Free and Open Conversations are Good

Orion Brees

   Let’s face it, there are a lot of problems in modern society: from inflation, climate change, abortion, to the ever increasing cost of healthcare, housing and college to a dozen other issues that I could fill the entire paper just talking about. We want to solve these issues (well most of them); however,  we disagree on how to solve them. As we prepare to vote in another contentious midterm election, I am calling on people to reach out to someone they disagree.

  Why should we talk to people we disagree with? The first reason that comes to my mind is the simple fact that I do not know everything that there is to possibly know. Moreover, there are likely things that I am wrong about. After all, I am limited only to my perspective based on the information I know combined with my lived experience. Nevertheless, there is a solution to having a lack of knowledge and misinformation, and that is to engage with different people. Like how we learn new information and skills at Wooster to broaden our perspectives and improve ourselves, by interacting with new people who know different things with a different perspective, we can broaden our own perspective and learn new ideals. The more different the other person is, the more potential there is for us to learn and experience new things, as what they know and their perspective is wholly unique and outside our own perspective.  Moreover, progress both personally and societally is made by engaging with new ideas and perspectives and having one’s own perspectives challenged. Lastly, if you want to understand someone and change their mind you actually have to talk to them.

We all have biases and our personal and social media spheres which limit our perspectives and how much we know. Furthermore, these spheres we occupy can give us very negative impressions of people we don’t know and this limits our ability to understand and empathize with people. However, by reaching outside of our personal and social media spheres we can come to expand our perceptions and see people outside our sphere as people like us with their own unique knowledge, beliefs and perspectives. By engaging with people outside our spheres we can gain a better understanding of not only the world and the people that live in it, but also of ourselves and our place in the world. Expanding our bubble also provides the opportunity to make new friends, especially those that may be very different from ourselves.

            While a lot of issues are rightly seen as sensitive and requiring careful consideration and nuance, making these topics taboo is counterproductive. Being unable to discuss taboo topics means that understanding and progress on the topic cannot happen as people will be too afraid to talk about taboo topics. Furthermore, when discussions do occur with heavily tabooed topics, these conversations tend to involve people with the most extreme and uncompromising views who have an interest in harming their outgroups and gaining notoriety for their extreme takes. Even if one is silent on taboo issues, this only guarantees that people who disagree with you will control the conversation and narrative around taboo issues. Only by having a more open form of discussion on taboo topics can a better understanding and advancement be made for all those that engage with the taboo topic. 

If one is looking to have safe, open, and free conversation with a variety of different people, do it right here in Wooster. Next Thursday, Oct. 27, Wooster’s John Stuart Mill Forum will be hosting the second “Is God Dead?” conversation on religion and faith in Wooster and the world at Kauke 038 from 5-6:30 p.m. I intend to participate in the conversation, and I hope that anyone interested in expanding their perspective or having an interesting and thought provoking conversation comes.

Football Dominates in All Phases Against Hilbert

Wooster’s defense obstructed any and all attempts by the Hawks’ offense to move the ball, only allowing 236 total yards and seven points. Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Miles Rochester, Sports Editor

Wooster’s football team put on a clinic this past weekend at John P. Papp Stadium where they took on the Hilbert College Hawks, a flock who has been unable to record a single win this season. Wooster’s win also came well-timed with their senior day celebration, which commemorated 24 seniors who have dedicated countless hours of hard work and commitment to the team.

The Scots looked dangerous from the get-go with veteran quarterback Mateo Renteria ’22 at the helm, supported by a hungry and buzzing offense. Troy Baughman ’22 was extremely determined on the first drive, as he recorded three catches for 41 yards to move the Scots towards a score. Renteria would then reward Baughman’s efforts by picking him out in the endzone for a four-yard passing touchdown and the first score of many for Wooster.

In response to the Scots’ initial drive, Hilbert’s offense took to the field looking to even the game. Itt looked promising for the Hawks early on the drive, as they flew down the field, capturing three first downs in their first three plays. Eventually, Matt Ulishney ’23 crumbled Hilbert’s hopes of scoring by making consecutive tackles on second and third down. In Wooster’s second offensive attempt, it was obvious that Renteria was getting comfortable in the driver’s seat. The Scot quarterback drove down the field in four plays, rushing 20 yards himself and throwing thrice, relying on the hands of Gadler Brazos ’25 and Andrew Hammer ’25 to pave the path to another Wooster touchdown. Jarvis Mims Jr. ’26 was the man to punch it in for the Scots with a two-yard rush down the middle to double the gap with Wooster on top 14-0.

Throughout the remaining 22 minutes in the first half, Wooster’s defense was an insurmountable object in the eyes of Hilbert’s Hawks, as the Scots would not even allow the visitors to think about scoring. On the other hand, Hilbert began to find its stride defensively, denying Renteria and Wooster on two consecutive drives.

In the third offensive drive for the Scots following Wooster’s last score, the offense needed a trip to the endzone to widen the gap and reward their defense’s stellar performance. Baughman was once again the man to spark the then-slowing offense with a 32-yard gain to put Wooster in Hilbert territory, and then eventually a seven-yard receiving touchdown to make it 21-0 Wooster.

The Scot’s defensive unit prepared to take the field and once again put Hilbert’s advances to a halt. However, an onside kick mishandled by the Hawks resulted in another offensive drive for Wooster. During this drive, it was Andrew Yanssens ’23 who took the reins for the Scots. The running back ran for 29 yards to provide goal line positioning, then finished the job with a two-yard score to put the game even farther out of reach for the visitors.

Wooster’s next score came right before halftime when Mims Jr. took an 80-yard stroll down the middle of the field and to the house for the fifth touchdown of the day. At the score of 35-0 Wooster, the game was all but over.

In the second half, not much changed. Wooster remained dominant on both sides of the ball, scoring two more touchdowns on a five-yard pass from Joshua Pond ’24 and a Yanssens two-yard rush. The defense also maintained a shutout until the very last minute of the game, when Nicolas Rinker ’26 found Andre Augustiniak ’26 for a 22-yard touchdown to make the final score 49-7 in favor of the Scots. With the win, the team advanced to a record of 4-3.

Wooster will look to build off this momentum on Saturday, Oct. 29 when they take on Wittenberg at John P. Papp Stadium. Come out and support your Scots!

It’s Time to Work on Your FASFA Again!

Jennifer Weeks

Although this academic year seems to have just begun, it is not too early to start thinking about financial aid for the 2023-2024 school year. Financial aid is any funding offered to eligible students to assist in covering the cost of attending college. This aid can come in different forms, including grants, scholarships, work-study jobs and loans. For example, grants, which do not have to be repaid, include Wooster Institutional Grants, Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG). Loans through the federal government are also dependent on information from the FAFSA. Subsidized Loans are loans that the government pays the loan interest while a student is in school and Unsubsidized Loans accrue interest when they are disbursed.

To apply for federal, state and/or institutional (need-based) financial aid, students must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year at studentaid.gov. The Expected Family contribution (EFC) calculated by the FAFSA data is the figure used by the Financial Aid Office to determine your eligibility for financial aid. There are resources available to assist in completing the FAFSA, such as studentaid.gov (specific renewal information can be found at studentaid.gov/apply-for-aid/fafsa/renew), Wooster’s “Filing out the FAFSA” webpage (wooster.edu/fafsa) and the college’s Financial Aid Office.

Once your FAFSA is submitted, watch for an email from Federal Student Aid confirming the status of your application. Within a few days, the College will receive a copy and notify you of any additional documentation needed. The Financial Aid Office will review your application once all other requested documents are submitted. Please check Colleague Self-Service Financial Aid on ScotWeb and your email regularly to see what documentation we need from you. Scan the QR code for further details.

The Financial Aid Office is available should you have any questions when completing the FAFSA and there will be opportunities for hands-on assistance. On Friday, Oct. 28, the Financial Aid Office will host a walk-in workshop from 1:00–4:00 p.m. in the Library Core Cube where students can bring their computers and staff will be on hand to help students complete and submit their FAFSA. There are also on-going walk-in hours every week-–Wednesdays from 4:00–6:00 p.m. in Andrews Library Collab Room B and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. in the Babcock Formal Lounge.

Volleyball Heats Up at Emory Classic Invitational

Langston Hood, Senior Sports Writer

The Wooster volleyball team took a much-needed vacation from the hallowed corn fields of Ohio to venture all the way to Atlanta, Georgia for a four-team tournament hosted by nationally-ranked Emory University. Wooster met Averett University of Virginia, St. Mary’s College of Indiana and Emory over the course of the two-day tournament, looking to build off their momentum following their demolition of the rebranded Kenyon Owls on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Once the Fighting Scots landed in Atlanta on Thursday night, they were rearing and ready to go.

Wooster met the Averett Cougars in their first game, which was a highly-contested battle. The Fighting Scots were struck by a bit of jetlag in the first set of Saturday’s game as they were defeated 25-21. Extra points were needed to determine the winners of the next two sets, both of which were closely contested. Wooster won the second set 28-26 before Averett responded with their own 27-25 victory in the third set. With the match on the line, Wooster stepped up and took the fourth set 25-22, forcing a fifth set that would determine the match’s winner. The beginning of the defining set followed the sport’s natural back and forth pattern, as the two teams were tied 8-8 after an Averett score. However, that would prove to be the Cougars’ last point of the match, as Sydney Fitzcharles ’23 grabbed four service errors and Hayley Nash ’23 notched two kills to put the Cougars out for good. Nash registered a game-high 17 kills, while Amelia Mitchell ’25 added 14 kills of her own while being a defensive stalwart and posting a game-high seven blocks. 

There would be no rest for the Scots as they next faced the Belles of Saint Mary’s, who were badly beaten in their first match of the day. This seemed to fuel the Belles, as they took set one from the Fighting Scots by a score of 25-23. Wooster took that personally and came out with a vengeance in the second set of the match. The set came to a 4-4 tie before Wooster scored nine consecutive points thanks to a flurry of Nash service aces, a kill from Emily Gail ’23 and a handful of errors from the Belles. Wooster would allow the Belles just four more points on their way to winning the set by a score of 25-9. The next two sets would prove to be far more contentious, but Wooster won both by scores of 25-20 and 25-22, respectively. It was a collective effort from the Scots’ hitters as Caroline Dillard ’24, Gail, Mitchell and Nash all tallied at least seven kills. Tyara Thompson ’24 fed the attackers all day long, tallying 32 assists through game two of the double header. Saturday allowed the Fighting Scots to settle nicely into Woodruff Stadium before they met the 11th ranked Emory Eagles. 

Sunday’s first set offered very little to cheer about, as the Eagles proved why they deserved to be ranked among the nation’s best. Emory jumped out to a 7-1 lead, which they quickly expanded to 14-3, as kills from Gail, Dillard and Tamara Turner ’25 could not derail the Eagles. The set ended 25-6, with the Eagles putting on a flawless display by committing zero errors and converting their 19 total attempts into 15 kills. Wooster competed in the following set, knotting the second set at six, before Emory claimed a commanding 14-8 lead, winning the set by a score of 25-19. The third set resembled the first as Emory notched 10 straight points after the game was tied 1-1, taking an 11-1 lead that forced the Scots to use two timeouts. Wooster did not go quietly, bringing the score back to a respectable 13-7 thanks to errors from Emory and kills from Gail and Thompson, but Emory would prove too much, winning the third set 25-21.

Both Gail and Nash were grateful for the challenge that Emory posed. Gail said, “Emory was the best team we have faced all season and in the second and third sets we really fought back and played great volleyball against them, which gave us momentum we hope to carry into our final few games and the postseason.” Nash echoed Gail, saying, “we knew as a team that we had to rise to their level to compete with them” and that, “although we started a little slow in the first set, we held our own in the second and third set to prove that we can play with them if we all work together and work hard.”

Fitzcharles agreed with her teammates, noting that one of the biggest challenges in this match was Emory’s offensive speed. As a result, “our blockers have to read their setters quicker and the defense has to adjust to their hitters.” In the face of this challenge, Fitzcharles felt that “we rose to the challenge that this posed and saw that we could play with teams like this.”

All in all, last week was one the Scots will remember as it played host to three straight victories and a competitive match against a true volleyball powerhouse. Additionally, trading the dreary Ohio fall for the warmth of Atlanta is something that just about any fall sports team would gladly accept.

The Scots will travel to Cleveland for their final match of the regular season against Case Western Reserve University on Saturday, Oct. 29. Good luck to Wooster as they wrap up the regular season and prepare for the postseason!

Tie against Wittenberg Leaves Scot’s Playoff Chances in Limbo

With a win on Saturday, Oct. 29 against first-place Denison, the Scots will have an opportunity to qualify for the NCAC playoffs. Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Eliot Barrengos, Contributing Writer

The Fighting Scots women’s soccer team traveled to Springfield, Ohio last Saturday, Oct. 22 to battle the Wittenberg Tigers. Saturday marked a rematch of last year’s North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championship Game, in which the Scots fell to the Tigers 3-2. With the Scots eager to avenge the loss from last year, they competed in a hard-fought match that ended in a 1-1 tie.

 Although both teams were scoreless for the first 23 minutes of play, Wittenberg controlled the pace of the game, taking seven shots in the first half and drawing two corner kicks. The Scots struggled to find good opportunities to score in the first 45 minutes of play and fell behind when Wittenberg struck first on a penalty kick by Amy Bidwill ’23 in minute 23. The Scots rallied early in the second half, looking to even the score. When the ball got through Wittenberg’s center backs, Tedi Farson ’23 made the decisive goal in the 53rd minute of play to knot the score at one apiece. Farson, when asked about the shot, said that “I knew it was going to be the best opportunity for us to tie the game,” adding that, “we didn’t have many great opportunities in the first half, so I knew I had to make this one count.” 

The decisive goal helped the Scots force a draw, which was critical to their position in the standings, as a loss to Saturday would have sunk their chances at competing in this year’s NCAC playoffs. Farson’s offensive efforts were backed by a standout performance from goalkeeper Kameryn Nelson ’26, who saved three shots in the net on Saturday to keep Wittenberg at bay. Nelson commented on her performance saying, “it felt great making key saves in our game against Wittenberg and doing my part to keep the game competitive.”

Wooster women’s soccer will turn their attention towards Denison, where they will travel this upcoming Saturday, Oct. 29 to square off with the Denison Big Red at 1 p.m. This game, the last of the regular season, will be the Scots’ final chance at securing a spot in the top four in the NCAC standings. Each team gets three points for every win they have in conference play, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss. Wooster (8), who trails DePauw (9) and Kenyon (10), will need to upset Denison, who currently leads the conference with 11 points, to have a chance to play for the NCAC Championship again in 2022. The Scots not only need a win against Denison on Saturday, but will need to see DePauw or Kenyon lose or tie their two remaining games in conference play. Instead of focusing on the playoff picture, however, the women’s team is focused on one goal. “We need to win against Denison this weekend,” Farson said. To do this, Farson believes that “the forwards will need to work as a unit across the field to create the best opportunities to score.” Though acknowledging Denison’s skill, Farson highlighted one advantage for the Scots in the upcoming match: “we have a lot more to lose going into this game, so our team all around needs to play with immense passion.”

Saturday will certainly be the most important day of the season for the women’s team, as they will try to prevent it from being their last. Farson, a senior, commented on the possibility that this might be the final week of her collegiate career, saying that “the feelings surrounding my soccer career coming to an end are hard to put into words.” Farson also noted that, “I have dedicated my life and body to this sport, and it is hard to fathom my life without it.” Farson’s college career was highlighted by an excellent 2021 season where she earned NCAC Newcomer of the Year, and second-team All-NCAC selection in 2021 and ranked second on the Scots with 11 goals and 26 points. 

Farson, who knows what it takes to perform under pressure, had both an assist and a goal in last year’s championship game against Wittenberg. She expressed gratitude for the season as a whole and expressed a commitment to her team saying, “I am incredibly proud of my whole team this season no matter where we end up at the end of the week.” Saturday will be emotional no matter the result for the Scots, but as Farson put it, despite “some highs and lows throughout the season, we have stayed optimistic and picked each other up.” 

Wooster plays its season-determining match on Saturday, Oct. 29 on the road against Denison. Good luck to the Scots as they attempt to earn a playoff berth!

Students raise issues at Board of Trustees meeting

Photo Courtesy: Flickr

On Thursday, Oct. 19, students met with representatives from the College Board of Trustees’ “Missions and Outcomes” Committee to discuss a wide range of issues across campus. “We really have a unique opportunity as College of Wooster students  to speak with the Board of Trustees,” said Noah Golovan ’23, President of Scot Council. “The role of the Board is [that] we hold the College to account for its mission and its purpose,” said Margaux Day ’06. “We’ll improve the College’s strategy, we’ll improve the annual budget,” she continued, “and [we’re basically] a governance check on the College’s administration to make sure the College is vital and prospering in the long term.”

To start, Samuel Boudreau ’23, Editor in Chief of the Wooster Voice, brought up the issue of bat infestations on campus and the College’s lack of planning in regards to the prioritization of building renovations. “There appears to be a very strong correlation between dorms without air conditioning or full-scale renovations and bats,” Boudreau claimed. Students without air conditioning tend to leave their windows open during the hot temperatures, leaving them vulnerable to bats entering their residences. The severity of this infestation led to a health crisis which resulted in “multiple students in residence buildings report[ing] 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.’”

A ten-year plan on the public record was also cited, which entailed details about future renovations, including Holden Hall not being updated until 2030 and excluding Bissman, Wagner, Douglass and Compton Halls from the current plans. Boudreau called for “an explanation from the College’s administration and the Board of Trustees regarding the prioritization of Holden Hall and the future plans regarding Wagner, Douglass, Bissman and Compton Halls.”

Clifton Bobbitt, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, responded to Boudreau’s speech, citing that Holden Hall is the College’s next priority. Bobbitt also cited the difficulties of obtaining donor support through capital campaign funds along with finding temporary housing for students during a renovation.  This might include housing students in the Best Western Hotel, according to Bobbitt.

 Up next, the College’s Greenhouse Club spoke on sustainability at The College of Wooster.

“Overlooking the importance of sustainability in that process would be a critical mistake. With our world’s future so uncertain, sustainable thinking has never been more valuable and has never been more necessary,” said Taylor Lynch ’24, President of the College’s Greenhouse Club. “Sustainability is therefore an increasingly fundamental component of our mission.”

Acknowledging COVID-19’s impact on campus operations, Lynch has said that the club’s advocacy towards sustainability has fallen on “deaf ears.” Lynch and Cory Horgan ’23, former President of the club, cited the use of paper and plastic products in the College’s student center along with energy-use in the College’s larger buildings, such as the Andrews/Gault Library. “As the College has transitioned to including a dining partner in our community, sustainability, less stress on dining,” said Lynch, “and communication with students has been neglected.”

Lynch and Horgan cited the College’s Sustainability Plan from May of 2019, which called to hire a Sustainability Coordinator, form a renewable energy exploratory committee, conduct an external energy audit, create a revolving green fund and incorporate sustainability into campus culture and establish relevant goals and targets. “Instead, three years removed,” said Horgan, “none of the recommendations in the five-year plan have been acted upon.” 

Regarding next steps, Horgan and Lynch proposed the revival of the College’s sustainability committee, “This committee could make clear and specific recommendations for the administration: perhaps establishing a revolving green fund, hiring a sustainability coordinator, allocating more resources for environmental organizations and incorporating sustainability into campus culture.”

Following Greenhouse, Dana Giffen ’23 and Ryan Seaton-Evans ’23 presented on behalf of the Disability Advocacy and Support Alliance (DASA), an alliance which aims to “create a safe space on campus where students can share their experiences and provide advice on how to navigate college with a disability.”

“By opening discussion about living with a disability, we also aim to increase advocacy and accessibility on campus as well as destigmatize the word “disability,’” said Giffen. “We felt a group like this was necessary as we saw more and more students with disabilities attending The College of Wooster.”

Two points central to DASA’s discussion were the increasing the staff of the Academic Resource Center (ARC) and improving housing accommodations on campus. As of this semester, Amber Larson is the only faculty member of ARC who works within disability support services. “Between the 1st of August and the 28th of September,” Giffen said, “Amber Larson had over 268 appointments scheduled with students regarding Academic Resources, 75% of these appointments were for disability support services.” Seaton-Evans went on to urge the board to “continue with [the] 10-year renovation plan to include accessible housing options. From 2019 to 2022 there has been a 57% increase in students with housing accommodations.”

Statistics presented by the DASA representatives show that between 2018 and 2022, there has been a 20.9% increase in unique students making appointments at ARC and a 44.1% increase in students with disabilities on campus. A list of necessary accommodations includes air conditioning in all residence halls, elevators that are not freight elevators, more rooms with private restrooms or at least more pod restrooms, rooms that are singles, ramps into buildings and accessible power doors.

The session concluded with Kacy Handzel ’25, who called for more hygiene products in public bathrooms across campus. “Out of the 21 all-gender bathrooms on campus,” none of them have free period products,” said Handzel, “when 99% of our students live on campus [and] 54% students are menstruating individuals, that is a lot.” Handzel proposed reallocating the wellness budget for wellness products towards period products, such as pads and tampons. 

“Can I speak to the MGMT?” A 15th anniversary celebration

Celebrating the 15th anniversary of MGMT’s “Oracular Spectacular” (Photo courtesy of In Review Online)
Zach Napora, Contributing Writer

This October, indie-pop band MGMT celebrated the 15th anniversary of their debut album “Oracular Spectacular.” MGMT began as a dorm room experiment between two friends, Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Their early work was heavily influenced by noise rock and electronica, which can be heard on tracks like “4th Dimensional Transition.”

“Oracular Spectacular” starts like many great albums do – by telling us how they got there. The first track, “Time to Pretend,” begins with a viscous mess of electronic noise, before transitioning into upbeat indie-pop that is loved by many late-night driving playlists. With the first vocals, these college seniors declare that they are, “feeling rough, I’m feeling raw/I’m in the prime of my life.” While MGMT continues to sing longingly about typical rockstar passions such as moving to Paris, finding a model and doing heroin, the title of the track reveals this as just a fantasy. As they share, they’re “fated to pretend.” Although “Oracular Spectacular” is an album defined by its singles, its theme of youthful innocence is on display on other tracks such as “Weekend Wars,” when they sing about wanting to “scare the children off my lawn.” On “Kids,” the beauty is in its simplicity. The song starts with a ridiculously catchy keyboard riff, which is then joined by a keyboard bassline that gives it even more bounce. Those two sounds layered with simple drums and vocals were all MGMT needed to create a lasting pop anthem.

MGMT is a hard band to box in. Their influence on the indie music scene cannot be understated. While the commercialization of indie rock had already begun before MGMT arrived on the scene, the popularity and widespread appeal of tracks like “Time to Pretend” and “Kids”  boosted the ears primed for the genre and the amount of money listeners poured into it. This may be a legacy that MGMT does not appreciate, as their later albums have strayed away from the simpler pop melodies that shot them into brief superstardom in favor of more experimental sounds. For this reason, MGMT cannot just be defined by indie rock or pop. They still draw inspiration from their cluttered dorm room sounds, naming the art-school punk band Talking Heads as a major inspiration. The result is genre-bending psychedelic pop that has stood the test of time. However, one thing is for sure – on the next inevitable coming-of-age movie about late nights, MGMT is on lock to be on the soundtrack.

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.