Track and field takes first place at open


On January 11th the Track and Field team took first place at the Jack Skoog Open. On top of that, two athletes were named Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association athletes of the week.

At the event, there were many top notch performances.

For the women’s team, Lauren Kucharczyk (‘19) won the women’s long jump with a 3.97 meter jump. Also, Grace Hearth (‘21) won first place in the women’s 60 meter dash, and MIAA athlete of the week Erin Goggins (‘19) won the 200 meter sprint.

On the men’s side, Tim Minier (‘21) won the men’s 60 and 200-meter dash races, along with the title of MIAA athlete of the week. Jacob Wildenhaus (‘20) took first place in the 60-meter hurdles event. The men’s 4×400 team took first place, with an explosive finish from Jared Fleming (‘19).

“The Jack Skoog Open was a nice transition for us from break to the start of weekly competitions,” said Goggins.

“We looked good and I’m excited to see what we can do in the MIAA this year,” said Goggins.

“It was a very positive step forward. We had four days of organized practice so it was good to see where everyone was at coming out of break,” said Matt Chovanec, head coach of the Track and Field team.

As for the two athletes who were awarded athlete of the week, Goggins and Minier were both honored by the MIAA.

“I put in the work over Christmas break to be able to start the season strong like this and I’m pleased to have my hard work recognized by the MIAA,” said Goggins.

“It’s the first time I have been noticed as an MIAA athlete beyond the reports coach sends out from the meets,” said Minier.

“It was well deserved. It was cool to see their work pay off,” said Chovanec.

Now the team looks forward to the rest of the season and the upcoming events, including personal goals for individual athletes.

“I will always strive for faster times in my races and hopefully I’ll break a school record or two,” said Minier.

“My goals are to beat my personal records in pole vault, my long time event, and triple jump, which I have just begun to learn,” said Goggins.

“I also want to continue to focus on being a good leader and teammate,” said Goggins, “This is my last season and I aim on giving it everything I have.”

R Kelly outrages the public

[et_pb_section][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text]JORDYN BRADLEY STAFF WRITER R Kelly, the popular singer, songwriter, and record producer, is in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Allegations against Kelly include being in possession of child pornography and having sex with a 13 year old and urinating on them. Kelly has also paid multiple monetary settlements against women claiming he physically and sexually abused them. The “Ignition” singer has been facing allegations similar to these ones for over twenty years. Recently, Lifetime came out with a docu-series to expose the two criminal investigations against Kelly, one in Atlanta and another in Chicago. These cases stem from allegations of Kelly having a sex cult in both cities, as well as holding women captive in his apartment, though this accusation has yet to be proven. Sources claimed that the women were there on their own account. “Both the fact of R Kelly’s depravity and the revelation of such depravity are incredibly upsetting,” said Sam Nelson (‘21). Though word on Kelly has been spreading like wildfire through the news and social media recently, many people in the Alma Community did not know about the incidents, or even who Kelly was. “I wish I knew more about the situation to make an educated comment,” said Emma Wood (‘20). Wood said she only knew about what she had read about on Twitter, which was also true for many others. “I’m not surprised that another person that is famous is getting accused of something [such as this],” said Jeremy Fieber (‘19), who also had not heard much of the situation. Kelly has worked with multiple artists during his career, and once word began to circulate about Kelly, some made steps in order to show their support to victims. Chance the Rapper pulled his song with Kelly, “Somewhere in Paradise” from streaming sites. Lady Gaga pulled her song, “Do What U Want” that she worked with Kelly on, as well as issued a public statement regarding the situation and her unity with victims. Celine Dion removed the music video for her and Kelly’s song, “I’m Your Angel” from Youtube, but it is still available to stream. Many other artists that have worked with Kelly include Jay Z, Usher, and Mariah Carey. They have not touched their tracks that were produced with Kelly. Streams of Kelly’s music have increased by a whopping 116% this month alone with the release of the docuseries regarding the criminal allegations against him. “What I really hope comes of this [situation] isn’t just some bourgeois pedophile getting taken off of Spotify,” said Nelson, “but rather, those in our community feeling empowered to take a stand against the abuse and predation that afflicts those we love right here on campus.”[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Cyntoia Brown freed from imprisonment


Cyntoia Brown – imprisoned for over a decade – has been granted clemency by Tennessee Governor, Bill Haslam. Brown’s sentence has sparked controversy by the public in the last few weeks of her appeal process and continues to headline social media.

At the age of sixteen, Brown was forced into a prostitution ring and placed on trial for the killing of Johnny Mitchell Allan. Allan was murdered by Brown after he had purchased her. Brown was convicted as an adult and given a life sentence of fifty years in prison, without parole until the age of sixty-seven.

Brown’s court hearing in 2004 weighed that Brown murdered Allan for robbery. While the defense weighed that Brown acted in self-defense.

“There had been a slow building groundswell of support for years,” said Prathim-Maya Dora-Laskey, Assistant Professor and Advisor to the MacCurdy Women’s House.

Over the past year, Brown’s case has gained traction through media outlets and the public demands to release Brown. The media attention ranged from celebrity tweets to a PBS documentary.

“Ultimately, both the constancy of local advocates and the volume of national and international support helped Cyntoia,” said Dora-Laskey.

Monday of last week, Brown was approved to be released from prison after serving fifteen years of a life sentence.

“Transformation should be accompanied by hope. So, I am commuting Mrs. Brown’s sentence,” said Governor Haslam.

Attention to Brown’s case stems from a shift in the concerns of the public in recent years. The debate stems from whether or not the case was judged too harshly.

“I think that culture has changed. Our ability to accept these types of things have shifted in the majority of us. We’re more aware now of the impacts of trauma,” said Kevin Carmody, Title IX coordinator.

Carmody later explained that the popularity behind Brown’s case derives from a shift in the way society grows and perceives situations that otherwise would have been seen differently in the past five or ten years.

“Five years ago, this might not have reached the level of public outcry that we see today,” said Carmody.

The voice of the people generally moves at a pace that’s faster than the speed at which laws can be passed to improve convictions at the state level. “

Tremendous ground has been made by people who apply this pressure because otherwise, the system will never change,” said Carmody.

More importantly, it’s relevant to be aware that human rationality is applied to the existing legal system. In a positive light, cases like Brown’s will be corrected in future decisions, but the legal system will always have injustices.

No legal system in the United States or the world has ever been perfect, but pressure must be applied to improve the justice within the system.

“Legal systems are never flawless,” said Chih-Ping Chen, Associate Professor of English and Coordinator of Women’s & Gender Studies.

“In Cyntoia Brown’s case, her age when she committed the crime, the nature of the crime, the situation she was in at that time and before that time, that she was tried as an adult, the years she has served, and the waiting time for her parole,” said Chen.

What to Expect: National Emergency Edition


What do you picture when you hear “National Emergency?” Is it the imagery of chaos in the streets, a surveillance camera on every corner, and the National Guard marching down Superior St? The truth is, National Emergencies are relatively tame and forgettable for most people. However, this doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly.

The National Emergency Act was passed by Congress in 1976, establishing that the President has the authority to declare a National Emergency at anytime during their tenure, and further establishing that a National Emergency can last up for an entire year before it has to be renewed. Since the first order in 1979 (President Carter’s response to the Iranian hostage crisis), there have been over 58 National Emergencies declared. According to the Brennan Center, a whopping 31 of these 58 National Emergencies are still in effect across the country. The subjects of these National Emergencies can range from everything from sanctions on countries like Syria and North Korea to prohibiting interactions with terrorist groups to quickly dealing with outbreaks like Swine Flu. The Bush administration declared 13 emergencies and the Obama administration declared 12.

As of publication, the Trump administration has already declared 3 National Emergencies. The first was used in December 2017 to sanction 13 various generals and heads of states for their role in the genocide of Rohingya Muslims. The second was used to sanction various people involved in hacking to influence the election. And the third was used to place restriction on Nicaragua after the President, Daniel Ortega, violently cracked down on protestors. Despite saying he would declare a National Emergency over the opioid crisis, President Trump instead declared a Public-Health Emergency.

Recently, the Trump administration has been seemingly laying the groundwork to declare a National Emergency over the influx of immigrants at the southern border, despite no clear threats emerging. In 2017, the Trump administration boasted that it had the lowest levels of illegal immigration on record. 2018 had levels only 11% higher than that, according to Department of Homeland Security memos.

Trump has implied that he would use the National Emergency status to build a wall across the southern border. While National Emergencies are evidently regularly used, using a National Emergency to override congress is unprecedented and extremely dangerous to a system that depends on checks and balances.

National Emergencies have been relatively innocuous in the past. However, exemptions to this such as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and unaccountable torture programs post-9/11 should give every American pause when they hear one looming. In addition, the declaration of a National Emergency gives the President powers that haven’t been utilized throughout American history, but are ripe for potential abuse. These powers include disregarding bans on biological and chemical weapons, warrantless control of people’s finances, and allowing the President to seize control of U.S. internet traffic. Prevention of abuse depends on the vigilance of congress, the courts, and the people.

Students experience German culture


“S” Courses that take place during the spring term are great for traveling and cultural immersion. One such class is REL 180/380M taught by Prof. Richter who is a native of Germany.

This class will be traveling to Germany to study the reformation including where Martin Luther lived and was active. This trip also includes watching a professional German soccer game, visiting a winery and brewery, and experiencing German food.

“It’ll be interesting to travel to a country much older than America,” said Anna Dobyns (‘20) who will be embarking on the trip to Germany this spring. “I’m excited to see and experience the rich culture and history”. Dobyns is also looking forward to seeing the famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s house and church.

Germany is a democracy that has a parliament. One house of parliament, known in German as Bundestag (which translates to “Federal diet”), is much like the United States of America’s House of Representatives. It’s counterpart, the Bundesrat (federal council), is comparable to the Senate.

“In Germany, there are several main political parties,” says Deve Wishart (‘18) who lives in Germany currently. “While Americans tend to not talk about politics, religion, or money for fear of tension or heated arguments, Germans welcome the discussion and, even when disagreeing, are able to finish the conversation without becoming angry. I know Americans are capable of the same, but I think that the two-party system that seems to dominate American politics causes us to believe that there is some sort of rift if someone belongs to another political party.”

In 2015 the German chancellor in conjunction with the chancellor of Austria said that refugees of Germany would be allowed to cross through Hungary and Austria and reside in Germany.

“Many [Germans] are not happy about the immigration policies of the current political leaders” said Richter when asked about how the public views the government. “Many Syrian refugees were allowed to live in Germany”.

Transportation in Germany is like America in a lot of ways. They have an expressway-like road called the “Autobahn” which is known for its lack of a permanent speed limit in a lot of areas. The recommended speed limit is 130 km/h (about 81 m/h).

Another service that you can use to get around the country quickly is the German Intercity-Express (ICE). These trains travel inside Germany and into neighboring countries. The speeds of these trains can reach up to 300 km/h (about 190 m/h). “Compared to other European countries, Germany is probably the country that is most like the United States” said Drew Bellanger (‘19).

Richter also mentioned there were small differences. “I think Germans focus more on the details. They are more reserved, quieter and emphasize their right of privacy. Family and their home place is very important. Germans are less likely to move for a new job.”

“The difference in perceptions of honesty between the US and Germany have manifested in unexpected ways in the classroom for me.” said Wishart. “They talk in the front of both colleagues and students about how “good” or “bad” certain students are at different subjects. Several teachers have asked me to work with the “worst” students in class, which honestly hurts to hear.”

Germany is one of the most economically influential members of the European Union. Germany has the world’s fifth largest economy. Large companies contributing to the economy are companies like Siemens (industrial conglomerate), Volkswagen Group (automotive), and Fresenius (medical equipment and supplies).

Career week returns to campus


Career Week for second semester is coming up in the end of January. Students are encouraged to attend these events in order to broaden career prospects and gain interview skills—among other things.

“There is a wide variety of events. Mock interviewing with alumni, an opportunity to purchase business attire at JcPenney with a large discount, a workshop on cultural awareness in the workplace (on MLK day), a panel discussion for student athletes, and presentations on paying for graduate school, interviewing and salary negotiation, and a LinkedIn workshop,” said Maria Jones, Director of Career Coaching.

The JcPenney Suit-Up event is new to career week. There have many displays and signs on campus advertising the event, including mannequins in SAC.

“While there, students will get 40% off all clearance, sale, or regular priced items,” said Jones when asked about the deals at this event. “Two weeks ago a women’s blazer was on sale for $20; at the least, students would get an additional 40% off that price. It’s a great opportunity to get new professional outfits or simply just a nice pair of shoes or a pair of black pants for work. Raffles, snacks, and a measuring station will also be at the event!”

The JcPenney event takes place at the Alma location on Sunday from 2pm to 5pm. There is a shuttle taking students from campus to the event and back in order to allow students to take full advantage of the perks of this event.

Unlike the stigma around the event, this is not a week structured only for business majors. “All of our events pertain to students from all majors and have no specific focus other than where you are in your professional development,” said Jones.

The Alumni SpeedInterview event is a great example of how this weeklong event can apply to many different majors. “We have a lawyer, a toxicologist, a teacher, an epidemiologist from the CDC and many other industries represented,” said Jones.

Some of the favorite career week events include the Suit-Up event with JcPenney and the workshop with Dar Mayweather about diversity in the workplace.

Student assistants working in the Center for Student Opportunity have been working hard with Jones to make the events of this week a success.Career week events take place from Saturday January 19th through Friday January 25th.

If you have any questions about events, contact Maria Jones at

Greek life begins winter recruitment


Winter recruitment season has started at Alma College. Students will have the opportunity to interact with students they may not get to know otherwise through rushing Greek Life, and in a few short weeks, fraternities and sororities around campus will be welcoming their newest members.

Why go Greek? Greek students have no shortage of good things to say about the experience. “Greek life has brought me (and so many others) amazing opportunities and lifelong lasting relationships. It provides you with a safe place to go where you have a support system as well,” says Jennah Davis (‘20), the Panhellenic Council President. “Some awesome opportunities that you will experience are the chance to travel, to advocate for a philanthropy that you value, and you have the chance to take on great leadership roles.”

When asking freshmen considering rushing, the dynamic seemed to be the same.

“I’m joining because I’ve heard that it’s a once in a lifetime experience,” said Allison Harris (’22).“From my mom and my teacher and my friends who were and are in Greek Life, they said that they create friendships that last a lifetime. I expect it to be fun and a good experience.”

Emma Grossbauer (’22) felt the same way. “I’m joining Greek Life so I can meet new people and create friendships that will last a lifetime. I hope to find the place where I feel that I belong,” said Grossbauer. One main worry among non-Greek students who are considering taking part in recruitment is how rushing works.

“The recruitment process is a bit different for both Sororities and Fraternities. Both go through a formal recruitment process in which those interested in joining Greek Life sign the recruitment list and are able to attend numerous events from different Greek organizations,” said Jordan Jackson (’21), the Inter fraternity Council President.

“At the end of the recruitment process, those who have signed up and have participated in those events will be invited to attend Walk-Outs/Run-Outs in which they will find their home,” said Jackson.

Time management is another big concern. With students staying busy with classes, jobs, sports, and other activities, tacking on Greek membership can seem daunting. Matt Jones, the Greek Life Advisor, says “[as] a community we believe that all of our members are students before they are a member of their organization.”

Despite the amount of time that is taken up by classes and other student activities, Greek Life is a once in a lifetime addition to the college experience. If you would like to receive more information about winter recruitment or Greek Life in general, feel free to contact Jennah Davis, the Panhellenic Council President, any Panhellenic Council members, the president of Inter fraternity Council, Jordan Jackson,Matt Jones, the Greek Life Advisor, or Alyssa Mohr, the Greek Life Intern.

Coffee and consent with title IX


January is Stalking Awareness Month, so the Title IX office held “Coffee and Consent” on January 16 at Starbucks to offer students a chance to connect with their staff. Title IX and Civil Rights Coordinator, Kevin Carmody, and Student Affairs Assistant, Kaydee Hall (’18), presented students with a chance to talk about stalking and other related issues on campus.

These rights were advocated for by Bernice Sandler, specifically, equality between sexes and the creation of Title IX. She helped pass legislation that affects higher education.

Sandler witnessed the inequality throughout her life, and it continued into her career as a teacher at the University of Maryland. The passage of Title IX effected athletics, financial assistance, and admission into colleges. It also addressed the issues of sexual harassment and assault and offered some protections.

A big motivation behind this event, for Carmody and Hall, was to provide opportunities for the campus to connect with the Title IX and Civil Rights office. They want to reach out to as many students as possible. They recognize that they might not get in other targeted awareness programs for organizations such as Greek life and athletics. “A big focus that I’ve had this year is around transparency,” said Carmody.

Their goal is for people to know it is okay to ask questions regarding stalking or other Title IX and Civil Rights issues. They want people to feel comfortable approaching them with these topics to start the conversation. Having events to encourage this is a start.

“[Stalking] is much more prolific than people understand,” said Carmody. He continued to say that it often goes underreported because it is “romanticized” in pop culture and the definition is not fully understood. This hinders students’ ability to know what to report because they are misinformed about it.

“Making ourselves available for students should be the biggest take away,” says Hall. There are events across campus but Carmody’s office is “always open”. This applies to asking questions regarding any Title IX or Civil Rights issues to reporting an incident.

In the case of needing to report an incident, it can be filed through Carmody in person or online. There are also national resources such as Safe horizon. If it is an immediate emergency, call 911 said Hall.

“The more that we can start to have these conversations, the better it’s going to be,” said Carmody. These events are meant to aid in facilitating the discussion. This topic “breeds its silence” stated Carmody, he explains that the longer students do not talk about this subject, the more it happens around them

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