On April 1st, several first response groups got together to simulate a crisis. This training helps first responders better understand what to do in an active shooter situation to keep UAA a safe place.
These upcoming college graduates express their thoughts about graduating and leaving college.
There has been no shortage of questions surrounding this years’ Seawolves since they first took the ice last month. Will they rebound from last season? How quickly will the freshmen mesh with the rest of the team? Can the Seawolves score consistently? Will Oliver Mantha be everything he was last season, i.e., a brick wall?…
The University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves hosted Alaska’s most popular marathon and half-marathon event June 20. Several thousand runners competed in the race. It seemed as if the only one who forgot to show up to the Mayor’s Marathon was the sun, which shines for a boastful 20 hours during summer solstice. Instead, overcast skies,…
Student Nicole Sola might be seen around campus studying chemistry or at Bear Tooth Theatre Pub serving pizza and beer. A UAA graduate in international studies with minors in German and political science, 24-year-old Sola is back at school on a new path studying biology. “(I) Decided I wanted to come back and study biology….
Well it finally happened. Much to the surprise of every cynic, including myself, marijuana legalization passed in Alaska and reefer madness quickly ensued, destabilizing any remaining morals in our depraved society.
Well, not exactly. Actually the day passed with little to no fanfare, with Anchorage Police issuing only three citations for the public use of cannabis, and Wasilla (widely held as the hometown of grass-growing miscreants) had exactly zero citations. In fact, without the local news agencies posting about the subject to Facebook every five minutes, I probably would have entirely forgotten about the big day.
Like it or not, though, it looks as if the devil’s lettuce is legal, regulated and here to stay. So here are a few tips for those of those looking to responsibly enjoy their newfound freedoms.
If you live on campus, don’t smoke or store cannabis in your room. Those “fire drills” they do are often more about making sure you haven’t left a smoldering blunt in a roach clip on your desk than they are about ensuring that a group of adults can properly respond to a fire alarm. And your resident advisers aren’t idiots, either — they know damn well why your dorm smells like incense or why you’ve shoved towels up against the crack in the door. Marijuana is illegal at the federal level, and because this is a public university, don’t expect to legally light up during your time here.
Secondly, for the love of all rational thought, don’t drive stoned. I don’t care how many times you’ve seen Cheech and Chong do it, or how good you are at the weed mission in “Grand Theft Auto.” If you drive high, you’re getting a DUI — and that’s the end of it. Remember: Alaska is on the forefront of marijuana legalization. Don’t hurt your own cause by becoming a statistic to be used in arguments for prohibition. As much as Taco Bell loves the increased consumer base, they’d much rather have repeat customers than have a one-time order because you stupidly got your license suspended.
Finally, be careful how (and with whom) you share your love of trees with. While it may be legal in the eyes of the state, there is absolutely nothing keeping your employer from testing, and subsequently kicking your ass to the curb if you come up hot. That risk-benefit analysis is going to be different for every person and something you need to determine on your own — so don’t be so cavalier about your plant preferences before you’ve figured out how it may affect your career.
Notice that there’s a common theme here: Don’t let pot get in the way of your life. You know those people that drink excessively or seem to always have a beer in hand? We call those people alcoholics, and all the mental gymnastics in the world can’t rationalize why it’s a good idea to do the same with some Mary Jane.
I’ll admit, there are a lot of “don’ts” in this article, so before I get accused of harshing anyone’s mellow, let me outline what you can do in this new age of green: You can enjoy your herbs responsibly and revel in the fact that no one is going to bust in your front door over it.
If you own your own property, then feel free to grow a plant or two (though no more than six if you’re trying not to run afoul of The Man), or just enjoy your bud responsibly with some good friends. Stay home, order in some pizza or Chinese food and queue up that Netflix playlist you save for the weekend — you know, the one filled with old cartoons, wild nature videos or campy B movies like “Big Trouble in Little China.” Listen, if you want to watch “Fantasia 2000” three times in a row while feasting on Doritos and donut holes, then as an Alaskan you’re now entitled to do that.
Most importantly, as that guy who makes the rice once told his spider-nephew, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Don’t harass or pressure those who don’t smoke, don’t burn one at the expense of those around you, and don’t become a nuisance that gives people a reason to hate your newfound freedoms. There is a substantial stigma against potheads, stoners and jolly green giants alike, and if you’d like to help overcome that, then you better act accordingly. Be polite, be courteous and most importantly, be excellent to one another.
So go out, do your own funky thing, enjoy yourselves responsibly (note the repetition on that point?) and be ever-thankful that you live in one of the few states that grants you that right.
Finally, I just want to thank the voters of Alaska for giving me the opportunity to get paid to write a column using as many different euphemisms for cannabis as I can reasonably imagine. I can only hope that you find this as funny as I do.
A deck building dungeon-crawling rogue-like with “Arkham Asylum” style combat and visual novel elements, with a narrator reading everything you do — that is the simplest way I can explain “Hand of Fate.” It sounds like an incomprehensible mish-mash of different ideas. But all of the elements actually mix and blend together quite nicely to…
Twitter has drastically changed the relationship between fans and sports teams. It has allowed fans to not only follow their favorite teams, but be in the loop with their favorite players in live time.
Fans and teams are more connected than ever before. Win-win, right? Not so fast.
One of the consequences of this new relationship reared its ugly head a week ago.
Seattle’s favorite quarterback, Russell Wilson, has amassed over a million followers on Twitter. He stays in touch with his fans by sending them Bible verses, motivational quotes, and inspirational photos.
But on Feb. 13 he sent out a tweet that irked some of his followers. It was the opening weekend of the sexy, controversial drama “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Wilson tweeted he had gone to an early premiere of the film. “Great movie,” the tweet said in part.
Then the stones were thrown:
“COME ON MAN!!! THAT MOVIE IS MORAL FILTH!!!”
“if you call yourself a follower of Jesus then you should have never seen that movie. Makes you look like a hypocrite.”
“lots of respect for you… but why endorse this movie? Disappointing.”
The responses were overwhelmingly negative.
It created enough of a stir that that Wilson sent a follow-up tweet: “Saw a movie filmed in the town I call home. Provocative/disturbing no doubt but that does not make me less Faithful. Have a blessed day!”
I claimed earlier this is one of the ugly consequences of fans being able to directly correspond to athletes and now I’ll explain why.
As a result of being able to keep up with Wilson’s day-to-day thoughts, ideas and activities, a certain intimacy formed between him and followers. That is, after all, what Twitter was designed for. But is that intimacy actually real? By clicking “follow” next to a picture of Wilson, do we really become best buds with him?
I don’t think so. There are serious limitations to social media and how close you can be with someone else through it.
Whether it was going to see an R-rated film or something else, the Twitterverse has no business judging someone’s actions. It is hurtful, shameful and unfair to the person who gets the brunt end of it — which, in this case, was Wilson. In order to accurately judge anyone, you need to have a relationship with that individual.
And being a follower is not the same as being in a relationship with them — period.
By Klax Zlubzecon Translated by George Hyde I laugh at your methods of transportation. We have great warships that travel at light-speed, and what do you humans have? A clunky, large, gas-guzzling box that, more often than not, doesn’t have the guts to move at anything faster than thirty miles an hour. If I had…
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yVkvTj7VF0″ autoplay=”yes”] After two years in the Professional Studies Building with a temporary lab downtown, UAA’s Anthropology Department is returning to the newly-renovated Beatrice G. McDonald Hall. By James R. Evans Photo Editor The Northern Light [email protected] UAA Anthropology: http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/anthropology/ The Northern Light | The student newspaper for UAA: http://www.thenorthernlight.org http://www.facebook.com/northernlightuaa @TNL_updates Inquiries: [email protected]…
Last Thursday and Friday, the newly remodeled ANSEP Academy Building buzzed with excitement as 48 middle school-aged students made empty computer towers come to life. This activity is part of a free 10-day program put on by the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, which immerses sixth through eighth graders in science, technology, math and…
By James R. Evans
More than 1,000 people cast their votes at the UAA Student Union during the midterm election. Volunteer election worker Bill Gee did his best to help and entertain every one of them.
Connect with The Northern Light:
Election 2014 Results:
By Klax Zlubzecon Translated by George Hyde I saw a picture on Facebook that summed up my opinions on this whole Ebola thing quite nicely: “More Americans have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died from Ebola.” That’s a pretty sad way to look at it, but I don’t think Ebola is going to…
USUAA has officially established a rules committee as of its Sept. 26 general assembly meeting. According to the bylaws of the USUAA constitution, a rules committee should be formed within the first two weeks of the new semester.
The members of the rules committee — Jonathon Taylor, Samantha Reischer, Amanda Boger and Parker Dahl — were appointed Sept. 19 and will serve on the newly formed committee. The USUAA Rules Committee will primarily be responsible for establishing standing rules for the assembly while ensuring that all USUAA rules are followed according to the USUAA constitution.
In addition to creating and interpreting rules, the rules committee is also responsible for making sure senators are doing their respected jobs; examining conflicts between the constitution and bylaws to ensure both documents work in harmony; working on and dealing with any charges filed against an assembly member that pertains to his or her job performance; and lastly, appointing assembly members to other committees.
USUAA has faced obstacles during its fall 2014 meetings due to ambiguities concerning how to properly interpret certain bylaws in the USUAA Constitution. USUAA hopes to avoid such hang-ups in the future with the new rules committee in place.
Senator Stephen Warta said the newly appointed committee will make USUAA’s general assembly meetings more efficient than they have been this semester.
“We don’t want to spend valuable time discussing issues that could probably wait until another day,” Warta said. “Ideally, the rules committee will establish how to properly interpret things so we don’t waste a lot of time with personal biases. Also, with the committee in place, we can start to move ahead within our discussions of the needs of students and concentrate more on finding solutions.”
Senator Samuel Doepken said a rules committee is typically appointed within the second week of school.
“The establishment of a rules committee was a little delayed, but I’m glad they’re up and running, so now we can have the rest of the committees actually working towards their assignments and get the ball rolling on other things.”
USUAA general assembly meetings are held Fridays at 3 p.m. For more information on how to get involved with USUAA, please contact USUAA at 907-786-1203, or stop by the Student Government office located in room 201 in the Student Union.
‘Snowpiercer’ might be the sci-fi masterpiece of this generation. Really. It’s that good. Following a near production-halting dispute between Harvey Weinstein and director Bong Joon-ho, the movie looked like it might never see the light of day.
After some backhanded dealings by the Weinsteins, the ‘Snowpiercer’ ad campaign was almost totally nixed and it was given a limited release before being put on video on demand. Despite projections, it made an unprecedented $6.5 million from video on demand alone.
Based on the French graphic novel “Le Transperceneige,” “Snowpiercer” takes place 17 years after a failed experiment to counteract global warming leaves the earth a frozen waste, the globe spanning train, “The Rattling Ark” houses earth’s last survivors. The poor live in the caboose and the rich in the front. The hesitant Curtis Everett (Chris Evans, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) leads a revolt to dethrone the nobles.
Curtis leads this world with brooding ferocity. Edgar (Jamie Bell, “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 2”), the world-weary Gilliam (John Hurt, “Hercules”), the maternal Tanya (Octavia Spencer, “Get On Up”) and the drug addicted father-daughter duo Namgoong (Song Kang-ho, “Thirst”) and Yona Minsu (Go Ah-sung, “Elegan Lies”) march alongside him. Acting as an agent for the megalomaniacal train president, Wilford (Ed Harris, “Pain & Gain”), Mason (Tilda Swinton, “Only Lovers Left Alive”) taunts the poor into submission.
Every performer brings his or her A-game, especially Evans, whose climactic monologue is wrenching and horrifying all at once. Spencer, in particular, is excellent in every scene, but Hurt has a serene magnetism that elevates his otherwise type-casted role. Each actor believes in his or her role and character, and director Joon-ho trusts them and the audience to put the more obscure pieces of the story together.
And what a story it is. “Snowpiercer” is arresting from the first minute. It’s immediately evident that the train is its own universe — a microcosm with class separation and social tensions. The turns come relentlessly and the twists are dizzying. The movie wastes no time in getting where it needs to go. By the time viewers step in, Curtis’s plans to take the train have already been set in motion. This gives the narrative a sense of momentum that doesn’t let up until the final frame.
On the downside, shots of the outside world are dodgy at best. Thankfully, the movie mainly focuses on the inside world.
And despite the shocking brutality of the inside world, “Snowpiercer” has a wry sense of humor. One absurdly bourgeois look from Mason is enough for a chuckle. With this tongue-in-cheek sensibility and Joon-ho’s characteristic style, the movie becomes something special.
“Snowpiercer” is a fast-moving vehicle that never lets up. The story is original, the acting exceptional and the style impossible to resist. If the viewer has a ticket to ride, this is one train he or she won’t want to miss.
UAA is preparing for a Title IX compliance review, expected to take place next month. Over the past two years, UAA has increased its efforts to raise awareness among university employees, students and faculty of Title IX. All departments and organizations on campus have undergone mandatory Title IX training over the summer.
To prepare for the compliance review, UAA’s departments will be required to compile all documentation related to Title IX training, as well as all their incident reports of sexual harassment over the past three years. So far, more than 10,500 pages of documentation have been gathered — 5,000 pages related to training and 5,500 pages of reports, according to Associate General Counsel Michael O’brien.
Title IX states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Under Title IX, universities are required to be proactive in preventing sexual harassment, sexual assault, gender discrimination and all other issues involving gender and prejudice.
Marva Watson, director of Campus Diversity and Compliance, is the coordinator of UAA’s Title IX compliance efforts. Watson said training remains Title IX strongest tool for raising awareness.
“We want to aggressively continue our Title IX training so that our campus community is fully informed of what their rights and responsibilities are in this area,” Watson said. “Training is still going to remain a very high initiative for us. It’s helping to increase awareness and its fully helping people to understand what is meant by Title IX. How we’re accomplishing our efforts is through training, different preventive programs, our counseling groups are exceptional, and engaging with different student groups around campus.”
Title IX investigator Stephanie Whaley said she is optimistic about the Title IX awareness efforts at UAA.
“We feel like we’re really ahead in terms of raising awareness about Title IX on campus,” Whaley said. “We’ve been able to use new methods like social to get the message out, so we’re ready to showcase our efforts on campus.”
Title IX Compliance investigators will visit UAA Oct. 8-9.
Once upon a time there was a baby-faced, poorly dressed high school boy who got his first car, and it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.
It was a black-ish plastic Kia that gave off the distinct impression that it had been assembled in a hurry out of whatever parts happened to be within reach. To a high school kid with a surplus of testosterone and a severe lack of judgment, getting a car for the first time is about a close as one can get to overdosing on freedom.
I drove that Kia for the final time today, having finally decided to upgrade to something with a significantly reduced likelihood of killing me.
In the years that followed the high school days, I drove that car places no respectable automobile should dare go. The fact that I coaxed a front-wheel drive sedan up the sides of mountains, across semi-dry riverbeds and through alleys the width of my bed will forever remain a point of pride for me. I took that car to places that will probably never have roads, and across landscapes designed by the insane. Had I been gifted with the foresight to film any of this I could have retired on the income from Kia’s marketing team.
While my friends’ cars always seemed to be breaking down or being replaced, the most I ever had to do generally involved duct tape and zip ties. I once changed the blackened air filter only to discover that the car seemed to thrive on dirt and had actually run better before the swap.
My car and my girlfriend always had a bit of a contentious relationship, no doubt as a result of competing for my affection. Given that my girlfriend reads these ramblings while the Kia, sadly, cannot, I should point out that I clearly love her more than my late car — even if she didn’t always understand or support my relationship with that plastic Korean death trap.
The Kia was, at times, my TARDIS and Starship Enterprise, and at others a flimsy rolling coffin, destined to become my tomb. Like all great things, over time she got old and gray — literally given that the idea of a carwash was a foreign concept to me.
In the final months the headlights had faded to a dull glow, the driver’s door refused to open from the inside and the engine gave off enough heat to raise the temperature of anything within a 10-foot radius. At one point I left the front bumper in a friend’s driveway as the car, in its infinite wisdom, decided we didn’t need the extra carry weight for the journey home.
That car somehow transcended the need for oil, instead subsisting on energy-dense gray sludge that science has yet to identify. By the end, the airbags didn’t function, the seat belts became flimsy and frayed, and the engine made a sound like a dying whale. When I saw her last the speedometer had topped 150,000 miles, a feat I believe entitles me to a 50 percent off coupon for a new Kia.
If this column comes across as a strange man publicly professing his love for a dangerous junker, then congratulations, you’re correct. I’ll never apologize for my devotion to my car, and I firmly believe that there exists no stronger bond than that between a man and his trusty (petroleum-fueled) steed.
So let me issue a warning. Parking Services, birds that like to crap near my garage, Subaru owner in Templewood 8 that dented the Kia: Stay well away from my new car. I fully intend to write a companion memorial piece when this new one fails in a decade or two, and I’ll be fairly unforgiving if someone speeds up that timeframe.
My request for a Viking funeral pyre at sea for the Kia was denied by everyone from DMV to the EPA, so let this column serve as the final ode to an amazing car. That little thing always got me to where I needed to go and beyond, without a single accident, speeding ticket or injury.
So Kia, rest in peace in that grand junkyard in the sky. And new Toyota, you’d better get used to camping gear and pine tree air fresheners, because we’ve got work to do.
As school starts up again, returning students exploring the east side of campus may notice the disappearance of a dining option. The building that once housed Fireside Cafe is under renovation and repurposing. The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program is leasing the building for the next three years, and dining accommodations will not be offered during this time.
“Taking a venue away from folks was not an easy choice,” said David Weaver, director of Housing, Dining and Conference Services.
ANSEP representatives could not be reached for comment.
Weaver said Fireside’s waning demand for food and beverages and its proximity to Kaladi Brothers Coffee, the most popular cafe on campus, were among a few motivating factors for its closure.
During the leasing period, UAA Housing and Dining Services will save revenue in order to restore the building’s dining purposes. However, the details regarding what kind of dining experience will be offered is not yet known, and will largely be determined based on surveyed responses.
“This is a short-term closure with a strategic plan of opening … and (offering) something phenomenal,” Weaver said. “We are going to organize … a series of open forums — on what students want, what faculty want, when they want it, where they want it — over the next year.”
In the meantime, dining on the east side of campus will be soon supplemented by the public opening of the Varsity Sports Grill in the Alaska Airlines Center. Weaver said the bistro-style restaurant was planned independently of Fireside’s closure.
Students with meal plans will enjoy conveniences similar to what Fireside offered in the new grill as well.
“The Housing folks, we have also decided to offer dining dollars in the restaurant, associated with (students’) meal plans,” said Scott Evers, Seawolf Dining and Catering general manager.
Weaver said the location will “focus on local food, Alaskan seafood” and is scheduled to open publicly starting Oct 1.
In the long-term, Evers said Seawolf Dining is in the process of planning other dining locations in potential areas such as the upcoming Engineering and Industry Building and the Bragaw Office Building.
By, Tulsi Patil and Kierra Hammons
Its the reason rape is one of the most under-reported crimes in our community. Its the reason most sexual offenders will never face the consequences of their crimes. Its the reason rape culture still exists in people’s lives.
“There’s a lot of stigma that you will be … chastised that you could have done something to prevent this and you didn’t,” said University Police Department Chief Rick Shell. “And that’s where we’re working, in law enforcement and in the community, to try to erase as much of that stigma as possible.”
The numbers are harsh and difficult to accept, but they are a reality that is inescapable.
According to the 2010 Alaska Victimization Survey, 37.1 percent of women in Alaska face sexual violence. The 2013 University of Alaska Campus Security and Fire Safety Report disclosed totals for forcible sex offenses on UAA’s main campus: one in 2010, four in 2011 and three in 2012.
As of Aug. 3, there are 1,222 sex offenders registered within the city of Anchorage — 164 of which are registered within the area of UAA’s ZIP code.
Everyone is at risk, but with education, safety can be increased.
What is the “Red Zone”?
Between the start of school and Thanksgiving, university freshmen are at particular risk for sexual assault. This period has been dubbed the “Red Zone,” and a Campus Sexual Assault study conducted in 2007 showed that more than half of sexual assaults on college campuses occur during this time.
“College freshmen … have moved out of the house — naturally you get freedom that you’ve never had,” said UAA Title IX investigator Jerry Trew.
But despite this luxury, West Virginia University has identified this as a contributing risk factor for the Red Zone. It is important for students to act carefully in spite of this freedom in order to ensure their safety.
Preventing sexual assault
The first way to prevent sexual assault is to avoid becoming a perpetrator. Sex is a mutual, consensual act, and sex without consent is assault.
According to the Red Zone Awareness Campaign, consensual sex has three components between partners: verbal consent, a sober state of mind and mutual agreement.
A lack of “no” doesn’t mean “yes,” and proceeding to a new stage of sexual activity without a verbal, sober and mutual “yes” entails sexual assault. Protect yourself and your partner by communicating consent each step of the way.
Trew said he recommends a suggestion a student brought to his attention: “Always assume it’s a no until the other party gives an enthusiastic yes.”
Though the cause of sexual assault lies with assaulters themselves, this is not a perfect world and everyone can take precautions to protect themselves against potential assault.
The university has a number of sexual assault prevention programs, including Rape Aggression Defense classes and monthly sexual harassment training for university employees.
Aside from these programs, there are several ways to make one’s university experience safer. Don’t accept open drinks from strangers. Go to parties and other locations with a friend.
“We want friends to look out for each other,” Trew said.
Talk about boundaries and consent with each of your partners so actions and intents are clear.
Sexual assault can come from an escalation of simple misunderstandings between partners. Ambiguous language or role play can send the wrong message, so it is critical to discuss the meanings of vague phrases, such as, “Take me home with you.” If you and your sexual partner have not had this discussion, make time for it — and in the meantime, only use clear phrasing to avoid a dangerous misunderstanding.
But even with precaution, some things are out of one’s control. And if this happens, don’t shy away from the help offered on campus.
“If something doesn’t look right or feel right, report it,” Trew said. “We take it seriously.”
Courtesy of UAA Sports Information
The Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team has landed a Div. I transfer of a different sort as head coach Rusty Osborne announced Friday that former Utah multi-sport prep star Travis Parrish has signed a scholarship agreement with the Seawolves.
Parrish, a 6-3, 220-pounder from Bountiful, Utah, spent his first two collegiate campaigns as a football player at Div. I Utah State, including a redshirt season 2012. Transitioning to the court, Parrish brings three years of eligibility and the ability to play multiple positions.
“He is a huge addition. Coming in as a sophomore, Travis will add not only talent, but class balance to our program,” said Osborne, who begins his 11th season at the Seawolf helm in 2014-15. “He is a strong, high-level athlete, having played linebacker at Utah State. In high school, he was not only all-state in basketball and football, but ran the 400 meters in under 50 seconds. He is big and strong enough to battle taller opponents, but also has the basketball skills and savvy to play in the backcourt, including some point guard. He is a winner, whose passion and competitiveness will be fun for our fans to watch and should help raise the competitiveness of his teammates.”
As a high senior at Bountiful High School in 2008-09, Parrish averaged 10.9 points per game and led the Braves to the Class 4A state semifinals for the second straight season. As a junior, he helped BHS within one basket of the state title. On the gridiron, he was the 2008 Region 5 Defensive MVP, registering 68 tackles, six sacks and five interceptions in 11 games.
Between high school and college, Parrish served a two-year Mormon Mission in Malaysia from 2009-11.
“Despite not playing competitively since his senior season, we expect Travis to make a smooth transition back to basketball,” Osborne noted. “He has worked hard the last six months to get ready for fall practice, and I am confident he will be ready to contribute at a high level in November. We look forward to coaching him the next three years.”
Parrish becomes the sixth newcomer to join UAA’s 2014 recruiting class, along with fellow transfers Derrick Fain (G, 6-4/175, Dallas, Texas/Forney HS/The Master’s Coll.) and Dom Hunter (G, 6-0/180, Tacoma, Wash./Decatur HS/Eastern Arizona Coll.) and incoming freshmen Sjur Berg (F, 6-7/225, Nesoddtangen, Norway), Damien Fulp (G, 6-1/160, Palmer/Colony HS) and Brian Pearson (F, 6-9/225, Elko, Nev.).
The salaries of public employees are a matter of public record — but that doesn’t always mean these records are accessible to the average person. Juneau’s public radio and television station, KTOO, is spearheading an effort to create a searchable database containing the records of a variety of state agencies, including the sprawling University of Alaska system.
For the UA system, though, this isn’t the first time this type of project has been undertaken.
In May 2011, Heather Bryant began as editor-in-chief of UAF’s Sun Star newspaper, and brought with her an ambitious plan to cull together systemwide salary info — making the database available on the newspaper’s website.
Through a series of editorials, Bryant explained the rationale for the project in response to criticism from staff and faculty.
“Personnel accounts for approximately 60 percent of the university’s budget. It’s important to know how that money is spent,” Bryant wrote.
Some were outraged over the project, claiming their privacy had somehow been violated.
“Publicizing my salary information is invasive, and is a cheap way to ‘target’ individuals. Doing so is indicative of a totalitarian democratic ideology. Shame on you!” Jonathan B. Horen commented on the website.
One commenter suggested that it would be more fair if the Sun Star’s database included other state agencies in addition to UA employees — but the UA database would prove to be unwieldy and time-consuming for a student-run newspaper with a high turnaround.
As of January 2014 the database has been temporarily removed from the website, though the Sun Star says they plan to make an updated database available soon.
These days, Bryant works as the digital services editor at KTOO, applying her previous public record-wrangling experience to the job at hand — a database hosted by KTOO including state government, the Department of Public Safety, Department of Motor Vehicles and the Alaska Public Defender Agency.
According to an email from UAA Human Resource Services, the KTOO database will include UA employees’ gross salaries, healthcare and retirement benefit numbers, and employment status (full-time, part-time, permanent/temp or student employee).
For UAA, the comprehensive database could be eye-opening, especially in the wake of the soon-to-be released findings of program prioritization.
Incoming Faculty Senate President Diane Hirshberg, speaking from her own perspective, welcomes the steps toward transparency.
“My hope is that some people take a critical look at how we spend, the amount of resources that are spent on high-level administrators statewide. … We have a top-heavy university, and it’s been told to us by outside experts,” Hirshberg said.
Bryant, speaking from Juneau, still believes the essence of the project has to do with “transparency in government spending and accountability in government spending.”
KTOO hopes to have the public records database up and running sometime this fall.
This year will mark Anchorage’s 19th annual city celebration of Juneteenth. It will be held the weekend of June 20-22 at various locations including the VFW Post 10252, Mountain View Boy’s and Girl’s club and 1st CME Church.
However UAA Student Activities, in partnership with Student Life and Leadership and the Multicultural Center, will kick Juneteenth with its own celebration from 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. June 18, on the UAA South Lot Lawn, adjacent to the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
“This will be about the 20th year of the event. We started in the ‘90s, featuring live music, soul food and presentations remembering the history of Juneteenth,” said Kacee Holloway, Student Activities assistant manager.
The event is free for UAA students with valid ID. It will cost $10 for all UAA staff and faculty and $12 for the general public.
Juneteenth celebrations offer a great opportunity to showcase local talent and gather the community to celebrate. However, does the cause really warrant celebration?
Juneteenth is an event to mark the freeing of the “last” slaves in 1865. This took place nearly two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, according to http://www.juneteenthak.com.
UAA Multicultural Center Director E. andre Thorn said despite this, black slaves continued to “love their country more than their country loved them,” because the proclamation only freed slaves from rebel states — and many of those who were freed had their rights restricted with the Black Codes, laws that supported racial segregation and inequalities.
So why celebrate? Juneteenth holds significance because although it may have failed to grant freedom to all slaves, it marked hope — hope that one day all people would share in equality for all, hope that one day all would be free to chase the American dream.
During the arduous weeks of finals a clear, studious mind means nothing without a full, fed stomach. This can be alleviated at places like the Cuddy Cafeteria or Subway, but those places require money. Who will speak for those who can’t afford to grab food before finals?
Quite a lot of people, actually. If you find yourself a bit hungry during finals, here are some events worth checking out.
To begin with, the Daily Den offers free food every weekday from 10-11 a.m. and from 2-3 p.m. The food is usually very tasty and delicious.
Next, if you find yourself needing some breakfast, the Bookstore will be offering a free pancake breakfast April 29 from 9-11 a.m.
The Consortium Library will be offering brilliantly named “Therapy Dogs” on a variety of dates: April 29 at 10 a.m., April 30 at noon, May 1 at 2 p.m., and May 2 at 4 p.m. While hot dogs may not be the best source of nutrition, they’ll offer enough to keep you full, at least during a final.
And finally, Late Nights will continue to be a thing. Here students can gather together, grab some grub, get some stress-reducing massages, and study as a group, because we’re all in this together. It will be be taking place the week this issue comes out, so don’t miss out on it.
With a full stomach, the impossible becomes possible, so come finals, get eating!
According to a 2010 study by the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, out of 100 women surveyed in Alaska, 48 experienced intimate partner violence, 37 experienced sexual violence and 59 experienced intimate partner violence, sexual violence or both. These startling statistics have ignited a fire within UAA, not only to help victims…
Some weeks are created better than others. Sometimes life decides to run at you, screaming and flailing like a bad Jackie Chan impersonator and junk-punches you into oblivion. It’s been one of those weeks when enough has gone wrong that I just had to laugh when a passing car hit a puddle and soaked me on the way to class because it was just too cliché to exist in the real world.
I’ve yet to determine exactly where this week went wrong, though an educated guess would put it somewhere between losing hundreds on a cancelled music festival and having a good chunk of my friend group almost die in a car crash — they’re fine, save for a slightly dented cast iron skillet. Much like Godzilla retreating back into the sea after a particularly nasty defeat, I find weeks like this to be a good opportunity to kick back and look ahead to a less catastrophic time. So this is my half-hearted stab at optimism for the future, a silver lining for this premature finals week I seemed to be trapped in.
First off, it’s finally beginning to look like spring — or at least it’s the first fake-out of the season. I know this because I can’t pick my feet up without slipping on wet ice, and I can’t leave my residence hall without smelling a year’s worth of death and decay coupled with thawing dog poop. Offensive aroma aside, this means I’m much closer to being able to use my tent than I previously thought. In all honesty I’ve had my tent set up in my living room in lieu of a bed for the past week anyway, but since my roommates have discouraged me from building a fire out there, it’s probably about time to head outside.
In a similar vein, the rivers and lakes are slowly thawing out and the day is getting closer when I can launch a kayak without turning it into an impromptu sled. Not only that, but come summer my friends and I can go dipnetting, ensuring that we can be simultaneously poor and well fed for next semester. That’s the main bit I’m looking forward to, having the ability and opportunity to take off for the weekend and camp in the woods without having to incessantly check Blackboard to determine whether or not I’ve failed calculus. It doesn’t require calculus to set up a tent or hike a mountain, and the older I get the more I begin to appreciate that fact.
Next up, thanks to the disappointing cancellation, I have a spare plane ticket now. Granted, I have to pay an ungodly amount of money to reschedule it, but the thought of a solo Hawaii backpacking trip in the fall is quickly becoming feasible. Now, I’m not going to pretend like this isn’t a thinly veiled excuse to search for the smoke monster (and/or polar bears) from “Lost,” but I’m sure I’ll fit other plans into the trip as well.
I could probably go just about anywhere with this ticket — assuming I find a way to finance it that doesn’t involve standing on street corners — but I feel like Alaskans have a special fascination with Hawaii. It’s hard to even process the notion that a tropical island exists where food grows on trees and moose aren’t constantly playing Frogger on the highways. So while I could certainly head down to Costa Rica to see the sloths — which, believe me, is very tempting — Hawaii is closer and I have to assume that the sloths aren’t going anywhere fast.
So that’s my short list of optimism at the moment, and I’m starting to notice that most of them involve being outdoors. Maybe it’s due to the daylight we finally have or the fact that my willingness to attend college tends to fade about a month before the semester actually ends. Either way, I’ve got more than enough plans to keep my summer full; the only challenge is sticking out the remaining weeks before I can start.
It’s the same cycle every year. I’m sure by the end of the summer I’ll have gotten sick of mosquitoes, manual labor and that horrendous English course I’ve signed up for. But until then, the thought of summer is fueling the last remnants of academic effort I’m able to muster.
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