Check out student and faculty artwork at the All Student Show

By Jordan Weiker
Campus Life Assistant Editor

Interested in seeing recently created artwork while sipping on light refreshments? The All Student Art Show’s opening reception will be held April 17 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Viterbo University Gallery on the third floor of the Fine Arts Center.
“Anyone is allowed to visit our gallery, and every student is allowed to submit artwork to the show, regardless of major,” said Joseph Miller, assistant professor of art. “The show runs April 17 – May 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week while classes are in session.”
“Throughout the year, the gallery features the work of students and faculty, as well as the work of regionally and nationally known artists and graphic designers,” according to the Viterbo University gallery’s website.
“Students and faculty should consider attending the All Student Art Show to see and explore the wonderful artwork that is being made by students and faculty at Viterbo,” Miller said. “Students and faculty will have the opportunity to connect with artists, designers and art faculty at the reception.”
In addition to this year’s art show, the art department will also be self-publishing a second edition of the All Student Show catalog, which features work from the exhibit. “We produce an edition of 50 catalogs,” Miller told Lumen. “Each student participant receives a copy and dedicated art students help edit, photograph, design, print and bind this edition. All production is done in-house.”
Non-student participants can also purchase a copy of the All Student Show catalog, either in person or through shipping. “Shipping is free, and all proceeds will go to future All Student Show catalog publications,” said Miller.
Selections from the All Student Art Show will also be available on the art department’s blog at http://viterbo-art.blogspot.com/. The current blog features selec¬tions and information from the 2012 show, including a video tour of the Viterbo University Gallery, along with several short films and a full length documentary by Jasper Duberry.
“Duberry was featured on La Crosse’s Channel 19 TV talking about the 2012 show, and the YouTube video of this interview can be found on the department’s blog as well,” Miller said.
Students and faculty wanting to know more about the All Student Art Show can visit the art department’s blog or contact Joseph Miller at jemiller@viterbo.edu.

Franny’s to become Einstein Bros. Bagels for upcoming school year

By Jessica Hartling
Campus Life Assistant Editor

Large changes are coming to Franny’s, the campus coffee shop located next to the library, over this upcoming summer. While students and faculty begin to the feel the stress of the semester coming to a close, the staff at Franny’s is getting more excited.
Over the summer, Franny’s will be converted into Einstein Bros. Bagels at Franny’s (EBB), a brand under Einstein Noah Restaurant Group. According to their website, EBB offers “a diverse menu rang¬ing from gourmet, to-go coffee and specialty drinks to baked goods, salads, made-to-order sandwiches and decadent desserts.”
“I think that with EBB coming in that we will become even busier,” Carly Penshorn, senior sociology major from Reedsburg, Wis., told Lumen. Penshorn is a barista at Franny’s. “The variety and options for food that EBB will bring I feel will draw in more students and faculty every day.”
Working at Franny’s for seven years, Karen Steinhoff is excited for the changes to come. “Each year Franny’s gets busier and busier. I believe that EBB will bring in more people as well,” Steinhoff told Lumen.
With the changing of Franny’s into EBB also comes a change of hours it will be open. “We will now be open until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, which will be really nice,” Penshorn said.
Other changes to Franny’s beyond its name and menu is the price of items on the menu. “It will be more expensive than what Franny’s costs now, but the quality will be well worth it,” Penshorn said.
Kristina Bowman , freshman dietetics major from Gurnee, Ill., is looking forward to the new changes to come to Franny’s. “When I saw the email that got sent out to students about the meal plan changes and saw that Franny’s was turning into EBB, I was excited,” Bowman told Lumen. “I feel that this will be a good change on campus and that a lot of people will take advantage of EBB.”
“I am excited about EBB coming to Viterbo, especially with their selection and the fact they are bringing iced-drinks,” Steinhoff said. “We go through a large amount of bagels every day. It will be nice to have fresh bagels for students and staff to eat, as well as maintaining a nice hangout spot.”
For those who would like to try EBB before fall, UW-La Crosse has an EBB located on their campus in the Cartwright Center.

Get your wands ready

By Jessica Schurmann
Assistant Editor

With the first book of the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” being released in 1998, most Viterbo students grew up with the famed fictional charac¬ters.
For five days, Viterbo students will get to break out their Harry Potter wisdom, costumes and nerdiness for VU After Dark, Honors Club and Quidditch Club’s collab¬orative week-long event.
Directly following Easter break from April 2-6, students are in¬vited to participate and compete in a variety of events that will earn points for the respective houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.
From Tuesday to Friday, there will be a trivia question posted on Com¬munications. Answering correctly will gain participants House Points.
Every day there will also be two Horcruxes to hunt down on cam¬pus. The first clue will be located in the Hawk’s Nest movie room on the VU After Dark bulletin board. Solve and follow the clues to find the Horcruxes. Clues should be left up for all participants throughout the day; however the first person to find the hidden Horcruxes will bring them in to the Hawk’s Nest to claim points for their house. Win¬ners of the Horcrux hunt will also be put into a drawing to win the official sorting hat.
On Wednesday and Thursday, movie nights will be hosted in the Hawk’s Nest movie room. Come and vote for your favorite Harry Potter movie to watch and enjoy some popcorn. Students will receive House Points just by enjoying a movie.
Friday will bring a feast in the “Great Hall.” Dine in the Cafeteria from 4:45-6 p.m. and enjoy spe¬cial treats, music and decorations themed around the book series. Hogwarts attire is strongly en¬couraged so that students can get creative and earn more points for their Houses.
All of the week-long activities lead up to the grand finale: the Quidditch World Cup. Located in the Mathy Center, students will compete at 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, for their respective houses. All students are welcome to come cheer on the players in the tourna¬ment-style matches. Wizard-world treats such as licorice wands and Bertie-Bott’s Every Flavor Beans will be served as well.
For those who would like to participate and earn points for their houses, please go to http://quid-ditchviterbo.site90.net/, or email jschur03185@viterbo.edu with name and house.

Environmental studies minor changed to sustainability minor

By Andrea Matson
Contributing Reporter

If you look for the environmen¬tal studies minor in the 2013-2014 course catalog, it won’t be there. Instead students will find environ¬mental science and sustainability listed under the available minors students can enroll in.
The current course catalog de¬scribes the environmental stud¬ies minor as “designed to help students appreciate the diversity and complexity of current environ¬mental issues” and is intended for students of any major. The envi-ronmental studies minor is inter¬disciplinary and offers courses not only in sciences such as biology and chemistry but classes in literature, philosophy and religion. Students are required to take at least two courses from the social sciences or humanities.
Come fall this will all change. Instead of an environmental studies minor to choose there will be an environmental science minor. This new minor will be different than its predecessor said Christopher Iremonger, professor of natural sciences and head of environmen¬tal studies. The minor “is based in biology [and] will not be interdisci¬plinary.”
The environmental science minor will be offered to complement those science majors which also require a minor and will add an additional six to nine credits outside of what is required for students’ majors.
The lack of interdisciplinary courses offered could pose prob¬lems for non-science based majors because courses like English 204, Environmental Literature, or Phi¬losophy 302, Environmental Ethics, will not count toward the minor.
Iremonger said “it wouldn’t be easy, but do-able, for non-science majors to minor in environmental science.” He noted that education majors would more easily take up the new minor because they typically take more general science education courses, but it would be difficult for most students.
Students who want an environ¬mental studies minor still have op¬tions. The minor is not completely disappearing, stated Iremonger, but “morphing into the sustainability’s minor.”
The reason behind the change is that the administration wanted to add a minor to accompany the sustainability major. However, the sustainability minor overlapped the environmental studies minor in so many ways that it was decided to eliminate the environmental studies minor and just have the sustainabil¬ity minor.
Whereas the environmental sci¬ence minor will be for mostly sci¬ence majors thesustainability minor will be for students of any major. Sister Lucy Slinger, FSPA, professor and Sustainability Degree Coordi¬nator, said that the sustainability minor “provides students with a set of unique credentials for the job market, [because] every field is looking for people with experience in sustainability.”
Students will notice some differ¬ences between the minors. The sus¬tainability minor has a broader em¬phasis and doesn’t focus as much on science. Also, the environmental studies minor has a requirement of 20-25 credits where the sustainabil¬ity minor has a requirement of 15.
Sister Lucy explained that the Sustainability minor looks beyond just “natural resources but works with people and resources to pro¬mote a sustainable future.”
However, there are also many courses that do overlap. Courses such as American Environmental History, Environmental Spiritual¬ity, and others count towards both minors.
Students currently in the envi¬ronmental studies minor will not be affected by the addition of the sustainability minor or the environ¬mental science minor. According to Iremonger the only change students may experience is that ENVS 400, Seminar on the Environment, will no longer be offered.
The course was originally de¬signed as a three hour block once a week, but students had difficulty fitting it into their schedules. Start¬ing in the fall, students will take ENVS 325, Environmental Sustain¬ability as a replacement course.

Students volunteer their time over spring break

By Kim Worblewski
Contributing Reporter

Viterbo students returned from a recent spring break service trip to Cincinnati, Ohio, that inspired them to grow as individuals and al¬lowed them to make a difference in people’s lives. “Students came back [from the trip] excited and wanting to change the world” said Emilio Alvarez, assistant director of Cam¬pus Ministry, who helped organize and chaperone the trip.
Thirteen students and three chaperones went on the service trip. The students worked throughout the break, as they left on Sunday, March 3 for Cincinnati and vol¬unteered from Monday, March 4 through Thursday, March 7, leaving Friday, March 8 to return home. The trip was organized by Campus Ministry and students worked with the Franciscans Sisters for the Poor.
The students volunteered for numerous nonprofit organizations around Cincinnati. Working to feed the hungry and helping out chil¬dren and adults with disabilities. They also made breakfast for peo¬ple staying at the Ronald McDonald house, an organization that assists sick children; worked at an after school program for children who have no place to go after school hours; and assisted nonprofits with painting houses.
Mixing over 600 gallons of paint to send around the world was another activity students worked on. The students aided Matthew 25 Ministries with separating paint do¬nated to the organization. The paint will be used to paint houses around the world.
The goal of the trip was to let the students “encounter a new environ¬ment” and “challenge them to see beyond their own worldviews,” Alvarez said. The students were also given the chance to “experi¬ence poverty and were challenged to be good servant leaders.”
“Throughout the week, our group served at several organizations and social service agencies throughout the area and truly was provided a culturally diverse experience,” Sara Meyer, a junior social work major, who went on the trip, said. “This trip was a wonderful opportunity for students [to] experience changes of pace, perspective, and heart.”
“I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything,” Meyer said. “Since returning home, I’ve been inspired and motivated to continue serv¬ing in my community and hope that I can continue to share what I learned with others.”
Sam Homp, a senior ministry major, said that the trip was fun, but challenging. “It’s a different en¬vironment,” he said. He explained that the students had to work with each other as well as with people from the organizations to help those in need in places new and unfamil¬iar to the volunteers.
Homp said that his most memo¬rable moment from the trip was helping out kids at an inner-city after school program. “We hung out [with the kids] and tried to be a fun, positive influence,” he explained. Along with helping students with their homework assignments, volunteers participated in activi¬ties such as arts and crafts, push-up contests, playing games and free-style rap.
Homp said that his only regrets about the trip are that he wishes he could have had more interaction with those he was helping out and that he could have stayed longer to assist those in need.
Alvarez explained that Campus Ministry hopes to organize two service trips next year over Spring Break. For one of the trips, he plans on going back to Cincinnati. He also hopes to increase the number of people that can go on the trip to 25.
Michael Churchill, a sophomore nursing major, said that he is not able to travel a lot, so the oppor¬tunity to travel to a place he had never been to before was a blessing. “I wanted to give back,” he added, saying that he loves helping people out.
The service trips have been great opportunities for him to meet people as well as experience new things, Churchill said. He explained that his favorite part of the trip was when a speaker talked about how he had been homeless for two years. “It opened my eyes to the homeless world,” Churchill said, “how prominent it is and what we can do in our own community to help.”
“It’s exciting to see students see new experiences and watch them grow from it” Alvarez said of the service trips.

Pope Francis embraces the spirit and values of St. Francis of Assisi

By Joycelyn Fish
Campus Life Editor

On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, Argentinean Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was introduced to the world as Pope Francis.
At 7:05 p.m. Central European Time, white smoke billowed out of the Sistine Chapel’s chimney, followed shortly by the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica, signaling that a decision on Pope Benedict’s XVI successor had been made. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran stepped out onto the basilica’s balcony at 8:12 p.m. announcing “Habemus papam,” meaning “We have a pope.”
“Cardinal Bergoglio has had a growing reputation as a very spiri¬tual man with a talent for pastoral leadership serving in a region with the largest number of the world’s Catholics,” according to Jesuits.org.
Bergogilo, the 266th pope, chose the name Francis from St. Francis of Assisi who is best known for embracing poverty and humility. In addition, he has taken on the motto “Miserando atque eligendo” which literally translates to “by having mercy, by choosing him.”
Although originally trained as a chemist, Bergoglio was ordained as a priest in 1969. He has written books on religion and taught theol¬ogy, philosophy and psychology and became a bishop in 1992. He has been the archbishop of Buenos Aires since 1998 and has had a close connection to the people there.
Pope Francis’s election establishes a few firsts for his position. He is not only the first Jesuit pope, but also the first from outside of Europe in at least 1,000 years and the first ever from Latin America.
“His main challenge is to restore the reputation of the millennia-old institution and attract believers to a faith outstripped by Islam in terms of global numbers,” according to Bloomberg.com.
Students, faculty and staff at Vit¬erbo have taken particular interest in the new pope’s election because of the connection with the univer¬sity’s Franciscan values and the pope’s name. Although they may not know much about him yet, they want to learn more.
“From what I’ve heard, although still very conservative, Pope Francis is interested in more legal civil rights for all,” Chrisitan Siebert, a freshman theatre major from Mil¬waukee, Wis., explained.
“I look forward to get to know more about Pope Francis,” Michelle Schaub, a senior elementary educa¬tion major from La Crosse, Wis., said. “I am glad that he is encourag¬ing others to help the poor.”
Although no one knows what may come from Pope Francis as the years progress, everyone has their own ideas.
“I would hope that the pope would profess his want for com¬plete equality for all, whether its gender, race, age, or sexual orienta¬tion,” Siebert said.
“He is a role model for students and Catholics to live by,” Schaub added. “I hope that having Pope Francis will bring more Catholics closer to their faith and show the importance of helping others that are in need.”

Kabat and Farmer share plans for improving the La Crosse community

By Caitlyn Marsolek
Contributing Reporter

When Mayor Matt Harter an¬nounced he wasn’t going to be seeking a second term, 11 candi¬dates stepped up to take the chal¬lenge. From the primary election on Feb. 19, two were chosen, and now the city will choose between the two candidates to replace La Crosse’s youngest mayor.
The community chose Timothy Kabat and Doug Farmer. Kabat, the executive director at Down¬town Mainstreet Inc., will be going up against Farmer, the soon-to be retired Executive Vice President of Park Bank on April 2. Both candidates addressed community questions at a debate held at Unitar¬ian Universalist Fellowship of La Crosse on March 7.
The first question of the debate was about the plans for a proposal suggesting that a roadway be built through the marshlands between Riverside Park and the south side Menards. Kabat and Farmer both gave an affirmative no, with Farmer reiterating his displeasure of the plans by saying, “No, not ever.”
Kabat said that the marshes were needed to maintain resources and natural beauty, adding that we could “never borrow enough money to accomplish the things the La Crosse marshes accomplish” and that transportation could be improved. Farmer disagreed and commented that the transportation system was fine as is, stating that it would be “the final blow to the neighborhood.”
Both candidates agreed that La Crosse needs to be promoted more. Again, though, Kabat and Farmer had different views on what needed to be promoted, Kabat suggested that the job opportunities and natu¬ral beauty could be used to promote the area. On having job opportuni¬ties, Kabat said “Having a good paying job where people are able to support their family and invest in their homes and invest in their schools has a great ripple effect all throughout La Crosse.”
Farmer instead focused on neigh¬borhood security, and said, “Safe and stable neighborhoods are what are attractive.” Another agreement was reached when a community member asked for ideas concerning the preservation of good water in La Crosse.
Both agreed with the new city bike plan and that the city should envision a plan for the land as a community. Kabat commented that the site is “a great generational op¬portunity to help shape the city.”
Both also showed a mutual inter¬est in the housing program in La Crosse, saying that more well-built houses would help promote the community to prospective movers and establish pride for the current residents.
A slight shift in their mutual agreements was reached when schools and policing were asked about. The two didn’t disagree but had valid points that differed from each other. When asked about schools Kabat, a supporter of public schools said that programs have worked in the past, and these need to be implemented in other schools in the city in order to promote the city and give it a good reputation.
“Having a strong public school system is absolutely critical to neighborhood vitalization” Kabat said.
Farmer didn’t disagree, though he commented that good schools build a stable and safe community, and that they should be walkable and that “The school you see from your doorstep is where you go to school.”
While Kabat suggested that the police bond with the community and get to know the neighborhood, including the people in it, Farmer suggested that a different approach to crime be taken.
“Quality of life crimes such as public urination and littering” were just as important as larger crimes, and “these smaller crimes may not be as important, but they can pull a neighborhood down fast if not enforced,” Farmer said.
The first disagreement of the evening came when opinions on whether the Mississippi Valley Con¬servancy should be restored. Kabat showed support for restoring this non-profit organization, saying that by doing so the city could “rebuild relationships in order to restore it.” However, Farmer disagreed, saying that while removing the Nature Conservancy was a difficult deci¬sion, the community needs to focus more on moving forward.
Further disagreement was evident when asked about the changes in state legislation concerning public employees and collective bargain¬ing. Kabat stressed that public employees should be guaranteed the right to collective bargain-ing, saying that the government should fix the tension “by bringing people up, not tearing them down.”
Farmer though, who has been a public employee on the City Coun¬cil, and said that while it was an unfair blow, it should be left behind so that the state can move forward. “It’s the state’s decision, and that’s the harsh reality.”
According to La Crosse commu¬nity members, the city has a weak mayoral system where the mayor gets little power in comparison to the city council. Kabat said that the mayor “sets the tone by establishing mutual respect, collaborating and listening to the people,” and that the future mayor and the council will need to work together as equals and collaborate if anything ever wants to get accomplished. Farmer disagreed, and said “A mayor with council connections has something to start with, and then the two can work together in order to make the city a better place.”

Voice your opinion by voting for next year’s SGA members

By Janelle Mathews
Editor-in-Chief

The SGA (Student Government Association) election for the upcom¬ing school year will take place April 8-11. Nomination forms came out March 18, and students can only nominate themselves. The com¬pleted nomination forms, including 25 signatures of current students, are due April 2.
The positions include two repre¬sentatives from each class: senior, junior, sophomore and freshmen. The freshmen representatives will be elected at a later date. Also, eight at-large representatives, one commuter representative and one non-traditional student representa¬tive will be elected. The student body votes for all of these positions along with the position of SGA President.
Other officer positions including the vice-president, secretary, public relations and parliamentarian are “appointed by next year’s SGA President at their first meeting in early May and need to be approved by two-thirds of the SGA” said Matt Krueger, current SGA Presi¬dent.
The only remaining position is the business manager who has to go through an application and interview process because it is a paid position and “we feel it takes a lot more time and effort,” Krueger said.
Krueger believes that this year’s SGA has done a lot of good for Viterbo, explaining, “This year’s SGA had a tough but very success¬ful year because the past three years we had the same president and vice-president, so there was a lot of turnover.”
Throughout this year, the SGA “has been very involved with food service on campus, and we have created posters related to printing costs to let people know where their money is going,” Krueger said.
Krueger stressed the fact that “SGA is really about the student’s voice being heard so that is why it is so important to vote.”
Voting for the SGA election will be handled by Emilio Alvarez, As¬sistant Director of Campus Minis¬try, and ballots can be cast online when the polls are open from April 8-11.
Voting tables with computers will also be available April 8-11 in the student union, cafeteria and Murphy lobby for students’ conve¬nience.

St. Catherine’s Medal winners announced

By Joycelyn Fish
Campus Life Editor

Three outstanding Viterbo stu¬dents received the St. Catherine’s Medal on Monday, March 25 during the Student Leader Recognition dinner in the Fine Arts Center lobby. Emily Aerts, Kelsey Pruitt and Dani Templin were chosen based on their dedication to their Catholic education and Viterbo’s values. They have also demonstrat¬ed leadership, serving Viterbo and its extended community and are a role model in every way according to Kristen Gabriel who organized the St. Catherine’s Medals.

Emily Aerts
Emily Aerts is a senior social work major. According to Deb Daehn Zellmer, head of the social work program, who nominiated Aerts, “Emily is mature, responsible and very dedicated to the profession of social work striving to promote hu¬man and community well-being.”
Daehn Zellmer also expressed her appreciation for Emily’s humility and intelligence. Aerts’ dedication to all aspects of Viterbo including Social Work Club, Resdience Hall Council, Campus Ministry, Fine Arts Center usher and spending multiple spring breaks at the Chey¬enne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, S.D., have made her a strong figure on campus Daehn Zellmer.
“She is a strong witness to Fran¬ciscan values she is hospitable to all, committed to achieving a more just society through service, always acts with integrity and honesty, uti¬lizes her God-given gifts to do good and thus is a good steward and leads a contemplative life where she sees the goodness in others, even those who come from very disad¬vantaged circumstances,” Daehn Zellmer stated.
Aerts continually looks for ex¬periences that challenge and build on her skills. An internship as an AmericCorps volunteer work¬ing with homeless youth and an education practium at the Hmong Cultural and Community Center have ignited her passion for social justice even more. “What has unfolded is a remark¬able young woman poised to do a great deal of good for society,” Daehn Zellmer added.

Kelsey Pruitt
“She is very proud of her Catholic faith and involvement and is a su¬perb role model for other students here at Viterbo University,” Dodie Marriott, administrative assistant for Residence Life, stated about Kelsey Pruitt, a senior nursing major.
Marriott also commented on Pruitt’s genuine and compassionate nature, emphasizing Pruitt’s abil¬ity to live and breathe her values with her sound judgment, listening skills, empathy and willingness to go above and beyond the expected.
Pruitt has been a resident assistant and peer advisoer during the past three years and currently serves as Lumen’s business manager. In addi¬tion, Pruitt has also taken time out of her busy schedule to volunteer at the Warming Shelter, the Salva¬tion Army and spring break service trips.
“As far as faithful service is con¬cerned, Pruitt tries to get to the core of the individual and help meet basic human needs as necessary,” Marriot wrote. “She sees the needs of the less fortunate and works to find ways to help or serve them.
“Regarding ethical leadership, Kelsey strives to make decisions that are in the best interest of every¬one involved — institution or per¬son,” Marriott added. “She knows right from wrong; she knows how to balance and prioritize important issues; she knows how to find those in need and work to help them.”

Dani Templin
As a member of the Viterbo women’s basketball team, Dani Templin, a senior visual commu¬nications major, has been able to serve Viterbo on and off the court explained Bobbi Vandenberg, head women’s basketball coach.
Templin has been captain for women’s basketball for three sea¬sons, leading by working hard and setting the example for her team¬mates. As a team member, Tem¬plin has been involved in various community service projects while still finding time to tutor at the Aca¬demic Resource Center and serving as the sports editor for Lumen.
“Dani often leads our pre-game prayers, and they are very heartfelt and inspirational,” Vandenberg added. “Dani has had some tough times while at Viterbo, but during those times, she has always men¬tioned that prayer will help her through.”
Templin also respects and cares for everyone around her. She en¬courages and listens to others, and her upbeat and positive personality makes her a favorite for the chil¬dren involved in camps and clinics.
Vandenberg expressed her ap¬preciaiton for Templin’s ability to step up when needed over her four year basketball career. Templin ended up playing every position on the basketball floor adapting her skills to each position. She was also named to the All-Conference team every season. “Dani sees that the team is more important than the individual,” Vandenberg stated. “She is an extremely talented, yet humble person.”

Go running with the Coulee Colleges Running Club

By Kim Wroblewski
Contributing Writer
Ramon Martinez is no stranger to running. Martinez, a senior Spanish major at Viterbo, started running for cross country his senior year in high school as a way to stay in shape for wrestling. Although he did not like running at first, stating laughingly that it “takes more work than meets the eye,” Martinez grew to love it. Now, he has run countless miles and participated in numerous races.
Recently, Martinez helped found the Coulee Colleges Running Club. The club is open to students, fac-ulty, staff, and alumni of the three area campuses, Viterbo University, the UW – La Crosse, and Western Technical College. It is open to run¬ners of all speeds and skills.
The club holds three group runs each week, one starting on each campus, said Martinez, who is also co-president of the club.
The first run is held on Wednes¬days at 6:30 a.m. and starts out at the clock tower at Viterbo. The run is 3.4 miles and takes an average of 30 minutes to run.
The second run is held on Thurs¬days at 4:30 p.m. and starts in front of the Lunda Center at WTC. The run is 3.1 miles and takes an aver¬age of 25 minutes to run.
The third run of the week is held on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and starts at the UW – La Crosse clock tower. The run is 4.3 miles long and takes about 40 minutes to run.
The club’s goal is to “promote a healthy lifestyle and fitness,” Martinez said. The club “tailors to all levels of runners, beginner to advanced,” Martinez stressed, “you don’t have to be super fast, [the runs have] a laid back pace.” By running as a group, members are more motivated, as they can sup¬port and encourage each other.
The club also works to help keep students, staff, faculty, and alumni connected to their schools while forming connections between the three colleges, as well. Besides the three group runs each week, the club also provides running tips and helps runners prepare for races.
The club encourages minimalist running, which helps the runner “run naturally,” Martinez said. The runners are encouraged to wear minimalist footwear, not the “five-finger shoes,” but shoes that offer “protection but do not modify the running form” Martinez explained.
He said that many running shoes sold today modify the running form, which is bad for runners.
The club first started out in the spring of 2012 and was mainly open to runners at Viterbo. However, during the recent winter break, the club decided to be more accessible to runners from other local colleges in the area. Ramon Martinez, Travis Pernstiener (a UW – La Crosse grad student), and Bobby Miles (a West¬ern student) are the co-presidents and founders of the Coulee Col¬leges Running Club.
As the club is now open to the three colleges in the area, the co-presidents are hoping that there will be more members. There are currently about 20 members in the club, but Martinez says that there is a “new face on each run.” Martinez predicts that even more runners will join in the springtime, as the weather gets better.
Emily Zuccarelli, a senior Spanish major at Viterbo, joined the run¬ning club last fall, before it turned into the intercollegiate club. Zuc¬carelli, a former runner on Viterbo’s Cross Country team, joined the club because running is one of her major hobbies. She said that what she likes most about the club is that she can “run with a group, but without the time commitment,” referring to the short amount of time it takes to complete the weekly runs.
Zuccarelli said that she also enjoys the “upbeat people” in the club, who are “always very nice” even if it is 6:30 in the morning. She said that she also likes getting the chance to talk to the members of the club and grab some coffee with them after the morning runs, saying that the club is a “good commu-nity.”
Some members of the club participated in the YMCA Heart Throb 5 Mile & 5k race on Feb. 9 in Onalaska. Members of the club are not obliged to enter into races, but are encouraged to enter them Martinez said.
The races are “better when people are cheering you on or you are cheering [people you know] in after the race,” he added. He also explained that hanging out before and after the race with fellow club members is also beneficial for the race as well as enjoyable.
Some members of the club are currently preparing to run in the Chi Town Half Marathon & 10 k which takes place March 24 in Chi¬cago. Martinez said that club mem¬bers are welcome to ask for advice as well as more advanced training sessions for preparing for races.
When asked for advice on run¬ning, Zuccarelli said to make sure one remembers to enjoy running. “You don’t want to get to the point where you stop enjoying (running) because of training” Zuccarelli warned. “Don’t be afraid to start small,” she also advised, saying that a runner can start with short runs, and build up to running lon¬ger distances. Zuccarelli hopes to run a triathlon in the spring, or run a half-marathon.
Martinez has participated in many races. He said that his two most memorable races were run¬ning in the Boston Marathon in 2009, as well as 2012. Runners ar¬rive from all over the world to run in the Boston Marathon. Martinez said that he felt “privileged to be a part of the race” due to the history of the race and the community cre¬ated by the race. The Boston Mara¬thon is the oldest running race, and crowds of people gather to cheer on the runners. Martinez said that running in the marathon was both “challenging and amazing.”
Martinez plans to run in a mara¬thon in Colorado in April, as well as participate in two events that take place in La Crosse in May. Martinez said that he will be entering in the Grandad Running Time Trial on May 3, a race from the bottom of Bliss Road to the Alpine Inn on Gra¬dad’s Bluff. He also plans to partic-ipate in the Festival Foods Grandad Half Marathon on May 4. Martinez will also run in the Chi Town Half Marathon & 10 k on March 24 with some of his club members.
Offering some advice to runners, Martinez said that they should “enjoy the run” and “be thankful because of good health” that allows one to run. Martinez said that in a race, one should, “try to give it your best . . . but at the same time, enjoy the event.”
“Don’t be intimidated,” Martinez encouraged potential club mem¬bers, saying that if runners learn the right technique, they will be able to run faster, longer, and without pain. Club members are happy to help out fellow runners and answer any questions. And do not forget, most of all, to enjoy the run.
For more information on the club, Google “Coulee Colleges Running Club.”

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