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New Computers


If you haven’t noticed yet, Wittenberg has been sporting some new computers around campus this year. With the big, sleek screens and updated Windows 7 operating systems, the overall function of the computers far surpasses that of what we have used in the past few years.

With the financial crisis Wittenberg has currently faced, many questioned why or even how Wittenberg was able to buy these new computers. Rick Mickool, the chief information officer, said “[the] majority of the funding is coming from the student technology fee.” As to why they would buy them he said that “the aging of the majority of technology on campus was increasingly creating performance and support challenges.” The old computers from last year were operating on Windows XP which was released to the general public in the early 2000s. Seeing that within the past decade three different Windows operating systems have been released (Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8), Wittenberg finally approved for an upgrade.

Mickool said that the Wittenberg Board of Directors approved his team’s “five-year IT Modernization plan” last October. He said that the school needed to replace 600 machines that ran on XP because Microsoft will stop support of XP in April of 2014.

The point of the plan, said Mickool, is to prevent an overwhelming amount of out of date technology in the future. They are trying to implement a managed replacement cycle that will keep all technology on campus compatible with incoming software and devices. This should amp up the learning experience by having computers that run smoother. They plan on updating computers in dorms and other academic buildings during the summer next year.

Witt this Week


Wednesday Sept. 18:

  • Women’s Field Hockey v. Denison. 4:30 p.m. Edwards-Maurer Field
  • Women’s soccer v. Capital. 7 p.m. Edwards-Maurer Field

Friday Sept. 20:

  • Women’s Volleyball v. Oberlin. 7 p.m. Pam Evans Smith Arena

Saturday Sept. 21:

  • Women’s Field Hockey v. Kenyon. 12 p.m. Edwards-Maurer Field
  • Women’s Volleyball v. Wooster. 1 p.m. Pam Evans Smith Arena and 5 p.m v. Heidelberg

Sunday Sept. 22:

  • Crop Walk. 2 p.m. Alumni Way (registration at 1:30 p.m.)

Tuesday Sept. 24:

  • Women’s Volleyball v. Ohio Wesleyan. 7 p.m. Pam Evans Smith Arena

Staff Changes Bring New Faces to Campus


Over this summer, various departments at Wittenberg went through several staff changes. Jon Duraj, the previous Director of Student Activities, became the Associate Dean of Students for Student Success and Retention, with Elizabeth Vaccaro taking his old spot. In addition, Laura Siemon has replaced Sonya Zugelder as Manger of Student Employment.

Most of these changes were initiated on August 15, just before most students began arriving on campus. In both of these departments, Wittenberg employees are looking to enhance the student experience. With his new position, Duraj hopes to work with Mary Jo Zembar, the Assistant Provost, to initiate student success. Some of his major goals include connecting students to needed support and resources for inside and outside the classroom and identify effective ways to contribute to student success. Duraj states that he and Zembar have already begun meeting with students, offices, and departments to gather new ideas.

“Moving into my new role was a decision I made with great care and excitement,” said Duraj. “I am able to serve in a role that allows me to make an impact on a student’s experience while helping coordinate ways to set students up for success at Wittenberg and beyond.”

Duraj began working at Wittenberg three years ago after graduating from the university, with the aim of serving the school. He decided to move to his new role because he believes that this position will allow him to work collaboratively across Wittenberg and work with partners in Academic Services. With Zember, Duraj plans on working towards a consistent student experience across the for each person that comes to Wittenberg.

After his shift to his new role, Duraj stated that Wittenberg went through an intensive search to find a new Director of Student Activities. Elizabeth Vaccaro became the new Director of Student Activities when the search had finished.

“Elizabeth brings a wealth of knowledge and experience is campus programming, student organization management, and operating a campus student center to name a few,” said Duraj. “I am excited to have Elizabeth join the team in this capacity.”

Around this time, Siemon also took over the position as Manager of Student Employment. While Siemon comes to Wittenberg from her position in records at Clark State Community College, she is not a stranger to the campus. Previous to her job at Clark State, she worked as a campus visit coordinator for four and a half years at Wittenberg.

“I am very excited about this new position,” said Siemon. “I believe Sonya did a wonderful job in this position, but was ready to enjoy some private time.”

She stated that her current goal for the position is to get all student’s employment positions on campus, work awards, and other related matters set up for the academic year. After this, she hopes to begin focusing on other ideas.

Each of these members of the Wittenberg staff stated that their hope this year is to serve the students. In each of these roles, Duraj, Vaccaro, and Siemon plan to use their skills and ideas to enhance student experience on campus.

Volleyball Defeats Eighth Ranked Otterbein


By: Dan Sabol

The beginning of the 2013 season has been rough for the Wittenberg volleyball team.  The team entered this past weekend’s Wittenberg Fall Classic with an overall record of 2-4, as the Tigers had lost all four of their matches against nationally ranked opponents.  The Wittenberg Fall Classic represented a chance for the team to right the ship and begin to fight their way back up the national rankings.

On Friday, Sept. 13, Wittenberg opened the tournament against Juniata College, the number 16 ranked team in the country.  The Tigers owned a three match winning streak against Juniata which dated back to 2009.  But, the Tigers were unable to extend the streak, as Juniata prevailed in straight sets 25-23, 25-16 and 25-19.  Wittenberg actually led for the majority of the first set, including 22-19 with only a few points remaining.  But, Juniata rallied to score six of the next seven points and win the set.  The opponents then carried this momentum the rest of the way to dominant victories in the final two sets, with the Tigers failing to threaten them.  Senior Andrea Behling paced the Tigers with nine kills, eight digs and three blocks in a very versatile performance.  Junior Meghan Vodopich was superb, as she had 20 assists, 13 digs and six kills.

The Tigers finally broke through on day two of the tournament and took care of business against a ranked opponent.  The number 10 ranked Tigers took on eighth ranked Otterbein University in an OAC-NCAC affair.  Wittenberg was dominant for the majority of the match, winning 3-1, with scores of 25-21, 25-23, 19-25 and 25-18.  All-American sophomore Kara Seidenstricker led the team with 13 kills, 13 digs and two aces.  Sophomore Melissa Emming also was excellent at the net, chipping in 13 kills.  Sophomore Katie Zito made her first start of her career at libero and led the team with 19 digs.  Behling added nine kills and Vodopich recorded a whopping 35 assists.

Wittenberg dominated the final match of the weekend, clobbering Mount St. Joseph in straight sets 25-11, 25-20, and 25-16.  Behling added another nine kills and was named to the All-Tournament Team.  Vodopich again excelled, adding fifteen digs and 30 assists.  Seidenstricker also had 10 kills, 13 digs and five aces.

Wittenberg hosts Oberlin, Wooster and Heidelberg next weekend, with the first two matches marking the start of NCAC play.  The Tigers will look to win their eighth straight conference championship.

Women’s Soccer going for a Second Straight Title


By: Jack Ruble

After losing five starters from the 2012 regular season NCAC champion team, Wittenberg women’s soccer team started this season with something to prove. Despite getting the most number one votes in the preseason NCAC poll, the Tigers received a second place ranking. The six remaining starters and the 15 remaining letter winners on this year’s team came out swinging this season. But, as the competition increased so did their troubles.

First-year Head Coach Matt Fannon led the Tigers to their first win of the season against Methodist College in Baltimore, Md. in the Johns Hopkins Invitational on Aug. 31. The game remained scoreless until the fifty-sixth minute when freshman Michelle Bruinswick scored the only goal of the game. In the second game of the Johns Hopkins Invitational, the Tigers were not as lucky as they were in the first game. The Tigers played Averett College on Sept. 1 and lost 1-0. After an early Averett goal, both teams played to a defensive draw, which eventually led to an Averett win.

The rest of the schedule was not so friendly for Wittenberg after their return home from Baltimore. It started with a 1-1 tie against Wilmington College at home, followed by a 2-1 lose at Hanover College. The Tigers then fell to Thomas More College at home 1-0 before bouncing back against Ohio Northern University on Sept. 11 at home. After going down 1-0 early, the Tigers bounced back in the second half thanks to goals by seniors Leslie Oliver and Kayla Murphy and assists by juniors Mary Clare Yerke and Chelsey Marcum. This was the Tigers first win since their opening game against Methodist in August.

Despite the 2-3-1 record, the Lady Tigers have put up a great show defensively thanks to the goalkeeping combo of freshman Kelsey Larko and sophomore Maggie Grieser who have totaled a combined thirty-seven saves. On the offensive side, Wittenberg has a five-way tie in scoring with Murphy, Oliver, Bruinswick, senior Lindsay Jamney, and sophomore Zoe Curry all having one goal so far this season. Marcum leads the team in assists with two while Yerke is the only other player to record an assist.

The Tigers will play Capital University at home this Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. followed by games at Mount St. Joseph College and Heidelberg College. The Tigers then enter conference play against Oberlin College on Saturday, Sept. 28 at noon at home. From that game on, the Tigers will be playing all their games against conference opponents. The Tigers will get a chance to prove themselves against the number one ranked team in the NCAC, Denison, on Oct. 12 at home. Wittenberg’s women’s soccer team plays its home games at Edwards-Maurer Field.


Men’s Soccer Up Against Tough Teams


By: Jake Haubner ‘16

*When were the games?

The Tigers took on Wilmington on Sept. 7 to cap off the Wilmington Kiwanis Classic.  Wilmington defended their home turf by defeating the Tigers.  The Tigers went toe-to-toe with the Quakers through the first half, with the score being 1-1.  Reed Glosser had the Tiger’s goal.  The goal was unassisted.  But, Wilmington came out and played a wonderful second half.  In the second half Wilmington poured it on, scoring three goals in the second half to end the game at 4-1. James Van Artdalen did have six saves in the contest.  The Tigers got off 10 shots in the whole game with four of them being on goal.  Reed Glosser led the way with two shots.  Wilmington ended the game with 20 shots.  Ten of them were on goal.  Senior Kevin Bond continued to play well.  Bond was named to the all-tournament team.  Not only was Kevin Bond great defensively all weekend, he also chipped in one goal in Friday’s win to help get the win versus Marietta to get them to game versus Wilmington.  Kevin Bond has led the Tigers all season offensively.  He has four goals already along with 10 shots on goal out of 12 total shots.


Men’s Soccer team had a tough week with great matchup against the eighth ranked Ohio Northern Polar Bears.  The Tigers were a heavy underdog going into the match and fell short in Ada, Ohio.  The Tigers faced a barrage of shots from Ohio Northern.  Ohio Northern took 31 shots.  Fifteen of the shots were on goal and six were allowed.  Ohio Northern had five different players with a goal James Van Artsdalen pulled in eight saves.  David Barth also was in goal with 1 save.  The Tigers took seven of their own shows.  Three of these were shots on goal.  Patrick Szymczak, Andre Lorenz and Kevin Bond all had shots on goal.   Lorenz and Szmczak led the way with two total shots themselves. The game was a hard fought battle, but they could not pull off the upset.


The Tigers are now 2-4 on the year after the Ohio Northern game.  All of the men’s soccer team’s matches have been on the road so far this year.  They are excited to get back home against the Bluffton. This is the only non-conference home game for the Tigers.


The Tigers will be looking forward to games this week when they start a tough conference schedule.  The Men’s Soccer team’s conference opener will be against Oberlin. This will be the start of their conference campaign where they are projected to finish last in the conference.  They will be ready to prove the NCAC wrong and play well.  Sophomore Zach Moore said he was “excited” and “ready” to get into conference play.  The men’s soccer team would love your support on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. at Edwards-Mauer Field.

Football Team Looks to Bounce Back Against Depauw


By: Anthony Garcia

The Wittenberg Tigers football team will look to get rid of what senior quarterback Reed Florence called, “a sour taste,” on the road at Depauw University on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The matchup with Depauw will be Witt’s first opportunity to rebound from a 49-24 defeat at Butler on Sept., 7.

The Butler Bulldogs were able to score in various fashions, including a fumble recovery, a deep pass, and a returned interception, all in the first half.  Wittenberg turned a 39 point deficit at halftime into a 25 point, 49-24, loss with the help of three touchdowns from Florence and only allowing the Bulldogs one more touchdown. Butler competes in the Division I FCS, while Wittenberg routinely plays other Division III schools.

The loss serves as the first time the Tigers have lost a season opener since Sept. 1, 2007, when they were shut-out against Capital.  Wittenberg went on to post an 8-2 record that season and earned a North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) title.

When Wittenberg travels to Greencastle, Ind. this weekend to face-off against Depauw, it will be their first game in 14 days.  The football squad was on a bye week this previous weekend but will have a game every weekend until the fourth week of November from here on out.

The home team won “the Battle of the Tigers” (the two schools have the same nickname/mascot) last year at Edwards-Maurer Field in a 52-14 abomination.  But, Depauw has a completely new coaching staff this seasons.

“We haven’t seen much from them.  But, we’re excited to see what they’ve got,” said Florence who had 340 total yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 turnovers in last year’s game.

Depauw comes into the contest with a 0-1 record. Sewanee (Tenn.) was able to defeat Depauw in their season opener by running a two-quarterback system.  Neither team had exceptional offensive numbers but wide receiver Barry Flynn proved to be a weapon for the Tigers, catching eight balls for 90 yards.

This upcoming road game in Indiana will be Wittenberg’s seventh away game in their last eight contests. Florence did not seem fazed by the idea of having to get their first win on the road, saying that the team was “used to it” by now.

It helps that 16 returning starters have the experience of all of those road games from last year.  Florence says that, being a senior, this season “definitely” feels different. “You got guys looking up to you,” says Florence, “but we got a big group of senior guys who have taken that role in the locker room.”

The 2013 football season will be the first year of a new conference schedule for NCAC teams, which include both Wittenberg and Depauw.  All of the schools will play each other for the first time in conference history. Because there are 10 teams, conference play will account for 90 percent of the regular season schedule instead of 70 percent.  As Florence pointed out, “you get to see who’s really the best now.”

Field Hockey Upends Rival Wooster


By: Dan Sabol

The Wittenberg field hockey team has had an extremely exciting season so far this year, and the NCAC opener didn’t disappoint.  The Tigers opened conference play at home on Saturday, Sept. 14 against rival Wooster.  Wooster had owned the Tigers recently, having defeated Wittenberg in five straight matches before Saturday’s contest.  The Tigers were locked in a 2-2 tie before juniors Megan Loofbourrow and Beth Warning put the home team on top for good for a 4-2 victory.  Warning also scored earlier in the contest and freshman Eva van Dijkman also scored.  Freshman goalie Sarah Brownell notched her first victory in goal.  The win pushes the Tigers to (2-3) overall and (1-0) in NCAC play.  The Tigers next host Oberlin on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. at the Edwards-Maurer Field.

Letter to the Editor: Butler Game


To Whom It May Concern:

 My name is Kellyn McCarter and I’m a sophomore. It has been drawn to my attention that, at the recent football game against Butler, Wittenberg students treated Butler’s band absolutely terribly. I love this school. I chose this school because of its ability to make everyone feel at home. Under “Integrity” in the “About Witt” section of the school website, it says:
Integrity means honesty and fidelity to the highest ethical standards, which are fundamental to teaching, learning, and personal growth. We encourage our students to pursue knowledge and truth with moral courage and reflection, and so to live their lives.
I cannot begin to understand how the treatment of Butler fits into that. I’m not sending this because I want to put-down this school. I am sending this because I’m incredibly concerned about how this makes, not just these fans, but all Witt students look. We’re already slightly looked down upon as snobbish by the city of Springfield. Do we really need more people thinking that? It’s important that this video is drawn to the attention of every Witt student, staff, and faculty member in hopes that we may show others that this does not represent who we are.
Here is the Youtube video showing our treatment:
Thank you for your time, 
Kellyn McCarter

Letter to the Editor: Wittenberg: To Look and be Ashamed


I have never been ashamed of being a Wittenberg student. Wittenberg, to so many of us, is the best example of a second-home, a supportive family community. However, sitting in the back of Weaver Chapel during the Opening Convocation on Wednesday, I found myself blushing, utterly embarrassed.

At the beginning of the event, the chapel was packed. Taking my seat toward the back, I noticed how many different groups of students were represented: athletes, Greek members, student leaders– a variety of majors and ages, ready to honor our entire community.

So we sat, listening. Engaging.


Immediately following Kenneth Cukier’s passionate address, there came a loud, unapologetic exodus of students . Even freshmen who had never been to a convocation before, and perhaps had not even considered leaving early, eventually followed the example of the upperclassmen.

It was eleven-thirty, only half-way through the scheduled events.

The outpour continued for the rest of the ceremony. Student Senate members, standing up to be recognized for their leadership, turned back to see clumps of students deliberately ignoring their leaders’ commitments to the university. Newly tenured professors, including Dr. Wright, accepting a prestigious faculty award, stood to applause, but also to the sound of backpacks zipping and the shuffling of feet heading outward.

Most heartbreakingly, Wittenberg students walked out on the heart of the convocation: bestowing a Medal of Honor upon late alumnus, Charles Weller. Mr. Weller’s family accepted the award, and his wife spoke eloquently on his behalf. As she began her speech, though, a cluster of departing students knocked over a piece of chapel furniture. The student population turned to look, some laughed, while Mrs. Weller jokingly recognized the disruption and began her speech. Later, remembering her husband’s contributions, she tearfully addressed students, encouraging us to pass on our light.

By the time the faculty and student leaders recessed, less than sixty minutes after the ceremony had begun, entire rows were empty. The elevated far-left side was sparse, dotted with the remaining students.

So, what about passing on our light?

Before I continue, I want to clarify that not every student participated in this attitude. Many people did stay for the entire convocation, listened, took notes, tentatively sang the Alma Mater, and waited patiently through the recessional. There was respect in practice.

Still, many students chose to do the opposite.

Should there be an award to students who can last the longest at a university event? Or should it should be the expectation, the standard minimum?

I realize that it was hot outside – imagine how professors must have felt in their heavy black robes. Despite the temperature, a respected tradition was happening, and by attending we made the unspoken agreement to tolerate the heat. Additionally, the entire day’s schedule was re-configured by administrators who wanted us to come together for one day. Where else would we have to go?

My intent is not to condescend. I only mean to show how the decisions of a few can influence the perception of the whole. Are we a disrespectful student body? Are we rude, loud, and uninterested? If I were an alumna or a distinguished faculty member sitting up front, facing the outgoing students, I might think so. Even as a student, I was forced to wonder what we, the growing scholars of Wittenberg, truly value.

What I’m saying is: A few people in the back leaving for work or other commitments would be much different than entire empty rows.

I hope that many of us become successful business people, artists, and world-changers. I hope that we are each invited back at some point to address future students and faculty, sharing our intellect and expertise. And I hope that, when this does happen, the students will stay, listen to what we have to say, and pay attention the t honors bestowed upon others. Not because they have to prove their attendance to a professor, but because it is simply the respectful, unspoken norm. Because they are proud of their university and the richness it holds. Because they pass their light on to each other, and back to those who came before.

Adrienne Stout

Center Ice With Andy Kennedy and Shane Hartlaub


Hockey boils down to a few key ingredients: blood, sweat, determination, stamina, skill, and sharp skates. Two of Wittenberg’s upperclassmen ice hockey players have played for practically their whole lives to perfect their passes, sharpen their slap shots, and easily slide a puck down the ice at rocket speed into their opponent’s goal.

Andy Kennedy, senior forward, and Shane Hartlaub, junior center, are very excited to return for another year of hockey. Especially because a new year means a new ice rink is to be built in downtown Springfield.

According to the Springfield News-Sun, the $7.5 million ice rink is expected to open by Oct. 15. The Columbus-based business Chiller LLC will manage the arena and employ up to 20 people. They will be responsible for all marketing surrounding the ice arena, which many hope will bring an air of professionalism to the rink.

Both players have been playing hockey since a very young age.

“I’ve been playing since I was four or five. We’re a big hockey family,” said Kennedy. “My dad had me watching Bobby Orr videos since I was a little kid.”

Hartlaub was introduced to hockey through a different channel.

“A buddy I played soccer with got me into hockey when I was real little,” said Hartlaub. “[At home] we weren’t a big hockey family until I joined. Then my mom started playing with a team after playing with me in a parents-kids game.”  Hartlaub’s mother stopped playing, because her games conflicted with his, and she wanted to be at his college games.

Both veterans of the ice have seen their fair share of injuries over the years, but none too gruesome to scare them off.

“I’ve seen skates on wrists, people bleeding out on the ice,” said Kennedy. “One guy was real bad, every time his heart beat, blood spurt from his wrist.”

Hartlaub has had stitches twice, other than that both have escaped significant injuries, something that the sport is known for.

“We had a team mate break his collar bone and forearm, but nothing too bad,” said Hartlaub.

The team returns this year, but to a new rink to call their home.

“It’ll be nice when the new rink in Springfield opens,” said Kennedy. “More ice time and no practices at 11 p.m.”

Currently the team practices in Kettering at late and highly inconvenient hours in the night, with practices usually starting at 10:30 or 11:00 p.m.

Having games in Kettering has been problematic too.

“We rarely had home games. This year we have six already scheduled and more on the way, hopefully,” said Kennedy.

“It will definitely be easier to get to, for us and for students who want to come to our games. Most of our games have been away in the past few years, so it hasn’t been easy to see us play,” said Hartlaub.

The new rink will be within walking distance of the campus, and the hockey team is currently working with alumni to raise money to have their own locker room at the facility. These two roommates have other reasons to be excited about the prospect of their own locker room.

“Our basement has become the loading dock, the central hub for gear, it smells awful,” said Kennedy. “You can’t take a bag of smelly gear back to the dorm, so we have someone donate their basement every year. It’ll be great if we don’t have to lug gear home.”

The team currently has 11 players, down from 15 last year, with four, including the founder and goalie, graduating.

“We’re always looking for more players, guys who want to keep going with hockey in college,” said Kennedy.

Off the ice, their personal hockey favorites, Kennedy idolizes the Boston Bruins, and Hartlaub’s loyalties lie with the Columbus Blue Jackets.



Science Column: How to Save the World


By: Shannon Kelleher

I like to think of myself as a realist (doesn’t everyone?) but I have to admit that I possess a strong tendency towards optimism. Like a nice dark beer, a healthy dose of optimism warms my insides and gives me the confidence that I need to go forward even while it may distort my vision. So, naturally, when I read a recent article claiming that a nineteen year-old genius had formulated a plan to clean up the ocean in just a couple of years and make a profit doing it, my internal optimist immediately began turning cartwheels.

Boyan Slat, a Dutch aerospace engineering student, has begun formulating plans for a project called the Ocean Cleanup Foundation, which would center around a sea-and solar-powered sifter called the Ocean Cleanup Array. The device would consist of a plastic processing center flanked by two enormous buoys that would use the ocean’s energy to corral floating plastic waste into the processing center, all without harming any marine life in the process. The plastic could then be taken to shore and sold, resulting in a net profit for the company willing to adopt his idea. Slat claims that his Ocean Cleanup Array would rid the oceans of 7.25 million tons of waste in a span of only five years. Bam-global crisis solved.

Is Slat just an incredibly intelligent idealist with a knack for attracting media attention? While I didn’t think so at first, (namely because I would love to see the solution to ocean pollution all wrapped up in a neat little bundle as advertised) I am starting to think otherwise.

The problems in Slat’s “solution” (and they are numerous) arise when it is scrutinized in the context of real world oceans and economics, as Stiv Wilson has done in his article “The Fallacy of Cleaning the Gyres of Plastic with a Floating ‘Ocean Cleanup Array’.” (For your reference, a gyre is simply a rotating ocean current.) Wilson claims that Slat’s project has progressed no further than “the fairy tale phase” and, unfortunately, Wilson’s logic compels me to agree with him:

1. Slat has never actually been to any of the gyres. Wilson points out that he has no idea the magnitude of the sea nor the intensity of its weather and how this would impact his project.

2. Other projects of a similar nature but less ambitious scale haven’t exactly gone swimmingly. Finavera Renewables’ attempt to create North America’s first offshore wave energy farm ended when its first test buoy, rated for “100 year survivability”, sank after only a few months. The ocean got the best of them. Envision Plastics’ line of “Ocean Plastic” products was first hailed by the media but flopped because it was forced to set high prices due to necessary production expenses. The economy got the best of them.

3. Transportation of the plastics to a recycling facility would be extremely expensive. It would probably overshadow any potential profits.

4. Recycling doesn’t actually help the environment as much as we want to think. Plastic breaks down every time it is recycled and therefore it cannot be recycled indefinitely; recycling a product merely postpones its future as non-degradable waste. Therefore, the products that Slat’s apparatus would remove from the ocean would eventually return there, perhaps at a faster rate than they could be removed.

5. Slat assumes that plastic waste is found only on the surface of the ocean when, in actuality, it is suspended 100 to 150 meters deep. This means that there is a whole lot more plastic out there than he’s banking on, and much of it could not be processed by his device.

I’d love to see Slat’s project succeed, but if Wilson’s reasoning holds up (and judging by his extensive knowledge and experience I think it will) it is probably no more than a fleeting fad in conservation media. Sigh. So what can we do to clean up our mess? We can start with the beaches; about half of all the garbage carried by the gyres ends up there eventually before being washed back out to sea. And we can make a concerted effort to quell our consumption of plastic, which I recognize is no small challenge when it composes most products we use. There is no easy way to save the world, no genius that can swoop in with a quick-fix solution. That may not sound optimistic, but it’s the truth and if we hope to overcome ocean pollution (or any other crisis) we can’t lose sight of that.

Tigers tell their tune tastes and the Top 10


Last week in music, billboard.com had its latest listing of today’s culture in 200 foot-stomping, dance-all-night-worthy songs. Instead of giving a personal review of these songs, I felt that it was more important to give my fellow classmates an opportunity for their voice to be heard about not only these songs, but about music in general. For the sake of space, in my interviews with our peers, we focused on the Top 10 of these 200.

Madeline Kraft, a sophomore, is not partial when it comes to music. “I listen to a little bit of everything to be honest! I don’t have a favorite genre.” Kraft is slightly concerned with the messages the songs on Billboard proclaim.

“From what I can tell,” she states, “the Top 200 seems to be okay, maybe a little too much raunchy music.”

Freshman Dylan Oliver, however, is on the opposite end of the spectrum. “[My favorite genre is] 60s rock, definitely.” Oliver goes on, saying that he would like to see artists like Green Day, the Killers, All Time Low, and related acts on the Top 10.


The Billboard’s Top 10 for the week of Sept. second are as follows:

1. Katy Perry- “Roar”

2. Robin Thicke ft. T.I. + Pharrell- “Blurred Lines”

3. Eminem- “Berzerk”

4. Miley Cyrus- “We Can’t Stop”

5. Jay-Z ft. Justin Timberlake- “Holy Grail”

6. Lady Gaga- “Applause”

7. Avicii- “Wake Me Up!”

8. Lorde- “Royals”

9. Imagine Dragons- “Radioactive”

10. Lana Del Rey and Cedric Gervais- “Summertime Sadness”


Kraft feels as though this list is appropriate for our time era. “I think that is what the majority of our age group is listening to right now. They’re fun songs, but I don’t think they’re going to last and stick around like the songs of our parents’ generation.”

Oliver is more outward with his opinion of today’s music. “I would seek to replace what I see as mundane and boring with less asinine music. I would also seek to lessen rap’s popularity.”

If you’re into pop music, your power tracks would be songs such as “Roar” by Katy Perry or “Applause” by Lady Gaga. If rap is your favorite, you’ll want to check out Eminem’s new single “Berzerk.” But if you’re a fan of alternative music, I recommend “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the alternative genre and Lana Del Rey, so another amazing song is, of course, her new single with DJ Cedric Gervais, “Summertime Sadness.”

Honestly, it’s all a matter of perspective when it comes to music. Every person has his or her likes and dislikes. It’s hard to be unbiased when it comes to musical tastes, but we need to learn to respect each others favorite songs, even when they’re different from the ones we love. In today’s day and age, the most popular musical styles are pop, rap, and alternative (as is reflected in the Top 10). If you’re a fan of these music genres, then the Top 10 is for you. Whatever your music taste, dance it out and Tiger Up!

Witt Commercial


Chances are, if you aren’t living under a rock, you saw the film crew all over campus; Wittenberg University was in the midst of filming its first commercial to be aired in the northwestern Columbus area.

The filming took place for two days, and during some great weather, according to Karen Gerboth, executive director of communications for the university. She was the one on campus in charge of this commercial, although another member of the university board first got the idea that Witt needed a new way of advertising.

With the board members’ expertise, Wittenberg put together a team of experts and started filming in many iconic Wittenberg locations. They filmed Frisbee golf in front of Myers, the beauty of an afternoon of studying in the Hollow, and the lunch tables outside of the Student Center. This commercial is sure to showcase the best of Wittenberg.

Many students were confused as to how the students showcased in the commercial were picked. Gerboth said many students were asked to appear because they were very involved on campus, but many students volunteered when they saw the filming. The students of Wittenberg are what inspired this commercial. The crew wanted to “show the active engaged learning experience offered here,” said Gerboth. The whole Office of Communications is very “excited for the final result.”

Kim Lykens, class of 2014, played a role in the commercial. She was filmed talking with another “student” outside the Student Center. “He came with the set,” she laughed. She says she had a positive experience with the commercial, though she felt a little silly when they made her ride her bike back and forth for twenty minutes on Alumni Way so they could catch her in the back of a shot. Many students were involved in the process, and even those who weren’t are very excited to see the commercial when it airs. It should be up on the website as well as airing in the greater Columbus area. So tune in your televisions around mid-October and you just might catch Wittenberg’s first commercial.

Closet Spotlight


Bri Betts

As a political science major and philosophy minor, Senior Bri Betts brings much more to Wittenberg than just fashion. She is a peer helper, a tour guide, and President of Women In Power. When we interviewed Bretts, we learned that she is an upbeat, confident, and personable woman who is easygoing and holds her morals close to her heart. She truly cares for her friends, family, and she values her education. Her overall view on dressing well goes hand in hand with bettering herself in every way possible, keeping her priorities straight and a successful future close in reach. We loved Bretts’s commitment to fashion and fun accessories, and we were eager to find out more about her outlook on fashion.

Q. How would you explain your style?

A. Electric, sassy, and bright. Real bright! I love color, patterns, big earrings, and bold necklaces. I guess my style is just however I’m feeling that day. I like that I don’t have a certain “style” because it allows me to change things up and wear something new everyday.

Q. Who inspires you when it comes to fashion?

A. Poet and jewelry designer Alex Elle. The best way to describe her style is probably earthy and Afrocentric. She inspires me because she’s original, she doesn’t follow trends, and she dresses for herself. It’s so important to dress for yourself because you never want to get caught up in dressing how other people want you to dress. Clothes are a way to express yourself and your personality, and I don’t think you need trends to show you how to do that.

Q. What is your favorite season for fashion?

A. Definitely spring! It’s not too hot or too cold, so it’s a perfect time to wear wedges and lots of color!

Q. What are some of your favorite accessories that you own?

A. Oh my, this is a hard one. I think my favorite accessories are my gold head chain and my gold and mint wooden Alex Elle Nefertiti earrings. I’m a huge fan of unique pieces.

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

A. Dress for your body type. As women we all come in different shapes and sizes, which is great! It’s just important that we all know what we can wear and what we can’t wear. Being a full figured woman myself, it’s important that I find outfits that accentuate my assets and hide my flaws all at the same time. No matter what your shape or size may be, you never want to look like you struggled to get into an outfit, or you’ll be poppin’ out of it like a can of biscuits!

Q. Why do you think it is important to dress well?

A. Simple. You look good, you feel good. Dressing well is not only an extension of taking care of yourself, but also a way to express yourself.

Jonathan Mueller

Throughout his collegiate experience, Senior Jonathan Mueller has always been open to taking risks. After traveling to study in Wittenberg, Germany his junior year, Mueller discovered who he truly was and gained the confidence he had never dreamed of. He is now the secretary of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity and a member of the Wittenberg Men’s Club Volleyball Team. He also spent this past summer working as an intern in Philadelphia. He has now reached his peak in discovering his identity, true happiness, knowing his fashion, and finding his self worth. Fascinated by his poise and personable abilities, we sat down with Mueller to get acquaintance, and learn all of the fashion secrets he has to offer.

Q. How would you explain your style?

A. My style is preppy, European, and trendy. Preppy because I love polos, shorts, chinos, button-down oxfords, and boat shoes. It is European because I love patterns and slim fit pants, V-necks, and the overall chicness that is associated with all European style. My style is trendy because I love urban fedoras, boots, and tanks. Combining pieces from these three types of fashion has overtime created my unique style. I am not afraid to play with color, patterns, or accessories. It is unique, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Q. Who inspires you when it comes to fashion?

A. Michael Bastian, Cole Haan, Ralph Lauren, and Burberry. They all inspire me when it comes to fashion. Michael Bastian is one of my favorite designers. His fearless attitude and ability to play with color and pattern in his clothes is spectacular. Cole Haan has a brilliant craftsmanship that is portrayed with each shoe that is simply amazing. Ralph Lauren’s polo designs and rugby collection are timeless. Burberry has the iconic plaid pattern that never goes unnoticed. They are the masters of the trench coat that grows in trend as time progresses and fashion evolves.

Q. What is your favorite season to dress for?

A. Without a doubt, fall. Fall is my favorite time of the year, the weather is cooling down, the leaves are starting to change, and I can start to bring out some of my favorite articles of clothing. Dark colored pants, jeans, scarves, boots, and more. Jackets are my favorite fall accessories. However, what I love about fall the most is the ability to wear oversized sweaters. Adding them to a simple skinny jean or a slim fit pant is my favorite fall look.

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

A. My watches are my favorite accessories. They allow every look that I have to be finished and polished. My favorite watch is my Fossil watch, because I can interchange the bands with the face. It allows me to have multiple watches all in one. A watch is classy, sophisticated, and timeless.

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

A. I would say two things. First, be confident and confortable in who you are. Too many people these days are self-conscious of how they are dressed because it is not the “norm.” If you like it then go for it and rock it. Be proud of who you are and walk proud in the clothes that you wear. If you do this, people will not look at you as a person who dresses against the “norm”, but they will see you as an individual with great fashion and with great confidence who cannot be stopped. Second, do not throw the kitchen sink into everything you wear. In other words, having too many pieces in one outfit can look too busy. Going for simple pieces is always best. You can add hints of colors to accent any piece. For example: don’t ever think wearing a white V-neck and a pair of skinny jeans is too boring. You can make it pop with a brightly colored jeweled necklace and you will be good to go. Simple is better.

Q. Why do you think it is important to dress well?

A. I think it is important to dress well because it gives people a sense of self-confidence. I am who I am, so that will never stop my sense of style. Dressing well is important because it allows for self-expression. You are in control of what you wear, which allows you to present yourself to the world in any way you desire. Finally, you will never know whom you will run into. If you are always dressed well, you will never be forgotten. You have to be self aware of what is around you and what situation you are in. You could meet a future employer or future significant other, so be prepared at all times and dress in a fashion that will make a solid first impression.

Are you interested in being featured in the Wittenberg Closet Spotlight? Check out the Wittenberg Outfit Of The Day Instagram to keep up with some of the trendiest students on campus. Follow @Wittootd or tag #wittootd when looking your best to be featured on the Instagram. Or, simply dress to impress when you go to class, and we may just snap your photo! Each week, we will choose a male and female student from Instagram to be featured for the Torch’s Closet Spotlight. Will it be you?

New Football Coaches


The Wittenberg Tiger football team has been churning out winning seasons for sometime now. These wins can be attributed to the hard work and dedication the student athletes put forth throughout the school year, as well as the summer. Yes, football is a fall sport, however, it is a year round game. It takes preparation and organization to win ten guaranteed games.

The winning seasons can also be attributed to the coaches. Coaches sacrifice numerous hours so that they can put their players in the best possible position to win football games and win in life. In the past, Dave Maurer and Bill Edwards took on the responsibility of maturing these young men. In doing so, they set a standard for Wittenberg football that is still in effect today. Both men got the most out of their players on the field by having a combined record of 227-43-7. They also did a great job off the field by ensuring their players graduated and were able to prosper after football.

Current head coach Joe Fincham has been doing his part in upholding the winning tradition at Wittenberg by acquiring an overall record of 154-35, and dominating the North Coast Athletic Conference by posting a 102-16 record, and counting. Though Edwards, Maurer, and Fincham’s records are in their name, the numbers were not posted alone.

Coaches are a dime a dozen, but finding special people who care about a program, and what it offers, is what makes the difference. So the question becomes, where does one look to find these particular people? With the exception of a few, Fincham chooses to look no farther than the Tiger family.  With the departure of Defensive Coordinator Andy Waddle, and running backs coach Rob Linkhart, both Wittenberg alumni, Fincham invited three of his former players to help in keeping the tradition alive.

Jake Bowman, who replaced Andy Waddle, is coaching the defensive backs for the Tigers. Bowman played as a tight end for the Tigers from 2003-2006. After graduating, Bowman coached at North Carolina Wesleyans for two seasons, and Randolph Macon for three seasons. For Bowman, when the position became available, choosing Wittenberg to was a no brainer.

“This program is special to me,” said Bowman. “It is an honor to be able to work with Coach Fincham, he has helped me a lot as a player, and as a professional.”

Michael Cooper may be a familiar name to some students. Cooper played wide receiver for the Tigers from 2008-12. Cooper ranks fourth in career receptions, seventh in total yards, and fifth in career touchdowns. After graduating Cooper began teaching social studies down the street at Springfield High School, and working with the Springfield Wildcats basketball team. Fincham extended an invitation for Cooper to coach while teaching, which he happily accepted.

“It was a good decision for me,” said Cooper. “It is nice being able to coach guys I used to play with.”

If Coopers name rung a bell, then Ben Zoeller has to stand out. The former Player of the Year has replaced Linkhart to coach the running backs, and assist the offense in general. Zoeller played quarter back for the Tigers from 2008-2012. In that time he and Cooper went 38-6, won back-to-back conference championships, and received many awards along the way. Prior to rejoining the team, Zoeller worked at Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company in his hometown of Louisville, Ky. He also coached the quarterbacks at his alma mater, high school powerhouse, St. Xavier (Louisville).

“I choose to come back to Wittenberg because I really wanted to get into college coaching, and Coach Fincham was grateful enough to give me the opportunity,” said Zoeller. “I love Wittenberg and how the football program transforms boys into men.”


Faculty Retention


As many as 34 faculty members were rumored to have left Wittenberg over the summer, prompting much concern amongst the student body regarding Wittenberg’s faculty retention rate. This new concern closely follows the stress over student retention rates that dominated the end of the previous academic year.

But according to Kevin Evans, Wittenberg’s director of human resources, the university’s faculty turnover rate is certainly nothing to be alarmed about. According to Evans, only 17 faculty members left Wittenberg over the summer of 2013. “The turnover rate may seem high, but when compared to previous years it is fairly consistent. In 2009, we also had 17 faculty leave.” he said.

Even still, the departure of 17 faculty members may seem significantly higher than the average turnover of 12 full-time faculty that has been observed since 2008. However, not all of the faculty that left Wittenberg over the summer were full-time positions. Of the 17 faculty members that left, 6 were for retirement while another 3 left because they had completed their one year visiting positions.

“So over half the turnover was due to normal attrition,” said Evans.

Evans also said that it is normal for faculty to leave Wittenberg during the summer months, as they normally complete their teaching contracts in May.

So according to Evans, Wittenberg’s retention of faculty does not seem to warrant much concern. However, there are now some big holes in the university’s faculty that need to be filled. The departure of Garnett Purnell, for example, has necessitated a search for a new Athletic Director. Jeff Ankrom, associate provost for faculty affairs, and Wendy Gradwohl, associate professor of business and faculty athletic representative to the NCAA, are co-chairing the search for Purnell’s replacement. According to Ankrom, their efforts are progressing smoothly. “The AD search is going well. We have conducted phone interviews and we will meet soon to trim our list to a top 3-5” he said.

The search for a new Vice President of Business and Finance is also underway, after the recent departure of Darrell Kitchen. Provost Chris Duncan is co-chairing the search along with Chief Information Officer Rick Mickool. “We had a very strong and diverse pool of applicants and we will be conducting preliminary interviews of campus next week with a select number,” said Duncan. The week following preliminary interviews they hope to have three or four candidates on campus to be interviewed by various members of the campus community, the staff in the related division, and President Joyner as well.

In the next few weeks, Wittenberg will see a number of important changes in its faculty, particularly for senior management positions such as the Vice President of Finance and the Director of Athletics. However, it appears that such changes are normal, and are being attended to effectively.

4Paws For Ability


Every year, a hoard of wide-eyed, slobber-tongued puppies comes parading into our hearts and our time between classes here at Wittenberg. These puppies are on their way to big things, just like every other student here at Witt. A part of the 4Paws program, dogs are paired with disabled recipients who are in need of an assistance dog for a variety of reasons.

Karen Shirk, the founder of 4Paws which is based out of neighboring Xenia, Ohio, was diagnosed in 1994 with Myasthenia Gravis, which is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain, causing muscle weakness and fatigue. After being turned down by agency after agency for being either not disabled enough, not disabled the right way, and even simply for being on a ventilator, Shirk took matters into her own hands. After finding a 30 pound black German Shepard Dog, whom she named “Ben, My Courage and Friend,” she got to work training him. In 1996, after almost 10 years out of work, Shirk returned to work with Ben and a whole new vigor for life. In 1998, she started 4Paws, promising to never turn away a disabled person in need of a dog.

In 2002, Ben was diagnosed with his own neurological condition, Degenerative Mylopathy, which causes progressive paralysis. After Ben returned “to a place where all dogs run and play, where there are bones growing on trees, and treats fall from the sky,” Shirk did not let the love that Ben instilled in her go to waste. She started 4Paws and adopted 4 children, naming the first of her children Benjamin, after the companion that had saved her life, in more ways than one.

Since 1998, 4Paws has placed over 750 dogs, ranging from the itty-bitty Papillion to the biggest of German Shepherds, Labradors, and Golden Retrievers, with loving recipients. 4Paws dogs aren’t just your average guide dog, and it isn’t easy or cheap to train them. “Training begins before birth with selection of the dogs to be bred,” said Shirk. “From the minute they are born, they are socialized and prepared for service dog work.” Every dog has a bit of a different story, though. Some dogs go to foster homes, some go to prison, and some go to college.

The puppies that pad around Wittenberg are usually between four and eight months old and are in the process of being socialized. Handlers must live outside of residential halls and apply through the Office of Student Development. Two handlers will take turns with the dog, teaching and reinforcing basic commands and getting them used to different environments within three hours of the 4Paws office in Xenia, Ohio. No doubt it’s hard work, but many handlers think it’s well worth the work. Andera Gaietto ’15, who is the co-handler of a six month old Labrador-Retriever mix named Saxby, said “It’s such a rewarding feeling to know that I am helping a dog to soon help a special child who will really benefit from having a service dog to assist them.”

After being socialized by your average foster family, prisoner, or college student here at Wittenberg, the dog goes on to more specialized training based on their personalities and how well they socialzied. The average dog costs between $22,000 and $46,000 to train from birth until it’s ready to go home with its “forever family.” The dogs are completely free to the recipients, but in turn they are asked to fundraise $13,000 to help cover the cost of their companion’s training. “4Paws does their own fundraising and grant writing,” Shirk added.

4Paws dogs include Mobility and Autism Assistance, as well as Hearing Ear and Medical Alert dogs, but the program itself created two unique programs – Facilitated Guide Dogs and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FASD) Assistance Dogs, which can only be acquired from 4Paws. With Facilitated Guide Dogs, a child learns to depend on their dog instead of an adult. FASD Assistance dogs help in many of the same ways as Autism Assistance dogs do, by helping to manage the mood and anxiety problems that come along with the disorder. 4Paws even helped create 4Paws For Veterans, allowing veterans with combat-related hearing loss or physical injuries to gain more independence using a highly trained dog to help them in their day-to-day lives.

So next time you see a puppy padding down Alumni Way between classes, remember that the adorable little dog enjoying the attention is going on to do things bigger than a lab puppy’s paws.

Follow 4Paws on Twitter! @4PawsForAbility

WUSO Returns To “89.1 FM The Berg”

During the past few weeks of school, there have been many rumors going around campus about the return of WUSO. Some of the talks have entailed, “WUSO coming back on air in the spring of 2014.” This past week the General Manger of WUSO, Andrew Jajack said that WUSO is going to unveil their new studio during homecoming weekend, Oct. 11-13, as well as return to live broadcasting on 89.1 FM.
On Sunday, April 8, 2012, WUSO’s radio station was severely damaged by a water main break that flooded the basement of Firestine Hall. After the water from the flood was cleaned up, WUSO staff was able to examine all the damage that had occurred. They discovered that in order for WUSO to go back on air they would need all new audio equipment, as well as a new studio, among other items. While many thought WUSO would never rebirth and recover from the flood WUSO staffers were optimistic and hopeful that they would. But they had another challenge on their hands. The challenge was not only whether the University’s flood reimbursement insurance would come through, but also where would WUSO move their station to. “After some intense discussions and thoughts we decide to stay in our old location and renovate it completely,” said Andrew Jajack. A WUSO renovation committee was formed who worked with physical plant, the WUSO engineer, and university officials to get every detail in the renovation correct.
The renovation of the station is expected to be completed by homecoming weekend. In the meantime, WUSO is currently broadcasting a curated loop of new music. In the coming weeks WUSO is going to begin disc jockey (DJ) training with their new team of DJs, on the all-new audio equipment.
When talking with students around campus about their anticipation of WUSO returning some responded with, “What is WUSO?”
Older students knew WUSO and remembered it fondly.
One thing is for certain when WUSO is back up in full operational function in the coming weeks there is much marketing and public relations to do. Until then, we can all relax knowing that we will be listening to some of the best music around the world right here at Wittenberg University.
The last thing Jajack stated was, “When we begin broadcasting homecoming weekend and unveil our new station there’s going to be a huge celebration.”


Housing Issues


Wittenberg upperclassmen and Residence Life both team up to fix any concerns about living in rental properties on campus. Maggi Quigley, class of 2015, has lived in two houses since her move in at Wittenberg and both of her houses have had issues.

Her first apartment had bed bugs, which caused her first housemate to move from their first apartment to Sprecher apartments. After finding the bed bugs she couldn’t get in contact with Residence Life due as it was the weekend.

“I fogged my apartment twice and washed everything I could immediately,” stated Quigley.

Quigley contacted Jeanne Riedel, coordinator of rental properties, who sent out a pest control service. The pest control service confirmed that Quigley did have bed bugs and cockroaches in her apartment.

“What should students do if they have bed bugs? I really appreciate it when students let us know right away,” stated Mark DeVilbiss, associate dean for residence life.

Although this was handled, Quigley still had to take it upon herself and spend $200 of her own money and take her belongings to Plum Laundry after the bed bugs and cockroaches were discovered.

“It was super expensive washing and packing all of my things, because anything with cardboard had to be thrown out, so I had to buy trash bags and big plastic bins; it adds up,” said Quigley. She was not reimbursed any money.

The second apartment she moved into was infested with mold and had a cracked pipe.

“I noticed my carpet was wet and not drying out. I went to the basement of the property, and there was water everywhere,” said Quigley.

She then went to Riedel who called Physical Plant; they went to the property immediately. After some investigation, Physical Plant determined that there was a large pipe in between the kitchen wall and bedroom that was leaking from the upstairs apartment. The pipe was repaired shortly after.

“The Physical Plant workers were outstanding; they really deserve a lot for all they do at Witt,” said Quigley. Mold began to develop with the wet carpet, which was taken care of promptly because of her severe allergies.

According to DeVilbiss both issues were reported late this summer. Wittenberg does inspect each rental property twice a year, once each semester.

When it comes to students worrying about rental properties on campus, all of the university owned properties are full, causing Residence Life to allow students to rent off campus housing. This happened at the end of housing lottery last April due to 500 more students being in the lottery than available houses.

“In 10 years this was the first time we ran out of rental properties for students,” said Riedel. Any students that live off campus and have any maintenance issues within their homes must contact their landlords for them to be resolved.

“Keep calm and report things,” said DeVilbiss, “It’s the best way to handle a situation.”

Residence Life encourages all students to come to them with concerns about their housing.

Miley Being Miley


Controversial? Yes. Self-Indulgent? Yes. Publicity genius? Without a shadow of a doubt.  Miley Cyrus is the hot topic on everyone’s lips and her music, particularly “Wrecking Ball,” is inescapable from everyone’s minds.  They love to hate her and whittle her down to descriptions like “disgusting”, “classless”, and “vomit-inducing.”  Why does she provoke such strong opinions in people?  Why is it that Miley Cyrus is deemed an “attention-whore” and yet stars like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj get applauded for their outrageous behavior?  Does it all stem from the country’s desire to revert Cyrus back to her Disney Channel self and deny her the ability to age by her own definition?

Admittedly, Cyrus’s VMA performance was incredibly inappropriate considering the environment and the audience.  However, the timeline of events that followed the performance on Aug. 25 was expertly formulated to ensure a publicity riot.  The video for “Wrecking Ball” was released Sept. 9 and had 81,028,646 views as of 12:26 a.m. on Sept. 14.  For those not mathematically-inclined, that equates to 16 million views a day.  Something is not quite adding up; here we all openly object to being named a “smiler”, the title given to Miley fans, and yet we have been obsessively talking about her and listening to her music relentlessly.  We can’t stop commenting on her perpetual nakedness, her tongue, her twerking, and the current status of her relationship with Liam Hemsworth (which as of now they are still together for all those keeping up with the rumor waves).  Why do we feel the need to judge her so harshly and bash everything she does?

The media was so appalled by her VMA performance that they began to cash-in on America’s distaste for the grotesque happenings that surround Cyrus.  When photo stills were released from “Wrecking Ball,” everyone became quickly judgmental of the singer’s new video.  In fact, most people were turned off by the video before they had even seen it.  Many were offended by her being naked in the video.  On the contrary, the video is about so much more than Cyrus’s nakedness.  It artistically illustrates pain bundled with the strength and weakness.  It’s a beautiful video that highlights emotions that unite people, not isolating Cyrus from everyone else.

Why we must swiftly judge her for expressing raw emotion in an artistic manner is confusing.  Cyrus is no longer Hannah Montana and it is clear that she is overcompensating for her previous identity.  She is, however, overcompensating because the media is constantly trying to define her through the Disney Channel.  We all want her to be the perfectly-groomed princess and role model that we have come to expect from actresses such as Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale.  Cyrus has made it very clear that she is not Selena Gomez.  Hannah Montana was an insertion point for Cyrus, but nothing more.  She has no connection to the character, especially now.  In our subconscious, however, Cyrus will always be her alter ego which categorizes her as the “appropriate for children” demographic.  When she defies this demographic, we become upset and appalled by her transforming; clawing our eyes out at her blatant disregard for our Hannah Montana nostalgia.

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy Cyrus’s music, but I by no means agree with everything she does.  I do, however, think she or someone in her camp is an absolute genius.  They have found the magical formula for infecting the minds of the American public.  Our comparisons to her former self are the only inhibitions that restrain the Cyrus from making a complete transformation.  It may take a while for us to accept Cyrus as her new self, but until then we can’t stop listening to “Wrecking Ball.”