Strategic Planning and Priorities Advisory Committee prepares for Academic Program Review

Photo Courtesy: The College of Wooster
Tyler Rak, Chief Copy Editor/Business Manager

As the fall semester winds to a close, campus community members are growing increasingly concerned about the alleged budget deficit faced by The College of Wooster. The Board of Trustees and Interim President Wayne Webster announced earlier this year that Wooster is facing an estimated $6.1 million budget deficit. This has been one of the major concerns of the College’s Strategic Planning and Priorities Advisory Committee (SPPAC), a committee made up of faculty members, staff and students who advise the President on matters pertaining to strategic planning and resource allocation for the College.

In their meetings this semester, SPPAC and the Faculty Committee have claimed that shifting demographics has greatly contributed to financial issues because fewer students are graduating from the states students typically come from, such as Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Wooster, like other small liberal arts colleges, has faced issues in recruiting students because a liberal arts degree is becoming less desirable among high school seniors. This dynamic has left  the same amount of schools to compete for fewer students. Liberal arts colleges have also faced issues in recruiting because students are increasingly looking for majors that liberal arts schools typically do not offer, including nursing and business. This decrease in student interest has caused the College to invest heavily in new recruitment tactics, which contributes to the deficit.

With falling revenue, the College has looked into the rate at which tuition is discounted. At this point, the cost to the College to discount tuition for each class of students is nearing $1 million a year. However, discussions about raising tuition to cover this deficit have been squashed because this would harm recruitment efforts and cause more economic hardships for students already struggling to afford tuition each year.

Aside from recruitment issues and tuition discounts, the College has also faced problems in receiving earnings from students’ tuition. SPPAC co-chair and professor of history, Latin American studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality studies Katherine Holt has said that the College’s revenue from student’s tuition has “been flat for…four or five years now.” 

These concerns have caused SPPAC and the Board of Trustees to investigate new ways to tackle this deficit. One of the ways that the Board of Trustees and Interim President Webster have decided to combat this financial deficit is by initiating an Academic Program Review (APR). The APR will be conducted by a third party consultant and is scheduled to take place during spring and summer of 2023. Holt is excited for this opportunity saying, “I think there [is the] potential for [an] exciting kind of reimagination of existing programs and then again, making sure that what we’re doing is more in line with what students want to do and what the market wants.” She also noted that faculty applications to serve on a committee to assist in this process will be posted in the coming weeks. “I think that making sure that folks are willing to stand for this task force and to participate and to ask questions, hard questions, and to push back is going to be key to success,” Holt adds, “I’m really hoping that a lot of my colleagues will pick themselves up to run, because I think…it’s going to really help shape the institution moving forward.” 

While Holt expresses optimism in this process, other faculty members are skeptical of the forthcoming APR. In the SPPAC meeting minutes for Oct. 20, 2022, concerns were raised by faculty “about the impact of the APR. Issues include the timing of the review, the structure of the review and the potential outcomes of the review.” Further concerns were raised, including that, “if a faculty member runs to be a member of the APR task force they may be viewed in a negative light by other faculty.” 

Several faculty members on campus highlight the concern that this process is hitting the campus on the heels of a worldwide pandemic and faculty morale that has been on the decline for several years. Dr. Harry Gamble, professor of French and Francophone studies, raised the concern in a Faculty Committee meeting that this is the time to capitalize on recent developments on campus such as the renovations of Lowry Center and welcoming a new president to campus. This campus revitalization would help alleviate tensions surrounding the sagging faculty and staff morale and questions of the College’s leadership, but that the APR appears “to stand in tension with these urgent priorities.”  

Other faculty members fear that this process will further divide faculty on campus by pitting departments against one another and calling into question the value of courses that may not be considered “‘financially worthwhile’” such as small seminars about very specific topics or unique classes that provide different insight into topics. These faculty members also fear that the APR will focus solely on quantitative measures of worth instead of qualitative measures and that some departments may be disproportionately impacted by cuts recommended from the APR’s findings. 

While many faculty members raise significant concerns about the APR, Holt takes a more positive approach saying that decisions, “are going to be grounded in a financial calculation, but always hopefully informed by who we are as an institution and things that are called our mission.” She added that, “my hope is that we will emerge from this a stronger institution.” 

Whether faculty members agree or disagree with the decision to engage in an Academic Program Review or how much this decision is linked to the campus budget deficit, one call is resoundingly clear in the budgeting process – that faculty, staff and students want a more transparent approach to budgeting. Several accounts in the faculty meeting minutes from this semester bring up the topic of opening the full budget to faculty members which would create a more transparent and accessible way of accounting for the College. Holt said that, “one thing I’ve really appreciated about working with Interim President Webster is that he has not held back anything I’ve asked for,” adding that “he’s been really good about making things available to us.” She went on to say, “Under him, I think there’s been a move to greater transparency.” While this move towards transparency has been appreciated, the Board of Trustees granting full access to the budget would be welcomed by faculty, staff and students with open arms.

Arts and Entertainment Presents: 2022 Wooster Wrapped

Haley Huett, A&E Editor

On Wednesday, Nov. 30, Spotify released its annual “Spotify Wrapped.” Plenty of Wooster students flocked to their Instagram stories and Snapchats, eagerly sharing their results with the world. But what were students listening to? Surveying Spotify and Apple Music users alike, the Wooster Voice collected students’ top songs, albums, artists, and genres. In total, respondents report listening to over 888,000 minutes of music, ranking their top genres as folk, pop, riot grrrl, rap, singer-songwriter, indie pop, world worship, underground hip hop and punk rock. Taylor Swift and Harry Styles dominated the submissions, although a variety of artists are represented. Here’s what we were listening to this year!

WOOSTER’S TOP SONGS

Bones – DeYarmond Edison

Romantic Homicide – d4vd

Cornflake Girl – Tori Amos

Jireh – Elevation Worship & Maverick City Music

Is There Someone Else – The Weeknd (Twice!)

Music for A Sushi Restaurant – Harry Styles

Circus – Stray Kids

Mirrorball – Taylor Swift

Let Me Drown – Orville Peck

Still Holy (feat. Ryan Oféi & Naomi Raine) – Maverick City Music & Tribl

Body Dysmorphia – Eyedress

Life on Mars – David Bowie

Leave It In My Dreams – The Voidz

Wurli – Dominic Fike

Grapejuice – Harry Styles

Heartbreak Weather – Niall Horan

EAZY – Kanye West and the Game

Golden Chords – Deakin

Break Your Little Heart – All Time Low

Viva La Vida – Coldplay

5500 Degrees – Est Gee

Sweater Weather – The Neighborhood

HEARTFIRST – Kelsea Ballerini 

Sofia – Alvaro Soler

WOOSTER’S TOP ALBUMS

For Emma, Forever Ago – Bon Iver

Beerbongs and Bentleys – Post Malone

Heaux Tales – Jazmine Sullivan 

Dawn FM – The Weeknd

Harry’s House – Harry Styles (Twice)

Midnights – Taylor Swift

Bronco – Orville Peck 

Anthologies – Maverick City Music

Tyron – slowthai

What Could Possibly Go Wrong – Dominic Fike

Heartbreak Weather – Niall Horan

Mainstream Sellout – Machine Gun Kelly

Cave World – Viagra Boys

Nothing Personal – All Time Low

Renaissance – Beyonce

Stick Season – Noah Kahan

I NEVER LIKED YOU – Future 

A Moment Apart – ODESZA

emails i can’t send – Sabrina Carpenter 

Voyage – ABBA

WOOSTER’S TOP ARTISTS

Bon Iver

Jeff Buckley

Post Malone

Tori Amos

Maverick City Music 

The Weeknd 

Taylor Swift (Four Times)

Tribal

King Krule 

Lucy Dacus 

Arctic Monkeys

Dominic Fike 

Niall Horan

Kanye West 

070 Shake 

All Time Low

Noah Kahan 

Drake 

Cleveland Museum of Art: A Look into the Pre-Columbian Period

Queen Lady K’abel’s Stela (Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art)
Nathan Budge, Contributing Writer

I am grateful to have visited the Cleveland Museum of Art many times in my life. Growing up in the Cleveland area made it very accessible to my family and me. I have seen works of art again and again, and I see them differently each time. The museum is an encyclopedic museum, meaning it attempts to represent many cultures from all periods of time. 

The museum’s pre-Columbian collection has always interested me. The central piece in this collection is a Maya stela depicting Queen Lady K’abel, dating from the Classic Period (200-900 C.E.). The queen’s stela ostensibly depicts her wealth and prowess; part of her regalia includes what is thought to be jade jewelry, as well as feathers from exotic birds and a round shield. This piece is magnificent, setting in stone a true image from the past, the period’s equivalent of a photograph.

Few artifacts of Maya life survive today because of the humid environment of the Yucatan jungle. Maya murals are mostly lost and painted stucco on buildings has fallen off with time. Today, a modern visitor can only see the skeletons of Maya buildings without their veneer. Ceramics excavated from tombs, however, are often in good condition. Among these ceramics are vessels for drinking cacao, their decorations depicting scenes ranging from mythological to royal. 

In the collection, there is also a mural from Teotihuacan, a megacity that flourished simultaneously with the Maya. It is thought that the people of Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico interacted with the Maya in the Yucatan, but it is still a matter of debate as to how they interacted. The mural, possibly part of a patio in the megacity, depicts an elite male offering a chant or prayer.

The pre-Columbian galleries also offer a view into civilizations that predated the Inka, including the Chimu and Moche. Pre-Columbian art in Peru tends to be better preserved due to the dry desert climate, yielding bright and decorative textiles we can appreciate today. One Chimu artifact on display is part of a litter used to transport rulers who were thought of as deities. Preserved on the litter’s flat wooden plane are five mythical beings with crescent-shaped headdresses. Moche ceramics depict animals and human portraits from all walks of life.

Getting to witness these treasures informed my conceptions of the past and present. I have looked at the stela of Lady K’abel since I was a child. Now that I am taking an archaeology class with Dr. Navarro-Farr, I was amazed to find out that she took part in a team that excavated the probable royal tomb of Lady K’abel. The vault served as a shrine for people to honor the late queen, as citizens left tokens that piled up in the vault. One astonishing reason to believe this significant shrine was a royal tomb is that the skull of the individual has a knob at the top that would have resulted from wearing a heavy headdress for a long period of time – 20 years in the case of Lady K’abel’s reign. Overall, this was a great exhibit that showcased an important period in history. Its artifacts from the Maya and Inka empires allow for a greater appreciation of a distant past.

College adjusts staff health insurance and sets sight on student meal plans

Marjorie Shamp, Director of Campus Dining & Conference Services, and Jason Stevenson, Executive Chef of Creative Dining Services (CDS), meet with students to discuss food and dining at the College.
Samuel Boudreau, Editor in Chief

On Nov. 30, Marjorie Shamp, Director of Campus Dining & Conference Services, and Jason Stevenson, Executive Chef of Creative Dining Services (CDS), held a Campus Dining Listening Session for students to share their concerns regarding food and dining at the College. Four students attended the meeting, one of whom was Tyler Rak, Scot Council Dining Committee’s Liaison. 

The first topic was on dining’s ongoing staffing shortage. Since Sept. 29, the College has hired 20 staff members for campus dining, bumping the total number of dining staff members to 109. “In the past eight weeks, we really put a push, through Indeed and other resources, to get candidates in the door,” said Shamp, who said that the staff increase has led to an increase in dining’s ability to operate the dishroom and late-night dining options. Campus Dining also hired a hiring administrator to help take the burden off front-of-the-house supervisors. Despite these staff increases, Shamp said that student positions continue to remain drastically low relative to previous years. “At one time we had 80 student employees, and now we’re lucky to have 35,” said Shamp, “so we want to see those numbers continue to increase.” 

Over winter break, Shamp said that campus dining will “completely overhaul” the College’s late-night ordering system at Mom’s so students can use meal swipes for late-night meals. “We are going to completely change over the point of sales system to a new system and they have guaranteed me that the kiosk for late-night ordering will take a meal swipe,” said Shamp, “so, second semester, you can use a meal swipe to pay for your late night meals after 8:00 p.m. at Mom’s.”  

While the College will overhaul the late-night ordering system, high inflation rates have forced the College to revise student meal plans. “We just don’t have the buying power for our items like Walmart, big chains or the discount Drug Mart,” said Shamp, “because we’re buying things by the case, so we don’t get price breaks.” The College’s current meal plans, which were created 12 years ago, have also failed to address students’ current eating habits. “They were devised twelve years ago,” said Shamp, “campus dining has evolved since then and student eating habits have evolved since then.” 

Jim Prince, Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer, said that he has met with CDS consultants to review and possibly change the meal plans. “I have spoken to Creative Dining, and I will also be meeting next week with our Dining Consultant (Todd Tekiele) about beginning a process for determining what meal plan options we should introduce next year,” said Prince. Next semester, Prince said that the College will form a “meal plan task force,” made up of students and staff members, next semester, to revise the plans. 

Along with the dish room’s operation, the College will reinstate green reusable containers, items from a bygone era before COVID-19, when students kept these containers to take food home for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Shamp said that every student will be provided with a reusable container, which “puts the onus on the student population to remember to bring that box back.” Students will have the option to replace a box with a meal swipe. 

Grace Krage ’24 asked Stevenson and Shamp if the College will look to improve the College’s online menu to match the day’s actual menu. “The problem is that there are a lot of things to the system we have,” said Stevenson, “it is just trying to get all the information into the system.” 

Next semester, Stevenson said that dining will attempt to provide special dishes everyday for 5 weeks for the grill section. Stevenson also said that Kitchen Table will return next semester and that dining will add more international options to the global station. Additionally, Stevenson said that he will add vegan breakfast everyday next semester.

Stevenson and Shamp also addressed concerns regarding the cooking of chicken at the College, as parents on the College’s Facebook page brought this issue up. “In the bone marrow,” said Shamp, “there is a pigment and when you cook bone-in-chicken, there is a pigment.” 

When the College shifted towards CDS, the College adopted a slight change in the College’s  health insurance policy for staff members. Staff medical rates are based on 3% of a staff member’s wage. Instead of collecting staff payroll deductions for all 12 months in a year, CDS issues payroll deductions from September to May, as “There are no deductions during the summer months when some employees are laid off,” according to documents obtained by the Voice. A change in these rates, along with an “across the board annual rate increase,” in September, appeared to contradict earlier statements made by CDS that “Once staff move over to Creative Dining insurance program (by 1/1/23) premiums [health insurance deductibles] will remain at the level being paid by College of Wooster employees going forward, as long as employees continue to work for Creative Dining of The College of Wooster campus.” According to sources, the increase created concerns for staff members. Shamp addressed these concerns to the Voice, as she said, “CDS does their health insurance a little differently and we’re paying the same health insurance, we’re paying the same exact health insurance premium,” citing a difference in the distribution of deductibles over the course of a year. 

Music For November

Matthew McMorrough ’25

It’s a beautiful November day. Snow is lightly falling about. The fall and winter are melting between one another. There is indescribable gloom about everything, and the sun’s comfort cannot quell your anxiety. Good morning. In light of these circumstances, it’s a good idea to listen to some music, whether while staring wistfully out the window, folding laundry, doing homework or playing the card game Go Fish with friends. Other activities are also allowed. 

If you’re in a crunch, anxious out of your mind and incomprehensibly behind in your classes, first, take a minute and collect yourself. Calm down, cool down. Now, get ready to clean your room or do the homework at hand. Cleaning one’s room does always help with clarity of mind, though can just as easily distract from whatever task is more immediate. So, okay, cool, you can choose whichever. Let’s suppose you’re doing your homework, though. 500 pages of reading intended to be done in one sitting. A little ambitious, but nothing you haven’t done before. 

Put on the 1978 album “The Pavilion of Dreams,” the ambient opus of legendary minimalist composer Harold Budd. Clocking in around 48 minutes, the album plays like a dream. Saxophone, harp, marimba, glockenspiel and some operatic vocals are among the instruments utilized over these lyricless, largely relaxing four tracks. As pages of reading are chipped away at, this provides music not to distract but comfort the listener. Everything is okay in the pavilion of dreams. 

Congratulations on the 500 pages of reading! An impressive feat, certainly. It only took you three and a half “Pavilion of Dreams” listen throughs. Now it’s time to hit the gym. After reading about the maintenance of submarine machinery (one of your least favorite topics) and listening to sleepy music, you’re very sleepy. My advice? Down a delicious energy drink and put on Chicago rapper Chief Keef’s 2012 debut album, “Finally Rich.” This album is both a masterclass in and the very birth of drill rap, a definitively Chicago genre featuring an aggressive yet monotonous lyrical flow and heavy drum-based beats. Well-known hits such as “Love Sosa” and “I Don’t Like” appear on the album. 

It’s now the evening. You’re very sleepy, as seems to be your default state of being. This is understandable, as it is as dark at 6 in the morning as it is at 4 p.m. You’re hungry, sleepy and feel overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of Lowry dining hall, so you grab some orange chicken and three green apples and head back to your residence hall. You found good study music and good workout music, but you’re at a loss for good dinner music. Music to eat dinner to. Lucky for you, there’s no rules about dinner music; you can listen to whatever music you want at dinner. My recommendation, though, is to listen to the album “Twin Fantasy” (2018) by Car Seat Headrest. Now, as a student on a liberal arts campus, I’d say there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this one. It’s a 71 minute angsty indie rock epic, and its first descriptor on the music review website Rate Your Music is “LGBT.” It’s an all encompassing story of an album, largely about one relationship of lead singer Will Toledo, but including many themes of youth, alienation and sobriety within and in between thrashing guitars. An album that draws you in and holds your attention, perfect with orange chicken and three apples.

Sometimes You Just Need A Little Motivation

Ellen McAllister ’24

Every Saturday in the fall for six years, I would wake up at 6 a.m. and get dressed in my cross country uniform while my mom made me eggs that I was way too nervous to eat. Then I would drive to school, hop on a school bus and head to the cross country meet. It was the same every week and I loved it, until I didn’t. 

I had coaches that ran us to the ground and made us complete ridiculous workouts just to prove that they were good coaches, and as a team, our times plummeted. By the time my senior year in high school came around, I was tired of running and listening to people who weren’t helping me become better. I enjoyed the team and sometimes enjoyed running, but hated competing. After that season, I thought that my running career was done, and I didn’t think that I would want to run again. Much to my mother’s dismay, I decided that I didn’t want to run in college. I didn’t want people telling me when to run, how far to run or how fast to run. At the time, I thought that if I ever started running again it would be when I wanted and how I wanted.

One day in the summer between high school and college, I got a pair of running shoes that no longer made my feet hurt. I think my mom was still trying to convince me to join the cross country team. Between COVID, weird sleep schedules and not being able to leave campus freshman year, I slowly picked up running again. I didn’t run very far or very fast, but for someone that thought they hated running, this was a huge step. I ran on and off freshman and sophomore year, trying to squeeze in three miles when I could but not making a big habit of it.

This summer my good friend called me and asked if I would run a half marathon with her in October on her birthday. My friend is not a runner in any way. She played basketball and softball in high school and has run exactly one 5k in her entire life, so I wasn’t sure why she chose to spend her 21st birthday running 13.1 miles. Now I actually had to start running again and keep it up consistently. Every excuse I gave myself as to why I couldn’t run or didn’t have time to run went out the window. I quickly changed from being a morning runner to an afternoon runner because of my class schedule, which was a huge adjustment. 

I just started running. I didn’t follow a strict training plan for the big day. I knew that I wanted to run 10 or 11 miles beforehand, but that was it. Pretty soon I was cramming in runs whenever I could. At some point during one of my long runs, I fell in love with running. It got to a point where I would look forward to the days when my schedule allowed me to run, even if it was only three miles. I slowly remembered why I began running in the first place. It just took a special pair of shoes, a little nudge from a friend and a book of funny running essays to get me motivated again. 

If you are struggling to find motivation to get out and run, I implore you to lace up those shoes, crank up your favorite jams and just run. As someone who never thought they would run again, let alone run 13 miles for fun, I promise you’ll enjoy it more than you think you will.

Try Something New: The Great Vodka Red Bull

Haley Huett ’23

Everytime my best friend and I walk into our local Irish pub, we are greeted with cries of “Vodka Red Bull!” It’s unclear whether they know our names, or simply know us by our signature drink that we order one, two, three, four times a night. Amongst the crowd in the downtown where I’m from, a Vodka Red Bull is standard fare. Everyone loves them. On Wooster’s campus, however, I am met only with derision. 

“Vodka Red Bull,” they say, laughter creeping up in their voice, “That’s what you drink?” I respond with a cool head. “Of course, I do.” The Vodka Red Bull is utilitarian, I say. It is the people’s drink. Enjoyed by men and women, young and old, sloppy drunks and those that can hold their liquor, no one turns down a Vodka Red Bull. Barring, of course, the naysayers here. 

Perhaps at odds with the typical Metrosexual Sophisticate at the College of Wooster, the Vodka Red Bull might seem too mundane or juvenile. With your Espresso Martinis, your Bourbons neat, your Cosmopolitans and your “Negroni Sbagliatos… with prosecco,” the humble Vodka Red Bull sits beneath you. I do not blame any of you for your lack of exposure. Wooster’s bar scene is severely lacking and, in fact, limping towards the grave. You could venture downtown and find that nowhere captures the vibes of a typical vibrant, bubbling downtown scene.

As college-aged miscreants, we belong in the dark recesses of seedy, sticky dive bars. The bartender is a little mean to you and barely believes that your state I.D. is real. You do not order anything shaken, stirred or complicated. You order a two-ingredient cocktail that will get the job done. Adapt to these circumstances, or else. Here the Vodka Red Bull thrives. It is the piece de resistance. 

The Vodka Red Bull serves a dual purpose. Barring the obvious, a good night out ends in the wee hours of the morning. Perpetually tired, the Vodka Red Bull does what a good night’s sleep never could. 

My best nights have been had with a Vodka Red Bull in my hand. The energy from one can sustain a small army, and I have used every drop to sustain nights of dancing, socializing and merrymaking. Wired and ready to go, there is nothing that compares to bumping along to the beats on a low-lit dance floor with the nectar of the gods thrumming through your veins. 

To the haters, I cannot hear you and there is nothing you could do to convince me otherwise. You can drink your fancy wines and your IPAs. Your whiskeys and your Sex on the Beaches. Your Moscow Mules and Mojitos. I’ll take my Vodka Red Bull anyday. Branch out and try something new (and very collegiate).  

To the intrepid bargoer, or the nervous newly-21 year old, I implore you. There is but one way to go. Of course, if you are beneath the legal drinking age, kindly return to this Viewpoint when you are old enough. Never drink and drive. Consume responsibly. Know your limits. Obey all posted laws in your locale. But most importantly, drink your Vodka Red Bulls and be merry.

Students perform at Culture Show

South Asia Committee members celebrate their cultures at a packed house in McGaw Chapel through performances (Photo courtesy of The College of Wooster).
Grace Pryor, Contributing Writer

Last Saturday evening, Nov. 11, the atmosphere at the 2022 International Education Week Culture Show was raucous and excited. McGaw Chapel, where the event was held from 6 to 8 p.m., was filled nearly to the brim, its benches packed with students ready to cheer on their friends and classmates and learn about other cultures through the performances.

Shivika Bagaria ’26, who participated in the Fashion Show and the South Asia Committee performance, said that at first “I was nervous about looking ridiculous, but the crowd hyped me up and was very encouraging.” Overall, she said, “it was a very fun experience.”

The Culture Show is an annual event, held as the culmination of International Education Week, which has been celebrated at the College for more than 30 years. This year’s theme was “Moving Together with Joy,” which certainly rang true as the jubilant dances and other performances played out on stage.

Of course, the show began with a showcase of Scottish heritage by the College of Wooster Pipe Band, which played a set of songs before ending with the traditional Scotland the Brave. Then the emcees of the evening, Angel Asamoah ’25, Katiasofia Gonzales ’23 and Mudiwa Mungoshi ’24, came on stage to share the school’s land acknowledgement, before truly kicking off the proceedings.

A wide array of performances followed for the next two hours, with every new act bringing something different to the stage. The Chasing International Dance Team showed off a fast-paced medley of seven of their favorite dance styles from around the world, including jazz and reggaeton. Students from the Russian program subsequently performed a few different traditional Russian folk dances before ending with a Hopak dance battle to the Boney M. tune “Rasputin.”

The next few performances were all very different from each other, further demonstrating the show’s diversity. The traditional Haitian Yanvalou dance, originating in voodoo ceremonies, was followed by the K-Pop dance crew, which danced their fast-paced routines to Blackpink and BTS. One of the most memorable moments of the evening was one of the K-Pop dancers (Keara Wiley ’26) jumping onto the stage during the middle of the performance after returning from a swim meet, which Andrés Felipe Gómez ’26, one of the other dancers, called “one of the most epic entrances I’ve seen.”

The show slowed down with the German students’ emulation of the German holiday tradition of St. Martin’s Candle Walk and Jorge Quinteros’ ’25 beautiful rendition of two songs based on Paraguayan folklore. The crowd cheered during and after each one enthusiastically.

One of the evening’s showstoppers was the International Student Association (ISA) Fashion Show, where 25 students, in the words of ISA, “showcased different aspects of their culture through their attire.” Among the many participants, some of the traditional cultural attire shown was from Ghana, Nepal, Morocco and Kazakhstan.

The second half of the program was particularly dance heavy, featuring a great variety of styles from across the globe. These included Blackbirds Irish Dance, which showed off their traditional Irish soft and hard shoe dancing, and the Chinese Scholars and Students Association, which combined traditional Chinese instruments with contemporary dancing. Latinas Unidas performed dances from across Latin America, including the Cuban Salsa, with help from the Salseros, and the Colombian Cumbia style. The South Asia Committee also performed a medley of styles from across the Indian subcontinent.

The evening finished with a lively and vibrant performance of cultural dances from Ethiopia and Rwanda by the African Student Union. At the end of the performance, over 40 of its members converged on stage to dance to modern Afrobeat music from West Africa, a marked appreciation for the unity that music and performance can create even across borders. 

The Culture Show was a labor of love, with Gómez, who also performed as part of Chasing Dance Team, saying that he practiced “almost four days a week, for about an hour per day.” Still, all this work not only prepared him for the show, it “helped [him] to build some better relationships with [his] other dance crew-mates.” This show is truly a demonstration of how embracing the diversity and cultures that make up this college community can foster unity and friendship between students.

Women’s Basketball Falls in Second Game of the Season

Bluffton’s experience proved to be a difference in this matchup, as the Beavers’ team chemistry allowed them to prevail in a 77-36 game. Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Langston Hood, Senior Sports Writer

On Nov. 10, the Fighting Scots women’s basketball team traveled to Bluffton University to take on the Beavers in a Saturday night showdown. Wooster looked to notch their first win of the season after falling to Franscisan University in the season opener. The game would serve as Bluffton’s season opener, with the Beavers looking to repeat last season’s success where they finished second in the Heartland Conference. Wooster would also be without two likely starters in Harley Holloway ’24 and Alyssa Chritz ’24 due to injury and sickness. 

The Scots faced some adversity in the first quarter as Bluffton’s veterans made their experience known, building a 20-9 lead. Wooster’s youthful starting five consisted of three first-years and the team struggled to hang with the Beavers in the early stages of the game. The frigid weather seemed to translate onto the court as Wooster struggled to produce offensively. Despite the early troubles, Ella Dean ’26 proved to be a bright spot for the Fighting Scots. 

Bluffton continued their offensive dominance as their ball movement and experience allowed them to operate their offense seamlessly in front of a crowd that constantly spurred them on. The home opener proved to be the talk of the town as the Beavers’ fans flooded the stadium far and wide to cheer on their team. Bluffton was a model of consistency, as they scored an identical 20 points in the second half while Wooster was only able to muster six. Although the Scots were disappointed in their performance, it was an opportunity to compete against a team that is on the back end of a rebuild, similar to that which the Scots are beginning in the second year of the Coach Tierney regime. 

The Scots were well aware of this opportunity as Ella Dean ’26 reflected on her takeaways from Saturday’s game. “One thing I learned during the game is that when we play team basketball — when we communicate, have patience and bring the energy — we play better basketball,” Dean said. The beauty of the condensed college season lies in the fact that Wooster will have ample opportunity to show their true colors, colors that hopefully will start to reveal themselves this weekend as the team will compete in the Nan Nichols Classic, which pays homage to the storied pioneer of Wooster women’s sports. Nichols coached the women’s basketball team to three national tournament championships as well as a conference championship, compiling a career record of 186-131. She was also the Director of Women’s Athletics for 21 years, coached the swim team and served in many other leadership roles at the conference and regional levels.  

Wooster is eager to put this past weekend’s loss behind them as they look forward to back-to-back home games against Hilbert and Case Western. Paige Wells ’23 emphasized this point saying, “heading into next week it’s important that we stay together and build off of this game.” Wells added that “I’m excited to continue growing as a team and for people to see what we can really do.” 

Chloe Pordash ’26 said, “personally, I am very excited to play in the Nan Nichols Classic this weekend and to be able to play on our home court for the first time this year,” echoing Wells’ eagerness. 

Come support your Fighting Scots at the next games at home on Saturday at 6:45 and Sunday at 3:15!

Wooster Orbits Oberlin by Overcoming Obstacles

Photo courtesy of Wooster Athletics
Eliot Barrengos, Contributing Writer

The Fighting Scots football team played their final game of the season last Saturday. A 56-13 drubbing of the Oberlin Yeomen capped off a successful 2022 season for Wooster. The win cemented the Scots’ final record at 6-4 overall and 5-4 in conference play, continuing a streak of three consecutive seasons finishing with a record over the .500 mark.

Wooster jumped out to an early lead when quarterback Mateo Renteria ’23 scored on a one-yard sneak that put Wooster on the board just 2 minutes and 49 seconds into game play. The Scots never looked back, holding the lead for the rest of the game and played with an urgency that allowed them to win four of their last five games. Head coach Frank Colaprete commented on the team’s recent run of success saying, “I am so proud of this team … [it’s] a testament to our character and grit.”

The defense shined brightest in Saturday’s win with a standout performance from defensive end Domenic DeMuth ’24 who racked up a career high three sacks, totaling 24 negative yards. In fact, DeMuth successfully forced an Oberlin fumble on his second sack, allowing linebacker Mason Gilton ’26 to recover the ball and score from 26 yards out.

From there, it was Renteria working with his receivers to rack up the score, as the senior quarterback and captain put on a show with his family in attendance for his final collegiate game.  In the second quarter, Renteria found Andrew Hammer ’25 twice in the same drive, once for a 27-yard reception and later on a deep 35-yard touchdown pass that put the Scots up big with a 34-7 advantage. Brazos Gadler ’24 had the standout performance for the offense with five receptions for 119 yards and three touchdowns.

Saturday’s win marked the final game for the Scots’ senior class; of special note was senior tight end Cole Hissong ’23, who completed his college career with the third-most receptions in program history with 145. Renteria’s final college stat lines as Wooster’s quarterback since the 2018 season is eye-popping; he is the Scots’ all-time leader in completions (770), yards (10,083), passing touchdowns (78) and total offense (10,614 yards). When asked for comment on these records, Renteria credited his teammates, saying that “I set them with all of my best friends’ help and support.” Renteria added that “they belong to every player I’ve played with throughout my tenure here.”

The last few weeks have been both a success and a moment to look ahead for the Fighting Scots. The last four wins have built positive momentum heading into the next season and the on-field success over the last three years has been the program’s best since the period 2002 to 2006. Looking ahead, the goal remains to topple the rest of the North Coast Athletic conference and compete for championships next fall. Colaprete reflected on the team’s success over the last three years as well as looking ahead to the future saying, “it was a great season, and I am really proud of our players and coaches!” In the present and the future, Colaprete emphasized that the key to success is “the character and grit of our players.”

Renteria too reflected on what has made the last few years so successful for the Scots, “[it] comes from the coaching staff and the culture they instilled early when I arrived at Wooster.” Additionally, Renteria emphasized that “over the years we have had some amazing talents come and go, but no matter what we fight and claw to achieve a winning season.”

The Scots will turn the page on what has been a remarkably successful run, and say goodbye to their seniors, with the hope that next year they can improve on the solid foundation they have set and compete for a conference championship. As Renteria put it, “no matter who is on the field, we know we have each other’s backs and are all working for the same thing.”  

Congratulations to the Scots on another successful year and to the seniors on their memorable careers!