Mr. and Mrs. say goodbye to Oakland University
By Lauren Barthold – News Director
The past week brought much breaking news on the campus of Oakland University (OU).
On Wednesday, OU President Dr. Gary D. Russi suddenly announced his retirement in an email to students.
In it, he recapped some of his accomplishments and said, “During my tenure, I am proud that the University has experienced tremendous growth. Our student population has grown to nearly 20,000, and the academic credentials of incoming first-year students have improved significantly. More than 65 new academic degree programs have been added since 1995, and full-time faculty has grown to more than 500. During this time, Oakland University has invested – often with state support – more than $400 million to enrich environments for teaching, research, learning and living.”
Dr. Russi’s retirement is effective August 1st of this year, and the current Associate Vice President for Outreach, Betty J. Youngblood, Ph.D. will serve as interim president.
But it did not stop there.
Just a couple of hours later, a press release from OU’s athletic website, ougrizzlies.com announced that Dr. Russi’s wife and women’s basketball coach Beckie Francis had been “relieved of her position effective immediately”. Jeff Tungate will serve as interim coach.
Francis took to twitter to also recap, “The work I have been doing over last year to bring awareness to issue of sexual assault is a very personal passion; I will keep advocating.” She had tweeted earlier, “Looking forward to next phase of life. Gary & I have talked about retiring for a while now-it’s time for both of us. Wish Oakland the best.”
Research said otherwise. Francis is only 47 years old, leaving her a long way to the average retirement age. On top of that, Francis hired a new assistant on May 1st, along with participated in a Horizon League announcement that took place on May 8th in Detroit. By the looks of it, Francis had no plans to leave OU.
Click on the link below to listen as WXOU News talks with Sports Director Don Tottingham about the story, even offering his personal opinions on the whole thing.
Leader Dogs for The Blind – Good News
By Lauren Barthold – News Director
On Friday, May 17th WXOU News Director Lauren Barthold and Promotions Director Scott Hunter traveled to the Leader Dogs for the Blind Training Center in Rochester Hills, MI to interview a puppy trainer as they picked up their 50th dog. No trainer has ever worked with as many as 50, until now.
Nan Nellenbach of North Branch has been raising puppies since 1976.
Nellenbach enjoys helping others. “We all have our independence and we take it for granted, and I think that as long as this helps someone, well, I’m willing to give.”
“I would advise future trainers to be consistent, be appropriate for bad behavior, as well as give them a lot of praise for good behavior, and have fun,” Nellenbach said.
When Lauren asked if she would stop at 50, Nellenbach laughed and said, “Only if they make me!”
By: Misha Mayhand/WXOU News
This month is about “diversity and variety,” says Yolanda Jack, program director at Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in Detroit.
Jack, who also studies theater at Wayne State University, says the best part of her job is educating people about history.
“We (the museum) really try to appeal to all people, not just people of African descent,” Jack says.
“The history of African-Americans may seem like it’s targeted towards a specific culture but it’s really world history, it’s everyone’s history if you live on this planet.”
She says it’s essential that we educate ourselves on each other’s history and culture because diversity is what strengthens us.
Event Planning and Exhibits
Her main duty at the museum is making sure programs happen on time, but she admits each event has its own obstacles and challenges.
“Sometimes events take months and even years to develop,” Jack says.
“When planning exhibits we shoot for a lasting impact.”
One of the exhibits showcased is “Visions of our 44th President,” which features several displays of artist-decorated busts of President Obama symbolizing what his presidency means to them.
According to Jack, the “Visions of Our 44th President,” exhibit actually opened before the re-election of President Obama.
“Our main focus was the first election of Obama’s presidency and the fact that there is the significance of being the first African-American president, but when he was re-elected, we saw it as a continued opportunity to really think and talk about his legacy and how he’ll carry on,” Jack says.
“There are several issues that president Obama is focusing on that directly affects the city of Detroit.”
Recently inaugurated for his second term, President Obama’s agenda includes issues such as gun violence, building up the middle class and finding ways to build up communities so that they can become stronger.
“These are issues that directly affect Detroit and as a result they impact us here at the museum, because we see our history and what has happened in the past– in terms of things that have broken up our past communities,” Jack says.
Among the 44 artists that contributed to the exhibit, each decorated a bust with their artistic vision and interpretation of what Obama’s presidency means to them.
“There are categories like family, strength, dreams and ambitions, and attendees have the opportunity to see what people think when they see president Obama,” Jack says.
“It’s not a common thing for us to see a “President Obama,” some of us are still getting accustomed to it, even though it’s the fifth year in his presidency.”
Jack says, after the exhibit leaves the museum, it will travel around the country for all to see.
If you decide to visit, these are facts to consider
January 1, marked the 150th anniversary of “The Emancipation Proclamation,” and the museum has set up a number of activities related to that theme.
“We’ve done readings of The Emancipation Proclamation” and allowed guest to give their opinion on what the significance of the document is,” Jack says.
The museum is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of several events that took place during the civil rights movement in 1963, and have connected events to that as well. Aside from the Obama themed exhibit, there is also the “And Still We Rise Exhibit,” an exhibit that directly correlates with the 150th anniversary of “The Emancipation Proclamation,” and the 50th anniversary of the events that happened during the civil rights movement such as Dr. King’s “I have a Dream Speech.” This particular exhibit setup is a two-level exhibit that allows guest to take an in-depth walk through history, including an intimate tour of a slave ship.
There are six exhibits available to guest who want to learn more about African-American history or simply to those wishing to re-educate themselves while celebrating Black History Month.
Tuesday, Feb 19 at 7 p.m., the museum will hold a discussion panel about the Obama exhibit and his presidency in relation to voter’s rights.
“There is a lot to talk about in terms of voters rights, we’ve been dealing with a lot of voter’s rights questions for the last 6-8 months, and they’re still being dealt with right now,” Jack says.
“It’s a very important issue.”
She says the panel is an opportunity for open discussion in the community about these issues.
“If you’ve never seen this exhibit, I encourage everyone to see it, it’s really cool,” Jack says.
Preceding the discussion panel from 6 to 7p.m. the exhibit will be open and free to the public.
Museum admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and youth, and free for members and children under three.
For more information about the exhibits and how to get involved visit thewright.org.
Check out THIS interview with OUSC Vice President, Robbie Williford. The news team talk elections, homecoming and Meadow Brook Ball.
BY: Ashley Allison/WXOU News
Yesterday, the 47th Presidential Inauguration took place in Washington, D.C. President Obama was sworn into office for his second term and delivered his inaugural address.
He stated that, “the decade of war is now ending, an economic recovery has begun, America’s possibilities are limitless for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands.”
His speech centered around progress, not just in the near future but in many years to come, and to carry the light of freedom we as citizens have no matter what that future brings us.
Over 1 million people packed into the National Mall to get a glimpse of the president and other guests.
View the video to hear the inauguration speech in its entirety.
Video courtesy of The New York Times.
Robbie Williford, student body vice-president, sat down with WXOU news last Friday. Click the link to listen as he discusses the upcoming OUSC elections, bear bus and the gender neutral bathrooms.
Need more information on the recent smoking ban that was passed? Click the link above to hear Sean and Ashley’s news wrap on the subject. The piece also includes Cora Hanson, manager of Environmental Health and Life Safety.
Winter Welcome week events:
Thursday, Jan 3rd:
Noon to 1 p.m. in the pioneer food court there will be free root beer floats. *music by WXOU
From 7-9 p.m. the men’s basketball team will take on the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the O’rena.
Friday, Jan. 4th:
7-8 p.m. in the Vandenburg dining center will be “Friday Night Live” Comedy Show.
7-11 p.m. is Retro Night from 7-11 p.m. in Bumpers Game Room.
WXOU News caught up with Student Congress Vice President, Robbie Williford last Friday. Listen to the team and Robbie talk about the election as well as the many surveys being offered on campus to students.
WXOU 11/2 Click to Listen!
Need last minute voting help? Student Congress is throwing an event on November 1st, called Voting for Dummies. The event will help those who are still undecided or just want extra help researching the candidates.
As we are nearing November, the staff at WXOU news wants to make sure you are prepared to vote and we are here to help. Oakland will be holding many opportunities for students with questions about the election or candidates to seek answers and this is your first place to check for events!
Here is your first chance:
Oakland University’s Office of Government Relations will host a “Meet the Candidates Open House” from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion on campus. Many state house districts were invited to attend and will be able to take questions face-to-face.
This is a very unique and valuable opportunity for students. Remember, there is more than just the presidential vote!
For more information regarding this event contact OU’s Office of Government Regulations.
RSVP to email@example.com
Oakland students will get the opportunity to see Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan TODAY, Oct. 8, in conjunction with a campaign rally set for 7 p.m. in O’rena.
The campaign has set aside 300 tickets for students. They are available now at the CSA office.
No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids or signs will be allowed into the O’rena. Doors will open at 5 p.m.