Prevalence, source of rabies different in Ohio than other parts

Dog bites send children and adults to hospitals, dogs to quarantine for rabies testing and insurance claims up. With warm weather and more activities outdoors to keep people busy, the chance of animal bites increases. Ohioans, however, are more likely to get rabies from bats and raccoons than they are from dogs and cats.

“We tend to be complacent about rabies,” said Don R. Mann, a veterinarian in Galena who’s been in business for more than 30 years, “because we don’t see it much in Ohio and as nearby as Pennsylvania it’s endemic. If you’re a veterinarian in Pennsylvania, you have to worry about rabies every day.”

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.5 million Americans – half of them children – are bitten by dogs, annually. The CDC reports, however, that more than 90 percent of reported animal rabies cases occur in wildlife. Before 1960, the majority of cases came from domestic animals.

The top six states in 2010, the latest CDC data available, for rabies cases in domestic animals were Pennsylvania (72), New York (51), Texas (49), Virginia (44), Georgia (26) and North Carolina (25). Those states account for more than half of all cases nationwide. A CDC map shows a high prevalence of rabies cases along the East Coast, stopping along the eastern borders of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Rabies is a virus that affects both domestic and wild animals and is spread through body fluids such as saliva. Dogs and cats usually expose humans to the virus through bites or scratches where saliva can enter the body. Rabies is highly contagious and, if left untreated, is fatal.

From 2012-2014, Delaware County had four confirmed rabies cases, all from bats, according to annual reports by the Ohio Department of Health. In fact, of 25 total rabies cases statewide in 2014, 20 were linked to bats, four to raccoons and one to a skunk.

The two variants of rabies are the paralytic or “dumb” form, which is most common, and the second is the “furious” form.

Mann said Hollywood representations of rabies, like in the 1957 classic movie “Old Yeller,” do not accurately reflect the disease. Most dogs, he said, develop the dumb form, which causes the animal to go into a depressive and non-responsive state. However, the danger lies in a dog with the dumb form of rabies to “develop the furious form at any time, any minute,” said Mann.

Mann is one of several veterinarians who are contracted by the Delaware Health District to prepare animals, such as dogs, cats, bats, raccoons and skunks, for rabies testing. The process involves an animal being euthanized and its head removed so brain tissue can be tested.

“It’s not a pleasant thing, but it’s something that has to be done,” Mann said. “Not too many people want to get involved in that.”

Ohio law does not require dogs or cats to be vaccinated unless they have bitten someone and no proof of a rabies vaccination is available, but it does allow local health departments require the vaccination. The Delaware General Health District does after a dog or cat reaches the age of three months. A booster shot is required annually.

If a dog bites a person and the dog has been vaccinated, state law requires the animal to be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days. However, if an unvaccinated animal bites a person, then the chain of events that follows is less simple.

“If your dog bites someone and it’s not vaccinated, then the possibility for rabies goes up dramatically,” Mann said. “Then the dog either has to be sacrificed or you have to quarantine it for six months at your cost, which can be substantial.”

The costs and insurance liabilities of owning a dog that has bitten a human is in part why John King, Delaware County’s dog warden, receives some dogs given up voluntarily by their owners.

“Sometimes people, once their dog bit someone, they’ll want to give the dog up and say, ‘Hey, I can’t take a chance,’” King said. “We won’t quarantine the dog for 10 days because we can’t adopt it anyways, so we euthanize the dog and have it tested by a local veterinarian.”

Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of homeowners’ liability insurance payouts in 2014, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Ohio had 1,009 claims with an average of $21,983 per claim, according to institute data, which is collected from the nation’s top 10 homeowners’ insurance companies.

Humans may not react to a rabies-infected bite for weeks or even months, according to the CDC. Rabies can cause pain, fatigue, headaches, fever and irritability. Those can be followed by seizures, hallucinations and paralysis. Human rabies is almost always fatal.

A vaccination exists for humans, but it is expensive. Mann suggested people at high risk for exposure should get vaccinated. Those include animal handlers, veterinarians, spelunkers, hikers, hunters and international travelers, especially when going to a country where rabies is common.

King and his two assistant dog wardens, Dan James and Mark Strohl, are certified to euthanize dogs. They respond to calls throughout Delaware County based on dividing the area into four quadrants using the east-west State Route 36/37 and the north-south U.S. Route 42. Heavily populated southwest Delaware County, Quadrant 3, has the greatest number of dog bites, according to an analysis of public records.

Health district reports say the average number of dog bites per year is 180 in the county.

County public records from 2012 to 2014 showed victims suffered injuries, including bites to the upper and lower body, fingers, toes and face. Treatment ranged from on site, at home, urgent care or a hospital visit. There is no record in the past three years of a human fatality due to a dog bite.

Public records do not show a correlation between bites and a specific dog breed, but they do show people 21 years old and younger are more likely to be bitten by a dog.

To guard against getting rabies and getting bitten, both King and Mann suggested owners have their pets vaccinated; people be familiar with the pets in their area; approach animals cautiously, and keep pets under control.

Smith RAs show appreciation for Public Safety

A group of Smith RAs poses with PS Officer Jay McCann.
A group of Smith RAs poses with Public Safety officer Jay McCann. Photo courtesy Whitney Weadock

In the spirit of giving thanks, Resident Assistants of Smith Hall publicly displayed their appreciation for Ohio Wesleyan’s Public Safety department.

The RAs tabled Nov. 10-12 to gather signatures on a banner and signed cards from students in Smith Hall. Along with chocolate chip and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, the idea was to create a physical representation to acknowledge PS’s work.

RA Whitney Weadock cooked up the idea during a staff meeting. Last Valentine’s Day, students did a similar project aimed at acknowledging Smith’s housekeeping staff.

Ally Himes, Smith’s Residential Life Coordinator, said the housekeeping staff members were so touched that it brought one of them to tears. The RAs hoped PS would feel equally as valued.

“I think it is so valuable for us in our lives to take time to appreciate others for the work they do,” she said.

Weadock shared Himes’ sentiments.

“It was a way to bring in students from all the buildings because everyone eats at Smith and we were able to incorporate them all in thanking Public Safety,” she said. “I also led a mission trip to Nicaragua with (PS Director) Bob Wood and got to know him better that way. Hearing how much they care about the students is really incredible.

Becca Castera, a Smith RA for the past three years said the banner would be put in the PS office.

“Even though they work different shifts, they can all see it,” she said.

“I think it will be a nice message of thanks not only from the RAs but also the students they help keep safe.

“I know that as RAs, we really value Public Safety’s assistance. If there are crisis situations, Public Safety is our number one call.”

Some of the smallest things done by PS are often overlooked, said Toby Phongmekin, another RA.

“You have to understand they’re just trying to keep the safety within OWU,” he said.  “What they’re doing is making campus a better and safer place.”

RA Milagros Green, responsible for creating the banner, said.

“PS gave me a ride to Delaware’s public library when I had a tutoring job. They were also amazing helping my friend when the whole bathroom incident in Thomson happened.”

Green is referring to the incidents that occurred in Thomson and Bashford Halls two years ago when a male student, Waleed Osman, was hiding in the community bathrooms and watching female students shower. He later plead guilty to two felony charges and two misdemeanor charges.

Admissions mobilizes efforts to increase enrollment

Ohio Wesleyan University administrators are working hard to build student enrollment numbers, pondering the big picture while focusing on small details that can make a difference, like how the school gives tours to potential freshmen.

The Office of Admissions is going mobile, changing its walking-only tours to part walking and driving with its newly acquired 14-passenger bus. Public Safety officers will provide additional driving practice to student tour guides.

With the current enrollment figures coming in at a marked decrease of 106 students from Fall 2013, the admissions staff is altering their tours to include a bus ride.

As one student drives, another will dispense information, describing OWU’s assets, its academic and residential buildings and information about the city of Delaware.


Alisha Couch, director of admissions, recruited PS by asking PS Director Bob Wood to help with driver training. For now, two sessions are scheduled on Nov. 11 from 12-1 p.m. and Nov. 12 from 2-3:30 p.m.

“We knew we’d have students driving it, so I thought it would be nice if Public Safety could set up an obstacle course in one of the empty parking lots just for our students to get used to driving, and specifically practice making right hand turns,” Couch said. “Chances are, no student has driven a vehicle like this before.”

Couch said the extra practice isn’t required but is going to be offered so students can feel more comfortable. With the exception of a few senior student tours guides who already have van certification, admissions staff is currently driving the tours until more students are certified.

“We were contacted by admissions and asked if we could put together some kind of driving program. We said what we always say, ‘Sure’,” Wood said.

It’s not their first rodeo together.

“Bob is such a great advocate for our office. We just met with him recently when he gave us some updates and he asked if there was any way he could help and I was like ‘Maybe you could help us with this’,” Couch said.

Wood said police officers usually receive additional training in defense driving. Drawing from personal experience and from PS officer Ramon Walls’ Army experience driving buses and tanks, PS will plan a series of cone obstacles for students.

“I talked with the Delaware Area Transit Agency and they have a two week training for their bus drivers, so (a representative) is going to send some of the diagrams so (PS) is going to put some cones up, ” Wood said.

Driving safety is relevant due to a risk for vehicular injury or death, Wood said. Van certification is also processed and approved through PS, while the motor pool houses the vans and maintains them.

The new bus has more room than OWU’s 12 passenger vans and is being leased for six years.

Trend of arming campus officers on OWU’s radar

Image: OWU Public Safety on Twitter
Image: OWU Public Safety on Twitter

Public Safety officers at Ohio Wesleyan are currently bucking a trend occurring at other Ohio colleges – they are not armed.

Although PS has three officers licensed to carry a weapon, they do not while they are on duty for OWU. Those officers are PS Director Bob Wood, investigator Richard Morman, and officer Andrew Roy.

“Absolutely there is a trend moving towards arming campus safety,” Wood said. “Three to five colleges a year are going from unarmed security to armed police officer departments.”

Officers are permitted to carry weapons only after receiving accreditation through the Ohio Attorney General’s Peace Officer Training Academy (POTA). Rick Amweg, executive director of the Center for P-20 Safety & Security at the Ohio Board of Regents, said the number is close for the past couple of years but is unsure if the current trend will continue.

“In Ohio, there is a slight trend in the same direction, primarily in the private college area,” he said.

Amweg cited Otterbein University, whose police department became fully commissioned by the state in 2012, “a good example of an institution that just recently changed from unarmed security to armed police on their campus.”

Wood said he is unsure if his officers will one day carry weapons. College police departments are looking to the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators for guidance, he said. “This is one of the top things on the burner.”

Many campuses have blended forces of some officers who are qualified to carry weapons and others who are not, he said.

Those sorts of departments have budgetary implications as well, according to Amweg.

“A blended force is the way many institutions are going, primarily for budgetary reasons,” he said. “Police officers are typically more expensive than security officers. For that reason, many institutions with police also have security officers to take care of security and safety matters that do not require law enforcement.”

Neither Denison University, the College of Wooster, Kenyon College nor Oberlin College have fully commissioned or armed departments, although Wooster’s chief is licensed.

Denison and OWU have commissioned but unarmed directors of campus safety. Oberlin and Kenyon are also unarmed units.

“The main reason (to reconsider arming campus police forces) is that the incidents occur so quickly that a matter of ten or fifteen or thirty seconds means lives that can be saved or lost,” Wood said.

Incidents like Columbine and the Virginia Tech shootings give pause, Wood said.

“Do we wait outside while he’s stabbing our students in a building?” Wood said. “Do we go in and attack a guy with a knife with a can of mace? I think we’re compromising safety by not at least exploring the need of being armed.”

Toby Hoover, the founder of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, said the organization believes guns on campuses will “continue to build a culture of violence and fear.”

“People have choices to decide the kind of world we want to live in and guns provide a false sense of security,” he said. “It’s not a proven fact that more guns is safer.”

Pair of hospital transfers raises alcohol concerns

Photo: Yankeefan0242 on Flickr
Photo: Yankeefan0242 on Flickr

On Sept. 13, Public Safety transported two Ohio Wesleyan students to Grady Memorial Hospital. OWU typically sends around 5 to 10 students to the hospital per year, making the number unusually high for so early in the academic year.

One student was reportedly admitted for a welfare concern regarding an unspecified illness. However, the other was for “acute alcohol poisoning.”

Typically, if PS encounters a student showing symptoms of acute alcohol poisoning, they will transport that individual to a hospital for medical attention.

PS officer Christopher Mickens said that when a student is clearly unable to take care of his or herself, then overconsumption of alcohol is the probable cause, if not the worst-case scenario of alcohol poisoning.

Mickens added that he uses several questions in order to gauge how much a student has had to drink. Incorrectly answering questions such as one’s name, the date or day of the week, current location, and an inability to locate friends are potential indicators for Mickens.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning as summarized from including mental confusion, unresponsive, snoring or gasping for air, throwing up and loss of consciousness.

And incidents like this aren’t just happening at OWU.

According to the ‘College Drinking’ page from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) website, “an estimated 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol.”

The statistics are taken from a 2009 study published in from the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs titled “Magnitude of and trends in alcohol-related mortality and morbidity among U.S. college students ages 18-24, 1998-2005.”

The NIAAA also states that “an estimated 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.”

Commonly, OWU students fear receiving a violation or a fine for contacting PS in an emergency. Even knowing these fears, PS highly encourages students to call.

Director of Public Safety Bob Wood said, “it’s a violation, but it’s better than getting hurt or losing your life.”

While on night shifts in previous years, Mickens and other officers have noted that there are intoxicated students being dropped off at their dorms, or even the emergency room without ever contacting PS. This led to the addition of the medical amnesty policy, which is meant to be “an educational process, not a punitive one,” said Mickens.

The OWU Student Code of Conduct includes the following policy:

“Students who seek medical attention for themselves or others because of the over-consumption of alcohol or other drugs will not be charged with violations of the alcohol or illegal drugs policies through the Office of Student Conduct.”

But Mickens cautions students that there aren’t an unlimited number of “free passes” and a conversation will likely take place in an attempt to prevent any situation from escalating to this level.

Public Safety is also considered the first responders to the scene of a medical emergency if they arrive before an ambulance. But often, the Delaware City Police comes with ambulances and they aren’t as likely to give a pass.

Mickens stated that he doesn’t think that there is a large increase in the number of incidents from years past. He said that several factors contribute to these statistics. The circumstances: who you decide to surround yourself with when you drink, how attentive those people are and the location.

He dismisses the common scapegoat of blaming the newest freshman class. And the numbers back it up.

According to Public safety, there were 33 reports of alcohol-related concerns in 2011, 22 in 2012, 26 in 2013 and 14 so far in 2014. These figures are calculated by calendar year and they represent all alcohol-related issues, not just alcohol poisoning incidents.

In his 15 years at OWU, Mickens feels he has noticed a shift toward health-conscientiousness in the younger generations.

“I think that you all are more in tune with ‘What it is to be healthy?’ I’ve noticed less of our students smoking and less true binge drinking, ” said Mickens.

As a parent himself, Mickens wants students to keep future goals and loved ones in mind when making decisions about their safety and health.

“The best Mother’s day gift you can give is to walk across that stage,” he said.

There’s a new sheriff in town

Photo by Venessa Menerey. New Public Safety hire, Richard Morman seated in plain clothes.
Photo by Venessa Menerey.
New investigator hired by Public Safety, Richard Morman.

Richard Morman is the newest investigator for Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Public Safety, but law enforcement is anything but new for him.

For the 2014 fall semester, Public Safety hired Morman to fill an investigator opening left by Art Reitz. Morman joins David Blake, another P.S. investigator.

With 34 years of experience in law enforcement, Morman began his career in Amanda, Ohio, before working for several years as a special deputy sheriff before being hired by the Ohio State University. There, he held several positions including patrol officer, investigator, patrol lieutenant and investigators lieutenant.

His experience is one of the reasons why Public Safety director Bob Wood wanted Morman on staff.

“He’s got a wealth of knowledge and he’s done this for years in nearly every capacity you can do,” Wood said.

Mormon said he hopes to bring new insight to the department.

“I think I bring fresh perspective and a fresh set of eyes. It’s always nice to have somebody come in from the outside and question ‘Why are we doing this?’ and ‘Is this really the best thing to do?” Morman said.

As an investigator, Morman’s main responsibility is examining reports that Public Safety has received.

“When I come in everyday one of the first things I do is look at the reports that we’ve taken,” Morman said. “I’m looking for patterns in crime. If you’re an officer working a certain shift, you might not notice.”

Morman also shared his willingness to interact and educate students.

“I really enjoy talking to students, and working in this environment,” he said. “I think Public Safety is necessity.”

Morman also helps with various special projects and has expertise with large-scale events. Currently, Morman works part time at OWU and in the midst of transitioning out of OSU.

Morman can be contacted during normal hours at the Public Safety office in Smith lobby. He can also be reached by email at

NOTE: The Ohio Wesleyan University Department of Public Safety webpage does not reflect most current staffing and contact information

OWU a cappella brings year to a close

Sophomores Paul Anderson and Jerry Lherisson perform with other Jaywalkers. Photo by Spenser Hickey
Sophomores Paul Anderson and Jerry Lherisson perform with other Jaywalkers. Photo by Spenser Hickey

The grassy hillside known as the HWCC’s amphitheater served as an outdoor stage for two of Ohio Wesleyan’s a capella groups last Sunday.

The concert was organized by the Jaywalkers, the all-male a capella group, and also featured Owtsiders, the coed a capella group. The all-female group, Pitch Black, was scheduled to perform but was unable to attend as not enough members were able to perform

After some minor sound system problems, the Owtsiders took the stage beginning with the Beatles’ “Because,” and ending with OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars,” which featured solos by sophomore Julia Stone and junior Noah Manskar.

The Jaywalkers stepped up to the microphone in a conga line formation and sang “Come Go With Me,” a mash-up of songs by the Beach Boys and R. Kelly’s “Ignition.” The group was met with laughter when the group free versed the line “ask for consent” into the lyrics.

The concert then switched to a more serious tone with Jaywalkers co-leader Incarnato announcing the last song of the night would be dedicated to Jaywalker Cameron Osbourne. Normally, the group takes time to recognize the graduating seniors of their group. However, there are no seniors this year and so the group decided to recognize Osbourne, who will not be returning to Ohio Wesleyan next year in order to serve in the military.

“It’s weird to think I’m not coming back,” Osbourne said.

Park Avenue Jazz Ensemble displays range of talents

Hal Melia, an assistant performing arts professor at Central State University, knows a thing or two about jazz music.

He plays eleven different instruments, including four distinct varieties of saxophone and four different kinds of clarinets, as well the flute, piccolo and an electronic wind instrument.

Melia performed with an Ohio Wesleyan student ensemble last year, but this was his first appearance at Gray Chapel.

Student members of the Park Avenue Jazz Ensemble, along with Melia, performed several jazz selections under the direction of OWU professor of music, Larry Griffin. The band “enjoyed him so much that I promised them I would bring him back,” Griffin said.

The Park Avenue Jazz ensemble is named for a church in Minneapolis that Griffin was affiliated with before he began teaching at the college level twenty-eight years ago.

“(The church) was a very special place for me and whenever I have a jazz ensemble I like to name it Park Avenue,” Griffin said.

The jazz ensemble consisted of Ohio Wesleyan students with the exceptions of Dave McMahon on piano, Luke Berger as percussionistand featured guest Melia on Alto Saxophone.

The first half of the program consisted of instrumental pieces including “Uptown Downbeat,” “Chinoiserie,” “Dissonance in Blues,” “Teri” and “Everlasting.” The latter showcased Melia’s saxophone skills.

Following intermission, junior Hannah Snapp took the stage. She added vocals to the song “At Last,” which was originally written for the musical film, “Orchestra Wives” but was made famous by late jazz singer Etta James. Snapp also performed vocals for “Cry Me a River,” a song popularized by blues singer Ella Fitzgerald.

In addition, she lent her voice to “Corcovado,” and “Take the A Train.” Griffin described Snapp’s vocal range as between an alto and mezzo-soprano. In response, Snapp joked, “It depends on the day.”

Audience member, sophomore Daniel Ortega said, “I thought it was really good with Hannah Snapp how she was singing.”

Ortega said his favorite piece of the performance was “Corcovado,” sung by Snapp in both Portuguese and English.

“I thought it was interesting,” he said.

Laundry thefts reported in Hayes, Welch

A sign in Hayes Hall’s laundry room requesting three pairs of stolen pants be returned to their rightful owner. Photo by Venessa Menerey
A sign in Hayes Hall’s laundry room requesting three pairs of stolen pants be returned to their rightful owner. Photo by Venessa Menerey

Several female students have reported clothing items stolen from the Hayes Hall laundry rooms this year, and incidents are becoming more common.

In dorms where laundry machines are in high demand and overcrowded, it is expected that some articles of clothing will be lost or picked up by mistake.

However, this year three official incidents were reported, according to Meredith Dixon, the Residential Life Coordinator (RLC) of Stuyvesant and Hayes Halls.

“Currently, Hayes is the only building I am aware of that is having this issue,” Dixon said.

Welch, Themed Houses and Small Living Units RLC Levi Harrel, reported no theft in SLUs or themed houses and only one to two incidents last semester in Welch. Harrel said the amount of reported thefts is “not a great number of reports.”

Junior Victoria  Wilson, a current Welch resident, has had nothing stolen this year but was a victim of laundry theft in Welch last year.

Wilson did not file a report with Public Safety.

“It just didn’t seem that important, I thought (my pants) might turn up in the lost and found but they never did,” Wilson said.

Sophomore Heather Lopez, a current Hayes resident, also had items taken from the laundry machine she was using.

According to Lopez, the theft occurred Sunday, March 23 sometime between 8-9 p.m.

Lopez listed several clothing items as stolen, including Nike yoga pants, two shirts, a sports bra and a Victoria’s Secret bra.

“That’s just the stuff that I’ve noticed are missing,” Lopez said.

“I haven’t even looked to see if that was it. I just keep realizing that more and more of my clothes are missing and they were all in those two loads of laundry.”

Lopez described the circumstances surrounding the incident as her clothing being “violently taken out of a dryer and spread across the laundry room (and picked through).”

When she returned five minutes before her dryer was finished, she found her clothes as described and “still wet”.

She noted the time of the other two dryers, which had been started around the same time Lopez had put in her laundry. She estimated that 20 minutes prior to her arrival, her stuff had to been removed and stolen.

Like Wilson, Lopez did not file a report with Public Safety.

She reported the incident to a Resident Assistant (RA) and was told that Public Safety would be “unable to do anything about it” and that “there was no way to prove (her) stuff was stolen and (not) just misplaced.”

Lopez’s said her clothing still has not turned up or been returned to her possession.

Junior Ali Smith, another Hayes resident, was also a victim of laundry theft. Shortly before winter break, Smith’s bright pink and orange blanket was taken from a dryer after she was five minutes late.

Prior to her own theft, Smith said she’d “only heard of laundry being stolen this year.”

“Now I constantly watch my laundry when I am doing it,” Smith added.

“I feel as though someone will steal my stuff again.”

Smith did not report the theft to her RA.

“I thought it wouldn’t happen again and it was a cheap blanket, so the joke’s on them,” she said.

Unlike the washing machines, which lock throughout the entire duration of the cycle, dryers in all dormitory buildings do not lock and can be opened and stopped at any point.

After being contacted for comment, Dixon sent out an email to all Hayes residents expressing her “disappointment” regarding the thefts.

She also included a request that items either “accidentally or intentionally taken” be returned the laundry room.

The email also included procedure to follow in the event of a theft by reporting the incident to the RA or RLC.

If the items were valuable, Dixon additionally recommended that students file a report with Public Safety.

“I want to remind everyone that the most effective way to avoid theft is to stay in the laundry room while you are using the machines,” Dixon said.

‘Monologues’ and ‘Confessions’: A Preview of Women’s Week Plays

Junior Brianna Robinson performs "My Angry Vagina" at last year's performance of "The Vagina Monologues." Photo by Jane Suttmeier
Junior Brianna Robinson performs “My Angry Vagina” at last year’s performance of “The Vagina Monologues.”
Photo by Jane Suttmeier

Female students will intersect femininity and ethnicity in a pair of performances centered on the empowerment of women.

“The Vagina Monologues,” first performed at Ohio Wesleyan University in 2006, will be joined by Yetta Young’s “Butterfly Confessions” in the 2014 show.

Auditions for both performances were held this past weekend in Smith Hall and were open to all self-identified female students.

“The Vagina Monologues,” which is a play by Eve Ensler, is formatted into a series of monologues that tell women’s stories and experiences.

The pieces discuss empowerment, sexual violence, positive sex, and seeking justice and healing for women who are survivors of sexual violence.

“Butterfly Confessions” is similar to “Monologues,” but explores the relationship between womanhood and ethnicity. As Young describes in her LinkedIn profile, “‘Butterfly Confessions’ is a love letter to women and girls of color that reveal heartfelt emotions about intimacy, sexual responsibility and overcoming adversity. Audiences will be taken from girlhood to womanhood as “Butterfly Confessions” airs our dirty laundry.”

Sophomore Kaila Johnson auditioned for a part in the performance, and plans to be as involved as possible in the show.

“I am very eager and excited about the fact that we have brought (“Confessions”) to OWU,” said Johnson.

“I think that the women of color on this campus often get left out when it comes to discussions about the different issues and problems that exist in today’s world.”

Senior Claire Hackett said “Confessions” was added to expand the movement to those not reached by “Monologues.”

“Women of color should have a space where their voices can be heard and everyone else can listen,” Hackett said.

Echoing Hackett’s statement, junior Brianna Robinson said the event developed as a result of “a group of women who are passionate about the voices of all women being heard.”

“Confessions” discuss topics such as colorism, sexuality, AIDS, and self-love. The directors for the performance include Robinson, Nola Johnson, Khristina Gardner, Kaila Johnson and Felicia Rose.

In last year’s Monologues show, Robinson performed “My Angry Vagina.”

She also read a piece titled “Respect” by activist Kimberly Crenshaw that echoes many of the same themes as “Confessions.”

“The Vagina Monologues” co-directors Hackett, senior Margaret Knecht, and junior Zoe Crankshaw conducted their auditions separately in order to determine each candidate’s comfort level with various subject materials.

“It was very stress-free,” said sophomore Claudia Bauman, referring to her audition process. Last year, Bauman read the monologue “My Vagina Was My Village.”

“My Vagina Was My Village” describes the experiences of Bosnian women who survived wartime rape in the early 1990s.

“From the moment I picked up (“The Vagina Monologues”) I fell in love with it,” Bauman said.

“I love reading women’s stories, the good and the bad, from around the world, which in turn, opens my mind to hardships and to understanding others.”