This article was awarded Third Place by the Hoosier State Press Association in the 2011 Better Newspaper Contest (college division)
Published in The Butler Collegian
By Hayleigh Colombo
Butler University issued 3,997 parking permits to faculty, staff and students this year, but there only are 2,585 spots designated for them on campus, leaving 1,412 permit-holding drivers out of luck.
Despite adjustments this year to make the most of the university’s parking capacity, like signing a contract with a car-sharing company and reclassifying a stretch of road that was underutilized last year, people are left to wonder: where will we park?
“This number is scary if you don’t factor in side streets,” Butler Police Chief Ben Hunter said. “Do we have a parking problem now? No. We have parking concerns.”
There are 3,222 parking spots for the entire Butler community, not including Greek spots on their private lots, or on side streets like 44th Street, 49th Street and Boulevard Place, which Hunter said could add around 200 spots total in theory — if each driver is a skilled parallel parker and takes only 12 feet to get the job done.
Why the 1,412-official spot discrepancy?
The short answer is that on any given day, there are times when people with permits aren’t on campus, said parking committee member and professor Marvin Recht, an executive-in-residence in the College of Business, so having some overlap is expected.
“It’s probably safe to assume we’re running out of creative options,” Hunter said. “I’m confident that if we continue to grow, we will have parking problems.”
President Jim Danko told The Butler Collegian in May that he was mindful of the concerns.
“We have to really start working on how we address some of those problems,” Danko said.
No Close Public Transit
There was a former IndyGo bus route that went through and stopped at Butler, which faculty said alleviated some of the capacity problem, but it was removed in 2004 because of lack of ridership.
“It was a pretty unproductive route,” IndyGo director of business development Stephanie Cross said. It isn’t a priority for the stop to return, even in the organization’s long-term plans to increase bus routes in the city, Cross said.
There only were 8,987 rides for the Butler route in its last month of service in 2004, Cross said, compared to routes off campus with as many as 38,000 riders per month.
With IndyGo planning to request that the City-County Council cover $6.4 million in operating expenses Sept. 19, plans to expand service routes don’t seem imminent.
Routes can’t increase unless IndyGo has the funding, and this year, IndyGo’s hope is to just cover their operating budget, Cross said.
Members of the parking committee, which meets Sept. 9, have stopped short of saying freshmen can’t bring cars to campus, but there is resistance from constituent groups who argue the lack of accessible public transportation, especially in inclement weather, would hinder students without cars.
Making a recommendation to forbid freshmen from bringing cars on campus could come at the expense of their participation in cultural events, service projects or internships in the city, said Aimée Rust-Scheuermann, director of admission and parking committee member.
Rust-Scheuermann said Butler needs easy access to all its resources to further the professional and academic development of its students, so limiting a student group without adequate public transit options is a concern.
“Indianapolis really serves as a living laboratory,” Rust-Scheuermann said. “How do they engage in the Indianapolis community if they aren’t able to find transportation to and from an event?”
Tight Squeeze During Events
Hunter said the limited capacity becomes frustrating during special events when there are multiple events on campus, something that will be a challenge this October when Family Weekend coincides with a football game, basketball game and run going through campus.
“We’re really jockeying for parking spaces and the capacity is severely reduced,” Hunter said.
Last year to mitigate the problem, the university occasionally contracted with the Christian Theological Seminary during special events and shuttled visitors up to Hinkle Fieldhouse from their parking lot, which seemed to work, said Hunter.
This is the second full academic year that the university’s parking capacity has been divided into zones, designated areas that require people who park to have a specific pass, which the university said created 72 additional parking spaces last year.
This year, the second block of Sunset Avenue on the west curb has been rezoned from “A” permits, or faculty, staff, emeritus and affiliate parking, to “C” permits, or student commuter parking.
Hunter said the change was a deliberate move to add more commuter spaces to mitigate those students’ concerns about not having parking spots closer to main campus buildings.
The first block of Sunset Avenue also may be rezoned next fall depending on if the opening of the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Performing and Visual Arts causes a capacity issue.
Overall, Hunter said he’s received far more compliments than complaints on the decision to designate zones for the parking lots and streets.
“It has been working out way better than my initial expectations,” he said. “We knew going into it that it’d be trial and error.”
Butler junior Robert Davis hasn’t sent Hunter a compliment. He said he gets confused where he can park when he’s trying to drive from his Apartment Village residence to study at the library or go to class.
Butler sophomore Loor Alshawa, an officer of the Off-Campus Student Organization, said commuters this year already are feeling crunched to find a spot.
She said there were no spaces available in the commuter lot or Hinkle Fieldhouse when she came to campus last week, and she ended up getting to her class 10 minutes later than she normally would have.
Hunter said it harms capacity when students want to drive their car from their dorm to the library or class and park in the wrong zone.
“It’s a vicious cycle,” he said.
I recently heard something that any college-aged girl can relate to: Home is wherever you hang your heels up.
I’ve been thinking about that quote a lot, and consequently, about where I’ll plant my… heels… after graduating college, or if I’ll plant them at all.
Moving really is the only lifestyle I know right now. For the past three years, I have constantly been moving from place to place. I will have lived in Lake Zurich, Ill., four places in Indianapolis, Washington, D.C. and now Madison, all in a matter of mere years.
And then, who knows?
Right now, in between helping my mom and uncle with their websites and my unbelievable internship at the Wisconsin State Journal, this whole dilemma is consuming my thoughts! And, while I pride myself on being pretty organized with all of this, this girl can have some questions, like…
Which cities should I look into applying for jobs? Is it unrealistic to think that I could get a journo job in Chicago or DC? Do I need to start thinking about grad school?
The state of journalism is so uncertain right now that it seems completely naive to think that I’ll graduate from Butler University in May and land a full-time reporting or copy-editing gig at a newspaper near my family and friends right away.
And while it’s hard to feel “secure” (read: this week’s Gannett Co. layoffs), notice that I didn’t say the “fate” of journalism. News will always be a vital part of life, whether our generation wants it or not.
I will never doubt if my passion is still relevant. Oh, it’s relevant. We need good reporters now than we ever have before.
What I do doubt, though, is having a traditional career path.
I could very well graduate in May and find work at a newspaper across the country, and I’d take it, regardless of the location.
Journalism students nowadays can’t get picky. And I sure don’t plan to.
We have to be up for the challenge, creative and find a way to make ourselves attractive and irreplaceable to organizations with enough money to put those heels in our closets.
Just thought I’d share these thoughts, because I have a feeling that I’m not alone out there with soon-to-be or recent grads! That’s all for now– off to copy edit at the State Journal!
No one knows how to direct a chilling masterpiece like Darren Aronofsky—his portfolio features movie favorites “The Wrestler” and “Requiem for a Dream”—but this time, he’s making a lot more money doing it.
Aronofsky’s most recent release, “Black Swan,” has brought in more than $1.3 million in its first three days in theaters. That’s about 20 times the amount “Requiem” brought in its first weekend and six times more than “The Wrestler.”
“Black Swan’s” success, despite its limited release, was no surprise—I had been counting down the days to its release since I saw the trailer in early November. But what did surprise me were the lengths to which the actors (Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel) went to put on a haunting, yet beautiful performance.
Unlike a standard production of “Swan Lake,” where it’s obvious whose role is the antagonist or the protagonist, Aronofsky’s rendition leaves it unclear. The movie watchers must try to guess and re-guess who’s lost their mind, who’s taking advantage of the main character Nina (Portman) or if anyone really has a grasp on reality at all.
Even supposed protagonist Nina, who spends much of the movie as a dancing, perfection-obsessed waif, turns the corner at some point to become the almost-villain of the production.
The performances by Portman and Kunis are superb—but while Portman’s is unsettling and fragile, Kunis plays her standard wild-child role. It fits so perfectly into Nina’s new reality that I couldn’t help but love Kunis’ portrayal of the dance company’s newest member and Nina’s frenemy.
While critics might say that they were left with less mind puzzles than a self-proclaimed “psychological thriller” promises, I’d argue that I was comforted by the closure at the end of Black Swan. This is true especially after the recent “Inception”-obsessed summer, where it seemed the new bar for a movie to be well-received was to leave loose ends at every possible plot turn and ending.
Black Swan did nothing of the sort. It took viewers along for the ride, as if they were almost part of Portman’s mental unwind, experiencing it with her, as she, bit by tantalizing bit, loses her grasp on reality. In doing so, she ends up fulfilling her childhood dream of being her dance company’s prima ballerina and satisfies the hard-to-please director, played by Cassel.
What Black Swan lacks in mental twists and turns, it makes up for in an all-star cast, stellar performances and an unmistakable, yet hard to watch, magnum opus that is undoubtedly making a few waves just in time for the 2011 Oscar season.
The Butler Bulldogs’ defeated the Wisconsin Badgers 61-54 early Friday in yet another NCAA Tournament upset, but The Butler Collegian’s multimedia staff is anything but defeated.
After working tirelessly into the wee hours of the morning editing articles, tweeting, reporting campus reaction and obsessively checking Google Analytics, Multimedia Editor Olivia Ingle said the sleep deprivation was all worth it.
“I do have work tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., but I’m definitely not tired, just ready to get some more hits on the website,” Ingle said, as she refreshed Google Analytics yet another time. 993 total visits to the site today alone is not enough for Ingle, who is aiming for 1,000 before she’s allowing herself and Online Managing Editor Hayleigh Colombo to count some sheep back at Apartment Village.
The pair even endured getting locked out of Fairbanks Center while covering the riot-like atmosphere on Hampton Drive after midnight.
“Thankfully I remembered to take my cell phone outside which allowed me to tweet at Butler’s Police Chief to come let us back in the building,” Colombo said. @BUPoliceChief Ben Hunter speedily sent an officer to come let the winded pair back into the building to enter the last leg of their coverage for the night.
Memorable coverage it was– between Andrew Smith’s ankle injury, Charles Barkley’s tirade on Butler athletics and Matt Howard’s heroic last-minute save, the multimedia duo had their hands full.
But they weren’t alone covering the big game.
Sports Editor Steven Peek, Photo Editor Maria Porter and Multimedia Editor Elyssa Garfinkle were covering the event like journalism pros in the Big Easy, but just because the Bulldogs get to rest for a day doesn’t mean the Collegianites in New Orleans get to.
“What we’re going to focus on tomorrow is figuring out what people are going to do on their day off,” Peek said at 3:14 a.m., with signs of exhaustion in his voice.
The coverage would have been incomplete without News Editor and resident staff “scrappy underdog” Jill McCarter who was stationed at the Reilly Room fan viewing party during the game. She texted updates, emailed commentary and sent photos to the office for Colombo to put online.
“The energy is intense,” McCarter said in an email timestamped 10:31 p.m. “There are more than 200 people here in the Reilly Room.”
In Broad Ripple Village at Applebee’s, another Butler fan hot spot, sports fans got a play by play of all the game action during a live blog co-hosted by two of The Collegian‘s sports gurus–Assistant Sports Editor Lance Rinker and Staff Writer Matt Rhinesmith.
“[I'm] blogging good in the neighborhood with Matt Rhinesmith,” Rinker tweeted around tip off. “Thanks to the Broad Ripple Applebee’s for setting us up.”
What could get in the way of such a sweet victory? Hardly anything, except the anxiety of how Ingle and Colombo are going to get out of previous commitments on Saturday so they can do it all over again when Butler faces the Florida Gators at 4:30 p.m.
Editors Note: Colombo reported the Elite 8 game against the University of Florida from a remote location while she was working on a school project and directed all publication of post-game coverage.
So, I just realized that 2011 is my seventh and final year as a student journalist. It’s been the most defining time period in my life, by far, but also the most challenging. I always tell people how lucky I am to be able to better myself in my craft before even having a college degree.
Journalism is amazing like that, because you don’t need to be a college graduate to be a journalist. This is different than most fields..I’m shuddering just thinking about my pre-med friend Zachary operating on me before he graduates medical school (no offense, dear!).
As a journalist, even though I have lots and lots of more learning to do before I become even close to being as good as the people in my field that I admire, I have still managed to do my job well on the high school and college level. I’ve been published. I’ve received praise and criticism. I’ve screwed up, printed corrections.. comforted writers when they’ve screwed up, printed corrections for them.
I’ve had lots of experience with scholastic journalism and can offer my writers sound advice when they encounter hiccups that reinforces the cardinal rules of all journos– remaining objective, being accurate and reporting fairly.
But there’s one problem that student journalists face every time they start a story for their high school or college newspaper. They’re not being objective.
Now, I’m not faulting the reporter. It’s through no fault of their own. All good baby journos know that they can’t interview their friends, cover events for activities they’re involved in. It’s nothing like that.
They’re not being objective because at the end of the day, the territory they’re covering is their school, their future alma mater, the place where their family pays thousands and thousands of dollars for them to attend each year.
At the time we were hired at the paper, we were already biased.
But dealing with this contradiction, as long as we’re aware of it, doesn’t mean we’re doomed! It just means that we have to be careful.
Last week at the paper, I was reminded of this plight. One of Butler’s senior starters on the men’s basketball team received a head contusion. We published a picture of bloody Matt Howard on the front page of the Sports section to go with the accompanying story, which was a report on how the Bulldogs won the game despite the injury, and how they were going to fare in future games if Howard was out for a few games.
One of the paper’s editors wrote his proposed headline for the story above the picture and copy: “A win at what cost?”
My first thought: I loved it. It totally resonated with the feelings of students and Howard’s fans. And at the paper, we are diehard Matt Howard fans.
But as one of the managing editors, I have to slow down that excitement and be the person who has some forethought before the paper goes to print.
So, I bit, grimacing at the reaction that I knew I was going to receive from the editor, but firm in my resolve nonetheless.
“We have to change the headline,” I said. “It’s biased.”
“It’s true, though,” the editor said. He really didn’t want the headline to be changed.
My heart agreed but my head screamed at me! Was I worried that Butler’s star player was going to be seriously hurt if he continued to play and that our team would suffer if he didn’t? Completely. As a student, I felt that inner struggle. A win at what cost, darnit!!
But my head said no.
“Okay,” said the editor. “But then you have to come up with something equally interesting.”
I suggested “A bang-up job” (which turned into “A bang-up win” after my boss, the EIC, edited it).
Overall, even though the editor wasn’t thrilled that I demanded the headline be changed, I think the staff and myself learned another valuable lesson about remaining neutral as student journalists.
We are allowed to care about what we’re reporting about. There’s no way around it. Just because of the very fact that our education is number one in importance and the fact that we have a vested interest in our school, it’s understandable that we care about the success of the basketball team and the health of its star player.
But you have to draw the line somewhere and keep those cardinal principles in mind when you’re at the paper. Eliminating clear bias that’s not 100% obvious in headline and article writing is an important part of that.
The other part? Think about what you learned in Ethics class before you send something to the printer or hit “publish” on your Web site’s admin end.
And for the record, for every biased creative headline, there’s always an objective one that’s just as witty.