English professor writes book about Dahmer

Doctor Joseph Benson to publish book about society’s part in shaping Jeffrey Dahmer

Professor and author Josef Benson     COURTESY OF UW-PARKSIDE

                                                                GABRIELLE TUCKER


Contemporary English professor Josef Benson writes about the idea that society was a key factor in the way that Jeffrey Dahmer turned out and how “serial killers are an extreme reflection of our society”.

The beginning of an interesting subject

Benson first heard about Jeffrey Dahmer when he taught at his first job out of grad school at Ohio State University, where he taught for a year. After finding out that Dahmer went to Ohio State, Benson was interested in learning more about Dahmer and his time at Ohio State and Columbus University by reading a true crime novel called “The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer. While reading the book, Benson also found out a few more facts about Dahmer, such as his victim preference and sexual orientation. Benson’s academic background in race studies, African American literature, gender studies, queer theory was what drew him to study Dahmer beyond the psychological aspect.

As time went on Benson became more intrigued at the fact that Dahmer once resided in Milwaukee. Benson started to find out things about the Milwaukee Police Department and how Milwaukee was the most segregated major city in the U.S. at the time, and the long history of Civil Rights struggles and other issues that might have had to do with shaping Dahmer.

The research

For the past seven months, Benson has been reading books about case studies and details about particular serial killers, their thought process, and what they did so that he can compare them to Dahmer and the crimes he committed.

Other research that Benson has done includes the cultural factors of race and making connections to the styled killings that Dahmer did with archaic lynches back in early American history and other torturous methods from hundreds of years ago in the U.S..

Benson has also researched the history of the LGBTQ+ community in Milwaukee, since Dahmer’s victims were mostly gay men of color, and Dahmer was known to be gay.

He is also researching the history of the Milwaukee Police Department during Dahmer’s life in Milwaukee. So far Benson has read around eighty to ninety books within his research process.

Other works by Josef Benson

Benson’s book about Jeffrey Dahmer is still in the beginning stages and will not be out for some time, but he does have two other published books on different subject matters, and a third book being published later this year about comics, graphic novels and whiteness, as well as a fourth book about Star Wars that will be out in 2020. His first book was about hyper-masculinities and contemporary literature as well as looking at rural white masculinities and black masculinities. The concepts in this first book will configure in the background of the Jeffrey Dahmer book.

UW-Parkside Offers On-Site Tutoring



UW-Parkside’s tutoring center, the PARC (Parkside Academic Resource Center) opens for the spring semester.

What is the PARC?

The PARC offers tutors for a variety of subjects. The writing tutors can assist with any class that requires collecting thoughts and organizing them in a written form. Math tutors can help with almost every math course, though there are specific tutors for discrete mathematics and physics. Writing and math tutors are available for walk-in half hour appointments or for scheduled hour appointments.

Though math and writing are two of the most broad, and thus most requested topics, students can also schedule tutors for Spanish, French, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, biology, discrete mathematics, physics, psychology, economics and computer science. Due to high demand and limited tutors, most subjects require an appointment, but Spanish, chemistry, and anatomy all have walk in hours this semester.

The PARC also offers success coaching. Success coaches help students to gain valuable study skills, like time management and learning how to identify their individual learning styles. Unfortunately these valuable resources are only available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, and do require appointments.

Even tutors use the PARC

There’s no shame in needing a little bit of help during your college career, especially when getting through your general courses. All of the tutors in the PARC are still students, so even they will often go to other tutors for advice.

The Ranger News interviewed Sam Steinke and Megan Cisewski, two writing tutors at the PARC. Steinke told The Ranger News that she thought that the writing center was the most important aspect of the PARC. She said that it was an “easy way to get feedback on any of your papers”.

Both tutors said that they have used the PARC for tutoring help on their own. Cisewski stated that she went to the walk-in chemistry tutor at the end of her shift and said that she “learned a lot” from the session.

Both tutors agreed that the PARC is a valuable asset to students. They said that Kim White, the manager of the PARC, was one of the best people to go to if you needed help. “She’ll sit down and help you, or take you to the advising and career center.” Steinke said, “I don’t think that’s part of her job, but she really cares.”

NetTutor: the online tutor

NetTutor is a tutoring application that UW-Parkside pays for to help students. Any UW-Parkside student can use it, and it is open online 24/7. NetTutor has tutors for almost every subject, and each tutor is a real person with a degree in their field. NetTutor is a great resource, especially for students who have restrictive schedules and want the freedom of getting help online.

The PARC continues to be a great asset for the students of UW-Parkside, and with the addition of NetTutor there are plenty of resources to help students succeed this spring semester.

Spring Semester Changes and Challenges



As with every new semester here at UW-Parkside, it seems as though the building is going through a period of adjustment.

Parking restrictions

On Feb. 2 there was a pavement buckle in the Student Center parking lot. The buckle was located in the A lot between rows A6 and A7. It has been blocked off from cars and pedestrians for the time being, putting a significant amount of parking spaces out of commission. There has been no news as to when it will be fixed, and the parking spaces will remain blocked off for the foreseeable future.

SOLAR login difficulties

With the appearance changes to the SOLAR login page students reported having issues with SOLAR in general at the beginning of the semester. According to multiple student sources, for days leading up to the new semester students were having trouble logging into their SOLAR accounts. Almost all of the issues were fixed by the end of the first day of classes, however, as all of the locked accounts were accessible by the end of the day.

Unaccepted dining plans

On the first day of school the computers in the Brickstone Cafeteria were not accepting both off or on-campus dining plans. According to a worker there was a “change in the system”. The Ranger News has yet to verify the change, though the system is currently up and working again.

Switch to Canvas

Though the students of UW-Parkside were told that there would be a school-wide changeover to the Canvas system by this semester, there has been a delay. The new promise is that the whole school will be changed over to Canvas by the 2019-2020 fall semester, but for now students should remember to check both Canvas and D2L to keep up with their classes.

New year, new me: UW-Parkside campus has some new looks

On a lighter note, there have been some positive changes to the UW-Parkside campus that have taken place over the break.

The new “Purple Room” in the 200-level of the library has been officially unveiled. Students will be able to have a larger study room in which to practice their presentations before classes. This will hopefully promote professionalism and give students a chance to work on their public speaking. The room also has a new sound system, useful for presentations, but also useful for putting on study music if students chose to book the room for a study session.

There is some new furniture throughout the school, though especially in Wylie Hall and The Rita. The furniture is bright and colorful, and a great new look for the school. Providing students with a stylish space to study and relax. The change in appearance will hopefully be well received by students this coming semesters.

Black Student Union hosts events for Black History Month



February is Black History month, and the Black Student Union (BSU) will be having a variety of events to celebrate.

BSU has already had three events as of the printing of this edition, including their Kick-Off celebration, a demonstration of head wraps, the history of unknown Civil Rights heroes; along with two speakers, a member of the Milwaukee Black Panther Party and Ricardo Wynn, who gave a presentation on what it means to be black and LGBT+,

Future events

BSU will be hosting three more events before the end of the month, including the MLK Celebration on the 22nd, which will include musical performances by UW-Parkside students; the Essence Ball, which will include a presentation by keynote speaker Shebaniah Muhammad focusing on black excellence in education; and the Pan African Conference, where BSU will be going to Minnesota State University to develop leadership skills and networking based on the theme “Wakanda Forever”.

Support your campus organizations in these events and be sure to pick up the next edition of The Ranger News, where we will be covering these events in further detail.

The Art Department Celebrates 50 years with the Reunion Gallery

Art is Alive on Campus

Krystal Dodge


To commemorate Parkside’s 50 Year Celebration, “Reunion” is an exhibition featuring artwork from Art Department alumni, faculty and retired faculty. This is an unforgettable showcase of generations of the UW-Parkside Art Department family. The gallery opened on Feb. 4 and will be open until Mar. 22, and there will be a reception on Mar. 21.

“Self Portrait – Hand” by Kristina Murphy     COURTESY OF NATALIA HANSEN

The gallery is an eclectic look at five decades of the Art departments history. There are many styles of art and various mediums used. They have paintings, ceramics, wood working, photography, digital art, screenprint, embroidery and mixed media. It is part of Parkside’s history to showcase alumni’s art. The school takes great pride in the Art department and their contribution to the creative community. Art is very much a big part of culture on campus.

Focal Point

The piece that was used to advertise this exhibit was oil on linen self portrait by Kristina Murphy.  This painting was a portrait of a hand that was in homage to Sofonisla Anguissola, an Italian renaissance painter. Anaguissola worked with Michelangelo and many other prestigious people of her time.  Her most well-known works were self-portraits. The portrait show cased a hand in the forefront over a blue dress. There was great detail on the jewelry, that adorned her beautifully painted hand. The painting captured beauty in something most people would not ordinarily classify as such.

“Whatever Happened to Sattler’s Sea Cow” by Lisa Bigalke     COURTESY OF NATALIA HANSEN

Eye Catching

There was such a variety of creative and remarkable pieces. However, there was one piece in particular that grabbed my attention. “Whatever Happened to Sattler’s Sea Cow?” by Lisa Bigalke. I caught myself spending the most time looking at this piece. It was a combination of screenprint and embroidery.  At the center of the picture was an adult and baby sea cow and they are surrounded by a ring of crimson red. There are rings of fishing boats, oil rigs and fishing lures cascading out from the sea cows. The sea cows looked so sad and it really triggered raw emotion, especially with all the concerns we are facing with animal extinction and environmental issues.

This sea cow is actually extinct, but they had inhabited Commander Isles in the Bering Sea. These were massive creatures that could easily reach 8 to 10 tons as adults. It is just hard to understand how something so enormous and magnificent could be eliminated completely.

This exhibit is diverse. The rich culture of the arts is very alive on campus. The exhibit will be up until Mar. 22. In the words of the late Albert Einstein, “creativity is contagious, pass it on”.