All posts by Chloe Burdette

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Scot Council requires accountability

This Viewpoint was submitted anonymously following last week’s Scot Council Executive Call-in.

 

As a student of color who had the opportunity to attend the call-in last Sunday, I was very shocked and equally disappointed with what was being said in the meeting and the things that I learned. It was made very clear at the beginning that it wasn’t advertised well at all, and I can’t tell if that was done intentionally or not, because it was presented to the general public as an “executive board” event which probably could have discouraged individuals like me from coming, especially since I’m not even in Scot Council to begin with. 

Apart from that, there was also the fact that the concept of accountability wasn’t being valued, which was voiced as concerning by more than one individual of color who is an important member of Scot Council. The reason behind this was because it became very apparent that certain non-BIPOC individuals in Scot Council kept taking credit for hard work that was actually done by the BIPOC individuals in the organization, which was very alarming to me. Then there is also the huge gap between Scot Council and the general public of students because, a lot of times, students generally don’t know what it is or what its purpose is, which is to cater to the concerns of students on campus. The reason for this, which was also discussed in the call-in, was due to the lack of outreach from members, especially from the executive board to other student organizations, especially when it comes to attending other student organizations’ meetings. What made this issue more ridiculous was the fact that there’s actually a whole committee on Scot Council focused on outreach, yet even the bare minimum work can’t be shown here. 

Also, there was the political language being displayed throughout the meeting by certain members, which I found to come off as being very privileged and condescending, especially for an individual who never understood that type of language growing up nor is a political science major. This made it very clear to me that there is this politician personality being expressed by certain individuals (specifically by certain non-BIPOC members) on Scot Council and the problem is that politicians, as I’ve learned being from a marginalized community, like to vocalize empty promises with no intention to actually fulfill them at all. There’s also the problem of getting BIPOC individuals to even be willing to run for Scot Council and retaining seats as well, which I found to be very sad but not surprising considering my conversations with those on Scot Council and the toll it takes on them because they constantly have to do all the work in the marginalized communities on campus, which personally discouraged me from running for Scot Council this year. 

Despite all of this, I still have hope for Scot Council next year in the sense that once certain individuals can start owning up to their mistakes and biases, there can be room for change and transparency. 

Seize the opportunities you have

saeed husain

Viewpoints Editor

 

Regret sucks. Reflecting on a college experience makes one melancholy enough, but doing so in a pandemic? We haven’t seen this before. Amongst the things that I was able to do at Wooster, there were several others that I did not have the passion or drive to experience. I am so immensely grateful for what I did get to take part in, but there remains a voice in my head that keeps asking why I didn’t do more. 

As my friend Alec and I often talk about, Wooster is what you make of it. Speaking with professors, connecting with your peers and reaching out to alumni are some of the massive benefits that come with being part of a small and interconnected family. The plethora of research opportunities throughout the school year and the summer, the freedom of researching topics that you are passionate about through final papers and I.S. and the multitude of clubs you can be a part of all add up when you reflect back on your time at Wooster. You can either choose to ignore them, or you can reach out and explore them more. 

My very basic advice, which one will have heard time and time again, is to seize the opportunities that you have at Wooster. Although I wish it were the case always, you may never have the experience again of having friends who live two residence halls away, escaping to the library to be fascinated by your discipline or going to the gym to blow off steam. 

As one might have realized, Wooster is not a big school. The incredible chance one has to build genuine connections with one another while on campus is so easy to disregard, yet so rewarding when one actually does make an effort to reach out. Before beginning my senior year, I asked friends of mine who had graduated before me about the advice they had for my final year at Wooster. Without hesitation, all of them talked about how I should make time for my friends, even if there were pressures of finding a job, writing I.S. and applying to graduate school. Those C-Store runs, walking around campus, chatting in the library and soaking in the glorious two-month long sun on the res quad possibly led to some of the most defining and formative conversations that I have had the privilege of having.

I do want to offer a guide for reflection as well, which has been a critical tenet of my life at Wooster. In the Voice office, there’s a quote that says “Everyone’s a fuckin’ editor,” (attributed to Spider Jerusalem, and I have no idea who that is) which I’ve come to see in two ways. The first is when a new copy editor approaches you on the desk with a change that goes against editorial guidelines, and while you wish you could literally only respond by pointing to the AP Styleguide, instead you simply ignore the suggestion. 

The second is outside the realm of student journalism, and more so in our general lives. We often find ourselves so careful to edit and critically examine each other’s lives, yet we barely ascribe any introspection to ourselves. This brings me back to “Wooster is what you make of it.” Whether you are a first year who had an insanely different first college experience than you might have expected, or a junior who is both excited and scared shitless of the joys of senior year, you have the time to define what you want your Wooster experience to be. Don’t let anyone else choose your time at this fantastic place, and definitely don’t let opportunities slip away.

To sign off, in the end, don’t let regret run through. 

Be open to new possibilities

Chloe Burdette

Editor in Chief 

 

As I sit down to write a final viewpoint for the Voice two weeks away from graduation, I couldn’t help but think back on all of the great memories I have from this college, and think of all the things that I have learned from The College of Wooster. Whether that be writing papers all night until the sun came up, attempting time-management with my job and academics (and failing) or just simply trying to stomach whatever Basics was serving at Lowry that night, one significant skill that sticks out from my college career is this: this school taught me to attack anything I set my mind to head-on, with no second thought.

I remember that high school Chloe was afraid of every little opportunity that came her way because of her fear of failure. Anything that required her to get out of her comfort zone — hell no. If she failed, how would she ever survive? The embarrassment! The never-ending shame! She would’ve never recovered, clearly. Things changed, though, as I came to Wooster. I saw college as not only a fresh start in a new town, but a way to improve myself mentally. Although I only moved an hour away from home, Wooster felt like a whole new opportunity to flourish into the person I had hoped I could be. So, I said “yes.” I said “yes” to practically every opportunity that came my way, including to joining a sorority where I met some of my closest friends, to working for the greatest bosses in the athletic department, to joining that a cappella group and, most importantly, to writing that first sports article for a special student-run newspaper. 

As I look back throughout my college career, I am so happy I finally said “yes.” Now, it is healthy to say a resounding “no” every once in a while. But when opportunities arise that can change your life? Do not let the fear of failure stop you from writing that article, singing your heart out on a stage, dancing to pop hits in McGaw Chapel and forgetting every move or speaking up in that class. Who truly knows how that experience will shape you? To the underclassmen reading this: don’t let apprehensiveness be your obstacle. I promise, the feeling of being unchained from your fears is so undeniably worth it. 

Wooster, I’m out. I will miss you. Thanks for giving me the space to become the truest, most authentic form of myself. *Cue “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day.*

Women’s golf seniors show resilience and strength

Chloe Burdette

Editor in Chief

 

The College of Wooster women’s golf team are very familiar with overcoming challenges, especially the team’s seniors. These obstacles during their college careers weren’t just any other obstacles — at times, these bumps in the road felt irreversible, unexpected and demoralizing.

Flashback to January 2018: Golf seniors Megan Gronau ’21, TongTong Wu ’21, Devon Matson ’21 and Lilly Dunning ’21 had only been on the golf team for half a year before their Head Coach Lisa Campanell Komara was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. “Once I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I knew immediately I had to let the team know in a meeting,” Campanell Komara said. I remember looking at them having to say the word ‘cancer’ and the scared look in their eyes and tears.”

Gronau spoke about the news at the time. “The whole team was inspired by Coach’s positive and optimistic attitude after her diagnosis.” Matson added, we kept pushing because of the bond that we had all created with each other, especially with Coach. We all love her so much, and when she was diagnosed, we all did everything we could to support her.” 

After a nine-month treatment journey, Campanell Komara found herself in remission and the path seemed clear for her and the team. 

Soon after becoming cancer-free, then-Athletic Director Keith Beckett announced that the Wooster men’s and women’s golf teams would have one coach. Although not set in stone, the women’s team worried that their coach would be replaced. “When her job was in jeopardy, we fought very hard to make her stay,” Matson said. The team had already worried that they would lose her once — the team would not let it happen again. After being approached by members of the women’s golf team, The Voice released an article on April 12, 2019 titled “Golf to adopt a new coaching model for 2019-2020 season.” After the women’s golf team was able to express their concern on the matter, Campanell Komara kept her rightful place as the women’s coach, and all felt right again until the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The pandemic sent many athletes home from their spring break trips, including the women’s golf team, without any kind of warning. The pandemic felt like just another harrowing setback for the already-expended seniors. “The pandemic changed everything I planned, and it also disrupted my golf practice and tournaments,” Wu said. “I am sad about not being able to travel to Hilton Head Island again to finish my senior year, as well as not being able to spend my junior year with my favorite senior teammates. The pandemic created so many uncertainties for me to plan about my travels, academics and golf.” 

Although given another obstacle, the seniors kept the same optimistic attitude as their coach did throughout her cancer treatments. “What Coach continued to remind us about, even through her diagnosis and through the pandemic, is that things in life will happen, but you just must keep pushing through and do what you set out to do,” Dunning said. 

As the seniors have one more week until they are College of Wooster graduates, they hope to give advice to underclassmen before they leave for good. “Expect the unexpected, always,” Dunning said. “You may get to Wooster thinking your four years will go a certain way and it may go a completely different way. That’s okay! Be ready to adapt, improve, work harder when it gets tough, and you’ll be even more proud of yourself and your team at the end of your career.” Matson added that underclassmen should cherish time with teammates when the going gets tough. “Your team can offer you so much. It is such a great support system to have, so don’t be afraid to reach out if you need anything from anyone.”

Campanell Komara credits her seniors for their resilience during such a challenging college golf career. “They truly never gave up,” said Campanell Komara. “I’m so proud of these seniors in how they have handled all the adversity and challenges put on them as far back as their first year. I can’t think of any team in athletics that has gone through so much. We talk about a culture of caring, and they believe in it every day.”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Update Report

Samuel Bourdreau

Senior News Writer

 

On Sunday, April 25, members of the campus community met to discuss the annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Update Report. The meeting was led by President Bolton and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Ivonne M. García. The report shined a light on diversity, retention rates and challenges faced by BIPOC and underrepresented students, staff and faculty at The College of Wooster.

García told the Voice that “the College has improved both in the recruitment and retention of students, especially BIPOC and underrepresented students over the past several years. Since 2017, we have grown our BIPOC student population by 20 percent. Four-year graduation rates now stand at about the same for nearly all demographic groups, something that was not happening only a few years ago when Black and Latinx students, especially, experienced much lower rates of retention.”

However, Bolton and García noted that the campus is not the equitable campus that it needs to be as of now. “Our retention rate is not the one we aspire to have, and we know we have a lot of work to do to continue to make this College one in which all students feel they can stay and thrive, and that work will continue unabated,” García told the Voice.

While diversity and retention rates have increased on campus, Bolton and García noted that the pandemic has slightly affected these rates as it has “made it difficult for new international students to come to Wooster and, as the pandemic progressed through the year, we also saw a slight drop off from years prior of total new international students to Wooster.”

In the past two years, the College’s faculty continues to increase in diversity as 83 percent of last year’s incoming tenure track faculty identified as BIPOC or are from underrepresented communities.

However, García noted that the College is much less effective in retaining BIPOC faculty than white faculty. The College’s 2018 faculty retention study “showed that BIPOC faculty, especially Black faculty, do not tend to stay at the College.”

Results from the College’s Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) Assessment in May, 2020 revealed that gender identity and racial/ethnic identities were the main reasons that students, faculty and staff did not have inclusive experiences at the College. With only 19 percent of students responding to the assessment, Bolton and García hope the 2022 assessment will yield greater student participation.

In response to this study, the College launched the Faculty Mentoring Cohort Program, now in its third year, modeled after successful BIPOC student-focused mentoring programs in the Fall of 2019. The program established cohorts of mentors and mentees rather than relying only on individualized or department-based mentorship. García told the Voice that the first year of the program was successful.

The College also hopes to improve the relationship with the broader Wooster community, particularly on Beall Avenue. When the Voice reported on the March for Asian Lives on March 26, Mochi Meadows ’24, Gender and Sexuality Diversity Representative for Scot Council, told the Voice that someone yelled “Go back to China” at the March, and a truck with a confederate flag drove by with a sticker that said “I don’t brake for protestors.” When asked how the College is taking their next steps with the local community at the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) meeting, Bolton said that signage and security resources have been added to Beall, but that there is room for improvement.

Starting June 1, Dr. García will undertake a position at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education to lead their work in inclusive and anti-racist pedagogy. As the College’s first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion has greatly expanded under her leadership as she told the Voice that “before the academic year ends, the CDEIO will have trained nearly everyone in the Academic Affairs division, including faculty in departments and programs, administrative coordinators and Athletic staff in antiracist/anti-bias practices.” Additionally, the center has trained 50 student organizations and recommended that they establish antiracist/anti-bias action plan for future school years.

Wooster baseball sustains success during 2021 season

Thomas Pitney

Contributing Writer

 

The College of Wooster baseball team continued its winning ways by sweeping Hiram College in a double-header on Sunday, April 25. With winning scores of 13-11 in the first game and 9-3 in the second game, the team extended its winning streak to nine games and its record to 17-5. 

In the first game, the Fighting Scots rallied for five runs in the second inning, ignited by Dane Camphausen’s ’23 leadoff double, Alex Gasper’s ’22 two-run single and Tyler Chumita’s ’22 one-run double. The Terriers promptly scored 11 phenomenally unanswered runs in the third and fourth innings to take an 11-5 lead. Though Wooster trailed by six runs, there was no panic in the dugout. As junior center fielder Ben Gbur ’22 put it, “We’ve been down plenty of times. We were playing at Denison [and] we were down a decent amount of runs [and] came back. We’ve come back pretty often this year, so it’s nothing new.” 

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Fighting Scots scored four runs to cut the lead to 11-9, led by Gbur’s one-run double and a triple by Dominic Stilliana ’22. In the sixth inning, Ben Hines ’22 drove in Chumita with a single to cut the lead to one run, and then scored on a Camphausen groundout to tie the game 11-11. With two outs in the sixth and the game tied, Stilliana stepped into the batter’s box. “I was just trying to stay short and just focus on the ball and drive something to do some damage with it. I was kinda just looking for one pitch in one spot and I got it,” Stilliana said about his approach at the plate. 

Capitalizing on the opportunity, Stilliana jacked a two-run home run to give the Scots a 13-11 lead, which they did not relinquish. Also crucial to the comeback were pitchers Eli Westrick ’24 and Corey Knauf ’24 combining to hold the Terriers scoreless over the final three innings. Chumita, the junior captain and shortstop, was proud of the effort. “It just shows that we’re not gonna give up,” he said. “One through nine and batting in the dugout. [The] pitching staff, they’ll always get it done, and when we come together we can be a really special team.”

The Scots followed up on the thriller with another terrific team effort in the second game. Starting pitcher Jay DiBacco ’21 allowed just two hits and shut out the Terriers over the first four innings. “The pitching has been great this year, obviously,” Stilliana said. “We need those guys to keep us within games and as a hitting staff, it helps us out a lot [to] play more loose[ly] because we don’t have to score as many runs.” Wooster finally broke the 0-0 gridlock with Gabe Sherman’s ’21 two-run single in the fourth inning. The Scots would score four more runs that inning and did not look back for the rest of the game. Ryan Sullivan ’23 and Knauf got out of a jam with runners at second and third to limit Hiram to two runs in the fifth inning. For good measure, Camphausen smacked a double in the sixth inning to drive in three runs and extend Wooster’s lead to 9-2. Over the last two innings, Knauf, Jack Jones ‘21, and Colin Springer ‘21 gave up just one more run to ensure a 9-3 Wooster victory. 

Despite all the craziness over the last 18 months, one thing remains constant: Wooster winning a lot of baseball games. Chumita, for one, is happy with how the team has responded to the challenges of this season. “We have certain restrictions [on what] we can and can’t do, but the guys have handled it really well and I think we’ve bonded well as a team and gotten better from it.” They maintain a nine-game winning streak and a #25 Division III ranking.

The Fighting Scots will play their next two games and have their Senior Recognition Day at home on Saturday, May 1 against the Allegheny Gators.