Category Archives: Viewpoints

Wooster Parents Facebook Page is chaotic but entertaining

Saralee Renick

Contributing Writer

 

Over quarantine, I grew tired of Netflix, so I turned to the next best form of entertainment: The Wooster Parents and Families Facebook page. This page, run by The College of Wooster Alumni Association, is a place for parents and family members to connect with others and the College. Throughout my three months in this group, I have learned two important lessons. First, I am thankful for my parents. And second, parents are wild.

I am thankful for my parents because they are not like the parents who are most active on the page. In fact, my mom did not even know the page existed until I told her about it; she joined and is now constantly annoyed by it. My father continues to reject my invitations to join it. I think it’s because I describe the page as parents who want to be helicopter parents, but don’t know enough to properly execute it. 

The post that demonstrates this best is a parent who was in search of the personal contact information of their child’s RA. Or maybe it’s the parents who posted unnecessary photos of their children throughout the COVID-19 testing process. Or the parent who asked the page where the printers were on campus. Other posts lack boundaries, asking questions students could find the answers to themselves and generally invite annoyance. Now when I call my mom to complain about a problem, she asks me if she should post on the parents’ page to ask for a solution.

This is not to say that the page doesn’t provide some useful content. I learned about the upcoming flu shots and the COVID-19 isolation and quarantine procedures. However, these posts are few and far between. Generally, the page just provides a space for Wooster parents to go wild. A few weeks ago, a parent asked about students feeling nervous while walking down Beall Avenue. This started an 87-comment argument between parents and quickly turned into a liberal versus conservative brawl. Fortunately, The College of Wooster Alumni Association stepped in with a post to remind parents that this page is not, in fact, the presidential debate stage. Then last week, a parent foolishly posted the email from President Bolton about the Trump parade. Again, a 61-comment scuffle ensued. While our parents have taught us to respect other people and their opinions, they seem to just have gone wild on Facebook.

While many posts annoy or frustrate me, they also entertain me. Parents are naïve, aggressive and, sometimes, just weird. I like to laugh at and discuss the posts with my friends. Overall, the page provides great conversation starters and I rate it 5/5 stars. And now, I must beg the Alumni Association to not kick me off of the page.

Paleo Profile: Tyrannosaurus Rex, a fluffy superpredator with fantastic vision

Hudson Davis 

Contributing Writer

 

Howdy there , how are you doing on this fine day? Good, I hope. I for one am doing great. I’m starting a new series! Welcome to Paleo Profile, where I’m going to write about some prehistoric animals and make the case for why they are super cool. I’m Hudson, your friendly neighborhood dinosaur nerd and thank you for taking the time to read this. I thought I would start off with a bang so we are going to take a look at the most badass predator of all time: Tyrannosaurus Rex (or T. rex)!

Tyrannosaurus is, without a doubt, the most iconic dinosaur of all time. Known all over the world and one of the few dinosaur names people actually know how to pronounce, Tyrannosaurus has captured the imagination of the world. Seriously, I’m willing to bet all my scholarships that if I talked to three random people on the street and asked them what their favorite dinosaur is, at least one of them will say the T. rex. And I don’t blame them, Tyrannosaurus is awesome! 

Tyrannosaurus is one of the few animals that is worthy of the term “super predator.” I get chills when I think about the adaptations and the arsenal it had. It was far more of a force to be reckoned with in real life than its big-screen appearances in “Jurassic Park. The real Tyrannosaurus is, in my humble opinion, the most badass predator of all time. Hopefully after this, you will agree with me.

 For one thing, Tyrannosaurus was extremely intelligent. They had an EQ level of around 2.0 to 2.4, which is similar to orca intelligence. With humans, big brains have come at the sacrifice of some other senses, but with Tyrannosaurus, those senses were only enhanced.

 Tyrannosaurus also had a killer sense of smell, being able to smell prey from miles away.  And despite what “Jurassic Park” may say, I beg you, don’t stand still if a Tyrannosaurus tries to eat you. It had keen binocular vision. In fact, Tyrannosaurus not only had the biggest eyes of any terrestrial animal, it had the best eyesight. It could see you from over seven football fields away. To quote paleontologist David Hone in a lecture he gave on Tyrannosaurus Rex, “This is not something that can’t see you if you don’t move, this has got the greatest eyesight of any animal on land ever.” 

But the most terrifying of Tyrannosaurus’ weapons would have to be its mouth. Equipped with 60 banana sized teeth, Tyrannosaurus had a bone-crunching bite. Much like the dude in the “I ate the bones!” KFC commercial, Tyrannosaurus swallowed meat, bones and all. Many T. rex coprolites, fossilized turds, contain bone from other dinosaurus. They had a bite force of 3,300 pounds per square inch, which is over a ton-and-a-half of pressure per square inch! 

To top all this, Tyrannosaurus likely didn’t go it alone. It is likely that they hunted in family groups. If you ask me, there would be nothing more terrifying than being trapped in the woods, with a group of these apex predators chasing you at the speed of Usain Bolt. 

Another difference from the movies there is a high chance that Tyrannosaurus had feathers, given the fact that many of its close relatives and ancestors were feathered. So not to kill your childhood memories, but Tyrannosaurus was likely a fluffy killer. 

So with that, I think you have a detailed view of Tyrannosaurus. Of course, with new discoveries being made all the time, we are learning something new, but I hope that you have enjoyed this modern view of the Tyrant Lizard King. Take it easy, I hope the rest of your day is dino-mite!

Donald Trump is the worst possible option for president

Shelby Jones

Contributing Writer

 

It is not news to anyone that this is the most vital and divisive election of our young 18-to-20-something lives. This is the first presidential election in which most of us can vote, and wow, what a way to start off. I miss the days when the biggest scandal of the election season was Richard Nixon looking sickly on camera simply because he didn’t know how to use makeup for television. Oh, what a simpler time. Regardless of how dramatic this election season is, one thing is for sure: we as a generation cannot idly sit back and let Donald Trump win a second term. Unlike what some would want you to believe, Donald Trump is the worst possible option for president.

However, I am also not arguing that Joe Biden is the best possible option. He also has incredible downfalls. As Senator Kamala Harris said multiple times during the vice presidential debate, Joe Biden does not want to ban fracking. Fracking is causing incredible environmental damage and is actively impacting Native American lands. In 1996, he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which banned any federal recognition of gay marriage. (His views on gay marriage did change during his time with the Obama administration. According to his campaign website, he is actively campaigning for the protection of the LGBTQIA+ community on multiple fronts). He was also an avid supporter of the War on Drugs during the 1980s and 1990s. These are not small things to overlook.

In his three and a half years as president, Donald Trump has done little good for this country. Rather, he has rolled back environmental protections, actively worked to cut Social Security and other forms of governmental financial assistance, created immensely harmful immigration policies, enacted travel bans for Muslim countries and his administration continually attempts to roll back or outright remove existing LGBTQIA+ protections. He has attacked every single gender, race, ethnicity and sexuality besides the cisgender, heterosexual white man. Also, he’s just a huge jerk.

However, Joe Biden believes scientists. He, unlike Mr. Trump, does not tell his supporters that COVID-19 is a hoax. He recognizes that climate change is real, and not some lie made up by the liberal media. People can criticize the lack of numbers at his rallies, but that is because he understands the real and dangerous risks of COVID-19. His seats aren’t filled because his supporters understand that we’re in a pandemic. Mr. Trump’s do not.

Truly, who you vote for lies in your morality. Do you want to vote for someone who actively works against BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ individuals? Or do you want to vote for someone who still isn’t the best, but at least is sort of better? It is impossible to even claim that Joe Biden works for the “extreme left” like his critics say. His campaign actively panders to moderates and undecided voters. But he’s also not openly fascist. It breaks my heart to say that it really comes down to the lesser of two evils. Joe Biden is that lesser. This election season can be summed up with just four words that I have lived by since Joe accepted the Democratic nomination: settle for Biden 2020.

Get involved to help your candidate win

Carly McWilliams

Contributing Writer

 

Wooster students have a lot of opinions. I’m sure this is not news to anyone, considering you’re reading this on the Viewpoints page of the Voice, likely next to some hot takes about U.S. politics and Lowry food. I’m grateful to be in an environment where opinions are freely expressed and discussed among the community, but something distressing I noticed lately is how cynical and hopeless the opinions I’m hearing have become, especially in regard to politics and the upcoming general election.

Let me just say — I understand. I’m certainly guilty of feeling hopeless, too. The 2020 presidential primary season was intense, and the day my top-choice candidate announced she was dropping out — not too long after I’d voted for her in the Ohio primary — I felt like all the optimism I held for this election was carelessly wrung out of my body. But then I started thinking, what had I actually done in order to help this candidate succeed in the first place? Sure, I took an hour to go around and knock on some doors for her over the weekend, with limited success. I tried out phone banking once on a free afternoon — with extreme frustration at the auto-dialer, so that didn’t last very long. And, of course, I voted in a pretty inconsequential primary in which the ballots weren’t even counted until after my candidate had dropped out.

In retrospect, I was mostly talk and little action, and I knew I needed to do more. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign was the spark that led me to sign up as a volunteer on a local Congressional candidate’s website this May. I figured that clicking “Join the Team!” was a step in the right direction, and I was correct. I earned a spot as a campaign fellow on the field team. Since then I’ve been working to elect a Democratic woman to Congress in the most competitive Red-to-Blue district in the country. It’s not easy work by any means — calling up random voters on weekday afternoons means you’ll hear some interesting things on the phone — but it’s definitely gratifying work. After the calls and conversations are done for the day, I know I made a tangible difference in a race that’s important to me and my community, and I feel hopeful.

All that being said, here is my advice to anyone who’s feeling especially downtrodden at this point in the election cycle — whether it’s from staring into the soulless, bloodshot eyes of Mike Pence during the VP debate, reading careless opinion pieces that label Trump as “resolute” while failing to mention his racist dogwhistling and lack of regard for human life or just from the downpour of mind-boggling headlines that never seem to end this month — pick a race. Any race. Find a candidate you support who’s running for Congress, senate, governor, state legislature, or even president, and peel yourself away from Twitter or TikTok for two hours to make calls for them. I’ve met so many avid volunteers these past few months, and they all tell me that they’ve kept coming back for the same reason — using their time and effort for good makes them feel calmer, happier or just more optimistic for our country.

As my field director always says — democracy is not a noun, it’s a verb. If you want to feel better about your democracy, start putting those opinions into action and working for it. The moment you inform someone of their choices in this election, or help them find their polling place or even just motivate them to vote this year, you’re doing democracy. And it’s a worthwhile fight.

COVID narrative puts high-risk groups in jeopardy

Hannah Groetsch

Contributing Writer

 

I have asthma and my dad is an immunosuppressed doctor, so the past seven months have been stressful to say the least. While I’m very privileged that my family hasn’t felt the worst effects of this pandemic, I’m in a higher risk category for COVID-19 which is why I’m writing this from my bedroom in Washington State instead of Old Main.

I miss Old Main. I miss many things about Wooster — the people mostly, and I might even miss the bats. When I flew home for spring break, Seattle was still ground zero of the pandemic and I joked that I would somehow get stuck in Washington while everyone else returned to campus. In a very roundabout way, I was correct. I have been very much stuck at home, which I say not for pity, but to highlight that for many people there is no “return to normal” until the pandemic is controlled, which right now it’s not. As I write this, case counts are climbing, campus is locking down for a week and those in the White House who are supposed to be helping us are battling their own outbreak caused by their negligence.

That hurts. The isolation and disruption COVID-19 has caused has been as difficult for me as it has been for others, but something I wasn’t prepared for was the hurt and anger I have toward other people and our leaders for being so cavalier about this virus and those at highest risk. This spring, people in high-risk categories had to listen to a discussion about whether we should be sacrificed for the stock market — whether our deaths were really that big of a loss. How we should just stay home while everyone else completely “returns to normal,” neglecting the fact that high-risk people are also essential workers and that other household members can spread it to them.

These past months I’ve been reminded of a quote from a Philip Larkin poem that goes, “We should be careful/ Of each other, we should be kind/ While there is still time.” Don’t get me wrong, I have seen immense care displayed during this time both personally and generally, but the lack of care I’ve also seen puts me and the people I love at risk. I’ve seen too many people who are either ignorant or unbothered about the fact that their actions impact others. I’ve seen too many bad excuses and people arguing that they’re not high-risk, so why should they care.

Whenever I hear about a big party or news of a state reopening even as cases rise, I get angrier. When I see articles like the one describing a Maine wedding that caused the deaths of seven people not even in attendance, I get a bit sadder. This desperate quest to pretend things are fine is killing people. I don’t have the luxury of pretending everything is fine when my lungs are already bad at breathing. Instead, I grow increasingly tired of staying home and hearing that high-risk people are expendable. I’m tired of people flaunting rules that I don’t have the privilege of breaking while my family makes plans for what to do if my dad’s clinic has an outbreak.  

I can’t wait to come back to Wooster, hug my friends, sit in Old Main and get back to a normal that everyone can safely participate in. But to do that, Wooster needs to do its best to stop the spread of the virus, and our government and all Americans need to take this more seriously and be more mindful of how we talk about at-risk groups. Above all, we must be careful for each other. We must be kind while there is still time.

Friends can’t disagree over human rights

James Dwyer

Contributing Writer

 

The United States presidential election is in less than a month. This is one of the most tumultuous and irritating election seasons in decades. If we are truly honest with ourselves, I doubt any of us anticipated it being anything other than downright hostile. 

This election cycle involves two extremely polarizing figures: Donald J. Trump and Joe Biden. Neither has a very honorable record. One candidate holds his history over his head like a prize, leering at everyone over his “victory.” The other candidate acknowledges his history, and has built his platform on improving. Which candidate is which depends on with whom you are talking. 

The recent debate consisted of Biden and Trump attempting to make their political arguments. This is a key part of debating, and the reason most people tune in. What is not a key part of debating was Trump interrupting whenever Biden opened his mouth. The frustration felt by debate viewers as it slowly devolved into sandbox insults was universal. I watched it live, sitting with my friends in front of a small TV in a hot dorm room. We felt the tension in the room as we held hands, eyes glued to the screen, stress-eating gummy worms from the C-Store. This was not just a debate. This was not just the future of our country. This was the future of us. What will happen to us is contingent on these debates — and who ends up victorious. 

I am a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Many of my friends are as well. I have friends from many diverse backgrounds. Several of my friends belong to racial and ethnic minority groups. This debate blatantly yelled at us that not only are we so undervalued that we’re demoted to topics in a shoddily-moderated debate, but that we are not even worth defending  when our livelihoods are hanging in the balance. Donald Trump is clearly not on our side. He isn’t even on his own supporters’ sides. This debate only reinforced that with his lies. We know you don’t care, President Trump. At least acknowledge our dignity and give us the truth. But I know he won’t, and so do the people who see him for what he is. 

Most people used to claim that politics were not something to lose friends over. They would claim politics weren’t a deciding factor in relationships, and that it wasn’t an important thing to focus on. I highly disagree. The first debate between Biden and Trump has shown one thing to be abundantly clear: this was not a debate over politics. It was an argument over human rights. I do not care what your definition of politics is; the American political landscape is a thinly-veiled fight over who is entitled to constitutional rights listed in the document that is the backbone of our nation. At this point, everyone knows what Trump has done while in office. The question is not, “Can he save our nation?” as posed in the debate. The question is, “Who will make excuses four years later?”