Softball wins big over break

ALYSSA GALL
SPORTS WRITER

For many athletes, spring break is a time for training and practice before their conference season. For Alma College’s Softball team, it was a time for the team to shine and set the pace for their upcoming conference season.

Over spring break, the Softball team traveled to Florida to compete in a total of eight games. While in Florida, the Scots were given the opportunity to put their skills to the test. They were able to practice outside on a field rather being confined to a gym.

“Having the opportunity to travel to Florida over Spring Break is really important because it allows our team to get out into some warm weather and play games. The weather in Michigan doesn’t typically allow us to play until mid-march and taking advantage of spring break to travel somewhere warm and play 8-10 games every year really helps us prepare for the rest of our season,” said outfielder Bryanna Chapman (’20).

Hence, the Softball team took advantage of this opportunity and the weather. While competing in Florida, the team faced teams from not only Florida, but Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania as well. Each game gave the Scots an opportunity to compete and put their expectations and goals to the test.

“Our expectations going into the spring games was to win. We all knew what our team was capable of and we were excited to be able to show people what we are going to be made of this year,” said second baseman Cassidy Tucker (’20).

With those high expectations, the Scots managed to walk away from the tournament with eight straight wins out of eight total games.

In each game, the Scots managed to win by a substantial amount of points with their closest scoring win being 5-4 against Capital University and their biggest wins being 22-1 and 18-0 against Northern Vermont-Johnson University.

Each win solidified their season expectations and brings them one step closer to conference season.

“Finishing 8-0 was really exciting for our team. We know we need to continue to work hard to be successful this season and going 8-0 was a great start and really made us all excited for what this team is going to do this season,” said Tucker.

Not only did the team walk away from their spring break with a successful record, but some players walked away with some personal achievements as well.

Freshman pitcher Daniella Little earned herself the title of being the MIAA Pitcher of the Week for her performance in Florida. She pitched two complete games against Hanover College and Capital University, where she struck out 12 batters in 14 innings and only allowed one earned run.

“Honestly I did not expect to be named MIAA pitcher of the week. I just went into spring break trying to do my best and help out my team. I, of course, could not have done it without my teammates supporting me and having my back,” said Daniella Little (’23).

Even as a freshman, Little currently leads the team in strikeouts and has only allowed 10 hits in a total of 15 total innings. With not only Little’s performance, but the performance of other underclassmen, the Scots, especially the seniors, look hopeful for what is in store for the predominantly young team.

“Our freshmen were fearless in Florida, looking at our team you’d never know that many had never played in a collegiate game before, and that was super inspiring to just leave everything on the field and give it all we had. Leaving my last spring break behind was easy knowing we still have so much to look forward to,” said Chapman.

With a current overall record of 10-3, the Scots keep prepping for their conference season with the goal of getting better every day.

Although they have had a successful start to their season so far, they still have plenty of season left to grow and keep moving forward.

“We were definitely excited about what we were able to do in Florida this past Spring Break, but we are definitely not satisfied. We have big goals for this season and we know those games are over and it’s time to focus on what’s next,” said Chapman

Senior art show featured in gallery

COURTNEY SMITH
STAFF WRITER

Starting March 16th, the senior art show commences in the Flora Kirsch Beck Art Gallery of the Clack Art Center here on campus. This show features the artistic pieces that the senior art majors have worked on diligently throughout the course of several years. It also serves as an opportunity to spotlight the hard work and dedication of these artists before they leave Alma College.

Each senior’s portion of the gallery showcases different themes and explores their individual inspirations and interests through their work. Some seniors chose to address important societal issues through their pieces. “My work generally, as an overview, interrogates consumer choices like mass production and my biggest interest is animal agriculture, mostly factory farming.” said Calum Clow, ‘20.

Many of the senior art majors drew inspiration from their personal experiences and backgrounds while constructing their artwork.

“I am making work based on specific difficult experiences and relationships that had a huge impact on who I am, how I accept myself, and how I love and value those close to me. I specifically take inspiration from night terrors I had as a kid, and combine that sense of fear with these specific experiences, which was kind of therapeutic and healing throughout my process.” said Paige Shaw, ‘20.

Others constructed their art projects with innovative, practical usage in mind — totally repurposing the way we appreciate art as a society.

“The idea that I had throughout working on my show is how we can potentially incorporate sustainable living into our homes through dual-use furniture. My favorite part of my show is the plausible implication of it into functioning homes.” said Ivy VanPoppelin, ‘20.

Working on the senior art show was not just a senior-year project for these artists. Many of the senior art majors have been working on these projects for the past several years, and they have spent even longer planning for it.

“I knew I wanted to do something with animal agriculture from the time I was a freshman, it’s something I’ve always been interested in making my work around. The recycling I’ve been implementing into my work over my four years here. Overall, I would say I actively started working on my senior show over the past two years.” said Clow.

Although constructing the senior art show involved countless hours of hard work from these senior art majors, they certainly enjoyed themselves throughout the process.

“My favorite part of working on this show was making works of art specifically for me. I also loved seeing my art family everyday. I’m going to miss them like hell next year.” said Shaw.

In addition, putting together this major show served as a learning experience for these artists, and they grew a lot as artists through the process.

“I figured out what I like and what makes me tick through working on this show. I know I like working with vibrant, technicolor stuff. I like more expressive mark making. I developed my own artistic vocabulary, and I feel like I learned about myself while working on this show.” said Clow.

Although the senior art show is a pleasure for all attendees, there are greater implications to viewing and appreciating the arts in the present day.

“With a lack of funding for the arts, this is a time more than ever that we need creative thinking. I always encourage people to come out and see the art.” said Clow.

With all of the hard work the seniors have put into this show, students can show their appreciation by visiting the gallery any time between March 16th to April 17th.

“I think all the senior art majors have done an amazing job on pieces and I hope everyone enjoys it!” said VanPoppelin.

ALICE training on campus brings controversy

JORDYN BRADLEY
SPORTS EDITOR

On March 3, students and faculty alike received a call alerting them that an active shooter was on campus and to execute the procedures that they were informed of. Of course, it was just a drill that everyone was emailed about ahead of time to prepare, but nobody knew when it would happen.

The ALICE training is an active shooter training, and is represented by an acronym that stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evade (or Evacuate). Alma College adapted their own version of this and sent a PowerPoint presentation campus-wide that explained the steps of what to do if a situation arises, along with a video. The email also stated the college’s two evacuation points: Alma First Presbyterian Church and Alma First Church of God.

“I think they should have made a more detailed PowerPoint to go with the email or had [professors] take–even just a little–class time to make sure everyone knew what was going on beforehand. The PowerPoint did a good job of explaining what to do, but not a good job of explaining when to do it,” said Katie Bailey (‘22).

She added that during her training as an FYG she was also trained how to go about the ALICE training, and was still confused then.

The drill occurred during the 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. time slot. If students did not have class, many were in bed, or at least in their dorms.

“I was in my room when it happened and I just stayed [there] and locked my door— but should I have left?” said Bailey, who was getting ready for class and wasn’t sure what to do.

Students were concerned about only being alerted by a phone call, especially if they were in their rooms or asleep.

“I got one phone call; I feel like two would have been cool,” said Mackenzie Hetzler (‘22).

Some people did not even receive a phone call and only knew about the training if their friends told them. Additionally, some professors were unaware of the training–despite the emails–or where to evacuate to.

“I heard from some friends who were in SAC at the time say that their [professors] had them evacuating by just going down the stairs. I know [one] step is to always try to escape, but if there was actually a shooter, I don’t know if anyone would actually risk the stairs,” said Bailey.

Students were also concerned about walking to the evacuation centers, as this would force them to walk in open areas unprotected, and lead to them being an available target for any danger if it did ultimately occur. Additionally, the fact that many people did not understand what to do–even after being sent the emails–led to frustration.

“There should have been a debriefing so that we could discuss what happened versus what should have happened or what could be improved in the future,” said Hetzler, who

even suggested campus sending out a survey to see what was understood and what was not.

“I feel like without the debriefing it’s not training; it’s just a thing that happened that the majority of campus didn’t even care about.”

Hetzler even commented that boys were outside her dorm room screaming, rather than taking part in the drill.

Even with the chaos and dissatisfaction of students and faculty at the way it was depicted, people on campus still understand the importance of the drills, just wish for improvements.

“I understand that it’s needed. I like that we do [ALICE training] instead of lockdowns like they used to make us do in high school,” said Bailey.

Regardless of whether it feels legitimate or not, everyone should still take these drills seriously. Although they are only drills, they are implemented to help prepare in case a tragedy does happen. School shootings are unfortunately very common today, and even though nothing can truly prepare you for the worst, practicing these methods and understanding the steps of Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evade could potentially save a life.

“No war with Iran” ignites Twitter fued

EMILY HENDERSON
STAFF WRITER

Earlier this semester a student group on campus hung a red painted banner that read, “No War with Iran.” Shortly after the banner was placed outside the library, it was removed and later found in the trash.

This sparked quite a bit of drama not only around campus, but on one of the many Alma social media pages students use to anonymously vent. Alma Confessions, an anonymously run Twitter, was the page that saw the true heat of this argument.

Students from both the right and left took to Twitter to retweet, argue in the comments or just watch the show.

The banner and its removal lead to quite the political unrest on our small campus.

“The act of tearing down the banner, on its own, is a completely acceptable form of expression. That being said, it’s cowardly and also is the result of ignorance,” said Aristotle Karonias (‘22).

Some felt as though the students who tore down the banner continued their argument by hiding behind a screen. There was much argument over whether or not the removal of this banner was an act of free speech, or students just trying to cause a ruckus.

Not only were people discussing the banner on Twitter, slurs were being hurled from one direction to the next.

There were quite a few tweets posted by the Alma Confessions page in regards to the banner and its whereabouts, and others were in regards to students questioning why some had a problem with its removal, and yet others were discussing the issues with tearing it down.

Alma Confessions posted a tweet sent in by a student that read, “We 100% put that [redacted] banner in the trash. Then took it down again and brought that [redacted] off campus so it’ll never be found. Quit being [redacted] soft liberal pieces of shit. #NukeTfOutOfIran.”

Some of the students who put the banner up were bothered by the tweet being posted on this twitter, and arguments ensued. While some are angry, others tried to look at the situation with optimism and positivity.

“I do love everyone and stand to the fact that these people are still our peers and friends. What they did and believe in may reflect poor ideals, but they still have the right to those and expression, such as tearing down the flag,” said Karonias.

This entire issue brought forth a giant red flag, and not the one that was hung by the library.

Are Twitter pages like Alma Confessions more harmful than beneficial to our campus? Arguments can and have been made for both sides.

Pages like this one allow students a place to vent where they may not have otherwise been able to, which allows a certain kind of freedom that many students may feel they are lacking. On the other hand, this kind of anonymity can allow for the harassment of others with what feels like no backlash or punishment.

Already there have been tweets singling women out on our campus, and more will surely follow.

Pages like Alma Confessions must be aware of what they are posting, and can choose whether or not they will tweet or share something that may be harmful to their fellow students on campus.

Even after all of the arguments and posts found on the Alma Confessions page, students still feel as though it is more helpful than harmful on campus.

“Alma Confessions is a vital resource in the means of channeling our first amendment freedom of speech rights, in a way that somewhat can separate identity from message conveyed. For this reason, I think that to eliminate it would be an attack on that aspect of our constitutionally given rights,” said Karonias.

Coronavirus affect spring-terms

BAILEY LANGO
DISTRIBUTION MANAGER

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

Bernie 2020

ATULYA DORA-LASKEY
STAFF WRITER

We could regale you with stories about his incredible record. Or win you over with iconic policies such as Medicare for All and canceling everyone’s student debt. Maybe you’re the most pragmatic type who would be persuaded by learning that he is the best positioned candidate to beat Donald Trump by both winning over independents and turning out non-typical voters. The most compelling reason for the endorsement, however, would be that out of the two remaining Democratic nominees only one represents much needed progress while the other one represents a status quo that can no longer be tolerated in the face of a literal doomsday.

 

Climate change is an existential change to humanity. If we do not make radical changes, our generation will suffer from natural disasters with an intensity and frequency that has never been seen before on earth. After our institutions crumble, the generations after ours will be reduced to a pathetic shell of humankind, sold into oblivion by those who came before them.

 

Joe Biden’s climate plan is far behind the ambition of Bernie Sanders’s proposals, receiving the worst score by the Sunrise Movement as a result of the lack of detail. More egregious was the fact that Joe Biden held a high dollar fundraiser that was organized by a natural gas company co-founder, directly taking money from people who are responsible for pushing us closer to the brink of annihilation. In contrast, Bernie Sanders’s commitment to only using grassroots fundraising and his strong support of the Green New Deal serves as an important first step to mitigating the effects of climate change and fighting back against those poisoning the earth.

 

The Bernie Sanders campaign understands that America is a story of contrasts. It is the story of a son watching his father come home from fighting in Vietnam with PTSD he’s unable to get help for. A daughter watching her mom come home late at night from trying to start a union in her workplace. A girl growing up in a Kenyan refugee camp and eventually being elected to Congress. A woman dying from rationing insulin. A high school love story cut short in Afghanistan. A college student traveling the world even though her parents have never stepped foot outside Michigan. A man covered with newspapers freezing to death on a park bench. A couple holding their newborn baby for the first time. A frustrating call with an insurance company representative. A black community uniting to help each other in the face of natural disaster after receiving no federal aid. A non-binary person finally getting to use their pronouns. A mom borrowing money from her kid’s bank account to pay for groceries. A brave queer girl who stays closeted around her family. It is the story of a Jewish family fleeing Europe after losing half of their relatives to the Nazis, and their grandson who sets an unlikely run for mayor, senator, and then President.

 

A climate catastrophe now threatens to wipe out all these people, their memories, and their dreams. It was always just one story. Not of you and me, but a story of us. We must fight with all we have in the spirit of solidarity to better the story, or at the very least––continue it. Bernie 2020.

 

At the time of publishing, Michigan will be voting on the presidential primary tomorrow (March 10th). You can use the secretary of state’s site to find your polling place.

Students concerned about pipes bursting

JORDAN BRADLEY
SPORTS EDITOR

Students are worried about their belongings being compromised due to floods happening on campus.

Two different instances have occurred to warrant these concerns: a pipe connection failure in Brazell Hall and a lavatory valve failure in Bonbright Hall. Students are still worried that they will be the next affected.

“When the pipe burst, the room started flooding with hot iron-colored water. It started coming out from the sides and under the door of the bathroom,” said Brooklynn Jonassen (‘20), who had valve failure in her bathroom on the first floor of Bonbright.

This was the first instance this semester. An alarm went off in Bonbright and Carey, evacuating everyone from the buildings.

“We were told to grab anything we would need for at least 48 hours,” said Jonassen.

She and her roommate were then moved into Newberry. Facilities told them to grab things for at least 48 hours, but they were notified they could move back in later in the week.

“We went and looked [at the room], and it was not cleaned at all,” said Jonassen, who decided to stay in Newberry instead.

The second instance this semester was on the second floor of Brazell Hall, where there was a failure in the pipe connection. This was due to the overnight winter temperatures.

“As the water within the pipe froze, it expanded and pushed apart the solder joint (what holds two pipes together).

There are hundreds of miles of piping on this campus and hundreds upon thousands of connecting joints [and] valves everywhere on this campus for heating and domestic water. It only takes one perfect scenario for a piece of infrastructure to fail,” said Ryan Stoudt, associate director of facilities.

With this being an interior issue based on outside temperatures, students cannot do anything to keep this from happening.

“When a situation happens, it is unfortunately inevitable for the people in the immediate area [to be affected],” said Stoudt.

The majority of the floor was flooded, along with some of the first floor, as well.

“There were 21 students affected during the Brazell incident,” said Stoudt.

“I was in my room just chilling when I heard a girl yelling in the hall, so I got out of bed and walked to my door, only to step into water,” said Katie Wilder (‘20).

She opened her door to see water flowing from the room across the hall.

“It took security [around 10] minutes to show up, and then they called facilities. At this point, the water was moving pretty fast, so I put some towels down in an attempt to delay the flow. Overall, it took an hour and 20 minutes for facilities to show up and turn

the water off. [Campus officials] will now be training security on where the water mains are and how to shut them off in all the buildings on campus, since they apparently didn’t know how to do that before.”

Students who had damage to their rooms were put into temporary housing while their rooms were cleaned and were let back in throughout that week, most being back within 24 hours.

Stoudt stressed that though this may seem like a large amount of people being affected by these instances, this was only two incidents campus-wide; they just happened to both be on south campus.

“This is a really low number in comparison to the amount of piping we have through the campus. Any and all areas on campus are subject to [failure]; this does not just pertain to south campus,” said Stoudt.

If students are wondering what precautionary actions they should take in case a situation like this happens to them as well, Stoudt recommends students read the Housing Agreement Terms and Conditions under article 19 to become better informed. To be brief, this states that Alma College is not responsible for damage to or loss of property for any reason, which includes flooding. Many parents’ homeowner insurance policies may also cover a certain amount of damages, but students would need to look more into that themselves.

The Housing Agreement also strongly recommends that residents on campus look into and secure renter’s insurance to protect themselves against something like this happening, because it can happen at any time without warning.

“Make sure cords, backpacks [and anything else] are off the ground because you never know when something might happen and if you’ll be here to react to it,” said Wilder.

Trans students want to see Alma’s actions speak

CHAPIN KARTSOUNES
WEB EDITOR

The lack of restrooms that are available for any student, no matter what gender they prefer, on Alma’s campus is something to question.

You may not have noticed this issue because it doesn’t particularly affect you, but for the students that it does, it is more than an inconvenience.

There are very few all gender bathrooms in common areas of campus, and this problem needs to be solved. There are students on our own campus who have nowhere to do something that everyone does, and no one can help.

It’s time we start growing with society and creating spaces that allow people to use the bathroom if they need to, just like everyone else can.

There is a solution to this issue — we need single use bathrooms that are accessible and plenty around campus. These can be used by anyone, no matter what gender they identify as.

In the end, no one would be inconvenienced. A lot of people would be helped, and a positive change would be made!

I think the first step of this process should be addressing the few all gender bathrooms that already exist on our campus.

The most well-known all gender bathrooms are the ones on the first floor of Dow. These are routinely disgusting. The smell carries past the door, and the toilets are always very dirty.

The point is there, but Trans students deserve the basic decency of having a restroom that is useable.

Another gender inclusive bathroom used to exist across from Tyler Van Dusen but has since been removed and painted over. There are only male and female bathrooms in Saga, as well as the rec center.

There are no public all gender bathrooms in SAC, but students are allowed to use the one in the teacher’s lounge on the first floor if needed.

It is absolutely not okay that a student may have to walk up and/or down three flights of stairs just to use the restroom during class.

This issue has surpassed being just an inconvenience to students who need single use bathrooms. It can interfere with their health and disrupt their education because they would need to walk up and down flights of stairs which would cause them to miss more class time than those who could just use the restroom down the hall.

Because of the fact that I am cisgender, I have spoken to many individuals with whom the lack of all gender bathrooms effects. I then decided to use my voice as a staff member of The Almanian to broadcast their worries.

“If I’m somewhere like the rec or SAC, I’ll have to walk across campus just to use the bathroom,” said Oliver Labuda (’22). Labuda also stated that they sometimes leave SAC during class to use the single use restroom in the Eddy Music Hall.

Other students opened up to me about their struggles with not having a bathroom that is accessible to them.

“I have taken to social media to speak out about the issue,” said David Parnell III (’21) who has spoken with members of administration about the lack of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus.

“Your Trans students just need your actions to speak,” Parnell stated in a tweet that got several likes and retweets from other Alma students.

The school has taken a step by making bathrooms of dorm buildings single person use because anyone can use and access them at any point.

If we had more areas like this around campus, it would be a step towards making Trans students on campus feel a little more comfortable.

When you have a marginalized group speaking out and asking, “hey, we need this thing to make us feel more humane on your campus,” and the issue only seems to get worse, there needs to be a call to action.

The college should take responsibility for this mistake and allocate more bathrooms around campus to being single use, all gendered and easily accessible. This is a small step that could help many students at Alma who deserve comfortability.

Next time you’re walking around common areas of campus buildings, check the bathrooms. If you see an all gender bathroom, check the conditions. If none are satisfactory, or there isn’t one in sight, realize that.

Alma College, we want to see change. As long as everyone pees, they all deserve a place to be able to do so.

Winter Term Health and Safety Inspection

WILL BROWN
STAFF WRITER

This semester the Residence Life office continues with their second round of health and safety inspections for the year. During these inspections, resident assistants and their supervisors use the master key to gain admittance to students’ dorms in order to determine the state of the living space and ensure that there are no fire hazards or prohibited items present.

Alma College residents understandably have mixed feelings about these inspections that range from them being useful to them being invasive and even just being a waste of time.

When asked about whether room checks are necessary, first-year student Kayla Koepf (’23) responded by stating, “While some rules seem unnecessary—like the no-tapestry rule—I think that the inspections are a way for Residence Life to make sure that students are living in a safe environment.”

However, not all students share Koepf’s neutral view. Second-year student Ethan Zalec (’22) states that he views these inspections as unnecessary—adding that they are an “invasion of privacy.”

Second-year student Lexy Maas (’22) elaborates on Zalec’s views by agreeing that they are a waste of time for all parties involved. “The students just hide their candles or whatever until it’s over and then bring them right back out.” She elaborates that the only people satisfied with the inspections are administration who can “pat themselves on the back for doing a check.”

A different perspective was brought forward by first-year student Hannah Stiffler (’23) who stated that “[inspections] are just a way for Residence Life to make sure that students are living in clean, healthy environments—which some students really need.” She goes on to say that there are some rooms that seem “so disgusting that it’s almost unlivable.”

Residents have already been exposed to these inspections this past fall semester—the first semester in which they were implemented. However, according to Bruske RA Gabby Blecke (’21), residents may have been less focused on ensuring that they passed. “Students from all buildings should have been more prepared for room checks, as they were given lots of notice and have done them before.”

Blecke feels that this is reflected in the increased number of residents that failed their initial inspections.

While failing an inspection for minor infractions, such as having a tapestry or blocking your window, does not lead to any serious consequences, Blecke states that they “do result in more work for the residents, RAs and administrators.”

In order to pass these inspections in the future, resident assistant Anna Eaton (’20) spoke about how students can prepare for future inspections.

“Student can prepare by looking at the Alma handbook—specifically the section on prohibited items as well as the section on fire safety. These very clearly outline what items are and are not allowed in your room.” RAs and Residence Life administrative staff are also very open to students about what they look for in these inspections and when they take place.

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