In mountains, on roads, biking takes center stage

By CULLAN STAACK/Montana State News

No matter what kind of bicycle you ride, southwest Montana will keep you happy with in-town trails, long smooth roads and beautiful vistas to choose from. Endless possibilities exist when it comes to mountain biking; the only limitations are the type of trail and level of challenge you’re looking for. Whether it’s a smooth, fast downhill rush or a thigh-burning, lung-searing ascent (or both), it’s all just a short distance from Bozeman.

In communities across Montana, bicycling and walking are safe, everyday, mainstream activities. Bicycling and walking are recognized, accommodated and funded as legitimate and essential modes of transportation.

Montanans enjoy an enhanced quality of life, a cleaner environment, and better health as a result of the commitment to bicycling. After all, who wouldn’t want to enjoy the fresh air and big skies of the Treasure State by choosing to ride instead of drive? Montana is also a model for innovative bicycling and walking facilities and programs.

The history of biking in Montana traces back to the Bike Walk Montana organization. Although it has a short history, Bike Walk Montana has a long-term vision of making Montana a safer and more accessible state for bicycling and walking. Continue reading “In mountains, on roads, biking takes center stage”

Cycling more than a pastime for enthusiast

By CHELSEA ANDERSON/Montana State News

From my seat in the coffee shop, I see him approach on his commuter bike. Despite the rainy weather, I’m not surprised to see Kyle Rohan show up to our interview on a bike. He sets a bright helmet on the table, asking, “What would you like to know about biking?”

Rohan is a graduate student at MSU who got into road racing when he was earning his undergraduate degree in Florida. Rohan was first interested in biking for the commuting aspect. “One day when I was riding the bus, I saw a guy on a bike pass the bus, and I was like, ‘That. That is who I want to be.’”

After initially getting interested in biking, Rohan found himself interested in competitive racing. “Road racing is a lot different in a concentrated place like Florida than it is here in Montana. For one thing, more people are involved in it,” he says.

Rohan joined the cycling team at his university and began seriously training for races: “When you’re taking racing seriously, you have to spend around 25 hours a week on your bike training.” In addition to the large number of hours of training required to be successful in the sport, collegiate racing involves a large number of hours traveling to races. Continue reading “Cycling more than a pastime for enthusiast”

Tuition increase will pose challenges for student

By RANIA AMPNTEL CHAFINT/Montana State News
Wearing a blue Montana State University (MSU) hoodie and an MSU basketball cap, Sean Weber has been involved in various roles on campus.

Weber was a student supervisor at the MSU Alumni Foundation, a resident advisor for MSU Residence Life and the president of the Chinese Culture Club, to name a few. Despite his commitment, Weber is at risk of dropping out in the face of the looming possible 21 percent tuition increase.

Weber, 24, has been involved with various initiatives on campus. In the past, he has lobbied for the renovation of Romney Hall in Helena and has taken on a role within the Associated Students of Montana State University (ASMSU). Weber’s connection with MSU runs long in his family.

From Palmdale, California, Weber is second generation MSU student.

“My father was MSU class of ’80 and I visited [MSU] often growing up,” Weber said with a smile, explaining proudly that his father gave him the cap he wore when he was in middle school. “It seemed like an adventure.” Weber enrolled at MSU five years ago to pursue a degree in international relations with a minor in Chinese studies.

To Weber, MSU was an affordable alternative to universities in California. Continue reading “Tuition increase will pose challenges for student”

U-system tuition increase hiatus ends

By VIRGINIA HOLST/Montana State News

Montana State University (MSU) is about to raise tuition and break a trend of slower tuition increases than the rest of the country for 10 years now.

Since the Legislature’s approval of House Bill 2, which cuts funding to the entire Montana University System (MUS), including MSU and other state Universities which will be increasing tuition.

The hike seems drastic, but when compared to similar universities across the country, such as Colorado State University (CSU) and the University of Wyoming (UW), other universities have increased their tuitions more rapidly than their counterparts in Montana.

“Over the past ten years the MUS has increased tuition at slower pace than any other state in the nation,” according to the Montana University System website.

In comparison, both CSU and U. of WY have seen dramatic climbs to both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates in the past ten years. Below are two graphs comparing each university’s annual tuition rates, for both in and out-of-state students, to their annual undergraduate enrollment. Continue reading “U-system tuition increase hiatus ends”

Marrow recipient spreads the word

By EMILY SCHABACKER/Montana State News

Bone marrow transplants can increase survival rate up to 97 percent in patients who suffer from life threatening blood cancers, according to the Be The Match website. Be The Match acts as the world’s largest and most diverse bone marrow registry in the world with nearly 27 million individuals registered as potential donors.

The first ever bone marrow transplant was a success in 1979 when 10-year old-Laura Graves was diagnosed with leukemia. Once Graves made a full recovery, her parents set out to organize a national bone marrow donor registry, according to Youtube video Be the Match: A History of Curing Blood Cancers.

John Philpott, community engagement representative for Be The Match, works to educate communities all over the country about marrow donation.

“We want to educate as many people as we can and give them the opportunity to decide if it’s the right thing for them to join the registry,” said Philpott. Continue reading “Marrow recipient spreads the word”

Bone marrow donation saves a life

BY MICHELLE BURGER/Montana State News

Christian Lapp knew he would be serving his country when he joined the Marine Corps in March 2009, but Lapp had no idea he would be donating his bone marrow to save someone’s life.

Lapp, 26 and born and raised in Bozeman, joined the Marine Corps right out of high school.

“In high school, I was a horrifically bad student and my options were kind of limited. A couple schools wanted to give me scholarships for mountain biking. When it came time for me to choose, I realized (joining the marines) was that thing in the back of my head where since second grade. I was like, ‘I’m gonna go be a marine’,” said Lapp.

Many of Lapp’s family members joined the army, including two cousins and his uncle. Joining the military “was in my culture,” said Lapp.

Lapp’s uncle had the greatest influence on his choice to join the military. Lapp saw his uncle, who had a troubled upbringing, transform after joining the army and decided it was a dream of his as well. Around 10 years old is when he fell in love with this destiny. Continue reading “Bone marrow donation saves a life”

Long-time locals’ perspective on growth

By BAY STEPHENS/Montana State News

Big country and little towns with skies that stretch from one eternity to the other: classic Montana. An element of legend and grit has swirled around the state since its inception. For those that have grown up here, the land and culture have changed, especially in a place like Bozeman.

Once a town to supply the surrounding ranch and farm communities, Bozeman became a place where cultures met: cowboy and ski culture, rustic and modern, and everything beyond and in between.

With a university to draw young students, it didn’t take long for the word to get out. Today, Bozeman – often referred to as the next Boulder, Colorado – faces dramatic change brought on by a burgeoning population and a nexus of interests and people.

Though change is not inherently bad, three generations of locals attest that Bozeman is not what it once was, in some ways for the better, yet, in other ways, elements have been lost. Continue reading “Long-time locals’ perspective on growth”

Ultimate Frisbee team gain national recognition

By ZACHARY COE/Montana State News

The Montana State University Ultimate team is the unsung pride of this university’s athletic program. While the common name of Ultimate Frisbee cannot actually be uttered due to trademark laws on the actual word Frisbee, the players and captains of the sport have made this relatively overlooked event nationally recognized.

Captained by Quinn Hanson, Drew Shanafelt, Than Wiggins and managed by Thomas Walz, the MSU Ultimate team has been nationally recognized as the 35th ranked team in the nation with a perfect tournament record that may lead the team into this summer’s national competition in Cincinnati.

While many in the community consider this to be a hobby rather than a serious, school endorsed activity, the last five to 10 years have seen a sharp rise in the level of support from MSU. The team is considered a varsity association and is officially called The Montana State Rum Runners. As a result of this involvement, the team is required to do fundraising and volunteering activities in the community. In exchange, the school assists with car rentals, insurance and other miscellaneous costs. Continue reading “Ultimate Frisbee team gain national recognition”

MSU Swim Club flies under the radar

By JARED MILLER/Montana State News

Bozeman is an active community with runners, cyclists and fitness junkies of all kinds. However, if four years ago you were a student at Montana State University and loved swimming, specifically competitive swimming, you didn’t have an organized club to practice and compete with.

Today, though, the same cannot be said.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of current MSU Swim Club President Alex Irish and club Vice President Jordan Burt, the university was able to have a club for those who like getting their exercise in the water. Irish being a lifeguard at a local pool saw he had the perfect opportunity to get the club on its feet. “I love swimming,” he said, “and I was also in the great position to start (the club).”

It took some hard work and mentoring from his boss, but some two years ago MSU’s swim club was born. “We ended up with five to 10 regular members that first semester,” said Irish and since then the club has only grown. Now they have about 15 members that attend regularly according to Irish. Continue reading “MSU Swim Club flies under the radar”

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