Chadwick Smith receives Dorothy Reid Dalzell Award

Smith to be honored for his outstanding contributions to the College community through extracurricular activities

Mariah Joyce
Editor in Chief

Senior Chadwick Smith has been awarded the Dorothy Reid Dalzell Award, which he will receive at the upcoming DeWald Recognition Banquet.
The award is given to an outstanding sophomore, junior or senior who “has contributed the most to the life of The College of Wooster community in the area of extracurricular activities.”

Smith has certainly fulfilled that criterion in his four years at Wooster. A vocal and active part of today’s campus life, he is the outgoing president of the Black Students Association (BSA), a brother of the Men of Harambee (MOH), works in admissions, is helping to plan and will speak at the Senior Baccalaureate Service and currently serves on President Sarah Bolton’s sexual assault task force.

He is also something of a political figure at Wooster, a phenomenon he says started in the spring of his freshman year. In an interview with CNN in 2014, which he was skyping into from his room in Bissman, Smith said that as a black man he sometimes felt unsafe walking along Beall Avenue on Wooster’s campus.

Though Smith was merely saying what he felt to be true, his comments sparked unintended controversy; an angry and racially charged email from a townsperson which went viral.

The incident eventually served as the catalyst for the Board of Trustees to install cameras on Beall Avenue in an attempt to address the harassment.

Since then, Smith has leaned into his role as an activist, organizing several protests on campus, attending many more and generally trying to serve in his own words as “a voice for black people” at the College.

“In every area I’ve tried to sort of voice what black students have been going through and how they feel,” said Smith. Those attempts have ranged from a black men’s breakfast Smith organized in Lowry last semester, to protests of racialized police brutality, to a list of demands presented to Interim President Georgia Nugent last year which included requests that Wooster divest from prisons.

Smith says he has always had a strong sense of justice, which he credits largely to his mother and grandmother. “I just remember my mother always being concerned with making sure that other people are taken care of, and also the same with my grandmother,” he said. “I’ve had people sort of instill in me a sense of justice and what is right and what is moral and what is ethical.”

Though on the whole he believes that Wooster is a better place now than when he started school four years ago, Smith says that he does not believe that by and large people are treated justly on campus. He pointed to sexual assault and sex education, the treatment of students of color, international students and queer students and the need for cultural competency training as areas of injustice that the College has yet to fully address.

“I do think Wooster has gotten a little better, but with a lot of room to grow,” said Smith.

As graduation looms, Smith says he will miss small things like the convenience of Lowry, as well as more meaningful things like the family he has built through organizations like BSA and MOH. The physical space he’ll miss the most is the BSA Lounge, a place he associates with everything from all-nighters writing I.S. to personal moments with close friends.

After getting his degree in May, Smith will work with Teach for America (TFA) as a high school social studies teacher in Dallas, Texas. TFA is a two-year commitment, but Smith says he has always had the teaching bug and hopes to teach for four years before ultimately going to seminary and returning to a college campus as a chaplain.

“I really think that a lot of the problems students have, especially in college, are spiritual problems,” he said.

Smith will speak at the Senior Baccalaureate Service in May, and gave the following teaser. For the full message, he says you’ll have to attend the service.

“One, really speak your truth. When you dive into yourself and your experiences the truth will come out, and that’s where change comes from,” he said. “And two, in all of this that you really have to love yourself and love other people. Speak your truth, love yourself and love other people.”

Preserve funding for the NEH and NEA

On Jan 23, I received an unnerving email from the Society for American Archaeology alerting its members that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) were proposed to be completely eliminated under the new federal budget plan.

As The Hill reports, in addition to these cuts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is set to be privatized as well. This budget plan is said to closely resemble the “Blueprint for Balance: A Federal Budget for 2017,” a 180-page publication put forth by conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation. This document proposes significant cuts in federal spending (totaling 10.5 trillion dollars over 10 years) in an attempt to reduce the national deficit while still “fully funding national security needs.”

Some may not know, but the NEH and NEA provide an abundance of resources to students, teachers, researchers and communities across America.

Every year, thousands of scientists, professors, museums and other groups receive grants from the NEH and NEA that assist in funding innovative and influential research, paying for fieldwork, organizing community events and preserving our collective past. Many of our nation’s best and brightest rely heavily on these and other types of federal funding because (as several of us understand) continued research is nearly impossible without funding.

Federally-funded groups like these also offer financial help if students may otherwise struggle in paying for experience-based research, a critical factor to starting a career in this global economy.

I speak from experience in this matter — my own archaeological research in Moquegua, Peru was funded almost entirely by a similar entity, the National Science Foundation (NSF), in 2015. It would have been impossible for me (and many others like me) to complete this primary research without generous government funding.

Eliminating these programs would not only take away this incredible opportunity from students and halt current research, but it would also threaten the job security of thousands of people in myriad fields who continually rely on these funds for their livelihood.

Why take away these institutions that have worked tirelessly to preserve, analyze and interpret humanity for over 50 years?

In 2016, the NEH and NEA received $148 million each, collectively accounting for 0.006 percent of the annual federal budget, according to The Washington Post. For comparison, the MIT Technology Review estimates that the proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico could rack up as much as $38 billion for American taxpayers.

Perhaps as a product of my own biases, I surmise that cuts to other key areas could surely make a bigger dent in the federal budget than the meager 0.006 percent allotted to our already-sparse arts and humanities funding. Additionally, the NEA reports that 40 percent of its activities support underrepresented and low-income communities.

In our continually evolving world, better research is becoming increasingly important (even research with results that are politically distasteful, to say the least).

We should be working to preserve these institutions and the research they fund, whether or not the research agrees with our political motivations or ideologies.

Opinion and personal convictions have a place, but it should not be in scientific research — or in who decides whether to allow funding for that research.

Arts and humanities matter. (Good) science matters. Knowledge matters.

I truly hope we haven’t forgotten that.

Hannah Matulek, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at HMatulek17@wooster.edu

Asian Americans resisting oppression

On Feb 1, 10 days into the Trump presidency, a video entitled “Asian Americans offer advice to U.S. President Donald Trump” was posted on YouTube by the Asia Society, an organization describing itself as “the leading global and Pan-Asian organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of the United States and Asia.”

In this video, 27 participants of various Asian ethnicities share their advice to Trump and his administration. I watched this video out of curiosity, after having seen it on Twitter, hoping that these chosen representatives of our community would offer something insightful.

Rather predictably, I was disappointed and embarrassed by what I saw. I heard many voices, one after another, proclaim that America was “founded on diversity,” when in reality it was founded on slavery and genocide by a bunch of white people.

The tone the video set was passive, idealistic and almost verged on begging at some points, as one participant said, and I quote, “I wish you the best, and I hope you’ll think of people like me.”

As if Trump, who has consistently worked against the rights of marginalized communities since taking office, and who ran on a platform of racism, sexism and xenophobia perpetuated by the fears of the “white working class,” would suddenly change his course simply because of our pleas. As if asking politely and sucking up ever got us anything. (Note: it hasn’t. Our rights have been hard-earned.)

I said I was predictably disappointed because this complacency, this inaction, is not a new look for the Asian-American community.

We are stereotyped as the “silent minority” and the “model minority” — the ones who don’t complain, who work hard, and who have found success unlike those “other minorities.”

The saddest thing is that most Americans, including many in the Asian-American community, have come to believe it. The last big protests by Asian- Americans extensively covered in the media were the misguided and ultimately detrimental Peter Liang protests in early 2016.

In 2014, Chinese-American police officer Peter Liang shot and killed unarmed black man Akai Gurley, and was charged with manslaughter for discharging his weapon and failing to offer CPR. Many in the Chinese-American community felt that Liang was a “scapegoat,” saying he was charged unfairly when no white police officers have been charged in the past. Their passion was felt nationwide in the 15,000 people who showed up to protest, many of them claiming they had been “awakened.” This grand awakening came at the expense of black people because the protesters were advocating against justice — they wanted Liang to be awarded the same privilege as white police officers, instead of demanding that white police officers get the jail time they deserved.

The Liang protests and our “silent” stereotype make it appear as though we don’t protest much, and when we do, it’s for the wrong reasons. The media called the Liang protests the “biggest and most impactful Asian-American protests in history,” but as it turns out, they were completely wrong.

We are not as silent as they say we are, and I myself didn’t realize our extensive history of protesting until I began to research it online. Jennifer Fang, the main blogger at Reappropriate, wrote a piece titled “No, Pro-Liang Protests Were Not the Largest or Most Impactful Asian American Protest Movements Ever.” In it, she recalled protests after the beating of Peter Yew by police after a routine traffic stop (1975), protests against the hate crime leading to the death of Vincent Chin (1982), protests against the Delano grape strike by Filipino-American table grape growers that led to raised wages (1965), and many others (go read the article!).

So we are not as silent as many might believe, but I do think we need to better educate our communities, reject these pervasive myths, and invest in movements that work towards a common goal of liberation of all marginalized communities.

For example, since I have begun to understand, 1) how much black people face on a daily basis, 2) how much they contribute to America and its culture despite the oppression they face, 3) how the Civil Rights Movement and all the activism work black people have done has positively affected us, and 4) how Asian-Americans contribute to the oppression of black people by upholding the “model minority myth,” I have focused much of my efforts on eradicating anti-blackness from the Asian-American community. As the “Asians 4 Black Lives” group says on their website, “We understand that our liberation depends on the liberation of Black people.”

But others may find something else they’re passionate about and want to focus on, and that’s cool too. In any area, much of the work is in educating yourself and others, realizing we are people of color and that we and other communities of color share a common goal, ditching the “model minority myth,” and understanding that our stereotypes were made to directly contrast with stereotypes of other communities of color for a reason.

In addition to education, it also means that we need to show up to the fight, as we have done for generations, but that the media conveniently ignores.

There are many causes we should invest in: the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, Black Lives Matter, against the Muslim ban/Muslim registry and in general, resisting fascism.

If we want to be seen, and if we don’t want to let the Peter Liang protests or sad idealistic videos by the Asia Society dominate our narrative, then at some point we need to make our presence known.

We need to be so big that they can’t ignore us. Remember the work our ancestors have done. Remember the work other communities of color have done for us. Remember that Asians mixed with other races exist and that they belong, too. Internalize these things, and then resist.

Sara Onitsuka, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at SOnitsuka18@wooster.edu.

Focusing on local change

The College of Wooster puts a lot of pressure on students to apply to the most prestigious internships and jobs and to generally only focus their efforts on large-scale projects. Wooster students want to eradicate hunger, reverse climate change and topple capitalism.

While noble, this kind of rhetoric can also be paralyzing. How do you attack global hegemonic power structures? In my opinion, you start with concrete goals on the local level.

Take a moment to consider what the local community encompasses and what can be accomplished there. Local governments interact most directly with the lives of citizens. They cannot afford stalemate because people’s livelihoods would be on the line.

A mayor does not need, and often does not adhere to, a political party. Instead, they campaign on policy. Mayors maintain a higher trust level by the public than national officials because they are more visible.

Furthermore, each vote for a mayor/local representative counts more in percentage than your vote for the presidential election. That is not to say one is more important than the other, but it is a show of influence and clout.

When it comes to issues that cities face, they are as challenging and as important as the issues faced by the world community. Take the example of Flint, Mich. which I must say HAS NOT HAD POTABLE WATER IN ALMOST THREE YEARS AND WILL NOT HAVE POTABLE WATER FOR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE, WHETHER THE MEDIA COVERS IT OR NOT.

When people heard about Flint there was an understandable outrage and backlash against the government of Michigan, which effectively allowed its citizens to be poisoned. Many discussed the humanity of the individual people who were suffering greatly because of the disaster.

In that moment, the citizens of Flint, Mich. became so important to media and to activists. Their personal individualized experiences and the way that city was being managed were under intense scrutiny ­— and for good reason. But when the cameras leave, as most have already left, who will be talking about the city of Flint ­— a city of less than a hundred thousand?

What if we focused on the individualized experiences of the people that make up our communities, our schools and our neighborhoods, before a crisis arises? What if the brain power of America’s liberal arts institutions was unleashed on local issues of waste management, plumbing, public transportation and public schools?

Of course, this concept is not new, as I was largely inspired by a TED Talk by political theorist Benjamin Barber entitled “What if Mayors Ruled the World?” He makes the point a lot better than I ever could, so I highly recommend it.

What I would like you to take away from this viewpoint is as follows: in your life, you do not have to be the best at what you do. You do not need to join the largest company, make the most money or hold the highest title. But, you do have to do something. Why not make that something tangible, relevant and indescribably important?

Look around for the change that can be done in your own backyard ­— or in any backyard for that matter — and recognize that you might just have the skills to make a real change in someone’s life.

Making that difference, although it comes without dinners with dignitaries, is as valuable as anything else you could do with your life.

Emma Woods, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at EWoods18@wooster.edu.

MLB’s proposed rule to shorten games is just plain stupid

This summer, Major League Baseball (MLB) plans to test out a new rule to try to shorten extra-inning games. In the World Baseball Classic and two low-level rookie leagues, every half-inning after the ninth will now begin with a runner on second base. If the rule change is successful in these games, MLB may look to implement the rule in major league action.

Professional baseball has gone to great lengths in recent years in an effort to shorten the time of games. The idea is that baseball’s main demographic now consists of people over 50 years old, and commissioner Rob Manfred wants the game to appeal more to younger fans. Manfred has tried a variety of tweaks in the last two years, including quicker pitching changes and yes, shorter commercial breaks. However, the average game time still increased by over four minutes from 2015 to 2016.

It is tough to see where the extra time can be shaven off but the answer clearly is not extra innings. Sure, starting an additional frame with a runner on second would lead to more immediate action and scoring. It would also cause games to end faster. Higher scores and shorter games. The fans would love that, right?

Wrong. Extra innings are what baseball is all about. Game 7 of the 2016 World Series was one of the greatest games in baseball history, something fans will remember for generations. It went into extra innings. Imagine this scenario: It’s Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. Your favorite team just tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, and the fans are screaming their heads off. The tenth inning begins — with a runner on second. The opposing team’s first batter comes up and hits a broken-bat bloop single. The runner comes around and scores. One lousy, lucky hit, and your team is right back behind. Although they will get their own chance with a runner on second, their momentum is completely gone. This stuff can change seasons.

Games that go deep into extra innings are part of baseball’s charm. No other major sport can boast super-marathon games that result from deadlocked scores. Basketball and football are too high scoring for games to stay tied for long. Soccer games can end in ties, and hockey stalemates are decided by shootouts. Baseball is the only sport where the extra time can stretch on for hours and hours, with the tension continuing to build. Often, a game appears to be a routine three-hour affair before a team ties it late, leading to several extra innings. It’s crazy to sit on the couch, having watched a six-hour, 18-inning marathon, and think, “this could have been over three hours ago if they hadn’t scored that one run.” Obscure bench players have chances to win games because teams exhaust their rosters and pitching staffs. Anyone can be a hero at any time. Extra-inning marathons aren’t for everyone, especially if you have an early bedtime, but the constant tension is epic and beautiful. Truly the essence of baseball, especially in the postseason.

If you want more young people to watch baseball, would this rule really be barking up the right tree, potentially removing hours of drama from many games? My answer is a decisive no.

Tennis team faces tough competition

Jack Gilio
Contributing Writer

The Fighting Scots women’s tennis team began their season against Otterbein University last Saturday. The matches were tight, but, unfortunately, the Scots ended up losing 7-2. In singles, the number two and six spots — Joy Li ’20 and Shannon Sertz ’20, both earned a win. Li defeated her opponent in a tight match, 7-5, 6-4. Sertz came in clutch and won her third set tiebreaker 10-6.

The doubles side featured three action packed matches, all coming down to one to two games as the decider. Otterbein claimed all three wins. The top doubles tandem of Rachel Mole ’17 and Morgan Wagers ’18 fought hard but ended up losing by just a mere two games. At the second doubles, Elizabeth Brewington ’17 and Li fell by two games as well. Sertz and Bonnie Salmeron ’18, the third pair, lost 9-7.

Although the opener didn’t fall their way, Salmeron and the Scots are confident for the upcoming matches.

“We are all really excited for the season and are looking to finish higher than we have in the past two seasons,” Salmeron said. “We might have lost our first match but it was so even that a few games were really the deciding factor, and that has made us very optimistic about the season.”

In addition, Salmeron noted the team is forging a new, bright chemistry.

“Team chemistry was definitely affected by the loss of three people but we are a hearty bunch for sure, and we have gotten really close, and it shows when we play matches,” said Salmeron.

On Feb. 25 the Scots head to Indiana, as they take on Centre College and DePauw University.