ward) tackled issues such as code enforcement, city growth and development, and police and fire protection.

Athens MidDay reporter Jessica Morgan has the story.

Abel said he hopes to diversify business in Athens by using existing space and working with developers and Ohio University. Wiehl said he also wants the city to grow, but in a "good sense." He said he would make sure developers followed the city's comprehensive plan and that he would hire a city planner upon being elected, a position the city is trying to fill currently.

Here is an extended look at how the candidates disagree on the issue of police and fire protection.

The winner of the May primaries may go on to face independent candidate Sergey Kahn, depending on whether he collects the 54 signatures required to be put on the ballot for the November general elections. No Republicans have announced their intentions to run.

The deadline to register to vote has passed for the primary elections, but voters will have up to 30 days before the November elections to register.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Athens City Council talks parking in Athens

While parked on Athens city streets, it is required that the car be moved every 24 hours. If the car isn't moved, a citation is issued. Athens City Council met last night, and the hot topic was the 24 hour parking ordinance and the shortage of parking in Athens.

Council member Carol Patterson said that an idea for solving the problem is to have experimental programs such as on Central Avenue and Morris Avenue. Member Bojinka Bishop says there should be exceptions for owners with small children and elderly.

In an interview, council member Amy Flowers explained why the 24-hour ordinance was put into place. She said the ordinance was put into place in order to reduce storage parking. She said people were parking on the street for the long term as storage, and were leaving the people who lived in the area without parking on the street.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Tribute To Virginia Tech. at Ohio University

Ohio University students and faculty gathered at College Green last night for a candle light vigil in honor of those who died at Virginia Tech. Athens MidDay Reporter Allison Morrison attended the event and got student reaction.

Check out this extra interview with Ohio University Student Matthew Denhart. Denhart was at Virginia Tech about two weeks before the school shooting.

Ohio University officials estimate that more than 1500 people attended the event last night.

To remember and honor the victims of those tragic events, Virginia Tech University has established the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund to aid in the healing process and generate financial support.

The fund will be used to cover expenses including but not limited to:

* Grief counseling
* Memorials
* Communication expenses
* Comfort expenses
* Incidental needs

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech Tragedy

Many peole across the country, especially college students, have been affected and saddened by what the media is calling the "massacre at Virginia Tech." The shootings that took place Monday, left 33 students dead, and injured close to 30 more.

More of Tashira Tierny-Houze's interview with a Virginia Tech Student with a connection to Ohio University:

"The tragedy that has gripped the campus of Virginia Tech has resonated throughout our communities as we all try to grasp this incomprehensible act. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and the Virginia Tech community," Ohio University President Roderick McDavis said.

For those looking to locally share their support for the Virginia Tech community, there are two ways the Ohio University campus is showing it's support.

  • Ohio University officials are encouraging the community to set aside the OU colors of green and white, for Virginia Tech's burnt orange and maroon. Ribbons will also be distributed throughout the day, and can be picked up at the Baker Student Center.

  • A candlelight vigil will be held in honor of the victims of the tragedy at 9 p.m. tonight, at the West Portico of Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium on College Green.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Demand for Teachers Increases

Ohio University as well as several other Ohio colleges sponsored the Teacher Research Consortium yesterday. TRC was held at Ohio University and was open to students looking for a teaching job after graduation. Athens MidDay reporter Kaylea Livingston attended TRC and found out that teachers are in high demand across the country.

The United States Department of Labor projects that by 2014 the job market for teachers will vary from good to excellent depending on locality, grade levels and the subject taught. The best job prospects will be in inner city schools and in rural areas. Math, science and foreign language positions are the hardest to fill and will continue to be in high demand for the next 10 years.

The increased demand for teachers is to due to the large number of teachers expected to retire between now and 2014.

Ohio University senior, Ryan Beumont explains why he thinks there are fewer teaching positions open in Ohio and what students must be willing to do to get a job.

The Ohio Department of Education lists job openings around the state for teachers.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Expo Connects Community and University

The Ohio University office for University Outreach hosted its first annual Expo Friday night, Athens MidDay reporter Shane Kline was there and offers this report.

Director of the University Outreach Merle Graybill says the events brings several presentations that help connect the community and university.

Students, faculty and staff attended the event held in the Baker University Center Ballroom. More than 50 exhibitors showcased their community relationships.

The O.U. Outreach programs aims to improve the lives of those in the community through projects like these, and their website is both informative and helpful with information on how to create partnerships between the university and community.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Are false fire alarms on campus the university's fault?

Athens MidDay's Stine Eckert reports on the ongoing feud between the city and the university regarding fire protection. Athens Mayor Ric Abel blames the university for increasing fire department costs due to the high number of false alarms on campus.

OU Fire Protection Engineer Sara Fares says the fines that are being leveled are unfair. The university is seeking outside council to determine how to respond.

City of Athens vs. OU on Fire Safety

Athens Mayor Ric Abel says the best thing the university can do for the department is to keep its automatic alarm system up-to-date to prevent unnecessary false alarms. He also claims the university does not have enough sprinkler systems in its dormitories. In fact, only five of the 41 dorms on campus have sprinkler systems.

All university buildings are required to follow state fire codes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Truck owner says back up warning not required

Did the recycling truck that hit an Ohio University student have the proper safety equipment? Athens MidDay reporter Tashira Tierney-Houze went to find out:

More of Tierney-Houze's interview with Roger Bail about vehicle safety requirements:

The recycling truck that hit an Ohio University student on March 30th did not have a working audible back up warning. Roger Bail, coordinator for the Athens-Hocking Joint Solid Waste Management District, says the beepers are not required.

Ohio University student, Misato Kawamura, is still recovering from injuries after being hit by the truck, and is in fair condition. Kawamura was between Ellis Hall and Alden Library when she was hit. She was treated for leg and pelvic fractures at Grant Medical Center in Columbus.

Michael F. Gilbraith, the driver of the truck will likely be charged with a misdemeanor of improper backing, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Sgt. Max Norris told The Post there is no routine way to investigate improper backing, but eyewitnesses are providing information on the accident.

Bail admits that the beeper was not working but he showed Athens MidDay federal regulations that audible backing warnings are recommended, but not required.

Athens MidDay also found a state study that showed in 2005 improper backing was responsible for 536 injury accidents including 2 fatalities (see page 10). We also found state regulations that an audible back up warning is mandatory for state school buses (see page 16).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Protecting yourself and your computer from video piracy

Athens MidDay Reporter Ryan Basford reports on how video piracy can harm your computer and your community.

Luke Streuig, Customer Support Manager at Frognet, provides tips on how to protect your computer from viruses obtained through file sharing.

With more and more people sharing files over the internet, more and more viruses are being spread across the web. And as Ryan Basford told us, file sharing can not only hurt your computer, but your community and yourself.

Just in case you're not sure what is and is not legal, The Motion Picture Association of America has a list of all federal and state laws regarding piracy.

There are many programs out there to protect your computer from viruses. Some can be bought in stores and some can be downloaded at no charge. Visit for the AVG antivirus program Streuig mentioned above.

Monday, April 9, 2007

What To Do If You Suspect Your Pet Ate Contaminated Food

Athens MidDay reporter Allison Morrison explains why one local pet owner is concerned about pet food being sold in Athens:

Jennifer Sharp, a local vet, explains how to take precautions:

If you are a pet owner concerned about the recent pet food recall, Athens MidDay has some tips for you.

There are several symptoms you should be looking for if your pet ingested recalled food. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, these include: loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms can appear within several days of ingesting such food, so it is important to monitor your pet for any changes. If your pet experiences these symptoms, consult your veterinarian immediately. Kidney failure resulting from these symptoms has been the cause of death in animals that ate contaminated pet food. If you suspect your pet is ill, your veterinarian can assess the animal's kidney function by performing blood tests and urinalysis.

The FDA also recommends that you consult your veterinarian with any questions about your pet's health or nutritional needs. In light of the recall, it is important to note what types of food are safe to feed to your pet. In the Athens area, Kroger and Aldi are making efforts to remove recalled pet food from their shelves. PetSmart is also recalling the products affected.

The FDA's most recent count of pets that have died as a result of contamination from recalled food stands at just sixteen, but some pet owners report that the number is even higher. This argument is discussed on Pet Connection's Web site, which also includes links to pet-owner blogs and information about how to report a sick or diseased pet to the FDA.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Ohio University Introduces a New Diversity Plan

President Roderick McDavis is once again working to strengthen diversity at Ohio University. In a press conference held yesterday at the President’s home, McDavis announced the development of a comprehensive diversity program. The program will combine all of the diversity and equity departments into a single office. The outlook for the program is to bring together numerous programs and services that have never worked together before and centralize their efforts to improve diversity.

“In order for us too achieve our commitment to diversity, we must be strategic and create key efficiencies to improve our campus climate,” McDavis said. “This reorganization will unite our equity services and diversity initiatives.”

Currently the diversity and equity departments are scattered among several different offices, such as Campus Life, Student Affairs, and the Office of the President. The goal of unifying these offices will be to advance the institution’s mission of academics and make it easier for the programs to work together.

This new structure will be led by a vice provost for equity and diversity. This position will serve as the chief diversity officer for the Athens campus and be a part of the president’s cabinet. A national search will be held for vice provost for equity and diversity and the university plans to fill the position by July 1.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Lesson Learned: Speaker Drives Home an Important Message on Drunk Driving

Athens MidDay reporter Ryan Basford spoke with motivational speaker Jim Rockwell about his experience with drunk driving. Rockwell, who suffered lifelong injuries as the result of accident while driving drunk at the age of 16, now uses that experience to deter students across the country from drinking and driving.

Some people think drunk driving is a minor issue, but Jim Rockwell begs to differ. Rockwell is a motivational speaker who has toured the United States bringing his "Rockwell Project" and his message to 300,000 high school students. Rockwell brought that message home to students in Athens yesterday.

A crowd of about 5,000 high school students at the Convocation Center attended "Impact 2007," a program aimed at deterring high schoolers from drinking and driving. Rockwell was the keynote speaker, recounting his experience as a drunk driver at the age of 16. When he was in high school, Rockwell caused an accident that nearly ended his life. He was pronounced dead at the scene and was in a coma for six weeks. Rockwell came out of the coma and went through seven weeks of physical therapy.

Rockwell had to go through speech therapy, physical therapy to learn how to walk, and exercises to re-learn how to eat. After years of rehabilitation, he is now able to live independently, although his motor skills and his sight are impaired.

Rockwell's career as a motivational speaker centers around the "Rockwell Project" in which he recounts his experience and shares his message with students across the country. He stresses the importance of responsible decision-making.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Students prompt changes to Hudson Sexual Health Seminar

Students demanded changes last fall, and now they have the sexual health information they need. After complaints from one graduate student at an Ohio University Town Hall meeting, the Graduate Student Senate set a deadline for the Hudson Health Center to improve its website by March 28th.

"We knew we needed to get it done, and when students said 'it is an issue for us,' it happened," says Director of Health Education and Wellness Char Kopchick. The graduate student's main complaint was over Hudson's policy on gynecological exams. First time users of Hudson's gynecological services are required to attend a sexual health seminar, but students didn't know the seminar's schedule and that they could get a waiver from attending them.

The Hudson Health Center's website now has information on the seminar's schedule and information on obtaining a waiver.

"I think what we're doing right now is the best that we could do," said Kopchick. "And that's making people aware of our services first of all, aware of the waiver option and then by next fall, piloting and trying the two tier seminar approach."

This two-tier seminar approach would offer separate seminars based on the specific health care need. The sexual health seminars discuss topics like the gynecological exam, the self-breast exam, basic reproductive anatomy, sexually transmitted infections and methods of contraception, and other reproductive health services are offered.

Kopchick talks more about the two-tier program and who might be elligible for a waiver.