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Going Green On the Hill: An Update

Going Green On the Hill: An Update

byDebbie Gillum ’14

With the campus starting to look green for spring, Denison is continuing to go green and be more sustainable.

Facilities Services has been improving buildings by replacing old light bulbs with fluorescent lights that consume less energy and have a longer lifespan. They have also added occupancy sensors that automatically turn off not the lights and reduce the heating and air conditioning in unoccupied rooms.

Most recently, the facilities team has started working on updating the heating and air conditioning systems in Knapp and Olin.

“We started the work over spring break. We hope to be done by the end of summer,” said Bob Jude, Denison’s Energy and Project Specialist.

The funding for making campus buildings more energy efficient comes from the Green Hill Revolving Loan Fund, which was started in 2011. The university is committed to setting aside three million dollars over a four to six year period to be used to fund energy efficient projects. The fund is revolving in the sense that it uses the proceeds from energy savings to fund future projects. This fund is part of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge initiative, which challenges over 30 universities to make a commitment to green revolving funds.     

“We were already spending money on sustainable campus renovations and we knew we would continue to reinvest in our buildings so it was an easy decision to be part of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge,” said Seth Patton, Vice President of Finance and Management, “These kinds of investments make sense for our campus.”

For example, when money is invested in replacing older lighting in residential halls with newer, more efficient florescent lights, then the savings from what would have spent on electricity goes back into the fund. In about three to six years, the improvements will result in a return on investment.

“Since the start of the fund, we have invested about $1.2 million, mostly on lighting. Through these sustainable investments, we have saved roughly $300,000,” said Jeremy King, the Campus Sustainability Coordinator.

Each year, the facilities team has about $450,000 to invest in making campus improvements. A set amount of $50,000 is set aside to be used for community initiatives, such as ideas for solar panels or outdoor LED lights. Ideas can be submitted by anyone to Jeremy King.

With improved heating and cooling systems as well as lights, energy consumption has decreased by ten percent.

“But, this doesn’t mean that our costs are down,” Jude said. He explained how with rising energy costs, the reduction in energy consumption results in spending roughly the same each year. The reductions help to combat inflation.

Art Chonko, director of Facilities Services, appreciated how Denison has built in maintenance and renovation costs into the operating budget. He said that does not happen at  all universities.

“We don’t do it just for the money,” he said, “We’re also concerned with conserving energy and reducing our carbon footprint.”

After Olin and Knapp, Chonko hopes the Facilities team will work on making the library and Mitchell use energy more efficiently.  He said that the idea of using more solar panels was also being explored.

While the Facilities team works to reduce energy consumption through upgrading technology, a fair amount of energy can be saved by making simple behavioral changes.

“When devices are left plugged in, they still use energy. They don’t use a lot of energy but there are a lot of these devices around campus,” said Jude.

King encouraged students to turn off lights when they leave a room and to “be more aware of where they are using energy.”

Chonko said that heating and cooling rooms can be very costly.

“Even adjusting the temperature a few degrees can use significantly less energy,” he said.  

Chonko said that Denison is making good steps in using energy more efficiently and reducing energy use, but there is still a ways to go.

“We need to continue doing what we’re doing,” he said, “And it needs to be a community effort.”

“We don’t do it just for sound financial management; we’re also concerned with conserving energy and reducing our carbon footprint.”

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Decrease in crime violations on campus

The DenisonianApril 1, 2014News
In the past three years, sex offenses, disciplinary action for drug abuse violations and arrests for liquor law violations have decreased at Denison. In addition, schools similar to Denison in size and atmosphere, like Kenyon and Oberlin, also saw similar decreases.
This data was reported by the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool, which discloses data about campus crime and fire reports online to the public. The tool is sponsored by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education.
Under the category of criminal offenses on campus, Denison had 11 forcible sex offenses in 2010, seven in 2011 and four in 2012.
In comparison, Kenyon had a total of seven forcible sexual assaults within the past three years. At Oberlin, the data was fairly inconsistent over the years. Seven sexual offenses occurred in 2010, ten in 2011 and eight in 2012.
Garret Moore, director of security and safety speculated on the reason for the trend at Denison.
“I would have to attribute a decrease in reports of sex offenses to a consequence of lawsuits brought by students charged with those violations.” he said, “A local attorney has filed suit against the victims of reported sexual assaults and probably has created a chilling effect on reports here on campus.”
In terms of arrests on campus for liquor law violations, Denison also saw a noticeable decrease within the past three years. There were 14 arrests in 2010, ten in 2011 and eight in 2012 due to liquor law violations. It is important to distinguish that these students were arrested verses given disciplinary action.
At Kenyon, there was a major drop in violations from 2010 to 2011. There were 17 arrests due to liquor law violations in 2010, two in 2011 and four in 2012.
Oberlin’s data was less consistent with Kenyon and Denison. They had four liquor law violation arrests in 2010, 12 in 2011 and one in 2012.
Moore attributed the decline in the number of liquor law violations on the hill to be because of party registration. Rather than being arrested, a more common consequence of liquor or drug violation is disciplinary action.
In terms of drug abuse violations, this has decreased. In 2010 there were 84 people referred for disciplinary action, 83 in 2011 and 48 in 2012.
Disciplinary action for liquor law violations is less consistent at Denison. In 2010 there was 185 people referred for disciplinary action, 217 in 2011 and 191 in 2012.
This data only represents up to 2012 but Moore predicts that future data will not continue the downward trend. “We have experienced an uptick in drug violations this school year and these numbers are expected to be greater than in years past,” he said.
For Kenyon, they saw a slight increase in liquor law violations with 210 violations in 2010, 231 in 2011, and 233 in 2012.
At Oberlin, the numbers started out lower than both Denison and Kenyon but spiked in 2012. In 2010, 135 students were referred for disciplinary action for liquor law violations, 36 in 2011 and 278 in 2012.
It will be interesting to see what the 2013 and 2014 data reveals about Denison.
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Beck Lecture

Things kicked off with a night of poetry. But these weren’t your stereotypical poets. Maggie Glover ‘05 and Paige Hill Starzinger both have full-time jobs, not related to poetry, but each just recently published their first book of poems.
Despite visiting campus together for the Beck Lecture series, the two women have radically different work.
English professor David Baker introduced the two poets, describing Glover’s poetry was “direct and voice-driven.” He joked that, “It is best to read Maggie Glover with a seatbelt on.” He said that Starzinger’s poetry was “visual art, likely to splinter and the product of a researcher.” He again joked that listeners should still keep their seatbelt on for Starzinger’s reading.
They spoke in the Barney Davis board room on Thurs. Feb. 6 at both 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The event was originally scheduled for Wednesday but was moved back a day due to classes being cancelled. The afternoon talk focused on their careers as English majors while the evening meeting was a poetry reading.
Glover is currently the Director of Brand Marketing at Ipsy, a beauty website, and lives in San Francisco. After getting her MFA in poetry at West Virginia University, she was part of the fashion startup website called ModCloth. She read eight of her poems from her book How I Went Red including one about her admiration for Marc Jacobs and another one called “Refrain” that she wrote while staying in a hotel on what she called a “writer vacation.”
Starzinger read six of her poems from her book Vestigial. Some of her poems were about living in New York City. Starzinger added that her “poems are built like nests” and that “they often have braided narratives.”
In their afternoon talk, Glover presented on the marketable skills that English majors inherently possess and how those skills can translate into the job market. When an audience member asked how she finds time to write with her job, she joked that, “I don’t have dogs or children so I have time to write poetry.”
Starzinger displayed some of her work from her time at Vogue. She said that she “loves to hire poets, writers, Buddhists, and history majors because they bring their passion to their work.” She explained how writing captions for fashion magazines can be a challenging and fun job for English majors.
Isabel Randolph, a sophomore from Columbus, Ohio thought it was really cool to listen to Glover and Starzinger.
“I really enjoyed the opportunity to hear them because I’m an English major who wants to go into business, so it was super relevant,” said Randolph “I thought they were fun and personable and I liked getting their tips about things like combining work with writing.”
Glover and Starzinger were not only inspirational in their careers but also in their poetry.
“And I like both of their poetry styles so that was pretty cool as well,” Randolph added.
Caroline McCauley, a senior from Hartville, Ohio, attended the afternoon talk about the poet’s careers.
“Paige Starzinger’s and Maggie Glover’s presentations on their careers not only gave insight to the fashion and beauty industry, but also touched upon how to find success in any career,” she said.  
She found Starzinger’s remark “The smaller your frame of the reference, the smaller your range” to be helpful, and McCauley added it was “applicable to all aspects of my daily life and wise words to live by.”

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David Hallman Remembered

The DenisonianFebruary 11, 2014News

The Denison community mourns the loss of senior history major and economics minor David Marshall Hallman III, 21, from Erie, Pa., who passed away on Saturday Feb. 8 after a search of campus and the surrounding areas.
“My hope is that in a small community like Denison, that we can give his life and legacy more meaning. We all can, in a way, be more aware and kinder to each other,” said Professor Mitchell Snay, one of Hallman’s professors this semester. “We can embrace our friends and our professors and our students.”  
Hallman’s father called the Granville police department on 12:56 p.m. Saturday afternoon to report his son missing. He was last seen leaving Brew’s cafe around 1:30 a.m wearing a black North Face Jacket, a navy blue dress shirt and blue jeans according to Brew’s surveillance video. Hallman had missed a noon appointment with his girlfriend and was unreachable by phone, according to the Granville police department’s news release.
At 2:50 p.m., a DU Alert was e-mailed out to the student body asking them to contact security or Granville police if they knew anything about his whereabouts.
Hallman’s friends provided information of his last known location. An emergency request was sent to Hallman’s cell phone provider, Verizon, and his cell phone was tracked to help law enforcement locate him. Officers searched the area around the signal location in the afternoon and evening.
Dr. Tim Miller, economics professor, had Hallman in his econometrics class, and Hallman was one of his advisees.
“He was always very positive, upbeat, fun to talk with, respectful and was always prepared,” said Miller. He said that Hallman’s passing was “upsetting” and said that young people “ought to wait until they’re 90 ‘til they die.”
“Whenever a young person dies, it’s upsetting, and in this case, it seems unnecessary and pointless. He had so much future and potential ahead,” said Miller.
Search parties were organized with help from Ohio State Highway Patrol, Granville Police Department, Licking County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, and the Granville Township Fire Department. The Ohio State Highway Patrol used an air unit to do an over-flight of the area.
On Saturday evening at 7:20 p.m., another email was sent out from Laurel Kennedy, Bill Fox, Adam Weinberg and Garret Moore., which stated that “At this time, we do not have reason to believe he has fallen in harm’s way but are very actively pursuing every possible lead.” It also said that counselors and clergy came to campus and were available for students.
By 8:15 p.m. Hallman was deemed a missing person and a DU Alert was sent out via e-mail, text, and phone call.
One of David’s roommates, Eric Fischer, a senior from Longmont Colo., and swim teammates went around to the Sunset apartments Saturday evening looking for Hallman.
Saturday afternoon, roughly over a hundred students gathered in Slayter and split into six groups to search the residential halls for Hallman.  
He was found by two female professors who were searching for Hallman at 10:34 p.m. Saturday night. The Granville Township Fire Department emergency squad was dispatched to the scene at 5 Parnassus Village Dr., near the Granville Golf Course.
At 11:22 p.m., a DU Alert was sent out that confirmed Hallman’s passing. Members of the campus community who wanted to gather could come to Swasey Chapel at 11:30 p.m. Approximately 700 students, faculty and staff gathered at Swasey Chapel to mourn the loss of Hallman.
At this time, the cause of death is unknown and is under investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Granville Police Department and the Licking County Coroner’s Office, according to the Granville police department’s news release.
In the spring of 2013, Hallman took “Traditional East Asian Civilization” and “The Confucian Classics” classes with professor Dr. Barry Keenan in the history department.
“He was a quiet, always clean cut and pleasant student,” said Keenan.
He remembered how Hallman would always warmly greet him whenever he saw him in an elevator or around campus.
“There were no defects in his personality. He was so thoughtful,” said Keenan.  
It was stated in the news release that “alcohol is suspected of being a factor in the case.” In addition, the Newark-Advocate reported that  Granville police Sgt. Keith Blackledge said, “[Hallman] most likely died from exposure.”
A gathering of students and community members was held in Swasey at 11:30 p.m. Counselors were available to meet with students in the Shepardson Room on the 4th floor of Slayter Hall, beginning at 11:30 p.m.
Dr. Suzanne Condray, communication professor, had Hallman in her “Freedom of Speech” class and said he was a “nice guy.”
“He talked a lot about his values and beliefs. He had very strong values and beliefs, perhaps from his upbringing at Catholic school,” she said. Hallman attended Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie, Pa..   
Dr. Jessica Bean had Hallman in her very first Economics 101 class at Denison in his first year, and this past fall semester he was in an elective she taught, the Evolution of the Western Economy.
“That was probably the most fun and inspiring group of students I’ve had in any class yet,” she said, “David was hard working and good humored, fun to have in the classroom, always polite and respectful, and just such a good and nice kid in every way.”
She said that she “will always have an image of him laughing with the rest of the class on our last day last semester.”
“This is a very, very hard loss for all of us, and I will be very, very sad not to get to see him graduate with his class,” she said.  

Front page story

Continued onto page 3

This was one of the most challenging articles I’ve ever had to write. I really wanted to do it respectfully. It was emotionally exhausting to interview his professors so soon after they heard the news. I didn’t interview any of his friends or roommates but perhaps I should have.  It was difficult to combine the news part of his death with the personality profile his professors painted. In the end, I’ve received several sincere compliments about this article and that means a lot. 
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Former student filed lawsuit against DU

By: Debbie Gillum

Denison University and a former student recently reached a confidential settlement to end a lawsuit relating to a sexual assault case from last semester.
The lawsuit alleged that the rights of Zackary Hunt, 18, from Loveland, OH, had been violated during disciplinary proceedings regarding allegations of sexual assault that were brought against him in a student conduct hearing, according to the complaint that was filed with Licking County Common Pleas Court.
Eric Rosenberg, Hunt’s lawyer, is a Granville attorney who has represented three cases against Denison. He said in a phone interview that the case was settled and dismissed in a confidential settlement early in the week of Jan. 20.
Laurel Kennedy, Vice-President for Student Development, confirmed that this particular case will not be moving forward.
A female Denison student had alleged that Hunt sexually assaulted her while walking her home from a party where alcohol was served to underage students on Aug. 30, according to the complaint. The sexual assault was reported on Sept. 2.
Hunt was expelled in November after a student disciplinary hearing.
The lawsuit was filed on Dec. 11 in Licking County Common Pleas Court. The lawsuit alleged ten counts including libel, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence by Denison employees, that Hunt was not allowed to present evidence or testimony on his behalf, and that the university violated Hunt’s right to an attorney.
The lawsuit stated, “Denison violated Plaintiff’s due process rights under Ohio law when it prohibited Plaintiff from having an attorney represent him at disciplinary hearings.”
Kennedy said, “While students may seek legal advice, the University’s conduct process does not include a role for external representatives. We expect students to speak on their own behalf.”
Hunt passed a voluntary lie detector test on Oct. 21 which indicated that Hunt did not perform the acts that the female alleged, according to the lawsuit and Rosenberg.  Rosenberg said that passing a polygraph test, “is not an easy thing to do” and Brad Kelly, the clinical forensic polygraph examiner who administered the test, signed that there was no deception indicated in Hunt’s answers.
Rosenberg argued that it was a violation of the code of conduct when Hunt was not allowed to use the polygraph test as evidence.
Regarding the issue of Hunt’s right to present evidence on his behalf, Kennedy explained that the University will enlist a team of investigators to investigate and make a report of their findings.
“If there is a hearing subsequent to the investigative report, and in particular if students believe critical information was missing from the investigation or report, students can ask the Student Conduct Board to consider information they wish to bring forward,” said Kennedy.
The complaint filed with the Licking County Common Pleas Court, stated that during the investigation Hunt’s resident advisor was misquoted, falsely alleging a witness attended the party. It also stated that the investigators reached a conclusion before the university conduct board could make their own conclusion.
Rosenberg said his client was interrogated by Garret Moore, Denison’s security director, without being informed of his right to have an attorney present. That violated Hunt’s rights under Ohio law to be first informed of his right to counsel. Rosenberg also said Moore violated Denison’s Code of Student Conduct by recording the conversation without Hunt’s knowledge, according to complaint.
The Denison Code of Student Conduct states on page four, “It is also a violation of University expectations to engage in the unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to take pictures or make audio or video recordings of any person while on University premises without his or her prior knowledge, or without his or her effective consent.”
Hunt also sought damages from his female accuser for libel, defamation and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. He wanted compensatory damages and punitive damages. Rosenberg said she knew the claims she was making were false and defamed Hunt’s character. Hunt also sought to be reinstated by the university. He is not a student this semester.
All of Rosenberg’s previous cases with Denison have involved representing male students and the cases were all settled out of court.  A case in 2010 was settled and dismissed and a 2011 case was dismissed, according to Licking County court records and The Newark Advocate.
            Rosenberg urged students to be more critical regarding how discipline is handled at Denison and he cautioned how males should act around females who have been drinking.
“I’d like to convey to students the risk of being involved with women who have been drinking,” Rosenberg said, “because later she may say she was sexually assaulted.”

(From the News section of The Denisonian on January 28, 2014) 

My Note: I’m really proud of this article because it was something that not a lot of people on campus were aware of and was challenging for me. I learned a lot about what information journalists can get access to. For example, I just called Licking County Common Pleas Court and they e-mailed me a copy of the complaint. Who knew? That was very helpful in writing the article. While writing it, I stayed in contact with my journalism advisor so I could ask him questions and so he could edit it. He gave me some good suggestions along the way. I hope to do more challenging newsworthy pieces like this one. 
These two photos credit to Meg Callahan

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Buzzard for president

This is a satire piece I wrote for the Bullsheet, a daily informal student publication, in the fall semester of 2012 when the University was looking for a new President. I meant it to be humorous and for entertainment only.

Buzzard is in the lead for next university president

As you know, thanks to the always accurate reporting done by the Denisonian, Denison is looking for a new president. It has been leaked by a board of trustee member that the search has already been narrowed down to two candidates.

“A deer by the name of Libby Doe is a serious candidate. She is a professor of environmental science from Ohio State.” a trustee member said. “She’s a bit timid but seems capable of being very creative and courageous.”

“The other front runner is a local buzzard named, Ziggy. He teaches in the English department at Otterbein. His area of expertise is gothic literature.” said the trustee.

The Board of Trustees is looking for candidates that stand out from a crowd and genuinely care about environmental issues on campus.

Most importantly, they want someone who can relate to the students.

“Ziggy the Buzzard has a strong connection with the students. It’s like he sits perched somewhere and observes them all day long or something.” the trustee said. “Libby seemed too fascinated with the grass and the trees. She didn’t seem that interested in getting to know our students.”

The candidates all are still in the current faculty positions and do not want it known that they are seeking a higher office at a competing university.

While the final decision has not been made yet, one trustee member has come out supporting the buzzard.

“I’ve been around long enough to know what this campus needs. This buzzard will be the best president we’ve ever seen.”

Ziggy plans on banning all fireworks on campus, adding mandatory ornithology classes for all majors, and erecting a statue of himself in the middle of A Quad.

The buzzard himself was unavailable for content because he does not trust the media of any kind. He views them all as lying pigs.