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NUTHIN' UP MY SLEEVE!: A cow moose rests Tuesday in 3 feet of snow beside the Logan River just west of Tony Grove. / Photo by Mike Sweeney

Today's word on journalism

Friday, March 10, 2006

Help Wanted: U.S. Defense Department Seeks Better PR Officers

"Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today's media age, but . . . our country has not adapted. For the most part, the U.S. government still functions as a 'five and dime' store in an eBay world."

--U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, on why al Qaeda is winning hearts and minds, in speech to U.S. Council on Foreign Relation (Thanks to alert WORDster Mark Larson) WORD Note: The WORD will take the next week off for Spring Break, sleeping in and seeking wisdom. Return: 3/20/06

Dating panel answers burning questions

By Marie MacKay

February 16, 2006 | Whether single, married, gay or straight, members of Utah State University's Dating 101 Panel proved Wednesday in the Taggart Student Center Ballroom, that there are more factors than physical intimacy that tie into the equation for a successful relationship.

The panel, consisting of three single students, one married faculty member and one lesbian student, answered 15 relationship-related questions burning in the minds of the 200 students who attended the event.

Reading a question from the audience, Dave Bush, panel facilitator and clinical psychologist from USU's counseling center recited, "Should you have sex on the first date?"

Bush replied, "If you don't want to see someone as a walking penis or vagina, then no." Bush further offered "If sexual enjoyment is the first step in the relationship, [sex] will get in the way of getting to know someone."

Although answers to the questions varied, depending on the panel member's sexual orientation or current situation, most agreed that a good relationship takes time.

Maure Smith, ASUSU Graduate Studies vice president, has been in a committed relationship with her significant other, Angela, for the past eight years. "[Relationships are] about balance and working things out together," Smith said.

"The first time I met Angela, I fell absolutely 100 percent in love with her," proclaimed Smith.

From a question regarding how financially secure a couple should be before committing to each other, Dr. Renee Galliher, USU dating researcher, said there are bigger issues than how much money you have. "It's the way you agree on how you spend the money that you do have," she said. "Negotiation is more important than a figure."

Zach Ames, Mr. USU, suggested having an amount of money always set aside that is "non-accountable," which either person can use for whatever they like.

"If decisions are made with respect for each other, finances won't ever be a problem," Bush said.

Another issue of discussion was how to maintain self-esteem after several bad dates or relationships.

"It's about having a good attitude," said Tammy Wheelrwright, a single student from the Latter-day Saint Student Association. "Think about what you can do to make the next relationship a better one."

Tim Yindeepit, a single student from the Sigma Phi Multicultural Community, said it's best to talk to a close friend and voice any frustrations that might build up inside.

In addition, Galliher suggested looking at other domains in life that going better other than a broken relationship.

In relation to that question, another audience member asked how trust in a relationship can be repaired or damaged. "There are issues that can't be forgiven and you need to make clear with your partner what those are," Smith said. Galliher said couples need to realize that it generally takes a lot longer for the person that was betrayed to get over a certain problem than it takes for the person that betrayed.

Ames added that both people in a relationship need to be careful to not get offended too easily. "One great extreme is to internalize and think, 'I must be fundamentally flawed,'" Bush said. "Be more curious than critical," he suggested.

Other questions asked during the panel were, "What is second base and when is it appropriate to go there?" "How can you ask someone out without seeming creepy?" and "Is it best to practice flirting on someone you know?"

The event was in conjunction with "Healthy Relationships and Sexual Responsibility Week" sponsored by the Student Health and Wellness Center. "This is to help give information about how to improve relationships," said Jana Carling, prevention specialist. "You don't have to be single to need to know about relationships."

Rebekah Royce, a junior majoring in geography, said some of the questions asked were common sense but the panel helped because she will knows that she will be faced with most of these concerns in her own life.

"The answers really shocked me," said Amanda Wouden, a sophomore majoring in journalism. "Everyone can relate because we all have relationships," Wouden admitted.


Julie Garcia contributed to this report.


panel discussion on Wednesday. The panel was a highlight of "Healthy
Relationships and Sexual Responsibility Week" at Utah State.
Students wrote down questions about relationship issues for the
panel as
soon as they walked into the door.
Inquiries like, "How can you ask someone out without seeming creepy?
is second base? How do you tell your best friend you're in love with
How would you respond if someone of the same gender asked you out? Is
it okay
to have sex on the first date?" were just some of the controversial
rendered for the panel to voice their opinions about.
The diverse panel featured specialists from all around campus
psychologist Dr. David Bush, LDS Institute Representative Tammy
Psychology Dept. assistant professor Renee Galliher, and Mr. USU Zach
Other organizations from around campus were represented on the panel as
The panel focused on how to build and maintain healthy relationships.
stressed the importance of establishing sexual boundaries, honesty,
respect and communication.


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