All posts by Tristan Lopus

Football team is victorious on Black & Gold Weekend

Matt Olszewski

Contributing Writer

The Fighting Scots football team squeezed by DePauw University and came away with a huge 24-21 win last Saturday afternoon. The Scots earned the win they were looking for on a fun and eventful Black & Gold weekend as campus was bustling with energetic fans eager for victory. 

The game’s score line opened with DePauw’s Demarco Henry running in for a three-yard score to put the Tigers up 7-0 late in the first quarter. The second quarter was the difference maker for the Scots, as they exploded for three touchdowns: two offensive and one defensive. Wooster Quarterback Mateo Renteria ’22 had an outstanding game, throwing for 388 yards and two touchdown passes. Early in the second quarter, Cole Hissong  ’22 caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Renteria, evening the score at seven a side. 

Five minutes later, DePauw punter Ty Johnson dropped a snap deep in his own half of the field, recovered it, but then Wooster’s Chase Flanagan ’22 knocked it loose. That left Wooster’s Derrick Florence ’19 to finish the job off: he recovered the ball and ran it in for a three-yard fumble recovery touchdown to put the Scots up by seven. Right before the opening half came to a close, Cam Pollard ’20 intercepted DePauw’s Chase Andries. “I was kind of surprised because the ball was really high and I didn’t think I could get to it,” said Pollard. The Scots were quick to take advantage of that defensive takeaway made by Pollard. Just after that, the biggest play of the game — and certainly the most memorable — happened with 28 seconds left to go in the second quarter. Renteria connected with Nick Strausbaugh  ’20 on a 73-yard pass and score to increase the lead by another seven points. “With the spark of Cam’s interception, we felt we could take a shot. Mateo threw a perfect ball and I was able to come up with it and run it in for the touchdown,” said Strausbaugh. “The crowd was rocking, those two plays to end the half were complete game changers,” said Lachlan Davidson ’21. 

Notably, that was the 20th receiving score of Strausbaugh’s career thus far. The Scots headed into the locker room at halftime up 21-7.

Coming out of the locker room for the second half, Strausbaugh called the team atmosphere “exciting.” “We knew we could play like this. We played the first half well … we wanted to show to everyone that we can win tough football games. We were excited to get back out there and finish the game on top,” said Strausbaugh. DePauw opened the second half scoring when Logan Greene caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Cam Haynes to cut the deficit to seven points. Wooster’s Robert Alvarez’s [’22] fumble recovery right after was another noteworthy play for the Scots, as it gave possession back to them on the Tigers’ 34-yard line. The Scots then tacked on another three points on a 24-yard field goal made by Henry Whyte ’21 with 5:35 left to go in the third quarter.

Going into the fourth quarter, the Scots were up 24-14. The only scoring in the final quarter was when DePauw’s Andy Hunt caught a short five-yard touchdown pass from Cam Haynes to make it 24-21 with 9:20 left in the game. The Scots’ defense stood strong throughout the rest of the game. Wooster picked up their first conference win of the 2018 season on Black & Gold Weekend in front of a very excited crowd. 

The Scots finished with 388 yards of total offense to DePauw’s 285, with Renteria completing almost two-thirds of his passes. Strausbaugh  ended up finishing the game with 161 yards receiving and Jacob Lewis ’20 added on another 100 receiving yards. “That win against a school like DePauw in that setting was great. Alumni were able to witness something they haven’t been able to witness in a long time: a victory against one of the strongest teams in the conference. The crowd was crazy. It was mind-blowing,’” said Pollard  regarding the win.

 Next up, the Fighting Scots turn their heads to a matchup against Wabash College on Saturday, Sept. 29 in Crawfordsville, Ind.

(Photo from Wooster Athletics)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist visits Wooster

Desi LaPoole

Features Editor

Around campus — in the libraries, academic buildings and especially in your rooms — there’s a necessary object to your livelihood that doesn’t usually warrant much attention. It’s the trashcan, and it does more damage than you might think. 

It’s perceived as an essential part of cleanliness and everyday life — and in our culture, it is. Our fast paced, on-the-go lifestyles have inflated our consumption of disposable goods, which has contributed to a multitude of global issues in areas ranging from economics to environments. This was the main focus of Edward Humes’ Peter Mortensen Lecture hosted by the College last Wednesday, Sept. 26.

Humes is the author of “Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash,” this year’s required summer reading for first-year students. In “Garbology,” Humes investigates our trash and all that comes with it: how we throw away so much garbage, what’s in it and what we end up paying for all of it. In his investigation, Humes brings to light how the commodities Americans buy, consume and sell are rooted in waste through raising questions of economics, culture and environmental impact.

His book, the primary focus of his Wednesday and Thursday talks, has had a profound impact on some students in the first-year class. Prior to the Wednesday lecture, some first-years shared their perspectives on his award-winning book. 

As a student interested in environmental studies, Nathaniel Seeley ’22 explained how “Garbology” was particularly eye-opening for him. He stated, “I thought it was really good because it provided solutions to what an individual could do to have an environmental impact and how collectively that could make a big impact.”

Making a positive impact on the environment through individual action was the major takeaway for most first years. For some, such as Raena Gamble ’22, reading the book has inspired them to not only implement changes in their daily lives, but help others make positive changes in their habits as well.

“I tell my parents now, ‘you better wash [recyclables] out,’ because we usually didn’t wash out our recyclables, and I didn’t know we had to do that. But now I’m like ‘you better wash that out,’ and I think that’s making some small impact on the world,” said Gamble.

The Peter Mortensen Lecture, a gift to the College in 2006 by alumni Peter Mortensen ’56, is a fund dedicated to lectures and performances related to first-year seminar (FYS) courses. 

While Humes’ lecture was similar to last year’s event, which featured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s discussion of his book, “Writings on the Wall,” this year’s lecture was more conversational in tone. Two students, along with a faculty member, sat down in McGaw Chapel to interview Humes with questions submitted by FYS classes and other members of the campus community.

The following day, Sept. 27, Humes sat down in the more personal setting of room 140 in Ruth Williams hall to discuss topics of environmental communication. 

Humes, who won a Pulitzer for his journalistic work on the military, came to the small discussion with a plethora of insights to share with students interested in journalism, environmental science and environmental communication.

Some students were excited to talk about topics they had just learned about while reading the book over the summer. Prior to the event, some first-years recalled aspects of the book that opened their eyes to issues they did not take notice of before.

“Sadly, the world and ecosystem is falling apart and it’s all our fault,” said Gamble, “so learning about the things in this book and learning about the consequences of our actions really impacted me, you know; like I should be doing more.”

To learn more about “Garbology” and Edward Humes, visit www.edwardhumes.com.

(Photo from Orange Coast Magazine).

MLB Postseason Predictions: American League

As the 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season enters its final week, the postseason picture has begun to form. The American League (AL) playoff picture is set, heading into the final week with five teams establishing themselves throughout the season. However, it is almost October baseball, which means the regular season is a thing of the past. Here is what to look for this postseason in the American League, as well as my predictions. 

Boston has been the talk of the season for one reason: their incredible record. On Monday, Sept. 24., they won their 106th game of the season, a new high mark franchise record. Before falling off in early September, the Red Sox were on pace to break the 2001 Seattle Mariners record of 116 wins in a single season. The secret to Boston’s success has been their rotation and production from their outfielders. Despite battling injuries most of the season to superstars Chris Sale and David Price, the Red Sox rotation has found ways to keep opponents out of reach and let sluggers Mookie Betts and JD Martinez steal the show. The most impressive thing is that they did this in a division that features the Yankees, who have one of the best lineups in baseball. Look for the Red Sox to be extremely intimidating in the postseason.

 The Cleveland Indians continued their dominance over the AL Central this year, which is not saying much due to the division being in a state of rebuilding, establishing itself as the weakest division in baseball. That should not take away from how potent the Indians lineup is. Jose Ramirez has had a monster year and is a candidate for MVP. Francisco Lindor has done Francisco Lindor things and the rotation has been spectacular, spearheaded by performances from Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber. Look for the Indians to continue to make the softest splash of success this postseason, as the cards could fall in their favor. 

The defending champions, The Houston Astros, are back in the postseason and are looking to end the trend of early exits by defending champions. While not as dominant as last year, Houston still had a very strong season. The middle infield produced on both sides, and the rotation was strong, giving way to a team that boasts the best run differential in baseball at +261. Expect big performances from Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer. Houston should be wary of Cleveland, as Astros ace Justin Verlander has a horrible track record against the Indians dating back to his days in Detroit.

Back in the Wild Card game for the second straight year, the Bronx Bombers are looking to make a deeper run the postseason. Despite having one of the best hypothetical lineups in baseball, the Yankees seemed to underperform this season, as Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge struggled at the plate and with injuries. However, the Yankees rotation was the key to their success this year, boasting top 10 stats in most categories. Look for an explosive offense this postseason from the Evil Empire. (Despite my personal hatred for the Yankees, it is nice to see them be a contender. It’s good for baseball when they’re good).

I would say this is a surprise, but it really isn’t. Every four or five years the Oakland Athletics will soar above being pathetic and shock the sports world. Led by Khris Davis, the A’s offense is powerful and the rotation keeps them in games. They are nothing flashy and have no star players. If the A’s can keep the Yankees in check during the Wild Card, watch for another Brad Pitt movie about them in two years.

PREDICTIONS:

WILD CARD GAME: New York over Oakland.  

ALDS: Boston vs. New York: Boston over New York 3-1.

ALDS: Cleveland vs. Houston: Cleveland over Houston 3-2.

ALCS: Cleveland vs. Boston: Cleveland over Boston 4-2.

Max Engel, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at MEngel21@wooster.edu.

New renovations leave swim team eager to start season

Ben Blotner

Senior Sports Writer

Although the swimming and diving season does not officially begin for almost a month, Wooster’s swimmers got in some friendly intrasquad action on Saturday as they broke in the newly renovated Timken Natatorium. The event gave families and alumni a chance to see the team in action over Black & Gold Weekend. “I feel we performed as expected for this point in the season,” said head coach Rob Harrington. “Overall, the coaching staff was pleased with our results.”

The competition, known as the Pentathlon Meet, consists of five events: the 50-yard butterfly, 50-yard backstroke, 50-yard breaststroke, 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard individual medley. The men’s and women’s teams both showed a great deal of promise for the upcoming season. 

“This team is incredibly strong and versatile,” said women’s team captain Annabelle Hopkins ’19. “We did a great job filling in the gaps [on our roster].” Hopkins noted that the team’s breaststroke program has particularly improved from last season. 

Griffin Campbell ’19 and Molly Likins ’22 finished first in the breaststroke for their respective teams, and Cameron Gelwicks ’19 and Emma Fikse ’19 each took the top spot in the freestyle. Gelwicks also won the individual medley for the men, along with Brooke Brown ’21 for the women. Trey Schopen ’20 and Kalla Sturonas ’19 earned top butterfly honors, while Josh Gluck ’21 and Kate Murphy ’21 were masters of the backstroke.

The swimmers likely felt much safer and more comfortable than last year due to the new and improved pool, which saw its first action after undergoing a badly needed renovation in the offseason. The renovation was the long-awaited result of a movement led by Hopkins, who in 2017 authored a 10-page document to the College’s Board of Trustees detailing the many problems with the old pool. 

“Our school’s pool has countless, severe problems that are no longer fixable and yield more fear with each passing day,” Hopkins writes on the first page of the document.  “These problems have repeated themselves and will continue to persist until we replace the facility.”

Hopkins goes on to describe the numerous flaws the pool had at the time, including poor ventilation that endangered asthma-afflicted swimmers, a moldy, falling-apart ceiling and rotting pool tiles that caused swimmers to get cuts on their hands and feet. The pool was also illegally shallow for diving competitions and did not have enough space for multiple teams to practice at once, forcing the teams to practice at different times and leaving less time for the pool to be open to the public. 

According to Athletic Director Keith Beckett, renovations included a new filtration system, new disinfectant system, repairs and replacement of pool tiles, repairs to the air handling system, repairs to the bleachers and replacement of lighting, among other improvements. 

“The process was very detailed and involved significant planning and vetting … comments I have received have been very favorable.  People are especially pleased with how clear the water is — almost looking blue.”

Beckett has as much reason as anyone to be satisfied with the renovations — according to Hopkins’ document, he fought for a new pool throughout his tenure as head swim coach. “Over two decades ago, while [Beckett] was the head coach of the school’s swimming and diving team, he was promised that a new facility would be built within five years,” Hopkins writes. “This never happened.”

It has finally happened now, and things are looking up for the Fighting Scots swimmers and divers. 

On Saturday, Sept. 29, The College of Wooster will host the Black & Gold Alumni Swim Meet at the newly renovated Timken Natatorium. This will be another friendly event in which alumni swimmers return to compete. Come out to support!

(Photo from Wooster Athletics)

Phishing scams increase at The College of Wooster

Tristan Lopus

Chief Copy Editor

As an institution that exists in the 21st century and uses email, The College of Wooster continues to deal with the ubiquitous threat of phishing scams. With the prevalence of these sorts of scams at the school, it’s imperative to understand the threat the members of the College are dealing with.

Phishing is a type of scam whereby a malicious actor attempts to gain unauthorized access to a secure account by deceptively obtaining the account’s credentials from its rightful owner. The most common form of phishing, and that which most affects the College, is email phishing. This involves sending unsolicited emails to account owners wherein the sender poses as a legitimate web service and directs the user to enter their credentials at a hyperlinked site. It visually and functionally mimics the legitimate site but is in fact a malicious site designed to harvest any credentials submitted to it.

For example, an attacker could send an email pretending to be Microsoft Account Services with the instruction “click here to reset your password now.” However, whereas in a legitimate email with such an instruction clicking on “here” would take the user to “account.live.com,” in this example, it takes the user to “as23fdlskj293d3adlf.com,” a site designed to mimic account.live.com. When the user inputs their login credentials into as23fdlskj293d3adlf.com, they are sent not to Microsoft but to the hacker, who can then use them to log into the user’s Microsoft account.

The ultimate goal of almost all phishing is monetary gain. This begs the question, “How can monetary gain be made by covertly accessing a person’s Wooster online account?” In an interview with the Voice, Director of Technology Services Vince DiScipio explained that when phishers phish College email accounts, they are typically not interested in accessing College accounts as an end but as a means to accessing people’s other online accounts. Many people use the same email and password for all or many of their online accounts, so having the credentials for a person’s Wooster account could mean having access to their online banking accounts, or their Google, Apple, Facebook and other accounts, all of which might have credit card or other financial information saved in them.

Access to Wooster email accounts can also provide phishers capabilities that allow them to phish more effectively. One of the tell-tale signs of phishing is when the “From” name of the sender does not match the email address from which the email came; for example, the “From” field of a phishing email might say “Google Account Services” but the “From” email address field of the message might say “al209sfl20d0sfs0@2ad09an2309s908.net.” This is because a phisher can manually edit the “From” field, but not the email field. However, if a phisher has direct access to a Wooster user’s email account, they can send the email from that user’s email address, which may make the email seem more credible.

DiScipio also explained that the phishing attacks that affect the College are broadly targeted and highly automated. By writing web crawlers and browser automation scripts, phishers are able to download Wooster email addresses, alongside addresses from hundreds or thousands of other institutions, and automatically send phishing emails to them all. Even the recent phishing scam specifically impersonating President Bolton, DiScipio said, probably began with an automation script that searched the web for “college presidents.”

The high degree of automation of these phishing scams make it easier for phishers to send high volumes of phishing emails. DiScipio said that, prior to 2012, when the College managed its own email servers, its mail filters blocked close to 90 percent of incoming email traffic. Since the College has now switched to an Exchange server managed by Microsoft, DiScipio does not know how much traffic is blocked from the servers, but he speculates that the proportion of traffic that is blocked has only increased since 2012.

One major advantage of having the College’s email hosted on Microsoft-managed servers is that Microsoft has highly advanced filtering algorithms that draw on data collected from all servers hosted by Microsoft. This means that when an email sent to one Microsoft-managed server is marked as spam, the same message will be blocked from all other servers hosted by Microsoft. So if, for example, a school district in New Mexico reports an email as phishing, that sender’s emails will be treated with greater suspicion and potentially blocked when sent to Wooster email addresses and addresses of accounts hosted on any Microsoft-managed server).

Despite these sophisticated efforts to block phishing emails from ever reaching Wooster inboxes, DiScipio said that receiving phishing emails is nonetheless a reality of life in the digital age. What is more even more important than preventing these emails from reaching inboxes, then, is mitigating the damage that can be done when they are received.

To that end, DiScipio said he and the I.T. department are planning one or more workshops to educate the Wooster community on how to identify phishing emails, even when they do not exhibit all the typical signs of a phishing email.

Additionally, DiScipio mentioned that two-factor authentication is currently being piloted among the I.T. and human resources departments, and could be deployed to the entire Wooster community in the coming years. With two-factor authentication enabled, a phisher would not be able to access Wooster accounts even if they had their usernames and passwords. While this would be unlikely to discourage phishing emails from being sent in the first place (since they are sent through such a highly automated process), it would diminish the damage that could be done when a user’s credentials are exposed.

Scotlight: Sabrina Harris

Sabrina Harris ’19 discusses the opportunity to attend the Athens Democracy Forum, what she learned and how Model United Nations has changed her life.

You just got back from Greece after being invited there for a conference! What did that entail? 

It was part of the Athens Democracy Forum. It was put on by The New York Times and was a place for multisector stakeholders, so people from the private sector [such as] business owners, governmental representatives and non-governmental organization (NGO) and civil society organization (CSO) representatives, to discuss and analyze the different problems facing democracy today.

How was the conference?

It was really phenomenal. I was fortunate enough to be grouped with 20 other individuals who all attend liberal arts schools all over the world, and 17 of us were from different countries so it was really diverse in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation [and] nationality. 

We did a lot of close group work together, talking about different themes that were addressed by the Forum. The conference itself [lasted]  three days and it [consisted of] people from the Times, CSOs and academics discussing these four themes that were the basis of the conference. It was really interesting because the Forum itself was very homogenous in the type of people that were there, as it quite literally was the liberal elite. It was interesting to be part of a student group that differentiated from that, because there was a lot of talk about giving marginalized identities voices. 

Obviously, [I was] immensely thankful to be a part of it. It was a life changing opportunity but at the same time, I think that’s something in the future that they should work to do better on.

How did you get invited to a Model United Nations (MUN) conference on such a global scale?

Every school within the Global Liberal Arts Alliance is allowed to nominate two students that they feel would be best suited to participate. I was fortunate enough to be nominated by the political science department and from there, I had to apply and be chosen by members of the Global Liberal Arts Alliance. They tried to prioritize different types of diversity. [The students] helped contribute to public papers that will be published by The New York Times about everything that happened at the conference [and] the solution ideas that were proposed. I’m really hoping that this will continue in the future. 

How has doing MUN here at Wooster impacted you? Would you say it has changed your life?

Absolutely. It’s really shaped my research interests. As of now, [for] my Senior Independent Study, I’m looking at how the internal dynamics of international organizations affect the ability for women to attain high-level leadership positions. 

MUN has taught me how to be a better public speaker, it’s taught me how to be more confident in my research and my analysis and honestly, [it has helped me in] getting to know the world and working with people from all over. It really forces you to reconcile your own positionality and understand how others can view the same issues.

Who were you most excited to see speak?

I spoke on the panel with Thulisile Madonsela; she helped write the South African constitution after Apartheid, so I was a really big fan of her work based on what she’s done for transitional and social justice.

Is there anything you learned at the conference that you think Wooster students should know?

I think Wooster students should know that it’s really easy to get caught up in the things we do have wrong on our campus, but there is so much value to a liberal arts education. 

As I’ve kind of entered into the professional world more, between interning for the UN last summer and this experience and just seeing how the skills we learn in the classroom can translate, I’m really grateful and proud to go to this school. It’s just been really special to be a part of an institution that does prioritize the things that it says it does, this opportunity included in that. 

I hope that this continues because this is the second year they’ve brought a student delegation and this is the first time that somebody from Wooster has ever gone, so I’m hoping that we will be able to have ourselves represented on a more global stage.

Interview by Abby Everidge, a Staff Writer for the Voice (Photo courtesy Sabrina Harris).