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Voice Shorts

October 4, 2007

Geological conference visits UW-River Falls
The 68th Annual Tri-State geological field conference will be held Friday evening through mid-day Sunday and will explore a range of geologic topics spanning Phanerozoic Time, according to the Office of Public Affairs.

Saturday is designated for the observation of several lower- Paleozoic rock units and discuss stratigraphy, weathering and paleokarst features. An unusual unconformity is cut into one of these units. Participants will also visit an interesting structure present within pre-Wisconsin glacial deposits in a gravel pit. The use of the on-campus stream valley as a hydrogeology-teaching laboratory will be presented. A special car-caravan field trip on Sunday morning will take participants to the Rock Elm Disturbance, a Paleozoic impact structure located southeast of River Falls.

Non-field events will take place in University Center as well.

For more information about attending the conference, contact Sue Freiermuth at (715) 425-3345.

Everyone invited to ribbon-cutting event
At 2:30 p.m. Oct. 12 The College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences invites the University community and the general public to the ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for the new Dairy Learning Center at the Mann Valley Laboratory Farm. The program will be followed by a reception and tours of the facility.

For more information, contact Carol McClelland, CAFES Dean’s Office at (715) 425-3535.

Smoking ban extended in Minnesota
Smoking in Minnesota is now banned inside nearly all public places. The smoking ban, as of Monday, extends to bars, restaurants, private clubs, public transportation, bingo halls, home offices with one or more employees or that are used exclusively or regularly to meet customers, day care and health care facilities, work vehicles and common areas in hotels.

According to the Pioneer Press, in 1975, Minnesota was the first state to pass a law prohibiting smoking in most workplaces, including offices and most public places, but it didn’t ban smoking in bars and restaurants. Now, 16 other states as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have passed smoking bans that include bars and restaurants.

Most Minnesota bar patrons say they will continue to smoke and frequent their favorite taverns, even if it just got more difficult to do both at the same time.

Homecoming begins, many events planned
Homecoming week starts Oct. 8. River Falls is gearing up to get their passports stamped at the “Wonders of the World” themed Homecoming Week Oct. 8 thru13.

Team competitions begin on Monday with the first clue of the annual medallion hunt. Clues will be available to prize-seekers Monday thru Thursday at 9 a.m. at the University Center Info Desk. The winner of the hunt will receive $50. A kickoff party Oct. 8 will be held on the University Center lawn from 3 to 8 p.m. Activities include an inflatable obstacle course, henna tattoos, caricatures and live music by Jester’s Panic and The Blend.

Cyber safety month continues at UWRF
The theme for the second week in October is “Protecting Yourself and Your Computer.”  FredNet Services and IT Services will be providing information for students and employees on the following topics: social networking programs (Facebook and MySpace), identity theft, physical computer security and phishing schemes (attempts to scam users into giving out private information).

Look for information online at www.frednet.uwrf.edu/, www.its.uwrf.edu/, and www.uwrf.edu/desire2learn/ and on Channel 24.  Also look for fliers at FredNet (basement of East Hathorn Hall), IT Services Helpdesk (basement of Chalmer Davee
Library), front desks of residence halls and the University Center.

State of Wisconsin still without a budget
According to the River Falls Journal, Gov. Jim Doyle was in Appleton on Monday where he outlined to a group of senior citizens some of the things that would happen if lawmakers don’t pass a budget. Some of these include a possible $800 surcharge on students attending the University of Wisconsin if there isn’t a new budget in place by the second semester of the school year. In addition the Department of Corrections would not be able to fund GPS monitoring of child sexual assault offenders.

Doyle says the legislature’s job is to pass a budget, and one week ago both sides were billions apart, but today we have significantly narrowed the differences. On Monday morning Doyle met with his cabinet to make plans and prepare in case a budget is not passed. As governor he has to plan for the consequences if the Legislature continues to fail to pass a budget.

New task force focuses on crisis response
On Friday, one day after Gov. Jim Doyle’s Task Force on Campus Safety met at UW-River Falls, another college shooting made national news, according to the River Falls Journal. The setting was Delaware State University. The victims were two teenage college students, male and female. Just 10 days before the state Task Force on Campus Safety assembled at the UWRF University Center, the building was evacuated late at night because of students talking randomly about a bomb going off inside.

River Falls Police Chief Roger Leque was named co-chair of the Task Force on Campus Safety. The task force is made up of a sheriff, police chief, campus public safety director, a student, a parent and other university and technical college officials, which offers a wide range of expertise. A recommendation will likely be that each Wisconsin campus set up a crisis response team that meets on a regular basis. This crisis team would act on complaints and concerns about behavior-related issues that might be troubling around the campus.