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!

COVID-19 PLAYLIST

Jenelle Booker 

Contributing Writer

 

In a time where sitting inside is the preferred option to going out, a quarantine playlist that accompanies every mood of a pandemic, is an essential. First, however, it’s hard to talk about COVID-19 and 2020 without talking about Black lives and the awakening of young people to the systemic injustices in America. So, to begin this playlist are a couple songs to honor the many who have lost their lives to racists, sexcists, homophobes, xenophobes, and bigots of every kind and those who are placing their bodies in the streets to advocate for real change.

In spite of the hopelessness and anxiety COVID-19 has brought me, it’s important to remember (as cheesy as it sounds) that this time will indeed pass, that there are moments within every day to appreciate, and there is comfort and sanity in dreaming for the future. From “Summer 2020” to “Almeda,” these songs have brought me that comfort and sanity. Comfort in remembering sadness as a necessary part of life, and sanity in shifting my focus back to the very present. Not present politics, or present events; but to the present as in me typing this, or of you reading this. Of us existing and consciously making decisions that design our day to day. There’s power in our very existence, so make sure to recognize it.

         Of course, appreciation of the existential doesn’t really do it for you when all you really want to do is go out and party. You’ll find some head bangers, hip whines and other high energy hits that have me hyping myself up in the mirror. Jumping around the room alone may not have the same feeling as a mosh pit, but it’s much safer (besides, who likes the feeling of sweaty skin?). Go ahead, play through “Coño (James Kennedy Remix)” to “Walk (Remix)” and let your instincts take over — it’s the only time you can practice your dance moves without judgement. If you’re not one for dancing, yelling at the top of your lungs is also an acceptable use of this section. With a mix of old bangers, foreign beats and new releases, any need for crowded dark rooms can be satisfied with a party of one (or few). For those pressed to leave the house, turn the bass up in your car, max the volume and hit the interstate (a special mention to “HUNNIES,” “Don’t Come Out The House,” “Sugar” and “Riverdale Rd”).

         When you’re otherwise feeling sad (let’s be honest, “sad boi hours” is 24 hours now), “9” to “Home (Remix)” is here to keep you company through the tears. Sometimes a heartbroken song and self-pity is all we can manage through the day, and that is okay. As a hopeless romantic myself, I’ve thrown in a couple of my favorite love songs. If you’re in a relationship, I hope this helps you through the separation, and for my singles, through the disappointing Hinge chats. Finally, I’ve ended the playlist like I end my day — with meditation.

 

Students studying off campus adjust to a new normal

Sam Boudreau

Senior News Writer

 

For Marloes Krabbe ‘21, an anthropology and art history double major, Art History & Museum Studies club meetings are usually a normal part of her routine. However, since studying remotely due to COVID-19, this meeting has taken a turn she never expected. As Krabbe was preparing to start the meeting online, a commuter bus slammed into a nearby powerline, knocking out the power for her whole street in a town right outside of Detroit, Mich.. “It’s like if I lose power at home, and I don’t have any way of contacting my professors, it feels like I just disappear.” This is just one of the many obstacles facing remote students this semester.

For many, living in different time zones has been an issue. Across the Pacific Ocean, sophomore Kaylee Liu ‘23 lives in Singapore, where the time zone is 12 hours ahead of Wooster. “All of my classes are recorded, so I watch them asynchronously, and then meet with my professors once a week. I am really grateful for how much professors have helped me this semester,” Liu said. “While professors have worked around the time zones, group work appears to be a major challenge. “I can’t really ask [about] problems in the group chat since nobody is awake.” Liu serves as an editor for The Wooster Voice and is a member of Pi Kappa, where she has been able to communicate with members.

While some clubs and organizations have been able to thrive remotely, others have struggled to adjust.

Kennedy Pope ’23, a psychology and women’s, gender and sexuality studies (WGSS) double major, is studying remotely from Atlanta, Ga. and the distance has hurt her ability to contribute to clubs on campus. “It has definitely been rough to adjust to clubs remotely,” said Pope. “The clubs that I’m an active participant in are all focused on creating safe spaces and community for Black people on campus. A large part of creating that atmosphere has always been having events and meetings face-to-face and present with one another, so that people know they are seen and  appreciated. Sadly, going completely virtual has made it harder to recruit and be known to the first-years on campus. I am optimistic that everyone’s efforts will allow us to get over this hurdle.”

Pope noted that “the last time it was election year on campus, it was not the safest or healthiest environment for people of color in Wooster, so I hope that all cultural clubs will still be effective resources for students in need.”

This remote semester has helped Pope learn more about herself, she tells The Voice. “I had never realized how much I relied on the positive peer pressure from my friends to study … It is a lot easier to do your work and study when everyone around you is doing the same thing as well,” she expressed. “If you’re the only person in your environment who is in school, it is extremely easy to not feel any sense of urgency to complete assignments.”

Like Pope, many other students have focused on how to make a difference in an election year. Alec Monnie ’21, a political science major currently studying from Meadville, Pa. is serving as an advisor for Joe Biden’s rural coalition in Pennsylvania and working at a local deli. “Socially, it has been pretty hard to be at home pretty much all the time,” Monnie reflected.“I have been working in a deli at home two days a week, and recently started a position on the Biden campaign, so I’ve been working a lot more than I normally do on campus, and even with my I.S. and classes, I still have considerably more free time than I do when I’m at school.”

When asked how professors have made their courses accessible, Monnie has been very impressed as “professors have been wonderful at being accessible in light of the circumstances this semester.”

Halen Gifford ‘21, a communication studies major from New Albany, Ind., agrees. “All of my professors have been extremely accommodating,” she told The Voice. Due to health concerns, Gifford decided to study from home. While she misses her dorm, she admits that “it is nice having a real kitchen [as] it has been great to wash dishes in a real sink and make toast whenever I want.”

Chris Roche ’23, a sophomore studying remotely, agrees. “Not to throw shade on Lowry food, but having home cooking every day is a plus to studying remotely. Another plus is being around my family a lot more and being able to walk my dog when it’s nice out,” Roche noted.

For many, the Independent Study (I.S.) experience defines senior year, as Gifford pointed out that “this is not the I.S. experience I expected … but I have enjoyed it so far.” While working on her I.S., which “is a genre study of horror cinema,” Gifford credits her mom as a great support. “One nice thing [is that] my mom has watched all the films I’ve looked at for my literature review with me which has been very wholesome. Virtual learning, as we all know, is a challenge. However, I have gotten pretty used to it.”

“Working successfully on an I.S. from home sounded intimidating at the start of the semester, but I think it has gone well so far,” said Carlos Owusu-Ansah ’21, a math and physics double major. “The  hype around I.S. is not felt as strongly from [home]. That is a bit sad because I was hoping to put my best effort into the project.”

Many students miss the resources that the College of Wooster offers, especially during I.S. “For books and articles that I need for I.S., I want to critically read them, but without the printing capabilities offered on campus, that has been hard,” said Marloes. “There’s just this weird duality with being at school and home.You have to keep up with your friends, attend classes and be there for your parents. It’s something that I’ve never had to deal with before.”

#ScholarStrike: A Call to Action

MorganAnn Malone

Contributing Writer

 

Education is not only vital to strengthen your own knowledge and intelligence, but also to enforce it and bring it out in others. I had the incredible opportunity to take part in the recent #ScholarStrike teach-in. From Sept. 8 through Sept. 9, 2020, educators across the nation stood in solidarity with activists in professional athletic fields — namely, Colin Kaepernick and Naomi Osaka — to “underscore the urgent importance of addressing racism and injustice in the United States,” from the #ScholarStrike homepage. They did this through means of teach-ins, strikes and protests.

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, Professors of Political Sciences Michelle Leiby and Désirée Weber at The College of Wooster held a combined class with their Human Rights and Intro to Political Theory courses, respectively, and hosted a teach-in about the modern civil rights movement condemning police brutality and racial discrimination. Through a discussion and question-and-answer format, we discussed what the movement meant to each student and how the atrocities committed against victims of police brutality violated various treaties outlining inalienable human rights. 

We examined documents such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESR), statements from the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention against Torture, as well as Martin Luther King Jr’sLetter from Birmingham” and his notable “I Have a Dream” speech. Through these documents, we learned about the right to strike, the right to freedom of association and the right to not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, especially not by order of a state official. These were the rights that came up regularly in our class discussion and had to do with the current epidemic of police brutality. 

Through this discussion, our professors provided information designed to challenge anti-Black sentiments and actions, as well as historical documentation that presented linkage between current events and constitutional laws and violations. We learned that the human right to assemble — as seen in the ICCPR — grants people the right to peacefully protest, much of which we have seen recently. Additionally, we deduced that the epidemic of racial profiling and police brutality faced by the Black community is an example of cruel and unusual punishment as seen in the Convention against Torture. 

I greatly appreciated being a part of this portion of the #ScholarStrike movement. Professor Leiby and Professor Weber used their position as educators to emphasize the importance of education within activism. We gathered that education is truly the key for society to improve. Though we all came from a variety of backgrounds, we were all encouraged to think of different solutions to the problem at hand. 

The education surrounding human rights as a whole is a great starting point for examining the injustices faced by various groups, and this is what the #ScholarStrike aimed to do. Not only was it very informative and eye-opening, but it was also very energizing. By getting a better idea of what the current movement entailed and what human rights were being violated, we were very inspired to think about whatever we could to add to the movement. 

One of my biggest fears about this movement is that it will lose momentum and will become a passing moment just as other iterations of the Black Lives Matter or anti-police brutality movements in the past. Through my small participation in the #ScholarStrike, however, I am determined to keep the momentum going in whatever way I can. I also hope that the Wooster community — both on and off of campus — will acknowledge the work that needs to be done and do their part to contribute to the movement so its power does not dwindle.

Inconsistencies undermine COVID response

Laura Barnhill

Contributing Writer

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful to be back on campus, and I completely understand that we are living a reality that none of us have ever experienced before which makes it difficult to find ways to operate safely in the midst of a pandemic. However, a lot of the decisions made by the College to respond to COVID-19 simply don’t make sense to me.

Before coming to campus, I had every intention of making a COVID pod with two friends and staying completely socially distant from everyone else. That plan went out the window very quickly as I realized that there was simply no way to maintain that bubble while living on campus.

The main issue I have with the College’s COVID-19 response is the change in dining services. I understand the decision to eliminate self-serve options, and I think it is wise to not allow students to handle the food-serving utensils in Lowry. My issue is with the physical space of Lowry. While capacity has been reduced, the chairs at the round tables are not placed six feet apart, so if you want to eat in the dining hall, you cannot maintain social distance. Additionally, because it takes so long to get food now, Lowry gets so crowded that even if you decide to get food to go, you can’t social distance even when trying to get food. I also don’t understand the decision to close Mom’s on the weekends. This means that there is only one viable meal option on weekends, forcing even more people to congregate in Lowry. This seems contradictory to the intention of reducing crowds on campus. To really reduce social contact on campus, there needs to be another dining option open every day of the week. My suggestion would be to reopen Kittredge.

Another part of the COVID response that I didn’t understand was the decision to put campus on “lockdown” for the first few weeks of the semester, but still allow tours to go through campus buildings. I found it exceedingly frustrating that, after coming to campus, I was not able to pick up my textbooks to use in class because I hadn’t gotten my test results back, all while visitors were allowed to walk through Knowlton on tours. The only logic I can see behind that is that the school wants to make money, and that makes me as a current student feel secondary in their eyes.

At this point, I want nothing more than to be able to stay on campus and have some semblance of a normal senior year, but I am also worried that if anyone gets coronavirus, we will all get it. Campus is so small that even if we maintain social distance where we can, there are too few degrees of separation between people. Be it standing in line at Lowry during the dinner rush, or going to a class where there are more students than there are socially distanced desks, I hope the school recognizes that students will not be solely responsible if there is an outbreak on campus, and the last thing we all want is a repeat of last spring.

 

 

C.O.W. athletics commence phase one of in-person training

Geoffrey Allen

Staff Writer

Matt Olszewski

Senior Sports Writer

 

The College of Wooster athletic teams have officially begun phase one of practices, which has allowed athletes to spend time on the field, the track and the court together for the first time in months, which is something athletes have been looking forward to for a long time. Despite the restrictions that COVID-19 has imposed on sports throughout the world, certain areas look to be improving.

The College of Wooster has implemented many protocols for good reason, with the hope  that they will be able to be less restrictive in the coming weeks and months as the athletics department moves into phases two and three. It is invaluable to maintain a positive outlook in the midst of these unique circumstances. Many athletes have thoughts about having practices again and the importance of maintaining motivation despite not having a normal season or preseason, among other things.

Eric Kraus ’22 described the uniqueness of these circumstances and how he is nevertheless optimistic. “Although student-athletes will not be getting the season they wanted, we are still fortunate enough to make the best out of a challenging situation. As a senior, the upcoming season may be my final opportunity to strap up and play football with my teammates. We have made lasting friendships during our time at Wooster and want to finish on a positive note. Sharing the field with this group of guys is by far the most exciting part of this experience.” He went on to express how nice it is to be back with his teammates in-person and how “it feels fantastic to have regularly scheduled practices again. Besides giving student-athletes a sense of structure, it allows us to connect with new first-year teammates that many of us have not been able to meet in-person. I think this is especially beneficial for new student-athletes, as it instills a sense of belonging within the Wooster community.” Football is a high-risk sport but is one of the several sports finding ways to stay close-knit and looking forward to phase two.

Members of the soccer team, another high risk sport, are appreciating the additional structure that is coming with phase one and are excited for next week when they will be able to practice in larger groups and with their coaches. “It feels good to be back with the team and to be able to have people to practice with rather than just on my own,” said Maya McDonald ’22, a member of the women’s soccer team, “it does give me a sense of structure because I now have a designated time that I work out and train whereas before I would just go whenever I was free.”  

It is important to note that despite low-risk sports not having to worry as much about exposure to others, they still are required to follow the same guidelines and phases that Wooster has put in place. “Of course being with my team is so important to me, and having a more consistent schedule will make this semester just a little easier,” said Laura Haley ’21, member of the women’s tennis team. “Right now we’re focusing more on fitness until we can get back to some sort of normalcy.” That will begin next week when coaches will be able to be around athletes and other coaches at practice. Just like the tennis teams, the Wooster golf teams are also in the low-risk category. They have been enjoying being together and practicing again. “So far, the golf team has been practicing in blocked time periods at the golf course, and we can only go during those times,” said David Roney ’21. “They are three-hour blocks, and all the facilities are open only for us, so it is actually a really good opportunity to get specialized practice that is more difficult when there are other people around.” 

Cross country is a peculiar case where, despite the cancellation of the season, athletes are able to train individually almost exactly as they did prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, there are still a few hurdles they face in addition to the absence of meets. “We are always in groups [of] less than ten and wear our masks when we are running on campus,” said Matt Prill ’23. Since the cancellation of in-person classes in March, Prill has felt that running at home was more than just training. “Running has been something consistent in my life since I was in seventh grade,” he said.  He says running for him is “a great way to stay physically, as well as mentally, healthy.” The “desire to get better, the desire to be a better person, to fuel [his] motivation” has been a part of him on good and bad days. It is for this reason Prill now feels ecstatic to be back on campus while social distancing with his teammates. “We try to motivate each other to be the best we can, both as people and athletes,” Prill stated. But more importantly, Prill and other runners plan to continue to compete in virtual meets in what cross country Head Coach Dennis Rice calls “time tests,” where athletes are timed on their 8k and 5k runs and those times are compared to those of other schools in the NCAA. 

Cross country runners are not the only ones who have chosen to use quarantine as an opportunity to run. Field hockey student-athlete Maggie Brown ’21 has expressed how running allowed her to build a routine while being unable to practice on campus. Brown shared that returning to Wooster brought on many obstacles such as doing “drills and keeping six feet [of] distance between each other.” Regardless, everything that she has been allowed to do, from seeing her friends to conditioning outside has been simply a “blessing.” Without a full fall season to finish her career, she sets her eyes on new goals such as running a half marathon by the end of 2021. Here is to hoping that she, as well as all other Wooster athletes, will be able to accomplish their goals this fall and beyond — despite the unique and unfortunate circumstances.

ESports gains prominence in professional sport circles

Olivia Mittak

Sports Editor

 

Just a few years ago, professional athletes and fans turned their noses up at the idea of including esports as a category of professional sports, let alone considering its participants actual athletes and professionals. Fast forward to 2020, esports have launched themselves into the mainstream due to the  COVID-19 pandemic, becoming one of the few sporting options that was already fairly capable of switching to socially-distanced events without hassle. Thousands of people turned to Twitch, the most common streaming platform that esports are broadcast from, to find a source of entertainment while quarantining; in the process, they discovered a new hobby and helped push it into the public eye.

Esports’ influence during the pandemic has not just been limited to everyday viewers; NASCAR recently made the decision to cancel all of its in-person racing events, replacing them with professional esports-style racing competitions. The first of these virtual racing events, the inaugural eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, broke records for viewership on a televised esports program. The race, aired by Fox Sports, drew in over 900,000 viewers; quite an impressive number considering the niche label assigned to professional gaming events just a few years ago. While the NASCAR association certainly helped, the program stands as evidence that professional gaming is a type of sport that is flexible and adaptable, capable of satisfying the needs of people who might not normally find themselves watching a video game event.

The energy generated by the NASCAR events is starting to spread; Aston Martin, a British company known for their luxury sports cars, has announced a racing simulation machine they will be producing in the style of one of their cars. Aston Martin will produce 150 of these racing simulators, known as the AMR-C01, and will sell them for $74,000 a piece. The machines are luxuriously designed with customizable seats, adjustable pedal boxes, a high-tech steering wheel with twenty-one different dials and buttons, and a curved Quad High Dimension 32:9 aspect ratio monitor.

While some may still express doubts about the “validity” of esports as a profession, the interest of other sporting associations and high-end companies in the professional gaming industry is evidence that esports is beginning to be taken more seriously. The image conjured up when someone mentions a “professional video game player” is beginning to shift away from the boring, lazy and unemployed person sitting in their mom’s basement toward a more respectable place. Professional esports players now have huge followings on social media and are beginning to gain the respect they deserve as experts at what they do. Even celebrities like Post Malone are beginning to take an interest; the singer recently announced a partial stake in the ownership of Envy Gaming, a collection of notable esports teams.

Given the rapid growth and exposure esports is experiencing, it will be interesting to see if and when the College of Wooster decides to form its own professional esports team. Currently, 175 colleges across the United States have a team in the National Association of Collegiate Esports, including several schools in Ohio. Esports can cover a wide variety of video games, allowing for a variety of students to feel qualified to try out for a team; with the ever-changing landscape of the gaming industry, there are always new opportunities. It makes sense for the College of Wooster to begin discussions about forming its own Fighting Scots esports team as it’s popularity is only growing from here.