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Campus Council reviews budget policy

Laura Haley
Chief Copy Editor

Campus Council (CC) has begun reviewing a new policy for the budget allocation process. The Council has been considering revisions to clarify the process since the fall semester and committed to revisions in a resolution passed after the Galpin Call-in. The policy was reviewed at the Council’s meeting on Feb. 8, and as of press time was expected to be put to a vote on Feb. 15.

Proposed changes in the policy include clearer guidelines for how student organizations request funds, encouragement of funding to be shared between groups and a requirement that groups report budgets from previous years when submitting new budgets.

The revisions will take place within the Budget and Allocations Committee. According to Ethan Barhan ’18, the Council’s budget chair, they will aim to largely address areas where student organizations have experienced confusion in the past.

“We needed [this change] due to the large number of student organizations that were very confused about what they could and could not request funds for [and] how much they could request for what,” Barham said. “Also, this confusion came from a lack of connectivity between [Student Government Association] SGA and CC in regards to where funding for certain events came from.”

Barham said that confusion on the latter issue stemmed from the fact that SGA used to approve funding for student events and that Campus Council has since assumed this responsibility.

As Campus Council works to propose legislation to implement these changes, their primary goals are to develop a set of specific guidelines and to promote connections between student organizations.

“[Our goals are] mainly to create an easier framework for student organizations to request funds and know exactly what they can and cannot ask for,” Barham said.

In order for this change to work, student organizations are now being enforced to report their budgets from past activities with the hopes that it will be easier to tell if funds are being spent unnecessarily.

The potential funding changes were strongly accepted by the Council according to Barham. Jordan Griffith ’18, chair of CC, praised the work CC has done as a helpful first step towards an overall revision of the budget process.

“I was extremely pleased with [the guidelines],” said Griffith. “And pending some changes, I believe they will accomplish the goals we set out earlier this year.”

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Research Help Desk location moved to Gault Library

Zoe Covey
Contributing Writer

At the start of the semester, the Research Help Desk moved to the first floor of the Gault Library for Independent Study. The desk is now in the space formerly occupied by the Gault Library’s circulation desk. The Help Desk was moved primarily because its previous location in the Collaborative Research Environment (C.o.R.E.) was too heavily-traversed, according to Research Librarian Elys Kettling Law.

“[The Research Help Desk was] in a busy, but narrow, traffic corridor, directly across from a central stairwell entrance, the filtered water fountain [and] bottle refiller and the [C.o.R.E.],” Kettling Law said. “Persons seeking assistance at the Research Help Desk were easily interrupted [or] distracted by large Admissions tour groups passing through, food carts with deliveries for various events and the general collective exuberance of other C.o.R.E. activities.”

Because of this, it was determined that something needed to change. According to Kettling Law, the desk’s services were helpful to students, but not always in the ways the library intended it to be.

“In its C.o.R.E. area location, the Research Help Desk received a significant number of requests for assistance in troubleshooting difficulties with printers, copiers and scanners, routing persons to various meetings and events and responding to frequent requests to borrow office supplies,” said Kettling Law. She noted that while the desk was conveniently located for those students looking for paperclips or staplers, research could be time consuming and require a lot of focus.

“[W]e believe the quieter, more reflective and user-friendly environment will encourage greater utilization of the research resources and expertise available in the libraries,” said Kettling Law.

While the desk can serve as a convenient first stop for students dealing with confusion about a project, Kettling Law said that it also has many more functions.

“[The Research Help Desk] also [handles] all initial phone and email questions regarding research databases, locating [and] accessing items in the libraries’ collections, setting up [and] using research technologies and requesting materials from other libraries,” she said.

The Research Help Desk in Gault will be able to expand these functions now that it has access to the employee work space behind the former Gault Circulation Desk and is in close proximity to the library’s Reference Collection. In addition, the desk includes a newly constructed help area extension table that allows for up to three people to receive assistance at the same time.

“The help table extension is completely Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible, and has table-top power outlets for easy access by persons with laptops or other powered devices,” said Kettling Law.

Staffed by student workers on weekdays and part of the day on Sunday, Kettling Law said that the Research Help Desk’s main goal is “to provide timely, effective, knowledgeable and welcoming first line assistance with questions regarding access to, connections with and use of research resources available through The College of Wooster libraries, with appropriate referrals for more in-depth assistance, as needed.”

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Conversation on College’s future seeks student input

Dr. Matthew Mariola led discussions on the major on Dec. 1 and 5 in Lowry Student Center (Photo by Saeed Husain).

Waverly Hart
News Editor

This past Sunday Feb. 11, upwards of 30 students attended a strategic planning meeting to discuss broad ideas and goals for The College of Wooster’s future. The meeting, which was held in the Tartan Room and open to all students, explored students’ considerations on current College policies and ideas that might improve the College.

President Sarah Bolton began the meeting by explaining the benefits of strategic planning. According to Bolton, many good things have originated from strategic planning meetings, the most notable of which include A.P.E.X., the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), dorm upgrades and other programmatic initiatives.

“This isn’t the end of a conversation,” Bolton said. “We have to ask questions about where we want to be in five to 10 years and how we’re going to get there.”

After Bolton’s opening comments, the conversation was handed over to student leaders Ethan Barham ’18 and Annabelle Hopkins ’19, who facilitated the discussion for an hour and a half. The first question they asked to the audience was, “When you talk to your friends at other schools, what do you discover is different about your Wooster experience, compared to other colleges and universities in the U.S.?”

Many students spoke positively of how valuable A.P.E.X. was, especially compared to similar resources at other schools. However, students agreed that A.P.E.X. was only beneficial if the student sought them out.

“I feel like it’s hard for a lot of students to reach out and discover all that A.P.E.X. has to offer, and maybe that could be solved by making it [going to A.P.E.X.] a requirement for students in [First Year Seminars] FYS,” Robyn Newcomb ’20 said during the meeting.

The conversation then shifted to the value of the FYS offered at Wooster. Students questioned the practicality of not having an advisor in your intended major, and whether that helped or hindered first-years’ experiences. They also suggested establishing more of a standardization across all FYS classes in regards to the workload required of students.

Barham and Hopkins then asked students to pinpoint their favorite things about Wooster. Several different students mentioned the close relationships they had not only with their professors, but also with the hourly wage workers, such as custodians, Lowry workers and employees at MacLeod’s.

“I’ve been working in [MacLeod’s] for a while now,” Sarah Stutler ’20 said. “And the ladies that work there make my day.” Others shared their own similar experiences about their relationships with the hourly staff and argued the staff should be paid a living wage.

After discussing their favorite things about Wooster, the conversation shifted gears to what students would like to see if they returned to the College in five years. Among other things, students emphasized that they would like to see more support for volunteering, better transportation for students without cars, more counselors at the Wellness Center and a better connection between students at the College and other Wooster citizens.

The last topic that students considered was if something substantial needed to be added to the Wooster education. Many students said service should be a bigger part of Wooster students’ lives.

“Some type of way students can engage with communities that are different from their own,” said Robert Dinkins ’19. “Maybe students could take a month off to go do service.”

Other students echoed Dinkins’ suggestion for a more service-oriented education, proposing that service become a pillar at the College.

Students suggested creating a sustained service project, and stressed the importance of addressing community needs and taking those into consideration when planning service projects.

In addition to service, students also want to see more institutional support for political engagement and a more environmentally sustainable college.

Students also brought up items like better transportation, changing lectures from speakers outside the College to weekend events and more transparency in where students’ money is going, especially in regards to campus dining services.

Once the conversation was over, President Bolton ended the meeting by reminding students that solving most of the issues raised throughout the meeting would require more funds. For example, President Bolton isn’t sure where the College would get the resources to hire more counselors for the Wellness Center without raising the price of tuition.

The conversation about strategic planning does not end with this meeting. After voices are heard, a group called the Strategic Planning Committee will work on ways to implement student opinions and suggestions. The Strategic Planning Committee is comprised of two students (Hopkins and Barham), President Bolton and several members of faculty, staff and administrators.

“After collecting ideas and thoughts about what students, faculty and staff believe is needed to improve the College, the group then prioritizes some initiatives over others. Next, the ideas are formally presented in the conclusion of the group’s work and are implemented into the College,” Barham stated about the strategic planning process.

Barham says that this part of the process is more gradual and less concrete.

Recognizing the limits of a one-time meeting, Bolton, Barham and Hopkins want students to know that strategic planning is an ongoing process that will never stop at the College. Barham and Hopkins reminded students that SGA and Campus Council meetings are always open to the public and they encourage students to attend to learn more about what is going on and to voice any opinions they feel need to be heard.

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Swimming, diving teams continue strong performances

Anna Hartig
Staff Writer

The College of Wooster swimming and diving teams are traveling this Wednesday to Denison University for the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championships.

The event, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 14, will last four days until Feb. 17. After a successful last meet held at the University of Mount Union on Jan. 27, both the women’s and the men’s teams will be looking to prepare for the championships. With success under their belt, the program spends the few weeks prior to championships practicing in order to get ultimate results.

“This season has been full of highlights, especially the win against Mount Union. We were certain to have a challenge, competing against them without divers, but our relentlessness allowed us to command the Purple Raiders to the end,” said Matt Pech ’18.

Against Mount Union, the Fighting Scots brought victories in many important events. The men’s 400 freestyle relay earned first place with a time of 3:15.79, over seven seconds ahead of their opponents. The team consisted of Ryan Campbell ’19, Wyatt Foss ’21, Max Koch ’19 and Cameron Gelwicks ’19. Teammates Griffin Campbell ’20 and Trey Schopen ’20 brought home three wins in the 200 medley relay, 100 breaststroke and 200 butterfly.

On the women’s side, Maggie Layde ’18 earned first place in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:45.23, which was nearly six seconds faster than the rest of the pack. The women’s team earned 187 points compared to the Purple Raiders’ score of 97. Contributing to the success, Emma Fikse ’19 won the 100 freestyle with a time of 55.65 and finished just behind a three-time All-American in the 1000 freestyle with a time of 10:51.69.

“Our meet against Mount Union was an energetic meet because it was Senior Night,” said Sara Fikse ’20. “There was a variation of emotions, but I think everyone was determined to work towards a win for our seniors. I think this unified mindset has continued into taper and will continue into NCACs. I also think taper is a super exciting time because we focus on fine tuning our techniques and resting in the pool. This way, we can head into NCAC’s recharged and ready to swim fast when it matters most.”

The Wooster’s swimming and diving teams are led by head coach Rob Harrington, who completed his 200th dual meet win at The College of Wooster after the meet against University of Mount Union on Jan. 27.

“The upcoming meet will be exciting because the NCAC is the fastest conference in DIII, especially with Kenyon [College] and Denison [University] being the best in the nation. People will be dropping some seriously fast times and scoring some seriously big points. And who knows? Maybe some of us will be battling it out with some of the fastest in the nation,” said Pech.

Preparing this week for the upcoming meet, the Fighting Scots are ready to continue their successful season. The men’s team is looking to repeat their fourth-place performance from last year which is quite the accomplishment with the tough competition in Wooster’s conference. The women’s team has plans on beating DePauw University to earn third-place honors.

Make sure to give the Wooster swimming and diving teams a good send-off as they head to Denison University to compete in conference championships. The four-day meet will start this Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

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OSU, Cincinnati, Xavier basketball teams making Ohio proud

In exciting news from the world of college basketball, three DI college basketball teams from Ohio are ranked in the top 16 in the Associated Press poll for the week. The DI men’s basketball committee gave a sneak peek of its top 16 teams as of Sunday, Feb. 11. Xavier is in the third spot, Cincinnati is in eighth and Ohio State is in 14th. With Selection Sunday only about a month away, it leaves many fans wondering: Are we in for a crazy March Madness? Only time will tell.

The Xavier Musketeers are a team with pure talent, and it is not surprising that they are highly ranked in the poll. Although they have never made a Final Four, Xavier has appeared in the NCAA Tournament 27 times, 15 in the last 17 years. Ranked first in the Big East, the Musketeers average 84.7 points per game versus their opponents who average a total of 74 points. All-America candidate Trevon Bluiett, a senior guard from Indianapolis, has the team high averaging about 18.9 points and is ranked seventh in the Big East. This team has an unexplainable charisma that equals success on the court, which allowed them to achieve their eighth straight win with a 72-71 victory at Creighton on Saturday, Feb. 10.

The Cincinnati Bearcats are a team that has impressive statistics as an organization, with six appearances in the Final Four. With 16 wins in a row as of Feb. 12, the Bearcats need to “remember to stay humble, I think that’s the No. 1 thing for any team in our situation,” according to UC head coach Mick Cronin. He stresses the importance of knowing what it takes to win games, and to not get distracted.

Although UC’s offense has been lacking when compared to their opponents, when they are on top of their game, they are strong. The Bearcats proved their effort when they overcame an 18-point deficit to beat Houston 80-70 on Jan. 31. As long as they keep evolving their offense as the season continues, and junior guard Jacob Evans maintains his average of 13.5 points per game, the Bearcats will be a tough team to beat.

With only two weeks left in the Big Ten basketball season, the Ohio State Buckeyes sit in first in the conference and are hungry for a title. Interestingly enough, Ohio State was unranked in the preseason. The Buckeyes were actually predicted to finish in the bottom three in the conference, but are suprisingly in first place in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have a very tough schedule ahead against Penn State and Michigan within the next week, but if Ohio State wins three of its final four games, it would guarantee a stab at the Big Ten regular season title. The Buckeyes have an impressive record of 22-5 and are 13-1 in-conference. Keita Bates-Diop, a starting forward averaging about 20 points per game to lead the conference, has paved his way for a likely Big Ten Player of the Year award. With the Buckeyes achieving so much success this season, it is exciting to think about when they played our very own Wooster Fighting Scots basketball team back in November. Even with an opponent from a lower division, the Buckeyes only won 88-63.

As an Ohio native and a die-hard sports fan, it is extremely exciting to see three talented teams represented. So, to answer the question: Are we in for a crazy March Madness this year? If you’re an Ohio fan, you may very well be.

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Men are responsible for perpetuating rape culture

Up until this semester, I never thought about how I enabled and normalized rape culture. I figured with training, workshops and even an official partnership with One-Eighty, I shielded myself from being within that category.

However, I realize that access to a woman’s person has always been something that I have been told I have. While I have distanced my logic of thinking from this myth, I realize that it is in indirect ways that men perpetuate rape culture. It is in the conversation with friends when one does not correct a friend when a statement is made expressing possessiveness over the person of a woman. It is easy to make the claim of not being a rapist but even the thought of feeling obligated to a person’s body perpetuates rape culture.

In addition, being non-receptive to the response “no,” not acknowledging the noticeable body language of making someone uncomfortable or even a forcible grab or yank at a party for a dance are all things that normalize this behavior. In society today, being called a rapist almost produces the equivalent reaction of being called racist.

More people, specifically heterosexual cis men are baffled with the idea of being called a rapist but will not evaluate their behavior and actions that led to the accusatory statement. There also exists a constant redundancy where the victim is often criticized or shunned for exposing their rapist/assaulter, which is also another form in which this behavior and culture is normalized and perpetuated.

If there is a change to be made on campus that is centered around rape culture, it cannot solely rely on the brave and hard efforts of k(no)w, and other sexual assault advocacy groups, it has to also involve the works of heterosexual cis men as a sign to their peers that this behavior isn’t tolerable or acceptable in any environment.

At the beginning of the semester, The Men of Harambee (MOH) hosted a justice dialogue focusing on how men perpetuate rape culture, and excluding the members of MOH, there were only three identifying men in attendance. While a variety of factors may have affected the turnout of the presence of men during the dialogue, I think it speaks more-so to how we as men neglectfully prioritize the severity of all types of sexual assault.

As students part of a community that prides itself on working towards inclusivity, we owe it to our peers to prioritize this issue if we ever expect the administration to prioritize it.

Derrius Jones, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at DJones18@wooster.edu.

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