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Witt this Week

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Wednesday Oct. 9:

  • Being Faithful with the Gift speaker. 7 p.m. Bayley Auditorium

Thursday Oct. 10:

  • Saddled with Student debt speaker. 7 p.m. Ness Auditorium
  • Six Degrees of Separation. 7:30 p.m. Chakeres Memorial Theatre

Friday Oct. 11:

  • History Alumni Career Day. 4 p.m. Bayley Auditorium
  • Six Degrees of Separation. 7:30 p.m. Chakeres Memorial Theatre

Saturday Oct. 12:

  • Football v. Denison (HOMECOMING!) 1 p.m. Edwards-Maurer Field
  • Men’s Soccer v. Denison. 5 p.m. Edwards-Maurer Field
  • Women’s Soccer v. Denison. 7 p.m. Edwards-Maurer Field
  • Six Degrees of Separation. 7:30 p.m. Chakeres Memorial Theatre

Sunday Oct. 13:

  • Six Degrees of Separation. 2 p.m. Chakeres Memorial Theatre

Shavetember

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On a humid October evening, Springfield’s Great Clips was busy and full of Wittenberg students waiting to have their heads shaved for cancer awareness.

The program “Shavetember” began last year when Resident Adviser (RA), Jake Ferrier, tag-teamed with fellow RA, Jeff Mengerink to create a program that encompassed a need for their residents, as well as a desire to support cancer awareness. This year, Ferrier and Mengerink opened up the program to the whole campus, and as a result doubled their turnout and had, for the first time ever, a female participant. In the two years of doing the program, junior Maggi Quigley became the first girl to get her head shaved.

Junior Adam Allbright said before his haircut he was feeling scared and apprehensive but excited. “I thought it’d be nice to show my support with such a commitment as this,” said Allbright.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “each year globally, 12.7 million people learn they have cancer, and 7.6 million people die from the disease.”

Ferrier said he thought that sometimes on a college campus we are not always aware of what happens. As an RA he said, “What better program to do to get people aware of the disease than to go shave their head to symbolize the battle that people go through when they have to go through chemotherapy.”

When Ferrier was in the fourth grade, his father was diagnosed with colon cancer. He battled for ten years, but two weeks before beginning his freshman year, Ferrier’s father passed away. “Cancer can sometimes be something that hits you at the worst time in your life,” said Ferrier.

The electric buzz of hair clippers filled the salon as tufts of different colored hair fell to the floor, each clump of hair representing a student’s commitment to cancer awareness.

As the ladies of Great Clips swept piles of blonde, and brunette, and Quigley’s flaming red hair into a nearby vacuum machine, the guys and Quigley each emerged from their chairs rubbing their newly bared scalps, feeling the softness of their buzz cuts, and complimenting and teasing each other on their new looks.

“I’ve never noticed my ears so much in my life,” said freshman Sam Archinal.

Ferrier himself had nothing left but his eyebrows and his thick dark beard.

The first thing Quigley said was, “I’m like a cat.” Quigley later said that she believes all women should shave their heads at least once in their lifetime.

Ferrier and Mengerkin plan on doing Shavetember again next September. It is their hope that someone will step up and continue the program after they graduate.

Campus Herbicide Use

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On Monday Sept. 23, Physical Plant sent out an email to campus faculty and staff announcing the “normal applications of herbicide and fertilizer” would take place on Wednesday Sept. 25. But, unlike in past years, the message was not sent to students. Director of Physical Plant Operations, David Nease, stated to the Torch that the oversight was his, but the event brought to light the mixed thoughts towards the herbicide that exist in the campus community.

President Baird Tipson first authorized the use of the herbicide 2, 4-D in 2004, citing reports of “an increasing number of complaints and expressions of concern from prospective students and parents” concerning weeds. The reasoning was that “since the physical appearance of the campus ranks high on the list of reasons prospective students give for their college choice” Tipson “did not feel we could continue our present lack of attention to dandelions and other broad-leaf weeds.” President Tipson’s Cabinet had spent a year evaluating the options and decided to use 2, 4-D based on the realization “that the risks of careful treatment are minimal and that reasonable efforts can address concerns that have been raised.”

It concluded with stating that the “director of physical plant will inform the campus of the exact date well before application begins” and that “notification flags will be also posted.”

Neither of those actions occurred during the Sept. 25 application.

The director indicated in this announcement was John Paulsen, but upon Paulsen’s departure this year, Nease took on the role of sending the notifications. Nease admitted that the lack of notification to students was his mistake: “That was my fault. I just forgot to include students. I fully admit to being new in this position. And I’m very sorry.”

2, 4-D was an ingredient in the Agent Orange chemical weapon used in Viet Nam in the 1960s. It is considered safe to use by both the United States and the European Union. Its use is illegal in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Kuwait and the Canadian provinces of Québec and Ontario. The National Pesticide Information Center explains that there are risks involved: “vomiting, diarrhea, headache, confusion, aggressive or bizarre behavior” are connected to “acute oral exposure.” The United States Department of Labor advises that a “worker who handles 2,4-D should thoroughly wash hands, forearms, and face with soap and water before eating, using tobacco products, using toilet facilities, applying cosmetics, or taking medication.”
Sarah Fortner, assistant professor of of geology and environmental science, explained that there are no real confirmed risks of the herbicide use, but she also said that she wouldn’t use the chemical in her backyard. She pointed out that few studies examine the combination effects of chemicals, and that we live in a region with other pollutants, so it is difficult to determine how that can change the effects of the herbicide.
“There is a lack of studies that link herbicides directly to human health concerns, this is likely why they are widely applied,” said Fortner. “Lab studies on liver tissue suggest that common herbicides disrupt the endocrine system and inflict damage to DNA at high doses.” She continued that “dogs are at risk of developing cancer from lawn herbicide applications, but less is known about what level or timing of exposure results in this.”
Senior Sarah Ziska expressed personal concern that “students were not informed that the area where they go lay in the grass to read, play with their 4Paws dog, and run around naked, is covered with hazardous chemicals. Humans and dogs are not supposed to come in contact with said chemicals, and it is very disappointing that our safety is put at risk just so there are no dandelions around.”
Nease explained the campus’ continued use: “If you want to keep the lawn nice and look pristine for visitors, you need to so something. We have looked at different types of methods and really do the most effective and cost-wise, this seems to be the best route at this time. We bid this out every year and look at organic material. It’s getting better in price, but currently with the institutional budget concerns we try to use the most cost effective way to get as good of a result as we can.”
“I don’t think this is the most sustainable model in terms of the environment, said Ruth Hoff, associate professor of languages,  “I remember before we went towards the herbicide applications, I thought we had a real lush, green lawn, but there were complaints about dandelions. I actually would choose the less chemical route with a few dandelions rather than having to use herbicides just for that.”
Amber Burgett, associate professor of biology, who researches “the impacts of agricultural runoff (pesticides, herbicides) on the community dynamics of freshwater ecosystems” explained that “our proximity to Buck Creek is a bit worrisome because there could be the potential of a large rain event washing excess fertilizer into the creek. However, the dense lawn on campus will absorb the vast majority of fertilizer/herbicide as it seeps into the soil and binds to the roots of the grass. As long as care was taken to avoid getting the fertilizer/herbicide on the streets or sidewalks, the potential contribution of this treatment to runoff into Buck Creek is minimal.”
Fortner emphasized the need for a balance: “I am interested in working with Wittenberg students in class and research projects to implement sustainable practices. We can balance our desire to have a beautiful campus with the health of our campus.”

Science Column: We are the Final Frontier

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In the world of twenty­-first century science, it’s easy to get a big head. We’ve unraveled many of the mysteries that baffled our ancestors, or at least made some impressive progress in understanding the seemingly incomprehensible. We’ve theorized evolution and atoms, the human genome and the big bang.  We can peer into the depths of infinity with our telescopes and the depths of the infinitesimal with our microscopes. We may be pink, little, hairless apes, but we’ve got this universe thing figured out (or so we like to think). But when we turn the lens around and peer inward, things get…hazy. It’s uncomfortable to think about, but if there’s one thing we just can’t wrap our minds around, it’s ourselves.

If you’ve ever taken a philosophy class, “I think therefore I am” will probably ring a bell. Descartes was a big fan of that one. But what does it even mean? What is this “self” that I claim as my identity? After all, we are made of a myriad of parts layered within each other like Russian matryoshka dolls; our bodies are made of systems made of organs made of molecules made of atoms. As Piero Scaruffi illuminates in his book “The Nature of Consciousness”, these parts are continually in a state of flux, with all of our atoms being regenerated within a span of seven years. Take into account the fact that we are constantly having new experiences that influence our patterns of thought and behavior, and it becomes hard to comprehend how there can be any sort of stable, underlying self. Yet, all of these changes, most of which pass under the radar of our awareness, are experienced through the constant, unchanging lens of our consciousness. Through it all we retain the conception that we exist as a single entity.

Scientists and philosophers alike have been grappling with the notion of consciousness for centuries, but between its utter immateriality and the fact that it’s not just imbedded in us, it is us, makes it pretty hard to pin down—maybe even impossible. British philosopher Colin McGinn thinks so; he believes that such an understanding likely falls outside of the “cognitive closure” of our minds. And maybe that’s a good thing. McGinn proposes that such a complete understanding of ourselves might depress us and even cause us to die out (a depressing idea in itself). We might even have evolved not to possess such an understanding for this very reason. Nonetheless, some scientists have taken a stab at it. German neurologist Christof Koch, for example, theorizes that a structure in our brains called the homunculus processes information below the surface of our consciousness, essentially doing the “thinking.” He believes that consciousness exists at an “intermediate level;” it isn’t aware of the homunculus, but produces representations of the structure’s work, resulting in what we perceive as our thoughts.

Picking apart our consciousness can be an extremely isolating experience. It makes me feel a division within myself that freaks me out and gives me a headache; and it gets worse when I consider just how little we can comprehend each other when we can’t even begin to fathom ourselves. But the really interesting thing is that we’re also eusocial creatures. As E.O. Wilson defines it, this means that we “live in multigenerational communities, practice division of labor, and behave altruistically, ready to sacrifice at least some of our personal interests to that of the group.” What’s more, technology is allowing us to take this eusociality to a whole new level. We’re becoming a superorganism, a “global brain” that transmits information en masse so rapidly that we can begin to think of the internet as a sort of global nervous system. We’re a pretty crazy paradox when you think about it; the nature of our consciousness forever barricades us from truly knowing each other or even ourselves, and yet we are evolving to function as one giant cohesive unit. We are so utterly alone in our existence, and yet, simultaneously, we are so very together.

Member of Amnesty International Board of Directors Speaks to Wittenberg Students

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A heavy hitter coming to Wittenberg to give a series of talks is no surprise, but the University has now seen among the brightest minds in the human rights sector. Lawyer and Ph.D. Candidate Rafia Zakaria came to Wittenberg for a series of lectures and a panel discussion over the course of two days. Zakaria is also the first female Pakistani director of Amnesty International, a non-governmental organization that brings to light the human rights violations across the world and works with multiple organizations to end those violations. She serves on the Board of Directors for Amnesty International where she currently chairs the Planning and Priorities Committee.

Zakaria was part of a panel discussion held Oct. 2 with Professor of Political Science Yu Bin and Steve Fryburg, the director of the Dayton International Peace Museum. The panel discussed drone warfare and its effectiveness and legality in use against society. On Thursday, Oct. 3, Zakaria spoke about the Lady Health Worker Program, which allowed women across Pakistan who did not leave their homes for cultural reasons to receive health care for themselves and their children. She spoke about the demise of the program and how the program itself stood for a larger issue with Pakistan and the world at large. Zakaria also spoke on Thursday about Sharia law and Muslim women, and how that translated into the American court system. She explained what Sharia is, how it varies from family to family, and how to protect Muslim women in the United States.

Zakaria  graduated from Belmont University, Tennessee, which is a small, private liberal arts college much like Wittenberg, and received an undergraduate degree in Philosophy. She went on to attend a joint Ph.D./J.D. program at Indiana University. In 2009, she was elected to the Board of Directors of Amnesty International. With her position of Chair of the Planning and Priorities Committee, Zakaria works with the rest of the organization to set what Amnesty International will focus on.

“I came from a place where there are a lot of human rights issues,” Zakaria said of her Pakistani nationality. She said that being a Muslim in the United States allows her to help further investigate and see the rights issues that people across the globe face.

Zakaria now writes regularly for “Dawn”, a Pakistani newspaper, but her writing can also be read in “Al Jazeera English” among other major news outlets.

“I try to highlight stories that would not otherwise be a part of the discourse,” Zakaria said of her writing. Her advice to students that want to write professionally is to go through law school, “because nothing else will train you to take every word as seriously.”

Prisoners: Trapped by intensity

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There aren’t many movies I’m willing to sit through that sport a runtime of over two and a half hours. That is, unless it’s a specific installment of a series I’ve invested time into, or one of those classics such as “Apocalypse Now” or “The Godfatherthat never loses its allure. But every now and then there are those few instances where they achieve a worthy reputation despite their drawn out plots and often anticlimactic conclusions.

“Prisoners,” directed by Denis Villenueve (“Polytechnique,” “Incendies“), certainly doesn’t minimize the runtime of the feature but succeeds in forging a protracted effect that keeps the audience captivated with erratic revelations and intense acting. Revolving around a man named Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) whose daughter goes missing along with her friend and his attempts in discovering exactly where she went and who’s to blame, the impression it leaves is that of a rubber band being stretched beyond imaginable anticipation of the snap.  Pushed to the limits of confidence and cooperation, Keller defies the advice of seemingly uninterested Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) and pursues discovery in a case that unravels to be, literally, a twisted chain-link that entirely envelops the main characters. Sure, it takes a few minutes to get the ball rolling, but the ultimate momentum gained from such electrifying exploration transcends the fallout of the original pacing. Jackman delivers one of the most emotionally explosive performances of his career, which is the absolute focal point of the gut-punching, shock-absorbing environmental chaos displayed on the screen.

“Prisoners” helps you consider the forlorn experiences of desperation and dwindling hope, partially due to the lengthy nature of the film, but also because of the inescapable confinements of the movie’s centralized theme. Hooked from the beginning’s atmospheric gloominess, the viewer is thrown head first into a whirlwind experience that has them searching for themselves among multiple dead-ends and cleverly rigged corridors in order to make sense out of the ostensibly relentless confusion. Loaded with moments balancing skepticism with understanding and others that rationalize pure despair, this movie is the branch that snags your sweater during the getaway, using your vulnerable anxiety to inflict detrimental tears on a once impregnable dam of protection. It questions the boundary lying casually between determination and madness and, eventually, the consequences of crossing that line in order to uncover the truth. Because the motivations for such disclosure warp into morally loose ambitions, the resulting aftermath is detrimental to the future.

Basically, if all you want is a quick thrill or a giggle fest, you might as well stay home for the weekend and watch Netflix; it’s not that bad of an option and you can float around your house aimlessly, emotionally ordained in whatever you want. But, if you’re actually looking to experience an uninterrupted thrill ride of movie that requires even more time than the exposure to be fully satisfied, go see “Prisoners.I saw it a week ago and not only am I still trying to rub the whiteness from my knuckles but I don’t think I’ll ever to get completely over the ending. Just a simple word of advice, don’t get the largest soda the theater has unless you want a serious risk of a bladder infection because there isn’t a second of the movie you want to miss.

King’s Steamy Sequel to The Shining

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In “Doctor Sleep” Stephen King revisits Jack Torrance’s five-year-old son Danny from one of his most well known novels, “The Shining.” Jack Torrance, famously played by Jack Nicholson in the film adaptation of “The Shining,” never did say, “Here’s Johnny!” in the novel, but King brings the Johnny Carson reference back to canon with homage to the line early on in “Doctor Sleep.”

Danny’s father had been an alcoholic; the alcoholism had been the perfect weakness for the malevolent forces in the Overlook Hotel to exploit him in his spiral towards madness. Danny thought he would never take a drink, and maybe he didn’t. As he grew older Danny became Dan to anyone other than his mother and Dick Hallorann, the cook from the hotel who taught him about shining. Our protagonist started drinking in high school. For Dan, alcohol dampened but never drowned out his ability to shine. In a world where the sinister underbelly sent him endless psychic interference and ghoulish visual reminders, dampening his power was enough for him.

In order to cope with his condition, Dan led a more or less nomadic lifestyle. He would take short-term jobs at nursing homes and hospitals and move on when he had one bad bender too many and got fired for missing work. Then he hits rock bottom and knows he needs to make a change.  On his last bus ride he rolls into Frazier, N. H. and gets himself a summer job in Teenytown with a boss who’s, “death on drinking.”

Several years later, Dan is a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous, and he works at the hospice in the Helen Rivington House where he moonlights as Doctor Sleep with his assistant Azreel the cat. Doctor Sleep makes his house calls when the guests of the hospice are at death’s doorstep and gently guides them off to sleep.

While at the Rivington House Dan connects with a psychic child in a nearby town who sends him messages on his chalkboard. Abra Stone.

“So. Abra. As in Cadabra.”

Her power is the lighthouse to Dan’s flashlight in terms of shining, but he is able to give her some guidance and solidarity as Hallorann had with him as a child.

Nearly 36 years after the Overlook Hotel burned down in Colorado, Abra’s presence has caught the attention of the True Knot, group of supernatural beings who feed off of the essence, “They call it steam,” of children who shine. In order to harvest steam, members of the Knot torture and kill such children.

Abra possesses a massive amount of steam, but she is pursued with greater vehemence when she picks a fight with the group’s leader, Rose the Hat. To pay back his debt to society, Dan teams up with Abra in the hopes of giving children with psychic gifts a chance to shine.

“Doctor Sleep” holds up with Stephen King’s more haunting tales and will leave you on the edge of your seat as the death flies swarm.

General Recital

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     Wittenberg’s Music Department held a general recital on Wednesday, Oct. 2, in Krieg Hall. The recital had some of Wittenberg’s talented musicians performing pieces by Chopin, Brahms, Creston, Mozart, and Reinagle. The performers covered many different instrumentals.

     Iris Qiu ’15 and Jordan Matthews ’17 played separate piano pieces. Sara Zinn ’17 used her vocal talents as a mezzo soprano and was accompanied by pianist Diane Slagle. Victor Glasgo ’15 showcased his alto saxophone and was also accompanied by Slagle on piano. Isabell Fig ’16, Sarah Delie ’17, and Richard York performed a clarinet piece together. And Jake Sampson ’17 and Daniel Kazez played bass and cello (respectively) together.

     Zinn, a music education major, hopes to be able to share her love of music with her students. “Music is something that I have always been passionate about, and so my goal is to be able to instill some of that passion and enjoyment into my students once I become an educator.” Her instrument of choice is her voice, and Zinn stated, “being a vocalist is a great way to showcase my strengths as a performer as well as work on some personal weaknesses and hopefully turn them into strengths with time. Being a vocalist also opens up the opportunity to work with other musicians such as cellists, flutists, and even tubists!”

     She especially loves the music program at Witt. “The Wittenberg music program provides me with the stepping stones I need to take towards my future,” said Zinn. “I am planning on becoming a college professor and the Wittenberg music program with the information, tools, and contacts I need in order to get myself where I need to be within the next few years. I am provided with impeccable instructors and an education tailored specifically to my personal needs and goals. The professors are helpful and supportive and truly want me to be the best I can be. They are working to do anything and everything they can in order to help me achieve my goals, and I am so grateful for their support and assistance.”

     Glasgo, a music minor, is also passionate about music. “Music is beautiful. I love attending concerts and recitals as much as I enjoy playing them.” Glasgo’s instrument of choice is the alto saxophone. “I love playing the sax because people love listening to it. Saxophones have a beautiful timbre and can fly through fast, technical music. It is a versatile instrument, and I like that about it.”

     The music program at Wittenberg has also impacted him as well. “I love Wittenberg, and I came to Wittenberg because I felt like anything was possible. The music program here has so much to offer with great programs and faculty, and I feel like through music, I am becoming a better person.”


Expert on Cuban Culture Talks to Wittenberg About Community Grassroots Project

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Henry Heredia, expert on Cuban culture and history, visited Wittenberg last week to discuss his community programs and environmental sustainability efforts in Havana, Cuba as a part of the local group Espiral.

Heredia works with the Juan Marinello Center on Culture in Havana, as well as Project Espiral.  Through both jobs, he focuses on “social, cultural, and environmental development” within the country.  Project Espiral, the focus of his talk, began in April 2000, and Heredia has been a member since July of the same year.  Throughout his time with the grassroots organization, he has worked with people from many different age groups, but typically focuses on children and elders.

Currently, the group works with fourth, fifth, and sixth graders, named the “Espiralitos,” or little members of Espiral.

“They are the future,” said Heredia of the kids.  He added that since children control the home, they are the start of change in the community.  If they speak positively of Espiral to their parents, the group can gain trust in the community and begin to work at the social issues and conflicts that exist there.

Espiral also works with a senior center.  “We have to take care of our old people and protect them, and drink in their wisdom,” said Heredia.  Cuba has a problem today where many young people do not respect and take care of their elders.  As the country has a large aging population, Heredia finds this issue very problematic.  His goal with working with the senior citizens is to “make them feel as their life is not over.”

In the past 13 years, Espiral has been featured on television, radio shows, and at demonstrations.  They have worked in various communities to openly discuss problems with homophobia, race, and inter-generational differences through debates and worship.  The group typically hovers at about 30 members, who come from a variety of backgrounds and subject areas.  Heredia mentioned the benefit of having psychologists in the group, as they can interpret posture and body language.

In addition to their social work within communities, Espiral also works heavily with the sustainability movement to mitigate the effects of climate change.  They do clean-up projects as well as reforesting damaged areas.  Initially, Heredia, a “self-proclaimed arrogant 18-year-old”, joined the group so that he could teach them about the environment; in doing so, he realized how little he actually knew about the subject.  “I can understand people, I care about others, I care about nature,” said Heredia when asked about his biggest change since joining Espiral.

A research project Heredia has worked on showcases this care and interest in people.  After surveying US visitors to Cuba after their first trip, he found that their opinions greatly changed and that they would recommend going to the country to their friends and family.  His work supports having “cultural encounters instead of cultural shocks, ” said Heredia.

Although it can be difficult for Cubans to arrange for visas to the United States, Christine McIntyre, Director of International Studies and Spanish professor at Wittenberg, said “It’s important to have these opportunities happen when they can.”  She added that there are so few opportunities between the US and Cuba, that it is important for students to be a part of the change when they can be.

McIntyre recently took a group of students to Cuba to study language and culture. While there, the students met with Heredia.

“We’re living a historic moment,” said McIntyre of recent opportunities between the two countries.  While travel was strictly limited before, it is now possible for US citizens to enter Cuba with an educational visa.

Homecoming Weekend Celebrates Tiger Spirit

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This weekend, Wittenberg alumni from classes of 1961 through 2012 will come to campus to celebrate this year’s homecoming. The festivities open Thursday with a 50th reunion gathering for the class of 1963 and the opening night of the Theater Department’s “Six Degrees of Separation,” while Saturday afternoon, Wittenberg football will take on Denison.

Over the course of the weekend, alumni will celebrate their time at Wittenberg with historical walking tours, golf outings, and panel discussions. In addition to several group meals, including a barbeque and a cocktail reunion hour on Saturday, the alumni will engage in several activities to recall their days at Wittenberg. One of the events, organized by William Brown, is a golf outing for alumni and their friends.

“The golf outing has been a homecoming event for the last 15 years,” said Brown. “They like the setting that golf gives them to visit with many old friends.”

Professor of History and Dean of the School of Community Education, Tom Taylor, will also host his annual tour of Wittenberg’s campus. Given through an architectural and historical lens, the tour will focus on major developments in Wittenberg’s architecture, beginning in the 1840s and 1920s and ending with the building of Weaver Chapel, which occurred in the 1950s, and a brief look at modern architecture.

“Wittenberg’s identity is locked into its landscape and its built environment,” said Taylor. “The ridges and hollows have shaped us in ways we rarely contemplate. I’ve never had a bad group. Some like revisiting the campus they’ve not seen for years, others enjoy learning the backgrounds to landmark buildings, and some come to share and hear stories.”

Steven Reynolds, who retired from the Wittenberg Theater Department in 2012, will also return this weekend as a guest director for John Guare’s “Six Degrees of Separation.” The play focuses on issues of race, class, and our responsibility to those around us. Reynolds stated that he hopes the play will cause excitement among the students and alumni and that he is honored to return to Chakeres stage.

“This is my artistic home,” said Reynolds. “When I discovered it was Homecoming weekend, I did want to do a play that spoke to contemporary social issues.  I had been moved by the death of Trayvon Martin this summer and the audience will be exposed to some intense contemporary language and see some vivid situations I hope they can identify with.”

In addition to these events, there is a great deal going on around campus this weekend. The Athletic Hall of Honor will conduct its induction ceremony, the Third Annual Wittenberg Homecoming Triathlon, or “Tiger Tri,” will take place, and Wittenberg’s chapter of Alpha Delta Pi sorority will celebrate their centennial on campus.

With a weekend packed full of things to do, this year’s homecoming offers many activities to students, professors, and alumni. While the football game against Denison serves as the backdrop to these events, there are many things taking place to keep the Wittenberg community celebrating the spirit of the university.

Closet Spotlight

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This week, closet spotlight found two Wittenberg Students who are dedicated to an earthy wardrobe. Believe it or not, it is possible to have an edgy and earthy look while still looking put-together. Luckily, freshman Sydney Richards was willing to teach us how!
Q. What are three words that describe your style?
A. Hippie, indie, or boho.
Q. What is your favorite season to dress for?
A. Summer is my favorite season to dress for. I love being outside, and nature gives me a lot of style inspiration. I love flowy tops and earthy colors. If I can see myself frolicking through the woods wearing it, I will most likely put it on.
Q. What is your favorite accessory or piece of clothing that you own?
A. I don’t know what i’d do without my denim button up shirt! I wear it all the time. I think the sort of loose and masculine fit creates a nice contrast when I pair it with a girly dress. I can pair it with pretty much anything (like a dress or cool printed pants) and it gives the outfit a little more of a relaxed feel.
Q.If you could give others advice on how to dress, what would you say?
A. Wear clothes that you feel good in! Express yourself and be confident. Others will feed off of your positive energy when you’re happy about your style. Do you!
Q. Anything else you would like to say about your style?
A. I will be wearing acid wash jeans until I die.
Freshman Max Joseph’s wardrobe is inspired by indie rock musicians. After years of wearing a uniform at a Catholic High school, Joseph began to mirror the way his favorite musicians dressed. Along with some personal touches (and a lack of shaving) he has now created his own look.

Q. How would you explain your style?

A. I think I would explain my style as a somewhat modest. It is old fashion meets new age, with a little bit of edge. I always like to look presentable for really any occasion. I have just become accustomed to feeling comfortable in khakis and a button up or a sweater. I used to have the “bro flow” while I was in high school. I would admit seeing all these flows on campus has made me consider bringing my sweet flow back, but my mother won’t allow me.

Q. Who inspires you when it comes to fashion?

A. Musicians or bands inspire me when it comes to clothing, but over time my fashion idols have evolved. As I began to listen to more “indie rock,” I started to get more modern-day wardrobe inspiration.  I guess I gather clothing elements from each band. Vampire Weekend’s sweater and cardigan look. Fleet Foxes’ flannel & beard look. The rest is just personal style that I have grown to like.

Q. What is your favorite season to dress for?

A. It’s fall, without a doubt. I look forward to putting on a warm flannel shirt or sweater. Fall vibes hard.

Q. What is your favorite accessory or piece of clothing that you own?

A. I think my favorite accessory has to be the cardigan. To me, it is the most comfortable thing I own. Some are light in weight and make for a nice warmth supplier while walking to class. My infatuation with cardigans didn’t really start until my junior year of high school; since then I haven’t looked back.

Q. If you could give others advice on how to dress, what would you say?

A. I know it might be cliche, but just be yourself. You do you type of thing. Wear whatever you find comfortable and something that represents you in the best way. There are so many different styles, and clothes make life alot easier, literally. Without them we would be walking around awkwardly naked. So don’t be awkward! Wear clothes that express you and feel natural; it really doesn’t matter what you wear or how you wear it, it’s the confidence that you have while wearing it.

Football Blasts Hiram 49-9

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The Wittenberg football team continued its dominance over the NCAC last Saturday, dominating Hiram College 49-9.  The Tigers traveled to Hiram on Saturday, October 5 to take on the Terriers.  The team entered the game with an overall record of (2-1) overall and (2-0) in North Coast Athletic Conference contests.  The Tigers were coming off of a 59-0 demolishing of Oberlin, which was preceded by a 45-0 win over DePauw.  Against Oberlin, Wittenberg’s offense racked up a school record 713 yards of total offense in a dominating performance.  Hiram entered the game at (2-2) overall and (1-2) in NCAC play.

The game started slow for both teams, but the Tigers were able to score late in the first quarter on a five yard touchdown pass from senior Reed Florence to junior Desi Kirkman.  The Wittenberg defense put the offense in great scoring position in the second quarter, with both of the Wittenberg scoring drives both covering less than 40 yards.  Sophomore tailback Sean Gary scored on a five yard touchdown run, followed by a one yard coring plunge by Florence.  The first half ended with Wittenberg leading 21-0, as the defense utterly dominated the Terriers.

The Tigers scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, with all three scoring drives only taking a total of four plays and covering 81 yards.  The defense continued to set Florence and the offense up with short fields again and again.  Kirkman hauled in two more receiving touchdowns from Florence in the quarter for 36 and 58 yards, respectively.  Kirkman’s touchdown grabs were sandwiched by a two yard touchdown pass from Florence to senior Brendon Cunningham.  Hiram was able to get on the board just before the end of the third quarter, pushing the score to 42-7 entering the fourth.  Hiram’s defense force a safety early in the fourth, but the outcome had all but been guaranteed since halftime.  Sophomore quarterback Zack Jenkins finished the Wittenberg scoring for the day with an electrifying 50 yard touchdown run.  The Tigers finished with a 49-9 victory over the Terriers.

Florence led Wittenberg through the air with 237 yards and four touchdowns.  Sophomore Jimmy Dehnke led the team with 42 yards rushing on ten carries, followed by Gary with 25 yards and Jenkins with 50.  Kirkman had a career day receiving, catching six passes for 140 yards and three touchdowns.  Junior Zac Wilson also had 49 yards receiving.  Seniors Victor Banjo and Evan Killilea each snagged an interception on defense.  Freshman defensive lineman Brady Vanover tied for the team lead with 11 tackles, led the team with two sacks, four and a half tackles for loss and forced and recovered a fumble.  Killilea added ten tackles and one and a half sacks, and senior Spencer Leno tied for the team lead with 11 tackles.

The Tigers have outscored their last three opponents by a combined score of 153-9.  Wittenberg next hosts Denison on Saturday, October 12.  Denison is (4-1) overall and (3-1) in NCAC play this season, with their only loss coming to Wabash.

The Best Drama on Cable

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The end of the 2012 NFL season was hardly the last time anyone talked about professional football before the start of this year’s season.  With players traded, multi-million dollar deals, drug tests, countless arrests, and murder the NFL has proved to continue to be the best drama on TV even when the season is over.  This year, when football was actually played the drama continued to develop and only about a quarter of the season has been played.

The biggest story so far this year is the progress of the quarterback of the Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning.  After spending more than a decade and a half in Indianapolis, Manning is likely finishing his career in Denver after being released by the Colts.  In his second year in the Broncos organization, it has become very clear what type of quarterback Manning will be for his new team: a game changer.  In his first four games this season Manning has thrown a record breaking 16 touchdown passes and no interceptions.  Manning leads the league in passing touchdowns and understandably has helped in making the Broncos the highest scoring offense in the NFL and led the team to a 4-0 record in the first four games.

Outside of Peyton Manning’s great early season performance, the lack of production from the NFC has taken the headlines as well.  Of the six teams in the NFC who made the playoffs last year only two of the teams have won more than one game this year, as of week four.  This has led to teams like the Saints, Lions, Cowboys being in first place in their respective divisions along with Seattle, the only playoff team from last year to be leading their division.  Teams such as the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and Washington Redskins all went to the playoffs last year and all only have one win as of week four.  The Falcons and the Packers look to have the potential to turn their seasons around and make the post season again, but the situation looks different in Minnesota and Washington.

The 2013 season has also brought hope to some otherwise hopeless teams.  For the first time in recent memory the Cleveland Browns are on top of the AFC North Division.  After posting a 3-2 record the fans of the Browns appear to no longer feel bad about their team moving to Baltimore in 1996, as the Ravens have only been able to post a 2-2 record.  But just as the fortunes of Cleveland seemed to have changed, quarterback Brian Hoyer, a Cleveland native who helped the team to its first two wins, went down with a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

Although the season is still young and there is much more football to play, the season has already taken several turns no one saw coming.  But, at the same time proving the situation of some teams and players will always stay consistent.

Men’s and Women’s Soccer Recap

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By: Jake Haubner

The Wittenberg women’s soccer team played their last non-conference game this season against Transylvania.  The Lady Tigers came up short against one of the top teams in the Great Lakes Region, ending the match at 3-2.  The first half of the game was more of a defensive struggle where the Tigers went into halftime down 1-0.  The Tigers quickly evened the game at 1-1 in the second half, in the 66th minute, off the foot of freshman defender Michelle Brunswick. Transylvania responded quickly with a goal and then, followed that goal with their third of the game from 30 yards out.  The Tigers battled back bringing the score to 3-2 with a goal from Mary Clare Yerke.  Tobie Weston had the assist on Mary Clare’s goal.  Despite the lost, Wittenberg had seven more shots on goal along with seven shots more total.  Transylvania had eight more saves than Wittenberg which ended up being a difference maker.

In the second game of the week, the Wittenberg women’s soccer team took on conference foe Ohio Wesleyan.  The Tigers continued to dominate the NCAC recording another shutout in a 3-0 win.  The Tigers started the scoring off early when Chelsea Marcum scored after 20 minutes of play, with the assist going to Kate Burns.  In the second half, the Tigers scored off a break away from Kayla Murphy.  Tobie Weston assisted that goal.  Later on, she chipped in a goal of her own in the 83rd minute.  Maggie Grieser played well in the goal recording three saves in the shutout.  The Tigers outshot OWU 21-9.  The Tigers will take on Dennison at home October 12.

The men’s soccer team took on two conference foes this week.  On Saturday, the Tigers took on Oberlin in the conference opener at home.  The game was scoreless until Oberlin slipped one by the Tigers.  When it looked like Oberlin was going to take the game 1-0, the Tigers finally struck off the head of Joe Poff.  The goal came off a free kick from Reed Glosser.  In overtime, the game was unable to be decided, ending in a draw.  The Tigers scored their first point in the NCAC standings with the tie.  In the game, the Tigers got off 19 shots led by Kevin Bond with 4 shots.  Goalie James Van Artsdalen also played extremely well in the net.  He set a career high with 13 saves in the contest.

In their second NCAC contest the Tigers took on the top ranked team in Division III soccer, Ohio Wesleyan.   The Tigers were outmatched and the game ended 6-0.  The Tigers went into the half only down 2-0, but OWU turned up the heat and scored a quick two goals to open up the second half.  OWU outshot the Tigers by a margin of 37-5. Reed Glosser led the Tigers with two shots.   James Van Artsdalen recorded 10 saves in the match.

Witt Golf Seeing Nothing But Green

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The thing that sets golf apart from other sports is the amount of focus it takes to execute each shot consistently. Without proper execution, players find themselves hunting for sliced balls, breaking golf clubs over their knees, on trees, or sometimes even collapsing to sudden heat attacks.  Without patience and a drive to compete, golf can be very challenging.

The Wittenberg Tigers men and women golf teams have shown great patience in their play, and have not resorted to breaking their clubs. Instead, they have been waiting on other teams to find their balls, while they are on the green, ready to putt out. The men and women’s teams have been hard to beat as of late. Both have placed in the top five in all of their rounds except one. For the women, it was round one of the Illinois Wesleyan Fall Classic, and the girls finished sixth of 21. However, on day two of the classic, the women finished fourth of 21. For the men it was on day one of the NCAA Championship Preview Invitational and they finished eight of 18. On day two, they roared back to finish second of 18. Both teams’ places were still respectable in their showing.

In the women’s last outing, they finished their first round third of 10, and finished the second round second of 10.  In that game, sophomore Maggie Smith received first team all tournament honors by shooting 77 in both rounds of the DePauw Small College Classic, in Clayton Indiana. Her play helped the Tigers place second in the two-day tournament. Fellow sophomore Alli Lawwill, also impacted the tournament by shooting a 75 on the second day of the tournament, after shooting a 93 on the first day. Additionally, juniors Nicole Waers, and Carolyn Wong were consistent in the win shooting 82 and 81. Their success is no accident. The women’s golf team is ready to make noise come conference tournament time.

“I know the women’s golf team will be working hard in the off season with workouts and reps in the golf room,” said senior Deanna Mychalishyn. “We are going to be heavily preparing to be very successful in the NCAC championship.  This is the first year the women have an automatic qualifier to go to nationals if we are to win the NCAC championship,” said Mychalishyn. “I know with the amount of skill and talent the women have that we will be working extremely hard to achieve that goal.”

The men have seen the ladies and have raised them a first place finish rather than second. Like the women’s golf team, the men have been gaining momentum as the fall season rolls along. In their last showing, the Tigers were on top of their game all three days of the Gordin Classic, in Columbus Ohio. As a team, the Tigers positioned themselves for a first place finish by decreasing their combined score each day of the tournament. Day one they shot 295 and 287. Day two the Tigers set a record by shooting 281 as a team. Junior John Casey, led the way on the final day by shooting a 68. His teammates upheld their end of the bargain by shooting close to or under par as well. Junior Alex Andrews shot a 70, junior Jared Wissinger shot a 73, senior Ben Hogenkamp shot a 71, and senior David Wetterich shot a 72 on the final round.

“Our expectations for the team are very simple, to win a national championship,” said senior John Uecker. “I feel like we are at a selfless state as a team right now, we have kids win individual titles but we are more excited about a huge team victory, which is how it should be.”

Take Back The Night, through a survivor’s eyes: Why sexual assault is everyone’s problem.

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Take Back The Night, a national event, was recently hosted by No Woman Left Behind at Wittenberg. The night offers a safe and supportive environment for survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse to heal and gather strength by coming together and sharing their stories to form a community.

As a fellow Wittenberg Student and also a survivor, I feel it is important to share our stories to help educate others to help spread awareness and also to strengthen our Wittenberg family, leaving no person left behind.

As a survivor I’ve learned first hand how important education and discussion is to preventing sexual assault. Though these discussions can be painful, difficult, and uncomfortable they are necessary component in the fight to help stop the growing number of assaults in our times. First of all it is important to recognize that this is not just a problem for women, but it is problem for all of us. Every human has the potential to be assaulted, regardless of a persons’ biological sex, which many do not think about. With that being said, it is a fact that biological women are the predominant group that are “victimized” however all groups must be included in this discussion because all types of assault should be addressed, otherwise nothing will be accomplished.

In addition, rape culture is everyone’s problem. A quick summary for those of you that aren’t familiar with the term, rape culture is basically victim blaming, saying that it was the victims fault based on what they were wearing, how drunk they were, ect. Do men not realize that this makes their gender look like total crap? The fact that some people blame a sexual assault based on the length of a skirt or the plunge of a neck line makes men look like heathens that can’t control their primal desires. If more men realized this, you better believe there would be a drastic change.

However, the most compelling argument to why sexual assault is everyone’s problem is the sheer number of people that have been assaulted. Whether you know it or not, you know somebody that has been assaulted. You probably know multiple people that have been assaulted. But they are silent. Silence is the biggest problem in this entire mix. Nobody wants to address it, to talk about it, to let people know that they have been hurt in this way. That I why I am taking a leap of faith and writing this piece. There cannot be any progress without admitting what has been done.

This is in no means an article to tell survivors to go write an article for the paper announcing their story. Instead I intend it to be a push for those who have kept silent to seek help, and find strength in a community of survivors, who understand the type of pain that sexual assault inflicts. One in three women will be assaulted in their life time, which is astounding. Just imagine if they all came together, took that pain and made it useful, made it a movement to prevent and educate. What a force it would be.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault and need help, there are plenty of resources. No Woman Left Behind is a campus group of survivors and non survivors that work to educate and help survivors of assault. In addition if you need counseling, legal, or medical services, Project Woman is a local group designed to help.

Wittenberg Volleyball: Still Balling Hard

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The faces of the Wittenberg women’s volleyball team have changed over the years, but the tradition has remained the same, at least under Coach Paco Labrador. Coach Labrador has been racking up wins for sometime now, and has been doing it with an assortment of players. Since 2001, coach Labrador’s winning percentage is .856; .860 if you like to round up. In this time, coach Labrador has accumulated many awards, one being a National Championship Trophy.

Referring to Labrador, sophomore outside hitter Brooke Barney said, “He always makes sure we are well prepared for every match. Being prepared helps us feel confident going into games.”

Barney and her teammates have been preparing well for six weeks now. The lady Tigers have caught fire and are on an a six game-winning streak going into their Tri-Match this weekend in Transylvania, Ky. In those games, the Tigers took care of business in each of the six games, and shut out the last five teams in their streak. The last team that stood in the Tigers way was the lady Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan University.

Like a machine, the ladies dominated in all three sets of the game. Their preparation paid off and the results showed on the court. The Tigers won the first set 25-10. In that game the ladies jumped out to a 12-3 lead. OWU took a time out after sophomore Kara Seidenstricker went numb and had four straight points off of her serve, two of those being aces. In the second set, the Tigers continued to roll as they won 25-9. In that set, freshman Libbi Giuliano picked up where Seidenstricker left off by serving for seven straight points to take an early 9-2 lead. Seidenstricker ended the set with two serves, one being an ace. In the final set, the Battling Bishops late game surge was not enough to spoil the Tigers.  At the 20-7 mark, the Bishops rattled off four straight points to make the score 20-11. After going back and forth in scoring, the lady Tigers prevailed and took the game, and final set 25-14.

“This team is made up of some of the hardest working, most determined young women I have ever met,” said senior Andrea Behling. “I’m so lucky to be surrounded by these girls who push me to be my best every single day. The sacrifice that I see from my teammates on a daily basis is what makes our team so special,” continued Behling. “We have a goal, and we won’t stop working until we get there.”

This game marks as the Lady Tigers eighth victory on the season, and third NCAC conference victory.  Though the team is comprised of many underclassmen, the mindset and focus they have for the season is similar to a team comprised of upperclassman. That being said, they have one goal and one goal only.

“Our ultimate goal is to win a national championship, and we are working hard one game at a time to reach this goal,” said Seidenstricker.

Wittenberg Soccer Update

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By: Jake Haubner ‘16

The women’s soccer team took on Heidelberg and Mount Saint Joseph this past week.  The Tigers traveled to Cincinnati. While there, the Tigers launched a volley of shots, finishing the game with 34 total shots from 13 different players.  Thirteen of these shots made it on goal, but none of them could find the back of the net as the game ended in a draw.   Twelve of the Tiger’s shots came in overtime as they tried to finish Mount Saint Joseph off.  Kate Burns and Kaylee Gialamas finished with five shots apiece to lead the way for the Tigers.  Kelsey Lorko played well in the net.  She ended the game with four saves and the Tiger’s third shutout of the season.  The Tigers were without their leading scorer Kayla Murphy due to an academic commitment.

The Lady Tigers also traveled to Heidelberg this week for their last non-conference game.  The Tigers dominated the whole game.  It took the Tigers until the second half to get their first goal on the board.  In the 53rd minute, Kayla Murphy crossed the ball to Tobie Weston who converted to take a 1-0 advantage.  Shortly after in the 67th minute, Kayla Murphy connected in the upper left corner of the goal.  The game would eventually end with a 2-0 victory. The Tiger’s defense played a spectacular game allowing Heidelberg only one shot.  The Tigers got off 17 shots in the game, 10 being on goal. After Kayla Murphy’s goal and assist, she now leads the team with seven points in seven games.  The Tigers conclude their non-conference schedule at 4-4-2 as they enter conference play.  The Tigers are favored to be near the top of the conference, finishing second in the coaches poll behind Denison. The Tigers open the conference schedule with Oberlin, and their next home game will be against Denison on Oct. 12.

The men’s soccer team also had their last non-conference game this past week.  The Tigers traveled to Earlham to take on the Quakers.  The Quakers started the game hot, scoring two goals in the first six minutes.  The Tigers tried to come back from the deficit getting off 13 shots in the game, eight on goal. The Tigers also got off five more corner kicks than the Quakers, but the Tigers fell short losing 2-0.  Kevin Bond led the way, getting off three shots and all were on target.  Zach Moore and Patrick Szymczak chipped in with two shots themselves.  James Van Artsdalen and Jeff Mengerink shared time in the goal with a total of six saves.  Earlham was the last nonconference opponent for the season.  They will now begin their brutal conference schedule. The NCAC contains second ranked Ohio Wesleyan and ninth ranked DePauw, nationally.  Both teams along with Denison are undefeated and will be in the way of Tigers from trying to win the NCAC championship.  The Tigers open up their conference schedule against Oberlin where they will try to get back to the .500 mark.  Their next home game will be Saturday Oct. 12.

 

Miller or Guiton? That is the Question

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By: Cameron Chambers

Due to a knee injury for Braxton Miller, and the spectacular play by Kenny Guiton in replacement, Ohio State’s coach Urban Meyer has a problem that any coach would want: two starting caliber quarterbacks.

The Buckeyes beat Wisconsin last Saturday with a score of 31-24, and Braxton Miller looked like he didn’t miss a beat in his return to the starting role.

Still, many wonder if Guiton is the better choice at quarterback.

“I think Guiton is the better option, he can make things happen with both his arm and his feet if need be. You don’t see Miller throwing six touchdown passes. Even if it’s against a FCS school, that’s still really impressive” sophomore Brian Raymond said.

Guiton appears to have better passing ability, but Miller can make more plays with his feet. With the Buckeyes plethora of running backs, this makes Miller especially lethal with the added factor of the read option.

“Miller was the starter before. Miller should stay the starter,” senior Molly McCauley said. “He gives OSU more options. Even though Guiton excelled in his limited playing time, Miller’s dynamic playmaking ability is what makes him the clear starter. Guiton doesn’t have the explosiveness Miller has.”

Guiton did not see any action against Wisconsin, while Miller threw for four touchdowns, and was 17-25 for 198 yards, and rushed 22 times for 83 yards.

Ohio State has a serious test next week, as they take on 17th ranked Northwestern in Evanston.

The Nineties are Back! All Right!

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The leaves are changing colors, the weather is becoming cooler, and nostalgia is in the air.  The decade of current college students’ youth, the 90’s, is coming back in a big way especially in regards to TV shows, music, and fashion.

Believe it or not, 1990 was twenty-three years ago.  The world first met Cory and Topanga twenty years ago.  “Full House” stopped filming eighteen years ago.  Tamagotchi’s made their mark on the toy industry seventeen years ago.   The Backstreet Boys released “Millennium” in 1999, fourteen years ago.   Because industries in general are cyclical, particularly fashion and entertainment, there is no surprise that the 90’s would be coming back.  For current college students, the 90’s is representative of their childhood so the intensity of this era trend is nostalgic for them.

“Boy Meets World” is being revamped for the younger generation in the form of “Girl Meets World,” which will air in 2014 starring Cory and Topanga’s daughter.  This spinoff show may have Generation Y more excited than the intended younger audience, who know little to nothing about the hysterically magnificent Mr. Feeny or how Eric Matthews became “Runs With Squirrels.”

This 90’s fashion explosion is not exceptionally unforeseen.  Every few months, Urban Outfitters recycles a heinous trend from the 90’s (hello cropped flannel shirts with denim overalls) and pushes it on naïve, hipster-wannabees.  All of a sudden, clusters of fashionably-confused youngsters start running around in platform combat boots and choker necklaces.  Now, however, fashion royalty are also bowing down to some of the edgy styles that were popular in the 90’s.  Carven, in particular, featured the hideous plastic choker tattoo necklaces at Paris Fashion week this year.

N*Sync, The Backstreet Boys, and New Kids on the Block have all made reunions as of late that are infatuating the entertainment media and, obviously, their fans.  The VMAs brought Justin, Lance, Joey, JC and that other guy together once again.  Now with other boy bands like One Direction causing maddening hysteria among twelve-year-old females internationally, comparisons are drawn to their predecessors.  Who will be the JT of One Direction?  Harry.

Does it seem possible that all the things that this generation loved about their childhood, they now get to continue enjoying as adults?  Whenever Buzzfeed releases a list of the “44 Photos That Will Transport You Back To The 90’s” or “The 32 Best Things About Being a Kid In The 90’s,” your newsfeed will be cluttered with your friends sharing those links.   There’s something about the 90’s that is so heartwarming and endearing to this generation. I can’t explain it, but maybe Clarissa can.  She explains it all.

An Open Letter to President Joyner

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President Joyner,

In September, 2012, twelve Wittenberg faculty and staff members signed a letter to you requesting that you “ask the Wittenberg Sustainability Task Force to examine the environmental, health and economic implications of the use of herbicides on campus – as well as the potential cost savings that may be achieved by transitioning to organic measures and the appeal that a green, environmentally responsible, herbicide-free campus may have for prospective students.”             You never responded, and a chemical herbicide was applied twice that academic year.

On Monday, September 23, the Director of Wittenberg Physical Plant Operations sent an e-mail to faculty and staff stating that the campus again would be sprayed with a weed killing herbicide on Wednesday the 25th.  Students, however, were not informed as they have been in the past.

When the decision first was made to use chemical herbicides at Wittenberg in 2004, faculty and staff expressed health and environmental concerns over the use of herbicides, and the administration agreed to notify the campus community when sprayings would occur. However, it was only after some prodding that University administrators agreed to inform students as well. However, no warnings ever have been given to students to avoid contact with the lawn (nor information about the controversial chemical 2,4D) even on the days the herbicide was applied.

This year, students were not notified at all. Moreover, students report they did not see any flags warnings of herbicide use, warning that are required by law.

Would you please explain to the campus community why you chose not to explore organic alternatives, why students were not given any notification of the use of herbicides this year, and why warning flags were not utilized?

 

David Nibert

Professor of Sociology

 

 

Real World Wittenberg: Fighting Fire with Fire

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Life after a degree from Wittenberg isn’t always necessarily followed by an average nine
to five job. At least that wasn’t the case for John Plisga, a class of 2013 graduate who
now spends his days fighting wildfires in Alaska. “Money and not getting tied down in
any career right away got me into this,” he said, “I’m really just doing this to pay off
student loans, maybe travel during the off season.”
And the money is good during the periods that Plisga spends in the field. He now
regularly works 16 hour days for as long as 3 weeks, working as part of a wildland fire
handcrew that serves as a feeder crew to the Alaskan hotshots, the state’s most
renowned group of firefighters. When the weather gets warm, and firefighters like Plisga
get some time off work, they get paid large amounts of money for their long hours of
work over a short period of time. “It’s great for the bank account” he joked “but not so
much for the mind, body, soul, relationships or anything else.”
Before being able to serve on his fire handcrew, Plisga was required to complete
two weeks of rigorous training. Some of his skills, such as the use of a chainsaw, he
had to learn on the job as an active member of the handcrew. The training was arduous,
but well worth the job’s day to day experiences in the untamed wilderness of Alaska.
“We get a lot of helicopter and prop engine airplane rides” Plisga said.
Plisga and his team were also brought in to help fight the enormous rim fire that
ravaged Yosemite national park earlier last month. His team was required to help stop
the fire by laying down a back burn, which involved starting small controlled fires to
keep the wild fire contained to a specific area. “We laid down strips of flame and then
backed out and watched as these 100-200 foot trees burned their way to the big fires
perimeter” Plisga recalls. His job has the potential to be dangerous, and falling trees
have caused life threatening burns and injuries before. But Plisga has never felt
particularly unsafe. “Wildland fire is not all that dangerous,” he said “you do have to
worry about getting burned, but you always have a lot of people looking out for you.”
In terms of long term goals, Plisga plans to continue fighting fires for only a few
years before going to graduate school and eventually pursuing a career in publishing.
“In my dreams I work for DC comics,” he said, “working in Alaska is working in Alaska.
That’s about it.”
As for his memories of Wittenberg, Plisga, like so many other graduates, misses
the strong sense of community on campus. “I miss living in a community surrounded by
a bunch of my peers and friends. You never really get to do that again, and it’s truly
something special” he said. Plisga is just one shining example of the many unique
students that come to Wittenberg, and the many unique things they do when they leave.

Vice Presidential Candidates Speak with Staff, Students

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Mary-Elizabeth Pratt, ’15

The time has come for Wittenberg to pick the newest member of its administrative family. Through a long and dedicated search, the committee to find a new Vice President of Finance and Administration has whittled the pool of candidates to three, and over the course of three days, presented these candidates to faculty, staff, and students. The three candidates met with several groups of staff and students, and held open forums so that everyone could ask questions to get a better understanding of the candidates. Those whom met with the candidates were then encouraged to use MyWitt to give feedback on each of the candidates.

Provost Chris Duncan, who is also on the search committee, said that it is a long-standing Wittenberg tradition to have students involved in every aspect of their educational experience, and having students on the search committees and various boards throughout the university is simply a natural outgrowth of this. “There was even a student on the board that selected me,” he added. Every aspect of the university has some touch from the student body, especially in search committees. There are two students on the search for the new Athletic Director, one student on the search for the Vice President of Finance, and there was a student on the committee that chose current president Laurie Joyner. The university, including the Provost and President, strive to have students “feel like full partners in those conversations, so they don’t feel like second-class citizens,” concluded Duncan.

On Wednesday, Sept. 25,  students and staff met with Robert Munson, who has most recently held the position of Vice President of Finance at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Munson focused strongly on transparency and involving the entire university on decisions where a large part of staff or students are involved. Munson also has worked in the private and public sectors, with 12 of his 29 years of experience working at a university.

On Thursday, Sept. 26, Sydney Leo took questions as well. Leo most recently worked at LionRose Strategic Higher Education Consultants. She focused heavily on getting universities like Wittenberg out of the rough financial times that they have fallen into. While never having worked directly for a university, Leo spent 25 years consulting for institutions.

On Friday, Sept. 27, Susan Tate met with students and staff and discussed what she felt was her God-given path to helping higher learning institutions in dire financial times. Tate worked most recently at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio where Tate focused on her increase in efficiency and overall balancing of the budget.

The findings and opinions of those on the search committee will be presented to President Joyner, in addition to the feedback from students, administration, and faculty. “I’d be very surprised if she did not make a decision within the week,” Provost Duncan said. The new Vice President and their start date will be presented to the public within the next few weeks after negotiations.

Lt. Governor Addresses Women Leaders

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Sheila Simon, Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, speaks at the Women in Leadership Luncheon.

Lieutenant  Governor of the State of Illinois and Wittenberg graduate, Sheila Simon, addressed alumnae and female students at the second annual Women in Leadership luncheon this past Wednesday.

Simon urged those in attendance to take on leadership roles in their communities, having served on city council in her home town of Carbondale, Ill. for five years. She emphasized dedication and collaboration, especially for those women desiring to work in a political field.

“Women in legal office have a sense of wanting to do something rather than be something,” she stated. “You don’t have to care about who takes credit for the work that’s done. I try to do things that won’t be remembered.”

Simon detailed her time as a staff attorney, firm associate, and later Assistant State’s Attorney in Jackson County, Ill. where she prosecuted domestic battery cases. She was able to reach out to those previously unaided in rural areas through virtual means such as Skype.

Simon stressed that “more people should feel important,” especially those women who feel as if they are lost in a workforce among their male counterparts. “Does it matter that we are women? Is that significant? I believe so,” she said.

Writers Alice Walker, Sheryl Sandberg and Tina Fey were cited as her inspirations for working in public service as well as her parents, the late Paul and Jeanne Simon, who served in the Illinois house together.

When asked how she balances her personal life alongside her life in politics, Simon took the opportunity to assess what she presented as a double-standard between male and female roles and equality in the workplace.

“What you mean is how do I take care of my children and work?” she said. “The real question is how do my husband and I take care of our children. Everyone juggles and should be expected to their part.”

Simon also encouraged attendees to remember the short amount of time women have had equal rights to men, stating that although women’s rights have only recently come forth, young women should focus on where women are now, how far they have come and what they wish to achieve as leaders in their community.

Attendees were asked to participate in a collaborative sing-along of “Froggy Went a Courtin’,” a children’s game, to emphasize women’s ability to work together. Simon used the game as an example of learning from one another, especially those younger women who were unfamiliar with the song.

She described the leaders in the audience as “first” women, those who represent leaders in communities that serve as mentors to others.

“First women make it possible for other women to come along. Whatever you’re doing is leading the way for others,” said Simon.

The luncheon also hosted Jennette Bradley, the first African-American woman to be elected lieutenant governor of Ohio, and university president Laurie Joyner.

Both emphasized the importance of finding a mentor and becoming a mentor to someone at the workplace, school or in another place in the community.

Springfield Culture Fest

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The Gospel Music Explosion Choir performs at Culturefest.

The 2013 CultureFest, held at the City plaza on Saturday, Sept. 28, celebrated the cultural diversity and heritage of the City of Springfield and the surrounding areas. Various types of dancers, choirs, musicians, drummers as well as acrobats helped to celebrate different cultures. People were also able to discover the tastes of Indian, Italian, Greek, Mexican and Hungarian foods. People of all ages enjoyed the interactive activities, and some learned about the current events that were going on in the city from the different information booths. Wittenberg students also volunteered at the children’s tent which was coordinated and planned by the Hagen Center.

The Scoop on Sabbatical

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Dr. Nancy McHugh, Professor of Philosophy and Department Chair.

Ever wonder what professors do while they’re away on sabbatical? There is less kicking back on the beach with pina coladas in hand than one might imagine.

During her sabbatical last spring, Professor of Medieval History Amy Livingstone spent her time pursuing two different projects. The first involved completing a draft of a classroom book about the lords and ladies of Beaugency, a medieval aristocratic family that lived during the Central Middle Ages (c. 1000-1300 AD). The second project emerged unexpectedly when she discovered the little-known life of Ermengard, a countess of Brittany who was an active part of many church reforms.

Livingstone traveled to France in order to uncover more about Ermengard’s life and the life of her predecessor, and she was successful in uncovering “a treasure trove of material” that she plans to use to write a biography recounting the lives of these countesses. During her time in France she also attended three conferences, wrote three articles, and reviewed three books for scholarly journals. Livingstone said, “Sabbatical allowed me to re-engage with my research and reminded me why I love history. I know I bring this enthusiasm into the classroom and can share my research and archive experiences with my students.”

Professor of History, Christian Raffensperger, has also been busy researching medieval Europe for a book that he is writing during his 2013-2014 sabbatical. He is spending the year as a Eugene and Daymel Shklar Research Fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, where he attends weekly seminar meetings with visitors such as the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States and conducts research for his book project, which he explains will detail “the intersection of kinship and conflict among royal families in medieval eastern Europe.”

Raffensperger will argue in his work that historians should turn their focus to horizontal kinship structures (same-generation relatives) rather than vertical ones (family lines) in order to better understand the complex political relationships that heavily influenced the period. Such an understanding will provide “a new lens through which we can view medieval Eastern Europe, not through individual royal families, kingdoms, or countries, but as a web of interconnected individuals. Further, it will continue to show that the same, or similar, tools of analysis can be used throughout medieval Europe, furthering my overarching goal of showing that there was no East-West divide in the middle ages.”

Professor of Chemistry, Peter Hanson, who is currently on sabbatical, has been dividing his time between several different projects. In addition to finishing his non-majors chemistry textbook, he has been working with the Dayton Society of Natural History to analyze the chemical composition of soil samples from Native American archeological sites.

By studying the phosphate levels of the samples, Hanson hopes to help determine how the sites may have been used by their original inhabitants, a goal which is detailed in his sabbatical application: “Prehistoric privies have never been conclusively identified at any sites in the Midwest, but discussion with active researchers has revealed that these features may in fact be common at many Midwestern sites and are simply ignored by most archaeologists due to the general lack of artifacts.”  Hanson has been doing volunteer work with the Dayton Society of Natural History as well and also plans to write papers involving chemical education research that he has conducted with students.

Professor of Philosophy, Nancy McHugh, will be splitting her sabbatical between the spring of 2014 and the spring of 2015. She has applied for an National Science Foundation grant to fund her project: “Ethical Science: A Restorative Approach to Scientific Justice.” The project’s objective, as summarized in her grant application, is “to advance and articulate a model and set of practices for addressing ethical violations in science’s and technology’s interactions with society by making stakeholders and victims an integral part of the normative process.”

McHugh explains that there is currently no framework within science for addressing ethical violations such as the mistreatment of human subjects, so restorative justice serves to “put a human face on research subjects.” She will also continue to more fully develop the restorative justice initiative with the Clark County Juvenile Court by increasing youth involvement. The restorative justice model can be used as a method of healing youth who are on probation; as McHugh stated: “We tend to commit an offense against our community because we’re broken in a certain way.”

Sabbatical provides an opportunity for professors to expand their passion beyond the classroom and into the greater world, an opportunity which Wittenberg professors are putting to good use. Whether exploring little-known facets of European history, uncovering archaeological secrets, or fighting to strengthen the ethics of scientific research, Witt’s professors are not messing around when it comes to their sabbatical time.

Science Column: Earth to NASA–Do You Copy?

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I became a NASA groupie at the tender age of eight. I can’t remember exactly what it was that sparked my interest, but I distinctly remember that I was obsessed. I loved my Lego “Life on Mars” kit to no end and convinced my mom to paint a massive reddish-brown Martian volcano on my wall, complete with a legion of hovering U.F.O.’s. (it went over more favorably than my original request for pitch black walls plastered with glow-in-the-dark stars). The first story that I ever wrote was a tribute to my ultimate fantasy of going to the Red Planet in a makeshift spacecraft and having perilous encounters with ray gun-wielding aliens. When I told amused adults that I would grow up to be one of the first astronauts to land on Mars, I was dead serious.

My interests swayed to a long foray with marine biology beginning in the sixth grade, but that did not change the fact that I was royally pissed when NASA put an end to its shuttle program in 2011. During my childhood, the image of the space shuttle had become synonymous with space exploration and the thrill of unfolding the secrets of the universe, so naturally my gut reaction to the news was that the legacies of astronauts like Neil Armstrong and John Glenn had come to a screeching halt. Apparently my anxiety was shared by the NASA higher-ups; former NASA administrator Michael Griffin feared that “we’re going to have a reverse brain drain. It used to be that people came from other places and other industries to work in the space program because of what it meant and what it was. And as it goes away, we’re going to lose those people because talented folks go where there are tough problems. And that’s not going to be good for the country.”

NASA has undoubtedly hit a bit of a lull when it comes to manned space exploration; after all, the last time it put a man on the moon was 1972. However, it has big plans to finally carry out that long-awaited mission to Mars in the 2030s—and discontinuing the shuttle program might actually help it make this next giant leap for mankind. The old shuttles were iconic, but they were also expensive to maintain, and they were not going to be the craft capable of shipping humans all the way to Mars. Without the burden of the shuttle program, NASA can now devote its resources to developing the necessary technology for such an ambitious project. Furthermore, NASA is now benefiting from the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative established in 2009, which permits it to collaborate with commercial American space technology companies. SpaceX, a company created in 2002 with the ultimate goal of developing technological innovations to allow humans to live on other planets, has been NASA’s most successful private sector collaborator; it has developed an unmanned craft that is currently used to transport equipment to and from the space station, and they are working on a similar model for low-Earth orbit that will hold a crew of seven people.

Maybe the headlines haven’t been abuzz with NASA news as of late, but its dreams of interplanetary exploration are anything but dead. However, if it wants to make that 2030s timeframe it’s really going to have to bust a move. According to an article in Space.com, NASA will have to be able to deliver about 40 metric tons to the Martian surface in one smooth landing; its best so far is one metric ton. Not to mention that the technology necessary to convert Martian resources into essentials like water and oxygen hasn’t been developed yet. Then there’s the issue of shielding the astronauts from harmful radiation…engineers will have to get on that one, too. Nevertheless, people are pretty stoked about the prospect of the human race setting foot on an alien planet sometime in the not-so-distant future. At a recent summit, NASA Chief Charles Bolden said “interest in sending humans to Mars has never been higher. We now stand on the precipice of a second opportunity to press forward to what I think is man’s destiny — to step onto another planet.”

New Clubs Form at Wittenberg

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The newly founded Lunch Club poses.

Two new clubs at Wittenberg have formed around either a common love for lunch or a passion for creative writing.

Both Witt Lunch Club and Fact in Fiction started holding regular meetings at the beginning of the 2013 school year.

Witt Lunch Club meets every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:30 p.m. on the steps in Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center, although the members are trying to add another meeting time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fact in Fiction meets every Sunday in Hollenbeck 129 from 3-5 p.m.

The lunch club formed because of several students wanting to promote other options besides the CDR, such as the meal swap option in Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center.

“Lunch club kind of created itself,” said Clint Rogers, a member of the club.

“Fact in Fiction,” on the other hand, is the “brain child” of Hannah Hunt, a student who transferred at the end of last year. Hunt and Meaghan Summers, vice president, were involved in a similar club in their hometown.

The club then started to take shape as three out of the four executives of the club, Brooke Brauer, Jeffrey Hurley, and Keri Heath, bonded over the idea in their creative writing class.

Each club said that it is important to talk with others who share a common interest—whether that is talking about one another’s day over a meal or workshopping one another’s papers.

Fact in Fiction meetings start with conversations about each member’s week and then transition into an hour of writing on a specific prompt (usually fiction related). Conversations about each member’s paper follow the hour long writing period.

The members, about six in all, also bring in work from previous meetings and their own writing to the meetings for constructive criticism.

“Since writing is such a solitary activity, it is always helpful to be around other writers. Also, it is neat to hear what others have written” said Heath.

Witt Lunch Club also focuses on conversation and getting to know one another as the members begin each meeting by talking about one another’s day.

To get the conversation going, members have even had a “show and tell,” to represent each member’s personality; but mostly the meetings start with a game of “high/low” in which members tell one another about the highlights and lowlights of their day.

“Lunch club is my highlight of the day,” said member Martha Kenyon during last Wednesday’s high/low game.

Members of lunch club also said that they are not looking to become an official Wittenberg-backed club, although it was considered. The members are looking to keep the club in more of a casual setting.

However, the club does have an unofficial advisor, Annetta Britain, an employee at Simply to Go, the meal swap station in the science center. The club also has a constitution in which the first rule is: “Attendance is mandatory…if you can make it.”

Both clubs also encourage Wittenberg students to join whether it be for the love of lunch, or for the interest in improving one’s writing.

“We are a really open group of writers who are interested in hearing other’s writing, sharing our own writing and becoming betters writers through each other,” said Heath.

New First Year Experience to Replace WittSems

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Last week, Registrar Jack Campbell sent out an email announcing that the Wittenberg Seminars (best known as “WittSems”) will be eliminated from the general education requirements next year. While this will eliminate the Integrated Learning goal, or ‘L’ credit, from the general education requirements, faculty and staff plan to work in conjunction with the office of the Provost to develop a new first year experience.

The WittSem program was introduced in 2003 as a replacement to the previous first year experience, Common Learning. For Common Learning, students read a common text over the summer and followed similar goals in each section of the class. WittSems, however, covered a wide array of different topics; in fact, over the course of its ten year installment, thirty different WittSems have been taught by various Wittenberg faculty representing different departments. Professor of English Ty Buckman, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Curriculum, stated that after ten years it is time for the program to take a new turn.

“I think that this is an opportunity for us to design a program that the campus can get excited about,” said Buckman. “In the lifecycle of the university, programs need to be developed and run their course and need to be replaced with new courses.”

Professor of English and Head of the Educational Policies Committee, Scot Hinson, pointed out that Wittenberg is not unique in its first year seminars. Some schools utilize a half semester course called “University College” in which students are taught the basics of college academic success. Hinson also points out that WittSems are difficult on staff due to the obligations professors feel towards the students majoring in their department.

“Professors have to deliver curriculum to the majors and the university wants them to teach outside the program,” said Hinson. “Then demands are even greater on the remaining faculty to deliver their curriculum.”

Yet, despite the challenges they may present in delegating resources, professors have expressed enjoying their participation in the WittSem program.

“I have really enjoyed the opportunity to teach a topic that is not part of the standard chemistry curriculum,” said Professor of Chemistry, Raymond Dudek. “Additionally, I find the development of incoming students to be an interesting process that I ordinarily would not get a chance to participate in.”

Pastor Anders Tune agreed that the program has been a good expression of Wittenberg’s commitment to liberal arts.

“On the other hand,” said Tune, “I understand the importance of financial constraints, and that it was a relatively expensive program to run.”

Students have also expressed positive feelings towards the idea of a structured first year seminar.

“I feel like my WittSem is a lot of work and as an adjustment course to college,” said Meaghan Summers, class of 2017. “But I do like the fact that you get your academics advisor in that way.”

“I really liked my WittSem,” said sophomore Tim Baker. “It wasn’t a class I would have taken on my own but I really enjoyed it and learned a lot.”

Buckman assures that there would be some first year program for incoming students in the Fall of 2014, even if that means continuing with the WittSems for another year. In the meantime, he will head a task force of faculty and staff charged with bringing recommendations to the Provost.

“The idea behind the action is to better serve the needs of our first year students and to do so in a more financially responsible way,” said Buckman. “Part of our task is to focus more intentionally on helping students make a successful transition.”

The proposals for new first year programs are expected to be presented to the faculty during this semester, with the hopes that it can be put into effect for the 2014 incoming class.

Open-Mic Kicks Off Campaign for Change

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Ashley Milliner, '14, and Max Sullivan, '14, show their pledges at the event.

While some unfortunate events on and off campus have looked to bring certain demographics down, student organizations have banded together to bring the Wittenberg community back up.

Alumni Way played host to the Open-Mic: Rise Above the Hate event on September 26, choreographed by Concerned Black Students (CBS), Student Senate, Women in Power, No Woman Left Behind, Union Board, and the American International Association (AIA).  The organizations set the stage for students to speak out on their experiences with discrimination and their reflections on Wittenberg as a place safe from hatred.

Poetry, raps, and personal stories illustrated the reality of inequality and called for respect and strength in an ever diversifying community. Adorned in orange ribbons (the color of respect), students were also encouraged to take part in creating their own pledge to rise above any number of socially crippling practices; pledges against stereotyping, bullying, and intolerance rang out as people approached the mic.

As senior and Student Senate President Max Sullivan revealed, the open-mic actually served as a “kick-off” event for a larger project- the Rise Above campaign. Piloted by senior Bri Betts, President of No Woman Left Behind, the campaign will host more events throughout the year to raise student awareness and participation in anti-hate movements. On the agenda includes a Day of Respect, where students will be asked to wear orange in support of respect and diversity. Also, as senior and co-President of Union Board Katie McLaughlin mentioned, with Union Board’s help the campaign hopes to bring a speaker to campus.

Senior Ashley Milliner, President of CBS, discussed the importance of raising student awareness, emphasizing that students must make it known that they will not passively let discrimination happen. A primary goal of these efforts is to make acceptance and anti-discrimination part of Wittenberg’s mission statement. Milliner recalled that while she considers Wittenberg home, there were times that she felt uncomfortable in her own skin with how fellow students chose to face diversity. Integrating respect for diversity into Wittenberg’s mission statement not only holds the university accountable for its anti-hate stance, but, as Milliner hopes, it will also shift the community’s attitude towards injustices from inaction to action and solidify Wittenberg as a family rather than a group of bystanders.

Students are not the only ones rising above, however. The Rise Above campaign has received resounding faculty support in the form of the Diversity, headed by sociology professor and cultural anthropologist Nona Moskowitz, PhD. A student representative for the committee, senior Tiana Cherry, pointed out that while “students are here but four years,” the faculty will be able to carry on and cement the work against hate students have pioneered. Moskowitz also spoke up, echoing the familiar sentiment that “we cannot let this continue.”

As the Rise Above campaign continues to grow, students may join the movement by joining the contributing organizations or by participating in the events the campaign arranges on campus, and remembering to give respect.