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Historic Latinx Lounge opens in Armington Hall

Ellie Kahn

Features Editor

The College of Wooster’s Latinx community has found a permanent home in Armington Hall, with the official inauguration of the Latinx Lounge taking place last Tuesday, Jan. 21. Administrators, faculty members and allies joined members of the Latinx student community to mark the momentous occasion.

The inauguration of the Lounge is significant because the space has been sought after by the Latinx community on campus for years. According to Alberto Peralta ’20, “This space is something that students have been working towards since even before I got here.” Thus, the Lounge “is something historic not just for our organizations, but for the [College].” Peralta serves as the current president of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS).

Fortunately, the push for a Latinx space at Wooster was revitalized when Latinas Unidas (LU) Co-President Annays Yacamán ’22 attended the Summit for Ohio Latinx last year. Held at Denison University, Yacamán was inspired by the vibrant space that Denison’s Latinx student community had on campus; she reflected “I could feel the pride they felt from having the space, and it was something I wanted Latinx students on our campus to feel.”

Securing a safe space for the Latinx community to gather on campus was challenging. While Yacamán was supported and encouraged by her meetings with Dr. Ivonne García, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, and Amanda Anastasia Paniagua, director of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA), it was unclear whether there was room in the budget for a space to be economically feasible this year.

This dynamic shifted during Hispanic Heritage Month, however, which was celebrated from mid-September to midOctober. In addition to offering events such as documentary screenings and the Latinx Gala, LU hosted the first annual Latinx Townhall on Sep. 17 in conjunction with OLAS.

According to Yacamán, members of the Latinx community at the Townhall “presented a document with a set of demands, one of which was the Latinx safe space. When we moved into open discussion, this was clearly one of the most pressing needs that students expressed they needed. You could feel and see the pain in so much of our community. I think it was impossible to ignore our community at that point.”

With the idea secured, Yacamán and members of LU and OLAS worked with the administration to develop and finalize plans for the space, which was determined to be in the newlyrenovated Armington Hall.

When asked how she hopes the space will be utilized, Yacamán stated, “I hope students will individually be able to use the space when they need some space from what is going on on campus and in the media or news, or to process injustices that their families or communities are going through.” Peralta echoed this sentiment, stating, “The Latinx Lounge is essential to have on campus … The space provides a home for people. It is a space [our] organizations can occupy for intimate and personal cultural celebrations. We are content that we now have our own designated space on campus to operate on our own terms. Morally, it also makes us feel heard.”

If you’d like to access the Latinx Lounge, please reach out to the MSA via email for more information. Both allies and members of the Latinx community are encouraged to join and support the student organizations. And if you are a Latinx student, Yacamán urges you to “consider using the space and making another home for yourself ” here at The College of Wooste

Healthcare is a human right

By Desi LaPoole

Healthcare is a human right. I’ve pretty much always believed in that statement, but never more so than I do now.

Last Monday, my uncle passed away in his sleep. This news came as a shock to me. My dad saw him just two weeks ago and reported that Uncle Don was just as healthy as a 61-yearold could be. There was really no reason why he should have died so suddenly. So, what happened?

On Thursday, four days before he passed away, the old tree that was always planted outside of his front door fell and crushed him. He was rushed to the hospital, where he sat for hours in the waiting room as he suffered the pain of one bruised kidney, a bruised stomach, one punctured lung and seven broken ribs. They treated him for two days before clearing him to go home. Uncle Don died the next day.

There’s something wrong with this picture. How does a man being treated for injuries as severe as a punctured lung and seven broken ribs get released from the hospital two days after being admitted? I’ll tell you how: he didn’t have health insurance. After being laid off from the company where he had worked for 22 consecutive years, he lost all of his benefits, including the health insurance that could’ve saved his life. He was only one year away from qualifying for Medicare, which could’ve saved his life. It’s deeply ironic that after decades of being covered, the one time he needed that insurance the most, it wasn’t there.

Now, I’m upset. Incredibly upset. Not only because I lost my uncle in a freak accident, but also that the hospital he went to did little to nothing about it. The thought that my uncle was wheeled out of the hospital with the same injuries he came in with two days after being admitted angers me to no end. How could the hospital turn him away in that state? How is it that they denied him care because he didn’t have the money they wanted?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a story unique to my family. All over social media, I’ve read stories about people being sent away by hospitals because they don’t have insurance, diabetics skipping their insulin because it’s too expensive, people losing teeth because they can’t afford a dentist, people dying because going to the hospital costs too much or people taking Ubers to hospitals because ambulances are too much money. This is dystopian to me.

I’m not comfortable with the fact that we are asked to trade absurd amounts of money for our lives. I mean, it can cost $30k to give birth to a baby.

Everyone living in this country should have full and equal access to healthcare. Honestly, I don’t know a whole lot about the ins and outs of the debate over healthcare, but I’ll still give my two cents: I don’t care how it’s done, as long as everyone, regardless of their income, is able to receive adequate and affordable care. Because, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t wish what my Uncle Don went through on anybody

College’s governing bodies proceed with plan to merge

Oversight Committee Co-Chairs J. Mathew Mayes ’20 and Isaac Weiss ’20 discuss the process of dissolving SGA and CC (Photo by Angad Singh ’21).

Waverly Hart

Editor in Chief

The two governing bodies on campus, Student Government Association (SGA) and Campus Council (CC), are planning to dissolve and form a new body altogether. The new group will have powers similar to SGA and CC, but will function as a singular governing body.

This new body has been in the works since last year. The idea for a new governmental group was formed when members of SGA and CC both noticed some points of confusion between the two groups.

“Isaac (Weiss) and I both noticed a large number of dysfunctions; we were working internally on our SGA Constitution, but what we found was that there were a number of overarching issues with both SGA and Campus Council,” said Emilee McCubbins ’20, president of SGA. Once these issues were noticed, a joint task force was formed called the Oversight Committee. Members of the committee soon noticed many of the problems within SGA and CC stemmed from a lack of knowledge about the organizations.

“After a few weeks, we quickly noticed that one of our greatest problems is the fact that no one can figure out the difference between the two bodies,” said Isaac Weiss ’20, cochair of the Oversight Committee and SGA treasurer. “Our roles can often blend together, and cooperation between the two bodies relies on the President and Chair being friendly.”

J. Mathew Mayes ’20, the other co-chair of the committee and an atlarge representative for CC, echoed this statement. “We all collectively came to the conclusion that the fundamental problem was that we had two governing bodies whose respective responsibilities were confusing and students did not know the difference between them,” Mayes stated. Mayes says he doesn’t blame students for not knowing the difference between SGA and CC.

Once the task force recognized this problem, members began exploring ways they could alleviate the confusion. McCubbins, also a member of the Oversight Committee, said a lot went into the committee’s research.

“We started off by doing a lot of research about the structure and purpose of other schools’ student governance structures. We delved particularly deeply into [Great Lakes College Association] schools, each taking a few schools and becoming mini-experts on their structure. From there, we began meeting with and working with various relevant administrators, staff and faculty to see what this transition would look like,” McCubbins stated.

“According to our research, no other schools our size have a structure like ours,” Mayes said. “This all came to a head this semester when students had serious concerns about diversity and safety and didn’t know which body to go to.”

After this research, the committee went even further. The committee has already drafted a constitution for the proposed governmental body. McCubbins and Weiss hope to present it to the Board of Trustees and the student body soon.

“We would like the new body to take over student governance by next semester,” Mayes stated.

However, some students are concerned that this significant change is being rushed into. “The concern now is whether this body be reflective of what students need,” said Halen Gifford ’21, chair of CC. “Is this getting rushed? I am mostly concerned that a change this large needs to have been thoroughly thought through. CC and SGA both have had years to establish functioning policies and memorandums. Although the two bodies are not perfect, they have solid foundations and I don’t want students to go from that to something that still has kinks.”

Although the elimination of two long-standing bodies and the creation of a new one may sound confusing, Weiss thinks the new governmental organization will ultimately benefit the student body. He’s hoping the new body with the combined powers of SGA and CC will eliminate confusion and make student government more approachable.

“Students have problems that need quick solutions, and we can’t get those changes made unless [they] know who to contact,” Weiss said. “I can tell you after years of being on SGA, more than half of the people who talk to us don’t know what we do, or think we have more power than we actually do. More importantly, this new body will help bring together all governance power into one place and give power back to the students, as it once was.”

While created with student interest in mind, Gifford is still worried that the new body isn’t reflective of what the student body wants. “But the largest criticism that both bodies have faced is students don’t feel like either group is advocating in the way they’d like,” Gifford said. “Maybe this new group would improve advocacy. There aren’t any new powers that are being created.” Weiss also added that the new organization will hold the same powers that SGA and CC currently hold. “There are some written differences that, in actuality, don’t make too much of a difference,” Weiss stated.

According to Mayes, “The new body will have control over funding for student organizations, the ability to recommend policy, will send student representatives to important departments and committees around campus and can make ad hoc committees to address [any] new issues that arise on campus.”

There will be an all-campus discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 5 in the Pit at 7:00 p.m. SGA and CC will present the idea for the new body, answer questions and most importantly, get feedback from students.

After the discussion, the change will happen relatively fast. “SGA and CC will take the next two weeks to do last-minute debates and will vote the week before the Board of Trustees come to campus,” Weiss says. “After both bodies agree to restructure, the Board of Trustees will need to give the final approval. Should this vote be in favor of a restructure, we will hold executive elections in the following two weeks, with campus-wide educational sessions to help get people knowledgeable and excited about the new body and elections for general members will be held after spring break. The rest of the semester will consist of an on-boarding process to help get the new members prepared to become the first [representatives] of a new government in August.”

McCubbins believes this change will help both the members of student government as well as other students. “My hope is that by this restructuring, students outside of the bubble that is student governance will have a greater understanding of what to do or who to talk to when their needs are not being met. Furthermore, with one central body, I hope that members of this student government themselves have a greater understanding of what they’re capable of,” McCubbins said.

Weber House broken into during winter break

Security and Protective Services (SPS) found that Weber House had been broken into and residents later reported that their items had been stolen (Photo by Claire Montgomery ’20).

Claire Montgomery

Senior News Writer

On Jan. 14, Director of Security and Protective Services (SPS) Steve Glick sent an email to the campus community about the break-in of a campus house. The building was later identified by house members as Weber House. “Several student rooms were entered and items were taken,” Glick stated. “The incident is being investigated by SPS and the police department. There are no suspects at this time.”

When asked how the break-in was discovered, Glick said, “Officers saw a light on in one of the small houses and upon checking found that someone had gone through the house, damaging a door. There were no obvious signs of entry.” Jason Cerniglia ’20, a resident of Weber House, said, “The members of Weber House heard about the break-in upon arriving back to campus on Sunday, Jan. 12, when a resident entered the house that afternoon.” Cerniglia added that the break-in was reported on either Dec. 20 or 21.

“The responding officer believed that an incident did occur, but from his/her perspective, no items of value were stolen,” Cerniglia stated. Jacob Stewart ’20 commented on the initial response of the officer who discovered the incident. “The responding officer did not file a police report when the incident occurred,” he said, “because [they] believed it would be too difficult for the members of the house to determine what had been taken.” Stewart added that the officer filed the incident as “informational” and that “given this designation, the break-in was not flagged by the system and the Chiefs of Security were never notified.” However, Stewart emphasized that they did not fault Glick or Associate Director Joe Kirk. “We as a house found Steve Glick and Joe Kirk to be helpful through the process,” Stewart said. “We do not want to speak for either of them, but the negligence exhibited by the responding officers were not taken lightly by Steve and Joe, or the house.” Jacob Beuter ’20 reiterated Kirk’s helpfulness, saying, “Joe Kirk inspected the property and placed latches onto multiple basement windows.” Beuter said the culprit likely entered the house through a basement window that could be pushed open from outside.

Other members of the house including Mick Appel ’20 and Seth Burke ’21 reported that out of the 10 house members, at least six had items stolen. Although they cannot go into the specifics, miscellaneous objects such as clothing items and change jars were taken.

When asked about the morale of the house, member Clark Morin ’20 stated, “There is obviously a level of anxiety involved given the incident, but the members of the house are coping with the situation well.”

In Glick’s initial email, he finished by reminding the members of campus to “make sure all doors shut securely behind you, report suspicious activity, do not keep any doors propped open, secure first floor windows and report any nonworking doors or windows to Facilities or SPS.” Moreover, “residents of small houses can request a security review of their houses by contacting” Kirk or Glick.

 

Panapento resigns as women’s basketball coach

Chloe Burdette

Managing Editor

On Tuesday, Jan. 14, Interim Athletic Director Kristyn King announced to The College of Wooster community that Lisa Panapento had decided to step down from her role as the head coach of the Wooster women’s basketball team. King stated, “Lisa Panepento has been a valued member of the College for 16 years, and a valued member of our athletics staff as both an assistant coach and a head coach for 10 of those 16 years. She is passionate about The College of Wooster and our basketball program and her decision to leave was grounded on what she felt was best for the program at this time. We will miss Lisa and wish her well as she navigates next steps for her and her family.”

A College of Wooster alumni, once a star member of the College’s women’s basketball team and track team, Panapento had a significant relationship with The College of Wooster. After graduating from Wooster in 1987, Panapento returned to work in the Admissions office in 2004 for six years before taking the women’s assistant coach position in 2010. Five years later, she reached the status as interim head coach for the team. After almost two decades associated with the College, Panapento’s decision to resign came with a heavy heart.

“Being a two-sport student athlete at Wooster was an absolute honor and had a tremendous positive impact on me,” Panapento said. “The coaches and teammates I had remain life-long friends. I only wanted to ‘give that back’ to current and future Scots.”

Panapento explained that she had one goal in mind when she was part of the coaching staff — to improve the program. The current team now, in her own words, “is a reflection of my desire to have good people, good students and good athletes in the program.” Although the program had made significant progress since she was appointed head coach, Panapento held herself to a much higher standard, not only based on her win-loss record, but as a leader to her players. “It is impossible to describe the standard that most coaches hold themselves to,” she said. “In my mind, we did not win as many games as we could have and should have, and that ultimately falls at the feet of the head coach.”

Panapento made it clear that although her record was not as impressive as she hoped it would be, her overall record was not the reason she resigned. Her resignation stemmed from the impact on the program as a whole due to her record.

“My top priority in coaching has always been my relationship with my players and coaching staff,” she explained. “It became apparent that those relationships were suffering due to our lack of success, and as a coach, it is painfully difficult to coach players who have lost faith in you as a coach. Certainly not all of the players felt that way, but I did not want those who did not feel that way to have to try and manage the situation when it was clear that some people felt very strongly. Sometimes the best thing you can do is also the most painful, but I did not feel that my remaining in my position of head coach would serve any productive purpose, and that by leaving, it gave everyone an opportunity to move forward.”

Although Panapento believes her decision to leave was the best move for the program, she still wishes the best for the team. “I deeply believe in every single player on this team, and I know as a team they can and will be successful moving forward,” she said. “I will always be a Fighting Scot in my heart, and I have nothing but positive thoughts for the team and the program going forward, and I will cheer on every success they have, collectively and individually.”

After King announced Panapento’s resignation, The Wooster Voice reached out to several women’s basketball players and no response was received.

Nicole Marshall will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2019- 2020 season, and is excited to carry out the season with pride and grit. Prior to her five years as an assistant coach for the Fighting Scots, she was a graduate assistant for the Michigan State University Spartans and helped with recruitment coaching duties and opponent scouting for the team. Although she was appointed interim head coach very suddenly, she believes she has a great team to work with.

“I believe this team has so much potential and has the ability as a whole to do great things,” Marshall said. “They are a great group of girls who bring a lot to the table, and I am very blessed to be able to coach them all.” Most of all, Marshall explained that her team’s willingness to work hard is notable. “The passion and energy they bring is what makes it fun to be the coach of this group,” she said. “They are never satisfied until they achieve greatness.”

Cassidy Wertman, current physical education, athletics and recreation event and operations manager at the College, will serve as the unofficial assistant coach for the rest of the season. Wertman graduated from Ohio Dominican University in 2008, and played varsity basketball all four years of her college career. “I am honored to help out,” Wertman said. “I am very happy for Nicole; she is doing great things for the program and she has a great, hard-working group of girls to lead. I am looking forward to finishing this season strong right by her side.”

Marshall explained that her friendship with Wertman alongside Wertman’s profound knowledge of the game will benefit the team greatly. “Cassidy is my best friend and we will work very well together. She was a guard in college so she brings a lot of footwork knowledge on how to approach different shots and how to get to the basket,” Marshall said.

The College of Wooster women’s basketball team plays their next game against the Denison Big Red in Granville, Ohio on Saturday, Jan. 25. They play their next home game against the Allegheny Gators on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

“The Anxiety Project” connects with audience

Dr. William Doan uses both drawings and paintings during his presentation to express his own battles with anxiety and depression (Photo by Sarah Vandenbergen ’20).

Grace Montgomery

Contributing Writer

Last week on Facebook, I noticed there was an upcoming performance called “The Anxiety Project” presented by Dr. William Doan of Penn State University. I clicked on the link to the event and was intrigued by the description: “A thought-provoking live performance that explores what it is like to live with anxiety and depression.”

A live performance of anxiety and depression? Anxiety and depression are hard concepts to even explain to yourself. I was nervous, to say the least, of how the two disorders that I have had for a decade would be depicted: would something set me off? Would I get angry, sad, scared, hopeless? Would Doan be genuine in his approach or treat it as a theatrical performance?

At the start of the performance, Doan laid out the basis for his work. On the projector screen behind him on stage was a watercolor and ink-based picture of himself hunched within a cracked rib cage. In creating all of the drawings, he noted that he had undergone a “deep and sustained look through my past,” which has allowed him to “confess a deep truth that was at once humiliating.”

Doan started The Anxiety Project to confront his fears that he might one day “unravel,” particularly after the death of his sister from a traumatic brain injury. Doan has been living with anxiety and depression all of his life, but is using his art as a way to “image [his] mental health rather than [his] mental illness.”

By using elements of science, such as technical drawings of the automatic nervous system, as well as statistics — for example, 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety, and about half that number also suffer from depression — Doan was able to depict the complex and interdisciplinary natures of the two illnesses.

Overall, Doan’s art and his story were a mix of his emotional, physical and psychological highs and lows. He would make us laugh with him about his anxiety when getting his first Communion, or his innate confusion at the seemingly endless aisles of toilet paper in Walmart.

After the laughs, a crisp silence would follow. He showed on the screen a picture of a coffin as he mentioned his friend from his Communion story suddenly passing away, or his toxic relationship with his father. In those moments, where I was listening to the theater full of the sound of unfiltered happiness and then the subsequent nothingness my own thoughts; that is when I knew Doan had connected with me.

Doan did not try to use laughter and sorrow to pull his audience in as a means to enhance his performance. Anxiety and depression are a never-ending roller coaster. Happiness and dread can be interwoven and difficult to untangle even in the best moments. Sometimes the nervousness, self-loathing and hopelessness can be channeled into laughter, inspiration, creativity and pride. Other times, my anxiety can lead me to isolate myself and devoid myself of the happiness that I think I deserve. At points, his voice would crack, demonstrating his vulnerability, conviction and his rawness in telling us about his battles and his memories.

Following the performance, Carina Arnosti ’21 noted that “It was emotionally powerful. I was able to relate to Doan’s experience in multiple ways and his vulnerability was inspiring.” Matt Prill ’23 also enjoyed the performance and how it fostered a conversation about topics that can get easily slipped under the rug. “I really loved the performance,” said Prill. “I thought his art was breathtaking and really captured what life with a mental illness is like. Discussions like these are essential in today’s world. Anxiety and depression, as well as other mental illnesses, affect so many people, yet no one talks about it.”

Doan ended his performance with a discussion that there are resources available at Wooster, including considerate faculty and staff, as well as services at the Wellness Center. If anyone needs help, always know that you can ask for it. While we may not all have the courage to get on a stage to discuss our struggles, it is these discussions that are helpful and essential in reminding us that we are never truly alone.