Bartending class aims to educate in safety, regulation

It’s not all about pouring drinks and making tips.

For Joei Aragon, who started a bartending workshop this semester at the University with her husband, teaching safety is equally if not more important than some of the more stereotypical benefits of bartending.

 “We have to teach the safety aspect as well,” Aragon said. “You are serving a drug and you need to measure out your drinks … and know how to make them correctly.”

Aragon said she has seen too many bartenders allow people to cross the line, which can have some pretty awful consequences, she said.

“When people leave our class, they can say they know how to do it right,” Aragon said.

Aragon and her husband both have more than 25 years of experience in the bartending business. She started in Cleveland at 18 years old and has bounced around to Chicago and Los Angeles, “working in some pretty high profile places,” she said.

These “high profile” locales have addresses like Rodeo drive.

“With this class, students are getting our life experience,” Aragon said.

The couple has owned bartending schools in California, “In Ventura, right in the hub of everything,” she said.

Aragon said she wanted to continue this service when she and her husband came to Bowling Green.

“This is the one thing we really know,” she said. “We just moved to BG a year ago and wanted to bring it to people here.”

The bartending classes have ended for this year, but Aragon is looking to the future.

“We would love to keep doing it at BG,” she said. “As long as students are interested we will keep doing it.”

Rita Myers, a resident of Bowling Green, frequently attends the bartending classes in Olscamp Hall.

“I have wanted to open a pub since I was young,” Myers said. “This class has given me basic knowledge of the background workings of a bar and helped me to learn the laws, which is important.”

Myers discussed why a knowledgeable bartender is vital in a town like Bowling Green.

“It is important to have a bartender that can cut you off,” she said.

Audrie Veres said she has been friends with Myers for quite some time and also took the bartending classes.

“Rita and I have had a dream to open an Irish pub and work with each other,” Veres said.

She added that she does not want to be the stereotypical bartender.

“I have had so many friends in accidents and I want to make it safe,” Veres said.

The classes have not just been a bartending course, but a tips course with a legal aspect, she said.

“Joei has taught us how to check IDs, what percent alcohol is in each drink … we learned how to do it right,” Veres said.

Veres also had some positive remarks for Aragon’s instruction.

“She is a fantastic instructor,” Veres said. “I’ll be honest I didn’t exactly know what to expect with the class … but it was everything I could have hoped for times ten.”

Daughter Project builds home for sex trafficking victims

The cement foundation has been poured, the wooden frame built, windows set and the carpet lain. Jeff Wilbarger’s dream has become a reality. The Daughter Project is putting the finishing touches on the home it has been building for women rescued from sex trafficking.

Awareness of sex trafficking has been promoted by numerous anti-trafficking groups throughout the country and even in the blockbuster film “Taken” starring Liam Neeson. However, many in Wood County and the neighboring counties are unaware that trafficking is taking place in their area.

“John Kasich signed an executive order creating a 90-day task force to develop a coordinated game plan for attacking modern-day slavery in Ohio,” reported Jim Provance, Columbus Bureau chief, in an article for The Toledo Blade published March 30.

The “slavery” Provance refers to is sex-trafficking, and in this category Toledo ranks third in the nation.

When Wilbarger, a math and physics instructor in Bowling Green, first read about this “modern-day slavery” taking place all throughout the world, he felt compelled to help women unfortunately put in this position. What Wilbarger did not know initially was that Toledo marked a major hub for sex trafficking, due in large part to the intersection of two major highways: Interstate 75 and Interstate 80.

“About three years ago I began to sense that God wanted me to do something more with my life,” Wilbarger said. “This was not ‘midlife’ crisis or simply a time for a career or life change. I was very content with my life, my family and my career. Rather, this sense of calling was to continue in my career but to also step up and do something more.”

During this time his son-in-law gave him the book, “Not for Sale” by David Batstone, which documented the stories of the lives of people who had been trafficked for labor or sex, both internationally and domestically, Wilbarger said.

“I only read the first two chapters because the reality of the stories was too intense for me and that was all I needed for motivation,” he said.

His response to this motivation in his life was to create a home for women rescued from sex trafficking.

The home will house six women at a time. There will be house moms who will prepare meals for the women and mentors.

What makes The Daughter Project different from other organizations is that the mentors in the home will teach the women the Gospel of Christ.

Many people have become involved with the mission of the Daughter Project throughout this past year, joining committees and giving time and energy to help the cause.

Megan Metzger joined the spiritual mentorship committee, which is in charge of interviewing the house moms and mentors that will be staying with the rescued women in the house.

“It will be a Christian home that the girls can receive counseling in,” Metzger said. “We want them to go out and live normal lives, have good marriages and build good families.”

Metzger said that the response to the home has not been all positive.

“Some people in the community were not happy about the home being built,” Metzger said. “They didn’t understand the purpose of it and were afraid that pimps were going to come to their community looking for the girls.”

Metzger said a lot of this negative reaction has died down since a year ago.

“The FBI told us that we would have no problem filling the house,” Metzger said, in relation to how rampant sex trafficking is in Toledo.

Metzger spoke of how the build process has been going as of late.

“Basically, they are just finishing up putting appliances in,” Metzger said. “We hope to be up and running this summer.”

Metzger mentioned that the contents of the house, from rugs and bedsheets to wood and concrete has been fueled by donations.

Chelsea Groenewegen, a University alumna and staff member with H2O Church on campus, recently hosted a shower for the Daughter Project home.

“I have friends involved with The Daughter Project,” Groenewegen said. “It really disturbed me what these girls go through.”

Guests at the shower brought appliances, lamps, pillows, gift cards and anything that would create more of a home feel for the interior of the rescue house.

“Being a woman and seeing girls trapped breaks my heart,” Groenewegen said. “I wanted to shower them with blessings so the home looks beautiful. Even contributing a lamp to The Daughter Project is awesome.”

Film Festival

Just The Facts

Friday at 7:30 p.m. the 13th annual BGSU Film and Media Festival gets underway at the Gish Theater.

Friday night: Showcase of stand-up comedians and judges will take questions from the audience after a screening of their work.

Saturday: Student film exhibition, student work will be screened in two blocks, the first from 3-6 p.m. and the second from 7-11 p.m.

Sunday night: 7:30 p.m. The awards ceremony (has been moved from the Union theater to the Gish)

A night of stand-up comedy, student film and awards are in store this weekend as the 13th annual BGSU Film and Media Festival gets underway. The event is dually hosted by BG Reel and the University Film Organization.

Quinn George, University Film Organization president and senior, said he hopes the festival will do two things.

“I hope that it brings attention to the high quality of work being created by BGSU students,” George said. “And that student’s work will be recognized and rewarded amongst their peers.”

George discussed why they have decided to show some of the judges’ work to start the festival.

“It will help the participants know who they are being judged by so they have a point of reference,” George said. “We brought in an alumnus, Matt Smith, as one of the judges to show the work that BG film graduates have been able to accomplish outside of college.”

Jordan Salkil is the other judge, and he is a local film-maker who runs Eye Open Pictures.

More than 30 student films will be shown on Saturday, the number was difficult to come to, George said. Last year there were only 30 submissions, but this year submissions included 50 films, and it was difficult to cut a lot of them, George said.

As president, George has had a lot on his plate the last month. He aided in selecting the student films and making sure all are “up to par,” secured the judges and locations, tracked down prizes and awards and basically took care of any of the organizational minutia that goes into an event of this size.

“It has been quite stressful,” George said. “This is the second year I have helped organize the festival, and I would not have been able to do it without all the help of the UFO officers. They have been a huge help.”

George discussed why the festival is so important to the film community and the campus in general.

“We want to have a big blowout event for all the film students at the end of the year,” George said. “So they can see other work that has been going on outside their circle of friends and can have their work recognized.”

Ethan Roberts is the treasurer of UFO and is on the planning board for the Film and Media Festival. He also discussed the festival and its significance.

“Any university with a film production program needs a venue for students to showcase their work,” Roberts said. “There is an important tradition of viewing film.”

This year the Festival opened up for students all over Ohio to submit their work, and while it was only University students who submitted work this year, Roberts explained why they decided to make it available to everyone.

“We are hoping to increase our size and name brand,” Roberts said. “That way, winning the festival will have more weight and create as much diversity as possible.”

Not all of the students who submitted films are film majors, and Roberts said anyone interested in media production, including telecommunications, visual communication technology and broadcast, should get involved with the festival.

Richard Sanders, a sophomore film student, submitted two films, but neither was accepted into the festival.

“It is a very strong year for the media festival,” Sanders said. “There were strong submissions in the drama and comedy category and overall a very competitive year.”

While Sanders did not have any films accepted, he is hopeful for the future.

“You learn better for the following year, and it allows you to work on your craft more,” Sanders said. “Not getting in was disappointing, but hopefully I‘ll be there next year. It is a great opportunity to grow as a film-maker.”

Sanders said he is really looking forward to two films; “Funeral Procession” by Courtney Hutton and “Razorblades” by BG Reel.

“[Razorblades] looks to be a pretty killer film,” he said.

Cynthia Baron, an associate professor in the film department, has seen the progression of the festival.

“It’s a neat process to see the evolution because I’ve seen all thirteen years of the festival,” Baron said. “It is part of a continuing tradition and builds on past ones.”

Students tap in to early arrival of spring beers

Spring in January and Summer in March.

Unseasonably warm weather is not only impacting clothing choices for students, it is dictating what they are drinking. Beer companies have been coming out with Spring and Summer beer selections a season early throughout the past few years.

Mike Grant, manager of the BG Liquor Outlet on East Wooster, said that spring beers come out earlier and earlier every year.

“We had Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy in the beginning of March,” Grant said. “It is like an arms race for beer companies.”

Grant explained why there is such a craze around seasonal beers.

“It is the one time a year you can get these beers,” Grant said. “People want something different than what they have been drinking, and breweries create a sense that there are availability problems.”

Beer drinkers can expect a lighter style and ingredient changes such as the addition of lemon or lime in their spring and summer drinks, Grant said.

Griffin Jones, co-owner of Reverends, explained a bit more of what makes a spring and summer beer different.

“These drinks are more hop forward, more citrus flavored and can have more fruity aspects,” Jones said. “As opposed to chocolate or caramel notes you would find in winter beers. You want something more refreshing for pounders as opposed to sippers.”

During this time of year, students will find more wheat ales and pilsners, Jones said. Jones makes sure “anything with a lighter body,” is on tap.

Issa Baiz, manager at Falcon Food Mart, is amazed by how early seasonal beers have come out this year.

“I was so surprised some of these beers came in when they did,” Baiz said. “Beer companies probably wanted to take advantage of the good weather.”

Baiz said that there are a lot of summer beers lining his shelves right now, and he does not remember summer beers being out so early last year.

“Sam Adams spring beer came out in winter, and by the time it was actually spring it was off the shelves,” Baiz said.

Nate Ballinger, an alumnus of the University and Bowling Green resident, said he loves spring and summer beers.

“It’s great to drink light, crisp, refreshing beers in warm weather,” Ballinger said. “A lot of people go nuts for fall beers; I go nuts for spring.”

Ballinger commented on spring and summer beers seemingly coming out earlier every year.

“Breweries are smart,” Ballinger said. “They know people get excited when they see new seasonal beers. The only downside is that people might get tired of a seasonal beer by the time it actually gets to the season.”

So break out the folding chairs, fill the coolers with ice and grab your favorite summer drink, because they are here, whether you are ready or not.

Alumnus named director of United Way in Wood County

Nicholas Kulik | Director

“With a small shop, we need to manage our time well and work together so that all our projects move forward … I want to make sure nothing gets left on the back burner.”

The United Way of Greater Toledo has appointed a new director in Wood County.

Nicholas Kulik, a resident of Bowling Green and an alumnus of the University, is now in charge of the United Way operations in Wood County.

While at the University, Kulik majored in journalism and served as the philanthropy chairperson of Pi Kappa Phi. He also served in the AmeriCorps program, where he managed after-school events for Bowing Green Teen Central, according to a press release sent out by Keli Kreps, marketing manager for the United Way of Greater Toledo.

Before he became the new director, the United Way hired Kulik as a development officer, where he managed a portfolio of more than 500 accounts while he supervised United Way’s loaned executive team.

His other experience includes work with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Northwest Ohio and Push America in Charlotte, N.C.

Kulik said he is adjusting to the new position of director.

“I have to wear a lot of different hats, because it’s a small office,” Kulik said. “I am the only full-time staff person right now in Wood County.”

Kulik said his roles as director will entail working with other nonprofits for “community impact,” marketing work and fundraising.

However, talking to people and getting a sense of what Wood County needs as a community is top priority right now, Kulik said.

“With a small shop, we need to manage our time well and work together so that all our projects move forward,” he said. “I want to make sure nothing gets left on the back burner.”

While no official partnerships have been made, Kulik listed some organizations he hopes will work with the United Way in the future. The exchange club at the University, Kiwanis Club, Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce a nd the Northwest Ohio Association of Fundraising Professionals were organizations that Kulik named.

Atonn Smeltzer, administrative assistant and communications and IT manager at the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, said he hopes the United Way will work with the Chamber of Commerce in the future.

“The United Way has a great reputation for volunteerism and community service, which would make them an ideal partner for almost any community-based initiative,” Smeltzer said. “They also have access to a large workforce of volunteers, so they could potentially bring a lot of hard-working people to help with any such event.”

Smeltzer said the Bowling Green 4th of July fireworks display and the holiday parade are two events the Chamber of Commerce and the United Way could partner on.

Theresa Kelso, who works in donor services and administration at the United Way in Wood County, said working with Kulik has been very enjoyable.

“He brings a lot of energy to the position,” Kelso said. “And a lot of enthusiasm.”

Kelso talked about what Kulik has been doing since appointed to the director position.

“He has been spending quite a bit of time meeting with volunteers and community members to talk about their hopes and aspirations for the county,” Kelso said. “He is connected to our community and cares about what happens in Wood County.”

Viral video calls out religion, sparks debate

TITLE:

“Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus || Spoken Word”

Link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

Video description on YouTube:

“A poem I wrote to highlight the difference between Jesus and false religion. In the scriptures Jesus received the most opposition from the most religious people of his day. At it’s core Jesus’ gospel and the good news of the Cross is in pure opposition to self-righteousness/self-justification. Religion is man centered, Jesus is God-centered. This poem highlights my journey to discover this truth. Religion either ends in pride or despair. Pride because you make a list and can do it and act better than everyone, or despair because you can’t do your own list of rules and feel not good enough for God. With Jesus though you have humble confident joy because He represents you, you don’t represent yourself and His sacrifice is perfect putting us in perfect standing with God!”

—Jefferson Bethke

There are two things we are told never to speak of during polite dinner conversation; politics and religion. The two “hot button” issues tend to spark lively and sometimes even hostile debate.

Jefferson Bethke certainly sparked some debate with his YouTube video titled “Why I hate Religion, but Love Jesus.” The video has gone viral, garnering more than 20 million views on YouTube and has been shared on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, across the belief spectrum including Christians and atheists.

 Bethke, a cross between a spoken word poet and a rapper, said in the video “Jesus came to abolish religion” and that it has not been successful in helping the masses.

“Why does [religion] build huge churches, but fail to feed the poor?” he said in the video.

For some, the message that Bethke is presenting may seem counterintuitive. He professes the Christian faith, but said he despises religion.

Kevin Crawford, lead pastor of Brookside Evangelical Free Church in Bowling Green, said that Bethke is not in fact contradicting himself.

“It is important to define how he is using [the word] religion,” Crawford said. “The legalist would say that you have to earn credit with God.” Crawford said Bethke is opposing this legalistic view of religion.

“It cannot be Jesus plus anything like good works,” Crawford said. “It is just about Jesus.”

Kevin Stetter, a 2009 University graduate who works in the campus ministry for St. Thomas More Catholic Parish, felt differently about Bethke’s message.

“He is operating off of a biased definition of religion,” Stetter said. “Religion is more than empty rituals.”

Stetter went on to say that Bethke’s view is “misinformed” when he said Jesus came to abolish religion.

“It says in Scriptures that Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it,” Stetter said. “Maybe he just missed that verse.”

Sam Schmitt, a junior at the University and a member of the Bowling Green Secular Society, is an atheist.

“Where [Bethke] is saying you go wrong is when you believe in an institution more than Jesus,” Schmitt said.

Schmitt added that the number of hits the video has received speaks to how poignant the message is.

“I think the amount of views for this video proves that these are questions that are on the minds of young people,” Schmitt said.

Another point that Bethke used his cyber platform for was to talk about the state of the church.

“The church should not be a museum for good people, but a hospital for the broken,” Bethke said in the video.

There are no perfect people within the church, so it cannot be a museum for good people, Crawford said.

Schmitt agreed with what Crawford said about people’s imperfection.

“Real people are not perfect,” Schmitt said. “All people are flawed. You can’t think you’re good enough to hang out with Jesus.”

While Stetter said he mostly agrees with what Bethke said about the church, he said what Bethke is saying is not a difficult point to make.

“Pointing out hypocrisy is like shooting fish in a barrel,” Stetter said. He added that what is difficult is showing Christ’s love to the masses.

Stetter said Christ wanted unity for the church and that is not happening between different denominations within Christianity.

“The church is divided,” Stetter said. “There are over 44,000 different denominations. Does that seem like unity to you?”

Stetter, Crawford and Schmitt all agreed on a benefit of the video: the creation of a venue for honest dialogue.

“The video causes people to think about the issues and self-reflect,” Schmitt said. “There is also an undertone of challenging authority. When you won’t take the bishop’s or priest’s or pastor’s word for it, you’ll go and seek out answers for yourself.”

While the video sparked debate among people, it vexed others, Stetter said.

“If he is misinformed he can offend people,” Stetter said. “Our pastor was quite offended.”

Crawford also felt that responses to the video were not all positive.

“It’s negative when Christians are being divisive within the Church,” Crawford said. “[Bethke] is communicating outwardly and trying to start a conversation between believers and non-believers.”

Another “hot button” issue addressed by Bethke in the video is politics.

“What if I told you voting Republican really wasn’t [Christ’s] mission? What if I told you Republican doesn’t automatically mean Christian?” Bethke said in the video.

Crawford said politics will not change our culture and only the message of the Gospel will bring about real change.

“Our culture has affiliated Evangelical Christians with Republicans,” Crawford said. “Christians are not always Fox watchers and Rush Limbaugh listeners.”

Stetter agreed that neither political party is necessarily Christian.

“There is no consistent ethic in politics,” Stetter said. “The church has a consistent ethic.”

Schmitt felt Bethke’s message could be an example of younger Christians trying to distance themselves from an older, more conservative generation.

“It could also be that the religious right is embarrassing,” Schmitt said.

Bethke’s video has caused a discussion in the faith community and the wealth of video responses, ranging from praise to staunch objection, as well as commenting in online forums, speaks to that.

Bethke stated on his Facebook page that he welcomes the input.

“I love the responses, suggestions and critiques,” Bethke stated. “I am thankful for healthy discussion.”

New pub to bring Irish swigs, jigs

The old Buffalo Wild Wings location is under new ownership and will be transformed into an Irish pub and restaurant.

The owners of City Tap, a bar and grill on Main street, purchased the wing franchise’s former location on the corner of East Wooster street and South Prospect street.

 Eric Pelham, one of the owners of City Tap, said that they are hoping to open the new location this summer in May.

“It will be a similar business,” Pelham said in comparison to City Tap. “It will be a town-oriented place during the day, and at 11 it will turn into a bar.”

With the new pub having multiple functions, Pelham expects everyone in town will be happy with it.

“From diners to drinkers, we want to provide options for people in town and college kids,” Pelham said.

A name for the establishment has already been agreed upon: The Stones Throw, Pelham said.

“What makes it an Irish pub is the fact that we will serve Irish staples like shepherd’s pie and different whiskey and beer options,” Pelham said. “We also want to provide an atmosphere with lots of stone, to present [the pub] feel to customers.”

Pelham said the new location is currently a work in progress, as they are doing a lot to the interior and exterior. He said when they are finished, it will look like a completely different place.

Outdoor dining will be provided for customers on the patio, and Pelham said they want to incorporate live musical entertainment, specifically acoustic performers.

Cory Breth, a senior at the University who has played at different bars downtown, said he is excited about the possibility of another venue to play his style of music, which is an acoustic, singer-songwriter style.

“This sounds like a good place for acoustic acts to get their names out and share their music,” Breth said. “I think people will respond well to this type of venue.”

Breth said a lot of the downtown music scene is centered more on dance clubs with hip hop music and rock shows that are more “amped up.”

Breth said he may not be able to reap the benefits of the new location, as he is uncertain he will remain in Bowling Green after graduation; however he feels this new venue “will be a perfect place that caters more to acoustic music.

“I hope that it goes well,” Breth said. “I want singer-songwriters to have more opportunities to play than I did.”

You can check out Breth’s music at corybreth.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/corybreth.

Nick Williams, a senior at the University and one of the head bartenders at Granite City in Maumee, said that an Irish pub could add something different to the downtown bar scene.

“An Irish pub brings a different atmosphere that’s more relaxed,” Williams said. “From what it sounds like, this new place could be similar to The Blarney in Toledo.”

Williams said he hopes the new pub in Bowling Green will have a better and more diverse beer selection than just the typical domestic beer choices at some bars.

For more information and pictures of the renovation process visit The Stones Throw on Facebook atfacebook.com/pages/The-Stones-ThrowTavernGrill/219065084848726.

Fame – Column

A person’s strivings to be famous are related to the realization of the magnitude of their insignificance and, thus, are an attempt to counteract that realization.

This is something I came up with the other day, and I wanted to talk for a moment about fame.

I think we all want fame to some degree. Perhaps there are a few stoic souls out there who want nothing to do with the limelight, but for now I am not speaking to those hypothetical anomalies.

We want to be remembered after we are dead.

Let’s take the common, everyday man. Let’s say that after this common man dies, he remains in the collective consciousness for about 50 years.

The people he touched while he was alive keep his memory intact by sharing his actions and wisdom with others. But once that time period elapses, his relevance fades and he is basically forgotten.

Comparatively, it can be assumed that the life of a famous person remains in the collective consciousness for longer, let’s say for arguments sake, 200 years.

That is why many want fame; we want to be remembered longer and are fearful of being forgotten entirely.

But in the scope of things, fame only prolongs the inevitable; given a long enough timeline, each of our memories will evaporate completely.

To quote the Book of James, “You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

Our lives are a mist (another translation says we are like a vapor) when compared to the gravity of existence.

So my hope is we all can find more fulfilling pursuits than the pursuit of fame. With that said, I am not yet above this pursuit I dispel.

I often find myself fantasizing about being interviewed on late-night talk shows for my “intellectual” thoughts on a given subject. But I also realize that this can be a consumptive delusion.

I challenge you with this question: if you find yourself engulfed in the striving to be famous, where are you finding contentment in your life? I hope that all people will search for peace and fulfillment earnestly and not stop until they find it.

Instead of wishing to one day become famous, look for something greater.

I believe we already look for something greater every day, but in the wrong places.

If one looks at the glorification of athletes, musicians, politicians and so forth, I think it is evident that, in human beings, is a desire to believe in something greater; however, it has taken the form of worshiping these so called “heroes.”

In conclusion, I leave you with this thought, as a man who experiences only glimpses of true contentment.

The freedom from the desire to be famous, the freedom from the desire to be “good enough” by worldly standards, the freedom from the want to be strong enough and smart enough, is exhilarating.

Hockey games yield low turnout

With a full house, the Falcons could be back at full strength.

“When an athletic stadium is packed, it has a totally different dynamic,” said senior Shawn Gilbert. “It is easy for the players to draw inspiration from a huge crowd.”

 Gilbert went on to say that a massive crowd acts almost as an extra teammate because of the energy generated from the fans.

At hockey games, that extra man seems to be missing.

The maximum capacity for the University’s Ice Arena is 5,000 people. This year the average home attendance is 1,772, which is about 35 percent full. The attendance this year is down from last season’s average of 2,167 and from 09-10 campaign’s average of 2,247, said Jason Knavel, assistant athletic director for athletic communications.

“There has been a dip.” Knavel said referring to attendance numbers, “There is no doubt about it.”

Knavel said the hockey program is in a phase of rebuilding, and attendance is really based on wins and losses.

Chris Bergeron, the head coach of the varsity hockey team, weighed in on the low attendance numbers.

“People want to follow a winner,” Bergeron said. “They want a team they can be proud of.”

The team is still rebuilding, but has been making some headway the last couple of weeks, sweeping Ohio State and splitting the series with Notre Dame, Alaska-Fairbanks and Western Michigan, he said.

Bergeron agreed with Gilbert about the importance of a packed stadium.

“No coach can fully express how important a full house is,” he said. “It is so valuable in creating atmosphere for the players. The Ice Arena has a low ceiling so it can get real loud in there with a lot of people.”

Apart from winning games, there are other ways to fill the seats, Bergeron said.

“We have to have a presence both on campus and in the community,” he said. “People have to see that our guys are good guys who go to class and are students as well as athletes.”

The University does the best it can to market for athletics, and getting people in the stadium is “more on us than anyone else,” he said.

Knavel said that while winning is perhaps the best way to increase attendance numbers, the University must do its part to help get people in the doors.

“We are always trying to find ways to improve attendance,” Knavel said. “We have to build a fanbase regardless of wins and losses.”

Gilbert hopes more people will start attending hockey games.

“The hockey team has been playing solid, and in the last few weeks they have beaten ranked opponents,” Gilbert said. “Plus everyone that I take to a game says, ‘That’s the best live sporting event I’ve ever been to.'”

Gilbert said there is an organized group on campus aiming to boost school spirit, called the Falcon Fanatics.

“They set the tone for the rest of the students because they are always on their feet,” Gilbert said. “They’re crazy.”

Gilbert said that well-organized groups of students, like the Falcon Fanatics, can change a culture that will lead to more excitement and better attendance at sporting events.

“People are more likely to cheer when a whole group is cheering too,” he said.

Longboarders gain culture, catch thrills

Between a longboarder and the pavement there is a board (otherwise known as a deck), there are trucks, which are used when turning, four urethane wheels, metal or ceramic bearings and riser pads to prevent “wheel bite” during a turn.

It is almost identical to a skateboard except for the size and perhaps the shape depending on the board.

For some in the longboarding community, there is a definite culture surrounding the hobby, so much so that the word “hobby” could easily be replaced with “lifestyle.”

“Longboarding has a calming effect, and it is not so focused on tricks as, say, skateboarding. Instead it is focused on simply riding,” Craig Snyder, a junior at the University, said. “Plus, it makes commuting to class fun.”

Mark Musgrave, owner of Red Sky Surf and Snow in Toledo, said the culture of longboarding is not the same as that of skateboarding.

“It is almost like the difference between skiing and snowboarding because there are two completely different mindsets,” Musgrave said.

Red Sky sells longboards instead of skateboards because there is more of a crossover between longboarding and snowboarding,

The value or purpose of longboarding varies depending on the rider. However, there seems to be some elements that are universal.

“Adrenaline is a huge part of it,” Janelle Stout said.

Stout writes for a publication called Longboard Steeze Magazine and used to live in Bowling Green.

“I love speed. I like to go fast. I do it for the rush and the feeling of not knowing what will happen at the end of a hill,” Stout said.

Tyler Thompson, a member of the BGSU Longboarding Association, an organization which is not yet a legitimate student group on campus, wants more people to get involved with longboarding, he said. Currently, the group has roughly 20 core members.

“We are having our Second Annual BGSU Longboard Association Slide Jam and Clinic on April 14, and it would be great if people came out to support us,” Thompson said. “Our overall goal with the event is to get more people interested in downhill or sliding and just longboarding in general.”

Thompson said the event will contain other aspects, such as teaching new riders different techniques and safety tips.

You can get involved with the group by joining the BGSU Longboarding Association on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/groups/bgsulongboardingorganization/.

Learning how to longboard should not seem like a daunting task to any beginner, Snyder said.

“I never envisioned myself on a longboard, but now I love it,” Snyder said. “I am about 6’5″ and used to play football, and I managed to pick it up quick. When you start out, have someone with you who has boarded before. Find an empty parking lot with not a lot of cars, so you don’t bump into anything.”

Learning how to do anything may come with challenges, yet Stout encourages beginners to keep riding even when there are trials that make it difficult.

“No matter what, don’t give up,” Stout said. “It will be challenging, especially when other people progress faster than you. Whether you are riding for fun or want to make it to the Gravity Games, you can’t hang your board up.”