Proposed university budget could lead to loss of programs and campuses

On February 13th, Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget for the 2020 fiscal year went public.  Included in this proposal was a $134 million decrease in the operating budget for the University of Alaska system from the current fiscal year.  This would drop the budget by about 41% from what is currently available, leaving the university with a budget of $193 million.  In an email concerning the proposed budget changes, University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen discussed the drastic negative effect they would have on the University of Alaska.

“Cuts at this level cannot simply be managed or accommodated,” stated Johnsen. “If this budget passes the legislature, it will devastate university programs and services, and the negative effects will be felt in communities across the entire state.”

This is far from the first time that the university system has faced budget cuts in recent years.  Johnsen discussed the impact recent cuts have had on the university’s operations during a press conference on February 13th.

“UA has taken cuts four out of the last five years, we’ve laid off over 1,200 faculty and staff, we have cut over 50 academic and degree certificate programs.  We have been forced to raise tuition and we have watched our enrollment decline. So we know how it is, how cuts can be managed, and we know the negative impacts that cuts have on us, on our students, on employers of our students, on communities where our people live, and on our state.” Johnsen said.  “A cut this big, though, can’t simply be managed while maintaining campuses and services and programs across Alaska.”

In the past, the university system has faced multiple removals and combinings of programs.  However, with the amended budget proposed by Governer Dunleavy, university programs might not be the only thing being cut to make ends meet.  Many employees of the university would lose their jobs, enough that entire departments or even campuses would be affected.

“I am confident we’ll need to close campuses if this budget makes it all the way through the legislative process.” stated Johnsen.  “Again, we’ll need to eliminate a lot of programs, we will reduce services, no question about that.”

Elaborating on the magnitude of the cut, Johnsen compared it to the costs of running campuses around the state of Alaska.  “We have thirteen community campuses across the state, that’s only $38 million there.  Closing all of our community campuses is just $38 million, that’s not even a third of what this cut is.  All of UAA is $120 million, so closing the entire UAA campus does not meet this cut.”

“As a result of these proposed budget cuts we are heading into an extremely uncertain time.  There are going to be a lot of discussions, there’s going to be lots of options on the table, there are going to be lists with programs and names, and so a lot of uncertainty going forward.” stated Johnsen, acknowledging the difficult path ahead for the University.

In his closing remarks, Johnsen encouraged cooperation among the members of the University of Alaska system, as well as hope for the future.

“There will be a University of Alaska next year, and ten years from now, and twenty years from now.  Our state needs us, we may be less of what we are today but our state absolutely needs us.  And so what we need to focus on during this time is students, and our mission.” Johnsen continued, “And we also need to take care of each other.  What often happens in difficult organizational climates like we’re heading into is people start cheating inwards.  Elbows get real sharp, and there’s a lot of anxiety and tension and competition within the organization.”

If you wish to contact Governer Dunleavy concerning these budget cuts, you can do so at the official Office of the Governor page located here.

Police Blotter: Jan 31 – Feb 10

Welfare Check
1/31/2019  12:01 a.m. – A person that had run out into Tanana Loop Road and was stumbling around was transported to their off-campus residence.

2/9/2019  5:27 a.m. – A caller from McIntosh Hall could not give their name or address, but called asking for help on the emergency line.  An officer responded, a counselor was contacted, and the person was left in the care of a relative.


Suspicious Circumstances
1/31/2019  1:21 p.m.  –  An officer talked to a person who had removed flags from a protestors display, explaining freedom of speech and talking to both parties to resolve the situation.  One of the people was also directed to Title IX concerning their feelings about the protest.

1/31/2019  6:42 p.m. – A job scam targeting students in order to get their personal information was reported to the UAF police department.  The FBI was notified, and OIT was informed as UAF students may be being targeted.

2/2/2019  5:28 a.m. – A man was banging on a door in the women’s dorm in MacLean House, yelling to be let in.  Video footage was reviewed, and the man was found and given a disorderly conduct warning.  He was from Bartlett Hall and had locked himself out of his room.

2/4/2019  2:32 p.m. – A report was submitted about a cleaning employee in the Patty Ice Arena making threats.  The investigation is ongoing.

2/6/2019  7:15 a.m. – A trailer near the Old University Park building was broken into.  The investigation is ongoing.

2/6/2019  3:54 p.m. – A hole was drilled into a gas tank near the Reichardt Building sometime between February 3rd and 6th.  The investigation is ongoing.

2/9/2019  12:37 a.m. – The front door to Wickersham Hall had been shattered from the inside.  An officer responded, and both housing and the lockshop were notified.


1/31/2019  2:16 p.m. – An investigation is ongoing into a possibly altered or forged check.


Lost Property
1/31/2019  3:43 p.m. A report was submitted about a passport that had been lost off campus in 2016, as part of a process to get a replacement passport.


2/1/2019  11:49 a.m. – A minor accident involving a car and a UAF heavy equipment front loader occurred on Tanana Loop outside the Patty Center.  Statement forms were filled out by witnesses.

2/2/2019  7:07 p.m. – A parked car in the MBS lot was hit by another car.  An officer will investigate, and talk to the owner of the hit car.

2/7/2019  9:24 p.m. – A car accident in the lower dorms lot left no injuries or damage.  Both drivers were given information exchange forms.


Domestic Disturbance
2/1/2019  1:50 p.m. – Loud yelling was reported from a dorm room in Stuart Hall.  The argument was found to be over a barking dog and was only verbal.  Both people involved were given a disorderly conduct warning and provided with domestic violence information.

2/2/2019  8:05 p.m. – An officer responded to reports of yelling and crying coming from a dorm room in Bartlett Hall.  It was determined that no physical assault had occurred, and both people involved were provided with domestic violence resources and information.  The case report was submitted after the fact on February 6th.


2/2/2019  3:47 a.m. – Yelling was heard from a residence in Hess Village, with one person saying that they were going to kill themselves.  An officer responded, both people were given domestic violence information and additional resources, and the Crisis Care hotline was called.

2/7/2019  1:08 a.m. – A person from Walsh Hall called the UAF police department during an argument.  The parties involved were separated, and both were provided with domestic violence resources and information.  Res Life was also contacted.


Traffic Stop
2/5/2019  2:49 p.m. – During a traffic stop, 25-year-old Margaret L. Legette of Fairbanks was cited for driving without a valid license, and for not having proof of insurance.

2/10/2019  4:36 p.m. – Daniel E. Teasdale, 37 of Northway Village, was cited for speeding, driving with a revoked license, and for having no proof of insurance.


2/6/2019  10:13 a.m. – Copper was stolen from the Aurora Building sometime between January 23rd and February 1st.  A possible suspect was identified, and the investigation is ongoing.


Criminal Trespass
2/7/2019  1:52 p.m. – A person getting irate at the front desk of Wood Center was escorted off-campus, and trespassed from UAF.


Vehicle Check
2/8/2019  12:34 a.m. – A car ran out of gas on the side of Geist Road.  The driver, Amanda P. Baron, 27 of North Pole, was cited for driving with an expired license, and given a ride to their house.


Suicidal Person
2/8/2019  2:24 a.m. – An officer took a possibly suicidal student to the hospital.


2/10/2019  9:31 p.m. – A car was pulled over in the South MBS parking lot under suspicion of the driver being under the influence.  After a breath test, the driver was released.

Police Blotter: Jan 14 – 30

Criminal Trespass
1/18/2019  2:58 p.m. – A man laying down on a couch, possibly drunk, in Wood Center was reported.  It was found that the man had been trespassed from campus.  Gordon G. Riley, 62 years old of Fairbanks was arrested and charged with criminal trespass 2.

1/22/2019  10:09 p.m. – While locking up the CTC parking garage on Barnette Street, two people were found in the stairwells.  Both people were trespassed.


1/29/2019  12:14 a.m. – MBS was evacuated and UAF Fire was called after smoke alarms went off in the building.  The cause for the alarm was found to be burned popcorn.


Lost Property
1/14/2019  1:44 p.m. – Someone reported having lost property at the airport terminal on January 9th.  They also called the airport in addition to campus police.


Suspicious Circumstances
1/15/2019  12:13 a.m. – A juvenile was reported as acting violently towards other players and coaches, and was reported to the Alaska State Troopers.

1/15/2019  3:09 p.m. – A staff member in Wickersham Hall reported a student stalking another.  The student was told not to contact or approach the other student in any way.  It’s possible language barriers or cultural differences caused a misinterpretation of the previous contact, but the other student was also given domestic violence and stalking information, as well as Title IX contact information for assistance.

1/17/2019  2:06 p.m. – A report of possibly threatening communication between a student and a faculty member in the Irving Building was submitted, with the faculty member concerned for the student.  An officer made contact with both people, and an investigation is ongoing.

1/23/2019  10:05 a.m. – A vendor reported that a truck on campus had been moved without permission.  It was found that it had been moved by some of the vendor’s other employees.

1/29/2019  8:27 a.m. – A resident was asking a residence assistant strange questions at a dance.  An officer contacted the resident to discuss their behavior, and the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities was informed.

1/30/2019  7:48 a.m. – A complainant reported a car following them to work and driving aggressively and dangerously.  Investigation is ongoing.


1/15/2019  11:57 a.m. – Gift cards were stolen from the Museum of the North.  The cards were later turned in, and no charges were filed.

1/23/2019  1:29 p.m. – Two cars were broken into in the CTC parking lot.  The investigation is ongoing.


1/15/2019  12:58 p.m. – An officer responded to a report of someone being stalked by a fellow student.  Domestic violence and stalking information and resources were provided, and the investigation is ongoing.

1/24/2019  2:41 p.m. – A person who had been accused of stalking someone else on campus was contacted and trespassed from all property on campus except for their residence.  The person being stalked was provided with domestic violence information, and the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities was contacted.


1/15/2019  10:39 p.m. – During a traffic stop on Denali Lane, it was determined that the driver, 24-year-old David R. Hembree of Fairbanks, was driving under the influence.  Hembree was arrested, and charged with DUI.


1/16/2019  11:36 a.m. – A car ran off the road near the UAF Agricultural Farm, and was stuck in the snow near the railroad tracks.  Railroad police and operations were notified, and the car was towed away from the tracks.

1/18/2019  2:18 p.m. – A car back into another car in the MBS parking lot.  Information forms were provided, and pictures were taken.

1/25/2019  3:23 p.m. – A car hit another car that was slowing down for pedestrians.  The driver of the first car, 19-year-old Daks O. Bowman of Fairbanks was cited.

1/29/2019  7:59 a.m. – The UAF shuttle was coming up towards West Ridge when a car slid into it.  Facilities Services was notified, and an officer provided information forms.


Motorist Assist
1/17/2019   1:52 p.m. – A car was stuck off the edge of a road near the Hess Village.  Other residents from the village helped pull the car out with tow straps.

1/24/2019  5:14 p.m. – A car went off the road near the reindeer pens at the Agricultural Farm.  It was determined that the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel.  There were no injuries, and the car was pulled out of the snow by a tow company.


Found Property
1/17/2019  4:17 p.m. – Residence Life turned in items from storage in Bartlett Hall to be disposed of.


Animal Complaint
1/18/2019  1:07 a.m. – An officer responded to a report of an injured moose on Butrovich Hill.


Public Assist
1/18/2019  2:27 a.m. – An officer responded to an argument between occupants and custodial staff in the honors house on Copper Lane.


Minor Consuming
1/19/2019  2:44 p.m. – An ambulance took a drunk student in Skarland Hall to the hospital.  The student was later issued an MCA.


Traffic Incident
1/19/2019  11:58 a.m. – An officer saw a car on Thompson Drive with their hazard lights on.  The car had hit a crosswalk pole and broken a tail light.  The pole had not been damaged.

1/20/2019  12:00 p.m. – A car was hit by another car in the Patty Ice Arena parking lot.  A note was left on the car, and an officer provided assistance and information exchange forms.

1/28/2019  11:10 a.m. – A government car backed into a UAF car in the Akasofu parking lot.  Facilities Services was notified, and information forms were provided.


Welfare Check
1/25/2019  12:11 p.m. – An officer contacted a possibly suicidal student, and took them to the UAF Health and Counseling Center.


Intoxicated Person
1/25/2019  11:40 p.m. – An officer saw a drunk person in the MACS bus hut on UAF Campus.  Another officer responded, and it was found that three of the people in the hut were drunk.  All three were transported to off-campus residences.


Traffic Stop
1/27/2019  12:54 a.m. – A verbal warning was given to the driver during a traffic stop on Farmers Loop Road.

1/27/2019  3:26 a.m. – The driver during a traffic stop on Tanana Loop Road acknowledged their violation, and was not issued any citation.

Police Blotter: Jan 1 – 13

Warrant Arrest
1/10/2019  6:14 p.m. – A man who was sleeping on a couch in Wood Center was found to have an outstanding warrant for their arrest, and to be trespassed from UAF.  Gordon G. Riley, 62 of Minto, was arrested for the warrant, and for the trespass.


Suspicious Circumstances
1/1/2019  9:05 a.m. – An officer saw a possible siphoning setup by a car in the Taku parking lot.  The investigation is ongoing.

1/3/2019  11:22 a.m. – Multiple letters were sent to campus about a faculty member.  An investigation into these letters is ongoing.


Motorist Assist
1/2/2019  11:32 a.m. – A tow truck was called to remove a car from a ditch near the Taku parking lot.


1/2/2019  2:21 p.m. – An investigation is ongoing into a fraudulent check that was reported by a staff member in the Butrovich building.


Criminal Trespass
1/5/2019  2:06 a.m.
– Gordon A. Parker, 42 of Fairbanks, was arrested in the 23-hour study area of the Rasmuson Library due to violating an existing trespass.  He was charged with for the trespass, as well as for violating his terms of release.

1/9/2019  12:52 p.m. – A student on campus was being stalked by a “non-affiliated subject.”  The person was advised of their trespass from UAF property.


Traffic Stop
1/8/2019  4:25 p.m.
– During a traffic stop on the West Ridge Overlook, the driver was cited for driving in violation of their permit, and driving without proof of insurance.  Their parent was contacted.


Vehicle Check
1/9/2019  10:24 a.m. – A car in the field near the UAF Ice Wall had been flagged for removal.  After 48 hours and after contacting the owner, the car was towed at 11:23 a.m.

1/11/2019  3:58 p.m. – A car that had been tagged for removal in the Ballaine Lake parking lot was towed away.


Harassing Communications
1/10/2019  10:22 a.m. – A person who called the National Weather Service was warned by an officer about possible charges concerning profanity they used during the call.


Welfare Check
1/11/2019  10:10 p.m. – Community service officers who were locking up the CTC garage on Barnette Street found two people in the stairwell who were refusing to leave.  UAF officers responded, and the two eventually left on foot.


Lost Property
1/12/2019  11:32 a.m. – A caller who reported having lost their cell phone in the Gruening Building, later found that it had been in their car.

1/13/2019  10:42 p.m. – A caller reported losing an item, and said they would call back if they found it at home.

Police Blotter: October 11 – 22

10/16/2018  1:16 p.m. – 31-year-old Elliot Mr. Cruikshank of Fairbanks was arrested and charged with assault after a report was submitted of him holding a child in a chokehold and yelling at them near Ballaine Lake.


10/11/2018  2:31 p.m. – An investigation is ongoing for a wallet that was reported as being stolen from the SRC.

10/11/2018  3:43 p.m. – A report of theft of sushi from the food service in the Wood Center was submitted.  An officer took a statement and suspect description, and the investigation is ongoing.

10/12/2018  5:26 p.m. – Headphones were reported stolen from a backpack in the SRC sometime between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.   Investigation is ongoing.


10/12/2018  8:49 a.m. – A car drove off the road on Thompson Drive.  There were no injuries, although the car had to be towed and there was damage to UAF property.

10/17/2018  6:51 a.m. – There was an accident involving multiple cars on College Road, with no injuries.

10/21/2018  1:23 p.m. – An unoccupied car rolled backward into a parked car.  The owner of the first car was on the scene when the officer got there, and the officer contacted the owner of the struck car.


Reckless Driving
10/12/2018  12:11 p.m. – An officer talked to a reckless driver on the road outside of the Lola Tilly Commons, and contacted the owner of the car.


10/12/2018  4:30 p.m. – An officer responded to reports of vandalism outside of the Fine Arts building.  It was found that juveniles were putting wax onto their bikes while trying to do various bicycle tricks.  They were trespassed from the area, and their parents were contacted.


Probation/Parole Violation
10/15/2018  4:50 a.m. – During a traffic stop, 35-year-old Tyson C. Hillyer of North Pole was discovered to be driving with a suspended license and expired registration.  Hillyer was arrested and charged for violating conditions of release and cited for driving with expired registration, no proof of insurance, and driving with a suspended license.


Traffic Stop
10/14/2018  8:35 p.m. – During a traffic stop on Tanana Loop, 20-year-old Glenn L Rodgers of Fairbanks was cited for not driving with a valid drivers license.

10/20/2018  1:07 a.m. – A juvenile driver was pulled over for failing to stop at a stop sign on Tanana Loop.  Parents were contacted to pick up the vehicle, driver, and passenger.


Suspicious Circumstances
10/17/2018  4:27 p.m. – An officer investigated a hole in a fence near the Aurora Building that had been there for two weeks.

10/18/2018  4:23 p.m. – Residents were woken up by yelling in the Cutler Apartment Complex.  An officer responded with the people involved and found that the argument was only verbal.


Criminal Trespass
10/19/2018  4:59 p.m.
– 60-year-old William C. Whitewater of Fairbanks was arrested in Wood Center and charged with criminal trespass.


Lost Property
10/19/2018  5:59 p.m. – A wallet that had been lost somewhere in the upper dorms, Gruening building, or Reichardt building on either October 18th or 19th was found and returned to its owner.


Intoxicated Person
10/21/2018  1:30 a.m. – An ambulance took an intoxicated person in the Cutler Apartment Complex lot having a panic attack to the hospital.


10/21/2018  4:00 a.m. – An officer came across a car parked on the lawn of a church with its lights on, with the driver slumped over in the seat.  The driver, 39-year-old Gena M. Wallis of Fairbanks, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.


Welfare Check
10/19/2018  7:43 p.m. – A staff member at the West Ridge Research Building received “incoherent emails and voicemails” from someone from Denver.  A UAF officer contacted the Denver police department to perform a welfare check on the person sending the emails and making the calls.

10/22/2018  10:05 a.m. – A relative called the UAF police department, concerned about a student who wasn’t responding to them.  An officer tried to find the student, and the relative called, later on, to say that everything was okay.

Afrosexology informs students with sex positivity trivia night

With questions concerning contraceptives, sexual acts, and sexual health, visiting sex educators Afrosexology hosted a special night of trivia in the UAF Pub on September 20th, followed the next day by a workshop on building an ideal dating life.

Rafaella (left) and Dalychia (right) hosting the Sex+ Trivia Night.

As the hosts of the trivia night, Rafaella and Dalychia sat near the front, next to a screen displaying the questions.  With years of experience as Afrosexology, they’re no strangers to holding educational events such as this one. After each set of questions, students would bring their group’s answer sheets up to the front, where they were collected.  After all of the sheets were collected, Rafaella and Dalychia would reveal the answers among cheers and frenzied discussions between members of the various teams.  The focus of these questions was to create discussion and inform the students about a variety of sex positivity related topics.

“Afrosexology aims to educate, explore, and reclaim Black sexuality and promote Black self-empowerment through sexual liberation,” said the duo in an email interview.

Questions were organized under categories such as this one.

Although the focus was on education, plenty of fun was had by those involved.

“We had a great time at UAF! Trivia Night was lively and we were really excited to see how engaged everyone was,” said Dalychia and Rafaella.  “We heard that Tuesday trivia night is a big deal, so we are glad to know that everyone had a great time. We love our workshops because we get to help people challenge negative messages and explore new ways to experience sexuality. We hope that those who attended the Build Your Ideal Love Life felt the same way. ”

With how packed the Pub was, and with how loud the cheering was for the winners, it would certainly seem like the students enjoyed their time with Afrosexology.

“I thought it was fantastic.  Some questions I had never really thought about a lot, so that was fun and challenging,” said Bobbi, an english and art major here at UAF.

Jeremy, a communications alumni, also enjoyed the trivia night and said he would “absolutely” come to another Afrosexology event if they came back up to UAF in the future.

Winning team “Kavanaugh? Kava-nope” with their 1st-place prize.

Talking about potentially coming back up and doing more events in the future, they said: “We would love to come back to UAF, just not during the winter!”

“We want to remind the Nanooks that your pleasure is essential! The relationship that you have with yourself and others should be as pleasurable as possible,” said the duo in a final message to UAF.  “We encourage you to continue the work of unpacking shame, rejecting negative messages, and strive to live your most authentic lives!”

You can find Afrosexology online as @afrosexology on social media.

Police Blotter: September 4 – 20

9/20/2018  3:25 a.m. – 21-year-old Leeroy J. Kobuck of St. Michael was arrested, charged with second-degree assault domestic violence, and trespassed from UAF property for 10 years.  His partner and child were taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and provided with Advocate and Domestic Violence information.


Harassing Communications
9/17/2018  5:56 p.m. – An officer responded to a road rage incident in the Singers Hall lot.  One driver honked at another driver and called her a name, leading to the other driver yelling back.  18-year-old Connor R. Gibbs of Fairbanks was cited for harassment.

9/17/2018  7:05 p.m. – A person that came to the station to report harassment that occurred at the Toga Dance in the Hess Rec Center on September 8th.  An officer took the statement and provided Title IX and Resource Center contact information.  The incident is being investigated for possible charges.

9/18/2019  2:04 a.m. – A student from Bartlett Hall reported that they were being harassed by another student.  The investigation is ongoing.


9/18/2018  7:13 p.m
. – A welder was reported stolen from the Nenana Lot, and the fence in the area was cut in different spots.  A bolt cutter was found near the fence.  An officer took pictures of the scene and took the bolt cutters.  The welder was later reported as not stolen, just moved.  However, an investigation is still ongoing for the fence cutting.


Welfare Check
9/4/2018  10:23 a.m.
– An officer investigated a student whom a relative had reported had not returned from a camping trip.  Later it was found that the relative had mixed up the dates, and the student wasn’t missing.

9/17/2018  6:16 p.m. – A relative requested a checkup on a resident of Walsh Hall.


Suspicious Circumstances
9/5/2018  11:25 a.m. – A call was made about unknown belongings found outside of the University Park building.  Facility Services will remove them.

9/5/2018  11:25 a.m. – A complainant reported another driver yelling at them in the Chapman Building parking lot.  Officer contacted the driver and found that they had mouthed sorry to the complainant after not seeing him while backing up.

9/5/2018  2:12 p.m. – 19-year-old Genesis C. Blatchford of Fairbanks was trespassed from UAF property and issued a summons for possessing marijuana.

9/18/2018  7:05 p.m. – A man in his 30’s was walking around the pool area of the Patty Ice Arena asking the staff members personal questions and making them uncomfortable.  An officer responded and identified a possible individual.  Investigation is ongoing.

9/19/2018  5:54 p.m. – An officer investigated a smashed window outside of a house on North Chandalar, and determined a lawn crew may have hit a rock that then smashed the window.  Facilities Services was notified.


Traffic Stop
9/6/2018  10:05 p.m. – 59-year-old Mark D. Ross of Fairbanks was given a summons for reckless driving and a citation for studded tires.


9/7/2018  11:21 a.m. – A driver reported hitting a sign on Thompson Drive.  Facilities were notified, and an officer took pictures of the scene.


Lost Property
9/7/2018  12:56 p.m. – A complainant reported losing their wallet in the wood center the day before.  An officer is following up.


Intoxicated Person
9/7/2018   11:43 p.m. – A drunk minor was taken to the hospital.  A citation will be issued.

9/8/2018  12:32 a.m. – A drunk person was reported to be arguing and yelling at a dance in the MBS Lobby and Hess Commons.  They were taken to Fairbanks Correctional Center and issued a citation for drinking alcohol underage.

9/8/2018  12:44 a.m. – A person was taken to the sobering center after being reported as drunk at a dance.  They were issued a minor consuming citation.


9/9/2018  3:28 a.m
. – During a traffic stop, 60-year-old Dennis J. Dougherty of Fairbanks was found to be driving while under the influence.  Dougherty was arrested and charged with DUI.


Driving While License Revoked
9/9/2018  3:44 p.m. – During a traffic stop, 60-year-old Jens J. Braaten of Fairbanks was cited for driving with a revoked license, and was warned for speeding and having no proof of insurance.

Letters from the editor: Going digital

Since the 1981 merger of the Northern Sun and the Polar Star, the Sun Star has been a regular fixture here on campus.  Even with the change to the biweekly publication last year, we were still present in stands inside of buildings and in kiosks outside of them.  However, this semester, those papers have been missing.  The reason is not that we’ve disappeared into the woods, never to be seen again, or that we simply flew into the sky one day.  Instead, we’ve gone digital.

What this means is that there is no longer a print edition of the newspaper.  Instead, all of our stories, all of the comics our freelancers make, letters to and from the editor, it all goes up directly onto the website.  In addition to the unparalleled joy of being able to make constant semi-accurate Matrix references, the biggest thing that this move does for us is it gives us more freedom in the kind of content that we create.

I will definitely admit that there is a part of me that will miss the print editions of the newspaper.  Carrying stacks of 200 papers up and down the campus, depositing them everywhere I go like a more journalism-focused take on Johnny Appleseed was always a fun part of my job.  Sitting down afterward and opening up a paper, seeing the stories that I and my coworkers wrote and edited all laid out was always satisfying.  However, in the end, I recognize the benefits that this change gives us, and I look forward to everything we now have the opportunity to do.

If a student us sends us an email with footage of a speaker who came up to UAF, or if a club approaches us with twenty pictures from one of their events, we can now look at running it on our main method of delivery.  There are no longer concerns of printing costs of a dozen color pictures or following material laws as they pertain to video in a print newspaper.

This also gives us freedom from the previous print schedule, where everything had to be done Sunday night and specifically Sunday night.  We can now deliver content and news to the students and faculty of UAF on a more regular basis, with a work schedule that reflects that.

What this means, however, is that we need more of this content.  More pictures, more video, and of course, more stories.  You can email us at, or you can drop by our freelancer meetings every Tuesday at 1:00.  If you have content you’re looking to publish, or are looking to create content, if you have ideas for what the Sun Star could do, even if you just have some questions about the paper, let us know.  Our format may be all digital now, but our mission statement to be a reliable and stimulating student-produced news publication is still painted on the wall.  And that’s not going to be changing anytime soon.

Drag performers soar out of this world

The dressing room is filled with cosmetics and wigs as kings and queens get ready for their show. Some nervous performers are passing around a plush sheep, holding it for a few seconds to calm their nerves. In the background, Patrick Knavel the former president of UAF’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) suddenly shouts “sexy” as they see some of the performers in full drag.

Penny Dragful as Amethyst from cartoon show Steven Universe. / Ben Ellis

GSA took students beyond the stars with their space-themed drag show Saturday, April 7. Aliens made an appearance, alongside performers inspired by shows such as “Star Trek” or “Steven Universe,” while music blared and strobe lights flared in the background.

“We felt like having anything based on spacey kind of items would be applicable to our show. Plus making it as LGBT-friendly as possible,” said GSA President Ricky Hines, while discussing the setup for the show.

Sara Tonin getting ready in the dressing room before the show. / Ben Ellis

Starting at 7 p.m. in the Wood Center Ballroom, over a dozen kings and queens strutted their stuff to the cheers of the audience. After each performance, dollar bills were strewn across the stage as students threw tips to the performers, while more tips were stuffed down bras or pants of artists. For those audience members unable to reach the stage, one king, Fort Dick, strolled through the audience collecting tips for the king or queen performing.

Many of these performances involved the king or queen in question dancing and lip-syncing to songs by artists such as Justin Timberlake, Muse, or the theme from the aforementioned “Steven Universe.” One queen in particular, Sara Tonin, instead sang a song.

“I was like, what if a ’50’s lounge singer was on the deck of the USS Enterprise? And then I was like, what does my brain need more of? Serotonin,” said Sara Tonin, talking about the inspiration for the name and look of their “dragsona.”

As each performer took to the stage, they were met with tumultuous applause and cheers with many earning a standing ovation afterwards. This was particularly true for Eris Contraire, who leaped off the stage and landed on their back in what is known as a death drop.

Aurora Whorialis and Julia Wild performing as a duo for the final act of the night. / Ben Ellis

For many audience members, this was the first drag show they had ever been to. At the start, before the first queen performed, Alyssa Quintyne, the former presenter or “empress” of the drag show, handed over the crown to Syd Paulino, the GSA secretary. During this, Alyssa asked the audience to raise their hands if they had ever been to a drag show before, with only a handful of students doing so.

“It was my first drag show; I really liked it. I was blushing half the time, and not really sure how to handle it,” said Gabrielle Camp, a wildlife biology sophomore.

The grand reveal of Sheila von Cox as an alien from beyond the stars. / Ben Ellis

Likewise, students who had been to previous GSA drag shows also enjoyed this year’s offering.

“I thought it was pretty great. This is my third year going, and it’s always great every year,” said Hayden Jones, an interdisciplinary senior.

Both students also expressed an interest in seeing the show again next year.

Police Blotter: March 26 – April 8

Missing Person
4/3/2018 8:06 p.m. – A person who had been reported missing was found in the Rasmuson Library. Their cell phone battery had died.

Suspicious Circumstances
4/4/2018 2 a.m. – A screaming woman behind the Duckering Building was reported to the police. However, officers could not find any woman screaming.

4/5/2018 3:26 a.m. – A suspicious car was seen in the lot by Ballaine Lake. The license plates did not match the registration for the car and were confiscated. The driver was found to have a suspended license and was told not to continue driving the car.

3/26/2018 6:44 p.m. – Responding to a call about a suspicious man on the Fairbanks Street bridge, police arrested 40-year-old Justin D. Costello, of Fairbanks, for criminal trespass.

3/26/2018 9:22 p.m. – An officer talked to a man who had been making “concerning comments” during a conversation.

3/31/2018 11:41 p.m. – A man with no affiliation with UAF was told to leave the Rasmuson Library 23-hour study area.

4/1/2018 1:35 a.m. – A bag of “possible marijuana” found in the Fine Arts Building was disposed of.

4/1/2018 10:41 p.m. – Three suspicious cars were parked and blocking Drajnik Road. Officers responded and told the drivers to move their cars.

Parole Violation
4/5/2018 11:15 p.m. – During a traffic stop, a passenger was arrested for violating the conditions of their parole.

Harassing Communications
4/6/2018 11:39 a.m. – A man was harassing an employee in the Elvey Building and kept visiting their office despite being told not to by the dean of students. Protective order and Title IX information was given to the employee. The man showed up again at the office and was informed of trespass. He had an anxiety attack, started screaming, and was taken to the hospital by officers.

4/7/2018 8:38 p.m. – A car key was reported as being stolen. A community service officer unlocked the car for the owner of the missing key.

3/29/2018 8:56 p.m. – A bag and iPad were stolen from a car in the Fine Arts parking lot. The bag was later found in the art department and a suspect was identified.

Driving Without a Valid License
4/7/2018 9:33 p.m. – A driver was cited for not having a motorcycle endorsement on their license. A friend drove them home.

4/8/2018 1:10 a.m. – During a traffic stop, 28-year-old William E. Henderson, of Fairbanks, was found to be driving drunk and was arrested.

Sexual Assault
3/27/2018 10:49 p.m. – Officers looked into a possible sexual assault that occurred on March 23 in Cutler Apartments. Investigation has been started.