Category Archives: Featured

Men’s soccer plays European teams during their summer trip

Ben Blotner 

Contributing Writer 

The College of Wooster men’s soccer team had an opportunity to see a different, unique part of the world over the summer, as they spent Aug. 4-13 playing matches and viewing local attractions in the Netherlands and Germany. Most of the trip was spent in the city of Nijemegen, part of the Dutch province of Gelderland, but it also included day trips to Germany on Aug. 8-9. The Fighting Scots played three matches over the course of the trip; these resulted in a pair of draws and one close loss, as Wooster hung tough against very steep competition.

After arriving in the Netherlands early on the morning of Aug. 5, the team was welcomed by Coach Jan Pruijn, who hosted a training session for the Scots later that day. Wooster head coach Andy Zidron said that practicing with Pruijn “pushed the team in a new way that was very demanding and helpful.” After another practice the following morning with their own coaches, the players went on a tour of the Heineken Brewery before being given three hours to explore Amsterdam on their own. The team’s eventful day concluded with a visit to the Anne Frank House.

On Aug. 7, the team was given a morning tour of the Johan Cruyff Arena and the Ajax Fanshop. After this, the players got to work practicing, as they trained with Pruijn in the afternoon and Wooster’s coaches in the evening. 

The next day saw the Scots make their first excursion to Germany. Upon arrival, they toured Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund as well as the German Football Museum. In the evening, Wooster played its first game of the trip against TSV Meerbusch. Vasili Zestos ’22 and Manny Burton ’20 scored goals for the Scots, but the team fell by a 3-2 score.

The following day’s activities included another practice session with Pruijn and a bicycle tour of the regional German-Dutch border near Kleve, Germany. Later that evening, the team attended a Dutch Second Division match between NEC Nijmegen and FC Eindhoven, which Eindhoven won 2-1.

On Aug. 10, the team biked over the hill and dale Nijmegen’s city center. Once there, they met up with a local tour guide who gave them an extemely knowledgeable tour of historic Nijmegen and Saint Stephen’s Church. Afterward, the boys were let loose to shop and explore. That afternoon, they faced the semi-pro team Alverna, which Jonathan Logan ’22 said was “easily the best team I’d ever played against.” The Scots, however, were up to the challenge, as the defense kept Alverna at bay and the match ended in a 0-0 tie. After the game, the team attended another professional match. This time, it was a contest from the Dutch Premier Division, as PSV Eindhoven squared off against FC Groningen at PSV Stadium.

It was a quick turn around the next day for the Scots, as they played their final game at noon against Rood-Wit and battled to a 3-3 tie. This time, it was Connor Hawkins ’20, Wilson Freije ’21 and Stefan White ’21 who scored Wooster’s goals. Following the game, members of the two teams celebrated by having a drink together. 

After lunch, the players were given free time to relax and enjoy the afternoon before the evening’s activities. That night, the team attended the Sunset March, a daily tribute to Allied soldiers who fought for liberation of the Netherlands in World War II. 

On the final full day, the team was given a free day to explore Nijmegen or Grusbeck. A majority of the team chose to bike back to Nijmegen. The trip concluded with Coach Zidron presenting “We.Work.Hard.” shirts to the hotel manager, Vincent, and to Coach Pruijn. 

Zidron described Groesbeek as an “absolutely beautiful town,” confirming, “I felt like the town is what you might expect from a small European town/village: small and welcoming with lots of farmland once you started to ‘get off the path.’”

Overall, the trip was demanding of the players in its busy practice and game schedule combined with the travel and sightseeing, but it was also a rich cultural experience that enhanced the team’s chemistry as well its soccer skills. 

“The best part about it was watching the players interact in a different setting,” Zidron said. “[It] provided opportunities for deeper relationship building and camaraderie.”

The Fighting Scots take on Calvin College this Saturday, Sep. 14. 

Field hockey starts the season strong and optimistic

Angad Singh

Sports Editor

Looking out to dominate all the way to the finals again this year, The College of Wooster field hockey team started out strong at home last week with a win over rivals Wittenberg on Sunday, Aug. 31. The Scots dominated the game from the start with Caitlyn O’Connor ’21 finding the back of the board in the first nine minutes. Wittenberg fought back around the 14th minute, but captain Sydney Schuster ’21 curbed their advance with a goal about four minutes later. After that there was no contest with O’Connor scoring once again at the 26th minute. She finished with a hat trick that day by scoring again in overtime. She credited her hat-trick to the cohesiveness of the team. “Obviously it was an amazing feeling putting in those three goals against Witt, but it was even better to share that win with my teammates who all played so hard and put everything into that game. Again, the chemistry was amazing, and we found each other so well and that was the reason why we won,” O’Connor said. 

The Fighting Scots dominated throughout by outshooting the Wittenberg Tigers 14-10 and the same pressure came in the penalty shots with the Scots having an 8-5 lead over the Tigers. 

But it wasn’t just the offense that brought home the game for Wooster: goalie Katie Shideler ’21 stopped the ball on six opportunities on finding the front of the board. She credited the defensive line for the small opportunity window given to Witt saying, “I have my faith in our defensive line, I know that when I see the ball coming to the back field our defensive line will handle it, and with each game our line as a unit has progressively become better.” She continued “It is a new team dynamic and we are yet to attain our full potential.”

On asking how she felt the first game went, captain Grace O’Leary ’20 stated, “This is the most talented and cohesive team I have played on in my four years at Wooster. Not only is there a lot of individual talent in the group, but we seem to have good team chemistry.” On the new talent this year, O’Leary continued, “Even the right side who is made of mostly first years is finding a lot of good connections. In our game against Witt, we were dominating the play and it was really exciting to see.” Echoing the praise on the new talent, Emma Hambright ’20 stated, “We’re a pretty young unit and better conditioned, but the important part is that our team is willing to grow further and become better.” 

The Fighting Scots now come back from the last weekend with a decisive win over Transylvania, with the Scots bringing the game home with a score of 2-1. Schuster tied the game with a goal in the third quarter, but it was Jill Murray ’23 who broke the tie, giving the team a victory and scoring for the first time in her collegiate career. Contradictory to the score, the Scots actually dominated the stats with the team outshooting their opponents 11-3. Schuster on the game said, “We have been making opportunities to score, the only left is to perfect our execution.” 

“In our game against Transylvania, we came out with lower energy than what we needed. However, we really picked it up in the second half and ended up winning the game. Our coach has been conditioning us in practice and it showed in the game by the fact that we were able to keep up the energy even in the second half,” O’Leary added. Schuster, who carved her name on the scoreboard on both games, when asked on the new team and her predictions for the season states, “I feel like that the team has changed a lot considering we lost a lot of seniors last year, we have a lot of first-years this year and this is actually turning out to be a great thing considering how the matches have been going so far, the dynamic has changed but it is better.” 

Stinging from their loss to Centre on Sunday, the team is confident on their continued success for the rest of the season. O’Connor placed their immense, and well-deserved, faith in Coach Dixon. “We are definitely looking forward to improving throughout the season and looking to return to where we ended last season in the conference finals and win it this year. We have so much talent on this team and Coach Dixon has helped us tremendously so far and I’m truly looking forward to the big things we will do this season,” she said. Overall, the sentiment of confidence is echoed throughout the team. Hambright said, “I believe and trust this team. There is a bond between us, and I believe that it is this bond which will make us a better team.” 

Party on the Green had an enthusiastic audience

Karabella Hernandez

Contributing Writer

On Saturday evening, Rat Queen, PUBLIC and Soccer Mommy played at Party on the Green to an enthusiastic group of students on the residential quad. Beautiful weather greeted the artists — a rare occurrence for concerts on campus — that reflected the bright and energetic mood of the large crowd. The night as a whole was a success between the three masterful performances, supplemented by plenty of free food and snacks, merch from the artists and casual photo opportunities with both PUBLIC and Soccer Mommy.

Campus band Rat Queen opened the show with a set of six songs including their popular tracks “Summer Lightning” and “Other Wonders,” as well as a brand-new untitled song. In an interview after the show, band members Eleanor Linafelt ’20 and Robyn Newcomb ’20 said that their set list was comprised of songs written over the last three years of their college careers, some dating back to the summer after their first year. When choosing which songs they would play and in which order, Linafelt and Newcomb stated that the band wanted to select tracks that would get their audience up and dancing. The band also commented that the crowd for their set was larger than they expected for the beginning of the show, probably due to the agreeable weather, the location and the great setup. Linafelt commented that she appreciated the fact that there were both friends and new faces there, including first-years, that the energy was really fun and that the crowd seemed really into it, with many people dancing throughout. 

Newcomb noted that while she was appreciative for the opportunity to perform, “in the future it has to be a serious priority for Wooster to stop bringing exclusively white acts. There are so many ways that this campus centers whiteness already, and there is no reason that an event for all students — that spends thousands of dollars of students’ tuition money — should almost invariably be just white indie-rock/pop bands every year. I know W.A.C. has had setbacks recently and its hard to organize an event so early in the year, but if you have the ability to bring anyone, then you have the ability to bring artists of color — there’s no shortage of diverse musicians.” Newcomb pointed to last year’s Party on the Green lineup as a great indicator of progress but emphasized that it needs to be a sustained effort rather than a one-time occurrence. “That means actual, consistent diversity, not just sprinkling in one black rapper every now and then next to 20 white dudes on the stage,” Newcomb said.

Importantly, at the end of the interview Linafelt and Newcomb also noted: “If anyone is interested in getting involved in music on campus, please contact us for resources, equipment, etc. Wooster students are incredibly supportive and not scary at all and will encourage you.”

After Rat Queen came PUBLIC, an alternative pop rock band probably known best for their recent hit “Make You Mine.” During this set the crowd reached its peak energy and so responded well to PUBLIC’s lively set that included flashing lights, a jump up to the crowd by the lead singer and even a surprise cartwheel across the stage by the bassist — notably while still holding his bass guitar. PUBLIC was interactive with students as well, commenting that Wooster students, unlike students at other colleges they had played for, were incredibly enthusiastic and supportive throughout the whole set. Students were excited to track down the band members after their set to take photos and comment on their amusingly patterned shirts. 

Finally, headlining Party on the Green was indie band Soccer Mommy, somewhat better known than PUBLIC but toning down the mood somewhat. Their crisp, evocative songs were mostly a hit with the crowd, which at this point in the night was at its maximum size as students congregated for the final act. Though the band’s songs were slower than PUBLIC’s, a function of the switch in genre, Soccer Mommy still managed to mostly hold the crowd’s attention throughout the hour-long set. Sophie Allison, the lead singer of Soccer Mommy, sang with a plaintive voice that complemented the atmospheric, moody guitar riffs featuring in the majority of her songs. “Wasting All My Time” was met with some students becoming distracted on their phones and others using their phones’ flashlights to wave overhead as they held each other close. Many couples and close friends could be seen hugging and swaying back and forth to this emotional song. This was an outlier, however, in that as a moving song it slowed down the energy of the crowd; this energy was raised during songs such as “Your Dog,” a crowd-pleaser in its driving melody and rancorous lyrics. Even with its ups and downs, Soccer Mommy’s set was well-received, and audience members commented after the show that the performance did not let them down.

Overall, some members of the audience felt that PUBLIC’s set was the highlight of the show, while others were firm in their devotion to Soccer Mommy. PUBLIC demanded the attention of the crowd throughout the entire set, and while Soccer Mommy did so to some extent, PUBLIC’s energetic alternative rock/pop genre lent itself to the energy that many students so enjoyed. But Soccer Mommy certainly did not disappoint, bringing their best songs to the show, and Rat Queen started off the show powerfully with their own Wooster-beloved tracks. The three bands together did well in making this year’s Party on the Green a great experience for students at Wooster.

Banned Books Week celebrated at the College libraries

Korri Palmer

Senior Staff Writer

Could you ever imagine wanting to read a book, but you’re legally not allowed to? Although it may be surprising given the relationship the United States has with free speech, this is the reality for many books that have been deemed too inappropriate for public consumption. 

From Sep. 16-28, The College of Wooster libraries will be participating in Banned Books Week, a national campaign to display books which have been challenged or banned across the country. This week is sponsored by the American Library Association and allows students to check out the banned books and figure out why they were restricted in the first place. According to Irene Herold, the College’s librarian, Wooster makes this experience even better by including books that are not only banned in the U.S. but also in other contires around the world.

Banned Books Week was first conceptualized in 1982 by the Banned Books Week Coalition, an initiative to celebrate the freedom to read. The campaign was launched in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. According to the official website, Banned Books Week “brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.” 

In direct relation to Wooster, Herold tells us that the exhibit will “encourage the community to linger, explore and read.” The library has also gotten themed bookmarks and pins to give away and as for the books, Herold said, “we want these books to be read and used!” While reading banned books is cool and even dangerous in a nerdy way, this exhibit can be impactful because “these books have been silenced and banned, so we are bringing them into the light and giving them a prominent place and ‘voice’.”

The Coalition also lists the Top 11 Challenged Books of 2018; among them are books such as George by Alex Gino, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Every year, these lists are put together using real reports of books being challenged throughout the year. Often these conflicts are reported in the media, but some reports are individually submitted by librarians and teachers across the country who have books challenged in their communities. 

According to Gayle Pitman, an author who has had her books banned in parts of the country, about half of the books banned in 2018 were challenged “because they contained LGBTQ+ content … that is incredibly disturbing to me. Whether it involves removing a book from a shelf or burning a book in a trash can, all of these are attempts to erase, silence and destroy our communities. This is an opportunity for all of us to stand up for the freedom to read, as well as for the right to see ourselves reflected in books and for our communities to exist without oppression.” 

Just out of curiosity, I asked Herold what her favorite banned book was and although it was difficult for her to choose, she really likes The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. 

When checking out the books on display during Banned Books Week at the College, if you don’t see one that you expect to be there you can always ask a librarian about the status of a book. So, if you can unbury yourself from loads of school work and embrace your inner bookworm, stop by for Banned Books Week on the first floor of Gault Library.

Student organizations report budget issues

Claire Montgomery

Senior News Writer

When funding allocations for student organizations were sent out, some clubs realized that they had not received any information at all and thus had no funding for the 2019-20 school year.

“When we came back this fall, we realized we had never received a final budget and we contacted Julia Zimmer [dir. of Lowry Center & Student Activities],” said Oria Daugherty ’21, president of Greenhouse club. “She is in the process of working with Campus Council/Budget Committee to find new funds for us and several other clubs that had the same thing happen.”

Initially, student organizations submit their budget requests in the spring for the coming academic year, which are reviewed by the Allocation Committee. The Allocation Committee is made up of the “Chair of Budget Committee, the treasurer of the Student Government Association (SGA) and five students that were selected via blind application,” Halen Gifford ’21, member of the Allocation Committee commented. Gifford continued, “Clubs are able to appeal their allocated budget if they do not agree with Allocation Committee’s decision. The appeals are reviewed by Campus Council’s Budget Committee and then voted on again by Campus Council. Those clubs that choose to appeal come and have an in-person conversation with Budget Committee to justify their appeal.”

When asked about clubs that did not receive their budget, Gifford stated, “Allocation Committee reviews all the budgets that we are given from Student Activities. If a club turned their budget in and we did not review it, that is because Student Activities never gave it to us. I have no idea how the budget got skipped. I have been in contact with the club and I am trying to work with Campus Council’s Budget Committee and Student Activities to fix the issue.”

Daugherty added, “Apparently, the emails with the budget submissions were never received … so we weren’t allocated any money. It should be resolved in a few weeks.”

The Voice reached out to Zimmer multiple times, but she did not respond to questions.

College welcomes Melissa Anderson

Samuel Casey

News Editor

Tuesday, Aug. 27, Melissa Anderson joined The College of Wooster as the chief communications and marketing officer (CCMO), which replaces the former position of associate vice president for college relations and marketing held by recent retiree John Hopkins for 17 years, according to the College’s news website. 

Before coming to Wooster, Anderson served as the vice president of marketing and communications at Ripon College, a liberal arts college in Wisconsin with approximately 800 students. Prior to that, she led marketing and communications at University of Wisconsin at Madison’s business school and worked at a lobby group in Washington, D.C.

When asked what made her transition from marketing in the nation’s capital to institutions of higher education, Anderson explained, “When you’re out in D.C. as a young professional, it’s the perfect atmosphere where you get your feet wet learning how to have a voice amongst many — like trying to get stories placed with the media when there are [a lot] of other trade associations, lobby groups and grassroots organizations that are lobbying for that same share of voice … [so] it’s not too far of a leap.”

Instead of directly succeeding the role occupied by Hopkins, Anderson will have a newly defined role while still being a member of the President’s Cabinet.

“Part of what I’m doing, and part of President Bolton’s overarching plan, is to centralize marketing. It had previously been under the admissions office and in this new scheme, it’s being put it in the ‘center’ of campus with admissions, advancement and other things internally we need to be paying attention to,” said Anderson.

Anderson’s own experiences in college are part of the reason she decided to take the new position. 

“I’m a product of a private liberal arts college; I’m a first-generation college student and my experience changed the trajectory of my entire life,” she said. “When I came to visit Wooster, I found a lot of those things that I loved about my own experience as an undergrad here as well.”

Anderson has her undergraduate degree in English and psychology at Ripon and received her master’s in social sciences at the University of Chicago. 

One of the daily tasks Anderson will have is reaching out to different administrators and staff on campus to learn about what stories will resonate from Wooster alumni to prospective students and then getting the team to come together on a shared vision.

“Part of the reason I’m here is to tell [Wooster’s] story in the most compelling ways and reaching the prospective and current students, alumni, faculty, staff in ways that are meaningful and resonate with them that [so] they want to be brand ambassadors right alongside us,” Anderson said. “One of the big things I’m bringing is a background in analytics [to help] understand when we post of social media, what voice we [will] use and how it [will] travel. What are we asking people to do? How successful were we in trying to find what sticks, what’s working and what’s not?”

The “Wooster story” is an important message for Anderson to comprehend because it has a constant impact on students past and present.

“As students, you have so many choices on where you want to go to school and it’s really important for people like me to understand the reasons Wooster pulled at your heart strings and made you want to come here. Then, at a deeper level, focusing on that lived experience … and what are the things we’re doing that are great and what are the things we maybe want to do less of,” Anderson stated.

Other areas of Anderson’s department include overseeing the website, including news stories, responding to media outlets, design, social media and athletic communication. “They’re all coming under one umbrella this year,” she said.

Anderson understands that there will be a transition as she gets used to the new position. “This entire year is going to be a learning process for me, I need to learn all the quirks of the MacLeod Tartan, what the ‘tick-tock’ of the place is. As I’m doing that, I’ve been reaching out to key departments on campus, popping in to Lowry once in a while at night to chat with students to take the temperature,” she said. “As I’m learning, I’m working together with a team in marketing to put some processes in place. There’s a lot of work happening behind the scenes and it’s a great time to be here as we are working on our strategic plan moving forward and shaping that messaging.”

Anderson acknowledged, “At the end of the day I’m here, just as everyone else, to make sure students have the best experience possible and that starts with making sure marketing from the gates is really hitting at the intersection of what’s true and meaningful.”