Thursday, November 6, 2014

KSU Hockey

Kennesaw State’s hockey program joins the plethora of excitement surrounding Owl athletics, striking excitement in students, growing in popularity, and even becoming a winning team. Coming off a one-year suspension during the 2013-2014 season, which was due to team members violating a club policy when team members trashed a hotel room, the Owls have resumed at full strength sporting a 7-2 record to start their 2014-2015 campaign with wins over Tulane, Ole Miss, and cross-state rival Life University.

A Division III club sport competing in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), the Owls have had success in the past on a national scale, winning the National Championship in 2006-07 and have competed on the national level a few times since.

The team currently plays their home games at Kennesaw’s Ice Forum and draw a significant amount of fans from the local community. Right Wing Alex Dolhon favorably compares the attendance at Owls home games to that of other arenas the team has visited on the road. Boasting about 500 to 1,000 fans per game, KSU is one of the ACHA’s leaders in overall game attendance and it shows a significant impact on the players momentum.

“We went to like, Nashville, they had no fans, Charleston, they don’t have any fans. Nothing compares to playing at home. The atmosphere and the home field advantage is just great.” said Dolhon. “People like hockey around here. I think they just enjoy the games. We’re a good team, so they enjoy the games. When the fans are louder, I think we feel better hearing the chants and all that it’s a great atmosphere.”

Despite Kennesaw’s winning success and growing fanbase on home ice, the players know that the hockey dream stops on Barrett Parkway. Being a club sport, they will not have the opportunity to become professional in the sport following graduation. The motive behind being apart of KSU hockey is truly for the love of the game “I’ve been playing for about 14 years now and I love the game, and it’s addicting.” said Dolhon “My cousin got me into hockey and I started becoming a big fan and started playing.”

Assistant captain and center Rick Fiorillo says that playing the game is more of a release to relieve stress "The whole year we weren't playing hockey, I was going crazy. I had to work out every day." said Fiorillo. "I love hockey, it's a relases and I enjoy the atmosphere and camaraderie of the team."

The team shares a tight chemistry on and off the ice, advertising their games outside KSU's Commons area and spending time with other team members. "We are always in contact with each other, working out at the gym together, eating lunch in the Commons, there's a good strong bond." said Fiorillo "We all know that we aren't going anywhere, that this is our last opportunity to play good hockey, so it's very much for love of the game."

Owls hockey has many exciting renovations to look forward to. The goal of the team is to reach Division II within the next season and they will also have a new ice hockey rink built behind the Party City on Barrett Parkway within the next year which will help the team's constant time restraints at the Ice Forum whilst providing them with a new home complete with their own locker room. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Georgia's youngest representative runs unopposed, defends agenda

Georgia’s youngest Representative Michael Caldwell, after both losing a run for State legislature in 2010 and becoming the state of Georgia’s youngest state representative, runs unopposed in 2014 defending his views on small government by articulating the rights Americans have that makes us unique from the rest of the world.

A dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom, Caldwell has a wide knowledge on the government’s role in citizens’ rights. He cites the Constitution’s statement of unalienable rights from our creator as rights separate from the government and the issue of divinity, that we have these rights not because they are given, but because we are human beings. Caldwell states that we are among the “Fortunate five percent” to take part in the Great American experiment of self-government that makes the United States stand out from the government of other nations.

”The sole fundamental difference in American government is that in our founding documents we recognize that our rights are given to us by our creator” said Caldwell. “And whatever you believe about divinity couldn’t matter less because what the difference is that we are the first nation in the history of the world, the only nation since, to recognize that our rights come from something other than government.”

Youth and adults that Caldwell have spoken to have been unable to articulate a strong answer to the question “What makes America the greatest nation in the history of the world?” They are rarely taught, Caldwell says, this principle in governing. When we are taught the difference between America and every other “free” country we can take pride in the liberty that we established in the Western world.

“When I travel under my United Kingdom passport, when I deal with their government, they understand that I have rights solely because her majesty the Queen of England has granted me her sovereign rights. That’s the only reason I have rights. Any time she decides I don’t have rights, she is the sovereign. I no longer have rights.” said Caldwell “Under my American passport, I am the sovereign. I have rights because I’m a human being. The core princle here is the approach that you have rights that I didn’t give you is a unique approach.”

Caldwell has observed that the debate of rights often turns into a discussion of the separation of church and state, in which he argues is a different subject than that of unalienable rights. However you believe the rights originated, there are certain rights core to us as individuals. Aside from the primary purpose of government to protect these liberties of the people, the smaller the government the better.

Caldwell weekly hosts a coffee discussion held with other District representatives at Copper Coin Coffee in Woodstock, Georgia.  Around a small table with slow jazz music playing and each person in attendance holding a cup or mug, the discussion of rights shifted to the state of police not being aware of the rights that citizens have in the instance of police encounters without a warrant. “By no means do I believe that we are on a frightening police path yet, but we are on an interesting path if we don’t state precedent” said District 21 representative Scot Turner “And not just educating police officers, but educating citizenry. That’s the problem is that police become 007’s. ‘I feared for my safety, so I shot him. Okay he’s following procedures’ I mean, it keeps happening. We’ve had one shot dead in Cherokee County and the guy in Lawrenceville that was executed in his own home and nobody’s going to get punished.” Wisconsin is setting up a system that a third party review panel under departments of the state will review a police afflicted death along with other efforts to curve no knock warrants in both the Senate and the House.

Liz Baxter, Council Member Ward 4 in Woodstock, just finished police academy and has been considering her stance on the issue. “I have bent my views on different things. For lack of a better term, I guess I’m on the fence right now.” Baxter said “Several years ago, they had a set up where you go into the place and either shoot or not shoot. It was an exercise that was all paper, but I don’t know what it would be like in real life.”

The consensus amongst those in attendance was to focus the issue around the motives behind the polices actions. Discussing from the police perspective, SWAT team training to be prepared to kill depending on who they are dealing with along with the lack of research on both the Cherokee County and Lawrenceville incidents. Caldwell argued from the perspective of the officer rather than the fourth amendment posing the question if it was justifiable to put the officers in danger.

Caldwell affirms, however, that the idea of rights endowed to us as human beings are not a product of the government but must be protected by the people and the government at all costs. “There is a frightening lack of understand about American exceptionalism, rights, and history in this generation” said Caldwell “When our citizens understand these principles, they are prepared to safeguard them for themselves as well as for future generations.”

The idea of unalienable rights is not only integral to Caldwell’s beliefs but his whole philosophy on government. Caldwell’s first bid for office was in 2010 at the age of 21 which despite his strong beliefs, it was not likely that he would attain much of the vote. “At the beginning of my first bid for a seat in our State Legislature in 2010, I sat with an influential State senator. We spoke for nearly an hour and at the end, he told me that although he appreciated my ideas and beliefs, that at my age if I took 10% of the vote, I would change the way he viewed Georgia politics.” said Caldwell “I decided that instead of bowing out, and if we weren’t likely to take a victory, that I would run a campaign exactly the way I thought a campaign should look. This involved things like self-limiting campaign contributions, prohibiting myself from accepting funding from anyone other than Georgia’s citizens or businesses, setting a new standard for transparency through tools like online fund trackers and legislative trackers, and more. I had no preconception of what a campaign “should look like” Though that felt like my biggest weakness at the time, hind sight has shown me that it was actually my biggest strength.”

Caldwell took 46% of the votes on Election Day, losing by about 200 votes, an experience that made an impact on his career as a politician. “Now that I have won and lost, I have a clear favorite, but I wouldn’t trade my loss in 2010 for anything. I learned more through that process and experience than I could have learned in five wins.” Caldwell stated that both the State of Georgia and the United States face a “daunting” number of issues in the future. He informs voters that we could solve 90% of America’s problems “if we could just get elected officials to maintain their oaths of office, to uphold the Constitutions of ‘this State and the United States.’

Sunday, September 28, 2014

SGA Beat 10/1

The Center for Student Leadership attended the SGA meeting on September 18 to discuss their

 newest programs of interest. Their programs are primarily to aid students in different areas of their

college paths. Mentioned on the SGA minutes are the following programs. President Emerging

Global Scholars, which provides international travel and research opportunities, while THRIVE

helps first year students with HOPE scholarship to maintain the scholarship and provides extra

support. Other programs listed include L.E.A.D OWLS is for athletics teaching students athletes

better leadership on and off the field, LINK which helps with peer editing, and Engaged Owl

Leadership for students assuming leaderships roles such as SGA or Residence Assistant.

CSL also announces their new FLY workshops, a series of different free workshops throughout the

year focusing on developing better personal leadership skills. The CSL state on their website that the

workshops are committed to "help each participant to become a better leader on KSU's campus and in

the global community."

Each student attending twelve of the twenty scheduled meetings will be recognized as a FLY

graduate and will receive a completion certificate.

The CSL will come out to classes and events to teach about the CSL and offer leadership counseling

for students who are unaware what to do if they would like to get involved. It will be an advisor to

help get students connected and keep them involved over their college career.

Friday, September 19, 2014

College payment options unheard of

Lindsay Knox currently serves as Director of Student Affairs for the Kennesaw State Student

Government Association. She is currently a senior at KSU majoring in Early Childhood Education.

 Despite her rank on the SGA, however, Knox does not pay for school with any scholarships.

"I tookout my first loan this semester, and the rest of it my parents pay for" Knox said. "I applied for

many scholarships, but I wasn't awarded any from the university." This is the plight Knox describes

for most students she comes across, whether it pertains to herself, her friends, or the students that

may come to her for advice.

Rising tuition rates make college financially burdening to both traditional and non-traditional

students. Most students have either their parents pay for school, or the means of student loans.

Student loans are always expected to be paid back, occasionally over a long period of years, and can

accumulate into a massive amount of debt. Unbeknownst to many, there are scholarship

opportunities that often go unnoticed.

Many colleges hold what is called a Scholarship Day. Students with over a 3.5 GPA in high school

are eligible to be awarded scholarships with amounts of money able to rise depending on grades of

the applicant. This is the means by which Marissa D'Onofrio, a Physics Major at Berry College, is

 able to pay for a private college education.

"I attended a Scholarship Day, and if you had a 3.5 you were able to win about 7K. I would up

walking away with $14,500." Berry College's scholarship day in particular receives a lot of funding

from alumni and important big names such as Henry Ford to be made possible. D'Onofrio's success

in high school also helped her achieve many other scholarships and aid to cover expenses for her

private school education. Most universities will provide the chance for students to win several small

scholarships to add up to paying the entire bill.

D'Onofrio also qualified for a Berry Needs Based Grant of $5,000, which is provided for students

with eligible parental income, and a Georgia Tuition Equalization of $700. Georgia Tuition

Equalization provides non-repayable grants to eligible full time students in the state of Georgia

attending private schools. The goal is to provide an equal opportunity for private schoolers to obtain

aid when the HOPE Scholarship does not include funding for private school education. In addition,

she receives room and board half off for working as a Residence Assistant. RA positions at most

campuses can have similar benefits, not only discounted or free housing but also free parking passes,

reduced meal costs, and lower tuition. Resident Assistant jobs often come with heavy responsibilities,

 from mentoring younger students to solving roommate and neighbor conflicts depending on the

university. D'Onofrio also received a scholarship from Delta through her father's work and received

added benefits by working in the dining hall. She is enrolled in a student work program which is

helping her pay back her lone student loan of $5,000.

Students also may receive scholarships from being involved in on-campus clubs most notably

 fraternities and sororities. Senator at large Vivian Okere earned money for her enrollment in an on-

campus sorority "I received a scholarship from the sorority I am in, Alpha Kappa Alpha, which is

 available only for people in the sorority." Okere said "Most of it is merit based, you qualify if you

have a three point five but if you have a 4.0 you are more likely to receive the aid."

Alpha Kappa Alpha offers a multitude of scholarships for both high school and college students
providing information about the donor, amount of the scholarship, and specific criteria for eligibility.

Scholarships are limited to one per student and require the students to be high achieved, hence

placing a strong emphasis on grade point average. All of the scholarships listed on the AKA website

honor former members of the sorority and are focused on giving applicants an opportunity for a

higher education.

Some students may not make the grades for these opportunities, and even more so have learning

disabilities that prevented them from excelling in high school. Through the help of a government

agency, students can not only acquire much needed costs for college but also benefits for the future.

The Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Division provides services to people with disabilities to help

them in their transition into the work force and also help them to get hired by employers seeking

those with disabilities. Anyone with a disability that can affect their work in two or more ways are

eligible to apply, and each case is considered individually. In addition to this, they provide tuition

payments for college students with disabilities.

Jerica Dixon, a representative of GVRA, said "We provide help to all people with disabilities that

cause an impediment in your work. Whether it be physical, mental or developmental, all people with

disabilities are eligible to apply." The school system will usually identify a student as a potential

candidate and if a student is either interested or referred by a teacher, the teacher will later make

contact with the parents or legal guardian to enlist support.  Much like most financial aid, however,

GVRA only pays for a percentage of the final bill in a system called Call Sharing. This is done

through a precalculated percentage based on parent's or your own income shown on taxes, the

FAFSA, and any other aid that the student has been awarded by the university.

GVRA's main priority, however, is to get disabled people into the workforce. "What we do is we

help meet your vocational goal." said Dixon. "You set up a plan and we help you go over your plan

and check up on the progress."  Services will only be given to those that hope to achieve a vocational

goal in a career of their choice and to become employed based on that goal. Services do require you

meet financial eligibility and all paid expenses by the agency must be approved by a VR counselor in


When an applicant and a VR counselor agree that the applicant is ready to work, the VR staff will

help the applicant to become employed. Services provided include resume development, interview

preparation, and job referrals. The services that GVRA or any Vocational Rehabilitation agency does

not stop at college, but helps those with disabilities put their foot in the door of being a success in the

workforce. VR staff believes that finding the right job is the chief goal in providing aid to disabled

people and the active participation that is needed from the individual financially is an essential part

of making the process possible.

A various amount of scholarships are also available to students who are not disabled but do not

have the highest grade point average either. provides lots of different bizarre

nontraditional opportunities to receive funds for school. Such opportunities include scholarships for

writing an essay or studying abroad, or there are scholarships available based on the applicants race,

religion, or marital status. Examples of these include the ABA Diversity Scholarship or the ACHE

Albert W Dent scholarship to aid minorities or the Jeanette Rankin Fund scholarships that are a

benefit to single mothers. Each of the scholarships have different qualifications and requirements

which makes it possible for more people in certain circumstances to get a college education.

Best Buy once offered a scholarship opportunity for students, but has since permanently closed.

Since it began in 1999, the program's website reports that it awarded nearly $22 million to more than

17,600 students in the United States and Puerto Rico. The company will continue to be focused on

teens preparing for college by providing opportunities for teens to improve their tech skills to further

future career and education opportunities. They currently hold Teen Tech centers and Teen Tech

summits that provide an opportunity for teens to explore different technology to acquire the

necessary skills. The company does these programs as a way to add service to the community.

Though various alternatives to the loan process exist, they do serve as an important gateway to a

student's success. It may be the last resort and Lindsay encourages anyone who may ask her that the

payoff is worth the risk. "Being around my friends, I've noticed that most students use loans and

work to pay" said Knox. "When someone is considering taking out a loan, I try to tell them that

although it is considered going into debt that loans aren't bad if it means you are getting an

education. Then it's worth it because education is priceless and the key to success."

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New connector bridge eases transportation

The Cobb County Department of Transportation is working on constructing the new Skip Spann Connector bridge to cut down traffic for Kennesaw State students.  The project is aiming to provide a better and safer route to not only Kennesaw State but also Towne Center Mall and other local destinations. "KSU is growing, and Chastain Road becomes maxed out. So the bridge will offer an alternative to going down Chastain." said James Hutchens from the Department of Transportation.

Kennesaw State's 25,000 commuter students no longer have to share the same route bringing motorists from I-75 to U.S. 41, causing a vast amount of congestion in the morning hours. The bridge is a $17.5 million project which according to the Cobb County DOT model will reduce traffic on Chastain Road by 19 percent.

The Skip Spann Connector will be over I-75 north of Chastain Road. The bridge is also a roundabout at Busbee Drive and TownPark Lane. Roundabout have a history of being a safer way to drive. Reduced delay time for vehicles passing means less confusion about four-way stops and also calms down traffic by slowing down the speed limit and directing cars in a little circle to their intended destination. Speeds at roundabouts are generally 25 MPH or lower causing shorter break time and longer decision making time.

"When the South finally adopted roundabouts, Cobb County saw a huge decrease in traffic. Now there are about 5 or 6 roundabouts in the West Cobb area." said James Hutchens "There's no traffic light and everyone moves at slower speeds."

Some commuter students are reticent to the development. " I don't think that they would decrease it because in a roundabout people don't signal or use it properly so people sometimes have no idea where they are going." Said Alyssa Wright, a KSU commuter student from Marietta. "Also, our roundabouts have plants or other things in the center so it makes it more difficult to see, therefore making it more dangerous."

A roundabouts purpose is to be a safe way to direct traffic. In a roundabout, the driver can easily navigate through a roundabout simply by seeing if there is another driver currently in the circle. If there is no car in the circle or the other driver has just moved into the circle, the first driver may pass with quick reaction time. If there is a wreck in a roundabout, the damage will be slim to none. The worst on average is perhaps a fender bender or a dent that is much less dangerous and costly than a crash involving injury or fatality.

According to the Cobb County DOT Website, a 2002 study reflects these facts, reporting a 60% decrease in total crash rates, an 82% reduction in injury crashes, and a 100% reduction in fatality crashes. The roundabout also benefits from lower electricity and maintenance cost that come with traffic lights and also a very unique aesthetic look.

Roundabouts have also been known to be environmentally friendly by reducing air pollution. Because the flow of traffic is improved, fuel consumption and vehicle emissions are also reduced. They are also safer for pedestrians, who have a lot of walking room on sidewalks across the perimeter and cross only one direction of traffic.

More information about roundabouts and the construction process can be found at the Cobb County

website at

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SGA Beat 8/26

Following the Fall Retreat, the Student Government is looking to enter the year with a bang. During the retreat, it was decided that the main focus of this year was governance, particularly reaching out to students so that their voices would be heard by faculty and administration. Using the tagline "Speak up: Let Your Voice Be Heard", the current goal to approach the topic of consolidation is to work closely with SGA officers at Southern Polytechnic to establish one consolidated Student Government.  This includes the students at Southern Polytechnic as well, as the KSU SGA is currently creating a governance document for the new consolidated SGA. This document will be submitted by Sept. 30, so all students even the new up and coming ones will be represented.

The SGA also would like to notify students of the new tobacco policy administered by the Board of Regents that all tobacco products are not permitted on any University system of Georgia campuses. The ruling will be in effect on Oct. 1st. In addition to implementing this new policy, KSU has developed a "Breathe Easy" campaign that will promote healthy lifestyles for all students. Guest speakers will also be invited around this time to speak at general body meetings to discuss the policy and implementation. Rachel Martini said the dates for the sepakers will be determined soon.

The first Student Government meeting of the Fall Semester is August 28th at 3:30 p.m. in the University Rooms. Be there to show your support and raise any concerns you may have.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Consolidation updates: SGA going into Fall Semester

The Student Government at Kennesaw State is looking to form a single student government with Southern Polytechnic following the school's joining together in 2015. The SGA has posted a link on their website to the new up and running consolidation website. The site shows the month by month progress of the consolidation between Kennesaw and SPSU as one Student Government after the schools combine in 2015, which has slightly gone forward since June.

The Consolidation Implementation Committee handles the decision making process regarding the new university's structure, vision, and mission statement. Their membership has expanded, adding twelve faculty members representing the academic schools of SPSU and the degree granting colleges of KSU. This helped extend the CIC from 28 members to 47 members handing the selection process. Two academic deans and department chairs were also added from each school.

The CIC has approved 191 recommendations regarding the 81 Operational Working Groups (OWG's), who is responsible for most of the work on the consolidation. The groups are divided into categories such as Faculty Affairs, Overall University Structure, and Academic Degrees and Programs.  48 of the OWG's were completed in May. Due to long term requirements, the CIC and Expanded Consolidation Implementation Committee (ECIC) have asked for extensions in their work on the other 33 yet to be completed. The list of the people involved with the OWGS can be found at

Changes have been made to ensure the transition of the consolidation moves as quickly as possible. Dr. Ron Koger was named interim president of SPSU by University System of Georgia chancellor Hank Huckaby in late May and Professor Richard Cole, dean of the School of Architecture and Construction Management, was chosen to serve as interim vice president for Academic Affairs. This is following former president Dr Rossbacher and former VPAA Zvi Szafran's decision to accept presidential positions at other universities. In addition, director of recreational sports Karl Staber will serve as interim VP for Student Enrollment Services and Jim Herbert, director of information technology, will serve as interim chief information officer (CIO). Their biographies can be found at