Alma ASU

Diversity is a concept that can create undivided parallels in the world. The dimensions that separate people based upon identities such as race, gender and class create people’s uniqueness but also creates societal disruption. To combat the isolation that comes from having a diverse background students at Alma College have created the first ever Asian Student Union (ASU) on campus. Similar to the well known Black Student Union (BSU) at Alma, the ASU’s  purpose is to create a platform that is accessible for all students on campus to learn about and help create a safe environment for students of Asian and Asian American descent. To help explain more about what Alma’s ASU is and what it will mean for students I interviewed Kristina Her (‘22) President of the Alma Asian Student Union.  

When asked what ASU was and what it will entail for Alma College, Kristina Her explained, “Asian Student Union was created to serve as a support group and an educational resource for all students who are interested in learning more about Asian cultures. We hope this organization will disperse stereotypes regarding Asians and Asian Americans through workshops and cultural events in hopes of creating an Asian voice on campus. We plan to collaborate and unite with other minority student organizations and communities on a local and statewide scale to promote cultural diversity. This will provide students of all cultures to expand their cultural knowledge and understanding of Asian and Asian-American society and to eliminate narrow-mindedness, invigorate the apathetic, and promote cultural diversity. We hope to achieve these goals through active campus involvement, volunteering, and community outreach.” 

For the first event the ASU hosted a Curry Bar Mixer on Thursday October 7th at the TVD North and South Commons. The event’s goal was to introduce ASU to students, faculty and staff. Kristina Her explained, “Food events are a big focus as well since food is important to Asian culture and often ridiculed. We hope to host food events (similar to the International Club’s World Kitchens) for various Asian culture’s celebrations, such as the different New Years celebrations, important holidays, etc.” Other events they plan on hosting such as self-care nights and student and staff-led discussion panels will be tied to their core values of creating a safe space to promote diversity inclusion for Asian students and their allies.  

The Asian Student Union is an organization open to all students on campus regardless of identity background. It is an opportunity for students to have a space to feel comfortable learning about different cultural backgrounds, specifically regarding Asians and Pacific Islanders. Rosemary Hathaway (‘23) Vice President of ASU said, “I only know a few Asian students on campus so it is exciting to be able to have an inclusive space where I can meet others that have a similar identity. The Asian Student Union will allow open dialogue for all students.” If any student is interested in joining please contact Julia Dang or Kristina Her at  

2021 Alma College Alumni Awards


Megan Neeley 

October 6, 2021 

Each year, the Alma college and alumni community recognize outstanding alumni with the Alma College Alumni Awards presented during Homecoming weekend. These five awards include the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Herbert Award, the Smith Award, the Young Alumni Award, and the honor of Grand Marshal.  

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor to be presented to Alma College alumni. This award is given to those who have brought distinction and prestige to Alma College through their profession. The 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award was received by Shelley Bausch and Stephan Meyer.   

Bausch graduated in 1988 with a Bachler of Science degree in biology and business administration. She is now the Senior Vice President at Axalta Coating Systems. Bausch highly values the liberal arts education she received at Alma and has used it to shape her professional career. 

Also receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award was Stephan Meyer who graduated in 1980 with a Bachler of Science degree in biology. Meyer is highly involved in the health care industry as a managing partner of River Marsh Capital LLC and an operating partner at Beecken Petty O’Keefe and Company. He served on the Alma College Board of Trustees in the past. Meyers and his wife were both involved in various charitable activities on campus.  

The Herbert Award, after George Herbert, whose love for Alma is an inspiration to alumni, represents the loyalty and service of the nominee to the Alumni Association. This award was presented to Denette Taylor, class of 1984, who double-majored in mathematics and physics. She is now a neurologist specializing in Parkinson’s Disease at the Hauenstein Neuroscience Center. Taylor gives back to Alma College by generously coordinating real-world opportunities for current Alma College students in the medical field.  

The Smith Award recognizes alumni known for aiding student recruitment, providing students with important career steps or those that serve on an Alma College board or council. Paul Burns received the Smith Award this year. Burns served on the Alma College Parent and Family Board from 2016-2019 and volunteered at many admissions visit days and commencement ceremonies. He graduated with a double major in biology and chemistry in 1981. Burns is now a senior physician manager for Dow Chemical Company.   

The Young Alumni Award is presented to an alum of the past five to 15 years who shows the values of Alma College at a high professional level or in volunteer service. David Braidwood, class of 2011, is the receiver of this award as he is now a relationship manager for high growth talent solutions at LinkedIn and attributes Alma College as the reason he has been able to explore many opportunities in his professional pursuits.  

This year, Grand Marshal, representing the essence of Alma College, was Ed Lorenz. Lorenz is a highly accomplished historian. He was a Reid-Knox Professor of History and Political Science here at Alma from 1989 to 2018. Lorenz is also a three-time recipient of the Barlow Award for Faculty Excellence and has been voted Outstanding Faculty in the Social Sciences on numerous occasions.   

“Celebrating the extraordinary accomplishments of our Alma College alumni is one of the highlights of Homecoming,” said Sherie Veramay of the Advancement Office. “Time and time again, our graduates prove that an Alma education does indeed produce citizens who live out Alma’s mission: to prepare graduates who think critically, serve generously, lead purposefully and live responsibly.”  

Alma College’s Advanced Drawing and Painting class has completed a mural in downtown Alma at 201 W Superior Street.

Emily McDonald 


October 6, 2021 

Alma College’s Advanced Drawing and Painting class has completed a mural in downtown Alma at 201 W Superior Street. 

The project began when a local business owner and the Keep Alma Beautiful Committee reached out to professor Jillian Dickson. Students then pitched design ideas for the business owner to make a final selection for the piece that would be painted on the business’s outer-wall. Dickson says, “The professionalism in which each student prepared and built a proposed design for the space was inspiring. There were so many fantastic proposals.” 

While there were many impressive designs to choose from, it was the work of Sam Smith (‘22) that was ultimately selected to become the mural that the class would work to complete. 

When speaking of her design, Smith says, “I was drawn to the idea of incorporating the Pine River into the downtown space of Alma.  I was really inspired by simple geometric shaping being the basis for the whole design.  While a mural can be this amazingly rendered and complex piece of art, precise designs and color palettes are just as engaging and really nice to take pictures in front of.” 

The mural project was worked on with dedication from the Advanced Drawing and Painting classes and help from the Drawing I students. Dickson is proud of the effort of her students, saying “It was exciting to see students from every discipline and untwined major engage meaningfully in building professional art.” 

The art students put a lot of time and effort into this mural. Smith shares that one of their greatest difficulties with the project, besides finding time to work within their busy schedules, was painting on the brick material. 

“The cracks and divots make it really hard to have a smooth and even color coating, so you have to be really attentive to what you’re doing and fill in every little hole.” Smith explained. 

Professor Dickson hopes that the students involved with this project will learn to understand the impact of art on the community as well as the entrepreneurial opportunities that being an artist can provide. These lessons proved to be effective, at least for Smith who shares,  

“I enjoy this class with Jillian because we are really pushed to explore our creativity while simultaneously learning more about the professional job field for after graduation as art majors.  It really is the joy of having a liberal arts degree, we’re getting firsthand experience in all these areas of art outside the studio.”  

Smith comments, “To have a legacy as amazing as this is an honor as an Alma student.  I have known many of my classmates from this class since the first time I set foot into the Art department, so to be able to watch us grow as college students and work on this project together has created memories that will last a lifetime.  Alma has become a home to many students, so to be able to make our mark on the community is an honor.” 

Biden Works on Vaccine Mandates in Businesses

Claire Hipps  



With just over 50% of the American population fully vaccinated and the rise of the Delta variant, the Biden administration’s goals are currently to vaccinate the unvaccinated, further protect the vaccinated, keep schools safely open, increase testing, protect economic recovery, and improve care for those with COVID-19.   

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and health Administration (OSHA) is working toward requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to require unvaccinated employees to either get vaccinated or be tested weekly, according to the White House. By their estimation, this will impact over 80 million workers in the private sector. Although many business groups have praised the White House for its stance on the pandemic, there has been fierce opposition from Republicans, according to the Washington Post.  

Republican attorneys general in more than 24 states are acting in legal opposition to the rule. Some are filing against the administration, and others are exploring legislative exemptions, according to the Washington Post. This will likely complicate the legal situation in Michigan surrounding the constitutionality of various pandemic-era policies as the rulings in these cases are released.  

When asked about the constitutionality of vaccine mandates, Kristin Olbertson, Associate Professor of History at Alma College, said that “the Supreme Court has ruled that local governments can require community members to be vaccinated.” 

“States have fairly broad powers, called ‘police powers,’ to act to protect the health and safety of their citizens,” said Olbertson. “When private businesses require vaccines for employees or customers, this generally does not raise any constitutional issues, because people can choose to work or take their business elsewhere.” 

Similarly, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission affirmed that public and private employers are legally able to require vaccinations and use threat of termination as enforcement, according to the Washington Post.  Many businesses independently see the benefit of having a fully vaccinated staff and have already instituted vaccine requirements voluntarily. The OSHA policy has not drawn notable opposition from primary business lobbying groups thus far, according to the Washington Post.   

“In non-healthcare settings…, [having fully vaccinated employees] would permit all employees to work without mask [and] would lower the risk of COVID exposure at work, thus minimizing employee absences…” said Olbertson.  

The pandemic has disrupted our lives in profound ways and has done so for a prolonged period. With the rise of the Delta variant complicating our return to normalcy, every person should seriously consider vaccination and adhering to pandemic protocols.  

Alma begins conference play for fall sports

Zachary Carpenter 



Fall sports are in full swing for Alma College as well as the rest of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). In the last two weeks, Football, volleyball, mens and womens golf, mens and womens soccer, and mens and womens cross country have all had matches. After starting 4-0, the football team lost its first game to Olivet College on Oct. 2. The homecoming matchup marked the start of conference play for the Scots.  

Throughout the game, the Scots racked up impressive defensive stats including forcing seven turnovers and logging 69 tackles. However, despite their best efforts they fell short with a final score of 33-10. The football team now stands at 4-1 with a conference record of 0-1. 

Following a win over Finlandia University on Sep. 25, Scots Volleyball tallied a 3-0 loss to Calvin University before heading into a tournament at Elmhurst College (IL). The Scots played Elmhurst University, John Carroll University (OH), and Coe College (IA), tallying 3-0 losses to all three schools. The volleyball team now stands at 1-12 and are 0-3 in conference play.  

Women’s Golf placed 6th in the MIAA Jamboree at Thornapple Pointe hosted by Calvin University on Oct. 2. The Scots shot a combined 340 with Evie Garver (‘24) shooting a 78, good enough for 5th place individually. Additionally, Morgan Yates (‘23) shot an 81, putting her at 9th place individually.  

Men’s Golf placed 7th during the MIAA Jamboree at Zollner Golf Course hosted by Trine University on Sep. 25. Eli Pinter (‘22) shot a 78, leading the way for the Scots with the team finishing with a total of 337.  

“As a team we battled adversity with injury and health complications,” said Pinter. “Overall we fought hard and did not get the results we wanted but hope to finish out the year strong.”  

“Individually, I started out the day very strong and was under par for the back nine, but I did not finish the way I would like,” said Pinter. “Overall though, I held my composure and know there is improvement down the road.” 

Men’s soccer wrapped up its non-conference play on Saturday, Sep. 25 with a 7-0 loss to Wheaton College (IL). Heading into conference play, the Scots were 2-7.  

On Oct. 5 the Scots traveled to Olivet College where they played a neck and neck game with the Comets. The Scots struck early with a goal in the second minute of play. In the twenty-second minute, the Comets returned the favor with a goal of their own tying the game 1-1.  

For the duration of the second half, the game remained a draw forcing an overtime. Again during overtime, neither team was able to gain the upper hand forcing a second overtime. The game ended when the Comets scored during the second overtime.  

Women’s soccer recently played an MIAA matchup against Calvin University on Oct. 2. The Knights struck first with a goal in the thirty-sixth minute, but the Scots struck back just 15 seconds later with a goal of their own, tying the match at 1-1.  

In the end, the Knights proved too much for the Scots, eventually winning the matchup 4-1. The Scots fall to 2-7 on the season and 0-2 in conference play.  

Alma’s men’s and women’s cross country team competed in the Lansing Community College Invitational on Oct. 1. The men’s team finished 13th as a team with 281 points while the women’s team finished 15th with 374 points.  

Individually, Cornella Gotaas (‘23) posted the best finish for the women with a time of 21:18.4 on the 5k course, good enough for a 48th place finish among all women. For the men Sean Pauley (‘22) had the highest individual finish for the men posting a time of 27:03.1 on the 10k course, putting him in 14th place among all men.  

After a week of recruitment and rush events, the Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) community celebrated their new members and hard work by participating in Greek Week.  Events took place daily and were completely optional to any member of the fraternity/sorority community.  

The theme for the week’s events was up to the chairpersons coordinating them. Greek Week 2021 had a Survivor theme, with a fun tie to tourism and Total Drama Island.  

Each organization was paired up with another with the hope to bring together fraternities and sororities, especially those that might not be very close, in an attempt to build interfraternity and sorority relationships—more commonly known as “Greek unity.”  

Greek unity is what the FSL community strives for. “Greek Week always helps me feel so connected to other organizations on campus,” said Blake Jonassen (‘22). “The friendly competitions really help the pairs work together as best as possible and make us have even more fun with each other!” 

The friendly competition aspect of Greek Week was meant to add an extra incentive towards participation, as the winner of Greek Week was rewarded with the choosing of the chairpersons coordinating events.   

The events for this past week included dress-up days to flood campus with Greek letters, organization colors, and philanthropic attire which were meant to show the involvement of the fraternity and sorority community for the better.   

Alma College fraternity and sorority life is also unique in that it is smaller, so it is easier to build inter-organizational relationships with those outside of your chapter. 

One collegiate member shares their excitement to welcome in new members: “I think it’s so wonderful that some of our new members’ first experience in FSL is so focused on Greek unity,” said Katie Rooney (‘22). “Alma is really special in that we are able to create this wonderful, unified and unique community, and I love getting to share that with them right away!” 

After summer social media trends overwhelmed students, it was important to those currently involved to detonate those stereotypes and build a positive reputation for current members and those that are bound to follow.  

It is important to show that members in these organizations are community focused and want to build these relationships with each other to make our organizational bonds stronger.  

One new member shared how this past week was an exciting way to kick off their membership. “I never thought I would join a sorority,” said Miranda Avolio (‘24).  “Going through the recruitment process and finding my home was a really great decision! I feel more involved on campus and overall has boosted my mental health.  Participating in Greek Week and being able to wear and represent my letters gives me an amazing feeling and I feel more at home here at Alma College. 

Fraternity and Sorority members earned points by dressing up for dress-up days, attending events such as tie-dying, photo challenges with their partner organizations and a relaxing night of lawn games—all of which added up to points to crown the winners at the end of the week.   

After having most, if not all, Greek Week events being moved online last fall, it is exhilarating to be able to hold these events in person once again while adding in options for those who may not be comfortable with participating in person. 

With sororities welcoming in new members from formal recruitment, neutral rho gammas back wearing letters and fraternities sending out bids, the Fraternity and sorority community is excited to embrace the friendly competition that so many look forward to.  

Almanian Horoscopes: Mercury Retrograde lasting September 27 through October 18

Taking place in Libra, in the 11th house 

Izzy Oakley 


The signs most affected by this retrograde will be Aries, Cancer and Libra 

The signs least affected by this retrograde will be Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius 

Aries, with the retrograde taking place in your seventh house of relationships, this is an important time for you to be mindful of your words. Any room left for interpretation may also leave room for miscommunication. Be clear in communicating what you want and need from friends and partners, don’t make them guess. 

Taurus, The retrograde won’t affect you too heavily, this is not a time to make any big financial decisions. Try to instead focus on practicing some self-care. Physical self-care activities like a morning workout or yoga session, or even some skin care will help. 

Gemini, a lack of creative energy may emerge due to the retrograde in your fifth house of inspiration and creativity. You may also experience a resurfacing of past issues or even exes coming out of the woodwork, but don’t take the bait.  

Cancer, with a retrograde in your fourth house, avoid drama at home. You will tend towards defensiveness if confronted with any trouble, so do your best to have patience with those around you.  

Leo, though its effect is weak, the retrograde in your third house of communication may lead you to speak out of turn. If possible, avoid important work calls or situations where there seems a great potential for emotional conflict. 

Virgo, this retrograde falls in your house of possessions, so watch your spending as well as what you say. You could potentially see some money or security issues coming up, but an opportunity to work with an old friend has the potential to be a great payoff. Reach out to them. 

Libra, especially affected by this retrograde in your first house of self-identity, you may find yourself at a loss for words. Consider the way you communicate with others, and try not to be bossy, even if you’re using a pleasant tone of voice. 

Scorpio, this retrograde takes place in your twelfth house of inner thoughts and desires. This calls you to take some time for introspection, especially when you’re having some tough conversations. This is a good time for you to learn to be a better listener. 

Sagittarius, with this retrograde affecting your eleventh house of community, you should be cautious in working with a group. Your typically sharp wit may offend those unfamiliar with you, so reign it in. Be concise and instructive when directing others. 

Capricorn, you’re experiencing this retrograde in your tenth house of career, so be patient! Scale back on any projects that seem unrealistic and focus on perfecting behind the scenes of what’s important. 

Aquarius, not terribly affected by this retrograde, you may feel a bit adventurous. Miscommunication on others’ ends might be your downfall, however, so make sure you double check any plans. You should also stick to the concrete plans you have and hold off on those more tentative. 

Pisces, with the retrograde occurring in your eighth house of secrets you might be feeling unappreciated by those around you. Take a break, come back and consider employing a new approach to whatever is draining you. 

Life 360 is a tracking app created by Chris Hulls in 2008. The app has gained popularity throughout the past couple of years and has posed numerous pros and cons within the lives of college students. 

The tracking app allows for constant location sharing between a group of people, even if your phone is off. Special options can be added into the app’s features such as driving reports and crash detection. Within the settings, a user can turn off their location sharing, but doing this will alert the members of your party that you’ve done so.  

The app allows users to create “circles.” This feature allows for a user to create separate groups of people that have the ability to track you. These different circles can allow students to not only have a circle with their family, but also with their friends.  

Since freshman year of high school, I have had Life 360 downloaded on my phone. My parents had my household all under a circle due to safety concerns. From a viewpoint of being a parent to four teenage girls, I understand the appeal that this app presents and why my parents had us get it.   

From a safety standpoint, the app is a great asset to have on your phone. Personally, I have a circle with my friends, and we utilize this app to make sure we get home safe from parties. If one of us gets stuck in traffic, we can see where the other is on the highway. If I ever feel unsafe, I can hit the SOS button on the app and it notifies my circle and emergency contacts.  

Being in college, the app has been both a blessing and a curse. When walking from campus to the parking lot, I feel safer knowing that my roommate can see where I’m at. However, I do not like how my parents can see if I am not in my dorm at midnight—mostly because they text me to go back. I am in college to be away from my family. I do not need them to know my whereabouts while I am hundreds of miles away, learning how to live on my own.  

The debate of whether or not the tracking app is necessary has been a prevalent topic on social media platform TikTok. Kids like myself feel the app tests the trust between them and their parents. Furthermore, many kids leave their phones at home to avoid being tracked, which can lead to a plethora of dangerous situations. Without a phone children become vulnerable to trafficking, kidnapping and more with no lifeline to the outside world.   

Ironically, the Life 360 app gives me both peace of mind and anxiety. I enjoy being able to depend on the app if I find myself in a tough spot. However, in a way, I feel that, as an adult, I should not be tracked like a delinquent child by my parents.

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