Year in Review: Top Stories of 2010

I was reminded that it is time to take a look back when Marietta College posted their own Top 10 Stories list, so here they are…the 10 stories that received the most traffic on Writing on the Mall in 2010.

10 – Looking Back At Campus Flooding

This was the only story submitted by Tom Perry’s writing classes to make it to the Top 10.  Stacy Frederick did a great retrospective piece on the 2004 and 2005 floods.  The Ohio River went over its banks twice that year, flooding Marietta and the College in the process.  Frederick’s article had some great interviews with alumni and College officials, and shows the improvements made to the College’s flooding preparedness plans.

You can read that article here.

9 – Student Speak Out Coverage

Our Student Speak Out coverage was so popular this Fall that it actually crashed the site, which I was impressed by.  If you want to take a look back, here is the Spring 2010 and Fall 2010 live blog pages.  We will actually have our Top Questions from the Fall Student Speak Out here this week.

8 – Student Senate Posters Get Defaced

Maybe when I originally ran this story, it was a bit “Fox News”-ish.  But apparently readers wanted to hear about Student Senate candidate posters getting defaced.  The original story ran here.

7 – The Front Street Fire

A lot of students found out about the fire just by waking up to the tell-tale scent of fire, which floated across campus from Front Street.  In what we now know, the fire was an arson set by burglars trying to cover their tracks.  Their decision caused the loss of the former Goodwill building, which housed the Marietta Wine Cellar.  An adjacent building was also burned, which included the Front Street Deli and the Riverside Gallery.

You can find the photo gallery we posted here.

Here is some video we took, and a package we made to cover the fire.

6 – Movie and Game Rental Options

A smaller filler article we ran to talk about new movie and video game rental options was apparently a big hit, as it makes the list.  The article makes even more sense now that the Marietta Movie Gallery has closed.  Blockbuster’s new movie and game rental service was featured in the piece, along with Netflix’s announcement about adding more movies to their online streaming service.  Also, Hulu now has their Hulu Plus service, which adds to the list of shows and seasons available to viewers on their website, and allows shows to be watched on devices other than their computer.

5 – 4/20 Mall Chalking & Cleaning

We never found out who the culprits of the 4/20 Mall Chalking were, but their “artwork” gave those heading to class something new to look at.  Of course, it also gave Physical Plant a headache.  While we had originally reported that chalk in appropriate areas would be left, Physical Plant brought out water pumps and cleaned the entire mall of their messages.  Well, that and all the chalk on buildings, curbs, and benches.

You can check out the photos right here.

4 – The Fake Senior Week Flyer

You know somebody pulled a good April Fool’s Day joke when the College has to send out an e-mail to make sure everybody knows it is a fake.  A flyer was posted around campus that included Senior Week events, and how Seniors could go about registering for the week of activities.  It looked pretty legitimate.  Except instead of things like “Strawberries and Creme” or “Senior Picnic”, we saw fictional events like “Hobo Train Ride” and “Degree Auction”.  I was personally looking forward to the “Million Dollar Bonfire”, but that’s just me.  No word if the official (unofficial) bar crawl happened or not.

You can see the flyer at the link here.

3 – Norovirus Week Of Hell

2010-01-16 11.43.54I got it.  I know countless others that got it.  I know people that had to go to the hospital because of it.  And I even know a few souls that almost activated their Z-Day Apocolypse plans because of it.

I’m referring to the norovirus that swept its way across campus early in the Spring 2010 semester.  We never heard the official numbers, but over 30 students had to be admitted to Marietta Memorial Hospital at some point.  I think it would be easy to venture to guess that hundreds of Marietta College students got the norovirus.

Almost comicly, the College and Chartwells went into disinfection mode.  They shut down all food service locations, and contained all food operations to Gilman.  Silverware and plates were replaces with plastic and styrofoam.  Cans of pop and bottles of water were handed to students.  And to top it all off, they wrapped individual fruit, like bananas, to protect them and us.  Hopefully we don’t see a repeat of this come January.

You can read about the story here.

2 – Greek Week Lip Sync

What more can be said other than that the Greek Week Lip Sync videos were some of the most-watched videos Writing on the Mall has ever had.  And the page where you could view all five (ATO didn’t have one this year) on one page.  The most popular video was Delta Tau Delta’s lip sync, which won the competition.  That video actually has a chance of breaking the 1,000 view barrier, a first for Writing on the Mall.

Click on the link here to view all five lip sync videos.

1 – The Sexual Assault Case

Undoubtedly the most viewed story of 2010, the stories related to this received a ton of attention.

In February of 2009, a woman was allegedly raped in her room in Parsons Hall.  Over a year later, police allegedly matched DNA evidence to Brandon Marino, who had been sitting in a Hamilton County jail for unrelated charges.  Things went quiet for a while, until the Fall election season rolled around, and then-candidate for Attorney General Mike DeWine began using the Marietta College Rape in political ads.

His point was that it took too long to process the rape kit and related DNA samples.  The claim was that it was normal for the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in the state of Ohio to take up to six months or longer to process samples..  It picked up so much attention that even Politifact decided to weigh in on the claims.  They found that a majority of DNA samples were being processed in 70 days, but that about 8% of cases took longer than six months to process.

You can see some of the most popular stories here and here.