All posts by Chloe Burdette

Welcome to The College of Wooster's Inter-Greek Council website! Here you will find out everything about our campus's Greek Life, including resources for the 2020 Rush season> We are so glad you are with us!

404: Room not found

Alexandra Manopoulou

Contributing Writer

 

Making decisions is never an easy task, especially amidst a global pandemic. What happens, when — in decisions regarding students’ lives — The College fails to include us in the decision-making  process in areas of great importance, such as the availability of our personal spaces?

At the beginning of July, Residence Life (Res Life) announced that students studying remotely would lose their spring specific housing arrangements since the study abroad programs had been cancelled and more students needed to be accommodated. The College should absolutely find arrangements for these students, but at the same time, needs to take into consideration that for decisions like these, all parties should be informed properly.

After reading about this update in the Fall 2020 guide and having long conversations with other students, I made the decision to email Res Life on behalf of a number of students studying remotely in the fall semester to ask for our inclusion in this planning. It is a rational decision to make those rooms available during the fall,
but we failed to understand the reason why the rooms would not be available to returning students in the spring. Res Life responded to  our email by proposing to set up a virtual meeting to discuss our demands and make a compromise. As it turned out, though, our ways of defining the word “compromise” greatly differed.

Throughout the two-hour virtual discussion between a group of international students and Res Life, the only response to every single suggestion we made was: “we cannot guarantee this.” Apart from the rooms that we had lost before we even joined the call, we came to realize that we could not even be guaranteed that
the roommates we chose would also be assigned.

The only offer we received was the possibility of Res Life assigning us to the dorm we chose and not the room itself, which again “could not be guaranteed.” When we raised our concerns about the unfairness of this decision and the fact that we felt excluded from
this process and deserted in an uncertain situation where we could not even guarantee the person with whom we would share our personal space, we got the answer: “life is unfair.” This answer seems at the very least disappointing for a college which supposedly values its diversity and makes an effort to satisfy students’ needs, especially in times of distress.

The way my peers and I defined a “compromise” was as an effort from both parties to step back in certain areas in order to reach a mutually beneficial situation. However, it seems that the virtual meeting was not an effort to compromise but rather a way for Res Life to explain to us why our requests would not be heard.

This is a stressful time for all of us and the list of the things that cannot be guaranteed due to the pandemic is already long. Thus, the addition of our personal spaces, as well as our roommates, to the list of things we have to worry about makes everything even more  agitating. The College should put an effort into making everyone feel like an active part of the community by taking into consideration every student’s needs and demands so as to mitigate stress and uncertainty.

Athletes adjust to new COVID-19 sports world

Matt Olszewski

Senior Sports Writer

 

COVID-19 has affected everyone in one way or another. The transition to college has been quite the challenge for athletes especially, given that they are used to a routine revolving around academics, social life and athletics all at the same time. Despite the restrictions and protocols in place, there are still ways to spend time with teammates and practice in order to improve.

The College announced in early August that all travel for sports and competitions against other schools would not be allowed for the 2020 fall season. This came as a disappointment to athletes, but not a surprise. Additionally, the NCAA cancelled all Division-II and Division-III Championships this fall. Athletes have been trying to find new ways to stay close with teammates while also being safe,
as well as ways to stay in touch with coaches until practices and
competitions can resume without current restrictions. The current
fall sports at Wooster are men’s and women’s golf, football, men’s
and women’s soccer, field hockey and men’s and women’s cros country.

Molly Kershner ’24, a lacrosse player, described what the transition to college has been like and how this fall has already been different than what she expected, “Since lacrosse is a spring sport, we usually use fall as an off-season training time.This would mean small sided
practices and running to stay in shape … Because of COVID, the goals have not been up on the turf, so most of us have been
meeting on the field to run and pass, [from a safe distance].”
She also voiced her feelings about not being able to spend as
much time with her teammates on and off the field. “I have been  looking forward to playing college lacrosse for years now, and not being able to fully meet and interact with the team makes me
sad. Lacrosse is a big part of my life, so this past spring, as well as now in the fall, it is weird having so much downtime where I  normally would be spending it with my teammates.” She made
sure to add that she and her teammates are staying optimis-
tic and are taking advantage of being able to practice in groups
of 10 or fewer.

Captain Ashley Boersma ’21, chimed in about how Coach Elizabeth Ford has been helping the team stay in touch with one another. “In addition to being in communication with captains to discuss a plan for this fall, [Ford] has been checking in on us and our transition back to Wooster.” With regards to this fall and spring, Boersma is
looking on the bright side. “I am most excited to be back with my teammates making memories and preparing for [hopefully] one last spring season despite the unusual circumstances.”

During these times, it has also been important for athletes to remember why they are a team and what keeps them close. Maggie Brown ’21, one of the field hockey captains, added how her coaches continuously update the team and set up Zoom calls to keep in
touch. She added, “This team is so hardworking, and I think this challenge will be better for us in the future. We work so hard during the off seasons, and even during the season we all put in extra work to be better for next season.”

Shane Wallace ’21, a men’s lacrosse player, was asked the same question. “One thing that will be very helpful this fall is that our team is truly a family. Last year we all developed a really strong bond before [COVID-19], and the hardships we endured as our season was canceled before our eyes made those bonds even stronger. I’m confident we’ll be ready for anything this fall throws at us,” he said. Men’s and women’s sports were able to begin practicing
Monday, Sept. 7 in groups of 10 or fewer. The target date for the
next phase is Monday, Sept. 21, in which coaches will be able to
begin coaching their teams in groups of 50 or fewer. The final phase gives permission for groups larger than 50 to practice with coaches. These dates could change in accordance with public health guidelines; however, as of now athletes will be able to enjoy more freedom with regards to practicing and scrimmaging.

The life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman

Kidi Tafesse

Arts & Entertainment Editor

 

This year has been filled with unexpected challenges and even more  unexpected losses. One of those losses was actor Chadwick  Boseman at the young age of 43 on Aug 28, 2020. A four-year battle with colon cancer is no easy feat, but playing moving, meaningful roles the way Boseman did is something that takes an inconceivable amount of passion and love for one’s art. This is something that became even more pronounced following his diagnosis with cancer. Despite keeping the news out of the public eye, Boseman played in seven different movies including two major Marvel productions.

His legacy will forever live through his family, through those that remember him on a personal level and through the murals and paintings being created to pay homage across the world. But for most people, his onscreen work will be what symbolizes the life and legacy of Boseman.

A graduate of Howard University, Boseman’s talent with directing preceded his breakthrough roles as an actor. Some of his early works with directing were plays that reached varying degrees of success such as Deep Azure, which after airing in the Congo Square Theater Company in Chicago earned him a 2006 Jeff Award nomination, Hieroglyphic Graffiti, which was part of the hip-hop theatre movement, and of course some older classic plays such as
Macbeth, The Colored Museum and Romeo and Juliet. After some minor but consistent roles in TV shows such as Lincoln Heights and Law and Order, it was not until around 2013 that he landed major roles such as 42, the autobiographical story of Jackie Robinson, the first black athlete to make it to the Major leagues, singer James Brown in Get on Up with the tutelage and direction of Tate Taylor, Thoth in Gods of Egypt and more.

However, the role of King T’Challa, the ruler of a futuristic, highly advanced African state known as Wakanda, is perhaps what  Boseman is best known for playing. After a brief appearance in Avengers: Infinity War and Captain America: Civil War, the origin story of King T’Challa finally came to fruition. As a result, Marvel’s Black Panther reached record-breaking success and was hailed as an incredibly well done movie and was also commended for its positive depiction of African-American and African culture. I know, for me at
least, there is a distinguishable difference between the representation that comes as a result of having a Black actor in a superhero movie and the one that comes when the role itself is inherently centered around blackness, so it’s understandable that from all of his incredible roles, Black Panther is the one often
talked about. However, while these movies are absolute must
sees, his rise to prominence through influential roles existing in simultaneity with his silent battle with cancer will forever show his resilience and courage.

Chadwick Boseman is survived by his wife and family members.

The Scene

Holly Engel

Arts & Entertainment Editor

 

Some non-chilling tales from the “King of Horror”

Many people looking for a good scare in the safety of their own home, like me, will leave the lights on and curl up with a thrillingly  spooky book by Stephen King. King may be best known for The Shining, which is about a haunted hotel in Colorado (if you have only seen the movie, the book was better), and right now It has received a lot of the limelight because of its appearance in movie theaters all over the world (the movie, that is, not Pennywise the Clown). Of  course, there’s also my personal  favorite, Pet Sematary, which is  easily the scariest and most disturbing book I have ever read. But what about something for the people who do not want to be scared silly? Never fear, you have not been forgotten! King has written several equally fascinating page-turners that depart from the genre of horror, perfect for anyone who likes somewhat dark books with complex plots and fleshed-out characters, but who does not want
to have nightmares for a week.

11/22/63: For any history buffs out there, you probably know that the title of this book is the date when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. This story is an artful mixture of history, sci-fi and romance that follows a time traveler as he tries to stop the Kennedy  assassination. The idea might seem cliché, but the book is full of  unexpected twists and turns, with characters as dynamic as the plot. The romance, which is important but not overdone, adds an even  deeper layer of emotion and meaning to the story. One of the things that I liked most about this book was its depiction of time travel and its focus on the weight of making decisions, and how even small,  seemingly insignificant choices can cause unimaginable change.

The Stand: This one is for anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction and has a thirst for battles between good and evil. But be warned: it is not light reading. Over 1000 pages, The Stand just outdoes the 800 or so pages of 11/22/63, but it is well worth every moment. I found it hard to put down as I got pulled into the lives of its many characters, whose stories converge when a government-created superflu  accidentally wipes out nearly all life on earth. In the aftermath, an
evil, dark force takes root in the form of a man named Randall Flagg, and the remaining population must decide whether to follow him or the old and wizened Mother Abagail. The choice, as are all choices, is not as simple as it sounds. It astounded me how deeply this book explored the gray areas of morality, as well as how easily, almost willingly, humanity takes part in its own destruction.

The Green Mile: Much shorter than the first two books, The Green  Mile was originally published as a serial novel, and I have no idea how to classify it. It is realistic, but not overly so, taking place in history and apart from it all at once. It is written from the perspective of a prison guard who worked on death row in 1930s North Carolina, and it starts when a man named John Coffey is brought  in on the charge of a terrible crime. This book is surprisingly moving and addresses issues such as racism and capital punishment, while also delving into the possibility of miracles and the need for empathy in a world that is so often defined by darkness.

These are only three of King’s many books that will grab you when you least expect it and arrest your thoughts relentlessly until you finish the final page. Lose yourself in one of them for a while and you will see what I mean. Do not worry, nothing will jump out and scare you … yet.

Professional sports acknowledge BLM protests

Olivia Mittak

Sports Editor

TW: Violence, Racial Injustice

A recent wave of strikes and protests throughout several major sports leagues in the United States is just the latest in a series of events in response to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

On August 23, 2020, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back in  front of his children during an attempted arrest by police. In response, the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks became the first of many sports teams to refuse to participate in upcoming games. Players walked off of the court on Wednesday, refusing to play their fifth game of the Eastern Conference first-round series against the Orlando Magic. Magic players soon followed their opponents in protest. These protests forced the NBA to halt its entire playoff schedule. Further NBA teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, soon followed, as did WNBA, MLB and MLS teams. These protests are added to a long history of protest movements in professional American sports leagues. Currently, this onset of protests marks the largest single cancellation of games in NBA history.

The event marks a significant point in the BLM movement, which has been ongoing with increased intensity since the killing of George Floyd by police in May. Organized professional sports leagues stand as a major pillar in American culture and economics; without them, further pressure is placed on those in power to take initiative. It is important to recognize that what is occurring here is not a
boycott, as many major news outlets have been calling it. Rather, it is a strike; a direct refusal by employees of a company or organization, in this case the respective sports leagues, to participate in their assigned work. Players have stated that their intent is to bring about change, stating that sports should not be the primary focus at the moment in light of rampant social injustice. There is
a sentiment among players that their loyalty should first be to their race, an understandable attitude considering the intensity of racial discrimination occurring in the United States. Even if considerable
progress is not made as a result of these strikes, players can feel as if they are part of a larger movement.

While many have been speaking out in favor of the strikes, others have expressed concern that these protests may further the divide between Americans and sports celebrities, the latter of whom are considered by some to be too out of touch with the general population to have a say in social matters. An existing concern amongst some is that these protests may serve as another nail in the coffin for sports leagues that are already financially weakened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without revenue from these cancelled games to rely on, many fans and critics alike are questioning if American sports leagues can continue to weather the storm.

College COVID plan is flawed and dangerous

Maggie Dougherty

Viewpoints Editor

 

As someone who dedicated my summer to working as a case investigator for my state health department and spent hours each day telling people how to stay healthy in the midst of a global pandemic, I really can’t stress enough how flawed our campus  testing strategy is.

Now that many of us have returned to campus, I have already seen students breaking the COVID-19 guidelines or only following  guidance partially. I get it — there is this perception on campus that we’ve all been tested and everybody is negative and we are a perfect little bubble, right? Now that we all have negative test results, we  can hug our friends and have little gatherings in our basements with less than ten people and take cute pictures with our friends, right? Actually, no.

Why not? The testing strategy that we used — test everyone and quarantine them while they wait for their test results — makes no  sense by public health standards because those tests are just a snapshot in time, and they may not capture the presence of the virus if you were exposed recently. According to Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, the incubation period for the virus is two to 14 days, and on average is around four to six days. What does that mean? It means that if you were exposed two days before coming to campus, it wouldn’t necessarily show up on your test, because there  isn’t enough active virus to be detected. It means, on average, if you were exposed four days ago, it still might not show up on your test. A negative test result doesn’t mean you are free of COVID-19; it  means that there was not enough active virus built up in your system at the time of the test.

Now, if we knew that everybody had been able to fully self-quarantine for two weeks before coming to campus, and had no potential exposures during their travel here, this testing strategy would work. However, a lot of our students come from far away, some on airplanes or buses where they cannot necessarily control or limit their exposure to other people. And, as discussed above, those people who might have been exposed in the two days before coming back wouldn’t test positive, even if they might have caught the virus and will become infectious in a few days.

Of course, this isn’t the students’ fault; it’s a flaw in the institutional plan and a major failure in communication. Your roommate, or your best friend in the entire world who you trust and just know is following the rules, or your sports team, or the people you eat with in Lowry could all potentially be carrying the virus all while thinking that they’re negative and totally safe.

That’s why this testing strategy doesn’t make sense. We have told students that it’s okay and safe for them to eat in Lowry, with masks off, not socially distanced, all while knowing that there’s a high level of uncertainty as to whether students might be carrying the virus and knowing that talking and eating with masks off carries a high risk of transmission. If I’m being honest, Lowry is a public health hazard. I avoid it as much as possible, and primarily get my food to-go and take it back to my
room to eat during my Zoom meetings. I know that’s not convenient, but I would recommend that others
do the same when they have the ability to do so.

To act like it is the students’ fault if we have an outbreak would be wildly unfair when the conditions are set up so recklessly. The fact that we haven’t had an outbreak yet — between the way Lowry is functioning and the way our testing was implemented — is pure luck. We know campus is not a COVID-free bubble, so why are we treating Lowry as if social distancing and mask-wearing just stops being important while students are eating? It is an institutional decision that is not only flawed, but also dangerous.

We need another dining space open so that students can eat while socially distanced, or Lowry should have half the seating capacity with the rest as to-go only. In my opinion, we should all be tested again two weeks from the date that the last students arrived on campus. I know that won’t happen,
so, until then, I anxiously await the start of the satellite testing promised in the most recent email update from the administration.