Changes made to admissions process

For the class of 2018, Ohio Wesleyan saw a freshmen class of 484 students, nearly 100 lower than the university’s target.

The class of 2016 and 2017 had a freshmen enrollment of 570 and 572 students respectively. Many factors contributed to last year’s dip in enrollment, which are still problematic for recruitment going forward.

“Across the board there is a decrease in the number of high school graduates recently,” Vice President for Enrollment Susan Dileno said. “Additionally there is more competition from other schools, and more students are looking at public universities as well.”

So far deposits are up from this point last year for the incoming class of 2019, but it is still early in the recruitment process and Dileno said things could fluctuate greatly as the May 1 enrollment deposit deadline approaches.

Despite the great challenges on many levels, the university is taking steps to boost enrollment back up towards the 570 number.

According to Dileno, some of the changes in the admissions office have included looking at the way OWU brands itself. The university has hired a group called FastSpot to work on redesigning the school website, and Dileno said that they have also hired a firm named MindPower to help hone in on what exactly it means to be at OWU.

“I have always heard the push for OWU being the ‘opposite of ordinary,’ but never knew quite what that meant,” senior Emily VanNess said.

Working with firms such as MindPower will hopefully help provide a clearer picture of what exactly that slogan means.

One encouraging sign for the upcoming enrollment is the ACT/SAT scores of admitted students. Dileno attributes this to the increased awareness of the university’s test-optional policy. Last year only 100 applicants were test optional, while this year nearly 400 applicants took advantage of going test optional.

“Typically in my experience at other schools we have seen a higher yield from our test-optional admits, but we won’t know for sure until the end of the process,” Dileno said.

In the office of admissions, changes have been made to better engage students when they come to visit. In years past the admissions lobby would often be empty. However this year students have been hired to stay in the lobby and talk to visitors before they tour the rest of the campus.

“I have noticed having these new greeters has really made the office feel warm and opening to prospective students,” senior tour guide Alex Lothstein said. “On top of that I have noticed I’ve had more engaged tours this year as well.”

Dileno emphasized that it is still early in the process and anything could happen; last year’s projections were ahead all year up until April.

“There’s no silver bullet, this will take a lot of planning and resources, but I do feel positive about how it is all coming together to make an impact starting next year,” Dileno said.

Spring art show finds home in library

Beeghly Library was anything but quiet Sunday, March 1. The echo of hammers on nails filled the usually studious space.

This year’s annual spring art show has begun, and students hung the various pieces selected for showing. The show is completely student organized and created, and many students in the art department volunteered to help out.

“Everyone really felt ownership and pride in the quality of the show,” said senior Kelsie Bell. “This year was so much better than years past in terms of a team effort all around to get everything done.”

While it is not required of anyone to help out with the show, many students came in for a minimum of two hours to do whatever was needed to get things ready.

“Students can really get a professional experience being a part of this show,” junior Catie Beach said. “They invest their own time and money into this and I think that it can really help us in the art department transition into the real world.”

Beach was one of the three organizers of the show, joined by fellow juniors Ben Anderson and Luke Plazek. All three have taken the gallery management course. When comparing this show to last spring’s show, both Beach and Plazek agreed that this year was much smoother.

“The jurors selecting pieces really got along well and that helped streamline things,” Plazek said. “Most importantly they were more sensitive to the cohesion of every piece picked.”

Beach agreed that this cohesion made the process of hanging the show easier.

According to Plazek and Bell, faculty bring in outside artists that they know to select works for in the spring show. When deciding what makes it into the show, the judges also choose which of the pieces will win awards.

“The quality of this show speaks to the strength of our fine arts department here,” Beach said. “I always love hearing the people who are blown away at how good our students are.”

Plazek also added that most library patrons understood or were intrigued by the sight of the spring show going up. Also present were many families and prospective students.

“Having those visitors see the work in progress of the show was pretty cool,” Plazek said. “I know if I was a prospective student I would’ve been intrigued in seeing that.”

The spring show will have its formal reception on March 28 from 4-6 p.m. The reception is open to everyone and will be highlighted by the art department handing out awards. These include best in 2D, 3D and best in show, with cash prizes going to the top award winners.

Track and field break records, enjoy success

Freshman Amanda Clay. Photo courtesy of
Freshman Amanda Clay. Photo courtesy of

Olympic legend Mark Spitz once said, “Records are meant to broken.” The Ohio Wesleyan women’s track and field team has proven that Spitz was right.

Freshman Amanda Clay has already broke two OWU school records. At the Spire Midwest Indoor Track and Field Open on Jan. 31, Clay set an individual record in the 60-meter dash and helped set a team record in the 1600-meter relay.

“There were teams from all over the country and through every division at the Spire meet,” Clay said. “That high level of competition I think really helped drive me to run my fastest and perform as well as I did. I found out after preliminaries that some of the women competing were trying to qualify for the Olympics, so it was really cool to face that level of competition.

Clay ran the 60-meter dash in 8.01 seconds, and the four person team of Clay, senior Katie Reid, junior Abbey Warth and sophomore Sierra Wright finished the 1600-meter relay in 4 minutes and 0.82 seconds.

“For me this is the first year I’ve run the 60-meter dash,” Clay said. “To see my times improve so much in practice has been really encouraging.”

Thus far both the men’s and women’s track and field teams have come in first place in all four scored events of the season, successes which they want to build on for the rest of the season.

“Now really is the time we emphasize working hard so we can peak at conferences and nationals,” sophomore sprinter/hurdler MaryKate Caja said. “So the fact that we are already having people break records really speaks to the quality of athletes we have on this team.”

The recent success of both Clay and the entire team has led to them receiving a top ten Division III ranking. According to the weekly ranking released by, OWU is ranked No. 9 overall and as the highest ranked team within the Great Lakes region.

According to Caja, much of the team’s success can be attributed to their depth, which helps earn secondary points and boost their point total and climb the rankings.

Clay added not only is there depth, but a strong spread throughout all of the event groups.

“Everyone realizes that they can contribute in some way, and as a result we have gotten great performances across the board from everyone,” she said.

The goal for the team is to continue working hard and improve everyone’s times enough to qualify for the All-Ohio and NCAA National Championship events. Clay has the personal goal of beating her OWU record and running the 60-meter dash in less than 8 seconds.

Some highlights to look forward to for the Bishops include the OWU Open on Feb.13 and the NCAC Championship in Greencastle, Indiana on March 6-7.

Visiting lecturer says happiness should be first priority

Daniel Haybron speaks to a crowd of students, faculty and staff in the Benes Room.
Daniel Haybron speaks to a crowd of students, faculty and staff in the Benes Room.

Even though incomes in the United States have nearly tripled since World War II, Americans are not much happier, according to a college professor who studies happiness.

“We as policymakers need to look at how policies affect citizens’ quality of life,” said Daniel Haybron, an associate professor of philosophy at St. Louis University.

Haybron came to campus Jan. 20 to share his views about the morality of happiness and public policy. He describes his work as at the intersection of value theory and psychology.

According to Haybron, a number of nations including Bhutan, UK, France and, most recently, Germany are making happiness a major policy goal. Instead of focusing on gross domestic product, these nations now emphasize gross domestic happiness.

While focusing on the assertion happiness should be taken into account in policy, Haybron also made it clear happiness should not be the only or most important thing. At a minimum, society should use its resources to help the sick, disabled, marginalized and poor. He described this as the belief we should all take care of each other because we are our brother’s keeper.

Haybron primarily discussed the moral objections of adopting a happiness policy, and evaluated those objections from a philosophical perspective. While individuals are not owed assistance or increased happiness, he said, people should feel a duty to be good citizens. This would help create a better society and increase overall happiness.

“I thought it was an interesting topic, though I was hoping he’d get down to the nitty-gritty of how he collects data and what it has proven internationally,” sophomore Rachel Morley said.

Beyond just the realm of public policy and societal happiness, Haybron touched on individual happiness.

“If you want to be happy, don’t be just going after happiness all the time,” Haybron said. “Instead do things that are worthwhile.”

The presentation was sponsored by the Arneson Institute for Practical Politics and Public Affairs and was the first of its events this semester.

For institute director Sean Kay, Haybron’s visit held sentimental importance as well; the two graduated from high school together.

“I’ve watched him within the past few years especially take off as a national philosophy rising star, so I was well aware of what he was doing,” Kay said. “And with the university I’m trying very consciously to look at and show public policy through different frameworks of thinking.”

The next institute-sponsored event, “Unstable Majorities, Polarization and the Contemporary American Electorate” will feature Stanford University professor Morris Fiorina and take place on Mar. 25.

High flying offense brings success

Freshman Nate Axelrod takes on a Depauw defender during last Saturday's game in Branch Rickey Arena.
Freshman Nate Axelrod takes on a Depauw defender during last Saturday’s game in Branch Rickey Arena.

From the outside looking in, this season should have been a rebuilding year. The men’s basketball team has only one senior and lost four of their top-five scorers from last season.

However, the team has already shattered those expectations, holding a 12-3 record going into the end of their schedule. The Battling Bishops are currently tied for 1st place in the NCAC and ranked 17th in the nation.

So what has been the secret to their success? Hard work, high expectations and embracing changes.

“We came in with a bit of an underdog mentality, but still expected to win,” senior Nick Felhaber said. “From the very first day, we established goals of winning the conference and making a deep run in the NCAA tournament. Having Coach [Mike] DeWitt hold us to the same expectations as years past I think has really helped us.”

According to Felhaber, Head Coach Mike DeWitt made some changes to the offense that better suited personnel, with positive results. Much less height and size in the post led DeWitt to change the offensive focus towards playing faster and making opposing big men run the floor, Felhaber said.

Additionally, this shift has taken advantage of their post player’s skills on the perimeter in shooting 3-pointers. Forcing opponents to guard more on the perimeter has had the added benefit of opening up easier interior lanes.

“The Run N’ Gun offensive style has been greatly successful for us. Coach DeWitt always tells us that we have the most freedom of any team in the nation and I truly believe that,” freshmen Will Orr said.

Orr emphasized another aspect that has fueled this season’s success: trust in one another.

“I have never experienced something like this before, from day one we developed a sense of trust that shows on the court. No one was ever selfish; everyone was making the extra pass and it was something that the coaches never had to teach or tell us to do.” Orr said.

An attitude of working hard and putting the team first has been embodied by their head coach, and has trickled down to the entire team as a result.

In their last game against DePauw, a 76-64 victory, DeWitt earned his 300th career win and 250th while at OWU. However, he acted no differently and the team had no idea until reading about it the next day. According to the team, that reaction is indicative of how he coaches. DeWitt doesn’t put himself out there; instead, he is more worried about getting the victory.

“Everyone has embraced coach’s expectations and plays their role to the best of their abilities. We work hard and know that anything can happen,” Felhaber said.

“We play for the man next to us. We all play a part in what we do and trust each other to contribute. We want to win every game, and do whatever it takes to make that happen.” Orr said.

The Battling Bishops finish the season with 10 games of in-conference play, followed by the NCAC tournament starting Feb. 24.

While you were gone

lothstein camel
Senior Alex Lothstein while is Israel.


Though Ohio Wesleyan closes campus during winter break, it doesn’t shut down entirely. Some students stayed for the vacation or returned early, while Public Safety continued to patrol campus.

Contrary to popular belief, Resident Advisors are not required to stay on campus during winter break, and most went home for the holidays. According to RA senior Matt McCord, there were only a few people from the RA staff who stayed on campus the whole time, and only one is required to be on duty.

“There is this misconception that doesn’t get dispelled until much later in the application process that I think discourages some people from applying, which I think is too bad,” McCord said.

Besides the RA staff, the majority of students who stay on campus are international students, according to Residential Life. But even among those who stay past closing, most only stay for a few days, McCord said.

Some students traveled to Israel over break on the Birthright trip, sponsored by the Birthright Organization. This trip gives Jewish youth the opportunity to visit Israel and is designed to give an educational peer experience. Birthright is offered to those who identify as Jewish, have graduated high school and are between the ages of 18 and 26.

“The Birthright trip was an amazing experience for me,” senior Alex Lothstein said. “I feel honored not only to have this opportunity, but also to be able to have this experience with my close friends.”

Being able to bring back a new perspective and further understanding of his faith has been renewing and inspirational, Lothstein said.

For others, the extra time on campus helped them prepare for the upcoming semester.

“I always come back a bit earlier than most,” sophomore Alec Wyneth said. “Even though it costs extra, taking that time to get ready for the upcoming semester really helps me get a head start and stay on top of things.”

Winter weather brings changes for athletic practices

Due to renovations on Edward’s gym, many athletes are working out in a converted garage in Hamilton-Williams Campus Center. Photo by Jane Suttmeier
Due to renovations on Edward’s gym, many athletes are working out in a converted garage in Hamilton-Williams Campus Center. Photo by Jane Suttmeier

Winter is officially here to stay at Ohio Wesleyan, and with that comes changes for OWU sports.

The teams that have previously been outdoors will go through the most change, both in terms of schedule as well as program.

Day-to-day operations are impacted the most. When not in the winter months, most teams have their own specific space for practices. Ranging from the Jay Martin Soccer Complex to the George Gauthier Track, it was commonplace to see many different teams holding practice at the same time.

However, the majority of teams will now be sharing three spaces: the Branch Rickey Arena, Gordon Field House and newly relocated weight room.

The yearly transition is helped by facilities director Dustin Rudegeair, who aims to minimize winter’s impact on the Bishops’ effectiveness.

The biggest challenge for Rudegeair is trying to maximize the space available, according to sophomore facilities supervisor Sam Schurer.

Since Schurer has been running the process for a while and this is a yearly transition, Rudegeair is able to find teams who can use same space in ways that don’t interfere with each other.

These scheduling changes end up not just by varsity athletes, but other students on campus as well. Those looking to enjoy sports recreationally will have to make adjustments as well.

“Up until recently it has been pretty easy to go into the gym and get a pickup game going or play tennis at almost any time,” sophomore Alec Wyneth said. “But now there are teams in there all the time, so we can’t just play on a whim.”

To help avoid conflicts, there is a weekly schedule posted in the hallway connecting Branch RickeyArena  to Gordon Field House. This schedule has been the most helpful to the non-varsity athletic groups who want to use the facility, such as the club rugby and ultimate frisbee teams.

“We are able to adjust our practices accordingly, and now know what days we should do a track workout or ideal days for a full scrimmage using the tennis courts,” said frisbee co-captain Bill Milanick, a junior.

Looking ahead, there will be more space across the board starting next year.

Beach Bash raises funds for diabetes research

Junior Rocky Crotty, a member of Delta Tau Delta, cooks hamburgers for students at Beach Bash, the fraternity's annual event benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. Photo by Spenser Hickey
Junior Rocky Crotty, a member of Delta Tau Delta, cooks hamburgers for students at Beach Bash, the fraternity’s annual event benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. Photo by Spenser Hickey

With music in the air and the grill sizzling, Friday afternoon was filled with energy at Delta Tau Delta’s Beach Bash philanthropy event.

Students sat in the house lawn, some watching, others waiting for their turn to compete for beach volleyball glory.

Delt’s annual fall philanthropy event featured a beach volleyball tournament and a cookout for those in attendance. Teams paid a $30 entrance fee, with all funds raised going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Delt also sold t-shirts and bracelets to help raise awareness and funds.

“For us the biggest goal was to raise awareness for our cause,” said junior Tad Bustin, Delt’s philanthropy chair and the organizer of this year’s and last year’s events. He said 14 teams competed and they raised between $400-$500. Both these numbers were around the same as last year, but Delt members did notice more students in attendance overall.

While this year’s bash had many similarities, there were some new things Delt did differently. Due to predictions of a rainy Saturday, they decided to reschedule to Friday from 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m.

“Even though we had to reschedule, I think that ended up working out better for us.” Bustin said. “A lot of the students that came out said it was more convenient to attend after classes rather than noon Saturday. We also avoided conflict with Saturday’s block party, so the weather ended up being a blessing in disguise for us.”

Sigma Phi Epsilon won the tournament, defending their title from last year. After the tournament concluded, Delt hosted a dance party.

According to Delt Vice President Taimur Elahi, food point donations were collected at the door during the dance party. They won’t be converted directly to cash for JDRF, but will be used on food for future philanthropy events.

“Delt always has this event really well organized,” said junior attendee Miranda Ames, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. “As someone who knows the struggle that goes into planning a philanthropy event, we appreciated how smoothly it was run.”

Bustin said raising awareness can be more of a challenge than expected.

“Hopefully next year we can promote even more and at the bash itself put more of a focus on promoting JDRF,” he said. “While I’m glad everyone had a good time, it will be even better to couple that enjoyment with awareness.”

New year, new administrators

New Vice President for Enrollment Susan Dileno speaks at convocation. Dileno came to Ohio Wesleyan from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.
New Vice President for Enrollment Susan Dileno speaks at convocation. Dileno came to Ohio Wesleyan from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. Photo by Spenser Hickey

A new year sees new changes in administration, as two positions have been filled by new hires this fall.

One of these employees is Meredith Dixon, who now serves as the Assistant Director of Residential Life. Dixon, a Residential Life Coordinator (RLC) at OWU for the past three years, was promoted to the position this summer after the departure of Drew Peterson.

Though she is still adapting to the new responsibilities, Dixon expressed excitement for a year full of new challenges.

“So far we have revamped our August training, but on a more broad scale, I want to see ResLife get more updated and easily available,” she said. “And in the long term I’m really looking forward to getting involved with the student master housing plan and helping that plan gain momentum.”

Her promotion to the position is not unusual, as the past three previous hires were once RLC’s as well. According to Dixon, this is ideal as her responsibilities now include supervising the RLC staff and having prior experience in the position is very valuable.

Unlike Dixon, the new Vice President for enrollment was hired from outside of Ohio Wesleyan University. After 11 years as the VP for enrollment management at Baldwin Wallace University, Susan Dileno has moved to OWU.

Coming to OWU 

Dileno was found last year by a search committee and ultimately appointed to the position by President Rock Jones.

For Dileno, her decision to come to OWU was driven by two key factors.

“First, I had been at Baldwin Wallace for 11 years, which in this profession is close to a lifetime,” she said. “You tend to give it your all, and then after a while you wonder what value you add to the institution. It was the time in my career where I desired a new challenge. I loved my time at BW and the community there was great, but professionally I didn’t want to be on coast.”

“Also, there were a lot of similarities when I visited here at OWU: everyone is passionate, involved and I felt the sense of a great community. In particular the community and the peers I am now working with really stood out to me,” Dileno said.

So what exactly does the VP for enrollment position entail?

“I oversee the job functions of admission and financial aid,” Dileno.

“It has become increasingly difficult to meet all of an instititutions goals and requirements, and so it is my responsibility to help the university trade off and find the right balance between all of those desires. Through sophisticated uses of leveraging, marketing, and researching, my job is strategic in nature.

“By employing good decision making through data and research, I strive to see the entire university and how we can better help connect different areas of OWU.

“Then we look to use these connections in order to recruit more students here and ultimately reach our goals.”

Dileno expressed excitement for the new challenges, and has the approval of a diverse search committee behind her. Professor of physics and astronomy, Barbara Andereck, served as chair of the search committee, and also indicated her approval.

“I think that OWU is very good about finding good matches, involving a lot of people in the process and getting feedback,” Andereck said.

“I think that is a real strength of OWU in general and it showed in this hiring.”

Freshman enrollment down, but class looks strong


As the fall semester begins, the Ohio Wesleyan University community is smaller than expected.  Enrollment is down for this year’s freshman class, and is the lowest it has been in the past five years.

The university’s goal is to have around 600 incoming freshmen every year. OWU generally meets this goal — according to a Fall 2014 Admissions report, the past two years have had 586 and 589 respectively. However, this year there are 490 incoming freshmen.

Why the drastic drop-off? Vice President for Enrollment Susan Dileno said to a certain extent, there is only so much the university can do.

“There are several dynamics working against us that unfortunately we can’t control,” Dileno said. “Nationally the number of 18-year-old students is on the decline. Additionally, Ohio and other states nearby us are experiencing a big decline, so just maintaining is hard. We have found that public instititutions are rising in strength, and the price of education is high.”

Despite the low enrollment, the class of 2018 boasts remarkable strengths.  Representing 17 countries and 33 states, the class of 2018 already boasts a broad list of achievements. From an extra in the movie “Divergent,” to a competitor in the World Irish dance competition, talents and hobbies are diverse among the freshmen.

In terms of academic demographic, the class of 2018 is consistent with the past five years. Contrary to the popular rumor that GPAs of incoming freshmen are declining, not much has actually changed.  According to an admissions report from this fall, the high school GPA for the class of 2018 is a 3.4 average. This class shares the same average GPA with all but the class of 2016, which had a 3.5.

“Our applicant and admit pool hasn’t really changed that much,” Dileno said. “But at the end of the day, it is impossible for us to control who does or does not enroll.

For Residential Life, this year’s lower enrollment gives some flexibility.

“We now have more spaces then students,” said Meredith Dixon, assistant director of Residential Life.  “We want to use that to help accommodate students in a way that normally we wouldn’t be able to.”

For Admissions, while it is disappointing not to meet their enrollment goals, Dileno expressed high hopes for the future of this year’s class.

“Even though the numbers are low, we admitted students who bring their talent and passion to the university and promise to contribute in significant ways.”