Capital Campaign halfway through its seven-year term

By Areena Arora, Managing Editor

Although $109 million has been raised in two years, this is not the end; Ohio Wesleyan’s ongoing capital campaign is only halfway through.

The seven-year campaign, “Connect Today, Create Tomorrow,” was launched on July 1, 2014 with a target of raising $200 million.

The comprehensive campaign is an initiative to raise a very specific amount, in a specific time frame, and for specific purposes, according to Jodi Bopp, assistant vice president for university advancement.

“We’re on track to meet and exceed our goal but that requires a whole lot of generosity, which is never taken for granted,” Bopp said.

The money received is put to use as it comes. “It’s being used today … as money is received, it is put to use immediately,” Bopp said.  

Total new gifts and commitments to the program in the year 2015-16 were $27 million, according to a report submitted to the faculty by Colleen Garland, vice president for university advancement.

The objective of the campaign is to raise 75 percent of the target ($200 million) in outright gifts and 25 percent in estate commitments, according to the report.

The campaign fundraising is divided into four kinds of funds: endowment, capital improvement, unrestricted non endowed and current annual giving.

The share of endowment money is the highest at $58,898,836, which is divided to be spent on the OWU Connection, faculty recruitment and retention, scholarships and financial aid, among other things.

As part of the campaign, revitalization of Merrick Hall and Edwards Gymnasium and Simpson Querrey Fitness Center were fully funded through donations.

Bopp said, “All of the new SLUs are being built exclusively through philanthropy … no tuition money is going to that.”

The most recent contribution to the campaign came from Delaware residents Joe and Linda Diamond, who donated to establish a multimillion dollar fund to sponsor a scholarship for OWU students.

The campaign’s fund use priority includes spending $40 million on capital improvements. This includes renovations on academic campus completed last year and improvements in residential facilities, including the two new SLUplexes being built this year.

A major share of the fundraising, $85 million, is to be invested into student programs like scholarships, financial aid and the OWU Connection.

Donors are contacted using various different methods including physical mail, phone calls and in person meetings.

Bopp said, “There are as many ways of communicating to a donor as there are means of communication.”

President Rock Jones also spends a lot of time fundraising for the university over cups of coffees and conversations.

Jones said, “I am thrilled. We are very fortunate to be at this point in the third year of the leadership phase of the campaign. We are fortunate that our alumni and other friends of Ohio Wesleyan care deeply about the university and want to make generous philanthropic commitment to support the mission of the university … there’s much more to be accomplished.”

He added, “This has been a campaign that has seen extraordinary gifts from a large number of people. Many of the largest gifts to the campaign came from people who have never given or at least not at the level that they are giving now. It is hard for me to single out one or two … there are so many stories of deep generosity.”

The single largest priority of the fundraising is endowment for scholarship and financial aid. Endowment for faculty positions is a very significant component, Jones said.

Bopp said, “Endowment fund is an investment fund. If you give $100, that would stay invested … and we would be using the interest from it. An endowed fund can support really anything at the university. Board of Trustees often want to grow the endowment. Ours is somewhere north of $200 million … it provides financial underpinning to the university.”

Since endowment funds are invested and grow, they are sustainable.

Jones said, “It is here forever.”

The 22-member Campus Campaign Committee, chaired by Darrell Albon, administrative director of OWU Connections program, is in charge of leading the fundraising efforts. The committee includes faculty and staff members and students.

Colum-Bus kicks off program Sept. 10

By Areena Arora, Managing Editor

For students of Ohio Wesleyan, rides to Columbus on Saturday nights just got cheaper.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs (WCSA) launched its new program called Colum-Bus, a bi-weekly ride to Columbus for $5 a round trip.

The busses, contracted from Columbus Coach departed from Roy Rike, in three different trips, and dropped students off at the Columbus University Gateway.

The first trip to Columbus was made at 6:30 p.m., and the last one back was at 1:30 a.m. Only two students along with Bob Wood, director of Public Safety, rode the first bus.

A total of 12 tickets were sold for the three trips on the first day, out of which only 6 students rode the bus, according to Wood.

The program was initiated by WCSA and they (not sure what pronoun to use for WCSA) set aside funds to cover part of the total cost. The budget, amounting to $18,720 was passed last year by WCSA. According to WCSA Treasurer Daud Baz, this budget is for a 2 year trial run of the program.

Senior Diana Muzina, chair of Student Life Committee on WCSA said, “Tickets through Columbus Coach are more expensive than five dollars, so this was an effort to keep the price reasonable.” 

It is a first of its kind program, according to Wood. “We had talked about this before and we do from time to time run special buses to special events … but this is the first regularly scheduled trips on an ongoing basis …,” he said.

The program, however is not permanent yet. Muzina said, “We’re booking the busses 1-2 months in advance. After these first couple of rides we will determine the reception of the student body. Depending on the response and usage by students we will decide to continue the program or not … We are hoping that students are excited for this initiative.”

The next ride is scheduled for Sept. 23 and tickets are available online through Columbus Coach’s website.

Card office moving on to Corns

Areena Arora, Managing Editor

After 19 years, the card office will no longer be in its current location.

Over the mid-semester break, the office will be moved into the basement of R.W. Corns, where Information Services (IS) is located.

V.P. of Student Engagement and Success, Dwayne Todd said, “There’s only one person right now that runs it, Nancy, who’s done it for a very long time and has done a great job. But if she’s ever not able to be here, the I.D. center is unstaffed … and that doesn’t serve students and faculty well.”

By moving it over to I.S. in Corns, he said, there’s backup. “Operation will always be open.”

Card Office Supervisor, Nancy Tumeo, famously called the Card Lady, is no longer employed by Chartwells Dining Services and instead, has been hired as a university employee.

Another reason for the move, Todd said, was that Tumeo was a Chartwells employee and the I.D. center manages more than just meal plans.  

“It (the card office) also manages security access with the card and it just isn’t good practice for someone who is not a university employee to be giving access and managing security access for people …” Todd said.

Tumeo, however, is not happy with the change.

“My own personal feeling about the move, I’m very disappointed. I’ve been here since 1997, taking care of the students and taking care of every problem on campus, that I could. I’m easy access to all the students,” she said.

Tumeo said that many university officials were involved in the planning process over the summer. “I was not told until Aug. 18 in a meeting with Gene Castelli and the interim V.P. of finance … The move was supposed to be immediate, the week of school opening. I suggested not moving the card office until mid-semester break … It would be impossible to shut down operations in the card office, especially with the opening of school.”

Chief Information Officer, Brian Rellinger said, “We wanted to make the move during a time that will have minimal impact on the OWU students.  Moving over fall break should allow enough time to complete the transition prior to students returning from the break.”

Tumeo said, “I feel this is a big injustice to the students, taking the card office out of here. I just don’t think it will be as easily accessible to the students.” She added, they never asked her how she represented students, and how much traffic she had in the office. “It’s going to be hard being away from the students.”

Alan Norton, interim vice president for finance and administration/treasurer said, “It was a decision that was discussed with the Vice President for Student Engagement … and with the president and other officers, … there was real consensus that this made a lot of sense to make sure that it was secure. … It was a consensus of a number of folks, it wasn’t just one person making the decision.”

“Well, the decision is really the college’s and it’s her responsibility to execute it. We talked with Chartwells and they were fully supportive to have this change made,” Norton said.

Tumeo said, “Especially the way I found out about it. Seems like everybody knew before me and everybody was told about how wonderful this was.”

Todd said, “There was a conversation with her and she was able to talk about when it would be the best time to make the move. We were going to try to do it just a few weeks after school started and she felt like she needed more time to get things in order … during the break, she thought would be least disruptive, so that’s what we did. But, it’s not Nancy’s decision whether we do it or not.

Tumeo said, “The one good thing, I understand, is that now I’m going to have backup … It is very important to both the university and to Chartwells that someone learn what I do.”

In the process of leaving this location Tumeo said she will miss the students a lot.  “This location is central; the students are here … I could sit here name kids after kids. Do you know how many kids bring me coffee every day? Stick their heads in and say Nancy you need anything? The students just love me and take care of me and I love them too.”

The space, Hamwil 142 will be used for the Student Involvement Office, according to Todd.

“The plan is to connect that office to the interior storage room (of SIO), so the Student Involvement Office can expand … Brad (Pulcini) needs an office in there somewhere. I’m not sure if he’ll (Brad) be in there or take the office right behind it.”

Todd added, “Instead of Mona’s desk being crammed in that little entry way, that (current card office) would probably become the main entrance to the Student Involvement Office.”

He added, the renovation work will hopefully be done by sometime in November.

According to an email chain between Prof. Thomas Wolber and Rock Jones, which Wolber shared with The Transcript, Jones said, “This move allows the Card Office to integrate fully with other information system functions and recognizes that what once was a simple meal card now is a data system with many other potential uses for students, including depositing funds for use in the bookstore, providing electronic access to buildings, and other functions that integrate with our information systems. We believe this is best accomplished by physically locating the office in IS and including Nancy as a member of the IS staff and that in the long run students will benefit as more services are provided through the card.

Gene Castelli, resident district manager of Chartwells, who Tumeo previously reported to, said she has been an asset to Chartwells over the past 19 years. He added, “I don’t miss her because she’s still here … She is above and beyond.”

Rellinger said students will be notified later this month via announcements in OWU daily and signs will also be put up in the current card office.

ResLife offers ways to be aware of alcohol consumption on campus

By Areena Arora, Managing Editor

Every year, more than 1,800 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related injuries in the United States, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

Factors such as unstructured time, widespread availability of alcohol and inconsistent enforcement of underage drinking laws contribute to college students’ alcohol consumption, according to NIAAA’s website.

On Feb. 7, freshman Luke Gabbert was found dead in the Delaware Run Creek, south of 28 Franklin St.

Hypothermia and an injury in the upper cervical spine from falling in the creek caused his death. Alcohol at the level of 0.21 percent was also detected, which is nearly three times the legal limit of 0.8 percent.

Gabbert was a new pledge of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and also a soccer player.

In May, Gabbert’s file was closed by the Delaware County Prosecutor who concluded no felony charges will be filed. Julie Datko, public information officer, said Gabbert’s file will not be presented to grand jury.

Meredith Dixon, assistant director of Residential Life said ResLife, takes an active role in preventing alcohol-related accidents in several ways—by providing educational programming related to alcohol and drugs, by offering programs that provide an alternative to drinking and by enforcing campus policies.

Bob Wood, director of Public Safety, said, “We recognize alcohol consumption is a huge issue … Our officers are always actively patrolling and our first priority is always the safety of the student.”

According to OWU’s student handbook, “Immediate medical attention should be sought for students whose safety is endangered by the overconsumption of alcohol or other drugs.”

Dixon said, “The Amnesty Policy is also set up as a resource for students … This policy is in place because we, as a university, are not seeking to get students in trouble – we want to get students help.”

The Amnesty Policy, written in the student handbook, says, “Students who seek medical attention for themselves or others because of the overconsumption of alcohol or other drugs will not be charged with violations of the alcohol or illegal drugs policies through the Office of Student Conduct. However, students who repeatedly endanger themselves by overconsumption may face administrative intervention in other forms.”

If students choose to drink, Dixon said she recommends they plan ahead—know who is hosting the party/event, who will accompany them and have a plan for when to leave/how to find their friend if separated.

“Don’t accept drinks from anyone you don’t know, and don’t drink anything if you don’t know what it is or where it came from,” she said.

She also said students should recognize what their limits are and drink less than that. If you realize you’ve had too much to drink, ask a sober friend for help or call Public Safety.

“Again, per the Amnesty Policy, we’d rather have students get help when they need it than try to handle things themselves when they are in need of medical attention,” she said.

Wood said that OWU has a pretty good reputation for tolerance. It is OK to drink or not. “Do what’s comfortable for you,” he said, emphasizing that students shouldn’t feel pressured into drinking alcohol.

There are plenty of resources on campus to help with alcohol-related issues.

Dixon said, “If students are concerned about alcohol abuse, there are several resources on campus, which include Counseling Services, Health Services and the Chaplain’s Office (all of which are confi-
dential). If students have concerns about a friend or roommate, their RA or RLC can help them approach that subject with their friend [to] provide assistance.”

On Tuesday, Aug. 30, more than 500 OWU athletes took the “It’s on Us,” pledge. OWU’s athletics department is focusing this year’s programming on a national NCAA program called “It’s on Us.”

According to an email by faculty athletic representatives, the national program was student-initiated and is aimed at promoting proactive prevention and reporting sexual assault.

“The motto, “It’s On Us,” communicates that each person has a responsibility in this cause,” according to the email.

On Friday, Sept. 2, OWU’s soccer team hosted a memorial game for Gabbert and played against Hope College. Gabbert’s jersey (number 19) was retired at the game.

Makeover: Slocum edition

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Slocum lobby under renovation. Photo courtesy of Areena Arora

Areena Arora, Managing Editor

When students return to campus in fall, they have much to look forward to. A new welcome center for the Admissions Office in Slocum Hall is one of them.

As alumni week came to a close earlier this month, Slocum was closed for remodeling. The lobby on the ground floor of Slocum is being remodeled and the inside wall is being replaced by glass panels, while no changes are being made to the other floors.

The total budget for the project is $300,000. This funding, according to President Rock Jones, comes from proceeds from an endowment that can be used at the president’s discretion for projects on campus.

Jones said, “While many campuses of our sort now are spending millions of dollars on new welcome centers, this modest investment allows us to showcase a historic building with a setting that welcomes students and creates a fabulous first impression of OWU.”

The project, scheduled to be completed by the first week of August is being done by Thomas and Marker Construction company based in Columbus, Ohio.

Sarah Burns, assistant director of Admissions said, “We’re getting a new welcome center in Slocum … It’s not going to be as modern as Merrick though.”

The Admissions office is temporarily located in Merrick Hall for the summer.

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Burns said, “A new coffee bar and some new furniture is being added to make it (the lobby) more inviting.”

Susan Dileno, vice president for enrolment management said, “The building wasn’t making a very good first impression … We had issues with the lobby given that it’s very small.”

The biggest change, according to Dileno, is addition of more seating capacity to the admissions lobby and replacement of an inside wall with glass.

“We had a secret architect that came in and toured the campus, and he graded us a D in terms of Admissions space,” said Dileno. “A lot of colleges are putting up a welcome center. This is comparatively modest … and a lot of it is cosmetic.”

Along with remodeling, asbestos removal also is being done.

Peter Schantz, Director of Physical Plant Planning and Operations said, “There is asbestos that needed to be remediated in the building, but it is not the cause of the renovation … The asbestos containing material was encapsulated and does not need to be removed until such a renovation occurs.”

Burns said, “The asbestos in Slocum was underneath concrete … no one was ever in any danger from it and now it’s all gone.”

Among other changes, a mini kitchenette will be added to the lobby as well and the carpeting will be replaced by tiles.

Gabbert’s file now under review by municipal prosecutor

Gabbert

Gabbert. Photo courtesy of battlingbishops.com

Areena Arora, Managing Editor

The Delaware County prosecutor’s office confirmed Luke Gabbert’s file was closed earlier this week, and no charges for felony will be filed.

Julie Datko, public information officer said Gabbert’s file will not be presented to grand jury.

Earlier this year, Gabbert was found in the creek south of 28 Franklin St., on the morning of Feb. 7 and was pronounced dead at 10:40 a.m. that morning.

Hypothermia and an injury in the upper cervical spine caused his death, according to the autopsy released by Delaware County coroner’s office.

The file is currently under review with the Municipal prosecutor.

*This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

V.P. for student engagement and success is announced

Areena Arora, Managing Editor

In an email addressed to the Ohio Wesleyan community on April 29, President Rock Jones announced Dwayne Todd has been hired as the new vice president for student engagement and success, beginning this summer.

Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Todd currently serves as the vice president for student affairs at Columbus College of Arts and Design. He has been in that position since 2001.

According to a press release by Cole Hatcher, director of media and community relations, Todd earned his doctorate in higher education administration from the Ohio State University, master of divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth and bachelor of music from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

Todd said, “I have wanted to return to a small residential liberal arts college setting for a long time.  What specifically drew me to OWU is the deep passion for learning, the strong sense of community, and the sincere commitment of the institution to provide transformative experiences for students.”

He will join the university this summer and report to Jones, who said the breadth and depth of Todd’s 21-year higher education career will benefit OWU’s ongoing work to provide a premier liberal arts experience, according to the press release.

In November 2015, a search committee was announced with the charge of searching for a new leader of student affairs for the university, chaired by Vicki DiLillo, professor of psychology.

DiLillo is quoted in the press release saying, “Dwayne’s clear commitment to the provision of a student-centered experience guides his implementation of creative initiatives that foster a sense of community for the students he serves.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seniors and alumni reflect on OWU

Areena Arora, Managing Editor

With only two weeks left to graduation, besides academic work and designing graduation caps, seniors have much to accomplish.

While some wish to drive on the JayWalk, others want to maintain strong relationships with friends and graduate.

Senior Mackenzie Sommers’ bucket list includes going for a midnight dip in the fountain at the JayWalk. “I’m pretty cautious about this one, though, because god only knows what people do to the water in that fountain,” said Sommers.

Senior Mili Green does not have much on her bucket list. “I try to live without regrets, so I do what I can. I do want to go karaoking at Clancey’s, though,” said Green.

With nearly 100 clubs, there is always room for involvement at Ohio Wesleyan.

Senior Nate Goodhart said, “This school offers so many programs, clubs and organizations that allow for students to truly take advantage of their time here at OWU.”

Senior Sadie Parsons from California said, “I do participate in many things. However, I wish I would have acquired more leadership roles in the clubs and activities I was involved with.”

Looking back at the four years spent at OWU, some say it has been a rewarding experience while yet others have some regrets.

Sommers said, “I wish I’d written more TIPITS (Theory-to-Practice grants) and SIPS (Student Individualized Project grants). This school gives you so many opportunities to see and do the things that you are interested in.”

Green said, “I was always curious about Greek Life … but I think it was too late to rush because everyone knows I’m not for it.”

For some seniors we talked to, summarizing four years’ experience was not easy. Parsons said, “My time at OWU has been amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I wouldn’t even take back any of the hardest times I’ve had here because I learned from them and only became a stronger person from them.”

Senior Camille Mullins-Lemieux, resident of Peace and Justice House said, “This place has allowed me to flourish as a person a lot.”

Kim Eckart, ’13, who now works as the assistant to VP of Finance and Administration said she regrets not having participated in a travel learning course and not joining a small living unit.

Haley Barber, ’13, who now works for the Community Service Learning office and Office of Career Services said, “I regret not studying abroad. That was one of the things on my bucket list … I couldn’t fit it in with my double majors in biology and studio arts.”

Kelly Rand, ’15, an intern at the Office of President, has some advice for rising seniors. “My advice to seniors is to be a little less responsible and little more spontaneous. You should enjoy time outside by the fountain with friends on a beautiful day. You can do your reading later, because you won’t be able to do that next year. Soak it all in while you can,” said Rand.

Looking ahead, in less than a month, seniors will be out in the world with an undergraduate degree. The campus they’ve come to identify as home will no longer be their residence.

Senior Shelli Reeves has her post-graduation plans made. “I will be completing my first book and travelling as much as possible,” said Reeves.

Mullins-Lemieux said, “I’m staying at a Buddhist monastery in Oregon in June … and then taking an internship in Panama at a sustainable village on their design-thinking team.”

OWU faculty wins Brick Wall award

Areena Arora, Managing Editor

The Central Ohio chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) awarded the Brick Wall Award to the Ohio Wesleyan faculty on April 20 at a Columbus barn.

The award was presented at the 67th Annual Founder’s Day banquet of the chapter held at Amelita Mirolo Barn, Upper Arlington, Ohio.

According to SPJ’s website, the award started in 2001. “It is a dubious distinction presented to individuals or organizations that, according to chapter members, did the most to block citizen access to public records and proceedings or otherwise violated the spirit of the First Amendment during the past year.” It is awarded under the Chapter Awards category.

On Monday, April 18, OWU faculty voted 47-21 to ban reporters, including The Transcript, the university’s independent student newspaper, from covering future faculty meetings. This was unprecedented after more than 35 years of faculty meetings being open to students.

Paul Kostyu, associate professor of journalism and the department chair, was present at the award ceremony. “I accept this [award] on behalf of the 21 [faculty] who withstood the pressure to keep meetings open.”

Cole Hatcher, director of media and community relations at OWU, said, “I understand the award, but it is important to remember that it is a private faculty meeting and [faculty] have the right to close them, even if it is not a popular decision.”

Kevin Smith, member of the chapter’s board of directors, who was also present at the ceremony said, “It’s really unfortunate …[faculty at OWU] shouldn’t be ashamed of what they’re talking about. They’re being too thin-skinned and protective … SPJ is going to do what it can to help fight that.”

Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate at the Student Press Law Center in Washington D.C., said in an interview before the faculty meeting on April 18 that if the motion does get approved, humiliation is the best weapon for The Transcript.

Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion is announced

Areena Arora, Managing Editor

Juan Armando Rojas, associate professor of Modern Foreign Languages has been appointed as the university’s first Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion.

Provost Chuck Stinemetz in an email to all employees said, “Dr. Rojas has considerable leadership experience as chair of the Modern Foreign Language Department, and has actively participated in a variety of internal and external initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion on college campuses.”

Rojas said, “I’m looking forward to provide leadership on diversity-related issues in the academic area. I’m excited about working with faculty to encourage the development of curriculum and pedagogies that continue to engage increasingly more diverse student populations.”

Rojas is also the director of Ohio Wesleyan’s study abroad program at University of Salamanca, Spain.

Stinemetz said, “His (Rojas’) energy and passion for increasing the campus appreciation and commitment to diversity will greatly benefit current and future Ohio Wesleyan students.”

“Equity, diversity and inclusion are my goals,” said Rojas. “I have high expectations to bring possibilities and support underrepresented students accomplish their personal and academic goals and help them see the life-long transferable skills that quality higher education provides.”