All posts by Chloe Burdette

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Embrace the benefits of a liberal arts college

Laura Haley

Chief Copy Editor

 

Reflecting on my Wooster experience, there are a few bits of advice I wish I’d known three years ago. Please note that I am not qualified to give advice. However, I’ve been at Woo long enough to know what Cheesy Thursdays are, and I think that gives me some sense of credibility.

My first piece of advice is to enjoy the people. There will never be another time in your life where you are surrounded by so many unique individuals — use them! By this, I mean ask as many questions as possible. Pick your professors’ brains. Ask them their favorite books, their favorite places they’ve traveled and why they love what they do. Remember, they are experts! How cool is it that every day we get to be surrounded by people who know so much and are willing to not only share what they know but to set aside time just to chat?

This leads me to my second piece of advice. Try your hardest not to burn any bridges. It’s a small campus and avoiding folks in the dining hall is never possible. Remind yourself that people come to Wooster because of the community. In essence, this means that everyone is willing to chat and/or extend a hand to some degree. Use our campus community to your advantage and build that network. The next Michelle Obama could be sitting next to you in class but now you’ll never be invited to her garden parties because you were too afraid to say hello.

Third, use the career center. As students, we hear about APEX a lot, and this is for good reason. I am convinced the career center folks are superheroes and I can’t thank them enough for the input and new perspectives they have provided me. Our Wooster experience does a great job of preparing us for the real world to do real work and the career center is there to help fine-tune our skills and put our best foot forward. When you’re an underclassman, the word ‘career’ is a far-fetched and scary term. However, if I had taken the time to have a 30-minute career coaching meeting once a week three years ago I can’t comprehend the opportunities I would have found and the alumni I would have been able to meet.

Just know you’re not alone. There are so many people who are right there with you and would love to be your cheerleader. Breathe, find a flex-momma and enjoy what’s to come.

Wooster Sportlight: Devereux thankful for a tennis season

Mathew Olszewski

Senior Sports Writer

 

The College of Wooster women’s tennis team just wrapped up their 2020-2021 season. Although they finished with a record of 1-9, they played extremely strong competition this season — mostly teams that are currently nationally ranked, such as Kenyon College, Carnegie Mellon University and Case Western Reserve University. 

For Kendra Devereux ’21, she was glad to be able to play the sport she loves despite the unusual circumstances and season. Devereux, an ITA Scholar-Athlete and member of the NCAC Academic Honor Roll, described COVID as a factor in bringing her team closer together. “We held a lot of virtual team meetings when we weren’t able to practice together, and that definitely allowed us to form bonds in a similar way that we would during a normal year. Also, I think we have all been super lucky to be part of a team during this time. It has meant that we have a group of people to spend time with in-person during practices and team dinners in Lowry. I’m super grateful for the in-person time we have been able to spend together for allowing friendships to form,” she said. 

Her coach, Amy Behrman, has been an amazing source of support for her as well. “Coach has always been there for me. She has invested so much time and effort into helping me develop as a player, but she also expresses genuine interest in what I do off the court. She always encourages me in my academic and life accomplishments just as much as my athletic accomplishments, which has helped me grow as a person just as much as an athlete,” said Devereux. 

As most sports teams at Wooster have a unique team tradition, the women’s tennis team’s is their annual trip to Hilton Head, S.C. Devereux described that trip as her favorite team memory over the years. “We all stay in a house together and get to spend a lot of time together off the tennis courts. My first trip really stands out because I feel that that is when I really got close with all of my teammates. It was just so much fun spending time together as a team, and we formed some great memories!” 

The Scots ended their season on a high note with a decisive 9-0 victory over Ohio Wesleyan University. Given that this was Devereux’s and her fellow senior teammates’ final match of their collegiate careers, this win was extra special. “Earning a win against OWU was the perfect way to end the season. Playing several nationally-ranked teams this year has been really tough and has definitely felt defeating. Although I know we have all been improving throughout the semester, it was a bit discouraging never seeing that improvement in our match results. So, earning a win for our last match was just really exciting,” she said. 

Devereux, an Environmental Geosciences major at the College, finished her Independent Study (I.S.) in February and briefly described it. “For my I.S., I modeled precipitation, runoff, evapotranspiration and groundwater recharge rates over the contiguous United States. I also paired my findings with predictions for changing precipitation patterns that are expected throughout the 21st century due to climate change in order to discuss how groundwater resource availability may change in the coming decades. Changing groundwater resources have major implications for agriculture and urban planning.”

Recontextualizing H. Lowry

Hannah Eastman

Contributing Writer

 

Content warning for mentions of sexual harassment and assault 

In the wake of #MeToo, reexamining and recontextualizing societal norms has proved a continuous challenge. The reporting of the Voice over the past few weeks has been groundbreaking in that attempting to look back through Wooster’s own history and acknowledge faults is something that is likely to open more wounds. While the actions of Howard Lowry occurred in the “past,” his legacy has shaped all of our experiences on this campus, and the way the school addresses Lowry’s actions will be important to the future of the institution. 

It’s a shame that — in my own experience — the #MeToo movement has gone from a solemn recognition of a wider societal culture that continues to prey upon women to something yet again “taboo,” or something to be ashamed to admit. In reality, no matter how many times you are told that your truth matters, sometimes the situation is so delicate that the one person telling you that you are at fault can crumble your view of a situation entirely. I have so much respect for the women who came forward to discuss Howard Lowry, and maybe the reason it was so off-putting for me is because I’d seen a part of myself in their voices that I had wanted so long to dismiss. 

When I first got the email from the school explaining an investigation would be launched —  I’m not going to shy away from it — I totally shrugged it off. It wasn’t something I wanted to see talked about here. It sounds awful, and it was. More than anything else, I thought about myself in the position of a woman who has come forward with that information about such a well-respected and powerful man so central to our interpretations of The College of Wooster. And I thought that if I had that information, the shame would just eat me whole and spit me back out. That’s why I truly admire the bravery and strength of the women who came out, who stood their ground and let an intimate detail of their lives be publicized so we can all readjust our understanding of what it means to be a part of the community that makes up the College of Wooster. 

My reaction to this situation was so abrasive and defensive that it sent me into a tiny spiral of wondering how I could call myself a woman and advocate for victims of any kind of sexual harassment or assault when I bristled at the mention of actions like this occurring in a place I respect. I had the kind of realization that you can only have when you confront a dark part of yourself that doesn’t want to let your hurt out. That it scared me so much because I had come again to see the actions the women described as normalized. Even after doing what I thought was some decent work to see how widespread sexual harassment and assault occurs, to address it in how I viewed the world around me — I was still scared at the end of the day to admit that it had reached me before, it was reaching me when I opened up the Voice, and it is going to continue to reach me in my life. 

I’d like to end this piece by encouraging everyone to have a similar conversation with themselves. It’s hard, it’ll mess you up for a bit, but it truly is worth it, because I don’t want to look at someone brave enough to speak their truth again and ignore it for my own personal comfort in the status quo ever again. 

Quarantined and saved, but at what cost?

Maud Bulman

Contributing Writer

 

It is no secret that being quarantined on campus is a stressful situation. Being suddenly uprooted from your living space, having your routine disturbed, spending ten days in isolation and being anxious over testing positive can leave any student feeling vulnerable and unsettled. In addition, students are sometimes mistreated while they are in this fragile condition, having to cope with a lack of communication with those who are supposed to be tending to their welfare and with insufficient resources available to see them through the quarantine.

I would like to add a small disclaimer about the treatment my friends and I received while in quarantine. A few professors and staff proved enormously helpful and assisted us in any way they could. They listened to our frustrations and assisted us when those who were supposed to be taking care of us did nothing. My support person who was assigned to me was one of those caring people who listened patiently to me and my friends, and stuck by our sides in our most desperate times. My aim in publishing these concerns in the Voice is not to submit an angry account of my experience, but to make the campus more aware of how the quarantining of students could be handled more humanely.

For those of you who do not know me well, I am a rather level-headed person who tries to approach every situation with a cool head and an open mind. However, I can say without a doubt that during my time in isolation I hit both a new low for my mental health and a peak of anger. It started with my experience with the Director of Emergency Management, who had set up a Teams meeting with me to discuss contact tracing. During the meeting he mentioned that I lived in a campus house. The girls in Corner House are not a wild group of people and we have gone to great lengths all year to be safe. The Director, however, refused to believe so even after I explained that my house members and I wore masks around each other, communicated mostly over virtual platforms, and only gathered for an in-person meeting once a week on our screened porch. He repeatedly asked me the same questions, like a police interrogator determined to catch me in a lie: “How do you and your housemates act around each other?” was followed with a skeptical “Truthfully, how do you and your housemates act around each other?” His constant refusal to believe my answers to his questions was deeply offensive. I was told that my friends, too, some of whom were in quarantine because of me, went through similarly unpleasant interviews with the Director. He seemed not to realize that he was no longer working as the Chief of the Wooster Police Department, but rather as Head of Security on a college campus with students who are not out to break the rules and give him a hard time. As Wooster students, we are taught that honesty, respect and trust are qualities we should assume in one another. How are we supposed to uphold these values when we are treated with suspicion and disbelief by the head of Security?

Another problem my friends and I experienced stemmed from the lack of communication between us and the staff who are given responsibility for our welfare. Once Security quarantines or isolates a student, there is no exchange of information between the Wellness Center, the student’s support person, or the Director of Emergency Management. Information given by one dean’s office is contradicted by another. Students are burdened with having to re-explain their situation over and over again, which becomes very taxing. The students are also forced to untangle complications that arise from miscommunication, or no communication, between the various offices that are responsible for providing them with clear directives.

A further problem that students face in quarantine is the lack of adequate mental health resources. Days of isolation can cause students to experience a multitude of emotions that are really hard to deal with, and they may not know how to ask for help even if they want to. Since isolation can be such a dark place, it would be beneficial if counselors were on hand to reach out to quarantined students and offer them comfort and support. My friends and I were repeatedly told to attend a Let’s Talk session. A Let’s Talk session, however, provides scarcely enough time to even begin to explain one’s situation, much less receive any solace. Furthermore, the counselors in the Scots Telehealth program are not able to be genuinely helpful because they are located all around the country, they are totally unfamiliar with quarantining at Wooster. What the College really needs are local counselors who are familiar with the quarantining process at Wooster and who, instead of spending time simply trying to understand the students’ particular situation, would be able to focus on advising and guiding them through their days in isolation.

While I admit that the speed with which people were quarantined or isolated was highly effective, and I appreciate the College’s efforts to keep the spread of COVID to a minimum so that the campus could remain open, I hope to have shown here that the treatment of quarantined students and the resources that were offered (or not offered) to them could have been improved. Obviously the administration did what they thought was in the best interest of all students, but for those of us who endured periods of quarantine or isolation, it was not enough. When my friends and I brought up several of the problems we experienced to members of the administrative staff, most of those we spoke with were quick to rationalize the College’s actions but were not willing to discuss possible solutions. Having our concerns pushed aside, the accounts of our time in quarantine dismissed and our feelings disregarded, was both upsetting and disempowering. We did not need rationalizations. We needed to be listened to. And if by any chance quarantine becomes necessary next year, it needs to be changed.

Voice senior editorial staff reflects on experiences

Olivia Proe

What positions have you held?

Chief Copy Editor, Viewpoints Editor, Features Editor.

What was the first article you worked on? 

A viewpoint on mental health at Wooster.

The last article you worked on 

Advice for underclassmen on I.S.

Favorite article you’ve worked on 

Story of the week about improving relationships between the College and the city of Wooster.

Favorite Vice idea 

Scot Council apology for releasing the group chat screenshots.

Advice to students or next year’s staff 

Write about what interests you or things you’ve noticed on campus that you want to change! Your writing can start important conversations.

Favorite memory of your time on staff 

Jenkins, the printer’s funeral.

Holly Engel

What positions have you held?

I was originally a Staff Writer for Features and eventually became an Arts & Entertainment Editor.

What was the first article you worked on?

It was about the Model U.N. team competing in Chicago (way back in November of 2017).

The last article you worked on

A week ago I wrote about virtual Woo-Con.

Favorite article you’ve worked on

There are so many! I really enjoyed writing about non-scary Stephen King books last spring, but I also had fun with my article on “The Day the Music Died” because it called for some rock’n’roll research.

Favorite Vice idea

My first year at Wooster, I remember there was an article about how the Ebert Art building was going to have its name changed to “Bert,” and that it was going to become a giant cube that whispered to people as they walked by, or something like that. The dry humor was great, and it still makes me laugh.

Advice to students or next year’s staff

Don’t eat the ham loaf.

Favorite memory of your time on staff

Again, it’s hard to pick just one, but my most recent favorite memory is the time the power went out. Since there were no windows in the Voice office, we were plunged into pitch-blackness, and Chloe screamed bloody murder.

Laura Haley

What positions have you held?

I have been a Chief Copy Editor since 2018, although I took a brief hiatus to be a News Editor my sophomore year with the best co-editor around, Maggie Dougherty ’21 (no, I’m not biased). 

What was the first article you worked on

Party on the Green, 2017. The Mowgli’s came and we had so much fun! 

The last article you worked on

The men’s tennis team defeating Kenyon College for the first time since ’99. Roll Scots!

Favorite article you’ve worked on

This is tough. I’ve had the opportunity to write so much during my time and on so many topics. Although I can’t pick just one article, I would say my favorite section to write for is News. 

Favorite Vice idea

It’s got to be interviewing the student center door stop. Shoutout to Lark Pinney ’23 for helping make it a reality. 

Advice to students or next year’s staff

Enjoy being in a supported space where your creativity is not only welcomed but appreciated. The friendships I’ve made copy editing and formatting until the wee hours are some I’ll never forget. 

Favorite memory of your time on staff

Having a full-blown funeral for our beloved printer, Jenkins, when it was their time to pass.

Saeed husain

What positions have you held?

In my first year I served as Chief Copy Editor, and sophomore year I was Sports Editor (fall) and News Editor (spring). This last semester I’ve been Viewpoints Editor.

What was the first article you worked on?

Change of operations in the facilities office, where custodial responsibilities were being removed from program houses.

The last article you worked on

My Viewpoint on how editing language goes against the goal of decolonization.

Favorite article you’ve worked on

Too many! Tough tie between when Wooster announced reaching its campaign goal early, the Patrick Mohorcic interview and field hockey success.

Favorite Vice idea

McGaw Chapel flying back to the Mothership.

Advice to students or next year’s staff

Send emails early!

Favorite memory of your time on staff

Adding ‘Roll Scots!” to every article with Chloe as Sports Editors and regularly singing “Seven Rings” with Sam.

Sam Casey

What positions have you held?

Staff Writer, News Editor, Editor in Chief.

What was the first article you worked on?

“Search to replace wellness counselor begins.”

The last article you worked on

“Golf wraps up regular season at Kenyon College.”

Favorite article you’ve worked on

See a problem, fix a problem viewpoint (both).

Favorite Vice idea

Students protest and replace the entire admin with Julia Zimmer.

Advice to students or next year’s staff

Savor the long nights of editing because when they’re taken away, you realize they were the best nights of your life.

Favorite memory of your time on staff

“Argh, the Daily Record” -Angad, in a pirate voice.

Kate Murphy

What positions have you held?

Being a News Editor this year has been the first position I’ve held on the Voice. I copy edited here and there in past years, and I am so glad I was able to take on a larger role!

What was the first article you worked on?

The first article I wrote this past fall was about I.S.A. and their organization’s plans for this year.

The last article you worked on

I am currently working on an article about the budget allocations for student organizations in the upcoming academic year.

Favorite article you’ve worked on

My favorite article was probably on the Spring Break petition, mostly because I was really hoping it would work out!

Favorite Vice idea

I’ve only written in one Vice edition, and I think my favorite would have to be the ELITE-D3 virus that spread across Wooster athletics.

Advice to students or next year’s staff

Send out emails for your articles early!

Favorite memory of your time on staff

I really loved Tuesdays this year —it was great to be able to do layout in person, and I always looked forward to those nights!

Zoe Covey

What positions have you held?

I started as a contributing writer for News as a freshman, then I was Features Editor for my sophomore year and the first semester of junior year, and now I’m one of the Chief Copy Editors (very debatable as of late).

What was the first article you worked on?

My first article was “Sorority Pi Kappa selects its first diversity chair,” which is funny because I ended up joining Peanuts!

The last article you worked on

My last article was “Knowing your body: iron deficiencies in endurance athletes” for the science section which is a section I never thought I’d write for, but there you are!

Favorite article you’ve worked on

“Remembering McWoo: Wooster’s Mascot Metamorphosis.” I loved reaching out to alumni and learning more about Woo!

Favorite Vice idea

I liked “Merriam-Wooster Dictionary.”

Advice to students or next year’s staff

Yes, making great art like the Voice is a time commitment, so commit that time! I’ve never laughed so hard as I have in the Voice office!

Favorite memory of your time on staff

The time Ellie wanted to change the song but Chloe wanted her to let it play.