Expanding the Genre: How One Show is Changing Science-Fiction

Orion Bress, Contributing Writer
“The Expanse,” available on Amazon Prime (Photo courtesy of denofgeeks.com)

With “House of Dragon” returning us to Westeros and “The Rings of Power” returning us to Middle Earth, I believe now is a perfect time for us to revisit the lesser-known world of “The Expanse.” Based on the book series by the same name written by James S.A. Cory, a pseudonym for writers Daniel Abraham & Ty Frank, “The Expanse” is available on Amazon Prime.

Set a few hundred years in the future, “The Expanse” is a science fiction political thriller mystery show about the divisions between humanity and peoples’ reaction to the unknown. In “The Expanse,” the solar system is divided between a stagnate and overpopulated United Nations-run Earth, an ascendent militarist Mars, and the oppressed Belters who live, work and die providing resources to Earth and Mars. The solar system exists in a tense and fragile peace where just a single spark drives the entire solar system into war. This is just a taste of what “The Expanse” holds.

The first thing that stands out to me about “The Expanse” is the show’s fantastic writing. “The Expanse” has some of the most interesting and concise writing and worldbuilding of any fictional world. The worldbuilding sets up an interesting and frighteningly plausible vision of the future where the fundamental problems of today are carried forward. This depiction of a future solar system is easily as rich and compelling as any of the other great fictional worlds of literature. Furthermore, “The Expanse” is populated by interesting and fully developed characters, from the foul-mouthed UN politician Chrisjen Avasurala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), to the right-out-of-Noir detective Joseph Miller (Thomas Jane), to the troubled and unintendedly hilarious mechanic Amos (Wes Catham), and numerous other well-acted and memorable characters. Along with the fantastic characters and worldbuilding is the relevant and nuanced social commentary written in such a way that it  comes off as a natural part of the story and world of “The Expanse.” Lastly, despite a slow start, “The Expanse” maintains high quality episodes that keeps the audience invested with plenty of rewatch value.  

One of the most noteworthy features about “The Expanse” is the show’s relative realism. “The Expanse” works hard to get the details of living and working in space right in such a way that it becomes a fundamental part of the show and its world. Gone is the space magic of artificial gravity, shields, ray guns, faster than light drives, and lack of inertia, that defined so much of past science fiction. Instead, the reality of space travel like microgravity, acceleration and inertia, the hard limit of light speed and other real-world considerations are used to create unique obstacles and situations that most science fiction stories ignore. However, if you are concerned that this dedication to realism sounds boring and complicated, I promise you it’s neither. The brilliant writing and direction of “The Expanse” can get viewers with little scientific background to understand the rules of its universe (and to a lesser extent, our own) in a natural way. On top of that, “The Expanse” has plenty of heart pounding action and drama that would put most shows, both science fiction and otherwise, to shame.

“The Expanse” is one of the best shows of the past 20 years and if you’re looking for something to watch, I cannot recommend it enough.

New year, same problem: Dining and libraries adjust to staff shortages

Departments hit by staffing shortages, leading to cuts in operation hours
As an understaffed dining team adjusts to new equipment, a staff member looks on. Photo courtesy of Samuel Boudreau ’ 23.
Samuel Boudreau
Editor in Chief

After an eventful 2021-22 academic year that saw increased entry-level hourly wages, calls for student and faculty dining staff volunteers, partnerships with multiple local food businesses and a contentious decision to outsource dining services to Creative Dining Services (CDS), the College’s campus dining continues to experience staffing shortages. After the College’s partnership with Creative Dining Services this summer, the College’s dining staff team rose from 72 to 89 members, including management. Despite this increase, Marjorie Shamp, Director of Campus Dining, told the Voice that the new facility needs about 110 staff members to fully operate. “Our new facilities are also much more labor intensive than before,” said Shamp. 

Debroah Hughes, a kitchen staff member, said that the dining staff is down 20 people in the new student center. “We have so many cool stations we can open up,” said Hughes, “but we don’t have enough hands.” Hughes said that each station requires at least three employees, leading to the College’s current staff members to shift from station to station. “That’s why you’ll see us starting to stagger,” said Hughes, “like we’re going to open Lemongrass tonight but Globe during the day.” She continued, “in the meantime, we just got to keep shuffling the people that are here.” 

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Wayne County has the eighth lowest unemployment rate out of the state’s 88 counties which indicates strong job growth in the county. “We’re really lucky in Wayne County, because there are so many jobs available,” said Hughes. “For instance, our supervisor hired 15 folks, but nine of our older people left because they had other opportunities.” 

According to reports conducted by CDS’ management team, there are only 16 student employees in the College’s dining staff, a severe shortage from previous years. “In years past,” said Shamp, “we have had as many as 75 students working in dining.” One dining employee told the Voice that this is the worst shortage they’ve seen in dining services. “I have been here for a very long time and have never seen staff shortages this severe.” To gain student interest in employment opportunities, CDS posted QR codes for job opportunities across the student center. 

Shortages of hourly staff and student employees has led to the inability to operate certain stations, particularly the dishwasher. “[The staffing shortage] is very real,” said James Moline, a Receiving Clerk for the College’s dining staff. “It is also the primary cause of using paper products for plates, cups and silverware,” he continued. To operate the dishwasher station, the College needs enough staff for an eight-hour straight shift. “It takes five people in there to keep it up,” said Shamp. 

Shamp hopes that Fall Break and CDS’s online presence will help gain more staff members and provide the staff with time to master the student center’s new equipment. Shamp said that, “Everyone’s got to remember we’ve only been partners [with CDS] for 10 weeks. We are making progress.” Shamp also said campus dining will remove sneeze guards from some stations for students to serve themselves and develop menu items that take less labor to produce for students.

Another department adjusting to staffing shortages is the College’s libraries. For the fall semester, the College cumulatively shaved off 16 hours from Timken Science Library’s hours compared to previous years, including shifts from 8:00 a.m. – midnight (Monday – Thursday) to 8:00 a.m. to 10:00p.m. (Monday – Thursday), 8:00 a.m. – 10:00p.m. (Friday) to 8:00a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Friday), 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (Saturday) to 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Saturday) and 12:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. (Sunday) to noon – 10:00 p.m. (Sunday). 

In a “head-count” conducted by the College’s library staff, the College found that an average of five students used Timken Science Library in later hours, (10:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.), leading to a cut in operation hours. “The usage just didn’t bear out when you average less than five students,” said Makiba Foster, Head Librarian of the College. “We are down quite a bit in staffing.” The College’s administrative cabinet approved the change. “This decision was not made lightly,” said Foster. 

Elys Kittling Law, Research and Information Services Librarian, told the Voice that she, Michael Buttrey, Head of Access Services; Alena Michel, Science Libraries Associate and Carrie Gessner, Access Services Evening Supervisor, help supervise the library’s student workers and provide access services for students in the evening. “Thus, there is a team of supervisors available to student employees through 5 p.m.,” said Law, “and several evenings during the week through 8 p.m., across all three libraries.”

After 8:00 p.m., Foster is the only staff member left to supervise student workers across the libraries. “Foster has shared that given limited resources,” said Law, “she believes Carrie’s time and expertise is better served by concentrating it in those library spaces with the most usage/activity.” 

From 2019 to 2022, Andrews and Gault Libraries also saw a decrease in their hours of operation over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Libraries.org, an online directory of libraries, Andrews/Gault Libraries previous hours were from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. (Monday – Thursday), 8:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m. (Friday), 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (Saturday) and 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. (Sunday). Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrews/Gault Libraries saw a 17-hour weekly decrease in their hours of operations: 8:00 a.m. – midnight (Monday-Thursday), 8:00 a.m. – 7:00p.m. (Friday), 8:00a.m. – 7:00p.m. (Saturday) and noon – midnight (Sunday). Out of the 13 schools in the Great Lakes Colleges Association, Wooster’s Andrews/Gault Libraries ranks sixth in hours of operation (96 hours) on a weekly basis behind Kenyon College (115 hours), Denison University (113.1 hours), Allegheny College (109.5 hours), Wabash College (100 hours) and Oberlin College (98 hours) (DePauw University’s main library is currently under renovation), according to the Colleges’ websites.

Independent Study (I.S.), however, has the College’s libraries play an important role on campus, as they are home to the majority of senior student carrels. According to the College libraries’ carrel assignments for 2022-2023, there are approximately 268 senior carrels in the College’s Gault, Andrews and Timken Science Libraries. U.S. News & World Report ranks the College’s I.S. program as the second best “senior capstone” program in the country. I.S. is infamous for its workload, as the College’s website reads that “With the one-on-one support and guidance of a faculty mentor, you will plan, develop, and complete a significant piece of original research, scholarship, or creative expression – culminating in a major research paper, an art exhibit or a performance – that pulls together what you’ve learned and demonstrates the analytical, creative, and communication skills you have honed at Wooster.”Across the Midwest, Wooster has a reputation as an academically rigorous institution. In a comparative report between Kenyon College and The College of Wooster, LiberalArtsColleges.com, a site that “share[s] the value of the liberal arts colleges with families and give liberal arts schools the opportunity to highlight their unique characteristics,” wrote that, “Wooster students perceived their academics as slightly more challenging, as 60% of the students said the workload was ‘difficult, consuming most of their time,’ and the remaining 40% answered ‘manageable.’”

The shift in library hours drew a variety of responses from students working on I.S. in Timken. Victoria Silva ’23 told the Voice that the hours change significantly impacts her ability to work on I.S. “Recently, I had to finish a very important part of my I.S. in order to move forward with a performance and creative component of it,” said Silva, “and by the time I could sit and work on it on Friday, Timken was closed.” Silva also said that working on her I.S. in her room was inefficient due to noise in the dorm. “…I wouldn’t have chosen a carrel in Timken if this were the case,” said Silva. Caitlin Strassburg ’23 agrees with Silva’s sentiment. “I don’t want to have to plan where to work,” she said, “the point of carrels is to be your home base for work and limited access at all is frustrating.” Many students with Timken carrels, however, do not have a problem with the hours shift. “I am not affected by these hours,” said Anna Truong ’23, “I tend to do deep work in the mornings and barely go to my carrel at night [due to] lacrosse practices.” Yeeun Koh ’24 said she “felt strongly” about the time change but is able to complete her I.S. work at home. She stated that she was “ not largely affected by the new policy, as I live in a single room and can always go back to my room and do my work.” Koh expressed concern for students with distractions in their dorm, such as roommates or a lack of air conditioning. 

Foster told the Voice that the libraries will conduct another “head-count” of student use in libraries for October. In the meantime, Foster said students may utilize the Andrews and Gault libraries along with reopening spaces in the student center. “We understand that students need the space,” said Foster, “everyone is in a rebuilding stage.”

A Suggestion: Don’t be Afraid to Try Some Lo-fi

The quintessential “Lo-fi Girl,” a common feature of YouTube lo-fi tracks (Photo courtesy of BBC)
Jack Freer, Contributing Writer

The simple title of this article likely triggered a recollection for many of you. The famous YouTube thumbnail, a seemingly eternal livestream of a girl writing in front of a window with headphones: the lo-fi girl – a fundamental fixture of YouTube. You may even tune in occasionally – many bob their heads a little bit, enjoy the good vibes, then quickly move on from the style. Lo-fi music means a lot to me though. It is music that is carefully designed to create an emotional response. There are different styles, but the instrumental pitched down, slow hip-hop production influenced style is most common, occasionally blended with other genres. There is an overwhelming number of YouTube mixes from a variety of producers that specifically work to replicate that style today.

At its base, lo-fi is generally intended to evoke nostalgia. This happens by decreasing the quality of a recording or sample and, when done correctly, this can make a song seem strongly nostalgic. It has led to a wave of modern hip-hop producers that incorporate classic samples and work to create musical tapestries using music from the legends of old. It is a world culture, blending music across the planet, and stands as a powerfully simple method to achieve focus. Interestingly enough, I most commonly see it used by students to focus on work or mundane tasks, getting into a groove and adding a positive vibe to the day. I started thinking more about this idea last week when I shared the album “Life,” by the excellent producer Jinsang, with my girlfriend just to see what she’d think. After we finished the album, she said she felt like she focused far better on her work and finished the assignment smoothly. I ran a bit of an experiment to see what she would enjoy, sharing a number of YouTube mixes and a couple albums by one of my favorite producers: Phoniks. She liked that there were no lyrics, and found the samples engaging enough that she could get into a groove. She said that she’s now interested in listening more, and liked the possibility of getting work done more smoothly.

My girlfriend’s observations were similar to my earliest experiences with the style. I discovered lo-fi when I was in eighth grade and I found that it tuned out the distracting noises around me while doing work. The frequently repeating rhythms would get my brain on track and didn’t present a distraction, instead lulling me into focus. Lo-fi is a powerful style that I hope to explore more in future articles, but for now, I hope you’ll take my suggestion: Try some lo-fi!

Administration and Board of Trustees must respond to bat infestations

Samuel Boudreau, Editor in Chief
Samuel Boudreau

My goal in this short speech is for Scot Council to formally request an explanation from the College’s administration and board of trustees regarding the prioritization of Holden Hall and any future plans regarding Compton, Wagner, Bissman and Douglas Hall in the College’s 2020 campus master plan. Additionally, I believe it is crucial for the College to provide a response to this request to the campus community along with how they will address bats infestations in the future and work to prevent the tragic consequences of rabies bites on campus. 

 As you all know, over 50 bats have been found in many College’s dorms and houses across campus. According to the College’s Department of Campus Safety, all 52 bat sightings from August 5 to September 12th were in dorms and houses without air conditioning and/or full-scale renovations in the last thirty years. Additionally, multiple students in residence buildings reported bat bites, posing a great risk to the safety and health of this campus, as the CDC reports that “Bats are the leading cause of rabies deaths in people in the United States” (2022).  

On August 25th and 30th, Jonathan Reynolds, Director of Residence Life, and Clifton  

Bobbitt, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, emailed the campus community regarding bat infestations in “older residential spaces” on campus. In the emails the two maintained the College’s traditional approach to these infestations, citing the  

“natural/seasonal” prevalence of bats in Wayne County along with students leaving doors and  

windows open. While these points are likely true, it is also true, that students in dorms/houses without air conditioning keep their windows open throughout the day and night due to uncomfortably hot temperatures in rooms. Dorms with air conditioning, including Luce, Babcock, Gault Manor, Gault Schoolhouse, Bornhuetter, Armington, Stevenson or Andrews, had no bat infestations, according to Campus Safety. Unless students in these recently renovated dorms refuse to report bat sightings, there appears to be a very strong correlation between dorms without air conditioning/full-scale renovations and bats. During the 2021 fall semester, Jonathan Reynolds told the Voice that “I would definitely say there is a correlation,” Reynolds said, “one of the things we have seen is that with the heat, students are wanting to open up their windows and put in their personal fans and, in some cases, personal AC units.” 

In 2012, Dober Lidsky Mathey (DLM), a campus planning firm, published a“Campus Plan” for The College of Wooster, calling to “renovate existing student housing, one or two buildings per year on a schedule that will allow the College to complete renovations within the next 10 years.” The firm conducted a survey of the student-body regarding housing conditions and recommendations. The document stated that “The sequence of housing to be renovated are: Wagner, Compton, Andrews, Douglass, Bissman, Holden, Armington and Stevenson.”

“Even if the College plans to demolish said dorms and transition towards apartment-based suites, these plans, along with a  timeline, should be available to the campus community amidst this ongoing public health crisis that could lead to the death or permanent disability of students.”

-Samuel Boudreau

To the the College’s credit, Armington, Stevenson, and Andrews received full-scale renovations from 2018 to 2019. In 2019, however, the College partnered with Hastings+ Chivetta, a campus planning firm, and designed a new plan. According to Samuel Casey, former Editor in Chief of The Wooster Voice and Vice President of Scot Council, reported that “Objectives that were not yet completed would be prioritized in the 2020 Master Plan.”  According to a 10-year preliminary plan from Hastings+Chivetta, Holden Hall is the plan’s lowest priority, as it will not receive a full-scale renovation until 2030-2031. While the plan aims to “replace” the majority of the College’s campus housing in 2023 and 2029-2030, Hastings+Chivetta do not mention any plans regarding Bissman, Wagner, Douglass or Compton.  While these are just plans at the mercy of institutional donations and capital campaign projects, I believe it is appropriate for the Scot Council to formally request an explanation from the  College’s administration and board of trustees regarding the prioritization of Holden Hall and the  future plans regarding Wagner, Douglass, Bissman and Compton Hall. Even if the College plans to demolish said dorms and transition towards apartment-based suites, these plans, along with a  timeline, should be available to the campus community amidst this ongoing public health crisis  that could lead to the death or permanent disability of students.  

As Tough for the Platonic as it is for the Romantic

Geoffrey Allen, Viewpoints Editor

A couple days ago, I walked through the library trying to find my carrel for the first time (I know, I’m so late to the party as a senior). Just as I catch one of my close friends doing her work, I see another carrel, an empty one. This carrel, with a printed name on a yellow slip of paper guarded by a golden outline, stopped me in my place. It was a familiar name, one that I once talked about everyday for three years like it was the latest football game. But now, it is just a mere shadow to me, a relic to the person I was. That is because they don’t go to the College anymore, nor do I have intentions to see them ever again. A friendship we once had was gone, but not forgotten. I made a choice, as a student and independent individual, to change the balance of my life. Ending a friendship can be just as hard as breaking up the romance.

The College of Wooster is a school with the motto of “Independent Minds Working Together,” but I do not believe that is always to be the case. Since my first year, I have learned what it feels like to have a friendship, once cherished, decay. While I have continued to grow, many of my initial relationships that I have formed here, many of my firsts, are no longer in my life. As an underclassmen, I was naïve like most people coming of age. I tried to justify the damaging mistakes I made in relationships by taking advantage of other people or testing personal boundaries. It’s a human thing that many of us fail to recognize the first time, until it’s too late. It was very hard to see it happen at first because, prior to this experience, I found it hard to believe that certain issues could never be resolved or some grudges could never be forgiven. But not all of these were my choice to make. We can’t beg for things to go back to the way they were, it’s all part of changing.

But most of all, I have learned to grieve the people who I have lost here. At first, like a breakup, one might feel very vulnerable, as if there is no possible route onwards without their former friends. Yet we do find a way to continue, ever so slowly, with our support system of other friends and family, adopting new approaches to life, and recapturing the joys of being present. Perhaps it takes a couple weeks, or maybe a couple months. Sometimes it will take years. That is what loss is in our lives afterall. It’s only healthy that it affects us in different ways.

The end of my friendship with the owner of the carrel was an accumulation of my past mistakes as an individual. Now, I can personally see my past self’s role reversed where my boundaries and principles were at stake of being contradicted if I continued to support their actions. I felt that I needed to separate myself from that person whether they wanted to or not. It was my choice to make. 

As a senior, my experiences are all in the past. But some of you readers are just beginning. This is not to alarm those who should be worried about the friends you’ve just made here. Wooster is full of great and beautiful minds, whom I look forward to seeing what they’ll do next every day, including those I reflect on today. That said, we have to keep moving. The show must carry on if we are to succeed even if constant self reflection remains. If you can get over your crazy ex partner, this too will pass.

“I Don’t Mind My Own Business”

Aaron Huq, Contributing Writer

Invasion of privacy- first thing that comes to my mind is someone trying to gain more information than needed for them to know. They might use it against us, or gaslight- valid reasons for which we shield our vulnerabilities, things that other people should not know.

But then, some people are just too nosy! It makes me feel uncomfortable. As a product of this capitalist society, my personal life is only for me to see. I show my “strengths” to the outer world- I’m productive, intelligent, driven. I hide my “weaknesses”- my emotions, thoughts, reflections.

Many might think that what I am calling weaknesses should not be defined that way. “You have the right to feel that way! Show yourself some love! You are strong!”, you’re listening to that as you’re sitting in your therapy couch. After an hour goes by- “I’ll see you next month!”

Why can I not just speak out my mind to the coworker I see every day? Tell my professor that I’m mad at someone? Why can’t I reply to a casual “How’s it going” with, “Good, I think I’ve figured out what life is!” If we are allowed to feel, and think- as we say these days, “deep” thoughts; why do we hide it? Why get into a waitlist for a therapy slot to open up, just to talk about it for an hour?

Or, are we allowed to think, or feel, or exist at all? 

When we don’t want to invade others’ privacy, is it out of respect as it seems to be? If we do not want to know what an individual is going through- does it not seem that we do not want to acknowledge their existence? A classmate doesn’t show up to class for several weeks- it is just an empty seat. Friend doesn’t show up to lunch- they are having their moment, let them be. You go see a doctor- you are just a patient with records and charts. I see a dead squirrel on the side of road- it is just a dead body. We strip every aspect of existence from an individual when we look at them, because that is the most time efficient. I don’t have time to listen, to care, to stop and ponder what the last thing was that the squirrel saw before death. The circular limbs of an industrial demon? What did that little being feel? Amazed by the progression of human society? That humans don’t even need an intention or reason to kill these days?

But still, we live with them. As much as we shut ourselves away, we still experience things that we are unable to think through. Introspection turns into distorted thoughts. 

If anyone refers to this article as the one about “mental health”, then they are the victim of this vicious system unfortunately. Why do we need to privatize our inner selves- and label it as mental health? If people only see some aspects of us and never the full picture- then is our wholeness a lie? Is there something inherently wrong with being fully human and showing it to the outer world?

Amidst all this chaos, I don’t want to think about my rights being taken away. “Abortion rights is people’s rights!”- I say, but I distance myself from the “people”. I cannot live with this horrific truth; I cannot show my constant state of fear to others. I mind my own business.

But maybe there is someone who wants to be in your business. Do you let them in? That someone is not happy; they are mad. They are rebellious. They want to tear it down. Do you join them?

Scots Cross Country Impresses at All-Ohio Championships

Eliot Barrengos, Contributing Writer

The Wooster Scots men’s and women’s cross country teams raced last Friday, Sept. 16 at the All-Ohio championships meet at Cedarville College. The race took place under the lights with a start time of 8:00 p.m. The men’s team ran an 8k championship course, finishing 10th among 13 Division III programs, and placing 21st of the 29 men’s teams. Will Callender ’25 stole the show, finishing the course in 25 minutes and 27.9 seconds to earn himself All-Ohio honors for the second time in his collegiate career. Callender also accomplished this feat during last spring’s track and field season. On Monday, Sept. 19, the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) selected Callender as the Athlete of the Week for this fall’s performance. 

The rest of the men’s team also ran a strong race with Ben Nichols ’25 finishing 81st overall with a time of 26:22.7, barely missing All-Ohio honors himself. Drew Robertson ’25 rounded out the men’s top three, crossing the finish line just a few minutes later at 28:01.2, good for 214th in the individual results. Will Christopher ’25 set a personal record, finishing the course with a 33:55.2 time. 

Callender’s final time placed him 10th in the individual standings for Friday’s race. When asked about the stand-out performances, he credited the team’s work in recent practices.. “Thanks to the hill workouts we have done so far,” said Callender, “moving to an easier course with fewer hills gives us a huge advantage.” Callender also said the second All-Ohio honor was “very rewarding,” adding that, “it shows all the hard work I put in over the summer is helping the team do better.”

Robertson and Callender echoed each other when asked about how they hope to see the team improve in the future. “If we are going to be competitors,” said Robertson, “we as a team will need to fill in the gap between our top runners and the top seven,” Robertson seemed optimistic that this goal could be achieved in the future. “As a team, we had many PRs, and the first-years [stepped] up with strong times.” Callender also noted that running in a tighter pack was an area for improvement., “We have some real potential going into conference this year if we can figure out how to decrease our team’s overall spread,” said Callender.  

The women’s team finished their 5k in 12th out of 14 teams, despite missing their top two runners, Isabelle Hoover ’23 and Dylan Kretchmar ’25. The top six finishers for the women’s team all came from the sophomore class. Leading the pack on Friday for the Scots was Jessie Breth ’25 who crossed the finish line at 21:28.7, good enough for 66th place overall. Breath was followed by Igna Mendez ’25, who finished 209th individually with a time of 21:42.4). Julianna Fiori ’25 finished third for the Scots in 21:54.5 to place 224th overall. 

Breth, whose time placed her 66th among all individual women runners, spoke about the sophomore group that finished together. “We are [all] very close and we all tend to run similar times,” said Breth, “so we’re good at pushing each other and sticking together.” Fiori expressed a similar happiness with the team’s performance. “Having us all in the top six shows our motivation to strive to be better and stronger runners,” said Breth”  “I can’t wait to see where our training takes us in October and November.” 

 When asked about where they felt the team finished in the All-Ohio, Breth and Fiori expressed satisfaction as well as a desire to improve their performances. Breth acknowledged that “All-Ohio is a massive meet that isn’t just other D-III schools, and especially going into it without our top two, we didn’t expect to be a high scoring team.” Considering these challenges, Breth also said, “I think we were all pleasantly surprised with how close we finished to each other.” Fiori added that, “as long as we keep everyone healthy we will be able to see the pack grow and work as one.” Wooster’s harriers will be excited to race under the daylight after battling the conditions of a night run on Friday due to the 8:00 p.m. start. The Scots will race again on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Muskingum Invitational.

Women’s Soccer Prevails in Close Contest with Westminster

With the win on Saturday, Sept. 17, the Wooster women’s soccer team reached a winning record on the season. Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Matthew McMorrough, Contributing Writer

Our Fighting Scots women’s soccer team, following a close midweek home loss against Westminster just days before, took the pitch on Saturday, Sept. 17 against the Wilmington Quakers. The Scots bounced back, defeating Westminster 3-2 on their own turf and improving their record to 3-2-2. Sophomores led the way in this comeback match, with all three goals coming from the class of 2025. 

Wooster got the scoring off to a quick start, with Hallie Krzys ’25 making a shot on goal in only the fifth minute, the first score of the game from either team. Before halftime’s rest though, Wilmington was able to tie it up at the 17th minute off of a penalty kick goal, with no other goals from either side prior to the half. 

Re-establishing dominance for the team, Emma Jaros ’25 scored right out of the gate as the second half began, shifting the tied score to a 2-1 Scots lead. Jaros discussed the challenges involved with maintaining focus during the game. “Between the rowdy fans, questionable refereeing and injuries our team faced, it could have been very easy to lose focus.” Despite this, Jaros complimented the team for its ability to overcome adversity. “The whole team focused on leaving everything they had on the field to get the win.” Nothing less than a winning attitude would be expected from this squad. 

After 21 minutes of comfort in the lead, the score was tied by another Wilmington Quaker’s penalty kick goal in the 66th minute. The air was tense with the vie for the lead, and the urgency of the moment was not lost on the Scots. The tied score wasn’t on the board for more than five minutes, when Maggie Stieby ’25 scored in the 70th minute to bring Wooster firmly into the lead, and ultimately over the top as the last goal scored in the game. 

This was Stieby’s first goal of her collegiate career, and to the question of what went through her head leading up to it, she credited “Emma [Jaros ’25] [for] drawing the foul, Lily’s [Glaza ’25] service and Julia [Struck ’26] [for] distracting the keeper.” Jaros was elated at her teammate’s goal, noting that it was her favorite part of the game because “the whole team was playing at such a high intensity, and it was so exciting to see that pay off.” Over the course of the game, Wilmington outshot Wooster 14-9, and the Scots managed to fend off eight corner kicks. Amanda Flory ’25 was in net, accumulating eight saves as she indispensably assisted in securing the victory. 

Putting together a win like this involved putting in the hours, of course, with intentional use of each minute outside of the match. “After coming off a tough loss against Westminster, we knew we needed to come out strong and never let up pressure,” Jaros recounted. Fortunately, as Jaros noted, “I think we did just that to pull off this win.” In addition to synthesizing the vengeance with which they knew they’d have to come out following their last loss, there was sharp precision in planning for the specific challenges. According to Stieby, “we knew ahead of time that the field was smaller and narrow, so our practices revolved around playing in tight spaces.” In the end, it all comes back to teamwork, a consistent theme with this group.

The Scots will look to carry this match’s intensity into a winning effort in another away game against John Carroll University on Sunday, Sept. 24. As they continue their strong start to the season, with a fiery emphasis on teamwork and dedication to improvement, the Fighting Scots women’s soccer team similarly remain looking ready to fight for the NCAC championship again this season.

Bats head indoors as Ohio climate turns cold and hibernation begins

Courtesy: Unsplash
Caroline Ward, Science Editor

At this point, most College of Wooster students have heard about, seen or perhaps even been bitten by a bat living in the bathroom or stairwell of their residence hall. The average student may wonder how and why these airborne mammals are finding their way in–after all, who would ever willingly choose to live in Douglass or Holden? But these halls, though less-than-ideal to the students taking up residence, are to a bat, the perfect home.

The typical bat living in a College of Wooster dorm is the big brown bat. This type of bat, found all over Ohio, weighs between half and three-quarters of an ounce, with a wingspan of 13 to 16 inches. The diet of a big brown bat typically consists of small beetles, like ground beetles, scarab beetles, cucumber beetles, snout beetles and stink bugs. In fact, a reproductive female often consumes her entire body weight in insects each night. Mating season for these bats occurs during fall and winter, but female bats won’t become pregnant with offspring until the spring, after hibernation.

As the months get colder, bats seek shelter in warm, dry spaces where they can hibernate and roost. In nature, bats roost in tree cavities, where they are protected by  leaves and bark. However, as these natural habitats are destroyed, bats must seek similar protection in man-made structures such as barns, bridges or old residence halls. Bats can squeeze through cracks as small as three-eighths of an inch–in older buildings, small holes in screen windows or cracks in roofing are the perfect size.

Every fall, The College of Wooster sees an influx of bats into their residence halls, especially halls that haven’t been recently renovated. But this year the problem is worse: the local bat population is larger than typical due to an unusually busy mating season. This means there are more bats seeking a warm, dry place to hibernate. With limited options, they look to the residence halls of the College to seek refuge from the cold Ohio winter.

Although their logic may seem sound, bats unfortunately pose a threat to their college student hallmates. Big brown bats, like all mammals, have the potential to carry and spread rabies to themselves and other mammals, so bats living in these residence halls have the potential to transmit rabies to residents. Rabies, although treatable with early intervention, is a deadly virus. Once symptoms begin to show, the disease is almost always fatal. When an infestation occurs, bats must be removed and relocated to an area where they can safely roost and hibernate. Bats are critical to our ecosystem, and thus protected under Ohio law, so they are never exterminated. 

If there is a bat in your residence, please report it to Campus Safety. If you believe that you have been bitten or exposed to saliva, please contact Longbrake Wellness Center at 330-263-2319.

Field Hockey Falls to Denison in first meeting

The Wooster field hockey team’s defense was particularly impressive in their match against Denison, as the Scots did not surrender a goal through five periods of play. Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Langston Hood, Senior Sports Writer

Spirits were high as the Wooster field hockey team kicked off an action-packed day on the turf with a matchup against the Denison College Big Red at John P. Papp Stadium. Swaths of alumni, young and old, propelled the Fighting Scots through a highly contentious meeting with the Big Red. Two alumni and former Scots players from the class of 2021 shared their thoughts on the game. “The game was thrilling,” said Catilyn O’Connor ’21, “the energy and love filled Papp Stadium and the girls brought their A game.”  O’Connor’s former running mate, Sydney Schuster ’21, shared her positivity. “You could tell there was a lot of leadership and love out on that field Saturday,” said Schuster. “With a small team lots of people had to step up, and it was clear they did that!”

The energy in and around Papp Stadium translated into a stalemate through the first quarter as Denison only managed one shot. However, Wooster failed to capitalize and score a goal. Denison ramped up the offensive pressure in the second quarter, peppering the Wooster goal with seven shots. Goalkeeper Cate Barkdoll ’26 was up for each and every shot, as she made five saves in the second quarter. “[Barkdoll] played amazing,” said Jillian Murray ’23, “she had so many saves including a stroke in the second quarter.” The one attack that seemed to jeopardize Barkdoll’s perfect quarter was stomped out by Maddie Peek ’24, when she dropped back to record a defensive save following a rebounded shot. 

Wooster subsided the Denison onslaught and regained their footing. While Peek managed a penalty corner shot from Delaney Gross ’24, she unfortunately missed the target. The fourth quarter unfolded much like the third, but with the Big Red recording a shot. Though this shot found its target, Lucy Agurkis ’23 stamped out the attack to make her own defensive save. Throughout the game, Wooster’s performance inspired Agurkis. “Overall it was a really hard fought battle,” said Agurkis. “Our team really started connecting passes and working together as a unit!” With the conclusion of regulation, overtime began, the ultimate test of a team’s grit and desire, as the raucous crowd of 326 stood on their feet. Both teams appeared to be exhausted as they each recorded a single shot, neither posing a threat to their respective targets. 

The second overtime period was much different, as Wooster was determined to win the game before it ended in a scoreless tie. The attack began with a shot from Mary Johnson ’26, which forced a save from Big Red goalie Athena Joannou ’25. The referees awarded Wooster a penalty corner immediately after, resulting in a volley of shots on the goal from Peek, Agurkis and Johnson. However, Joannou parried each shot, denying the Scots the game winner. With their attack stymied by the Denison defense, Wooster struggled to muster up another threatening chance as Denison went on the front foot in search of their own game winner. Denison’s final attack began with a penalty corner, which eventually turned into a shot. Unfortunately, this attack proved fatal, as Denison found the back of the net and sunk the Scots.

Peek reflected on the team’s fight following the game. “While the end result of the game was not what we had hoped for,” she said, “the entire team fought so hard from the beginning of the game to the end of OT which was awesome to see and be a part of.” Like Peek, Gross is optimistic about the team’s growth, which she focused on in her comments. “The ending of the game was tough, but everyone gave 100% on the field this weekend,” said Gross. “With every game we have been getting stronger and connecting more, which is exciting for conference play coming up in a few weeks.” Wooster did not end Black and Gold Weekend with the result they wanted, but they’ll get another shot at Dension on Oct. 15, a date the Scots will have circled on their calendar. 

The Fighting Scots get back into action this weekend with fixtures against Bridgewater and Transylvania at home. Come support Friday and Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., respectively!!