Author: Ashley Snyder

July 22, 2014 Ashley Snyder

Most students want to stand out and be seen as appealing candidates, whether applying for scholarships, graduate schools, internships or jobs. But the reality is that in order to stand out, students have to take the extra initiative to do things that they can put on their resumes. This can be accomplished through jobs, internships…

April 29, 2014 Ashley Snyder

Congratulations! Well done! Whether this is your first year, your last, or somewhere in between; you made it!  The year is over and the long awaited break has gloriously arrived at last. I, like most other students, have sighed in relief and anxiously await whatever new adventures come with this summer. It wasn’t an easy…

January 28, 2014 Ashley Snyder

An alert was issued by University Police on Jan. 24 when a report came in that a suspicious male allegedly struck a female student at the Consortium Library bus stop at 8:27 a.m. He was described as “a white male in his mid-twenties wearing a knit hat, a flannel jacket, dark khakis or green pants, and was carrying a backpack.”

January 21, 2014 Ashley Snyder

You planned ahead, registered early, and have the perfect schedule for the next semester. You get through finals, relax during the break and have less than a week before the new semester begins. Then it comes without warning, that email that every student dreads: class canceled.

January 14, 2014 Ashley Snyder

Last year a group of balloters from the Alaska Needs a Raise (ANR) campaign sought to get a minimum wage increase onto the ballot. In late June 2013 they received the okay to go ahead from Alaska Lt. Gov. Meade Treadwell, permitting them to collect the required 31,169 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

December 10, 2013 Ashley Snyder

Crowds gathered in the Bookstore parking lot Dec. 6 to watch a lone piece of metal hoisted to the top of the continually growing Engineering and Industry Building. This piece of metal bore the signatures of more than 50 individuals commemorating the final piece of steel to be outfitted onto the frame of the new building in what is called a “topping-out” ceremony.

October 29, 2013 Ashley Snyder

It feels like yesterday that fall classes started. And yet here we are, already past midterms, and many of us are close to choosing classes for the spring semester. Those who are lucky enough to be graduating this fall no longer have to feel the stress of carefully selecting classes to ensure a timely graduation. But for those that have time left, they will soon feel the pressure of figuring out their destiny for the upcoming semester.

Just this past Monday, the schedule for all spring 2014 classes was available for viewing on UAOnline. If you haven’t had a chance to take a look, sooner than later is best. Whether you are a senior with priority registration or an undeclared freshman, every student should still have a good idea of what classes he or she need to register for. So many people fall into a very deep hole when they wait until the last minute — not only to look at what classes they need to take, but also to even register in general.

Even if you are not a fan of the “Finish in 4” campaign, don’t you still want to finish in a reasonable amount of time? College life is fun for the first few years, but after a while, all you want to do is be done and over with it.

Senioritis hits before you even become a senior. So why make it worse by neglecting to schedule your classes out?

You could end up as a senior with only one class left to take, but that class isn’t offered in that semester. Then you would be stuck here for another semester to finish one class. Some students who do that don’t want to stick around for one class and end up dropping out of college — pretty much throwing away what they have worked for. While all of this may seem dramatic, it is true and can be seen every semester.

So make a plan, look online, check out the classes and figure out what you want to take — and more importantly, what you need to take. To help you out, here are the registration opening dates.

November 8 – Admitted graduate students
November 11 – Admitted seniors (90+ credits)
November 12 – Admitted juniors ( 60-89 credits)
November 13 – Admitted sophomores (30-59 credits
November 14 – Admitted freshman (0-29 credits)
November 25 – Open registration

August 27, 2013 Ashley Snyder

Last week Union of Students of the University of Alaska Anchorage President Andrew Lessig announced his resignation from his student government, effective immediately.
“I have been extraordinarily busy with my academic and professional life these last two months and have been unable to dedicate a significant amount of time to the duties of president and will not going forward into this next semester,” Lessig said in a statement released Aug. 22.

July 25, 2013 Ashley Snyder

The August 2013 cover of Rolling Stone magazine is the subject of national buzz lately. It doesn’t feature a glammed-up actress or a bedazzling singer, like one would normally expect of the generally music-oriented magazine. Instead, readers come face-to-face with a figure whose hair is unkempt with eyes like deep black pits. There is no real expression on his face as he gazes out at everyone who looks his way.

This is the image of the person who injured over 250 people and killed three—including an eight-year-old boy. It is the face of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was dubbed the Boston Bomber. The tagline underneath gives insight to the topic of the article inside the magazine: “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.”
Screams of outrage, chants of boycotting and expressions of anger swamped Rolling Stone. People all around the country were disgusted, saying the magazine was glorifying the killer, that the way the story was written was trying to defend the murderer in some ways by blaming parents and peer pressure. There were complaints that it dishonors those who died and it brings back pain for those who were still alive. It got so out of control that the Rolling Stone editors even had to release a statement that they felt justified their choice. While the whole letter can be read online, the most important part of it that should be highlighted is probably this:
“The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.”

Despite the letter of ‘reassurance’, many stores around the United States—such as CVS, Walgreens, Wegmans, Rite-Aid, and some 7-11 stores—are refusing to sell the controversial issue. Maybe even more importantly is that the Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino, was so appalled by the decision he wrote a letter to the magazine stating, “Your August 3 cover rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment.”

This isn’t the first time Rolling Stone has made a provocative decision on their cover choice. In a 1970 issue of the magazine, the cover featured the notorious Charles Manson. Granted, he was a musician, but the topic of the article was about his criminal history. Even though Manson himself did not kill anyone by his own hand, it was still a bold decision to feature him during that time period.

This is by no means something that is singly done by Rolling Stone. Other magazines have also made editorial decisions to feature notorious domestic terrorists. Time magazine has had the Unabomber, the Oklahoma Bomber Timothy McVeigh, and the Columbine shooters featured on different covers.
The controversy isn’t that magazine covers inherently glorify murderers. Seeing criminals, dictators and warlords on the cover of Time magazine is rather normal, and those go without public outcry. Rolling Stone simply did something out of its genre norm, and when Tsarnaev’s image is compared to the other rock stars who have shared that same cover, there is room for misinterpretation.  His face is an unexpected sight for Rolling Stone subscribers, and that makes the general public uncomfortable.

Will Rolling Stone’s marketing attempt ruin their reputation? Doubtful, because the magazine has been operating for over 50 years, and one poor decision often cannot destroy a company. However, the obviously insensitive cover choice has already caused negative repercussions, and more may be to come before the topic has faded from people’s minds.



June 25, 2013 Ashley Snyder

The sweet sound of jazz music and the alluring aroma of soul food permeated the air in front of the Wells Fargo Sports Complex Wednesday. The occasion? UAA celebrated the national holiday, Juneteenth, commemorating the abolition of slavery nearly 150 years ago.

June 25, 2013 Ashley Snyder

The sweet sound of jazz music and the alluring aroma of soul food permeated the air in front of the Wells Fargo Sports Complex Wednesday. The occasion? UAA celebrated the national holiday, Juneteenth, commemorating the abolition of slavery nearly 150 years ago.

Student Activities, Student Life and Leadership and AHAINA cooperated to pull the event together under the direction of Dewain Lee, dean of students and associate vice chancellor for student development.

June 11, 2013 Ashley Snyder

The buzz, clank, and hum of construction are in the air at UAA again this summer as a whole slew of new projects are underway. Students are no strangers to construction as the past several years there has been one project or another taking place.

June 11, 2013 Ashley Snyder

Just a little over a month ago UAA announced the dismissal of former hockey coach Dave Shyiak. Now, after a vote of no confidence from both the UAA Hockey Alumni Association and the Alaska State Hockey Association, UAA’s Athletic Director Steve Cobb has been let go as well.

This came shortly after a letter from Governor Sean Parnell expressed his dissatisfaction with how UAA has been handling the recruitment of a new hockey coach, and recent allegations of player abuse.

June 11, 2013 Ashley Snyder

Looking for a fun, easy, and fantastic tasting meal? Then check out this recipe for stuffed peppers which can be made with or without beef for vegetarians.

June 5, 2013 Ashley Snyder

Food hazard notice: Almost 50 people are being treated for this Hepatitis A outbreak believed to be caused by pomegranate seeds in bags of frozen berries and fruit sold in Alaska (at Costco), said Randy Pfeuffer with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

The brand has been tracked down to Townsend Farms Organic Anti-oxidant Blend berries.

Costco officials warned the public last week about the tainted fruit, which the warehouse-store chain had sold between late February and May.

May 29, 2013 Ashley Snyder

Just a little over a month ago UAA announced the dismissal of former hockey coach Dave Shyiak. Now, after a vote of no confidence and many other negative implications, UAA’s Athletic Director Steve Cobb has been let go as well. This came shortly after a letter from Governor Sean Parnell expressed his dissatisfaction with how UAA has been handling the recruitment of a new hockey coach, and recent allegations of player abuse.

Tim McDiffett, UAA’s senior associate athletic director, will replace Cobb until the selection process for potential candidates can be completed.

April 3, 2013 Ashley Snyder

Race, religion, gun control, gay marriage, war. These are just a few of the many topics that can be considered sensitive and people feel the need to tread lightly when discussing them in a campus setting. Some just avoid controversial topics altogether in order to completely avoid any tension the conversation may cause. However, how can a society grow if they cannot talk about the issues surrounding them every day? This is what the Difficult Dialogues Initiative is meant to address.

March 18, 2013 Ashley Snyder

The final Cabin Fever Debates were the heat of discussion at UAA the night of March 7. What started out as a staggering 32 teams boiled down to a showdown between the final four in a debate to win a $1,000 cash prize. The annual Cabin Fever Debates were created in 2006 as a way for students to team up and express opinions about current issues.

November 5, 2012 Ashley Snyder

Since Oct. 29, UAOnline has had the spring 2012 semester schedule available for viewing, a full two weeks before the first day of registration. This is to allow students to view the schedule and be able to plan out what they need or want to take for the following semester. Advisers of all departments recommend students take advantage of the preview to prepare their schedules ahead of time.

“When a student has a degree plan to graduation and can see exactly what classes they need, how many semesters it will take, et cetera, it helps students to reach that goal,” said Julie Cotterell, academic adviser for the Mathematical and Social Sciences.

So what exactly is pre-planning?

It often entails previewing the schedule to familiarize one’s self with what classes are available when registration opens. Sometimes it is sitting down with an academic adviser to get advice on what courses they should be looking into taking.

Cotterell tells her students that they want to ensure that the classes selected are courses that will count for their degree, won’t conflict with work, family or other activities outside of school, and won’t be overloaded with too many difficult classes at one time.

But to some, like political science junior Julian Freeshaw, pre-planning is a yearly ritual of methodological viewing, recording, charting and constant altering of courses to create what he calls an ideal schedule.

Freeshaw has it down to an art.

First he checks the schedule, comparing it to his DegreeWorks account to determine what he still has left to take to graduate, then copies and pastes all of the courses that he needs for his degree. Next he checks and kicks out the courses with professors that have generally bad reviews. Finally he takes the classes that are left and fits them together like a jigsaw puzzle until every piece fits perfectly — and voila, his schedule is complete.

“It’s the same thing every year, but each year gets a little more difficult once I start running out of classes to choose from,” said Freeshaw. “But it’s worked for me every year, pretty much.”

However any planner may find that circumstances arise that can ruin even the soundest schedule.
Variables include classes where the professor leaves or the times or locations change, causing conflicts with other courses. Back-to-back classes can work well if each one is in the Cuddy Quad. However, Crickett Watt, adviser for the School of Engineering, warns that if either of those classes has their location moved somewhere else, like in the Arts Building, a student can be in trouble.

“I tell my students to always plan for the unexpected,” said Watt. “They should be flexible and have a back-up plan. But they should also plan to have a good time and really enjoy the college experience.”

Watt also suggests students think about planning unplanned time, leaving space in a schedule so if something does not get done earlier, such as homework or studying, there is this empty space to complete those tasks without stress.
According to several advisers, another issue particularly complained about by their students is the different registration dates, which allows upperclassmen priority over underclassmen.

“I do like to plan ahead, but because I am only a sophomore I have to wait longer to register,” said art sophomore Alexa Thompson. “So a lot of the classes I thought I’d take fill up before I can register, so either I have to wait and hope they open or find something else. But I guess I get that seniors want to graduate and get out of here, and I can take some of those full classes later on.”

Classes can fill up quickly, causing students to either choose another class as a backup, or continuously refresh UAOnline until it opens up.

“Most classes do not have a waiting list, so it’s sadly a case of keep checking back,” said Danielle Dixon, College of Health adviser. “Registration changes daily, especially the first week of school. I always say keep checking, contact the professor, show up the first day of class — and if all else fails, have a backup plan.”

Despite the questions and concerns, advisers suggest all students should at least look at DegreeWorks or find a matriculation guide to get a baseline of what they should be taking each semester.

“I’ve found that if you have your entire degree planned out from the start, it is easier to get around those difficulties by looking to what was planned for next semester to see if any of those can be taken instead,” said Dixon.

Whether a student meets with an adviser, checks out DegreeWorks, breaks out the Microsoft Excel sheet or just writes down a rough draft, being familiar with the course options available will lessen stress and add ease when registration time comes.

October 22, 2012 Ashley Snyder

Snow has officially started to blanket the ground, announcing the arrival of winter. To most students, this means time to put away the bikes and break out the shoe spikes.

April 24, 2012 Ashley Snyder

“Change” has been a word circulating around UAA’s campus frequently the past couple of years. A new Conoco Phillips Science Building, new Health Sciences Building, new science and chemistry labs, and a new sports complex have been added or are in the works, among other projects. But the majority of these constructions affect only a small fraction of students at UAA. However, the newest spark of change coming to UAA in the near future is one that will have reverberating effects on a much larger scale for students: the construction of a new engineering building.

April 10, 2012 Ashley Snyder

Every year thousands of people are sexually assaulted. This includes everyone; men, women, and children. However even with the victims of sexual assaulted ranging in age and gender, it is college age women who are the most common. Research has shown that every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

Alaska has continuously been ranked number one nationally for not only sexual assault, but also child sexual abuse.  Anchorage is one of the top ranked cities for sexual assault. Because of these facts, it has become a necessity to bring awareness to patrons of this high risk city.

The entire month of April is set to bring education and awareness to those who were affected, know someone who was affected, and especially those who do not believe that they are at risk. In Anchorage events are set to take place all over town for patrons to attend, participate in, and ultimately raise money.

AWAIC (Abused women’s aid in crisis) and STAR (Stand together against rape) are the top supporters of bringing sexual assault awareness to the population. They sponsor big events; two of the biggest include Take Back the Night and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. Others are the filming of Telling Amy’s Story, ZUMBA dance fundraiser, and national wear denim day.

“I go to these events every year,” said James Oliver. “I have a close friend who was assaulted and so being able to help out in any ways I can has a personal connection.”

Take Back the Night helps people find support from others who have been affected by sharing stories, lyrics, and poems to speak out against violence.

“It is my favorite event because it is so powerful. The voices that would otherwise gone mostly unheard are able to speak out to a large number of people,” said Oliver. “Unfortunately only people above the age of 21 can participate leaving out a large chunk of the population that could benefit from it.”

Walk a mile in her shoes invites men and women from all over Anchorage to wear high heels and walk a mile in them to represent women who have been sexually assaulted.

Basic tips that are recommended by services like STAR to protect people and lower the risk of being sexually assaulted in public.

Having a buddy system with someone really trustworthy when going out to bars or in unfamiliar places is key to ensure a person’s safety.  Always bring a closed bottle of water that never gets left unattended. Pepper spray in a bag is handy not only for pesky Alaskan wildlife. If alone, stay in populated and brightly lit areas.

While these tips may be considered obvious to most people, studies show that people do not believe that a sexual assault can occur to them and therefore do not prepare for even these simple tips, increasing their risk substantially.
Sexual assault is not only in public by strangers, but also in the comfort of a person’s home by those they believe they love.

“Domestic violence is just as prominent as public sexual assault by a casual acquaintance. In some ways, it can be even worse,” said Terra Emerson, a counselor who has dealt with many of these cases. “While a public sexual assault usually happen once, domestic violence victims refuse to acknowledge the damage being done and are continuously attacked again and again.”

Through education, awareness, and events in the community, organizations like STAR and AWAIC are working to stop all forms of sexual assault from occurring, and thus reducing the rate of sexual assault in Anchorage making it a safer place for those who live here.

March 27, 2012 Ashley Snyder

Texting in movie theaters is currently not allowed, but a recent survey shows that the majority of people in the younger generation would like to be able to text and surf the web while watching the movie and would even go to the movies more if it were allowed.

March 27, 2012 Ashley Snyder

We had dozens of fantastic entries and it was hard narrowing it down to the individual winner for each category, but here they are: Best Alaskan, Best Out of State, Funniest, Most Imaginative, and Most Romantic.

All winner will receive a $50 Subway voucher which can be picked up at the Northern Light office located downstairs in the Student Union Room 113 (next to Subway).

Best Alaskan by Joe Jackson.
Bring Me that Horizon – Kincaid beach at low tide.

Funniest by Andrey Oleshko.
“Train! Motor! Action!” Railway station at the downtown Anchorage.

Most Imaginative by Seth Weingarten.
“Sunset Ski” taken near Girdwood.

Best Out of State by Olga Stewart.
Soaring with the birds on Spring Break.

Most Romantic by Caitlyn Pendergrast.
Shadows in San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

March 7, 2012 Ashley Snyder

Dr. Chris Clark, director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, gave a two-hour talk on the effects that industrial noises in the ocean present on the marine wildlife that lives there and how man-made noises are effecting the songs of the whales and the natural acoustic order in the ocean.

March 6, 2012 Ashley Snyder

The green fee consisted of a three-dollar fee added onto tuition costs that will promote sustainability projects all across campus, which was proposed late last September by USUAA and later voted on and approved by students in November.

March 4, 2012 Ashley Snyder

We see them standing there, in the hallway, at entrances to major buildings. They glance around waiting for an unsuspecting student to walk by. Then they strike, clipboards in hand.

“Are you registered to vote in the State of Alaska?”

Every year people gather around popular locations all over school hoping to get signatures from college students for various petitions and ballot measures.

February 28, 2012 Ashley Snyder

Use, recycle, reuse, repeat. This is the general goal that UAA’s Office of Sustainability has been attempting to do to make the school a greener place. Throughout the entire campus, rectangular green boxes display signs with plastic bottles and aluminum cans, while blue bins signify paper products.

February 21, 2012 Ashley Snyder

Mayor Dan Sullivan sat casually at the head of a table in the student union last Tuesday. Students gathered at the tables forming a giant square in the middle of the area. More chairs were seated in the back facing Mayor Sullivan, where more students trickled in, slowly filling the space. It was the first ever Morning with the Mayor event hosted by the USUAA, giving students the chance to sit down with Mayor Sullivan and talk about issues in the community.

February 14, 2012 Ashley Snyder

Flowers, dinner, and a movie. These ingredients all concoct the traditional combination that is a typical date. But living in a state like Alaska, there are so many other ways to show someone how much you appreciate them. This is dubbed the Alaskan way to spend Valentine’s Day.

The only downside to spending Valentine’s Day the Alaskan way, is that it generally involves outdoor activities in the freezing cold. But with the weatherman predicting a heat wave through Anchorage (about 20-30 degrees) it is worth the shot to impress a loved one with a unique date.

Ice skating can be a fun experience, and if neither person can skate very well, it makes the experience even more fun. Falling on top of each other can bring laughter and good times. It also gives the opportunity to stay close together in order to balance each other out. An indoor ice skating rink can be just fine, but liven it up the Alaskan way with an outdoor ice skating rink on a popular lake like Cheney Lake or Westchester Lagoon.

Go old-style with a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride through Alaska’s snowy back trails. Bring a big blanket that two people can easily fit under and snuggle up together. After an hour or so of tromping through the white wonderland, find a way back to either a cabin or cozy up next to a fire pit and warm up with some cocoa and marshmallows.

Take a drive up to the coastal trail and find one of the many parking spots that overlook the ocean. The biggest issue is that many others might have the same idea; so again, it might be a good idea to brave the cold and find a secluded area on the trail to hang out. Bring a picnic basket and keep it Alaskan with wild-berry salad, smoked salmon, sourdough bread, and apple cider. Watch the sun set or just watch the water under the glacial mass covering it.

Head up to Flattop, and don’t forget to bring along some snowshoes for extended walks. The trails are expansive and there are ample places to get away from the general public. Bring a thermos of hot coffee, tea or cocoa and after trek around the snowy trails for a while, take a break at a location with great views and share a drink together.

If both people like fishing, then ice fishing would be a great way to spend the day. Many lakes around Anchorage allow ice fishing. Rent some gear, dress warm, and go fishing, spending time with one another doing something both parties love. This is a great time for new relationships to play games like 20 questions, or old relationships to talk about life and the future. Afterwards, if fish were caught, cook them and share the fruits of labor for dinner.

Alaska has many opportunities to get outside year-round, but in the winter that can be difficult to do. So doing something new and exciting for Valentine’s Day will really add some fun into a relationship.