Category Archives: Viewpoints

Taking a Step Back…

Aspen Rush

Editor-In-Chief

 

 

 

Born 337: The Love Fortress

First, I begin with freshman year. Before college, I had few friends and I was terrified that college would be high school all over again. I couldn’t have been more wrong. In my first weeks, I met some of my best friends. It was love at first sight. From the instant we connected, I knew things would be different this time. My hurt was their hurt; their joy was my joy. They taught me how to love and how to be loved in return. 

The Calcei House Porch:

Sophomore year, my freshman friend group gave birth to a house with the most absurd combination of residents, ranging from a chess enthusiast to a soccer player to a rodeo queen — just to name a few. My room was on the second floor but I could hear laughter echo all through the house. It felt like home. 

That year, I gave myself permission to change. I broke up with my high school boyfriend and I joined the Voice, something I never thought I would do. I started dating non-men for the first time. I spent the weekends dancing with my friends, throwing themed parties and chain smoking cigarettes on the porch. I was thrilled by my classes. It was bliss. Until it wasn’t. 

That year, I lost two friends to suicide and my depression grew from annoying to crippling. My friends began to drift away even as we were under the same roof. I felt completely and indescribably alone.

…and then came COVID-19.

On a walk:

Junior year, I became comfortable with my aloneness, not necessarily by choice. Despite the looming cloud of depression and constant pressure of the pandemic, I began to get to know myself for the first time. I began to pursue my passions that were unrelated to my aspirations. I started dancing by myself and listening to music, not to drown my thoughts, but to enjoy the sounds. In that time, I learned to give myself the room to feel and the grace to change.

Henderson B Stoop:

The fall of my final year began feeling much like my first. Everyone made the journey back to campus. So many questions, this time they felt more pressing, more serious, questions about the rest of our lives.

It was the year of lasts: the last time to see the trees change in the fall, the last first day of classes, the last Ohio winter (thank god), the last Covers, the list goes on. Now, as I sit in my last Voice layout, writing my last Viewpoint, I find that I have no regrets. My time here has been dominated by images of disco balls and long, honest talks laying on the floor with my best friend. While I admit I am terrified of whatever is to come and the last of my lasts inches closer and closer, I also find myself sitting on the cusp of many firsts. This time, I don’t know what those firsts will be but I think I’m ready. I hope I am.

A Brief Moment Spent Reminiscing on The Last Four Years

Kayla Bertholf

Science Editor

 

 

 

When I started my four years at the College, I did not plan on participating in half of the organizations that I do now. However, my friends have influenced me to try and stick with more than I thought I would. This is one of my favorite things about Wooster, the people. The people at Wooster understand that you are busy yet still hold you to high expectations, all the while encouraging you to try new things and do the best you can. When I graduate and head out into the real world, I will miss the people the most. 

I especially did not expect to join the Voice editorial staff during my last year of undergrad, but I am sure glad that I did. Ed Boards are now one of my favorite parts of the week and I look forward to hanging out with the Voice staff. As one of the Science and Environment editors, I get to learn about new topics each week. The BCMB major in me got to talk about pollution in Lake Erie one week and volcanoes the next; it was fantastic. Some of my favorite memories from senior year are laughing at layout on Tuesday nights, and I cannot thank the Voice staff enough for making my senior year great. 

Our Community is a Snippet of Our World

Bijeta Lamichhane

News Editor

 

 

 

This VP was not sponsored by the College’s marketing team.

While I always looked at any graduation event as a celebration of getting a degree, May 16 for me will be just as much about celebrating the community that I was fortunate to be a part of, and everything I have gotten to learn from my interactions with people I have met here.

For many of us, the campus community will be the most diverse place that we will ever get to live in. We have people from all across the world, with all sorts of backgrounds and experiences living in this small space. Being here for four years is the one chance we have to try to understand all these experiences that are different from ours.

We have chances to learn about why people have the values and beliefs that they do. We have chances to understand different cultures and identities. We have chances to realize how stereotypes limit us from knowing somebody else. We have chances to understand, empathize, and learn every day.

And I know we have been taking those chances. We’re learning every time we meet someone who knows a language that we don’t and ask them to teach us a few words. We’re learning when we make mistakes in assuming people’s identities and make sure we get them right next time. We’re learning when we see people we care about struggle because of injustice and when we try to understand just how systems work.

While we always want to welcome this growth, I also understand that learning every day can be tiring. It’s easy to fall back into groups and cultures that make us feel comfortable and we can understand each other without trying too hard. It’s nice to be around those who always agree with us. And that’s okay. All of us are away from home, so we need the comfort of familiarity. The important part is to not get so comfortable that we leave campus without appreciating our differences. Because our community is a snippet of the world, and I’m sure we agree that the world needs more acceptance. So when we leave this place, I hope we leave to create our own spaces where there is a place for everybody who does not intend any harm.

I know for sure that I will be looking at my camera roll from August 2018 to July 2022 more than I will look at my degree. And I will turn to all the narratives that I had a chance to be a part of in buildings, offices, hammocks and hiking trails every time I need hope for a better world.

As We Flow, We Must Remember Our Ocean

Jonathan Logan

Editor-In-Chief

 

 

 

In the acknowledgements of my IS I left a note for my Mom and Dad: “Few are the parents that recognize the value in a child trained not specifically for any one job, but a child who sees the potential in every person and idea.” I reached a tipping point my sophomore year where I considered leaving Woo amidst a coming-of-age/identity crisis. My reasoning went something like “look at this mountain of debt I’ll be in and as a physics major, how will I ever find a job to pay off that debt?” I was missing the whole point of studying at a liberal arts school – a really good one at that. In my four years, I have seen a complete and total shift in student’s attitudes towards their Wooster education where we obsess over the future but fail to realize we’re all flowing downstream.

We all want to know how we can do the best in our classes so we can achieve the highest level of prestige later in life. This isn’t your fault; we all have great expectations and families who want us to get the best job or attend a top graduate school. Not to mention the fear of failing a class and our crammed schedules. We’re all obsessed with the right answers and because of the institutionalized nature of education, learning has become less about curiosity and patience and more about efficiency and productivity. I’m not trying to tear down the system, but I want all Wooster students to start to ask the questions “Why the $70,000 price tag? Why is education so intertwined with the idea of productivity? Why have I seen students leave a professor’s office hours in tears because they couldn’t get one problem right?”

Wooster is a reality to be experienced. I have this thought process where I imagine removing all of the drama, stress and striving from this place. Then, I imagine all of the people here and all of its history as a river (poetic, right?). There is an energy and passing of time unique to Wooster that all of us have glimpsed once or twice, but ultimately fail to flow with. Maybe you glimpsed it at a party or on a weekend in the fall when the absurdity of it all flashed across your mind and left you numb but stuck in a moment. It’s like Po’s inner peace journey in “Kung Fu Panda” in that you can only flow when you least expect it.

Wooster – its faculty, staff, student body and energy – is not at peace. The river we’re all floating down has lost its ocean. Our administration is making decisions that have dammed up our river, but our lives are so stressful on their own that we’re forgetting how to let go of the dangling tree branch and break the dam. I envision a bunch of rubber duckies bunching up against the dam before wondering how they got there.

In plain terms, Wooster and the liberal arts education are not designed to give you your life’s purpose or a job. It is designed to help us all meander down the same river. For me, I was too focused on not having enough and being fulfilled when I left Wooster. The reality was that I was too focused on the next thing or thinking I was better than Wooster. I love this place and all of the people I have met here, and, without sounding like an alarmist, I would like to implore all of you to help Wooster find its ocean again since we’re all downstream from someone.

In Loving Memory of the Chicken Wings That Never Got a Chance

Munesu Kuzanga

Contributing Writer

 

 

 

When I woke up on April 10, I must admit that I could barely open my eyes. My mind was still trying to recover from the night before, and my body was experiencing the type of pain one would after working out for the first time in 10 years for 10 minutes. I thought I hadn’t been dancing that hard the night before until I tried to climb out of bed and my hips said otherwise. I was embarrassed – appalled. How did I end up like this? I did not know. However, I didn’t even want to think about the details from that night because all I wanted to think about was you: my chicken wings.

Every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Kittredge, I would be one of the first people in line for you. My friends always laughed at my commitment to you, but I did not care because I looked forward to having you in my stomach every week. They did not approve of our relationship and it was shown in how they would constantly tease me about how you were always undercooked and lacked flavor. I never listened because they never understood that all you needed was a little bit of salt and appreciation in your life. They did not understand that even when I knew you weren’t good for me, I could not resist you as I would often dream of you in my sleep. 

My addiction for you was one that would go down in history as a forbidden passion for I have climbed hills of snow and sweaty athletes just to take you home. You were worth the judgmental stares and fist fights (that I often lost) and not because you were just a meal swipe. It was because you were two. I was a selfish lover, I must admit, but only because I had your best interest in heart.

So, as you can see, despite what the haters said about us, I was going to walk across campus for you no matter the weather or cost. You were a reason to wake up on a Tuesday morning, and before that terrible incident on April 10, you were the best reason to wake up on a Sunday morning following a chaotic night.

When I woke up that Sunday morning, I dragged myself to the kitchen for you even though you were way past your edible time frame. But I honestly didn’t care because I was sick enough to get sicker with your warm embrace in my stomach. I was ready to gamble with my life, just as long as I took a bite of you.

So, as you can imagine how I felt when… I found you… lying there. EVERYWHERE!

Your little bones were scattered on the floor. One of the to-go boxes was open, and the other was dismantled as if the thieves were trying to eat that too. You were cleaned, sucked and devoured by an evil greater than an 8 a.m. class in winter. You were in shambles, and you were disrespected by a heinous group of what could have been a gang of shameful lowlife rats who walk around campus as faceless humans. I was disrespected in ways that sent me into orbit.

I am just so sorry that I did not lock you up in a separate fridge during the party. I just thought that monsters only existed in children’s books. I just thought that people had the type of etiquette one learned at the age of two days old but turns out I missed the training course during new student orientation where we were taught to open fridges in other people’s homes.  If I had known that we were inviting thieves to the party, then I would have at least tried to eat you two days earlier to avoid such a tragic death. But just the thought of another stranger’s touch on you makes me squeal. I just wished that the culprits could’ve at least thrown you in the bin… but no. They wanted me to find you scattered all over the kitchen floor. It was a crime scene. I almost called Security — until I saw one of your remains on the bathroom floor. At that moment, I knew that this criminality was beyond the power of law enforcement. If I was not a prayerful woman before, that morning changed my life. I just knew that I had to get the pope, the Avengers and my therapist on this one too.

The thieves did not care about you or me. And thinking about what could have happened to you, eats away at me. I walk past strangers everyday who smile at me. I have my suspicions about who could have eaten you, but I am never certain so I smile back at these people. But I can never trust again. So, although it has been weeks since you passed, I just want to say one last thing to you, my beautiful chicken wings: I hope you gave those monsters salmonella.

Wooster Can’t Just Put Out the Inn

Anabelle Andersen

Contributing Writer

 

 

 

I awoke on April 18 in my room in Babcock Hall to the sound of demolition at the Wooster Inn. I had known this moment would be coming, but not for long. The College made its final decision regarding the fate of the structure only two months ago in February, and never formally announced their choice to the student body (I scoured my email and the Weekly Sway). That seems like an awfully short notice for such a big change, not only to our campus community, but also to the greater Wooster community. The Inn was one of the few campus structures that connected the College so integrally to the wider city, and now it is gone forever.

The Wooster Inn was constructed in 1958. It had been a beacon of hospitality for decades and hosted many weddings, among other significant life events. The Inn will remain at the heart of many memories, but no new ones will be formed there.

Let’s talk about historic preservation. The loss of the historic structure is priceless, and though it would have been expensive to address the updates needed for the Inn, it would have been feasible to save. According to The Daily Record, local historic preservationist Wendy Barlow said that the Inn met the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places to become a historic landmark. However the destruction of the Wooster Inn now sets a precedent that promotes demolition over preservation. With every lost historic structure, we also lose irreplaceable pieces of our built heritage –– significant parts of our culture.

In the past, the College renovated the Lilly House, a Victorian structure that was in a derelict state of being. Those who saw potential in the house gave it a new lease on life and it opened on campus in 2003, where the Lilly House was able to serve the campus community in new ways. Could the College have not found other purposes for the Inn? Any building can be adapted for new use, and even alterations are much better than demolition. The Wooster Inn could have been modified to accommodate more student housing, with the potential for additions to create more space. I feel this would provide a more economical and sustainable alternative to demolishing the structure, moving the tennis courts to the site, then building all new housing options where the current courts reside, which seems to be the current plan.

The College touts its environmentally-friendly approach to campus productions. We know it is performative at best, and every prospective student who eats from paper plates and plastic cutlery knows it too. The demolition of the Inn further stresses this point. The pre-demolition felling of 25 trees puts shame to the College’s tree-friendly facade. Beyond this, the greenest building is one that already exists. I recognize that this is a viewpoint article, but that is simply a fact. What is Wooster putting into the landfills and air with this action? How many new materials will they take from the earth for the tennis courts and further construction campaigns? What toll will the shipping procedures take on our planet? The College loves to put on an ecologically supportive veil, making the class of 2022 read “Garbology” upon their entrance in 2018, but it seems mostly to be a pretense. The campus celebrated Earth Day on the 22nd, and the College proudly claimed its role in sustainability. The demolition of the Wooster Inn directly contradicts this and establishes a precedent that undermines our built heritage.