Category Archives: Viewpoints

Anonymous Letter From a Dining Staff Member

Anonymous Contributing Writer

 

 

 

Thank you for your support. I know there are a number of employees that have gotten their hopes up that the statement against outsourcing written by Laura Burch and other faculty will somehow end the outsourcing. But others are saying that the statement came too late. For me, the statement gave hope, but also saddened me at the realization that the administration has really done dining and custodial services wrong. I didn’t realize the extent of the injustice until faculty explained that there was no good reason behind the outsourcing, and about the lack of transparency, disrespect for what we have already endured through the pandemic, lack of guarantees and the unethical judgment for a just society.

Most of us live paycheck to paycheck, and now with soaring inflation, any loss is a big loss. I wish to retain the same amount of vacation and sick time that I currently have. I have 33 weeks combined. Creative Dining will only allow 4 weeks of Paid Time Off at the highest seniority. This is a huge discrepancy for what we can currently earn. The College said that they would pay us 10% of our sick time out and that Creative Dining would roll over the rest for two years then we would lose it. It is unlikely that I can use 960 hours off sick time in two years. I earned this time by coming to work everyday and not calling off in years.  Those who continually called off got paid. This seems unfair. The scariest thing that Creative Dining mentioned in their meeting with us, is that they do lay-offs during slow times (breaks) and they said that we could use unemployment. I have never been on unemployment and do not intend to be. Why would the College want to create an extra burden on society by promoting staff to seek unemployment? Currently we are always allowed to get forty hours a week even during college breaks. I don’t believe a for-profit company will guarantee this.   Also for those of us with a lot of years at the College of Wooster,  our retirement is matched at 12%. With Creative Dining we will have to start over at a much lower percentage. No matter what angle you look at the facts, it seems like we are being punished for our hard work and years of dedication to the College of Wooster.

Anonymous Letter from a College Custodian

Anonymous Contributing Writer

 

 

 

To the editors of the Voice,

 

I’m writing to you today to speak on behalf of the custodians. We need to be heard. We have been tricked and lied to for the past two years. Every change they have made has been to set us up for outsourcing. We had enough workers before the pandemic. Due to the furlough of our workers and then bringing them back to second shift, which disrupted their lives, we lost half of our crew. Instead of putting the outsource company ABM on second to clean residential halls they put the cleaning company on the first shift in academics and forced our people to do a shift they didn’t apply for. Now all of a sudden it is ok for an outsourced company to work in residential halls. The reason they didn’t put them there in the first place was because of you students, who didn’t want an outsource company in the residential halls. 

And now it’s ok? We couldn’t have a third shift nor a 5am to 1pm shift due to safety reasons. Now they are making our people come in on call by themselves to clean up messes. We either volunteer or we are mandated. This doesn’t make sense, it’s not fair, and was their job to begin with – Scott and Mike, that is. They didn’t want to get up in the middle of the night so they are forcing us all to do so by ourselves, and most of our crew is made up of women. I couldn’t defend myself if something bad was to happen. During the recent winter storm we had where they closed campus, they deemed us essential yet they chose that only grounds crew and campus safety would be put up in Best Western. Our people had to drive in to work; some live at least 40 minutes, if not close to an hour away. A comment by one of the people in management was that the custodians who live in town could have walked but that they chose not. The reality is that the sidewalks were in fact not treated, and that’s not the point of the issue. Our safety used to be of importance. There were times old management would call and say do not come in, do not risk your life. We dreaded summer cleaning and now we dread it even more. With the skeleton crew they forced us to have we will not have a successful summer with camps and conferences. We don’t enjoy summer cleaning but because of the benefits we had, we tolerated it and we still loved our jobs. No one is going to want to go into those residential halls with enormous cockroaches and put up with that with no benefits. We are all tired, exhausted, and overworked. We are tired of the lies and mistreatment, and most of all we are tired of being silenced. Thank you for allowing us to have a voice! I would like to stay anonymous please but thank you again.

Why Soup and Bread Tuesdays Are Soup-Ers

Kayla Bertholf

S&E Co-Editor

 

 

 

Tuesday, April 5 should be marked as a national holiday. It was the return of Soup and Bread lunch at the College of Wooster. The Soup and Bread program, with the motto “eat simply so others can simply eat”, donates $3 of each meal swipe to local food pantries and hunger prevention agencies. Having served Wooster students and the surrounding community for 40+ years, even offering virtual “soup days” and directing individuals where to donate during COVID, Soup and Bread is a Wooster tradition and may be one of the best programs that Wooster offers. However, I feel that the recent return of soup days did not get the recognition or popularity from the student body that it deserved. Soup and Bread makes it easy to impact the local community, simply show up and eat a warm, friendly bowl of soup. 

The best pre-COVID soup days were double soup days. On double soup Wednesdays, we could get both lunch and dinner in Kittredge, with a portion of the cost of each meal donated. Even better, the soup dinner had some of the most delectable grilled cheeses I have ever tasted. Although I typically prefer to eat my lunch alone and away from crowds, there is something about the community of Soup and Bread that makes me want to share the experience, even more so if it is happening twice in a day. I can remember dragging the cross country team with me to Soup and Bread after a cold winter base run and enjoying good conversations as the soup warms us up. The Lowry dining hall cannot compete with the simple joy of enjoying soup and grilled cheese with friends. Soup warms not just the bowl, but your heart. 

Regardless, the Soup and Bread program does not get the credit it deserves, nor the popularity. Why does the line for Oma Gourd take 30 minutes to get through and the line for noontime Knowlton stretch around to professors’ offices, but in all the years I have gone to soup the wait is short? Oma may take longer to prepare and Knowlton may be a classic go-to, but these dining options offer the same appeal as soup and bread. Alternate dining options offer a break from the mundane cycle of Lowry lunches and crown of the dining hall. Part of the appeal of Oma Gourd or The Curry Pot (despite the fact that the food is delicious) is that it is different from what is usually offered at Wooster. Soup and Bread not only offers a break from the usual Low meal, but offers a wonderful way to connect with other students and the Wooster community. Soup and Bread brings people together around a common cause to foster a sense of community. As one of my favorite experiences that Wooster has to offer, I implore you to eat more soup. 

Allegations Must Be Verified Before Outrage

Connor Smith

Contributing Writer

 

 

 

Like many students at Wooster, I too spend (probably unhealthily) more than a small amount of time on Yik Yak messaging boards. And usually, it’s harmless – albeit not always positive – content. However, over the last few months, I have noticed a disturbing trend that has been the topic du jour of Wooster Yik Yak: discussing apparent sexual assault allegations against Wooster students, even going so far as to name names and make statements such as “[…]don’t forget [name] is also a sexual assaulter.”, “Name drop all assaulters!! Bully them off campus!!”, “[A]ctually bullying is okay if it’s aimed towards sexual assaulters!” and “Put a sticky note with some unique marking, and stick them on every abuser’s door that you know.” And these accusations come with absolutely no statements of proof, seeming completely unverified. Some students claim that a Title IX claim against a student is proof of guilt. Let me be clear: although a student may even have a Title IX claim against them, this does not mean that they are automatically guilty; almost all allegations of this nature constitute one person’s word against another’s. This apparently common practice of explicitly stating names and advocating for direct, possibly belligerent, action to be taken in response to these accusations, is a blight on how assertions of this magnitude ought to be treated, and how the student body should act while these claims are outstanding.

I am obviously anticipating many “yaks” from students when this piece is published. As such, it is important to note that this piece serves as neither a vilification nor a vindication of the alleged assaulters or accusers. I am not at all attempting to commentate on the validity of these alleged happenings; they could be fully true, not true at all, or somewhere in the vast expanse that exists between the aforementioned possibilities. The point is that I have no idea, and me taking a side without any hard evidence would be not only extremely irresponsible, but potentially dangerous, as it could lead to undesirable action being taken against either side. Now, I do believe that accusations of this sort should be taken seriously by the College, of course. Each accusation should be met with the possible or relevant totality of the Title IX Office, the Wooster Conduct Board and the law, if necessary. However, it is an astounding notion, and indeed a horrifying one, to take the position that before the accused are proven guilty, that they are to be gone after hammer and tongs by anyone sufficiently perturbed, let alone the students with whom they share spaces and experiences on their own college campus.

Suppose the administrators supersede the current Title IX format in favor of a culture whereby accusations can seemingly be verified, or at least generally accepted by the populace with likely no actual evidence of wrongdoing, because of how many upvotes a social media message gets. The College of Wooster campus would become reminiscent of a mobocracy one might have seen in 1690s Massachusetts, where enough people simply claiming one thing to be true justifies another person getting into serious social and administrative trouble. If history is to be any guide: such witch hunts rarely locate witches; rather, they more often than not lead to the hanging of innocents.

These allegations, as serious as they are, absolutely must be verified before we as a student body and a community react fully to it; this temperament is crucial, and the only real way to get justice and create change on campus.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Let’s Talk About “Team-cest”!

Geoffrey Allen

Viewpoints Editor

 

 

 

Is love in the air? Or is it just in the heat of team spirit? Many relationships are built on individuals sharing a common activity, but sometimes they develop into something more. On a co-ed sports team however, this phenomenon is defined by many as a distinct situation-ship. The close and shared experience through physical activity compared to other types of couplings is considered a whole different type of relationship. It is considered taboo, playfully compared to incest. Hence, the term “team-cest.” The phrase’s negative connotation is problematic, however, and invalidates the real connections and experiences student athletes have with their fellow peers.

Even though “team-cest” has definitely existed before our time here at the College, the use of the word in many cases is now used to point to co-ed teams as being a weird bunch of people. If you pay attention to the College’s Yik Yak, then you may have heard some rumors circulating, claiming co-ed teams like swimming and cross country are up to no good again. One might even refer to these sports teams as a “cult” the same way Indigenous people’s groups have been misinterpreted or Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex ring was rightly-labled. But “team-cest” does not need to be questioned or elevated to this level.

As a member of a team where it is common, it seems every two weeks at this point someone is getting together with you know who and becoming the next big thing; it’s like sampling down College gossip at our liberal arts college, you just swim, run or play ball with them. It’s comical for it to be the team discourse for about a week or two before it becomes normal and mundane in comparison to everything else that occurs. For this reason, I see “team-cest” more as a symbol of a team’s closeness and the fraternity amongst its athletes.

With closer contact comes the same nuances, complications and drama any relationship may have. Sometimes this drama is more intense given the proximity one has with another. Having a significant other can boost your morale as well as deplete it, just like how that cute guy you may have met in your intro class has the potential to do. But the bond you create when training and participating together can be strong. Maybe even stronger than the one you have with your best platonic friend. “Team-cest” scenarios are in no way superior to more traditional, non-athletic based hookups and couplings, but they do offer their unique experiences.

I write this as a statistic, as someone who is not only a part of a team which has this kind of ‘relationship-cest’ but is seeing one of my teammates, so it feels ironic for me to write on this topic. But I feel that it is another phenomenon of the various subcultures Wooster has. It is an experience to be a part of it. All in all, the love found with my athletic siblings helps me love the sport as I do. They are both passions by choice after all.

We Need to Re-Imagine the U.S. Dollar

Will Christopher

Contributing Writer

 

 

 

In the current era, cash as a form of currency and method of business transaction is becoming more and more obsolete. Even with that being said, I still feel compelled to compose this article. Imagine a scenario where you are walking up Beall Avenue, and it’s your lucky day. You find $73 waiting for you on the sidewalk. With this, you likely have the faces of Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant and George Washington staring back at you. For most people, this is a complete win because they just found a ton of money. But if you look beyond the layers, and are at all a student of history, you know that the men on our money have some skeletons in the closet. 

I don’t want to go into too much detail on this, because some of the historical details are quite graphic, but George Washington, despite being a great leader and the founder of our country, was a slaveholder. Ulysses Grant was certainly important in helping the Union prevail in the Civil War, but as a president, it is a consensus among most historians that Grant failed miserably and ran a corrupt White House. 

I have decided to save the worst of the three mentioned individuals for last, and that of course is Andrew Jackson. At the end of the day, if Ulysses Grant and George Washington are on our currency, that is what it is. But without question, Andrew Jackson has no business being on the $20 bill. Since positivity is superior, I will start this argument by playing devil’s advocate and giving an overview of the good bits of Andrew Jackson. To begin, he had a successful military career, even though his most notable battle, the Battle of New Orleans, took place after the War of 1812 was over. He was also self-made, and was able to grow up, become a lawyer and eventually become President despite being born into poverty and experiencing both of his parents’ deaths by the age of 14. With this being said, I still firmly believe that he shouldn’t represent the country on the approximately nine billion $20 bills that are in circulation in this country. One principal reason for this is of course the Trail of Tears and the many other violations of Indigenous people’s rights that Jackson made during his presidency. A second reason is that Jackson was fairly corrupt, and filled the government with friends. In addition to all these things Jackson, like Washington, was a slave owner. 

Part of what inspired me to write this piece was another article that I read a year ago that said that Harriet Tubman would be on the $20 bill by 2030. I think this is a good move, but overall my biggest idea for the money, if it’s not former presidents and historical figures, would be symbolic references. I think it would be neat, if instead of putting people on money, we put something to invoke thoughts of happiness and positivity in society. Some ideas could be a natural wonder, like the Grand Teton Mountains or Niagara Falls. If it isn’t a natural landscape, we could even consider something cool like state birds. So whether you like who is on the money or not, it is sometimes fun to look into the history of our country, and think about cool alternative things to put on the American dollar.