MSU Mankato now tobacco-free

Minnesota State University, Mankato, implements the ban of tobacco use on campus.

As of January 1, 2012 MSU has adopted the tobacco ban throughout the whole campus including university owned vehicles. The only exception is the students who live in the dormitories can smoke outside the dorms until May 15, 2012.

This has been an on-going controversy since the policy has been implemented. There are people who still use tobacco on campus, but there has been a lot more respect from the tobacco users by not smoking directly in front of building entrances.

With the way the policy is written there is no fine assessed to people who are caught smoking. The thing that can be done is to kindly approach a smoker and remind them that this is a non-smoking campus.

MSU is not the 1st campus in Minnesota to adopt the MnSCU tobacco policy. In 2010 South Central College in North Mankato were one of the first to adopt the policy. One of the reasons for the policy to take place is because of the careless smokers who ignored the previous policy, which was smoking 15 feet away by 1 of the 28 designated smoking areas. Like the saying goes, 1 bad egg spoils it for everyone else.

After some research, finding out that there are no fines assessed to smokers are caught smoking on campus. It is hard to believe that the university will become completely tobacco-free.

Lori Marti, health educator at MSU, used a couple great analogies, “Why don’t we bring our pets on campus?” Well because there is a policy that states there are no pets allowed. “Why don’t students or faculty rollerblade to class because it’s quicker?” Again, because there is a policy that states no rollerblades in the buildings.

So in essence for the people who use tobacco not bringing it with them to campus  won’t tempt them to use them on campus.

MSU security does not have anything to do do with the policy because they would spend more time trying to catch the people who do smoke and less time patrolling something more serious that could be happening on campus

Some of the downfalls of having a tobacco-free campus and having it be strictly on the honor system seems to cause more of a mess because there are no smoking poles or a place for smokers to dispose of their butts.

Peter Hausladen, community advisor in McElroy complex stated, students who live in the dorms should have a place to smoke because it is their home, and spend a lot of time there

That brings us to where the campus is at now and students who don’t live in the dorms could call that discrimination. What’s to stop off-campus students or faculty to walk over to the dorms to have a smoke break?

Tom Harrington, MSU student, believes that if he wants to go out and have a cigarette he should be able to, but if someone has a problem with it to just respect their views and dispose of the cigarette.

Kelsey Hildebrandt, MSU student said, That at first she was following the smoking policy until she noticed that over students weren’t following the policy, so every now and again she has one on campus.

In the 1970’s it was much easier to smoke on campus:

  • Professors could smoke in their office
  • Smoking lounge behind the bowling alley
  • Smoking was permitted between Armstrong an Morris Hall

That was taken care of because of the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (MCIAA)

Smoking indoors is and was a feasible thing to ban because more 2nd hand smoke is being consumed, but outdoors doesn’t seem to be feasible because being outdoors away from a doorway takes away from the 2nd hand smoke inhalation.

“If the honor policy is thrown out because of people not abiding by it, fines could eventually come in to play but that is last resort,” said Marti.

It’s a last resort thing to do because it could give the campus a bad image and could sway students from attending MSU, which could cause some animosity towards the people who enforce the fines.

However, there are some benefits of having a tobacco-free campus, which includes smokeless tobacco:

  • Less waste
  • Less confusion of what is and is not allowed
  • Smoke-free policy only includes cigarettes and cigars

MSU News‘ take on the the tobacco-free policy.


Guest speaker for MSU, Mankato Media Day

Joe Barden
Twitter: @joe_barden


MANKATO, Minn.- Steve  DiMeglio  Minnesota State, Mankato, alumni to speak at mass media scholarship banquet April 24.

“Mickey Mantle is on line 1. Steve” will take place  in the Ostrander Auditorium April 24 from 4-6 p.m.

During his journalism career Dimeglio has gotten the chance to interview some famous people and some included are


  • Bill Clinton
  • George W. Bush


  • Derek Jeter
  • Tiger Woods
  • Jack Nicholaus
  • Peyton Maning

While in college Dimeglio worked for the university’s newspaper The Reporter and after graduation he worked for the Desert Sun in Palm Springs, CA. Currently, he works for the USA Today, while covering his passion, sports.

“His sports pages were more than scores; they were interesting, informative and consistently outstanding,” said professor of Mass Media, Ellen Mrja, “He was absolutely the most dedicated sports editor we ever had.”

This progam is free to the public thanks to the Nadine D. Andreas Foundation.


For more information please contact Joe Barden at

Using Audacity

Free software to edit audio

Mindy McAdams gives a very helpful and easy to understand tutorial on Audacity which is a free program that can be downloaded from the internet and has to have the LAME encoder for it to work correctly. The audio that is edited has to be on the hard drive and not on an external source such as a USB or external hard drive.

The interface is very basic. There is a play, pause, stop, record button to help edit the audio. The 2 buttons that I think that will be the most helpful are the skip forward |<< and the skip to the end >>| buttons especially when working on a long audio program such as a podcast.

The way deleting audio is explained in a way that any college student would understand and the metaphor McAdams uses is Microsoft Word. To delete audio all that needs to be done is highlight the part that should be deleted and simply press the delete button on the keyboard.

Just like in Microsoft Word if the wrong thing gets deleted that can be undone by simply clicking the undo button, and on the other hand what has been undone can be redone by clicking the redo button. I personally tried this and it sure came in handy because unlike Word you can’t see the physical words. I caught myself listening to the same phrase 3 or 4 times until i got it right.

When editing a file that is 1 continuous blue blob with no pauses to separate a specific word or phrase just use the magnifying tool. They look like to magnifying glasses one with a plus sign to zoom in and one with a minus sign to zoom out. The example that McAdams uses is deleting the word “uh” to make it sound natural.

Moving audio is also very simple all that needs to be done is highlight the word or phrase that needs to be moved and cut it than move the cursor where it should be placed than paste it. Just like in Microsoft Word.

One thing I found very helpful is if the pause button || is on that a lot of the editing tools are not usable, so if there is that issue be sure to see if it is clicked or no. Because it can save a lot of frustration.

Exporting audio is quite simple. Make sure that the project is saved and know where it’s saved at and click the export button under the file menu. Also when saving the exported file be sure to save the file as an mp3 for the best quality.

Overall i found this tutorial very helpful because McAdams gives a nice basic but informative on the use of Audacity. I have found out in the past that the best way to get to know a program on a computer is just spend some time with it and play around until you are comfortable with it. Lastly, have fun!

Multimedia use at it’s best

Las Vegas strip construction deaths

After examining the Las Vegas Sun’s web package of the construction deaths that occurred in 2008, on the Las Vegas Strip, is an absolute tribute to the 12 workers who passed away in 18 months of work. Any other type of package would not have given this story justice. The 3 main mediums used to present this story were a slideshow, video, and interactive map.

  • Slideshow– very emotional because each photo seemed to be a true testimonial to each of deceased lives. Captions give a great description of each photo, but still tells a great story without the captions
  • Video– again very emotional because it not only has some of the same photos on the slideshow but with grieving family members talking about the hazardous working conditions that the worker were working in and how OSHA needs to be more proactive in protecting the steel workers.
  • Interactive Map– This was by far the most interesting of the 3 mediums because anyone can hover their mouse pointer over each of the buildings where the accidents happened then shows a picture of each person who died and how each accident happened. The interactive map also gives a brief biography of each person.

Alexandra Berzon, reporter, Wall Street Journal gives more in depth details on what had happened throughout the investigation of OSHA and the accidents. Her articles really show how OSHA really dropped the ball concerning the safety of each worker. She had received a Pulitzer Prize for her contribution to this amazing piece.

Peace in the new peril showed the most tribute to the workers because it highlighted some of the accidents and testimonials from safety experts that said there were too many safety hazards overlooked and too many unexcused deaths took place at this construction site. Granted, it was one of the first articles written concerning the deaths. The article explained how 7 out of the 12 deaths happened.

CityCenter Workers Strike  was very powerful because it was a video of workers with picket signs that read, “Unsafe work site.” No one was interviewed but was moving non the less because showing the workers stick up for their own safety shows a lot of courage because it could cost them money for being on strike.

This web package follows the 8 main aspects of Foust’s explanation with the advantages of online journalism such as:

  • Audience Control– This seems to be the main advantage here because of the variety of ways users can access the construction site accident information via pictures, videos and interactivity.
  • Time place and access– Fits this perfectly because anyone with web access can interact with this package, but the main issue was trying to access this with a mobile device. I tried and it was very difficult because there is so much information for the mobile device to upload.
  • Storage and retrieval– Wow! This package must have a lot of storage with the vast amount of information on it.
  • Unlimited space– This is definitely covered because in traditional print media this package could not have given this web package justice because they can’t add video or audio, which, is a huge advantage of online journalism.
  • Immediacy– After seeing the date of the casualties and comparing them to the dates of the articles written are spot on.
  • Multimedia capability– The Las Vegas Sun knew exactly what they were doing when they put all of this together because it flows so well with the with all of the graphics, audio, video and all of the other links that support the main page of the package.
  • Audience participation– Each archived article and blog have the capability to add comments to each post; however, the user has to be logged in to post a comment.
  • Nonlinearity- Is the BIGGEST advantage of this package because anyone can bounce from a video to a blog post to a slide show. It  gives the page viewer a huge amount of options to view this story.

Overall, this package is great and would not change a thing because if there were anything missing like a slideshow or video it would take away from this package. The blog posting links that are on the main page definitely adds to the story because it gives so much validation that there were so many safety hazards overlooked that could have prevented these unnecessary deaths. It is such a shame for the lack of compensation that the grieving families received following the deaths of their loved ones.

Declaration of independence anchor link

The Pledge
The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Higher Education: Value Over Cost

President Obama says value of higher education should be stressed to students

Bush Administration says that American higher education has become “increasingly risk-averse, at times self-satisfied and unduly expensive.”

Unemployment figures are still high and many high-tech companies are unhappy about the lack of highly trained workers. College-drop out figures is very high as well!

  • About 40% of students who attend a 4-year university are not graduating.
  • About 40% of students who pursue a 2-year degree either graduate or transfer.
  • 1/5 of full-time community college students do not return for a 2nd year

According to the Bush administration, literacy among college students has declined in the past decade.

Lets take a look at what we are getting for our money. Not only the students are affected but also the federal government.

  • Student who graduate with loans are more than $25 thousand in debt
  • The federal government pours $140 billion annually into grants and loans

President Obama thinks post-secondary schools should put more emphasis on not only the cost of the education but also the success of those who do graduate.

Southern Minnesota Airports receiving a facelift

Minnesota will be building new and renovating current airports.

Congress has authorized a $564 million budget to build and upgrade airports in Southern Minnesota.

Some of the airports that are included in this budget are:

This spending is part of the government’s “Let us Get Back to Work” program, which is a program that will employ laid off construction workers and engineers. President Obama said, “This is a small price to pay to help folks out who want to work.”

But the president’s detractors say its just more spending. In the end, the “Lets Get Back to Work” program might cost $1 trillion.

Which Twitter app best suits your needs?

Receiving news has become so much easier with the advent of Twitter.

Anyone who has a Twitter account can follow anything that is being tweeted at anytime. There are many 3rd party applications that make it so much easier to follow a certain subject. For example, some of the top apps are twitterrific, tweetscan and twitterfall.

For a class project we were suppose to use certain applications of Twitter to see how they offer different sources and different types of tweets regarding the Susan G. Komen for  Cure and Planned Parenthood debacle. The main issue surrounding this is the Komen for Cure cut ties with Planned Parenthood. Without Twitter and its wide variety of apps it would’ve been hard to follow this issue and get a definite hold of the situation at hand.

Starting with twitterrific I was first put off by it because it has to first be downloaded on to a computer for followers to gain access to this app. After downloading it I was thoroughly impressed because it is very easy to search for specific hash tags or a specific topic and it pulled all the recent tweets about Komen or Planned Parenthood into one search area. I would have to rate this app a 6 out of 10 only because it had to be downloaded.

Twitterfall is a very neat and organized website and any user can log in to this program via the web with their twitter account information. It is a live chat with the most current tweets about any topic a user wanted to look up. The tweets come flowing down the screen with a waterfall effect, which really caught my attention. With twitterfall being quite user friendly I would rate this app a 7 out of 10 because of its usability.

Tweetscan was by far the easiest app to use. It’s the “Google” of hash tags. Followers can access whichever hash tag or topic they want without signing in with their account information, but do have the option to sign in if they want to submit a response or comment. This app definitely receives a 10 out of 10 because it is more of a research tool than a tweet machine.