• Community Stories

    History of the Ohio University Convocation Center

    In an effort to increase enrollment to 25,000 students by 1975, Ohio University President Vernon Alden instituted the building of more than 20 buildings in the 1960s, which cost more than $100 million. One of them was the Convocation Center. In his book Speaking for Myself: The Personal Reflections of Vernon R. Alden, Alden claimed the Center “was far and away the most controversial.” To be able to build it, Alden reached out to one of the richest men in Athens, Fred Beasley. Beasley was an auto dealership owner with many investments in coal mining and other endeavors around Southeast Ohio. Beasley pledged $1 million for the center, and the…

  • Community Stories

    Ohio U Street Fair Forges Global Bonds

    Cultures of the world lined the streets of Athens during its annual international fair. Hand-crafted wares and homemade foods — from the colorful kente stoles of Ghana to the fragrant stir fry and satay of Indonesia — were displayed and enjoyed along East Union Street. Students shared their cultures with pride. Elyas Saboor, an international graduate student, said it was a day to dispel unkind stereotypes. At his booth dedicated to the Fulbright Program, he hoped to educate his peers about his own country, Afghanistan. The event culminated in a procession of flags as students donned traditional dress and marched through the streets to the rhythm of drums. What aspect…

  • Community Stories

    Special Educators Encourage Community to Understand Those with Disabilities

    Jamie Waugh is an intervention specialist that teaches at Athens High School and has been an educator for the past six years. She began her career in accounting, but having a mother who suffered from an illness most of her life gave her a passion to serve special needs people. “I love people, I love kids and I love making people happy,” she said. “I believe the right teacher has to be with the right kids and I am the right teacher for the kids I have. They make me want to come to school every day because I want them to learn and expand but also learn to be…

  • Community Stories

    Worker-Owned Casa Nueva Provides a Democratic Workplace Alternative

    Casa Nueva is well-known in Athens for its locally-sourced and seasonal dishes, but it also serves as an example of an alternative to the traditional workspace. The restaurant and cantina is worker-owned, meaning there isn’t a consolidation of power at the top, and employees can interact in a democratic process to make decisions about their workplace. Tapping a cask at @CasaNuevaRest for Beer Week! pic.twitter.com/wZ3hzYlB1B — Seventh Son Brewing (@seventhsonbrew) July 22, 2016 Worker-owned businesses in Athens, Ohio (map) Bill Stamp, a Casa employee for more than 10 years, says he enjoys working in a democratic environment, but every workplace has its ups and downs. “It really always comes down…

  • Community Stories

    Dive into the Ohio University Aquatic Center!

    Forget the hot and crowded Ping Recreation Center; there’s a better way to get a workout. Behind Bird Arena and attached to Grover is the Ohio University Aquatic Center, also known as the OUAC. The Olympic-sized pool has 22 25-yard lanes, 10 50-meter lanes and a pair of one-meter and three-meter diving boards. Approximately 645,468.75 gallons create 12,300 square feet of surface water. In the ceiling above the water are 13 wooden timber-beams of Douglas fir, Western Larch, Southern Pine, and California Redwood. The pool is free to use for any Ohio student. Faculty and other members of the community can purchase affordable daily, semester, or annual pool passes. In…

  • Community Stories

    The Leader’s Legacy: Athens hosts unique Variety Tournament

    For the last two months, Athens has been home to something that the area has never seen and taken part in before: A Variety Tournament. With events like basketball, tennis, golf, pool, corn-hole and video games, this tournament has been something new and exhilarating to many people. Seventeen contestants were chosen from the largest student organization on campus. They competed in front of the whole Appalachian Valley via social media to see who would reign supreme as the luckiest and most skilled at Ohio University. The tournament was posted on Challonge.com, where the public could vote on who they thought would win each match up. A reminder voting is open…

  • Community Stories

    Being different in Appalachia has its own challenges

    Athens, Ohio may be a temporary home for a lot of Ohio University students for the four to six years they study. But, for some residents this is where their formative years are spent. Growing up can be hard and confusing for anyone, especially for those whose neighbors do not look like them. Gaza Odunaiya, Charlee Cobb and Simphiwe Shongwe are a few of these students. As the nation continues to clash about race relations, these three students had a front row seat to being a minority in Appalachia. While similarities among race bring some shared experiences, the unique mixture of being both a racial minority and rural are bring…

  • Community Stories

    Gigi’s: A restaurant that creates community six miles outside Athens

    The doors unlock at 7 a.m. and let in an elderly couple that could float away after all the coffee they drink. A little later Greg comes in. He’s a local who comes in twice a day every day. Then JT. He shuffles to the back booth to claim His space. His dirty overalls and rat tail braid make his drink order of green tea with honey somewhat surprising and humorous. The rest of JT’s boys come in and sit in the booth to begin discussing the day’s work ahead of them. When asked what his favorite part of Gigi’s was, JT replied, “I love the community, I know I…

  • Community Stories,  VR

    Experience new band 90’S KIDS and their genre busting music

    After interviewing local Athens band, 90’S KIDS, the only word I can come up to describe them is humble. Consisting of three members, Corey Mouch, Robby MacAskill, and Matt King, they ooze a sense of casual confidence. 90’S KIDS brings a sense of nostalgia for any kids born in the 1990s but goes beyond stereotypical imagery and references. From incorporating inspiration from their own family and friends, the band’s lyrics are actually relatable and far from the angsty grunge that seemed to dominate the ’90s decade. “Instead of playing video games, and doing stuff like that, we get to do band things,” MacAskill said. “Looking at it as less of…

  • Community Stories

    Marietta’s Peoples Bank Theatre brings community together

    For generations, the Peoples Bank Theatre has been a gem of the Mid-Ohio Valley. The gorgeous 940-seat theater hosts a wide variety of performances from local and traveling acts alike. Located on Putnam Street in the historic downtown Marietta, Ohio, the theater is a nonprofit organization focused on bringing culture and art to the community. Timeline Dark Infogram TONIGHT: Sunday April 29 Marietta OH Peoples Bank Theatre 8 PM https://t.co/c8tY1xZ60b @Hipp1919 This show is sold out a 2nd show is booked for May 4th #ShineTheLightTour2018 — The Oak Ridge Boys (@oakridgeboys) April 29, 2018 🎟 Tickets for our Summer-Fall Spotlight Series are moving fast! Get yours at the link in…