Omar braves heat from America

ATULYA DORA-LASKEY
STAFF WRITER

The views expressed by contributors are their own and do not represent the views of the Alma College.

America does not have a strong success record when it comes to “helping” other countries.

The American drive to interfere in the affairs of other countries often results in incidents such as in 1953, when America overthrew the Prime Minister Mossadeq of Iraq, installing Reza Shah as a dictator. Or in 1963, when America backed the assassination of South Vietnamese President Diem, and killed 2 million Vietnamese civilians during the Vietnamese war. Or in 1973, when America staged a coup in Chile to replace President Salvador Allende with the infamously cruel dictator Augusto Pinochet, who murdered 5,000 of his critics through massacres and silenced others through rape and torture. Or in the 1980’s, when America covertly financed and armed Islamist fundamentalists in Afghanistan (which likely included Osama Bin Laden) to fight against Soviets. Or starting in 1991, when America-led sanctions and bombings of Iraq lead to the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. Or starting in 2008, when America covertly used 10 times the amount of previous American drone strikes which resulted in the deaths of up to 807 civilians.

With all these horrific failures, it might seem like common sense to simply stop interfering. Yet, while America doesn’t have a strong success record on its imperialist actions, it does have a strong record of inflicting backlash against its critics.

The Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 gave the American government authority to close newspapers and jail citizens for having anti-war views. From 1955 to 1970, the FBI regularly targeted critics of American involvement in the Vietnam War and the American government jailed those who refused to serve. In 1970, the National Guard fired 67 rounds into a crowd of Kent State University students protesting the American bombing of Cambodia, killing four students and wounding nine others. In the wake of 9/11, Barbara Lee was the subject of scores of death threats and called a traitor in major newspaper editorial boards for being the sole lone vote against the authorization against the Afghanistan war, a war most Americans now believe to be a mistake.

In light of these historical missteps, it comes as no surprise that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has now faced similar accusations for daring to question the American Empire. Omar came to America at the age of ten as a refugee, force to flee because of the Somali Civil War in which American forces were involved. Consequently, Ilhan Omar was given a personal and real view of American imperialism that most Americans will never truly understand. Omar would go on to win her Minnesota representative seat with 73% of the vote.

Omar drew scorn in February for spending her time, during a Congressional hearing on Venezuela, harshly criticizing and questioning Reagan-era administrator Elliot Abrams for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal. Abrams pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Iran-Contra scandal, which involved the Reagan administration illegally funding and arming Nicaraguan contras under the guise of “humanitarian aid.” Omar also criticized and questioned Abrams for his role in covering up a massacre by an American-trained El Salvadoran army which left hundreds of civilians dead including 131 children. Because of this, Ilhan Omar was called “uncivil” by both Republican and Democratic officials. Elliot Abrams has now been

appointed US Special Representative for Venezuela and is in charge of distributing what the Trump administration deems “humanitarian aid” to the politically unstable country. At the time of writing, Congresswoman Omar is the only member in both the House and Senate to oppose American intervention in Venezuela.

Omar drew even more scorn last week for repeatedly criticizing the influence of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobbyist group. In tweet that was later deleted, Omar wrote “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.” Despite Omar apologizing for accidentally using anti-Semitic tropes, it’s become clear that the backlash against Omar is overwhelmingly not about anti-semitism but rather about criticizing the American-Israel relationship.

Human rights groups have condemned the actions of the Israeli government repeatedly for their human rights violations, including the unlawful transfer of Israeli citizens to the occupied west bank, the killing of 189 Palestinian protestors including 31 children and 3 medical workers, and the frequent air and artillery strikes in the Gaza strip. Despite this, criticizing the American-Israel relationship remains a deep taboo.

AIPAC spent $3.5 million dollars last year on lobbying, resulting in bipartisan support for support for the state of Israel to the tune of $500 million for missile defense and $3.3 billion for security assistance. Last month, bipartisan support passed a AIPAC-backed Senate bill that would allow state governments to punish those who boycotted products from Israel. In Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer’s running mate, Garlin Gilchrist, was forced to apologize during the gubernatorial campaign for a 2009 tweet disapproving American support for Israel military.

Omar has had a slew of death-threats filed against her, yet many of her congressional peers have refused to support her. Instead, House Democrats tried to pass a bill condemning anti-semitism as an attempt to censure Omar, but decided to broaden the bill to include all types of discrimination after many members of the Jewish community spoke out against the move and supported Congresswoman Omar. Omar ended up being one of many of the “yes” votes to support the bill.

Undeterred, Omar would go on to condemn Obama last Friday. Calling Obama’s image of “hope and change” to be an illusion, as she called out his practice of droning countries and locking up undocumented immigrants. “We can’t only be upset with Trump,” Omar said fiercely, “His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was.”

America has never been good at interference despite its unified support of crushing opposition to interference. Americans should reflect on why we cling so hard to the unsuccessful idea of an American Empire and why we punish those that don’t in an almost cult-like fashion.

Alma says goodbye to Howd

HANK WICKLEY
SPORTS WRITER

After 17 years of service to the Scots, Tracy Howd has left the Alma community. During her time on campus, she was known as a clerk, HR specialist, and athletic department secretary; but most of all, she was known as a friend to many students on campus.

Howd’s time at Alma began in 2002 when she was hired as an Accounts Payable Clerk, and then moved to being a HR clerk until 2009 when she took the job of athletic secretary.

She helped out with scheduling, organization, and overall keeping things working smoothly in the athletic department.

“Throughout my time at Alma, it was always the people that made the job fun and rewarding,” said Howd.

“When I say people, that includes coaches, students, student-athletes, and the staff across campus.”

As someone who was not previously involved in athletics, Howd quickly fell in love with her new role on campus.

“When I moved to Athletics in 2009, I never imagined that I would love working in that department as much as I did,” said Howd.

While Howd not only held down the fort in the athletic department offices, she was able to participate in a lot of fun interactions with different teams.

“One of my favorite things that I got to do while I was at Alma was traveling with the Cheer team to their annual camp at University of Louisville,” said Howd.

“It was a time when I got to see just what these student-athletes do and how quickly they learn very complicated routines.”

“Another favorite was traveling to the men’s soccer MIAA championship game at Kalamazoo College with Lori Hick. She is always a riot to be with and she loves the students at Alma,” said Howd.

Howd also said the one thing she will not miss will be working the freezing cold football games, even though—according to athletic director Stephen Rackley— she was the best at it.

“I have not gone far away, so I hope to be at athletic events throughout the year,” said Howd.

The impact of her departure has affected several coaches and faculty members throughout campus, and she will certainly be missed.

“She was just so good with people,” said Rackley. “She had such great knowledge about the campus and department.”

The memories and friendships that Howd made with everyone around her will be her legacy at Alma.

“My best memory of Tracy is my first memory really,” said Michael Kinney, head men’s lacrosse coach.

“She took me into Art Smith and showed me how nice and how big it was. She turned to me, looked me dead in the eyes and said, ‘If I ever catch you guys with lacrosse sticks and balls in here, I’ll kick your ….’” said Kinney. “

She knew how the department worked, how to work with people, how to get things done, who to ask for a favor, and how to ask the right way,” said Kinney.

“She is a great person and her departure is a huge blow to the department, and to Alma College. But I’m so happy for her,” said Kinney.

From everyone involved in athletics at Alma, Tracy Howd’s absence will be noticeable and her smiling face behind the desk in the athletic offices will be missed.

#neveragain: one year later

KATE WESTPHAL
CAMPUS EDITOR

It has been over a year since the tragic events that unfolded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, prompting the creation of the #neveragain movement.

The movement’s motive was to bring to light the effects of school shootings and advocate for gun control laws to prevent these types of events from ever happening again. As well as creating the #neveragain movement, the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas also created the March For Our Lives, an organization dedicated to increasing social awareness of gun control laws. “Independent of how one feels about increased gun control, it seems clear that [the #neveragain movement] has made the conversation about curbing these types of violence— by whatever means— feel more present,” said Professor of English, Dustin Bissell.

A shooting is defined as a “mass shooting” when four or more people are killed, excluding the shooter. School shootings have been happening for decades; however, the shooting most connected with bringing to light the issue of school violence was Columbine in 1999.

Columbine, what was once thought of as the most tragic school shooting, barely ranks in the list of the top five deadliest school shootings in the United States anymore. More shootings, as the ones at Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and now Parkland have ousted Columbine from its infamous spot.

According to the BBC, 2018 was the worst year for school shootings in the United States, with a shooting occurring about once every eight days and 113 people killed or injured in a school shooting. This sobering statistic has lead school administers to provide training on how to keep safe in the event of a school shooting to their students and staff. As the conversation surrounding gun control and school shootings grow, there has been controversy about the adequacy of school shooting trainings. “[A]s a teacher I think it’s important to make students aware, when and where appropriate, that school shooter trainings themselves are actually the subject of a little bit of controversy, with multiple perspectives that should be listened to and considered,” said Bissell.

Micheal Dorn, the executive director of Safe Havens, a non-profit organization that consults schools about campus safety issues, said that instead of training students and staff with a single catch-all approach such as going into a lockdown, they should instead be exposed to scenario-based training. Scenario-based training teaches students and staff how to react and deviate from an original plan when events suggest that following it would be too dangerous.

The most widely accepted response program – and in use at Alma College – is ALICE training. ALICE is an acronym, and stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evaluate. These are steps one should take when presented with an active shooter situation. When taking part in ALICE training, there are different roles for teachers and students . “[T]here is an ongoing sense of responsibility in being a teacher, so it’s not enough to simply feel comfortable in protecting oneself,” said Bissell. “In that sense, these types of training can foster a certain sense of added security in spite of the type of situation it prepares one for.”

In the year since the beginning of the #neveragain movement, the Parkland teens responsible for its creation have used its message to promote the rising issue of gun violence and call for stricter gun control regulations. They have published a book, gone on a cross country tour to promote voter registration, and organized the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., whose turnout made it one of the largest protests in American history.

While school shootings and gun control remain a hotly disputed topic, the core foundation and message of the #neveragain movement stands strong.

Model United Nations wins again

DYLAN COUR
STAFF WRITER

While spring break is a time for many to get away and get a break from school, some still have very important work to do. The Model U.N. (MUN) team traveled to St. Louis, Missouri for their first round of competition over break.

The St. Louis level is typically used as a learning experience for the newest members of MUN before they are launched into the bigger competition in New York. Prior to the conference, many hours of work are put in to ensure everybody is up to the same level of experience.

“The new members have been preparing for St. Louis since day one of class. They read background guides, breakdown subtopics, write speeches, practice [writing] resolutions, practice leading and create large research binders full of information on their topics to take to conference,” said Elizabeth Flatoff (’21).

At the conference, the Alma team did very well, receiving 12 awards.

“We earned our scores because we worked hard, lead our committees, wrote and amended resolutions, and most importantly worked on census building. We worked together and lead others to create the best product we could in a short period of time,” said Flatoff.

Leading up to this conference took a lot of hard work on the part of everyone in MUN.

“Each class is different, but we typically start with a test over major country leaders, geography, major world news, and how the UN works. Then we usually break into smaller groups to break down the topics each committee will handle, like women’s rights or peacekeeping. Most people, if not everyone, also give a speech followed by Q and A sections and critiques on our style and flow. On off weeks, we will try to take some time to run simulations and practice writing our resolutions,” said Aubrey Root (’22).

The St. Louis conference may not be as big, but the preparation is just the same. Hours upon hours of running the simulations, taking the tests and giving speeches. Conference days look very similar to a singular class, only accompanied by a bit more stress.

“Conference days start at about 6 a.m. We like to get to the conference room at least an hour before everything starts, just to practice and get a look at the space. Then once it starts, we get going with the speakers, making motions, and writing our resolutions. This will go for most of the day and bed time is usually at about 1 a.m. But in the end, it’s worth it,” said Nino Lazaria (’22).

Moving forward, however, the practice will not stop. While Alma placed very well at this conference, the New York conference is quickly approaching. It will take place from Mar. 22 to Mar. 28.

“I am very excited for New York, this will be my first time attending, since last [year] I had to get a few brain tumors removed first. But this year I am tumor free and ready to compete!” said Flatoff.

“I would like to see the entire group work on confidence. Everyone did so well, but I feel like they second guessed themselves, and their awards. Some new members believe they only won an award because they had a returner partner, but that not true. I watched so many new members kill it at this conference, and it makes me sad that they don’t believe they did well,” said Flatoff.

As classes continue, as will the countless hours spent in SAC for the MUN kids. They will continue practicing so they can place as well in New York as they did in St. Louis.

“If we do all of this, put in a lot of time, and try our best to get along with others, then we will score well. We ensure that we stand out in a good way, and that people know us (our country name), so that we can continue doing well, and not let ourselves, and the team down,” said Flatof

Student opportunity to serve community

WADE FULLERTON
STAFF WRITER

For many students on Alma’s campus, the rewarding feeling of helping the community resonates as a beacon of active volunteerism for students in Gratiot county; this beacon gives the college the reputation for service and philanthropy reaching outside of the college’s property.

Campus services for the greater community have always been around, and they continue to support those willing to broaden their minds healthily. After all, volunteerism lives up to the college mission to actively encourage students to serve generously now and throughout their lives.

“I’ve seen many students try to embody the value that Alma College places community service highly and that allows the community to see that the college cares about volunteerism beyond the campus,” said Malayna Hasmanis, at the Center of Student Opportunity.

The passion for serving the community exists in many places on campus; however, the roadblock that can discourage a student from attending can be a block between the potential volunteer and the private organization.

“One of the most predominate tools that students can use to access volunteering opportunities in the community can be found through the website called Helper Helper,” said Hasmanis.

The Helper Helper platform provides a wide variety of listings that students can take part in to volunteer within the community. Through the site’s effective tracking, a student can easily record their hours spent enriching others.

“Opportunities can range from Kid’s Night Out, writing cards to veterans or serving at a homeless shelter,” said Hasmanis.

The Hope Shelter in St. Louis is a larger homeless shelter in Gratiot county that attracts the attention of volunteers from the local area. For students and community members interested in assistance, The Hope House is always looking for volunteers to help out.

Signing up for an event on Helper Helper is comfortable, easy and provides the date, time and place of the service looking for potential volunteers to contribute to a noble cause.

“If students choose not to utilize Helper Helper, they can certainly access United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties that grant access to countless non-profit organizations that provide different service opportunities as well,” said Hasmanis.

The CSO – Center for Student Opportunity – is always open to help students independently create their custom service that utilizes their passions to help the community.

“A student can contact different staff members on campus, and they can coordinate their efforts to create a specific career opportunity that creates new student service connections,” said Hasmanis.

The Athletics Program has a positive mentality that helping the community is a critical element of the student athletes on campus.

“Athletic departments participate a lot in Helper Helper – as I can break it up in teams – athletics hold a higher number of active volunteering hours,” said Hasmanis.

This mentality has been instilled into their program. The responsibility of a student involved in Alma College athletics must devote time to aiding the community and those numbers show that they are holding volunteer service to a high standard.

“My goal has been breaking down boundaries between students and nonprofits, so I can show students that’s very feasible and accessible for them to participate in those events,” said Hasmanis.

Breaking down these barriers can potentially invite more students into volunteering for the community than turning them away because of communication barriers between nonprofits outside of campus.

“Service can be in the form of advocacy or completing a mentorship program,” said Hasmanis.

Students give back over break

ALYSSA GALL
STAFF WRITER

This spring break, instead of hitting the beach or relaxing, some of Alma College’s students decided to give back to communities across the country. They spent their week-long break, Feb. 22 to Mar. 3, participating in Alternative Breaks.

Alternative Breaks are service trips that all students can participate in over the school breaks. “The purpose/ philosophy [of Alternative Breaks] is to learn about an issue, engage in a community where the issue is reality and reflect on the experience and its impact on the participant,” said Sally Scheide, Alma College’s Community Engagement Communicator.

These breaks encourage students to branch outside of their community and get hands-on experience with an issue of their choice. It enables students to expand their community outreach with the Alternative Break program covering the meals, lodging and travel costs. The program covers all expenses besides the initial participation fee.

“The current design of our Alternative Break program began in 2003 as part of a grant funded initiative,” said Scheide. Alma College incorporated Alternative Breaks, and continues to use them, as a way to not only encourage students to serve, but to follow Alma’s mission of serving generously and leading purposefully.

The goal of these breaks is to show students that there are many opportunities across the country for students to get involved and help out in.

When it comes to picking what sites to send students to, participants and site leaders inputs are taken into consideration. “We also look at national trends through our connections with Break Away, a non-profit that serves as a network for Alternative Break programs across the country. Affordability and distance are also a consideration,” said Scheide.

Alma looks to find diverse breaks for students to participate in in order to expand their knowledge on the site’s issue and network.

For this Spring Break, Alma offered five different Alternative Breaks for students to participate in across the country: Food Insecurity in Asheville, North Carolina, Rural Poverty in Guyan Valley, West Virginia, Health care in Memphis, Tennessee, the Congaree National Park in South Carolina, and the Mystery National Park also known as the Mammoth Caves.

Each break is open to anyone and typically involves a max of twelve students per excursion with site leaders and co-leaders. “There are 2 (sometimes 1) student site leader for each excursion. We have 3 students as co-leaders of the program,” said Scheide.

Co-President of Alternative Breaks, Erin Goggins(’19), who has been an active member in Alternative Breaks since her freshman year, was a site leader for the Conagree National Park excursion for environmental stewardship. She picked the break out of her interest for National Park Service and drive to protect our environment.

“I truly enjoy being able to help out the National Parks and I always learn something from the rangers and other volunteers while I am there,” said Goggins.

Because of her interest in Alternative Breaks, she decided to accept the role of being a site leader, which entails planning trip logistics and working with Sallie Scheide or other site leaders.

“I chose to accept this position because I am very passionate about Alternative Breaks and they have given me a lot of experiences and education that I would not have received otherwise. That is something that I want to continue and grow at Alma College,” said Goggins.

This Alternative Break consisted of cleaning the National Park in accordance to the Americans with Disabilities Act and a controlled burn that the park was doing later.

Each break offered something different for students to experience and take from their experience.

Senior Savanah Warners(’19) participated in the Alternative Break to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.

“We spent four days at the Park, where we worked with a park ranger to remove invasive plant species and help with general maintenance. Our break also had a free day, which we used to tour Mammoth Cave and visit waterfalls in the park,” said Warners.

Students like Warners can use Alternative Breaks as a way to solidify their interest in their chosen major. Because of this, she continued to participate in Alternative Breaks throughout her time at Alma and even went back to the site that she visited her freshman year.

“This year, I chose to go to the same destination because of the impact the trip had on me as a freshman, so I thought it would be great to revisit as a senior in a leadership role,” said Warners. Alternative Breaks tend to have a lasting effect on students, which is not only why they have been around since 2003, but why students participate in more than one.

Senior, Christopher Nolan (’19), participated as a site leader in food insecurity at the YMCA in Asheville, North Carolina.

“The issue the alt break was addressing interested me — seeing how I was uneducated on the problem at hand. I went on the service trip in hopes to learn more about what’s at stake with food insecurity and how I can better educate and serve my community,” said Nolan.

Students go on Alternative Breaks to better the community, themselves and the country. It allows students to educate themselves on topics they may be curious about, while benefiting the community and issue they are helping.

“It is through these programs that we can create communities of well-educated and empathetic people willing to stand up to injustice,” said Nolan.

Alternative Breaks are a way for students to branch out and make a difference in not only a community, but the world around them.

“I think it is important for Alma College to offer Alternative Breaks because it gives students away to give back and provides them with an understanding that there is more to life than what’s on our campus,” said Goggins.

Alma students get their geek on

EMILY HENDERSON
STAFF WRITER

ACOG’s AlmaCon, Alma College’s very own anime convention, has been around for 11 years, said ACOG’s inventory manager, Annamarie Jenema (‘20).

Whether you’re into video games, anime or simply cosplaying, AlmaCon has something that will interest you.

“AlmaCon has a lot it can offer congoers. Especially for Alma College’s students who can get into the convention for free,” said Jenema. Not only are there various activities throughout the weekend, there is also a rave that students and other con goers can enjoy.

The reasoning behind attending varies. AlmaCon offers various cafes, shops, tournaments, panels and so much more.

The shops, which can be found in the Stone Rec Center, are very popular.

“The shopping area offers a bunch of different things to buy if you’re into video game related stuff, movies or if you’re into different anime. They sell all sorts of different things that you’d have to go online to buy but it’s all self made or hand drawn,” said avid attendee Bailey Schalk (‘21).

Many people attend AlmaCon, be them students or even people who don’t live in the area. Each person has their own reasoning for attending.

“I first went to AlmaCon my senior year of high school with my Anime Club,” says Jenema. “It’s become less of an enjoyment of going to the convention itself and more so the pride of having had a hand in creating that which the con goers will enjoy,” continued Jenema.

“I really love all of the people that attend. I really like seeing the cosplayers and walking around,” said Schalk.

AlmaCon begins on Friday afternoon and stretches on until Sunday, giving plenty of time for even the busiest of students to attend if they’re interested in the activities.

Although AlmaCon has been around for 11 years, it is always changing. “This year AlmaCon will include an escape room,” said Jenema.

With an attendance rate somewhere at 1,500 people, Alma College’s campus can get filled with many anime lovers, and often times you can see them wondering around campus, quite possibly lost.

AlmaCon offers a myriad of panels, varying from informational ones for creating your own unique cosplay to celebrity voice actors who answer fans questions. Some monumental guests this year included Sandy Fox, the voice actress of characters such as Betty Boop and Hello Kitty, as well as Lex Lange, whose voice can be heard in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

People have different reasons for coming to AlmaCon. Each new addition to the con adds more intrigue and more guests to the college’s campus. “Last year the con had added a cafe, which was very successful and a lot of fun to put on,” Jenema says. “It has so much room to grow and be a favorite event of the con.”

Even if cosplaying, shopping, or panels don’t interest you, there’s still much more that goes on. AlmaCon also has various gaming areas such as a Super Smash Bros Tournament as well as an area where D&D and other tabletop games can be played.

ACOG and Hepcats work together to put on the rave each year, which is held on Saturday night in Van Dusen.

ACOG not only hosts AlmaCon each year, they also have various other events that may interest students on campus. ACOG hosts weekly meetings that include playing board games and video games, as well as watching anime. ACOG strives to always have a wide variety of activities that will interest students.

Alma choir tours Florida to sing

SYDNEY BOSSIDIS
STAFF WRITER

Over Spring Break, the Alma College Choir spent time doing a series of concerts through out Florida. They traveled to various cities and churches to perform their program under the direction of Dr. Will Nichols and accompanied by pianist Anthony Patterson.

The tour started on Feb. 21 in the Heritage Center where they performed their setlist for campus before departing on Saturday. Their final performance was at Universal Studios on Mar. 1 before returning to Michigan the next day.

On Feb. 24, the choir sang in Naples beginning. They then traveled Marco Island, Fort Myers Beach, Dunedin, Lakeland, and Orlando. Up until the final location they performed at local Presbyterian churches.

“It was definitely different than singing at churches like we are used to but it was a fun experience” says Caroline Smerdon (‘20) discussing what it was like to sing at Universal. Alma College Choir alumni came to these performances in order to support the ensemble.

“My favorite…. had to be this town called Dunedin which is like a Scottish heritage town in Florida,” says Hannah Tardiff (‘19), explaining that it was her favorite audience to perform for. The church even decorated with the tartan.

Smerdon enjoyed Lakeland the most of all the locations. She explained that it was the last full performance on the trip for the seniors, giving it some sentimental value. Tardiff says that she will miss seeing everyone everyday and that it will not be the same.

While in their evenings were spent performing, they had some free time during the days when they were not traveling. When given the chance some would go to the beach. As a group, they stopped and visited the Everglades and a flea market.

At night, the choir would stay at home stays, which were one of Tardiff’s favorite parts. She explained that they were usually older couples but that everyone was extremely nice to them when they stayed. She enjoyed being able to talk to them and get to hear the things they have done, especially with groups like their church choirs.

It has been a longstanding tradition for the choir to tour. In past years, they have performed along the East Coast and then the Mid-West. Traveling for the choir is not limited to the states. In May 2018, they traveled to Scotland and in May of 2020 they will be traveling to Ireland for a two week tour. Sam Lindeman (‘20), called the previous international tour “a once in a lifetime opportunity” and is looking forward to potentially going to Ireland.

This year’s program included a diverse group of songs starting with “Assurance” arranged by John Ness Beck and finishing with “Highland Cathedral” arranged by Nichols and Patterson. They also performed “Song of Democracy” composed by Howard Hanson which contained works of Walt Whitman. “Supermarket Flowers”, performed by Ed Sheeran, added to the wide variety of songs they performed.

The choir is mainly made up of sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have had the opportunity to sing in other groups on campus first. As Tardiff explained, there are a lot of students with different backgrounds and majors as well ranging from music to economics to history to math.

Students seem to agree that one of the best parts, besides the travel, is getting to know the others on those trips. Traveling gives them the chance to get to know people better that they might not have otherwise. Tardiff says that even though they can sometimes get sick of each other, which was not as much of an issue this year, it is a great chance for bonding.

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