Author Archives | tlopus18

Wooster Digital History Project creates food history walking tour

Katie Harvey

Senior Features Writer

There’s no doubt that the town of Wooster has a rich local food scene, from favorites like Spoon Market & Deli and Broken Rocks to gems like Local Roots Market and Café and Olde Jaol. To highlight this, the Wooster Digital History Project (WDHP), The College of Wooster history department’s annual summer internship, took to downtown Wooster to make this food history accessible to all.

Spending much of the summer in Wooster, the WDHP student team, including Sofia Biegelseisen ’21, Kate Padavick ’19, Abigail Blinka ’19 and Spencer O’Keefe ’19 engaged with the community by researching and interviewing members of the town about local eats.

The city of Wooster prides itself in its history of agriculture, meat and dairy production. According to Padavick, per request of community members, the WDHP “found eight physical eateries in downtown Wooster and used them to highlight a specific part of Wooster’s local food history.”

The final project, which is available online and on the Clio mobile application, walks participants around downtown Wooster, explaining importance of the architectural, agricultural and communal history of the space. Complete with historical analyses, photos, maps, interviews with local eatery owners and more, each stop on the walking tour is a comprehensive investigation of the impact of the community on the current food scene as well as the impact of the food scene on the community.

The themes of the project include supporting local agriculture, maintaining quality in food production, building a sense of community and embracing Wooster’s history.

Padavick explained that the Clio application itself is used “when you travel so you can know about cool, historically important destinations that perhaps you weren’t previously aware [of].” Historians use the platform to share information on sites across the country.  In the context of this project, the platform has made all of the research done by the WDHP not only available, but easily accessible and understandable to all members and visitors to the Wooster community.

When asked about the impact of the project on his business thus far, Adam Nussbaum, the owner of Meatheads Union of Ohio on South Market St. and one of the interviewees in the project, explained that he has not personally seen any changes thus far. He does, however, hope that projects like these will help to bridge the gap between the community and the College.

The culmination of the project will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Sept. 28 at Local Roots Market & Café on South Walnut St. downtown. The presentation, titled “Wooster Food History: A Community Presentation,” will allow participants to “learn more about Wayne County’s agricultural past and how it has shaped Wooster’s current food culture,” according to the event’s Facebook page.

To find out more about the project or to take the walking tour, visit woosterhistory.org.

Posted in Features0 Comments

Wooster club sports funding issues continue

Saeed Husain

Sports Editor

Issues with funding for club sports on campus have continued, with their leaders criticizing the ambiguity regarding methods for fundraising. 

These frustrations are following a demand by Campus Council (CC) during the budgeting process last year that clubs must pay 25 percent of their fees through self-generated means. What these self-generated means are supposed to be was not specified on the appeals documents that some clubs submitted. 

These issues were discussed in the CC General Assembly on Thursday, Sept. 20. 

At the assembly, Gabe Gerry ’19, president of Men’s Ultimate Frisbee (Ramjam), read out a statement on behalf of multiple clubs on campus who have been affected by fundraising issues this academic year. The clubs included Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team (Betty Gone Wild), Women’s Rugby, the Quidditch Team and the Wooster Scots Dance Team. The Archeology Student Colloquium, an academic club, had also asked Gerry to represent them.

“The school advertises club sports as something that any and all students can and should participate in, and we believe that as well. As an extension of this belief, we believe that no student should ever be required to pay any amount of money to participate in club competition,” he read. 

“Various clubs that need to begin fundraising are required to jump through many hoops that limit what student-run organizations can and cannot do for reasons that are unexplained or completely arbitrary.”

In particular, the issue of online fundraising was addressed. Student groups were told this semester that no form of funds generated online could be used. In particular, any sort of merchandise sold online could not be used as a method of raising funds; nor could a club use online fundraising platforms like GoFundMe.

 Gerry said, “The selling of merchandise online is, as of right now, not explicitly allowed by the administration. It was made clear that personal donations to the school in the name of a club are allowed; however, electronic fundraisers are explicitly not allowed. If the collection of personal donations for a student group is allowed by the school, what is the explicit difference between collecting physical checks and collecting donations online?” According to Gerry, other schools in the region are allowed to receive funding from external sources. He said that his peers at Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Case Western Reserve University and The Ohio State University all raised funds through online means.

In response, Julia Zimmer, the director of Lowry Center & Student Activities, commented how issues of online funding came under the purview of the Office of Advancement, and Student Activities had only relayed what was told to them. “It is under the radar. We know that we need to figure it out,” she said.

Vice President for Advancement Wayne Webster commented on the situation as well, explaining how the College’s tax status requires them to thoroughly check through all sources of funding before moving onto online fundraising. “Soliciting charitable support requires the group doing the soliciting to adhere to federal tax regulations as well as an increasing number of state registration requirements, so it’s not as simple as setting up a webpage and having funds come in.  The College, as a 501(c)3 organization, does have the legal ability to proactively solicit gifts for our mission; however before doing so we go through a process of determining what are our critical needs, what gaps in funding are we trying to fill and what existing resources do we already have that would potentially address that need,” he said.

Webster added that they had been working with Student Activities to understand what could be done.

“I’ve just begun having conversations with the student affairs office in the past week regarding club sports and their needs.  We will go through the same process of evaluating those needs and whether there are already existing resources to meet that gap in funding before we would consider soliciting gifts for that purpose through our office using our non-profit status.”

Posted in Sports0 Comments

Prioritize effective means of creating change

Doing good has become something of an obsession for me. Ever since I was a young child, I have hoped that I would someday be a person who did good for the world. I imagined that I would become a lawyer who fights to get justice for people who have been wronged, or maybe I could be a politician who implements policies that make my community into the best place it can be. More recently, I’ve dreamed about being a doctor who goes to work every day and saves lives.

It never occurred to me as a child that having a job like that may not be the best way for me to do good. 

Being a medical doctor, for example, is the classic example you might think of when imagining an impactful career. Every day, a doctor might go to their place of work and try to heal patients. What more useful profession could there be? As it turns out, though, if your goal is to do the very most good you can do, then you might not choose to become a doctor. 

There is an organization called 80,000 Hours that is committed to helping people find the most impactful way to spend the 80,000 hours they will dedicate to their career in their lives. According to studies that 80,000 Hours analyzes and conducts, people who are skilled enough to succeed in such a competitive field as medicine are likely able to make a much larger impact doing something else. 80,000 Hours finds that an extra doctor (meaning an additional doctor who joins the already saturated profession) in a developed nation like America might expect to create an extra four years of healthy life for their patients for every year they work. However, there are other, much easier ways to save four years of life in a year of your career.

How? How can a person who isn’t a doctor heal as many people as a doctor in America? One of the easiest ways is through donating to an effective charity. The Against Malaria Foundation, for example, gives bednets to families in malaria-stricken regions of Africa, at a cost of about $4 per bednet. GiveWell, an organization which conducts extensive and rigorous research into the effectiveness of charities, estimates that it takes about $3,446 to save one life if you donate that money to the AMF.  If you assume that one life is 80 years long, then a donation-minded individual could save as many healthy years of life as an average American doctor for $172.30 per year donated to the AMF.

There is a growing movement of people who are actively trying to do the most good they can possibly do with their lives, and these people are effective altruists. Effective altruism investigates the ways that people can use their time and resources to make the largest positive impact they can. There is even a new effective altruism club on campus, Effective Altruism – Wooster, which focuses on the good we can do for the world as students. It is my hope that the worldwide community of effective altruists will continue to grow and find increasingly impactful ways to make the world a better place.

Rebecca Hopkins, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at RHopkins20@wooster.edu.

Posted in Viewpoints0 Comments

Seeking fulfillment beyond academic life

And just like that, five weeks of the school year have gone by. If you’re anything like me, you have no idea how the fuck that happened. I think we have a tendency to forget just how quickly our time gets swallowed while we’re at school. And I don’t mean that just in a “I have three papers due on Friday and somehow it’s Thursday afternoon and I haven’t started any of them” kind of way. I mean that in a literal “we’re kind of being eaten alive” kind of way.

Your time and what you do with it are a direct extension of yourself. The waking-working-sleeping cycle of school is an external schedule that we abide by while we’re students. We impose this structure on our time, and thus ourselves, because it’s what is expected of us, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But far too often, I think we forget that the end product of higher education is to be a wiser, more learned human being and not a cog in the machinery of the nine-to-five.

Somewhere along the way, the pursuit of knowledge has been turned into a machine that, if you’re still following my metaphor, eats up students and spits out workers. Why? Merriam-Webster defines “student” as “1. Scholar, learner,” and “2. One who studies: an attentive and systematic observer.” Frequently in this unbelievably competitive, high-intensity academic environment, we are placed in front of so much work that we can’t see behind it. If all of your time, then, is being consumed by looking at this work in front of you, or thinking about the prospect of work that will come, or trying to catch up on work you’ve already let pass you by, do you really have time for anything else? What are you actually learning when all you’re ever thinking about is work?

This isn’t all to say that you should just not do schoolwork. Part of that structure we assume has a built in “yeah, dude, you have to actually, like, do shit” clause. There is a balance to be found here. You are a student, but you are only a student for now. Yes, that means you have a world of information to learn and eventually know, and a massive amount of work ahead of you to get there, but when all that work is gone, what are you going to be left looking at?

The rigor of academic life can be all-encompassing, but I really encourage everyone this week to set aside some real quality time for the you behind the student. Find something that you’re so passionate about that it makes you forget school entirely for a while, and let yourself find you in that. Obviously be safe! This whole exercise is about healing and helping yourself grow — you can’t really do that by engaging in unhealthy activities that will inevitably stunt that growth.

For me, this has been skateboarding. It’s something I can do every day, see visible improvement in and is a skillset I hope to not only take with me, but build onto after I graduate in May, gravity willing. Whether it’s writing, or painting, or playing the guitar, or listening to podcasts, or reading books outside of your syllabus or even being really, really good at MOBAs, find something you really want to be a scholar in. Because when you’re no longer a student at The College of Wooster, the learning shouldn’t stop. It’s just up to you to determine the kind of student you will be. Might as well start now.

Emily Anderson, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at EAnderson19@wooster.edu.

Posted in Viewpoints0 Comments

Pi Kappa celebrates 100 years as a local sorority at Wooster

Brian Luck

Contributing Writer

“The sisterhood of Peanuts/ Is like a glass of glue,” reads a Pi Kappa songbook made of gold and purple construction paper, which can be found in the Special Collections section of Andrews Library. “We’ll always stick together/ No matter what we do.”

Established in 1918, Pi Kappa, more commonly known as the Peanuts, are preparing to celebrate a century of sisterhood this weekend. They represent the oldest all-female organization on campus, chartered after Wooster disbanded all national Greek Life organizations. The Peanuts devolved from the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, which still operates on a national level today. 

Pi Kappa’s centennial celebration will be held on Sept. 28 and 29, with an abundance of alumnae returning to commemorate their sorority’s 100th birthday. Festivities will include a speech from Wooster President Sarah Bolton, a trip to JAFB Brewery and dinner in The Excelsior Room at Spoon Market & Deli.

“Peanuts who graduated as long as four decades ago and as recently as last year will be coming from far and wide to celebrate with us,” said Historian, Athletics Director and Alumni Chair for the Peanuts, Zoe Covey ’21. “It’s a chance for sisters who haven’t seen each other for years to catch up and remember their time as active members of Pi Kappa, as well as an opportunity for Peanuts who did not go to school together to meet each other and exchange anecdotes about their years here at The College of Wooster.”

One such returning sister is alumna Caroline Click ’18. As former Rush Chair and Merchandise Chair, she remembers her time spent with the Peanuts fondly.

“From the start, they welcomed me like I was already a current active member and I felt at home spending time with them,” Click said. “As the years went on they truly became my core foundation of support, encouragement and fun while at school. They helped me make a lifetime of memories and will always hold a special place in my heart.” 

Over the past 100 years, the Peanuts of Wooster have hosted several events such as Halloween dances and taco fundraisers, and have volunteered in a variety of settings. For example, Anne Lynch Hunter, in the Feb. 7, 1986 edition of The Wooster Voice, published an article stating that Pi Kappa “visits war veterans weekly at the Hilltop Villa and takes them out periodically for such activities as bowling, college games and holiday get-togethers.”

The Peanuts’ core values have evolved throughout the past century along with a changing campus atmosphere. The initial pillars of Pi Kappa were loyalty, friendship and service, but have since been changed to diversity, service and loyalty.

“Awareness for diversity and inclusion is becoming an increasingly important aspect on campus and within Pi Kappa, thereby leading to a change in those pillars,” said Pi Kappa President Abbey Martin ’19.

Nearly 100 alumnae will be in attendance for the centennial celebration.

“The purpose of the club was to provide a support group for women of all backgrounds at The College of Wooster,” Martin said. “Peanuts was meant to be a safe space towards inclusion and female empowerment.”

(Photo courtesy Elizabeth Click)

Posted in Features0 Comments

The Scene: Music or Noise?

For most people, a sheet of paper is not a musical instrument, much less the sole instrument used in the creation of an entire full-length album, but Steve Roden is not most people. Instead, he is a minimalist sound and visual artist who was commissioned in 2001 by the Los Angeles Public Library to create a project on “art in the library.” The result was an utterly unique and incredibly strange piece of sound art called “Forms of Paper.” At almost an hour in length, it consists of nothing but Roden manipulating a sheet of paper in various ways. These sounds were then greatly slowed down and amplified with a computer, creating a bleak, desolate and alien soundscape. It grinds, breaks and crackles. It laughs. It sounds menacing and odd, like the soundtrack to a horror film or perhaps what you would hear after being abducted by extraterrestrials, but it is all just paper. 

“Forms of Paper” is the first entry in a movement called “lowercase.” One hesitates to call it a musical genre, for it bears nothing in common with music as we understand it. It has no rhythm, no beat, no melody, no instruments and no songwriters. The only ingredients are field recordings of mundane things; paper, water, ice, wind, tea kettles and so on, which are then slowed down, looped, chopped and amplified electronically. It is, above all, extremely quiet. Far removed from the image of electronic music as the domain of earth-shaking beats and rabid, ecstasy-addled clubgoers, “lowercase” finds its beauty in some of the smallest and quietest of all things; the noises that we hear everyday but seldom appreciate. The result is a whole new world of sound: one that we cannot hear in normal life, and one that questions the very basics of our definition of music.

Minimalism in music was pioneered in part by the American composer John Cage. Among his most famous and controversial compositions was a three-movement piece entitled “4’33” in which all of the performers onstage sit in perfect silence for the entire four minutes and 33 seconds. Cage considered his work to be a form of Zen Buddhism; the “music” was created by the sound in the room; people breathing, air conditioning, cars passing by outside. It was, thus, completely different each time it was performed. The art came from the moment itself. In doing so, he challenged the definition of music as we know it. Does music require melody? Does it require steady time? Or is it something more — a guided experience, a form of meditation, an illumination of forms unseen and undreamt of?

“lowercase” stands firmly in the latter category. As Josh Rosen, a scientist and “lowercase” artist, explains, “It changes your perception … You become aware that the sounds themselves are beautiful.” “lowercase,” while certainly a challenging listen, can indeed be very rewarding. It acts as the musical equivalent of a microscope: drawing the eye to the incredible complexity and beauty hidden in things that are so familiar to us that we have dismissed them entirely. 

Ben McKone, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at BMcKone19@wooster.edu.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment0 Comments