KNDS News Updates Get the latest news from the KNDS news department Green Hearts: Small Budgets, Big Dreams In a past graduate assistantship with the Memorial Union Gallery, a team, including Amy Nash, worked with the logistics of the art room’s light bulbs.

Nash, a graduate student studying natural resources management, researched whether expensive LED flood lights would, over time, save money for the gallery.

The LED lights claimed to last 38 years, but Nash said the team used a more conservative number – 19 – as the expected lifespan for a bulb. After extensive research, including reaching out to a lighting consultant, Nash said the team used a formula to determine the lights’ cost-effectiveness.

“Over the course of the 19 years that those bulbs would last, they’d save the Union $54,000,” Nash said they concluded.

The problem, though, is the two boxes of LED lights the team bought cost thousands.

While sustainability offers a cleaner, more efficient way of life, Nash said she understands North Dakota State’s struggle to make the big switch.

Misconceptions can run amok, too.

“I’m not one of those tree huggers, sustainability people … That’s a piece of it, but the bigger piece of it is working with people and their pocketbooks because that makes the synergy that makes it all work,” she said.

‘By the bootstraps’

A push for a more eco-friendly university, Nash said, started two years ago under student government leadership.

Luke Brodeur and Jace Beehler, the then-student body president and vice president, respectively, addressed the need for sustainability on campus during their tenure. They placed the foundation for student government’s Environmental Sustainability Committee.

Today, Nash, who also doubles as student government’s executive commissioner of public relations, chairs the committee. It meets every other week and is open to students, faculty, staff and administration.

Their task, Nash said, can be daunting.

“Where do we start?” she said. “There’s so much that needs to be done.”

The committee’s mission is further complicated, Nash said, because of their lack of funding.

Unlike Concordia College’s sustainability movement – funded primarily by their presidents’ offices – and Minnesota State University-Moorhead’s movement – funded by student fees – NDSU has nothing in place to stir up revenue for sustainability.

Our goals, Nash said, “are not a high priority in that (NDSU Facilities Management) has to stretch every single dollar to maintain and fix buildings.”

The grassroots committee, Nash said, operates “by pulling themselves up by the bootstraps” continuously.

Tackling recycling

The Environmental Sustainability Committee shares synergy, Nash said, with a student-run organization that shares the same name and goals.

Both the committee and club said today, their main push is to better NDSU’s recycling.

“Recycling seems to be the number one concern,” Stephanie Wirz, president of the Environmental Sustainability Club, said.

Last week, the club presented Faculties Management with a map of “hot spots” for recycling. The club had asked students where they personally need more recycling options around campus.

Nash said the strategic meeting with key campus officials discussed, among other ideas, focusing on relabeling and increasing recycling receptacles.

Wirz said their plans were well received.

The committee also discussed contamination, which Nash said is an issue in some outside receptacles.

The problematic bins have openings labelled for cans, plastics and trash. But for some receptacles, only one bag collects everything.

The cans and plastics can be placed together, Nash said, but the trash soils the bag.

To read more about about campus' push for a greener campus, read on via The Spectrum.

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Plains Art Museum Offers Something Unexpected BY: JENNIFER FATS

The many-faceted Plains Art Museum offers more than one Fargoan may think.

The museum’s first floor contains chatter and interaction as guests can receive information on the museum and upcoming events. They may find themselves sitting for a conversation in the café in the corner.

Not only can art connoisseurs enjoy conversation about the exhibits, but they can expect a selection of speakers to engage with.

The second floor shares its space with the most exhibits and pieces the museum offers like “Bakken Boom!” and Minnesota-grounded artist Julie Buffalohead’s exhibit “Coyote Dreams.” Creative studios for visitors and members of the museum line the corners of the second floor along with employee offices.

Walking up the stairs to the third floor provides a change of atmosphere for the art spectator as this floor provides a different exhibit.

The third floor is mostly empty with two cubical walls filled with local works in the exhibit “Community: A Print Exchange.” A venue largely for the use of renting for weddings and conferences offers more than just an art space.

This isolated floor provides spectators a chance to observe Fargo from three stories up.

In fact, this view may be the most remarkable and unnamed exhibit the Plains Art Museum has to bestow. The view delivers an interesting collection of buildings that make up the mosaic known as downtown Fargo.

Whether an intention of this space is for that purpose or not, the scene from three different viewpoints lets onlookers see the true beauty and art downtown Fargo holds. A work of art that needs no artistic statement, the view of downtown lets the viewer develop their own interpretation.

East of the museum, historical buildings line N.P. Avenue, while the west side shows views of the Quentin N. Burdick U.S. Courthouse and the peak of Barry Hall.

An unnamed exhibit that will continue to evolve with the expansion of downtown Fargo surely will have visitors returning for more.

The museum is free to students with ID and hours can be found online.

Downtown Fargo may be the most timeless and ever-changing exhibit the Plains Art Museum has to offer.

WHERE: 704 First Ave N.
PRICE: Free for students with ID

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Dry Conditions Bring Grass Fires, Burn Bans BY: JACK DURA

North Dakota has exchanged overland flooding this year for a different springtime danger.

Abnormally dry conditions throughout the state have heightened fire dangers and resulted in a burning ban by order of Gov. Jack Dalrymple. Numerous grass fires broke out across North Dakota and western Minnesota last week.

In contrast to recent springs in the state, this year has not had wet, flooding conditions; instead, the month of April has been exceedingly dry, which is the traditional weather cycle for North Dakota this time of year.

“I do believe most of us have lost context … historically because April’s always the time of year where, A.) things dry up, and B.) vegetation is still dormant,” Daryl Ritchison, assistant state climatologist, said. “Always we’re high in fire danger in April.”

Due to such dry conditions, chances of grass fires are very high.

On Wednesday afternoon, grass fires were ignited along Interstate 29 from Grand Forks, N.D., to Oslo, Minn. Transportation officials closed the road from Grand Forks to Canada due to low visibility from smoke and windy conditions.

Flames were reported to be up to 15 feet high in areas with cattails.

Other blazes broke out in North Dakota near Casselton, Granville, Pembina and Bismarck, the latter of which experienced a fire that caused the evacuation of the University of Mary campus.

A fire near Rothsay, Minn., was ignited Thursday by a tire falling off a trailer.

Ritchison said grass fires can steam from a variety of sources, from thrown cigarette butts to vehicle sparks.

“Just the heating of the ground, what was out in that ditch (on I-29), was it a piece of glass?” Ritchison said. “It’s just like a magnifying glass. It’s all human elements that add to (fire danger).”

With gusty winds and little rainfall in the forecast, conditions are prime for other grass fires to break out.

Any rainfall the state gets is not expected to impact the dry conditions, Ritchison said, as the earth is so dry it will simply be absorbed.

Traditional annual rainfall for April in North Dakota is 1.3 inches, he added, explaining the state’s position on the map brings more rainfall in May and June than from November to April combined.

Meanwhile, one positive of the state’s dry conditions is many farmers have been able to plant early, contrasted to previous years of late planting due to heavy, wet springs and floods.

“This year, already, there’s a good percent that’s in the ground planted already,” Ritchison said. “I think just about everyone is going to get their planting done early.”

Ritchison said two things will end the fire danger across the region: more rainfall and natural green-up.

North Dakota’s statewide fire emergency is in effect until April 30. The order from the governor outlaws all outdoor fires without special permission.

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International Students' Job Outlook Limited by Visa Process
ERICA NITSCHKE | THE SPECTRUM Myriad Mobile, a Fargo-based mobile development company, spent over $7,000 on one H-1B sponsor this year.Photo & Story: Erica Nitschke, Spectrum Staff

Bharat Verma’s flat-billed hat and zip-up hoodie may not distinguish him from the rest of North Dakota State’s campus.

But his accent – and his career path – certainly do.

Verma, a native of New Dehli, India, is in his senior year in the electrical engineering program with hopes to pursue a master’s in renewable energy.

His senior capstone focuses on building a machine that can separate cancer cells from healthy cells.

His goal is to hopefully have his work published.

“It can be possible, but we’ll see what happens – depends on the results,” Verma said, adding with a laugh: “If I get a little bit of success, it will be very good for my resume.”

Despite his ambitious work, Verma is worried about finding employment post graduation.

“This is the one and the only, the biggest stress of all time you can ever have in a college life for international students,” Verma said. “I’ve been going to the job fairs, and it’s very nice to say, ‘We have 200 employers coming,’ but who will hire international people?”

The H-1B challenge

For Verma and the almost 1,000 international students on NDSU’s campus like him, his visa status labels him a potential risk to employers.

To work in the country, foreign nationals need a valid visa.

In 2014, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services switched the H-1B work visa program from first-come, first-serve to a lottery system, making it more difficult to secure a chance to stay.

The costs of filing are big, and the risk is even bigger.

Of the nearly 233,000 petitions filed for H-1B this year, the USCIS will issue only 85,000: 65,000 for workers with a bachelor’s degree and 20,000 for those with a master’s.

Selection is completely random.

Myriad Mobile, a local mobile software development company, sponsored an employee in the H-1B process for the first time this April.

“(It) is challenging to say the least, and it’s expensive at the same time,” Human Resource Manager Jon Walters said, “and the worst part of all of it is its just for a lottery so we could go through all of this for nothing, basically.”

Walters, who had no experience with the H-1B process before, filed with the help of an immigration attorney. He said the company has invested over $7,000 in legal and application fees.

“We’ve had to write out six different checks so far – some going to the attorney, some going to different departments of the state or the federal government – and it’s really daunting to say the least,” Walters said. “… I think we’re still accumulating costs.”

For more on international students' struggles, read on via The Spectrum.

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Nondiscriminatory Bill Downed Again, Students Speak Up GABBY HARTZE | THE SPECTRUM Sunny Branick, a graduate student, said like many LGBT members in North Dakota, he has faced discrimination based on his sexual orientation.PHOTO: GABBY HARTZE

At 2:38 p.m. April 2, the North Dakota House of Representatives failed Senate Bill 2279.

In an emotional Capitol Building, a Republican-led majority sunk the bill, which a bipartisan coalition sponsored.

Supporters said SB 2279 would have outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Detractors of the bill said the wording was vague, and the bill itself was an unnecessary addition to North Dakota law.

‘Incredibly disappointed’

Legislators have voted on similar versions of SB 2279 in previous sessions.

This month’s down vote was the third in six years.

For Minot, N.D., native Grace Cabarle, the failed bill is another heartbreaking defeat.

“I’ve been following North Dakota discrimination laws since I was a junior in high school,” Cabarle, an NDSU senior and president of the university’s Pride Alliance, said. “ … We are all obviously incredibly disappointed, and many of us are simply devastated by this news,” she said.

As a lifelong North Dakota native, Cabarle said her state needs to protect the gay community better.

North Dakota transplant Sunny Branick offered similar sentiments.

The Kansas native and NDSU graduate student said some of the state’s problems regarding LGBT people might stem from ignorance.

Branick cited North Dakota’s low percentage of personally identifying LGBT people.

Less than 2 percent of North Dakotans identify as LGBT, the lowest in the nation, a 2013 Gallup poll reported.

“North Dakotans are not exposed as often to these types of minorities,” Branick said. “It’s easier to hate a group who you have no personal connections to and/or are just plain misinformed about.”

Branick, who moved here with his boyfriend, said the bill’s failure does not personally impact him as much as it may impact others. He said he and his partner own the house they live in and both work jobs with nondiscriminatory language written into policy.

In North Dakota, supporters of SB 2279 cited the lack of specific law barring people statewide from using sexual orientation in decision making regarding housing and work.

While Branick said their managed variables offer “a sense of security,” he and his boyfriend still face discrimination.

“We both quickly recognized that ‘North Dakota Nice’ doesn’t apply to people who are anything but heterosexual,” he said, noting within the first week of moving to the area, he and his boyfriend’s orientation were subject to resentment and pranks.

“It could have been worse, but it was still unexpected,” he said, noting the difference between his old home in Lawrence, K.S., and Fargo. “ … (We’d) forgotten what it was like to be called a ‘faggot’ in the street or at work by customers until we moved here.”

For more voices regarding the bill, read on via The Spectrum.

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Few words have such complicated meaning as the word “slut.”

It can be an insult or a compliment, a label or a badge.

But often it is used in cases of sexual shaming and assault to place blame on the victim.

Though an issue society does not always like to talk about openly, it is the central theme of the upcoming production “SLUT: The Play.” Sponsored by the Equity and Diversity Center, Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy, Theater Arts and Women and Gender Studies, this play delves into a world where oversexualization of girls causes sexual shaming and assault – a world closer to home than we think.

“Language is powerful. We often forget this fact,” director Jessica Jung said. “The labels we use can ingrain or evoke stereotypes that we do not intend. This play reminds me of this.”

The story follows Joey, a high school student who is sexually assaulted one night before a party. She and her male friends go out for drinks before getting into a cab to go to the party. Later on that night, Joey’s best friend finds her locked in a bathroom at the party, covered in vomit and holding her underwear in her hand.

“One challenge of playing Joey is that this terribly awful thing happened to her that I could never even imagine,” senior Kami Sim said, “and I have to try to go there and try to make it believable without completely overplaying it.

After, Joey decides to speak out about what happened despite the challenges she must face. The town is turned upside down as her friends are arrested and social media erupts with gossip.

Intertwined with Joey’s story are those of her classmates: the dance team girls who shun Joey and defend their right to be “sluts,” one boy’s sister confronts him about whether he did it and another girl wants to buy condoms at the grocery store but does not want to be labeled a “slut.”

“I think ‘SLUT’ is a brilliant play with a relevant message,” Sim said. “We are so quick to slut shame people and judge them for things we do not even understand. Our words have a huge impact on ourselves and others. This play brings up a lot of things that we don’t talk about but we should.”

Each of the stories asks a different question about our culture. Is using the word “slut” okay? Do we judge women when we use the word? Does the fact that Joey was drunk or wearing a short skirt mean she was asking for it?

Are women ever really asking for it?

These are difficult questions, but they need to be asked and answered.

“SLUT: The Play” will be performed as a stage reading in order to focus on the text, with the actors reading off music stands. They have been rehearsing weekly for almost a month.

“People should come to this show because it could give them new insights into slut shaming and rape,” Sim said. “I know it changed the way I look at things.”


WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Memorial Union Century Theater

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Protesters Decry 'Rape Culture', Verdict A flood of people, about 50 protesters brandished with colorful posters, united together Tuesday afternoon above the Red River.

Feet from honking traffic – blaring their horns in support – the activists rallied on the warm sidewalks of Veterans Memorial Bridge to voice their collective disgust of rape culture in America.

A recent court ruling sparked the event.

Minnesota State University Moorhead student Jessy Hegland created a Facebook group after a local man facing felony charges had his sentence lessened through a plea deal.

Taylor Pederson pled guilty last week in a case accusing him of raping an MSUM student in Fargo.

Instead of facing up to 20 years in prison with the Class A felony charge, Pederson pled guilty to two Class B misdemeanors.

With the plea deal, Pederson avoided jail time and having to register as a sex offender.

“This case is just another one where a rapist pleads guilty and gets to live on with his life,” Hegland said.

While the case itself catalyzed the event, Hegland said the protesters were not only picketing the verdict.

Most, if not all, protesters said something needs to change with the United States’ “rape culture.”

North Dakota State student Margalit Balaban said not only was she protesting the “lenient charges” against Pederson, but she was also showing her support for women.

“We can’t continue to support rape culture,” Balaban said. By doing so “we are saying what happens to women doesn’t matter.”

She continued, saying while laws could be stricter, rehabilitation for offenders needed to be offered, too.

Recently released polls have put college sexual assaults in the national spotlight.

A Public Religion Research Institute survey of millennials found about one-third of respondents said they though sexual assault was “very common” in the university setting. About 40 percent of respondents thought sexual assault was “somewhat common,” the largest percentage.

Less than 5 percent said sexual assault was “very rare.”

The same poll revealed the majority of millennials – about 60 percent – thought collegiate institutions were not doing enough to address sexual violence on campuses.

For more from Hegland other others at the protest, read on via The Spectrum.

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Bike Share Races Out Gates, Pushing Through Issues BY: CAMILLE FORLANO

GABBY HARTZE | THE SPECTRUM NDSU’s bike share launch has broken records with 3,000 students signed up. PHOTO: GABBY HARTZE

North Dakota State students have been breaking records with their widespread use of the new bike share program.

Student government and Great Rides Bike Share did not expect such a tremendous response from the students initially. Almost 3,000 students have activated their Bison card to use the program, the largest B-cycle Bike Share launch in the nation.

Some snags have surfaced since the launch last month, but these problems, student government members say, are avoidable.

NDSU executive commissioner of finance, Preston Gilderhus, said he is encouraged by the response of the NDSU community and is relieved to have the program in place.

“It was an uphill battle at times, but the system is here and has been very successful in its first few weeks of operation,” Gilderhus said.

For more on Gilderhus' advice on what and what not students can with Bike Share, read on via The Spectrum.

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Sexpo Sparks Conversation in Community BY: PACE MAIER

The first Sexpo at North Dakota State will take place at 5 p.m. Friday at the Memorial Union on campus.

Nicole Dahl, the treasurer of the NDSU Women’s Activist Organization, has been tying down loose ends for the event, which will be packed with speakers covering multiple topics in the Mandan and Prairie Rose Rooms.

“We chose these topics because of how they relate to our community. Sexual assault, education, experiences of women who work at local clinics and native women’s health are all issues that we feel should be discussed more openly and more consistently in our community,” Dahl, a senior, said.

Along with providing speakers, the event will also display informational booths covering a variety of topics and people who attend the event can experience a comprehensive setting.

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'A Helluva Good Time in Zap, ND' BY: JACK DURA

DIGITAL HORIZONS | PHOTOS COURTESY Zip to Zap put North Dakota State on the map. To date, the event is the only riot in North Dakota's history.Photo Courtesy: Digital Horizons

What started as a spring break excursion suggested by The Spectrum became North Dakota’s only riot.

Over 3,000 college students overran the small city of Zap, N.D., in May 1969, taking spring break a bit too far in an event that became state history and the stuff of legend.

Forty-six years later, the incident is still memorable, and now more than ever, spring break safety is vital, from the lessons of Zip to Zap to NDSU’s annual “5 S’s of Spring Break.”

Zipping to Zap 

It all started with Chuck Stroup’s subpar grades.

The NDSU Student Body President, then 22, knew he wasn’t going to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., like others with the grades he had, but he wanted to have a memorable trip nonetheless.

“There’s a whole bunch of other suckers just like me that aren’t gonna do anything like go to Florida, so what could we do?” Stroup said.

After thinking everyone else like him could come together for something big, he took his idea to a Spectrum reporter who asked what the answer might be.

“I know that on Saturday night, you can have a helluva good time in Zap, North Dakota,” Stroup, a Hazen, N.D., native, recalled answering.

Stroup then placed teaser ads for “Zip to Zap” in The Spectrum and then-editor in chief Kevin Carvell penned an article promoting “a Grand Festival of Light and Love” in a city described as the “Fort Lauderdale of the North.”

From there things “went viral,” as outside media picked up the story and Zip to Zap caught college students’ attention across America.

For more on North Dakota's 'Woodstock,' read on via The Spectrum.

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