Category Archives: Features

Celebrating Latinx Night at the Underground

Allison Ringold

Staff Writer

 

Just like any other personal label, the words “Hispanic” and “Latinx” have a lot of meaning behind them. National Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place from  Sept. 15 to  Oct. 15, seeks to celebrate these labels and everything they represent. According to the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) event coordinator, Aileen Garcia ’23, “To me, this month is all about embracing & celebrating our culture as well as sharing it with others so they understand more about where we come from and what it means to us.”

Latinx Night sought to do just that. The event, hosted by The Underground (UG) and planned by Fernanda Banuelos ’24 of OLAS in collaboration with members of Latinas Unidas (LU), was a lively success. “We had a lot of people there and it was overall just an amazing time,” said Garcia. “Everyone was dancing and having fun, despite it being on a Wednesday. Our main goal is to share our culture with others on campus and I feel as though this was a great way to do it!”

“My favorite part was all the dancing!” said Garcia. “One thing about me is that I am a terrible dancer but that night was as if that didn’t matter, it was just such an overwhelmingly happy feeling seeing everyone come together and put everything aside and just enjoy themselves.” 

“The event wasn’t a packed event where we were at max capacity, but it was an event where the people who did come to hang out stayed all night and had an amazing time dancing and enjoying the music,” remembered Giuliana Morales ’23, Latinas Unidas’ Vice President of Communication. “I think my favorite part of the event was watching the rush of people coming and automatically dancing to the music. I kept hearing people calling their friends to come because it was getting very lively.”

Looking towards the future, Morales hopes that Latinx culture will continue to be celebrated. “It is important to have events like this in Wooster because it creates a place of inclusivity within the Wooster community that is specifically targeted for Latinx people, and to have non-Latinx people understand our culture and appreciate an aspect of it through music,” explained Morales. “It is also important because it allows Latinx people to have freedom of expression and pride for their culture and its music.”

Similarly, Garcia hopes that this event will be held again next year. “I think it’s important to have events like these because it really helps in bringing the Latinx community together. It also allows us to share our beautiful culture with others which is really important to us,” she said. “We would love to see this become a tradition or at least a recurring event; it really helped kick things off and set the tone for events we have coming up and honestly, it was just really nice seeing people come together to dance and enjoy some good music.”

Food and Fun Under the Sun with QTPOC

Blakely Dishman

Features Editor

Savannah Sima

Features Editor

 

Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) hosted a BBQ on Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Bornhuetter Pavillion from 3:00-6:00pm. The President of QTPOC, Malachi Mungoshi ’24, was very happy with how the event went and is looking forward to the prospects for more events as an organization. He stated, “The barbeque was a celebration to say the least – the turnout was wonderful and the support utterly appreciated. I had a great time getting to know people and feel that we helped establish a name for QTPOC in some capacity — that we are one step closer to our goal as an organization.” 

Attendees seemed to agree, Noah Leonard ’23 remarked, that “The music was incredible and turnout was good, but it was mostly first years and sophomores.” The cross-campus class year attendance and turnout is indicative of how important it is to cultivate this community through QTPOC. Mungoshi was excited to see the large turnout of first years and sophomores, stating that it was a sign of the group’s outreach efforts. By expanding their circle, the group will have the opportunity to gain new perspectives from students of differing lived experiences. They encourage all interested students to get involved with the group. Aspen Rush ’22 spoke to this, saying, “After almost two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel like I’ve missed out on meeting queer underclassfolks. It’s so exciting to be meeting a new generation of queer Wooster students. It’s great to see younger students already taking initiative to create an inclusive space for everyone on campus.” Amirah Yessoufou ’24 added to this, commenting on how positive the environment was surrounding the event: “The QTPOC BBQ was one of the most inclusive starter events I’ve been to on campus. I loved how the crafts, games, food options, music and outdoor vibe made sure everyone was welcome regardless of who you are and how you like to socialize!” 

This space is particularly vital for the campus community due to the barriers COVID has created surrounding gathering and connecting with other queer students of color. “After a year and a half of isolation, I really felt that I didn’t have any connections during online schooling. Having this BBQ was so important because it reconnected me to a community that I thought I had lost over quarantine. With everyone back on campus it is even more important to keep this connection so everyone feels like they have a safe place to go,” says Raena Gamble ’22.

QTPOC meets regularly on Mondays from 7:00-8:00 p.m. in the Queer Space in Compton Basement. Keep an eye out for Queer Prom and the Creating Change conference. You can also keep up with QTPOC on Instagram @wooqtpoc. 

Scotlight: Giuliana Morales and Sobika Thapa

Blakely Dishman

Features Editor

Savannah Sima

Features Editor

 

Giuliana Morales

Can you introduce yourself?

Hi y’all, my name is Giuliana Morales, but everyone calls me Giuli. I am a Junior Psychology and Sociology Double Major from Chicago, Illinois.  

What are you involved in on campus?

I am a leader in many student organizations, such as the Vice President of Communications for Latinas Unidas and the Co-Captain for our Wooster Cheerleading Team. I am also in Pi Kappa, which is one of Wooster’s sororities. I am a part of other organizations too, including: FGSO (First Generation Student Organization), WOI (Women of Images), SOAN (Sociology and Anthropology Club), Woo Crew as an Orientation Leader, and others that I try to go to once in a while. I also have many campus jobs like working in Admissions as a panelist and as an Unibuddy Ambassador. I also am a Crew Member in the UnderGround.  

What are your biggest goals this year for your campus involvement?

My biggest goal is to have a voice in each organization that I am involved with. I hope that no matter what is going on in campus, people have a safe space to come and talk to not only me, but everyone in the group. I also want to leave a legacy. I want the school to view these clubs, sports, and organizations as amazing programs to be involved in and not viewed as just another club.   

What are you most passionate about?

I am passionate about helping others. I am someone who tries to push people out of their comfort zones and have people learn new things. I love learning exciting new things and showing them to people so whatever I can get my hands on, it will be shown.  

Anything you want to plug?

This Black and Gold weekend on Saturday, Sept. 25 will be a great opportunity to see the cheerleaders perform at the football game at 2:00 pm in the John P. Papp Stadium! Second Rush for Pi Kappa will be Thursday, Sept. 23 from 6:00-8:00p.m. in Luce Lounge. This Wednesday, Sept. 22 will be Latinas Unidas’ first general meeting in the Latinx Lounge, which is in the basement of Armington from 5:30-6:30pm.  

 

Sobika Thapa

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Sobika Thapa. I am a Junior from Kathmandu, Nepal doing Computer Science and Arts.

What are you involved in on campus?

I am an RA in Armington hall, Outreach Coordinator for South Asia Committee, Treasurer for Pi Kappa, Student Advisor for EPC and Class Rep for FAN.

What are your biggest goals this year for your campus involvement?

Last year, I missed a lot of campus activities because of online learning and had a huge time difference. So this year I want to get more involved in in-person activities.

What are you most passionate about?

I am passionate about being the best version of myself, especially for me. 

Do you have any advice for the first years reading this?

Enjoy college! It is very much possible to get your schoolwork done and have fun, you just need to ace your time management skills (which a lot of people are still working on).

Race to the Finish: Running a Mile for the Akron Children’s Hospital

Emilie Eustace

Staff Writer

 

The Carl Munson Track at the College of Wooster was thrilled to welcome back the fourth annual Monday Night Mile fundraising event for the Akron Children’s Hospital earlier this week. This event took place on Sept. 13 and proved to be a success yet again. This event is founded by one of the college’s own professors, Dr. Jeff Roche. On top of teaching history here at the College, Dr. Roche has found a passion in raising both money and awareness for children’s hospitals all around the world. In 2018, he decided to create an event of his own with the help of Brian Polen, the former director of the Akron Marathon and owner of Vertical Runner in downtown Wooster. Jeff Roche says, “That first race was put together in only a few days and we raised $2,000. We knew that we could do better and continue to grow.” The event gives back to the Akron Children’s Hospital, the institution that saved his son’s life many years ago. Christopher, Dr. Roche’s son, was diagnosed with a form of kidney cancer in 2007 that spread to his brain only a year later. Although this was rarely seen in patients, the new treatments created by the pediatric oncologists and doctors from around the world saved Christopher’s life and allowed the Roche family to gain insight on how the Akron’s Children Hospital cares for families, with no one left to fight alone.

The Monday Night Mile was made for every individual, from marathon runners to those who have not ran the mile since their seventh grade P.E. class. This year, the event has been part of a four-week series of three virtual races, concluding with the in-person event on Monday the 13th. Roche says, “There are people that participate in this event from all around the United States. There are at least 12 states represented in the Monday Night Mile, including Texas, Arizona, Ohio, Oregon, Kentucky, and more. With this, we have hosted over 180 participants this year within the virtual and in-person format.” There are various degrees of expertise shown throughout the participants, with different levels of races and events offered to fit the needs of all. There were nine events held this year, including a kid’s singular lap race, a kid’s mile, the recreational mile, the open and master’s division, and various challenging relay races. On top of an awards ceremony with custom t-shirts and medals, runners and supporters finished out the night with music from DJ R3TRO and a much-needed post-race afterparty at JAFB Brewery.

At the end of the night, Roche was proud to announce that the event met its fundraising goal. He said, “This year we met our highest goal yet. People enter this race, now as a nonprofit organization, knowing that their money will go to a good cause. We raised over $10,000 which allows us to make a large donation and have money left over to begin working on the race for next year.” Although the physical race is over for the year, the work of the doctors and nurses at Akron’s Children Hospital never ends. Roche is more than ready to begin planning the fifth Monday Night Mile with an even higher fundraising goal set for next year.

Scotlight: Erin Guzman

Savannah Sima

Features Editor

 

Erin Guzman, Interim and soon-to-be permanent Chaplain shares her experience as Interim Chaplain and hopes for the academic year.

First, a clarifying question, is there a track for you to hold the permanent position, or anything to go through before changing your title from Interim to permanent Chaplain?

“Yes, technically I’m still an Interim, only because I have not yet had my ordination service. I have the permanent position, but because there is an endowment connected to the Chaplaincy, the language states that the incumbent has to be an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. So until I actually have my ordination service and the magic hand-waving happens, I still have to retain that Interim designation. It’s clunky, I know, but that is where things are at with that. Once I do get ordained, my full title will be: Henry J. Copeland Interfaith Chaplain and Director of Religious & Spiritual Life. :)”

What programs/organizations are you most excited about continuing to work with?

“I’m really excited to collaborate with all kinds of student groups and even off-campus organizations. Historically, RSL has had a very wide reach on campus, but a lot of that scaled down during the transitions related to the Chaplain position and with folks coming and going. So now I think we’re in a really good position to pursue new—and strengthen existing—partnerships. Groups like Wooster Volunteer Network, NAACP, the Living Wage Campaign and WooMutual Aid, Amnesty International, Environment Justice Coalition and Greenhouse, and Sexual Respect Coalition all do work and touch on things that matter a lot to RSL, so I’m eager to reconnect with those groups (and others!) because we have worked together a lot in the past.”

What upcoming events are the most meaningful for you, or that you have been devoting most of your time to?

“The Worthy Questions program holds a very special place in my heart. It was started over 20 years ago under a previous Chaplain, Rev. Dr. Linda Morgan-Clement. Worthy Questions—or WQ, as we affectionately call it—is an intergenerational mentoring program that pairs Wooster students with an adult mentor in the Wooster community (many of whom are Wooster alumni). Each semester, students commit to participating in small and large group gatherings where we simply ask big, deep questions that center on a theme. In the past we’ve done: Emotions that Shape Us, Communication, Identity… this semester, the theme is Journey. I find WQ so meaningful because having spaces where you can sit with hard but honest questions has been so important in my life and what led me down this path to becoming a Chaplain. What I wish for Wooster students is to not shy away from those deep questions (no matter how scary they might seem) and to lean into their curiosity about meaning, belonging, and purpose… which isn’t an explicitly religious practice, but one that can intersect with a religious or spiritual identity. I see that as one of the most essential parts of my role as Chaplain—finding ways to provide those spaces for reflection and encouraging young adults wherever they happen to be on the Journey.”

What was the process for the Chaplain position like? 

“Becoming a college Chaplain anywhere is not an easy task! It requires a lot of schooling and obtaining a Master of Divinity (M.Div) degree, then there are usually separate requirements based on one’s religious tradition to prepare them for ordination. Ordination is a type of religious standing that allows a minister to be recognized and handle matters that relate to worship, sacraments and rituals, pastoral care or counseling, teaching and preaching on sacred texts, and having legally recognized confidentiality privileges. Not all religious traditions have formal ordination processes, but at Wooster, our Chaplain must be an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). So, in order to be eligible for the position, I had to be in that process for ordination. For me, that included learning Biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek, passing a bunch of exams, and being approved by a committee that oversees the process. All of that, then, had to line up with Wooster’s hiring timeline for the position, which was this past spring and into the summer. I was honored to serve as Interim for the past 2 years here, and I’m even more honored to continue being Wooster’s Chaplain—in a soon to be more official way, after I pass my last required exam later in September and plan for my ordination service later this year!”

What additional pieces do you want to bring to the Chaplain position / what would you like to revamp?

“I’ve got a really wonderful and brilliant group of interns to work with who are all really passionate about religious diversity and equity. Having a team of students who want to help expand the circle of what RSL does and can offer has been really inspiring when I think about what we can and should change or revamp. We want folks to know that RSL isn’t just about programs and student orgs who are explicitly labeled as “religious”—RSL is about building community, sharing life, doing justice, and thinking deeply about meaning and purpose. These are things that matter to a lot more folks than just those who identify strongly with a religious, secular, or spiritual tradition. Therefore, we want to show how we can be a support to any student who is looking for a place of belonging. I want my role as Chaplain, and RSL as a whole, to reflect outwardly the values we try to embody as an institution, and stretch us to be more brave, thoughtful, and compassionate as a community.

“I’m also really looking forward to partnering with our International and BIPOC-related student orgs because RSL can do a lot more to support these groups. We often categorize student orgs into different areas based on identity or focus, but we know that students’ identities and experiences expand outside those categories.  So just because an org might not be a ’religious or spiritual’ org in designation, doesn’t mean the members of those orgs aren’t dealing with questions of spirituality, identity, etc., when they gather, plan events, or advocate for things on campus. RSL can be a resource in a lot of different ways—whether it’s supporting cultural traditions and festivals, or providing battery candles for vigils and solidarity marches, leading meditation and mindfulness opportunities or giving presentations, or just being a soundboard to consult with. I hope that we can be more visible in showing up to support all of our students and expanding how we define things.”

What motivates you the most within this position?

“To be honest, I wouldn’t be a Chaplain—let alone have gone to seminary—if it weren’t for my undergrad experience and my involvement in Religious Life at Simpson College. I found strength in myself I never knew existed and I was affirmed intellectually and spiritually by peers, faith leaders, and professors who took a genuine interest in me as a young adult. I love hearing students’ stories and about what their passions or questions are, and I know how important it is to have someone in your life who will just be there to listen. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t have patience and thoughtful people hear me, challenge me, and encourage me to learn more. So that’s what I try to do as much as I can. And what I’ve learned is that the field of Chaplaincy is in a big period of transition where many are wondering how religious and spiritual identities factor into conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. I think I’m motivated by my desire to help answer that question, and I’m guided by the values of my faith tradition in doing that. Things like offering hospitality, practicing empathy, pursuing justice, and doing no harm directly connects with my goals to be consistent in antiracist praxis, liberative ethics, and religious equity on Wooster’s campus or anywhere. So I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and model that here at the College.”

Any additional comments for the upcoming year?

“I’ll do a plug for the Chats with the Chaplain program, which is essentially my office hours where folks can sign up for 30 minute conversations—either in person or on Teams. Right now, there are times available on Tuesdays from 8-10am, Wednesdays from 1-3pm, or Thursdays from 3-5pm, but I can always schedule folks in at times that work with their schedule. I’m available to talk about anything, not just religious or spiritual topics. Myself and AJ Hoy (our Catholic Campus Minister) are also confidential resources related to Title IX, so I hope if any student is seeking support, they know there are folks who are around and in their corner.”

 

 

Party on the Green with Rat Queen (and others)

Blakely Dishman

Features Editor

 

This past Saturday, Sept. 11, Party on the Green returned to campus! Because of  COVID-19, the event was canceled last year, and for many, this was the first time they experienced a night of music and dancing in the residential quad. When asked what she thought of her first Party on the Green, Nina Anderson ’24 replied, “I met people I had previously no context for, found out what Rat Queen is and went down a big slide.” 

For others, the event was a refreshing revival of a well-loved tradition. Seniors had the opportunity to enjoy Party on the Green one last time before graduation, an experience that the class of 2021 did not have. Erik Livingston ’22, the Music Director of Woo ‘91, stated that “[he] missed getting to see everyone on campus gather together and enjoy music. [He] also loved playing music in between sets, taking requests and playing music people were excited to hear. As per usual, [he] was blown away by Rat Queen, their performance was the highlight of [his] night.”

For the opening band, Rat Queen, this performance was a return to their roots, as the band composed entirely of alumni, Eleanor Linafelt ’20, Robyn Newcomb ’20 and Kate Bertrand ’20, came back to where it all began. When sitting down for an interview with the group, they said their time since graduation has been a “whirlwind” and were all excited to be able to come back on campus. Party on the Green gave the self-described friendship-rock- distortion-indie band the opportunity to play the new songs from their album live for the first time. The crowd clearly enjoyed the new songs, which was evident through the energetic dancing.

 While working on their amazing new music, each member has taken up day jobs… some of which even use their degrees. Linafelt, an alum of the Voice, is a staff writer at a media company and writes primarily for a parenting magazine. Newcomb is working at a farm outside of Boston, and Bertrand works at a bagelry! Though the members of the band have started exciting new careers, they stated that being back at CoW made it feel as though “they had never left.” We can only hope that they will come back soon, and it will once again be like they had never left. If you enjoyed Rat Queen’s performance on Saturday, follow their Instagram @allhailratqueen for updates on their upcoming album. 

After Rat Queen finished their set, Darius Henry, whose stage name is HDBeenDope, took to the stage. The energy in the crowd was electric as he played a variety of trap and hip-hop songs that had the crowd dancing and singing at the top of their lungs. Kaleigh Bozick ’24 enjoyed his performance, saying “HDBeenDope really energized the crowd and connected to us through talking to us about what each song meant to him and allowing us to contribute to his music. He created a fun energy at the concert and electrified the audience.” You can follow HDBeenDope on Instagram @hdbeendope.

Next up, the band Lawrence went on the stage and gave it their all. Lawrence is composed of the brother-sister singing duo, Clyde and Gracie Lawrence, as well as their ensemble. The group plays primarily soul-pop music, which brought a great vibe to the residential quad. Students all over the field were swaying, dancing and singing along to the music. Haley Huett ’23 said, “Party on the Green felt like the first time I was really back on campus. I hadn’t felt that energy since my freshman year, pre-pandemic. Lawrence was great! It was nice to listen to new music.” You can find Lawrence on Instagram @lawrencetheband.

Party on the Green was a great event that allowed for the return of a well-loved and deeply missed Wooster tradition. It was definitely an experience that students will remember for a long time.