A year in review
May 4, 2007
As students were making the trek back to UW-River Falls Jan. 21, preparing for the start of a new semester, the doors of the University Center were open for everyone to get their first glimpse of the building.
During the open house, students were allowed to venture throughout the building, utilize the twostory game room and some even stopped to relax on the couches in front of the big screen television on the first floor to watch the Chicago Bears defeat the New Orleans Saints and secure their place in Super Bowl XLI.
These are just some of the features the new University Center has to offer. Besides free gaming tables and arcade games, students are able to enjoy the luxuries of a cyber café, a convenience store with late-night hours and a bank open on Saturdays, all without leaving campus.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in the lower level of the building Jan. 23, with student and staff members speaking about the building and their hopes for the future of the University Center. There are plans in the work for a facelift at Ramer Field.
250 trees will be planted around the perimeter to add a improve the overall aesthetics of the stadium. When completed, the bleachers will be enclosed in brick with an elevator inside to make the press box handicap accessible. The lights will be brightened and moved behind the stands, and the grass will be replaced with artificial turf. The new press box will stretch the length of the bleachers and offer place for the athletic department to entertain guests.
The Wisconsin Building Commission allocated more than $1 million in general purpose revenue to UWRF, so planning can begin. Almost $7 million was devoted to this project.
One of the proposed sites for the new facility would place two new HHP buildings adjacent the Knowles Center and Hunt Arena.
A logical choice due to its cost effectiveness in using campus property and would also concentrate all university athletic facilities. The new buildings would include a new basketball gymnasium, pool, weight room, labs and classrooms.
The George R. Field South Fork Suites will be receiving an addition only a few years after the original building was constructed. The plan to add onto South Fork Suites went to the state commissioning board and passed March 19. The project will now go to the Joint Finance Committee for consideration.
The Suites will be hold approximately 480 students once the expansion is complete; the building is currently able to house 240 students.
The addition to the Suites will cost the University $14,586,000. This will include the building plans and additional parking.
UWRF remembers Virginia Tech
A candlelight vigil was held April 17 in remembrance of those who lost their lives at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech.) in Blacksburg, Va.
At 8 p.m. more than 80 UW-River Falls students and staff congregated around the fire pit on the south side of the University Center, expressing sympathy and sorrow for the families and friends of the victims of the April 16 shootings. Those attending the vigil were also able to sign a banner that will be sent to Virginia Tech. late Friday afternoon.
The banner was available for students and staff to sign in the University Center throughout the week.
Though the events occurred a little over 1,000 miles away, they have made a lasting impression on the lives of people at UWRF. A number of students and faculty members had some sort of ties to the school.
Junior Amanda Krier had a friend who attends the school and she was unable to get a hold of him until he sent an e-mail on the evening of April 18.
Professor Gordon Hedahl's daughter attended Virginia Tech and she and her husband live about 10 miles away from the campus and he attends school there.
CBE receives accreditation
The UW-River Falls College of Business and Economics (CBE) now joins only a small percentage of colleges that have been accredited by one of the most elite accreditation organizations, showing the college's commitment to a superior higher education.
According to a UWRF Public Affairs news release, CBE was informed April 12 that they had been successfully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
The accreditation from AACSB comes after an intensive evaluation of the college by three deans from other universities.
Over the course of their evaluation they reviewed the department as a whole, including intensive investigation of faculty, students, programs.
Student senator burns Voice
Thousands of issues of the Student Voice went missing from the racks in academic buildings across the UW-River Falls campus.
Tory Schaaf, who is a member of Theta Chi fraternity and the newly-elected shared governance director of Student Senate, admitted to stealing the newspapers from campus and using them for kindling to keep a bonfire going during a party.
Student Senate Ethics Chair Jason Schultz was also identified as an accomplice to the theft of the papers.
Schaaf said he took the copies of the Voice, and though the original intention was not to use them to start the bonfire, they were thrown into the flames at some point during the night.
Schaaf claimed to be unaware there was a limit the number of the student newspapers he could take.
Differential tuition approved
The Board of Regents approved the implementation of differential tuition for UW-River Falls students April 13.
Beginning in fall 2007, students will pay an additional $36 per semester.
It will average out to about 29 cents per day, Chancellor Don Betz said.
Mary Halada, vice chancellor for administration and finance, said the differential tuition will help pay for library resources, a testing services center and undergraduate and scholarly research expenses.
Chalmer Davee Library hours will be extended by 15 hours per week and more online journals and references will be purchased.
Class times shortened for fall
For the 2007-08 academic school year, Monday, Wednesday and Friday class times will be reduced by five minutes, making each class period 50-minutes long. Tuesday and Thursday sessions will be only 75 minutes, instead of the current 85-minute length.
Faculty Senate approved a motion, which was investigated and written by the Calendar Committee by a vote of 16-3 Dec. 20, 2006.
Chancellor Don Betz encouraged the change and said the fiveminute reduction will have a positive affect on the education received by students attending UW-River Falls.
RF student attacked on campus
A UW-River Falls student was the victim of a sexual battery at 11:30 p.m. Nov. 9 on the Blue Stem Pathway — the most direct route from the Ramer Field parking lot to the main campus.
The female student was walking to campus near the nursery plot shed when an individual jumped out of a nearby wooded area and attacked her from behind, according to UWRF Public Safety reports.
While no physical penetration occurred, the incident has been categorized as a sexual battery because "sexual attempts" were made — including efforts to remove the woman's clothing, Public Safety Director Mark Kimball said.
The unidentified perpetrator pinned the student down on the ground before apparently hearing a noise and running away, according to reports.
There is no description available of the perpetrator, who remained behind the victim at all times. However, statements from the victim indicate that the individual is male.
While this recent incident is daunting, sexual assaults at UWRF are very rare.
The 2006-2007 Annual Crime Report, one forcible sexual offense took place in a residence hall each year for 2003-2005, and one forcible sexual offense was reported on campus in 2005.
E-mail outage causes concern
E-mail went down at 11 p.m. April 9, leaving many people stranded without a main source of communication.
The first e-mail outage this semester happened Jan. 23-24 and was concurrent with the new e-mail system, Solaris 10. It occurred when IT Services was attempting to switch over to a new server and operating system.
The e-mails were restored, but some students did not have access to their old information right away.
The problem with the software, Wheeler was that when the software was purchased, it was purchased with a bug in it. This essentially means there was a mistake in the coding of the software. Sun Microsystems, from which Solaris 10 was purchased, apparently sent this program to the University with the bug in place. When the University contacted Sun Microsystems about the problem, Sun asked them to send over the reports from the system.
Sun Microsystems then sent the University a patch to fix the apparent problem with the software. When the patch was put into place it brought the e-mail back up, but for a few minutes. This was one of many times that e-mail went down for more than a few hours during this school year.
Falcons finish season at the top
A thrilling overtime goal by UW-River Falls Falcons forward Dustin Norman Feb. 10 capped off the Falcons' weekend sweep of the conference-leading Stout Blue Devils.
The victories moved the hockey team into a tie for first with Stout and St. Norbert, but the Falcons will have the number one seed in the NCHA playoffs due to the tiebreakers.
The Falcons lost three games in a row to Stout to end last season and cut short what many thought would be a deep playoff run. The men looked like they were playing with a chip on their shoulder, and no one on the team downplayed the revenge angle before the series.
In overtime, the Falcons had the power play set up in the Blue Devil zone. Norman, who has recently joined the top power-play unit, did a great job holding the zone on a deflected puck near the blue line. Seconds later he was set up around the left wing face-off circle on a pass from defenseman Jim Henkemeyer.
The celebration ensued for the Falcons and the hundreds of Falcons fans who made the trip to pack the Dunn County Ice Arena.
Junior goaltender A.J. Bucchino signed a professional contract with the Augusta Lynx of the East Coast Hockey League March 23.
Bucchino's decision to leave the hockey team came as a surprise to coaches, teammates and fans.The Lynx are affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL.
Bucchino played for the Lynx's coach when he was a junior hockey member of the United States Hockey League in Des Moines, Iowa, along with Falcon teammate Pat Borgestad. Bucchino can never play hockey at UWRF or at any other college again.