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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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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

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.

Tiger Town Pound Down

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For those who enjoy watching great offense, Saturday at Edwards-Maurer Field was the place to be.  The Tigers put up a team record 716 yards of offensive production. The Tigers recorded their second straight shutout of the season by beating Oberlin College with a final score of 59-0.  The week before, the Tigers tore up DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana with a final score of 45-0. The Tigers were looking to continue their dominance over NCAC opponents this week, which was something they were able to easily accomplish.

In front of a packed family weekend crowd, the Tigers started off the game by pushing the Yeoman’s offense off the field in three plays. This set up a Wittenberg touchdown by way of pass from senior quarterback Reed Florence to wide receiver Brendon Cunningham.  From there, the Tigers were on a roll and never looked back.  Only forced to punt once, Wittenberg ran wild with this game, which even involved a wide receiver pass from junior Zac Wilson to the quarterback Florence for a 40 yard touchdown.  When Florence was throwing the ball he was nearly perfect completing 16 of his 18 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns.  Wittenberg’s rushers also had a great show compiling 362 yards on the ground, led by senior Javanh Sanders who was responsible for 95 of those yards.  Sophomores Jimmy Dehnke and Sean Gary each had a touchdown rushing and 76 and 60 yards respectably.  Junior Will Stocker also picked up a rushing touchdown on 83 yards total running.  Besides Cunningham and Florence, three other players caught touchdown passes in the blowout.  Seniors Desi Kirkman and Jonathon Stoner caught passes in the end zone, as did sophomore Armon Murray.

Defensively, the whole team had a great game shutting out Oberlin.  The Yeoman’s only real attempt at scoring any points happened in their second drive of the first quarter, where after failing to score in the red zone in three plays, Oberlin elected to kick a field goal which was blocked by Josh Bannick, a sophomore defensive tackle.  Bannick, who also took part of six other tackles in the game, and was helped out by junior linebacker Nick Gibson who was involved in nine tackles and senior Spencer Leno who had five.  This all led to a bad day offensively for Oberlin, who was only able to account for 77 passing yards and 38 rushing yards as opposed to Wittenberg which had an almost equal 354 passing yards and 362 yards rushing.

This was a big win for the Tigers, who have still been rebounding after their week one lose to Football Championship Division Butler. This takes the team’s record to two wins and one loss.  The Tigers play at Hiram next week before meeting in-conference Denison on homecoming Oct. 12 at Edwards-Maurer Field at 1:00 p.m.

Reed Florence Among the Best Witt QB’s of All-Time

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When the Wittenberg football team takes the field on Saturdays, the players are led by local product Reed Florence.  Florence is a senior quarterback for the Tigers and is in his second full season as a starter.  Florence is a graduate of Southeastern High School in South Charleston, Ohio, and was named second team All-North Coast Athletic Conference in 2012.  By the time Florence is done at Wittenberg he will have his name at or near the top of every quarterback record at the school.

Florence was named second team all-state in high school and was a very high profile recruit in the area.  In Florence’s freshman year, even though the team already had an excellent starter in Ben Zoeller, Florence’s promise was too much to be kept on the sidelines.  He appeared in six games during the 2010 season as a change of pace quarterback, rushing for 66 yards and throwing a touchdown.  Florence saw more playing time as a sophomore in 2011, as he and Zoeller were the number one and two quarterbacks in terms of passing efficiency in the conference, respectively.  That season Reed rushed for 161 yards and seven touchdowns, while also throwing for 141 yards and seven touchdowns.  Florence usually took over the quarterbacking duties once the Wittenberg offense reached the red zone as a dual threat option.

Florence took over the starting quarterback duties full time in 2012 and did not disappoint.  He led the team to a (10-2) record and a first round playoff win over Heidelberg.  Florence threw for 2819 yards through the air and 28 touchdowns.  He also ran for 485 yards and another seven touchdowns.  Florence’s season left him among the program’s leaders in many categories, including passing yards, touchdowns and quarterback rushing yards in a season.  His performance against Heidelberg was also among the best in school history. He threw for the most completion and touchdowns in a playoff game while also throwing for the second most yards ever in Wittenberg history.

This season has started off with the same success for Florence and the Tigers.  The signal caller has passed for 781 yards and six touchdowns, rushed for 84 yards and three touchdown, and even caught a 40 yard pass for a touchdown.  After losing the opener to Butler, the Tigers have won their past two NCAC games by a combined score of 104-0.  Florence will look to have an even better season than last year and will attempt to win NCAC Player of the Year.

Off the field, Florence is a productive member of the Wittenberg community.  He has volunteered with Relay for Life and the Special Olympics.  In 2011 and 2012 Florence was nominated for the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works team for his contributions in the community.  Florence is a Sports Management major and hopes to get into coaching after graduation.  He also enjoys playing basketball when he’s not on the gridiron.  It will be exciting to watch Florence and the Tigers the rest of the season.

Reds and Indians Both in World Series Hunt

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The last time the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds were in the playoffs at the same time, it was 1995.

While we were rolling around in diapers and drooling on our bibs, Kenny Lofton and Barry Larkin were taking the diamond, chasing the World Series.

It has been a while since both Ohio teams have been at the top of the majors at the same time.  The Indians enjoyed some success in the mid 2000’s, and recently the Reds have won the division in 2010 and 2012.

As of Sept. 28, both teams are gearing up to start the road to win the trophy that has not been in the state of Ohio in twenty-three years.

Ohio sports haven’t been the best thing to watch for fans in the past.  The city of Cleveland has had its issues with the Browns, Indians and of course Lebron and the Cavaliers.  Cincinnati has had their days of the “Bungals” and the recent years of disappointment with the Reds having the best record baseball and being the victim of early round exits.

The Reds have the super star power with Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto.  They have been at the doorstep for a couple of years now but have not been able to seal the deal.  Will the Reds have the firepower this year to represent the National League in the World Series?

GQ has rated Cleveland and their Indians this past week as the worst sports franchise in all of sports.   But, with the Indians so close of clinching they may silence the critics.  Unlike the Reds, the Indians do not have the star players but are led by veteran, and Ohio native Nick Swisher.

The playoffs start on Tuesday, Oct. 1 with the NL Wild Card and the AL Wild Card start Wednesday, Oct. 2.  Both teams are hoping to make their fan bases happy and bring home some hardware.

NFL Policy Proves that Rules Just Don’t Apply to Everyone

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From now until Feb. 2, many Americans will spend every Monday night, Thursday night, and all day Sunday watching football. Beyond the scope of those die-hard fans like myself, many more will always catch the one game a week that their team is playing. The National Football League (NFL) is a huge part of our culture. Between sportscasts, fantasy leagues, and tailgates people spend a lot of time and money celebrating what I think to be a great entertainment institution. These players become much more than workers in a popular company. They are our heroes and the role models of our children. We wear their jerseys and cheer for them passionately. But they are citizens just like us, not above the letter of the law. Or are they?

When I awoke Sunday morning to the sound of the experts on Sunday NFL countdown, I was overwhelmed with the breaking news of San Francisco 49er’s linebacker Aldon Smith’s arrest. He was arrested the previous Friday of a DUI. Reports say that he blew a .15, which is almost two times the legal limit and crashed his car into a tree. So, what? People get arrested all the time, and beyond that, NFL players get arrested all the time. The main problem with this case was 49er’s coach Jim Harbaugh’s decision to start Smith despite his pending criminal action.

Harbaugh was quoted saying back in June that “he wanted to be beyond reproach,” and his action in similar cases before this one had supported that statement. Harbaugh suspended running back Brandon Jacobs in 2012 for inappropriate tweets. One may argue that the case isn’t the same as the Smith case. Well, how about last year when the 49ers  second string defensive tackle Demarcus Dobbs was not allowed to play or even come with the team to a game after being arrested for a DUI? That case sounds remarkably familiar to that of Smith, with one major exception: second string.

Smith is the 49ers leading pass rusher. He was 6th in the league last year in sacks and strikes fear into the hearts of opposing quarterbacks everywhere. He was an instrumental piece in the 49ers 2013 super bowl run.  So basically, Harbaugh’s stance is that a player will be punished for his actions, unless we really need him Sunday.

What kind of message does that send to young kids getting into athletics, or people in general? That if you are a good player, or irreplaceable, the rules don’t apply to you. That exceptions will be made for some and not for others. This is the wrong message for sure. Even more than its message to the fans, what does it do for Smith? It tells him he can get drunk and drive his car without fear of losing his job because he is a good player. What if he hadn’t hit a tree, what if he had hit another person? Would that be okay too? It isn’t like Smith, who signed a four year, $14 million contract in 2011, can’t afford to call a cab.

Harbaugh’s decision was wrong. It sends the wrong message to fans and players alike that rules don’t apply to all professional linebackers. I am not the only one who feels this way. NFL Sunday countdown analyst and legendary football coach Mike Ditka spoke out against this poor decision on Sunday saying “You get what you tolerate. What message are you sending to young people in sports? Go ahead, do anything. Be a bum, act like a clown, I’m going to play you on Sunday. I disagree with it totally.”

Mike Ditka certainly wouldn’t tolerate this behavior, and he to this day holds the respect of football fans everywhere (even us NFC North rival Green Bay fans.) Maybe Jim Harbaugh doesn’t deserve this respect. He is surely feeling the backlash of his decision, if for no other reason than the fact that the 49ers lost anyway.

 

CORRECTION

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In last weeks article, “Changes to the Sexual Conduct Awareness Campaign”, it was incorrectly stated that there were a total of 46 reported incidents last year. In reality, there,were 6 verbal harassment incidents and 17 alleged assaults, which comprised a total of 23 reported incidents.

Fall Farm Pumpkin Festival

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From now until the end of October, Ohio will be booming with various festivals all over the state. The Young’s Jersey Dairy  annual Fall Farm Pumpkin Festival will take place October 5 and 6 starting at 11 a.m. Historically, this festival started as an ice cream and pie eating contest in the summer, but was moved to the autumn to showcase the magic of fall on the farm.

From there the festival, much like Young’s Dairy itself, grew even more as pumpkins were added along with the various activities that will take place this year. This year’s activities include wagon rides, tours of the farm and the new cheese plant followed by sampling of the farmstead cheese, demonstrations on how to milk cows, and pick your own pumpkins. Young’s Dairy mini golf, driving range, and batting cages will be open as well.

You can also enjoy the season through your taste buds with festival fare such as freshly made Carmel apples, all the treats inside the restaurant, and, of course, ice cream. The flavor of the week will be pumpkin cinnamon to welcome in the season of the fall harvest.

The CEO of Young’s, Dan Young also highly recommends the deep fried cheese curds. He said, “They’re semi-addictive, once you’ve had one you need more”.

On October 5 and 6, head out to the Young’s farm and enjoy life in the county while experiencing one of the local favorites that has grown into a gathering place for ice cream lovers all over, hosting 1.2 million visitors a year .

Faces of Witt: Jo Ann Berry

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While sifting through countless packages, greeting cards, and letters, Jo Ann Berry shares some of what she has seen in the past 19 years working in Wittenberg’s mailroom.

“We did 10,300 plus packages last year,” shared Berry, referring to a pad of handwritten notes. “We order 15,000 packages slips a year. In August we received 1,500 packages alone.”

Berry keeps track of everything that goes in and out of the mailroom. Berry said that a majority of the packages come in the beginning part of the semester due to students ordering books and clothes at the beginning of the year. However, she seen a lot more move through the mailroom than that.

“We get refrigerators, golf clubs, futons, bikes, anything you can imagine,” said Berry. “We also get a lot of greeting cards and some letters. I love hand written letters.”

When Berry is out of the mailroom she has a variety of things she loves to do, from swimming, to gardening, to baking, to spending time with her grandchildren.

According to Berry, she has two passions: flowers and her grandchildren. Her favorite flowers are impatiens and begonias, which she keeps in her garden at home.

Berry has 11 grandchildren and loves spending time with them, especially on holidays.

“Thanksgiving is wonderful, we have 20 plus people and it’s a great time,” said Berry.

Berry’s grandchildren love their grandmother’s cooking as well. She said “as soon as they hit the door they say ‘oh, it smells so good.’”

“I make a special cheesy potato dish that they love,” said Berry. “I have one grandson that says ‘grandma I don’t want any desert I just want more potatoes.’ He’s six.”

As for those students lucky enough to work with Berry in the mailroom, they get a special treat when she bakes.

“I make a sour cream coffee cake that everyone here loves,” said Berry.

Berry hopes to retire in the next few years and travel, another passion of hers.

“I would like to travel any where and everywhere,” said Berry. “I’d really love to travel by car out west, I hear it’s beautiful.”

Berry talked about getting an RV and traveling around to see her four children sprinkled through the United States from Connecticut to Washington.

As for now, Berry’s still in the mailroom during the week, making sure students get packages, letters, and cards.

“I love my job, and I love the people here,” said Berry.

Next time you’re by the mailroom, make sure to stop and say thank you to Jo Ann Berry, the woman that makes sure everyone gets their packages and letters on time.

Syria Opinion

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Two weeks ago, President Obama’s speech on Syria to the American people was intended to lay out a clear and concise argument about taking “punitive military action” in Syria in response to last month’s chemical weapon attacks on civilians. Instead, Americans were faced with a flip-flop opinion from the president and a whole lot of murky foreign policy, which left some of the best political minds in the field stumped.

In place of the  clear cut foreign policy the American people have come to expect from their leaders, we watched the president take a step back from his “red line in the sand,” suspending the vote as he rocketed toward a defeat on his Syria legislation in the house. Frankly, if Obama wanted to do anything, he would have already done so, and would not be seeking approval from Congress to cover his ass.

In addition, the president praised Russia, a staunch ally of Assad and his regime, for their “forward” and “promising” plan to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control. This process, which he conveniently failed to mention, could take years or even decades.

Some may argue that Russia is appearing to be more diplomatic than the United States in this situation after proposing international chemical weapons control. Earlier last week, Putin wrote an editorial for the New York Times that, at points, questioned the United States’ interpretation of democracy, claiming that the government utilizes “brute force” to get their way, and that they operate on a “you’re either with us or against us” mentality.

However, do not let this sheer cover of diplomatic and peaceful intentions fool you; Russia is just trying to cover their bases. Russia’s main concern is maintaining their navy’s access to a strategically critical base in the port of Tartus, not to mention the massive amount of arms it sells to the Syrian government annually. In addition, instability allows Russia to continue to profit greatly from oil in the region.

As news came this past week about additional confirmed chemical weapon attacks in Syria predating the infamous August incident, it is unclear how the international community will now respond to this series of grave acts. Nonetheless, the world community is watching (especially other dictators) to see how this will be handled. That is why inaction is more dangerous than anything else, because if other dictators do not see strong responses, consequences, and condemnation from the world powers, it sets a precedent showing that this is something that a country can successfully get away with. It will also send a message of victory to the Syrian government that carried out the attacks.

In addition, the civil war in Syria is becoming more heated. Syria has all of the reason to explode, rather than implode, as we observed in Libya. As a result, countries surrounding Syria could soon be dragged into the conflict, drawing their allies in and creating a worse situation.

Taking chemical weapons out of Syrian hands and putting them under international control is a good idea; however, no solid plan or time frame has been laid out for the international community. It seems like a weak response to something that has dominated the news in every facet for the past month. But to put it bluntly, taking their weapons does not help the actual problem. It’s like a band-aid on a bullet wound. Until the civil war is addressed, instability will reign in the region, potentially and probably leading to worse atrocities and a greater loss of human life.

The civil war has already taken 100,000 lives on all sides according to the United Nations. Sure, the big world powers can take Syria’s chemical weapons, but with the constant inflow of guns from Russia, it will do little good. But if responding to the death of 1,000 plus people, a small incident in the history of the war (after tens of thousands have already been killed without a word) avoids a foreign policy hail storm questioning the Obama administration’s inaction prior to this incident, the world will give him an undeserved political gold star.

Praxis II to OAE

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Ohio education majors and minors seeking teaching licensure next spring will be making the switch from the Praxis examination series to the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) beginning this month.
The OAE is developed by Pearson Education, Inc., the same company that publishes many textbooks used by Wittenberg students. While some senior students have expressed anxiety over the change, Dr. Brian Yontz, Director of Teacher  Licensure, said that it is not something for students to worry about.
“The Pearson test is structured like the Praxis II. Students must take two tests, one content area focused and one pedagogical focused, unless they’re going into a specialized field,” he said.
The OAE tests will cost about $105 a piece and must be completed electronically on a computer at a testing site. Currently the closest testing site is Xenia, Ohio, but unlike the Praxis II the OAE tests will not be administered on weekends and can be taken only with an appointment, which could cause some potential scheduling conflicts for students.
Wittenberg University has had high success rates with previous teaching licensure tests, with over 80% of students passing on their first try and over 95% passing within their first year after graduation, something Yontz doesn’t expect to change from the 11 years that data has been collected.
“OAE representatives will be meeting with the seniors,” Yontz said, “But I really don’t anticipate our pass rates changing much at all. We produce great teachers.”
As for preparation, Pearson offers practice assessments, assessment frameworks,  and study guides online. Education students can also take confidence in their classes’ close alignment with the Common Core State Standards and Ohio Academic Content Standards that they will be tested over.
This may cause some concern for those planning on teaching outside of Ohio after graduation, as it has been rumored that the OAE assessments will complicate the process of finding employment, but Yontz explains that “some states may have had and used the same version of the Praxis Wittenberg students took before,  but it’s not going to be that much of a jump with Pearson.”
Future educators who seek employment outside of Ohio may have to seek further licensure, however. If a graduate were to move, they would be required to take that state’s required tests as well, regardless if a student takes the OAE or the Praxis II.
Students like Zoe Thompson, senior education major, express little concern over the switch. “Really, the Pearson test will be all we know. I’m most nervous about the way it will be administered but in all honesty I didn’t know much about the Praxis, either,” she said.
A meeting with Pearson for those senior students and education professors is planned for the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 25.
 Students looking for more information about the OAE or Ohio teacher licensure testing can go online to the OAE website at www.oh.nesinc.com or contact the Ohio Department of Education at the State Board of Education’s website at www.education.ohio.gov.

Witt this Week

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Wednesday Sept. 25:

  • Dinner with the Dogs. 5-7p.m. Delta Gamma House. Tickets $5

Thursday Sept. 26:

  • Rise Above the Hate Open Mic Night. 5-7p.m. Alumni Way

Friday Sept. 27:

  • Field Hockey v. Ohio Wesleyan. 4:40p.m. Edwards-Maurer Field

Saturday Sept. 28:

  • Men’s Soccer. Oberlin. 2p.m. Edwards-Maurer Field
  • Football v. Oberlin. 6p.m. Edwards-Maurer Field

Tuesday Oct. 1:

  • Melts with Delts. 5-7p.m. On Woodlawn by 40 West. Tickets $5

Springfield Outspoken: A Vision in the Making

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Growing up in an inner-city environment can be filled with daily struggles that no child should have to endure. Springfield resident, Gregory Perkins II, is striving to ensure that they at least do not have to endure their struggles alone. Greg knows firsthand what it is like to grapple with adversity from a young age, and he knows that what young people in desperate situations need most is a support system. Project Jericho was the program that came to Greg’s aid as an adolescent; without the outlet and sense of community that it provided, he firmly believes that he would have succumbed to the pressures of his trying circumstances. Instead, with the help of this youth organization Greg developed a remarkable resilience and a deeply inspiring drive to help others in a similar fashion: “I’ve had to fight and scrape and scrap…I want to give back because if I can make it other kids can too. But it’s wrong to expect anyone to do that alone. I want to be the support for those who don’t matter”.

Greg has always been passionate about poetry, and he originally planned to use this passion to create a group of traveling, spoken-word poets. After reflecting upon the circumstances of his youth and accounting for his desire to help others, Greg decided instead to establish a spoken-word youth group: Springfield Outspoken. He hopes that someday in the not-so-distant future his organization will provide Springfield’s youth with an outlet by means of an art form as well as a community of friends with whom they can share their experiences and come to for guidance. Greg says that he feels that spoken word is the perfect medium for helping youth because “poetry has a tendency to really bring people together like family—that’s what I want to bring to the kids”. He plans to reach out to middle school and high school kids, but he believes his program could be especially beneficial to preteens who are just entering the stage in their life in which they will be exposed to drugs, alcohol, violence, and sex. He hopes to help them adjust to these new challenges at this most vulnerable transition point saying: “I want to help them before they do something to somebody, including themselves”.

At this point in time, Springfield Outspoken is still in the planning stages, but Greg is confident that his persistence will pay off and the organization will become a reality. He still has a lot of red tape to get through, explaining that it will take him about four to five months to file as a nonprofit organization at the state level and eight months at the federal level. In the meantime, Greg has been hard at work trying to spread the word. He has already contacted Wittenberg University to generate interest from the Community Service department, hoping that students may be inclined to work with him as a part of their service requirement or purely as a way of involving themselves in the Springfield community. Perhaps in the near future, Wittenberg students will be able to partner with Springfield Outspoken to fulfill Greg’s dream of offering support to those who need it most through spoken word poetry.

 

Science Column: Sleep Deprivation Kills

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Ah, sleep deprivation. Just like frozen meals, caffeine binges and incessant procrastination, it’s inseparable from the college experience despite our full awareness that it’s not good for us. We know we’re not doing ourselves any favors when we study until sun-up or else party the night away (it’s always one extreme or the other), but how much damage are we really doing? Is there more to it than dark circles under the eyes and excessive yawning? Actually, it turns out we’re doing way more harm than we realize when we make skipping out on shuteye a habit.

Most of us probably would not be surprised to learn that we are more emotional and less able to focus when we are sleep deprived. However, the long term effects may come as a bit of a shock. A recent study shows that seven nights in a row of sleep deprivation (defined as six hours of sleep or less) can actually cause changes in our genes that make us more susceptible to conditions such as heart disease and obesity. It increases our risk of developing a variety of other nasty health problems, including resistance to insulin, potential increase in risk of developing cancer, and even permanent cognitive issues. Scientists believe that a consistent lack of adequate sleep causes brain deterioration that ultimately results in memory loss in our golden years. One of the many miraculous functions of sleep is its ability to aid in the storage of our memories; when we don’t use sleep to regularly make deposits into our memory banks, we are bound to someday come up short when we attempt a withdrawal. Furthermore, studies with rats indicate that sleep deprivation over a period of 72 days can result in the onset of osteoporosis, and studies with human subjects have found that those who regularly get less than six hours of sleep a night are 48 percent more likely to develop heart disease. Perhaps the most rattling new tidbit of sleep research is the 2010 study which revealed that men who slept less than six hours a night are four times more likely to die of anything over a 14- year period. Lack of sleep makes you vulnerable to disease and to potentially fatal inattentiveness.

The negative effects of extensive sleep deprivation are enough to make any college student or working American squirm. It’s more than a little astounding to think that too many nights without quality pillow time can cause so many detrimental health problems. What’s perhaps even more astounding (and seemingly contradictory) is that, in moderation, there could actually be something positive about depriving your body of sleep. A number of scientific studies reveal that forgoing sleep for one night enables you to have a higher quality of sleep the next and stimulates the production of feel-good hormones like serotonin and noradrenaline. According to an article about the effects of sleep deprivation used to treat patients with depression published in the journal Depression and Anxiety, sleep deprivation’s antidepressant abilities are “efficacious and rapid.”

The latest findings about sleep deprivation have done much to change our perception of this essential biological process, reemphasizing the importance of sleep to our health and, most of all, unveiling hidden complexities in a part of life that we so often take for granted. When done right, it seems that a little dose of sleep deprivation can enhance our health, while making it a routine can cause some serious damage. With that being said, I think it’s time for a nap.

‘P’ Credit Eliminated from Wittenberg’s Education Requirements

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The Education Policies Committee made the decision recently to eliminate the physical education requirement, or ‘P’ credit, for all Wittenberg students of junior class standing or lower. On Friday, Registrar Jack Campbell sent a campus-wide email announcing that the new general education requirements, which includes the elimination of the ‘L’ credit, will take effect in the Fall of 2014. This comes at a time when Wittenberg is facing many budget concerns and looking to be as fiscally responsible as possible.

Associate Professor of English, Scot Hinson, Head of the EPC, stated that the decision was made with careful consideration and was considered for a long time. The determination came from efforts to save the university’s money and an effort to better utilize campus resources. With this cut, Hinson stated that the EPC hopes that the activities of faculty who teach these courses will be better directed towards other activities.

“It’s a better utilization of resources, in my eyes,” said Hinson. “The majority of students are already participating in these kinds of activities. Students are extremely active on campus. The ‘P’ requirement in some ways feels redundant.”

Hinson also noted that the EPC is making an effort to focus on programs that are revenue generating for Wittenberg, such as the introduction of the nursing completion program and the sports management major. He insisted that programs such as this make a difference to prospective students who are considering colleges similar to Wittenberg.

Yet, some professors in the Health, Fitness, and Sports Department are concerned about what this decision means for the health and education of students.

“The motion from the EPC that the faculty voted on, not only eliminated the requirement, but also all activity courses,” said Dr. Steven Dawson, Chair of the Health, Fitness, and Sports Department. “I believe the university should continue to offer Physical Activity courses for academic credit for those students who wish to take them.”

“I took a volleyball class and a swimming class last year and I thought it was fun,” said Allie Dunn, class of 2016. “I’ll be mad if they aren’t offered anymore.”

According to Dr. Thomas Martin of the Health, Fitness, and Sports Department, the number of credits required for graduation has not been decreased and athletes will no longer receive two academic credits for participation in their chosen sport. While he does not believe there are currently any plans for a reduction in coaching staff, he does express concern about the integrity of Wittenberg’s liberal arts education.

“In my opinion, the elimination of the P requirement has devalued a Wittenberg education,” said Martin. “Mens sana in corpore sano; Latin for ‘a sound mind in a healthy body.’ This is, or should be, the mantra of a liberal arts education.”

Students involved in the Dance department are also concerned that this elimination will affect their majors and minors.

“If the ‘P’ credit goes away, what will happen to dance classes?” said Junior Sarah Royal. “That’s going to hurt the dance program for sure.”

Hinson assured that this decision was made with the health and well-being of students in mind. While current seniors are still required to graduate with the two ‘P’ credits, any student who will be enrolled at Wittenberg next fall are waived the requirement.

Smoke it Up: New Alcohol Trend Promotes Drunk Culture

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Sipping on a glass of Barefoot Moscato, throwing back a few pints of Guinness, nursing a whiskey sour: is drinking alcohol becoming a thing of the past?  A dangerous new trend among teens and college students has them “smoking” their alcohol as opposed to enjoying it the old-fashioned way.

 

The trend emerged in 2004 with the AWOL (alcohol without liquid) device, which quickly became banned by the U.S government.  Now smoking alcohol has reemerged as satisfying the American need for instant drunk gratification.

 

Smoking alcohol can be done by pouring the alcohol of one’s choosing over dry ice and then inhaling it directly or with a straw.  A do-it-yourself vaporizing kit can be made with a bike pump or one can resort to purchasing a product specially designed to vaporize alcohol, like the Vaportini, which retails for thirty dollars.

 

Those most attracted to this new method are individuals, coined as “drunkorexics,” looking to lose weight.  Vaportini’s website boasts that smoking alcohol “has the advantage of no calories; no carbs; no impurities.”  Other sources, such as the Forbes website, attempt to debunk this, claiming that “there are still calories involved when you vaporize alcohol. If you are feeling the effects of the alcohol, it means that you are absorbing the calories associated with ethanol.”

 

Cited among eye socket shots and alcohol enemas as a harmful new method to get drunk quicker, smoking alcohol leads to a higher risk of alcohol poisoning and the potential for overdosing.  The smoked alcohol bypasses the stomach and liver, going straight from the lungs to the brain and the bloodstream.  The body doesn’t metabolize the alcohol so the individual doesn’t vomit, preventing an individual from releasing the toxins that thwart overdose.

 

This new trend is an example of the “drink to get drunk” culture that has intoxicated American society.  Gone are the days when friends can hang out in a bar or pub and simply enjoy their drink.  Now most are obsessed with consuming as much as they can, as fast as they can.  This is more prevalent, it seems, in the underage drinking culture, and has lead to more dangerous situations involving alcohol poisoning.

 

In the rest of the world, particularly in Europe, many perceive the drinking culture as more relaxed partly because the legal drinking age is younger. Tactics like playing games such as beer pong to get drunk faster are considerably less common outside of the United States.  Drinking to get drunk is more common, especially in the college atmosphere, than casually drinking as a way to share culture, stories, and socialize with friends.

Respect and Consent; Changes to the Sexual Conduct Awareness Campaign

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Wittenberg University instituted its Sexual Conduct Awareness Program to teach students how to be aware of their surroundings and situations that could occur, as well as to educate students on how to set boundaries. The theme for the sexual conduct programming this year is Respect and Consent. The goal of this programming is to teach students how to respect oneself enough to set boundaries and to know what is and what is not consent.

Director of Business Services, Donna Picklesimer,  feels strongly about ensuring all students are informed by the program. “Last year it was not as intentional. This year’s program has assembled people together in a much more intentional way so we made sure to get the awareness and prevention information to all students.” She also knows that because students are involved in a variety of activities, they are likely to hear about the program several times. “[We] want to make different presentations so you’re not hearing the same thing over and over again.”

Krystal Reeb, Director of Student Conduct, agrees that the program this year is better than in previous years. “Last year, we had a lot of good programs occur, but they weren’t as organized as they could be. This year, we’re going in with more of a game plan.” She hopes to stress the message of “How can you make sure you’re safe?” with the wide variety of programs being offered this year.

In the past, the program has partnered with organizations such as No Woman Left Behind to show statistics and help students to recognize the signs of a bad situation so they can protect themselves and others. It has also encouraged students to have a “group of six”, six people (i.e. friends, family, the Wittenberg Police) to be able to call if one finds one’s self in an emergency situation and needs assistance.

The purpose of this programming is to ensure every student knows boundaries before putting ones self into possibly dangerous situations-namely those concerning alcohol.

For the 2012-‘13 school year, 23 cases of misconduct incidents, six verbal harassment complaints, and 17 alleged assaults were reported. 100 percent of sexual misconduct cases that year concerned alcohol. More cases were reported  than in years past.  Picklesimer and Reeb hope to stress through this program that if something does happen, it is best to seek help from the Sexual Conduct Board.

Reeb commented on the student body’s active participation in the program by saying,  “It’s more the kids than administration. They show such maturity. Our students care and the community we live in, they’re proud of…[they] take time to help others and serve others, and I hope they keep going and keep pushing.”

Picklesimer hopes all students will take this year’s programming seriously and get involved. “No one person or one department or one organization will solve this problem. It takes every single person being aware of this problem around them. It does impact all of us.”

retention and enrollment

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For those of us who were around last year, you may remember reading a message from the administration saying “An unexpected drop in enrollment has caused Wittenberg to earnestly grapple with its financial situation.” And perhaps you remember pressure felt on campus as a result or may have worried about Wittenberg’s student body and faculty shrinking in size, this may leave you with questions about how Wittenberg is fairing this year?
According to Dr. Jeff Ankrom Professor of Economics and Fa.. Affairs IR, the average of Wittenberg’s retention rate is 78.4% for a 10 year period, which is consistent with the numbers for the 2010, and 2011 year. The retention rate for 2012 to 2013 year has not yet been finalized but it is expected to be below average. If anyone had any doubts enrollment is already improving. Ankrom says “the number of new students we have is up by 50 students from last fall”, this means 549 new freshmen have joined Wittenberg for the 2013 year. The total enrollment of traditional students for the fall of 2013 is 1,788. When we add the number of nontraditional students into the mix the count is brought up to the 1900’s a number that hardly represents a diminished student body.
Currently Wittenberg is maintaining multiple initiative programs to aid enrollment and retention as well as provide services for new students. Many of these efforts are focused on first year students. Some information suggests that the changes seen at Wittenberg might be due to reasons outside of falling retention and financial instability.
On the subject of retention Dr. Hasecke Professor of Political Science and Wittenberg alumnus says “The Literature would say that the students who might leave decide within the first three weeks if this (meaning college) is not for them.”
As for the losses seen in faculty and staff Hasecke says “There is a realization that we have a faulty that is larger than our student body can currently support.” Hasecke continues with “When it comes to faculty some of that has to do with tenure and promotion decisions that are a part of the faculty decision making process so you’re going to see some of the people leave for reasons like that.”
Mary Jo Zembar PhD Assistant Provost for Academic Services and Student Success, and Professor of Psychology explains that retention working groups as well as focus groups have been used to answer why some students choose to leave Wittenberg. Most shockingly not one student has reported concern for Wittenberg’s stability or future as a reason for leaving. According to Zembar the top four reasons students leave are; they don’t know what to study, they feel homesick, their experience in sports did not work out, or that they have finical concerns. Zembar says there maybe fewer numbers but it might be as large as you think, Last year was challenging because students were worried about individual programs”, she stresses that we still have our music department and have welcomed a very robust freshman class size.

Football Dominates DePauw

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The Wittenberg football team bounced back from a tough opening loss at Butler to blowout DePauw University 45-0. The Tigers entered the game (0-1) overall after traveling to Butler University and losing 49-24. Turnovers in the first half of that game left the team trailing 42-3 at halftime, with the outcome never in doubt. But, one positive takeaway from the game was the fact that the Tigers outscored Butler 21-7 in the second half. The Tigers hoped that the solid play from the second half would carry over to their first North Coast Athletic Conference contest. DePauw came into the game at (0-1) overall, having lost 10-7 in their season opener.

The Tigers exploded out of the gate, and quickly led 14-0 in the first quarter. Senior quarterback Reed Florence scored on rushing touchdowns of one and four yards to stake the Tigers to the early lead. Wittenberg then pushed the score to 17-0 on a 22 yard field goal by Evan Grissom early in the second quarter. The team’s ground attack continued to dominate, as sophomore running back Jimmy Dehnke plunged in from three yards away for a 24-0 lead. The Wittenberg defense dominated DePauw for the majority of the first half, and it was a 24-0 Wittenberg lead at halftime.

The second half began in much the same way as the first, with the Wittenberg rushing attack dominating on the way to a touchdown. Dehnke again scored a touchdown on the ground, this time from five yards away. Florence then decided to get in on the action through the air, throwing a nine yard touchdown to sophomore running back Sean Gary. Wittenberg led 38-0 at the end of the third quarter, and there was little left to do but enjoy the victory. Sophomore quarterback Zack Jenkins ran the ball in from five yards away to cap the Wittenberg scoring. The defense held DePauw scoreless for the remainder of the game, solidifying their first shutout since 2010 against Kenyon.

Florence threw for 212 yards, including one touchdown and one interception. The signal-caller also rushed for 43 yards and two touchdowns. Gary led the Tigers on the ground with 110 yards on just 14 carries, while also catching four passes for 33 yards and a touchdown. Dehnke notched 45 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns. Junior Will Stocker also ran for 33 yards on seven carries. Senior wide receiver Brendon Cunningham led the Tigers with 64 yards receiving on six catches. Junior Desi Kirkman had 40 yards receiving, followed by junior Zac Wilson and senior Jonathan Stoner who each had 27 yards through the air. Senior Kyle Sanning led the defense with seven total tackles. Evan Killilea, Brady Vanover and Issac Mallory each recorded a sack for the dominating Wittenberg defense.

The Tigers host Oberlin on Saturday, September 28, with a 6:00 p.m. start time. Wittenberg will be heavy favorites, so come out and enjoy another blowout win for the Tigers.

Volleyball Starts Conference Play Strong

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Jake Haubner ‘16

The women’s volleyball team came into the weekend on a two game win streak and were looking to crack the .500 mark and get back to their dominating ways. The Lady Tigers did this by opening up their first NCAC part of the schedule on September 20 versus Oberlin University. The Tigers made quick work of Oberlin, winning 3-0. Andrea Behling led the way with 9 kills in the match and a .333 hitting percentage. Emily Kahlig chipped in with 6 kills and two blocks. Meghan Vodopich continued her great season with another solid performance with 25 assists. The Tigers have defeated Oberlin in their last 35 meetings. This streak goes back all the way to 1989.

The Tigers also took on conference foe Wooster the next day. The Tigers, once again, made quick work of them winning in 3 games. Emily Kahlig led the way with 10 kills coming from Megan Vodopich 25 assists in the game. Katie Zito also played well chipping in with 14 digs and 3 service aces. The Tigers extended the NCAC win streak to 37 straight games. Their last loss to a NCAC opponent was in 2010. Going into the NCAC schedule, Andrea Behling was asked about trying to keep the streak alive.

Andrea Behling said “We want to win every game, despite if it is a NCAC opponent or not.” Certainly the Tigers have done that so far; no NCAC team has won even a game against the Lady Tigers after the two dominating 3-0 victories.

Megan Vodopich was named the NCAC Player of week last week. She received the honor because of her dominating performance at the Wittenberg Fall Classic. She had 85 assists on the weekend, including one game of 35 assists. Vodopich has been having a great start to the season. She gives the credit to the large number of good hitters on the team. Megan Vodopich is the only Wittenberg Athlete to receive this honor so far this year.
Despite Wittenberg’s poor record, they are still ranked No. 13 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. All five of the Tiger’s losses this year have been to Top 25 teams in the nation. They play one of the toughest non-conference schedules.

Megan Vodopich commented on the tough schedule in an interview, “We now know where bar is set.”

The Tigers have their eyes set on the national championship and have played against the best competition. They will use the conference to sharpen up and will continue to prepare for the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers will travel to Transylvania next weekend to take on Rose-Hulman and Transylvania. The next home competition will be the Alumni game on October 5. The next home volleyball regular game will not be until October 19.

Field Hockey Splits Conference Games to Start Season

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As the Wittenberg women’s field hockey team starts out the 2013 season, they do so with two wins and two losses in conference play. After a 6-12 2012 season for the Tigers, the team had a record of 1-3 before entering conference play at home against Wooster on Sept. 14th. Up until that point, Wittenberg had lost to Centre, Lynchburg, and Washington and Jefferson while coming up with a victory against Bethany College.

The game against Wooster went well for the Tigers as they beat the Scots by a score of 4-2. The win was important to Wittenberg as it was the first win for the team in the rivalry in the past five times the two teams have met. Junior Beth Warning led the team with two goals and an assist along with junior Megan Loofbourrow and freshman Eva van Dijkman, who both picked up a goal respectably. In goal, freshmen Sarah Brownell made four saves in her first ever collegiate field hockey win.

The very next day the Tigers welcomed Oberlin College to Edwards-Maurer Field in their second NCAC game of the year. Once again the home team was able to carry the day as Wittenberg won by a score of 3-1. The three goals were scored by Megan Loofbourrow and sophomores Paige Vanerstrom and Andrea Mattingly. Van Dijkman and junior Kim Loofbourrow helped out the team by recording an assist each as freshmen Laura Jansing put up a show in goal by making eight saves, all of which happened in the first half of play.

Wittenberg’s luck against NCAC opponents ended that Wednesday as the Tigers played their third straight home game in a row against Denison. Although the Tigers lost by a score of 4-0 Brownell put up a great effort in goal posting 12 total saves against an aggressive Denison team. Warning attempted two shots on goal while Vanerstrom and Megan and Kim Loofbourrow shot once on goal each. Unfortunately, none of these shots met the back of the net and the Tigers had to settle with an early 2-1 conference record.

The women’s field hockey team then went on to lose their second conference game to the Ladies of Kenyon on Sept. 21 at home. After scoring in the first three minutes of the game, Kenyon went on to win the game 6-1. The only goal for Wittenberg was scored by Mattingly, but that was already after Kenyon had scored all six of their goals. Junior Casey Fry led the team with four shots on goal and Jansing was able to make six saves in goal but it was not enough for the Tigers to come up with a win.

The Tigers hope to improve on their 2-2 NCAC record this Friday at 4:30 p.m. with a game against Ohio Wesleyan at home and then also at home against DePauw on Oct. 5 at 2 p.m.. The rest of the team’s NCAC games will be away this season as they hope to finish the season strong.

What’s in a Name?

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“So, what’s in a name?” When a friend from Wittenberg, who was fairly new to the Buckeye mania of the Midwest, asked me the origin and meaning behind the Ohio State University nickname and mascot I was stumped. I wanted to explain that it isn’t just a tree or a seed, but something far greater; but, I couldn’t find the right words to describe it. This got me thinking about how unique and important college and professional sports teams and their names are to fans. A team name can come to describe a team, a region, and even a worldwide fan base. Ohio State alumni and fans can yell a simple “O-H” about anywhere in the country and almost always elicit the responding “I-O”. Through their athletic dominance and academic prestige, the Buckeyes are one of the best known names and symbols in sports.

It also got me thinking about the differing responses, and even controversies, that nicknames can prompt among fans. I was recently in New Orleans on vacation and used the opportunity to attempt to shed some light on this topic. For some background information, the former New Orleans Hornets of the National Basketball Association recently announced that the team was changing the name to the New Orleans Pelicans. The Hornets name came to the city when the Charlotte Hornets relocated to New Orleans in 2002. Since the announcement, there has been much debate on the topic, with opinions predictably falling all over the spectrum. The pelican, the state bird of Louisiana, has long been an important symbol to New Orleans and the region, with both reasons being cited as influences on the decision. Much of the negativity on the subject has come from a perceived lack of toughness and the unintimidating nature of pelicans.

However, the sports world is riddled with examples of how success can strengthen the bonds between a fan base and a team, no matter how unintimidating or original the name. The Buckeyes are an excellent example of this, as the buckeye, admittedly a simple tree and seed in practice, has become synonymous with a winning tradition that can intimidate even the strongest of opponents. The effect of success on the staying power of a name and franchise has been prominently shown in the NBA, with both the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz as the prime examples. Both teams kept their respective names when they relocated from different cities, Los Angeles from Minnesota and Utah from New Orleans, and have thrived ever since. The astounding play of the Show Time Lakers, and the 1990’s Jazz behind Karl Malone and John Stockton have cemented the unique franchise names in the hearts of their respective cities, even with the original names not having much meaning to the adoptive cities.

The responses I received in New Orleans when I asked for local opinions were as diverse as the historic city itself. As a law student I met stated, “this is one of the most unique cities in the country, so I find it fitting that it has one of the most meaningful names in sports. The pelican has long been a symbol of the area and has come to define our culture.” Others shared his sentiment, and I began to understand that the pelican is a symbol in New Orleans that signifies the togetherness and unity of a city that has faced hard times throughout its history. This unification has only grown stronger in the years following the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Of course, not all the sentiment was positive, as some residents yearned for a name that would strike fear in the hearts of opposing teams. As one man dressed from head to toe in Saints gear put it, “that wouldn’t fly in the NFL”, with seemingly no pun intended.

“What you don’t understand is that it’s not just a bird, it’s our culture, our team… it’s just us.”
I believe that the cab driver who told me this sums the argument up best. That whether a Pelican, a Buckeye, or even a Wolverine, a name and mascot at its best can inspire a fan base, unify a region, and provide fans with a shared identity or culture. A brotherhood where saying, “I’m a Buckeye, or I’m a Pelican” can mean something more than just the team name on the jersey or the final score of a game. This shared identity can provide a unifying force in the toughest of times, such as the Saints after Katrina or the Mets and Yankees after 9/11. While we may not be able to fully explain what our favorite sports teams represent to us individually and why, the best explanation may be that it’s simply a part of us and who we are.

Wittenberg Soccer: On the Quest to the Top

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People who have participated in team-orientated sports understand what teamwork really means. In a nutshell, teamwork is a group of people working together to accomplish a task. In sports, teamwork is a must. Having great communication and chemistry on the field or court, enables teams to be on the same page in their exhibitions.

“We want to move this program in a new direction, from how we interact with each other on and off the field, acting professionally at all times, and in turn getting wins,” said junior captain Reed Glosser.

The Wittenberg Men’s soccer team has been exhibiting fantastic teamwork as of late. The Tigers are beginning to find their stride after having defeated the Bluffton Beavers 4-0, and the Mount St. Joseph Lions 4-1 to improve their record to 4-4. The Tigers are already one game away from matching their total number of wins in the previous season. Senior captain Kevin Bond credits the young talent for some the Tigers current success.

“I think the biggest difference in our team this year is the addition of the freshmen class,” said Bond “Not only is there a large number of them, but they are good.” “It has been really fun to play with them thus far.” “They bring a lot of energy to the team, which helps make more competitive practices,” added Bond.

In the shut out against Bluffton, the Tigers were on the attack from the jump. At the 5:30 mark, junior forward Mitch Ridibaugh, scored an unassisted goal that he rebounded of a defender. Bond got the team ball rolling in the 24th minute by assisting Grant Hinkebein on a breakaway goal. In the second half of the game, the leadership continued to shine as the junior captain, Glosser, crossed a corner kick to sophomore Zach Moore. Moore showed his athleticism by heading in the cross to go up three nil. Captain Glosser and Bond rolled the Beavers over with a chip shot goal by Bond in the 61st minute; Glosser was credited with the assist.

“This season I am most excited for conference to start, said senior Zach White. “Last year, we had a poor showing during the conference season and were not able to pull out many games that we should have won.” “So this year as a team I believe we want and can change that,” said White.
The Tigers took care of business in their win against Mount St. Joseph with the same formula they have been using all season, teamwork. After three corner kick attempts, Moore got the Tigers on the board, and scored his second goal of the season. The assist came from none other than Bond, making it his second assist on the season as well. Seven minutes later, the Tigers struck again. After missing his first shot on the goal, freshman Patrick Szymczak, scored his second goal on the season; the assist was credited to fellow freshman Josh Marks. In the second half, the Tigers continued to push the envelope. Bond increased the lead to 3-0 after he scored his 6th of the season, off an assist from freshman Tucker Stas, who recorded his second assist on the year. MSJ attempted to mount a comeback when they scored in the 64th minute. This attempt was spoiled when Marks was able to post another tally on the board in the 74th minute, to take a 4-1 advantage.

The Tigers will be back in action Wednesday, September 25, as they make a trip to Earlham College to face the fighting Quakers. On Saturday, September 28, the tigers will begin their quest for an NCAC championship, and will host 4-1-1 Oberlin.

Women’s Soccer Splits Par of Tough Matches

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The Wittenberg Tigers split a pair of close matches this past week, defeating Case Western and fell to Capital 1-0.

A little more than a minute into overtime, the Tigers came up with a clutch sequence that secured a 1-0 win. Junior Tobie Weston took a shot from the top of the Case Western penalty area that was initially put aside by the Spartans goalkeeper. Senior Kayla Murphy knocked in the rebound for the game winner. This brought the Tigers back to .500 with a record of 3-3-1.

Freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Lorko played a superb game, as she made 12 saves. Lorko got plenty of help from her defensive unit, as she was backed in the center by junior Mary Clare Yerke and senior Erin Rowell, both of whom played the entire game.

The Tigers next opponent was the 22nd ranked Capital Crusaders and Wittenberg lost 1-0. The match was close but visiting Capital scored in the 86th minute against the team to steal a 1-0 decision.

The Tigers played a strong match the entire way, but could not get the win as their record dropped to 3-4-1.

The Tigers continue their schedule on Sunday, Sept. 22, when they travel to Mount St. Joseph for a 2 p.m. match. The Tigers then visit Heidelberg on Wednesday, Sept. 25. They open North Coast Athletic Conference competition against Oberlin on Saturday, Sept. 28, at noon.

America, the Land of Racists and Hypocrites in the 21st Century

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Many “closet racists” exist today in America. They are the ones who do not have the guts to address their issues with race in public, face to face. Instead they use the social media as their playing ground for all types of ignorant, sexist, racist and demeaning remarks directed towards a certain group of people. This bunch of shameless human beings makes it impossible for tolerant Americans to live side by side with people that are different from them. Social media is nothing but a curse and it is being greatly abused by many people in this country. It reveals the true hatred inside others. These people are likely to act peacefully and like saints within a crowd; however, online they express their true feelings on what Americans should be like, by way of dehumanizing people that look different. I cannot stand these ignorant people and I find them everywhere I go. I see their actions in many forms.

My anger on the race issue rises from this week’s crowning of Miss America. A tall beautiful lady by the name of Nina Davuluri of Indian descent from New York City was crowned Miss America for 2013. To tell the truth, I am not someone who follows this kind of stuff on American TV unless there is a Miss Africa or Miss Ethiopia pageant going on. It is not so much about the pageant that got my attention, but the ongoing explosion of the social media by Americans. Whenever the status quo seems to take a different direction, (in this case, a foreigner winning a pageant that was supposed to be won by an “American” or someone that fits the American stereotype: tall, blonde, and blue-eyed), Americans reacted poorly. The negative reactions from some Americans of Davuluri’s win also reminded me of another pageant that took place last February in Israel. When Miss Israel 2013 was crowned, the Israelis showed their true feelings by social media. The winner was a foreigner, from Ethiopia. Her name was Yityish Aynaw. (She is beautiful as you would expect with any other Ethiopian woman.) It was not her being a foreigner that fired up most Israelis, but rather being a black person winning a pageant that has been going on for sixty-three years. Aynaw overcame many obstacles on her own: she was an orphan during her childhood and when she arrived in Israel, large numbers of the black community, especially that of Ethiopians, were being discriminated against for years.

Right here in America, we had another foreigner, of Indian descent winning a pageant. She also overcame personal obstacles to get to the top, a top that was reserved for “others.” Some called Davuluri an “Arab,” a “terrorist,” the “un-American,” “chicken and rice…,” “7-11,” and the list goes on. Some also said, “How the f*** does a foreigner win Miss America” during the anniversary of 9-11. My point is made. This country’s racist attitudes never seem to end and I do not think that they will ever end. Social media made it possible for all those “closet racists” to demean one race over another. Some Americans never seem to move beyond the racial divisions of the past. I had hoped that people in the 21st century would be more tolerant of others, but honestly most of the time, America keeps proving me wrong. Of the recent racial issues, it is indicative that there will never be tolerance in America for any group that might look different. Instead of talking about other pressing issues that face the country, some Americans choose to talk about race, not in a way that brings resolution but in a way that makes it impossible for any type of racial reconciliation.

Some Americans need to self-cultivate themselves in order to live in today’s diverse society. The people being discriminated will transcend from the racist society at some point. Some Americans simply need to stop the hypocrisy and accept the differences and celebrate the achievement of Americans. Hatred and the different forms of racist attitudes are creating tensions between communities, and essentially the country as a whole, that are driving Americans away from the values their country stands for. Hatred is everywhere, no action can really stop it, nor any form of diversity training, like the one for example we had here in Wittenberg on September 8, titled “Campus of Difference.” Nothing can stop these ignorant people from engaging in activities that are demeaning towards other groups, sadly not even those “LOVE” posters plastered around campus last week. In order to stop true bigotry one needs to educate himself or herself by looking around and seeing the achievements being made by those considered to be incapable or simply look at America as a whole and its driving engine: the immigrants.

                                                                                                                                     

Police Log 2013/09/21

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09/13 @ 12:19 p.m.

Officers responded to an auto accident which involved a student at the intersection of McCreight Avenue and Plum Street. No injuries were reported.

09/13 @ 8:51 p.m.

Officers took report from a university parent on an incident that took place at a sorority house involving alcohol issues and harassment from sanctions issued.

09/14 @ 11:19 a.m.

Officers and SFD responded to the area of the Art Museum on a possible natural gas leak.

09/14 @ 7:08 p.m.

Officers took a report from a student of a burglary to a university owned home in the 1100 block of Woodlawn Ave. Forced entry was made into the property and a television and PlayStation was removed without consent.

09/14 @ 7:15 p.m.

Officers and SFD responded to Keller apartments on an activated fire alarm. Investigation revealed a student had overcooked food.

09/15 @ 1:19 a.m.

Officers met with students that reported they were sprayed with pepper spray while at Ruby’s Pub. Officers assisted with decontamination. SPD allegedly responded to a disturbance at the bar.

09/15 @ 8:13 p.m.

Officers responded to Tower Hall on a physical altercation and damage to university property. Investigation revealed that a student was involved in an altercation with two unknown individuals. The student became upset and broke the glass on a fire hose storage box. A Dean Summons was issued for the damage.

09/16 @ 12:37 a.m.

Officers took a report from a student on alleged sexual misconduct. An investigation will be completed.

09/16 @ 11:32 a.m.

Officers took report from a student that receive a burn while cooking popcorn. The student was treated at an area hospital for the injuries.

Insidious Chapter 2: A roundabout scare that proves successful.

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Warning for all readers: this review will contain spoilers from the first film in the series but I’ll try to keep it as ambiguous as possible.

Now, I am an absolute sucker for horror films, even cheap scares that fail to reach any realm of value whatsoever (“Troll 2″ fans, you know what I’m saying), which speaks up for a genre that has been continually parodied and mocked because of its accessible stereotypes and often one-dimensional story lines. Needless to say, you can’t go to a Blockbuster (do they still exist?) or on Netflix without sifting through many deplorable bids before finding an impressive candidate. Fortunately, “Insidious: Chapter 2″ lies outside the seemingly endless pile of garbage that the horror genre has been reduced to. I’m also not going to sit here and pretend “Insidious: Chapter 2″ didn’t have its flaws; along with obscenely predictable dialogue, it lacked character development and relied heavily on the supernatural allure of its predecessor. Nevertheless, the film’s satisfying balance between quick shockers and cerebral discoveries makes it worth the while, especially if you are still invested after watching the first.

It starts immediately after the events concluding the original installment. Josh and Renai Lambert, played by Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne respectively, have successfully retrieved their son, Dalton, from The Furthur-a dark location found during astral projection-are attempting to settle back into their daily lives while Josh is investigated for the murder of Elise, a medium who assisted their search. In classic horror-movie fashion, Renai and Dalton begin to re-experience uncanny instances inside their home: the spotting of specters as well as the physical interacting and communicating-suggesting they didn’t entirely escape their terrifying brush with body invasion. Instead of responding as rationally as one could after his previous venture into unknown and unnatural territory, Josh decides his family is better off forgetting what happened, which causes his mother, Lorraine, to delve into his struggle with apparitions during adolescence. As she digs deeper with the help of a perfectly complimentary, slightly comedic duo, Josh slowly depreciates from loving father to public sketch ball number one. This ices the multi-layered cake, slicing the movie into parallel investigations that focus on the same confounding situation, but takes place in separate planes of existence, both relying on completely distinctive scare tactics.

What really propelled this film into an enjoyable dimension was its ability to answer the questions you really didn’t know existed until it’s chained together,  increasing the shock value of the discovery. In doing so, it also achieves in providing viewers with numerous versions of horror; while there are genuinely frightening moments that will make you choke on your Raisinets, you’re also exposed to extremely psychological encounters disturbing enough to question your moral compass (if you, like me, automatically insert yourself into the film). It employs an excellent use of chilling cinematography, creating an environment that is not only familiar for this type of ghastly outlet but also entirely unique to our world because of its attempts to go beyond consciousness. Thankfully, director James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring) sacrificed an exaggerated gore fest for a particularly well done execution of the horror genre. Considering the backlash, most horror sequels garner for their poor pursuit of already tread pathways and the fact that it grossed eight times its budget in its opening weekend, “Insidious: Chapter 2” definitely succeeds in delivering convincing continuity and enough originality to remain fresh in a batch of typically overripe or spoiled attempts.

Medium Cool (1969) – A Work Of Immediacy

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It was nineteen-sixty-eight. It was the watershed moment of an entire generation. Whether it was a new beginning or a beautiful blip, those who were there knew it was history. So they brought their cameras and their notepads: some for the record, some so we could never forget. And yet as much as news footage fades, great narratives remain; thus in the midst of Chicago’s 1968 Democratic National Convention, somewhere between fact and fiction, dialogue and conversation, actors and active participant’s, Medium Cool was born.

John Cassellis (Robert Forster) is a Television Cameraman for the City of Chicago, a city that just happens to be filled with powerful voices, voices like those of Mayor Daley or Democratic Candidate Robert Kennedy, and throughout the film as mere voices they remain out of sight but never out of mind. Instead, captured in cinéma vérité, it’s Chicago’s powerless voices we come to hear the most of, the voices of demonstrators and campaigners, of hippies and draft dodgers, of single mothers and children orphaned by a war they may never understand. In a way one could argue that the city becomes a microcosm of the entire world: drawing lines between the rich and the poor, the left and the right, the war and the peace, the black and the white, and the lines that 45 years later even have yet to wash away.

Surrounded by all of these voices it is left to John and his camera to make sense of them, to find unison in them, or even some sort of “narrative”. At times we are John the cameraman and at others we are his camera. And through these dissonant lenses we come to see that it doesn’t matter which of them we may be looking through, that is, just as long as we are looking, that we can understand John by seeing him, just as well by what he sees. And on an intimate level we understand that John is both in love and at war with himself, along with the world around him. A world that very soon may never be the same.

Thus when the Democratic National Convention draws protests and demonstrations, Chicago’s powerful voices must resort to powerful acts. In fact, both sides must act by any means necessary. And if some at the time were confused by this, we as the viewer do not share in their confusion. Because we have heard both the powerful and the powerless voices, we know exactly where both reactions came from. And in the films simultaneous orchestration of both the Convention and the Demonstration we see at once powers varnished surface along with its abrasive reality, we understand that one could never truly exist without the other, and that people like John Cassellis will always be there holding the camera.