Category Archives: News

Farmers Respond To Historic Drought

Many people think of North Dakota as a quiet, desolate, one of the flattest states in America. In reality there is a much deeper love for the natural beauty of the state ranging from it’s great plains to the wildlife and everything in between.

North Dakota is in the upper half of the US in terms of Agricultural Production. The 21st overall state contributes to 2% of the United States agricultural production. The estimated 26,000 person workforce has had it’s livelihood tested in the recent year due to the pandemic, and a historic drought.

August of 2020 was the last time a North Dakota farmer had seen consistent rain. Logan Lund, a farmer in Tonla, North Dakota and University of Jamestown Alum has been working with his father for the past three years. “It was a big turn of events” Lund said, “Last August we started taking precautions to preserve water”.

The drought in North Dakota is of one of historic proportions, these conditions have not been faced since the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. Lund has been working the field with his father as long as he can remember, they have developed a great relationship with farmers whose property they border along with friends in the industry. “ We got lucky… but some of our best friends are dealing with a third of the crop that they normally had”.

Dealing with that reality is something that may impact more and more farmers as the climate continues to change. Lund says he doesn’t have time to worry about things that are far ahead in the future. Working a 3000 acre farm is difficult as is, so thinking about the climate is something that Lund says that the climate is always in the back of his mind. 

For many farmers dealing with the drought hasn’t been easy. Many farmers had “2 feet tall corn crops that were selling at 60-70 a bushel”. These farmers can have no control over the environmental conditions but have to deal with the consequences. North Dakota has one of the most brutal winters in America in regards to temperature and snowfall. But with the climate changing and creating much more severe storms creates a different type of challenge for these farmers.

Farmers are now implementing technology into their equipment and machinery to improve the farming process and grow better crops. Lund uses an Ipad in his combine to find which plot of land is producing a better crop and notifying which crop is ready to be harvested. Many farmers alike in the state use similar techniques especially with the impact of severe storms becoming more common. 

We also got the chance to speak with Dr. Adnan Akyüz, a climatologist and professor at North Dakota State University. Dr. Adnan has studied and worked in the climatology world for over thirty years, the bulk of that time being spent in the Midwest. When asked about this drought and how long it may last he said, “It’s too difficult to tell, sometimes the drought starts and tapers off in the fall, with no rainfall, so it could continue to 2022”.  One statistic that was given stated 77 percent of the state is still in a drought,  and 45 percent being under a severe drought. Given the severity of this drought and how widespread it is, the end of it isn’t easy to predict.

This is a problem that started back in 2020 and the state hasn’t been able to recover since. Unfortunately it is not a stand still either, not only is it not getting better but it’s getting worse.  This was the droughts maximum intensity in 2021,“On May 25 the percent coverage for D4 reached 17 percent and that marks the largest extent of exceptional drought on record”. Twenty weeks of a D4 category drought is the most intense that a drought can get. Farmers on the Eastern side of the state were lucky to see rainfall because  the western portion of the state received almost no rain at all.

Ever since a historically dry winter in 2020 it was clear this drought wasn’t slowing down. Farmers and those that work around and with them had to start taking precautions so their land wouldn’t go to waste. It’s been rough but there is a bright side.

The bright side is that in the central and eastern part of the state the recent rainfall has really helped, even though we’re still feeling the effects of the drought. The state isn’t ignoring this problem either, says Dr. Akyüz, “the state is sensitive to provide certain programs for the farmers to mitigate the impact of the damage and fortunately most farmers took advantage of these programs”.  Given the revenue and employment that farming provides in North Dakota, there should be no shortage of work done to help. We can’t force nature to put water where we want it but we can’t let it ruin the farms and lives of those who depend on it.

Pictured Corn grown in a drought plot (Left) Corn Grown in a non drought affected plot(Right)

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Trailer Review

New waves are being made in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the first trailer for Tom Holland’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” just dropped. After the death of Tony Stark, Spider Man has been the focal point of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Shows like “Wandavision,” “Falcon and Winter Soldier,” “Loki” and “What If…?” have opened the door to the multiverse. That’s just the beginning, Doctor Strange has been cast in a major role in the film. He’s seen side by side with Peter Parker in a reckless attempt to make the world forget his secret identity thus causing a rift in the multiverse. 

However, fans seem to be anticipating the appearance of former Spider-Man stars, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield more than anything. The trailer suggests villains from those franchises will be sharing the screen this December. We see an appearance from Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus and the unmistakable laugh of Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin in the trailer which has prompted an expectation that the rest will follow. People are even wondering if the Doctor Strange we see in the trailer is in fact the real Doctor Strange. It would be out of character for him to cast a dangerous spell so recklessly in the first place.

For all of these uncertainties we do know a few things. Marvel Studios continues to deliver by giving the fans what they want. The buzz around this blockbuster is sure to spark a comeback in movie theatre attendance in a way that no other movie has been able to do since the start of the pandemic. The pandemic threatened the normalcy of going out to movies, streaming services like HBO Max and Disney+ allowed moviegoers to stay home and watch these big movies in their own home. But with this new Spider-Man film approaching we can see the end of the pandemic is near. It is looking like the perfect storm for Disney, and we will see if the forecast stays true.

After this movie is out, the stage will be set for several future MCU projects to continue to grow and expand on the multiverse, a concept that Marvel has mastered throughout their tenure as cinema’s unstoppable force.

Big Themes in a Small Town; Middletown Opens February 13th

By Stephanie Jorritsma

The University of Jamestown (UJ) Theatre Department is presenting Middletown by Will Eno February 13-15 at the Reiland Fine Arts Center. Middletown, directed by senior Amanda Arvay, illustrates life in a small town and highlights the little moments that connect life together.

Although the play is set in the familiar location of small town America, Middletown is filled with unexpected choices that engage and intrigue audiences. Words, actions, and scenes often take unexpected or seemingly unrelated turns that cause audiences to consider the show’s deeper meanings.

For actress Sam Goettsche, those odd moments are her favorite part of the show. She has come to see and appreciate the importance of various details within the story.

“[E]verything connects,” she says.“It’s crazy…there’s so many different stories but they’re all just connected, and I love it.”

While Middletown causes audiences to think deeply, the show also portrays real characters that audiences can connect with. The characters in Middletown are diverse and deal with a number of real-life struggles. Arvay says about the play, “it’s people playing real people instead of people playing […] a characterized version of what people should be.”

In Middletown, many characters hide their real selves from the world, while others struggle with relationship conflicts, anxiety, or childhood issues. The complex, varied characters bring an emotional depth to the show and make it relatable for many different audiences.

Along with its compelling story, Middletown is also unique because the show is fully student-produced. In addition to the student director, other students have taken charge of the set design, set building, lights, costumes, props, and stage managing. Arvay says that the student involvement has allowed her utilize the skills of many different students in bringing the play to life. Goettsche, who is helping with the show’s props, believes that the additional student involvement brings a different, unique perspective to the show.

Middletown also allows students to get hands-on experience in an area of theatre that they are passionate about. Riley Akervik, who is the set designer and lighting co-designer, has enjoyed his designing and watching his work take shape onstage. He says that the set and lighting design have taught him more about the production process and given him an opportunity to, “fully dissect this show and find the true beauty within.”

Middletown is the second show that Arvay has directed while in college. Last spring, she also directed the one-act play “Lessons in Weaving”, written by former UJ student Kenady Hansen. Arvay is majoring in Secondary English Education and Theatre, and has been involved in many UJ theatre productions. She has acted in nine shows at UJ, including the musical On the Town (2017) and The Winter’s Tale (2019). She has also written a one-act play and choreographed for the last two UJ musicals.

As a director, Arvay is enjoying working alongside other students to create a compelling, thought-provoking show. She is excited to share the unusual world of Middletown with others, and invites people to come enjoy the show and support the students who have worked together to make Middletown a reality.

Middletown performances will be February 13-15 at 7:30pm in DeNault auditorium.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at the UJ box office by emailing tickets@uj.edu, calling 701-252-3467 (ext. 5435), or by visiting the box office (open Mon-Fri 3-6pm in Reiland 135).  Tickets are also available at the door.  UJ students and staff are admitted at no cost.

Terrell Alfred – Transferring to UJ

My experience here at UJ has been amazing. I came in as a junior college transfer for basketball, but I never would’ve thought that everyone in the school would embrace me as fast as they did. UJ felt and still feels like home to me.

Over these past two years, I’ve made many unforgettable memories with friends that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. From the special events to the sporting events, there’s always a big crowd ready to support and have fun with it all.

The small-campus-feel at UJ made learning a lot easier. My professors are awesome, and all the coaches are great people that have given me advice on how to become a better player and a better version of myself.I can say that these two years here at UJ have been unforgettable.

Choosing to come to UJ for basketball was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I came here without visiting the school first, which is usually scary, but my teammates and coaches made it super easy to adjust. My first year, we went into a new conference (The GPAC) and were looked at as the underdogs. No one in the league believed that we could make the top four, let alone win the conference championship. But we didn’t focus on the outside noise; instead, we outworked everyone else.

One of my fondest memories was winning that championship and then being able to compete for a national championship. Over this past summer, most of the team stayed to work out and be around each other. It was one of the most fun summers I’ve ever had, because it brought us closer together as a team.

Fast forwarding to now, in my final semester, my UJ career is almost at an end. I don’t regret anything, and I know if I had to do it all over again down the line, I would in a heartbeat!

Jimmie Janes Hosting “Let’s Raise Underwearness” Event

By Taylor Schnettler

From February 10th through the 21st, the Jimmie Janes will be hosting their “Let’s Raise Underwearness Event.”

This campaign is seeking to help victims of sexual assault by providing them with new undergarments.

“Often times, Sexual Assault Survivors have to leave their undergarments for investigation purposes after getting help at Jamestown Regional Medical Center. They may have to wear hospital grade undergarments home,” said Amie Aesoph, advisor for the Jimmie Janes.

In order to accommodate this challenge and provide some support to the victims, the Janes will be accepting all sizes of bras and underwear which will be donated to the JRMC Sexual Assault Response Team. Donation boxes will be in the SEC and Campus Chaplains office.

Donations will also be accepted at the first home Men’s Volleyball game on Feb. 13th.

Student Senate Welcomes Two New Members

By Jacob Just

On Tuesday, the University of Jamestown Student Senate swore-in two new members to fill vacancies created by two resignations.

Alex Delzer and TJ Milk, both seniors, were elected by the Senate to fill the vacancies that will expire at the end of the school year. Delzer formerly served as Student Senate President during the 2018-19 school year.

The positions have been vacant since the beginning of the 2020 Spring semester.

The seats became open after Megan Bidwell and Julia Johnson, both nursing majors, resigned their positions due to obligations with their program.

Elections for Student Senate for the 2020-21 school year will take place in April.

UJ Collegian Opens Podcast Booth

By Jacob Just

Tucked away on the second floor of the Unruh-Sheldon Building on the UJ campus, students may encounter a slight change in a small room.

Completed in January, 2020, the podcast booth is a state-of-the-art space that will allow students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to record, produce, and publish podcasts for The Collegian. Jordan Bits, a broadcast engineer at i3G Media in Jamestown, has been working on developing the space to make it an impressive addition to campus.

“I’m extremely excited that we have this available for our students and staff at UJ,” said Warren Abrahamson, Advisor/Publisher for The Collegian. “This will be yet another avenue for the University to showcase its talents and a creative outlet for many on campus! We look forward to having as many students and staff use it as possible.”

The booth features two microphones, a sound booth, a computer, and other equipment.

The UJ Student Senate recently approved funds for the organization to purchase a new computer for the space to better enhance its capabilities.

Students, staff, or faculty interested in starting a podcast with The Collegian, should contact Warren Abrahamson at warren.abrahamson@uj.edu or Jacob Just at jacob.just@uj.edu.

The UJ community is invited to visit the space during office hours, which can be viewed here.

UJ Student Named ND Student Nurse of the Year

By Jacob Just

University of Jamestown nursing student Kelsey Marschke was named the 2020 North Dakota state Nursing Student of the Year.

Marschke, a junior from Alice, North Dakota, received the award from the Nursing Students’ Association of North Dakota during their annual conference in Grand Forks January 23-25.

Several other students were elected to positions of leadership within the organization, including Hayley Johnson of Menahga, Minnesota being named the First Vice President for the NSAND.

“It was an honor to be surrounded by and hear from some of the most inspirational people in the field of Nursing, all from different areas of expertise and backgrounds,” said Johnson.  “I’m truly inspired by the friends, classmates, and professors who have surrounded me.”

Attendees attended keynote and breakout sessions from nursing leaders from around North Dakota.  The organization will hold their annual conference in Jamestown in 2021.

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