The decline and future of house parents

House parents, live-in moderators for fraternities and sororities are not common at Ohio Wesleyan. But a remaining few still hold the title.

A house parent is similar to a Residential Advisor (RA). They deal with managing property, handling conflicts and sometimes assisting in academic advising.

Chi Phi is one fraternity that retains the position.

“To the best of my knowledge, the house father is a title and job that was grandfathered in after the university acquired our houses with the Memorandum of Understanding,” said junior Conor Golden, a member of Chi Phi. “To the school, the house father is the liaison between the university and the chapter representing their interests and relaying back our interests to them.”

Chi Phi’s house father, Peter Chew, was unavailable for comment.

Fraternities are not the only ones that currently have, or have had, house parents.

Delta Gamma parted ways with their house parent five years ago, but they still have someone they consider to be an honorary house mother.

“The closest thing to a mother we have is Marilyn Haas, who is our house corporation president,” said senior Mariah Bockbrader, a member of Delta Gamma. “She is in charge of all of the remodeling and decorating of our house, and helps us out with so much more than just that.”

Haas visits the sorority once a month during the school year depending on weather conditions. In the summer she stops by twice a week if there are any renovations being done to the chapter lodge.

“I absolutely love my Alpha Rho (chapter) sisters. I moved back to Ohio almost five years ago, got involved with the chapter and have never been disappointed,” Haas said.

She went on to say that she doesn’t think Delta Gamma will have a house mother in the near future.

“While each of us has different personalities, we have worked well together and the chapter members are very grateful for the improvements to the physical house,” Haas said. “They are respectful of the alumnae, love celebrating Delta Gamma traditions such as Founders’ Day and parent/alumnae weekends and have been gracious hostesses.”

Jay Martin receives grant to combat hazing

Jay Martin. Photo courtesy of
Jay Martin. Photo courtesy of

Many great things come from athletics, but hazing is not one of them. Ohio Wesleyan men’s soccer coach and health and human kinetics professor Jay Martin is looking to address this problem.

“Hazing has always been an interest to me,” Martin said. “When I first got to Ohio Wesleyan I was the soccer and lacrosse coach and both teams were really into hazing.”

Simon Clements of the Chicago-based EXACT Sports research group will be working alongside Martin on his project.

The two sent a grant proposal to the NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant Program stating that “hazing prevalence is as high as 79 percent” and that “a more recent study of 53 colleges involving 11,000 students indicate that over 50 percent have experienced hazing.”

Martin and his research team received a $10,000 grant and will use the money to conduct studies that will attempt to identify teams and players who suffer from hazing tendencies.

Martin and his team will begin their research by identifying 10 coaches throughout all NCAA divisions to send a questionnaire on hazing to.

Then they will do the same thing, but anonymously, with 300 freshman student athletes. This sample will consist of 150 males and 150 females.

“What we are eventually trying to do is to identify teams, players and coaches that have a tendency to haze,” Martin said.

Martin continued by saying they will develop another questionnaire that will be put online so coaches and athletic directors can identify potential hazing situations at their institutions.

All of this will be done by January of 2016.

“We want to be done with part one – that’s identification of the coaches – by April 30, we want to do part two by Aug. 15 and then get the entire study put together to be presented at the NCAA convention next January in San Antonio,” Martin said.

Martin specified that ultimately they are trying to develop an online tool the NCAA can use to pick out hazing teams, coaches, and players.

“We believe that there are certain behaviors exhibited by coaches and players who haze,” Martin said. “So we are trying to identify those behaviors so we can stop hazing and make a more positive environment.”

Men’s lacrosse takes on opposition and weather

Freezing temperatures and several inches of snow could not stop the Ohio Wesleyan men’s lacrosse team; however, it did cause them some trouble.

Because of bad weather, the team had their Feb. 14 season opener against Augustana College moved to the Woody Hayes Center indoor facility on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Senior Tommy Minkler. Photo courtesy of the battling bishops website.
Senior Tommy Minkler. Photo courtesy of the battling bishops website.

“It’s one of the nicest facilities in the country,” said senior attacker Tommy Minkler. “It was one of the coolest playing experiences I’ve ever had.”

Minkler scored two goals in OWU’s 17-4 win over Augustana.

The second game, which was going to take place on Feb. 21 in Salem, Va., against Roanoke College, was postponed. Weather was once again the determining factor.

“We were all looking forward to the matchup against a good Roanoke team,” said senior midfielder Brendan Bouchard. “Thankfully our coaching staff and administration were able to get the game rescheduled in March when it will be a little nicer out.”

The rescheduled game will take place on March 21.

With the weather gradually warming up the Battling Bishops were able to have games against Otterbein University and Franklin & Marshall College. Both games resulted in OWU wins.

However the men’s lacrosse team, now at 3-0, is still having trouble practicing at Selby Stadium.

Minkler says that the team has to remove snow and ice before each practice using nothing but a single snow blower and a few shovels.

Senior Brendan Bouchard. Photo courtesy of
Senior Brendan Bouchard. Photo courtesy of

“The snow blower removes most of it but there is still always a thin layer of snow we have to use shovels on,” Minkler said. “It kind of brings us all closer together when we are out there shoveling the field.”

Sometimes the snow is too much and the team is forced to move inside to practice in Gordon Field House.

“With the way the weather has been recently we have been taking it day by day as far as practice goes,” Bouchard said. “We have gone inside for a couple walk arounds but it’s difficult to get a high quality practice inside, so we try to get outside as much as we can for as long as we can.”

OWU’s next game is March 4 when they take on Hanover College at home. They will then go on the road to face Salisbury University on March 8.

Women’s House now SAGE

SAGE house. Photo courtesy of
SAGE house sits between the Modern Foreign Lanugage House and House of Thought on Rowland Avenue. Photo courtesy of

Ohio Wesleyan University is saying goodbye to the Women’s House as it has come to be known; instead the Small Living Unit (SLU) will go by its new name: Sexuality and Gender Equality House (SAGE).

SAGE house moderator, senior Meredith Harrison, said the house has been contemplating a name change since fall semester.

“There’s always been the stereotype that only cisgender women live in the house because of the house name,” Harrison said. “Even if our programming and mission statement represent the people our house is a resource for, the name was really alienating to people of other gender identities.”

During fall semester, three gender nonconforming members moved into what was then the Women’s House. There has been gender nonconforming and male members in the past.

Harrison went to Residential Life Coordinator Levi Harrel to figure out how the name changing process was completed. The name change was done while filling out the application for the SLU renewal process.

“You just have to change the house name there and then explain why you’re changing it,” Harrison said.

The name of the SLU isn’t the only thing to have changed.

“This year the mission statement did change a little bit,” Harrison said. “We just took out ‘women’ and we changed it to all genders and marginalized sexual and romantic orientations.”

Harrison went on to say that the programming has reflected the change in the mission statement.

“I’m fully supportive of it; it’s just nice to not have the question anymore of do only women live here, because we get that a lot,” said sophomore Rowan Hannan. “As someone who is not a woman and is living in the Women’s House it was kind of hurtful to hear that all the time.”

They continued by saying it would be hard to measure how long it would take for the new name to register throughout OWU.

“It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the campus community to catch on,” Harrison said. “There is so much that goes into it that you don’t think about.”

Harrison used the example of a recent tour of prospective students where the guide called it the Women’s House.

SAGE is still in the process of informing other houses and their moderators about the name change. In addition they plan on talking to admissions and changing the sign on the house. All of this Harrison hopes will help get the word out.

U.S. policy in Africa comes in different shapes

Randolph Quaye. Photo courtesy of
Randolph Quaye. Photo courtesy of

On the sidelines when Europe colonized Africa in the 19th century, the United States’ role on the continent changed when decolonization began after World War II, said Ghana native Randolph Quaye.

Quaye, director of the Black World Studies program at Ohio Wesleyan University, spoke about U.S. policy toward Africa in the latest meeting of the Great Decisions Lecture Series Friday.

“I think it is very difficult for me to talk about one specific U.S. policy toward Africa,” Quaye said.

That is because each African country is different, requiring different policies from Washington, D.C. Colonization of Africa resulted from the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, creating neighboring countries with diverse backgrounds, he said.

“The U.S. was just an observer,” Quaye said. “The U.S. never took part in colonizing any of these countries.”

After World War II, charismatic leaders who favored socialism began emerging in Africa. With the decolonization process supported by the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, the United States was forced to step in.

“I feel the U.S.’s relationship with Africa has been mixed,” Quaye said. “The major U.S. advancements in Africa have been made in the health field.”

Quaye said the African Growth and Opportunity Act passed by the U.S. Congress in May 2000 advanced more open economic policies with African countries and helped build free markets. Greater integration of three economic unions in Africa also was promoted by the U.S. That led to more American influence on the continent.

The U.S. also has promoted democracy and improved health care.

“We are seeing a gradual reduction in the number of people with HIV/AIDS, specifically in East Africa,” Quaye said.

The war on terror is a continuing problem in many African countries, Quaye said. The U.S has established military zones in Libya, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia and Tunisia.

Stephanie Smith, a Delaware County resident who came with her daughter, Kathy Kelly, said, “I enjoyed the lecture tremendously because I don’t know a lot about Africa. I’ve learned so many things about different parts of the world.”

The Syrian refugee crisis will be the topic at the next Great Decisions lecture on March 6 at noon in the William Street United Methodist Church.

Nobel Prize winner to be honored at Heritage Day

Frank Sherwood Rowland. Photo courtesy of
Frank Sherwood Rowland. Photo courtesy of

Ohio Wesleyan alumnus and 1995 Nobel Prize winner Frank Sherwood Rowland will be honored at the next Heritage Day celebration in November.

Sherwood, who was born in Delaware, Ohio, won the 1995 Nobel Prize for his work in chemistry alongside fellow chemists Mario Molina and Paul Crutzen.

With the help of Molina, he discovered that propellants from chlorofluorocarbons sped up the breaking down of the ozone layer. Their discovery prompted international change in the chemical industry.

Heritage Day is celebrated on, or as close to Nov. 13 as possible, to commemorate the first day of classes at OWU in 1844.

A committee works all year to put together a day-long event that will inform students about the history of Ohio Wesleyan.

According to, “Each year a new topic is celebrated bringing together faculty, students, staff, and friends of the University through the Heritage Day committee.”

“We’re still determining next year’s program, but more than likely it will focus on environmental and sustainability issues in honor of Rowland’s work,” said Heritage Day committee member Chad Johns, the director of mission in the Chaplain’s Office.

Rowland graduated high school before turning 16. He went on to attend OWU and graduate in 1948 at the age of 18. He earned a degree in chemistry, math and physics. During his time as a Battling Bishop he was also the sports editor of The Transcript, played on the basketball team and was a member of Delta Tau Delta.

“I think he came back around 10 years ago, maybe a little less, to talk to the fraternity,” said junior Bill Milanick, the current president of Delta Tau Delta.

Milanick went on to say that Rowland – as well as Branch Rickey – are the two brightest people to come out of Delta Tau Delta.

“It’s inspiring, I won’t say we try to live up to his name because I don’t think we are going to win any Nobel Prizes but his accomplishments impress upon us to be great,” Milanick said.

IOCP keeps in contact with returning OWU students

For Ohio Wesleyan students, going off campus and studying abroad can be a challenge. The International and Off Campus Programs (IOCP) office is there to make that challenge a little bit easier.

While the number of OWU students traveling off campus or abroad changes each year, this fall 80-100 students left Delaware for the semester.

When the students return, IOCP helps them readjust to campus life by offering a returnee session, Crossing Boarders sessions, student evaluations, study abroad assessments and a number of other group activities.

“Each program has its own system of evaluation,” said director of IOCP Darrell Albon.

IOCP is also adding a group called The New Cosmopolitans, which stems from an old OWU group called the Cosmopolitans Club that existed in the 19th and early 20th century.

The New Cosmopolitans will serve as a peer-advising program for both domestic and international students. It is designed to support students interested in studying abroad through preparation and orientation.

While abroad, students stay in contact with faculty in a variety of different ways depending on the program they’re in.

“For the first five weeks I think everyone has a weekly meeting with their advisor, it’s sort of a lecture,” said senior Ian Boyle, who participated in the New York Arts Program last fall.

Boyle worked in the property shop for a public theatre, among other things. He compared it to working a full-time job.

In addition to staying in contact with faculty, frequent emails are sent out from OWU staff back on campus to keep off campus students informed.

“We want them to be fully engaged in the culture, but we want them to have a well-circumscribed relationship with OWU,” Albon said. “We really want them to be careful, it’s so easy to be in one country and live virtually in another country.”

For junior Meghan Guthrie, who took part in the Salamanca program in Spain, this was not a problem.

“I believe most (students) did have pretty good contact with professors while abroad,” Guthrie said. “It was easy to keep in touch through email about any questions/concerns we might have had.”

Albon did mentioned that some students abroad this semester were having difficulty receiving emails from OWU because of a “glitch in the system,” but that it has been taken care of.

Another difficulty in the past has been selecting housing and scheduling classes from abroad. Many students are too busy with their schedules to remember when the selecting takes place.

“It was out of the blue, it didn’t even occur to me,” Boyle said.

Boyle went on to say that once he figured out the time for scheduling, he had no problems with it. Guthrie had a similar experience.

“I was luckily able to figure things out and schedule for the classes I wanted and needed,” Guthrie said. “The only thing that made us nervous was being in a different country and having the time difference.”

Bladin’ in the Benes rooms

Students test out their skates. Photo courtesy of Alex Gross.
Students test out their skates. Photo courtesy of Alex Gross.

On Friday, Feb. 13, the Campus Planning Board (CPB) installed a makeshift roller rink over the entire Benes room floor.

The event lasted from 7-10 p.m. It addition to the rink (supplied by Neon Entertainment), CPB offered alpha art, food and beverages.

The indoor roller rink is one of several events hosted by CPB of late. Other events include movie screenings, the CPB coffee house, and a live show featuring comedy duo Frangela.

“It’s been a lot of work doing all of the events,” said junior Nathan LaFrombois, president-internal for CPB. “We’ve never had this many events in such a short amount of time.”

As students entered the event they were greeted by the sound of music, disco-style lighting and a waiver form that had to be signed before rollerblading was permitted.

Students keep each other from falling. Photo courtesy of Alex Gross.
Students keep each other from falling. Photo courtesy of Alex Gross.

“When you walk in, it (the roller rink) kind of looks like Legos,” said sophomore and director of entertainment for CPB, Maddie Oslejsek. “It was easy to set up and will be easy to take down.”

For those in attendance that may not have wanted to rollerblade the entire time, alpha art offered an alternative form of entertainment.

Alpha art gives students the option to spell out their name – or anything they might want to spell – using different colors, shapes, objects and lettering.

“Last time we did the roller rink we had the issue of not enough skates or space for everyone to be active, so we tried to find some small, fun thing for people to do,” LaFrombois said. “We sort of tacked this (alpha art) on as an addition so people could always be entertained.”

Oslejsek furthered that point by suggesting that any alpha-art creations would be a great gift for Valentine’s Day.

No seniors, no problem for men’s tennis team

Despite having no seniors on the team, Ohio Wesleyan men’s tennis, under second-year coach Tom Drabczyk Jr., set their sights on achieving a regional and division ranking.

Coach Drabczyk Jr. also coaches the OWU women’s tennis team.

“Being on a team without any seniors has its advantages and disadvantages,” said freshman Elliot Garwood. “One of the advantages is that it forces someone on the team to step up and lead, even when things seem to be going in the wrong direction.”

Garwood found success during the team’s fall tournaments. This included a second place finish in the B singles bracket at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Central Regional tournament in Indianapolis, Ind.

Since then, the Battling Bishops have been practicing in Gordon Field House throughout the winter. This is the same place home matches will occur until the weather improves.

Garwood mentioned that having indoor courts provides the team with advantages that a lot of other Midwestern schools may not have.

“Coming from South Florida I am used to playing outside all the time,” Garwood said. “Practicing indoors is not so bad because it actually helps my technique on my ground strokes and my serve.”

Junior Austin Okray, the only player on the team to have lettered twice, feels the same about being able to practice indoors, adding that practice has been intense leading up to the first spring match.

“We just want to win and to take over a regional ranking to prove we are not to mess with,” Okray said. “Our schedule has aligned us to have a real chance at a Division III ranking.”

OWU starts off the spring season on Feb. 8 in Kalamazoo, Mich. against Kalamazoo College.

U.S. faces risk with Ukraine involvement

Dr. Sean Kay, professor of Politics and Government. Photo courtesy of the OWU website.
Dr. Sean Kay, professor of Politics and Government. Photo courtesy of the OWU website.

The 2015 Great Decisions lecture series opened on Feb. 6 with “Russia and the Near Abroad,” a hot topic about Russia’s recent aggression in Ukraine and its impact on the western world.

The lecture took place from noon to 1 p.m. in the crowded basement of the William Street United Methodist Church in Delaware.  The keynote speaker was Sean Kay, a politics and government professor at Ohio Wesleyan University and the chair of the International Studies Program.

Kay was introduced by retired Major General Dennis Laich.

“We have in our community a world class performer in the arena of ideas and national security,” Laich announced during his introduction of Kay.

Kay began his talk by briefly mentioning the great divide between liberals and conservatives in Washington D.C. and how the United States, ever since the war in Iraq, has continuously struggled to balance doing the right thing and the realistic thing.

“It is about time that our allies stand up for themselves, I would argue that today that is actually happening,” Kay said as he listed off examples of how Germany and France – among other countries – are dealing with Russia’s recent aggression in eastern Ukraine.

“We are powerful when we are united with our allies,” Kay said after mentioning how Vladimir Putin’s ideal plan would be to cause fighting between NATO countries.

Kay warned that the involvement of the United States in Ukraine, including the addition of the Ukraine to NATO, could potentially be dangerous.

“It would mean America would have to defend the border of Russia and Ukraine, 300 miles away from Moscow,” Kay said.

On the other side of the argument, Kay brought up that Ukraine alone does not have the power to out leverage Russia. This is partially due to the unrest in the Ukrainian government – or lack thereof – and the large amount of Russians residing in eastern Ukraine who are in favor of Russian involvement.

According to Kay, the largest threat to Europe is Russia potentially penetrating the Eurozone (euro area). The Eurozone is a union of 19 European states that have taken in the Euro as their main form of currency. A small portion of these 19 states include territories formerly under USSR control during the cold war.

Kay finished off the lecture by suggesting that the United States move back to a geopolitical approach.

“We’re here today because we dealt with the Russians on the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Kay said. “Somehow we have lost the ability to play geopolitics.”

“Russia and the Near Abroad” concluded with a short Q&A.

The next lecture for Great Decisions will take place at William Street United Methodist Church on Feb. 13 from noon to 1 p.m. where privacy in the digital age will be discussed by Kirk Herath, chief privacy officer of Nationwide Insurance.