RUSGA Presidential Candidate Profile: Awah Tilong

By: Thomas Jones

Though Awah Tilong’s hobbies may lie in the realms of hair, fashion, makeup and movies her job, as she’d see it, is implementing the change that Regis needs. When met with the daunting question of “Why did you decide to run for Student Body President?” Tilong didn’t need any time to collect herself or formulate an answer, she immediately responded, “Regis lacks the fundamental basics of what college is supposed to look like. College is known as formative, fundamental years where you gain the structure necessary for adulthood. Regis lacks the opportunity for a real college experience. Everything is so serious all the time, we need to address important issues and also enjoy one another at the same time.”

With this being Tilong’s platform for her campaign and her overarching goal if elected as RUSGA President, she continued on to speak on specific actions she would also take as President of RUSGA. One of the main aspects of Regis which Tilong seeks to change is the quality and kind of events which we are having on campus. Tilong states, “We have so many events on how we’re different! Like damn, how many events on how we’re different do you need? I know that we’re different!” In reference to how Tilong would shift these events she responded, “I want more events that are fun and that students will actually want to come to and want to attend that still strike at these important issues in a more effective, inclusive and just overall more enjoyable way.”

Tilong sees one of the main ways of doing this being to, “Have more events where they [Regis] invite the outside community, other colleges do a lot of that and Regis doesn’t. I want to incorporate the broader community in more of our events which therefore encourages Regis to make better quality and larger events.” While Tilong certainly has many good ideas for Regis, she also has the credentials to back up her touted experience in effecting the kind of change she wishes to.

While interviewing Tilong in Walker’s Pub I quickly realized that her run for RUSGA President has been a long time in the making, spanning as far back as her first semester of freshman year here at Regis when she was thinking of leaving, but instead decided to stay to change those things which she disagreed with. This is something Tilong has consistently done while here at Regis, refusing to accept how things are and instead changing them for the better.

This attitude is reflected in her work as an RA, as she states, “I love being an RA, I feel that at Regis there is a lot of stigma’s around RA’s and as one I can work to reduce that stigma and change those ideas about RA’s,” as well as her reaction to policies she finds unfair such as the former rule within the University that stated that one can’t be involved in both Resident Life and RUSGA. This was a rule which Tilong was instrumental in helping get overturned due to the leadership qualities she sees cultivated as an RA that are also easily cross-applied to working in RUSGA.

Tilong’s accomplishments don’t stop at the Resident Life and RUSGA offices though, as she is also involved in several other clubs and offices here on campus. One of Tilong’s largest leadership positions here on campus is that of BSA President. One of the accomplishments she’s most proud of as the leader of BSA for the past two years is, “Getting students together that are different and diverse, the majority of BSA is actually not black and I’m really proud of that.” Some of the more specific events and actions Tilong has taken as President of BSA include, but are not limited to: getting a space in Clarke Hall that BSA can call their own and use to meet in every week, helping create and host on campus events such as the Colin Kaepernick conversation, the BLM rally, the Black Out at the Regis basketball game as well as the conversations with faculty and students that followed the basketball game which all took place this past year.

When asked where Tilong gets her talents for being able to bring people together and host events she references her past work in both the Diversity and Violence Prevention offices which she states, “[These offices] showed me what needs to change. They showed me what resources are helpful in creating change and not just good looking. It also helped me to gain the confidence necessary to make change and to stand up for what I believe in.”

RUSGA Candidate Annelise Pehr Question and Answer

By Emily Summers, Staff Writer

Here’s a Q&A with RUSGA Student Body President candidate Annelise Pehr. Voting is open now and you can find the link in your email.

Highlander: What position are you running for?

Annelise Pehr: I am running for student body president

Highlander: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

AP: I am currently finishing out my junior year and I am a double major in Sociology and Peace & Justice Studies with a minor in Spanish. I grew up in Los Angeles, California as the only daughter of a Mexican Catholic mother and Jewish father. I never imagined I would end up in Denver, Colorado let alone Regis. In the spring of my senior year my parents and I came to visit another school in Denver that I had been admitted to, but I disliked everything about it, so in an effort to not make the trip a bust, my dad remembered that there was a Catholic university in Denver. We hopped in our rental car and walked around Regis during the infamous Ranger Day blizzard that I have only heard stories about from upperclassmen. I filled out the application in our hotel room later that evening and I was admitted in May, but with not enough aid. Fast forward through two months of planning to attend my safety school, Regis was able to give me

enough aid to attend. With about three weeks notice, I packed my bags and moved to a new state where I would make a place that I am lucky enough to call my home today.

Highlander: What is the focus of your campaign?

AP: The focus of my campaign is to make all people feel that they have a home at Regis, especially those that have been underserved such as commuters and all members of affinity groups. I have spent my entire week campaigning by talking to and asking students what they want to see and overwhelmingly I have listened to students’ deep desires for wanting to belong in this space no matter how “weird” they are and that same desire goes from people that identify as conservative Catholics to queer atheists.

Highlander: What is one thing you would like to improve most at Regis?

AP: As of right now my campaign focuses on three main tenets, but one specific facet of Regis that I would like to improve most is how RUSGA represents students. This year RUSGA went through a massive renovation in an effort to make it a governing body that does effectively represent the diverse voices in our student body, but it still has a long way to go. I plan to improve RUSGA involvement by advocating for policies that train student leaders to give them the tools necessary in order to be able to make the change that they themselves deem necessary within our bureaucratic structures.

Highlander: What qualities do you possess that make you the most qualified for the position?

AP: Well, first and foremost, I am a great listener which is an incredibly important skill for a president to have. In order to be an effective president my job is not to uphold my own interests, but it is to uphold those of the student body which I can do by listening to my constituents. I am also a competent communicator in which I demonstrated this year through my championing of IgnatianQ, an effort to put Regis at the forefront of queer inclusivity on Catholic campuses. I worked to bring IgnatianQ's national movement to the Regis campus through a year long campaign to bolster allyship and education around LGBTQ+ identities. Through this work I have not only learned how to acquire administrative support on student movements, but also shown long-term dedication and commitment to projects that students care about on campus. Lastly, I am patient. I am a realist and I know that in a year long presidency a lot of empty promises can be made, but that is not who I am. I promise to have depth rather than breadth in the policies RUSGA takes on next year to represent you and to be patient in gathering student voices in our paving the path for progress.

Q: Why should students vote for you?

A: Students should vote for me because I am experienced with the workings of RUSGA, I have a successful working relationship with administrators, and I am a fierce advocate for student needs.

*The only edits to this transcript were made for punctuation. All content represents the original discussion of the reporter and candidate.

Making Probiotic Sodas!

Kamil Wojciak, Staff Writer

During Earth Week, students learned and created their own probiotic sodas, while gaining knowledge of the culture and history of sugar. To gain more knowledge on sugar and to create their own probiotic sodas, students went to the second floor of the Student Center at 6:00 PM on April 28th.

Starting off, there was a round of introductions. Each individual stated their name, pronouns, major, and their relationship with sugar. Asia Dorsey, one of the event’s leaders, cleansed the air with the art of smudging, and allowed others to try out her three blends of probiotic sodas. The three blends were blueberry, root beer, and plain. Also, the audience learned more about the benefits of smudging on how these burnt herbs have antimicrobial properties and how they can literally cleanse the air.

The idea of our relationship of sugar became a large topic of discussion and became the main theme of the event. Dorsey explained how the sugar we mainly consume daily, white sugar, is empty and does not par with nature itself. However, Dorsey explained how white sugar can be complete and full if it is combined with molasses. Delving back into the past, the group starts to learn about the culture and history of sugar. Specifically, the group learned that in India, people drank sugar water made with sugarcane, and it was both nutritious and beneficial. It was now understood that before the mass production and creation of white sugar, sugar was a product of nature that had beneficial properties.

After all the conversing about sugar, it was time for people to start making their own probiotic sodas!

Here are the steps they followed:

  1. Each individual grabbed their own jar that will serve as the place for primary fermentation.

  2. People personally put their saliva in their jars (this is important to designate the microbes for production).

  3. Ingredients were put in and consisted of water, sugar, lemons, dried fruit, and cultures.

  4. Now for after the event: 24 to 48 hours of time for the drink to complete a cycle.

These steps will be able to create a fresh batch of probiotic sodas, however, Dorsey taught the audience on how to continue their batch and make it thrive. Do you remember how it was discussed that sugar and molasses make a whole and how that combination has beneficial properties? Well, that is exactly how the microbes are meant to be fed! Feeding the microbes properly with this sugar/molasses combo, and proper temperature regulation, will allow anyone to create as many batches of probiotic soda they want!

This event was a good mix of being educational and entertaining, learning about the nature of sugar and the creation of probiotic sodas. While Earth week may be over, the knowledge gained and the creation of new batches of probiotic sodas will continue on!

The 2019 Regis Innovation Challenge Finals

By: Kamil Wojciak, Staff Writer

Here at Regis University, students and staff were able to promote their businesses and business ideas, and had the opportunity to receive cash prizes to help their businesses become successful. Hosted by the Innovation Center and the Anderson College of Business, the 2019 Regis Innovation Challenge Finals took place in the Mountain View Room of Claver Hall on April 12th, 7:00 PM to around 9:35 PM. This final competition had nine finalists pitching their business ideas for the prizes of $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000, to help start their business. In the words of Dr. Ken Sagendorf, the director of the Innovation Center, this competition is meant to help “solve our world’s problems, and make it better.”

These nine competitors all presented at the event, in this chronological order:

  1. MyHomeFix: an augmented-reality and educational app with the purpose of helping to do home repairs, using tutorials and step-by-step guides.

  2. Invictus Project: a mental health procedure focused on traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, depression, and more; the Invictus Project also brings a more scientific approach to mental treatment with hormone replacement, ketamine infusion, high oxygen hyperbaric therapy, and more.

  3. Instream Water: a highly convenient and affordable water refill station, helping remove plastic waste by removing the need of plastic water bottles.

  4. Brand$tanding: a card game where you pitch business ideas, also serving the purpose of educating people.

  5. Rock-n-Rides: a transportation service that goes to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre from the Denver area and vice-versa.

  6. The Nest: an empowering spiritual movement by the use of workshops and retreats.

  7. A To Z Logic: a service specializing in enterprise cyber security, intended for mid-size companies to households.

  8. PinQuest Golf: a golf training app meant to improve the short game, while being fun and competitive.

  9. CampCrate: a service that allows people to rent a box of camping equipment, and receive planning details for specific trips/adventures.

For the competition, each team had five minutes to pitch their business idea to the audience and judges. Immediately after pitching their ideas, the judges had five minutes to ask questions on the business idea. Even though the judges contributed to most of the competitors’ scores (80% of the final score), the audience was actually able to vote on the competitors themselves (20% of the final score). For the audience to vote, all they had to do was go onto a specific website, and enter the percent of favorability of each presenter; also, the total percent of favorability had to equal 100%.

With all the voting and scoring provided by the judges and audience, they were able to announce the competitors that will receive the cash prizes. The three competitors announced were MyHomeFix, Invictus, and CampCrate. All three competitors on the stage waited to hear what prize they were going to get. Then, they announced the prizes to each of the competitors. The competitor that received the $1,000 prize was Invictus, the competitor that received the $5,000 prize was MyHomeFix, and last but not least, CampCrate received the $10,000 prize.

While the competitors and some audience members may have seen the event as serious, it was highly educational and entertaining to see the innovative concepts displayed on that stage that night. If you have missed this event, I highly recommend you go to the final event of the 2020 Innovation Challenge on April 17th, 2020!

Dancing at the Silent Disco!

By: Kamil Wojciak, Staff Writer

On April 11th, people were dancing and having great amounts of fun at the silent disco here at Regis. Regarding location and time, this silent disco took place in the Mountain View Room in Claver Hall at 7:00 PM, all the way to roughly 10:00 PM.

As already implied in its name, this disco was silent (other than the people who were singing the lyrics) by having each audience member listen to the music through headphones. These headphones were the key element to this silent disco, as they allowed you to connect to any of the three DJs at the event. To connect to the specific DJ you wanted to, you would move the switch located on the back of the left ear pad; this switch had three options, correlating to the amount of DJs that you could listen to. On the back of the right ear pad, there was a knob that changed the volume of the headset.

Each channel for the DJs had a color associated with it to indicate which DJ is playing on the channel the audience members were listening to. To figure out the channel you were listening to, you just had to look at the your headset’s ear pads. Each headset displayed red, blue, or green, depending on the channel you listened to; the color displayed on your headset correlated to the DJ you were listening to, as the DJ had the same color headset as yours.

As there were three DJs that you could listen to, the audience had different musical preferences to choose from. The red DJ mainly focused on modern pop and hip-hop, using songs like “It’s Tricky” by RUN-D.M.C and “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars. The green DJ had a broad range of EDM and dubstep songs and also some hip-hop songs like “Rockstar” by Post Malone. The blue DJ had music that I would as “chill vibes” like “Africa” by Toto and “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. Also, while people were jamming to the music provided, there was a machine with a camera and screen that people could use to take pictures. To receive the pictures that were taken, they only had to enter their email address and the photos would be sent to that email.

Overall, the silent disco was a blast of an event, and will be highly cherished by many of the participants. It is of great thanks to RUSGA, for planning the events of Ranger Week, and SoundDown Party, for providing the silent disco service.

The Fourth Annual Science Sunday

By : Hazel Alvarez, Staff Reporter

Thirty minutes into the event and already the halls of Pomponio Science Center buzzed with activities. Almost all of the classroom were utilized and filled with students and their families.

This is the fourth year of Science Sunday at Regis University, where children to teens from the surrounding communities gather to see demonstrations of science concepts ranging from fingerprints and time to electric currents and their conductors.

Thanks to social media platforms done by Marketing and Communications and the success of previous years, this event brought about more than 600 people this year.

More than 100 students from various science classes, clubs, and groups volunteered to help run the event. Regis students from neuroscience, astronomy, physics, biology, and chemistry occupy the booths with their colorful displays attracting the eyes. There’s something for everyone, and without realizing it, you were learning beyond the usual classroom setting.

Dr. Hart, an Assistant Professor of Astronomy, was the lead organizer of Science Sunday. She’s a blur as she speeds through the hallway, checking on Regis students and smiling at the visiting kids. Inspired by a friend in charge of the astronomy night at the White House, Dr. Hart made it as an event here in Regis for her astronomy class in 2016. Instead of a final project, the students can conduct demonstrations where they can interact with the public.

“The feedback that I got from the students was so great, I thought, ‘why don’t I do this next year, but not just with astronomy,” Dr. Hart said.

Besides the astronomy lab, the Chemistry Club, TriBeta Honors Society, Physics Department, Neuroscience Department, and Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers now help make Science Sunday an impactful force that it is today. “And that’s how Science Sunday was born,” smiles Dr. Hart.

Regardless of what science departments the booths represent, the responses that the children and teens displays range from excited expressions to shy smiles. If the child or teen display a shy demeanor, the students who occupy the booths would simply invite them over, and with what started out as hesitation, ended with round eyes and little smiles as they grasp the concept in hand.

“I really love sharing science to people, specifically to astronomy,” comments Dr. Hart. “I think being able to share it in a fun way is very important. Once visitors [families and their children] realize that science is for everybody – not just science people or math people – once they realize that it’s for everybody, then I’ve done my job.”

The children and teens weren’t the only ones who were responsive; the families with them were just as equally interested in interacting with the student demonstrators and volunteers.

One father stumble walking in a line, while wearing goggles that distorts the senses of the cerebellum, which rule balance and coordination, simulating what it would be like to be drunk. The son hardly stumbles walking in a straight line, despite wearing the goggles. “He’s way better at this than me. A little concerning, if you ask me,” he laughs.

Down the hall, a mother and daughter don on latex gloves in order to touch a human brain, donated to Regis University. Respectfully, they both held the brain. “[The brain] doesn’t look heavy, but it is,” comments the mother. She trades a smile with her daughter as she hands over the brain, and her child gasps at both the weight and the cold of the brain.

“Ask a Scientist,” said Dr. Winterrowd, an Associate Professor of Psychology, helped occupy the booth, remarking that “it’s difficult to ask questions on the fly, but the kids managed it.” Kids asked topics that ranged from planets to dinosaurs, and thanks to the little brain picture underneath Dr. Winterrowd’s nametag and the brain model nearby, kids asked about the brain, too.

“Their questions were very creative,” Dr. Winterrowd continues. “One question a child asked was ‘where do the stars go during the day?’ And I just explained that the stars are there, the sun just outshines them all. I would help direct them to where they could go, like if they were interested in astronomy, I would direct them to the telescope outside. One kid asked about what does the brain feel like, and I would just say that it’s soft and heavy, and would help point them to the basement, where we had the human brain. It was great to see these kids invested at the topics in hand.”

Jivan Smith-Shively, who demonstrated the booth on behalf of his astronomy lab, remarked, “I enjoyed the [event], quite a lot; I have always liked teaching children about science, so it’s great to see the look of awe on their faces as they do the experiment.”

The booth demonstration shows the concept of space and time, with a metal ball representing the sun weighing down on top of a black fabric, which represents space and time. The marbles represent the planets, and as each one rolled, circles around the metal ball.

As each child and family member roll marble balls, Jivan and Joseph McCullough explain that this demonstrates the gravitational pull of planets (the marbles) around the sun (the metal ball). “Being able to answer questions to help them get more invested is always fun.”

At the main entrance of the Science Center, the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) helped with the visitor’s booth, where they pass out STEM passports designed by one of their own, Tina La. Once they filled their passports, they can come back to the booth and get their goody bags.

Tina’s sister, Melissa La, who also helped with the booth, remarked at the end, “It was such a great event! I especially love seeing all the kids smile and enjoying time with their parents!”.

Both Melissa and Tina greeted multitudes of families and their kids, explaining what the passports were, how they can get the prizes, and passing out either the goody bags or maps of the demonstrators.

“I really couldn’t have done this without the students and faculty who volunteered. Without them, this wouldn’t be able to have happen. Without the different groups helping out and contributing to Science Sunday, this wouldn’t be able to happen,” remarks Dr. Hart. “The public really likes the fact that they see the students getting excited and they see their kids getting excited, and this interaction is really important to me.”

“The meat and potatoes of what makes Science Sunday successful is that every Regis student being able to show how they love science in their own way. Whether it’s the chemistry club, the astronomy or neuroscience students. Really, at the end of the day, it’s the students that makes this event really successful,” Dr. Hart explains, smiling fondly.

From Love to Thanatophobia

By: AC Covarrubias

Eventually, you will die, I will die, your loved ones will die, and everyone you know or don’t know will die. Different cultures have different views on the portrayal of death, but the most popular opinion is that man fears death. This fear of death molded the Blue Oysters Cult hit single Don’t Fear the Reaper.

         Don’t Fear the Reaper is a song by the American rock band Blue Oyster Cult In there 1976 album Agents of Fortune. The song itself was written by lead guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser. The song, theme-wise, was about the inevitability of one's own death and how it is foolish to be afraid of it. With that in mind, many have viewed this as the song encouraging suicide with the first set of lyrics stating that “ All our times have come. Here but now they're gone”, this, however, this was never the case.

         According to Roeser, the song was actually a love song set within a horror genre type of music. As mentioned before the song is about how one should not fear the end of one's mortality, but also how love can transcend the physical world into the next world. How loved ones can come together in death. The song hints to these themes with motifs such as mentioning saint valentine, saint of courtly love, and Romeo and Juliet. With lyrics that say “Valentine is done Here but now they're gone Romeo and Juliet Are together in eternity…” The song, in summary, is that if ones love is strong enough the fear of death is meaningless.

         However many people did not get the meaning. The song meaning was viewed differently by the public. As mentioned before, death is something we fear. You can make the most comforting song on the planet, but if mention the grim reaper, the song will be seen completely differently. With lyrics such as “40,000 men and women everyday... Like Romeo and Juliet 40,000 men and women everyday... Redefine happiness Another 40,000 coming everyday... We can be like they are”. Blue Oyster Cult was aware of this scenario while Roeser was writing the song, and there was nothing they could do about it.

         Death is just a part of life. Like the wind, the sun, or the rain. It will come for all no matter the circumstances. However if you love someone and he or she has died or is dead remember, we are all destined to die. So eventually you’ll be reunited in eternity. Do not deny it, I know I can't.

Celebrating Earth Day at Regis!

By: Kamil Wojciak, Staff Reporter

At the beach here at Regis University, people were making tie-dye shirts, taking care of succulents, eating snacks and much more! Specifically, all of these activities took place during the Earth Day event on April 3rd, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Earth Day, a day that is celebrated internationally on April 22nd, is meant to give recognition to environmental issues that impact our planet and how to protect our environment. Founded in 1970 to originally teach people about these environmental issues, it has now become a staple holiday around the world.

While our Earth Day event at Regis was not one that helped resolve any environmental issues in our community, it allowed students to enjoy being outside in the sunny environment and to participate in multiple activities of their choice. The two main attractions were the tie-dye shirts and the succulents.

For making their own personal tie-dye shirts, the participants were given a white shirt and many materials to help aid their creative process. Firstly, students clumped up their shirts into a spherical shape, and used rubber bands to keep that shape formed. Then, the students were appropriately able to start tie-dying their shirts with the large variety of colored inks to choose from. When they were satisfied with their tie-dye shirt, they were given a Ziploc bag to safely store and keep their new personalized shirt.

While many participants made tie-dye shirts, the succulents also were high in popularity; as there was a limited amount of succulents, only the earlier guests were able to participate in this activity. With each individual having their own succulent, they had the opportunity to paint their pot for the succulent that they are going to plant in that pot. Like the tie-dye shirts, there was a large variety of paints that the artist could use, but no paint brushes in the vicinity. To solve the lack of paint brushes, finger painting was used and allowed great fun for this activity.

The Earth Day event at Regis was a great way to enjoy the sunny spring weather outside that was somewhat lacking by the recent weather we were having, and was also a fun way to express our artistic sense within us.