Renovations move to progress campus



It seems that over the past few years Alma College has taken a lot of initiative when it comes to updating the infrastructure on campus. In the time the senior class has been at Alma, they have redone all the North Campus dorms, Dow lobby, and built the new Zeta Sigma House.

These renovations have done some serious updating to North Campus. I lived in Newberry and Mitchell Hall, pre-renovation. Now that I’m living in Mitchell again, these updates to the North Campus dorm buildings were truly beneficial.

Besides some minor complaints about shower drains, Alma College provided North Campus dorms with the best the college had to offer when they renovated. The changes to Mitchell Hall made it a truly different living experience than when I lived there Freshman Year.

The newly planned renovations to the chapel and Swanson Academic Center are next in line to be renovated and updated for the 21st century. The updates to these buildings were announced over Homecoming weekend and caused a lot of commotion.

I think these renovations are really going to be beneficial to a large majority of campus. An updated Library and Chapel allows the college to expand in a genuinely positive way, but I can’t help but think about if these renovations are the most urgent.

I lived on South Campus for two semesters while I’ve been at Alma College, and I can’t help but notice the deterioration on those buildings: whole tiles missing in bathrooms, semi-functioning heat and general signs of decay.

South campus housing has its perks. Suite style living appeals to a lot of students, and its location proves to be convenient; however, people can be reluctant to live there because of the overall deterioration of the dorms.

While I lived there, I experienced missing bathroom floor tiles, shower water that was tinted yellow and flooding in the laundry room—a laundry room that was already creepy and inconvenient. The college facilities department was on speed dial, and while they were not always expedient in fixing things, the job always got done.

South campus needs some serious updating from the college. What was done to Newberry and Mitchell last summer should come to the south campus dorms sooner rather than later.

Many students have had complaints that all of the underclassmen dorms have been renovated, while a solid majority of junior and senior students live in the oldest housing on campus. Some students—including myself— have found ways to keep living on North Campus even though they are an upperclassman.

Everyone can argue that what is important to them should be the first one to get renovated. Humans naturally put themselves ahead of others, so that’s what students are going to do when they think they are smarter than administration.

Triple E leaves athletes buzzing


In college, athletes are faced with various challenges throughout their four year career. From injuries to weather prohibited games, athletes have seen it all.

They have learned to become adaptable when facing any obstacle. However, current athletes now have a new unexpected obstacle to face that is leaving the community buzzing.

This new obstacle is Eastern Equine Encephalitis (Triple E or EEE). It has recently been rapidly spreading throughout Michigan with multiple cases appearing in at least eleven different counties, such as Kalamazoo, Jackson, Lapeer, and others.

At least three people have already been diagnosed and have died as a result of this deadly virus, which has quickly grabbed the attention of Michigan residents.

“EEE is not something that has ever been on my radar until recently. As a healthcare professional, I knew I needed to educate myself once I started seeing it pop-up on the news. I have gotten most of my information from emerging dieases,” said athletic trainer Catherine Boerner.

Many people are taking it upon themselves to become educated on what Triple E is and how to protect themselves and notice the signs, such as headaches, fevers, seizures, comas and even death.

As to how this relates to athletes, it all comes down to how the virus is transferred, which is through mosquitos. Triple E can impact anyone and is spread through certain types of mosquitos.

“EEE is found primarily in areas with swamps and bogs. The risk of bites from infected mosquitoes is highest for people who work or play outdoors in these areas. Wearing insect repellent when outdoors (especially at dawn and dusk) is important to prevent EEE,” said Boerner.

Therefore, Triple E can impact anyone, but the odds of an athlete encountering it become increasingly higher as a result of early-morning or late-night practices.

Many Alma College teams practice during dusk or dawn to accommodate for the athletes’ class schedules, which prohibits teams from having mid-day practices.

Since practice times cannot often be moved, the athletic training staff has Bug Repellant with DEET on hand for all outdoor sports teams to use.

The importance of this is to stress precaution and to make athletes feel comfortable while practicing or playing.

“If you don’t feel comfortable being outdoors, speak up! Talk with your coach about your concerns and try to come up with a solution. Otherwise, the best thing you can do if having an early morning or late-night practice is to utilize strong bug spray with DEET and wear long sleeves and pants/leggings,” said Boerner.

Practice times are often uncontrollable, such as the Men’s Lacrosse team’s being from 7 to 9p.m. Therefore, it is up to the athlete, along with the athletic staff’s advice, to take precaution when practicing during the dangerous time frame.

“I have been worried about the virus and to try and protect myself, I have used bug spray and have been wearing long sleeves to protect my skin from being bitten at these late hours,” said Tom Needham (’20).

Although no cases have occurred in the Gratiot County area yet, it never hurts to be safe or throw on an extra layer of clothes before practice.

Career week: Explore your opportunities


Alma College has had another successful career week. Last week was full of various events to help students find insight and learn about opportunities in their career paths.

Career week kicked off on Sunday, at JC Penney from 2-5 p.m. with Suit Up. Students received a discount up to 30% on business attire and accessories. Upperclassmen typically attend the event to begin the interview process for grad school or job interviews. This is a favorite amongst the students on campus.

On Monday, Sept. 16, students at Highland Blush were able to get coffee and bring their resume to be reviewed during Coffee and Critique from 10-12 p.m. and 2-5 p.m.

On Monday night speaker Zach Ballinger spoke on “Finding Your Passion.” The talk began at 6:30pm in Swanson Academic Center, Room 113. The first 50 students who attended the talk were given a free t-shirt.

Monday hosted the first two sessions of Sophomore Symposium. There was also a special session on Monday at 7 p.m. for choir members, marching band members, athletes and anyone else who could not make the standard 4:45 p.m. time.

All three sessions of Sophomore Symposium started with presentations by students who had used their Venture grant on the previous spring term. Sophomore students traveled to the various presenters and heard what they gained from their venture experience and was able to ask questions.

While students were traveling around to the different presenters, they received raffle tickets for a prize drawing at the end of the event.

After the students entered DOW L1, Carla Jensen began a presentation where several student panelists talked about their experience applying for the venture they used during their time at Alma.

Some of those learning experiences included research, internships, study abroad programs, service, leadership and clinical experience.

Many of the panelists had used not only a Venture Grant, but also a Posey Global, Currie Scholars Program, or Kinney Scholarship.

On Tuesday, Sept. 17, students joined a Resume Webinar to learn about how to write a resume. Resume work was a main priority during Career Week because a strong resume can open a lot of the pathways in the future.

Wednesday, Sept. 18 held multiple events. The “So You Think You are Going To Grad School” Lunch n’ Learn started the day off in the Thistle Room. Later in the day, the career staff held an Interests and Ice Cream event in Newberry to help students find careers in their interests.

During the night, there was a panel on how to use your Greek experience after college. Four alumni shared their experience on how skills gained in Greek Life relate to the future, especially during job interviews. Students from multiple different Greek organizations attended.

“I thought it was cool to see how many experiences when being involved in Greek life can help you later on in your careers,” said Kimber Buzzard (’21).

Thursday, Sept. 19, started with an elevator pitch raffle where students were able to give an impromptu elevator pitch before heading into the Job Fair 101 Lunch n’ Learn. Alumni were on campus to help students with mock interviews later in the day.

Friday, Sept. 20, was the Career EXPLO which allowed students to get professional headshots and business card printings, as well as, learn about possible job opportunities.

Some students did have feedback on what they wanted in future Career Weeks.

“From what I saw, most of the events that had to do with connecting people were for those in the medical field,” said Genevieve Morand (’22).

“It was the same for a lot of the scholarship programs as well, it seemed like. I feel like it’d be good to get more of a variety of programs for people with different areas of study, specifically in the arts area.”

Another issue students faced were scheduling conflicts between classes, sports and other extracurriculars with the events happening during Career Week. Many students wanted attend certain events, but were not able to open their availability to go to the scheduled career week events.

Students do, however, have constant opportunities for career help through the Center for Student Opportunity. Career week is highlighted specifically for students to interact with alumni who help future Alma graduates to take charge of their future

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