Student Congress OK’s two new clubs

By Nathaniel Fryer

Staff Writer

Two new clubs are applying for Student Congress recognition. The new clubs are the Alma College PreVet Association and the Alma College Progressive Democrats.  

Last semester, Student Congress voted and approved five new clubs, including Short Stack, Alma College Gaming Guild, National Students Nursing Association and the Board Games Club.    

The Alma College Progressive Democrats was founded by Sam Nelson (’21), and a number of other progressive students, in order to get out the vote for the Michigan State Elections occurring in November of this year.  

Nelson says he, “hopes to support progressive causes in whatever capacity possible. A liberal arts campus like ours values action, and we hope to be a part of that.”  

If approved, the Alma College Progressive Democrats will be the eleventh chapter of the Michigan Federation of College Democrats, a statewide organization of liberal minded college students dedicated to progressive ideals like a single-payer healthcare, combatting climate change and promoting equal rights for all US Citizens.  

Lauren Kucharczyk (’19), is founding member of the Alma College PreVet Association. She believes that the association will “give other PreVet or Pre-health majors a group for resources since the school does not have official programs for these things.”  

The organization will provide students a skill based approach to achieving the mandatory 400 clinical hours required before veterinary school, by working with local veterinary clinics around Alma.  

Kucharczyk also stated that the process for becoming a recognized club was fairly easy, but you have to know where to look in the Student Congress Constitution, or potential campus organizations will be left in the dark.  

According to Student Congress Treasurer, Deve Wishart (’18), clubs are essential to Alma’s campus life because they work with the Alma community in providing philanthropy, and have an intrinsic educational value for students.  

“I do think that clubs are beneficial for the Alma community. Clubs may make our lives more hectic, but it allows us to apply ourselves to things that we believe are worthwhile,” stated Wishart.  

In order to apply to become a recognized club, the members must meet, formalize a constitution, and then send that proposed constitution into the Constitutional Committee. The Constitutional Committee then discusses the proposed constitution of a club, and votes on approving it.   

If the proposed constitution is approved, then those club representatives are invited to attend the next session of Student Congress. At that session, the club is then brought up and voted upon by Student Congress. If the vote passes, then the organization is officially recognized as a campus club, and given representation in Student Congress. 

Once a club is approved by Student Congress, they do not have a budget until the next school year, which is why so many organizations apply for contingency funds. Wishart works with club executives in order to ensure that each club is being held accountable for the financing that is appropriated to it.   

Wishart has also worked with college officials like Cassie Tennant, Director of Financial Services, to audit clubs and make sure that finances are being spent appropriately.  

Highland Java employees reflect on changes

By Nathaniel Fryer

Staff Writer

Highland Java was founded by Alma students in 2006, and its purpose was to serve the Alma College community as a student run coffee shop, which had not previously existed.  

Since then, Highland Java has grown and changed into a representation of Alma students in Entrepreneurs in Action (EIA) working together to serve other students.  

The most recent of these changes occurred in the summer of 2017, when Highland Java was renovated, had new appliances installed and built a new bar. Students who are apart of EIA are required to work two hours a week, which gives them the opportunity to connect with the campus community. 

Recently, EIA’s business showcase group made a few connections within the city of Alma, one of which was Carolyn’s Cakes, a shop in downtown Alma. It took a while to build the partnership with the shop,  but now every Tuesday since the beginning of this semester, Highland Java has had a number of cakes for customers to purchase. 

“Initially [last semester] there wasn’t much excitement from the campus community about the cakes, but now that the cakes have been here for a while, people get excited,” said Justin Jones (‘19), a member of EIA.  

“The sales for the cakes has picked up, and that’s been really cool to see, after the semester of implementing it,” he added.  

Highland Java will also be adding another new menu option: iced coffees. This raised the issue of installing an ice machine into the library. 

“I’m a big fan of the drink myself,”said Emma Herron (’18) the President of Highland Java. 

“Whenever we considered the idea, we ran into difficulties with the source of the ice. Most ice machines need a separate water line that connects into the machine. With our location in the library, that kind of construction just isn’t feasible.”  

Herron said that earlier in the year the Highland Java management team made their goal getting iced coffee to Java. They’ve found a machine that can make ice but doesn’t need a water line and can be sorted in the machine. 

Highland Java CEO, Dylan Bergmann (’19) said, “Our current general manager worked at a coffee shop at his high school, and they had an iced coffee machine there. We modeled our proposed ice coffee idea after theirs, ran product tests, and moved  forward with getting iced coffee for Java. 

According to Bergmann iced coffe drinks will be brought into effect within the few weeks.  

Students who have heard the rumors are excited. 

“Oh, I love iced coffee. When Highland Java gets it, I’ll be happy to go there rather than walk all the way to Starbucks,” said Rachel Whipple (’20). 

Carolyn’s Cakes will be sold at Highland Java for the remainder of the semester every Tuesday. 

Students and staff reflect on Black History Month

By Nathaniel Fryer

Staff Writer

Black History Month was first celebrated in the United States on February 1970, at Kent State University in Ohio. Six years later, it was given federal recognition by President Gerald R. Ford.   

Black History Month has been celebrated at Alma College now for several years.  Black History Month is the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which happened on  January 15.   

Over Martin Luther King Jr. Week, presenters such as Naomi Tutu (daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu) were invited to speak at the college, and the Alma Choir and a few dancers performed in the chapel.  

Over the course of this month, there will be a number of student-led events that will be held on campus. The Multicultural Student Union, in collaboration with the Psychology Club, will be showing “For Colored Girls”, on February 15 at 7:30pm.  

In addition, the Diversity and Inclusion Office will be holding a series of events throughout the month, including two movie screenings on February 13 in SAC 113 and DOW L4 at 6:30pm. There will also be Black History Trivia on February 7 in the Thistle Room in SAGA from 11:30am-12:30pm.   

Many people know about important black leaders like Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr., but not many know about people like George Washington Carver, Sojourner Truth or Congressman John Lewis. For that reason the Center  for Student Opportunity will have a display case that will feature less known (but equally as important) black politicians, artists, painters and athletes. This display will be up up throughout the month. 

“I feel like in today’s society, you have to have recognition for the events that blacks have participated in. Regardless of your race, it is a good idea for people to take a step back and look at our collective history as a nation,” said Khalee Simpson (’20). “Celebrating this month allows for people to take a minute and think about black history.”  

In the past, the advertisement of Black History Month was lacking. Since the new Diversity and Inclusion Director, Candy McCorkle, took office around a year ago, the advertisement has increased.  

“When I came last year, I don’t think [Black History Month] received the advertisement it should have gotten. Since then, I’ve been able to develop relationships with the local paper, and advertised about it,” she said. 

“In my role, I am working to make these events inclusive to everyone on campus, which is important because black history is America’s history.”   

Since the advertisement of these events has increased, attendance has been up. Some professors have been giving their students extra credit to attend these events, and athletes have also been encouraged to attend by their coaches.  

“I think that considering we go to a predominately white college it’s important to celebrate Black History Month so that people of color can celebrate their history,” says TiKilah Turner (’19), the Vice President of the Multicultural Student Union.  

“Black History Month is about unity within the black community, and giving recognition to our blackness. Our blackness is beautiful.”

Houses prepare for Greek Week

By Nathaniel Fryer

Staff Writer

Alma College is in the process of recruitment for fraternities and sororities. This week, all non-Greek females have the opportunity to attend desserts, spreads and teas if they wish to rush a sorority, and all non-Greek males can attend smokers.  

Throughout the previous semester, both fraternities and sororities have been holding rush and recruitment events for potential new members.  

The Student Life Office even hired a team of professionals from Phired Up Productions to train Greek students on recruitment techniques, and Greek Life members were allowed to move in early on January 6 to attend the training, which happened the next day.  

“Phired Up re-solidified effective rushing tactics, and provided insight on helpful technology,” said Anthony Pizzo (’19), the President of Zeta Sigma.  

Last week, PanHellenic Executive Board Members and Inter-Fraternal Council Executive Council members sat at tables during the lunch and dinner hours at SAGA, and were able to get about 75 names on the Sorority recruitment list, and 63 names on the fraternity rush list.  

During this week, all non-Greek students have the chance to get to find their preferred Greek organization, and learn more about it, before Walkouts and Runouts on Friday and Saturday.   

Choosing the correct fraternity or sorority to rush is often a challenging process for many.   

“Greek life is a big part of Alma College. Greek life is there to help empower others to change the world by working together,” said Mercedez Thill (’19), who is currently one of the two PanHellenic recruitment chairs.   

“With Alma being such a small campus, I believe Greek life has a big impact in all the clubs and organizations on campus because the values upheld in Greek life help the membership strive to be the best that it can be with the help of others.”  

The recruitment process for potential new members emphasizes finding the fraternity or sorority that is best fit for individual needs.  

After signing the rush list, individuals are invited to attend smokers or teas, spreads and desserts.   

Upon the conclusion of desserts, teas, spreads and smokers, sororities and fraternities will hold their bids meeting, and discuss which individuals embody the qualities they uphold. “Rushing was beautiful… it was the high point of my freshman year,” states Jack Montgomery (’20), the Inter-Fraternal Council Rush Chairman.  

Once the last round of the recruitment process has finished (for sororities that is Wednesday, and for fraternities that is Thursday), there is a period of no-talks- no communication between current members of Greek life and possible members. This excludes communications between students who share the same classes.  

“This year the process of no-talks [for sororities] changed so that after the last preference meeting we aren’t able to talk to the new members until after walkouts,” explained Emily Jodway (’19), the President of Gamma Phi Beta. “You don’t want to sway [potential new members’] opinions on recruitment, so I believe that this process of no talks helps them.”  

On 2 February, all the sororities will gather with their supporters in the Stone Recreation Center, and wait for their new members to join their ranks of sisterhood. This same process will be repeated the next evening when fraternities gather, and await their new members.   Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 1.19.33 PM

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