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Sun Devils take back Territorial Cup

November 23, 2015

The Sun Devils fought for bragging rights against the University of Wildcats at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 21. In the end, the Territorial Cup comes back to Tempe as ASU won 52-37.

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T-shirt exchange swaps Wildcat red for Sun Devil gold

Turning Wildcat red into Sun Devil gold - one shirt at a time.
There is "No Pity for the Kitty" at ASU T-shirt exchange.
November 20, 2015

No one at Arizona State University wants to see a Wildcat red shirt this week — when ASU and its in-state rival University of Arizona play football. It's one reason why the ASU Alumni Association hosted a T-shirt exchange that allowed ASU students to swap shirts cast in that hated red hue for gold tees that say "No Pity for the Kitty" on the front. As you can imagine, the exchange was a popular one and the pile of red shirts had some girth and height to it.

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Bringing their 'A' game

November 20, 2015

Students spend nights protecting ASU icon on 'A' Mountain from Wildcat shenanigans

The Territorial Cup game turns up the heat on the Arizona State University-University of Arizona rivalry each year, and this year is no exception.

The week leading up to the big rivalry football game often features various pranks by opposing students, such as this one highlighted in the news this week.

And lest any wily Wildcats try to paint the "A" on "A" Mountain something other than Sun Devil Gold, a group of ASU students are camping out each night to protect the Tempe icon. Watch them here.

Ken Fagan

Videographer , ASU Now


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Year One: Life at ASU — Eric gets into service

Hanging with dignitaries and eating yogurt, the life of an ASU freshman.
Eric Arellano's first year at ASU continues with time talking to President Crow.
November 19, 2015

When Eric Arellano came to Tempe from Tucson, the ASU freshman's goal was to work with people and help them attain success — whether it was in the small villages of Ecuador or communities in the Valley.

Although he has changed majors, his goal of helping people has remained. It's why Arellano is a member of the Barrett honors community and the Public Service Academy’s Next Generation Service Corps. That involvement has allowed the Barrett scholar to interact with local business leaders and even ASU's President Michael Crow. But although Arellano is committed to his goals, he also knows there's room to relax and have fun, like getting yogurt with a pack of friends all wearing pajamas.

These interactions are the latest in Arellano's life at ASU. He is part of "Year One: Life at ASU," a periodic photo series that follows five freshmen navigating their way through their first year at ASU.

See what Eric was up to earlier in the semester in these past galleries:

Year one: Life at ASU — Eric collaborates, for humanity

Year one: Life at ASU — Eric shifts his focus

Year one: Life at ASU — Moving into the dorms

Charlie Leight

Senior photojournalist , ASU Now


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A detective and his dog keep ASU safe

ASU detective and his explosives-detection dog share an intense bond.
This ASU police dog doesn't eat until she sniffs out explosives.
The Magic of Disney: ASU's bomb-sniffing dog is a super ambassador.
November 18, 2015

Disney the explosives-detection canine sniffs out danger

Most people really love their pets, but few bonds are as intense as the one between Parker Dunwoody and his Labrador retriever, Disney.

Dunwoody, a detective in the Arizona State University Police Department, handles Disney, who is the department’s explosives-detection canine. That means the two trained together, work together and live together.

But it goes beyond that. Disney is a food-reward dog. She eats only when she finds explosives.

So two or three times a day, Dunwoody must set up a training area with explosives so that Disney can sniff them out and then eat.

Every day.

“On Christmas morning, I’m putting explosives out for my dog to find, we do our Christmas and then Disney gets trained after we do our stuff,” Dunwoody said.

“I plan that into every single day to make sure she gets adequate training. We want to make sure she’s not just maintained.”

Disney sweeps near Sun Devil Stadium.

Disney, the ASU Police Department's 
explosives-detection dog,
sweeps near Sun Devil Stadium.

Photos by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Dunwoody does have backup trainers for Disney. Another detective in the ASU department can handle her, as well as trainers from the U.S. Marshals Service, who also have explosives canines.

But most of the time, it’s the two of them.

At home, the detective will hide traces of non-regulated explosives, such as gun parts or empty shell casings. When Disney finds something, she “alerts” him by sitting down and he feeds her by hand.

Dunwoody also will take her to parks.

“Open areas are a cornucopia of smells,” he said. “You have dogs that pee there, kids that play there, people have parties there. It’s perfect for mixing in all these distracting odors to make her find what she needs to find.”

Sometimes, especially around the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, Disney will find spent fireworks that Dunwoody didn’t put out.

Disney can distinguish more than 19,000 combinations of explosive substances.

“Basically it’s anything that has gone ‘boom’ or will go ‘boom,’ " Dunwoody said.

The two will start a typical work day by visiting the light-rail stations that ASU students use, with Disney checking out the platforms.

When they get to the police department, Dunwoody will set up a training session for Disney in the office hallways and cubicles, where he can use explosives that are regulated and can’t leave the building.

Sometimes he’ll take her to Wells Fargo Arena or Sun Devil Stadium — places she typically will sweep during big events.

Dunwoody is also the department’s terrorism liaison officer and attends a lot of meetings. When he’s busy and she’s not, Disney relaxes in an office and accepts affection from the department staff throughout the day.

“Disney is a very important part of the ASU Police Department. She’s a dual-purpose dog in my book,” said Police Chief Michael Thompson. “Her primary purpose is work as an explosive-detection canine.

"On the other side of the coin, Disney is a huge ambassador for the department. Disney loves her job. She loves to visit elementary schools, and she loves being a part of the ASU community.”

Dunwoody and Disney have been on hundreds of assignments. In August, she assisted the Tempe Police Department as officers caught a bank-robbery suspect who is accused of firing several shots. Disney searched the area and verified the location of a gun that police say the suspect used.

Around the same time, Dunwoody and Disney traveled to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where law enforcement there was investigating a series of church bombings.

Disney also helps out other Valley agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, where Disney trained as a puppy, and the U.S. Marshals Service. She’ll sweep an area before events such as bowl games or visits by celebrities.

Disney, who will turn 8 years old in January, is in the last years of her service. She cannot be certified after age 9. When she retires, she’ll continue to live with Dunwoody and his family and can fully indulge in her only bad habit — lying on the furniture.

“It’s been a wild ride and very fun,” said Dunwoody, who is hoping to acquire another canine for the department.

“I’m a dog guy in general, and any chance I get to be with my canine partner is a good day.”

Man petting dog

ASU Police detective Parker Dunwoody plays with Disney outside Sun Devil Stadium after she performed an explosives sweep before the Homecoming game on Nov. 14.

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter, ASU Now


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Year One: Life at ASU — Game time for Sabrina

November 17, 2015

As many freshmen are looking forward to the end of their first semester at college, Sabrina Haines' freshman campaign is just getting started — in some ways. The guard on ASU's women's basketball team started official practices with the team in October and this month played her first game as a student-athlete at ASU. It came against the Kentucky Wildcats in Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.

The photos from the game and Haines' practices with the team are part of "Year One: Life at ASU," a periodic photo series following five freshmen through their first year at ASU.

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ASU students rally in support of Mizzou protests

ASU marchers rally in support of Mizzou protesters
November 16, 2015

Marchers call for more respect for minority groups

A group of Arizona State University students rallied on the Tempe campus Monday in support of recent protests at the University of Missouri.

About 50 people marched and chanted “ASU supports Mizzou” and “Black Lives Matter” for about an hour on the Hayden Lawn and along the Palm Walk on Monday afternoon. The event was organized by the ASU branch of the NAACP.

At the University of Missouri in Columbia, nicknamed “Mizzou,” student protests over racial discrimination intensified over several days earlier this month, leading to the president of the university system to resign on Nov. 9. During the unrest at Mizzou, many black students and faculty members said that racial issues pervade the community.

Other universities, including Yale, in Connecticut, and Claremont McKenna, in California, have seen protests over racial tensions in recent weeks, with calls for more diversity among students and faculty.

At Monday’s rally in Tempe, the marchers called for members of all minority groups to demand respectful treatment.

“It’s not just black people,” said Chris Chavers, a former ASU student who helped to organize the rally. “It's Latinos and Asian-Americans and students in the LGBT communityHe was referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.. Do you have the audacity to ask for mutual respect?”

Several marchers shared personal stories about the experience of being minorities at ASU.

The group set up two large whiteboards on Hayden Lawn and invited people to write messages under the heading “Being black at ASU.” Several marchers wrote statements including “We’re not just athletes,” “Black and beautiful” and “We will not be silent.” 

“Our emphasis on expanding access to a quality education, not only has increased the diversity of our student body, but helped us build a robust student support system,” said Kevin Cook, Dean of Students on the Tempe Campus. “We welcome the many different viewpoints that our students bring to their campus experience, and we always take students’ concerns seriously.”

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Watch the ASU Marching Band's Homecoming performance

November 16, 2015

This is the centennial year for the Sun Devil Marching Band, and to mark the occasion more than 500 alumni dusted off their instruments to join the 350 current member of the band at the Homecoming halftime show Saturday.

If you missed it, enjoy a portion of the show below.

For photos from the full week of Homecoming 2015 festivities, click here.

Top photo: ASU alumni band member Paul Hathcock performs Saturday during the halftime show. The Sun Devils went on to defeat the Washington Huskies 27-17. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Ken Fagan

Videographer , ASU Now


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Scenes from ASU Homecoming 2015

November 14, 2015

From mad dashes to mad-fun parties, Sun Devils are celebrating in style

Sun Devil spirit is alive and well year-round at Arizona State University, but Homecoming turns that up a notch.

From carnivals to comedy shows, from dances to the time-honored Lantern Walk up "A" Mountain, this week is full of events for students, alumni and families.

Wide receiver D.J. Foster pushes for extra yardage against the Washington defense.

Wide receiver D.J. Foster pushes for extra yardage against the Washington defense. Photo by Courtney Pedroza/ASU Now

Saturday's Homecoming parade and block party offered fun and plenty of goodies for participants. See inside three of the booths in this video, and scroll down for photos from the entire week's festivities.

Find more information at the official Homecoming site.

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Sun Devil spirit travels well

Sun Devil spirit takes over the Rose Bowl.
November 13, 2015

Sun Devil spirit is all around this week as the fan base and the student body prepare for this weekend's Homecoming game and events. That's to be expected, it's the home base. But Sun Devil spirit also travels well, as evidenced in this video detailing a bus of students who made the trek to Los Angeles last month in support of ASU's football game against UCLA in the Rose Bowl. While the players won the game, it's easy to believe the support and enthusiasm given by the student helped the cause.

Ken Fagan

Videographer , ASU Now