Category Archives: Senior Editorials

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.


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.

European financial crisis looms over US markets

John McGovern

Viewpoints Editor

The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced his decision to step down as the Head of Government. The act is pending approval of financial legislation to stabilize the economy, after failing to accrue a majority of votes in a recent vote in the Italian Parliament. Berlusconi fought opponents from the Democratic Party coalition and from within his own party for several months to retain control over Parliament, however 320 Members of Parliament opted not to vote in his measure on financial planning, with 318 for and one abstention.

This declaration stands in addition to reports that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will resign to pave the way for an interim government with an election next year. Papandreou’s decision follows his attempt to put the European bailout package to a national vote, which led the International Monetary Fund and several European leaders to declare that Greece wouldn’t receive any new aid until the referendum passed. Greece stands to gain €8 billion in aid by the end of the month from the European Central Bank.

The shuffle in high-ranking positions comes at a critical time in Europe’s slow and frustrating process to alleviate trillions of dollars of debt accrued by several European Union member countries. The creation of the European Financial Stability Facility in May 2010 allotted some €750 billion aimed at supporting banks across the continent. Part of this sum went to Greece, who eventually received an additional €110 billion through the International Monetary Fund and several European governments. Meanwhile, Italy possesses a debt of €1.9 trillion, and economists fear the country could easily find itself in a situation reminiscent of Greece or worse.

Portugal, Spain and Ireland loom on the horizon as nations susceptible to similar economic measures, however the focus remains largely on Greece. The financial problems have been attributed to an overabundance of loans following the abandonment of the traditional Greek currency, the drachma, in favor of the euro in 2001. This coincided with spending large sums of money on projects such as those in preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

The crisis in confidence across several European nations comes at a time where many economists, political leaders and citizens express severe doubts in the longevity of the Eurozone. Of the 27 EU member states, 17 use the euro, with rules regarding inflation, minting and other fiscal policy under the direction of the European Central Bank. A central issue in the economic crisis remains how much the ECB will pay in recovery funds, and what role individual governments and the private sector will play.

As of press time, Greece had not selected a new leader, however speculation points to opposition leader Antonis Samaras or economist Lucas Papademos (NY Times). Italy could opt to keep the current coalition government in power with another leader, or elect a new Parliament to determine Berlusconi’s successor. Possible candidates include chief of staff Gianni Letta or economist Mario Monti.

Dudes doing dude stuff

Matt Porter

This month is celebrated by many college boys as a time in which they can grow pathetically wispy and patchy facial hair with little to no persecution because it is “no-shave November.” I often  do not participate in this because I tend to go “no-shave ever” since I have had a beard since age 17. I don’t begrudge other people for wanting to grow beards, and I understand the need to create a judgment-free space for the first couple weeks of growth because it can often look unkempt and scraggly.

However, I find celebrations like this to be somewhat limiting. We then tend to define ourselves as men based on our ability to grow hair. I am starting to fear that how we conceptualize ourselves as men is becoming restricted by quasi-ironic and over-thetop interpretations of dude stuff. The biggest place I see this over-blown sense of ironic dude appreciation is in how men look at each other as friends and how we view ourselves as consumers.

There has been an explosion in the portrayal of bro-mantic attitudes over the last couple years. It was as if some cultural event opened up the flood gates and made it okay to celebrate the love men have for other men in a very loud and vocal way; personally, I blame Judd Apatow. I have no problems with expressing feeling for your dude friends, but my problem is that men often do this while celebrating these relationships ironically. For some reason it is somehow funny that a man could share a nice heterosexual relationship with another guy, as if we men are just too insecure to admit we genuinely enjoy the company of other men. I don’t want to hear you say “no homo” if you want to give a guy a hug; that’s offensive and hugs are not something to be ashamed of.

Men have also been bombarded with over masculinized commercials and media representations of what it is to be a guy. I am in no way saying this is comparable to the way which women are marketed; we can all agree that’s worse but that discussion is for a different time. To some degree, I have come to accept this bombardment. I expect to see things like the Marlboro Man or the Old Spice guy just because of the nature of the products. I draw the line when I have to suffer through things like Coke Zero, Pepsi Max and Dr. Pepper 10. I like explosions and punching snakes as much as anyone but I just find it insulting that they don’t think I will realize it’s the same thing as Diet Dr. Pepper. You don’t need to trick me into liking diet drinks; I just don’t drink them because they’re gross.

I have no problem celebrating dude stuff, I just want to celebrate it genuinely, and I don’t want that to be the only way I can act as a man. Yeah I have a full beard, but I like taking baths (where I often make bubble beards for my real beard) and hugging other guys. As men, we need to be honest, and there ain’t nothing wrong with dudes doing dude stuff (property damage excluded).