A Tale of Two Committees

Samuel Boudreau ’23

One of journalism’s greatest attributes is its ability to be a comparative craft. In investigative reporting, I always enjoyed the opportunity to compare institutional documents that focused on the same moment in time. It is often through discrepancies between documents where the truth slowly emerges in the journalistic pursuit. 

In this spirit, I want to compare two recently formed committees at the College of Wooster: the 2022 Presidential Search Committee (PSC) and the 2021 Special Committee Review (SRC) of Howard Lowry ’29, the College’s president from 1944 to 1967, that “look[ed] into concerns raised by two alumni about alleged actions of President Howard Lowry ’29,” as brought to light in Maggie Dougherty, former Voice editor in chief’s, “The Complicated Legacy of Howard Lowry President: As our Values Evolve, do our Heroes Change Well?”I believe the formation of these two committees and the differences between the two reflect strongly on the College.

Let’s start with the purposes of these two committees. According to a letter sent to the campus community by Sally Staley ’78, chair of the Board of Trustees, on March 2, 2022,the PSC  “[was] charged with leading a transparent, inclusive, and successful search that leads to identifying a candidate to become Wooster’s 13th president by July 2023.” In October of 2021, Sally Staley and Tom Gibian, Chair and Vice Chair, outlined that SRC “was directed to research what took place, and then make recommendations regarding the places where President Lowry’s leadership has been honored at the College, including the naming of the Lowry Student Center, as well as a named professorship, scholarships, and prizes.” 

I would now like to look at each committees’ responsibilities. According to the 2021 letter from Staley and Gibian, “the Special Committee spoke to more than 50 individuals with personal experience with Dr. Lowry, reviewed over 2,000 pages of documents from archives, and heard from more than 1,000 students, faculty, staff, and alumni by meeting, phone call, letter, and email.”

According to numerous letters from Peter Sundman ’81, trustee and chair of PSC, PSC’s responsibilities included eight listening sessions for the campus body; the creation of a “presidential prospectus advertisement” for applicants, the identification of potential candidates; interviews with said-candidates and guided tours for finalists. 

I will now touch on each committee’s final “recommendations.” To clarify,  special committees have no governing power in the sense that they make final decisions. That power lies with the board as a whole through a majority vote. 

According to Sundman’s Dec. 2 letter to the campus community, “[PSC] presented our recommendation to the Board of Trustees in November, and they unanimously approved the selection,” later implying that the committee’s recommendation was to select Dr. Anne E. McCall as the College’s 13th President. According to Staley’s October 2021 letter, the Special Committee “[SRC] recommended to the board that we not remove the current name of the student center, Lowry, that has been selected by the donors, or take any action to change other Lowry-named honors.” 

I want to now focus on one component of these committees,  the people in the committees. Regarding PSC, “Board of Trustees Chair Sally Staley ’78 partnered with faculty and staff administrators, Scot Council, Wooster’s Staff Committee, Conference with Trustees, and the faculty’s Committee on Committees to identify the respective students, staff, and faculty representatives for the Committee,” according to the College’s website. On Feb. 26, 2022, the board approved the presidential search committee’s members which  “consist[ed] of 17 members of the Wooster community, including two students, two members of the staff, four faculty, and nine trustees and alumni.” 

Regarding SRC, Donald R. Frederico and Marianne Sprague, former chair and vice chair of the board, wrote on April 12, 2021 that “the board will appoint a group of trustees to work with the independent expert or firm, oversee the investigation, and advise the full board concerning appropriate action to take in light of the information learned.” According to the College’s website, “[w]hen deciding the composition of [SRC], the Board considered a cross-section of gender, age [and] expertise to ensure a variety of perspectives and life experiences were reflected.” Ultimately, there were five trustees’ in SRC, the only members of the committee. 

It is on the difference in the makeup of these committees where I want to insert my opinion. For two committees tasked with the review of decisions that shape the campus community, the selection of a president and the name of the student center, it is inexplicable to me why one committee had students, faculty, staff, alumni and trustees while the other consisted of only trustees. 

This difference in committee construction reminds me of a conversation I had with one of my best friends regarding player safety in the National Football League. In summer training, the NFL recently adopted a policy to add extra padding to NFL helmets to limit the amount of head injuries. During the regular season and playoffs, however, the NFL does not have this extra padding on helmets. When the Damar Hamlin injury happened on January 2, my friend asked “If the NFL knows that extra helmet padding during training camp is safer for players, then why does the NFL not implement this policy in the regular season and playoffs?” 

That is the same question I have here. If the board of trustees knows that a key step “with leading a transparent, inclusive, and successful search” for Wooster’s next president involves a committee that consists of students, staff, faculty, trustees and alumni, then why were there only trustees in SRC?

An opponent of my argument may bring up the fact that these are entirely separate committees with different topics. In the College’s “Naming Policy for Facilities, Spaces, and Programs,”however,  section E outlines that “In the event of unusual or compelling circumstance, the College reserves the right to withdraw a name from a facility, space, program, fund, professorship, or other similarly named College priority.”  I believe it is a fair interpretation that the term “College” does not just refer to the board but to staff, students, faculty, administrative members, trustees and alumni. 

It is clear that the trustees in SRC spent a great deal of time reviewing Lowry’s behavior, scanning through thousands of documents,  interviews and opinions on the matter. While I respect the committee’s dedication , a wise member of the College for decades once told me that the interpretation of documents and historical materials from the past are profoundly shaped by the experiences, perspectives and views of those looking at documents. 

I refuse to speak on behalf of faculty, staff, trustees, administration or alumni⎯ I am not a member of either of these groups. As a student, however, it greatly concerns me that a student was not a member of the special committee’s review of Lowry’s behavior towards students, in the process of deciding the name of the student center.

BFFF: Best Furry Friend Forever

Martha My Dear

Ellen McAllister ’24

My dog Martha, our cute quarantine pup

It took my parents a while to say “yup”

Annie kept sending pictures to group chat

Until we finally found the one that

We were allowed to visit and hold

My sister hoped she wouldn’t be sold

We walked in with a different dog in mind

But Martha, sweet Martha shined

She was a little small, the runt of the litter

But that only made my mom’s heart flitter

She scooped up that teeny tiny dog

And said “I hope you like to jog”

Coming up with a name for a dog with such

Spunk and cuteness didn’t take much,

My mom, a Beatles fan, played their song

About Martha, as the car zoomed along

Our other dog, Lucy, was in utter surprise

She could not believe her tiny dog eyes

Martha has grown much much bigger

And boy oh boy is she full of rigor.

That little dog is so full of sass

She gets treats, but likes to eat grass

Her favorite thing to do is swim

When we’re walking, she’ll jump in on a whim

She is my mom’s best friend 

And she never wants the snuggles to end

Martha and Lucy, two peas in a pod

On walks, together they will plod

This dog loves popcorn almost as much as me

I always give her some, her cute doggy plea

We love Martha so dearly

Even though everyday, no nearly

She is dirty smelly and needs a bath

If you do the quick math

You’ll see she is worth it,

Martha May, so full of sweetness and wit. 

Martha May

Untitled Poem

Liam Kenechan ’24

Charlie only knows one word – woof.

It’s okay though, I know what he means,

like when he lies across my lap.

Woof then means “pet me”

Or when I answer the door and his bark echos throughout the house. 

Woof then means “I missed you!”

Sometimes it’s more of a whimper, higher in pitch than usual. 

Woof then means “I’m scared” – I make sure to protect him.

When we play catch his tongue protrudes beyond his teeth, his tail wagging behind him.

Woof then means “WOOHOO!”

When he loses his manners, soaking the planks of our floor, 

I know that woof means “feed me” 

When his head nudges my side while I cry on my bedroom floor, my own head in my arms 

Woof then means “I love you” 

I give him a tight squeeze.

“I love you too”

Untitled Haiku

Lark Pinney ’23

My dog is so dumb

No thoughts, head empty always

I still love him though

Sunny Lynch Pinney

Untitled Poem

Preston Melchior-Fisher ’24

9 years ago.

Three brothers, one simple ask.

They want a dog. 

They’re up for the task. 

It takes some time.

Looking and proving. 

But they finally find him.

And the parents? Approving.

His name? Hiro.

They take him back.

Bringing him home.

He acclimates quickly.

A place of his own.

They think if he could

Use a new name.

But in the end they decide

It fits just the same.

His name? Hiro.

He’s shown such love

And gives it back in turn.

Smart as a whip

How fast has he learned? 

The cat’s at first,

Wanted him gone.

He won them over, 

Or they’ve at least withdrawn.

Because his name is Hiro.

He’s a part of the family

This is without doubt.

I can no longer think

Of a life without.

After all this time,

He does grow old. 

But, in the end,

When the earth is cold.

His name will still be Hero.

A Remembrance

Patrick Estell ’23

Men’s Basketball Defeats DePauw, Improves to 4-1

Turner Kurt ’23, Najee Hardaway ’23 and Jamir Billings ’25 had standout performances and led the way for the Scots in their 68-54 victory over DePauw. Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Thomas Pitney, Sports Editor

On Saturday, Dec. 3, the Wooster men’s basketball team traveled to Greencastle, Indiana to face off against the DePauw University Tigers. DePauw represented one of the biggest challenges for the Scots this season, as the Tigers entered this match with an overall record of 7-1 and a conference record of 1-0. The Scots embraced this challenge and put on a defensive clinic en route to a 68-54 victory.

In the first half, the game was very evenly matched. Both the Scots and Tigers traded buckets and neither team made a run to take control of the game. In fact, the largest lead held by either team in the first half was four points, only occurring when Wooster took a 10-6 advantage with 14:04 remaining in the half, and a 20-16 lead with 11:25 remaining. Jamir Billings ’25 sparked the Scots’ offense in the first half, scoring 11 points, making all three of his three-point attempts and racking up three assists before the intermission. Given the competitiveness of the first half, the score was deadlocked at 34-34.

In the early moments of the second half, it appeared as though DePauw may pull away with the victory. After Turner Kurt ’23 made a layup to give the Scots a 36-34 lead, the Tigers commenced a 6-0 run and seized a 40-36 lead. This run was fueled by a Grant Gohmann ’24 three-point play after being fouled on a jump shot and an Elijah Hales ’23 three-pointer. Wooster responded by going on a 7-0 run of their own, led by a JJ Cline ’24 layup, a Billings jump shot and a Kurt layup.

After the Scots displayed their resiliency, Wooster and DePauw continued to go back and forth. With 4:13 remaining in the game, the Scots only held a 59-54 lead over DePauw and it appeared as though the game would go down to the wire. During the closing minutes, however, Wooster ensured that the game would be out of reach for DePauw, with their defense leading the way. In fact, the Scots’ defense was so stout that DePauw did not score over the final four minutes. Najee Hardaway ’23 led the way on the defensive end for the Scots, as he held Hales — DePauw’s leading scorer — to only three points in the second half.

The Scots played complimentary basketball in the game’s final minutes, as they paired their stellar defense with nine unanswered points. With 3:55 remaining in the game, Elijah Meredith ’24 sunk a crucial three-point shot off of a Kurt assist to grow the Scots’ lead to 62-54. Meredith and Kurt expanded the Wooster lead to double digits 40 seconds later, when Meredith drained another shot from beyond the arc with an assist from Kurt. Almost two minutes later, Kurt put the final nail in the Tiger’s coffin, making a three-point shot of his own on a Billings assist to give the Scots a 14-point advantage. Wooster’s barrage of three-pointers sealed a comfortable 68-54 win against a talented DePauw squad.

With the win, the Scots improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). As a result, the Scots sit at the top of the NCAC standings, a reflection of their early-season success.

The Scots hope to continue building on their early victories to maintain the #1 seed and home-court advantage in the NCAC. Wooster’s next game will be in front of their home fans against the #21 nationally-ranked University of Rochester Yellowjackets on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 2:15 p.m. Come out and cheer on the Scots as they attempt to pull off the upset!

My Thoughts on “House of the Dragon”: It is a Den of Disappointment

Content Warning: The following viewpoint makes mention of sexual assault and violence against women
Judith Topham ’23
Judith Topham, Contributing Writer

Like many people, I tuned in every Sunday to watch “House of the Dragon” this fall. I was excited and apprehensive about returning to the world of Westeros after the disastrous end to “Game of Thrones.” However, George R.R. Martin’s world is a rich one and I was invested after the first episode. As the season went on, it was easy to see that while it was still tied to the world of “Game of Thrones,” the writers and showrunners of “House of the Dragon” were trying to keep a certain distance from it. There were a couple of direct tie-ins, but something else carried over they probably weren’t expecting: the unequal treatment of their female characters. 

The entire run of “Game of Thrones” was plagued by issues related to its treatment of female characters. In the beginning, vital exposition was paired with sex so often that the term “sexposition” was coined. Sexual violence was included for shock value and was mostly treated as a way to show the man’s cruelty or a starting point for his character growth. 

The amount of nudity and sexposition decreases as the show goes on, but a different problem emerges in the writing itself. Sansa Stark is turned into an emotionless woman who distrusts Danaerys because of her beauty and is glad she was raped. Cersei Lannister is delegated to sipping wine on her balcony for the entirety of season eight. Daenerys Targaryen turns insane on the whim of the writers and has to be put down by her lover. 

The same problems carried over into “House of the Dragon.” While we don’t witness it, Aegon, the male heir to the throne, rapes one of his maids. The maid is not important; the scene is about showing how deplorable of a person Aegon is and how he’s not fit to rule. There are multiple traumatic birth scenes that made me feel the same disgust as when Ramsay was raping Sansa. The visceral feeling of watching a woman endure unbearable pain was uncomfortable to sit through, especially when there was such a focus on how they were at the mercy of their husbands. 

The main problem with “House of the Dragon” is in its main characters: Alicent and Rhaenyra. In a show that is supposedly about the relationship and power struggle between the two women, we rarely see any of it in action. We see them as friends, enemies, and cautious allies on the brink of reconciliation. What we don’t see is how any of this happens. They are never given the chance to investigate their dynamic with the nuance it deserves. 

The other problem with the two characters is their lack of agency. Rhaenyra is never allowed by the writers to prove her worth as heir to the throne. She is married off by her father and groomed by her uncle. Her only true choices in the show relate to her control over her sexuality, which are some of the first fractures in her and Alicent’s relationship. It is so tiring to have what could have been two complex female characters instead split into the prude and the whore. Alicent only challenges Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne because of her illegitimate sons. She only begins supporting her son’s claim after a misunderstanding, but is immediately upset when she learns that a coup was planned behind her back. She has no drive or ambition the entire season. Instead she just reacts to plans made by her father and council. 

“House of the Dragon” needs to do better. Its characters deserve better. It failed them in its first season, but can redeem itself in the future if its writers commit to doing right by their female characters.

Women’s Basketball Falls in Close Road Contest

Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Miles Rochester, Sports Editor

On Saturday, Dec. 3, Wooster’s women’s basketball team hit a slight bump in the road, as they fell to the home team — the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg Bobcats — by a score of 70-58. Although the Scots put on a strong performance early on against Greensburg, they were unable to capitalize on all their opportunities to guarantee a win. 

The Scots entered the Bobcats’ court confidently, hoping to improve their 1-5 non-conference record. Right from the buzzer, Wooster began firing on all cylinders, showing glimpses of their boundless potential. Chloe Pordash ’26 initiated scoring in the first possession of the game as the Scots set the tone, looking to claim control in the early minutes. Their opponents, however, would not be put down so easily and the Bobcats retaliated by doing the dirty work of being relentless rebounders. Rebounding has been a persistent area of difficulty for the Scots, as they have not yet outrebounded their opponents in a game this season. 

After six possessions, the home team finally got on the board with a three-point shot to give Greensburg the lead. Through the ebbs and flows of the early game, each team exchanged buckets and neither was able to set themselves apart from the competition. With five minutes left in the first quarter and the game tied at nine points, Wooster began its first significant run of the game with Erica Beaty ’26 and Harley Holloway ’24 nailing back-to-back threes. On the defensive end, this run was sponsored by spectacular rebounding from Ella Biondi ’26 and Pordash. A block from Pordash also resulted in a Biondi layup, helping the Scots to build their momentum. With everyone moving seamlessly, it looked like Wooster was bound to run away with the game. The Bobcats, unhappy with the situation, needed a quick fix to get themselves back in the game. With three minutes remaining in the first half, two easy layups in the span of two seconds provided the home team exactly that. Bolstered by their late boost, the Bobcats were able to whittle Wooster’s eight-point lead down to five by the end of the first quarter, at which time Wooster held a 24-19 lead.

It was Pitt-Greensburg who struck first in the second quarter, going on a run of their own to capture the lead at 27-26, with many Wooster players accumulating fouls in the process. Beaty commented on the significance this stretch had on the game saying, “we really struggled once we got into foul trouble because we had to change the way we play to a less aggressive approach.” Even after surrendering their lead, the Scots proved that their first run was no fluke and again went on a hot streak. It was once again a Holloway jump shot that sparked the Scots, providing the first two of eight unanswered points that gave Wooster a seven-point advantage. This lead soon dissipated due to another run by the Bobcats, who bounced back from an over five-point deficit for the second time to reclaim the lead at 36-34 and push their total to 38 by the end the half.

The second half was not as kind to the Scots as the first, possibly due to many Wooster players getting into foul trouble; ultimately, the cause for Wooster’s inability to re-capture the lead for the remainder of the game stemmed from their inconsistency on offense. Although the Scots started the game strong by leading scoring in the first quarter with 24 points (a game high), Wooster’s productivity dropped significantly in the second quarter and never recovered afterwards. Meanwhile, the Bobcats were able to maintain and adapt their offense throughout the whole game, outscoring Wooster in three of the four quarters.

Although the ride home was certainly made longer by the lament of loss, the Scots’ season is still far from over. “I see growth in our efforts to play together as a team every day which leaves us all really optimistic for our future games,” explained Beaty. When asked about the team’s outlook on the rest of the season, Beaty concluded that “we see the possibility of what our program can become, and just keep working really hard at every practice to hopefully achieve our goals.”

It’s safe to say that the Wooster community is excited to see for themselves what this team can become. If it’s anything like the team that showed up in the first half against Pitt-Greensburg, then come time for conference play, the NCAC will be in trouble. Come out to Timken Gymnasium on Saturday, Dec. 10, to support the Scot women as they face their next challenge: the Chatham Cougars! 

The Morals and Ethics of Keeping a Mummy

(Photo Courtesy: Tyler Rak ’24).
Izzie Corley, Contributing Writer

The College of Wooster owns a mummy. We own a dead body as property. I was ruminating on this fact, and especially whether I thought this fact was okay, when I attended the lecture on the background of our mummy ownership, and saw her on display myself. 

Using human remains as an academic or museum fixture is risky. It’s something that needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis. The provenance, the effect it has for the people who have rightful claim to it (or if there is anyone who still does) and whether it’s actually useful all come into play when considering the morality of the matter. In the case of the 2,300-year-old remains of the Egyptian middle class woman probably named Ta-Irty-Bai, these all check out.

We do know where the mummy comes from. She was looted from a tomb near Akhmim, Egypt, and sold to a Presbyterian missionary in the late 1800s, costing him a whole eight dollars. He gifted her to the College, where she has remained since. The fact that she only cost eight dollars wasn’t the most interesting thing I learned at the context lecture. Rather, it’s that at some point in time, the College asked the Egyptian government if they wanted the mummy back. They said no. Keep in mind that the Egyptian government is not known for being coy about what they do want returned (just ask the British museum). Given that there is no large group of people who still practice the same cultural burial traditions that Ta-Irty-Bai did, this means that the group with the most rightful authority to claim the mummy wasn’t interested. This sets her apart from the many Native American burial goods owned by museums, whose tribes still exist and practice the same cultures the ancient Indigenous people did. In plenty of cases, they do want it all back.

The one person we ought to be asking, who we cannot, is Ta-Irty-Bai herself. One point that museum director Dr. Wardle stressed at the lecture was that she personally wanted to humanize the mummy. I do like this approach, because it helps us break away the layers of abstraction that obscure the fact we’re talking about a dead body. However, if we are to humanize the mummy, then why don’t we treat her like a person who would have had personal opinions? We have no way of asking her, “are you okay with your body being used in a way that is contrary to your cultural practices in the pursuit of academic and intellectual gains?” and expect an answer. She certainly can’t tell us whether she approves of teenagers taking trendy selfies with her coffin.

When it comes to taking trendy selfies with the dead body, I think we should be honest that it’s easy to treat the mummy like a huge spectacle. Personally, I get excited, in a morbid sort of way, to experience the reality of the ancient past and even grapple a little bit with my own mortality. However, people getting excited also risk damage to the coffin if it were to be touched, and damage to the integrity of the remains, if it were posted on social media right along with cat pics and memes. Therefore, if the museum wants to display the mummy, they need to be conscientious about channeling the excitement the mummy elicits, so that we can all be intellectually enriched in a sustainable and respectful way.

Scots Swim and Dive Stands Out at Wooster Invitational

Several swimmers for the Scots impressed at the Wooster Invitational, resulting in the women’s team finishing in second place overall and the men’s team finishing in third place overall. Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Langston Hood, Senior Sports Writer

The Wooster swim and dive team played host to nine different institutions at the Wooster Invitational from Dec. 1 through Dec. 3. From Thursday to Saturday, competitors, coaches and fans filled both Wooster High School’s Ellen Shapiro Natatorium and the College’s Timken Natatorium. The University of the Cumberlands, PennWest University Edinboro, Westminster College, Rose-Hulman, Shawnee State, Mount Union, Hiram and Wittenberg vied for the men’s and women’s podium, while Lock Haven University added a 10th team to the women’s competition. Wooster strung together a successful competition, with the men finishing third and the women finishing in second. The University of the Cumberlands swam and dove their way to both the men’s and women’s first place finishes, which is nothing new for the Patriots as their teams are 7-0 and 8-0 respectively throughout this season’s competitions. Wooster’s second and third place finishes were highlighted by many individual successes and scorching times.

One particularly noteworthy performance came thanks to Ollie Bream ’25, who swam a “B” cut time of 2:05.14 in the 200-meter butterfly on her way to a second NCAC Athlete of the Week award. Bream explained what her result means for NCAA qualification. “If you swim an ‘A’ cut you automatically qualify for the NCAA D-III Championships, and you can swim two other events if you have the ‘B’ cut in those events.” Bream added that, “if you only have a ‘B’ cut, like me for now, you have the possibility of being invited to the meet,” which contains “typically, about 30 swimmers.” Bream’s time in the event was only 0:01.14 slower than her personal record time of 2:03.74, which allowed her to qualify for nationals last year. Bream also finished second in the 200-meter individual medley, first place in the 400-meter individual medley and second in the 800-meter freestyle relay with the help of Lacey Mindock ’26, Emma Humbert ’26 and Emma Connors ’24.

Mindock had a solid weekend herself, winning the B Final in the 400-meter individual medley, the 1650-meter freestyle and finishing second in the 500-meter freestyle. Reflecting on the weekend Mindock said, “not only did we do well in the pool, but I also think, as a team, we excelled at having an amazing, supportive atmosphere.” Mindock expanded on the team’s camaraderie, saying that “hearing everyone chant ‘Wooster’ before swims, seeing all the black and gold and knowing that the entire team was standing up cheering and supporting everyone else makes the meet so much better and is extremely motivating.”

On the men’s side, Josh Pearson ’24 delivered a stellar performance to help the men to their third-place finish, recording a first place finish in the 400-meter individual medley, second-place finish in the 200-meter butterfly, while helping the 400-meter freestyle relay team to a third-place finish, the 800-meter freestyle team to a fourth-place finish and the 200-meter medley relay team to a fifth-place finish. Pearson opted to look forward when asked for a comment on the invitational, speaking to the team’s winter break plans. “The break in the season over the next month gives us a great chance to get a lot of practice time in as we prepare for our last couple months of the season.” Pearson added that, “we also have our training trip to Florida over winter break, which is a great opportunity to both improve as swimmers and bond as a team.” 

Pearson’s relay teammate Doak Schultz ’23, also delivered a pivotal performance as he swam his way to a second place in the 100-meter individual medley, sixth place in the 50-meter freestyle and a 400-meter freestyle relay victory with the help of fellow Scots Noah Golovan ’23, Aiden Lentz ’25 and Will Laymon ’26. Schultz also recorded the fastest mixed 100-meter breaststroke in the time trial. 

The 400-meter medley team also featured Callum Glover ’26, who was very pleased with the Wooster performance saying, “the energy was the best of any meet I have ever been to; if someone was not swimming, they were most likely standing at an end of the lane yelling for whoever was in the water.”

Ryan Gross ’25 focused on the message that Wooster sent to their conference foes, as Hiram and Wittenberg amassed a mere 889 points from their four teams. For comparison, Wooster’s women’s team scored 1575 points and their men’s team scored 1208.5 points. Meanwhile, Hiram’s men’s team finished eighth, trailing only Wittenberg’s men. Additionally, Hiram’s women finished eighth just in front of Lock Haven and Wittenberg, respectively. 

Noah Fox ’23 recapped the weekend best saying, “We went to war….we survived.”

The Fighting Scots will return to the pool at Baldwin Wallace University on Saturday, Jan. 14!

RSL Celebrate the Holiday Season for All

Holly Shaum, Staff Writer

On Saturday, Dec. 3, Religious and Spiritual Life (RSL) hosted an event called “(W)Inter Religious Holidays Festival” to celebrate a wide range of holidays and observances taking place between December and mid-January. The event took place in Knowlton Commons with RSL members educating their fellow Wooster students on Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism and other religions, focusing on different ways to celebrate their respective beliefs and the New Year. After chatting with RSL members about a particular holiday, each visitor would receive a stamp on a card. A student who visited every booth to receive every stamp could enter a raffle for prizes such as a blanket, tea kettle, coloring books, marker sets and more. There was also a crafting table and snacks for attendees. The Voice reached out to student interns at RSL, including Frankie Readshaw ’25, Troy Johnson ’24 , Liz Santiago ’24, Gabriel McCreath ’25 and Alexa Carlozzi ’23, in order to ask a few questions about the role of RSL on campus and the importance of holding an event that showcases a multitude of religious traditions. 

Why was it important to host an event showcasing various religious celebrations before the end of the semester?

Frankie Readshaw ’25: It is important to RSL that we do our best to provide all students with equal and fulfilling opportunities to observe their religious and spiritual traditions. A large part of that is making sure students know their traditions are appreciated and seen. The (W)inter Religious Holidays Festival allows us to create a space where students and the community can appreciate, interact and learn about 10 different religious and spiritual traditions. This event coincided with the end of the semester, but the primary reason that we chose to have the Holidays Festival in December was due to the large number of holidays, across many different traditions, that occur during this time of the year. 

What do you hope attendees took away from the festival?  

Frankie Readshaw ’25: To paraphrase our mission statement, RSL aims to provide opportunities for reflection, discernment, dialogue and community. We hope that anyone and everyone, regardless of their religious/spiritual identity or lack thereof, found the event to be a meaningful opportunity to reflect on, interact, or connect with any of the religions, holidays or communities represented.  

Liz Santiago ‘24: We hope people take this event as an example of the infinite ways Religious and Spiritual Life is accessible and committed to unifying various parts of the campus community. 

Gabriel McCreath ’25: We want people to personally engage and experience different religions in a real way. 

Troy Johnson ’24: We hope that people were able to learn more about religious and secular holidays in a way that feels organic. We wanted to create a space where they could gain understanding without the pressure of needing to know everything.

Alexa Carlozzi ’23: We hope everyone gained new insight into the beautiful similarities and differences between holidays and religions. We also hope everyone saw how important and special these traditions are for many people on campus and all over the world.

How can students get involved in RSL during the upcoming semester?  

Frankie Readshaw ’25: We have already begun the brainstorming process for our events next semester, so an excellent way to get involved is to keep an eye out for posters or check our Instagram (@rsl_wooster) for updates. Chaplain Guzmán also has weekly hours for “Chats with the Chaplain,” where you can talk to her about anything and everything. Reservations for that are on our “Inside Wooster” page. 

Liz Santiago ’24: Be on the lookout for any emails from Erin Guzmán or RSL, as we frequently encourage other student organizations to join our activities! 

Alexa Carlozzi ’23: RSL events are a wonderful way to interact with and learn about religion, spirituality and a multitude of other topics in an intersectional and diverse manner. Our events are open to everyone and we hope you check them out!

The Power of Eating Simply at Woo’s Soup and Bread

Image of students volunteering at Soup and Bread in Kittredge Dining Hall. Photo courtesy of Gianna Hayes.
Gianna Hayes, Contributing Writer

As Wooster changes with the seasons, the blustery days beckon us inside to enjoy apple ciders and hot chocolates. Sure, we could head to Boo Bears, Knowlton Cafe or MacLeod’s coffee shop/convenience store, but besides these lovely locales with coffee to keep our hands warm, there are Wednesdays at Kittredge Dining Hall. Starting Oct. 26, the Wooster Volunteer Network (WVN) resumed their partnership with Campus Dining Services in order to provide students with a way to donate their meal swipes to local charities in the Wooster area at lunchtime every Wednesday. In collaboration with Buehler’s Fresh Foods of Wooster, volunteers serve a variety of soups and breads, always with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.

Marjorie Shamp, Director of Campus Dining & Conference Services, said the idea behind the project is to “eat simply, so others can simply eat.” The Soup and Bread program is a long-standing tradition at Wooster, and though the “pandemic shut the program down for a period of time, it is rebuilding and we hope to begin to see more faculty, staff and members of the greater community become involved once again,” said Shamp. 

The program offers a variety of soups for everyone to enjoy. From broccoli and cheese to chicken and dumplings, there is a soup to meet any dietary need. While being a nutritious and hearty meal, “soup’s just warm. It’s the perfect meal for a cold day,” said Christian Conde ’24. While soup is also served at the Lowry Dining Hall and Knowlton Cafe, Claire Tobin ’24 said that “this is a solid portion—definitely better than [the to-go portions] at Lowry!” The reusable bowls are another great facet of the program, allowing a more environmentally-conscious approach to dining. If you were looking for further persuasion, Madeline Fields-Halva ’26 said that “the lines are shorter!”

 With a spacious, warm and welcoming atmosphere, Kittredge is a great space to host this program. “It’s a really incredible communal event,” said Peter Barker ’23. “It’s a really nice space to have that’s not as busy or as noisy or as overstimulating as Lowry, while still actually doing something good with the space and good with our time.” Students also cited the program’s accessibility, allowing everyone to feel like they can contribute to the community, even through something as seemingly unimportant as a meal swipe. The space of Kittredge also brings people together. As Morgan Hunter ’25 said, “it’s one of my favorite times of the week. It’s a nice way to feel like I’m doing good for my community, and also it’s a very nice way to bring friends together who might not normally eat lunch together every week.”

Put simply, “I enjoy a good bowl of soup,” said Robert Stark ’23. Giving back to your community can really just be as easy as coming to Kittredge to relax with friends and enjoy a comforting bowl of soup and filling bread. 

Volunteers at Soup and Bread harp on its convenience and accessibility, with Bella Coenen ’26 reflecting that it is a “super easy way to give back,” as volunteering only takes an hour. If you’re looking for casual and simple ways to give back to your community, you can get involved in Soup and Bread or other service projects by contacting wvn@wooster.edu or on Instagram @wooster_volunteer_network.

Regardless of your level of involvement, Soup and Bread proves to be a rewarding experience for all, highlighting the importance of working together for a charitable cause. This program truly focuses on some of Wooster’s core values, such as being a community and having social responsibility. As the holidays draw nearer and we think of gift-giving and gratitude, we can do our part by contributing at Soup and Bread.

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.