Midterms walk-to-vote event supports local elections

Students outside Wayne County Election Board after participating in the walk-to-vote event. Photo courtesy of Alex Nathanson
Alex Nathanson, Contributing Writer

In a country where decades of judicial precedent can be seemingly overruled in one night and a group of so-called “voting officials” can overrule the popular vote, it can be difficult to feel that our democratic system works at all. Considering this trepidation, why are the 2022 midterm elections projected to host a record-breaking number of voters – the third national election in a row to do so? On a frighteningly warm October day, the Voter Engagement Team here at the College of Wooster went on their walk to The Wayne County Board of Elections to vote. Leading the event were student interns Madison Mycoff ’24, Carrie Buckwalter ’24 and Cody Clark ’25, as well as Graham Letkeman ’23, who was unable to attend the event that day. The group gathered in the shade in front of Babcock Hall as other students joined them to prepare for the pilgrimage to historic downtown Wooster.

A common reason cited by many students about why voting in this election is important is the overturning of Roe v. Wade last June. The Supreme Court’s decision does not sit well with many students, as they recognize that the most effective way to make their voices heard is by voting for politicians whose platforms align with their own. Clark described voting as one of many tools in a “political toolbox,” so to speak, with a greater effectiveness in local elections. As organizers, the team spoke to the effectiveness of political activism as another means of representing one’s opinions and gathering support for social issues. 

Students also questioned the effectiveness of voting in the primaries. The intervention of the electoral college in the primary process made it difficult for Mycoff to say that voting is functional in representing the needs of the constituents. Having another voting body that has more power over the national vote can have a serious impact on voter morale, as seen in the 2016 Presidential election. Students spoke about how minorities feel misrepresented by the voting process due to factors such as voter I.D. in certain states and a lack of equal access to voting booths. Threats of violence and insurgency around voting locations are another unfortunate deterrent to many would-be voters in the United States, particularly in the 2020 elections, where several individuals took it upon themselves to not-so-subtly “monitor” the voting process. All agreed that voting is an effective form of democracy, however, we have a long way to go until the egalitarian vision of our American ancestors is fully realized. As Buckwalter put it, “Voting is the best thing you can do to represent that you actually want change. And if you don’t want change, then also vote – People fought for this right!” 

Another Walk-to-Early-Vote event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5 with the same goal of bringing as many Ohio-eligible voters down to The Wayne County Board of Elections to vote in the midterm elections. If you plan on voting in this upcoming election in Wayne County, the walk is a good opportunity to vote. Unlike voting on election day, early voting does not require a proof of residency. The only thing required is one form of Federal I.D., such as a driving license, Social Security card or passport. There is no stress about waiting in long lines, exposure to a large group of potential virus-carrying peoples or running low on energy (the team made sure everyone had access to snacks or water if we needed it). For those of you looking for a way to get your steps in, it’s a nice two-hour excursion with friendly faces and free food.

“Promises:” Saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders’ final masterpiece

Image courtesy of The New Yorker
Ian MacLaughlin, Contributing Writer

On Mar. 26, 2021, legendary jazz saxophone player Pharaoh Sanders released a collaborative album with electronic producer Floating Points and the London Symphony Orchestra. It has been widely regarded as one of the best albums of the year and the greatest of Sanders’ albums since his recordings in the 60s and 70s. A year and a half later, on Sept. 24, 2022, Pharaoh Sanders passed away at the age of 81. This makes “Promises Sanders’ final album. It’s also one of his greatest.   

Sanders had made his name as a sideman for the legendary saxophonist John Coltrane.   His first appearance was on Coltrane’s 1965 album “Ascension,” an almost completely structureless spiritual jazz record. Although he already had a few solo albums under his belt, it was his time performing with Coltrane that brought him to the forefront of jazz. Sanders began developing his style of spiritual jazz, featuring loud, blaring and passionate playing. In addition to Coltrane, he was highly influenced by Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler, as well as his own spirituality, imbuing his style with concepts like Karma and Tawhid. John Coltrane died tragically young in 1967 after several years spent mentoring Sanders. He left a legacy that Sanders would always live, at least partially, in the shadow of. 

Over the next decade, Pharaoh Sanders recorded some of his most popular albums. In 1969, he released his most famous album “Karma,” an immensely powerful record that still stands as one of the greatest in jazz. He also recorded several classic albums in 1970 with John Coltrane’s ex-wife Alice including “Ptah, the El Daoud” and “Journey in Satchidananda.” Some of his other classic albums from this time include “Deaf Dumb Blind (Summun Bukmun Umyun),” “Thembi,” “Black Unity,” “Elevation,” “Pharaoh” and more.

Over the years, Sanders became less and less immediately relevant. By the late 2010s, he was one of the few giants of jazz from the 60s still alive and performing. Then, in 2015, Sanders learned of electronic DJ Sam Shepard, aka Floating Points. Impressed by Floating Points’ then recent album, the jazzy and dream-like “Elaenia,” Sanders offered to collaborate. The two brought the London Symphony Orchestra to record some string parts, and by the end of 2020, “Promises” was complete. 

So, what is this album like? Well, it’s not an incredibly complex one. “Promises” is built on a short pattern of notes played by Floating Points which repeat continuously throughout the record. Sanders and the orchestra play on and off over this melody. The album is one long composition divided into nine movements, with each movement transitioning seamlessly into the next. 

“Promises” is an incredibly gripping album. The melody underlying everything is gorgeous and otherworldly. Sanders’ playing isn’t as loud as his previous work, but it still feels full of passion and longing. The strings are also quite powerful. They add more drama and emotion to the record, helping to push it to heights that could not be reached with just the saxophone and melody alone. The peak of the album is easily “Movement 6,” which also serves as the climax. The strings swell, and Sanders’ playing is at its most passionate and engaging.  Speaking personally, this is the movement that makes me cry every time I listen. It’s a deeply moving piece, and it achieves this through passion and minimalism.Overall, this album almost feels like Sanders and his collaborators trying to reach another world. The experience of listening to this album is mind-expanding and dreamlike. I felt like I was floating above my own body, away from all the stresses and worries of my life. It’s a spiritual experience that isn’t directly tied to one specific belief system, but still feels vaguely religious in a good way. It feels like the kind of experience that Sanders had been working towards his whole career. It doesn’t sound exactly like his more classic work, but it still has a similar emotional and dreamlike effect. Whether or not this album is the pinnacle of Sanders’ career will probably be debated for decades to come, but “Promises” will certainly be seen as one of the many highpoints in an illustrious career. What a fitting final record for such a legendary musician.

Annual BSA Ball Showcases Wooster’s Black Joy

Students enjoy the 2022 Black Students Association Ball. Image courtesy of Micah Morrow.
Micah Morrow, Contributing Writer

On Saturday, Oct. 22, the Black Students Association (BSA) held the annual BSA Ball which recognizes and celebrates Wooster’s Black students. This recognition and celebration was truly emphasized through the theme of this year’s event: Black Joy.

Knowlton Commons, the space in which the event was held, was beautifully decorated in the theme’s colors. Earth tones appeared throughout the cutlery, tablecloths and balloons. Students came dressed in shades of various browns, greens and blues. Everyone in attendance took the semi-formal and formal directions to heart, and looked like royalty. The event was catered by Famous Dave’s, who served ribs, salad, mac and cheese, fish and more, to the delight of the attendees.

Scattered around the tables of Knowlton were quotes from students describing what “Black Joy” means to them. The responses ranged from those of optimism and elation to those of trials and tribulations. The quotes described the multi-faceted experiences that come along with being Black in America.

Despite the understanding and acknowledgement of the difficult aspects, the entire event shined light on the joys and power of the Black experience. Speakers included Interim President Wayne Webster, a Wooster alum and Director of Multicultural Affairs, Lillian Evans. Each highlighted the contributions of Black students and professors at the College throughout the years, while also focusing on the joy felt and spread through their actions and presence.

Amari Royal ’23 liked the theme a lot and reflected on times of Black joy throughout their life. They said that, “We don’t talk about Black joy enough on this campus or the fact that most of the time we feel it in spite of the school.”

Jada Frost ’23 also spoke about the Ball’s theme, saying “I really enjoyed the BSA Ball theme for my senior year! It reminded me of the Black joy that I’ve experienced on the College of Wooster campus even in the worst of times or extenuating circumstances. It showed the resilience and power of Black joy!”

The special place this event holds in the hearts of many students across campus was evident throughout the night. The College, which is a predominantly white institution, does not have many spaces dedicated explicitly to celebrating Black students. This event, and many others held by BSA and the other multicultural organizations on campus, create spaces designed to celebrate and uplift them. Black joy deserves to be honored and fostered, and the BSA Ball did just that. Where the institution may fail, students persevere and rise up.

Sustainability Season: Carving Wooster-Grown Squash

Evelyn Trumpey ’24 (left) and Zoe Jurkowski ’24 (right) participate in squash carving. Image courtesy of Ellen McAllister.
Ellen McAllister, Creative Editor

It was a crisp fall day filled with student-grown squash, hot apple cider, Lerch’s Donuts, paint and glitter—all the makings of the first annual Squash Carving Social held by the Environmental Studies Department on Friday, Oct. 21. Professors and students of various majors came together to carve squash and spend time in the campus Learning Garden. 

The Environmental Studies Department held a squash carving event not only to bring people together, but also to ensure that the food grown in the Learning Garden was not wasted, and instead used in an interesting way. They hoped to encourage seasonal sustainability through this event, and want to encourage students of all majors to interact with the gardens and the department throughout the season and the rest of the year.

The squash was planted by Alyssa Lubba ’24, Salem Nega ’23 and Rae Blakenmeyer ’24 as part of an internship this summer with Professor Mariola. Starting in June, they planted tiny squash seeds in the Learning Garden, which is located behind Ruth Williams Hall and next to The Office of Admissions. The interns wanted to utilize the garden space to gain experience with gardening and all the different components associated with it. They grew a variety of plants, such as corn, green beans, sunflowers and of course, squash. Squash are a closer relative to pumpkins, so they can be eaten and their seeds can be harvested. Additionally, there are two other gardens located in the same area, one of which is a pollinator garden.

Even though the squashes were planted in June, they weren’t ripe until last week. They were finally harvested by the sustainable agriculture class taught by Professor Mariola, which introduces students to the science behind sustainable agriculture practices. The Learning Garden allows students to have a hands-on approach to class content. 

Originally, Blakenmeyer didn’t have a plan for after graduation, but after having the opportunity to work in the garden, she would love to go into agriculture. Not only did she learn a lot about gardening, she also enjoyed the process of planting seeds and watching them grow into plants. “It’s really special to see something grow,” she said, as everyone at the event happily carved the squashes she grew from seeds. 

When students arrived at the Squash Carving Social, they chose a squash, washed it and then grabbed the necessary tools to begin carving. Paint and glitter were also available to decorate the squashes. Evelyn Trumpey ’24, Zoe Jurkowski ’24 and their friends had a great time sitting outside, socializing and being creative. As they scraped out the inside of their squashes and chatted away, they said that, “this is a fun and interactive event where we can be outside and enjoy the fall weather in the company of great people.” 

As Gordon “Don” Reeves ’23 was anxiously awaiting the hot apple cider, he said that “the Squash Carving Social was the event with the most fall vibes that [he had] experienced on campus so far this year.” He later added that it “felt good that [he] was able to reuse the contents of the squash and not let the vegetables go to waste.”

The Environmental Studies Department is trying to hold more events like the Squash Carving Social to build a larger community on campus of both majors and non-majors alike. Gabby Gajdos ’23 said that, “it’s cool to see other environmental studies majors and those who are up-and-coming through the department at events and to learn more about them.”

Next time you’re walking around campus, make sure you take a peek at the Learning Garden. You might find some interesting vegetables, flowers, a cool bug or just a great spot to sit and talk with friends.

Field Hockey Falls to Marian University 4-1

After the talented Marian Sabres proved to be a little too much for the Scots, Wooster looks forward to its upcoming match against Earlham College. Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Zach Napora, Contributing Writer

The Fighting Scots field hockey team faced a tough opponent last Sunday as they lost to Marian University 4-1 at John P. Papp Stadium. Wooster went down early, with Marian’s (4-2) Allyson Nichols ’26 finding the net in the 20th minute. The Sabres doubled their lead just six minutes later, this time with Nichols grabbing the assist to Jikke Biemans ’26. The Scots were able to halve the deficit thanks to Mary Johnson’s ’26 team-leading fifth goal of the year, assisted by Maddie Peak ’24 in the 43rd minute. However, despite controlling a majority of the possession, the Scots were unable to stop Marian’s Jikke Biemans from scoring two goals on penalty-corner inserts in the fourth period, completing her hat-trick.

The Scots may be frustrated by this result, as the box score reveals a 23-9 lead in shots and a 10-6 advantage on penalty corners on the day. Both kept opposition keeper Brenna Abrahamson ’24 busy, as she made eight saves to preserve the Marian lead. This season has not been without its challenges for Wooster so far, with a new head coach and illness keeping their already small bench even tighter. However, According to Maddie Peak ’24, these challenges have not slowed the team’s drive, saying, “that has not stopped us from working hard and improving every day.” Peak believes that “so far, we have made some huge improvements in our team chemistry, and I think we will continue to do so.” 

The Scots will have a great opportunity to respond to last Sunday’s result as they play Earlham on Oct. 8 for the second time this year, another in their stretch of four games at home. The last time these two teams met, Wooster won its first game of the season, grabbing a 4-1 away win. This rematch sets up an opportunity for the Scots to get back to winning. As Peak ’24 put it, “I am looking forward to our game against Earlham on Oct. 8 because when we played them at their field, we played really well and that was one of the first games our team started to come together and play as a unit.” The Scots will be helped by their schedule too, with no midweek game allowing them to put all their focus into their contest against Earlham. 

Midfielder Delaney Gross ’24 agrees, saying that “after our loss this Sunday we have an entire week of practice to prepare for our next game.” Gross spoke to the advantage the Scots gained by adding that, “we have time to refocus and spend time at practice addressing the shortcomings that occurred against Marian.” 

The Scots have reason to feel optimistic. Despite starting off 0-1 in conference play, the season is still very early and a tough double overtime defeat to Denison should light a fire for the rematch on Oct. 15. The team also seems very excited by this possibility. As Gross noted, “our game against them Black and Gold Weekend was so close, and it would be great to see us get a win against them!” 

Wooster will have to face DePauw in conference play first, that game at home on Oct. 9. The DePauw Tigers are currently 1-0 in conference after a tight win against Ohio Wesleyan, and should be a good test for the Scots as they ramp up the season.

Wooster XC Competes at Muskingum Invitational

Drew Robertson ’25 turned in an impressive performance at the Muskingum Invitation, finishing seventh overall in the men’s race. Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Eliot Barrengos, Contributing Writer

Wooster’s Fighting Scots raced on Saturday morning, Oct. 1, in the Muskingum Invitational 8K race, held at Muskingum University.  Will Callender ’25 continued his strong fall season crossing the finish line in first place among all men’s runners with a time of 26 minutes and 54.6 seconds. In doing so, Callender beat out Heidelberg’s Sean Smith ’25 by nearly six seconds. His first-place finish helped the men’s team claim third place, in what was one of their better all-around races this season.

Callender was backed by strong performances from Drew Robertson ’25, who finished seventh overall, with a time of 28 minutes and 33.1 seconds, and Ben Nichols ’25, who claimed tenth place overall, with a time of 28 minutes and 50.1 seconds. Eric Johnson ’25 and Joe Ahmann ’26 finished off the scoring for the Scots on the scoreboard, finishing 22nd and 26th.

Wooster’s men’s team is pulling things into focus as the NCAC Championship meet approaches at the end of October. When asked about where the team stands with just one meet before the Championship, Callender said, “the team is finally starting to come together which is great to see.” He added that, “we are still in need of a bit more work to close the gaps in our top five, but there has been some great progress out of a lot of the guys.” Callender pointed specifically to the strides made by Wooster’s fourth and fifth finishers on Saturday saying, “I’m really impressed with the work that Joe Ahmann and Eric Johnson have put in over the last few weeks.”

For the women’s team, Saturday was not as smooth, as the Scots failed to place in the 6k race. The change in fall weather was a definite factor in what was a tough race for the women’s team. “It was the first race that felt like fall,” said Julianna Fiori ’25, “and it was rainy and muddy which was a complete 180 from our typical conditions.”  

But the Scots still delivered strong performances especially from their deep sophomore class, led by Jessie Berth ’25 who finished 11th out 30 in the individual results with a time of 27 minutes and 42.3 seconds. She was followed by Fiori placing 16th in 28 minutes and 25.0 and Isabelle Dwyer ’25 who placed 19th with a time of 28 minutes and 36.6 seconds.

The women’s team faces a tough moment in their season, as they have been struck as of late with sickness and injuries, putting further strain on what is already a small team. “We have had our fair share of setbacks in terms of injuries and sickness,” said Dwyer, “but everyone has continued to show up and bring their best, whatever that looks like for that day.” Dwyer expressed belief in the team heading into a crucial stretch of the season. “I am very confident that we will get back on our feet before the Conference.”

Fiori acknowledged that this was a tough moment in the fall season, but pointed to the upcoming fall break as a chance to regain footing.“ [We need to] not try to push ourselves when we are not physically there yet,” said Fiori “I hope that the small break from racing will reset us and get us ready and healthy for the Jenna Strong Invitational.” 

The Scots will compete again in the Jenna Strong Invitational on Friday, Oct. 14 in Wilmington, Ohio.

Women’s Soccer Fires on All Cylinders to Defeat Oberlin 4-2

Naomi Mann ’24 earned NCAC Athlete of the Week for an eye-popping stat sheet that included one goal and two assists. Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Langston Hood, Senior Sports Writer

The Fighting Scots women’s soccer team opened conference play on Saturday, Oct. 1 against one of the more obscure mascots in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), as they welcomed the Oberlin Yeowomen to Carl Dale Field. The Yeowomen were riding high off a three-game winning streak and boasted an undefeated record outside of the tainted walls of Oberlin. The fact that the game was conference play, Oberlin’s perfect away form and a talented Wooster team seemed the perfect mixture for an exhilarating Saturday afternoon matchup. 

Along with all these factors, Saturday marked Senior Day for the trio of soon to be graduates: Teddi Farson ’23, Helena Janczak ’23 and Kate Schumacher ’23. This group has represented Wooster with pride during their time playing in the Black and Gold. Since their first year, Wooster has appeared in the national tournament twice, won two NCAC tournaments and seen the competition canceled in 2020. Additionally, the trio has collected a variety of individual accolades with Farson being named the 2021 NCAC Newcomer of the Year and receiving second team All-NCAC honors. Schumacher holds the Scots’ record of scoring the two fastest consecutive goals in a game against Baldwin Wallace University in 2021. Janczak pinpointed her last NCAA tournament as a pivotal moment in her career. “My favorite memory of playing soccer at Wooster was when we won PKs against Case Western in the 2019 NCAA Tournament,” said Janczak.

Emma Jaros ’24 opened the scoring in the 20th minute thanks to an assist from classmate Naomi Mann ’24. Mann, who was named NCAC Athlete of the Week for her efforts, was in the helping mood that afternoon as she later assisted Schumacher, who added her name to the score sheet in the 28th minute. Wooster controlled play throughout the first half, firing 15 shots at the Yeowomen goal forcing a pair of saves from the Oberlin keeper Benji Maddox ’24. The Scots continued to knock on the door, looking for a pivotal third goal to put the Yeowomen out for good. The woodwork, however, proved to be on Oberlin’s side as they denied Farson, Erica Beaty ’26 and Grace Gascoigne ’24 from putting their name on the scoresheet. 

The second half would tell a different story, as Oberlin came out eager to take the fight to Wooster and show why conference play is so difficult. Just 11 minutes into the second half, Oberlin would put one in the net to cut Wooster’s lead in half. Farson, however, killed their momentum, notching her third goal of the season in the 60th minute thanks to a helper from Schumacher. Making for another celebratory Senior Day goal and putting the game seemingly out of reach at 3-1. Oberlin fired back five minutes later as the same duo of Garver and Benway pegged a second response for Oberlin. 

Oberlin continued to threaten Wooster, outshooting the Scots 13-8 and forcing five saves out of goalie Kameryn Nelson ’26. Mann would flip the script and play goal scorer in the 81st minute to put the game out of reach. Nelson spoke to the atmosphere of her first conference game between the sticks: “all games are important but the feeling before this first conference game was really intense, and you could tell everyone was ready to play.” On the same play, Charlotte Sefcik ’26 recorded her first collegiate point by assisting Mann. Sefcik echoed Nelson’s comments about the first conference game saying, “you can really see a different level of intensity out on the field in conference play.”

Janczak painted a glowing image of the team’s play saying, “I would describe the team’s play as creative, quick and strong,” adding that, “I am confident that we will be able to grow these skills in order to create the best possible outcomes in the games to come.” Jaros also emphasized the importance of conference play, saying that “conference play is where our team needs to walk away from each and every game feeling confident that we put everything on the table.”

When the final whistle blew, Wooster emerged victorious by a score of 4-2, winning their first conference game and ascending to the top of the table as there will be no other conference play until this weekend. Wooster will host the Tigers of DePauw in a 1 p.m. kickoff in their second conference match of the season.

Come support your Fighting Scots as both soccer teams take on DePauw back-to-back Saturday afternoon at Carl Dale Field!!

The Dining Hall and its Staff Deserve Better

Keegan Smith ’23

I love food. I love to eat what is made for me, but I also enjoy preparing filling meals to fuel my training (without breaking the budget!) and making a tasty dish for my friends. Though I enjoy preparing meals on occasion, I appreciate that I am able to go to campus dining for the majority of my dining needs. 

I have observed campus dining through the eyes of a hungry first-year, eager to eat their way through the offerings at Lowry and Mom’s; a COVID-weary sophomore and junior, dashing in and out to grab a meal; and an emboldened senior, hoping to bring about positive change when possible for the Wooster community.

Wooster’s community is special – we’re students, faculty and staff all working together as “independent thinkers who are well prepared to seek solutions.” We develop relationships with our classmates, our professors and with those working on campus to create this incredible learning and living environment. Our environment is supported, in part, by hard-working professionals, dedicating their time and energy to fueling our bodies and minds alike. 

The professionals preparing and serving our meals, however, have not received the necessary support from our school’s administration, as evidenced by the outsourcing of campus dining despite the proposal receiving significant and valid resistance. A Google search of our school’s website returns 118 results as of this writing, including letters of opposition to outsourcing, unanswered questions related to potential impact and the unwelcome realization our college’s administration was undeterred.

Equally undeterred are the students, as we have a voice and are untethered from fears of job loss or retaliation from speaking out. We students have heard from our campus dining workers, and we students are appalled by what the workers now call reality: poor pay, reduced benefits, unreasonable expectations and demands. This reality grinds on one’s soul, and is evident on one’s face. Our campus dining workers may try to feign pep, but we clearly see the changes in their demeanor, voices, posture. Unwelcome changes, honest changes, changes we don’t want hidden behind a veneer of false cheer, changes we want reversed through real solutions that show the school values our campus dining workers.

As part of the outsourcing, the students were also impacted. We lost bantering with our campus dining workers, and we lost crucial late-night dining options. Camp Woo’s population is fully composed of full-time students with academic, social and athletic demands of our time and energy. We are engaged in clubs that will tend our interests and enrich our learning. We tutor classmates and TA classes. We practice hard. We study late into the night. We need to eat to fuel our minds!

Our schedules start early and wrap up late – and we need fuel at all hours to meet our often weird schedules’ demands. It’s not uncommon to find our club hockey team on skates until 11:30 at night. It’s par for the course to watch our varsity teams practice on the Papp until midnight. With nearly one-third the student body involved in formal athletics, we have a hungry population tucking into second dinner when others are tucking into bed. 

Rather, we HAD a hungry population tucking into food. With the current dining contract in effect, and closures limiting options, students are left with two choices: MacLeod’s Convenience Store or to fend for themselves. The C-Store only accepts Flex dollars for payment for its very expensive offerings. At 10 to 12 dollars a meal, our meal plan’s Flex dollars are quickly drained, again resulting in students needing to fend for themselves when we do not have the facilities or supplies to readily and sufficiently feed ourselves nightly. 

Flex dollars are a part of our meal plan designs, and not one of our meal plan designs are sufficient to fuel an athlete’s needed meals each day, all semester long. Our academic calendar runs 99 days and 396 meals, not including break closures. Our most generous meal plan offers an almost three-meal a day plan, but falls quite short for those with greater nutritional demands.

We need affordable, nutritious, filling, late-night meals prepared by workers who are treated fairly. Our campus dining workers need to be insourced and appropriately compensated. We’re tired of seeing members of our community demoralized and mistreated. We’re tired of going to bed hungry.

A Fall-themed Q&A with Wooster’s Science Editor

While corn and its derivative products are very good, raw, unprocessed kernels claim many lives every year in the United States. Photo courtesy of Wallpaper Flare.
Caroline Ward, Science & Environment Editor

Why do leaves change colors?

During the spring and summer, leaves serve as food-making factories, creating energy for the growth of their host tree through the process of photosynthesis. Leaf cells contain chlorophyll (the chemical that gives them their green hue), which extracts energy from absorbed sunlight. This energy then transforms carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch. Yellow and orange pigments also exist in the leaf, and are caused by the presence of carotenes and xanthophyll pigments. However, the abundance of green pigment usually masks any other color. In the fall, leaves stop photosynthesizing. As the chlorophyll breaks down, the green pigment fades, leaving the brilliant yellow and orange pigments visible. Other chemical changes result in the formation of additional colors like vibrant reds and dark purples through the development of red anthocyanin pigments. The result is beautiful autumn foliage that lasts until the tree sheds its leaves and the cycle begins again in the spring.

Is a pumpkin a vegetable?

Nope! A pumpkin is technically considered a fruit. Botanically, any produce that develops from the flower of a plant is considered a fruit, and since pumpkins develop from flowers that grow on pumpkin vines, they are sorted into this category. But even weirder than this is the fact that a pumpkin is technically a berry. A berry has seeds and pulp (called “pericarp”) that develop from the ovary of a flower, and a pumpkin, which develops from the ovary of a flower, has both seeds and pulp. It turns out that pumpkins, alongside fruits like bananas, avocados and cucumbers, are all technically berries, and fruits like blackberries, mulberries and raspberries are not berries at all. Strange!

Are ghosts real?

Depends on who you ask. Ghost hunters and the superstitious will, of course, answer yes. Their proof often comes in the form of cold spots, photographed “orbs” and cryptic seance messages. Scientists, on the other hand, answer no. As there has never been true, definitive proof, academics find it impossible to believe in something on blind faith alone, ghosts included. However, although all our universe’s physical laws seem to disprove the existence of ghosts, the spirit world has always been tied more to the spiritual than the scientific, and perhaps must be evaluated using the rules of the spiritual, rather than the physical. Who knows? We might all be ghosts one day, laughing at this article as we float restlessly through the astral plane.

Could you drown in a pit of corn?

It’s corn! It’s got the juice. But, seriously, this is actually a thing. The Atlantic published an article in 2014 on the topic of drowning in corn held in grain-bins. The accumulation of tens of thousands of kernels has the effect of acting like a fluid when a large body, such as a human, falls into it. Conveyer belts usually sit at the bottom of grain-bins (commonly referred to as silos in agricultural areas). When the belts are turned on, they cause the corn to create a sunction-cup-like vacuum affect as the bottom kernels are pulled out of the entrapment. Occasionally, workers are in the grain-bin when the belts are turned and get sucked into the corn, becoming cemented in it. In other words, yes, one can drown in corn, but only if you are anywhere near thousands and thousands of kernels. The same suction-cup effect would most likely be achieved for any type of granular material, so, candy corn would also be deadly in a similar situation! In an economy highly depen- dent on corn products, do not expect the hazards of kernels to go away.

Activism, then what?

Elizabeth Hall, Contributing Writer

In the United States Constitution, the Founding Fathers gave citizens the right to assemble a peaceful protest and the right to vote elected officials out of office if they no longer represent their congressional districts. These rights are very pertinent to what has been happening in the news recently. Over the summer, I had a great opportunity to live, learn and intern in Washington, DC. I was able to observe the reaction to the overturn of Roe v. Wade. It was interesting to see how many protesters were out there and the dwindling number of them from week to week. After talking with several protesters, I realized that most people don’t know about the right to a recall at any time and thought that this was their civic duty – I agree, but I want them to do more. This shocked me and I thought it would be best to tell the students, staff and faculty of The College of Wooster community about their civic rights and duties for when the government is not acting in their favor. In this upcoming election on Nov. 8, VOTE!!! I don’t necessarily care which way you lean as long as you do your civic duty and vote for the people who best represent you and your opinions. Most people just see the Rs and Ds by the name and vote that way, yet don’t do the research to know what they are voting for.

The College Democrats do a great job at using this opportunity to send letters to the targeted audience of congress(wo)men who need to up their game. On Oct. 25, College Dems and College Republicans are having a conjoined meeting and opening it up to whoever wants to learn about who is on the ballot and what they run for. This event will not be supporting one side or the other, but will inform voters about whom they are voting for in Wayne County.

One of the comments I hear all the time when talking to someone about politics is “leave it to the old white guys to ruin this country.” In reality, young people are still voting these people in because of their own laziness and lack of research. If you want these people to get out of office, then do the research and learn about others who are running in your district.

It was great to see protesters congregating at the Kauke Arch and to see them protesting for better respect for women’s health and reproductive rights. Activism is great, yet it is just the start and is not a “one and done” sort of event. Write letters to government officials and NGOs for help and bring awareness to the issue.

Sadly, the overturn of Roe v. Wade has lost momentum in the media. Writing to gain support, however, may bring back the narrative of the need for these rights.

If you have any questions, comments or want more information, contact Elizabeth Hall (ehall23@wooster.edu).