Category Archives: Senior Editorials

Normative minorities: No love lost

Travis Marmon

I like to think of myself as a socially liberal and progressive person. My vote is always most likely to go toward the candidate who supports marriage equality and wants to reform our country’s many racist institutions. I consider myself a feminist, because I understand that feminism’s ultimate goal is equality between the sexes, not the destruction of men, as some seem to think. I don’t think this country, let alone the world, is anywhere near where it needs to be in regard to tolerance and understanding of various cultures (as evidenced by the backlash against Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl ad, among many other things).

All this being said, there is a point where we as a society need to reevaluate which groups are actually being oppressed. When I saw a poster in Stevenson for a meeting of “romantic minorities,” I almost beat my head against the wall. The rise of Internet social justice movements through websites like Tumblr has led to a point where literally every aspect of a person’s personality becomes part of an identity that makes them a “minority.” This kind of thinking is absurd at best and damaging to actual minorities at worst.

I don’t mean to pick solely on romantic minorities, but for the sake of this viewpoint I am doing so, because it was their posters that got me thinking about this. Looking at the advertisement for this group, a few terms stand out. The first of these is “demiromantic.” According to AVENwiki (part of the Asexual Visibility and Equality Network), a demiromantic is someone who “only experiences romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection beforehand.” Not sexual attraction. Romantic attraction. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t romantic attraction require an emotional connection by definition? Isn’t this how most people operate? Have I been misled about what love is for my entire life?

The other term that had me doing immediate Internet research was “queerplatonic.” I was again taken to AVENwiki, which describes it as “a relationship that is not romantic but involves a close emotional connection beyond what most people consider friendship … The commitment level is often considered to be similar to that of a romantic relationship.” Does this really mean anything? Having one or two extremely close friends sounds typical to me. Does this commitment level mean it’s possible to cheat on my friends? That just sounds petty.

My larger point here is not that these romantic identities are ridiculous but that identifying them as “minorities” is a great way for privileged, often white, cisgendered and heterosexual students at a private liberal arts college to act oppressed. I realize that sometimes college feels like a place where everybody is trying to have as much sex as possible, but, I assure you, that is not the reality.

Even if it were the reality, “romantic orientation” is just a personality trait. Nobody has ever been discriminated against in the workplace because they are lithromantic (“a person who experiences romantic love but does not want their feelings to be reciprocated”). There is no institution in this country that prevents someone from climbing the economic ladder because they have a low sex drive or don’t want a romantic relationship.

I think that the phrase “check your privilege” is often misused to dismiss the opinions of people in privileged positions, even if they have a good point. However, There is no better time to use it than when it comes to a completely non-oppressed person identifying as a minority. Focus your social justice endeavors on the people who could actually use allies.

A Tale of Two Editors

Senior Editorials Continued from Viewpoints (pages 3 and 4)

Amanda Priest

  Cory Smith

Once upon a time there were two women who decided to take their chances in a basement. The lack of windows and arguably red carpet inspired them in ways they never knew possible.

Cory, an expected addition to The Wooster Voice and Amanda, an unexpected member, decided to take the positions of Photo Editors of the paper. Cory and Amanda had been friends since their first year when Amanda had long hair and an unspecified moral code and Cory joined every group on campus.

This friendship eventually led them to this moment. Yes, this very moment in which they would take the noble position of Photo Editors. At one point Amanda and Cory had an impressive resume and work ethic. However, as the year progressed, and Independent Study reared its ugly head, they fell into the Drug Mart ad layout abyss. With Bob West and Andrew Collins’ photos staring down upon them, they decided to take their fate into their own hands. They would leave their dorm rooms and become…CORANDA, THE GREATEST PHOTO EDITOR TO EVER EXIST.

Show student responsibility

Ramsey Kincannon

Throughout my four years here, I’ve heard almost every student I’ve talked to complain about how unfairly we are treated by security and the administration. I have often heard the relationship between students and administration compared to a variety of things ranging from a Nazi state to parents not trusting their children. I completely agree with the sentiments (though not the metaphors); I do think we’re under-trusted. This newspaper recently ran an article in which Dean Kreuzeman was quoted saying that that Wooster students didn’t have enough “courage” or “leadership” in order to have autonomy over our own Wooster Ethic.

I often think the powers that be underestimate our ability to handle ourselves. I was appalled by Dean Kreuzeman’s suggestion that we, as students, are deficient in courage and leadership to the point where we need to have overly strict policies. I thought — and still think — that “Safe, Sober, Smart” was a sign that the administration was totally out of touch with reality. Despite Dean Buxton’s assurances that the program is not designed to promote total abstinence from alcohol, I have seen no evidence to suggest that the school is encouraging responsible drinking as opposed to almost total sobriety. In a Voice article on March 4, Krista Kronstein described responsible drinking “as having a beer, or drinking a six-pack between friends.” Clearly, this position is silly, but we must prove that we can take responsibility for our own alcohol policies.

However, in order to prove to everybody — ourselves, the administration, and security — that we can handle the responsibility of personal autonomy, we cannot have instances like that which occurred on the Free Speech Wall last week. The Women of Images organized a display on the Art Wall eulogizing the death of Trayvon Martin and what it suggests about our society. On the wall, there was an area for students to express themselves anonymously. The result was a disaster. One of the first responses was “f**k the police,” and the conversation regressed from there. Whether it was “weed this” or “c**t that,” those attitudes do not and cannot reflect student ideology if we hope to have more lax administration and security policies in the future. Even an attempt at an intellectual discussion — the debate between libertarianism and socialism — was marred by a lot of name-calling and other forms of idiocy.

The phrases scribbled onto the Free Speech Wall continue to give the administration even more ammunition for the belief that that we are totally unable to handle ourselves. If we truly want to prove that we can be the sole authors of our Friday and Saturday nights, we have to start showing that we can handle the responsibility of something as simple as a wall and freedom of expression.

Decadron

Fla. town shocked as Lego man washes ashore

On the lighter side…

The peaceful seaside community of Sarasota, Fla. was rocked recently by an aquatic invasion. The sole member of the landing party answered questions only by a mute, unwavering gaze, and a message emblazoned on his shirt: “NO REAL THAN YOU ARE.” Of course, bystanders and police officers could not have expected their new guest to offer up much of an explanation as to his sudden appearance on a Siesta Key beach. This is mostly because the man before them was not a man at all, but an 8-foot-tall, 100-pound Lego minifigure sculpture. The fiberglass Lego man was found in the surf off Siesta Key by a man walking on the beach.  This is not the first time one of these large Lego men has been found wallowing in the surf. One was found in the Netherlands in 2007, and another was discovered in the English sea town of Brighton a year later. The Sarasota Lego man has sadly been unable to take advantage of the great kayaking and beaches in the Keys, as he remains in police custody as “found property.” It appears that the Sarasota Police Department does not accept treasure chests full of plastic gold coins as bail.

(Info from: Washington Post)

 

Sex scandal threatens to engulf Penn State

Ramsey Kincannon

News Editor

In what some have deemed the biggest scandal in modern sports, Penn State University has had to address the hidden pedophilic sexual abuse of Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator of revered coach Joe Paterno, has been accused of molesting as many as eight young boys in the early 2000s.

The Senior Vice President of Penn St., Gary Schultz, and the Athletic Director, Tim Curley, have been arrested ands charged with failing to alert police and “lying to the state grand jury that indicted Sandusky on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years” (Washington Post).

As many as eight mothers have come forward with additional rape accusations since 1998, when an official inquiry resulted in no criminal charges against Sandusky, who was a recent founder of the charity program, “The Second Mile,” which works extensively with children to help them get ahead in life.  The former defensive coordinator is also the father of several adopted children.

While the upcoming events may be “nearly impossible to predict,” (Tufts Daily) some consequences have started to unfold.  Joe Paterno, the head coach and winner of 409 games, along with two national championships, has reportedly been forced out of his position starting in the ’12-’13 year.  While the famous coach is not a target of the legal investigation, the fact that he merely alerted the Athletic Director, and not the police, paints a poor picture of the now-embattled head coach.

Nell Irvin Painter wraps up fall forum

Will Schoenfeld

Staff Writer

This Tuesday, Wooster enjoyed a visit from noted historian and author Nell Irvin Painter. Dr. Painter presented a lecture on the origins of American identity, closing what has proven to be a very enlightening and informative Forum series.

Nell Irvin Painter finished off the 2011 Wooster Forum series with a very informative talk on the origins and development of American identity. Painter has authored several books, including “Standing at Armageddon,” a text that many historians consider to be one of the authoritative histories of Gilded Age America. In addition to being an accomplished author, Painter teaches history at Princeton University, and has received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Fine Art.

The Wooster Forum series is an annual event that brings speakers from different disciplines to campus. The presenters give lectures and performances, all focused around a particular area, movement, or moment in time. Last year’s lectures focused on the global importance of South Asia.

For 2011, the Wooster Forum series was titled “The Americas: Contacts and Consequences.” Much like the title suggests, the series examined the economic, cultural, political and ecologic connections between America and other parts of the world.

The Forum kicked off on Sept. 20 with a lecture from Charles Mann, the author of “1491: New Revelations of the America’s Before Columbus.” In his lecture, Mann discussed the history of pre-Columbian America, focusing on the Native Americans who came into contact with Western explorers.

The next speaker, Edwige Danticat, is a critically-acclaimed author whose book “Brother I’m Dying,” a story of her family’s experience in Haiti and in New York City, was selected as the First-Year summer reading for the class of 2015. Danticat, who studied creative writing at Brown University, discussed her book and took questions from students.

The third forum saw John Wingfield, a professor from the University of California-Davis, give a lecture on American birds and wildlife. Wingfield discussed the impact that climate change is having on American wildlife, and the relationship between climate shifts and endocrine disruption in wild animal populations.

The fourth event in the series was a concert event that brought together a few of the campus’ musical groups to present a selection of music from different American cultures. The Wooster Symphony Orchestra, The  College of Wooster Jazz Ensemble, several choral groups and other performers shared the stage in McGaw Chapel. The Forum also included an exhibit in Ebert Art Gallery and other single-day events around campus.

Painter’s lecture closed a very informative and engaging Forum series, demonstrating once again that Wooster students can look forward to a little extra enlightenment every year as the leaves begin to change.