Author: Robert Burnside

Mascot Origins: Wolverine

It wouldn’t be difficult to guess why the University of Utah adopted the Ute as its mascot or why Brigham Young University came to have the cougar as theirs; however, the odds go down considerably when guessing why this university’s mascot is the wolverine. The school seems to have no geographical or cultural connection to the wolverine and the number of campus encounters with the clawed critter over the course of the history of the school hovers near zero, excluding bronze statues and costume-clad students. The wolverine is one of the largest members of the weasel family, and is roughly as big as a mid-sized dog. Unlike its comic book counterpart, the wolverine cannot retract its claws, which often grow to the size of human fingers. Despite their small size, wolverines have been known to hold their own against much larger animals including deer, moose and even bears. Considering their vicious nature, it’s hard to believe that wolverine numbers are dwindling. The United States Fish and Wildlife Services estimate that there are only 500 wolverines in the United States, most commonly found in the north. Searching for the story of why the wolverine was chosen as the mascot is nearly as difficult as finding an actual wolverine on campus. Stumped school officials referred to past employees, who referred to other past employees, many of which were not completely confident,...

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Drawing connections between Mormonism and Islam

  Before discounting the thought of any parallels existing between Mormonism and Islam, students and faculty have the opportunity to attend the 11th annual Mormon Studies Conference March 10 -11 at Centre Stage where the theme will be “Mormonism and Islam: Commonality and Cooperation Between Abrahamic Faiths.” In the 1830’s, the Mormon prophet Josheph Smith was compared to the Islamic prophet and founder, as their roles in each religion bear similarities. These comparisons were merely attempts to demean both faiths, but they reflect a sense of cultural misunderstanding that still exists in some form today, a misunderstanding this conference aims to address. The conference organizers hope to provide reliable information from both Mormon and Muslim experts, explore similarities and differences between the two faiths and clarify public misconceptions. “We have a growing number of Islamic worshipers in our community and at UVU, and we want to shed some light on misconceptions of both Islam and Mormonism,” said Boyd Petersen, lecturer and program coordinator of Mormon Studies at this university, in a press release. The conference will feature speeches by scholars and practitioners of religion, as well as panel discussions. “We tried to draw from the local community and beyond … to bring in both practitioners of religion, as well as scholars,” Petersen continued in the press release. “We want to build bridges between academia and the general public, as...

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Campus-based complaint resolving

The Ombudsman will listen to your problems as a neutral party Nestled quietly beneath a staircase in the Student Center across from the bookstore is a small office, the contents of which are likely unknown to many students. This mysterious office is home to Judicial Affairs and Dispute Resolution services. Among the services offered by ombuds, a word that may be as unfamiliar to students as the office itself. Traditionally, organizations such as governments, schools and companies employ an ombudsperson who is familiar with the specific organization and is able to effectively address and, if necessary, investigate complaints or grievances. The school website’s description classifies the ombudsperson as, “One who is familiar with campus policies, student’s rights and responsibilities and can help find useful options within these guidelines. In order to serve as a mediator, as opposed to an advocate, the ombudsperson neutrally and objectively listens to all problems.” The ombuds office also heavily emphasizes the confidentiality of each visit and will not disclose any part of conversations without permission. No records are kept regarding complaints. Typical troubles that merit ombuds assistance include academic complaints and conflicts, housing and landlord disagreements, discrimination and sexual harassment, as well as other problems and disputes dealing with school policies and procedures. Ombuds services are free of charge for students. The ombuds position is also a student position, so it is an opportunity...

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New chain coming to the food court

Accommodating the budgets and cravings of thousands of starving students is difficult, but it is ultimately the goal of dining services. Catering to the light weight of student’s wallet is the easier part, as the school is able to directly control prices on their own restaurants, such as the Valley View Room and everything in the food court except Teriyaki Stix and Hogi Yogi. Many students, however, prefer the taste of national chains or recognizable names. When separate franchises are brought in, such as Hogi Yogi or Jamba Juice, the school does not control the pricing as they must pay the franchise royalties.  The challenge then becomes continuing to offer food that is both desirable and affordable from restaurants on campus, as well as bringing in the franchises that students are willing to pay for. According to Director of Dining Services Val Brown, surveys were sent out via email last semester by the Omnibus Survey of UVU and collected to determine students’ franchises and foods of choice. The results showed that students wanted a national sandwich chain such as Subway or Quiznos. A similar survey will be going out in March. The next step is sending out “Request For Proposal” forms, a formal request, to each of the leading sandwich chains in the Utah Valley market. Forms were sent to Subway, Quiznos, Port of Subs and Gandolfo’s. The RFP...

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The Get Up Kids won’­­­­­­­t stay gone

The Get Up Kids spent the first half of their career creating a blueprint legions of future bands would emulate; however, they spent the second half attempting to escape their own sound. After breaking up for four years, and regrouping, TGUK seek to prove their validity by releasing their first album in seven years. 2009 marked the 10-year anniversary of TGUK’s most successful album,  Something to Write Home About – an album Vagrant Records co-owner Jon Cohen put a second mortgage on his parent’s house to fund. This was a good enough reason for a reunion tour. While in Europe, the band mentioned they were writing new material and would play at least one new song. One new song led to many and a concept for a string of EPs was planned. The “Simple Science” EPs would be a compilation of four songs each that would be recorded using authentic analog methods rather than relying on the convenience of modern digital recording technology. After one EP was released, TGUK opted to package the remainder of the songs planned for three EPs and release them as a full album. There Are Rules stands as a blatant sonic reminder of a principle TGUK strongly believe in, “Never make the same album twice.” Determined not to be cornered by confining classifications, TGUK venture into a sound dominated by bizarre synthesized effects and...

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