Bowling makes history with big win
On Saturday, November 16, Alma College’s Bowling Team made history at the BGSU Falcon Classic. With some standout performances and the overall team score, both the Varsity and JV team finished the tournament in first place.
This first-place finish for both teams at a tournament is a first for the program and an indication for the rest of the season to come as the Scots approach the halfway mark of their season.
“Out of the four years that I have been on this team, it is by far the best season that we’ve had. All of the girls on the team are believing in themselves and it is really starting to show on the lanes!” said senior Varsity bowler, Emma Davis (’20).
The Scots have competed in seven total tournaments this far in the season with the BGSU Falcon Tournament being the half-way mark. With dedication and time, the team has managed to not only set records, but have this season be the best start in the program’s history.
Head Bowling Coach Kyle Woodcock said, “The first 2 [tournaments] we struggled a little, but that’s to be expected. We had been working on a lot of things with many of the bowlers plus it was the first tournament for 4 of the bowlers. We finished 8th and 9th in those events. In the last 5 events, we have had 3 first place and 2 second place finishes. This is the best start in program history. We are currently ranked 15th in the Nation.”
With a start like this, the team is on its way to making more firsts and breaking more records for the program. This includes not only for the team, but the individual performances as well, which all aided in the team’s success on Saturday.
At the BGSU Falcon Classic, the team competed in 5 regular games as well as 12 Baker games. Baker games are played by 5 bowlers, where the first bowler bowls the first frame and then the 6th with the second bowler bowling second and seventh and so on until the last frame.
The team performed well to start and picked up speed to seal a win in the baker games.
“At the BGSU Falcon Classic, our team did great in the individual games putting us first in totals going into the baker games, but with Wright State not far behind. Once we started baker games, it was a battle between Wright State and us. It was really going to be down to the last game, but we pulled through and ended up bowling a 211 in the last baker game to win the whole tournament,” said Sophomore Varsity bowler, Rachel Kuczajda (’22).
This tournament win was a collaborative team effort from start to finish. Although the BGSU Falcon Classic was a moment for not only the team’s overall success, but also an opportunity for individuals to shine as well.
“The BGSU Falcon Classic went really well! […] We also had three girls make the all-tournament team. Rachel Kuczajda led the varsity division, Cassie White led the JV Division, and Sarah Gadde took 2nd place in the JV division!” said Davis.
Adding onto Davis’s comment, Coach Woodcock said, “Sophomore Rachel Kuczajda led all bowlers with a 216 average. Freshman Cassie White led all JV bowlers with a 204 average.”
The overall win and individual performances helped place the bowling team in a strong position for the second half of the season, which starts Saturday, January 11, 2020. These wins not only aid in their program’s success, but in the overall atmosphere of the team.
The Bowling team’s first match was in October with their season extending all the way into March. Due to the length and success of the season, it is only fitting that the team not only works together in matches, but outside of them as well.
“My favorite part of being on the bowling team is really the sense of community and belonging that bowling brings […] We are all so unique and we come from so many different backgrounds, but bowling brings us all together forming a special bond that I will have for the rest of my life,” said Kuczajda.
With this bond, the bowling team has not only proven to pose a threat this season, but to continue making history. All of this not only showcases the hard work the team puts in every day, but the goals and mindset they all embrace and want for this season.
“Our goal starting the season was to advance past Sectionals this year. I think our early success has put us in a lot of pressure situations that will help with that goal. I believe we will have more opportunities in the second half to challenge ourselves to also help achieve that goal,” said Coach Woodcock.
Parking predicaments frustrate campus
Photo by EMMA GROSSBAUER
Parking has been a hot topic on campus, especially since the overnight street parking is now no longer allowed between the hours of 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. Many students have been parking in the streets since the beginning of the semester, which has taken a few of the spots students with passes for the lots usually use.
Students across campus have had their fair share of complaints about the overflow of students parking in their desired lot near their building. Many students do not pay attention to the regulations on Alma’s website in regard to the parking. For instance, if a student finds their lot full, then they can contact Campus Safety and get a temporary permit to park in an overflow lot.
Also, according to the regulations, if you are an owner of a maroon or teal pass, you may park in any of the silver lots if your assigned parking lot is at its maximum capacity. One thing to remember is that overflow parking is only allowed until noon the following day.
“I have not been able to park in my lot near my building since early October,” said Rachel Whipple (’20).
Students have, however, shown how upset they are that they even have to park in overflow lots, especially with the amount they pay to park.
“I pay $300 to park in the teal lots around campus, and there are only three lots that are teal on campus,” said Carrielynn LaFranchi (’22). “There are multiple other people that do the exact same, yet there are people who do not own a pass or park in random lots still and get away with it, which makes it hard for people who actually own the pass for the lots to find a parking spot.”
Students had the option to choose between several lots at the beginning of the year. Those lots are the Teal (north side by Gelston, Newberry, Mitchell and Bruske), Maroon (south side of campus near the fraternity and sorority houses, along with Brazell/Nisbet, Carey/Bonbright, Wright Hall and then on North side of campus by Wright Ave), Silver (across from Starbuck’s and by the softball field), Gold (behind Starbucks) and Magenta (First Presbyterian Church).
“For the amount of money I both pay to go here and pay for a parking pass, there should be open spots located in the lots close to where I live,” said Sophia Payne (’22). Students have been struggling to find parking spots due to the mass amount of students having a car on campus and either parking in the wrong spot, not owning a parking pass or not having the current parking pass for that specific lot.
“My friend and I always park in the same lot by our sorority house, and that lot has been consistently full, so we have not been able to park in our lot and have had to park relatively far away from where we live,” said Lauren Sandtveit (’21). “The other night, we couldn’t find a spot and called security to tell them, and they said to come get a pass for an overflow lot and gave us a pass for the Heritage lot, which is a distance away from our housing, and the pass was just for the day. The way parking is grouped together this year does not seem like it has a reason; the way the old parking lots were set up made more sense.”
With the parking lots being consistently overflowing, students have been creating their own parking spots in their assigned lots and not in assigned spots which is going against regulations. Campus Security is ticketing people who are violating these regulations. If you have any questions about the regulations, you can look them up on Alma’s website under Parking on Campus.
If you so happen to receive a ticket, you should get a charge on your account, and you have seven days to appeal the ticket before having to pay the amount specified at the Financial Services Office in the basement of Hamilton.
This is the first year the new lots have been in placement compared to the old system, so kinks are still being worked out, and everyone is still trying to get used to the new lot setup. While many students do not care for the new set up, some do because it gives them more options where they can park. If you have any questions regarding parking do not hesitate to look online to see if your question is answered there, or contact Campus Safety.
Alpha Psi Omega Hosts Annual One-Act
Every year during the fall semester, the theater honorary fraternity Alpha Psi Omega hosts a play festival known as the One-Act Play Festival. The festival is student produced both in terms of direction and technical production.
Every aspect of the show is created by the students. “It is a fully student produced show, meaning APO funds it, all the directors are members of APO, the designers are students and all production needs are coordinated by APO” said APO President Sam Moretti (’20).
Alpha Psi Omega was founded in 1925 at Fairmount State College and has grown to a total of 551 active chapters in the United States including the Delta Beta chapter here at Alma College.
This year the festival is running three shows, “We have three shows,” said Moretti. “The 5564 to Toronto by Karen Howes, directed by Rachel Blome (’21). The Second Floor by Robert Scott, directed by Terry Dana Jachimiak II. The final show is The Three Little Pigs: Reborn written and directed by Merek Alam (’20).”
Actors have only a few weeks to rehearse, memorize and prepare for their individual show. “My favorite part of the rehearsal process is when the lines are finally memorized and the performer can begin to truly experience the emotions that come from the words internally,” said Dan Chalice (’21).
While a typical theater production would have a set rehearsal schedule for all case members, the play festival allows each director to set up their own rehearsal schedule with their cast members.
“Directing has been a super fun experience,” said Blome. “I enjoy being able to control all the design elements of a show like lights, sound and costume. I have also really enjoyed being able to work with the talented actors of my choice. Overall it is a nice break from the traditional role I have filled and a fun, creative experience.”
Student directors are also a different aspect of the play festival. Student directors take on a new role during this time of the year and are given the opportunity to try their hand at leading the production. “I think that it’s a healthy experience for theater students to experiment with a directing role at some point,” said Chalice.
These student directors also bring a new perspective to the show. “Having student directors bring a unique perspective to each piece,” said Morgan Sweitzer (’22). “It is very clear when you see each show that the directors have varying visions creating distinct difference and an evening of electric theater.”
Additionally because each aspect of the show is student produced, students learn how to collaborate with each other for the betterment of the production. “My favorite part of the festival is the student collaboration,” said Sweitzer. “It is really a chance to get to know your fellow students on a more personal level.
In the winter semester, the theater program will also be doing The Devised Piece written by one of Joanne Gilbert’s classes, who will also be directing the production. “The play is about gun violence and the United States relationship with guns,” said Cassidy Sanford (’20). “The play is composed of interviews both on campus and in the surrounding community with the additional statistical facts.”
The Devised Piece will run February 13th – 16th. They will also be doing She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen which will run April 2nd – 5th. Auditions for both shows will be announced next semester.
Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s Day
Over the past several years, there have been many movements to replace the observation of Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day in light of the acts of terrorism committed by Columbus on indigenous communities during the Age of Exploration. The origins of Columbus Day prove much more complex than many know.
“Columbus day actually emerged as part of a movement of Italian Americans who wanted to have their own heritage recognized. They advocated for celebrating Columbus as the origin of American stories and American heritage as a way to counter, at the time, some pretty strong anti-Italian sentiment.” said professor of english Laura von Wallmenich, professor of English and Native American Literature.
In spite of the complex roots of Columbus Day, many feel that the observation of Columbus Day is harmful to Native Americans.
“By making that a holiday that we celebrate and suggesting that Columbus is an origin for American identity is at the very least insulting to indigenous peoples.” said von Wallmenich.
In addition, many feel that the portrayal of Columbus as a heroic historical figure neglects to address the suffering many indigenous communities experienced at the hands of Columbus during colonization.
“To celebrate Columbus Day, and to celebrate Columbus as a kind of founder figure is historically not entirely accurate. It’s also to celebrate and elevate as an individual hero something that was actually a complex colonizing force that displaced indigenous people.” said von Wallmenich.
Some argue that the heroic representation of Columbus stems from a lack of education on the suffering of Native Americans during colonization.
“My school didn’t teach me a lot about what Columbus did to indigenous communities. Admittedly, part of what history is involves how it’s remembered. Unfortunately, history is often rewritten to not show some of the bad parts” said Jared Wilson, (‘20).
The movement to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day began with grassroots movements by Native Americans, and has made tremendous progress in a short period of time.
“The organized movement to protest and resist Columbus Day has really been a fairly recent movement, in the last few decades, but the roots of that go all the way back to the 1970’s during the American Indian Movements where there began to be politically organized indigenous communities from across the United States protesting U.S. policies.” said von Wallmenich.
Part of the success of these movements for Indigenous Peoples’ Day can be attributed to the passion and devotion of Native Americans for their history to be accurately addressed.
“I think Indigenous People’s Day is fueled by a desire to acknowledge that indigenous communities are still here, they still grapple with the legacies of colonization, and they are still wounded every time we tell a falsely heroic story of conquest and colonization.” said von Wallmenich.
Although the simple change of a holiday’s title seems miniscule, it speaks volumes on the level of respect the United States has for indigenous people.
“I think that Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a very small step of acknowledging that the United States exists on land that was indigenous land and that indigenous people are still part of the United States. It seems like a small thing to say that if we think about a day commemorating our origins, it might be better to begin by commemorating indigenous people, who have not vanished. The stories we tell as a nation matter.” said von Wallmenich.
Supreme Court decide the future of DACA
The Supreme Court of the United States heard the case made by the Trump Administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows undocumented individuals who entered the country as a child to remain in the United States legally.
DREAMers were those brought to the U.S. illegally as children, through the program they could stay in the country to work and attend school, pending they meet certain requirements as well as pass a background check.
This program impacts almost 700,000 young people and began during the Obama Presidency, however in September 2017 the Trump Administration announced they would begin to end protections for DACA recipients.
The process to end DACA was announced as a form of “winding down” this amnesty for DREAMers. Due to the intense changes that would follow eliminating the program, as well as concern as to the legality of the steps taken to end DACA, federal courts heard challenges to Trump’s announcement.
Lower courts have decided to keep the program alive, however the Supreme Court’s decision will be the end of legal debate and will reveal the fate of 700,000 individuals living in this country.
Federal appeals courts have ruled in favor of DACA, citing that when a policy which impacts so many people, businesses and the overall economy have depended on is to be eliminated, there must be a full reasoning provided, one including a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis.
As is the case with major decisions before the Supreme Court, a verdict is not expected until June of 2020, falling in the heat of the presidential campaign.
Supporters of DACA have claimed the president is spreading misinformation about the reality of DREAMers. Trump stated in a tweet that many participants are “no longer very young, are far from ‘angels’” and that “some are very tough, hardened criminals,” however, those with a felony and serious misdemeanors are not eligible for DACA protection.
Opponents of DACA have concern that these protections could encourage individuals to illegally enter the country in hopes for their children to be eligible for this program. Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas explained that, “The Dream Act will only encourage more illegal immigration.”
Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have called for bipartisan legislation to solve the issue at the heart of the DACA debate, rather than a stark elimination of the program. The wish for a resolution has been talked of since Trump announced the end of the program in 2017, however due to the increased political polarization of congress, little progress has been made.
2020 Presidential hopefuls have issued statements on their standing in this debate in light of the Supreme Court taking up the case. “Dreamers are woven into the fabric of our country, & they belong here,” said Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders condemned the President while issuing his support for DREAMers tweeting, “Trump’s attack on the DACA program is the ugliest and most cruel decision made by a president in our modern history.”
Former Vice President, Joe Biden tweeted his support for DREAMers saying “(they) should be treated like the Americans that they are. It’s past time for Congress to provide a pathway to citizenship and a fair shot at the American dream.”
Similarly, Pete Buttigieg’s headquarters tweeted a video profiling DACA recipients with the caption, “#HomeIsHere and you belong.”
The future of the program will be decided in the months to come, leaving hundreds of thousands of individuals in limbo until then. With congress seeming unmotivated to pass legislation in the current political situation, DREAMers may be waiting until June 2020 for answers.
Social media policies affect the nation’s policy
Twitter backfires on Facebook’s “hands off stance” by banning all political ads on their platform.
Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, spoke out recently and said that political ads can be misleading and present challenges to society.
Dorsey tweeted, “We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought”.
This is has struck up a lot of discussion on campus between both students and faculty. Alexander Stephenson ’21 is currently doing research on political communication on social media.
“I think Twitter’s decision to ban political ads is extremely dangerous for the future of politics. The main goal for people in politics is to improve political participation right now. There have been disputes around Twitter’s algorithm censoring people from the right wing, and in turn, creating one big echo chamber on Twitter. The studies do not provide any evidence of that, however, they do show that there are more liberal users than conservative users on Twitter. When it comes to improving political participation, there is a relationship between seeing and sharing political news on social media and political participation,” said Stephenson.
An immediate response to this decision came from the economy after Twitter’s stock dropped over 1% after Twitter made their announcement.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, made a decision before Twitter’s that essentially allows any political ads to be shown on their platform without fact checking.
Vice President for Planning and Chief of Staff at Alma College, Elizabeth Hall, also has a strong opinion on the issue.
“I think there are extremes right now that are going on. Twitter has taken the position that we are not going to do any political advertising at all, and Facebook has taken the position as we are going to accept all paid advertising and not do any effort to fact check. I think there is probably a middle ground, and I would prefer to see companies go there,” said Hall.
Since a lot of social media is made up by younger users, there is worry that these recent decisions will affect political decisions and beliefs that they have.
“Again, seeing and sharing politics directly leads to more political participation. This is especially true with the younger generations. The generations that are growing up in the age of social media will be the most affected because this ban limits the amount of exposure young people have to learning about political dilemmas. If our goal is to conserve our sense of democracy, we should not censor political ads, instead we should encourage them,” said Stephenson.
With a background in marketing and as a current marketing professor on campus, Hall also sees this concern for the younger population.
“I worry that Twitter has taken this positon because there as so many, in particular young adults, on Twitter that may be one of the primary means that they have of keeping up with what is going on in the world. Do they then miss an opportunity to find out what different political candidates are advocating and will we then lose some momentum in terms of voting if they are not engaged in the presidential campaigns, particularly? I think they are important constituents, obviously, we want more students voting and we want them engaged in the politics of the country,” said Hall.
Another concern on campus and nationally is whether this policy is going to be permanent or not.
“I don’t think this ban will be permanent. I don’t know the cause of the ban, but I know limiting political speech is not something that usually goes over well with the American people. If it were a permanent ban, I think Facebook may transition to a predominantly political venue for people. That would be worst-case scenario, as we know how questionable Facebook’s algorithm is. Facebook would definitely be a wild place too, because as of now they allow politicians to lie in their ads. It would definitely be interesting,” said Stephenson.
The future of social media and politics is unknown as the 2020 presidential election continues.
Elizabeth Hall’s preference of, “paid political advertising with fact checking”, would be the obvious middle ground to these extremes but for now, that does not seem to be the solution for these social media CEO’s. Whether either of these policies are the best for the future of social media or not, it has surely caused an uproar of debate in the nation.
The Bolivian coup is a rerun
Reading the news regarding Bolivia over the past couple of weeks has left me thinking a lot about Jurassic Park. More specifically what the author of Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton, coined as Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. Crichton described this effect as “You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well…You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of the facts or the issues…In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs. And read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read.”
As most of us may know, on Nov. 10, Eva Morales stepped down from his post as President of Bolivia, but this isn’t the whole story. To see a fuller and more accurate picture, we have to know who Morales is in the first place. Morales was born to indigenous farmers in a small mining village where he grew up herding llamas. Later, becoming the union leader of coca growers, an industry that consisted heavily of former miners who had been laid off as a result of mid-80’s financial austerity in Bolivia. Through his life, Morales witnessed the effects of both colonial racism and neoliberal capitalism.
Morales defied all expectations when his campaigned for the Bolivian presidency by opposing corporate globalization and actually won, becoming the first ever Bolivian indigenous president. His supporters celebrated by waving the Wiphala flag, a flag symbolizing Bolivia’s indigenous people. Morales quickly got to work undoing centuries of colonialism by appointing indigenous activists to major positions in government and centering indigenous concerns in the national dialogue as well as the rewritten Bolivian constitution. With the political party he founded, Movement Toward Socialism, Bolivia began implementing recovery measures with huge success. The GDP grew by over 50%, poverty fell from 60% to 35%, and extreme poverty fell even steeper from 38% to 15%. On these popular reforms, Morales was reelected twice.
Like all Presidential administrations, Morales wasn’t perfect. Many have criticized him for seeking a fourth term in office, which was a violation of the Bolivian constitution. The Bolivian legislature narrowly voted to not grant him another term, but the Bolivian courts struck them down and ruled that Morales was cleared to run again. Morales won 47.1% of the vote, a large enough plurality to not require a run-off election against the second-place candidate. The Organization of American States then claimed that there were irregularities in the voting process without any actual proof, with the Center for Economic and Policy Research disputing this claim. Morales, confident of his popularity, offered to run new elections regardless. Despite this, the military asked him to step down. Wanting to stop the ongoing violence against his family members and party colleagues, he did and left for Mexico in order to gain political asylum.
This coup fits a sinister pattern that points to an obvious suspect. The United States has a habit of destabilizing foreign powers if they don’t cooperate in giving American corporations the resources they want or if they get too close to achieving functional socialism. This isn’t a tinfoil-hat conspiracy, these are open secrets that the US government has declassified and admitted. A few notable examples are the following (A more comprehensive list would require one to see Seth Lester’s “U.S. Policy in Latin America” presentation for Alma YDSA): In 1912, the US occupied Nicaragua and installed an authoritarian government for bananas; In 1916, the US began a brutal nineteen year occupation of Haiti for sugar; In 1919, the US engaged in a military intervention in Honduras for more bananas; In 1954, the US carried out a CIA operation to depose the democratically elected Guatemalan president and replace him with a decades-long brutal military dictatorship so the United Fruit Company could maintain profits; In 1973, the US carried out another CIA operation to depose the democratically elected socialist Chilean president and replace him with a 15 year- long fascist regime in order to avoid the positive example a socialist government might set; In 2003, the US started a a war in Iraq for oil; In 2009, the US used the Department of Defense to back coup in Honduras in order to take a leftist President out of office. All of these actions resulted in the unimaginably horrendous torture, rape, and murder of political dissidents that were far too gruesome to ever be described in a school newspaper. Yet all were justified by the American government due to the financial benefits it gave to US companies.
While we won’t know for many years the level of US involvement in the Bolivian crisis, we do know that the Trump administration has very publicly supported the coup. Western media has closely followed in Trump’s example and declared what happened in Bolivia as a victory for democracy.
As coup forces began to assert control over Bolivia and little-known lawmaker Jeanine Áñez declared herself president by ignoring succession rules, western media legitimized the illegal actions and initially downplayed the new government’s atrocities. Instead of reporting on the racist soldiers cutting off the Wiphala flag from their uniforms or how these soldiers were now being deployed to kill indigenous protestors, the media framed them as forces simply trying to “quell violence”. There is no focus on the racist tweets and remarks Áñez made against indigenous people, instead the western media like The New York Times frames the atrocities with calming headlines such as “In Bolivia, Interim Leader Sets Conservative, Religious Tone”.
So why the refusal to acknowledge what this historical pattern or even properly report on what is happening in Bolivia at this very moment? There’s no insidious conspiracy theory here, no shadowy figure secretly pulling the strings from behind the scenes. As I’ve said before, the real truth is that the mainstream media suffers from biases as a result of its structural values. And the structural values of both the media and the US government aren’t truth or justice, but instead the simple generating of profit. And until that changes, we should always take what these two institutions proudly declare with a heavy grain of salt. We might like to tell ourselves that these core democratic intuitions serve the people, but they won’t actually serve us until we really demand it and fundamentally restructure how they independently work. In the words of Jurassic Park’s Ellie Satler, “You never had control. That’s the illusion!”