Construction began today on the addition to UNO’s Strauss Performing Arts Center. Access to the building will be limited for the duration of the project, which is expected to be completed at the end of 2018.

Access will only be available through certain entrances, as detailed in the map above. Certain sidewalks and parking spaces will also be obstructed during the construction process.

The Gateway will share more information on the project as it is released.

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Climate scientist Michael Mann will speak at the University of Nebraska at Omaha on Saturday.

Mann was among the scientists who developed a now famous “hockey stick” graphic that charts a steep increase in carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere since the onset, roughly, of the Industrial Age.

Mann will lecture at 7 p.m. at the Arts and Sciences Hall, room 438. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. His speech is presented by UNO, the Sierra Club and Nebraskans for Peace.

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Andrew D. Bartholet

In this age of political correctness, we can see the delicate landscape of universities erode around us into what I call “The Casualties of GroupThink.”

William H. White Jr, an American intellectual, coined the term, GroupThink, in a 1952 issue of Fortune Magazine.

The term has evolved to describe the social phenomenon where individuals in groups begin to adopt common ideologies with one another, and where dissenting opinions and controversy are ousted in favor of consensus and conformity.

This dangerous phenomenon can be observed at universities across the United States, where significant portions of student bodies become radicalized against social injustices including racism, sexism and various other discriminatory “institutions.” GroupThink has mobilized student bodies across the United States on a scale not seen since the Vietnam era, and the clout and influence of these radical groups has permeated the administrative policy and curriculum of many American Universities.

In the fall semester of 2015, Andrea Quenette, a communications teacher on track for tenure at the University of Kansas, was asked to leave KU after students complained she was racially insensitive during a class discussion about racism: Dr. Quenette used a racially charged word to highlight a specific example of racial prejudice. During the time I spent at KU, in that same semester, I felt overwhelmed by the relentless badgering and questioning from yippy-enlightened professors and students, that proved to be unavoidable distractions. Everyone drank the Kool-Aid. If a student didn’t, they risked being marginalized as racists or “socially unaware.”

GroupThink pushed a majority of KU personnel to be more concerned with identifying and acknowledging cultural issues, rather than seeking rational and comprehensive solutions to the most tangible issues the community faced. Furthermore, the integrities of the student body’s freedom of speech and liberal education were severely compromised. Unfortunately, these deficiencies are not unique to KU, but impact many campuses across the country–notably Yale, which recently commissioned a committee to oversee the renaming of its various colleges (possibly even the university itself) in a vain act of dissociation with slave owning benefactors.

The real controversy arises in the pursuit of solutions rather than the acknowledgment of problems. Therefore, it’s not surprising that many students become more concerned with awareness rather than change. We like to forget the ‘act’ in activism, and why wouldn’t we? No one can be labeled a racist by merely agreeing that racism exists, but if someone offers an idea about how racism, or any of its null effects, may be mitigated, they risk being labeled a racist for misrepresenting or discounting a serious issue.

The fact of the matter is that many issues like racism and sexism are serious, and they deserve serious discussions and purposeful action, not just shallow awareness and empty gestures. Furthermore, any activism or philanthropy intended to aid these issues requires a certain degree of respect and prudence that has been absent on college campuses these past several years. Such is the calamity of GroupThink, where free thought, free speech and the fluid dissemination of ideas necessary for pragmatic solutions, are the casualties, and vanity and safe spaces are the spoils.

I am not so naive that I believe UNO is immune to this plague that burdens many other universities, and I hope my peers, administrators and teachers are not either. While it is my intention to “raise awareness” of GroupThink, I would be a hypocrite if I stopped there. I believe there are three core activities that help people avoid GroupThink, and I invite all of my fellow Mavericks to join me in these practices.

One: Read as much as possible, more than what is required in class and certainly more than what is featured on Facebook’s newsfeed. Share your unique knowledge with friends and classmates. It is important that people in such close-knit communities, such as college campuses, not all read the same books or articles. The constant influx of information is essential to any healthy academic ecosystem.

Two: Think small, and pick one or two issues that you are truly passionate about, and lead the community in purposeful action that will bring about comprehensive change where it is needed most.

Three: Never stop asking questions, and never stop seeking answers. Questions and answers are the only real instruments of knowledge and wisdom at our disposal. Knowledge is in the number of answers one has acquired, and wisdom is in the quality of the questions one has learned to ask.

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Photo Courtesy of UNO Athletics

Charlotte Reilly

The University of Nebraska at Omaha Women’s Soccer team is adding two transfer students to their team next fall.

Tim Walters, the UNO’s women’s soccer coach, said he hopes the two students will add speed and athleticism to the team.

Jaden Thiem was recruited to be a defender. She is originally from Elkhorn, Nebraska and will be a sophomore next year. She played volleyball for Northern Kentucky her freshman year, but wanted to return to Omaha to play soccer.

“She was an all-state honoree in both soccer and volleyball during her prep career. Thiem helped Elkhorn South to the 2015 Nebraska Class B State Championship, and won four state titles with Omaha FC under head coach Alex Mason,” according to Omaha Athletics.

Haley Johnson, from Bountiful, Utah, was recruited to be a goalkeeper. She played soccer at Iowa Western Community College, where she was a national runner-up. She then played for the University of South Florida. During her career in South Florida, she was a two-time NCAA All-American. Johnson will be a senior next fall for the Mavs.

Walters said Johnson wanted to play for UNO because she wants to have a bigger impact on a program. Currently, the UNO women’s team only has one goalkeeper, Erin Bunker.

“Bunker has done a fantastic job,” Walters said. “But we need two good goalkeepers. I love competition amongst our goalkeepers, and I think Johnson will provide that.”Walters said he hopes to have between 24 and 26 players on the roster next fall.

“Our goal was to get more athletic, and I think those two will be among our top athletes,”

Walters said. Walters said he has seen improvements in his players during the spring 2017 season, and he is excited to see the improvements carry out into the fall.

“I want the players to buy into our mentality and dig into life as student athletes,” Walters said. “It’s hard, but we want our athletes to be committed. We prepared the team for that this year, and I think we will see the benefits of that next season.”

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Photo Courtesy of University of Nebraska at Omaha

Juli Oberlander

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. deal with mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In order to meet student’s healthcare needs, University of Nebraska at Omaha Counseling and Psychological Services offers free confidential counseling to help students, faculty and maintain their mental health.

“Being able to manage our own stress is really one of the key responsibilities of being an adult,”
said Katherine Keiser, a campus medical health professional.

Keiser said students, faculty and staff can visit CAPS to address concerns in about eight to 10 sessions. The center offers free, short-term counseling, consultations and group counseling, among other services. Keiser said it is common for people to try to live their lives the best they can only to encounter obstacles, such as anxiety and high amounts of stress.

“It can be really helpful to be aware of your own level of stress and what to do about it,” Keiser
said. “It can be awfully easy to bury our heads in the sand and try to push things aside, but they have a funny way of creeping up on us if we don’t deal with them.”

Keiser said a stigma exists with mental health that causes people to feel embarrassed or unwilling to seek help.

However, that stigma is decreasing due to media attention, outreach programs and the advent of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which has made college more accessible to students.

The military is a large part of why Americans are more willing to discuss their mental health. An estimated 18 to 22 veterans commit suicide every day, according to NAMI.

Keiser said the military is working to get veterans the help they need, and the goal of seeking help has infiltrated into the media. Mental health awareness is also important to college campuses.

CAPS participates in many outreach programs in order to educate students on mental and emotional health. Keiser and her colleagues attend events, talk to classes and lead suicide prevention trainings.

Keiser has also taught stress management classes.

“Half the battle is just making sure people know we’re here and that we’re free and confidential,” Keiser said. “We get our faces out there, and I think we make it less scary.”

Keiser said many people feel relief from having someone to listen to them. Social support in the form of support groups is one of the greatest ways for people to de-stress.

CAPS offers various campus support groups open to the community. Beyond Blue is a support group for students with depression and anxiety. Lez-Bi-Real-Queer meets weekly and is open to students who identify as LGBTQIA+, according to the CAPS webpage. In addition, UNO has a NAMI chapter and has just started a veteran support group. Three weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings run at UNO, as well.

Along with social support, Keiser said CAPS works to prevent suicide, sexual assault and substance abuse. Two licensed alcohol and drug counselors are on staff and work with the UNO and Omaha communities.

“Prevention is a huge thing,” Keiser said. “Alcohol and drug abuse are very highly correlated with suicide and sexual assault, and I think we have some key staff who are experts on that.”

Keiser said she talks to students about a variety of mental health concerns from depression to test anxiety. She believes students have stressors in their lives past generations didn’t have to face, such as social media.

Keiser said UNO students are unique because most of them have jobs, which can lead students to make a choice between self-care and productiveness.

Keiser believes a student’s first priority should be to take care of his or her health and wellbeing.She said students should have “fuel” in the form of sleep, nutrition and relationships.

“I tell my clients there’s a difference between self-care and self-indulgence,” Keiser said. “If we’re not taking time for self-care, then we become like a car engine that’s running on empty.

Bethany Harwick is a UNO sophomore who has worked to maintain her health since she started college. “I think it’s important to take time to put yourself first,” Harwick said. “When you let stress build up, it really can take a toll on a person and they can just shut down.”

Harwick, who is majoring in education, said she relieves stress by watching TV and going to the gym. Talking to family and friends also helps her gain peace of mind.

“I think getting your feelings and thoughts out once in a while can help,” Harwick said. “You feel like you aren’t holding so much inside yourself.”

Harwick said she dealt with anxiety throughout high school and worried about doing well in college. Since she started attending UNO, she has worked to put her emotional and physical health first by exercising in HPER regularly as well as making time to relax between studying.

Harwick said she has felt much better about herself since adding these activities into her daily schedule. She also has improved her mental state by dedicating more time to her hobbies such as playing viola. Like Harwick, Keiser said it is vital for students to take time to do what they enjoy.

“It’s tough to be a college student if you’re feeling completely overwhelmed,” Keiser said. “It’s
really more important now than ever that we invest in ourselves.”

For more information about CAPS services, visit https://www.unomaha.edu/student-life/wellness/counseling-center/services.php

Photo Courtesy of WOWT

Charlotte Reilly

Earth Month at the University of Nebraska at Omaha will be filled with activities that teach students how to live sustainably.

The April events range from learning how to make homemade lip balm to using a bike blender to demonstrating how much energy appliances use.

“I view sustainability as a mindset,” said Sarah Burke, the UNO sustainability coordinator. “It’s
changing our behavior on how we live our lives. We are no longer just looking at what will better me, but instead what will better me, my family, my friends, my city, my state and the world. Every decision impacts all of this.”

The UNO sustainability page provides students a list of available activities. Students can receive free homemade beeswax or vegan lip balm at the natural beauty and cleaning products demonstration table on April 18. They can also take home recipe cards for all products displayed.

“We have a habit of convenience, and we don’t know where our stuff comes from,” Burke said. “It’s reconnecting to knowing the ingredients and knowing how things are made.”

The College of Business Administration’s Green Team is hosting five events, including a clothing swap in the Mammal Hall Atrium on April 12 and 13. Student Government is also getting involved by hosting three events.

They are planting trees on Arbor Day, planting a pollinator garden and hosting a Dakota Access Pipeline Panel. “I think the panel will be an opportunity to hear the difference perspectives and engage the students with a dialogue,” sophomore Emma Franklin said. “A pipeline has more than just a political aspect to it.”

The Wellness Center is hosting outdoor exercise classes. Yoga on the Green is from 12 to 1 p.m. in the Pep Bowl on April 13. That night, Outdoor Zumba Glow is from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Pep Bowl.

Celebrating Earth Month instead of Earth Week has allowed more organizations to participate.

“There’s been groups that have always wanted to do events, but the week of Earth Week always falls right before Destress Fest and finals week,” Burke said. “Trying to book a space and get people’s attention during that time period is difficult. We decided to spread it out to the entire month to give groups a better chance of hosting events.”

Students who want to volunteer to work events can search SustainUno on MavSync. Burke encourages students who cannot volunteer to participate in events.

“All we want from this month is to make people understand the importance of sustainability and that it’s easy,” Burke said. “My goal is to provide a wide variety of activities that peaks every student’s interest. I want to give students a little spark, especially ones who question sustainability.”

More and more students are becoming advocates for sustainability, Burke said. When Burke first came to UNO, students only talked about food waste. Now, students are coming to her concerned about global warming, climate change and water accessibility.

“I believe that our world has limited resources,” Franklin said. “We need to be responsible and make the environment suitable for future generations. Being aware of sustainability issues is important because I think we sometimes take the Earth for granted.”

Living a sustainable lifestyle can seem daunting, but Burke reminds students that even a small change in habits can make a big impact.

“It does not have to be all or nothing,” Burke said. “You choose the path that you are comfortable going down. I don’t expect everyone to become a vegan who wears organic clothing and doesn’t drive. That’s a lifestyle that most people are not comfortable with living. Even if you are able to do one or a little bit of everything, you are leading to a better planet for all of us.”

Burke wants to make sure students will continue to be aware of sustainability even after Earth Month is over. “This is my month to advertise what sustainability is, but it’s always happening on campus,”Burke said. “Even if I’m not hosting an event, there is something that is still happening behind the scenes.”

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Photo Courtesy of Nebraska -Omaha Athletics

Ray Koch

Many people may still be waiting to wake up from the nightmare that has been the start of the sea-son for the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s baseball team. After being outscored 55-8 in their first four losses, the Mavs have since lost four in a row, being held without a run in the last three of those contests. Granted, the competition has been stellar, but fans surely expected the Mavs to be more competitive against these top teams.

The Mavs showed they were capable of playing quality baseball with a quality team in their first game of last weekend when they battled Louisville, losing 7-2 in a game that was close until the last few innings. Unfortunately, that game turned out to be the only bright side of the series. The Mavs lost the next two games to No. 9 Louisville, 6-0 and 8-0, and only scrounged out six hits combined in both games.

Omaha then came home, but made a quick pit stop in Kansas for a mid-week game against Wichita State. Last time in Kansas, the Mavs lost to the Kansas Jayhawks, 11-1. The Mavs’ previous meeting with Wichita State was a barn-burner where Omaha came up just short, losing 5-4. This seasons battle against the Shockers drew yet another parallel with their previous series – a blowout loss.

Managing only three hits, the UNO was embarrassed 8-0. The loss brought the Mavs to 1-8 on the season, only scoring 18 runs in their first nine games. Things were looking brighter last Friday when the Mavs put 11 runs up against Incarnate Word, but gave up two late runs to squander their lead to lose 12-11. The Mavericks surely have not had a problem giving up runs, as they have given up 70 in their first 10 games.

Without a doubt, Omaha has been the underdog in every game this season. Still, that’s no excuse for the lack of runs being produced, which, outside of their 12-run performance, is less than two runs per game. That type of offense won’t get many wins against Division I teams.

Simply put, if the Mavericks want to find success this season, the bats need to get going. One year removed from having the best hitter in the conference in Clayton Taylor, the 2017 Mavericks do not have one player hitting over .300 this season. With conference play starting in less than two weeks, it is imperative the Mavericks find their identity at the plate.

Head coach Evan Porter surely wanted to start off his first season on a more positive note, but the ugly truth is that there is nowhere to go but up. Many of the questions fans have going into this season remain unanswered. One can only hope UNO finds its identity before they host South Dakota State on March 10 to open conference play.

After a dismal opening two weeks, pressing the panic button seems justified, but even frustrated fans must keep in mind, the Mavericks haven’t even had their home opener yet. Coach Porter will surely look to turn things around before their home-opener. As far as the Mavs’ offense, it’s time to hit, or get hit.

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Photo Courtesy of LinkedIn

Marissa Woolard

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s softball team was knocked down in a doubleheader
against Georgia Tech, falling 5-1 and 2-1at Mewborn Field in Atlanta, GA. The Mavericks are now 3-7 on the season.

GAME 1 – GEORGIA TECH 5, OMAHA 1- Feb. 24th @ 1:00 pm

Omaha was limited in their first game of Friday’s doubleheader by Georgia Techs pitcher Brooke Barfield. Freshmen Hailey Bartz, Emily Klosterman and senior Lizzie Noble each had singles for the Mavericks.

The Yellow Jackets’ starter Brooke Barfield had a great outing on the mound with three hits and one run, along with six strikeouts. Senior right-hander Abbie Clanton took a loss for Omaha, surrendering five runs on seven hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts over six innings of work.

Georgia Tech scored first in the bottom of the first inning with three runs on two hits. Jessica Kowalewicz walked and Malea Bell singled through the left side. Junior Kelsey Chisholm sent a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall for an early 3-0 lead.

Georgia Tech added a run in the third thanks to a triple by senior outfielder Samantha Pierannunzi. She scored on a single by Malea Bell through the left side, bringing the game to 4-0 score.

The Mavericks finally got on the board in the top of the fifth inning. Senior outfielder Lia Mancuso reached on an error by Georgia Tech catcher Rebecca Praire and advanced to second base on the play.

Georgia Tech got the run back in the bottom of the sixth. Jessica Kowalewicz opened the inning with a single through left field and advanced to third. Kowalewicz scored on Chisholm’s fly to the left side, bringing Georgia Tech up by 5-1.

GAME 2 – GEORGIA TECH 2, OMAHA 1 – Feb. 24th @ 3:00 p.m.

Georgia Tech senior pitcher Jenna Goodrich picked up the win in the second game, allowing just one run on two hits and a walk in two innings of hard work. Georgia Tech’s starter Emily Anderson pitched the first six innings and allowed only three hits with four strikeouts. Sophomore right-hander Laura Roecker pitched a complete game for the Mavs but picked up the loss, allowing two runs with five hits and six strikeouts.

Omaha had runners on base in the first three innings, but could not manufacture a run to win the game. Georgia Tech had bases loaded in the bottom of the third inning with two hits and a walk, but Roecker was able to get a groundout to prevent any damage.

Both teams had runners on base in the fifth and sixth inning but the game remained scoreless.

UNO’s senior infielder Nicole Warren managed a walk to start the top of the eighth inning and moved onto third on junior outfielder Kelly Pattison’s bunt. Vicky Kinney hit a single to left field to bring Warren home and put Omaha on the scoreboard with a 1-0 lead.

Georgia Tech senior infielder Jessica Kowalewicz worked a walk and scored on a UNO error on a single by junior infielder Malea Bell. With Bell on third, junior infielder Kendall Chadwick hit a single up the middle for a walk-off win.

Omaha returns to the field Saturday, Feb. 25, facing back-to-back games against Georgia State at the Heck Softball Complex in Atlanta, GA. The first game starts at 11 a.m. and the second game starting immediately after at 1 p.m.

The Mavs face Kennesaw State Sunday, Feb. 26 at Bailey Park in Kennesaw, GA. The first pitch starts at 10 a.m.