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Kieffer House nurtures connection with Local Roots

Coral Ciupak

Viewpoints Editor

Kieffer House nurtures connection with Local Roots

As part of a decades-old initiative to bring The College of Wooster and the surrounding community together, the College has made select campus houses available to students who are committed to community service.

The eight residents of Kieffer House volunteer on a weekly basis at Local Roots Market & Café in downtown Wooster. Local Roots is known by the greater Wooster community as a largely volunteer-run café and marketplace, selling locally produced food and other goods. Established in 2009, Local Root’s self-proclaimed mission is “To establish a year-round market place for the purpose of connecting consumers and producers of locally grown foods and other agricultural products,” with the added goals to “encourage healthy eating, expand local economic development [and] promote community involvement and sustainable living.”

With only three full-time employees, the success of Local Roots is largely dependent on the contributions and commitment of its volunteers. Student residents of Kieffer House perform various tasks like sweeping and mopping, stocking shelves and working the register. Contributions like these not only help to cultivate and maintain the unique spirit of Local Roots, but also create a meaningful and rewarding experience for its volunteers.

“I have gained a deep appreciation for the hard work all of the producers do and for the environment in which we live,” said Matt Kelly ’17, Kieffer House’s coordinator and regular volunteer at Local Roots. “Local Roots does much to educate on all the different factors hurting the environment. They also work with a number of immigrants and I have learned about different cultures through conversations with these people.”

Austin Russell ’19, next year’s housing coordinator, agrees. “I have gained lots of valuable experiences from being a part of this program due to interacting with people [who] I would not normally interact with,” he said. “Being a part of Local Roots keeps relevant in my mind how important volunteer work is and hopefully [I] will keep that ingrained in me for the rest of my life.”

To further its mission, Local Roots employs a comprehensive business model such that 75 to 82 percent of every dollar spent by the customer goes back to the person who produced, prepared or created the product. Over 150 Ohio producers are represented at Local Roots by sustainable, healthy and fair-priced products.

“Our program is unique because of the relationship we build with the producers, with the customers and with the volunteers,” said Kelly. “We see many of the producers bring in their goods and we help some of the cooks in the Café during the busy lunch hours. I never would have met people like this at a place other than this program, and I really enjoy that experience in college.”

Some of Local Roots’ products are available in the College’s C-Store for purchase, but if you’re looking to get the full experience, Local Roots is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 140 S. Walnut Street. For more information about volunteering for Local Roots or Kieffer House’s volunteer program, contact Matt Kelly at or Austin Russell at

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Prepare for post-graduate media consumption with the Voice staff

The Voice Staff Seniors suggest media for post-graduate life. 

The Graduate

The 1967 classic The Graduate has rightly been heralded as one of the greatest films ever made. It boasts superior acting, courtesy of Dustin Hoffman’s career-defining performance, and perhaps the best soundtrack in history, courtesy of Simon and Garfunkel. Despite being remembered for the unconventional love story at its crux, The Graduate is most accurately a parable of postgraduate life. Even if we can’t relate with Benjamin Braddock’s pining for a middle-aged married woman, we can relate with his anxiety over his future. Benjamin frets over the practicality of his humanities degree from a liberal arts college, an angst that leads to a summer of avoiding the future; laying around the pool at day and trysting with Mrs. Robinson at night. Let’s hope we all find a better way to cope this summer, and the summer after that.

– Jared Berg ’17

Childhood Book

For those of us quickly approaching graduation, my only recommendation would be to read a childhood book or series that you remember loving when you were small — I recently did this myself and I could not recommend it more. If you’re like me, you’ll find the small parts of yourself that you forgot, the seemingly insignificant morals that helped mold you

into the person you are. Before you enter a work force that couldn’t give a shit about you, remind yourself of your core, what you once loved wholly and unironically and why it still matters.

– Janel England ’17

Middle Cyclone 

Most women know what it’s like to be defined through binaries: the nice girl or the bitch, the prude or the slut. Throughout her 2009 album Middle Cyclone, Neko Case calls herself a killer whale, a brute, a tornado, the speed of sound and an owl on the sill in the evening. Combining Case’s powerful and haunting vocals with her insightful and often aching lyricism, the album captures how broadly femininity can be defined. For women approaching graduation, Middle Cyclone is an important reminder that emotional vulnerability does not equate to weakness and that strength takes many forms.

– Katie Cameron ’17

Frances Ha 

If you’re about to graduate and you’re an artist, a writer, a dancer or just a fellow space cadet, this one’s for you. Frances Ha is the story of a young woman in limbo, still chasing her increasingly unrealistic dream of becoming a dancer, still muddling her way through relationship dynamics she should have figured out years ago and still trying to find a place for herself in a world that is too large to ever make sense. The standout line is “I’m so sorry — I’m not a real person yet,” and what hurts (and heals) the most is the sometimes rocky, but deeply loving and ultimately unbreakable relationship between Frances and her best friend. Frances Ha knows that female friendship is the most important.

– Mariah Joyce ’17

Broad City

Honestly, Broad City is a hilarious show that can be enjoyed at any stage of college so if you haven’t already seen it, please check it out. However, as a senior, I like Broad City because it shows that life is not necessarily perfect in your twenties. Neither Abbi nor Ilana has their dream job or apartment, but they rely on one another to navigate the Big City. Just another reason why female friendship is the most important. Season four premieres in August on Comedy Central, so hang tight until then, and let these funny ladies combat your post-graduation malaise.

– Theresa Dunne ’17


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FGSO, Let’s Taco About Food Chartered by CC

Brandon Bell
Staff Writer

The charters of two new student groups, the First Generation Students Organization (FGSO) and Let’s Taco About Food, were approved by Campus Council on Thursday, April 27. Both groups are the latest groups to be chartered, after the European Students Association’s charter was approved on April 13.

FGSO seeks to provide resources for students who are the first in their families to attend college, and Let’s Taco About Food is dedicated to bringing college students together around cooking and food-related events.

“Both of these organizations enrich student life by providing support and additional activities for the students to benefit from,” Jordan Griffith ’19, at-large member of the Campus Council, said.

Emilee McCubbins ’20 and Margie Sosa ’20, co-presidents of FGSO, welcomed the Campus Council’s decision on their charter.

“We’ve sort of been in the process for a few months,” Sosa said. “So it’s really nice to finally be a recognized organization on campus.”

At their first meeting on April 26, Sosa said that they had already received a large amount of interest.

“We actually had a really good turnout,” Sosa said. “We had a lot of people come up to us and tell us that they were really proud to see that this organization has come to campus.”

As a chartered organization, FGSO plans to host a variety of events, including a “Back to School Cookout” and workshops targeted towards first generation college students. McCubbins is also attempting to reach out to Wooster High School.

“We’d really love to get in contact with [the high school] to try to set up workshops… to help the students there get prepared for college and help with their transition,” McCubbins said.

Carly Mandell ’19, co-president of Let’s Taco About Food with Rie Matsuzaki ’19, said that their organization had similarly started meeting this semester and was eager to become more active next semester.

“We [tabled in Lowry and] have about 100 people signed up to get regular e-mails from us,” Mandell said. “Once we get the budget, I think we’ll definitely have more people in our regular meetings.”

Mandell said she met Matsuzaki when they took the same psychology class, and realized together that food could bring about new intercultural connections on campus.

“Food is a good way to show your culture,” Mandell said, noting the value she placed in her own culture as a Jewish person. “I realized [with Matsuzaki] that domestic and international students really keep to their own groups, so I thought food would be a good way to get rid of those boundaries.”

Next year, the group wants to host a Food Festival to show how different cultures make the same type of foods, like pasta, as well as another event to teach students food etiquette from multiple cultures. Mandell also said the group would consider working with other student organizations, like ISA or Hillel, which host food-related events on campus.

“We have a lot of cool students right now [who cook], and I’m excited to see [their] perspective on food,” Mandell said.

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Vandalism, graffiti found on campus patio

Janel England
News Editor

On the morning of April 30, red graffiti was discovered on the small patio located on Pearl Street next to the Admissions Office.

The graffiti consisted of the phrases “Kill liberals,” “Fuck Dean Brown” and “Comms will win” as well as multiple depictions of the hammer and sickle, a well-known communist symbol. One of the benches and a tree at the site were also tagged with indecipherable markings.

The incident, as of press time, was still under investigation. However, Associate Director of Security and Protective Services Joe Kirk said of the investigation, “We have a couple of leads at this point in time, and kind of feel like we know who might have done it.”

“The fact that Dean Brown’s name was mentioned makes it obviously more likely a student than not a student. But it is something that we’re keeping all options open and thinking about all of the possibilities. We’ve gotten a couple of tips from a couple of different sources, and so we’re just trying to follow up on those,” added Kirk.

As of press time, the College had yet to notify the campus community of the incident. Kirk attributed this to the fact that the incident is currently under investigation. “We look and try to figure out [if there is] some merit or validity to what is being said, meaning is it an actual death threat or is it just someone spouting off — whatever the case may be. It is concerning to us obviously,” said Kirk.

Kirk also acknowledged that because of current events, the graffiti’s message was particularly alarming.

“We’re hopefully going to bring in the person either today or tomorrow who is responsible for it. I think in this era of harassment or discrimination, or whatever you want to call it, that seems to be going on across the country — this falls within that line of the political climate that has been going on. When the person puts Russian symbols as part of the graffiti along with the issue against liberals, you know, that becomes concerning again,” said Kirk.

Students on both side of the political spectrum are condemning the graffiti. Fritz Schoenfeld ’17, president of College Democrats said, “I appreciate student expressing themselves, but vandalism is definitely against the rules and using the word ‘kill’ before any group of people makes this a threat, which needs to be taken seriously.”

Drake Schwenke ’18, president of the Wooster Right-Wingers, said of the graffiti, “We as students can only make assumptions and deduce from what evidence that has been presented to us at the scene. Broken beer bottles, a smashed spray can cap, and crudely painted lines suggest that whoever did this was drunk and the late hour in which the event is reported to have taken place suggest that the perpetrators were likely following a night of revelry. There are rumors abuzz that a themed party that would have involved Communist imagery took place Saturday night and it would logically follow that whoever did this came from there.”

He further iterated Shoenfeld’s point: “We have a close-knit community here despite our differences and while I think that the graffiti was representative of a mere drunken May Day political shenanigan we hope that the College recognizes the severity of these depictions and acts accordingly.”

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Students react to keynote Commencement speaker

Former President Grant Cornwell is scheduled to speak and receive an honorary degree

Caren Holmes
Staff Writer

Several senior students, dissatisfied with the selection of former College of Wooster President Grant Cornwell as the 2017 Commencement speaker, organized to meet with President Sarah Bolton and members of the administration to address their concerns. Scott Wagner ’17 explained that he became interested in investigating the matter after he spoke with other several other seniors who “seemed unhappy with the decision.” He went on to say, “We feel that during his tenure at Wooster former President Cornwell did not take an active role in students’ lives, and we questioned the process by which he was chosen to be our commencement speaker.”

Theresa Spadola ’17 suggested, “Cornwell does not fit the bill” to be the Commencement speaker due in part to his perceived lack of meaningful engagement with the graduating class.

Secretary of the College Angela Johnston explained that the process of selecting a commencement speaker is based primarily on honorary degree recipients. Nominations for honorary degrees are brought to the Honorary Degrees Committee each year. Faculty and the Board of Trustees must vote on those selected in the committee. According to Johnston it is routine to give honorary degrees to former presidents within one to three years after completing their tenure. Johnston explains that it is customary for recipients of honorary degree to speak at commencement. However, Wagner points out, “Angela [Johnston] and President Bolton emphasized that honorary degree recipients were not expressly chosen as de-facto Commencement speakers.” Johnston explained that while honorary degree recipients are not paid, their decision to speak to the campus is made on a voluntary basis.

Wagner and Spadola expressed concern for the lack of transparency and student involvement in the selection of the 2017 commencement speaker. Johnston explained that while according to statute, the Honorary Degree Committee is composed of four faculty members and two students selected from the Student Government Association (SGA), and “the students were not appointed by SGA in time for the decision.” After being unable to participate in the Honorary Degree Committee nomination process, students were not involved in any other aspect of the commencement speaker selection. Spadola said, “Students, I believe, just feel a bit blind-sided by this decision because the process is rather convoluted and no effort of transparency has been put in.”

Both Wagner and Spadola were invited to meet with President Bolton and members of the administration to address their concerns surrounding the selection of former President Cornwell and the Commencement speaker selection process itself. Wagner explained, “While we are not entirely enthusiastic about the selection of former President Cornwell, we respect the decision of the Honorary Degree Committee.” Spadola suggested for increased transparency in the selection process, “Going forward I am recommending to the appropriate groups that we take a good look at the process and see where students can be involved and improvements can be made.”

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EPC proposes new curriculum outline

Committee holds open meeting in Kauke Tower

Ryan Secard
Contributing Writer

The members of the Educational Policy Committee met with the student body last week to present their “working framework” of possible revisions to the College Curriculum. During the meeting, EPC members Margaret Sestito ’18 and Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement Henry Kreuzman introduced and took questions on the framework, which was scheduled to be presented for faculty review on May 1.

Kreuzman opened by crediting the members of the EPC for doing “a tremendous amount of work” in drafting the framework and taking special note of how long it had been since the Wooster curriculum had been updated in 2000. He compared the necessity of updating the curriculum to the growth of technology.

The heart of the new proposal is its outline for a new liberal arts core, which consists of six courses in “Liberal Arts Literacies,” three courses on “Inquiry and Communication,” four courses in “Global Engagement,” and two courses in “Justice and Civic/Social Responsibility.” The six Liberal Arts Literacies requirements are all loosely defined in familiar-looking terms (one course each in Quantitative Literacy and in Historical and Humanistic Understanding, for example); other categories, such as Justice and Civic/Social Responsibility, are less clearly defined.

Kreuzman noted that finding courses appropriate for each category will involve feedback from members of the faculty as well as from students, “The devil’s in the details, and we’re gonna have to hammer out those details.”

While the current plan currently totals out to 15 courses, according to the plan “a student could … with extremely efficient double counting … fulfill all their core requirements with a minimum of 10 courses.” In his question and answer segment, Dean Kreuzman explained that this is about the same number of courses required by the current curriculum.

One proposed introduction to the curriculum that notably incorporates a more individual approach to one’s education is the addition of “Interdisciplinary Concentrations.” Concentrations, as outlined in the handout distributed to attendees, would consist of four to six “related courses or programs already existing in our curriculum” and would serve as a way for students to customize their education in addition to minors.

Student involvement in the discussion was lively. One stu

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