Gone Girl shocks moviegoers

By Matt Walsh

Ben Affleck in Gone Girl                                Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

Ben Affleck in Gone Girl Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

David Fincher’s latest film, “Gone Girl,” is a stunning and complex spin on American marriage culture. It’s filled with twists and turns from beginning to end and constantly keeps the viewer guessing.

Based on the bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl” centers around Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his beautiful wife Amy (Rosamund Pike), who appear to have it all. Although hard economic times caused them to change careers, they reside happily in the small town of North Carthage, Miss., where Nick co-owns a bar with his sister, Margo. In the film, their wedding anniversary is approaching, but instead of enjoying it, Nick’s life will be turned upside down under extraordinary circumstances.

On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick returns home to find the home in disarray, such as a smashed coffee table in the living room. Amy is nowhere to be found. He immediately reports her missing. Word quickly spreads of Amy’s disappearance and the police and members of the community work tirelessly to find her. In return, it sparks a massive media circus and the spotlight turns to Nick, who begins to behave rather strangely.

The authorities soon grow suspicious of Nick, as they discover circumstantial evidence inside his home that points to his possible involvement in Amy’s disappearance. There are signs of violent struggle in other parts of the home, such as the kitchen. In addition, a series of secrets begin to emerge in regards to Nick’s personal life that paint him as the ultimate suspect. The portrait of Nick’s seemingly flawless marriage erodes amidst reports of adultery, domestic violence and financial troubles. He doesn’t fully realize that he is becoming his own worst enemy. This leaves the citizens of North Carthage asking a stunning question: Is it possible that Nick killed his own wife?

Ben Affleck was perfectly cast in the role of the unpredictable Dunne. Affleck, for example, was able to portray his character as being charming and handsome in one instance, but psychologically dark and tortured in the next. It is a realistic depiction of someone whose image is in turmoil under intense media scrutiny; yet not comprehending the consequences of their actions.

Apart from Affleck, Rosamund Pike gives a stellar performance as Amy. Rolling Stone describes it as being “dazzling, depraved and dynamite.” Although known primarily for supporting roles, the British actress stands out in her strong, breakout role.

Supporting appearances by Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris didn’t hurt the production, either. Perry adds comical relief in his small, but crucial role as the determined defense lawyer, Tanner Bolt. Harris creates tension as a mysterious lover from Amy’s past.

Flynn’s screenplay, according to the Huffington Post, remains extremely faithful to the original source. The plot is structured as a nonlinear storyline, rotating between Amy’s diary entries, which is a backstory for their relationship, and Nick’s commentary, which follows him as the mystery is unearthed.

The story is a relevant, yet stunning portrayal of the impact of media, dishonesty, and economic recessions and how they can put strains on one’s well-being.

Crime alerts from homecoming weekend

OFFENSE: Attempted Sexual Assault

LOCATION: Exterior of Golden Bear Village South Building # 30
DATE: October 18, 2014 @ 2: 30 AM

Reported to the Police: October 18, 2014 @ 14:15 PM

The Kutztown University Department of Public Safety and Police Services is conducting an investigation into an attempted sexual assault, which occurred on October 18, 2014.  The assault is reported to have occurred in the exterior area of GBVS Building # 30 and the retention pond located in the interior of the complex. The University Police received the report of the incident on the 18th of October 2014, and have begun to investigate the incident. The alleged offender is described as a white male, heavy build, and approximately 6’0” to 6’2” in height. He may have had some facial hair. The alleged offender was wearing black pants and a white T shirt that had a logo on the chest area.  The victim was able to get free from the attacker by kicking his groin area and attacking his eye area with her hands.

If you feel uncomfortable in someone’s presence, trust your feelings and take steps to distance yourself from him or her. Don’t be afraid to make a scene if necessary. Tell someone! If you are victimized, KU has several resources that can help. KU Heart can be reached by calling the BWIC Hotline at 610-372-9540.

Report any suspicious persons or activity to the University Police. Call for an on-campus walking escort when you are without one, by dialing 34002 from any on campus phone or 610-683-4002 from your cell phone.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact the University Police at Extension 34001 or 610-683-4001. Confidential information can be given by dialing extension 3TIPS or 38477 from an on campus telephone..

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CRIME ALERT

OFFENSE: Sexual Assault

LOCATION: Exterior of Schaeffer Auditorium

DATE:  October 19, 2014 @ 1:30 AM

Reported to the Police: October 19, 2014 @ 2:45 AM 

The Kutztown University Department of Public Safety and Police Services is conducting an investigation into a reported sexual assault, which occurred on October 19th, 2014.

The Sexual assault is reported to have occurred outside Schaeffer Auditorium. The University Police received the report of the incident on the 19th of October 2014, and have begun to investigate the incident. The alleged offenders are known to the victim and have been identified to the police.

If you feel uncomfortable in someone’s presence, trust your feelings and take steps to distance yourself from him or her. Don’t be afraid to make a scene if necessary. Tell someone! If you are victimized, KU has several resources that can help. KU Heart can be reached by calling the BWIC Hotline at 610-372-9540.

Report any suspicious persons or activity to the University Police. Call for an on-campus walking escort when you are without one, by dialing 34002 from any on campus phone or 610-683-4002 from your cell phone.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact the University Police at Extension 34001 or 610-683-4001. Confidential information can be given by dialing extension 3TIPS or 38477 from an on campus telephone.

CA # 05-2014

Newspaper readership program cut significantly

By Emily Leayman

Student Government Board has cut the USA Today Collegiate Readership Program from $22,000 to $10,000, with only the New York Times and USA Today remaining in the Academic Forum and McFarland Student Union.

One major change is the disappearance of newspapers in all but two buildings, according to Matt Assad, SGB’s treasurer. Newspapers used to be available in buildings where faculty would pick them up, such as Old Main, Sharadin and Boehm. Assad said this decision resulted partly from SGB’s desire to have the newspapers only in “student-dominant” buildings: the MSU and AF.

The Philadelphia Inquirer is no longer available after an analysis last year showed people only used 10 percent of them per day. The New York Times, however, averaged about 150 to 200 newspapers picked up per day and USA Today averaged 100 to 150. Assad said the Reading Eagle hoped to participate in the Readership Program in the past, but the price was too steep.

“It’s been a declining program for the past couple of years,” said Assad, noting that many students go online for news today.

Financial reasons played a part, too. According to Assad, the $10,000 cut from the Readership program did not transfer to anything else. He said that SGB needed to make cuts due to a decline in enrollment. The student activity fee, which pays for student organizations and programs like the USA Today program, went up only $1 from last year’s $121 to this year’s $122.

So far Assad did not receive any feedback from students. He has received a response from one faculty office, asking what happened to the newspapers and if they would return.

“It is a paper that is paid [for] by the students,” he said. “Wherever the students go, the paper should go too.”

Assad said his committee on SGB had worked on a way to keep the program. The Readership Program is based on a yearly contract, so SGB reassesses it every year based on average numbers of newspapers picked up daily.

“I’m hoping with the restructuring of the program, it can continue to go on,” Assad said.

Because SGB noticed many students receiving their news online, the possibility of digital subscriptions came up in the past. Assad wants to bring this up this year after researching if digital subscriptions could be given to the student body and if they would be affordable.

New sexual assault policy has good intentions but bad effects for victims

By Brenna Everdale

Photo by Ashley Fries

Photo by Ashley Fries

Picture this scenario: you walk into a room about the size of a classroom. The room is filled with girls close to your age, but some are much younger. You all introduce yourselves, and within the next hour, half the room is in tears, and almost everyone has revealed that they’ve been sexually assaulted.

A sobbing girl no older than fifteen tells the group that she blames herself for her violent rape, committed by her cheating boyfriend. The girl next to her, around the same age, comforts her and offers empowering words. The room has become a safe space, where everyone feels loved and supported. Many of the girls are sharing their stories for the first time. You are incredibly moved by the strength of these girls, and you are enraged that they’ve been betrayed so deeply by the people they trusted the most.

What is happening in this room is beautiful, inspiring and heartbreaking all at the same time. This was my experience at a workshop at the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference, which is held annually in Washington, DC.

With the exception of those who work for counseling services in the health center, all university employees are now required by law to report any mention of gender-based crimes (including sexual assault, harassment, stalking and dating violence) to Public Safety and to Jesus Pena, Vice President for Equity and Compliance and Title IX coordinator.

Students are no longer guaranteed a confidential safe space if they wish to speak about their experiences in a paper, speech, during class, or privately to a professor.

I do not doubt that this new policy was enacted in order to help victims obtain justice, but I believe the effect is very different.

Many victims do not wish to file a report for a variety of reasons. In actuality, what this policy does is strengthen the culture of silence that exists around gender-based crimes. Victims are discouraged from speaking up and sharing their experiences with their peers and professors, because it will create extra work for their professors and victims will have to file a report against their will.

It is no secret that the vast majority of victims of these crimes are women. To me, this policy is infantilizing and insulting.

There is no such policy requiring professors to intervene when a student tells the class that they’ve been mugged or attacked.

Why should victims of gender-based crimes be singled out as somehow incapable of making decisions for themselves?

Obviously victims should be encouraged to file a report and seek justice, but this can be done without scaring them away or forcing them into things against their will. I believe a more effective policy would be to simply educate victims about their options.

Clubs organize concert

By Taylor Ohlinger

Chance the Rapper Photo courtesy of desertsun.com

Chance the Rapper
Photo courtesy of desertsun.com

In April of spring 2014, KU’s Student Government Board teamed up with members of the Association of Campus Events in an effort to bring Chance The Rapper to KU. Members of the concert committee include Joe Scoboria, Matt Assad, Letecia Garcia, Tyler Wensche and the executive board members of ACE.

“With the help of VP of Enrollment Management, Kim Scranage, we were able to reach out to the proper offices at KU to bring everyone to the table before summer,” said SGB President, Joe Scoboria. “The Office of Student Involvement was also of major assistance in this effort leading into the three-month break.”

Over summer break, Scoboria was able to keep in contact with the committee. By early August the committee booked Chance to perform at KU during Homecoming weekend on Oct. 18.

Chance The Rapper began his music career in December 2012 after the release of his song “Windows” from his mix-tape “10 Day.” This song put him on Complex magazine’s list “10 New Chicago Rappers to Look Out For.” In 2012, Chance joined friend and rapper Childish Gambino on his North American concert tour as the opening act. Chance’s second mix-tape, “Acid Rain,” is his most commonly known and performed mix-tape to date. This mix-tape received universal acclaim and was nominated for Best Mix-tape at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards.

Chance The Rapper will kick off his Verge Campus Fall Tour 2014 on Sept. 29 at Cal-Poly Pomona and will visit 18 schools across the U.S., including Kutztown. When asking Scoboria for his final thoughts on the show, he said, “I give full credit to everyone on the concert committee who made this possible. I look forward to the event, and cannot wait to hear feedback from all the students in attendance. Standing in line with students when the tickets first went on sale on Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 9 a.m., everyone was excited and I could tell the students were pleased with SGB and ACE.”

Plans underway for a revamped off-campus housing website

By Taylor Vincent

Currently, the Kutztown Community Partnership is fixing the off-campus housing website that is available on the “current students” page of the Kutztown University website and creating a new one. This new website will be more efficient and user friendly for first time students looking to rent. The website is expected to include a roommate finder, apartment pictures, price, included amenities, Google map location, landlord contact information, semester availability and more. The expected launch is in late October.

With the launch of the website, KCP hopes to give students living on-campus other housing options as well as a life option. The off-campus experience aims to promote students to assist in becoming independent adults.

The KCP is a non-profit organization located at 324 W. Main Street. This organization is community organized and operated. It is focused on preserving Kutztown through charity, education, public safety and other purposes. KCP strives to unify the community by maintaining economic stability in historic Kutztown, while developing ideas toward a better future.

KCP is made up of members from local businesses, town officials and other residents including Mayor Sandy Green. Nancy Brooks is the Main Street manager, and is the only paid member of KCP. Brooks works closely with KCP intern Rebecca Lichtenthal, a student at KU, and KCP Vice President Pete Smith, owner of Eagle Point Property Management.

These volunteers run programs such as Safe Clean, Green, KuBok, Muscle on Main, Trick or Treat night and the Good Neighbor Program. Lichtenthal said, “These events are put in place to help bring the community together to make it a better place to live.”

Upon speaking with Lichtenthal, I have been informed that KCP is trying to “bridge the gap” between the university and the town. She said, “The future of the town includes all of the people that live here, including the students.” KCP is working with the university to involve more students in the community.

For more information, questions or concerns, contact Kutztown Community Partnership (KCP); 324 W. Main Street Kutztown, PA 19530; (484) 646-9069. Website: http://www.keepinitkutztown.com

Enrollment VP to leave office on Oct. 10

By Julia Grimaldi

Kim Scranage Photo Courtesy of The Lane Report

Kim Scranage
Photo Courtesy of The Lane Report

The vice president of enrollment management is a new staff position which Kutztown University added last October. This position involved overseeing admissions, enrollment, financial aid, the registrar’s office, institutional research and college readiness, including the CONNECTIONS program. More universities have been adding this position in recent years, but after only a year of its creation, the university is about to lose it.

The current vice president of Enrollment Management, Kim Scranage, will be leaving KU on Oct. 1, 2014 to the vice president of Enrollment and Degree Management at the University of Northern Kentucky. With so many duties left to the vice president, students may wonder how this lack of position will impact their academic success. “None of the jobs have been eliminated,” said Matt Santos, director of university relations. “They just have been dispersed through other areas in the administration.”

Kutztown University is still led by Dr. Vargas, acting president, but the University is currently searching for a permanent president for next year. In terms of Dr. Vargas looking for a new vice president of enrollment management, he said, “As an acting president, you wouldn’t go out and replace a position at that level, because you want to leave that up to the person that is coming in.”

Though Kim Scranage is leaving Kutztown, her vision will stay with the University. “The new president will really need to look at [what she did for the University] and see where we go long-term with [the position], but enrollment and retention is super important to the health of the University long-term, and [the vice president of enrollment management position] plays a major part in that,” said Santos. “We definitely need to continue to keep up the momentum that Kim started in the past year, and wish her the best in her job in Northern Kentucky.”