OWU postpones 2020 commencement as students say goodbye to campus  

Meg Edwards and Hailey de la Vara

Transcript correspondents



Ohio Wesleyan University announced Tuesday it is postponing commencement ceremonies – for now.

In another stunning blow to students already reeling from cancelation of all class meetings for the remainder of the semester due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, OWU President Rock Jones sent a campus-wide email just before 3 p.m., sharing the message he gave to the senior class about graduation earlier in the day.

“ … my heart aches knowing that you can’t be on campus to complete your senior year,” the email said. “(But) will we have a Class of 2020 ceremony? The answer is a resounding YES!”

The date for that, however, is yet to be determined.

With a nod to the current reality, Jones wrote: “I can’t wait to hand you your diploma and shake your hand (or maybe bump your elbow) as you walk across the graduation stage in front of cheering family members and friends.”

Jones promised additional “festivities” would be planned for graduating seniors so they could properly celebrate with classmates and families.

Nonetheless, for seniors like Mahnoor Ansari, it was a bitter pill to swallow. She groaned when she saw the email on her phone.

“I don’t want to read it,” she said.

Senior Emily VanDermark, who is on OWU’s women’s softball team, said she is having a difficult time wrapping her head around the entire situation.

“For me the whole situation is just really sad. Mostly because it isn’t directly anyone’s fault,” she said. “In a span of one week I’ve lost my final season and my last times on campus with my classmates, sorority sisters, teammates and friends.”

Meanwhile, across campus students were hauling refrigerators and boxes of clothes out of their dorms, with many parents trailing close behind.

Sophomore Jacquelyn Keslar said the campus was turning into a ghost town.

Although new guidelines require the Bishop Cafe to close its seated dining area, students gathered Tuesday with their carry-out food in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center atrium to share a meal with friends before leaving campus.

Jones acknowledged this new darker reality in his email, but also offered encouragement.

“The spirit of the campus, while saddened by the departure of students and the need for most of us to isolate and work remotely, is strong and good,” he wrote. “We are fortunate to be a part of the Bishop family, and we are grateful for the support that has been shared by so many.”

OWU face-to-face classes cancelled for remainder of the semester

On March 13, 2020, President Rock Jones sent out an updated email about remote learning for the rest of the semester:

Dear OWU Community,

Today, Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, announced that Ohio’s outbreak of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is not expected to peak until between late April and mid-May.

To the extent possible, we had hoped to preserve the residential campus and in-person class experience for our students, and so we were making decisions with that goal in mind. Now, however, the course that we must follow for the health and safety of the Bishop family is clear: Effective immediately, we are cancelling on-campus classes for the rest of the semester.

As a result, spring break will be extended through next week to enable our faculty to shift their work from creating a temporary remote-learning experience to planning for remote teaching and learning to continue throughout the semester. Classes will resume March 23.

Students who have petitioned and been approved to remain on campus for the next three weeks now will be permitted to remain through the semester should they wish to do so. Students who still need to petition must apply before 8 a.m. March 16, using our Request Approval for Remote Instruction Housing form.

Students who will be returning home are asked to move out next week between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. if possible. Only students who have petitioned and been approved to remain on campus will be able to stay overnight beyond 5 p.m. March 16. For students unable to move out next week, the following dates also will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: April 4-5, April 18-19, and May 8-9. More details will be available on our Move Out Information page.

We have not yet made a decision about graduation and commencement weekend activities.

We will be making a partial room and board refund and will provide more information over the coming weeks.

We will provide additional information via email to those who are completing student-teaching experiences and who may need to return to the K-12 classroom if those schools reopen after April 3. We also will provide additional information about upcoming Travel-Learning Courses and Theory-to-Practice Grant experiences.

In addition, we will provide more information next week to our staff as we work through the implications of canceling on-campus classes. This will include opportunities for staff whose positions allow to work remotely through April 3, currently the period for the closure of Ohio’s K-12 schools. We will reassess as the situation evolves.

With the cancellation of on-campus classes, our Early Childhood Center also will close for the semester. The New York Arts Program already has announced its closure for the semester effective March 20.

To support public health and safety, we also are suspending on-campus visits from prospective students and families until April 6, which includes canceling the April 4 Slice event. Planned Slice events for April 20 and April 25 remain tentatively scheduled. During this time, prospective students are urged to take a virtual tour of our campus and contact Admission representatives for more information.

Finally, I want to take a moment to simply ask everyone, Are you OK? It has been a difficult week to be sure, and the next few weeks promise new challenges as we deal with the COVID-19 impact not only as a university, but also as a state, nation, and world.

As we navigate these issues, I want to take a moment to make sure we’re taking time to support each other – to ensure everyone is OK as we transition to remote learning and as we separate our on-campus family for the semester to help keep everyone safe.

Fortunately, we are able to FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangout, GroupMe, Tweet, Zoom, Snap, and even make an old-fashioned telephone call to check in on those we care about.

The COVID-19 situation is unique in our lifetime and will continue to require us to be flexible, patient, and understanding. We all had hoped for a quick resolution and a return to normalcy, but that is not to be. Thank you for your support and creative problem-solving in a difficult time.

Thank you, as well, for your questions and comments, as they help us to think about issues from all perspectives as we continue our work to educate the next generation of moral leaders.

Wherever you are, know that I am thinking of you and praying that you are, and remain, OK until our paths cross again.

OWU extends remote teaching, requires students to petition to remain on campus

Transcript staff

Based on continuing changes in the spread and impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Ohio Wesleyan is implementing the following policies effective immediately. These policies override all previously announced COVID-19 protocols. 

  • From March 18 through April 5, all classes will be taught utilizing remote teaching and learning. (This time period will be continuously reassessed during the next three weeks and revised, if needed, with as much notice as possible.)
  • Unless you petition for and receive permission to remain on campus, all students must return or remain at home after spring breakuntil in-person classes resume. If you want to petition to remain on campus, you must complete this revised Request Approval for Remote Instruction Housing form by 8 a.m. Monday, March 16, based on the criteria below. (We apologize for the inconvenience, but even if you completed the previous housing registration form, you must complete this new form to petition to remain on campus.) We will provide a response to each petition as quickly as possible.
  • To be eligible to remain on campus, students must meet one of the following criteria:

o   You are an international student and don’t have another option for housing.

o   You currently are without a safe home environment.

o   You currently are without a permanent home.

o   You have exceptional circumstances.

  • All student-athletes shouldreturn or remain at home after spring break until in-person classes resume – unless you petition to remain on campus for one of the four reasons above and your petition is approved. As of March 15, all spring sports are suspended at least until on-campus classes resume.
  • Students will have until 5 p.m. Monday, March 16, to leave their residence hall room.We will allow access to residence hall rooms until noon on Wednesday, March 18, in order to retrieve items, but no unapproved students may stay overnight on campus after 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16. All requests for approval to remain after this time will be processed as quickly as possible. If you will not be able to move before the deadline, please contact the Residential Life Office at reslife@owu.edu or (740) 368-3175. 

 In addition, our New York Arts Program is suspending all classes effective March 20, and we will be closing our Early Childhood Center at day’s end March 13. 

For OWU staff, the University plans to allow you to work at home as much as possible through April 5, which coincides with Governor Mike DeWine’s announcement today that K-12 secondary schools will be on extended spring break through April 3. Please consult with your supervisor to ensure that essential duties are covered on campus and while working remotely.

Staff members who have a home computer or laptop should ensure it is configured to access your OWU files remotely. Please complete this process before March 16. To assist you, please view these Resources for Working Remotely/Off Campus and contact the Information Services Help Desk as needed. 

Again, I would like to thank everyone for your patience, assistance, flexibility, and care for one another throughout this unique situation. Our primary concern is the health and well-being of all people related to OWU and, by extension, of the larger communities in which we each make our homes. Your patience, understanding, support and efforts to find creative solutions in this challenging time are greatly appreciated. 

We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. We also encourage you to visit our COVID-19 webpage for more information and resources.

OWU suspends class meetings, switches to remote teaching

Azmeh Talha


Hailey de la Vara and Caitlin Jefferson

Transcript correspondents




Just three days after Ohio Wesleyan University’s 178th birthday, the campus suspended all in- person classes in response to the continued spread of COVID-19, which was officially named a pandemic by the World Health Organization Wednesday.

OWU President Rock Jones announced the two-week class suspension in a campus-wide email Tuesday, just after 9 p.m.  It will be the longest closure since the 1913 flood, which shut down OWU for at least a week, said Eugene Rutigliano, the digital initiatives librarian and curator of the OWU Historical Collection.

The decision came in the wake of recommendations from the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who asked all Ohio colleges to suspend face-to-face classes.

Classes will continue at OWU by digitally remote teaching methods at the end of an extended spring break, beginning March 18 through Sunday, March 29, Jones said in the email. The university also closed the Simpson Querrey Fitness Center, Morrill Family Stength & Conditioning Room and Meek Aquatics and Recreation Center.

All events have been canceled, except athletic events, through March 29. Spectators will be permitted at outdoor competitions but barred from indoor athletic events.  OWU offices will remain open for business.

Dale Brugh, OWU’s associate provost, said the unprecedented closure will create challenges for both faculty and students.

“I suspect that most faculty do not like the idea of remote classes and prefer face-to-face classes, but they are rising to the challenge,” Brugh said. Earlier in the day, Brugh sent faculty an email urging them to meet this difficult test head on.

“There are many things for all of us to learn. Please give yourself and others permission to be novices,” the email said. “We all need to start from where we are, learn something new, and move forward. Our students are depending on us to help them through this time.”

The university’s senior leadership is assessing the situation to ensure that remote teaching will work in a manner that benefits the college community, Brugh said. 

The university has established a COVID-19 information webpage and in the coming days will announce an FAQ page to answer questions students may have.  Meanwhile, OWU sent out a survey to gauge the technological capability of faculty, even as the Information Services office prepared to offer faculty technology workshops on Monday and Tuesday.

Having easy access to 21st century technology should keep teaching and learning moving forward, said Lee Fratantuono, an OWU classics professor.

“While nothing can replace in-person classroom experiences, thanks to the reality and wonder of contemporary technology, remote instruction is both possible and practical in challenging circumstances like those that confront us in March,” he said.

Nonetheless, uncertainty exists for some faculty and students.

Sean Kay, a professor of politics and government, called the class suspension a wise move and while he does not anticipate issues, others may have some difficulties.

“I am familiar with platforms like Blackboard, which work well for lecturing,” Kay said. “I worry about my science friends who have labs and so on.”

Tom Wolber, a professor of foreign languages, said the current situation is headed into unfamiliar terrain.

“I have no idea of what online means,” Wolber said. “Do we teach students individually or collectively? And how will students be tested? None of this has been determined. This is uncharted territory.”

Some students like senior Sophia Ahmed, from Pakistan, also worry about where things are headed. She said she has only heard from one professor who encouraged her to stay positive.

“I think e-learning might be a challenge, but hopefully it won’t have an impact on my studies,” Ahmed said. “It might affect studies to a certain extent since certain classes are easier to take in person rather than online.”

Meanwhile, students, faculty and staff who traveled over spring break were asked to complete a travel registry form, and anyone scheduled to participate in future OWU-sponsored travel must seek approval.

Some students returning from break are still trying to work out whether to remain on campus or return home. President Jones’ email Tuesday “strongly encouraged” students to remain at home or return home after break, but also said if they stayed they would have to register for housing.

Jones, on Wednesday, said while he does not know how many students will remain on campus, he suspects many, if not all, international students will.

It’s a dilemma for some, even including those from the area, like junior Jessica Blankenship.

“I’m feeling a bit anxious about this whole situation. I’m not sure if I’m going to stay home or go back to campus because most of my school books are back in my dorm,” she said. “I’m really not sure how this will affect my studies since we only have less than two months left for the semester.”

Sophomore Jillian O’Hara said she is worried about her classes.

“I think it will impact some of my studies because a lot of my classes are discussion based,” she said. “A few of my professors have reached out saying that they will keep us updated . . . but we will have to figure out how to get our books.”

Sophomore Mackenzie O’Brien said she feels anxious because so much panic is linked to the virus, so she will remain at home.

“I am staying at home but only because they are strongly urging us not to come back to campus … and I do live close,” O’Brien said. “I am nervous about how my classes will adjust.”

Some, like OWU senior Jack Cherry, think the changeup in teaching methods will have little impact.

“The break doesn’t really affect me whatsoever,” he said. “I’m still going to focus on academics. The only thing that changes is the fact that I won’t attend class with people.”

Look around, human trafficking impacts every region

By Katie Cantrell

Transcript Correspondent


Human trafficking is not a distant problem, it’s happening right here in the heart of one of the most affluent regions in Ohio.

That blunt message was delivered by Carol O’Brien, an Ohio deputy attorney general for law enforcement, and Maj. Christy Utley, of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, in the latest Great Decisions lecture at William Street United Methodist Church on Friday. The theme: Labor Trafficking: Global Problem/Local Impact.

 O’Brien opened up the lecture for 68 attendees, focusing on how many people are in denial about this issue, especially in this region.

“It happens here. It happened here in Worthington, it happened in Powell. Powell, Ohio, you know the fastest growing bedroom community in the country,” O’Brien said. “One of the highest per capita income and wealth areas in the country and we had human trafficking.”

O’Brien posed a question to the audience about where they think then went on to talk about where most of the labor trafficking occurs in the U.S. Some , audience members guessed either online, others  or in agriculture. While that is true in some cases, O’Brien pointed to another well-visited spot.

“How many of you get your nails done?” she askedO’Brien posed to the audience. 

Nail salons it turns out are one of the premiere premiere spots for methods of labor trafficking, she said.

But online, many of the so-called  in the United States. There are quite a few human trafficking schemes floating around online, but it turns out that they are not accurate, including one scenario where someone finds their .car’s  O’Brien mentions one of these schemes during her lecture. 

“How many of you have heard or seen online the ‘your windshield wipers tied are tied together with a zip tie and then snatch a person when they emerge from the car, she said.

“if you get out to your car and you go to take it off they’re gonna swoop in and steal you’? That’s a lie,” O’Brien said. “ that’s never really no one I have ever talked to has ever heard of that happening. When you hear stories like that know that most of them are not true.  Aa majority of girls and boys who are lured into human trafficking are lured, they’re not forced into human trafficking.” said O’Brien. 

During the lecture O’Brien and Utley talked about two separate cases involving human or labor trafficking they each dealt with during their careers. O’Brien said she dealt with a human trafficking case when during her time as ashe was a prosecutor in Delaware several years ago related to that had a massage parlor in Powell. An , Ohio at the center of the case. A letter was anonymous letter ly given to the police said stating that the Chinese girls at the massage parlor never left the premises, had food is always brought to in for them and were forced to provide “m, the men that frequent there often talk about things like ‘happy endings” ’ to the men who frequented the parlor. 

The tip was proven correct and that the police should look into the massage parlor. With police surveillance that included careful surveillance of the massage parlor, and even dumpster diving of the parlor’s garbage., it was determined that the anonymous tip was correct, the women never left and this was indeed a case of human trafficking. 

Major Christy Utley focused on a complicated and extensive case of a spoke mainly about the labor trafficking ring case at a Marion-area egg farm that began in 2014. The case didn’t end she was involved in during her half of the lecture. She started off by saying cases like this are complicated and extensive, the investigation for her case started in 2014 and was not completed until 2016.  In smaller rural communities, it is Part of the reason why cases in smaller areas like this are complicated is because it is difficult to establish surveillance in an area where everybody knows everybody.  

“NAnytime that I’ve ever done surveillance at Indian Trails trailer park as soon as I pull in, no matter what car I’m in, no matter if I have a hat on, face mask whatever, they know that we’re in the trailer park and by the time you make it to the back everybody knows there’s a car there that’s not supposed to be there,” said Major Utley said.

In the Marion case, when the Guatemalan Whenever the men, women and Guatemalan children were not working at the egg farms, they were kept at the trailer park. They were picked up by a van early in the morning and driven t, get loaded up into a van and drive to the egg farm where they , they would worked all day before they were loaded back up and taken at the egg farm and after they were finished they would load up back into the van and go back to the trailer park. 

Investigators eventually discovered When they finally had enough grounds for a search warrant and were able to make entry into the trailers they were a mess. The trailers had anywhere from seven 7 to 15 people living in per trailer, each overrun with roaches and with there was no running water and there was roaches everywhere. 

Both Major Utley’s and O’Brien’s cases had a bit of a language barrier since the victims were either from Guatemala or China. A majority of the victims in O’Brien’s case were in the United States legally and were able to stay in the country after being freed. Meanwhile, a majority of the victims of labor trafficking in Major Utley’s case were not in the U.S. legally and were later deported, however a few were able to remain in the states. 

Neither of O’Brien or Utley’s these cases would have been investigated if it were not for public the tips that authorities received from the public. 

“That’s a big thing in our society today, is people don’t tell. If you see something, say something,” Utley said. “. You can say something without giving your name, if you give an anonymous tip you truly are anonymous.” said Major Utley.

Many of those in attendance at the lecture now have increased their knowledge about the subject of human trafficking. Attendee 

One of the attendants Norman Snook, a resident of Delaware, said the lecture was enlightening and enjoyed this week’s Great Decisions lecture. 

“TIt was very informative the investigations that they were reporting gave some grounding to the theory in a sense, but I thought the information, even on the screens, was very helpful in terms of the laws and how they expressed what they said really,” said Snook said. 

Julie Richey recently moved , to Delaware and said she ’s newest inhabitants, learned a lot about her new home quite a few things about the area in and around Delaware during the lecture.

“I like how this whole Great Decisions discussion series pulls locals into localizing the topic that is often talked about internationally, in the book that goes with this series” said Richey said.

Barbara Adams, also  citizen of Delaware, said she found the lecture to be a welcome source of information for a very important subject. 

“It was great,” she said. “ This is something that we need to really talk about in a forum or otherwise just talking about it is good. I think we all need to know more about the subject and it was good that it was presented today.”

Geopolitical hot spot simmers in the Red Sea region

Connor Severino

Transcript Correspondent


The area encompassing the Red Sea can be defined as a “puddle muddle” because of how the region’s economics and religion are intertwined.

That label was applied by Blake Michael, a Swan-Collins-Allen professor of religion at Ohio Wesleyan, who enlightened 77 Delaware residents about the geo-political disputes of the region Friday at the latest Great Decision lecture at Williams Street United Methodist Church.

The Red Sea is a part of the world not often acknowledged by Americans due to lack of involvement by the United States, Michael said.

Meanwhile, the region is responsible for nine percent of global trade and it is the second largest oil reserve in the world.

“My main point is (to see) the complexity of any geo-political situation, specifically an area such as the Red Sea that is complicated through elements I talked about, like for ethnicity and religion,” Michael said.

In terms of religious complexity, different cultural groups practice different forms of the Muslim faith. Those groups are settled in the countries that border the Red Sea, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti.

Economically, Japan, China, and countries from Europe depend on the Red Sea region for natural resources and materials. The most sought after resource is oil, which provides global economic stability, Michael said.

“It is an enlightening part of the world, but people are not aware of all that goes on politically,” he said.

Attendee and Delaware resident Wayne Moore said he enjoyed the presentation.

“It’s an area we don’t have much place in so it was fascinating to learn,” he said.

Another local resident, Roger Koch, said, “It added clarity to an obtuse part of the world.”

Women’s Track and Field captures championship

Peter Lujan

Sports Editor


It’s been a big week for Ohio Wesleyan’s women’s track and field team.

Junior Courtney Owens won the North Coast Atlantic Conference indoor pentathlon on Feb. 23 in a meet at Oberlin College, scoring 3,388 points and smashing the previous record of 3,135 points held by Emily Brown (’18).

And this past weekend the team won the NCAC championship meet at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, topping Oberlin College 175-to-167, as senior Cirrus Robinson repeated as conference champion in high jump and the 400-meter dash.  It was Robinson’s fourth straight NCAC title for the high jump.

Complete results, including the success of the other members of the team, can be found here.

Also in recognition of the team’s performances, the NCAC named coach Kris Boey “Coach of the Year,” the 30th  time he’s earned that recognition and his 10th time for coaching women’s track and field.

Boey was brimming with confidence before the weekend meet.

“This team can be a championship team,” Boey said. “We simply have to be us.”

The week started off with the record-breaking win for Owens, who was also confident about the team’s overall chances to nab championship this past weekend.

“When we are at our best, no one can touch us,” Owens said. “It will come down to everyone making the decision to be at their best, putting it all on the line for the win.”

Boey said he cautions his team never to look too far to the future and did the same with Owens before she broke the school record.

“One event at a time. After she completed the last event we knew it was enough.  We were thrilled for her,” Boey said.  “I told her that persistence pays.”

During last Sunday’s meet, Owens was informed that she would have to make some serious changes to her pace if she wanted to make history.

“My coach had told me … if I wanted to win, break the school record and qualify for nationals, I had to run a 2:30,” Owens said. “This was fairly ambitious for me because it would require me to drop 8 seconds off my time, but he believed I could do it.”

Owens embraced that belief and also won the 60-meter hurdles over last weekend. She acknowledged the support she received from her peers for all of her wins.

“I took one of the biggest risks I ever have while doing this sport and the reward made it so worth it,” Owens said. “I feel humbled and grateful that I have coaches who push me so I can push myself.”

While Owens has achieved plenty of individual success, she has also helped lead and inspire her team with her talent and by helping teammates focus on a common goal.

“Courtney is the best overall athlete in the conference as the NCAC champion in the pentathlon with a national level performance,” Boey said. “She can take her talents in those individual event components to make an impact in a wide variety of ways.  Courtney has become a leader, and is helping gather our team around a vision.”

Ross Art Museum parades faculty talent

Katie Cantrell

Transcript correspondent


Ohio Wesleyan fine arts faculty showed off their talents outside of the classroom last week, displaying their forte in the form of 3-D designs, jewelry, sculptures, oil paintings and digital prints.

The Ross Art Museum opened a new exhibit Wednesday, featuring the works of many of the fine arts faculty members. About 75 people, including OWU President Rock Jones, attended the free public reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., which included the musical stylings of the jazz group The Starliners, along with complimentary food and drinks.

The artists on display included:

  • Associate professor Kristina Bogdanov -sculptures and photo-lithography
  • Professor Cynthia Cetlin-jewelry
  • Associate professor Frank Hobbs -oil paintings
  • Professor Jim Krehbiel – digital prints
  • Professor Jeff Nilan -photographs
  • Part-time professor Jonathan Quick – sculptures and 3-D designs

Every artist works their medium differently, so the works within the exhibit took various levels of time to complete. Hobbs said his favorite piece in the exhibit, an oil painting of a bridge construction site, took only two to three sessions, totaling about six or seven hours.

Meanwhile, Krehbiels’ favorite piece, a digital print of a cold sunrise over a mesa as seen from a Pueblo shrine, took 2 ½ years.

Artists face different kinds of challenges, depending on the piece they create. Nilan’s was personal for his favorite piece in the exhibit.

“It was challenging to look back in time and trying to avoid nostalgia and to just try and see what was there,” Nilansaid about his accordion-shaped photobook, with still images from home videos featuring his two sons.

Hobbs’ challenges were more technical for his bridge construction painting.

“Any time you have a painting with this many dark colors and shadows it can be very difficult to work with,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said he had plenty of motivation to complete the piece, however he was not trying to impart a specific message to his audience.

“My painting process is more of a soliloquy, so it’s like I’m talking to myself. I’m not interested in using art as propaganda,” Hobbs said.

Like challenges, every artist has different motivation driving their work. Sometimes, there’s an underlying message for an audience.

Krehbiel had a very specific motivation in mind when he created his digital print “Cold Sunrise in an Ancient Place,” which depicted a sunrise he watched one cold morning over a mesa from a Pueblo shrine built in the 1200s.

“It was a memory drawing of that along with some rock art and pictographs added in as well,” he said. “I wanted my audience to see the principles of mirroring and reflection in the piece, much like the sun. Movements of the sun are such as cyclical thing.”

The display of faculty art runs through April 5.

Vietnam War experiences traumatized nurses

Tiffany Moore

Transcript Correspondent


Claymore mines and booby traps blanketed South Vietnam during the war and wreaked havoc on U.S. soldiers.

Many of those young men who suffered horrifying wounds were treated in emergency setups by some of the nearly 10,000 women, a majority of them nurses, who also served in uniform. It was traumatizing for the wounded soldiers and those who treated them, said former Army nurse Mary Powell.

Powell, a Vietnam veteran, shared her storiesTuesday in the Bayley Room at a lecture titled “Our War in Vietnam,” sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan’s College of Republicans and Young Democratic Socialists of America.

Powell said she became an Army nurse when she was 23. As a native New Yorker, Powell attended Columbia University School of Nursing and graduated in 1969. During her senior year, she was unable to pay tuition. At that time, the Army needed nurses and offered to provide financial assistance with a two-year commitment to serve after graduation.

Powell became an internal medicine nurse and was stationed at the 24th Evacuation Hospital at Long Binh for a year beginning in November 1970.

Powell said she can speak about her experiences today only because she worked in internal medicine, not in emergency medicine.

“Every nurse I knew in Vietnam who worked in surgery … is on 100% disability for PTSD,” Powell said, “One of the nurses who is on 100% PTSD, my friend Nancy, was in the room next to me. The first day she was assigned to neurosurgery, she took care of a 19-year-old without a face.”

Only two percent of the soldiers admitted to emergency treatment died, but the rest were in horrifying conditions, Powell said. It was routine for nurses to avoid admitting feelings toward the soldiers and about the war.

“When we say goodbye to the guys we would say goodbye, good luck, and we’d shut down on feelings,” Powell said.

About 15 students and staff members attended the lecture. Powell avoided speaking to the audience with a traditional mic and podium and instead herded everyone into a circle to engage in a more personal conversation.

Sophomore Jacob Delight said, “I came to this event because I was interested in joining YDSA. I hadn’t heard about Vietnam on a personal level. So it was interesting to be able to put a face to it.”

Senior Amanda Hays, played a big role in planning the event.

“It was great, she was a wonderful speaker. It’s important to hear these people’s stories while they’re still around,” Hays said.

YDSA meets at 7 p.m. Saturday in Stuyvesant Hall’s Fishbowl; College Republicans meet at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Welch Hall.

“Fighting Words” focus on peaceful protests

Alex Emerson

Transcript Correspondent


“Fighting words” took on a more peaceful tone on campus recently.

That theme was a play on words for a display in the faculty-staff dining room at the Hamilton Williams Campus Center Wednesday, focused on the effectiveness of peaceful protests around the world,.

Tables at the event displayed the flags of six nations and included papers with examples of protest, along with laptops that showed a video or an article of those protests or of revolutionary poetry. The countries included the U.S., Argentina, Afghanistan, Hong Kong/China, Serbia and Czechoslovakia.

Every country had a phrase or a line of poetry that illuminated the message of a particular cause. Language and expression clearly was an integral part of those protests.

Sophomore Meg Edwards, a member of the House of Linguistic Diversity, put this display together for her house project.

Edwards said she focused on this issue because she believes peaceful protests are more effective than people think and she wanted to raise awareness of the history of effective peaceful protests.

“I’ve heard people say that peaceful protest isn’t enough and that violent protests might be more effective, but I’m a believer in nonviolent action does work,” Edwards said.

Violent protests could legitimize the oppression of the regime and lead to less support for the cause. Instead, peaceful protests are the most effective route to change, but should also be loud and hard to ignore, she said.

“In Hong Kong, there were so many people in the street that they couldn’t be avoided,” Edwards said.

Thousands of people filled the streets of Hong Kong over the past year, protesting the introduction of a bill that would have allowed for the extradition of criminal fugitives to mainland China. Many blocked roads and chanted “Hong Kongers, add oil,”which is a widely used phrased roughly translated to “keep it going.”

The famous phrase was spoken in Konglish, a mix between Cantonese and English, according to information at that table.

Protest through art was a big part of this project as well. It’s effective because poetry or plays can reach a lot of people, and also they’re entertaining, Edwards said.

The Afghanistan table featured poetry translated from Pashto to English. This particular poetry was a forbidden form of expression passed around by the oppressed women of Afghanistan.

One example: “Daughter, in America the river isn’t wet. Young girls learn to fill their jugs on the internet.”

And a 22 syllable poem that women in Afghanistan create, called a landlay, is shared by word of mouth and is used to express forbidden love.

Edwards got a lot of support from her housemates who came to see her project.

Senior Sarah Gielink thought the event was important in light of the political tension in America.

“It’s important to take a step back and look back on history,” Gielink said. “And what other people have done in the face of oppression.”