<![CDATA[Ball State Daily RSS Feed]]> Sat, 22 Feb 2020 13:29:46 -0500 Sat, 22 Feb 2020 13:29:46 -0500 SNworks CEO 2020 The Ball State Daily <![CDATA[Trust, togetherness key for Track and Field going to MAC Indoor championship ]]> Trust makes it possible to rely on one another to do what is right, even when nobody is watching. Togetherness makes it easier to reach out for help when it is needed. These are two characteristics of Ball State Track and Field.

"I know that I trust this team more than any team I've ever had," Head Coach Brian Etelman said. "We've had physical talent on the team before, but it takes two or three years for people to understand that we can prioritize this and still get along and support each other. Deep down I know that I don't have to do a lot of mental prep work. They are a really mature group."

The Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships start Feb. 28 and the Cardinals are going to use this trust in each other and their abilities to prepare for the event.

"This feels like a family," Senior Bryeana Byrdsong said. "Everyone is super close and helping each other just to excel. We feed off of each other, and it is just a very homey and family feel."

Going into MAC Championships, the Cardinals already have two automatic qualifiers in Byrdsong, who qualified with a 60m time of 7.58 in January, and senior Amber Jones with 55.43 in the 400m at the Akron Invitational this month.

Eight of Ball State's women are currently ranked in the NCAA top 200 performances, which include seniors Byrdsong, Jones and Megan Graves in 60m, 400m and weight throw. Ball State's 400m relay team currently has the 109th ranked performance in the country.

Senior Kelsey Walters broke the indoor shot put record with 15.15m at the Ball State Tune-Up meet on Friday. Walters already held the outdoor record.

[Expectations] are a lot higher than they were before today," Etelman said after the tune-up meet. "I know this, we had some people look better today than they have in weeks. That's what you want heading into MAC. I expect us to do better than we did in a really long time. What that means, I don't know."

The Cardinals look to improve on last year's results at the MAC Indoor, finishing eighth out of 12 teams competing in the event a year ago. Thus far this season, they have placed first of ten teams at the Mastodon Open at Purdue-Fort Wayne and claimed nine event wins in total.

"Since this is my senior year, a good performance at MAC would mean the world to me," Byrdsong said. "It would show me that my training paid off in all four years. It would show that all of the hard work paid off. It would mean a lot to me."

Contact Matt Sharp with comments at mtsharp@bsu.edu or on twitter at @sharpmatthew66.

Ball State senior Anna-Kay West, left, and freshman Anasja Troutman, center, compete in the 60 meter hurdles on Feb. 16 in the Ball State Tune-up at the Field Sports building. Madeline Grosh, DN

<![CDATA[Slow start, inconsistencies hurt Ball State against No. 14 Purdue Fort Wayne]]> Road trips and rivalries - two aspects of sport that do not necessarily come easy to many players. Beginning a five-match road trip against MIVA opponents, that was the case for Ball State Men's Volleyball (8-5, 1-2 MIVA) in a 3-1 loss to No. 14 Purdue Fort Wayne (7-4, 2-2 MIVA) Friday.

Throughout the entire match, both offenses showed they had something to offer. However, Ball State head coach Joel Walton said it was his team's defense that was a cause for concern the majority of the match. While the Cardinals led the Mastodons 44-26 in digs, they were also outblocked 13-7.5

"We just didn't do a good job defensively in those moments," Walton said. "We have some things that we could have taken advantage of, and we didn't."

For Ball State, set one began in a very similar fashion to last Saturday's loss against Lewis. A 14-7 deficit forced the Cardinals to take their second and final timeout of set one. While the Cardinals' play slowly improved as the set progressed, it was not enough, as the Mastodons took set one 25-18.

Inconsistencies early on have been a major factor for Ball State lately. Friday marked the third consecutive match Ball State has fallen behind in the first. The Cardinals suffered 11 attack errors as well as a -.038 hitting percentage in set one, combined with seven blocks from Purdue Fort Wayne.

"We just got off to a horrible offensive start -a number of attack errors, errors on our side, serving errors," Walton said. "We dug a hole. We kind of fought back into that game to make it a little closer, but the hole we dug because of how we started was too big."

Walton said a troubling trend surrounding his team in the first came from inconsistencies and a lack of energy in his veteran players.

"We need them to play well in these moments," Walton said. "If they don't, then it's really hard for some of the younger guys to step in, come off the bench and pick things up."

Facing a "hole" for the third time in as many matches after the first, Ball State began to pick it up in the second. Set two was nearly a complete reverse for the Cardinals in terms of blocking and hitting percentage, two areas where Ball State struggled early. Outhitting the Mastodons .419-.235, and a 4-1 advantage in blocks was enough for the Cardinals to take the second 25-21.

Then, set three began. Unlike the Cardinals' consistency in set two, the third followed a similar rhythm to the first, with Ball State taking both of its timeouts after a 14-9 lead by the Mastodons.

Though greater balance on offense kept it close for the remainder of the set, the Mastodons took the third 25-20. Sophomore outside attacker Kaleb Jenness led Ball State in kills on the night with 17, and freshman middle attacker Wil McPhillips held a perfect hitting percentage through the two sets he played.

Set four saw both offenses push one another, but it was the Mastodons who held a 16-12 lead early. However, that was before an 8-5 run by the Cardinals to trim the deficit to one, forcing a Purdue Fort Wayne timeout.

Both teams traded points for the next two rallies. With the Mastodons up 22-21, Walton said, a service error from senior outside attacker Matt Szews hurt the Cardinals. The Mastodons took the fourth 25-22 to win the match.

"That's a really key moment where you need somebody who's got experience and got leadership on your team to step up," Walton said. "That didn't happen -the next thing you know, we're down 21-24, and the game's pretty much over."

Continuing its road trip, Ball State will be back in action Saturday at Loyola. The Cardinals have not won in Chicago since 1999.

"We've got to clean up our play," Walton said. "We need to make sure we understand the things Loyola likes to do, step on the court and execute a good game plan."

Contact Connor Smith with comments at cnsmith@bsu.edu or on Twitter @cnsmithbsu.

<![CDATA[New scholarship initiative to benefit Ball State undergraduate students from Indiana]]> The George and Frances Ball Foundation and Ball State are partnering to create an endowed scholarship initiative to increase financial assistance for the university's undergraduate students from Indiana, according to a Ball State press release.

The George and Frances Ball Scholars Program provides incentive for new donors to support Ball State students by matching each dollar raised by Ball State up to $5 million, the press release states.

Announced by leaders from the foundation and Ball State Thursday at the Alumni Center, this initiative will be "the largest single investment in student scholarship funding" in Ball State's history.

"The George and Frances Ball Scholars Program will double the impact of any gifts we make to new and existing scholarships on behalf of our undergraduate students from Indiana," said Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns in the press release. "This extraordinary gift will have a pronounced impact on our University's ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest students from Indiana."

Thomas Kinghorn, CEO and president at the foundation, who served as Ball State's vice president for business affairs and treasurer from 1980 to 2009, said in the press release, the initiative will build upon the the university's trajectory - engaging students in educational, research, and creative endeavors.

"All of us can be key players in providing an improved future for thousands of college-aged young people - and, at the same time, we are building the economy of the region and the state," Kinghorn said.

The scholarship effort, he said, compliments the foundation's "Cradle to Career Pathway to Success initiative," which focuses on education attainment in Muncie and Delaware County.

"The University can't do it without assistance, and that's why the George and Frances Ball Foundation is pleased to provide this matching grant," Kinghorn said. "Our thought is if we can all hop on this train, it will help secure the future for generations of Ball State students and graduates."

<![CDATA[Bright future for the weekend]]>

Tonight: A clear but chilly night is in store. Temperatures will fall to about 23 with SW winds ranging from 10-15 mph. Some gusts could be around 20 mph. Wind-chills will make the feels like temperature fall into the teens.

Tomorrow: Saturday is going to be a more spring-like type of day with sunny skies and a high around 48. SW winds will range from 10-15 mph with gusts around 20 mph. If you're headed to a sporting event, you may be safe just leaving your winter coat at home.

7-Day: Sunny skies and warm temperatures will remain through the weekend. As we get into the work week, a low pressure system is expected to move through the area bringing rain and progressively colder temperatures. Be sure to dress accordingly to stay warm and keep an umbrella handy!

-Weather Forecaster Natasha Leland

Follow us on Twitter @NLIWeather for breaking weather updates.

NewsLink Indiana is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program.

For more information about the Weather-Ready Nation program please click HERE

<![CDATA[US: Taliban's 'reduction of violence' deal to start tonight]]> By KATHY GANNON and MATTHEW LEE

ISLAMABAD (AP) - The countdown to the signing of a peace agreement between the Taliban and the United States to end the 18 years of war in Afghanistan will begin on Friday night, when the seven-day "reduction of violence" promised by the Taliban will go into effect, a senior U.S. State Department official said. The deal will be signed on Feb. 29.

The official did not specify the exact hour when the reduction of violence will commence. He spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal and its details.

After the seven-day reduction of violence, the long sought-after peace agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban will be signed on Feb. 29 in Doha, Qatar, paving the way for a withdrawal of U.S. troops and intra- Afghan negotiations, the official told The Associated Press. The Taliban had set up and maintained a political office in Doha in recent years, following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled their regime, which had harbored al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, in Afghanistan.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the peace agreement will also lead to an eventual permanent cease-fire. The deal also envisions guarantees from the Taliban that Afghanistan will not be used to attack the U.S. or its allies. It provides for the phased withdrawal of American and other foreign forces from the country over 18 months.

"We are preparing for the signing to take place on February 29," Pompeo said in a statement issued Friday. "Intra-Afghan negotiations will start soon thereafter, and will build on this fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and the future political road map for Afghanistan."

But the road ahead is fraught with difficulties.

"The only way to achieve a sustainable peace in Afghanistan is for Afghans to come together and agree on the way forward," said Pompeo in his statement.

It's still not clear who will represent Kabul at the negotiation table for the intra-Afghan talks, considered a key pillar in finding a lasting peace in the war-torn country. The Afghan election commission earlier this week declared President Ashraf Ghani the winner of the presidential elections held in September but his rivals quickly denounced his win.

The Taliban have refused to talk to Ghani's government and also denounced the election results, saying they will talk to government representatives but only as ordinary Afghans.

Pompeo's statement did not say who would represent Kabul but only that "'intra-Afghan negotiations will start soon" after the signing in Doha "and will build on this fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent cease-fire and the future political road map for Afghanistan."

Germany and Norway have both offered to host the intra-Afghan talks but no venue has yet been set. There was also no immediate comment from President Ghani.

The Taliban issued their own statement Friday on the reduction of violence deal.

"Both parties will now create a suitable security situation in advance of agreement signing date, extend invitations to senior representatives of numerous countries and organizations to participate in the signing ceremony, make arrangements for the release of prisoners, structure a path for intra-Afghan negotiations with various political parties of the country and finally lay the groundwork for peace across the country with the withdrawal of all foreign forces," the Taliban statement said.

The Taliban added that they will not allow "the land of Afghanistan to be used against security of others so that our people can live a peaceful and prosperous life under the shade of an Islamic system."

Under the terms of the ''reduction in violence" - which covers all of Afghanistan and also applies to Afghan forces - all sides have committed to end attacks for a seven-day period. For the Taliban, that includes roadside bombings, suicide attacks and rocket strikes.

U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has led the negotiations with the Taliban since September 2018, has been instrumental in the latest developments.

The peace deal also calls for the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, most of whom are being held in jails run by the Afghan government. Although the U.S. has already discussed the prisoner release with government representatives, there has been no public announcement about it from Ghani's government.

If the peace deal is signed, President Donald Trump can claim to have taken a first step toward meeting his 2016 campaign pledge to withdraw American troops. But if it fails, Trump could be painted by his Democrat adversaries as being naive and willing to sacrifice the security of U.S. soldiers and interests for the sake of political expediency.

The Pentagon has declined to say whether the U.S. had agreed to cut its troop levels in Afghanistan to zero. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said if the seven-day truce is successful and the Afghan peace talks begins, the U.S. would reduce its troop contingent "over time" to about 8,600. There currently are about 12,000 U.S. troops in the country. During any withdrawal, the U.S. would retain the right to continue counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan, which have been focused mainly on an Islamic State group's affiliate and al-Qaida, according to Pentagon officials.

Yet the spokesman for the Taliban's political office in Doha, Suhail Shaheen tweeted that the Taliban expect a complete withdrawal. In a Pashto language tweet, he said, "based on the agreement with the U.S., all international forces will leave Afghanistan and the invasion will end and no one will be allowed to use Afghan soil against others."

In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the developments. The U.S.-led military alliance has some 16,000 troops in Afghanistan helping to train the country's security forces, but it could draw down on its operation to accommodate any firm peace agreement.

"This is a critical test of the Taliban's willingness and ability to reduce violence, and contribute to peace in good faith," Stoltenberg said in a statement. "This could pave the way for negotiations among Afghans, sustainable peace, and ensuring the country is never again a safe haven for terrorists."


Lee reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Lorne Cook in Brussels and Lolita Baldor and Robert Burns in Washington contributed to this report

In this Nov. 13, 2019, file photo, Afghan security personnel gather at the site of a car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghanistan will need vast amounts of foreign funding to keep its government afloat through 2024, a U.S. agency said Thursday, even as foreign donors are increasingly angry over the cost of debilitating corruption and the U.S. seeks a peace deal with Taliban to withdraw its troops. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

<![CDATA[Gorgeous Weekend Ahead]]>

Tonight: Will be clear skies slightly breezy low of 20. Southwest winds 5-10 mph.

Weekend: This weekend will be picture perfect. We will have mild temperatures and an abundance of sunshine on both days. Temperature on Saturday will be 46 and Sunday will be 51. Southwest winds at 5-15 mph throughout the weekend.

7 Day: This weekend will be picture perfect. We will have mild temperatures and an abundance of sunshine on both days. Temperature on Saturday will be 46 and Sunday will be 51. However as we go into the work week the rain chances increase as a weather system comes into the area and the rain will remain with us throughout the work week. Temperatures will start dropping off as we go into Wednesday and Thursday when snow returns and temperatures in the 20s for highs.

<![CDATA[Women's Swimming and Diving heads to MAC Championships]]> MUNCIE, Ind.(NewsLink) - In less than a week, the Women's Swimming and Diving team will be traveling to Buffalo, New York to compete in the MAC Championships. The Cardinals finished the season with a record of 5-6 and a conference record of 1-3.

Head Coach J. Agnew is confident that the swimmers will do well in the high pressure environment.

"We've been focusing on this all year. Swimming is a unique sport... Kind of that opportunity to deal with pressure all season long and now we get to use that to move forward," Agnew said.

Many newcomers like freshman Sydney Dygert are excited about the opportunity to race in such a high stakes contest.

"I'm really excited about the relays, since everyone is so high up there," she said. "I want our team to place in the top five."

With 10 freshman on the team, this will be the first major collegiate contest the women will compete in.

Agnew believes that they are no longer new to the collegiate world of sports and that they will step up to the plate when they have to compete next week.

"They have been so much fun to work with and I don't expect any less of them on our team," he said. "They're not rookies anymore… It's time to show up and race to the championship."

For any comments or concerns on this story, contact the author at imbutts@bsu.edu.
<![CDATA[Ball State alumnae flees China due to coronavirus]]> 2006 Ball State Graduate Holly Allen and her family moved to Suzhou, China this past November for her husband's job. Little did they know that they would have to flee within just a few short months. In my Skype interview with Allen she said, "I woke up...and I think it was actually a note from my dad that pushed me over the edge. He sent me a note on Instagram and was pretty persistent, he said, 'I really think you need to come home', and he said, 'Please listen to me this time'." Allen and her family decided to book the soonest flight out of Shanghai. Her and her family had the choice of two flights; a 30 hour flight on a Tuesday, back to Dayton, Ohio, their hometown, or a shorter flight on a Thursday. Allen was concerned for her two small daughters and how they would react to the longer flight. Allen's husband said to "book the soonest flight, it's our lives we're talking about."

Allen and her family were lucky to make it out of China without being held there and quarantined. Luckily, they passed the screenings and were able to continue their journey home. Upon arriving home, they were happy but they didn't know what would happen next. Holly said, "The whole thing was such a whirlwind. It was such a hard decision to leave. Half of our belongings are in our apartment. We don't know when we'll go back. We packed our things thinking we'll be home for two to three weeks and it's turning out to be much longer." Allen and her family were expecting to stay in China for over a year and plan to go back once things settle.

<![CDATA[Cardinal Job Fair benefits both students and employers]]> The Ball State Career Center hosts a large career job fair each semester. They invite employers to actively recruit Ball State students for full-time work, internships, part-time work, and more. Many students from different professions come to this job fair to consult their favorite job. There are about 300 employers and a total of about 2,000 jobs, including full-time, internship and part-time. There are also many types of occupations, including financial, business management, accounting, etc.

Students are very happy that the school can provide this kind of opportunity, they can contact their favorite company on the campus, talk with the company's employer, consult, and also meet many different friends. At this job fair, students can gain knowledge that is usually not available in school. For example, they can get real interview skills in the process of talking with employers. Some students are confused about the direction of their professional career. Real job fairs can also help students establish their career ideals.

On the other hand, companies that come to the job fair also benefit a lot. One employer said that Cardinal job fair is the best one she has ever participated in. Students show a very formal look, and everyone knows what to do. Candidates have great resumes, business cards, etc. which sell themselves very well. And they have demonstrated their abilities very well, and employers are very happy to feel the eager of Ball State students for their careers. One employer said that what she wanted to see most was the students' enthusiasm for job hunting, which was the most important.

<![CDATA[Ball State CAP students plan to revitalize downtown Knox]]> Ball State College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) students are working with the City of Knox on a plan to revitalize the city's downtown area.

In January, students ventured to Knox, Indiana, a town of about 3,700 people, on a field assessment.

During their visit, they collected information about Knox's downtown area to design a facade program for that part of the town.

Facade programs encourage business owners to improve the outer appearance of their buildings.

Knox Mayor Dennis Estok said the facade project will affect eight to 10 buildings located on Main Street. He said improving the outer appearance of the buildings will encourage new businesses to relocate to Knox.

"We want a more thriving downtown," he said. "Not only will people not come if the buildings are run down, but you also won't encourage any new businesses to try their business downtown."

Because the buildings on Main Street were built in the late 1800s or early 1900s, they need to be refurbished, Estok said.

The project is estimated to cost Knox $60-70,000 when completed, Estok said, with business owners expected to put some money into the program.

"The majority of the downtown area is excited for it," he said. "We'll get it done."

Estok reached out to Ball State after attending an Association of Indiana Municipalities (AIM) meeting, where another member recommended him to the university's CAP program.

Michael Burayidi, director of the project, and 10 students stepped up to the task. Burayidi teaches a class every semester that pertains to comprehensive planning, and he said this project fits that description.

The goals of the comprehensive class are to identify the issues Knox faces, appropriately design ways to improve downtown conditions and present the data in a way that is easily understandable to the city's residents, Burayidi said.

Jacob Ihrie, a graduate student in urban and regional planning, said class members held a public forum in Knox during their visit to get input from the community.

"We are analyzing the strengths and challenges that the community is facing and using the input we got at the public forum and integrating that into where we are going to go with the plan in the future," Ihrie said.

He said they just started coming up with a plan for the town.

"In the case of Knox, for the Main Street strip and downtown, it just involves the basic renovations of the facelift and the beautification of the facade, but sometimes it can go into making the design cohesive so all of the buildings have a natural flow to them," Ihrie said.

In addition to the facade project, the students used the residents' input to draft a revitalization action plan that will help make the downtown area "more economically viable" for the future, he said.

Burayidi said despite the plan's goals of bringing more people to live in Knox, increasing business for retail stores, improving parking and better publicizing downtown events on social media, there is no guarantee of success.

"If we simply improve the facades, that might not be enough to bring the downtown back to life," he said.

The students will return to Knox to present the plan and obtain feedback from the city March 24.

Estok said his community welcomed the students' help, and support has been strong for the program.

The design portion of the project should be completed by the end of the spring semester, after which the City of Knox will contract a construction company to carry out the designs, Burayidi said. The project is expected to be complete by April 2021.

"[The plan] is important for the city of Knox because the downtown is the heart of the city, so if the downtown is not doing well, then the city is not going to do well," he said. "So, the goal is to help the city to redevelop the historic part of the settlement so that it will have a ripple effect on the rest of the neighborhoods and the city."

Contact Hannah Gunnell with comments at hrgunnell@bsu.edu or on Twitter @hagunnellNEWS.

The Knox city center is decorated with a painting of the Starke Circuit Court Feb. 16, 2020, in Knox, Indiana. Jaden Whiteman, DN

<![CDATA[Leading through example: Brachen Hazen is the spirit every team needs]]> "Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."

The quote from former NFL coach Vince Lombardi fits perfectly for redshirt junior forward Brachen Hazen and Ball State Men's Basketball. Earlier in the season on the team bus, Hazen made a sacrifice beyond his own personal goals and aspirations for the betterment of the team.

"We were on our way to UIC, and I was talking to [Hazen] on the bus," head coach James Whitford said. "He told me, 'I've been doing a lot of thinking about what this team needs from me, and that is to be a great leader, rebounder and do all of the hustle stuff.'"

Whitford said he was pleased to have a guy like Hazen on the team and believes he is a role model of what he wants in not just a player, but a person.

"He is a model, a great teammate and great person," Whitford said. "He is both a leader by example and vocally. For him under his own volition to be thinking outside of himself speaks volumes of who he is and how he thinks."

When Hazen was asked how he views himself as a role model, he paused, looked up and gave credit to somebody who has contributed to Ball State outside of putting the ball through the net.

"I'd say Trey Moses is that guy," Hazen said. "He was here four years and created a legacy on and off of the court. He is so good to the community, and I don't think I am to that point yet, but that is for sure something I strive for. Having a guy like Trey to look up to and have that standard is something I want to do."

Moses, who now plays professionally overseas in Bulgaria, left a trail of inspiration for players like Hazen when it comes to positivity and bringing a team closer together.

Actions speaking louder than words is something Moses praised Hazen for in their time together. Moses said he is fond of Hazen as a person and a friend.

"Guys can say whatever they want, but it is really about actions," Moses said. "A lot of people will say they want something and say they want to be a certain way but act [differently]. I always tried to be a vocal leader, but I tried to lead with action as well, and so does he."

Last season, there was a moment that stood out to Hazen after missing 15 games due to injury. It was a game the team lost but served as a miniature victory in a lot of ways. The reason was because of Hazen's positivity and actions to help the team mentally.

"Last year when we were playing in Miami, they went on a run, and it was one of my first games back from injury, so I made it a point to be in constant communication," Hazen said. "I wanted to make sure I was speaking, encouraging the guys that basketball is a game of runs and that we are a talented team and can fight back. We ended up losing, but it was one of those games where everyone was connected."

So, what happens when the guy who is motivating everyone else gets down? The answer lies in redshirt sophomore center Blake Huggins.

"[Huggins] hasn't seen a lot of action this year, but he is someone who always challenges me," Hazen said. "He knows me pretty well enough to know when my attitude is shifting toward the negative side. He definitely talks to me and gives me words of encouragement."

Huggins is somebody who looks up to Hazen based on his attitude toward life and the team. He said he tries to emulate that attitude when he needs it most, and he takes inspiration from the constant communication and positivity.

"He is the liveliest person we have on the team," Huggins said. "He is always talking, and he is always energetic. I always laugh at everything he says, and he always brings positive energy to me, so whenever I notice he is off, it is easy for me to get the energy back out from him."

Hazen doesn't have the statistics or flashy plays to jump out to someone casually watching a basketball game. For him, it's not about the numbers. Rather, it's about keeping the glue intact and doing the little things.

"Brachen is one of the best people I have been around," Moses said. "He is so genuine and honestly one of the funniest guys I have ever met as well. He has a great personality, and I don't think there is anybody in the country that would not want to be Brachen Hazen's teammate."

Being the comedic relief for the team and a guy people can go to during the grind and hardships of a basketball season may seem so insignificant to winning games. For the Cardinals, it goes a long way in keeping the team engaged.

Hazen loves to joke. He even loves to make fun of his teammates, but he also knows when to cut it out and pick up a player if they make a mistake and help them move on to the next play. In the end, he said the whole point is to have fun.

"I also want us to have fun because if you aren't having fun, you won't play to the best of your ability," Hazen said. "Whether it is joking around, making fun of somebody when they mess up, but making sure during games people aren't taking a turnover too seriously, and when they mess up, they can turn it around and stay positive."

Contact Ian Hansen with any comments at imhansen@bsu.edu or on Twitter @ianh_2.

Ball State junior guard Ishmael El-Amin, redshirt junior forward Brachen Hazen and redshirt freshman guard Jarron Coleman celebrate redshirt sophomore forward Miryne Thomas dunking during the Cardinals' game against Howard Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at John E. Worthen Arena. Ball State won 100-69. Paige Grider, DN

<![CDATA[Alliance and Bold slates participate Ball State SGA runoff debate]]> Following Tuesday's results of the first-round of Student Government Association (SGA) election, the two remaining slates - Alliance and Bold - took part in a final debate before the runoff election before an audience of around 30.

RELATED: SGA elections head to runoff after 3rd-lowest first-round voter turnout in a decade

Bold, which gained 44.16 percent of student vote, and Alliance, which gained 28.2 percent of the vote, discussed topics including the slates' qualifications for listening to the student body, the specific goals of each slate and the slates' vision for their legacy, in the final All-Slate Debate Thursday night at the Arts and Journalism Building.

Alliance slate members said they were better qualified to hear the issues of the student body, with vice presidential candidate Malachi Jones saying the slate's lack of platform points and emphasis on receiving student feedback would best serve the students.

Over the course of the slates' response to the question, the discussion shifted toward a conversation over the effectiveness of Bold's platform points versus Alliance's "practical approaches."

RELATED: Meet the Ball State SGA slate: Alliance

"We can say platform points are representative of all students-- they're not," said Alliance treasurer candidate James Schwer. "Nobody in their platform points that has talked about how the Fine Arts College is spread out among eight different buildings, and they don't have the resources to have their classrooms, to have their class meetings, they don't have the props that they need to actually get the education that they're paying for."

The Bold slate responded in defense of their platform-point approach, with presidential candidate Connor Sanburn saying his slate's approach did not exclude the ability to add student input to their plans.

"As much as I love that we have both listened to as many people on campus as we can to build these kinds of ideas for our campus, we have done that research already starting last semester, and we already have the ideas to do it, and that doesn't mean that we're just going to stop there with those ideas," Sanburn said.

RELATED: Meet the Ball State SGA slate: Bold

Later in the debate the slates were asked questions that were specific to each of their goals for the coming SGA term.

For the Bold slate, this included questions surrounding their platform that proposes adding motion-sensor lights to certain buildings all over campus.

The lights, Sanburn said, will save Ball State money and conserve energy on campus in places that formerly wasted energy by illuminating empty rooms at an estimated cost of installation around $2,000, though Bold secretary candidate Amanda Mustaklem said that figure was "flexible" based on the number of lights and buildings involved.

"We'd prefer to start in older academic buildings, as the newer buildings currently support [motion sensors], but really just working towards our entire campus being more energy efficient and making sure that the room's energy is being used properly," Sanburn said.

Meanwhile, the Alliance slate was questioned on the specifics of their goal of implementing "proactive, innovative solutions" to improve Ball State for first-generation, low-income, LGBTQ+ and undocumented students.

"To give one specific example of a specific change for low income [students], for example, I think there was conversation a few years back about open-source textbooks," Schwer said. "I think that would be a great opportunity to bring back more low-income students."

Alliance presidential candidate Aric Fulton, who is a first-generation student, said a "university-wide assessment" of Ball State's minority populations could be helpful in determining how to best serve those populations, along with holding more community forums.

The final question of the night centered around the slates' hopes for their legacy if elected following next week's voting.

Sanburn said in conversation with former SGA President Greg Carbo, the former president said all platform points should be equal, but some points would be more personally important to the executive slate members.

"To me, the safe-zone training one is my baby," Sanburn said. "I really want to make sure that this campus is as inclusive as possible, and I want to make sure that we can make an impact in the LGBTQ+ community by making sure that those students feel welcome, feel safe, and they feel supported."

He further said using correct pronouns and working more closely with Spectrum and the counseling department were important to him.

Fulton said one of his slate's goals will be to create more inclusive and transparent environments across campus for all students, both in SGA and its programs.

"We know a lot of students have been robbed from the opportunity of being a part of the legislative process, being a part of communities or just feeling like they belong in certain environments," Fulton said. "I think here at Alliance we want to ensure that we're hearing every experience possible, so that we can act on that, because it's tough navigating your experience when you feel when you feel alone."

The final round of voting in the runoff election between the two slates will take place Feb. 24 and 25. Students can vote online via the link sent to their Ball State emails, or vote in person at three voting booths which will be present on campus.

Contact John Lynch with comments at jplynch@bsu.edu or on Twitter @WritesLynch.

Alliance presidential candidate Aric Fulton speaks at the final Student Government Association (SGA) debate of the election Feb. 21, 2020, at the Arts and Journalism Building. Alliance narrowly edged out the Aureum slate in the first round of voting to qualify for a runoff against the Bold slate. John Lynch, DN

<![CDATA[Students call for more security]]> Campus apartments are often the first housing option for many students because they believe they're more secure than off-campus apartments. However, some students say that is not always true.

Last December, Jingyu Li, a student who lives in a campus apartment found a man standing outside her bedroom and looking at her through the window at 2 a.m.

"I was pretty shocked," Li said. "I found that man when I closed my curtains; we were just face to face and I was so close to him. What is worse is that he can see my face clearly but I can't see him clearly."

After that, Li called the police and sent an e-mail to the apartment office to ask if there were any security cameras. The university police came to her apartment in a short time. The apartment office replied to her e-mail with the suggestion to "put on your curtain."

"The university police are very responsible, but the attitude of the apartment office is very disappointing," Li said.

At the same time, there are other students who say they saw strange people in near campus apartments.

"In the evening, I have been seeing a man in a red coat dangling near the mailbox for many days," said Hannah Beard, a student who lives in Anthony Apartments. "It is so cold and there is nobody outside, that man is just so weird and I feel a bit scary."

Jim Duckham, the Director of Public Safety, said that this kind of thing is rare, and once danger happens, university police can reach the scene quickly to guarantee students' safety.

"Ball State is an open university, we can't prevent others from entering our campus," Duckham said. "Our university police are patrolling the campus every day to ensure that they can reach the scene if danger occurs. We also need help from other residents, they can call us when they see something wrong."

Even with school police on patrol, students are still hoping that they will have comprehensive monitoring facilities in campus apartments.

<![CDATA[Muncie motorcycle dealer pushes through the winter off-season, despite slower sales]]> During the Summertime, Harley Davidson Motorcycles roar across the roads of America. However this is not exactly the case during the wintertime. Davis Winn reports on how the business manages during the off-season. A look at any motorcycle poster shows a bike cruising down a summer road, not in the freezing winter. Benson Motorcycles Inc. sometimes feel more like a ghost town, leaving riders longing for that first day of Spring. Benson Motorcycles General Manager, Jason Schultz, explains that this is definitely the slowest time for the business.

"As far as the motorcycle riders, this is definitely the slowest time of the year for them" he says.

He also mentions his optimism for sales, despite the slower time. They use big sales and promotions to get deals to make some extra profit during this time. Dealership owner Phil Benson plans out this aspect, stating that "You ride the wave as long as you can ride the wave."

For now, the dealership will push forward with the events, sales, and other activities. These help give the business some revenue and also gives the motorcycle community something to do during this "hibernation period". So for the time being, the motorcycles will more than likely have to wait until Springtime to find their new owner.

<![CDATA[Sunny skies and warm temperatures on the way]]>

Tonight: A beautiful night lies ahead with mostly clear skies. Bundle up in extra layers by tomorrow morning, however, as arctic high pressure will bring wind chills down into the single digits.

Tomorrow: After the cold start, temperatures will rebound back above freezing by tomorrow evening. Lots of sunshine is expected, making it a perfect end to the workweek.

7-Day Forecast: An absolutely gorgeous weekend is on tap, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures rising all the way up to the 50s! Sunday will feature some increasing clouds ahead of weather system set to arrive on Monday. Heavy rainfall is possible on Monday and showers are expected to linger into Tuesday and Wednesday. Temperatures will drop dramatically by the end of next week. Once again, Spring Break for Ball State students is looking to start off as Winter Break Part 2...

---Assistant Chief Weather Forecaster Nathan Gidley

Follow us on Twitter @NLIWeather for breaking weather updates.

NewsLink Indiana is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program.

For more information about the Weather-Ready Nation program please click HERE

<![CDATA[Cardinal Pointe Apartments]]> Looking for an apartment close to campus? Cardinal Pointe Apartments has you covered! With four different locations, (Cardinal Pointe I & II, Wheeling Manor, and University Apartments), you can be just 5 minutes from campus!

Cardinal Pointe Apartments offers floor plans ranging from 1 to 3 bedrooms and include water, trash, and sewage. Cardinal Pointe Apartments prides itself on providing the best housing options for residents, offering professionally managed and well-maintained apartments for students.

Need more convincing? Cardinal Pointe 1 & 2 are currently undergoing renovations over the next few months, and will be featuring all new kitchens and bathrooms for the 2020-2021 leasing season!

When looking for your next home away from home, look no further than the peaceful luxury of Cardinal Pointe Apartments! Get in touch with us to get more information or schedule a tour today by calling the leasing office at 765-286-0692 or emailing cardinalpointe@HayesGibson.com. Also, don't forget to follow Cardinal Pointe's Instagram @cardinalpointeapts!

<![CDATA[Parasite Sets New Records | Checkpoint]]>

Tanner and Blake break down Parasite's massive success at the Oscars.

Checkpoint is Byte's video news series, reporting on recent events in the world of entertainment, tech, and pop culture. Whether it's video games, film, television, or music, we've got you covered!

Anchors: Tanner Kinney, Blake Chapman
Executive Producer: Evan Fischer
Video Editing: Tanner Kinney
Audio Editing: Kellyn Harrison
Graphics: Daley Wilhelm, Tt Shinkan
Music: Jack McGinnis

For more entertainment, tech, and pop culture related content, visit us at Byte BSU!

<![CDATA[Pale Moonlight Cinema's Stephen King adaptation 'Popsy' wins awards]]> Pale Moonlight Cinema's (PMC) crew of about 50 Ball State students and alumni gathered at the Horrorhound Weekend Film Festival September 2019 in Indianapolis to view the debut of their fifth short film, "Popsy."

For many, it was the first time they'd seen their adaptation of the Stephen King short story from start to finish.

Since then, the film has been featured at six other festivals and is halfway through its scheduled screening tours.

So far, "Popsy" has won five awards - four of which its crew received at the Zed Fest Film Festival in Los Angeles for outstanding producing and directing and two for acting. It also won the Best Twist award at the Independent Horror Movie Awards.

"Popsy" tells the tale of a desperate gambler who picks up "the worst child possible" to sell into child trafficking in order to pay off his debt, said Jac Kessler, the Ball State alumnus who directed the film.

PMC obtained the rights to film this horror story through King's Dollar Babies program, which allows film students to make short film adaptations of some of King's stories for as little as $1.

In addition to all the recognition, Kessler said there were a few obstacles that made the film one of the more memorable ones for PMC, particularly the "brutal" weather, which delayed filming for about four months.

"You can blame Stephen King, it's his fault -he had a lot of outdoor stuff," Kessler said jokingly. "In trying to stay true to the adaptation, yeah, it's his fault."

Despite the weather delays, the crew, which was much larger than any previous PMC crew, persevered and completed "Popsy."

First Assistant Director Abigail Urbik said "Popsy" is "the biggest and the grandest" film PMC has ever produced since the company made its first film in 2015. Half of the crew was comprised of Ball State alumni and the other half Ball State students.

"We involved many of the Ball State students, so they could have their name on something that was a great project and a great learning tool," Urbik said. "We like to help the younger students kind of get their swing into some other roles that maybe they've never tried before."

The number of students working on the film, she said, posed a challenge for her because she had to schedule filming sessions around everyone's schedules.

"It was definitely a challenge, but it is my favorite thing to do, so it wasn't so much a job for me as it was something fun," Urbik said.

Graduate student Jordan Flora, who operated the boom microphone, was one of the Ball State students who worked on the film. It was her first time working on a film with PMC.

"It was a wild ride, I think, from start to finish," Flora said. "I'd only ever done things that were student projects, and I'd helped with some independent studies for students, but this really felt like a full-blown, huge production just because the crew was so large, we had so much gear and it just felt incredibly professional."

Flora added that the student films she worked on were also professional, but this production "had a different vibe."

"I was very shy at first, but that quickly changed because it very much felt like a family by the end," she said. "We had late nights together, long hours, and it's kind of impossible not to make friends in that environment."

The purpose of making a film like "Popsy," Kessler said, was to help convince investors to help fund PMC's potential feature film projects. He said funding is always an issue when it comes to making films.

"Popsy" cost PMC between $25,000 and $30,000 to make. Kessler said about $17,000 came from PMC's Indiegogo page, and the rest came from the crew's personal funding.

"I think the film says, 'Look how talented everyone is,' and that was our purpose in making it - to then say, 'If you give us additional funds, we can do even more,'" he said.

Kyle Benham, the film's producer, spearheaded most of the crowdfunding efforts, which he said were successful due to the "finesse and personal touch" the team put into it.

"So many crowdfunding videos are just people sitting in front of their laptops, and we took the time to shoot basically like a short film every time we put up a new video," Benham said. "I think that really went a long way in showing the people how much time and effort we were willing to put into this project."

"Popsy" will air at the Nevermore Film Festival Feb. 28 through March 1 at the Carolina Theater in Durham, North Carolina. Kessler said he entered the film in about 50 other festivals that will take place throughout 2020 but hasn't received confirmation from any of them.

While most of their other films are posted on their YouTube channel, Kessler said, the crew will not be able to release "Popsy" because of the contract with King. But, Kessler also said there is a small possibility that if King views and likes the film, Kessler can negotiate a limited release. PMC is preparing to send the film to King now.

"We hope he likes it," he said. "We think we stayed pretty true to his original story."

Contact Hannah Gunnell with comments at hrgunnell@bsu.edu or on Twitter @hagunnellNEWS.

(From left to right) Actors Ted Raimi as Mr. Reggie and Alex Dunning as Briggs Sheridan interact during a scene from the movie "Popsy." The film directed by Ball State alumnus Jac Kessler has bagged five awards and eight nominations so far at national and international film festivals. Pale Moonlight Cinema, Photo Courtesy

<![CDATA[Pierce: Ball State's 0-3 start not indicative of season to come]]> Drew Pierce is a junior journalism major and is a columnist for The Daily News. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.

Ball State Baseball (0-3, 0-0 MAC) kicked off its season last weekend by losing three straight against Georgia Southern (3-1, 0-0 Southern Belt). Despite starting the season 0-3 for the first time since 2016, the Cardinals' season will not be defined by these 27 innings down in Georgia.

In fact, I believe that Ball State is going to come back stronger than ever. When a season has over 50 games scheduled, blowouts and tough losses will happen. There is no way around it. Head coach Rich Maloney told The Ball State Daily News.

"I always tell the guys that in a 56-game regular season, you're going to have eight games where you handily beat a team, and you'll have eight games where you're beaten handily," Maloney said. "It's all part of the process."

He is exactly right. This series happened to be in favor of the Eagles, but it is only the start. The Cardinals know how to rebound and got a few ugly losses out of the way. Last season, Ball State dropped five of its first seven and went on to finish 38-19 on the year. Therefore, the Cardinals have proven they can turn around a slow start in a monumental way.

Now, the road back to a winning record won't be easy as there are some big games coming up. Some notable away games include contests at Michigan State, Kansas and Indiana. Going on the road and taking on big teams like these will pose interesting challenges for Ball State.

However, Ball State will have home-field advantage against top teams like Indiana and Purdue later in the schedule. These will most likely be the Cardinals' toughest tests, as both these squads have given Ball State trouble in the past.

All of these teams are probably better than Georgia Southern, but that does not mean Ball State is out of the running. In fact, I think that the Cardinals have the potential to beat any of these competitors.

Once the end of March rolls around, Ball State will start facing some Mid-American Conference opponents. Of these teams, Central Michigan and Northern Illinois will most likely be the biggest challenges.

Despite falling to 0-3 this season, this will not be a common trend moving forward. I predict that Ball State will finish the regular season 34-19 assuming no games are canceled. Whether or not this prediction is spot on, Ball State will surely turn around the season and find its first win very soon.

Contact Drew Pierce with any comments at dlpierce2@bsu.edu or on Twitter @dpierce3cc.

<![CDATA[Ball State SGA elections head to runoff after 3rd-lowest first-round voter turnout in a decade]]> For the second year in a row, with no slate gaining 51 percent or more of student votes, two slates - Bold and Alliance - are headed for a runoff election to determine the Student Government Association (SGA) executive slate for the next academic year.

Despite three slates running this year, the approximately 9 percent voter turnout, calculated using total student enrollment from fall 2019, was one of the lowest in a decade for the first round of the SGA election. There were two elections with a lower voter turnout - when two slates ran in 2011 and when one ran in 2018.

Low voter turnout:

Thomas May, SGA's election commissioner, said one factor that might have caused the low voter turnout was the need for two-factor authentication to cast a vote.

May said there was at least one instance of a student being unable to cast a vote at the on-site polling location because they didn't have their phone available at the time. Regardless, students could have voted via the link sent to their Ball State email.

Another reason, he said, might be poor attendance during SGA debates - with not more than 50 people in attendance at each of the three debates.

While turnout in recent years has been low, Jim Hague, director of student life and SGA adviser, in an interview prior to the voting, said it was on par with other institutions of similar size to Ball State.

Hague said the low voter turnout is because students are busy and have several competing responsibilities.

"Folks are aware of different opportunities available to them on campus, but if they're not personally connected to [SGA], I think that there's a thought like, 'Why am I going to vote in something that I don't know, something that I'm not actively involved in presently, even though I might know about it in the periphery?'" Hague said.

May said he's going to be working with SGA senators soon to amend the elections code and bring institutional changes in to help improve voter turnout.

"Any opportunity that we see to get more voter turnout would absolutely be seen as beneficial and something we want to pursue," he said.

In order to increase voter turnout for the runoff election, May said, SGA will try to improve engagement with students and spread more information about the upcoming all-slate debate and voting through social media and distributing flyers on campus. He said two emails will be sent out to students on the two voting days reminding them to vote.

Runoff elections:

In 2019, the runoff elections that followed had a lower voter turnout than the first round of voting.

Matt Hinkleman, SGA senator and sheriff of the elections board, said in an email there was interest all around in eliminating runoff elections.

Along with senator Lauren Kamykowski, Hinkleman said he plans on introducing legislation after this SGA election to replace runoff elections with ranked choice voting where students can rank their slates by preference.

"I think the legislation is important because it would significantly simplify the executive slate elections every February," he said. "A runoff essentially doubles the time SGA spends on its executive elections, which means more stress on the elections board and a lot more stress on the candidates."

Hinkleman said both the introduction and voting on the legislation should be expected by the end of the spring SGA session.

Reflections on the first round:

While Bold was "pushing to win" in the first round, Connor Sanburn, the slate's presidential candidate, said the runoff will give the slate "another week to fight."

"We all want to win without having to go into a runoff election," Sanburn said. "We have done a good enough effort, a very valiant effort, to get out the vote."

If an election system that wouldn't require a majority vote was used, he said, Bold, which secured the most votes of the three slates, would have been "the clear winner."

Sanburn said he would advocate for a different voting system for future elections. He said a runoff election is "tolling" on students and slate members, and it is difficult to carry the "momentum" from one week to another.

However, he said he's glad the runoff election will be held before spring break, unlike last year when he was the campaign manager for the Empower slate - allowing him to enjoy the week-long vacation.

The Alliance slate narrowly edged out Aureum by fewer than 60 votes to secure second place in the first round of voting.

"We first need to celebrate because, you know, little accomplishments definitely mean something," said Aric Fulton, the slate's presidential candidate.

Following the initial excitement of the announcement, Alliance slate members began planning to secure more votes in the runoff, suggesting ideas like reaching out to more residence halls, trying to pick up Aureum's voters and bringing in more new voters to close the gap.

"I would definitely say participate in student democracy," Fulton said. "Try to hear out both slates that are currently running, and pick whichever slate you think would best finish [the race]."

Following Aureum's elimination from the race, Miryam Bevelle, the slate's presidential candidate, said she was "definitely disappointed" with the result.

"We put a lot of our heart and soul and a lot of our experience into this campaign," Bevelle said.

Going into future elections, she said she was hopeful to get more students involved because fewer than 2,000 students voting "is kind of shameful."

While Aureum will not unanimously endorse any slate for the runoff elections, Bevelle said, her slate members could individually endorse anyone of their choosing. Speaking for herself, she said she wouldn't endorse any slate.

Contact John Lynch with comments at jplynch@bsu.edu or on Twitter @WritesLynch. Contact Charles Melton with comments at cwmelton@bsu.edu or on Twitter @Cmelton144. Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

The three new SGA slates Aureum (Left), Bold (Middle) and Alliance (Right) introduce themselves, Feb. 4, 2020, at the Nomination Convention. Aureum slate was eliminated in the first round of voting after losing to Alliance by less than 60 votes. Jacob Musselman, DN