Homecoming: Taking the Field

shannon-blog-tagThis marks the 125th year of homecoming here at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and with homecoming comes live music, activities, competitions and let’s not forget, the big game. Yes, the week of Oct. 3 through Oct. 8 builds to the UW-Stout versus UW-Lacrosse showdown.

This is the biggest game of the year; a time for the team to represent our Stout Proud campus. Travis Shackleton, UW-Stout junior in the construction program, is one of the many football members anticipating Saturday’s game. He is also one of my old high school classmates.

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“The atmosphere is just different compared to a normal game,” said Travis.

During the homecoming game, students, faculty and community members charge the stands. Hundreds of eyes are now on our UW-Stout football jerseys. The intensity and presence of our crowd is what influences the atmosphere.

Not to mention the familiar faces in the crowd, ones in which Travis is excited to see. He is an old high school classmate from Baldwin, Wisconsin, a town not too far from Menomonie. Having said that, his high school head and position coaches are expected to make an appearance at the game.

Football is one of homecomings “pastimes”. It is an event that pulls out our color and spirit. According to Travis, this is exactly what the the team needs to “get the snowball rolling.”

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Travis, number 92 and nose on the defense line, has experienced playing in a homecoming game for his high school team. However, he has yet to expose himself to the full experience of college homecoming.

This game and week are hyped with Blue Devil spirit, but Travis and his teammates are trying to stay focused in preparation for the field.

“[Before each game] I just kind of keep to myself and listen to music,” added Travis.

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Focus and motivation is what our team needs. We are Blue Devils and our team has worked hard to hold that name high.

Good luck, Blue Devils!

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Valentine’s Day: Lovers, loners, and the lost

Shannon HoytMany people agree that February 14 is a day to appreciate the ones we love. To some, however, it’s just another day. The UW-Stout campus is thriving with committed couples, singles ready to mingle, and the dazed and confused. Simply put, it’s complicated.

I interviewed a few of my friends who represent the categories “in a relationship,” “single,” and “it’s complicated” to find out what Valentine’s Day means to them.

Question: Has Valentine’s Day lost meaning?

Boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other, babe, sweetheart, boo bear, it doesn’t matter what you call each other. What matters is that the connection between you is recognized and reflected upon.


In a Relationship

Not every couple can agree on one Valentine’s Day definition, especially when it comes to my two friends, Nathan and Chelsea, who have been dating for seven months.

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Nathan and Chelsea, in a relationship

“It’s just another holiday,” said Nathan. “It’s more commercialized.”

Chelsea thought otherwise.

“I don’t think it has [become more commercialized]. Valentine’s Day is just appreciating the people you love,” said Chelsea.


Single

“Just another day that I can cry because I’m single,” said Randi, my solo-flying sister. “I can’t wait to eat a whole bucket of ice cream.”

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Randi, single

A whole bucket of ice cream doesn’t seem half bad. In fact, joining Randi in her plans to avoid the heartfelt romanticism brought on by Valentine’s Day are dozens of other UW-Stout students.

Although Valentine’s Day can be viewed as a couple’s holiday, students avoiding relationships can still enjoy and appreciate its intended purpose.

“It’s a day that you drop everything, and show how much you love somebody,” said Randi. “And it doesn’t have to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, it could be your parents, or your sister, or yourself.”

“You can love yourself on Valentine’s Day.”


It’s Complicated

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Teddy, complicated

Although his Facebook status is indefinitely set to “It’s Complicated,” Teddy’s opinion of Valentine’s Day is pretty basic.

Believing that Valentine’s Day is “extremely overrated.” Teddy rated the day a two on a scale of one to five. He believes that Valentine’s Day shouldn’t just be targeted towards couples, and that it should focus on family.


100 Students Say…

I surveyed 100 UW-Stout students to get their perspective on the holiday. Here are the results.

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Don’t worry singles; it looks like there are plenty of fish in the sea!


 

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If you add “romantic” and “heartfelt” together, love wins.


 

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Need help with your game?

The surveyed students also had the opportunity to share their favorite pick-up lines. Here are a few of the hilarious conversation starters.

  • Was that an earthquake, or did you just rock my world?
  • Are you full of beryllium, gold and titanium? Because you’re Be-Au-Ti ful.
  • My lips are skittles, want to taste the rainbow?
  • Good thing I have a GPS watch, because I am lost without you.
  • Do you have a mirror in your pocket? Because I can totally see myself in your pants.

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Running and Jogging: A new UW-Stout club

Sometimes the social aspect of a sport or activity is just what a person needs to get motivated and inspired. That’s exactly what the Running and Jogging Club, a new UW-Stout organization, is setting out to do.

The campus used to have a running club way back when. However, it came to an abrupt halt. A new club has risen from the ashes.
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Daily opportunities

Practices are at 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, as well as at 5 p.m. on Fridays and at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays (because runners love to sleep in too). We meet on the second floor of the Sports and Fitness Center by the overlook of the Multipurpose Room.

Members are not obligated to come every day. For instance, you could just come on “leg day” if that better fits your workout schedule.

Runners of all skill levels are welcome to come and enjoy a day outside of the dorms. We are especially open to those who consider themselves out of shape. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are meant to bring runners together, to connect and get together with people who share your interests.

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Game day

Though the title of the club references running, our club likes to mix things up a bit.

Every Thursday runners come together to cross-train, a vacation away from the roads. Whether it’s basketball, flag football, ultimate Frisbee, or even sledding, Running and Jogging Club members are open to the possibilities.

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Stepping up to the start line

The ultimate goal of the Running and Jogging Club is to help runners strive for their own finish line. Want to run a half-marathon? Well, we can set up a plan for you. Want to run your very first race? We are glad to help you train and answer any questions about technique, injury prevention and mental preparation.

Running can actually be very complicated, especially if you are a new set of legs to the pavement.

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To give a little oomph to our organization, we participate in races around the area and even away from campus.

The New Richmond 5k Racing Series is a chance to run through the seasons. For $25 our runners can participate in six races from November through April. It’s not too late to join the challenge. 

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The Blue Devil Run/Walk, sponsored by University Recreation, and UW-Stout’s Run with the Cops, which raises money for Special Olympics, are other fun 5k races that are optional for the next academic year.

JUST RUN!

For more information, join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1473862796249435/ if you are interested in knowing more about our club.

 

Take2 at UW-Stout – Feb. 5–11, 2016

Our Shout-Out this week goes to two student groups who are making love happen this Valentine’s Day.

The Comic Creators, a group of students majoring in entertainment design with concentrations in comics and sequential art, are accepting orders for custom Valentines Day card designs. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1676852792585760/ for more information.

UW-Stout’s Chamber Choir’s “Singing Valentine” is back. Surprise a special someone with a live performance and help the Blue Devil Jazz Project and Chamber Choir tour China this summer. Visit http://tinyurl.com/stoutvalentine16 for more information.