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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at


Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Students' choice: Favorite parts of the USU experience

By Kandice Crompton

April 22, 2009 | As we wind down to the end of the school year many students find themselves thinking about the good times they've had over the last nine months. After speaking with many people I have compiled a list of some of students favorite activities from this school year. Feel free to reminisce and add to your list of memories from this 2008-09 school year!

Poetry & A Beverage

"I really enjoyed Poetry & a Beverage," Melissa Kitchen, a sophomore in social work, said.

Poetry & a Beverage is sponsored by ASUSU, and held about once a month at USU. Students can play music, sing songs and recite poetry. Kitchen played at one herself in January, with friend Ben Oman.

The Howl

Kitchen also enjoyed The Halloween Howl.

Kitchen and her sister dressed as zebras and went with their roommates, who dressed as a bear and a cowboy.

The Howl is one of the largest Halloween parties in Utah. The Taggart Student Center fills with people from all over Utah and southern Idaho to dance, play games, watch magicians and get hypnotized. Over the last few years there has been a crack down on costumes and alcohol, but this is one of USU's essential traditions!

The '80s Party

The '80s party was a dance in the TSC and sponsored by ASUSU. Held Aug. 29, it celebrated the fact that USU had their first wave of students that were born in the 90's.

Brit Clark, senior in public relations, said she really enjoyed it.

"It was publicized really well, the activities were awesome. They had blow-up stuff, sumo wrestlings. They even gave everyone glow sticks. And everyone dressed up," Clark said.

Being Greek

Nikki Gordan, senior in social work and Alpha Chi Omega, said one of the highlights of her year was living in the Alpha Chi Omega house, on the corner of 800 East and 700 North, across the street from campus.

"It's easier to live with 14 girls than four, there's always something going on," Gordon said. Greeks host activities throughout the school year, and invite both Greeks and non-Greeks. One of Gordon's memories that involved her Greek sisters was the Paint Dance during Homecoming week.

"One girl had oil based paint, not water based, and it stuck in peoples hair for a long time," Gordan stated.

True Aggie Night

Gordan also enjoyed the Homecoming True Aggie Night.

"It's just good roommate fun," said Gordan, who did not become a True Aggie herself, but enjoyed watching other people kiss on the A and people looking for people to kiss.

According to, "Today one can become a True Aggie by receiving a kiss on the 'A' under a full moon at midnight by somebody who already is a 'True Aggie,' or on Homecoming or A-Day by somebody who is not." True Aggie tradition is run by the Student Alumni Association.


There are many great clubs at USU to join, and they all participate in, and host, different activities throughout the year.

Kamille Chlarson, a senior in religious studies, is a member of the Religious Studies Club, and said one of her favorite events of the year was the Religious Studies Club pilgrimage in March. On the pilgrimage the members traveled around Salt Lake and Utah County visiting a Buddhist temple, a Zen center, an agnostic church, a polygamist group, and ended at the Festival of Colors at the Hari Krishna temple in Spanish Fork.


The USU Hockey team was organized in 1994, and has been playing as club since then. The Aggie team has been playing at the Eccles Ice Arena

"The hockey games were fun," Kory Crompton, an undeclared freshman, said. While hockey is a club sport, a lot of students are die-hard fans, and the games are always loud and exciting.

"I went because I heard we were way good and I wanted to see people fight,"Crompton says.

"They're the funnest!," Amanda Kramer said. Kramer, a junior in public relations, said she attended between 10-12 games, "I went to about half the season,"she said.

Basketball Season

No one can deny that the USU men's basketball team had a great season. David Fredrickson, an undeclared junior, was only able to attend two basketball games this year, but said one of his favorite memories of the year was when the team was in the playoffs.

"The whole school just stopped to watch. People just stopped in the hallways to watch the final game we were in. And everyone sighed at the same time when we lost," Fredrickson remembers.

While we did not make it to the end of the tournament, it was a very memorable season!

The 2008-09 school year was a great year. As we wind down to the end of the semester, look back on the last nine months and think about how much fun you've had!


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