Category Archives: Report

Balls to the Wall

Waltzing for purity

by Sarah Wool, editor; illustration by Madeline Frost, guest artist

It’s easy to ridicule the name—it can conjure visions of the white marble testicles on Michelangelo’s David, or two scoops of vanilla ice cream—but for the fathers and daughters who attend them, “Purity Balls” are serious. They began as Evangelical Christian fare, but in little over a decade they have taken place in forty-eight states and garnered interest in at least seventeen countries. Their objective is to promote a close, protective relationship between father and daughter. They center on a solemn commitment ceremony in which a father reads and signs a pledge to actively guard his daughter’s virginity, and his daughter makes a silent promise to herself and to God to stay chaste until marriage. And they began in Colorado Springs. Continue reading

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A Queer Time of Year

CC’s gay community celebrates

by Phoebe Parker-Shames, guest writer; photo by Julia DeWitt, staff artist

It’s Gaypril. Across the country, various colleges claim this month as a time for celebration and education regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) issues. At CC, it is a time for the queer and allied community on campus to expand horizons, raise awareness, and party it up at Drag Ball. Continue reading

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The Price of Pregnancy Prevention

A dollar for every day

by John Knight, editor; illustration by Claire Longfield, guest artist


Before Mercedes Hernandez-Queen, now a freshman at University of Denver, entered high school, she knew she didn’t want to get pregnant. Not only had she seen her uncle struggle with raising a child as a teenager, but her older brother had fathered twins while he was still in high school and one of the infants died in premature childbirth. Raised by a single mother, she knows the strain an unplanned child put on a young family and didn’t care that teen pregnancy was an accepted circumstance and prevalent among students at Sheridan High School in Colorado Springs. She had made up her mind. Continue reading

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Standing Up and Speaking Out

Facing sexual discrimination at CC

by Liz Ludwig, guest writer; illustration by Becca Levi, guest artist, and Chris Kolodey, staff artist

In an organic chemistry class at Colorado College, four students prepared to perform a spectroscopy experiment. The professor assigned each of the three male students a task, and then turned to the female student, a senior with substantial lab experience, and said, “And how would you like to be the secretary?” Continue reading

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The Boston Pop Party

Obama ruffles American feathers with a soda tax proposal

by Brittin Alfred, staff writer; image by Eleanor Anderson, art editor

In a recent interview with Men’s Health Magazine, President Obama casually suggested the idea of a tax on soda to promote healthier habits among youth. “There’s no doubt that our kids drink way too much soda. And every study that’s been done about obesity shows that there is as high a correlation between increased soda consumption and obesity as just about anything else.” As the President of a country founded on an anti-taxation ideal, perhaps Obama should have seen the backlash coming. 

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Jesus is my Homeboy

And New Life thinks he should be yours, too

by Simone Phillips, staff writer; illustration by Lily Turner, guest artist

As someone raised by parents who rejected the Protestant faith of their own upbringings, sitting through a “real” church service was equivalent to observing the practices of a foreign culture. But the same curiosity that entices teenagers to defy their parents and smoke their first joint tempted me to learn a little bit about Christianity. I had heard the list of grievances against the religion: the unrealistic demands of asceticism, the subjugation of women and the wars started in the name of God. Within the progressive bubble of my youth, the overzealous embrace of multiculturalism generated a pervasive belief in the utter foolishness of popularized Christianity. Nonetheless, the religion’s successful attraction of a wide range of followers made me wonder if I was the one missing something.  I decided to give myself the chance to get a glimpse of what drives popular Christianity. Although I held no illusion that after one visit I would be an expert on the church or a born again convert, I thought one visit couldn’t hurt.

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Three Minutes of Fame

Karaoke returns to the Springs

by Miranda Hickox, guest writer, and Artie Niederhoffer, editor; illustration by Miranda Hickox

Anyone can be a pop star, at least if he or she frequents the karaoke scene that is reportedly making a comeback in Colorado Springs. Thursday night at Good Company on Academy Boulevard, we expected to see many fellow incoherent college students slurring the lyrics from whatever they heard on 96.1 on the way over. Instead, we were first pleasantly surprised—and later, blown away—by top-notch vocalizing. Maybe our original attitude had been an example of typical CC-to-Springs condescension. After all, Good Company is the bar that holds the Independent’s prestigious title of best karaoke bar.

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Popping the Pill

Are men next?

article and illustration by Sarah Wool, staff writer and artist

Sex has a visible presence at CC, where students engage in everything from sex toy parties to speed dating to “Good Sex” barbeques. Presumably, a progressive campus like this one would be well informed about birth control options, but the idea of a male birth control pill is still foreign to most students…

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Turmoil at the Town Hall

Losing minds and fingers in the debate over health care reform

by Kate Wihtol, guest writer

You’re a fascist!” shouted a young man in the back of the room. My mouth dropped as I noticed he was holding a large image of our President with the distinctive Hitler mustache. “No, he’s a socialist!” yelled a woman in front of me. Glancing down at their talking points for support, these fuming individuals screamed about “death panels,” abortion funds, and coverage for undocumented immigrants. As Representative David Wu (D-OR) began to respond at his August 11 town hall meeting in Portland, Oregon, the screaming intensified, silencing him. “You’re lying,” another woman cried. “Move to Canada!” Continue reading

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Abusing Health Care

What you don’t know does hurt you

by John Knight, editor

This is bad: a fever, cough, stuffy nose, and sore throat—you’ve got swine flu. Okay, so you haven’t exactly confirmed it with a doctor yet, but you’re sure of it. It is a pandemic, after all, sweeping through college campuses with no vaccine yet available. Two students have already died. In fact, you’ve heard so much about the virus, it’s just about impossible that it could be anything else. Never mind that the common cold, strep throat, and a sinus infection all have similar symptoms—you’ve got swine flu. Continue reading

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