The Top 10 News Stories of 2010


10. SA gets 3B money

The Students’ Association works hard to do what they believe is best for SDSU students, and they fought hard to obtain $15,000 in 3B tax money. SA petitioned the Brookings City Council for what they, and The Collegian’s Editorial Board, saw as students’ fair share of the money.

After much discussion, SA got the money, and hopefully it will be put to good use.

9. Committee restructuring

SDSU initiated a huge structural change when 52 Faculty Senate and administrative committees were cut and combined to form 16 committees.

8. Nameless no more

It’s hard to believe the beloved jackrabbit mascot didn’t have a name until his 104th birthday. After a month-long selection process and vote, SDSU’s mascot was officially named Jack the Jackrabbit. Few were surprised.

7. Clery Act violated

Last January, the SDSU Police Department violated federal law when a student was denied access to crime logs. The student, who was collaborating with The Collegian, requested the crime logs under the Clery Act, a federal law that requires colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to provide logs upon request. Crime logs are incidents reported to campus police and include all crimes reported.

The Clery Act states that crime logs must include the “nature, date, time and general location of each crime” and must be publicly available during normal business hours. “Students and employees (of the university) and the general public such as parents or members of the local press may access it.”

Whether or not the officer working at the time was unaware of the requirements of the Clery Act or was following a SDSUPD policy is unknown. SDSUPD Chief Officer Tim Heaton said there must have been a “miscommunication by someone.”

“Most of my full-time officers should know that the logs are public,” he said.

6. A rivalry renewed

After six full years and a switch to Division-I, SDSU and USD competed in a spectator sport once again. The match up between returning NCAA Tournament team SDSU and new D-I member USD drew a Frost Arena season-high crowd of 5,246. The rivalry will be restored more permanently next season, with USD joining the Summit League and Missouri Valley Football Conference. But it was on this night, with heightened levels of security to prevent anything obscene that existed in the rivalry in previous years, that the first exposure to Division-I athletics for both schools was presented.

5. Smoking ignites controversy

In what could probably be considered the most controversial story of 2010, the Students’ Association voted to put a campus-wide smoking ban to a student-faculty vote. The story generated (and continues to generate) letters to the editor, op-ed columns and numerous online comments 8212; both for and against a ban. There was even a small protest where students against a ban smoked outside The Union, and The Collegian’s Editorial Board took a firm stance against the action of SA.

The South Dakota Student Federation is planning on researching the issue at on their respective campuses and will eventually present information to the South Dakota Board of Regents.

4. Big money for SDSU

What does it mean when SDSU President David Chicoine, The Pride of the Dakota’s Drum Line and Brass Line, cheerleaders, falling balloons, blaring U2 music and a crowd full of people are all packed into The Union Marketplace?

Big bucks, apparently.

On Oct. 21 SDSU held the extravagant event to announce that it had broken South Dakota higher education fund-raising records, raising over $137.2 million in private gifts and pledges from the SDSU Foundation’s “It Starts With State” campaign.

But that wasn’t the only big announcement. The university also announced the final 2012 goal of the campaign: $200 million, to which the crowd at the event erupted with a thunderous standing ovation.

3. Aaron Hohwieler

The fun and games of Hobo Week came to an abrupt and tragic end. Aaron Hohwieler died in Pierson Hall from heart failure on Oct. 23. The 20-year-old Sioux Falls native was being treated for blood clots.

Hohwieler’s friends responded almost immediately with an outpouring of remembrance and affection for the friend they lost. A group of Hohwieler’s close friends created the “In Memory of Aaron Hohwieler” Facebook page and distributed green ribbons to honor Hohwieler. The group even decorated the northwest Caldwell Hall windows, writing “We miss you Aaron” and drawing large, green ribbons.

Throughout his life and activities 8212; The Pride of the Dakota’s Marching Band and SuFuDu (a Sioux Falls summer drum line), to name a few 8212; Hohwieler touched many lives, and he is greatly missed.

2. Chris Jones

For three weeks this spring, Chris L. Jones terrorized the SDSU and Brookings communites. Jones raped and robbed three women at knife point, one of which he also kidnapped. Jones was arrested April 20 and sentenced to 80 years in state prison on Nov. 9. He pleaded guilty to three counts of rape and one count of kidnapping.

The Collegian’s Editorial Board, along with other individuals, raised questions about the university’s handling of the situation. The administration only informed students of the danger after the second rape. When they did inform students, they sent out emails and hung flyers but did not to use the Campus Alert System.

In response to the heinous acts, students created the Safe Walk Brigade, a Facebook group offering safe escorts for their peers. The SDSUPD actively reminded students of their 24/7 escort services.

Chris Jones’ crimes dominated The Collegian’s headlines at the end of the 2010 Spring Semester. The Collegian covered his confession and subsequent trial this fall, as well.

1. Catangui’s controversial dismissal

Former extension entomologist Mike Catangui was dismissed from his position in the plant science department June 21.

The university did not provide all of the reasons for Catangui’s removal, but Rich Helsper, SDSU’s attorney, said that Catangui followed his own research instead of the mandated requirement for decided at which threshold to spray for the removal of soybean aphids or soybean pests.

The university’s actions did not come without any consequences. According to Gregory Scholtz, associate secretary and director for the American Association of University Professors, SDSU did not follow the firing procedures outlined in the collective bargaining agreement between the S.D. Board of Regents and the S.D. Council of Higher Education.

According to the agreement, tenured faculty members are to receive a hearing before a faculty committee before they are dismissed, but Catangui was not afforded this hearing until after his dismissal, Gary Aguiar, COHE president and assistant professor of political science at SDSU, said.

Catangui was afforded a hearing after AAUP wrote a letter addressing the issue. However, in another instance AAUP said the university violated the agreement a second time when they terminated Catangui before the hearing results.

Because of this, the university is at risk of being censured, which would mark SDSU as deficient when it comes to academic freedom.

“I would think twice before applying for, much less accepting, a faculty appointment at an institution whose administration had incurred AAUP censure,” Scholtz said.

Because of this possibility, the Faculty Senate and the Students’ Association have since made an effort to stay informed about the situation.

Currently, Catangui has completed the fifth step of the grievance process and is waiting to hear final results from a closed hearing that took place Nov. 16 and 17.