Eugenics bring controversy



Eugenics are defined as the arrangement of reproduction within the human population in order to increase the occurrence of certain desirable characteristics. The eugenics movement was first introduced to America in the early 20th century, despite its principles dating back to Ancient Greece. It was originally coined by Francis Galton in the late 1800s.

In 1897, Michigan was the first state to propose eugenics in legislation, which did not pass at the time. Several years later in 1913, Michigan passed this piece of legislation but primarily enforced it on those who were deemed “mentally defective” or “insane.”

The law was then adapted in 1923 for the addition of x-rays for vasectomies and salpingectomies and was expanded to those who were considered imbeciles but not insane. In 1929, the law was expanded to include those who were found to be harmful to the general public such as pedophiles, which was an even larger number of the population.

“In the 1920s, the Supreme Court voted on Buck v. Bell, which boiled down to the legalization of eugenics and forced sterilization of those deemed “unfit” to reproduce,” said Maria Ruedisueli (‘21).

“This statute has not been overturned and there have been thousands of forced sterilizations across the country since this passed.”

Since mid-September, there have been reports to the Department of Homeland Security about forced hysterectomies performed on immigrants who are located at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Irwin County Detention center in Georgia. Hysterectomies are female sterilization, which cuts or blocks the fallopian tubes to prevent eggs and sperm from meeting. Dawn Wooten, who used to work full-time at the detention center, was the nurse who raised these concerns.

In her report, she explained that immigrants were not receiving accurate information in regard to their treatments.

Forced sterilization has long been an issue within minority groups, and it appears that this time is no different. “Minorities have always been a target for the upper and middle Anglo-Saxton population,” said Ruedisueli. “It is fueled by an irrational fear of displacement and losing their status in society.”

Such is the case in prisons and detention centers now. Official complaints received by the Department of Homeland Security say that immigrants have specifically been targeted as of lately, as shown in Georgia. This maltreatment of immigrants and minority groups is a concept that has long been practiced within the United States.

There have been at least 148 women in California’s prisons from 2006-2010 who have reported forced hysterectomies. “Sterilization of women is still taking place in prisons as of quite recently, and with new reports, it appears that this trend is back again at the border,” said Ruedisueli.

While forced sterilization within the United States is still a problem, steps have been taken to lessen its frequency. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the government of the United States had begun to provide funding towards reproductive health for both men and women. President Obama signed the Eugenics Compensation Act into law in 2016 which has provided thousands of Americans federal safety net programs.

Election day in the United States is arriving quickly. There has been a lack of response from political officials regarding forced hysterectomies at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Irwin County Detention center in Georgia.

Mental health in the age of COVID-19


The idea of mental health has long been placed on the backburner of our current society, often ignored in favor of illnesses that can be seen. The idea of an unseen illness can be too easily brushed off by those that go unaffected.

However, with the emergence of self-isolation in the age of COVID-19, mental health has become a pressing problem for people all over the world. While the circumstances of disease prevention have become stricter as the pandemic progresses, all of humanity has found itself quickly adapting to change.

While this might prove easy for some people, few could be prepared for the months spent in quarantine while the world as we knew it fell apart. With little to no warning, COVID-19 took over our daily lives and disrupted our plans—the aftereffects of which can still be felt around the world.

As college students, we know all too well the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when considering the lives we gave up earlier this year when we were forced home in the middle of the semester. Despite the fact that students have been allowed back on campus, things are still not back to normal, thus causing added stress.

“I feel like being back has only made [my mental health] worse,” said Abigail Zerbe (’23). “It sucks that now I’m so near my friends, but I can’t actually spend any quality time with them.”

The newest issue within our campus community is keeping each other safe. While mandatory health screenings have become a part of our everyday lives, wearing masks and social distancing have become the new norm in classes, meetings and events. These measures, however, have caused debate among students, faculty and staff alike; whether or not they’re necessary has suddenly become a hot topic.

“Keeping people healthy and safe has become politicized,” said Natalie Walsh (’22). “It’s scientifically proven that social distancing and wearing a mask can save lives. A lot of people tend to think this is false and will only wear a mask if it’s being required by law but will complain the entire time. A lot of people that associate with the Republican party think COVID-19 is a hoax and refuse to wear a mask or will wear it incorrectly. I would like to add that not everyone who is Republican believes that, but I’ve gotten into arguments about whether or not we should wear masks, when it’s a health issue, not a political one.”

While many people struggled with the idea of self-isolation during quarantine, others used the time for some much-needed R&R, taking time to check out new recipes, work on crafts or binge the newest Netflix series.

“I’m an extreme introvert. I really have to plan out my people time accordingly because there will be a point that I hit a wall and need to go into hiding,” said Nicole Yost (’21). “I was given so much alone time for schoolwork that I really had the chance to improve my mental state. After school was over, I was able to do nothing with no other commitments that I needed to give my time to, which really helped me recharge. It really helped me feel the best I have since freshman year.”

When faced with something that cannot be changed, it’s often best to take it in stride and look at the positives. This could be, for example, taking time to relax after a stressful semester at school, or using quarantine to learn a new hobby or read a book you’ve been putting off to the side. While a global pandemic is stressful for a variety of somewhat obvious reasons, it’s important to remember the good. A global pandemic won’t go away on its own, but it can be slowed down by students remembering to follow safety precautions.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to lean on friends and family for support (while still adhering to social distancing regulations). With a combined effort, the spread of COVID-19 can be slowed and life can return to normal.

Black lives still matter


Author’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article do not represent the viewpoints of the entire campus community. Racism is a difficult topic. For more information on the Black Lives Matter movement and ways to help, visit

In the midst of America’s battle with COVID-19, the country has been reminded of a crisis within the Black community.

The Black Lives Matter movement has been at the forefront of many minds since the death of Ahmaud Arbery occurred in February of this year. Arbery was reported to have been on a jog when two Georgia residents chased him down and killed him. Arbery’s killers were not arrested until months after the incident had happened.

Breonna Taylor’s murder occurred in March of this year when three police officers forcibly entered her home in Louisville, Kentucky, having been issued what is known as a no-knock warrant. Taylor was shot and killed.

The police officers involved in the shooting have, in the minds of many, faced little to no repercussions for their actions. Noknock warrants have since been banned in Louisville.

Two months after the death of Taylor, George Floyd was choked to death in Minneapolis while being arrested for charges involving counterfeit money. The four police officers involved in Floyd’s killing were fired, and one was charged for Floyd’s death.

In early August, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back in front of his three young children. Blake now faces partial paralysis.

These are just a few examples of the way police brutality and systemic racism come together to harm people in the Black community. In many of these examples, proper action wasn’t taken until videos of the murders circulated around the internet, causing protests to erupt across the county.

These riots and protests have been the subject of much debate; many, however argue that protesting and rioting aren’t the problem. Black Lives Matter has been a movement for much longer than the amount of time it has had in popular culture with a profound effect on the Black community and its allies.

One thing to consider is the important of this movement in today’s society.

“A lot of people like to ignore the racism that happens in this world and see us as criminals and as people that just don’t matter.”

Mirayah Thomas (’24)

“Movements related to Black Lives Matter are important in today’s society because they advocate for our voices to be heard… They motivate
us to speak out against [the] racism and oppression we may experience.”

Zoey Moore (’24)

As college students, it can be difficult and overwhelming to know how to advocate for positive change. The first step, however, is to research.

“I think students can be good advocates by doing research using as non-biased sources as possible, which means looking at news and articles that may come from sources we don’t tend to look at,” said Sophia Payne (’22).

“I think students should use the research and talk with their friends about what [they] can do to make a difference and have discussions with those who may not agree with us on why that is.”

Educational resources can be found all over the internet, as well as different organizations to donate to. Another way to be an advocate for change is to talk about the issue.

“Students can advocate for change by bringing awareness to issues, educating their peers, attending protests and amplifying the voices of activists that have been doing this work for a long time,” said Thomas Burns (‘24).

Systemic racism, while deeply ingrained into our nation’s history, can be stopped through the efforts of not only the Black community, but also its allies. With combined efforts, our country can be what it was originally meant to be—the land of the free.

Coronavirus affect spring-terms


Only two weeks after returning from spring break, the campus was brought to an abrupt halt with the sudden onset of panic over COVID-19. Late Wednesday night, the campus received an email from Jeff Abernathy, president of the college, stating that classes would be moved online starting April 3rd, but reminding everyone that schedules would continue as usual until then. President Abernathy shared that there were two possible cases under investigation, one living off campus and the other under quarantine.

However, early Friday morning brought an even more abrupt halt to things as President Abernathy sent out another update stating that Friday would be the last day of in-person classes with the following Wednesday, March 18th, marking the start of online classes, and that commencement would be postponed until further notice. There was a mix of emotions on campus, including anger, sadness and confusion.

Despite the sudden change in plans, students quickly gathered together to say their goodbyes. Senior Laureano Thomas-Sanchez (‘20) quickly went to Twitter, announcing, “I’ll be playing pipes in mac mall at 11:30 today. Lets [sic] bring in a little music to these rough times and try to find some joy where we can.” A mass of students gathered around to listen as the sound of bagpipes filled the air. Many students cried, deeply saddened by the sudden ending and unsure of the future.

The college continued to send updates to students throughout the day, assuring those that needed spring terms that all would be taken care of. For seniors that need another spring term to graduate this spring, the S-course requirement has been waived. For all other students, spring terms would be figured out, but an S-course is still required in the coming years.

As classes came to an end at 5pm, the Alma College Choir rounded together on the library steps to give one last performance of “Loch Lomond” for the year. With emotions strung high, tears flowed freely, especially from seniors.

In terms of nationwide updates within the past week, the BBC reported that the US had banned travel to and from “26 Schengen countries – 22 European Union members and four non-EU.” Beginning Monday, that list has expanded to include the UK and Ireland. At a press conference on Friday, President Donald Trump said, “I don’t take any responsibility at all,” and continued to blame Obama-era administration for the failure of taking early action to test for coronavirus

Boy Scouts face bankruptcy


The Boy Scouts of America, an organization that was once a prominent experience in the lives of young boys across the country, has recently filed for bankruptcy. This claim arose after hundreds of men filed sexual abuse charges from when they were Scouts in the organization.

The institution has been considering bankruptcy since late 2018. Although lawyers across the country have been receiving cases involving these allegations for decades, the organization’s decision to file for bankruptcy limits the amount of time victims have to come forward.

The bankruptcy filed is specifically known as Chapter 11, which allow for institutions or organizations to reorganize. This way, it is believed that while the organization will take hits on their reputation, they won’t shut down completely.

“I’m sure the decision to file bankruptcy wasn’t a light one,” said Gabe Zerbe (’21). “As an organization, I’m sure it was their best decision as Boy Scouts has never been about generating profit from what I understood while being in it.”

Although the BSA’s national chair, Jim Turley, encourages survivors to come forward and share their stories, the filing creates a date where victims must report by in order to receive compensation. Currently, the organization faces almost 300 claims.

Aside from the numerous sexual abuse claims against the organization, it has also been facing a declining membership over the past decade and faced much controversy over their decisions to let girls and non-heterosexual people join their ranks.

“I have never personally had an experience with the organization, nor do I know anyone personally who has. It does seem like a thing that could easily happen, however, if someone with bad intentions wanted it to,” said Ethan Zalac (‘22). “The process to become an adult leader in the BSA is fairly simple, but even so, there are multiple sanctions put in place by the BSA in order to prevent this from happening, even if the wrong people get into positions of power in the organization.”

“Most likely, many of these assaults on minors happen through violating rules the BSA has put in place as preventative measures,” said Zalac.

Although the Boy Scouts of America was once a common experience for young men, people now speculate whether or not it will continue to be after the organization’s bankruptcy.

Kaitlin Bennett “Gun Girl” stirs up online controversy


Kaitlin Bennett, dubbed as “gun girl” on Twitter, first became prominent in 2018 when she graduated from Kent State University. Normally, times like these are cause for celebration, but Bennett received mostly negative publicity from across the world when her graduation pictures went viral because she was shown carrying an AR-10 rifle on the university’s campus.

Since then, Bennett’s name has continued to show up across social media for a variety of reasons. According to Bennett’s Twitter, which boasts 275 thousand followers, she is quoted as saying, “My haters memed me into a lucrative career that lets me travel the world, do what I want, and have a platform to be heard.”

Along with being a social media personality, Bennett was once the president of Kent State University’s chapter of Turning Point USA, a conservative non-profit organization that visited Alma’s campus last fall.

Following an incident on Kent State’s campus last year during “Free Speech Week,” Bennett sent in a flaming resignation letter, which is quoted as saying “I am in disbelief at how I went from being so upbeat, enthusiastic, and passionate about the organization to being disgusted, frustrated, and embarrassed to have invested my entire senior year into an organization founded by a college dropout who hires some of the most incompetent, lazy, and downright dishonest people I have ever encountered.”

Since resigning from this position, Bennett has taken on a position with InfoWars, a website dedicated to “seeking the truth and exposing the scientifically engineered lies of the globalists and their ultimate goal of enslaving humanity,” according to the online biography of their founder, Alex Jones.

Bennett also has spent her time protesting at popular rallies and interviewing other attendees. Recently, Bennett made appearances at the Women’s March, both in Chicago and Washington, D.C. At these events, Bennett has taken to asking about the political beliefs of others in attendance, as well as asserting her own.

“Whatever points she tries to make just fall so flat [that] it’s hilarious.” said Allison Boulware (’20). “Obviously I do not share any of her views or beliefs, but regardless of that, she…represents everything wrong with modern conservatism.”

Back in January 2019, at the Women’s March, Bennett reportedly harassed a father and his young child in attendance about abortion, saying that it was the number one cause of death for children in the United States. The interaction was caught on video and posted to Bennett’s Twitter and Instagram but has since been deleted.

Although Bennett continues to spread her beliefs through social media, rumors about her credibility have begun to circulate. One girl, in particular, shocked Twitter with the accusation that Bennett bought her nude pictures, including screenshots from Venmo to show the transaction.

Bennett has publicly stated that she feels she is in the political minority of her generation. Most are inclined to agree. “Kaitlin Bennett knows exactly what she’s doing when “expressing” her beliefs.” said Jordan Jackson (’21). “She uses transphobic rhetoric and stereotypes for shock value and comes off as a complete idiot.”

In addition to her beliefs about guns and abortion, Bennett has also expressed her ideas regarding controversial Halloween costumes on her Instagram. For the past two Halloweens, Bennett has posted pictures in Native American garb. Her Instagram also notes that Bennett has dressed in disguise at least twice to gather public opinion about politics or herself.

No matter age, gender, or political affiliation, it seems that a large majority of people disapprove of Bennett’s actions since she rose to fame. Despite this disdain, thousands of people across the world wait to see her name splashed across social media once more so they can read about what she’s doing next.

Winter recruitment is among us


In the coming weeks, sororities and fraternities all over campus will be anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new members. Sorority recruitment started on Saturday, Jan. 18, and will conclude with walkouts on Friday, Jan. 24. Fraternity recruitment starts on Jan. 22 and goes through Feb. 5. Runouts is on Feb. 8.

Sorority recruitment occurs in three rounds. The first, which took place on Jan. 18, is known as the open house. Potential new members are divided into groups and taken to each sorority house, where they get to know the basics and meet the members of each organization.

The second group is known as the philanthropy round, where potential new members are invited back to get to know the sisters of each sorority better and learn about their philanthropies. This round took place on Jan. 19 and again on Jan. 20.

The third (and last) round is known as preferencing, which will take place on Jan. 22 and Jan. 23. It is known as the last chance to make a good impression on both sides. Potential new members are able to spend one last round getting to know the sisters of the organizations they’ve been invited back to and make a lasting impression on them. On the other hand, as well, members of sororities work hard to make a good impression on potential new members as they launch into preferencing after the last round.

Recruitment for the fraternities, on the other hand, is a bit different. The fraternities on campus do what’s known as an open rush system, so that any fraternity can hold an event at some point during the rush period, as long as it doesn’t overlap with another fraternity event.

This new system has recently come about due to Michigan’s newly passed laws concerning the smoking age across the state.

“Greek life has completely changed my life,” said Blake Jonassen (’22). “It has allowed me to grow close to so many people that I never would have gotten the chance to and has given me so many opportunities that have completely opened up the world to me.”

“Not only do I get to spend even more time with people that I absolutely love, but I get to spread my love for Greek life to anyone and everyone who is willing to hear it,” said Jonassen.

The process of recruitment can be overwhelming for some, specifically in the beginning. Learning about every sorority in such a short amount of time can cause the day to be stressful for potential new members, especially if they aren’t sure if they want to commit to Greek life.

But Greek life has its positives. Being in a sorority or fraternity can have a great impact on their members.

“I was interested in Greek life because I wanted to find an organization [that] I truly felt at home in. Being in Alpha Xi Delta has helped me discover parts of myself I didn’t know were there,” said Lexy Maas (’22). “This sorority is turning me into a leader and showing me I’m capable of a lot more than I thought.”

“Beyond that, the sisterhood I found is incredible. I truly feel connected to every girl in the chapter,” said Maas. “Having a group of people that loves, appreciates, and supports me is what gets me through a lot of hard and stressful times.”

While the bonds Greek life creates are undoubtedly strong and long-lasting, there’s no shortage of other great things to be offered. Many people involved in Greek life comment on the many opportunities they receive to work on their leadership skills.

“I had the opportunity to take on a leadership role in my sorority, and because of that opportunity I was able to make connections with alumnae and even got an internship at an automotive company that one of our alums works at over the summer,” said Cheyenne Hansen (’20).

Students are encouraged to sign up for recruitment, even if it’s something they aren’t sure they want to pursue. Despite being unsure, potential new members might find themselves to be pleasantly surprised.

Concerts cover campus calendar



As the semester comes to a close, groups across campus are gearing up to present what they’ve worked on for the past few months to their peers. Over the next few weeks, performances have been and will be taking place for both the campus and the public to enjoy.

On Nov. 23-24, the Kiltie Marching Band presented their annual Indoor Marching Show in Presbyterian Hall. The band, directed by professor Dave Zerbe, played their 2019 halftime show, Altered Carbon: The Human Element, as well as the debut of Legends of Middle Earth, a compilation of songs from The Lord of the Rings.

The show also hosted a variety of performances from other groups, including the Alma College Color Guard, directed by Earon Palma, the Alma College Pipe Band, directed by Andrew Duncan and the Alma College Marching Percussion, directed by Dave Zerbe and Dave Fair.

Although the marching season is over, the members look forward to next year and what’s to come. “I feel like band has always been something that I’ve just done because I enjoy it,” said Matthew Garland (’23). “I feel as though it’s been a great season, because I’ve made a lot of friendships through the band, and I look forward to next season because I’ll have a chance to better myself.”

“I have been in band for 10 years now, and the connections I’ve made in band are what have impacted me the most,” said Bruce Fowler (’21). “I believe this season went well. The halftime show had super intense and fun marching. The freshmen were all super talented and good at adapting to the intensity of being in a college marching band.”

“I always look forward to my next season of marching band,” said Fowler. “Although it’s hard work, band camp is the best two weeks of the year. Meeting the new freshmen and reconnecting with friends after a long summer of working every day is super refreshing.”

As well as the marching band, the Alma College Jazz Ensemble will be presenting their fall concert on Nov. 26. The event takes place from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Presbyterian Hall. The ensemble is directed by Jeff Ayres. “The concert is police-themed,” said William Brown (’22). “It’s led by the song The Jazz Police by Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. We haven’t had a concert all year so it will be fun to perform for other people.”

In addition to the bands performing, the Alma Choir and the Alma College Chorale, both directed by Doctor Will Nichols, are joining forces to present Festival of Carols, an annual concert that is taking place on Dec. 7 at both 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 3:00 p.m. The concert features a variety of Christmas carols, as well as performances from student acapella groups, Scots on the Rocks and Pretty in Plaid.

“Being in choir has connected me with so many amazing people and formed so many friendships that I would not have without it,” said Blake Jonassen (’22). “It also gives me a space to be myself and express myself how I want to express myself.”

On Nov. 25, students are welcome to join their peers in the Chapel as they perform in the Walker Fall Voice Studio Recital. The recital takes place at 7:30 p.m. “Being in Vicki Walker’s studio has allowed me to hone in on my singing capabilities and given me the opportunity to prepare many more solo pieces to perform, which is something I was always scared to do in high school,” said Jonassen. “Everyone has worked so hard on their solos and the big group’s songs, so this recital is going to be special.”

All of the events listed above are free for students and faculty. Other ticket prices and more information about these events can be found at or by calling the Heritage Center Box Office at 989-463-7304.

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