Tension rises in the Supreme Court

JORDYN BRADLEY
SPORTS EDITOR

With the Presidential Election drawing near as well as Supreme Court elections and re-elections, Capitol Hill is a scene of tension.

Following the death of former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Trump moved forward to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to take Ginsburg’s seat. This has brought an abundance of controversy, as Ginsburg’s dying wish was for her seat to not be filled until the next president took office.

When Justice Antonin Scalia–whom Barrett clerked for and called her “mentor”–died in 2016 while serving on the Supreme Court, President Barack Obama received backlash from Senate Republicans. They refused to hold confirmation hearings for Obama-nominated Judge Merrick Garland, claiming it was improper to do so in an election year.

President Trump–the then-Republican presidential nominee–pushed for Obama to not make any major decisions regarding the Court at the end of his presidency.

The day after Ginsburg’s death, President Trump contacted Barrett regarding the vacancy. He formally offered her the position on Sept. 21.

“I think the timing is disgusting,” said Salem Gray (‘23). “[Ginsburg’s] final wish was that the next president be the one who chooses the next Supreme Court Justice. If Trump respected her at all, he would have left the choice to whoever won the election.”

Others hold similar beliefs regarding the timing of Barrett’s nomination.

“I think that Donald Trump refusing to wait until after the election to pick someone is suspicious since he insisted on President Obama waiting to recommend when the last justice died,” said Amelia Earl (‘22).

The quick turn-around following Justice Ginsburg’s death isn’t the only thing that has brought tension to the Court. Barrett’s views have also been controversial.

“[Barrett] holds very controversial and conservative views, especially about abortion and a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body,” said Gray. “I think that she’s a threat to a woman’s bodily autonomy and minority rights.”

Many people are concerned that if Barrett is appointed to the position with the Court, her views will largely affect the Court. As of right now, five of the justices were appointed by Republican presidents and three by Democratic presidents.

“While I appreciate that [Trump] is recommending a woman, her views are the opposite of [Ginsburg’s] and I think she will make the Court too uneven in terms of political alignment,” said Earl.

Trump vowed to appoint justices that will be ready to overrule Roe v. Wade, the decision made in 1973 that states that a pregnant woman has the Constitutional right to an abortion if she so chooses. Barrett’s record shows that she votes almost uniformly conservative when it comes to her views on gun rights, healthcare, discrimination, immigration and, as previously stated, abortion.

Not only is Roe v. Wade potentially threatened by Barrett’s nomination, but Barrett has also been vocal about her qualms with the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate Judiciary Committee began its confirmation hearing with Barrett on Oct. 12. While here, Barrett was questioned heavily on her views of the Affordable Care Act, as she was quoted in 2017 saying that Chief Justice John Roberts “pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.”

Barrett was quick to say that she has no hostility toward the Affordable Care Act, and that she will judge independently and without a personal agenda. Still, Senate Democrats use her public personal beliefs as a driving force against her.

Barrett’s confirmation hearings are set to commence with a vote to come, but Senate Democrats are hoping to push the vote back to Oct. 22.

NYC labeled “Anarchist Jurisdiction”

COURTNEY SMITH
STAFF WRITER

Last Monday, President Trump’s Department of Justice declared three major American cities, New York City, Portland and Seattle, as ‘Anarchist Jurisdictions,’ alleging that these three locations contribute to lawlessness, violence and destruction.

Although the label of ‘Anarchist Jurisdiction’ sparks strong sentiments by itself, some believe it fails to accurately represent the current state of these three cities.

“For a few weeks during the protests there was a group in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle that did create a self-governed zone, but that was a tactic to de-escalate conflicts with the police, not a claim of fundamental jurisdiction,” said Dr. Benjamin Peterson, professor of history and political science. “In other words, while the police might have stepped back a bit from the area to avoid confrontation, the people in the area did not gain any kind of immunity from city laws, let alone becoming some kind of anarchist mini-state.”

Because none of these three cities display true examples of anarchy jurisdiction, many suspect this label by the D.O.J. involves more to do with election-year politics than the actual state of the cities.

“If you look at the recent messages from the Trump campaign, they are all about Trump being the candidate of law and order,” said Peterson. “These kinds of law and order campaigns have a long and frankly racist history in the United States, but people run them because they are often effective. The concept of an anarchist jurisdiction existing, and the president’s opposition to it, obviously supports that underlying campaign message.”

Although these labels may represent nothing more than election-year politics, the D.O.J. could implement serious penalties against these three cities based on allegations of anarchy.

“This is another instance in the complicated dance that is federalism in the United States,” said Peterson. “The Trump administration means to assert that if a local government fails to respond to a protest in ways that they find suitable, the executive branch can punish them–in this case by withdrawing money. While a state government could clearly intervene in a city’s affairs, it is more striking for the federal government to do so.”

The loss of federal funding for these three cities would drastically change the way these cities operate, especially because cities all across the country are already under financial stress due to COVID-19.

“The funding of local governments comes from a dizzying array of local, state and federal grants, funds and sources,” said Peterson. “The D.O.J. has many programs which provide direct funding to the local police, often through a block-grant structure. Potentially the removal of that money will decrease police protection and readiness, defund drug treatment programs, and disrupt the operation of city governments.”

Although labeling cities as ‘Anarchy Jurisdictions’ is not a common occurrence, the federal government often places pressure on state and city legislators to operate according to the status quo.

“We might see this as the administration attempting to usurp elements of state sovereignty and essentially step between the state legislature and the city,” said Peterson. “While that may

sound shocking or highly aggressive, these sorts of conflicts are constant in our government as the practical lines of federal, state and local authority are always shifting.”

The year 2020 brought about many unprecedented events, but the transformation of New York City, Portland and Seattle into anarchy jurisdictions simply is not one of them.

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.

Scotlight: Meet Dr. Harwood

CHELSEA FABER
STAFF WRITER

This week I sat down with Dr. Harwood, Environmental Science and Biology professor, to chat about her work with research students and her role fostering retired greyhounds. Here’s the chat:

Chelsea: What was your pre-Alma experience, what lead to what you’re doing now?

Dr. Harwood: I did my bachelors degree in a small liberal arts college in Illinois. I joke that it was also very Alma-like, we were also the ‘Fighting Scots’ so I had pre bagpipe exposure, tons of plaid stuff already, I have some stuff from my old days that I could probably still wear here! But yeah, same principle of a small liberal arts college, then I did my masters and PhD at Southern Illinois University, became a toxicologist and then taught at a small liberal arts college in Springfield, IL. They actually ended their undergrad programs, so I ended up at Alma! This actually worked out much better because it was more of what I wanted for a long-term goal.

C: I know you do a lot of work with students, what is this research that you do, and how are students involved?

H: One of the reasons I want to be at a place like Alma is because I wanted to – my favorite thing to teach, I love classroom stuff, but I love to teach students how to do science. The best place to do that is with their own projects. My research is very student driven. I have a couple of main areas now, those being working at the Superfund site, doing research with predicting bioavailability. The other big one is road salt, I try to do community based, it might not be something we think about in Alma but it’s something we should be thinking about in Michigan.

C: I know you do a lot of work with Greyhounds, lets dive into that:

H: I do! I got into greyhounds a little over two years ago, actually my first greyhound’s gotcha day is March 17th, so two years ago. I was 100% skeptical, because there is a large fraction of them that are 70 pound cats honestly, very aloof, they kind of do their own thing, I was very skeptical. But my husband really likes sighthounds because his sister had a borzoi, but we wanted one we could adopt. That’s my style, all my dogs are pound dogs. The group that I volunteer with, Allyies for Greyhounds, they have these things called meet and greets, where you can go and meet the dogs, the last one I went to there was 15 dogs there. I learned that there is a much bigger range of personality, it is narrower than most dogs, they aren’t all as laid back, but they mostly are very calm, very well mannered. When we did our adoption, they brought three dogs to our house and you ‘bachelor style’ pick one, that one stays at your house and the other two go back with them. I asked them to basically send the three craziest ones because I wanted a very high energy dog. About a year into us having him, they put a call out for people to be foster homes. I thought, well should we try it? And we’ve been fostering for about a year now. Our strategy is that we don’t mind the high energy dogs, where most people want the super chill side of things, we talk to the adoption coordinator, and say ‘who needs to get out of the kennel’, and we go pick them up. We keep them in our house and teach them how to be a house dog until they get adopted! Another thing I do with greyhounds is give information and be an advocate for the breed. For example, one of the most irritating things about this is that people often ask if they’re a rescue, where we don’t say they’re a rescue, we say they’re retired. Once I started meeting trainers and people who have been to the track and been to the kennels and have now met hundreds of dogs, they are not abused. So, we don’t say they’re rescued, they’re retired. When they get injured, which happens to many athletes, they get retired. That is another thing, informing people how they are not this abused dog, they are a professional athlete who is no

longer doing that. Once you get into these groups you realize they are so tightly knit that you will never see a racing greyhound in a pound, because if one gets there, a group will come pick it up and bring it back into a foster home. They have a higher placement than your average golden retriever, they’re so regulated. A lot of people think they’re forced to race but you can’t force a dog to do anything, you certainly can’t force them to run as fast as they can. You’ll never see a retired racehorse run for fun, my ex-racing dogs run for fun every day! They love it, you can’t stop them.

C: What opportunities are within your department, and then at Alma as a whole that you don’t think enough students know about, that more should take advantage of?

H: I think students should take as many research opportunities, and summer research opportunities as they possibly can get away with. And another thing people often don’t realize is that you can do research during the school year. If you have to have a summer job, you can do research during the school year and you can get credits for that. The other thing is to try to get into research early, then if you have a few years of experience, some of your professors will take you to a conference. So, if you start with me as a sophomore you’re almost guaranteed to go to a conference.

C: Following up on that, if a student wanted to start research with you or any other professor, how should they go about that?

H: Knock on their door! Send them an email! That’s usually how most do it but know that they fill up fast!

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.

Women’s History Month sparks power in students

KAELYN WOJTYLKO
STAFF WRITER

Many do not realize that the month or March is Women’s History Month. On Monday, Mar. 8, 2020 it was International Women’s Day as it is every year now.

Women’s History Month is all about trying to get equality. Still to this day women are not necessarily equal to men, especially in the work field. Wage gaps range depending on gender, age and the job being done. It is estimated that it will take another 40 years for women’s pay to become even close to male’s pay in the workforce.

International Women’s Day is the focal point in the movement for women’s rights. Women still fight for the equality that they deserve. There are multiple topics that people would like to cover during this day and in general.

Female athletes still are not treated nearly as well as male athletes. Not only is the pay different for pro-athletes, but the media coverage for female athletes is not advertised nearly as much as male athletic events. It has been a question if women should be allowed to compete in male dominant sports because some sports do not have women’s teams, for example, football.

Currently, there are female football coaches but still not many women playing football on pro teams. As women continue to fight for equal rights to do what they love, they break the norms of the gender-stereotyped norms.

There are so many stereotypes, in the work place especially, that claim that men can perform better in the workplace. Many women work so hard on a daily basis and shape the lives of the future. Women still go to work while pregnant and dealing with other bodily issues that happen over time.

Empowering women through women’s health education is very important because even as a women you may not know everything about your own health. Many women go undiagnosed with multiple different health problems because they don’t know what to ask at the doctors office. There is a time to draw the line with women’s health because you can only go so long with being in pain due to what you think could be cramps.

Many doctors still do not immediately test for things like endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, etc. Endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome is believed to effect 1 in 10 women in the world, however, many women remain undiagnosed.

Many women also push to increase visibility for women’s creativity. Women who have chosen careers in artistic fields sometimes feel undervalued and like their work is not as appreciated compared to a man’s according to several studies. For example, female authors are believed to not have their work appreciated due to many hurdles and struggle in best selling genres such as horror and science fiction. Many women, such as J.K. Rowling, have gone by initials and their last name or a made-up name that does not sound feminine just to get their work published and to try and reduce the fear that their work will not be appreciated by audiences.

Women continue to need the support in all different categories, this is just to name a few. Breaking the stigma and stereotypes of being a women continue to get harder as topics get deeper. We all have the power to change this.

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