Summer internships still available thanks to grant

With the school year winding down, many Ohio Wesleyan students are looking for summer internships.

In August of 2014, OWU career services received The Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Grant for summer internships of $133,333 from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. This grant was used to help students with financial needs.

“We’re excited and appreciative for this grant and the potential it creates for our students,” said Director of Career Services Leslie J. Melton in a press release when the grant was announced.

Now that money is available to more students looking to gain experience over the break. This is in large part thanks to the additional donations of two OWU alumni.

“Up until mid-March we were really limited in the number of students who could benefit from the dollars,” said internship coordinator Jill Walters. “We were able to change that a little bit so that the money could be available to more students.”

Walters said that this has recently created a buzz about internships.

“Now we’ve been sending all kinds of emails and trying to get folks interested because the group of eligible students is a lot larger,” Walters said.

The number of quality applications turned in by students seeking internships has grown since then according to Walters.

Even students who have already accepted unpaid internships can seek help from career services to change it to a paid one.

“We were able to reach out to those employers and say ‘hey there would you be interested in partnering, the student is eligible for grant dollars, we would love to pay their salary while their participating in an unpaid internship with you,’” Walters explained.

This was another thing career services were unable to initially do when the grant money was first received.

Internships made available by career services range from locations in Ohio, all the way to Texas, with many others in between. Students can work in fields that include: music, journalism, zoology, psychology, politics and government, business and fitness.

“It’s a really nice mix, something that was really important to our office,” Walters said.

Strand Theatre features “The Missing Picture”

Clay figures from the film. Photo courtesy of
Clay figures from the film. Photo courtesy of

Clay figures typically do not come to mind when the word documentary is mentioned.

The Missing Picture, nominated for the best foreign language film at the 2014 Academy Awards, was shown at the Strand Theater April 21-22 as a part of the 2015 Community Film Series.

The series is sponsored by the Ohio Wesleyan English department. Professors Lynette Carpenter and Martin Hipsky make the decision of which films will be screened each year.

The documentary – which uses clay figures to fill in for missing or destroyed footage – focuses on the horrible conditions Cambodians faced at work camps under the rule of the Khmer Rouge from 1975-1979. A total of one third of the population died under the dictatorship.

“I was looking for an East Asian film and this one I thought would be particularly useful for students to study because it’s so experimental,” Carpenter said.

Still from the film. Photo courtesy of
Still from the film. Photo courtesy of

Students are not the only ones to go to the screenings. Many residents of Delaware have also attended.

“Honestly I wish more people would come because they’re great films,” said junior Joe Pileski. “They’re not things (films) that really get advertised in the normal cinema cycle.”

The Missing Picture was directed by Rithy Panh who suffered through Khmer Rouge rule with his family. Panh was able to escape to Thailand and today is considered one of Cambodia’s most talented directors.

“It was very interesting… animation superimposed on real images,” said junior Emily Webb.

Panh and his crew who helped work on the film created hundreds of little clay figures and then proceeded to move them to different, recreated sets that resembled Cambodia’s rice fields, work camps and cities.

“It also illustrates the difference perhaps between our assumptions about film making and what it’s actually intended to do and how other cultures see film making,” Carpenter said.

The final film of the 2015 Community Film Series, Sex, Lies and Videotape, directed by Steven Soderbergh, will be shown April 28-29.

A dramatic Denison Day win

The 2015 OWU men's lacrosse team. Photo courtesy of
The 2015 OWU men’s lacrosse team. Photo courtesy of

Whenever the Ohio Wesleyan men’s lacrosse team faces Denison University, there’s bound to be some excitement.

On April 12 that was exactly the case as senior attacker John Umbach scored the winning goal with only 19 seconds left in regulation. Junior Marcus Dietz was credited with the assist.

OWU defeated their rivals by a score of 9-8 to remain undefeated. The dramatic win avenged two 2014 losses to Denison including a 5-14 loss in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) tournament.

“We definitely felt very confident going into that game,” said senior attacker Tommy Minkler. “We knew that if we played our game and did not focus too much on them, then we would come out on top.”

The goal came just after Denison received a penalty with under a minute left. This gave OWU a one man advantage.

“Prior to the goal we had a lot of opportunities in the last couple of minutes to score,” Umbach said. “As a team we did a great job forgetting about the missed shots and were able to settle down and bury one with 19 seconds left.”

The goal, number 27 of the season for Umbach, was scored in front of an ecstatic crowd of over 2,000 at Selby Stadium.

“The atmosphere is amazing and nerves always kick in,” said Umbach. “Luckily for us we have been fortunate enough to play in big games with big crowds this year like the Franklin and Marshall game and the Salisbury game.”

OWU is now 12-0 on the year with only two games remaining in the regular season. Current Division III polls have them ranked at 3 and 4 in the country respectively.

“We have really been trying not to focus on the rankings too much,” said Minkler who contributed two goals in the win. “It’s easy to get caught up in the polls and get a big head, so both the coaching staff and the senior class have been really trying to keep everyone grounded and humble.”

Minkler and Umbach both said that the feeling after the game was incredible but that the goals for the season were still clear.

“While this was just another regular season game, the atmosphere in the locker room was great,” Umbach said.

Minkler added that the game taught the team a lot about themselves and that they plan to play Denison again in just a few weeks, at the NCAC tournament.

Controversial run-off voting for senior class council takes place

The announcement of a run-off election for Senior Class Council in late March has not gone over well with candidates who were previously told they won.

In order to confirm the results of the initial election, juniors Ben Miller and Brittany Spicer – who were told they won via email – were yet again forced to contend for president and vice president.

Miller went against Shelli Reeves for president and Spicer against Milagros Green for vice president. All of those who are running are juniors, a requirement of the election.

“When I first found out there would be a run off, I was angry,” Spicer said. “We had gotten multiple emails confirming the election results and congratulatory messages from faculty, staff, students and even Rock Jones.”

Miller, who is the Arts and Entertainment editor at The Transcript, shared his disapproval.

“I was just really surprised, I was congratulated by the administration and then it was just kind of taken away,” Miller said.

Miller said he found the proceedings unfair and the school should have notified all of the candidates beforehand.

Two other additions to the Senior Class Council, secretary Kelly Johnson and treasurer Sean Roskamp, were unaffected by the announcement of a run-off.

Roskamp ran unopposed and Johnson won the majority of her votes. This resulted in both keeping their positions.

Still, Johnson was upset with how things played out.

“It was definitely pretty frustrating,” Johnson said. “How can you tell someone they won when they didn’t?”

During the run-off election, the worry was whether or not enough people would vote. Those who were still in the running for president and vice president did not campaign as much the second time around.

“I think the big concern is just getting enough people to vote in general this time,” Spicer said. “No one was really expecting this to happen, so I haven’t seen any candidates putting as much into campaigning as we all did the first time.”

Reeves and Green sent out emails reminding students to vote, but not much else has been done in terms of campaigning from any of the candidates.

The run-off voting took place online, April 8-9. And after tallying the results, Reeves and Green won their respective positions.

Fraternities and sororities to visit Capitol Hill

The FratPAC logo. Photo courtesy of
The FratPAC logo. Photo courtesy of

Masses of fraternity and sorority members will be headed to Capitol Hill on April 27 to petition Congress on several issues.

The Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (FratPAC), along with two other groups, will ask Congress to block universities from punishing an entire Greek system based solely on the actions of one house. FratPAC will also be asking Congress to allow the criminal justice system to handle sexual assault cases rather than letting the universities hand down a decision first.

“This current campaign will bring much attention to their group and rightly so,” said Dana Behum, assistant director of student involvement for fraternity and sorority life at Ohio Wesleyan. “This topic is something we should all be educating ourselves about.”

Behum said that all fraternities – with the exception of Phi Delta Theta – and all sororities at OWU are involved in some way with at least one of the three groups sending students to petition.

The other two groups are the North-American Interfraternity Conference and the National Panhellenic Conference.

“Sig Chi is one of the biggest ones involved in it,” said junior and Sigma Chi member Mike Ziccarelli. “I think it is ridiculous that a school can punish an entire Greek system for the (actions) of one individual.”

Ziccarelli continued by saying that it was just a scapegoat for universities to punish a Greek system collectively.

“There is no reason to be punished for the actions of another house,” said junior Kendall Derr, a member of Phi Delta Theta. “It should be handled internally.”

Not all students agreed with the stance of FratPAC.

“I think the actions by FratPAC are extremely counterproductive to combating sexual assault on college campuses,” said junior Matthew Moresi. “Especially since so many schools are already far too relaxed on students accused of sexual violence.”

The US Education Department currently requires colleges to investigate matters involving sexual assault accusations. If a university finds a student guilty, they can be punished faster than in a case involving the court system. However, universities do not require a finding “beyond a reasonable doubt” in order to discipline.

Fraternities have said that universities often rush to judgment in sexual assault cases that involve Greek houses.

“I don’t personally think that it should be easier for people who have sexually assaulted someone to get off, but I do understand they want to make sure that there aren’t incorrect accusations,” said sophomore Megan Marren.

Student lobbyists in Washington, D.C. will begin training on April 27. They will then visit lawmakers to discuss these issues. The visit to the nation’s capital will conclude on April 29 when members of Congress will speak at a dinner with members of FratPAC present.

Princeton professor weighs in on Russia-Ukraine conflict

Mark Beissinger. Photo courtesy of

Ohio Wesleyan continued its streak of bringing in top scholars for various lectures on Thursday April 2.

The John Kennard Eddy Memorial Lecture, which was highlighted by a presentation from Princeton University professor Mark Beissinger, dealt with the current struggle between Ukraine and Russia.

“This conflict is causing consequences all over the world,” said Beissinger to a crowd of OWU students and Delaware residents.

Beissinger explained that Ukraine has largely been unstable in recent years due to the actions of now former president, Viktor Yanukovych. Political instability, riots and battling as to whether or not they should join the EU are also to blame. Russia has capitalized on this.

“Russia has been trying to pull in the Ukraine in the post-Soviet era,” Beissinger said. “Russia’s ultimate goal was to make sure the Ukraine came within its geopolitical orbit.”

Beissinger continued by saying it was a little known fact that Russian president Vladimir Putin threatened to invade Crimea, Ukraine while attending the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

That very invasion did in fact take place right after the Olympic Games though Russia has always claimed that they do not have troops in the region.

“It is now a crime in Crimea to fly the Ukrainian flag,” Beissinger said.

According to Beissinger during his lecture, there are talks within Russia about taking even more land.

So how has the United States and its EU allies responded?

One suggestion was economic sanctions. They not only have been put into effect but also have crippled the Russian economy. These sanctions have hurt credit rates in Moscow and raised interest rates throughout the country.

Despite all of this, Putin’s approval rating has never been higher within his country.

“It’s just interesting in general to see how this will all play out,” freshman Jenna Chambers said. “Looking at this lecture it seems well contained.”

Beissinger ended the lecture with a Russian propaganda clip titled “I am a Russian Occupier,” which condemned those who have stopped the country from spreading its wealth and ideas.

Senior theatre productions shock and awe

Flyer promoting the joint production featuring (left to right) seniors Kristen Krak, Haenny Park and Ryan Haddad.
Flyer promoting the joint production featuring (left to right) seniors Kristen Krak, Haenny Park and Ryan Haddad.

A chilling Japanese ghost story and an inspiring performance about one’s real life perseverance were the highlights of this year’s senior theatre productions.

The two acts, presented by the Ohio Wesleyan department of theatre and dance, took place in the Chappelear Studio Theatre on March 27-28.

Seniors Kristen Krak and Haenny Park performed “The Sound of a Voice” by famous professor, playwright and screenwriter David Henry Hwang. Senior Ryan Haddad performed an original solo piece titled “Hi, Are You Single?”

“I have been working with this material for about a year, it has not always been in solo performance form though I knew this was going to be my end goal,” Haddad said. “It was in my mind as a solo piece but I didn’t start crafting it like one until the fall.”

“Hi, Are You Single?” deals with Haddad’s personal struggles growing up as a gay man with cerebral palsy. The performance brought with it an element of comedy, simultaneously provoking thought about how people treat one another.

“I’ve done a lot of autobiographical performance work over the past two years but usually they have been short pieces in workshops, mostly with performance artist Tim Miller,” Haddad said.

Haddad sites Miller, who is here on a theory to practice grant, as being instrumental in the development of his solo performance.

In “The Sound of a Voice”, Kristen Krak plays a lonely man on a journey who is trying to figure out the mysterious secret of a woman (played by Haenny Park) who lives alone in the woods. As the play progresses they grow to understand and even care for one another but the ending is anything but happy as their secrets unfold.

“I enjoyed the performance,” junior Ryan Burkholder said. “I thought it was kind of weird having two women performing a story between a man and a woman.”

Burkholder was one of many – including OWU President Rock Jones – in the packed crowd at the Friday night showing.

Haddad said that many people work behind the scenes on these performances and that all are important.

“So many people have influenced the writing and the performance,” Haddad said. “I have two wonderful collaborators, Margot Reed and Ian Boyle… and Ed Kahn in the theatre, oh my god he is remarkable.”

Stanford professor talks polarization, average voters and overreaching

Dr. Fiorina of Stanford University. Photo courtesy of
Morris P. Fiorina of Stanford University. Photo courtesy of

Over 100 people in a hot, crowded room applauded as The Benjamin F. Marsh Lecture Series on Public Affairs began Wednesday, March 25.

The applause – which engulfed the Benes room of the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center – was directed towards the keynote speaker, Morris P. Fiorina, a professor at Stanford University. Fiorina’s lecture was titled “Unstable Majorities, Polarization and the Contemporary American Electorate”.

The event was co-sponsored by the Ohio Wesleyan department of politics and government and the Arneson Institute for Practical Politics and Public Affairs.

Fiorina began the lecture by emphasizing that the political structure between democrats and republicans 50 years ago was not as extreme as it appears to be today.

“Democrats and Republicans now look at each other like they’re from different planets,” Fiorina said. “Democrats have moved left and Republicans have moved right, there is no middle ground anymore.”

For some in the crowd, that took a little while to sink in.

“I’m still trying to process it,” said sophomore Liam McNulty after the lecture. “I never truly realized that it hasn’t always been (polarized) like that.”

Fiorina continued by saying that polarization, in its most basic form, is not believed by some political scientists. He went on by presenting data that supports the claim that it isn’t as extreme as commonly thought.

The data showed that when it comes to key political issues, voters tend to hug the middle. This trend was also similar with the two major political parties.

Fiorina used the political issue of abortion to represent how some in the Republican Party have changed their view over the years, with many clinging to middle ground.

“It’s really interesting to see how polarization in congress isn’t really representation of the general population,” senior Robert Bartels said after the lecture.

Voter information

Fiorina showed via slideshow exactly how the American people get their political news: Of those getting their information from the extreme sides of the political spectrum, only 1 percent out of millions of viewers get their news from FOX News with just 0.3 percent getting it from The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

He then referenced a study done on 1.2 million Bing toolbar users, of which only 14 percent clicked on 10 or more news articles and only four percent on two or more opinion pieces.

“The real problem in America isn’t if they get biased news, it is if they get any news (at all),” Fiorina said.

Political Overreach

Fiorina finished the lecture with a theory as to why neither major political party can keep the Senate, House or presidency for consecutive years since 2000.

“We have very sorted parties and the result is they overreach,” Fiorina said.

He elaborated by saying that each party tries too much during their respective times in office and it is usually not what the American people want.

“There is a disconnect between what the American people want to work on and what the politicians address,” Fiorina said. “People never really think we are on the right track.”

New online purchasing system for OWU

A new cloud-based purchasing system for professors and other Ohio Wesleyan University employees is set to replace the current system by July 1.

The system, “BishopBuy,” was designed by SciQuest Inc. and will create an automated online domain for shopping, placing purchase orders, check requests, change orders, budget transfers and more. It is said to enhance the all-around purchasing experience of the employees at OWU.

“Our current system is for entering online requisitions only,” said purchasing coordinator Melanie Kalb. “This system is also cloud-based and will work with any browser.  This a great benefit to those working from multiple offices.”

A shopping cart application will be used that allows users to connect with other shopping websites, browse catalogs of items used for each respective department and purchase items with their purchasing cards (PCards).

The site has been worked on by a team of 30 people for 20 weeks beginning in October. BishopBuy has been tested by multiple focus groups during its development.

BishopBuy is a shared purchasing system between Ohio Wesleyan and the other Ohio Five schools: Denison University, Kenyon College, College of Wooster and Oberlin College.

According to the frequently asked questions, “A shared system allows us to leverage our combined purchasing power for better discounts.”

The fact that the system is shared enabled a collective purchase between the Ohio Five schools from SciQuest, meaning the software is even more cost efficient. A grant from Carnegie Mellon University lowered the price even further.

Dan Hitchell, vice president for finance and administration, explained in an email sent out to OWU employees that training for BishopBuy would begin during the first week of March. He went on to say that the target date for training completion was June 1, the day that BishopBuy will replace the current system.

Hitchell was unavailable to comment on BishopBuy.

Though training has allegedly begun, some OWU professors and employees are still unaware that a new purchasing system even exists.

When asked about BishopBuy, several professors and secretaries declined to comment on the grounds that they did not yet feel comfortable enough based on their current knowledge of the system. Others didn’t even know there was going to be a change.

Either way BishopBuy will go into full effect at the beginning of the new fiscal year on June 1.

Indoor track team competes at NCAA championship

The Ohio Wesleyan indoor track and field team may not have finished first in the NCAA division III championship, but they did come away with experience and a new determination.

A total of five OWU athletes (three men and two women) took part in the Division III championship in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on March 13 and 14.

“It was a great experience going down to North Carolina and it was just nice to get some good competition and experience on a national level,” said junior Abbey Wrath who finished 15th in the mile. “The race didn’t play out how I wanted it to but it was a good learning experience.”

Three OWU men – senior Matt Hunter, junior Aaron Port and freshman Nate Newman – all competed in the heptathlon.

The men’s heptathlon, as the name suggests, is made up of seven events – 60 meter sprint, long jump, shot put, high jump, 60 meter hurdles, pole vault and 1000 meters.

“Just to make it my freshman year was pretty cool because everyone else there was a junior or senior,” Newman said. “The first day we had high jump, long jump, 60 dash and shot put… the second day I started doing a little better; we had the 60 hurdles, pole vault and then the 1000 meter run which is the killer.”

Newman went on to say that he is optimistic about his future with the sport because of his freshman status and that he looks forward to returning to the DIII championship.

Another OWU track and field athlete optimistic about their future is junior Sara Johnson, who finished 17th in the 60 meter hurdles.

This was Johnson’s second time participating in the DIII championship but her first for indoor track and field. Her first time was last summer when the championship was held at Selby Stadium.

“Last year for outdoor we hosted and it really was like a blessing because we hosted it at home and a lot of my family and friends came to support me,” Johnson said. “It was much different in North Carolina for indoor, it was more subtle, less dramatic, less people but there was a lot of pressure still.”

Johnson suffered a leg injury while running in this year’s championship which she feels slowed her down. However, going forward, she spoke about the confidence she gained.

“I was super upset afterwards,” Johnson said. “I’m just happy I made it that far. Next year I am definitely going for it.”