Category Archives: Features

G.R.E.E.K. and OneEighty event teaches how to support

Emma Reiner

Senior Features Writer

 

Trigger Warning: This article discusses different forms of sexual violence, including assault.

Last Sunday night, Kappa Epsilon Zeta (KEZ), Delta Theta Psi (Thetas) and OneEighty hosted an event about sexual assault, titled “Support and Care After Sexual Violence for Greek Life.” This event was part of a series by KEZ and Thetas that focused on how Greek life can acknowledge and aim to fix issues in the Greek community. Past events approached how the Greek community at the College can be more anti-racist and inclusive of varied sexualities and gender identities. The event on Sunday was a presentation by OneEighty, with a forum for questions led by Maresa Taté ’21, the outgoing President of KEZ, and Kennedy Bell ’21, the outgoing Sexual Health Representative of KEZ. Members from Theta also helped organize the event, including outgoing president Megan Gronau ’21, incoming president Camille Carr ’22 and Co-Diversity Chair Olivia Friedman ’22.

Taté stated that this discussion is long overdue. “There are a lot of conversations about consent, how to seek professional help from The College and other resources, sharing stories of abuse, but rarely do we have conversations about how to support someone after they have experienced any form of sexual violence.” 

Bell noted that the format for this event was different from the past ones because a presentation fit better with the subject matter. “We worried about people accidently ‘retaliating’ by speaking about their experiences or the experiences of others and, therefore, losing their [Title IX] cases or that having an event where we specifically called out experiences may be traumatizing for the audience.” Carr instead suggested something more like a community care event that would teach attendees how to support their siblings who are dealing with sexual violence.

The event kicked off with an introduction to OneEighty, along with an introduction of the staff present at the event. Among the staff present were coordinators and advocates. The advocates served as support people during the session, available for one-on-one sessions with attendees in breakout rooms. OneEighty is located in Wooster and Millersburg, Oh., and it provides help with addiction, mental health services and resources for those who have experienced sexual and domestic abuse. 

The presenters from OneEighty gave basic information on statistics surrounding sexual violence, both on the problem as a whole and specifically about college-aged people. They also involved students by asking various questions about the statistics. One question focused on why survivors decide to not report. The attendees gave many reasons, from victim blaming to the lack of safety in reporting. 

After this, OneEighty gave more info about the process of reporting, including info about hospital exams and the varied emotions survivors have after an assault. This then went into a discussion about how people can support those who went through this traumatic event. This discussion included the many resources OneEighty has to offer. 

This presentation led to a Q&A for OneEighty workers, specifically about what Greek life at Wooster can do about the issue of sexual violence. Questions concerned what Greek life can do to support survivors and what they should do to prevent it in the first place. Attendees also discussed what organizations can do to discuss this issue more, since it is not discussed enough.

Cara Seamount Aaron ’22 and Tim Cotter ’22, agreed that the presenters gave a lot of valuable information and that OneEighty did a great job educating the students. Sydney Barger ’21, had different thoughts on the event. She noted that not many of the participants involved in Greek life spoke, even though Greek life at Wooster has a history of hazing activities that are harmful to survivors and some Greek groups are still involved with “underground” groups that have a history of assault.

This event was a step in the right direction, but as Barger mentioned, the College and Greek life need to do more. Events like these are a good start to a discussion around assault, but it is up to the administration and students to do more.

An alum-packed weekend: STEM, createHER and more

Emma Reiner

Senior Features Writer

 

This upcoming weekend, April 9th-11th, the College will be hosting three different events with alumni for students. These events will include a STEM panel, a CreateHER Day and a panel for finding housing after college. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of these events will be held in a virtual format. 

The first event of the weekend will be a panel called “Disabled in STEM: Career Panel” on Friday, Apr. 9th at 7 p.m. EST. The panel will have two speakers, Dr. Shelley Judge from the Earth Sciences department, and alumna Yukie Sato from the class of ’07. This panel is a continuation of an event held in February, which consisted of a panel of students discussing disabilities in STEM. Kara Melrose, the STEM Zone coordinator, along with STEM Zone Interns, decided to put together this event as a response to the good turnout at the student-led panel. Melrose said the goal of this career panel was “having the same discussions [as the student-led panel], but hearing from people who have been out in the career field and how their disability has or has not affected their path.” Even though this panel will be virtual, Melrose noted that it is exciting that these virtual events make it possible  “to have alumni from across the globe participate.”

The next event happening this weekend is the third annual createHER day. This will be on Sunday, Apr. 11th from 11a.m.- 3 p.m. EST. Marina Pannell, the Assistant Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, along with CreateHER Ambassadors Zoe Carter ’22 and Mady Rice ’22, planned this event to happen virtually on Zoom. They were unable to put the event together last year due to the rapid switch to virtual learning last spring, so they wanted to make sure the event happened this year, even if it had to be virtual. Past createHER days included breakout sessions occurring at the same time, which meant attendees were unable to attend all of them. This year, due to the event going virtual, Pannell and the ambassadors planned the event so that the breakout sessions occurred at different times, making it possible for attendees to attend all sessions. Additionally, the event this year will include both alumnae and a current student who is a createHER advocate. 

The last alum event of the weekend will be hosted by the Future Alumni Network, called “#Adulting: Tips and Advice for Finding Housing,” and it will be on Apr. 11th at 7 p.m. EST. Four alumni will be on the panel, and will give tips on finding housing for soon-to-be graduates. Paul Seling, the Assistant Director of Volunteer Engagement in the Alumni office gave more details about this event, saying that “the panelists will give tips for where to look for housing options in a new city, what to consider when budgeting living expenses and what you should consider before signing a lease.” Students involved with the Future Alumni Network came up with this idea, leading to Seling contacting different alumni and putting it together. Compared to past events, the speakers will be more varied because Seling is not limited to alumni who live close to the College. Seling argues that events going virtual will allow the Alumni office to “connect students with alumni all over the world so that they can share their expertise.” 

Planning for virtual learning and events has been difficult. Seling commented on this, saying that one of the challenges has been that “many people are feeling very fatigued with participating in things virtually.” However, the people planning these upcoming events noted the benefits in going virtual, including flexibility in timing and speakers. Going virtual has its advantages and drawbacks, and that can be seen in planning these kinds of events. These events can engage students in different topics, from meeting alum in their field, to career planning and it is exciting that they can still happen in a pandemic world.

SRC and CDI Present on Amatonormativity in Relationships

Allison Ringold

Staff Writer

 

On Saturday March 13, students explored the topic of relationships at an event titled “Breaking out of Amatonormativity.” The event, put on by the Sexual Respect Coalition (SRC) and The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), focused on common assumptions that are made in relationships; for example, what a relationship actually is and what it means for two (or more) people to be in a relationship.

According to Casey Lohman, Graduate Assistant for the CDI, “The ultimate goal of this event was to expose the ways in which people in U.S. society are expected to want, have and prioritize monogamous romantic/sexual relationships, both on individual and structural levels, and to encourage participants to discover their own desires outside of those expectations by presenting alternative relationship models.”

The event introduced the idea of “amatonormativity,” a term coined by Arizona State University professor Elizabeth Brake to describe the societal pressure and desire for monogamy, marriage and romance. The leaders of the event made the point that general society’s expectations of people when it comes to relationships are not very inclusive. According to the PowerPoint presented at the event, “Amatonormativity affects sexual folks and all people who do not want sexual relationships, aromantic folks and all people who do not want romantic relationships, polyamorous and nonmonogamous folks and all people who do not want a central monogamous relationship, all who have lost touch with formerly close friends due to one or both people entering relationships, all who prioritize/want to prioritize non-romantic/sexual relationships and all who feel they cannot leave abusive relationships because divorce is frowned upon and/or they’re scared to be single.” That’s a lot of people, and yet this topic isn’t often seen in mainstream society.

However, that was the whole reason for holding the event: to bring this topic into the limelight. “I hope that this event leads each participant to question their own desires and the ways in which they engage in relationships — all relationships, not just romantic and sexual ones,” said Lehman. “I also hope that it exposes some of the ways in which U.S. society makes it difficult to break out of those assumptions, awareness of which could eventually lead to systemic change,” they said.

In this aspect the event was successful: it started a conversation. “I consider the event successful because we had many participants and a lot of active engagement,” explained Lehman. “People seemed to value and learn from the information that we shared.”

Casey Lohman (They/them/theirs), Graduate Assistant for the CDI

“The ultimate goal of this event was to expose the ways in which people in US society are expected to want, have, and prioritize monogamous romantic/sexual relationships, both on individual and structural levels, and to encourage participants to discover their own desires outside of those expectations by presenting alternative relationship models.”

“I hope that this event leads each participant to question their own desires and the ways in which they engage in relationships – all relationships, not just romantic and sexual ones. I also hope that it exposes some of the ways in which US society makes it difficult to break out of those assumptions, awareness of which could eventually lead to systemic change.”

“I consider the event successful because we had many participants and a lot of active engagement. People seemed to value and learn from the information that we shared.”

“This event was co-led by SRC and SGI. Ella Lang, Ellen Nikirk, and Veda Massanari-Thatcher were involved in the planning and presenting of the event.”

Google Slides link: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1xaOGZqQfoV0RGJ4j6jm7J_KFbb6JaVIbDHRc8RJyIJk/edit#slide=id.p

 

One hundred (fifty) and one succulents for Saturday

Ellen McAllister

Contributing Writer

Maggie Dougherty

Editor in Chief

 

Succulent Saturday: an evening of fun, friends and plants. To commemorate the first day of spring, this Saturday, March 20, Wooster Activities Crew (W.A.C.) will be hosting Succulent Saturday, an event where students will be given the opportunity to decorate a clay pot and then plant a succulent of their choosing. There will be two stations, painting in the G-rooms and potting in the Alley, which is designed to allow for safe social distancing practices. Planned by the new members of the W.A.C. team, this event was good practice in terms of leadership, advertising and teamwork. W.A.C. wanted to host an in-person event, since so many aspects of campus have been online this semester to attempt to give the feeling of a normal college year. W.A.C. members hope that Succulent Saturday will be a great success and let students creatively express themselves while bringing a little green into their lives. 

W.A.C. ordered 150 succulents in anticipation of high demand at the event. Interested on-campus students can sign up in advance for time slots every half hour between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., while spots last. After 10 p.m., if there are still succulents left, students can come participate on a first-come, first-served basis. However, many students have expressed excitement over the event. Rachel Osterhouse ’22 exclaimed, “I am so excited for Succulent Saturday! I have all my plants in my room and I can’t wait to add another one to the collection!” Mekdes Shiferaw ’23 pondered the event hopefully, stating, “succulents might be the only kind of plant that I can manage not to kill.”

Some students expressed how, in the absence of other breaks or opportunities to relax this semester, an event such as this one is a welcome chance to unwind and destress. “While we have little to look forward to without a spring break,” said Mahi Lal ’22, “I am so excited about Succulent Saturday and can’t wait to do this with my best friends. I’ve only recently started keeping plants in my room and can’t wait to add to the set!” Megan Fisher ’21 added, “As a plant lover, I’m excited for Succulent Saturday!” Christine Slater ’21 succinctly summed up the students’ sentiments, stating definitively, “succulents are plant-tastic.”

Scotlight: Camille Carr

Lark Pinney

Features Editor

 

Who are you and where are you from?

I am Camille Carr and I am from a suburb of Philadelphia called Bala Cynwyd. My family and I have been living there for the past 11 years.

Why Wooster?

During my junior year of high school, my teammate and friend applied to Wooster because she was interested in the Communications Sciences and Disorders program. She ended up not going, but I asked my dad if he’d ever heard of this school, and he said that the best sociologist he knows works at The College of Wooster, and that was Dr. Anne Nurse. Then, my senior year we visited and I really liked it! I originally was going to stay home and go to school in the suburb I grew up in, but last minute I decided to go to Wooster instead.

Who have been some of the most influential people here?

That’s tough, there’s been so many! Every person I’ve met at Wooster has influenced me in some way, from peers to staff to professors. Probably the most influential has been Erin Guzmán, who is the interim chaplain. I met Erin right after I moved in through the Wooster Plunge program. Erin’s guidance has really impacted me and really made me consider ministry as a career path, which was very unexpected.

Tell me more about that!

I don’t know for sure and I don’t think I want to go to divinity school right after I graduate, but Erin was the first spiritual provider I ever had that is progressive. I grew up between a conservative Catholic and Greek Orthodox church, so for one of the first people I met here to be a very progressive person who could provide pastoral care was very influential and really important for my personal development. I also have to say that every Wooster student has experienced this, when people you’ve gotten close with, whether a professor or a staff member, have left the College. That’s happened to me four times and I’d expect it to happen to me again before I graduate — but Erin has been here the entire time that I’ve been here, so I’ve really relied on her and she’s been really helpful. 

What’s been one of your favorite Wooster memories?

Symposium my freshman year, I think. It was such a special day, I had so much fun and it was so beautiful to see people’s families and alumni come. I had a lot of fun that day and I left feeling full, in the best kind of way.

How is Junior I.S. going?

It’s going pretty well. I am in the process of collecting materials for my literature review. I’m talking to a few people and I’ve been able to go to a few Zoom conferences on the people I’m interested in. I’ve been trying to narrow down my focus, which has been really hard, but I’m excited!

What is something that you are looking forward to or hoping to achieve in your last year here?

I want to be a TA for an FYS really badly! I also really want to do all the fun senior traditions: getting a brick, getting stoled, turning in my I.S. with my friends, having an I.S. Monday. It’s very bizarre to be entering my last two semesters at Wooster.

If you could give any advice to first-year Camille, what would you say?

I would say keep asking for help. Just keep asking for help and leaning on other people to the best of your ability. Obviously college hasn’t been perfect, and you learn from your mistakes, but I also don’t think I would be the person I am today if I didn’t make some of those mistakes. One thing that’s really gotten me through college is asking for help and being vulnerable. I would not have been able to do this without a lot of different people’s help.

Do you have any hobbies that might surprise people? Or talents?

Some people are weirdly surprised that I’m gay — which, I don’t know why — but that’s happened a few times at Wooster. Also, how much I like dancing at parties and how much I love sports!

Tell me a little about the book that is being published!

The Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition in Pennsylvania reached out to me through my mom and asked if I could produce something they would cosponsor that would be from the perspective of a sibling of someone with a life-limiting disease or the sibling of someone who is disabled. My sister was diagnosed with a neurological disease called muscular leukodystrophy. She relies on the care of others to survive; she cannot walk or talk; she needs to be dressed and fed through a tube. I wanted to accurately portray what it’s like — she’s lost a lot of her independence, but she also can communicate and we also have a lot of fun together. She’s way funnier than me; she’s so funny. I wanted it to be honest. We know someone who could do the illustrations, and I wrote the text, and it just kind of came naturally — how I would explain our relationship in a simple way. Hopefully it will be used by people when they’re trying to process and explain things to children that their sibling has been given a really difficult diagnosis. I hope it’s helpful. 

 

WWGME Advisors Scotlight – Drs. Krause, Tian, & Long

For International Women’s Day, Wooster Women and Gender Minorities in Economics (WWGME) leaders Mahi Lal ’22, Mekdes Shiferaw ’23 and Maggie Dougherty ’21 interview their advisors, Dr. Brooke Krause, Dr. Melanie Long and Dr. Huiting Tian, about their research interests within the field of economics and how they see the future of the department.

  • Why economics? 

Dr. Tian: During my undergraduate years, my advisors helped me develop a passion for economics, finance and quantitative analysis that has motivated me throughout my graduate career. 

Dr. Long: When I started college, I was broadly interested in understanding income inequality and policies that could help address it. I started as a political science major with an emphasis in economics. As part of that emphasis, I took a course called Economics as a Social Science during my first semester in college. The course featured fascinating topics, including the history of market economies and heterodox paradigms in economic thought. I decided to switch to an economics major while taking that class. I also took history and philosophy of science courses as part of my general education requirements, and I enjoyed using the ideas from those courses to think critically about the different and evolving ways in which economics has been done.

Dr. Krause: Because I said yes to an opportunity! Someone in my Spanish class my first year of college asked if anyone wanted to go to Guatemala over spring break. I didn’t know that student at the time, but I said yes! This was where I learned about marginalized indigenous communities and some of the challenges related to living in extreme poverty. I knew I wanted to learn more and found economics as a path to studying and alleviating poverty.

  • What are your research interests? 

Dr. Tian: My research interests are in applied econometrics and microeconomics with a focus on production economics. The central curiosity triggering my research is to understand the productive performance of countries, states and firms. By applying appropriate and sophisticated econometric techniques, my studies discuss how productivity and efficiency can be explained using various economic factors.

Dr. Long: My research investigates gender and racial inequality in the U.S. financial system. I explore how gaps in access to affordable ways of saving, borrowing and investing impact rates of debt accumulation and wealth inequality, with a focus on developments surrounding the 2008 Financial Crisis.

Dr. Krause: My field is development economics, within which my research interests are to understand how marginalized populations in the Global South make decisions and are affected by policies in order to identify ways to improve individual well-being. Health, education and gendered power dynamics within the household are themes that encompass my work. 

  • Why Wooster and what do you believe is the future of the economics department? 

Dr. Tian: Wooster allows me to really get to know students, connect with them and meet their diverse needs. Even outside the classroom, there are plenty of events and programs to unite faculty and students as one. Being an economics major provides students the crucial skill sets that are necessary to understanding the world that surrounds them. Although challenges exist, such as more mathematical nature in economics and rapid advances in digital technologies, I believe economics will always bring us deeper insights about real-world phenomena. 

Dr. Long: There are so many reasons why I love being at Wooster. One major reason is our amazing students! It is wonderful to see the dedication and passion that students bring to our classes and to everything that they do on campus and beyond. This is a very exciting time for the economics department, especially with the official chartering of WWGME! I am thrilled to see all of the events that WWGME has planned.

Dr. Krause: The future of the economics department is exciting! I joined the department five years ago and there was one year where I was the only woman in the department. Next academic year, we will have over 50% female representation among the economics faculty. We have been collectively and actively working on creating a department culture that asks how we can support each other and our students to grow in our inclusion efforts.