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Where did the diplomacy go in Kashmir?

Saeed Husain

Political leaders jailed, communication services blocked, curfews imposed, extra soldiers deployed and a constitution suspended. Welcome to the next global displacement.

In an utter lack of diplomatic principles, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. This article gave provisions to residents of the Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to live under its own constitution, with the Indian center (New Delhi) still possessing legislative powers in areas of foreign affairs, defense and communications. Article 35(A), now also abrogated, had allowed the definition of permanent residents in the vale. Through 35(A), only Kashmiri residents could purchase land and access state ben- efits in the region, with non-perma- nent residents disallowed to do so.

Since the abrogation, there is now almost the undeniable certainty of the religious and ethnic makeup of Kashmir changing. Residents will be forced to deal with new waves of Indian people moving in and for some this might lead to leaving the land of their ancestors behind. A culture stands to be slowly lost, its rights eroded.

Then there is Pakistan, which lays claim to Kashmir since it is a Muslim majority state in limbo since the British left in 1947. For those who are not aware, the India-Pakistan border is one of the most militarized on the entire planet. Border skirmishes occur far too often, and claimed ownership of Kashmir has led these two countries to war before.

With a political landscape in such contention, it seems bizarre that Modi would even attempt to add fuel to the flames. This situation being a delicate one is perhaps a diplomatic way to put it. With two of the most populous countries of the world, both having nuclear warheads, claiming Kashmir as their own, this has the massive potential to turn very ugly.

One of the most damning parts of this entire situation has been the fla- grant disregard of diplomacy. To announce such a radical measure without warning, or any discussion even in its own parliament, India has mirrored what the British did in 1947 with the division of what was formerly known as British India. This was one of the last times state geography was so vehemently altered in the region, leading to the creation of India and Pakistan with little respect given to the anthropological intrica- cies of where the border was laid. What resulted was a mad scramble in which families and individuals tried to get on the side with the religious majority they believed in. In the age of no-fast-paced-media back then, figures remain unconfirmed still today, with deaths believed to be between 200,000 to two million. Dis- placement, as can be imagined, was in the millions. Today, Kashmiris are being forced to decide what to do.

With the current situation, the silence from global actors is deafening. Blocking out all modes of communication and the imposition of curfews is nothing short of some of the world’s worst human rights atrocities. Imagining the feelings of people living in the valley and their friends and families outside, is incredibly difficult. Imagine not be- ing able to know the plight of your loved one for a month. This is what Kashmiri families are going through during these times, including right this moment.

Finally, what has happened in Kashmir is perhaps hardly surprising in this era of strongmen. Nationalist tendencies that have gripped the world in the guise of Trump, Modi, Khan, Bolsonaro and Duterte, have ridiculed democratic values. It is now up to those who still value democra- cy to rise and call out against populist movements that try to curb the freedom of individuals worldwide. For now, the world still awaits news from Kashmir.

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Indoor Track and Field looking to Repeat Success

Ben Blotner

Contributing Writer

The Fighting Scots track and field team has been working hard throughout the fall semester to prepare themselves for the upcoming spring season.

“The Fighting Scots are excited heading into the 2020 indoor track and field season,” said Head Coach Dennis Rice. “Both programs are well balanced with excellent potential.”

One of the most notable performances of last year’s indoor season included Will McMichael ’22, who placed first in the conference for the 400 m with a time of 50.91. Wooster is going into the season after losing several strong seniors, including national-qualifiers David Westcott ’19 and Carolyn Webster ’19. Westcott was a particular standout in his final season, as he placed third in the steeplechase at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships. On the women’s side, Carolyn Webster ’19, also in her final year, became the first Fighting Scot to win the NCAC heptathlon. Jena Copley ’21, Maya Vasta ’22 and Jordan Den- nis ’19 also placed in the top 10 for the event.

Korri Palmer ’20 is keen on replicating the success from last year. She stated,“This year I think our only goal is to maintain the greatness that we achieved last year. I would love to break another record, because records are meant to be broken.”

Sprinter Matt Olszewski ’21 broke down the team’s goals for the season, including how the group will overcome the loss of the past season’s star seniors.

“As for goals this season, I know that we lost a lot of valuable seniors that brought a lot of positive energy and character to our team,” he said. “I am looking forward to trying to bring that positive energy myself and encouraging other teammates, especially first years, to bring that energy as well and always put in effort to be the best we can be.”

Olszewski has been unable to train with his teammates this fall, as he has spent the semester abroad in Salamanca, Spain. However, he is excited to see his teammates again and to begin the journey of the upcoming season.

“Unfortunately, I have not been able to practice with my team, but I can’t wait to get back with my team- mates in January,” Olszewski said. He expressed pride in the team’s accomplishments of the past season and has faith that the Fighting Scots will continue their success.

“Last season people doubted us as a team, but we proved everyone wrong by having two top-three finishes at the NCAC winter and spring championships,” Olszewski reflected. “It was a great feeling to see all of our hard work pay off and to see all of the excitement from not only myself and teammates, but also my coaches. I am hoping we can accomplish something similar this season and place highly in meets.”

If this hungry, chip-on-the-shoulder attitude exists throughout the team, Wooster opponents could be in serious trouble this spring. Continuing off of what Olszewski said, Miki Rae ’20 stated, “We’re coming off great success in both indoor and outdoor track last year. The team is incredibly well rounded with strong performers across the sprints, jumps, throws and distance events.” He continued, “That’s something that the team has lacked in recent years, so it’ll be exciting to see how we develop through the winter and perform at big meets in the spring!

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Men’s basketball falls to Mount Union

Ian Ricoy

Sports Editor

Wooster’s men’s basketball team split their games during the week of Thanksgiving. The Scots beat Wilmington College on Saturday Nov. 23 86-65 in the Al Van Wie/Wooster Rotary Classic tournament. With the win, the Scots jumped from 21st to 16th in the national rankings. Unfortunately, the team fell to Mount Union the following Wednesday before Thanksgiving in a tough 81-67 defeat. With this loss, Wooster fell out of the top 25 with a 3-1 record.

The Scots got off to a slow start against Wilmington. The score at the end of the first half was 38-36. No player scored over seven points in the first half despite the team getting 23 rebounds. The team went 13-31 from the field and 3-10 from beyond the arc.The Scots only scored two points in the first three and a half minutes of the game off two free throws while Wilmington put up eight points. “We had a high number of turnovers in the first 23 possessions of the game,” said Head Coach Steve Moore. “This was due to rushing things on offense and not executing vs. pressure defense,” he said. The Scots didn’t capture the lead until there was 2:29 left in the first half with a three pointer from guard Khaylen Mahdi ’22. “We had the ball 19 times more in the first half and only had 2 turnovers as our players started to execute better by passing the ball well,” said Moore.

The Scots went on a 12-0 run in the second half to solidify their lead at 53-43. Five points in that run came from shooting guard Keonn Scott ’21 with a layup and three-pointer. “This improved offense carried over to the second half and helped us achieve the victory,” said Moore. Four Scots scored over seven points into the second half while the team went 17- 27 from the field, both big improvements from the first. All five starters for the Scots scored over ten points in the game including Scott with 18 and forward TrentonTipton ’20 with 15.

Wooster met defeat against defending Ohio Athletic Conference champions Mount Union Raiders 81-67. The Scots again got off to a slow start but couldn’t adjust to the Raiders’ play style. “In the Mount Union game, we again had an inefficient offensive start and while we did improve our offense as the game progressed, we did not get the job done on the defensive end of the court,” stated Moore. The biggest mismatch between the team was three-point shooting. Wooster went 6-28 while Mount Union went for a solid 9-19. Wooster relied more on its starters this game with forward Dontae Williams ’22 and guard Danyon Hempy ’20 both scoring over 20 points. “Mount Union has some very good players who are difficult to defend. At times we guarded them well, but we broke down too often and gave up shots that were not contested well enough.We also failed to get defensive rebounds that led to critical baskets for Mount Union,”said Moore.

The loss is disappointing but not new for a storied program like Wooster that seeks a challenge each year.One of the best things about college sports is the importance of the regular season and the non-conference schedule as every game matters for rankings, post season seeding and most importantly, player development. “We schedule tough non-conference opponents to challenge ourselves so that we find out areas that we need to improve upon. The most important thing we must do is make something positive happen as a result of the loss and become a better team,” said Moore. An early loss can be demoralizing for any team, especially when it is unexpected, but Coach Moore knows that the morale of the team is crucial for improving. “To bounce back, we must be highly motivated to redeem ourselves and have an intense, burning desire to compete harder than our opponents,” he said.

The Scots have plenty to be motivated about. Currently, their arch-rivals Wittenberg are the number three team in the country and the only North Coast Athletic Conference team in the top-25. There is still a long way until the first annual rivalry game in January, but for now, the team is focused on improving. “The most important thing we must do is make something positive happen as a result of the loss and become a better team,” said Moore.

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Ceramics provides unique artistic opportunities

Megan Tuennerman

A&E Editor

“I am not artistic. I cannot draw to save my life.” Does that statement sound like you? Then ceramics may be the art form for you. As a person who still draws stick figures, I can assure you that there are art forms out there that do not require the ability to draw to succeed, and the one that I love is ceramics. The beauty of ceramics is that it attracts people of different interests and skills, and everyone who tries it ends up with some- thing different and amazing.

Ceramics is a well-known art form, — we all use Lowry bowls and plates and cups af- ter all and even though those are not handmade, they are ceramic — but what is not well known is the unique aspects of clay. The general roadmap of the life of a ceramic piece is as follows:

1. Dirt is gathered, puri- fied and made into clay.

2. Clay is shaped and formedintopiecesofartwork, functional pieces, etc.

3. Those pieces get fired in a kiln, which changes the consistency into a rock hard material, no longer susceptible to changes.

4. Finally, individuals can glaze their pieces with a glass-like material giving it colors and designs, or leave them with a more earthy, natural look.

What makes clay unique here is the chemical changes that it undergoes during the process described above — the ability for something to be changed and altered, until it is almost frozen into its desired shape.

Walter Zurko, current ceramics professor, further ex- plains why clay is special. “Due to its malleability and ability to hold shape after manipulation, clay objects can take many forms: a modeled portrait bust, a constructed ab- stract sculpture or a functional teapot assembled from parts thrown on a pottery wheel.”

Walking into a ceramics class at Wooster, you may find math majors working alongside stu- dio art majors and english ma- jors, creating an encouraging environment for all. For Ethan Kahrl ’20, a chemistry major, the appeal of ceramics is the ability for him to work with his hands. In relation to why Kahrl chose ceramics as a fa- vorite art form, he said “I think I just do better when I have anobjecttomanipulaterather than trying to conjure an im- age out of my imagination or still life stuff so that could be part of the reason why I got into ceramics.”

I focus on the unique aspect of clay so much because to me, it shows how there are endless opportunities with ceramics. I am amazed with every assign- ment that I am given in my ceramics classes; no two artists end up with the pieces that look anything alike. Everyone starts with the same brown clay, and through skilled manipulation and experimentation, ends up with unique pieces that represent who they are as a person.

Another beautiful aspect of ceramics is that you do not have to excel at every single step to make beautiful pieces. Some people love to hand- craft ceramic pieces and some people are naturals at wheel throwing. While some people like to carve intricate designs into their pieces to show off their drawing abilities, others like to use glaze combinations and let the kiln decide what the piece will end up looking like.

The mystery of what happens in the kiln is another reason that ceramics is unique. “Unlike other mediums, there is an inherent unpredictability when we fire clay objects in kilns — we hardly ever have total control. Mystery abounds because there are so many possible variables as to how immense heat will affect the objects and glazes,” commented Zurko. This aura of mystery also tends to help ceramists to accept that some- times things do not work out perfectly — a hard lesson that is good for all to learn. Thus, ceramics not only allow individuals to express their creative side in whatever way they choose, but also it teaches anyone who touches clay that no matter what happens, the end result will be beauty.

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Rumph competes for softball Olympic team

Chloe Burdette

Managing Editor

As the squad of College of Wooster softball players started their 2019-2020 school year, they were given life-changing news about their beloved coach — Victoria Rumph was selected into a pool for a chance to play in the 2020 Olympics for Team Canada. “The chance to play for a spot on this team is such an honor, and I plan to soak in every moment of the hard work it will take for Canada to come home with a gold medal,” Rumph said.

The training process for Softball Canada is slightly different this year than in years past , according to Rumph. The pool consists of 21 Canadian Softball athletes, each chosen by Softball Canada because of their skill and stamina. The athletes will take a trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia for their training which will take place in February. After two months of training, the group will head to Tokyo, Japan to play against competitors in games to decide who will make the cut. After the Tokyo trip, Team Canada will select 15 of the 21 players in the pool to play on the Olympic squad. “In the past, team members have practiced and completed our strength program at home un- til May or June. This year, we are utilizing a ton of time as a team so that we can perform the way we need to at the end of July when it matters the most,” Rumph said.

Rumph is no stranger to Team Canada. Being a part of their national team since 2013, she has participated in many prestigious events such as the Candian Open and the World Cup of Softball. But the Olympics is a whole new ballgame. In 2020, softball will make its return to the Olympics after 12 years.

“Beyond the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, softball will not be an Olympic Sport for the foreseeable future as it will not be in- cluded in the 2024 Paris Olympics,” Rumph explained. “This is literally the first and the last chance that I will have to compete in the Olympics in softball.”

As for coaching at Wooster, Jeff Bricker will be taking over the head coach position while Rumph trains for an Olympic spot. Bricker, a seasoned coach for softball, looks to take this new position with excitement and the drive to win. “I am look- ing forward to the upcoming season with as much excitement as ever,” Bricker said. “Getting the opportunity to work with this talented group of young athletes is a great opportunity, and it doesn’t come around very often.”

The Wooster softball team was enthusiastic when they heard the news that Bricker would be their coach while Rumph is away. “Long story short — I love Bricker,” said Morgan Bailey ’20. “He is very passionate about his new upcoming role and I have no doubt he will do all that it takes when it comes to helping the team in being successful.”

Although the Wooster team will miss their coach, they will be rooting her on from the States. “While I would have loved to finish out my career with her as my coach, I want her to know that I am so proud of her,” Marina Roski ’20 said. “After all, how many athletes can say they were coached by an Olympian?”

Torrey Totman ’21 and KendallLloyd’20sharedthesame

excitement for their coach. “We all would just like to tell her that we are so excited for her and this is such a great oppor- tunity. She is sad to leave us, but we will continue to work hard and push ourselves to become even better players,” Totman said. Lloyd stated, “This is ev- ery athletes’ ultimate dream and it is in reach of coming true for Coach.”

The Wooster team has already started to prepare for their season in the weight room, and will really start to rev their engines winter break. “The team is talented, but if we want to compete for a championship there’s certain things that we have to do,” Bricker said. “If you’re a pitcher, get in the gym and throw. If you’re a hitter, get in the cage and get a lot of swings. Put in the necessary repetitions to get better.”

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Third annual Pre-Kwanzaa celebration hosted on campus

Kaylee Liu

Contributing Writer

“Although Kwanzaa isn’t celebrated until later in December, Pre-Kwanzaa is meant to be a place to gather, connect, share life and food and express grati- tude for the gifts of the previ- ous year,” stated Erin Guzman, the interim director of Religious and Spiritual Life (RSL) at the College of Wooster, regarding The College’s annual Pre-Kwanzaa celebration.

The Pre-Kwanzaa celebration, which took place this past Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7:00 p.m. in The Alley, is meant to be“a place where we can gather and be reflective and thankful at the end of the year and to be thankful for blessings in our life,” according to Amanda Paniagua, the director of Multi- cultural Student Affairs (MSA).

Paniagua was also one of the organizers of this year’s Pre- Kwanzaa celebration. In previous years, the Pre-Kwanzaa celebration was organized by its founder, Kim Green, the former program coordinator for the Center of Diversity and Inclusion who has since left the College. However, Paniagua hopes to continue the tradition Green started; this year marks the third year Pre-Kwanzaa has been celebrated at Wooster.

At Wooster, Pre-Kwanzaa is a collaboration between the MSA and RSL departments. In previous years, RSL has played alargepartinPre-Kwanzaa. RabbiDarioHunter,whohas since left the school, was in- vited to speak at a previous cel- ebrationandheexploredthe similarities between Kwanzaa and Hannukah in his speech. Paniagua hopes to continue

Hunter’s example so that in future years the Pre-Kwanzaa celebration will grow to include more religious groups and their perspectives, while always keeping the celebration centered as a pan-African tradition with a focus on the African American experience and tradition.

Previous celebrations have been hosted at Gault Recital Hall in Scheide, in order to be able to showcase student performances on stage. Students and staff would participate in creative expression like song and dance as each candle on the Kinara, on the altar space, was lit.Following that,there has traditionally been a soul food dinner for everyone to enjoy.

The goals of the celebration were“to share about the holiday and its values, its cultural significance for communities of the African diaspora and to encourage those in attendance to reflect on what those values mean in their own lives,” described Guzman. Those seven principles are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determi- nation), Ujamma (Cooperative Economics), Kuumba (Creativ- ity), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Nia (Pur- pose) and Imani (Faith). This year, those values were embraced as organizers worked hard to create a space in which the campus community could convene and embrace the bless- ings in their lives together. In Guzman’s words, “lift up the ‘harvest’and bounty in their lives.”For Guzman,the“beauty of the Pre-Kwanzaa event is that it highlights this important and underepresented tradition, gives students space to share their gifts and allows time for rest and renewal.” She and Paniagua “hope the Pre- Kwanzaa event can continue to be a time for all to have space for reflection and connection with the wider community, especially before heading into the busyness of final exams.” Paniagua particularly hopes that it was an “uplifting experience” for everyone involved, and that it helped “African American students feel visible in a celebratory way” and still “resonate with people outside the community who can hopefully feel a connection to the celebratory spirit.”

If you are interested in being apartofthePre-Kwanzaa celebrationinfutureyears,please reach out to Amanda Paniagua at apaniagua@wooster.edu for moreinformation.Pre-Kwanzaa is a community celebration that depends on student participation and volunteering.

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