Michelle Obama makes a stop on the campaign trail.
Michelle Obama makes a stop on the campaign trail.
Over the summer, Residential Living worked on a variety of construction projects including redoing the South Debot circle, Stormwater Management, and the renovation of Burroughs Hall, projects that made residential buildings more environmentally friendly.
The renovation of Burroughs Hall was just one step in a project of renovating all the Residential Halls in the north and south Debot quads.
“The renovated halls are important to students because it shows them that we want them to enjoy their college experience,” said Burroughs Hall director, Ben Wilkes. “We are trying to stay current with as many trends as we can and giving the students the best renovation keeps us on the leading edge of student services.”
Burroughs Hall not only has a new entrance, but also received new fire sprinklers, elevator, lighting, and carpet. Residential Living put solar panels on Burroughs Hall to preheat domestic hot water as well.
“The biggest thing that we did [with renovations] was that we will be LEED silver certified,” said Assistant Director for Building Services at Residential Living, Michael Zsido.
LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a rating scale of how environmentally friendly a building is.
Burroughs Hall, as well as other renovated halls has recycled content in their carpeting, low volatile organic compounds in the paint, and windows are low E grade glass. Neale Hall and the Suites@201 are the only other residential halls that are currently LEED silver certified.
“Students at UWSP have asked us to be as sustainable as possible… we have a number of green initiatives in residential living,” Zsido said.
The other two construction projects that took place over the summer also have environmental ties. Redoing the south Debot circle was one such project.
“We kept tearing the circle up,” Zsido said due to the fact that they needed to do a lot of underground piping work for each renovation. “It has been completely redone. It ended up really nice.”
During the summer, a number of sidewalks and landscaping was torn up for a Stormwater Management project. Residential Living had to get land at the right elevation and drainage for stormwater management. Parking lot P also received a facelift to handle storm water more efficiently.
Another new addition to the residential halls is that an emergency generator was installed in Thompson Hall so in the case of a power outage, the residential halls will have emergency power and lighting in the corridors, stairwells, and the fire alarms will still be functional.
“UWSP housing continues to offer the best accommodations for UWSP students and by continually renovating and making the spaces we have better, the students want to stay in the halls for their junior and senior years,” Wilkes said.
Knutzen Hall is the next residential hall scheduled for renovated next summer, with Thompson and Watson to follow.
“From the students I’ve talked to, they’re really excited,” Zsido said.
What would happen if Freud and C.S. Lewis were put in one room? That question is answered in “Freud’s Last Session,” a play directed by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s very own assistant theatre professor Tyler Marchant. “Freud’s Last Session” has recently moved its theatre performance space to the New World Stages in New York in the heart of Times Square.
Marchant got involved with the production after he directed plays for the Barrington Stage Company.
“Most of my career has been made on working on new plays and musicals,” Marchant said. Marchant worked with Mark St. Germain, the playwright of “Freud’s Last Session,” and the play was produced in the summer of 2009.
The show is focuses on Dr. Sigmund Freud in his last years and a young C.S. Lewis. The two have opposing viewpoints about religion and faith, among many other aspects of life, making their discussion become quickly personal. The two end up clashing while trying to defend what they fundamentally believe in.
Marchant was drawn to the scrip due to “The fact that these are the two smartest men in the 20th century and they’re talking about things most people have made a decision about (faith) […] no matter what side of the fence you were on, it makes you consider either side,” Marchant said.
The play struck a chord within the theatrical community gaining many favorable reviews. “It’s a thinking play […] I don’t think theatre challenges us very intellectually anymore,” Marchant said. Marchant also placed a great emphasis on the fact that this is not just a play about serious subjects, but that comic relief is also quite prevalent. It doesn’t take itself too seriously.
“It’s still damn funny,” Marchant said. Due to its popularity, the play kept on extending performances before a New York producer picked it up and brought it to the Margorie Dean Theatre in New York in the summer of 2010. This October the show was moved to the New World Stages located in Times Square. This straight play shares the building with musicals such as “Rent” and “Avenue Q.”
“I’m really excited. I just adds another level of legitimacy to the production […] more people will get to see the play,” Marchant said.
“Freud’s Last Session” has had over 500 productions and was the longest running show in Barrington Stage Company’s history. The play has also been produced internationally in cities such as London, Madrid, and Tokyo.
“I love that without any bells and whistles the show has not only survived but thrived,” Marchant said.
For those hoping to see the show, “Freud’s Last Session” will be opening in Chicago next year.
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.”
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.
“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