President Dudley-Eshbach to step down in 2018

By: Chase Gorski

News Editor


“Change is good, for institutions and individuals.”

These were the words that headlined the announcement that after 18 years under President Janet Dudley-Eshbach, Salisbury University will have a new face of the school after June 30, 2018.

The news broke this morning at 10:44 a.m. via a school-wide email that President Dudley-Eshbach would be stepping down from her post, bringing to an end the second-longest presidential tenure in SU history.

As outlined in her announcement, this is not a retirement for Dudley-Eshbach, as she fully plans to return to the school and taking one year of sabbatical leave.  Dudley-Eshbach will rejoin the faculty in the 2019-20 academic year.

“I am greatly looking forward to returning to my first love—teaching, mentoring students and scholarship,” President Dudley-Eshbach said in her email.

The university has seen great growth under Dudley-Eshbach, from the creation of many major and doctoral programs, the Honors College and increasing the number of students on-campus, to increasing the focus on diversity and sustainability.

As for the exchange-of-power, Dudley-Eshbach will remain as Special Advisor to the University in order to aid her successor with the transition to the presidency.

University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Robert Caret will be announcing the search process for the new SU President, aiming to have the successor on board by July 1, 2018.

The first-ever female president of Salisbury University and the longest-tenured female president in USM history has made her mark on SU, leading the charge to becoming a well-recognized university.

As the search for a new president begins, The Flyer will have updates in the coming days regarding the next step for the university.  Attached to the end of this article is President Dudley-Eshbach’s full email announcement to students.

For Salisbury University’s official press release regarding the announcement, visit the university website.

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Love trumps hate: New chalkings replace Tuesday’s political messages

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Kaydee Jones Images

By Kaydee Jones

Gull Life Editor


Tuesday’s pro-Trump political chalkings have been replaced by messages of love and peace.

The new messages are found all around campus including in front of Academic Commons, Perdue Hall and behind Henson Hall. They include messages of love, peace, togetherness and encouragement to vote next Tuesday on Election Day.

Some chalkings also display pro-Clinton and anti-Trump messages, which could be a direct response to yesterday’s drawings.

Vice President of Student Affairs Dane Foust addressed the chalk situation yesterday and stated the university’s stance on the election in an email to students.

The university chalking policy can be found here.

Salisbury stays on track with USM graduation gap goals




The University System of Maryland  schools have shown mixed results improving the gap between the graduation rates of minorities, low-income students and overall graduations rates.

The USM progress report released earlier this month showed that only four schools – The University of Maryland College Park, The University of Maryland Baltimore County, Towson University and Salisbury University – are improving graduation rate gaps and have overall rates above the USM average of 62 percent in 2013.

The most recent graduation rate data in the report is from the year 2013.

In terms of overall six-year graduation rates from  students entering college in 2007 and finishing in 2013, SU is second in the state (67 percent) behind UMCP (84 percent) but had only 53 percent African American and 45 percent of Hispanic students graduate in that span, fourth in the state behind Towson and UMBC.

SU Vice President of Student Affairs Dane Foust said the reason for this may be that there are less Hispanic students at SU and a small amount of students could drop that number substantially. However, he added that SU is close to improving these numbers.

Despite this dip in minority graduation rates, SU is on track to bounce back in 2015. SU has higher second, third, fourth and fifth year retention rates in these categories for the 2009 cohort, ending in the Spring of 2015.

“We are strategic in our thinking in how to assist students academically,” Foust said. “We have faculty and staff committed to student success and are willing to go the extra mile to make that happen.”

Foust also credited programs like TRiO, which helps first generation college students achieve their academic goals, Living Learning Communities, Supplemental Instruction, the Sophomore Residency Program and Powerful Connections for SU’s higher-than-average graduation rates.

“Having some of our sophomores go off campus is too early for them,” Foust said. “During their second year they have more structure and help now if they need it.”

“As a first generation college student I should have gone to programs like (Powerful Connections) a lot earlier in my college career,” Foust said. “I was on my own and my parents had never been through (the college) experience.”

In November 2007, the USM set a goal to cut the six-year graduation rate gap in half by 2015 and to fully eliminate it by 2020.

Their goal is to have 55 percent of Maryland’s population 25 and older to have a college degree and for more college graduates to enter the workforce, ultimately supporting and sustaining Maryland’s economy.

A Course Director at Powerful Connections and Director of Multicultural and International Student Services, Vaughn White has welcomed and advised ethnically diverse students for over 15 years at SU and is a large part of SU’s high retention and graduation rates. White said SU’s success is because of the way they are able to connect with their students.

“SU does a great job of nurturing it’s students from the beginning,” White said. “From freshman to sophomore year, students are deciding if (college) is good for them and are taking liberal arts classes. That second year they really start focusing on their major and if students get to that point we definitely have got them here.”

SU is also on pace to have a record number of low-income students graduate in the 2009 cohort, with third and fourth-year retention rates higher than ever.

A Learning Specialist for TRiO, Ceaira Revels works with numerous low-income students at SU and guides them through appropriate advising, tutoring and other educational programs that SU offers.

“Most of our student’s parents haven’t gone to college. There is no map for college,” Revels said. “Some students don’t like to ask for help but once they get hooked up with a mentor here it helps them.”

According to the USM report, SU has graduated over 60 percent of low-income students from 2010-2013. No other school in the USM, other than UMCP, has been able to accomplish this.

“These programs have a tremendous impact,” White said. “Before we had these programs in schools, the expectation in my community and my church was that you took college prep courses, graduated college, get that education and give back to the community.”

The other eight schools in the USM – Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Frostburg State University, University of Baltimore, University of Maryland Baltimore, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and University of Maryland University College – are working on increasing overall graduation rates up to the USM average by implementing improved assessments for base-level mathematics and English courses, providing educational support for at-risk students, creating vibrant learning communities and increasing financial support.

The class that began this fall will be the final group measured in six-year graduation rates, ending in 2020, so time will tell if this group will meet the expectations the USM set in 2007.

The complete institutional reports are available on the USM website.

Motion Sculpture performers take Downtown



News Editor


Motion Sculpture workshop performers sponsored by Salisbury University Art Galleries put on a motion sculpture movement installation entitled “Attack of the Killer Stripey Tubes” at Downtown Salisbury’s Arts & Entertainment District’s monthly Third Friday celebration on Sept. 19.

Before the exhibition, those in the performance went to a workshop by audiovisual artist David Linton who created the movement style, assisted by interdisciplinary artist Claire Elizabeth Barratt, both of whom were hosted by SU.

Motion Sculpture is a style that involves practices similar to Tai Chi, yoga and Butoh Japanese dance theatre.

The performance put on at the festival consisted of participants doing an installation performance, in which they become a part of an environment for a set amount of time. In this case, it was during the festival from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The entertainers walked around through the crowds of people, vendors and other performers showing off their moves.

“At first I was a little confused about what they were doing and why they were dressed like that,” sophomore Jenny Rosa said. “I never fully figured it out, but I liked the different colors and styles of their body-suits. Eventually I went along with it and accepted them as part of the Third Friday festivities.”

Performers were clad in long sweater-esque body suits that hid everything from the tops of their heads to their ankles and used their limbs along with other props to create different visual effects in their moves.

“They looked like a mix of a mummy and something you would see from an 80’s horror movie,” Rose said.

Students and civilians ages 18 and over were able to participate, and admission to the workshop and performance were free.

Students take a look at growing ISIS crisis in the Middle East



News Editor


As world leaders make plans on how to fight against the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Salisbury University students are reacting and speaking out about how they feel towards ISIS and how they believe the conflict in the Middle East should be dealt with.

“I am really fearful of the U.S. getting into another war,” senior Ryan Russel said. “I think we have to set the standard for how to react to ISIS, but I am worried about us trying to police the world when we still have to figure out our own issues.”

The organization, which was originally founded under the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 1999 as Jamaat al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, began in Iraq. The group became a branch of al-Qaeda in 2004 and changed their name to al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

In 2006, Majlis Shura al-Mujahedin (MSM) was created out of AQI which combined other Iraqi insurgent factions and in October 2006 an announcement was made that said from MSM, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) would be established. The group focused on governing and heavy criminal punishment in line with a narrow view of Sharia law.

Since its founding, ISI has expanded and after growing into Syria, became ISIS.

“We know that many people have fled or have been killed by ISIS authorities, but we also know that they have tried with some success to build public support for their cause in the areas they currently control through stabilizing economic activity, establishing security, and even    providing financial support to communities and cities,” assistant history professor Joseph Venosa said, who will be teaching a class on Modern Middle Eastern history this coming spring. “This is also a battle for hearts and minds. The impact of ISIS’ presence goes well beyond Iraq and just issues of religious interpretation. It impacts broader economic, political, and social issues that exist across the modern Middle East.

[Read more…]

Memory of Elizabeth Bellavance lives on



Elizabeth Bellavance, an academic advocate and wife of former Salisbury University President Thomas Bellavance died from cancer in Richmond, Virginia on July 24 at the age of 77.

Since her late husband’s presidency at SU beginning in 1980, Elizabeth Bellavance was extremely involved with the university, especially the honors program.

She often attended lectures, performances and events put on by different departments and planned fundraisers for SU’s programs. Bellavance also heavily supported the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra and the WSCL radio station, which she was a founding member of.

   Within the Bellavance Honors Program, which her husband founded, Bellavance was always involved, even when she could not be there. When she wasn’t there, she was sent pictures and packets so that she could stay current on the events and status of the program.

Even though he never met her in person, Bellavance Honors Program Director James Buss, who took on the role at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, said that Bellavance was always willing to help him.

“We used to email almost every other week about the program. She was always just so supportive of the program and encouraging of me when I was first starting out,” he said.

Before falling ill, Bellavance would come back to the University to meet and introduce herself to every incoming class of freshman in the Bellavance Honors Program.

Bellavance also stayed directly involved even when students and staff did not even know that she was.

The Saunterer is a magazine style newsletter that the Honors Program puts out twice a year, written and edited by honors students, as well as edited by Buss. Previous to the 2013-2014 school year, the periodical had not been published for two years. When the program decided to revitalize it, students wanted to do a large piece on the history of the program and the contribution of the Bellavance family.

When Buss was given the article to read and edit, he sent it to Bellavance to look at. She sent back notes, recordings of her husband’s lectures on academia and a quote from her family about academia.  All of these resources Buss gave back to the students as if they were from him since Bellavance did not want students to know that it was her. Buss had not revealed this until now.

“I think students should know,” Buss said. “I think she’d be proud of it. She edited the entire thing without them knowing.”

Outside of the academic world, Bellavance was also heavily involved in her church and worked heavily for social justice. She was the Hispanic outreach representative for the Eastern Shore as well as a member of both the Steering Committee for SU’s Bienvenidos a Delmarva and the Maryland Catholic Conference Social Concerns Committee.  She also represented the Eastern Shore on the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic affairs.

Bellavance avidly worked to avoid much recognition, but despite this she was awarded the governor’s Unsung Hero Award for all of her work and volunteering.

To honor her and her husband, in the study room of the Honors House hangs Thomas’s awards and distinctions.

“I’d love to get a framed photo of her here, too,” Buss said. “She meant a lot to the program, and she meant a lot to me in my first year in my transition to director.”

Student Research is center stage at SUSRC


Staff Writer

Students presented scientific and professional research on topics of science, liberal arts, business, fine arts and more to SU students, staff and the community at the 13th annual Salisbury University Student Research Conference on Friday.

The conference began at 11:30 a.m. and opened with a welcome reception in Perdue Hall lead by SU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Diane Allen. At the welcome reception the SU Squawkapellas also performed.

At 1:30 p.m. presentations began in Henson Science Hall, where most other presentations were held. Sessions began at that time, 3 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.

In the Behavior section, presenter Thomas Williams brought to light the influence of language in his presentation, “Fighting the Battle: The Impact of Queer Teen Suicide in the Media.”

“In our culture, language matters,” Williams said as he began. “In our society, words have the ability to show love, compassion, concern and empathy. However, in our society words also have the ability to hurt and kill.”

Williams explained that 30,000 people every year die due to suicide, and that in a 2011 study suicide was found to be the fourth leading cause of death for people aged five to 14 years old, and that both men and women are increasing in suicide rates from ages 10 to 19 years old.  He also shared that from 2010 to 2011 there was a 1.5 percent increase in suicide, and that this is often caused be difficulties in school, bullying, balancing relationships, rejection and failure.

Using a qualitative case study analysis, Williams studied the before and after affects of teen suicide and why some homosexual and bisexual teens chose to commit suicide. He found that much of this is because teens are not just being bullied in school anymore, but over the Internet as well. It is also because the media shows one person feeling alone and depressed while everyone else is fine, while in reality many people feel this way. Even further, in one study Williams said 16 percent of 339 reviewed websites were pro-suicide, holding links and tips for viewers on how to commit suicide. Williams also said that most people’s knowledge of suicide is taken from the media and the media can portray it as an heroic act, saying that maybe the person will save someone else’s life by taking his or her own.

   “I believe,” Williams said, “that we the people have the power to influence what the media portrays about suicide. So I believe that we can change this perception that the media has on us, and if we choose to, we can make the media do a vast number of things to our benefit to save lives, not take them. So the question is, are you ready to be strong?”

[Read more…]

Punkin Chunkin moving to new location


Staff Writer

Due to heavy financial burdens and liabilities involving a lawsuit, the annual fall event Punkin Chunkin will have to move away from the farm where it has been held since 2007 to a new location yet to be determined.

Punkin Chunkin is an event from Sussex County, Del. that began in 1986 where teams come together to match their pumpkin-launching machines against each other in 15 different categories, including adult air, adult human power, youth air cannon and theatrical.

According to NBC News, Punkin Chunkin is the oldest and largest competition of its type, in recent years drawing over 50,000 spectators and about 100 teams. Ticket sales and revenues from Punkin Chunkin each year are donated to charities, many of them local.

Farmer Dan Wheatley owns the land Punkin Chunkin has been held on for the past seven years at no charge to the World Champion Punkin Chunkin Association, but recently announced that he will no longer allow it to be held on his farm.

This announcement has come while the WCPCA is being sued for $5.5 million by a volunteer who was injured at the event in 2011 by an All-Terrain Vehicle turning over onto him.

Even though Sen. Brian Pettyjohn announced in January “that Wheatley is protected by the indemnity and hold-harmless clause in Delaware contract law,” reported by the Cape Gazette, Wheatley farms is still a defendant in the lawsuit.

“It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s that I can’t afford it,” Wheatley said. “I can’t chance losing everything I’ve got because someone wants to sue me.”

Although the association was not pleased to hear Wheatley’s decision, Association President John Huber said in a press release that the decision was not a surprise. The association has been looking at other options and has opened themselves up to alternative locations both inside and outside of Delaware.

   Delaware Sen. Pettyjohn told the Cape Gazette that he will now “work with the Delaware Economic Development Office and the Delaware Department of Agriculture to find farmers in Sussex County, and then Delaware as a whole, who own large parcels of land who might be interested in hosting the event.”

“My goal is to keep it here in Sussex County” Pettyjohn said. “It started here. It’s grown here. It’s been a huge boom to the local economy. If we can’t keep it in Sussex County, I want to at least keep it here in Delaware. The last thing I want to see is it leave the state.”

Wheatley, though, said that he is not sure that there is another piece of land large enough to hold the event in Sussex County, and that he believes it will most likely move to Maryland. The event has taken up over 300 acres of Wheatley’s land each year.

Huber has begun to look at the Dover International Speedway as one of the options for the next location for Punkin Chunkin, but still no area has been set.

Students at Salisbury University have been attending Punkin Chunkin for years, carpooling in students’ cars and taking busses. Currently, the ride from SU to Wheatley farms is about 30 miles, but this change of location could mean a change in attendance for SU students. Some do not want the location to be much further than it is right now.

“Over an hour would probably be too much” Junior Taylor Wiedel said.

Many said they would only make the trip to Punkin Chunkin if the drive stayed at or less than two hours.

“I’d say two hours would be the max (for me to go)” Freshman Hugh McNeill said. “I had to get up at 6 a.m. just to get on the bus to get there, so having to get up at 4:30- 5 a.m. would be way too early.”

“I’d say an hour and a half max,” Junior Allison Galasso said.

“I’d still go if it was about an hour to two hours away, especially if it’s been as big as an event as it has been,” sophomore Ian Vetter said. “I live in Severna Park and I went twice with my family before I even came to college, it would a shame if it went any further away.”

Some students are not worried about the moving location, though.

“As long as it’s close I’d still go,” said Cole Ahlt, a SU sophomore. “I’d like to see it in Maryland but anywhere in Delaware is not too bad.”

Although a location for this year’s event is not currently set, the WCPCA’s website marks Oct. 24-26 as the dates for Punkin Chunkin 2014.

Mold in campus housing a recurring issue at SU



News Editor

Students on campus at Salisbury University have reported mold in their dorm rooms, and have been attempting to solve the problem since they moved in.

Several students in Chesapeake Hall have said they have had mold issues in their closets, rooms, showers and air conditioning units and have tried to fix the problem themselves. Different issues have arisen, including the mold coming and going throughout the year, according to some residents of Chesapeake Hall.

Chesapeake hall is an apartment style residence hall that houses 178 students each year, and was built in 1977.

“On move-in day my RA told me there was mold in my room,” sophomore Will Drozdoski said. “I have had bad allergies all year, I don’t know if it’s from the mold, but I’ve had a headache off and on for a month.”

Multiple apartments have reported some of the same problems, such as mold growing underneath the shower and having mold in each closet adjacent to the shower. There were no reported mold issues near food or the resident’s kitchens.

“We had mold in the air conditioning unit spewing everywhere,” said sophomore Alec Barber, one of Drozdoski’s roommates.

According to Barber, Drozdoski and their roommates, they told their resident director about the mold in their shower, closet and AC unit, put in a work order and they received no immediate response to help or clean the mold. They said later on maintenance caulked the bottom of their shower, but the mold still grows beneath it, and painted over the mold that was still remaining.

Their roommates also claimed that they were told maintenance would come to paint over the mold, but nobody ever came to do it and it slowly went away, however some of the smell still persisted.

Other apartments have reported similar problems with receiving help to clean the mold.

Sophomore Taylor Langley said that her and her roommates moved in early and had a mold problem begining early in the semester as well.

“The mold was disgusting at first,” Langley said. “It’s just really damp in here; after I take a shower my towels do not dry.”

Langley’s roommate Julian Busillo said maintenance came and cleaned black mold out of the bathroom vent in their apartment earlier in the year, and they went out and bought their own dehumidifiers.

Chesapeake resident Manny Flores also said that his roommates bought dehumidifiers, and one of his roommates in his apartment had mold on his ceiling above their air conditioning vent.

Another resident of Chesapeake Hall who wanted to remain anonymous to avoid being negative toward SU, said mold exists throughout their apartment as well.

The resident said maintenance told them the type of mold in their apartment is not harmful, and they heard about mold issues in Chesapeake before.

“I know someone who lived in Chesapeake five or six years ago and they had the same problems (with mold) we have,” the resident said. “It’s a recurring problem; they are not really fixing the problem, just covering it up.”

The resident also said maintenance caulked the bottom of their shower, similar to reports from other residents.

Director of Campus Sustainability and Environmental Safety Wayne Shelton said the university has been working with residents and that the mold issues reported are mainly just a summertime issue. Shelton also explained why some residents reported headaches.

“The thing is mold is ubiquitous, what really makes a difference is moisture,” Shelton said. “When the relative humidity is above 60% that is when those folks have an issue with it.”

Shelton emphasized that people see the same thing with pollen during transition periods in-between seasons and they rarely get calls from residents reporting mold during the winter months. He also said the mold has been investigated by a third party, and they found that air samples this year show a lower concentration of mold in Chesapeake Hall compared to the concentration of mold in the air outside.

“One side effect can be a headache (from the mold), but it could have been a lot of other things,” Shelton said. “It’s all about the moisture, the common element is moisture and managing it, it’s hard to do.”

Shelton also said Chesapeake Hall’s irrigation system is partially at fault for the issue, and until they move the sprinklers, the system will remain shut off. The sprinklers were spraying on to the walls of first floor apartments, and this is believed to create a more humid environment in first floor apartments, which is where most of the complaints of mold came from. The sprinklers will be moved from the sidewalk so they will spray away from the building.

“It’s part of their responsibility (as well), we rely on students to call us, we take calls seriously,” Shelton said. “The bottom line is to have a safe and healthy work place, (and they can) if they use the air conditioning unit properly.”

Sea Gulls Mourn the Loss of No. 12


News Editor

On August 17, 2013 many Salisbury University students and staff members lost a great friend in Troy Daniel King. King was 21 years old.
Troy King was a transfer student from the University of Tennessee Martin and started attending SU last fall after playing basketball for two years at UT Martin. King became a part of the varsity basketball team at SU upon his transfer, and immediately began to inspire the community.

 “He was loved by his teammates and a number of them were at his viewing,” SU basketball coach Joshua Merkel said.  “A number of his teammates and his coach from UT Martin also flew up to attend.”
Also in attendance were his high school coach and grade school basketball coach.
“He had a happy personality, and left his basketball scholarship and his school at UT Martin to be closer to his daughter Khloe,” Merkel said. “He was friends with everyone on our team.”
Many students not on the varsity basketball team who knew King from just playing pick-up basketball also attested to his character on and off the court.
“He was a funny guy, a great athlete, and a caring dad. He really adored his daughter. Just a class guy in my book, always went out of his way to dap me up when he saw me,” said friend and SU junior Jean-Luc Hirabayashi, who often played basketball with King in the gym. “He’ll be sorely missed by everyone. RIP. Gone much too soon.”
Sophomore Samantha Lebowitz said King would ensure she was on the court whenever he saw her at the gym.
“He would make sure I was on a team and included me when I wanted to play basketball, even if it was just guys at the gym. He would put me on his team or get me in the next game if some guys didn’t want a girl on their team.”
Despite his love for basketball, his love for his daughter was much greater. By leaving UT Martin to be closer to her, he expressed that his daughter Khloe, who is now two years old, was more important in his life. While King did express his love for basketball, the court was not the only place he affected people so positively.
Education professor Maida Finch had Troy as a student in her Education 210 class last fall here at SU, which was King’s first semester here.
“I reread some of Troy’s work from my class,” said Finch. “Troy described his aspiration to become a physical education teacher and coach by saying ‘My goal is to inspire students to push past their perceived limitations. I want high school students to understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle through exercise and proper nutrition.’”
Finch also said “Ultimately he hoped to become a principal or assistant principal to help them ‘learn how to make the right decisions in school and in their life in the future.’”
“What I remember about Troy is his positive attitude, great smile, and passion for sports,” Finch said. “He often spoke about his daughter, Khloe, and his devotion to her.  He was determined to succeed in college because he recognized how important it was for his future.”
Troy Daniel King was the son of Vernon D. King III and Jeanette Monday King, and also had two brothers, Vernon D. King IV and Kyle A. King. Donations are being accepted for Troy King’s daughter Khloe’s education fund. Donations to the Khloe King Trust Fund can be made at P.O. Box 416 Damascus, MD 20872.
“Troy was able to touch a lot of people in the community,” said coach Merkel. “He got along with everyone.”