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!

Laplace validated: atmospheric waves revealed

Jonathan Logan

Science & Environment Editor


Pierre-Simon Laplace, the French scholar and mathematician, engaged in a thought experiment nearly 220 years ago. In this  particular thought experiment, Laplace imagined the Earth’s atmosphere as a film of fluid enveloping the planet. You might picture this idea with a phenomenon from a well-known video game: Super Mario Galaxy. In this Nintendo classic, Mario is blown up to ridiculously large sizes with respect to the planets he is exploring. Some of these planets have oceans on them. When Mario steps
in one, the water is displaced and splashes upward before falling
back to the surface. It all seems otherworldly as you peer around
the curvature of the planet and see ripples disappear over the horizon.

Laplace’s Mario was the Moon. He postulated that our Moon would  create a gravitational pull on the atmosphere in the same way it pulls on the oceans and creates atmospheric tides of high and low  pressure. Think of Mario stepping down on the atmosphere and  squishing it into regions of high pressure on his side with the opposite side of the planet bulging outward to compensate, creating
a region of high pressure. Now imagine Mario walking around
on the atmosphere parallel to the equator, creating a never-ending
wave of high and low pressure. Physicists refer to this wave-like behavior as being “sinusoidal.” Laplace envisioned this 220 years
ago; now his thought experiment has been validated. The sole mechanism that drives these pressure waves did not turn out to be the Moon, but a grand combination of solar heating, turbulence, chaos in the form of hurricanes and a little bit of assistance from the
push and pull of the Moon… or a stomping Mario?

In 2016, the European Center for Medium-Range Forecasts released a data set dubbed ERA5. The data set brought together weather data from ground stations, satellites and weather balloons. In its final form, the data set reconstructed what a planet-wide weather system would have recorded between 1979 and 2016. ERA5, in the hands of the University of Tokyo’s Takatoshi Sakazaki, proved to be the tool that would tease Laplace’s waves into existence. What made this data set unique was that it took pressure and temperature measurements about every ten kilometers. Prior work attempting to discover the atmospheric waves had been limited to a single weather station or a global patchwork of stations separated by great distances.

There is an important fact about waves that must be understood in this context. Atmospheric waves are primarily classified by their spatial and temporal frequency—that is, the distance and time between successive peaks on a wave. Imagine two atmospheric waves oscillating at an identical frequency and riding around the
earth side-by-side, shadowing the other’s movements. If these waves decided to overlap, they would be able to look back around the planet and see that they match each other perfectly. This phenomenon creates what are known as “normal modes” of a wave.

Some normal modes of a wave are less energetic than others, so they “peak” at greater distances. Thus, prior to the ERA5 data set, Hamilton and Rolando Garcia were able to discover the lowest-energy normal mode of atmospheric waves since they only looked at data from a single station — separated by half the circumference of Earth. In other words, they could only detect atmospheric waves whose peaks were spaced by distances near half of the Earth’s circumference. Sakazaki and his post-doctoral research adviser, Kevin Hamilton, realized that they could piece together higher- energy, higher-frequency normal modes of these waves with ERA5 data that looked at smaller distances (ten kilometers) and timescales. They managed to tease out the other modes of atmospheric waves and prove that Laplace had stumbled upon a global orchestra of gaseous oscillations with his thought experiment.

But what does Mario have to say? Imagine that Mario is moping around the Earth creating his low-frequency, low-energy atmospheric wave. Meanwhile, the Sun is heating up different parts of the Earth in its own wavelike fashion as it creates day and night. Suddenly there are two atmospheric waves. Now the wind decides to blow at certain speeds all around the globe. A third wave! Hurricanes spawn in the Atlantic while typhoons spin up in the Pacific, adding their own chaotic waves to the global system. At different distances and times all of these waves synchronize to the other’s motion and frequency, thus creating the first mode and traceable atmospheric wave.

Mario gets all worked up when he sees a goomba in his mind’s eye. He starts power walking and stomping like mad on imaginary goombas in his fury. The first wave he created with his mope disappears as the new pressure waves race around the planet. Typhoons and hurricanes get stomped out in favor of Amazonian rains and strong winds whip around Patagonia in the Southern Ocean. The whole system is in turmoil! Yet, the individual pressure, temperature and weather waves synchronize again, forming the second mode and a new class of atmospheric waves. These higher-energy, higher-frequency waves race around the globe faster. They may even hang out over the northern hemisphere more than they do over the southern.

Perhaps Mario needs extra umph in smashing a goomba. Thus, he would be able to plant both feet on the southern and northern atmosphere and take great bounds around the earth. The atmospheric pressure waves would sync up in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively, creating a high-pressure re-
gion over the equator. Now there are northern and southern wave modes racing one another around
the globe.

Of course, Mario cannot run and jump infinitely fast and create an infinite number of modes. This would break some of the basic tenets of physics – namely, degrees of freedom. His speed limit is something like “Princess Peach is in danger” revolutions per day. The atmosphere cannot just bend into any shape it wants, just as Mario cannot run faster than Princess Peach speed. In other words, the freedom of movement it experiences is limited to three-dimensional space and its constituent molecules.

This is precisely why the discovery of Laplace’s waves is so revolutionary. Sakazaki and Hamilton’s work gives us an additional degree of freedom in predicting weather and Mario’s motivations. They have completed a theory developed 220 years ago; their work was published in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences and adapted by Charlie Wood of Quanta Magazine in his article, “Global Wave Discovery Ends 220-Year Search.”

New student group promotes racial justice in performance

Megan Tunnerman

Managing Editor


Amidst this challenging semester, Teresa Ascencio ’23 and Victoria  Silva ’23 are working to bring positive change to campus with the BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) Performing Arts Alliance.

Ascencio explained that in her first semester at the College last fall, she was in an acting class with Silva that led them to a discussion about “the importance of Latinx representation onstage and how
Latinx identities can be narrow and misconstrued in the public light,  whether that be as gang members, prisoners or even horrible  criminals, all of which do not truly show the beauty of Latinx cultures along with the variety of struggles we face.” That discussion led to the idea for a Latinx Theatre Coalition, which has since transformed into the BIPOC Performing Arts Alliance in light of the recent Black Lives Matter movement, as well as racial turmoil due to the upcoming election. “This way, our organization can both support and uplift members of communities that are discriminated against in
our society, and even within the theater community, as stories are
misconstrued and stereotypes are prevalently used to tell false narratives,” said Ascencio.

The current mission statement of the organization, according to Ascencio, is as follows: the purpose of the BIPOC Performing Arts  Alliance is to create an empowering space for BIPOC students to  invest in and expand on the various cultural areas of the performing arts, both on and off campus. This organization allows BIPOC students a space and platform to speak out against racial injustice
within the performing arts, to advocate for representation and  education centered on BIPOC experiences and to work with other  students on meaningful change at the artistic and educational level.
It will also provide students with a variety of resources and experiences to enrich their creativity, find meaningful mentorship and support and generate further artistic, educational and career related inspiration.

“BIPOC Performing Arts Alliance is just what it sounds like, an  alliance. We want BIPOC students to feel togetherness and empowerment through their medium of performance,” says Silva. Current faculty advisor for the organization, Professor of Theatre &  Dance Jimmy Noriega, echoed Ascencio and Silva’s comments, stating, “this organization responds to the need for structural change in higher education and the larger performing arts world, where BIPOC artists and their experiences are often silenced,  marginalized or ignored.”

The BIPOC Performing Arts Alliance plans on holding on campus events for the general student body (when it is safe to do so un-
der COVID-19 restrictions), with several potential guest speakers, as well as “more intimate meetings around discussion and  performance and even potential workshops for students to attend,”
stated Silva.

Students interested in becoming a part of this organization should keep an eye on their email. Once the organization is officially chartered, students will be able to join the mailing list to stay up to date on the organization’s bi-weekly open meetings. “While our organization is open to all students for open meetings and allyship purposes, we heavily encourage all BIPOC performing arts students to join us for both our open and closed meetings. This way, we can have involvement of all students on campus while also providing safe spaces and specific resources to those students who identify as BIPOC in the performing arts,” commented Ascensio.

Greek Life rush events move to online format

Kaylee Liu

Features Editor

Lark Pinney

Features Editor


Rush season has rolled around again, like it does every fall here at  the College. Under normal circumstances, rush would be an exciting  semester of non-stop group gatherings, movie nights and events, both formal and informal. In the interests of public health, this year’s rushes have been moved online. All Greek groups on campus are conducting rush virtually, and we spoke to some of them about how they are providing the best rush experience possible for first years via Zoom.

Rush is an exciting time for fraternities and sororities to get to know potential new members and for interested students to learn more about Greek Life. Traditionally during this time, groups host events to get to know prospective members, as well as inform and educate them on their culture and ethos. Service is also an integral part of Greek culture, and groups on campus are heavily invested in giving back to the community and making a positive impact. Delta Theta Psi recently hosted their “Saturday Morning of Action” on Zoom, during which sisters made calls and wrote emails calling for change to show their support and solidarity with social justice movements. Other groups have been hosting more casual events like the “Pi Kappa Hangout” and Xi Chi Psi’s “Game Night” in an effort to get to know rushes better and to forge the friendships between active members and students that are so valuable in helping each other find their place in Wooster’s social scene.

In this article, we’ve consolidated information about all Greek groups on campus and their rushes. If you are thinking about rushing, we highly encourage you to go through all the information and to rush as many groups as you are interested in. Rush is a season of new friendships, learning about Greek culture and just having fun. Even if you have never thought of yourself as a frat boy, sorority girl or gender-neutral Greek, there’s a place for you in Wooster’s Greek Life, and we would love to help you find it.

Group Statements

Beta Kappa Phi: Beta’s virtual rush will be a gaming and question and answer session from our members around the globe. A majority of us are doing remote learning, so while we can’t meet everybody this semester, we plan to for the next one! Our rush information can be found on our posters or on our Instagram @betakappaphi or through this link: Our second rush is on Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 6:30-8 p.m.

Statement courtesy of Beta Kappa Phi co-presidents Ivan Jaramillo ’22 and Shahroz Zaman ’21.

Xi Chi Psi: Xi Chi is a tight-knit, welcoming group. Whether it is throwing frisbees around on the residential quad, relaxing at the picnic table outside Bissman, heading down to Holly House to help
the homeless or huddling together in the chapter room for some study time, we love hanging out with one another. The bulk of Xi Chi members never expected to join Greek Life at the College, so virtual rush has made it much more difficult for us to connect with like-minded students that do not yet understand how distinct a local organization like Xi Chi is from a traditional national fraternity. However, we’ve already met some amazing rushes and hope to meet even more as the semester goes on! If you see us around, come talk to us, and if you’re interested feel free to fill out our interest form at

Statement courtesy of Xi Chi Psi president Angelo Williams ’21.

Phi Sigma Alpha: We’ve been hard at work finding a way to preserve the traditional rush experience virtually. We’re happy to have found a way to keep all of our rushes the same over Microsoft Teams.
We hope to recreate the in-person feeling of a good time, lots of laughter and bonding through our rush events. Our rush interest form is

Statement courtesy of Phi Sigma Alpha president Deshaun Jones ’21.

Delta Chi Delta: This year our rushes are virtual, but that doesn’t make them any less exciting or personal. We’ve been planning games, competitions and other fun activities that will help us get to know the rushes better but also let the rushes get to know us. Think you have what it takes to run with the Wolfpack? Be sure to follow @woosterdeltas or to email for any questions, concerns or updates.

Statement courtesy of Delta Chi Delta president Gerald Dryden ’21.

Epsilon Kappa Omicron: For rush this year, Epsilon Kappa Omicron (EKO) will be holding a completely virtual rush on Microsoft Teams, where we will be playing some online games, like Pictionary and cards against humanity, among others. During each rush event there will also be some time for questions about sorority life, how EKO does rush and about the group in general. Even though rush normally would be in person, EKO is still excited to meet potential rushes and get to know them! Our rush dates this year are Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 23 from 7:30-9 p.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 6:30-8 p.m. We’d love to see you there!

Statement courtesy of Epsilon Kappa Omicron president Marissa Camacho ’22.

Pi Kappa: This semester’s rush season is completely unprecedented, which is why I am equally anxious and excited for this year! Groups have to stray from tradition and brainstorm new approaches — a process I’m glad to be a part of. I hope that even without the in-person atmosphere, there can still be the same level of comfortability and excitement for our rushes. Our second rush is on Friday, Sept. 18 from 4-5:30 p.m. More information can be found on our Instagram, @pi-kappapeanuts.

Statement courtesy of Pi Kappa president Jenelle Booker ’21.

Delta Theta Psi: Delta Theta Psi (Theta) can be described as a group of individuals who support each other wholeheartedly, whether it be inside or outside of the classroom. Theta is an organization that
creates and fosters lifelong friendships. This rush season is going to be different than in the years past; however, we still want to make virtual rush a great and unique experience for each and every rush. For more information on active members and how to sign up to rush, visit our Instagram, @delta_theta_psi.

Statement courtesy of Delta Theta Psi president Megan Gronau ’21.

Kappa Epsilon Zeta: Kappa Epsilon Zeta is a relatively new Greek group on campus, and we are excited to keep getting bigger! A lot of us didn’t think that we would join Greek life, and we are often — especiallyrecently — trying to critique our own group to keep improving for ourselves and for potential new members. Overall, we are a group with very diverse interests, and we come together to help each other grow through reflections at our weekly meetings where we also find peace by spending time together. In regards to rush, we are doing things completely virtually. We have a Linktree on our social media accounts so that people can learn about us (see our Instagram for our 12 Days to Rush with each day featuring a different member of KEZ!) and sign up for rush; our formal and informal rushes will both be held virtually. We are also using our texting buddies more thoroughly this year (each KEZ member meeting at least once with their assigned rush) so that the rushes can feel closer to at least one of our members.

Statement courtesy of Kappa Epsilon Zeta Rush Chair Kennedy Bell ’21.

Eta Pi: We are open to everyone. A lot of the time people see fraternity and think guys only, but we accept people of all genders! This semester Eta Pi is approaching rush as all virtual. For the second rush we will be playing interactive online games; we aren’t sure which ones yet because we want to ask our rushes what onlines games are their favorite. So if anyone out there has any suggestions feel free to let us know! For more information, check out our Instagram, @woosteretapi.

Statement courtesy of Eta Pi President Skylar Billingsley ’21

Zeta Phi Gamma: Although rush is going to be challenging this year, Zeta is choosing to go into virtual rush with an open mind. We have various activities planned for all of our rushes that will take
place on Microsoft Teams. We are also able to get to know our rushes by having socially distant meals, that way we can have some sort of in-personcontact while remaining safe. We are a very close-knit group and intend to make our rushes feel welcome despite the challenges they are facing.

Statement courtesy of Zeta Phi Gamma President Dani Montgomery ’21.

Alpha Gamma Phi: We are a group that cultivates a loving and supportive environment that allows our members to continue to grow on their own path while strengthening their identity. Althought we are different, we share the same interests in supporting each other by providing a backbone for our members to lean on during the most transitional period of their lives! We want our rushess to know that we understand it can be an intimidating process but the outcome is lifelong friends and a Wooster family — after all, always good friends, always good times. For more information, our Intagram is @insta_gamms.

Statement courtesy of Alpha Gamma Phi President Hikmet Sherief ’21.

Online Scot Spirit Day has challenges and victories

Emma Reiner

Senior Features Writer


Scot Spirit Day looked a lot different this year. In the past, it  consisted of a crowded outdoor event with student organizations tabling and encouraging students to join their groups while listening
to music from Woo 91 and the Scot band. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wooster decided to hold Scot Spirit Day virtually via Microsoft Teams. Additionally, this event took place over three days instead of one afternoon. Each day had different time slots for dif-
ferent types of organizations including Greek Life, multi-ethnic, club sports, arts and special interest organizations.

When asked about how this year’s Scot Spirit Day compared to  those in the past, Louis Schwartz ’21 had a lot to say about the event. “The virtual setting made it a lot more challenging to connect and engage with people. I think it turned out the best way that it could, given the circumstances, but it does seem like most student orgs are going to see a massive drop in recruitment compared to last year.” Louis tabled for four organizations throughout the three day period: Common Grounds, Live Action RolePlay (LARP), Hillel and Queer Student Union (QSU). Louis added that QSU and Hillel had more students show up compared to LARP and Common Grounds, but “numbers were still down.”

Cesar Lopez ’21, had a different view of the event, “It would be hard  to compare this Scot Spirit Day weekend to years past because  they’re so different in nature.” Cesar is an intern for Lowry Center
and Student Activities and is the Sexuality and Gender Diversity representative for Scot Council. He added that while Scot Spirit Day was different from usual, it “was pretty successful in its own right.”

Allison Ringold ’23, a member of the Quidditch team, explained how Scot Spirit Day worked compared to last year. “My first year I went to Scot Spirit Day and just let whatever happened next happen. With Scot Spirit Day being online, their specific interests had to come  first. So, of course we had less people sign up.” She added that there is more of an emphasis this year on using social media to interest  people in their organization.

Morgan Kromer ’22, the president of the math club, said that they  “had [a] super low turnout.” She reasoned that it was because “people [were] being dissuaded by the name and no one chose to see what we were about unless they were directly looking for a
math club.” The organization usually plays card games, but it was difficult for them to inform students of that, making recruitment challenging.

Lilly Woerner, ’21, the secretary of After These Messages, an all-treble a cappella group, said that most people “just came for about 10 minutes to hear our summary of the group. They asked some questions, but nothing too personal about the members.” She added that because there were “multiple a capella groups, people switched around a lot between them.” After These Messages
also had fewer people show up than usual.

The Rugby Club also had a low turnout. Sarah Snider ’23, is the vice president of the organization and explained that the low turnout was not necessarily a bad thing.

“I believe the turnout could have been better. However, the people that came to our booth were very welcoming and stayed for a long time.” She added that because of the way Scot Spirit Day was held, she “think[s] the people who are going to join are more dedi-
cated and more likely to stick with it.”

COVID-19 has impacted many parts of our lives, including student  organizations. But, as Lopez said, “there will still be opportunities to safely build and be in community with one another.”