New retro toy store brings nostalgia to BG 

Near the corner of South Main, across the street from Lola’s Frozen Yogurt, two small but bright orange flags hang outside with blue lettering and two blue boxing gloves hitting each other. One with an “M” and the other with an “L.”

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Retro is a new retro toy and video game store in Bowling Green, Ohio. They opened their doors for the first time on Oct. 24, and held a ribbon cutting on Nov. 3. Co-owner Kayla Minniear said and things are going “really well,” for almost one month.

“I think the hardest part about opening the store was actually getting it opened because you have to inventory,” she said. “We cleaned and tested every single game in here, [and] that took us about two weeks.”

Clean and test every game? Individually? I glance at the wall to my left where shelves of Nintendo64 and NES game cartridges lay. In the glass enclosure, a Game Boy Color sits inside with Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow next to it. The holy trinity of Pokémon games at half the price of the new Pokémon Sun and Moon available for Nintendo 3DS.

“There’s probably over a thousand in here,” Minniear said. “Just out right now. I know we had about 700 original NES cards when we first opened.”

Minniear works in the the store full time and co-owns with her husband Jon, a full-time plumber. A couple nights a week and on the weekends, he comes in to help run the store. He also repairs and fixes video game consoles.

Growing up, Kayla was an avid collector of “Sailor Moon” and Disney’s “Aladdin.” When she and her husband first started dating, they began to collect video games after he noted he wanted to have all the games for one of his retro Nintendo systems. For their third anniversary, she bought him a Super Mario Bros. arcade game, which now sits at the front of the store on “free play.”

Photo taken by Erika Heck; Edited by Jonathan Miksanek
Super Mario Bros. and Smash TV arcade games inside Rock Em Sock Em Retro. The games are set to “free play,” according to Kayla Minniear.

A market for retro video game collecting and collectors exists, and it’s increasingly growing into (as Kayla described it) “it’s own stock market.”

“Most people don’t realize that because they’re not retro collectors. Regular stocks go up and down…it’s the same with video games,” she said. “There will be a game that’s worth like, $600 at one point; drop down to $200 and then shoot up to like, two grand. It just depends.”

A game called “Little Samson,” was valued at $80 when the couple first started collecting video games together. It’s highest peak price, according to Kayla, was $1,600 and it is now currently valued at $1,200. They recently traded this game for a trip to Ireland.

As collectors, Kayla and Jon want to get more known in their local collector community and their online community is already strong. Minniear said people at flea markets would ask about where their store front was, but they didn’t have one. Not only are they hoping to give the collector community a new place to buy quality games, but they are hoping to give the Bowling Green community a new place to hang out and remember the good things of the past.

“We’ll be hosting some free tournaments soon,” Minniear said. “If [a] college kid wants to come and do his homework at the booth, I don’t care.”

The white walls are drawn and decorated with different but familiar characters. Above the window facing the alleyway, Spider-Man holds Captain America’s shield. By the arcade machines, Scooby Doo and the gang are fleeing in the Mystery Machine.

“My mother did [the artwork]. She’s going to start painting it on canvas, so if people wanna buy them, they can.”

Picture taken by Erika Heck; Edited by Jonathan Miksanek
Rock Em, Sock Em, robots painted by the entrance wall of Rock Em Sock Em Retro.

Kayla said many collectors of all ages have visited the store.

With the holidays approaching, Kayla Minniear hopes Rock Em Sock Em Retro will be a place people can buy gifts.

“I know a couple people came in to buy the NSYNC dolls just because their sister had it growing up. We’re just hoping to bring a lot of those people in, and we’re also hoping we can keep the shelves full too.”

Pipeline raises concerns for many groups

A pipeline in the Midwest has caught the attention of the press and the people affected by it through a string of protests that have been happening since spring.

The Dakota Access Pipeline Project is a new pipeline, meant to carry 470,000 barrels of crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, through South Dakota and Iowa, to the state of Illinois daily.

Construction of the pipeline was granted in March 2016. Dakota Access, the company constructing the pipeline, hoping the pipeline would be constructed and running by the start of 2017, but the protesting by both Native Americans and environmental activists has halted construction.

President Obama met with tribal leaders earlier this week to hear their concerns about the pipeline, but no remarks were made after the meeting.

The pipeline will have capacity as high as 570,000 pounds, according to a website about the pipeline created by Energy Transfer.

The website also said the $3.7 million investment will create up to 12,000 construction jobs. Dakota Access said the pipeline would “bring significant economic benefits to the region.” According to CNN, Dakota Access also said pipelines were the safest, most cost-effective and responsible way to move crude oil between locations.

“Originally the pipeline was slated to go closer to Bismarck,” said Andrew Kear, an assistant professor at the University. He’s in both the political science and the environment and sustainability departments. “(It’s) an urban area, more affluent, and they thought that there would be more political opposition to a pipeline going closer to a heavily populated border of an urbanized area; rather than sending the pipeline towards a more rural, less populated—but nonetheless, land that’s close to Native Americans.”

Earlier this month, the US Department of Justice ruled that construction of the pipeline bordering a North Dakota lake would not continue.

At the end of April, the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, along with the EPA, the Department of Interior and the Advisory Council of Historic Preservation, sent separate letters to the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency overseeing the pipeline. The three agencies called for the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment and issue an Environment Impact Statement.

The Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes have argued with federal judges that the Army Corps of Engineers did not properly assess the impact the pipeline could have on the cultural sites of the tribes and the effects an accidental spill could have. The tribe also argues the pipeline could affect the river, which could impact not only their only source of clean water, but could also impact the drinking water of 18 million other people.

Native American reservations have tribal sovereignty, which means that they are supposed to have jurisdiction of their own lands, without interference from state governments. The federal government handle issues pertaining to Native Americans.

In August, David Archambault II, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, wrote an opinion editorial for The New York Times. He writes the Dakota Access Pipeline has been “fast-tracked from Day 1, using the Nationwide Permit No. 12, which grants exemption from environmental reviews required by the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act by treating the pipeline as a series of small construction sites.”

Archambault also wrote that the Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Missouri River (the river the pipeline will be built under it) in 1958, taking away their natural resources and land in order to create Lake Oahe.

A judge also denied Standing Rock’s request to stop the pipeline earlier this month as well, which prompted the tribe to take their cause and statement all the way to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, where David Archambault II spoke as part of a hearing on indigenous rights.

“While we have gone to the court in the United States our courts have failed to protect our sovereign rights, our sacred places and our water,” he said.

This article has been edited by the original author.
This article was originally published in the independent student publication, The BG News. You can find this version here.

Annual NPHC Yard Show kicks off start of school year

Photograph by Rebekah Martin

Fraternity Phi Beta Sigma and sorority Zeta Phi Beta hosted their annual Yard Show on Monday, as part of their combined Blue and White Week for the organizations.

The two Greek organizations hold Blue and White Week for students to “come out and get to know them individually,” Zeta Phi Beta senior Tyler Holliman said.

This year’s theme was “Home Improvement,” named after the newly completed Greek housing project that gave both organizations new dwellings. Zeta Phi Beta had previously occupied a small house behind Falcon Heights on Thurstin Ave., but now they have a new house in the new Greek Village, with Sigma Phi Beta across the walkway from them.

The two organizations, along with the other National Pan-Hellenic Council Greek organizations (also called the “Divine Nine”), have been doing the step show for over 10 years. Multicultural Greek organizations Sigma Lambda Gamma and Sigma Lambda Beta also participated in the Yard Show.

“It is specifically for Divine Nine. We do have them (Sigma Lambda Gamma and Sigma Lambda Beta) participate because they are considered our cousins,” said Phi Beta Sigma member Jay Wells, who participated in his last show as a senior.

“Over the years, other Intrafraternity Council and (Pan-Hellenic) have joined in,” Phi Beta Sigma chapter president A’Davius Chambers said, who’s participating in his third Yard Show. “They got invited for … certain things, but it’s based upon the Divine Nine.”

The yard show displays the Greek organizations stepping and strolling, which comes from African culture. The organizations dance together in various formations as one group.

“The way we look at it is like … a way to just advertise our organizations to … the students, especially the first years,” Chambers said. “Just trying to get them to want to join our organizations.”

Fraternity Omega Psi Phi participated in their first Yard Show in three years. New member Chris McClendon said the fraternity was “happy to be back on campus,” and is ready to serve their community.

For Holliman, it was her final year participating in the Yard Show and said the moment was “bittersweet.”

Historically, the two Greek organizations are the only organizations in the Divine Nine that are constitutionally bound as being brothers and sisters, so the two organizations made sure their houses were close to each other when Greek housing was being planned out.

The next event for Blue and White Week is a money management workshop at 7 p.m. Tuesday in BA 1002. A list of their other Blue and White Week events can be found on their Twitter page, @BG_Elite1914.

This story was edited by the original author.
This story was originally published in BG Falcon Media’s independent student publication, The BG News, which can be found here.

Unnecessary trash clutters campus, audit finds

One person looks through garbage that is in on a tarp in the Union Oval at Bowling Green State University

Environmental Service Club and Environmental Action Group conducted a rescheduled waste audit on Thursday, April 14, to determine how much was being used in certain academic buildings on campus.

Originally planned for April 6, it was rescheduled due to bad weather.

The two groups wore Hazmat suits and took trash from the Business Administration, Eppler, Hayes and Olscamp buildings, dumped the trash onto a tarp near the Union Oval and sorted through it.

They separated the trash among multiple categories: cans, plastic bottles, disposable cups, paper, glass bottles, bathroom trash, compost, cardboard, plastic bags and general plastic. Five of these categories (cans, plastic bottles, disposable cups, glass bottles and plastic bags) are recyclable materials.

A bar graph from the Environmental Service Club tallying their total amount of recyclable waste found.
The count of waste of all recyclable materials. Now that the audit is over, these items will be taken to a recycling center where they will be properly disposed of.

The groups spent eight hours Thursday in the Union Oval, counting the buildings’ waste and monitoring their count on a white board that was displayed outside of the garbage zone. The board was frequently updated throughout the day allowing students to see the progress throughout the day.

The waste audit is meant to see what people are throwing away that could potentially go to other forms of waste disposal such as recycling and composting.

Environmental Service Club president, Lily Murnen said the Union throws out nearly seven tons of trash weekly, which converts to 12,000 to 14,000 pounds.

“By purely looking at pounds trash (428 pounds in total), 45 percent of the waste stream was recyclable or could have been prevented by personal lifestyle decisions or a revised campus policy,” Murnen stated in an email. “Pounds, however, are deceiving and not all types of waste weigh the same amount per item … We audited categories that could be easily counted, we made sure to count them individually along with the weight.”

A bar graph showing the total amount of waste sorted through by the environmental service club
All of the waste that was sorted by Environmental Service Club was separated into 10 categories. The items that cannot be recycled will be taken landfills.

Of all the categories, bathroom trash had 46 pounds of waste, the most of all the categories. The least pounds of waste was general plastic.

Compost, which is a decayed mix of organic matter (such as fruits, vegetables, grass and leaves), accounted for almost five percent of the audit’s waste.

“If BGSU invested in composting, we would be able to reduce this number drastically, she wrote in the email.

While the University does not have a composting program or policy in place, Environmental Action Group has put in another policy that has helped reduce waste in the Student Union.

“There is a policy that (we) put into place at the beginning of the semester,” President Matthew Cunningham said. “Cashiers no longer ask if you would like a bag. It’s a simple policy; just that policy alone has reduced bag consumption on campus by 18,750 in the past two months.”

But Cunningham knows that this policy isn’t the end of his work in the environmental groups.

“We still have a lot of work to go,” he said. “We’re still using almost 2,000 bags every single day on campus.”

Murnen thanked everyone who participated in the audit and helped engage people during the event.

“We hope that you will continue to think about what you buy and throw away and that you will use your voice to push for sustainable reform here on campus.”

Editor’s Note: This article was updated to correct the number for bag consumption reduced from 750 to 18,750
This article was updated by the original author and edited for the web.
This article was originally printed by independent student publication, The BG News, on April 19, 2016 which can be found here.

Amanda Dortch on Running for USG President

I am running for President because I want to serve the undergraduate student body. My running mate and I have seen a need in ensuring that the undergraduate voice is not only being heard, but being empowered as well.

This institution is currently going throw a lot of transition with new additions in academia, construction and incorporating new staff. Our job is to ensure that students are always at the forefront of people’s minds when decisions are being made and that students are aware and engaged in those conversation of change.

Our goal is to be of service students first. We want not only to be the student voice, but to empower the student voice.

Initiative uses sports for social justice

Last semester, black players on the University of Missouri’s football team called for the university president to resign from the administration after slowly responding to a number of race-related incidents on campus.

A campus-wide initiative at the University is hoping to also bring sports into the discussion of social justice, but with collaboration of university organizations.

We Are One Team is an initiative that “brings together a strong group of advocates for positive social change who are united by their mutual love of sport,” according to their Facebook page.

President and doctoral student, Yannick Kluch said when he first came to the United States from Germany to participate in the master’s program, he noticed how major sports were in the U.S.

“We don’t have sports in college or high school,” Kluch said. With an academic background in feminist studies and a love of sports already, he decided to combine his two passions.

“Our goal is to promote social justice by using sport,” he said. “Sports can be a very meaningful place to start discussions of gender equality or other social justice issues.”

According to their identity statement and vision, WA1T uses sports as a platform to not only raise awareness about social injustices and promoting inclusiveness, but also hopes to bridge and create friendships between stereotyped groups on campus.

The idea took form in January 2015, but became active in the fall and has been a productive initiative ever since it launched. WA1T has 12 different collaborators, including the Women’s Center, BGSU Athletics and the Intrafraternity and Panhellenic Greek Councils.

“Everybody was really excited about it,” Kluch said. “We want this to be successful at BGSU … We want to take it to other campuses too. We really (don’t) want this to be a one year thing.”

The initiative has had events already both this semester and fall semester, and is currently holding a year long photography campaign for the initiative.

Last semester, WA1T held a panel discussion and speaker event called “What Does it Mean to be a Transgender Athlete?” where 160 people attended to hear University cross country member Brent Darah speak about his transition and how it has impacted his athletic career.

Currently, WA1T is having events all through the month of March for Women’s History Month, including more panels and speakers.

Kluch emphasized that people don’t have to love sports in order to be involved with the initiative.

“You don’t have to be crazy about sports to be part of We Are One Team. Our message is that as Falcons, we are all one team.”

WA1T’s next event for Women’s History Month will be Wednesday, March 16.

To find out more about We Are One Team, visit their Facebook page.

This article has been edited by the original author.
This article was originally published in the independent student publication, The BG News, which can be found here.

Speaker at Black Issues Conference highlights role of activism in shaping politics

A picture of activist Rosa Clemente speaking to an audience at a podium at Bowling Green State University.

More than 300 people attended the 17th annual Black Issues Conference keynote luncheon to hear hip-hop activist and 2008 Green Party vice presidential candidate Rosa Clemente speak on Saturday.

Clemente spoke at the University this weekend as part of her “If I Was President” Tour.

Before stepping onstage, student Ashli Ericka Hunter introduced her.

“Rosa has spent her life dedicated to scholarly activism,” Hunter said.

In 2001, she published an article in the Chicago newspaper, Final Call, called “Who is Black?” which sparked discussion about cultural identity, political identity and racial identity.

Both Clemente and Hunter identify as Afro-Latino, a term used to describe people who identify with both African and Latino heritages.

“’I am so tired of having to prove to others that I am black,’” Hunter quoted from Clemente’s article.

Following her introduction, Rosa Clemente took the podium and read the article in its entirety.

“Being Latino is not a cultural identity, but … a political one,” she said to the audience. “Being Puerto Rican is not a racial identity, but … a cultural and national one … Being black is my racial identity.”

Clemente brought up a lot of issues affecting both Latino and black communities, including education.

She discussed how power of protest helped in getting people of color into colleges and universities in order to have the same educational opportunities as their white peers.

“We changed these institutions,” she said. “Why did we get in here? Because of protest. Not because of Civil Rights legislation, because of the Black Power Movement.”

She also called out the public education system for only having students focus on standardized testing and not helping them prepare for college.

“No Child Left Behind Act destroyed public education and critical thinking,” she said.

She connected this with the School-to-Prison Pipeline, which refers to policies that push schoolchildren (often of color) into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

“We have young people graduating with records. Ninety percent are African-American and Latino students,” she said.

Clemente also shared her story of going to college and being open to new information about both her identities.

“When I went through school, I was going through moments of a lot anger,” she said. “Like, wait a minute — why was all this kept from me? Why didn’t my parents tell me this?”

She said it was through her studies that she became an activist.

“It’s usually something that sparks you to become an organizer, an activist. I became an activist and a scholar through my college experience. I became an organizer when I moved back to New York, started teaching, left … and I joined the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.”

Clemente closed her speech by encouraging the audience to be aware of who they’re voting for when they go into the booths.

“Be radical in this movement around black lives,” she said. “We don’t have time anymore for games.”

The article has been updated by the original author.

This article was originally printed on March 1, 2015 in the independent student publication, The BG News, which can be found here.

New Hampshire pulls staggering results

After losing to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Iowa Caucuses by a narrow percentage, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night by nearly 20 percent.

With 60 percent of the Democratic vote, Sanders accredited high voter turnout for having a hand in his victory.

According to this same exit poll, Trump was the top pick for a majority of voters who are under the age of 64.

Among all voters under the age of 30 Sanders beat Clinton by a whopping 84-15 percent margin, according to an exit poll conducted by ABC News

On the Republican side, businessman Donald Trump won 35 percent of the vote and Ohio governor John Kasich came in second with 16 percent, according to an exit poll done by CNN.

However, the primary that will be happening in Ohio on March 15 will be different from the one we saw in New Hampshire, according to University political science professor David Jackson.

“We’re a much more representative reflection(s) of the rest of the country than New Hampshire, demographically,” Jackson said. “Ohio is always a competitive state in general elections for president because of the fact that demographically and politically [Ohio is] very much like the country overall.”

While it’s unsure if college students will vote more in this election than in previous years, Jackson says we may not know for sure if young voters are showing up in higher numbers.

Film Production major Nicole Bogdanobic hopes that more students come out and vote.

“I just feel like a lot of people…think that this stuff just doesn’t apply to them, but it does,” she said. “I hope there’s a greater population of people voting.”

Jackson pointed out though that things in elections change fast.

According to the exit poll done by ABC News, Bernie Sanders has most of the white vote and Clinton has the most of the non-white vote.

Jackson also recommended that if students do register to vote, they should register in Wood County while attending Bowling Green State University.

“If you plan to be a student here for four years, you’re basically going to spend 36 out of 48 months of the next four years living in Bowling Green,” he said. “There’s always this thought that students have: ‘Yeah, well I’ll go home to vote….’ It’s too easy to skip over and forget.”

This article has been updated by the original author.
This article was printed on Feb. 11, 2016 in the independent student publication, The BG News which can be found here.

Dinner celebrates Black History Month

The Office of Residence Life Students of Color Mentoring, Aiding, Retaining and Teaching, or SMART, program hosted its annual Taste of February event Friday night in 101 Olscamp Hall.

The theme this year was “Our Untold Stories,” which touched on different and less discussed aspects of Black History.

Diversity and Retention Initiatives Coordinator Ana Brown welcomed attendees at the start of the event before releasing them to dinner, provided by Dining Services’ catering.

The dinner was inspired by the mix of cultures and people found in the southern city of New Orleans, including crab beignets, hush puppies and shrimp and grits.

Following dinner, students who are part of the SMART program presented five separate presentations, highlighting various parts of Black History.

“Untold Stories of Black Hollywood” highlighted black actors, writers and directors.

The next group played a trivia game with the attendees in their presentation titled “The Evolution of Black Women,” which included prominent black women from the 60s to the present day.

“Untold Stories of Political Activists” highlighted important people and places in black activism such as speakeasies and Black Wall Street.

To keep with the importance of representation, a presentation called “Afro-Latinos” talked about people who are of both African and Latino heritages. They discussed the black populations of Latin America and the issues they face having a dual identity.

“History in Music” featured various songs from over the years that expressed the trials and tribulations that the black community has faced. Artists mentioned included Marvin Gaye, James Brown, N.W.A. and Kendrick Lamar.

Brown closed the ceremony with a thank you to both attendees and to students, who she said had been working since October on the presentations featured.

For SMART Team Leader Jessica Wells, this was her third year participating in Taste of February.

“It took us months to get it together,” Wells said. “We wanted to make sure every identity was represented. There’s so many times in our classes and the world where underrepresented people are often tossed to the side.”

She called the importance of representing other identities in the presentation “pivotal” to make sure that it was part of the program.

As a senior, this is her last year participating in the event and she called the feeling of it being her last one, “surreal.”

“I really am proud of the staff that I was able to be a part of and it was just a real nice event,” Wells said.

The article has been updated by the original author.
This article was originally published on Feb. 9, 2016 in the independent student publication, The BG News, which can be found here.

Not In Our Town examines Islamophobia on campus, nation

Not in Our Town hosted a discussion on Islamophobia in the Union’s theatre Wednesday night to start a conversation on the growing intolerance of Muslims and people who are perceived as Muslim.

NIOT is an initiative that invites the community to stand against acts of discrimination and prejudice against minorities and other marginalized groups.

The event started with a panel of six participants talking for 10 minutes each, followed by a question and answer segment.

The six participants included a representative from the Islamic Center of Greater Toldeo; members of the Muslim Student Association at the University; and the owner of Bowling Green carry out, South Side Six.

The representative from the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo said the mosque (located in Perrysburg) works continuously, as it is their job to educate not only others in the Islamic community, but also the larger community.

Dale Waltz and Eva Davis, the chairs of the Canton Response to Hate Crime Coalition from Canton, Michigan addressed the importance of engagement and relationship building between marginalized communities and groups and law enforcement.

According to Waltz, who is also the Sargent of Canton Towship’s police department, they’ve only had one hate crime reported since the coalition was founded in 2008.

“We take these things seriously,” he said. They do get incident reports, and they are addressed and taken care of.

Eva Davis, who has been the director of Canton’s public library for eight years, said she has changed the library into a “neutral third place” for others to meet people in their community.

Muslim Student Association president Adnan Shareefi was also on the panel and said that a problem is how other people “see” Muslims and that the role of the Muslim Student Association is to engage, educate and encounter bias.

During the Q&A segment of the discussion, one student asked what future educators and researchers could do in order to expand their classrooms or research.

The panelists encouraged the use of class speakers in the classrooms. Not just of adults, but speakers that were also students that they could connect to.

Coalition co-chair Dale Waltz encouraged non-Muslim community members to reach out, connect and think outside of the box when helping minority and marginalized communities.

Not in Our Town will be having another discussion on Islamophobia on Feb. 9 at the Wood County Public Library in Bowling Green.

This posted has been edited and updated by the original author.

This article was originally printed in the independent student publication, The BG News on January 28, 2016. You can find the web edition here.