Women’s wrestling to begin in November




As winter athletes get excited for the start of their seasons, a new team will be preparing for their first season ever. In December 2021 Alma athletics announced that women’s wrestling would be added to the athletics program as the 28th varsity sport. With practices starting on October 10th, the wait is almost over for this new team to take their place at Alma.

The program will begin as a club sport for the 2022-23 academic year but will transition to a varsity sponsored sport in 2023-24. This addition makes Alma the fourth MIAA school to have a women’s wrestling program.

According to the National Wrestling Coaches Association, “since 1994, the number of women who wrestle in high school has grown from 804 to over 28,000 (as of 2021).” The introduction of women’s wrestling at our school allows the opportunity for increased recruitment for girls who want to wrestle at a collegiate level.

Director of Athletics at Alma College, Sarah Dehring, announced Katlyn Pizzo as the first head coach of the new program in March.

In its first year the team will compete within the National Collegiate Wresting Association (NCWA). This is a non-profit association with over 150 wrestling teams and clubs from across the United States and Canada.

The team’s competition season will start on November 1st. As a club team, the program “can potentially wrestle anyone within the NCWA” said Katlyn Pizzo, Women’s Wrestling Coach at Alma College.

Our competitors for this season will likely be a wider variety of schools and may be teams we have never seen before. This will change when the team transitions to a varsity sponsored sport, however, and students may see some teams they are familiar with.

“We will wrestle within the MIAA conference and the NCAA. Making our conference competitors Adrian, Albion and Trine and our national competitors, all the colleges within NCAA divisions 1,2 and 3,” said Pizzo.

The MIAA and Alma athletics emphasize that student-athletes should be students first and athletes second. Athletes on our campus are expected to bring their all to practice and class. This will be no different for the new women’s wrestling team as they are “looking for good people that want to push themselves both academically and athletically,” said Pizzo. 

This season will allow Pizzo and her team to lay the groundwork for future teams, but it will not be easy. “This coming year will set the tone for the future of Alma Women’s Wrestling team. We will demand hard work from our athletes both in the classroom and the wrestling room,” said Pizzo.

Sports teams often provide things beyond the sport, such as friendships, life skills and character building. A goal for this year is that “the team will develop a culture that cultivates resilience, hard work, love and support,” said Pizzo. This is especially important because “the athletes this year will be next year’s leaders.”

Like all new programs, the women’s wrestling team will take time to grow. “We will be working in preparation for the full recruiting class of student athletes coming in for the 2023- 2024 season,” said Pizzo. The upcoming year as a club team will allow the time to develop the program before it takes off as varsity sponsored.

 Students who are interested in joining the women’s wrestling team should go to the Alma Athletics website and submit the women’s wrestling recruitment form. This will enter you into the recruiting portal for the program.

Kiltie Marching Band celebrates 100 years



This fall season, Alma College’s Kiltie Marching Band celebrates its 100th anniversary. The band held its first performance of the season at the Alma College football game against Manchester University on Saturday, September 10.

Dr. David Zerbe, Alma College’s Director of Bands and Percussion Studies, began his career at Alma in 1988. ​“When I started Fall Term 1988, I had three lesson students and taught percussion pedagogy.  There was no active percussion ensemble at the time, but I formed one Winter Term of 1989.  That said, the department was thriving.  The Bands, Choir and Orchestra were very established performing ensembles,” said Zerbe.              

In the 34 years Dr. Zerbe has worked for Alma College, much has changed. “The Eddy Music Building was renovated and substantially increased in size.  The percussion and band program has continued to grow and gain a reputation for excellence,” said Zerbe.

Along with the percussion ensemble performing at many prestigious music festivals and going on tour, the Kiltie Marching Band has also hosted a high school marching band competition and continually travels to play in exhibition at other high school marching band competitions.

This year’s performance is a Scottish-themed show titled ‘Dualchas Linn’, a Celtic term that translates to ‘Heritage of the Century’. “The show for this fall is a Scottish themed Show and is a celebration of the band’s storied past, our present achievements, and a salute to all those who have contributed to the success of the Kiltie Marching Band over the years,” said Zerbe.

Alex Herin ’24, who is in his third year as a member of the Kiltie Marching Band, is a keyboardist as part of the front ensemble as well as a cymbals player. “There’s a strong sense of community in the band.

Because we’re such a small school, the numbers aren’t quite what you’d see at a large university, so it’s nice that you know everyone in the band and that it’s tight knit,” said Herin.

“Our wonderful band director has prepared a beautiful show that’s supposed to truly encompass Alma’s Scottish heritage. I hope the alumni really enjoy it.” Herin is thrilled to be a part of the 100th anniversary and believes it’s a very exciting time to be involved with the band.                                

Overall, Dr. Zerbe is looking forward to the Kiltie Marching Band’s 100th anniversary, especially the opportunity to celebrate a once in a lifetime event with both current and former band members. “I’m looking forward to continuing to polish our show and to be able to present it in its entirety for the Alumni at Homecoming 2022.  I’m also looking forward to concert band season winter term and the opportunity to dig into some fine concert band literature.  In general, I am humbled to be the director at such an auspicious point in the band’s history.  Fortune has granted me an opportunity not afforded to most people, and I plan to enjoy every moment and every memory,” said Zerbe.

As library evolves, history is uncovered




Among Alma’s distinguished faculty and staff is Matthew Collins, the director of the Alma College Library and occasional adjunct faculty member in the religious studies department, where he specializes in disambiguating the meaning of the New Testament.

The library-to-Learning Commons renovations have posed some challenges for the library staff. The library will only occupy the third floor after the renovations. The resulting need to consolidate has given the staff opportunities to purge duplicate or antiquated texts, although physically moving large portions of the collection has been tedious.

“Yes, we have reduced space, but there was a lot of the collection that we were just carrying and didn’t need to carry anymore,” said Collins.

Overall, the renovations are a positive to Collins, although he misses being at the center of academics on campus.

“The space is going to look so much different,” said Collins. “All of the light from the windows will come in, and the space will look and feel much [more open]. I think that is pretty exciting.”

The renovations also gave librarians the opportunity to excavate a time capsule, placed in the building’s cornerstone in 1964. The capsule, made of copper, was difficult to open. With the help of the facilities team, Collins and Katie Crombe (’11) and the director of alumni and family engagement, opened the time capsule.

The capsule contained a few copies of Almanian editions from the time, yearbooks and some other documents. The Almanian articles discuss an elementary school sponsored by the college in Nigeria and beating Calvin College, as well as the new library.

The capsule also contained a book from 1807, the oldest book in the library collection at the time. Two golf ball were also found, as Alma’s Men’s Golf Team won the 1963 championship.

When asked what his favorite item found was, Collins said “either the old book or the golf balls.”

“My favorite thing was reading the student handbook [found in the capsule],” said Crombe. “The rules back then were much different.”

Just as a new library was built in 1963, the Alma librarians have also been building a library digitally. In fact, one of Collins’ points of pride from his three years at Alma is the digitization effort Alma’s library staff began undertaking in Spring of 2020.

The digital institutional repository includes digital copies of every edition of the Almanian, every yearbook and the digital archives. The archives include “8500 photographs, documents [and] videos,” said Collins.

“There are almost 12,000 [items] in the repository,” said Collins. “It represents a huge step for us. It’s also something that a lot of small colleges don’t have.”

Although electronic resources are widely preferred to physical texts nowadays, libraries and our librarians are here to stay for their unparalleled insights into research and writing. Our librarians can help with any research question students might have, so if you need a book, a topic for a paper or help evaluating the trustworthiness of a source, the library is the place to go.

If you would like to see the time capsule, there is a video on YouTube of the capsule being opened. It is also in the library, currently located in Tyler Van Dusen.

Noah Schnapp faces campus safety concerns



Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp recently began his first year at the University of Pennsylvania. Concerning images, including screenshots of what appear to be other students’ private conversations about Schnapp, have surfaced on Twitter. This has caused fans to worry about the actor’s safety.

Since starting school, images of the 17-year-old Canadian actor, best known for playing Will Byers in the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, at fraternity parties have circulated online.

In a recent video uploaded to Twitter, Schnapp can be seen jumping off a small bridge into a pool at the Bamboo Bar near the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.

While some social media users are happy to see Schnapp appearing to have fun at college, many fans expressed concern. Fans of the Netflix star have also shared screenshots of other University of Pennsylvania students’ supposedly leaked conversations. 

Some of the leaked messages seem to reveal that Schnapp’s friends are using him because of his fame and some students have taken pictures of the actor to sell to paparazzi. Other messages indicate much more sinister intentions.

According to anonymous Twitter user @burner4noah, who claims to have a friend who attends the University of Pennsylvania, Schnapp has been pressured to engage in dangerous acts such as using hard drugs. Other messages suggest that other students have discussed committing acts of physical and sexual violence toward Schnapp.

When Schnapp revealed on his Tiktok account last winter that he had been accepted into the University of Pennsylvania, many fans took to social media to share their excitement for the actor. 

Schnapp called going to college “the biggest transition [he will] ever make in [his] life, but . . . very exciting.”

While most college students don’t face the same kind of scrutiny as the Netflix star, Schnapp’s situation brings up important questions about the reality of many students’ college experience.

  Wiley Delisa (’24) is the president of Phi Mu Alpha at Alma College. Delisa believes that, while Schnapp’s fans may be acting out of concern for the young actor, they should not take to social media to weigh in on his decisions.

“. . . I am very conscious of the fact that having fun also means being responsible. However, I feel that fans are taking way too much active participation in Noah’s life,” said Delisa.

“He’s a 17-year-old college student. He’s allowed to go to parties and enjoy his time, he’s allowed to choose who he hangs out with and, most importantly, he’s allowed to make mistakes,” said Delisa.

While Delisa feels that Schnapp may have behaved recklessly, he also acknowledges that many college students have made similar mistakes and he does not want to see Schnapp penalized on social media.

“Many of us make bad choices, that’s what college is for, but very few of us have to experience those choices being watched by millions of people who think they know what’s best for us,” said Delisa. “. . . It saddens me to see that his teenage choices are being put under a microscope by fans.”

Despite fans’ concerns, Delisa is not convinced that the supposed leaked messages indicate any real threat to Schnapp’s safety. Delisa believes the posts are most likely the work of someone using Schnapp’s fame to gain attention. 

“. . . If this anonymous Twitter user was really concerned about his safety, they would have and should have reached out to the proper staff members at their college or the Title XI office,” said Delisa. “Posting something like this on Twitter is clearly just an attempt at clout or an attempt at riling up his fans.”

South campus neglected



Alma College’s campus has been experiencing Michigan’s 5th season, construction, for countless months now; however, the college is not focusing on the actual problem at hand south of Superior St. 

Many students believe that South campus housing has been neglected by the school. While the learning commons and the chapel are undergoing construction and beautification, residential buildings on the south side of campus are wasting away into ruin. 

With health and safety concerns reported by numerous students living in these buildings, it is concerning that Alma College is prioritizing other projects that were unnecessary to the betterment of residential life. 

Our small housing opportunities like the FSL (Fraternity Sorority Life), MUN (Model United Nations) and Pride houses are a staple living space for many of the students at Alma College. They allow our students to get involved within the community, make new friends and create lasting memories. 

Unfortunately, those living there are dealing with a multitude of health concerns. “In our house we have mold issues, insect issues, we have a reoccurring bat issue and overall lack of up-keep” said Bailey Allison ‘23

One of the most recent small housing buildings, Zeta Sigma Fraternity, may not experience these problems to the frequency that the older buildings have, but those living there have pointed out the unhealthy/ unsafe conditions of our small housing opportunities. “With our house being the newest on campus, I feel comfortable living here. I have been in most of the other south campus houses, and I have seen the neglect of the college. If I were living in one of the older houses on campus, then I would not be comfortable living there” said Jade Harbert ’23

Not only are these students living in a biohazard, filled with known allergens and creepy crawlers, but they are also concerned for their safety. These residents have submitted their worries to facilities through work orders and have received little help, if any.

The apartment style resident buildings Brazell and Bonbright/ Carey deal with similar issues to that of small housing. “I don’t feel comfortable living on south [campus]. Especially when the doors to buildings don’t adequately lock or close. Some of the doors on both Brazell and Bonbright/Carey are never locked despite work orders I know are pending. Work orders take an extremely long to get done, if at all” said Anika Reid ‘23

With the wellbeing and safety of Alma’s students at risk, it is shocking to see the school focus on less pressing matters such as the learning commons and chapel. Without the students, a school has nothing; therefore, it is concerning that Alma College is prioritizing putting fresh paint on the chapel instead of making sure intruders cannot get into our rooms.

As if the living conditions of these buildings could not get any worse, broken furniture and fastenings are a staple here at Alma College as well. “I have a friend who lives in Brazell, and their bathroom door is quite literally falling apart and doesn’t close. The solution is duct tape. They live in the same exact room this year and over the summer the school did absolutely nothing about it, despite originally saying that Brazell would be renovated.” said Anika Reid ’23.

With all of these known concerns, Alma College needs to listen to its students who are suffering under these conditions and fix these resident buildings in order to make them safe and secure. “This project seems to have been moved to the back burner in order prioritize the learning commons and repainting the chapel…among other things,” said Anika Reid ’23.

Russia cuts its gas from Europe




On August 31, Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom halted gas flows to Europe via a major pipeline, Nord Stream, citing maintenance works on its only remaining compressor.

This is believed to be in response to new sanctions levied against Russia by the G7 nations, an informal group of seven of the world’s advanced economies, due to the Ukraine Crisis. 

These sanctions imposed on Russia include the following: a full block on Russia’s largest financial institutions, Sberbank and Alfa Bank; the prohibition of new investments in the Russian Federation and making debt payments with funds subject to U.S jurisdiction; full blocking major Russian state-owned enterprises, as well as Russian elites and their family members; and prohibiting outside commitment to supporting sectors essential to humanitarian activities in Russia.

These sanctions have prompted retaliation by the Russian government, who cut off gas to Europe due to European dependency on Russian fossil fuels.

“Historically, European countries have relied on relatively cheap natural gas from Russia. Ninety percent of [their] natural gas is imported, and forty-five percent of that comes from Russia. So, the reduction in that supply… has driven up energy prices across Europe and led to what many are calling an energy crisis in Europe,” said Robert Cunningham, professor of economics.

In the perspective of the Russian government, “when Europeans have suffered enough, they will pressure their government to lift the trade embargo against Russia over the Ukraine war. [However, in the long run] Russia doesn’t benefit from this since they’re not selling their gas, so they’re causing themselves to suffer while also causing Europeans to suffer…it’s like a game of chicken.” said Britt Cartrite, professor of political science. 

This might not be all bad for Europe. The reduction in Russian natural gas and fossil fuel exports can benefit the environment. As of 2020, Russia’s oil and gas industry led the world in methane emissions, according to the International Energy Agency.

If Europe loses its dependency on Russia’s natural gas, “this will accelerate their movement away from reliance on fossil fuels and prompt investment and innovation in alternative energy sources… [this will be] good for [Europeans] in the long run,” Cunningham said.

In brief, Russia has displayed numerous defensive and offensive actions politically, militaristically, and economically this year. This situation has brought a new light to modern warfare.

“Russians overestimate their capacity and underestimate Ukraine’s ability to resist, [due to] new technology, new tactics… every war kind of updates, but [the Russian government] got it really wrong,” said Cartrite.

The Russian government’s recent actions have undoubtedly caused unfortunate events amidst the citizens of Ukraine, Russia and some countries in Europe affected by the gas cuts. “We will continue working with our European partners to reduce dependence on Russian energy and support their efforts to prepare for further Russian destabilization of energy markets,” said Press Secretary Jen Psaki and a Deputy National Security Council spokesperson for International Economics.

January 6 and Mar-a-lago update



On January 6, 2021, the United States capitol building was insurrected by a number of Americans, anywhere between 3,000 and 20,000 people. Since the day of the insurrection, a string of hearings has taken place that have concentrated on the January 6 incident. 

Along with the hearings, an investigation of former president Donald Trump’s resort, Mar-a-Lago, took place on August 8, 2022. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who first executed a search warrant.

The Mar-a-Lago, located in Palm Beach, Florida, was investigated for the purpose of finding any concealed records regarding the intention to hinder federal government activity, possible violations of the Espionage Act, and illegal removal of government documents.    

As of September 9, 2022, the United States House-Select Committee to investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol has not announced the next steps of the hearings or how many more hearings can be expected. 

Dr. Benjamin Peterson, a History and Political Science professor at Alma College, expressed his thoughts on the matter. “Smart historians never make predictions and smart political scientists never make predictions without sufficient data. My sense is that the center of effort among the Democrats has shifted to passing legislation and preparing for the midterms, so it is hard to say when it will return to the January 6 investigations. They may also be waiting to see how things work out with the classified files,” said Peterson.               

“One thing that hasn’t received enough attention is that the recent special master was appointed to review not only attorney client issues, but also issues of executive privilege. Over the past three decades executive privilege has been expanded beyond being a narrow protection in exceptional situations.”

“The concept that a former president somehow has the ex post facto ability to claim executive privilege strikes me as the largest and most bizarre expansion yet. But we will see how that plays out in appeals,” said Peterson.     

Jacob Keeley ’24 also gave insight into the situation. “What will come of the Jan. 6th hearings are unclear to me at this time. As for the Mar-a-Lago investigation, it is almost certain that former President Trump will be indicted for the national defence information documents that were taken and then improperly stored. 

Indictment is a simpler case for the Department of Justice to levy. As for criminal charges coming out of the indictment, the answer is less simple. 

There is certainly an on-going conversation right now regarding whether Trump agreeing to ‘back-off’ a 2024 Presidential run and step away from the political scene would affect the force of the investigation. 

Personally, that view of the DOJ and our system seems wildly inaccurate and cynical. Even if the purpose of the investigation were to take Trump out of the Presidential election in 2024, the best way to do that would be through a proper and fair investigation. The evidence does not lie in this case,” said Keeley. Many Americans will be interested to see the conclusion of this case. 

New clinics offered for upcoming flu season




As summer wraps up and the air becomes colder, the dreadful cold and flu season again comes to Alma. Luckily, the campus offers students the opportunity to get a flu vaccine at the Wilcox Health Center’s walk-up, no appointment flu vaccine clinic.

Students are welcome to come to the clinic on Sep. 27 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and Oct. 5 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Clinics will be held on the first floor of the Hogan Center, where students can receive the Sanofi Fluzone vaccine. The price of the vaccine will be billed to the student’s insurance card that is provided before the shot is administered.

Wilcox Medical Center will offer a clinic for the Monkeypox virus on September 19. The second dose will be offered in October.

“The benefits of receiving the annual influenza vaccine are reducing the risk of getting influenza, reducing the risk of hospitalization, and reducing the risk of influenza-related death. In addition, research has shown that the vaccine can reduce the severity of the illness,” said Anne Lambrecht, director of counseling, health, and wellness.

Many students on campus are interested in getting vaccines. However, many have not been informed about the upcoming clinics.

“I went to Walgreens for the flu shot this year, and I regret it. It took thirty minutes for my shot to be administered, and I felt that I could’ve better utilized my time by getting my shot on campus,” said Ryan Gray (’25).

“Now that I know that Alma gives flu shots to students, I’ll be getting one here. As a student who is highly involved with the campus, it’s hard to find time in my schedule to get my flu shot this year. Having this clinic on campus is very convenient for me and I wish more students knew that they could get their influenza shot on campus,” said Jon Beerbower (’24).

With many students in close contact in the dorms, disease and sickness quickly spread. Though some students still choose to wear masks around campus, most of the student body does not. Without this added protection, the chances of students contracting the flu increase significantly.

“The best way to stay healthy this year is by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, exercising, washing hands and taking the time to do things that make you happy,” said Dr. Keegan Thomas, family nurse practitioner at the Wilcox Health Center. “The Wilcox Health Center is here for students to help them when they are ill.”

Alongside the flu, students must not forget that the COVID virus is still spreading around Gratiot County. Unfortunately, at this moment, Alma College is not offering a COVID-19 booster clinic on campus. However, the college does encourage the student body to get the booster if eligible. Information on where to find facilities offering the COVID-19 booster shot can be found at alma.edu.

To mitigate the threat of COVID-19, if a student feels sick, they must not assume it is the flu. Getting tested for COVID-19 will help to ensure the safety of everyone in our campus community. Additionally, the COVID booster shot can help students avoid contracting the virus.

“COVID and influenza have similar symptoms. Therefore, the only way to tell the difference between influenza and COVID is by getting tested,” said Thomas.

If a student tests positive, safety precautions will occur like last year. Alma College details the procedures if a student tests positive at alma.edu.


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