• CHAOS AS BEAUTY out now!

    CHAOS AS BEAUTY out now!

    Read Chaos as Beauty below!

  • Kayla’s Style Predictions for 2022

    Kayla’s Style Predictions for 2022

    Our Head of Styling, Kayla Edwards, predicts four trends you will see in the New Year.

    @vrntmagazine

    Will these be 2022’s most popular trends? Let us know what you think in the comments! #style #trend #prediction Made by: Kayle Edwards

    ♬ original sound – vrntmagazine

    1. Catsuits

    2. Sequins

    3. Miniskirts

    4. Low-rise pants

  • 2021 Through Our Lens

    2021 Through Our Lens

    VARIANT captured behind the scenes moments through disposable cameras during the Fall 2021 semester.

    Head of Styling, Kayla Edwards
    Behind the scenes at the Local Architecture shoot for the Patterns issue
    Evie Sears and Naila Latham at our North End social
    Model Jack Wilburn applying makeup before the Patterns of Historic Movements photoshoot.
    Reebha Chetty at our North End social
    Jack Wilburn and Adelina Miller on set
    Cheri Marshall applies makeup to model Isabella Lasneski.
    Behind the scenes of our Patterns of Historic Movements photoshoot
    Kayla Edwards, Emilie Burch, and Hannah Mazanec pose for a shot.
    Jordan Schmitt works on a sign for the Patterns of Historic Movements reading: “Screw Sexists.”
    Jonai Spates applying makeup on model Destiny Reynolds.
    Behind the scenes at the FACES collaboration photoshoot
    Models of our Patterns of Historic Movements photoshoot pose and yell for a shot.
    Head of Public Relations, Emilie Burch
    Executive Board members at the North End social
    Makeup artists prepare models for the FACES collaboration shoot.
    Members enjoy the North End social.
    Ky Rodriguez prepares a protest sign for the Patterns of Historic Movements photoshoot.
    Jack Wilburn and Adeline Miller on set
    Members enjoy the North End social
    Hannah Mazanec and Kayla Edwards
    Jordan Schmitt and Ellie Roberto
    Isabella Lasneski is photographed
    Co-head of Makeup, Hannah Mazanec
    Executive Board members enjoy the North End social.
    Sarah Osterle and Naila Latham
  • Meet Me at Midnight

    Meet Me at Midnight

    Emma Friend, Photo Chief

    Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about Taylor Swift’s new album, Midnights. Midnights is her 10th studio album (12th if you count the re-recordings), and is a re-entrance into what we know and love: Taylor Swift as pop. Those who became fans in 2020 after her releases of folklore and evermore are surprised by her seemingly sudden foray into pop, but pop is the genre Taylor is most comfortable in, as we see in 1989 (2014), Reputation (2017), and Lover (2019). Her return to the genre in Midnights is a comfort to fans who have been around since her first experimentations with pop on Fearless (2008). While the sound is reminiscent of earlier albums, lyrically the songs on the album have reached new depths. This album is the most personal Taylor has ever released – she takes on her personal experiences with eating disorders, expectations of marriage, unhealthy relationships, and much more, which is a shift from the storytelling seen in folklore and evermore.

    The first track on the album, Lavender Haze, is about Taylor’s annoyance with the constant questioning on her relationship status with her current boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. One line goes, “All they keep asking me, is if I’m gonna be your bride // The only kinda girl they see, is a one night or a wife”. She stated in one of her TikTok videos that the song was inspired by a line she heard in the show Mad Men, a “lavender haze” is when you just want to be in love and stay in that feeling forever.

    The second track, Maroon, plays with various shades of red. The imagery in the song describes how the different shades of red are present in a passionate relationship. It acts almost as a sequel to the song Red, or perhaps its older sibling. It shows the maturation Taylor has gone through since writing Red in both her views on love and her writing skills.

    Anti-Hero has a quick, catchy beat with some quick, catchy lines. When you stop and read the lyrics, with or without the music playing, you see that Taylor Swift is her own worst enemy. She talks about her eating disorder and how she feels like her career has grown larger than she can handle. This song introduces a theme we will see later in the album that everyone in her life wants something from her (except for her boyfriend). One of my favorite lines in the song is in the chorus – she sings, “I’ll stare directly at the sun but never in the mirror”. I love the idea that someone would rather look at the sun than look at themselves, it is both relatable and devastating at the same time.

    Her fourth track, Snow on the Beach, features Lana del Ray; however, her feature is virtually undetectable. That being said, this is another song that has a deeper meaning behind it. She shared in a video that the song is about how rare it is to fall in love with someone at the same time they are falling in love with you: “It’s almost as rare as snow on the beach.” The chorus is catchy, but personally it is at the bottom of my own personal ranking – the rest of the songs are just better in my opinion.

    Taylor Swift’s fifth tracks are famously her saddest songs on the albums. Dear John (Speak Now), All Too Well (Red TV), and White Horse (Fearless TV) are all examples of “Track 5s” on her previous albums. You’re On Your Own, Kid is no exception to the rule. With lyrics like “I hosted parties and starved my body, like I’d be saved by a perfect kiss” and “You’ve got no reason to be afraid // You’re on your kid, you always have been” it’s nearly impossible to claim that this strays from the pattern.

    At first listen, I wasn’t a huge fan of Midnight Rain, but the more I listen to it the more I like it. The auto-tune isn’t really something Taylor has used a lot in the past so having that first verse be auto tuned was a bit of a shock. That being said, I do really love the basis of the song, which is one that we also saw in Lavender Haze. She doesn’t want to be a wife; she wants to be her own person with her own career, and whoever she was thinking about when writing this song didn’t want the same things – “You were sunshine, I was midnight rain.” The song feels very similar to That’s the Way I Loved You (Fearless TV).

    Question…? feels similar to Harry Styles’ bridge in his song, Keep Driving. I honestly don’t have much to say about this song that would be different than everything I have said and everything I will say, other than that it is a Good Song.

    Track 8, Vigilante Shit can be added to the list of famous “women kicking butt” playlist. The lyrics in this song are written to build the confidence of a wronged woman and that is my favorite genre of music. Country stars like Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood are experts in this field, but Taylor has had a few hits that fit in the realm of these songs as well. Some previous examples would be Should’ve Said No (Taylor Swift), Picture to Burn (Taylor Swift), and Dear John (Speak Now). This song definitely feels like it could’ve been written by 2006 Taylor (minus the country accent).

    @vivoree

    always loooove me some alone time 🥹 #fyp #bejeweled

    ♬ Bejeweled – Taylor Swift
    Example of the Bejeweled strut. TikTok by @vivoree

    Bejeweled sounds bejeweled if you get what I’m saying. I don’t know what kind of magic she put in this song, but the current TikTok trend (the Bejeweled strut) is a very fitting “dance” for this song. The song just makes you want to strut on a runway or into a ballroom with everybody’s eyes on me (which I never want). And don’t even get me started on “SHIMMER.”

    The first time I listened to the album, Labyrinth was my favorite song. It felt so real and honest, especially when she sings, “Breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out.” Those lyrics are something she said at the graduation speech she gave to NYU. I also love how the song is about falling in love when it is the most inconvenient and begging for the feeling to go away – it’s something that can resonate with a lot of people.

    Karma is in fact my boyfriend. The word “karma” means a lot to the Swiftie community, but we won’t get into the details of that too much. Although, karma didn’t end up being an entire album, the song itself lives up to the legend that is “karma.” The chorus is also incredibly catchy, even if the lyrics sound silly.

    Taylor Swift and her boyfriend of six years, Joe Alwyn, wrote Sweet Nothing together. Joe has written for Taylor before and for those songs, as well as this one, he uses the pseudonym William Bowery. This song continues a theme we’ve seen earlier in the album: Everybody wants something from her. Except, in this song, she continues the theme to say, “everybody wants something for me except for him.” That sentiment is so wholesome and, while the whole song is rather wholesome, the opening notes really add to that feeling.

    Finally, we have arrived at the last track on the album, Mastermind. This is currently my favorite song on Midnights. Once again, the flow/beat of the song is one that sticks in my head and the lyrics are fantastic (as they pretty much always are). The premise of this song is her telling her boyfriend that the stars aligning perfectly to give us the chance to meet wasn’t a coincidence, it was all due to my mastermind. My favorite part is the first chorus when we first hear “I laid the groundwork and then, just like clockwork, the dominoes cascaded in a line.” It flows so well that every time I hear it, it almost itches my brain. I also think it is beautiful when she says “I laid the groundwork and then saw a wide smirk, on your face, you knew the entire time,” which just shows that even though she thought she was manipulating the situation in her favor, Joe knew the whole time and let her do it.

  • Checking In With OU’s Newest Star

    Checking In With OU’s Newest Star

    Blogger Kate Tocke chats with Stuart Landry, OU’s newest TikTok star. Image from womensew.

    Kate Tocke, blogger

    Here at OU we feel at home. Whether you live in the luxury that is Jeff Hall or the not as luxurious dirty south, we all have our ways of making our dorm rooms feel like home. You are either the person who scatters their wall with posters or you leave them barren. There is no in between. Recently everyone at OU – and all over the internet – has seen the familiar Ohio dorm halls on their TikTok for you pages recently, and that is because OU student Stuart Landry has recently been getting tours of OU students’ dorm rooms, and the stories behind them as well. I have personally become a very huge fan of Stuart’s videos, but like many other people I began to wonder what motivated him to start making them. Last week I was able to sit down with Stuart and get the inside scoop on the OU dorm tours.

    Q: Why did you start doing these videos?

    A: “It was me and my friend Abby, she had just gotten a lapel mic and she was really excited. She was like ‘let’s do something,’ and we were like ‘what can we do?’ Let’s go to court street, no people have done that. But opening week we went to random dorms to say hi, just popping in. 

    I am an extrovert. I love talking to people. We were like ‘what if we just go to people’s dorms and just interview them?’ We got the lapel mic and the mini oscar and just went to random dorms… we didn’t really know what we were going to do or anything. So we went to the first person’s dorm and just asked for a room tour. Everything after that was all improvised. The weird questions became part of it. The first one was complete improv. We did a couple that night, edited them and posted them. People were just like, this is crazy, and so we kept on doing it.”

    Q: What do you look for in a good dorm or how do you pick your dorms?

    One of @ouminimic’s most popular videos

    A: “Most of them are on east green because we live in east green, but mainly we were going there because it’s close. Whoever has the most decorated dorm door we pick, but other than that it’s just random. We try to evenly do boys and girls… but mainly it’s just whatever on east green. We don’t really take requests, we have done it a little bit but not really. It’s mainly just random, but if you have a cool funky door we may pick you.”

    Q: Do you plan to go to west green or south soon?

    A: “It is on the agenda. We have dirty south, we want to do new south. We want to do west green, we will probably do that next week. That will be our Halloween edition. On dirty south or west green.

    Q: What’s hall has had the best people and overall vibe?

    A: “Lincoln Hall so far is definitely the best just because they are art students, so they are really fun. They have some crazy stuff going on. It’s kind of funny. We went and interviewed Washington and Reed Hall and they weren’t as good. Lincoln Hall by far is the funniest so far because they are art students who are super fun and creative. That’s our best one.” 

    Q: What are some red flags you have seen in the dorms you have been in so far?

    A: “I don’t know if we have seen anything bad about a dorm…I don’t think we have ever encountered anything where we are like ‘this is bad news.’ Mainly everything has been ok. Red flag, we haven’t really seen any red flags.”

    Q: Since you have been touring everyone else’s room, how do you think your room compares and what does it look like?

    A: “How about this, because you probably want to see my dorm. Um… if we hit 75K I will do a room tour. My room isn’t that crazy but I mean it’s clean and people are interested. 75K we will do a tour of my room. I do have a few posters, but I won’t spoil the surprise. I have some cool paintings I painted, I will say that. I also have a certain collection. An interesting collection.” 

  • Mental Health in College: It’s Not Always Easy

    Mental Health in College: It’s Not Always Easy

    Aubrey Cline, blogger

    Sometimes keeping-up with your mental health is difficult. As college students, we all experience a range of ups and downs that affect our mental health at the end of the day. From the big class assignments we may have forgotten to turn-in, the quarrels we may have with our roommates or significant others from time-to-time, to the events of the long-awaited weekend rage; our mental health is at a cost. Now, that might sound scary to some – the cost of making our brains ‘happy,’ however this looks different for everyone. What works for your friends’ mental health might not be what works for you and that is OK! Knowing where to start is what is most important. Below are some mental health tactics that I personally use when things get tough – whether that be in my academic life, my personal life, or simply if I am just ‘meh.’

    Logging onto Spotify and listening to my favorite podcasts. Listening to a podcast is definitely my main-squeeze. To me, listening to a podcast that mainly talks about a specific detail of what I am feeling or experiencing gives me the absolute feeling that I am not alone in what I am going through. Above all, I can relate to what I am listening to, I can disagree, I can form opinions, I can cry it out, and clean it up all while not saying a word to anyone else. Although I do believe talking to someone you trust, eventually, is a good mental health tactic, this is a good way to start forming clear thoughts about your feelings before you are ready to take that step. 

    Some podcasts that I have been listening to:

    Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain 

    On My Mind with Ava Jules 

    Aware and Aggravated with Leo Skepi 

    The Holistic Hippie with Jessi Hoey

    Talking to someone I trust. Like I said above, this step comes when you are absolutely ready. Sometimes when we are hurt, upset, and caught in the moment of what those feelings are for us we can ‘word-vomit’ to the wrong people and potentially hurt others feelings and/or say things we do not mean. As humans, we are not perfect. I have done this – I am sure you will do this. It really takes patience and practice to get to a place where you can mute in the moment reactions and save them for the people we trust sharing our feelings with.

    Taking a walk/going to the gym. If you are someone that feels like you need to physically work-out or walk-out your feelings; this tactic is perfect. For myself, being able to get out my feelings and build my confidence at the same time wears out the physical tenseness I feel when I am upset or angry. Put your gym playlist on or another favorite, a podcast, or take in the peace that silence offers.

  • Everything Remembered: A journey of personal storytelling

    Everything Remembered: A journey of personal storytelling

    Abby Lindley, PR Director

    “It’s a pleasure to share one’s memories. Everything remembered is dear, endearing, touching, precious. At least the past is safe though we didn’t know it at the time. We know it now. Because it’s in the past; because we have survived.” (Sontag)

    I pride myself on having a horrible memory. I forget birthdays and meetings. I forget what my favorite song was two years ago and who I went to my freshman year homecoming with. I am self-aware of how unaware I am of my own past. After coming to this realization about 7 years ago, I began to write things down. The result is 7 volumes of life told through the lens of a younger me. I wrote about high school drama, living through a pandemic, starting college, and becoming an adult. These writings define and outline some of the most important moments of my own coming-of-age story. This photo series highlights my journey of personal storytelling.

  • Pumpkin Spice Playlist: A Fall Playlist for 2022

    Pumpkin Spice Playlist: A Fall Playlist for 2022

    The lure of the fall playlist and new music releases.

    In my mind, and for other music fanatics, fall is like the September Issue of Vogue; it sets precedent for the remainder of the year, and the year to come. This year, people can look forward to new albums by Noah Kahan and Taylor Swift, and it’s almost like a re ignition of Back-to-the-Future in the music world with new resurfacings of Paramore, The 1975 and the Arctic Monkeys. 

    Now, I’m sure most people create playlists every so often, either for specific occasions or if they have a collection of songs they want made. For me, however, my yearly fall playlists are something that I begin working on in the spring. Quite frankly, I might go a little too over-the-top with them, between scouting out music in March and then proceeding to change the title countless times. I figured, instead of gatekeeping what I consider the “pure genius” behind my playlists, it’s time to share how I execute the process. 

    When I go to build it out, it typically evolves from an image. This playlist should be something you can imagine listening to while you’re hiking in the woods, while you’re walking to class, while you’re doing homework with a candle lit, and while making dinner. Versatile. From there, I’ll start with one or two songs that I already regularly listen to. Those favorites are as follows, and are found on every one of my fall playlists: 

    “Barcelona” by George Ezra: I began listening to George Ezra in high school. His music flows beautifully and offers both spirited tones as well as smoother more relaxing rhythms. Right from the beginning of the song, “Barcelona” uses a quiet maraca and soft guitar sound to bring listeners a sense of warmth. No more than twenty seconds into the song, George Ezra shows off his smooth voice and by the time the chorus hits, listeners become accustomed to his deep resonance. “Barcelona” speaks of nostalgia for a person or place and the quiet acoustics make this a perfect fall tune. 

    “Angela” by The Lumineers: From the fingerpicking guitar at the beginning, to the clear vocals at the chorus, “Angela,” is easily one of The Lumineers best songs. Every song on their album, “Cleopatra,” asks listeners to reflect on life choices and desires. “Angela” is told from the perspective of a lover watching Angela leave a small town, wondering if there really was more out there. Being from a small town with huge aspirations, this song has always spoken to me on a personal level, and inspired my six month stint in New York City. The key changes are hit perfectly throughout this song with the perfect amount of vocal fry added in the chorus. 

    “Almost” by Hozier: A little more upbeat, “Almost (Sweet Music)”, by Hozier, immediately starts off with a heavy, but not distracting, baseline. With melodies stacked on top of each other, “Almost (Sweet Music)”  seems like it should not work out rhythmically. However each rhythmic overlap creates a beautiful orchestral feeling for listeners. Hozier pays tribute to the jazz era throughout his song leaving jazz lovers to pick up on references in each verse. 

    “Darling” by flipturn: This song holds a very special place in my Spotify account. I first heard this song last fall when I had a homemade soup night with my friends. We were sitting around a small living room table, laughing and enjoying each other’s company when the song came on, and it was one of those moments that you realize is going to become a core memory. The song begins with a slow crescendo, the vocals slowly harmonizing and building to a climactic bass line and beat drop. The vocals offered by the band are similar to molasses, smooth enough for a calm melody but tangy enough to add extra auditory levels. 

    Once those songs are on the playlist, I’ll either go to the Spotify “recommended” section, under the playlist, or I’ll look for more recommendations via TikTok, Instagram or by word-of-mouth through my friends. My favorite fall playlist that I’ve created has perfect amounts of the upbeat rhythm inspired by flipturn, and the contrasting slower melodies similar to George Ezra’s discography. The link is below:

    Happy listening VRNT.

  • Art in the Metaverse: Shining Light on Crypto

    Art in the Metaverse: Shining Light on Crypto

    Image taken from TENSPACE

    Max Abbatiello, Web Editor

    Hello everyone! My name is Max Abbatiello and I am the new Web Editor for Variant. I’m grateful to be a part of such an amazing publication! I thought I’d provide a little information about me to introduce myself to you lovely readers.

    I’m a junior at OU studying Journalism. I like to read, write, draw, listen to music, and play video games. I’d have to say throughout my time in Athens my favorite memory would have to be meeting all of my best friends only two days after moving into my dorm freshman year. Last spring some of those friends and I started the Ohio University Cryptocurrency Club. The club started off as an idea we’d play with when we were together, but we eventually decided to get serious with it, and as of now we are an official OU organization with a total of forty members!

    Last week a couple of the exec board members and I traveled to Columbus for an event about the cryptocurrency space. This event – named Shinging Light on Crypto – focused on how Columbus was getting involved with the metaverse.

    I had the opportunity to meet some very inspiring leaders in fields such as fashion, tech, marketing, and art. I think my favorite part about the panel was hearing from Thomas McClure. Thomas is the Founder/Executive Director of the Columbus Fashion Council and Fashion Week Columbus. I thought I had a good understanding of what the metaverse was, but after this event I now know there is still so much to learn!

    Thomas was not the only guest speaker in attendance, there was Lisa Steward from ZHEN, an NFT marketplace powered by the ethereum blockchain. Rob Richardson, who started Disrupt Art, an NFT marketplace dedicated to compensating artists for what their worth as well as promoting black and brown creators. The panel was hosted by Rachel Friedman, CEO of TENSPACE.

    Before I got to hear from these amazing speakers, we first explored the amazing event space. The place was decorated and put together so well! When you walk in, directly to your right is a wall of different kinds of NFTs. Did you know there are NFTs dedicated to Marilyn Monroe? It’s called MM3, I think they’re super cool!

    Nathan Davis, Vice President of OUCC, looking at the wall of different NFT projects.

    At the end of the different NFT projects were two curtained doors. In between the two doors was a wall of hard hats with backlight flashlights on them. We were instructed to put them on before entering. The first room was pitch black, but the blacklights showed writing on the walls. The writing took us through the steps of mining crypto. The other door showed what a crypto mining pool looks like. I’d never known what one looked like so I was very surprised!

    There was a wall that showed the definitions of different cryptocurrency terms. I think this event did a great job at explaining some complex topics in a clear manner. Anybody at any knowledge level would be able to understand. At the left hand side of the space was a tv that explained what a blockchain was. Next to it was a wall that asked attendees to write on a post it note what Web 3 meant to them and place it on the wall. There was so much do! As I walked around I got a chance to talk to everyone there, even the speakers.

    Image taken from TENSPACE

    Eventually, the time finally came around for the panel to begin. Some of the topics they touched on were the value in NFTs, what decentralization is, and Web 3. There was one central theme that stood out among the rest, and that was giving creators/artists the credit they deserve. A major issue that has been around for a while has been artists not being properly compensated. With NFTs, creators can receive the compensation they deserve.

    After about two and a half hours the event ended and we headed home with a goodie bag that contained a t-shirt, mug, and some stickers. Overall, I was very satisfied with this event and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to have gone.

  • The Red Wolf Sanctuary, More Than Just An Organization

    The Red Wolf Sanctuary, More Than Just An Organization

    By: Emily Squance, Blogger

    Located in Rising Sun, Indiana, The Red Wolf Sanctuary (RWS) preserves and protects a wide variety of animals. Even though each creature may come from all walks of life, they are all able to call this non-for-profit home. 

    The Red Wolf Sanctuary was founded in 1979 on the mission of preserving North American wildlife. They hope that with their efforts in protecting and rehabilitating a wide variety of animals, they’ll allow future generations to have the same opportunity to help “save the living past for the future to enjoy”.

    Wildlife biologist, Carlin Marsh, decided to volunteer at the sanctuary during her senior year of college in 2017. After graduation she moved to Washington State but quickly realized a piece of her will always be at the sanctuary. In the fall she decided to move back to Indiana and work at the facility full time. Marsh serves as one of few tour guides for the organization and strives to educate the public on the importance of protecting each and every species. 

    Upon first glance you may be mesmerized by the miles of acres that overlook the private property. You are overwhelmed with a sense of peace and solidarity. Tourists are provided with an informative tour guide who drives guests around the property in an ATV. Throughout the ride you will drive past a variety of animals who all have unique, unsung stories that are just awaiting to be shared. 

    The first animals you’ll meet are four red foxes who despite their size, have huge personalities. These gregarious creatures are incredibly social and will never fail to show guests their charming smile. Occasionally if they don’t feel like they’re getting enough attention they may let out a bark or two. Unfortunately, foxes are one of the most commonly traded animals in the fur trade. Typically it would take 15-40 foxes to make one fur coat. Luckily for these four carefree foxes, they were originally part of the fur trade but didn’t sell. Therefore they found their permanent home with the sanctuary. 

    Often the most popular animals viewed at RWS are the wolves and bobcats. Currently the facility inhabits one bobcat who, like the foxes, was unfortunately part of the fur trade. For obvious reasons visitors aren’t able to touch the animals but regardless they always seem to leave an impression. After meeting gray wolves, EC and Sue, it reaffirms that wolves in fact do mate for life. Sue may be intimidating at first but once you get close enough to her you’ll quickly realize she is a lover. She can be found pressed up against the fence in hopes to get scratches from volunteers while her mate, EC, can be found guarding her from afar. 

    Similar to the animals they look after, all the volunteers come from all walks of life as well. Even though each one is driven by their own unique passions, they all are highly educated on the animals they take care of. They form connections with each animal and many of them consider these furry friends as part of their family. 

    “With the pets we bury them. If they were here and our animals they would get a proper burial,” Marsh says.

    RWS isn’t just a non-for-profit, it is a tight knit community of down to earth people. The organization provides both internship and volunteer opportunities that allow people to grow in more ways than one. Director, M.E.D Paul Strasser, strives to work with people he not only considers co-workers as well as family. Strasser doesn’t fail to make a positive impression on every guest he interacts with. Aside from being incredibly educated and passionate about the animals he cares for, Strasser leaves both guests and volunteers laughing at the end of the day. He is witty and clever, always able to throw a joke or two into every conversation. Like many of the animals at the facility, he has a huge personality and maintains a light hearted work environment. 

    “I have a few rules in life that I live by. The first one is adapt or die. The second one is that nobody is meaner than the person who has seen you naked. The third is big eats little. Finally the fourth is survival of the fittest,” Strasser says. 

    Jokes aside, the RWS hopes to expose their visitors to the wonders of nature and of the wildlife that lives in their very own country. Strasser hopes that by creating the RWS he will be able to teach younger generations the importance of environmental conservation. 

    “Their job is to protect what is left or it’ll be gone and they’ll have to tell their kids they screwed it up,” Strasser says. 

    The RWS takes donations, specifically expired meat, from a variety of businesses around the area. However they are always advertising new ways guests can help out on their website and social media platforms. If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about the RWS and ways you can support them click here

    Whether you have the opportunity to visit the non-for-profit or not, it has become vital that each generation does their part in protecting the environment around us. Try to be conscious of your actions and how they may affect the animals around you. 

  • Beads and Things: An Athens Gem

    Beads and Things: An Athens Gem

    By: Emily Squance, Blogger

    Tucked away behind various trees on Shafer Street, there sits a colorful building with an eye-catching pink and blue sign. Upon first glance Beads and Things may just look like an ordinary bead shop. However, inside you will be immersed in a world of color and creativity. 

    Founded in May of 1990, Beads and Things started out as a dream yet to come to life. Ohio University grad, Joe Merkle, opened the store on 400 dollars cash and few supplies on hand. 

    “My mom got me into beading when I was a kid and I always loved beads so I collected them. I needed a job after college and I had to provide my own opportunity,” Merkle says.

    Merkle knew she loved the sales industry but she wanted to follow her passion for bead making. Conveniently after she left college and searched for a new job, Phil Berry came to Athens to help his cousin build a house. Although he wasn’t interested in bead making at first, Joe was able to influence him and together they created Beads and Things. 

    Even though there has been a decline in brick and mortar stores, the few remaining provide customers with a different experience than regular stores. Beads and Things was founded on a passion and every decoration and piece of merchandise incorporated into it, has a backstory. 

    “This is a very tactile business, colors that need to be seen and stories that need to be told. We source all our beads from our travels and just different artists,” Merkle says. 

    There are very few businesses that enable customers to take a break from reality. In the digital age it can be hard to incorporate mindfulness into your day. Beads and Things is a hidden gem that allows people to put their creativity into a product. 

    “There’s something innate about wanting to make things that are representative of something. It takes you somewhere that’s good. It’s really important, that whole creative process we go through with our minds. It flows over into everything else we do,” Berry says. 

    Beads and Things from the beginning has been a free flowing business. There has never been a set objective or goal, Berry and Merkle just want people to have a good time. Even though they made it clear that they’ve never really been into having a mission statement, in a way the takeaway from this local brick and mortar is that like the creative process, everything falls together eventually. 

    It is very evident when meeting both Berry and Merkle that they strive to live their lives to the fullest. They believe that life is too short to not be lived, therefore everyone should go out into the world and explore what it has to offer. 

    “You’ll be somewhere you’ve never been before and things will just unfold. You’ll find connections, people, and artists. The more you get out the wider your view will be,” Berry says. 

    Beads and Things isn’t just a store, it’s a giant bead box that brings people together. 

    “Meeting people has been the best thing about this. Getting to be a small part of people’s lives one way or another,” Berry says. 

    Throughout the past couple of years there has been a divide among people. Whether be with politics, religion, or even racial injustice, one could say that there has been a lot of tension within the world. Berry emphasized that throughout all his travels and adventures to various countries, he realized that many of us are a lot more alike than we think. Traveling has the ability to widen your perception on life and experience different cultures and people. 

    “Traveling stretches time. You make friends from different places. It’s important for me to leave the country so I don’t get caught up in thinking everyone thinks like me,” Merkle says. 

    Whether you are an Athens local or an Ohio University student, I highly encourage you to stop into Beads and Things and experience what it has to offer. Not only will you leave with unique, handmade pieces of jewelry, you’ll leave with a different outlook on life. 

  • Curology College Ambassador Program

    Curology College Ambassador Program

    By: Ashley Formani

    Curology and its College Ambassador Program are super excited to share an great opportunity for college students to get access to affordable and effective skincare through their Curology Access Program.

    Curology is a skincare company that provides personalized skin care treatments. A Curology provider works one on one with each customer to create a personal skin care plan. This may include anything from acne and blackheads to fine lines and wrinkles.

    Each member gets a free consultation with a dermatology provider, who prescribes a custom mix for your unique needs and ships it directly to you. Your dermatology provider sticks by you to make sure your formula is right for you and can adapt it as your skincare goals change.

    Each month, Curology and its employees provide 1,000 free limited subscriptions to eligible participants that provide documentation of financial need via the Curology Access Program.

    The Curology Access Program provides $485 worth of credit for Curology medication, products, and services. This credit may be used for Curology provider consultations, the first month of Curology prescription medication, 12 shipments of Curology large custom bottles, and/or the purchase of non-prescription skincare products that maybe offered by Curology.

    To sign up for the program and to see if you may qualify, students can go to the bottom of the Curology.com home page and click
    on the link titled “Curology Access Program”. If no link is present upon home page visit, it means that all 1000 subscriptions have been given away for that month. However, be sure to check back next
    month to sign up.


    All Ohio University students who want to sign up for Curology can go to Curology.com/OU to get their first month free, just pay $4.95 for shipping and handling.