Bishops Remain Undefeated

Peter Lujan

Transcript Correspondent

The Battling Bishops’ football team has started the season rather well. It is 4-0 so far this year, defeating Otterbein University 22-10, Kenyon College 42-0,, Oberlin College 55-3, and most recently, Allegheny College, 28-10, on Saturday afternoon. The wins give the Bishops an average margin of victory of 31 points. 

The Gators of Allegheny went into the matchup with a record of 1-2. In contrast to the Bishops red hot start to the season. A year ago in 2018, the Bishops went 4-6 overall and tied for fifth place in the NCAC (North Coast Athletic Conference.) This year however, they have 38 incoming freshmen, 23 seniors, and 29 other’s racing toward the goal of NCAC champions.

Head Coach Tom Watts observed that last season they were, “always able to play well and pick it up toward the end of the season but were never really able to start the season on the right foot.” However, this season has been the opposite, as their 4-0 record suggests. 

Senior wide receiver and captain, Mher Tcholakian said earlier this season that a big motto and slogan for this year’s team is “going 1-0.” The football team uses this slogan for everything they do. Whether it’s in the weight room, at practice, or whatever the case may be, they want to, “go 1-0.” 

“This ‘1-0 slogan’ is our main focus as a team, [Going 1-0] means giving your all every single rep and every single play.” Tcholakian explained. 

Tcholakian, on this football team for three years, starter for two, he is witness to the Bishops declining record over the last few seasons. “We’ve always known we’ve had talent on both sides of the ball. There was just something missing, our execution. We just could not finish that last little step.”

Aside from his verbal leadership, Tcholakian also has been leading by example through his play on the field. He has 145 receiving yards this season, 61 on Saturday alone, which marked a new season high for him, along with his first receiving touchdown of the season. 

The Bishops look to continue their win streak when they face Wabash College this Saturday in Crawfordsville, Ind.  

OWU Fires Long-term Staff Members without Giving Notice

By Azmeh Talha

Transcript Reporter

Arts and Entertainment Editor

Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) dismissed four employees this past summer in budget cost cutting move. They were escorted off campus, which some say violated the sense of community that OWU promotes.

Dr. Anne Sokolsky, the program chair for comparative literature,described the security escort as over the top. She further said that OWU is a small liberal arts college, not a corporation.

“Security detail to escort long-time staff person who supported our university over the years just seems like a horrible way to end someone’s work life here,” Sokolsky said.

Joy Gao, an OWU librarian for 20 years was fired over the July 4 weekend. Another librarian also was terminated from her position but would not talk on the record. They were terminated in an effort to balance the 2019-20 fiscal budget, President Rock Jones said. Jones said the dismissals had nothing to do with the performance of the staff members.

“The university made a number of personnel decisions, including leaving positions unfilled, combining positions, reassigning duties and eliminating positions – some which were occupied and some vacant,” Jones said.

Gao described her dismissal as humiliating, inhumane and abrupt. She said she gave the best years of her life to OWU and she was dismissed without being given any notice. Gao also compared her dismissal to a sudden death in the family; the death is so sudden that it is difficult.

Gao sent an email on July 28. to different faculty departments about her dismissal with the subject “A more dignifying good bye.” In the email she said:

“I was let go by OWU today and it was very abrupt! I was called to meet Scott from Human Resources and was informed that my position was eliminated! I only had a few minutes to gather my stuff from the office.”

When contacted, Scott Simon, the director of human resources, refused to comment.

Gao said her library colleague, who was also fired, was escorted off campus by Public Safety.

“…to see her escorted out by a security guy, it was just heartbreaking!  We were treated as criminals, thugs!  Do you think we deserve better than this?  How can you forget all the extra reference shifts I did and instructions sessions I taught to keep the library running during those difficult and transitional times?” Gao wrote in her email.

Robert Wood, the director of Public Safety, refused to comment.

In her email, Gao further described her feelings about the dismissal:

“It was very humiliating and does not reflect my contributions and devotion to this institution I have worked for over 20 years.

“Are we so insignificant, so worthless that we are not worthy of any of their consideration or thought?”

“If it was the position, not the person, then I think Joy should have been given another job,” Sokolsky said. “Why would any staff member want to be loyal to OWU if longevity is honored by being fired? This process does not help staff morale.”

Sokolsky worked closely with Gao. She mentioned Gao’s importance for her own research on East Asian studies.

“Joy can read Chinese. This was incredibly helpful for me because she is the only librarian who understood the obscure documents and books that I would request through Inter-Library Loan for my own research. It should be noted my research informs my teaching, so the loss of Joy has impacted me in two ways – teaching and scholarship,” Sokolsky said.

Sokolsky wrote a letter to Jones about Gao’s firing. In it, she mentioned she was disturbed by the elimination of a librarian’s position and the way she was terminated.

“Every time there is a budget crisis, the people who pay are those who have done nothing to contribute to this crisis. The library has already been hit by budget cuts before,” Sokolsky said.

In her 13 years at OWU, Sokolsky said she can remember at least two times when cuts were made to the library budget.

Gao said that workforce reduction should be more balanced across the board and not just target staff members. Sokolsky had similar thoughts.

“To date, I have no idea how many cuts were made in Admissions or in the recently created Division of Student Engagement and Academic Success. Moreover, the above sentence ‘cuts were made across the board’ does not acknowledge that cuts have already been made to the library,” Sokolsky said in an email.

Deanne Peterson, the director of the library, referred question to Brian A. Rellinger, associate provost of academic support. Rellinger refused to comment.

Pakistan Suffers from Terrorism

By Azmeh Talha

Transcript Reporter

Arts and Entertainment Editor

Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) Pakistani Alumna returned for the Sagan National Colloquium to talk about the United States attempts to cut Pakistan’s resources off to decrease the number of militant groups in the country.

Sahar Khan (’06) discussed the bilateral relationship between The United States and Pakistan. She began her lecture by talking about President Donald Trump’s tweet about Pakistan in 2018: “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

The Pakistani government responded by saying that the Trump administration was undermining all the things Pakistan has done for the U.S. and Afghanistan.

During her time at OWU, Sahar Khan (’06) was a student of Sean Kay, the director of the international studies program. In his introduction, Kay said Khan majored in international studies, politics and government and economics.

After graduation, Khan got her master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. From there, she got her Ph.D. from The University of California Irvine. During this time, she was an associate editor of Washington Quarterly, a policy journal. Currently, Khan is working at the CATO Institute as an adjunct scholar.

“It is Pakistan who suffers from terrorism and the U.S. tends to overlook all of those safe havens that exist in Afghanistan that attack Pakistani citizens themselves,” Khan said.

In her lecture, Khan talked about Pakistan’s current Prime Minister, Imran Khan. They are not related. The Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan openly said that militant groups do not belong in Pakistan and in fact, Pakistan has gone after militant groups through various campaigns they have been waging since 2009.

Khan also discussed the war between the U.S. and Afghanistan. In 2015, Trump said he wanted to end this war and ensure that the U.S. does not get involved in any other unnecessary wars.

The United States, under the Trump administration has reduced the security aid to Pakistan which has reduced military financing. Foreign military financing (FMF), a grant that the U.S. gives to countries so that they can buy U.S. arms. Pakistan is no longer receiving this grant. It is now too expensive for Pakistan to buy U.S. arms.

The second major security aid cut is the Coalition Support Funds (CSF). This is a large program in which the U.S reimburses certain countries for using their military bases. In Pakistan’s case, due to U.S involvement in Afghanistan, the U.S has been using Pakistani air bases in the North Western Province. For use of this area, the U.S has been reimbursing Pakistan. However, this security aid has been cut in the past.

“Even under the Obama administration the CSF was reduced; even under George W. Bush it was reduced,” Khan said. “But under Trump it has been sort of the largest reduction in these months.”

The United States also has tried to get Pakistan on the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF), an intergovernmental agency. This agency is responsible for combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. The United States and FATF had concerns that leaders of prominent militant groups roam freely in Pakistan.

Out of these militant groups, some leaders run non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The FATF raised concerns about Pakistan not being able to control these militant-run NGOs.

The Trump administration also reduced military-to-military engagement. This occurs when there is combat between two forces in which each side has been either assigned or perceived a mission. Khan said this was considered to be a hallmark between the U.S. and Pakistan.

“This was something that was almost benign,” Khan said.

Last year the Trump administration suspended 66 Pakistani officials from the International Military Education and Training Program. This program has not been renewed, Khan said.

Khan said that one main thing that the Trump administration is hoping to do by sanctioning Pakistan and limiting security and military aid to stop sponsorship of militant groups.

Khan further questioned why Pakistan sponsors these military groups. She answered by saying the problem is the civil-military imbalance.

“The military is strong; the civilians’ side is weak. If the civilians side was strong somehow Pakistan would no longer sponsor the militant groups.” Khan said.

Like many developing countries, Pakistan has a civil-military imbalance. Pakistan has been independent for 71 years. It spent half its life under military rule through four coups. These coups led to the Pakistani military evolving into a unique organization. The Pakistani army, along with protecting the nation, also controls businesses in the country such as farms, fisheries and pharmaceutical companies.

“The Pakistani army makes cereal and cheese,” Khan said. “It’s delicious.”

The Pakistani navy owns large business conglomerates such as The Shaheen Foundation, which has an interest in real estate. It also owns the Bahria Foundation which has similar interests.

The other reason for the civil military imbalance is the United States. The root cause of this problem dates to the Cold War, Khan said.

In 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the United States and Saudi Arabia created anti-Soviet forces. These forces were militant groups called the mujahideen. Their main goal was to fight the Soviets.

“The U.S. funded the mujahideen and they used the Pakistani army to do so and the Pakistani army essentially trained these mujahideen,” Khan said.

After the cold war ended, Pakistan and Afghanistan found themselves with well trained and well-armed unemployed militants. This led to the militant groups Pakistan has today.

“Sahar is always special for me because she was also my research assistant and helped me with books that I did,” Sean Kay said.

Kay and Khan co-authored an article on how to win the war in Afghanistan in 2006. They were the first people to write about NATO and counterinsurgency, he said.

“I loved this lecture because it took years of controversy, simplified it, and used years of research to take you from knowing minimal to excited to know more,” sophomore Maddy Miller said. “You could feel the passion that Sahar has for her research and it’s so prominent that you can’t help but get excited with her.”

Got Lots to Say? Do it in 3 Minutes

By Hailey de la Vara

Transcript Correspondent

In its fifth year, Ohio Wesleyan’s I-cubed lecture series drew a standing room only crowd last week just like it has in previous years.

Faculty presenters challenged the audience to think outside the box, while they stayed inside the three minutes each was allotted to teach their favorite subjects.

The Ideas, Insight and Imagination lectures this year featured students’ favorite nine professors who aimed to give insight on their expertise in their academic fields. The Benes rooms was packed.

One professor said after the presentation that it was the hardest thing she had every done.

The speakers this year included Mark Allison of English, Kira Bailey of psychology, Phokeng Dailey of communication, David Markwardt of zoology, Stephanie Merkel of comparative literature, Franchesca Nestor and Pamela Pyzza, both of politics and government, Tim Roden of music, and Chris Wolverton of microbiology and botany.

The nine speakers all aimed to give students a small insight of their own academic passions.

Senior Zhanna Caldwalder was most intrigued by Allison’s speech. “I loved Allison’s speech because I love reading, and I felt like I could relate to everything he was saying,” Caldwalder said.

Allison’s lecture, “Hitchhiking to Nowhere,” discussed how utopian societies paved a way for imagination in reading and life. Allison based his three minutes on the idea that nowhere has the best of everything.

“Utopia is the good place that is no place,” he said.

Other topics ranged from political communication to Mozart to plants growing on Mars.

Students gained new knowledge about a variety of topics.

Senior John Keller was intrigued by the variety of speakers admitting that last week’s program was the first he had attended since coming to OWU.

“I’m an English major, so I came to listen to my professor speak,” Keller said. “But after hearing all the speeches, I was very impressed by how much each professor knows and cares about their fields. It was very interesting to listen and be a part of this event at OWU.”

In the spring semester, the I-cubed lectures will feature student speakers.

Mock Convention Kicks Off

By Anna Edmiston

Staff Reporter

Planning started Thursday for Ohio Wesleyan’s long-time tradition of holding a political convention leading to the presidential election in November 2020.

Next year, Mock Conventioneers will play the role of Democrats deciding on a candidate to represent the party in the general election. The Mock Convention always assumes the role of the party that doesn’t occupy the White House. It started in 1884.

Attendees meeting in Crider Lounge in Hamilton-Williams Student Center watched the third debate of Democratic candidates while eating catered food and learning about the roles students and the Delaware community will play in the Mock Convention, which will occur Feb. 21 and 22.

There were tables set up to help students register to vote, play interactive games, and ask questions of student leaders of the program.

“I’m pretty excited for the fact that (politics) will be in an attainable level and it will help with my understanding of how politics works,” said freshman S.K. Bulander.

Freshman Josie Fornara agreed. “I am excited about learning more about politics and participating in the American tradition,” said Fornara.

“Being able to be a part of something that only happens every four years and being able to work alongside such amazing people,” said sophomore ZannaLee Carling-Sprewell.

Danielle Black, vice president of Mock Convention, said, “I am most excited to be involved in the planning of it, to allow people to learn more about the politics of our country and expand their horizon.”

There is still time to sign up for Mock Convention. Also, if any person on campus is interested in registering to vote, contact Franchesca Nestor, an assistant professor of politics and government (

Bishops Battle Heidelberg in Volleyball Home Opener

By Peter Lujan

Staff Reporter

The Battling Bishops women’s volleyball team has it’s first home stand Tuesday night where it faced Heidelberg University. The game is part of a string of  heavy competition for the Bishops according to head coach Kirsta Cobb, “Our first weekend was against top-25 teams in the nation.” This is no mistake either, Cobb explained, “playing tough competition early, the goal of that is to get us ready, mentally, emotionally, physically for the conference season” 

Senior captain Jordan Brandt is on the same page with her coach, as she stated, “That’s our goal; to be top 25 in the country we belong in the top two [in the conference.]”

However, junior captain Megan Schwallie, said she feels that they need to step up to the occasion “But we don’t want to settle either.” However, she does see the positives as well “ We found a lot of growth with the teams that we were playing,” Schwallie added. 

The first two sets of the match went to Heidelberg, where they won the first, 25-19, and the second, 25-16.

The third set, however, went down to the very last point. After the Bishops started off the set up 8-3. Heidelberg used momentum to go on a 14-7 run, taking a 17-15 lead in the set.

 That prompted Cobb to call a timeout and discuss things with the team. 

According to Brandt, this timeout was rather beneficial. “[Cobb] does a really good job of calling timeouts systematically.” 

After the timeout, the Battling Bishops gained some of that momentum from Heidelberg and ran with it, winning the set 25-23 on the strength of a 10-6 run, including a 46 second rally on their 20th point. 

“A big part of volleyball is the first five points, especially when you have that kind of momentum,” explains Brandt. 

Heidelberg started off the set with a 5-0 lead, and the Bishops did their best to chip away at the lead. But Heidelberg continued to score in bunches, while the Bishops missed a handful of serves. At the end of the night the Bishops missed a total of 17 serves. 

Unfortunately, that momentum did not carry into the next set, in fact the Bishops got the exact opposite start that they hoped for. 

When asked about the inability to carry the momentum from the end of the third set into the beginning of the fourth set, Brandt said, “It’s the struggle of taking that high energy and high intensity and focusing it.” 

When asked about how that many missed serves affected the tone and momentum of a volleyball game, Cobb said, “It’s really hard to build momentum and put pressure on the opponent, if we keep giving them an out.” 

Schwallie added, “That many missed serves makes up more than half a game.” 

Heidelberg finished the fourth and final set on a 5-2 run, winning the set 25-19 and the match 3-1. Bishops are now 1-6 on the season. 

Brandt explained the frustration of these early season struggles. “Unfortunately, we haven’t quite had the results we wanted to. We put a lot of emphasis into these first games, because if we want to get an at-large bid to the national tournament, winning these games is key.”

Even with this start to the season, Cobbs does not seemed worried.“We still have the ability to reach a lot of our goals…We just want to continue to progress and improve each day.”

The Battling Bishops have their next game Friday, Sept 13 at 5 p.m. against the Wilmington Quakers in Branch Rickey Arena as the Bishop Invitational kicks-off.