Emergency Blue Lights: How They Can Help

There are twenty-nine emergency blue light call boxes on Saint Leo University’s campus, but how many people actually know about them or even know where they are?

Despite the twenty-four-hours-a-day seven-days-a-week campus security officers who travel on foot, golf carts, and even on mountain bikes, campus safety cannot be notified about every incident, but the emergency blue light call boxes can help control these incidents.

Some school campuses in America have blue light call boxes that connect to their local police stations, but the blue light call boxes on Saint Leo University’s campus connect to the emergency phone in campus security’s office which is on watch 24/7. Still, some of Saint Leo’s students know the call boxes exist on campus, but their knowledge of them is minimal.

“I knew about the emergency blue lights; I just didn’t know it was that many,” said Sophomore Jason Kendricks. “They should just get more in order to be more cautious because the nearest one between where I usually park and my apartment is by my apartment.”

When it comes to actual emergencies there have only been four since Mr. Mark Nash, campus safety Sargent of administration has been working here, but many assistance calls. Campus security checks and maintain these call boxes once every week.

Some students know about the call boxes and where some are, but wish there were more.    “I knew about the emergency blue lights,” said Freshman Ekaila Lindquist, “I just hate that between my walk to campus from my residence Marmion and Snyder on the hill it’s just one. At least one [is] obvious.”

Adding a couple more emergency blue light call boxes and making them more evident as to where they are can help eliminate the struggle to get to the nearest one. However, not all students attending Saint Leo University are aware of them.

“I’ve never heard about any emergency blue lights,” according to Sophomore Christian Moore.

As for now, campus safety plans on keeping and maintaining the emergency blue light call boxes.campus_map_commencement-page-001 (1)

Students Run to Help Make Wishes Come True

On Sunday, Oct. 11th as a conclusion of the Fall Family Festival at the University campus, Saint Leo hosted a charity event. About 50 people finished a 5K long race to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation.

Similarly to last year’s Breast Cancer Awareness 5K walk/race, this fall, Saint Leo University hosted Walk for Wishes 5K. The event was organized by the Student Government Union, the Campus Activities Board, and Saint Leo Athletics.

About 50 people, including students and their families as well as the local community, had decided to take part in the event. Everybody who wanted to participate in the race had to pay a fee of 5 dollars. Nevertheless, all the money that was collected during the event will be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation. As a reward for the donation, each participant received a dry-fit T-shirt, water bottle, bag, and Eos lip balm.

“Each year our main focus is to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation, and we have already granted a few wishes here at Saint Leo,” said the Assistant Athletic Director, Erin Mykleby who was a participant of the race as well. “Last year SGU and CAB hosted the Breast Cancer Awareness 5K. This year, Saint Leo Athletics and CAB decided to unify and support one organization together,” added Mykleby.

The race started at the Student Community Center Bowl at 11:30 a.m., and the course was lead through the university’s campus. The participants were provided with water on the course as well as refreshments at the finish line.

Since the main goal of the event was not competition but donating money to the Make a Wish, many people walked the course. Nevertheless, the event’s organizers had decided to reward the top three finishers with medals. The top runners, Rafael Lohner, Joseph Carney, and Madison Ozog, crossed the finish line respectively.

“It was a really nice course, and a great opportunity to see the Saint Leo campus again. It looks great, and I had a lot of fun during the race,” said a former Saint Leo Cross Country team member and the winner of the race, Rafael Lohner.

“What I love about the event is that I can help somebody else while doing what I like. I love running, and I am happy that I have the opportunity to help the Make a Wish Foundation through this sport. In my opinion, the foundation does a lot of good work, so it is enjoyable to support the organization,” added Rafael.

Not only had the participants of the race supported the Make a Wish last Sunday. In fact, many volunteers who had decided to sacrifice their time that morning had an impact on the event. The volunteers helped with the registration process as well as with organization during the race. They would give the runners water during the race, and provide them with directions on the course.

All the support for the Make a Wish Foundation will allow the organization to grant another wish to a child who has a life-threating medical condition. Saint Leo has been supporting the organization since 2003 when the NCAA Division II and the Make a Wish Foundation alliance was established. By organizing events like the Walk for Wishes 5K, Saint Leo continues to help the foundation sponsor children’s wishes.

Everybody who could not take part in the race last Sunday will have another opportunity to run with others on Oct.17th during the San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival and Run. The event includes 1-mile as well as 5-mile run. Additionally, the runners might take part in a team competition or a runner-dog race.

The event is not associated with the Make a Wish Foundation. Nevertheless, it is an opportunity from everybody in the local community to run with each other. Therefore, everybody who missed the race organized by Saint Leo University will have another chance to compete. The races will start at 8 a.m. and 8:10 a.m.5K Run Pic

Does America Want “Deez Nuts”?

When George Washington rallied thousands of soldiers together, he dreamed of building a country of true freedom. He sought independence from Great Britain and for citizens to seek their rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But never would America’s Founding Fathers dream of their people choosing a leader solely based off of a joke from the internet.

With the 2016 presidential election coming closer each day, voters across the country are watching and deciding on who could possibly fit best to run America from a number of candidate choices. But in late-July 2015, a strange phenomenon occurred when an independent candidate named “Deez Nuts” began to appear prominently in the polls, earning up to 9 percent of the popular vote in North Carolina.

The phrase blossomed from social media outlets in early 2015, and continued to explode with popularity once voters saw the name and placed their votes. According to Rolling Stone, “Deez Nuts” is actually a 15 year old boy from Iowa named Brady C. Olson, who filed a statement for candidacy as a joke as well as in protest of other candidates such as Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, and Jeb Bush.

“People are tired of having a two party system, which isn’t a very good match-making system,” said Michael Lacario, sophomore Ecology major. “They don’t like either candidate and [the candidates are] not talking about the real issues people care about.”

Oddly enough, “Deez Nuts” is by no means the only strange candidate of this year’s elections. Along with “Deez Nuts” is democratic candidate Limberbutt McCubbins—a cat from Louisville, Kentucky—according to CBS News. Both may be unable to be actually elected, but can still be voted for. Other strange candidates also include Vermin Supreme, a strange man who is commonly seen wearing a boot on his head and has been running for president since 2004. According to CNN, Supreme has made a number of wild claims for his presidency, such as promising every American a pony upon his election, requiring regulation of mandatory tooth brushing and preparation of the zombie apocalypse, and starting full funding of time travel research.

“I think there’s maybe two reasons [why people voted for Deez Nuts]: One, the people responding to the poll didn’t know that much about the candidates and so they were willing to vote for someone who is a joke name,” said Dr. Frank Orlando, Political Science Instructor. “Or they knew the candidates, they were disaffected, they didn’t like the candidates, and because of that they kind of wanted to stick it to the politicians running.”

While “Deez Nuts” lives as both a form of protest and a joke that unexpectedly caught on throughout the country, whether that joke is harmless or actually affects the politics of America’s elections by a large degree isn’t certain and up for debate among voters across the states.

“People need to really focus on who they’re going to vote for because it’s going to be whoever the next president of the United States is going to be,” said Emily Sheputis, senior Biology major. “Do your research, see who you really want to vote for and go out there and vote.”

Still, others believe the jokes and protests are effective, leading to some interesting events in the serious world of American politics.

“I think a vote for ‘Deez Nuts’ is a vote for change in our political system,” said Lacario. “We’re tired of elections being a popularity contest and who garners the most advertising money.”

A Change to Human Evolution

Human Evolution Pic

Human evolution has just gotten a lot more complicated with the discovery of a new species in South Africa, and cave divers Steven Tucker and Rick Hunter are the source. The findings that came about from their journey of cave diving has brought about the unveiling of Homo naledi. With its unusual combination of features and its unknown place in the evolution of humanity, Homo naledi is stumping researchers in where exactly it is located in the timeline. Another question and discussion are what exactly “the dawn of humanity” has in store for the future and the past of humanity.

South Africa is known as the Cradle of Humankind, where the first uncovering of humanity started. On Tucker and Hunter’s journey through Rising Star, a cave system 30 miles northwest of Johannesburg, they stumbled across Homo naledi. Its specific location was constricted further in the cave system because of a narrow tunnel called Superman’s Crawl – since one cannot pass through without carrying the pose of the man of steel in flight. Lee Berger, a paleoanthropologist (anthropologists who study ancient human remains) who commissioned many of these findings took teams of archeologists to find more pieces of the human fossils. To speed up the research and ability to inform those in the science field about the discovery, 50 people studied the sets of bones in a six week period of time. The overall haul-in for all of the bones came in with fifteen partial skeletons, varying from infant to elderly. There were four partial skulls – thought to be two male and two female – and with the teams of researchers reconstructing the bones, there were a mesh of shocking findings. The skeletons appearance have apish shoulders, a flared pelvis, and a skull that indicates the brain size is half the size of a human’s, while the bottom portion of the pelvis is modern and human-like. Homo naledi’s upper features are similar to apes while its lower features are similar to humans, making this species a transition species.

Unfortunately with Homo naledi being revealed in a cave underground, there are many issues about the approximate age of the skeletons are. While most discoveries are carbon dated and dated through the use of layers of rocks and the location of the bones, having Homo naledi within a cave makes it exceptionally difficult to put at date to it. The possibility of falling into the cave from varying time periods to turning the cave into a burial ground centuries later makes scientists unable to put the Homo naledi on the human evolution timeline until another more solid discovery of other Homo naledi bones can be found.

With Homo naledi not yet having a spot in chronological listing of the human evolution, some of those that have been discovered go as following: Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus afarensis, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, and finally Homo sapiens.

Ardipithecus ramidus is estimated to be 4.4 million years old and was first discovered in Ethiopia in the 1990s. Its bone structure indicates how this species is tree-climbers with partial bipedal behaviors. There is little difference in size between the male and female bones that were found. With sharp canine teeth prevalent in the skeletal reconstruction, this species is the earliest ancestor of the Homo genus since it is ape-like in appearance.

Australopithecus afarensis is estimated to be 3.9-2.9 million years old and the first skeleton found was named “Lucy” when it was discovered in East Africa. Appearance-wise, “Lucy” has both human and ape characteristics: with an ape-shaped face and long, strong arms speculated to be used for climbing trees. Its structure allows it to survive on both the land and in the trees, and its brain size is a third of that of a human brain. Australopithecus afarensis is extremely important to the species tree since it is the final branch before the path diverges into the Australopithecines and the Homo, though if Homo naledi is categorized in this period then both of these branches will be important to the split and divergence of the genus.

Stepping away from the Australopithecines branch, the first of the Homo branch is the Homo habilis, which is estimated to be 2.8-1.5 million years old. It diverges from the other branch because of small details that bring it closer to the modern human bone structure. Smaller teeth rather than teeth associated with apes and chimpanzees is the major difference since its structure and features are still very primitive with long arms.

Homo erectus is estimated to be 1.9 million years old to an uncharted gap between its overall estimation. One specific skeleton is nicknamed “Turkana Boy,” its body is similar to a modern human, but with some exaggerated features. Homo erectus has elongated legs and short arms with a stubby torso to go with this mismatch ensemble of humanlike body parts. Through looking at other fossils at this time period and the wear-and-tear of the bones of this species, it is evident that they are recorded to have the earliest usage of tools, such as creating hand-axes.

Homo neanderthalensis is estimated to be 200,000-400,000 years old. Ironically enough, these are the species that have been dubbed ‘Neanderthals’ in pop culture from movies to fiction. Thought to have inhabited areas of Eurasia, the ‘Neanderthal’ has an appearance that is shorter and more muscular than the modern human. Through skeletal reconstructions, the brain is also slightly larger.

Finally the species within the evolutionary chart that is what humans are today are Homo sapiens, having an estimated time of 200,000 years to the present time. As evolution has shown, humans have went through a great deal of changes to become the species it is today. And whether it is just speculation or reality, the human genus continues to expand with new findings and unearthing ancient bones. While Homo naledi is still not completely classified, it had brought up many questions for scientists, and could have the potential of changing the outlook of the ever-expanding evolutionary chain.