Controversy surrounding movie Don’t Worry Darling

DARCY DAENZER
ALIVIA GILES
STAFF WRITER

10/3/2022

The anticipation of the release of Don’t Worry Darling, directed by Olivia Wilde and starring Harry Styles and Florence Pugh, has been fraught with controversy. Any doubts the movie would do poorly on its opening weekend, however, were quickly cast aside as it rose to number one at the box office.

The discourse surrounding the movie touches on a wide range of things from Shia LaBeouf’s involvement to Styles’ acting, to the relationship between Styles and Wilde.

Some have even gone so far as to suggest the controversy has been used purposely by the film’s creators to promote the film and increase its potential viewership.

Whatever the case, most conversations are now centering around Styles’ and Wilde’s relationship. The age difference between the two, how it may have caused tensions on set and how distant they seemed to be from each other throughout the premiere in Venice are just some of the topics being discussed.

In a male-dominated field such as the film industry, female directors like Wilde may face more scrutiny just because they are women.

It would not be surprising if Wilde has faced more criticism as a woman. “[I]t makes sense…that a woman would experience more backlash for a movie like this since they are constantly under a microscope,” said Amelia Price (’24).

On a similarly note, Wilde faces more scrutiny as a female director. “[S]he will continue to be confined by her sexuality, as [the] film exists in a patriarchal society,” said Haden Gross (’23).

Furthermore, male film directors have had a long history of dating their female leads. Some instances included a notable age difference and still received little to no criticism.

Even if Wilde is facing more criticism simply because she is dating one of the world’s most famous male singers right now, it is still important to consider the gender biases that may be in effect.

Wilde’s directorial debut, Booksmart, was received very differently by critics, attaining an admirable 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and a solid seven point one out of 10 on IMDb.

Perhaps, some critics of Wilde have a problem with the subject matter of her newest film. This includes the constraints women of an idyllic 60s-era society are facing.

The movie, however, has not suffered any repercussions from the bad press. CNN reported they “opened to $19.2 million in North America [the weekend of September 23 and] …notched $30 million worldwide so far.”

While Don’t Worry Darling has only received 39% on Rotten Tomatoes and six point three out of 10 on IMDb, it has, nevertheless, pervaded our lives with the sheer amount of press surrounding the actors and creative team.

Whether more people will see the movie is up for debate. “As much as I want to see it, I do not want to support Olivia Wilde, financially or in general, so I will be watching it, but in a less conventional way,” said Price.

When it comes to movies these days, especially with social media, it is no surprise that a movie this heavily promoted with A-list actors and one of the world’s most famous singers could have caused this amount of contention. However, it is evident that some of the topics being discussed are not essential to determining the actual merits of the film.

While it may be fun to discuss all of the drama Don’t Worry Darling has caused, in the end, it really does not matter.

Hopefully, in the future, we can judge movies by their actual content and not the drama surrounding them.

Alma College offers fall alternative breaks

LEIA LEHRER
GRAPHIC DESIGNER

REYNA EDWARDS
STAFF WRITER

10/3/2022

As the first academic break of the year is coming around the corner from Oct. 13 to Oct. 16, most of Alma College’s students are getting ready to go back home to see their families, friends and pets.

However, there are some students who may be interested in other opportunities to fill their Fall Break. For the students that are interested in an alternative option, Alma College offers a variety of different opportunities to participate in.

Fall Alternative Breaks have been offered through Alma College since 2003. They have gained more popularity each year among students and faculty alike.

These Fall Alternative Break opportunities are a great way for students to become more involved. They allow students to make a difference within the Alma community and the greater Gratiot community.

“What I like seeing in the volunteers that I have worked with is seeing people willing to take time out of their schedule to address a need in our community,” said Katherine Garlock, the AmeriCorps VISTA member for Food Security at Alma College.

There are four Alternative Break opportunities available for the 2022 Fall Recess: Food Security with the Gratiot Community Garden and Greater Lansing Food Bank, Environmental Stewardship with the Friends of the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail, LGBTQ+ Support with the Gratiot Gender Affirming Closet and Disability Support with Day Dreams Inc.

The Food Security Alternative Break with the Gratiot Community Garden and Greater Lansing Food Bank will work to alleviate food insecurity within the mid-Michigan area.

In this alternative break, students can expect active outdoor work completing end-of-season maintenance at the Community Garden. This will include garden take down, as well as sorting donations and assisting with food distributions to the Gratiot community.

“20% of Gratiot County is living in poverty, and hunger does not end after going to a food pantry a few times. We need volunteers who are willing to work and encourage their peers to engage with the community on a weekly basis,” said Garlock.

The Environmental Stewardship Alternative Break with the Friends of the Fred Meyer Heartland Trail will include service to and upkeep of the Fred Meyer Heartland Trail in Gratiot County. This break would be a perfect opportunity for students who love the outdoors and being active.

The LGBTQ+ Support Alternative Break will include sorting, washing and organizing clothing and accessory donations for the Gender Affirming Closet at Alma College. This alternative break seeks to provide gender-affirming clothing and accessories to the Gratiot County community.

“I am volunteering for the gender-affirming closet because I want to be a part of minimizing gender dysphoria on campus, and the clothes that we wear often have a hand in shaping how others perceive us and how we feel about our own identities. The closet offers students a place to find clothes that fit their preferred identity to lessen this dysphoria,” said Sophie Flater (’23).

The Disability Support Alternative Break will involve sorting donations and organizing merchandise at the Dream Works Resale Shoppe. This is a non-profit organization that was established to provide and support occupational and social opportunities for adults with disabilities. Students who sign up for this alternative break will aid them with that mission.

To sign up and find more information regarding this year’s Alternative Break opportunities, visit Alma.edu. Registration is open now.

Alma College celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

RAUL RIVERA
PHOTOGRAPHER

CLAIRE HIPPS
COPY EDITOR

10/3/2022

Americans celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) every year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate Americans who have ancestry traced to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Hispanic Heritage Week was first celebrated in 1968 under Lyndon Johnson. In 1988, the observation was expanded by Ronald Reagan to an entire month. Sept. 15 is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

“Many people celebrate their heritage by preparing traditional dishes, playing music and hosting dances, and most importantly, spending time together,” said Alejandro Salais, graduate assistant in Alma College’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (DI Office).

To celebrate on campus, the DI Office is holding many events for “all students, faculty and staff in the Alma Community,” said Salais.

Central to these events is the Hispanic Hall of Fame, viewable between Sept. 19 and Oct. 15 in the Rotunda of Tyler Van Dusen. This self-guided tour introduces you to Hispanic American historical figures and their contributions to American society.

“My personal hero [is] Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor,” said Stephany Slaughter, professor of Spanish and women’s and gender studies. Sonia Sotomayor, a Puerto Rican woman born in the Bronx, became the first Hispanic person and the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court in 2009.

“Someone in the Latino community that I look up to is Roberto Clemente—the first Latino inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame,” said Salais. “[His] dedication to community service and giving back to others is what has always made him a role model for me.”

“It is no [surprise] that Benito Antonia Martinez Ocasio, also known as Bad Bunny, is one of my idols,” said Krystal Urena (’23), president of the Alma College Hispanic Coalition. “He is true to what he believes in [and] has broken so many stereotypes of machismo.”

Bad Bunny, who is Puerto Rican, has won two Grammy Awards, four Latin Grammy Awards and eight Billboard Music awards amongst other achievements in music and television.

Puerto Ricans are contributing to American society in major ways, but their situation is unique. Puerto Ricans are U.S. Citizens, and have been since 1917, but are disenfranchised.

“Puerto Rico deserves particular attention, not only because of the continued colonial relationship between the island and the continental US… but because of the current situation [in which they are] recovering from Hurricane Fiona,” said Slaughter.

One of the ways the community celebrated HHM is by inviting Puerto Rican artist, Omar Cruz, to the DI Office’s HHM Painting with a Twist event. This event took place on Sept. 29. According to his website, Omar Cruz is “one of the most sought-after portrait photographers among celebrities.”

On another note, there are many ways to get in on HHM celebrations on Alma College’s campus.

“On campus, the [DI Office] has an event planned [on Oct. 7] that will include Ballet folclórico and food for our campus community,” said Slaughter. “I’m excited to participate!”

This event will take place in the chapel, featuring the Ballet Folclórico del Luz, Central Michigan University’s award-winning folclórico group.

On Oct. 13, there will be a showing and dialogue around the East LA Walkouts. This event will be cohosted by the DI Office and History Club in the chapel basement.

“The purpose of [the showing and dialogue] is to shine some light on the history of [the American] education system,” said Urena.

On Oct. 18, the Hispanic Coalition and iGem are cohosting an event on Latinx Voices in STEM in SAC 113.

“As a Latino graduate student and young professional, it means so much to me to be surrounded by a community here at Alma College that cares so much about learning about different cultures and social identities,” said Salais.

Alma College brings new perspectives through Art Prize

KYLE SCHECK
PHOTOGRAPHER

MARIA KOLB
STAFF WRITER

10/3/2022

The annual Art Prize has come to bring art to campus. This year’s theme is “May you Live in Interesting Times.”

The annual Art Prize reflects what students believe are the ideas or concerns of the theme. The students bring these ideas and concerns to life through art.

“This theme was ‘borrowed’ from the 2019 Venice Biennale,” said Jilian Dickson, visiting assistant professor in drawing and painting. “We encountered such powerful work, I wanted to piggyback off that momentum. In previous years, the theme was a single word, [like] ‘electric tape’, ‘recycle’, ‘reuse’.”

With this reflection surrounding the Art Prize theme, students have the freedom to explore through different mediums. This can range from acrylics to woodwork. Even though Art Prize has a theme to be followed, you can find ways to showcase everyday experiences and controversial issues.

“Students used this opportunity to examine the ‘interesting’ circumstances we find ourselves in. There is a piece in reaction to Roe V. Wade. There is another piece…that examines accessibility on campus,” said Dickson.

One of the small groups participating in this year’s competition has created an artwork called “Out of Reach.” The team members are Willis Heiney (‘23)Starr Koon (‘23)Emily Diener (‘23) and Lauryn Bishop (‘23). They have created a twelve-foot-high staircase sculpture to explore ideas about disability, inaccessibility and the struggles students face due to inequalities on campus.

“We chose stairs because they are commonly overlooked as a functioning passageway and rarely thought of as a blockage,” said Koon.

It is not only the ideas explored in a creative way. The artworks are also intentionally positioned on campus where they invoke their message best.

“…We intentionally placed it at the center of campus to resonate with the message. We wanted our staircase to obstruct the pathway and allow viewers to feel the same disruption and blockage that students with disability face,” said Koon. “We also made the base of the platform to start at five feet tall to further highlight the daunting and overwhelming feelings of struggling students and students with disabilities.”

A key aspect of Art Prize that is often overlooked is the learning experience and the collaborations being done with other artists on campus, especially when some of the participants are not art majors.

Art prize is open to all students from various disciplines. This year, however, only students that are art majors, minors or are participating in an art class have taking an interest. The Art Prize can also be done as a group or individually.

In the “Out of Reach” group, “everyone came together, communicated and took on separate roles to complete our piece,” said Koon. “Whether it was staining the wood, [cutting] and sanding, or solving problems during assembly, I’m extremely impressed with our teamwork.”

Students who are not related to the art discipline are welcomed to participate and expend the knowledge from their own disciplines.

“We’ve had students from a variety of disciplines participate,” said Dickson.

While this new system greatly enhances Alma’s liberal arts education, this system offers less flexibility because of the structured requirements. It has been expressed that this is something that will continually be worked on.

Alma College community reacts to Yik Yak

MEGAN ROBERTSON
HANNAH STIFFLER
STAFF WRITER

10/3/2022

Yik Yak, all drama or useful? Lately it has caused quite a stirrup on Alma College’s Campus. Yik Yak is an anonymous social media app that is used by many students here on campus to post things such as: student success, Fraternity Sorority life drama, Sports drama and dining successes and challenges in Hamilton.

Yik Yak has been popular on campus since Winter 2022 semester. Students most frequent Yik Yaks are about parties, complaints with the school or random blurbs.

“I do have Yik Yak and I might spend about 10 mins a day on it at the most” said Sawyer Hill (‘23). Hill is not the only student who is using this app often. Julis Gotaas (‘24) said “I have a Yik Yak and use it a few times per day.”

Hill said that he believes Yik Yak has led to behaviors in students such as “talking about issues students have with the school, which if faculty see that, [it] makes it a little easier for us to be heard.”

Gotaas said “Fraternity, sorority, and sports teams fighting each other are some of the behavioral patterns I observe most frequently on Yik Yak.”

“I think Yik Yak is just a vessel for common issues that occur at college campuses everywhere, especially small ones. Social media can promote misinformation and negative gossip just as much as it can allow for the sharing of news that people should know. The ability for Yik Yak to be anonymous just increases that tendency.” said Swalve.

Hill, who is the New Education Director of Sigma Chi, addressed the drama surrounding fraternities. He said “It serves very little purpose to see organizations having issues on the app. Many of us involved in fraternities are committed to the idea of [Fraternity/Sorority Life (FSL)] unity.”

Not only is there drama within the FSL organizations there are also arguments among sports teams.

“I don’t believe the conflicts between the sports teams on Yik Yak are reasonable because they frequently disagree on important issues,” said Gotaas, who is a member of the cross country and track teams.

Most students may not realize that Yik Yak does not only affect students but faculty and staff too. Natashia Swalve, Associate Provost and Associate Professor of Psychology, she said “I have heard of Yik Yak but I personally don’t have one. My students bring it up a lot in class.”

When asked, Swalve believes that faculty do have a right to be on Yik Yak. “Social media is not private and Yik Yak is no different, even though it’s anonymous. I could see it being useful to make sure that there isn’t an emergency others need to know about, or extreme misinformation being spread.”

It is faculty and staff’s right to have Yik Yak. Yik Yak is a social media platform just like any other. While students have to “worry” about their posts on there it is our chance as students to have a voice and not worry about the repercussions.

Yik Yak is appealing to students due to anonymity, drama and college updates.

On Yik Yak, users can upvote and downvote depending on your feelings of the post. Once a post gets downvoted five times, the post is removed. Like on other social media plastforms, the user is able to report posts to be removed.

However, some students refrain from getting it. “I have never had Yik Yak before, I didn’t know what it was. I haven’t heard anyone around me talk about Yik Yak” said Kennedy Case (‘25).

Case is adamant in the fact that she herself has never heard of anyone around her talking about Yik Yak or the posts contained on Yik Yak. Many Alma College students spend a considerable amount of time on the app. While Yik Yak has some controversy, it serves a purpose to campus life. Some drama, somwhat useful.

Student’s safety: Unlocked doors on south campus

DANIELLE NYKANEN
STAFF WRITER

10/3/2022

Student’s safety is a top priority for many college campuses and Alma is no different. Recently, however, a safety concern arose as students reported doors on south campus being left unlocked.

All student housing requires either a pin or key card to gain access, making it easy to restrict access to students and their guests. Certain doors on south campus were not requiring students to scan their ID, meaning anyone could walk in.

“I’ve seen the side door to Carey be unlocked. I haven’t heard about any other doors, but I could be wrong,” said Ruby Lovasz (‘23). Unfortunately, this has been an ongoing issue since the second week of classes.

“The first few weeks of school, it was only on the weekends, but last week, there were a few weekdays it happened as well. It’s been a week since I’ve seen anything unlocked so I’m guessing the issue is fixed,” said Lovasz.

“I’ve seen the doors unlocked, and most of the time it was during the day. It has happened at random all through September. They will be locked on some days and unlocked on others” said Julia Gotaas (‘24).

With the doors cycling between locked and unlocked it made it hard for students to know when the door was actually fixed. A few days could go by with no issues and then the door would be unlocked again.

“We did have an issue with the two main entrances of Carey not locking as there was some issue with the card swipe access readers, but I believe we resolved the issue in working with Campus Safety and Facilities” said JD Copus, Assistant Director for Residence Life at Alma College.

This issue was very unsettling for many students living on south campus. Luckily, the issue should be resolved, and doors should be locked from here on out.   

“I don’t have any exact dates, but I noticed the doors unlocked on 9/11/2022 and then followed up with Facilities and Campus Safety that week” said Copus.

“There had been issues with the doors over the [first] several weeks and trying to ensure that the doors stayed locked. I went over to Carey Hall today and all doors were locked correctly as of 9/28/2022.” said Copus.

The main concern many students had with the doors being unlocked was their safety. Without limited access anyone could walk into the building.

“Living in a building with unlocked doors makes me feel quite unsafe. Particularly considering that since our dorms are located on the southern part of campus and are nearer to the community homes,” said Gotaas.

“I definitely feel safer on the days that I see the doors are locked; however, I haven’t felt particularly unsafe. Although there was an issue with the doors not locking, there are always cameras facing the doors, I feel that the area is pretty well lit, and campus safety makes multiple rounds every night,” said Lovasz.

This is a great reminder that we do have various precautions on campus to ensure students safety. While locked doors are a major concern other monitoring systems are in place to keep us secure.

“Students should contact Campus Safety at 989-463-7777 if they have issues with doors being unlocked or issues getting into buildings” said Copus but, “if students still have concerns or notice that doors aren’t locking properly, they can contact me directly as well.”

“If students ever don’t feel safe on campus, Campus Safety is there to provide that assistance. Campus Safety does a lot of great work like escorts around campus, jump start vehicles, allowing students into buildings, etc.” said Copus.

Alma College Scots athletics update

KYLE SCHECK
PHOTOGRAPHER

MEGAN NEELEY
COPY EDITOR

10/3/2022

Football has had many successful wins in recent weeks, notably beating Martin Luther College during the Homecoming game. However, football players are not the only successful Scots on campus.

Men’s Soccer has played a total of seven games after beating Anderson University on Sept. 10. The team has two wins and five losses so far.

“The team is really on its way to finding its identity. The squad is beginning to gel and get comfortable with one another… I think that our play shows it. The bond this team has is second to none,” said Ethan Vollstedt (‘23), the captain of Alma College Men’s Soccer.

While the team faced tough competition, it resulted in nothing but growth. “We are just a few ticks away from rounding a very special corner and achiev[ing] our goal of getting back into the MIAA playoffs,” said Vollstedt.

Women’s soccer has been busy traveling to Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois. They currently have a record of one win, two losses and two tied games.

“I think our season is off to a great start! We have great team chemistry and are having a lot of fun playing fearless soccer,” said Lily Stephan (‘23) of the women’s team and the MIAA Offensive Player of the Week, named on Sept. 26.

The Alma College Women’s Soccer Team also won their first game of conference play on Sept. 28. “We started conference play strong with a win today which will help us build momentum for the rest of the season,” said Stephan.

Recently, Alma College Women’s Golf hosted the MIAA Jamboree. This is the third MIAA Tournament of the season. They completed the tournament with 323 points, the lowest score of the season.

“I am super proud of how our team has been doing so far this season. Our [first-years] have really stepped up and played a big role on our team. I look forward to finishing the season strong and continuing to push each other to be better every day,” said Morgan Yates (‘23).

Yates tied for the medalist position at the MIAA Jamboree. Of even more importance, Yates has been named back-to-back MIAA Golfer of the Week.

“I personally have put in a lot of work this summer and fall and I am happy to see it pay off. My family, coaches and team have been really supportive, and I will continue to improve,” said Yates.

Next, tennis has been on the road having played in Indiana in recent weeks. Unfortunately, the women’s team fell to both St. Francis and Manchester University. The men’s team also fell to St. Francis but defeated Manchester University with a monumental nine to zero score.

“So far, I think we have started off with some good opponents that made some of us really fight to win our matches. Hopefully, that fight will continue throughout our fall and spring seasons, and we can bring home some wins,” said Laney Voisinet (‘26), a first-year on the women’s tennis team.

Swim season is also off to a strong start with practices having begun on Sept. 19. As swimming is a sport with a longer season, it is important to keep the positive energy going into the first meet on Oct. 8 at Saginaw Valley State University.

“I feel like this is going to be a special year. We have a lot of energy and excitement coming into the season, and I know that will help us in late fall and into winter,” said Nick Polzin, the head Alma College Swim and Dive coach.

E-sports, a sport typically left out of the spotlight, won their two games against Marietta College on Sept. 3. They had some close losses against Mount Vernon Nazarene, Valparaiso and Bethel College on Sept. 10.

Alma College Baseball has seen many successes during Fall Ball. On Sunday, Sept. 27, the team beat Mid-Michigan College in a doubleheader with a resounding score of 22 to one and 21 to three in each game respectively.

Finally, Cross Country has had strong showings at their first three invitationals. The men’s team finished sixth of eight on Sept. 2, seventh of 10 on Sept. 10 and fourteenth of 24 on Sept. 17. The women’s team finished fifth of six, ninth of 12 and tenth of 24 on the same respective dates.

As the Scots face tough competition, they hope students will come support them in their sporting endeavors. Students can find sporting information on the Alma Scots website. “[We] would love to see everyone at our next home game!” said Vollstedt.

Alma College celebrates homecoming

EMMA FIGLEWICZ
PHOTOGRAPHER

ALIVIA GILES
LAYOUT EDITOR

10/3/2022

The Alma College community celebrated homecoming with a week full of traditions and activities for current students, families and alumni.

Throughout the week of homecoming, the Alma College Union Board (ACUB) hosted a campus-wide scavenger hunt for all current Alma College students.

The weekend festivities started with alumni events on Friday, Sept. 23. Current Alma College students were invited to meet with graduates for the Student and Alumni Networking Night.

Over the course of the day, the college hosted graduating class reunion events across campus. The cheer and dance teams performed at Art Smith Arena for an official “Homecoming Kick-Off.” The Percussion Ensemble and Pipe Band had a concert in Heritage Center.

On Friday night, ACUB hosted a homecoming dance for current Alma College students at Elks Lodge. The event included a cash bar for students over 21 and free shuttle services to and from Heritage Center.

On Saturday morning, the college held a Chapel Memorial Service and celebrated the Installation of Reverend Alissa Davis at the Dunning Memorial Chapel.

Other Saturday activities included Fraternity/Sorority alumni and current member events all day, the annual Scot Trot 5K race and a parade featuring student organizations on campus.

Ruby Lovasz (’23) helped organize the Scot Trot. “The event went really well,” said Lovasz. “We had a lot more people register than in previous years . . . about 80 to 90 people [ran].”

Following the parade and the event at the chapel, the college hosted a Food Truck Lunch event in the Heritage Center parking lot.

On Saturday afternoon, the Alma College football team played against Martin Luther College. The Scots won the game with a final score of 69 to 0.

Following the football game, Model United Nations and the Academic Department held receptions on campus. Alma College president Jeff Abernathy invited alumni and guests to attend the President’s Reception and Awards ceremony on Friday evening at the President’s House Tent on campus.

The Alma College Choirs performed a concert at Heritage Center on Saturday night, as the Kiltie Marching Band celebrated its 100-year anniversary with a reception at the Dow Science Center.

Abigale Whitford (’25) did not participate in homecoming festivities as a freshman last year but was happy to be a part of it the celebration this year. Whitford was happy that the college was able to hold homecoming events with fewer covid restrictions.

“I wasn’t around for homecoming last year, but I am sure with some covid protocols being lifted this year, homecoming looked much different this year,” said Whitford.

Whitford participated in events with current members of her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, and enjoyed connecting with alumni throughout the week.

Whitford was also excited to have the opportunity to represent her organization in the parade. “This was my first year being involved with homecoming festivities and participating in the parade with [Gamma Phi Beta],” said Whitford.

Whitford viewed the homecoming parade, not only as a fun activity for her and her sorority sisters to be a part of, but as an opportunity to show other students what programs such as Fraternity/Sorority Life have to offer.

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