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The Dana Deathtrap

Matthew Finger
Managing Editor
Erika Breese

Julie Hawk, a Xavier sophomore, was struck by a car while in the crosswalk on Dana Avenue that connects the main campus with the Village and the Alumni Center, on Oct. 1.

Hawk was crossing the street at about 3:37 p.m. with another student. After waiting for traffic to stop she crossed and was hit by a gold Buick Century, according to a Cincinnati Police report.

The Buick, driven by Erich Zwertschek, was stopped in front of the crosswalk waiting for Hawk to cross when a Ford Econoline struck the back of the vehicle.

The Buick was pushed forward by the impact, and stuck Hawk who was, at the time, crossing in front of Zwertschek.

“I flipped into the air and somehow landed without hitting my head,” said Hawk. The driver of the van, James Harrison, had no license or insurance, according to Hawk.

This accident came just four days before a 15-year-old girl was killed on Montgomery Road when she exited a school bus and was hit by a car.

“We are thankful that the student who was hit by the car was not badly injured,” said Associate Provost for Student Life Dr. Kathleen Simons. “The student did everything right — crossed at the cross walk, looked both ways, was not on a cell phone nor otherwise distracted.”

Since Dana Avenue is under the jurisdiction of the City of Cincinnati and not Xavier, the university cannot make changes to the traffic situation at will.

The Dana Avenue crosswalk is particularly dangerous for pedestrians because there is no stop light and the crosswalk is located at a corner and on a hill.

“Members of the senior administration are very concerned about the traffic on Dana Avenue and the potential risk to students, faculty and staff attempting to cross the street,” said Simons.

“John Kucia, Vice President for Administration, is working with the city to bring attention to our concern and to try to develop a safer street crossing environment.”

As for Hawk, she is thankful that she is alright, but is wondering if anyone will remedy the danger to pedestrians.

“I should be dead. Luckily, I only have a sprained and cut foot and bruises and soreness,” Hawk stated. “What is it going to take for Xavier to really show some concern? Someone to die?”

According to the Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering, only three rear-end accidents have occurred at the Dana Avenue crosswalk since 2004.


Blue Blob makes it big in Bristol

Jeff McMurray
Feature News Editor

The Blue Blob starred in Sportscenter spots with ESPN personalities Scott Van Pelt and John Anderson, as well as NFL legend and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.

What do Pro Football Hall of Fame member Jim Kelly and ESPN sports anchors Scott van Pelt and John Anderson have in common?

No, it’s not their college degree, and no, it’s not their love of ice cream. Instead it is their appearances with the Blue Blob in Sport Center commercials.

Students and alumni alike have taken notice of the two new Sports Center commercials featuring the fan favorite mascot. With the commercials, the Blob has joined the storied history of college mascots on ESPN; a history that includes the gator from the University of Florida.

But how did the Xavier mascot get to such a public stage?

Former Assistant Director of Marketing in the Athletic Department Mark Gazdik was the man responsible for the Blue Blob’s national debut.

“A contact at ESPN called and asked about the availability of the Blob,” said Gazdik. “She then sent a couple scripts for my approval. Once we approved the scripts, a mascot went up there and took part in the shoots. They shot those spots and improvised a few others.”

As of right now, there are only two commercials on ESPN featuring the Blue Blob.

The first commercial has the Blob in a motion capture suit waiting with John Anderson and Scott van Pelt to have their motions captured for an ESPN Sports Anchor video game.



The Blue Blob with Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.

“Everyone was completely professional,” said Chris Wimsatt who portrays the Blue Blob. “They were all aware of Xavier and the Blue Blob before I got to Bristol, which was nice.”

“What was great is that between takes, everyone was cracking jokes and telling stories. The anchors were really funny guys, great to work with. It was also nice when they asked for my autograph,” said Wimsatt.

When asked about the ESPN family as a whole, Wimsatt said “they were really friendly. They made me feel right at home. One of the best parts about it was the food, it was really impressive.”

The second commercial airing right now is a heated rock, paper, scissors contest between the Blob and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.
Though the commercial ended up looking great, it came about accidentally.

The Blob was in the process of filming another commercial for ESPN but during the break, Jim Kelly challenged the Blob to an rock, paper, scissors match. It was then the director thought it would look great on TV and videotaped the match.

“It’s tough to have a rock, paper, scissors strategy against a Hall of Famer like Jim Kelly. You really can’t out think him,” said Wimsatt.

The result of the contest was the Blob winning and eating Jim Kelly’s Hall of Fame jacket.

“I was kind of surprised he let me do that to his jacket, since it was his only one,” said Wimsatt.


 Contact Info

Doug Tifft 
Rachel Peters
Ann Tassone
Darren LaCour
Senior News Editors

The Xavier Newswire
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, Ohio 45207-2129

On-campus location:
The Publications House,
3739 Ledgewood Dr.

Telephone: 513.745.3607
Advertising: 513.745.3561
Fax: 513.745.2898

Doug Tifft 
Editor-in-Chief Nathan Sergio
Advertising Manager Full list of staff contacts