Dear GossipSquirrel,
I was put in quarantine and have had a really hard time with keeping up with my school work. I also have had a hard time just being by myself. How do I make sure I have a better time in quarantine?
-Isolated and sick

Dear Isolated and sick,
Quarantine can be a stressful time, especially when you are alone for all of it. When it comes to keeping up with your school work, communication is key. Making sure to communicate with your teachers is very important. By reaching out to them you might be able to figure out some accommodations for certain assignments. If you aren’t able to join class online it is essential to keep up with your readings and lectures (if they are posted by your teacher) to ensure that you keep up with what the topics being learned in class. When it comes to being alone for so long it is important that you are keeping up with good mental health habits. Sometimes trying to fill the time can help and other times some time to relax can help. If you are sick with symptoms make sure to rest and stay hydrated.

Dear GossipSquirrel,
I’m thinking of checking out Greek life in my future and just saw some of my friends go through sorority recruitment and other friends start to get excited about fraternity recruitment. I’m still considering it but am not 100% convinced. Would it be a good idea?

Dear Greeklifequestions,
If you are in any way intrigued by Fraternity Sorority Life on campus, then I think checking it out during recruitment is a great idea. The best part about recruitment is that you are able to see what FSL is like at Alma College through the process of recruitment without having to 100% commit to an organization. If by the end of recruitment you decide that it isn’t for you then you can decide to not accept a bid to any FSL organization. The best thing is going through recruitment is finding a home so giving it a try could end up being a great decision. Main recruitment for sororities occur in the fall while an informal recruitment occurred in the winter and formal recruitment for fraternities is starting this winter with an informal recruitment happening in the fall.

The impact of celebrities on social culture

Sarah Sheathelm


On Dec. 31, 2022, actress and known animal welfare activist Betty White died at the age of 99, mere days before her 100th birthday.  Immediately, social media was up in flames over her passing and in seemingly minutes, the entire world had found out.

Twitter erupted with Tweets that read something similar to, “imagine you die at 99 and a whole country agreeing it was not long enough.” Others read, “you inspired generations, what will we do without you.”

Seeing the unrest over Betty White’s passing, and then short after the sudden passing of classic television dad, Bob Saget, how much of an impact, either positive or negative, do celebrities have on our everyday life as college students and beyond.

As one who has found writing this as a moment of reflection on my own behavior, it is easy to see how celebrities work themselves into our everyday lives.

Similarly, students share their opinions on how our generation views celebrities.  “Celebrities have a very impactful influence on our lives by influencing what we either agree or disagree with, what we wear, or even how we spend our free time,” said Emma Neyer (‘24).

It is the societal norm to want to look up to those who are in the public eye, either positively or negatively. “Many people look up to different celebrities and want to be like them, shaping them to personally adapt what they do,” said Neyer.

This year, after White passed, social media was flooded with information regarding the ‘Betty White Challenge.’  Of that, entailed the donating of a minimum amount of five dollars to a local animal shelter.  According to an article published by CBS, donations to American Human have quadrupled since her passing in late December and local shelters were grateful to receive thousands of dollars in donations to help animals in need.

However, the impacts that celebrities have on us may be causing issues as to which person in the public eye we choose to attach to.  While White may have stood for strong, positive ideas, not all celebrities will lead us in the direction of selflessness. 

Some students thought on why we should not be so attached to our favorite celebrities. “People have such high hopes for celebrities and put them at a God-like status and I just do not understand it,” said Allyson Ehlert (‘24). “They are never going to do everything you want [or] be everything you want them to be.”

As one who has found herself in multiple different types of fanbases, I do my best to not put these people on a pedestal, because they are simply just that: people. It should not take the passing of a well-known animal welfare activist to motivate us to donate money to a charity for the same reason that celebrities, or their managers, go out of their way to make it known when they do something positive in order to dig for a positive reaction from fans.

This is not to say that many celebrities do make charitable donations out of the goodness of their hearts, but it goes without saying that many do so to recieve positive feedback from fans. This is where we find the problem.

“They are creeps, addicts, they are deceitful, they are human.  Hold them accountable and just do not be surprised when you find out they are not perfect,” said Ehlert.

When it comes to the impact and hold that celebrities have on us, it is completely up to us as individuals to decide how large the impact or strong the hold. No matter what, we have to remember that they are people too, and they should be held responsible for their actions.

While it is nothing short of normal to have a role-model figure to look up to, it should always be the goal to stay true to yourself.

Assault Charges Brought Against Former House Speaker

Felix Stoll



Lee Chatfield is an American politician affiliated with the Republican party. He was the speaker pro tempore from 2017 to 2019 and was eventually elected to be speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives in 2019.

During Chatfield’s time in the political system, he became well known for clashing with other House and Senate politicians. Some of the plans he went on record as opposing were the Medicaid Expansion plans in 2014, the extension of Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act along with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s state budget, road funding, auto-insurance and COVID-19 plans.

Other records of Lee Chatfield’s time in office include fines from 2018 when he attempted to bring a loaded, unregistered handgun onto a commercial flight at Pellston Regional Airport. The fines for this incident included $250 for failure to have a license for the firearm he purchased in December of 2015 as well as $1,960 from the Transportation Security Administration. This occurred after Chatfield had introduced a bill to make handgun registration voluntary[WJB1] .

Additionally, Chatfield became one of many politicians associated with former President Donald Trump during the 2020 election. His association with the former president was most noted during the legal battles regarding the vote count in Michigan.

In January of 2022, Okemos attorney Jamie White came forward with allegations for sexual abuse against Lee Chatfield. White is the attorney who represented multiple women in the case against Larry Nassar the former Michigan State University gymnastics trainer as well as victims currently suing the University of Michigan.

The allegations state that Chatfield sexually abused a girl beginning eleven years ago when she was fifteen and Chatfield was 21 and that said abuse only recently came to an end. The duration of the allegations come from when Chatfield was a teacher at the Northern Michigan Christian Academy as well as during his time as a member at the Northern Michigan Baptist Bible Church, both of which Chatfield’s father maintained strong influence over.

Rebekah Chatfield, who married the younger brother Aaron Chatfield at nineteen, alleges that the abuse took place beginning when she began to date Aaron and that it continued after their marriage. She states that Lee used his position, her relationship to his brother and her vulnerability due to poor home life to keep her under his control.

“He destroyed me, and has controlled my life since I was 15-16, the past 10-11 years and I know the only way to get justice for this is to come forward and file a (criminal) complaint against him,” said Rebekah.

Chatfield has gone on record to deny the allegations made against him by his now twenty-seven year old sister in law. His lawyer has made a statement in which he says that Chatfield has had extramarital affairs, but that he and the alleged victim were both consenting adults. Chatfield says that he will continue to fight the claims brought against him and that he plans to work through this difficult time with his wife and family.

Additional people have come forward since the initial allegations to aid in providing credibility for Rebekah. Former classmate Alexis Prince has made statements regarding both the school and church run by the Chatfields. She referred to the institutions as “cult-like” with rules and stipulations regarding how young girls ought to present and act around the boys as well as physical discipline such as spankings.

She continued by saying that the church is like its own little bubble of people who knew and followed the rules. The rules were described by Alexis as being “over the top, abusive and manipulative.”

 [WJB1]ok Chatfield, buddy, moral insubordinate…let’s slam on those brakes

Covid rages onward, new variant affects society.

Emma Figlewicz

As the world enters the year of 2022, covid ravages onwards. With the new Omicron variant beginning to form throughout the world, humanity must once again adjust current protocols to ensure the safety of everyone in the country.

First detected in Botswana on Nov. 11, 2021, the omicron variant has infected numerous countries. Within the U.S, cases soar every day, with states reporting drastically increased positivity rates.

According to the New York Times, scientists have found that Omicron, when compared to previous variants, tends to cause less severe illness in most people; and that vaccines, though less protective against infection, continue to provide a robust defense against critical illness and death.

Since the start of January, Michigan has had over 200,000 confirmed cases. As the number begins to rise, many schools have taken precautionary measures by reverting back to online schooling.

“I would rather not resort to online schooling because I enjoy in-person learning. Being able to see my friends, talking to my professors face-to-face, and practicing for the school’s swim team is what makes my experience at Alma enjoyable,” said Abigail Haag (’25). “However, if we had to go back to online schooling I would understand.”

Since the start of 2022, Alma College has had over 200 positive cases, a number that continues to rise daily. A growing number of absences within the classroom can be traced to positive covid tests or students being contact traced.

“With the numbers rising I have made sure to stayed masked anywhere I go on campus,” said Danielle Ries (’24). “Wearing a mask in the weight room while lifting with the school’s swim team is just one of the many ways, I ensure I don’t contract the virus.”

The CDC recommends that people still take preventions such as wearing a mask indoors, washing hands and social distancing. According to a Nov. 21 statement from the CDC, getting the vaccine is essential toprotecting oneself and others against not just the omicron variant, but others as well. A COVID-19 vaccine booster restores vaccine effectiveness against infection up to 75%. COVID-19 vaccination decreases the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

“The college has remained compliant with CDC guidelines. However, the college could better enforce preventing the spread of Covid within the classroom by not allowing students to wear cloth masks,” said Austin DeRocher (’24).

“I am fully vaccinated and up to date with boosters. Being vaccinated gives me peace at mind at knowing my chance of contracting the virus are smaller,” said Alex Small (’25).

Though Omicron presents itself to be just as large of a problem as the original strain, some Americans are not taking the same caution they took 3 years ago.

“It just seems like people don’t care anymore. At the beginning, people were disinfecting their groceries before putting them away, something I highly doubt would happen again,” said Haag. “I think so many people have just decided that the pandemic is horribly inconvenient for them and have decided to go back to life the way it was before the pandemic started, however irresponsible that may be.”

Local Restaurant Owner Defies COVID Restrictions; Jailed

Aishwarya Singh


Jan 19’ 22

Marlena Pavlos-Hackney, owner of Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria, was forced to close her restaurant after she was arrested and sent to jail on Mar. 19, 2021. The business remained closed until reopening on Tuesday, Sept. 21. She had received judicial clearance to reopen on Sept. 2.

The case against Pavlos-Hackney began when she kept her restaurant open for in-person dining services, against the guidance of state restrictions. Proceeding the breech of state orders, she had her state food license suspended. Despite her license being suspended, Pavlos-Hackney continued to serve customers in her restaurant and run her in-person dining services. Following this second violation, she was arrested by local authorities and spent five days in the Ingham County Jail. Her January suspension was a result of her keeping the restaurant open to in-person dining, against the restrictions of the time.

Upon receiving the clearance for the reopening of her restaurant, Pavlos-Hackney organized a grand reopening celebration for Oct. 2 at the venue of her restaurant, located on at 909 Lincoln Avenue in Holland, with several people called to speak in the parking lot.

“I escape Communism and what I experience right now, this is exactly what makes me feel like I’m back under Soviet Union dictatorship,” said Pavlos-Hackney in an interview with MichiganLive. While opposing current COVID restrictions, she recounts her experience of fleeing communist Poland in 1988 and immigrating to the United States. She said she will do whatever it takes to “bring the economy back.”

Following her return to Holland from Ingham County Jail and the reopening of her restaurant, Pavlos-Hackney now claims her rights were violated when her license was suspended and she was arrested. She is currently appealing $15,000 that she had to pay in fine before she was arrested.

Community members and other restaurants from in and around Holland have come forward to support the local business owner. Many have labelled her a hero, with others having commended her for standing up against what they consider to be impediments on basic freedoms.

“It’s a shame that somebody from a different country has to point out the dangers of socialism and what it can do to our country,” said Ken Beyer, a patron at Marlena’s.

Many, however, have also been critical of her defiance and the possible threat she poses to the lives of people in the clutches of a global pandemic which, in Michigan alone, has now led to 30,674 deaths and almost 2 million cases. Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who put Pavlos-Hackney in jail, said she had put the community at risk. Attorney General Dana Nessel said she had defied court orders and the local health department “at every turn.”

Whether Pavlos-Hackney will be reimbursed for the $15,000 she was fined is yet to be seen, but the debate over whether or not COVID-19 restrictions constitute a threat to basic freedoms and liberties is alive and well and shows no signs of retreating with the new rise in omicron cases across the nation, leading to new restrictions. It is one that has divided the American people over what many claim should have never become a divisive issue to begin with.

Happy Aquarius Season!

Izzy Oakley


Almanian Horoscopes: January 22-Feb 3

Mercury Retrograde, now through Feb. 3rd, affecting expression of thoughts and finding many feelings, especially introspective.

Aries: Mars entering Capricorn at the end of this month marks the beginning of a new cycle. The next 2 months will bring productivity and progress, especially in relation to your career.

Taurus: You’ve undergone a significant transformation in significant relationships, and the end of this month’s new moon in Aquarius shifts your focus to career matters and your future. Use this time to set goals.

Gemini: January 23rd marks an important time for you to try and tune out the noise around you and allow your inner ideas to shine through. Something out of the blue may present the solution you need.

Cancer: The recent full moon in your sign called for a release of emotions, so use this time to let out anything you may be holding in. Be open to surprises.

Leo: A potential “A-ha!” moment regarding career matters may be coming. The 31st of January has a new moon focusing on your relationships, so finalize any important changes in this area as soon as you can.

Virgo: You’ve been preoccupied with romance, or romantic aspects of life, but this energy could be better spent redefining or reimagining old projects. Your analytical skills are appreciated by others now.

Libra: Aquarius season brings you a feeling of lightness after a potentially intense time. Spend more time on self-care, while a focus on your fifth house encourages you to pursue what brings you joy and contentment right now.

Scorpio: Unexpected things are happening to those close to you. This season brings lightness for you as well as many blessings in disguise.

Sagittarius: Aquarius season brings a focus to communication, but the Mercury retrograde is affecting the way you exchange information with others, so be mindful in discussion.

Capricorn: Use the combination of the Venus and Mercury retrogrades to help shape your future goals and plans right now. The 24th of January marks the beginning of a 2-month streak of productivity.

Aquarius: It’s your time to shine! Accordingly, expect people from your past to resurface, but remember the reasons you’ve left them there. Use the new moon on the 31st to set goals for the year ahead.

Pisces: Drama between friends has been a theme for you lately, but this month’s energy will be useful to help you move away from those relationships that no longer align with you. Abundance comes from creativity for you right now.

Library/ Learning Commons Update or Library Relocates to Tyler Van Dusen

Emily McDonald


January 19, 2022

It is impossible to walk through McIntyre Mall without noticing the evidence that the Learning Commons Project is officially underway. Trees have been cut down, a large trailer sits outside and a look through the window shows an empty building. With at least a year of construction ahead, the Alma College campus community has found ways to adapt to the temporary upheaval to routine while it awaits the completion of the new Learning Commons.

Several offices have been relocated during construction. The Education Department offices have been moved to the second floor SAC. The Information Technology Services have been split, some have been moved to SAC and others to the building beside Starbucks. The Writing Center is still an accessible resource to students and its new location is in the center conference room in the lower level of the Dow Science Center. That leaves only the library, which has found its temporary home in Tyler Van Dusen.

“The [transition] process has been surprisingly smooth. Any big move will face its fair share of difficulties and setbacks, but we have been able to get everything that is essential moved to where it needs to be, and students have been using the space to study all throughout the day. So far, I have heard a lot of good things from people who have used the space.” says Daniel Nethercott (‘24), a library student staff member who helped in the library’s transition into Tyler Van Dusen.

“I want students to know that the library is still here! We may not be in the library building but the resources are available, and staff are here eager to assist!” says Cristy Omans, Library Services Coordinator at Alma College.

The library is still equipped with access to computers, printers and a scanner. Course reserves and books are also available; however, most books are being stored off-site. While the books are all still available, the time to retrieve the book will take a bit longer.

“The biggest difficulty I foresee is students coming into the library needing a book before class the next morning, and not being able to get it because it is not stored in the library. The library will do its best to communicate the situation to all students and professors so everybody can plan accordingly, and nobody will be stuck without a book when they need it.” says Nethercott.

If a student is in need of a book, they can go to https://alma.kohalibrary.com/. Here they can search for the book they need and place a hold. A librarian will go offsite to retrieve the book and notify the student via email when it is ready for pickup. If anyone has any questions, they can always feel free to reach out to any library staff member.

While the library isn’t in the same space students are accustomed to, the temporary location still has study space available. Omans says one con of the temporary location is that “there are not any private spaces for studying or collaborating,” but there is still comfortable space for quiet individual work. Students can look forward to having more spaces to study, gather and collaborate upon completion of the Learning Commons Project.

“I think the biggest challenge for everyone is simply change. Change is hard but it is necessary,” says Omans in regard to the impacts of the Learning Commons project. She adds, “I am looking forward to an updated fresh space in the new Learning Commons.  I am also looking forward to the opportunities created for both students and staff by having multiple departments in one building.”

Change is happening on Alma College’s campus, from the Chapel to the Learning Commons. Nethercott describes their knowledge of the change, saying, “I know that the Learning Commons will be much different than it was pre-renovation. The books and the main desk will be upstairs, and the basement and main floor will contain a variety of study and recreational spaces. The Stacks will be gone, and the amount of study carrels reduced, but plenty of space will be made for study rooms and group-study areas.”

Michigan Advocacy Groups Push for Abortion Rights Amendment

Ella Bright, Maria Kolb


January 19, 2022

A coalition of advocacy groups consisting of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the nonprofit Michigan Voices have launched a bid to change the state’s constitution, ensuring that people in Michigan have the right to an abortion.

Michigan law states that it is illegal for someone to perform or assist someone in an abortion unless it’s necessary to save the life of a pregnant person. After the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, giving people the right to safe, legal abortion all over the country, the law was essentially deemed null. However, it was never repealed.

The coalition of Michigan advocacy groups is pushing for a constitutional amendment ensuring the people’s right to abortion just as the Supreme Court is preparing to rule on cases that may put those like Roe v. Wade in danger.

Later this summer, the Supreme Court is expected to deliver its ruling on a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks. As the Supreme Court holds a conservative majority (6-3), particularly following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Roe v. Wade is expected to be severely changed or possibly even overturned.

If the Supreme Court makes any changes to Roe v. Wade, the Michigan law criminalizing abortion that has been out of effect since 1973 could take effect again.

“We are exploring a ballot measure that would preserve every individual’s constitutional right to make the very personal decision about reproductive health care, including abortion, and keep those decisions between the individual and their medical professional,” said Nicole Wells Stallworth, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. “We all have the right to determine our own futures.”

The ballot measure in question would still allow Michigan to regulate abortions “after fetal viability”, (meaning at a point where a health care professional deems the fetus could survive outside a uterus without any extreme medical means) and would ban the state from preventing any abortion that a medical professional rules necessary.

More people in Michigan would be affected by any potential changes to abortion access than any other state, experts say; almost 2.2 million people would lose access to abortions, according to a report created by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“I think It’s going to create a situation where wealthy women are able to travel out of state to procure abortion services, [while] poor women, especially for women in rural areas and women of color, … will attempt to self-abort and many of them will attempt to procure services from people that are not qualified to perform these services.” said Dana Nessel, Attorney General on Monday, Dec. 20 in a roundtable with reporters. “And many women will die. And that scares me a lot.”

“I am very much an advocate for making awareness,” said Morgan Sweitzer (‘22). Sweitzer grew up out of state but has lived in Michigan the four years she’s attended Alma College. “As a woman, I believe it’s my right do to what I want with my body within safe measures, and I guess that’s where the problem comes in. People define different things as ‘safe.’”

If Roe v. Wade is overturned when the Supreme Court revisits the case this summer, twenty-six US states are expected to ban abortion, including Michigan.

“It’s infuriating to me that we’re still dealing with this in the year 2022,” said Sweitzer. “I thought we would be past the point of people … telling me what to do with my body. It’s so frustrating that we’re still fighting about it. I believe everyone should have that right.”


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