Spoken Word Poet Electrifies The Encore


An ecstatic audience packed The Encore Tuesday night to see the internationally renowned poet Andrea Gibson perform. Her performance was a part of Pride Week at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Gibson is a renowned activist poet for queer issues.

“And she’s for more than just the queer community, she’s all for human acceptance,” said junior drama major Lindsay Paquette.

Gibson opened her set with the poem “I Sign the Body Electric, Especially When My Power’s Out” and from that poem on set a precedent for the mix of anger, and beauty that create her fearless poetry. Through her poems, Gibson hopes to spread a message of hope.

“The hope will come with what people do with it…the poem never ends,” Gibson said.

Throughout her performance, Gibson encouraged the audience to ask any questions they might have about her work. When asked what her process is like for writing a poem, Gibson said that she needed to be alone because she will “frantically pace and run around the room and yell at the wall.”

She will often speak her thoughts and focus on the way the words sound, and then piece them together like a puzzle “so it all matches up perfectly and emotionally, and then I will read it in my head for about ten days twenty days over and over and then I will read it on stage three or four times revising it.”

Each year the Gender and Sexuality Alliance hosts Pride Week, a week dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments, culture, and pride of those who identify themselves at LGBTQ or allies of those who do. Gibson’s poetry did just that.

“It’s important to her messages,” Paquette said. “because it’s one step closer to getting us all to love one another.”




Pointerest: Bite-Sized Cook-Off


It has come to my attention that most students at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point think that all there is to college cooking is Easy Mac. If they want to go out to eat, their only options are Toppers and Taco Bell. I want to change that. There is so much more to cooking than microwaving powder. Since coming to Stevens Point, I have had the pleasure of discovering a small town filled with endless local and flavorful restaurants and culinary experiences. Good food is here! Don’t settle for anything less.

Such a culinary experience occurred last week Friday at the Student Association of Nutrition and Dietetics’ First Annual Bite- Sized Cook-off in the CPS Café.

The event was a competition in which four teams of dietetics students served three courses of themed meals. The teams each had a theme: Greek, Root Vegetables, Korean, and Rice-based dishes. Those that attended the event voted on what team’s food they liked the most.

All of these students deserve recognition for creativity in their dishes and the ability to make a large amount of the same mini-bites. I mean, it was impossible not to “Aww” at the adorableness of a mini-burger made out of the spices of a traditional Korean barbeque. The presentation of each dish was beautiful in a way that almost made you not want to eat it because it was a form of art.

The true art form was in the flavors. Many of them were fearless, to say the least. Take the parsnip spice cake with ginger cream cheese frosting, for example. Who would ever think to put a parsnip in a cake? Whoever did was onto something. The combination of the root vegetables, spices and cream cheese frosting was outstanding. But can you really ever go wrong when there’s cream cheese frosting involved?

The greatness of this event was the fact that it showed that great and fresh food can be found in Stevens Point and great chefs can be found among the students of UWSP. Maybe you’re not ready to go make some baba ghanoush, but you too can be a good chef. Step away from the ramen and challenge yourself to make something a little more delicious tonight.


Internationally Renowned Artist Visits Campus

On Tuesday, Feb. 14, art students gathered in the Noel Fine Arts Center to listen to the advice of an internationally acclaimed artist, Xu Bing, who came to the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point as part of the month-long “COFAC Creates the Art Of Rewriting China.”
Bing is best known for installation work and his interest in calligraphy and the written word. Bing’s solo exhibits of his art have been at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and other museums around the world. He is also the vice president of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, China.
The event was organized by senior art history student Ellen Larson with the help of others such as her advisor, Professor Cortney Chaffin, who started planning in the fall of 2010.
“Meeting Xu Bing was like a dream,” Larson said. “He was so wonderful, so gracious. I felt like every time I had a conversation with him, I learned more about his work as well as his thoughts on art. As a result, I felt like I grew in my understanding and appreciation of what he is doing as an artist, as well as a global citizen. His interest in fostering multi-cultural communication and global exchange regardless of one’s language background is incredible.”
This is the first time in the history of the Edna Carlsten Gallery that a contemporary Chinese artist has been featured in a solo exhibition.
Growing up, Bing learned calligraphy, which is a tradition in China. His father would make him practice every day.
 “It is believed that how well you write calligraphy reflects what kind of person you are,” Bing said as he went through the Carlsten Art Gallery presenting his works on display there.
Bing said that Chinese art and aesthetics are largely based on words, writing and symbols.
In Bing’s piece “Landscript Postcards” he used this emphasis on symbols in a new way, using words to paint the picture.
“I try to use the actual words in what I draw,” Bing said. “I can get to the essence of Chinese culture.”
“A lot of my works help me understand features of my culture,” Bing said. “If you can understand your culture you can understand yourself and your people.”
Art students on Tuesday got the unique opportunity to show Bing their work and learn from his personal critique.
“This was an experience I doubt any of them will ever forget; it was on par with having someone like Pablo Picasso or Claude Monet critique your work,” Chaffin said.
During the critique session Bing stressed the importance of gaining knowledge outside of art circles to provide inspiration for artwork.
“Being able to have a critique with Xu Bing meant a lot to me,” said Graphic Design student, Stephanie Schlegel. “To be able to meet him as well have him personally look at my work and critique it and give me advice on my own art was an honor and a very humbling experience and was a truly inspiring experience.”
“COFAC Creates the Art of Rewriting China” will continue all month with a Chinese film festival and a visit this Thursday from Melissa  Chiu, Director of the Asia Society Museum  in New York who will be giving a public lecture at 5 p. m. in NFAC room 122.


Showcasing and Supporting Student Art

The Noel Fine Arts Center filled with glitz, glamour, fashion, food, and art can only mean one thing: it’s Arts Bash. The NFAC has been hosting Arts Bash as a fundraiser event for nine years in order to raise money for the Arts Bash Scholarship Endowment Fund. The event on Feb. 4 will feature student dance and theatre performances, a wearable sculpture fashion show, arts sale with pieces donated by community artists and student artists, and food and drinks from 21 different restaurants. 
“It’s a little bit of everything: dance, theatre, culinary arts, wearable art,” said Bobbie Erwin, the marketing specialist for the College of Fine Arts & Communication and main organizer of the event. “Everything’s arts all in one night.”
Junior Arts major Kaleena Hastings will be showcasing her art for the first time at this year’s Arts Bash. Hastings was inspired last year when she was a model in the wearable art fashion show.
“I felt like I should start putting my art out there so people notice it,” Hastings said. Hastings has spent the last two months working on a photo for the event as well as a dress made entirely out of paper.  
The wearable art show this year is unique from what it’s been in years past. Instead of just having it open to art and design students, theatre and dance students are also participating in the show.

“The juxtaposition of the two is going to be really interesting,” Erwin said. “It’s going to be like project runway gone wild.”
Sarah Mark, a freshman Art major, is also participating in Arts Bash for the first time. The piece that Mark is presenting is entitled “Starry Nights”.  It is composed of 3 woods cubes that are stacked in different orders so show three of Vincent Van Gogh’s pieces.
“Van Gogh has captured my imagination ever since I was little, so to have the opportunity to experiment with his work was very exciting,” Mark said.
Arts Bash gives students the opportunity to present their art to the public in a formal setting and allows them to gather a public opinion on their pieces.
“I’m excited to see the reaction from the people and how they take my art…I hope they like it,” Hastings said. 
Last year, Arts Bash raised $30,000 for the endowment and scholarship fund with more than 700 attendees.
“At the end of the day it’s going to be excellent to have scholarships to give to students. It makes it all worth it,” Erwin said. “We’re making a difference in student’s lives.”        
Arts Bash 2012 will be held at the Noel Fine Arts Center from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.artsbash.com in advance or be purchased at the door. Student and faculty tickets are $20 in advance. General public tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door.  



Pow-Wow to be main event of Awareness Week


     This week, American Indians Reaching for Opportunities is hosting a Native American Awareness Week all leading up to the annual Pow-Wow on Saturday. 

     “A lot of people have a distorted image of Native Americans, especially at UW-Stevens Point where seeing a Native American is not very common,” said John DeNasha, vice-president of AIRO and a junior social work major.

     Native American Awareness Week on campus was created in the hopes of informing the community of Native American culture. 

     “I want people to learn that there are so many variations of Native Americans, and that we all didn’t live in teepees and eat buffalo,” DeNasha said.

     Events that focus on Native American culture have been held all week.  Tuesday night Leslie Teller hosted a Menomonee Storytelling; on Wednesday night two elders came to talk about Traditional and Contemporary Ojibwe Life; and there is a Bittersweet Winds Display on Thursday in the Laird Room from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

     “Natives are often overlooked-most of the time we are talked about as if we are extinct.  This is to show that we are still here, that our culture is still alive, and that we have awesome celebrations,” said Sandra Gokee a junior broadfield social science major and president of AIRO. She is also vice-president of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. 

     All of the events lead up to the 38th Annual AIRO Traditional Pow-Wow on Saturday. The Pow-Wow will consist of a traditional Pow-Wow as well as intertribal songs where everyone that attends is welcome to get up and dance.

     “Students can expect a lot of drumming, singing, and dancing,” Gokee said.

     There will also be a variety of vendors, raffles, a silent auction, and a feast at the Pow-Wow. In years past, more than 600 people have attended the celebration.

     The Pow-Wow is on Saturday from 1-10 p.m. at the HEC Berg Gymnasium. The feast will be at 5 p.m. and the show will start at 7 p.m.


Conservatives speak about national debt, liberals


On April 21, students and members of the community gathered in the Dreyfus University Center Theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to hear prominent conservative figures speak about the current political climate.

    The first speaker, James T. Harris, is a conservative radio host out of Southeastern Wisconsin.  Harris grew up in a Democratic household and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    “They [the university] challenged my thinking. I was going to vote Democrat because that’s what we always did.” However, Harris couldn’t get past the idea of voting for abortion. “I was thinking with my head and not my heart.”

    Harris talked about the difficulties of going through life as a conservative African-American and the continual criticism and threats he receives.

    “Someone told me once that as an African American you’re not supposed to go to tea parties. I answered, ‘You’re right. I don’t consider myself an African-American. I consider myself an American of African descent’…We’re Americans,” Harris said.

    Harris used to be a high school history teacher and never understood why students didn’t like history until he realized that it was boring. It was boring, he said, because all of the stories were being taken out.

    “History is not a timeline. History is a dramatic cycle. History has seasons…our last season of spring was in the 1940s after World War II […] We are in winter right now and the issue is undeniable […] the problem is debt,” Harris said.

    Harris said that the younger generation has yet to realize this. “The reason we have a tea party movement is because people understand this!” he said.

    Harris used a metaphor from “Lord of the Rings” to describe what students must do to fight the debt. He said that college students are hobbits and that they must throw the ring (the debt) into the fires of Mount Doom and not be tempted by the ring. 

    “Let’s fight the fight as if our lives depended on it, because it does,” Harris said.

    S.E. Cupp, a conservative political commentator and host of her own television show on Glennbeck.com, spoke next with her presentation entitled “Young and Liberal=Dumb and Liberal.”

    Cupp, who speaks at many college campuses around the United States, said, “Every time I try to think of why colleges are so fundamentally liberal, I get stuck.”

    Cupp continued to say that college is supposed to be a time of self-exploration but “there’s nothing self-exploratory about copying other people. Oh you don’t like Bush? How original […] You can’t actually find actual rebellion on college campuses anymore. What would be rebellious is a protest for fiscal responsibilities.”

    “We are all naturally born conservatives,” Cupp said. “We are born wanting to survive and thrive.” Cupp said that she doesn’t know why “instead of thinking for themselves, young liberals let other people think for them.”

The biggest issue that Cupp addressed was the same as Harris: the debt.

    “Our kids are going to be broke,” Cupp said.

    She also talked about changing the standards society places on kids, especially when it comes to higher education.

    “We don’t know how to make anything anymore. Not everyone should go to college […] I don’t think you have to be a Harvard graduate to know the meaning of life or have values […] I think we’re making a dumber society,” Cupp said.

    When asked about liberals, Cupp stressed the need to sit down and talk scientifically about the issues. “We agree more than we discuss,” Cupp said. “We agree on the same fundamentals.”

    Cupp expressed her worries on the future of the GOP (Republican Party) in the upcoming 2012 election. 

    “I’m not excited,” Cupp said. “President Obama has already won unless we change our game plan.”


Making the invisible visible


     For the past 25 years, the Lord Resistance Army (LRA), lead by Joseph Kony, has been waging a war on the people in central Africa, affecting more than two million.  Kony’s biggest weapons are his abducted child soldiers.

     Monday night, Invisible Children held an event called “The Congo Tour” in the Laird Room to spread awareness of the atrocities happening because of the LRA.

     Members from the Invisible Children non-profit organization, called “roadies” came to show their new film, “Tony.”  The film told the story of the start of the Invisible Children organization and the lives of not only people from Uganda (where the LRA started), but of the volunteers from Invisible Children.

     After the film, a man that has been affected by the brutality of the LRA told his story.

     David grew up in northern Uganda and in 2002 his village was attacked by the LRA. His father was killed and his two brothers were taken away, never to be seen again.

     “We lost everything in our lives, except our life,” David said. He was captured, living every day fearing that it could be his last.

After six months, he finally escaped with two of his friends, who were shot and killed. David made it safely back to his mother in a displacement camp. 

     “The greatest thing in life is to never give up in life…I know this now,” David said.

     David’s story is just one of the many from Uganda. Kony has since moved into the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Republic. Due to the fact that the LRA has limited financial support, they are the weakest they have ever been. However, when the main objective of an army is to kill, money isn’t much of an issue.

     “They [the victims] have done nothing wrong, and that’s why we’re here today,” David said.

    Invisible Children has three initiatives to help those in central Africa: radio, rescue, and rehabilitation. Due to the fact that there is no communication throughout most of the region, there can be no warnings or any news of violence. Invisible Children not only wishes to rescue child soldiers but to start up rehabilitation centers to help children deal with the heavy psychological damage that war causes.

     “Together we shall make the invisible ones visible,” David said.

     For more information visit: www.invisiblechildren.com