Participation in Greek life low and declining

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By AMANDA GROVER and BAY STEPHENS/Montana State News

Greek life has always been a staple of college movies, but at Montana State University Greek life entrance rates are extremely low.

According to MSU’s common data set for 2016-2017, 4 percent and 3 percent of the first-time freshman men and women enter Greek life, respectively. Overall, 2 percent of the MSU population join Greek life as undergraduates.

However, the rates weren’t much higher throughout the past decades. According to the 1996-1997 data set, 9 percent and 10 percent of the freshman men and women joined. The overall rates of undergraduate members joining Greek life were 7 percent for men and 5 percent for women.

Are these low rates endemic to MSU? Looking at MSU’s rival school—the University of Montana—the numbers are difficult to argue with. More

Politics increasingly plays into partner choices

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By SARAH SNEBOLD and CHELSEA ANDERSON/Montana State News

According to a study done at Yale University, political views come into play when choosing a partner as often as factors such as education and race. The theories presented in the research suggest that people selecting potential partners take into consideration political affiliation as a preventative measure. If the two have similar political views the couple has less to fight about.

The study was done by manipulating online dating profiles, specifically in terms of political affiliation, to see the responses of participants. The study states: “We find that participants consistently evaluate profiles more positively (e.g., had greater interest in dating the individual presented) when the target’s profile shared their political ideology.”

Sam Fischer, a student at Montana State University concurs with the results of the study. “Hopefully your political beliefs are based on what you believe as a human,” he said, “and if they’re believing in opposite things, it’s hard for a relationship to continue.” More

Oral surgeon keeps family foremost in his life

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By TYLER BARTON/Montana State News

The office of Dr. C. Ryan Wallis is more inviting than you might expect. It seems to have the design philosophy of a rustic-but-modern lodge home. Everything is distinctly Montanan. The walls are toned with natural greens and browns, and the various decorations all seem to involve, in some way, pine wood or browned metal, including a custom-made sign behind the reception area that reads: BIG SKY ORAL AND FACIAL SURGERY.

Dr. C. Ryan Wallis and family.

Dr. C. Ryan Wallis and family.

This is no helter-skelter hospital patient area. On the contrary, I find myself quite at ease as I relax in the waiting room. An incredibly affable receptionist staffs the front desk. We strike up a friendly conversation which seems, to me, genuine – not something one is generally accustomed to experiencing in a doctor’s office, of all places.

Soon, Wallis comes to greet me with a smile and a handshake. He’s still wearing his scrubs, which also happen to be a forest green. Together we walk back to his office and settle in.

The doctor’s private office space – separate from where he counsels patients and performs surgery – is a collection of wooden desks, scattered charts, and personal memorabilia. On one desk, there’s a computer with dual monitors, upon which several programs are running. A pleasant breeze rolls in through the office’s large window. I can hear nearby traffic start and stop at the light on Kagy and 11th. More

Song permeates life of a college student

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By AMANDA GROVER/Montana State News

Walking across campus, you notice music – not coming from your headphones – hanging in the air. You may not know it, but a young woman named April Seymour is around. You can spot her easily blending in with those around her, in hoodies and boots and jeans.  While many would feel self-conscious singing in public, she says “I started – I  think – just singing in church when I was really little, and I’ve always loved doing it so I just kept going.”

Her red hair stands out against her black hoodie when it’s not hidden under her D­­­­­­­­­­­­­eadpool beanie. However, she’s got a voice that hovers naturally in the air as she commutes from class to class. Song choice varies widely, and often has eclectic hints to it. Sometimes, it’s a pop hit, or it can even be an original song she’s written.

Seymour is a part of the on-campus a cappella group. She says that she checked to make sure that Montana State University had an a cappella group before she sent in her application. She got into it four days after arriving on campus freshman year. She said that she knew about the group auditions when she stopped by their booth during Catapalooza. While she wasn’t nervous for the solo round, she was extremely nervous for the round working as a group. So nervous, in fact, that she tried her best to harmonize with everyone. This ended up getting her into the group. More

Teen rises above homelessness, addiction

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By VIRGINIA HOLST/Montana State News

Priding herself on six months of sobriety from all hard drug use, Ashley Grey Allsop is considered by her peers a success story, to say the least. If you’ve interacted with her, you may know her as the friendly face at McDonalds, or the helpful frequenter of the Warming Center.

I struggled to find an appropriate place and time in which to interview Allsop amidst all the bustle of the seasonal shelter, which is all too busy despite its outdated facilities. We attempted to step aside into one of the quieter but still in-use areas of the Warming Center.

I assumed Allsop would request some privacy before delving into my questions, but she unashamedly began, without asking the two other volunteers in that area to leave the room. Needless to say, we all got wrapped in her story relatively quickly, and soon, I wasn’t the only one asking questions. More

Sports writer took unlikely route to career

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By JARED MILLER/Montana State News

Just a scant distance down I-90 midway between Missoula and Seattle sits a birthplace. Not only the birthplace of Washington’s Brian Scott but the place in which a very talented columnist was born. It was important to him that I use that term: columnist. “Not a reporter,” he stressed. And right there is where Scott’s story finds its core. A love for sports and a talent for writing met in the middle ground and that middle ground is where he resides today.

Picture a young boy watching the Seattle Mariners and trying his hardest to replicate the swing of the great Edgar Martinez. Or maybe imagine a college grad from Gonzaga entering the big bad, bad world of radio as an intern “playing the hits and poppin’ the zits,” as he put it. This is Scott. Sports and Washington are ingrained in him. It was the gift of writing, though, that would come later and ultimately define his career arc.

“I worked at a radio station during the early 90s,” Scott explained. “During my tenure there the AM station switched formats from old-school country music to an all sports format.” Bingo. The seeds of Scott’s career had been planted. More

Iranian student’s options limited by status

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By RANIA AMPNTEL CHAFINT/Montana State News

Christmas and Fourth of July are his favorite holidays. In the winter, he loves to hunt; in the summer, he loves to shoot. For Spring Break, he plans to fly to Massachusetts for a Metallica concert. Some say he holds all the qualities of a typical Montanan, but there is only one catch: He’s Iranian.

Wearing a green down jacket and a gray beanie, Arash Akbari introduced himself, “I’m 27 years old. I study mechanical engineering with a minor in physics.” In 2015, Arash moved to Bozeman, where, almost instantly after he arrived, he felt at home.

Walking inside the MSU library with Akbari  is never a short affair, as he stops to chat with people he knows. “I haven’t seen you in so long, man,” he said to his friend. “Let’s play soccer sometime.”

About 20 minutes later, after having visited with three friends, he went back to introducing himself: “I plan to study astrophysics in the future; I love astronomy,” he said with a smile. Akbari is bound to teach you about a star or two if you spend some time with him after sundown. More

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