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?”

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Mr. Zeta: ZTA crowns The All-American Man


Staff Writer

At this year’s annual Mr. Zeta competition, Sammy Brown won the audience’s and judges’ vote after his heartfelt story in the final round.

The story Brown told was in response to being asked why he thinks he should be Mr. Zeta and was about his personal experience with breast cancer.

When Brown was ten years old his mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

All of the 18 participants in the competition came prepared with knowledge of Breast Cancer Awareness facts and a talent to perform.

Members of Zeta Tau Alpha are constantly exposing the community to breast cancer awareness, as their philanthropy is to promote breast cancer education and awareness.

The Mr. Zeta event was held in efforts to raise money to support the ZTA’s cause. The girls charged $5 per ticket and sold t-shirts and hosted an auction. All the proceeds will go towards the cause.

To encourage breast cancer awareness, the sisters of ZTA also had guest speaker and survivor Ginger Muscalli. Although she could not be there, she recorded a video of her story so the girls could share it with the audience.

Muscalli explained how she was 43 when first diagnosed. She was healthy, did everything right and was confused when they first diagnosed her. She explained how her reaction to the diagnoses was, “Why me?”

Muscalli, however went into this stage of her life ready to battle. She had young kids and made sure that she wasn’t the “sick mom.” She said she immediately shaved her head after treatment and wore a wig constantly to make sure her kids saw her as they always would.

Her fight pulled off and she won the battle.

14 years later, Muscalli was diagnosed again, but this time she said she knew exactly what to do.

“We need the support of each other,” Muscalli said. “The promotion and fundraisers, everything helps.”

One of the ZTA sisters, junior Erica Lease, shared her personal story, also. She joined ZTA strictly for their philanthropy because when she was ten years old, her mother died from breast cancer.

“I want to make a difference,” Lease said. “I want to help save as many lives as possible because I don’t want anyone going through what I did.”

Lease hopes to spread the awareness so that people can detect any sign early to prevent someone from going through what she went through.

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.

Girls Gonna Stay Wild

By: Jamie Potter

It’s unfortunate to say, but the amount of sexism that I have seen this semester has blown my mind.

Everything from the typical statement that a girl should never have a higher body count than a guy (in a video game), to girls being called crazy for doing something then a guy does the same thing and we say, “Oh he’s just hurt.”

Sadly, a couple of the times I have brought up equality between men and women I have received some disturbing responses including, “But we aren’t equal” and “I think biologically men have always been superior and always will be.”

It doesn’t help that I’ve downloaded the app Yik Yak which is filled with all kinds of prejudices, expected for an anonymous app.
[Read more…]

Life Vest Inside at Salisbury University to participate in flash mob


Staff writer

A new registered student organization Life Vest Inside (LVI), is organizing “Dance for Kindness” to kick off World Kindness Week.

“We are there to raise awareness of what we are doing and to have some fun while we do it,” said Andrew Vogelsang, group leader and club president of LVI.

LVI’s mission is “to empower and unite the world with Kindness.” LVI is dedicated to empowering people, building a person’s self-esteem and spreading kindness.

The students who brought LVI to Salisbury wish to make the world a kinder place and they are starting with Salisbury.

The worldwide flashmob will begin on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. at Salisbury University. The dance will take place in Red Square.

To the secretary and vice president of SU’s LVI there are different meanings for the flash mob. Secretary Esther Cortez and vice president John Merz, thinks that dance helps to connect people.

“In a world with war, there’s not many things people can unite on besides music and dance,” Merz said.

Vogelsang said that he hopes the kindness inspired by the flash mob will help change the world.

Cortez said that as a Latina, she feels dance helps bring people closer together.

“In those eight minutes (when we dance), stereotypes of physical appearance and gender disappear,” Cortez said. “It’s like, in those minutes I’m just trying to learn how to dance.”

To register for the flashmob, go to From there a link to a video teaching this year’s dance will be emailed to participants.

Outdoor club members Skydive in Ocean City


Staff Writer

The Outdoors Club took on the ultimate outdoor adventure as a group of their members went skydiving in Ocean City this past weekend.

The idea of going on a skydiving excursion has been around since the beginning of the semester; however, it was unclear whether it would come to fruition because of the cost.

Secretary Megan Liechman was able to come up with an affordable option for the group.

“I heard they had Groupons online for skydiving trips, which were accepted by two local airports in Cambridge and Ocean City,” Liechman said. “They looked cheap, so I got the emails of everyone who was interested at one of our meetings.”

Eight members of the club decided to pay $200 each and took the opportunity to jump out of the airplane.

After signing waivers, the group went through a training session. The one thing the instructors emphasized the most was ‘Arch,’ or better known as tandem skydiving. Each person would be strapped to a professional skydiver who would handle the operation of the parachute equipment. What each rider had to do was arch their bodies, heads, shoulders and legs backwards.

The jump was delayed for several hours due to high winds.

“I was frustrated,” Liechman said. “I’d spent all that time organizing this. I didn’t have time to sit around.”

The group took advantage of the Ocean City boardwalk to kill time and grab some pizza while waiting.

As the day passed, everyone was concerned that they might have to reschedule; however, the staff called and said they could jump.

No one in the group had ever been skydiving before.

“I was nervous,” freshman Nicholas Harriau said.

They were in groups of two, and were all taken up 10,000 feet.

“It hadn’t really hit me until I got into that plane,” Leichman said. “I was terrified. I forgot I was afraid of flying.”

The plane cabin was small, barely big enough to hold five people, pilot included. However, there were great views of Ocean City.

After ascending for five minutes, the plane reached 10,000 feet and it was time. The skydiving partners strapped their rider to their harnesses. Then the cabin door opened.

“When the door to the plane’s cabin opened up, I realized just how high up I was,” Harriau said. “It was scary.”

The wind outside was roaring as each rider fell through the air traveling at over a hundred miles per hour.

The tandem skydiving partners were in control during the entire fall.

“It was like a huge rush, with the wind blowing in your face,” Haltoa said.

The freefall gave the riders an unique experience.

“It was surreal,” Leichman. “You felt like you were floating, and you were so high up everything beneath you looked like a photograph. We jumped at sunset which made it even more beautiful.”

But the freefall feeling didn’t last long. After about a minute the parachutes automatically deployed, leaving the riders hanging in the air, slowly drifting to the ground, still several thousand feet up.

All members safely landed without crashing into anything. After this experience, the members of the Outdoors club are considering taking another jump.

“I’d like to jump from 18,000 feet between now and my senior year,” Harriau said.

The others shared similar opinions on taking a higher jump.

“The freefall didn’t last long enough,” Haltoa said.

Leichman is not opposed to organizing a second jump as a club function.

“If I can get people who are interested, we can do it again in the spring,” Leichman said.

The Outdoors club meets on Mondays at 7 p.m. in Henson 113.

Team Omnivore

Staff Writer


Team Vegetarian, Team Vegan or Team Carnivore.

About five percent of the United States population considers themselves to be vegetarian or vegan and markets cater increasingly more to a vegan marketplace as compared to years past.

While this does not represent a large percent of the population, the numbers of vegetarians and vegans in America are increasing.

People who are vegetarian or vegan have mentioned two main reasons for why they choose their lifestyle: health and ethics. I decided to do some research as to how both a meat-eating and a non-meat eating lifestyle compared on four different factors: health, environment, animal rights and welfare and slaughterhouse workers’ welfare.
[Read more…]

Softball vows to be even better in 2015



Staff Writer


As the final innings came to a close of the 2014 women’s softball Division III National Championship the Salisbury University Sea Gulls had their remarkable season come to an end losing the series to Tufts, 2-1.

For their efforts in the 2014 season, head coach Marge Knight and her coaching staff were named the NFCA Atlantic Region Coaching Staff of the Year for the third straight season and now, the Salisbury women’s softball team is about to begin their journey in 2015 in order to capture a national championship.
[Read more…]

Through the eyes of a Scotsman: U.S. vs. Scottish Halloween


Staff Writer

The growth of Halloween in North America has been attributed to the arrival of Scottish and Irish immigrants in the States in the late 19th century. As a Scot in America, it would be rude of me not to take part in the festivities and compare them to my experiences from back home.

I was keen to see how Halloween differed from across the pond, if it did at all. The celebration is an exciting part of the year for anyone below the age of around 10 in Scotland and without Thanksgiving, it bridges the gap between the end of summer and the beginning of the Christmas season.

Halloween then re-emerges as an excuse to dress like a dafty (an idiot) and party in the later years of high school and into college.

In my years at primary (elementary) school I enjoyed many Halloween parties, with prizes for best pumpkin carving, best costume and among other games in an evening often held in the school gym hall. A favourite game of mine was always the apple bobbing, or ‘apple dooking’ as it is called in Scotland, the word ‘dook’ coming from the Scottish term to dip or plunge.

Although the concept is the same in Scottland, the Scottish term for trick-or-treating is ‘guising,’ relating to the act of going from door to door in disguise.

A universal attribute of Halloween, is of course the carving of pumpkins. This practice is as popular in Scotland as it is in America with families and friends carving faces and patterns into pumpkins and displaying them with a candle inside.

It seems Halloween is the lone and best opportunity for American students to dress in costume.

At university in Scotland, Halloween is just one of a number of nights in which people will dress up to go out.

Although Halloween is the only recognized occasion in which it is expected that people will dress up, things like sports team nights out and birthdays may well also have a costume theme. It is fairly normal to see a group of students dressed in costume in the bars and nightclubs in Scotland on a night out.

In fact some of the nightclubs and bars at home will have fancy dress themed student nights at different times throughout the year, with cheaper entry fees and drinks promotions which are offered to anyone who takes part in the dress up theme.

Funny enough, an ‘American frat party’ is one of many themes that Scottish nightclubs may use to attract customers to their club or bar, with club goers decked out in snapbacks and red solo cups. I think these nights might be a bit of a let-down when I go home thanks to my experiences of the ‘real thing’ here in the States.

There are many similarities in both cultures and the way in which they celebrate Halloween in both countries. It is clear that very few students care much, if at all, for the reasons why they are ‘celebrating’ the occasion of Halloween.

In most cases, Halloween is nothing more than an excuse to go out and party, with the added bonus of being able to get dressed up, pose for pictures and have fun with friends.  My experiences over the weekend were very similar to the parties I have been to previously this semester. If it were not for everyone being dressed up, I do not think you’d have been able to tell it was Halloween at all.

The next date for me to look forward to is Thanksgiving at the end of the month. It is something I have never experienced before and I am excited to see what it’s like and how it compares to celebrations at home.

The holiday is unlike anything that is celebrated in Scotland and is certainly much larger in terms of importance and observance than most national holidays at home. It will definitely be interesting to take part in yet another ‘first’ for me in my time in Salisbury. It is just as well I like turkey I guess!

Stand4You organization hosts a Day Without Stigma carnival


Staff Writer

Stand4You members lined up throughout GUC’s Link of Nations Hallway on Tuesday looking for students and members of the Salisbury University to take a pledge; a pledge to end the silence of mental health disorders, to listen about mental health without judgment, to treat every person as capable and valuable and to speak out against stigma.

This pledge was taken for the A Day Without Stigma Carnival, an event put on by SU’s Stand4You organization. This was not an event solely for people affected by mental illnesses, it was an event for the entire community.

“We hold this event to promote education and awareness about mental health,” said Brittany Hines of the Salisbury University Health Department.

At the carnival, Stand4You acknowledged comments and phrases, such as, “you’re crazy” or “that’s crazy,” that are often said without the speaker realizing the impact they can have.

Both of these phrases can embarrass or shame those around the speaker who are suffering from psychiatric disorders and discourage them from revealing their pain and seeking care.

Mental health is not always viewed the same as other illnesses and is frequently viewed in a more negative light.

Stand4You Suicide Prevention Coordinator Anisa Diab explained that people are discriminated against when they have a mental illness and that it is important to recognize that a mental illness is just one characteristic to a person that he or she should not be defined by.

“This is the first year that we’ve held this event, but we would like to continue to do this every year,” Diab said.

Across many of the tables was information and resources, including warning signs of depression and ways to intervene if one is suspected of being suicidal.

Another tool used by SU for mental health awareness is the online “At-risk for college students” tutorial.

In this tutorial, participants are put into an online simulation of a situation where he or she is experiencing seeing a friend with mental illness symptoms. Likewise, this tutorial explained the ways to catch these symptoms and encourage friends to seek help.

The carnival also promoted becoming an advocate for mental health.

There are many ways to get involved in promoting mental health awareness. The first step is taking the pledge to end the silence. Though one does not necessarily have to join any organization, a student can be the person that speaks out for the cause.

In addition to all resources and information, the carnival held more entertaining activities, such as a Positive Photography Booth to learn about Active Minds as well as an art exhibit with the theme “View Mental Health, Know the Facts, No Stigma.”

A difference can be made if a community as a whole strives to make the difference, Stand4You asserted. No one person can change the attitudes, but one person can lead a community to change their attitudes.

Stand4You leading this change. The group says their purpose of holding events like these is to change the attitudes of how people in the community view mental illnesses.

More information and education will be available at the “Know the Facts, No Sigma Conference” this upcoming spring on March 19.