Monthly Archives: October 2016

Don’t be Trashy: Western’s Movement Towards Sustainability

Western’s reducing its way to Zero Waste

Kennedy Sievers/Senior Staff Writer

Poster
Poster

Western is a progressive school in many ways, and a true demonstration of this is our Zero Waste Movement through the Masters in Environmental Management (MEM) students, sustainability coordinators, and facilities. The Zero Waste movement is redistributes 90% of the waste created by Western’s campus.

According to Nathan King, Sustainability Director, “Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. In a more practical sense, this means diverting as much of our waste away from the landfill as we can through strategies such as reduce, reuse, and recycle. Some universities define it as 90% waste diversion, but this is not always achievable for every university given their location and resources at hand.”

While Zero Waste is a new for Western, it is a progressive concept that has been around for a while. Innovative people who care about the environment have been playing with the concept for quite a while. King says, “It was born from the mindfulness of taking a linear waste stream and making it cyclical instead. Thus, nothing (or very little) is being wasted in the cyclical system. This mimics natural systems in the environment like nutrient cycles or rain cycles. It is the way the earth was intended to operate so that it can sustain itself.”

There are quite a few goals that Western hopes to accomplish through the Zero Waste movement. About their goals, King said, “Our short term goals involve getting to 50-70% waste diversion in the next year or two. Longer-term goals involve creating a Zero Waste athletic event toolkit and having Zero Waste integrated into all parts of university operations. Eventually, we would like to reach that 90% diversion rate that I mentioned earlier.”

This is something that will benefit the environment, as well as Western. Through successfully reaching a Zero Waste status, we will be reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, reducing the amount of money spent on Waste Management services, and helping the environment overall. King said, “Based on research by Western students Sam Kozel, Cassidy Tawse-Garcia, Alyssa Vogan, Stephanie Aubert, and Zach Vaughter, we generate 633,645 pounds of waste per academic calendar year (32 weeks). If you include the summer conference season this number is even larger. We currently divert 24% of this waste from the landfill through recycling, composting, or reusing which means 480,577 pounds still end up in the landfill.”

In order to picture this better, he continued with, “Imagine filling 2 football fields one-foot deep in trash and that would be the equivalent of what Western sends to the landfill! This is a lot of waste and we pay for it by giving Waste Management Inc. about $46,000 or more a year to haul away our trash. Our research shows that we could increase our diversion rate to 71% just through recycling alone.”

Western and the community as a whole would benefit in many ways. According to King, “This would have multiple benefits for Western and our community at large! These benefits include reducing our impact on the Gunnison landfill, reducing our Waste Management Inc contract costs, increasing the recovery of usable materials for future generations, and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Zero Waste movement is growing quickly through the help of students that are continuing to get more involved. They are trying many methods to educate students, which can help to get undergrads involved and more educated about Zero Waste. According to Cara Leapley, sustainability coordinator, “We are doing a few thing to educate undergrads. We have a composting station in the cafeteria, which someone sits at to make sure students know what they can and cannot compost. This year we have started to do a few Zero Waste events.”

The group also held two different Zero Waste barbeques where they had several different buckets for different types of waste and educated people on how to properly dispose of the waste. They believe that these events have been instrumental in helping students become more aware of the movement and how to contribute. “We had one at the freshman orientation BBQ and at the Welcome back BBQ so far. At these we have stations for people to throw their food away, but rather then just having on bin where everything goes, we have 4. One for recyclables, one for compost, one for the pig farm, and one that goes to the landfill. We have people at each station to direct people on how to dispose of their waste,” Leapley said.

The Zero Waste movement is also trying to get involved in freshman lives. They appealed to them during freshman orientation week, and Leapley and Taylor Paulson, another sustainability coordinator, helped to organize an orientation event informing incoming students about how to properly recycle and compost. “This year was the first year we tried to incorporate sustainability during freshman orientation. Taylor Paulson and I worked on this together. We made a flier about sustainability at Western to put in all of the freshman folders. We also talked about some of the sustainability projects when students were going on their tours of campus,” Leapley claimed.

The orientation went well and seemed to help bring Zero Waste into the conversation for new and old students alike. “I think that orientation is such a great way to kick start sustainability at Western,” said Leapley. “We really want students to be thinking about it from the moment they start at Western. Hopefully in future years we will be able to expand on sustainability at western even more.”

Student involvement is the most successful way to accomplish the goals set by this group for Zero Waste. The sustainability coordinators handed out compost buckets and still have them available if you’re interested, even if you live off of campus. There are plenty of ways that students can get involved if they are interested. “Students will probably play the most crucial role in helping Western go ‘Zero Waste.’ One way of doing this is to cultivate a zero waste mindset in your day to day life so that you minimize your trash,” according to King.  

There are many ways to reconsider what is actually trash and what can be saved and reused. It can be really easy if you just keep these few steps in mind: “You can do this by remembering the 5 steps to zero waste (refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, recover). It is best to not create any waste in the first place (refuse). If you do have to create some waste, try to make as little as possible (reduce). Then try to find other uses for the waste you want to get rid of (reuse). If you can’t reuse it, then try to recycle or compost it in order to save the value of the resource (recycle). Lastly, use the leftover waste to create new forms of energy,” said King.

There will also be opportunities to get involved as a volunteer for Zero Waste events around campus. Please email Nathan King (nking@western.edu) if you are interested in getting more involved! 

Western Welcomes Prospective Students

The first Preview Day of the semester showed students the Western Value

Bethany Eveleth / Staff Writer

Friday, Oct. 7 brought 130 prospective students from all over the state, and country, to Western’s campus for an all day event dedicated to educating future students about everything Western has to offer, as well as how to approach applying to and entering college life. This event is known as Preview Day.

The event started at 10am, where students were able to attend the Program Fair, which gave them the opportunity to talk to representatives of most of the campus programs, and understand what many of the majors on campus entail. Following the hour long fair in the Mountaineer Field House, families and students were directed to the University Center (UC), where they spent much of their day. Students attended open question and answer sessions as well as activities, while parents attended talks that provided an overview of the application process, financial aid applications, and more. Participants also get the opportunity to take a campus tour led by a Western student ambassador. The tours were split up into the various majors Western has to offer, many of them led by students who are involved in that particular area of study.

“I enjoyed [Preview Day] a lot. It is really cool to see how the environment and community here are,” said Elizabeth Posavad, a junior attending Legend High School in Parker, CO. “Everyone is really friendly, which is intriguing to me, because I’m from a bigger environment, which can be not so friendly.” Posavad went on the Recreation and Outdoor education tour with her mom and dad, and is looking forward to studying many things in college.

Aside from being a great way to spend the day at Western as well as hear from many of the different facets the university has to offer, Preview Day comes with some really unique perks. In the past, Western has offered free shuttles from Colorado Springs and Denver to give interested students and families a more accessible way to journey from the front range to the valley. For this Preview Day, Western was able to collaborate with some of the hotels in town to offer families a complimentary one night stay. One lucky student won tickets to the Broncos vs. Chiefs game on November 27. The tickets were a part of a ticket drawing that all attendees were entered to win.

Student ambassadors help to prepare the campus for visitors. Present for all of Preview Day, they offer prospective students first hand insight about anything they may be wondering about, and take students and their families on the tour that occurs in the afternoon.

“Preview Day is so much fun! It’s a great experience for students who are looking to come to Western to see what we are all about,” said Carly Zimmerman, a junior here at Western. “We get to show them a little snippet of the Western value.”

At the forefront of planning is Western’s Campus Visit Coordinator, Alyssa Magalong. Magalong is a recent Western graduate, and returned to fill the spot this summer.

“This Preview Day was my first one, and I could not have asked for a more supportive and collaborative team,” said Magalong. “I think the success of our Preview Days is from the collaboration.”

As a new graduate, Magalong also loves offering prospective students and their families a fresh perspective of what student life is like. There are three more Preview Days on the calendar for the year, each offering different opportunities to help prospective students experience Western and the surrounding community.

Western State Colorado University Receives Charter for National Honor Society

Gunnison, Col. (Oct. 10, 2016) – Western State Colorado University’s petition for a charter of The National Leadership Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa (O∆K), was approved recently by the organization’s board of directors. Tara Singer, executive director, will be the installing officer for the chartering ceremony scheduled for Oct. 20, 2016.  Ben Williams, a former member of the O∆K Board of Directors, and Ed Felton, a long-time volunteer for the organization, will assist Singer with the installation.

 

The announcement was made by Matthew Clifford, O∆K’s national president. “We are pleased to welcome Western State Colorado University into our Society,” said Clifford. ” Western joins Colorado Christian University as the only two institutions in the state which have O∆K circles (chapters). Students will now be recognized for their leadership involvement and be eligible to participate in the Society’s national programs including scholarships, campus grants, and leadership development programs.”

 

Members of the Western State Colorado University charter group will include three to five faculty members and administrators, including Gregory B. Salsbury, Western’s president, and 15-20 student leaders who will be recognized as founding members of the circle.

 

Omicron Delta Kappa Society, the National Leadership Honor Society, was founded at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. on Dec. 3, 1914. A group of 15 students and faculty members established the Society to recognize and encourage leadership at the collegiate level. The founders established the O∆K Idea—the concept that individuals representing all phases of collegiate life should collaborate with faculty and others to support the campus and community. O∆K’s mission is to honor and develop leaders, encourage collaboration among students, faculty and alumni, and promote O∆K’s ideals of scholarship, service, integrity, character, and fellowship on college and university campuses throughout North America.  The headquarters are located in Lexington, Va.

 

Contact

 

Gary Pierson, vice president for student affairs/dean of students, Western State Colorado University,  

(970) 943-2049, gpierson@western.edu
Tara S. Singer, executive director, Omicron Delta Kappa, (540) 458-5340, tara@odk.org.

College Students and Mental Health

Western students talk about their struggles with anxiety and depression.

Nick Tarling / Staff Writer

“I tell myself in my head that it is going to pass and to just stay calm,” said one Western student when asked about how anxiety affects them. A 2008 Associated Press survey found that 80 percent of post-secondary students frequently experience everyday stress, and 13 percent have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or depression.

As the world in general has become more open and honest regarding mental health over the last few decades, colleges across the country have done their best to combat these issues. On-campus counseling services have become more prevalent as more and more light gets shed on the personal problems that college students continue to face. Western, for example, gives the opportunity for students to take seven free counseling sessions at the Campus Health Center. Whether dealing with a mental illness or personal issues like grief, stress, and homesickness, the counselors are here to assist you.

Despite these efforts by universities to make counseling services readily available, the National Alliance on Mental Illness states that 40% of college students who experience stress and anxiety don’t seek help. When asked if they had ever thought about doing counseling, the Western student quoted earlier replied, “not really. I don’t like to burden others with my nonsense.”

Another student who had been referred to the Center for Mental Health in Gunnison by the Campus Health Center spoke about how their depression affected their schoolwork. “Some days I find it hard to get out of bed and go to class, and my grades suffer. When I get in that mindset, I just can’t find the motivation to get any of my work done.” Despite this lack of motivation, the student attends therapy once a week at the Center for Mental Health, and is hopeful that eventually they will find some relief from their depression.

If you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, or any stressful personal matters, the most important thing you can do is reach out for help. Listed below are contact information for various outlets on and off campus that can, and want to, help you get better.

Campus Counseling Center: 970-642-4615

Emergency/after-hours number: 970-252-6220

Gunnison Center for Mental Health: 970-641-0229

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

Accessible and Affordable: Options for Students

Gunnison Public Health offers income-based care for family planning

Bethany Eveleth / Staff Writer

 Map Courtesy of iMaps
Map Courtesy of iMaps

College, although challenging and stressful at times, is full of wonderful opportunities to make memories, often in settings other than the classroom. When the fun gets out of control, or new needs arise, sometimes it can be hard to seek care. Medical care is expensive, and confidentiality can be hard to come by in a town as small as Gunnison. Students do have options, though.

Located less than two miles from the campus on Pine Street, Gunnison Public Health Family Planning offers low to no cost services for community members to take advantage of. They offer everything from birth control options, to well woman exams (Pap smears), and sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening. They can also provide care for urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and vaccinate for human papilloma virus (HPV), as well as provide low or no-cost emergency contraceptives.

“We base everything on income, so depending on where your income falls on the Federal poverty level, we have free or low cost services,” said Family Planning Coordinator and registered nurse, Emily Fitzgerald. “Most college students qualify for free services, and should they have to pay, most visits will cost less than 35 dollars, depending on what they need.”

Family Planning bills a variety of insurances, so that is an option, and when insurance can be billed, patients often will not have to pay a co-pay. If, for whatever, reason, a patient wishes not to have their insurance billed, they are still eligible to have their income evaluated for the sliding pay-scale.

“We will never tell somebody no, the most important thing is someone getting what they need,” Fitzgerald said. “Price shouldn’t stand in an individual’s way.”

Everything is 100 percent confidential, and patients can usually get in quickly. So there is no need to worry about anything being publicized to the school or community. The office is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, as well as two Mondays a month. Payments can be made with cash, check, or credit card. Depending on the type of exam or service, results are generally pretty fast.

“If you’re coming in and want to get on birth control, we’ll chat about different methods, and I’ll do a brief physical exam, and then often you can start that same day,” Fitzgerald said. “For STD testing, we’ll screen to decide which tests to run, and usually there is a seven day turn around for results.”

Fitzgerald is even willing to sit down and talk to individuals who have questions or want more education without being checked. Family Planning used to run some events for Western, such as STD clinics, but have recently been limited to onsite testing only. Currently, they are working on many internal projects, which limits outreach opportunities.

“I would be open to education programs in something like a dorm setting,” Fitzgerald said. “Especially if there is a particular interest about anything. I wouldn’t want to come present on the same things that everyone has heard about all through school, though.”

Students and community members are encouraged to get what they need, and practice self care. For more information, or to set up an appointment call 970-641-0209.

Film Review: Finding Dory

Pixar film delivers heart and fun while treading familiar waters.

Sam Thornley / Staff Writer

finding-dory

After thirteen years since the forgetful fish Dory charmed audiences in Finding Nemo, the blue regal tang has made a welcome return in Pixar’s Finding Dory. Starring Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks, reprising the roles of Dory and Marlin, Finding Dory features the fish of Finding Nemo in a new computer animated adventure filled with laughs and touching moments. The film, directed by Pixar veterans Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane, was released on June 17, 2016, and is due to be available on home media November 15 and digital platforms on October 25 this year.

Set one year after Finding Nemo, the story follows Dory as she enlists Marlin and Nemo to help her search for her parents in Morro Bay, California. The trio end up separated and land in a marine life institute, where they must use their wits to escape and find Dory’s parents along the way before the fish are moved to another institute.

What makes Finding Dory fun and unique is the heavy focus on Dory herself, given her disability of short-term memory loss. Thanks to this, Dory often has to improvise in order to survive and solve problems, which makes watching her efforts entertaining. This lends the film a fast pace and spontaneous feel, which helps stave off any feelings of boredom.

In addition, there is no romance to speak of between Dory or any other character in the film. When the general trend in films is to include a token romance of some sort, it nicely shows how people can be close friends with each other without needing to be romantic. Considering many films released by Disney and Pixar follow this trend, this makes it all the more impactful.

The setting of a marine aquarium is also handled in a fairly tasteful manner. In an era where there is much outcry over marine parks like SeaWorld, the film chooses to not have animals perform while giving them a degree of choice in their surroundings. On top of that, it avoids turning the park into a strawman for the negatives of such systems by showing the positive qualities of the park, which prevents the film from getting too preachy on the subject of captive animals.

In terms of the animals themselves, the voice performances are all well done. Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks are very charming and funny as Dory and Marlin, while Hayden Rolence compliments them as a snarky and surprisingly wise for his age Nemo. Ed O’Neill also shines as the grumpy but considerate octopus Hank, while Idris Elba and even Sigourney Weaver make amusing cameos throughout the film.

On the visual side, the film manages to live up to Pixar’s usual animation standards. The animators overhauled their lighting tools for the film and it shows with extensive transition shots from the water to the surface as the animals move about, along with well-designed luminescent sequences. Not to mention, the bright color palette of the film keeps it interesting and should appeal to adults and children alike.

Finding Dory’s biggest strength lies in the emotional focus that is Dory’s search for her parents, along with her memory. The search for Dory’s parents appeals to the fears of adults and kids with its subject matter making the film’s dilemma a very personal one. This dilemma makes the film very engaging and allows for the lack of an antagonist. Most of all, Dory being forgetful is treated as something everyone will get used to in living with her and not something to be ashamed of, which is a valuable message for parents of children with disabilities.

On top of this, the film manages an excellent blend of comedy and drama, often in the same scene. Between funny moments like Dory’s whale mimicry and touching interactions between Nemo and Dory, the film showcases a lot of heart while being able to make the audience laugh at the same time.

As for any major criticisms of the film, it is a sequel that leans on the past more than it should. The general premise is similar to Finding Nemo and the main characters get stuck in pipes, run into friendly aquarium life, and run away from sea monsters much like they did before. As a result, the film treads familiar waters a little too comfortably for its own good and doesn’t quite have a fresh feeling to it.

While the increased focus on Dory is welcome, Marlin and Nemo feel somewhat superfluous to the narrative. Since Dory has most of the character focus and the newcomer critters get their share of the spotlight, Marlin and Nemo spend a lot of time lurking in the background while Dory and the new animals get attention. As a result, they seem to largely exist just because it’s a sequel and they’re required to until the climax makes them important again.

Altogether, Finding Dory manages to be an entertaining adventure that should appeal to children and adults. Even if it is a little too derivative for its own good, the performances and humor are more than enough to justify giving it a watch. With an uplifting nature equivalent to the fish it follows, Finding Dory is jolly and a must see for animation fans.

Career Awareness Week

Western students prepare themselves for the professional world.

Stephanie Colton / Staff Writer

Western business students at Mile High Stadium for the Colorado Business School Career Fair. Photo Courtesy of Mariah Green
Western business students at Mile High Stadium for the Colorado Business School Career Fair. Photo Courtesy of Mariah Green

Over the course of the last two weeks, Western’s Career Success program coordinated multiple events to expose students to new employment opportunities. On Thursday, Sept 29, a group of business students attended the Colorado Business School Career Fair at the Mile High Stadium in Denver. Approximately 30 students traveled with the School of Business to seek out potential employers, chaperoned by Business Career Success director Chelsea Dalporto-McDowell and Career Services coordinator Mariah Green.

The Mile High Stadium hosted over 175 companies seeking both graduate and undergraduate students for internships and full-time positions. The employers came from various industries including finance, real estate, hospitality, and technology. Xcel Energy, Charles Schwab, and Scottrade were among the many well recognized and reputable companies that attended the career fair. Students had the opportunity to learn more about these businesses and network with their potential future employers. Many students were interviewed on the spot by employers for internship or full-time positions, and some were even offered positions after their interviews.

This opportunity allowed students to get into contact with companies that they may not have access to regularly. Many employers expressed that they would choose those who attended the Career Fair for consideration first out of other job applicants, because they showed initiative and a motivation for being in a professional work environment. The event gave students a head start on their job searches, as the end of the year is typically when employers seek new hires.  

Career Awareness Week kicked off with mock interviews to prepare for Resort Recruitment Day on Tuesday, Oct 4. Students that were interested in job opportunities in Crested Butte met employers in the Borick Business Building to interview for a variety of positions. A study abroad fair was also held in the University Center. Career Services also hosted a workshop in Taylor Hall about fixed mindsets versus growth mindsets, and how they can affect goals and decision making. On Wednesday, a workshop for finding jobs and internships was held in the University Center. An information session about Target Corporation’s internship program was held in Borick, hosted by a previous intern, Alex Peot. On Thursday, students could learn about opportunities to further their education at the Graduate School Fair, followed by an information session about the Boettcher Teacher Residency. The week-long event closed with an open house hosted by Career Services, where students could learn about the resources available to them.

Western’s Career Services offers many helpful opportunities for business students as well as any other students looking to get their foot in the door of the professional work environment. Students can fine-tune their resumes, cover letters, and interview skills. Other events hosted by the Office Career Services to look forward to this year are the “Networking How To’s” Workshop on Oct 27, the Gunnison Chamber of Commerce Networking Event on Nov 3, and the Professional Photos Workshop on Dec 1. Career Success events and workshops are typically held in the Borick Business Building. For more information about upcoming events, email businesscareers@western.edu.

Campus Campout

Students gathered for fun, food and games

Roberta Marquette-Strain/Senior Staff Writer

Shelby Deutsch sets up her tent for an overnight campout. Photo by Roberta Marquette-Strain
Shelby Deutsch sets up her tent for an overnight campout. Photo by Roberta Marquette-Strain

 

On the evening of Oct. 7, students gathered on the Field House lawn in the cool fall air to take part in the Campus Campout, an event hosted by a group of Recreation and Outdoor Education students. Music rang out into the evening as new friends bonded during games of croquet and badminton while others chatted over a barbeque dinner. The event was created by the students for their Program Planning class.

“It’s supposed to help us start learning how to plan and organize events, which we will have to do in outdoor recreation,” said Victoria Dinkel.  Dinkel and four other students were in charge of creating, funding, and promoting the event.

Shelby Deutsch, another member of the group, said that the ultimate goal of the campout was focused on community.

Tori Jarosh plays a game of badminton. Photo by Roberta Marquette-Strain
Tori Jarosh plays a game of badminton. Photo by Roberta Marquette-Strain

 

“It’s a community builder,” she said. “We wanted to get students out of their dorms and hang out, play some games. I think it also got a lot of people talk to people they normally wouldn’t have.”

The students also got help from the Gunnison Community, receiving food donations from City Market and Gunnison Vitamin and Health Food. The Gunnison Sockeyes served as a sponsor and gave lessons on fly fish casting for some of the attendees.

“There’s no better time to practice casting when there’s nothing on the hook to lose,” said Austin Noel, a member of the Program Planning group and an officer for the Gunnison Sockeyes.

Jordan White gets a casting lesson from Austin Noel. Photo by Roberta Marquette-Strain
Jordan White gets a casting lesson from Austin Noel. Photo by Roberta Marquette-Strain

The newly minted Croquet Club also made an appearance at the campout. Students were able to learn the basics of the game while playing with the club’s brand-new equipment.

“I knew they were planning this and since we were staring this club I asked if we could come and play,” Shawn Siegert, the club’s president said. Siegert explained that he is in the same Program Planning class as the campout hosts and appreciated the opportunity to the promote the club.

And the plan seemed to work for Canyon Mueller, who played throughout the night and said that Siegert should “sign him up.”

Meanwhile, others in attendance went head to head in multiple games of badminton. It was never clear which teams won, but the laughter shared within them seemed to be the only thing that mattered. Games like Apples to Apples and Bananagrams were played during the barbeque dinner.

While this year’s campout was for a class, the hosts hope to see the event becoming a tradition.

“I do hope it becomes an annual thing,” Deutsch explained. “It’s a safe way to camp and it’s a lot of fun.” Deutsch added that in the future, hopefully the event could be held earlier in the year so the attendees can also camp out on the lawn overnight.

Nevertheless, the group of students were pleased with turnout and hope to see it grow in the future.

Guests played various games like Bananagrams, seen here. Photo by Roberta Marquette-Strain
Guests played various games like Bananagrams, seen here. Photo by Roberta Marquette-Strain

campout-5

Dude, Where’s my Bike?

Bike Thefts in Gunnison

Emma Hustis at one of the many bike racks on Western's campus. Photo by Mandie Little
Emma Hustis at one of the many bike racks on Western’s campus. Photo by Mandie Little

Mandie Little/Staff Writer

There seems to have been a recent increase in the amount of bike thefts in Gunnison and on campus. People are reporting stolen bikes on social media with the use of the Gunnison Marketplace (on Facebook), as well as the anonymous chat spot known as Yik Yak.

Although it would appear that this type of crime is on the rise, it has been a common occurrence in the valley for quite some time. In fact, from 2002 and 2012, reports of theft averaged close to 300 each year (this includes all theft, not just bikes), but in 2013 and 2014 there was a sharp decline in these numbers with the average being only 145 reported thefts. Although theft is actually on the decline, it is still a serious issue for student, and residents of the valley whose property has been unlawfully taken.

For those who have not been a victim of bike theft, it is easier to invalidate the victim because it happens so often that there is almost a sentiment of “you should have known better.”  Often times the theft of a bicycle is referred to as “borrowing,” because it is such a common occurrence.  Many of the post that appear on social media concerning stolen bikes are surprisingly calm. “Someone ‘borrowed’ our shop bike about a week ago and it hasn’t reappeared. Please return it … You can leave it at the bike rack in front of the shop. Thank you!!!”

Many of the locals in Crested Butte and Gunnison have grown used to bikes being taken and later turning up in a random yard or other location. Not everyone is so passive about the thefts though, and some have even called for sting operations using “bait bikes.” One resident went as far as saying, “Bait bikes with poison ivy all over them, or something really painful.”

Whenever a bike is taken and the owner posts on social media, blame is quickly pointed back to the owner with comments like, “Well, if you had locked your bike it wouldn’t have been stolen.” Then comes the inevitable response that the bike had been locked, and the lock was cut. Suddenly the audience of this post is on the side of the victim, who they previously viewed as being careless and deserving of having their bike taken. So what is one to do if they have taken the proper precautions of locking up, but they are still fearful being victimized? Bike owners in the valley and on Western’s campus are often unaware of an additional step that they should be taking. Registering their bike with the Gunnison Police Department is free and although it cannot prevent the bike from being taken in the first place, it can help by getting that bike back to its owner, when found.

This information can be found at their website, cityofgunnison-co.gov/police/. You can come to the police department with your bicycle and obtain a registration free of charge. Calling ahead to see if someone is available may reduce your wait time.

Here are a few tips to prevent a bike from being taken: whenever possible, bring your bike inside with you. This may not be an option during classes, but it is at the dorms or at an apartment. Reducing the amount of time your bike is outside and exposed will reduce the risk of it being taken. If you don’t have a lock, get a lock. Don’t buy just any lock though. Your bike is an investment and the lock that protects it should be as well. There are many locks on the market that cannot be cut. These do cost a little more money, but replacing a bike costs even more.

Ultimately, the safety of a bike lays in the hands of its owner. Taking proper precautions can save the time, money, and the unwanted hassle that comes when a bike is stolen.

Press Release: ASSASSINS OPENS ON OCTOBER 19TH!

GUNNISON, CO (Sep. 14, 2016)-Assassins with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman, based on an idea by Charles Gilbert Jr, winner of the 2004 Tony Award for best musical revival, and directed by Dr. Paul Edwards, will be presented by Peak Productions Oct. 19-22 at 7:30 p.m. and October 22 & 23 at 2:00 p.m. in the Western Studio Theatre of Taylor Hall.

assassins-poster-copy-jpg

Assassins is as timely now – perhaps more so – as when it was first produced at Playwrights Horizon in New York in 1990. Through a series of scenes and musical numbers, all of which take place in a carnival setting described only as “Limbo,” Assassins explores the motivations and character of the four men who killed Presidents of the United States and a number of their unsuccessful colleagues. The Play is entertaining, disturbing, provocative, amusing, and tragic, and will leave audiences thinking about the relationship of these unique individuals to the greater American public.

 

Admission is $7 for Western students with ID and $12 for general admission. Tickets are available at Western’s Bookstore or a half-hour before the performance in the Studio Theatre lobby. For advance ticket reservation or for more information contact Peak Productions at (970)-943-3013 or by emailing peak@western.edu

 

Assassins is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10091. Tel.: (212)-541-4684 Fax.: (212)-3947-4684 www.MTIShows.com